Continuing with the Amethyst Saga with more from Dylan’s POV, 1000 words using; a full moon, an iron gate, suitcase


As conferences went, this one was uncomfortable. The two families sat around the large table in the Cunninghams’ kitchen, and no one said a word. Dylan scowled out of the window. The full moon cast strange shadows, and they’d turned the old iron gate to the orchard into modern sculpture. His coffee had cooled, so he sent a trickle of energy through it to heat it up. Beside him, David flinched.


“Sorry,” Dylan muttered.


“Not a problem,” David said quietly. “Just took me by surprise, that’s all.”


“You can feel it when I use the gift?”


“Yes. Like a nail down a chalkboard.” He chuckled. “I’m more sensitive to—Damn it!” He screwed up his face as if in pain, and Dylan winced in sympathy.


“Davy?” His mother leaned closer. “Are you all right?”


“Yes, Mum.”


“This is getting us nowhere,” Ruth announced. “We wanted to send Dylan to Megan in Bath. I think they should both go.”


Colin nodded. “My sister has room enough, and she’s all for keeping Dylan out of the Institute’s way.” A murmur of agreement ran around the table, but David stirred uneasily.


“That might not be a good idea,” he said.


“Why not?” Colin demanded. “Seems like the perfect solution to me. They can pack a suitcase and go tonight. There are so many sacred places there, you’ll be well-shielded.”


“Exactly. They—” David stopped, lips pressed into a thin pale line. “It’s a-an obvious p-p-place— Sorry. I can’t!”


“It’s okay,” Dylan said quickly, shooting his father a glare. “Take it easy. Just nod or shake your head: the PI know Bath is a haven for Unregistereds?”


He nodded, looking as if he was about to throw up.


“Do they carry out sweeps?” Charlie asked. Again David nodded, sweat standing out on his brow.


“Stopping anyone wearing sunglasses on a dull day?” Put like that it sounded stupid, but the reality of it chilled Dylan’s blood. David nodded, his breathing uneven.


“Never mind sunglasses,” Charlie growled. “I bet they get hold of the opticians’ records for the names and addresses of whoever buys tinted contact lenses.”


David nodded once and lunged from his chair. He made it to the cloakroom by the back door and Dylan could hear him retching. His own stomach heaved in sympathy.


“Wait a minute,” Colin said, his voice suddenly cold. “If David’s had his memories blocked or wiped, how come he knows that?”


“Because he’s fighting it,” Dylan snapped impatiently. “He’s trying to break free. Knock it off, Dad. Davy isn’t the enemy here. You’re as bad as Paul for jumping to conclusions.”


“I’m not accusing the boy of anything,” Colin said curtly. “I just—”


“I should hope not,” Charlie interrupted. “Davy’s a victim, damn it!”


“Whoa, whoa,” the two women said in chorus. “Calm down, everyone,” Ruth continued. “Whatever was done to him, Davy is obviously trying to help us.”


“I know that!” her husband said. “But maybe they did more than block his memories. Perhaps they planted something, a command, an instruction.”


“You’ve been reading the tabloids again,” Colin growled. “It makes sense the Institute will be watching Bath, and every other place where there are long traditions of worship. Stands to reason after all. Unregistereds will think they’re safe there, all that holy ground hiding their power signatures or whatever they are.”


“We have a common goal,” Patricia said. “Keeping our boys safe and out of the Institute’s clutches. Perhaps we should remember that and do something about it, with as much of their help as they can give us.”


David came back into the kitchen then, white as a sheet and visibly shaking. “Sorry,” he mumbled again. Dylan steadied him with a hand on his shoulder as he sank back into his chair.


“But they can’t stay here!” Ruth protested. “It’s too risky!”


“And if the Institute is keeping an eye on Davy somehow, if he ups and disappears, that’s going to catch their attention like a shot!”


The argument broke out around them and for a moment Dylan thought David was about to pass out. He leaned towards him until their foreheads were nearly touching. His friend’s hair was growing back, a cap of golden velvet, and Dylan wondered what it would feel like to stroke his fingertips over the new growth. He shoved the impulse away.


“Listen,” he said, voice no more than a whisper. “What do you want to do? Stay or go?”


“I don’t know,” David said as quietly. “Maybe the Adepts do keep an eye on-on— Damn it! We need books, better ones than those you have. They’re mostly superstition. I can show you…” He paused, but nothing seemed to happen and he sighed his relief. “Perhaps I can help you with your t-tal—”




David gave a shaky smile. “Yeah. When we were kids we used to be able to pretty much guess what the other was thinking. If we could get that back, it might make a difference.”


“Yeah. But you’re blocked from your talents, so even if you could talk about it, how can you help me?”


David’s shoulders sagged, and he scrubbed wearily at his scalp. “Fuck it!” He stood up and thrust away from the table, his chair rocking back and clattering to the floor. “I have to break this!” He staggered and clutched his head. “God! The bastards—have to— They want—”


“Davy!” Patricia shot to her feet and reached for him but the table rose a foot in the air and slammed down. The Welsh dresser swayed, its drawers flew across the kitchen and plates, mugs, pots and pans became missiles. Everyone ducked for cover.




Dylan grabbed hold of him, held him close. “It’s okay,” he said quietly. “It’s okay. We’ll find a way.” David slumped in his embrace and the kitchenware crashed to the floor in a jarring cacophony.


“So much for blocking his bloody talent,” Colin muttered.


 * * * * *

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