The boy, his arms wrapped around his knees, huddled on his side at the top of the bed. The bedclothes and the wooden frame at the foot of the bed lay in blackened testament to the now-extinguished flames.
Aedan gestured toward her. The manifestation of the sparkling shield extended to allow Telyn to enter safely. “Come in but be careful. There is still water on the floor.” She came to stand beside him and flinched when a spoon ricocheted off the shield with a crack. “I’m glad you’re here,” he said. “Things are getting more violent.”
“I see that.” Telyn watched the shoes trapped in the whirlpool of energy as they thudded, one after the other, into the shield in front of them. She searched for the center of the energy, the calm in the center of the maelstrom, and found it where she suspected it would be: a six-foot circle of stillness around the child. “Let me start. Can you shield me long enough to get to the boy, and then drop it?”
“If you touch him you’ll get a very painful shock. Your hand will be too numb to play for an hour or more.” Cormac peered through the doorway and waggled his fingers. “Believe me.”
“I don’t want to touch him. I just want to sit beside him.” Telyn cradled the harp and played a few one handed chords in preparation. “Once I start, you should leave the room. I can pitch it not to carry outside these walls, but if I have to do something drastic, I don’t want you affected.”
Cormac wore a worried frown. “What if he strikes out at you?”
“I don’t think he will.” The knife bounced point first off the shield in front of her head and she winced. “Just keep me protected until I sit down, and then close the door.”
“Let me leave the room first, and I’ll surround you with the shield,” Aedan said. They shifted positions. The Magian angled out the doorway, his hand outstretched to revolve the shield. He ignored a hail of pottery shards and moved both his hands in an enveloping gesture. The silver-flecked energy wrapped closely around her and goose bumps rose on her skin in response to the magic. Her steps resounded against the hollow confines of the spell, as Telyn clutched her harp to her chest and walked into the whirlwind.
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