‹ Prequel: A Life Cycle Reborn
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A Life Again

Chapter 10 Taylan Present World: Airus

"Stop it, I will obey," I say to him as he drags me to the shore.

Thru his teeth he says, "Did you just think you could hide from us?" I don't answer.

He mutters, "Didn't think so." He ties my webbed hands and leads me to the outside of the basement doors. The other two men approach.

One of them says, "There are four horses in there."

The man holding me says, "Then there are three more, find them." They leave to search. He pushes me to the ground. It is damp on my thighs. I look up at him. He is angry but why? We did nothing. "You are one of the caretakers to Newlyn's property." I shake my head. He interrupts, "I wasn't asking. I know don't play stupid."

I gulp, "Okay what is it that you want?"

He chuckles, "Don't start, I get to ask the questions. You were with three others, right?"

I answer, "Right."

"Were there any on foot?"


"Do you know where they are?"


He steps on me. His weight is crushing, "You know it doesn't take much to break one of those tiny little bones in your foot. If I did that and took your horses away and left, you here that wouldn't be nice would it?" A tear escapes and I shake my head. "Answer me and I will stop."


"Who are you with?" He continues.

"My sisters and a friend."

"Does your friend have a name?"

"Jodis" I say.

"What about a Rosaleen or Newlyn?"

"They weren't with us or at the property that we look after."

"No?" He kneels to eye level when he asks.

"No" I repeat.

"Do you know where they are?"

"At the palace."

"You know this?" He asks.

"I believe this." I look back at him.

There is a moment of silence before he speaks, "I will believe you if you give up where they are hiding." I can't take the pain, but I don't want to do this, give them up.

"Hey, you!" It's Saydira. "Hey, it's only the two of us here right now. The other two have gone hunting. What is this about and why are you here?" Saydira comes to my rescue, I would like to think that I wouldn't just give anyone up, but I think it would have come to it.

The soldier turns surprised but happy with the outcome of the situation, he explains, "We are here, under an order. That is all."

"There is no need to tie us up, we can all get along."

"Can we? Just consider it me doing my duty. Give me your hands."

Saydira looks at him defiantly, "We don't need to do this like I said we can do this without the ties." Just then thirty or so more soldiers walk onto the property from the trail that emerges from the back of the two cottages. It is as though they are on a leisurely walk. They aren't marching, there are no weapons in hand, and they are talking amongst themselves. I know they are all on a mission and there is enough of them to know and be realistic that we can't reason right now.

The soldier looks at Saydira and asks again, "Give me your hands."

She's lost this battle. Another soldier runs up to the one questioning us. "Merth these islanders live the life."

"Kagep, tell the others to set up camp here."

"Sure thing" He jogs away. Merth escorts us to the basement of the neighboring cottage. We don't ask, it's a good place to keep us captive, away from the horses should we try to escape and if he suspects the rest of our party were to return this spot would be a secondary spot to check. He says nothing and closes the door behind us.

In the dark, damp darkness I whisper. "Saydira, where is Ashlea?"

"She stayed underwater and swam out to the diving dock as I walked to the shore to turn myself in."

"She is still out there?"

"As far as I know."

"Ashlea isn't going to try to run, get help?"

"Where is she going to run, there is no one to help us. Besides, she is going to get us out of here."

I shake my head, "She is just going to get herself caught. With thirty plus sets of eyes at this property, it's only a matter of time."

Saydira nudges me, "Hey!"


"Who is this girl sitting next to me?"

I shrug, "Saydira you know there is no way in hell she will get us out of here. It's not that I don't think she is skilled it's that we are completely outnumbered. We don't even know what's happened to Jodis, Sid or if Mom is safe."

"You have to believe that they are okay," Saydira says.

"Do you believe it?" I ask.

"Yes, I do."

"How Saydira?"

"I just do. It's a feeling and you must think about it for a second. They are on a search and conquer mission, I think. I don't think their focus is to harm."

"But they will if someone gets in their way," I say.

"We just have to stay out of their way." Her hand rests on my shoulder as she says the words.

The basement floor of this cottage is made up of crushed stone and stone block wall. Unlike the cottage basement, we housed our horses in, this basement is quite bear apart from a huge lake boat that is being stored.



"Do you think that it will get stuffy in here?"

"What do you mean?"

"Well when the sun climbs up in the sky with the doors sealed shut, do you think that it will turn into a hot room in here?"

"No, we should be fine the ground and stone walls are cool and if they leave our horses where we left them, they should be good too. Hopefully, for the horses' sake, they let them out and care for them."

Just like when I was a "prisoner" at Newlyn's with Shaylo I walk the perimeter of the basement, tracing the wall with my finger. The cold, ruff stone gives me a meek feeling, that I am not new to. I climb up into the boat and find a comfortable spot. I bet the owner of this boat has no idea that a squirrel or rodent of something chewed away the fabric of their captain's chair. I settle with taking a seat on one of the cushioned benches. So now Jodis is missing Ashlea is hiding, Mom hopefully isn't in harm's way wherever she is, and Sid is missing and why? Hmm, Jodis came to us for a reason other than not being happy with the outcome of her late imposter King. Was she scared maybe?

Saydira does a good job at hiding her fear. Saydira asks, "What did you do to pass the time when you were cooped up with Shaylo?"

I sigh, "You know play games, solve puzzles and such."

"Taylan is that a touch of sarcasm?"

"Maybe?" I smirk.

"That is what I had thought."

Morning becomes mid-morning and then lunch rolls buy. We have no communication with these soldiers and there are no signs of Ashlea or Jodis. It's not like they left us here on our own, every so often I can hear the distant voices of the soldiers. We manage to loosen the ties around our hands and keep ourselves busy with seeing what exactly we have in this basement beside the boat.

Only the natural light makes its way thru the darkness from the tiny windows and the small space under the door. Day turns to evening which turns into night.

I'm hungry and thirsty and I know it isn't safeto try anything. The chit-chat between Saydira and I have trailed off with theonset of the night and we get comfortable each with a boat bench for our own. Beingtired comes easy and I close my eyes. Things always seem to happen when it'sleast expected, maybe I should have tried to sleep sooner. There is a thumpthen a click and then a creek which brings in a gust of fresh air.
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