For visually challenged writers, the image shows a seashore with a clear, turquoise sea, bordered by small islands and a rocky headland .
Rachel chose to stay in lupine form until she established what was awaiting them. They followed the boatman up the stone steps. Rachel in her present form hated steps they were difficult with paws and claws. Much worse was the smell filling her nose.
Lisa was nervous too and held tight to Hope, feeling Rachel’s discomfort she rested a hand on her back showing her she cared.
They reached the top of the steps and entered a huge dimly lit hall with a huge fire place at the far end containing a roaring fire.
Rachel looked around recognising , tapestries, a huge long table with benches either side. Armour and paintings adorned the wall, all this along with the stench she had encountered the moment they had entered the castle confirmed they were surrounded by humans.
Lisa though her sense of smell was not as keen as Rachel’s had come to the same conclusion purely from the surroundings.
As they stood in the doorway a man rose from a chair near the fire and turned to greet them.
“Ladies and Hope, greetings, come warm yourselves by the fire. I have been expecting you. Rachel would you not be more comfortable in human form?” Asked the the man smiling and gesturing to the top of the table by the fire.
“Ask him who he is ” Rachel spoke telepathically to Lisa. “We are choosy who we dine with sir, who are you” Lisa replied, adding “how do you know the wolf’s name.”
“I am Ewan king of men , I was visited by an Elf named Calador, who told me to expect you and the child Hope. I am here to help you all I can.”
A thousand questions formed in Lisa’s head the foremost being where is Calador?
Before Lisa could speak Rachel grabbed a cloth from the table and deftly covered herself as she morphed in human shape. “How do we know we can trust you? ” She demanded of Ewan.
“Mathew was here he left you this letter, he had been at the rallying of four houses of the Vampires.” Ewan handed Rachel the letter. He continued “He was well and had seen Roman and Q at close quarters… He was hiding in the throng in plain sight and was as yet unseen.” He finished and waited for Rachel to reply.
Rachel thought, then she looked at Ewan, “When he came, where had he been and where is he now”
“He had been at the gathering on Silverman beach, twenty miles from here, after our meeting he left with the savage hoards of Vampires as they headed off to war. Which is where I and my men will be heading as soon as I hear from the Elf and Dwarf warlords.” Said Ewan sitting down again.
Lisa sat down and unwrapped Hope who reached out for Ewan who smiled and took her into his arms. Lisa smiled and said ” Rachel I believe this man is honourable. Hope accepts him. I believe we may too.”
Rachel’s eyes flashed yellow, “Maybe” she said as she made for the door, ” Silverman beach you say Ewan?”
“Yes, but they are months gone” he replied.
Rachel dropped her cloth and letter at the top of the stairs , she ran down them changing to a wolf as she did.
She swam the loche, and covered the twenty miles to Silverman beach. The smell of Vampires filled her nose and lungs fifteen miles before she arrived there. It sickened her but she ran on.
Arriving just before the dawn she ran up and down the beach looking for Mathew’s scent. Finally she found it.
Again she howled at the sky. “Mathew my love where are you.”
Many miles away Mathew looked up to the horizon and answered Rachel.
To be continued.
If you wish to read Lisa’s and Rachel’s story up to this point you can find it here.
This story grew from a Thursday Photo Challenge which is run by Sue Vincent of Daily Echo. Well I stopped writing this story about a year ago to think about expanding it. So far the stars or rather real life has been against me but today’s photo prompt has inspired me to pull up my socks and work on this story….. It may not be a novel but I do feel it is something.
This is part of Sue Vincent’s Thursday Photo Prompt. #writephoto.