The Seeress and the Stone 10
“Ugh. Sometimes I really hate autumn,” Angelia said disgustedly.
“It’s only because you have to go back home. It will get better after a week or so,” Sparrow replied.
“I just wish summer could last forever.”
“But autumn brings so many wonderful things,” Sparrow sighed.
“You’re just excited because we can finally attend the council ball,” Angelia added knowingly.
The girls stopped talking at the escalating sound of arguing voices. Angelia went to the top of the stairs.
“How dare you use my daughter as a shield for this nonsense? Do you know what this is doing to my family?”
“Are you more worried about Angelia or your status on the council, Geralde?” Celendar stood with his arms folded near the bottom of the stairs.
“You are turning her into a miniature version of yourself and I won’t have it.”
“You didn’t seem to have any problem pushing her off to me so you could have your vacations and summers free. Twelve years of this and you have the gall to accuse me of molding her.”
“You never complained before,” Geralde spat.
“I’m not complaining. I am glad of the person she is because she was away from you.”
Geralde scowled at Celendar. “Your actions in this matter are disgusting. I didn’t think even you could sink this low, father.”
“I never used Angelia as a shield.”
“Telling people she is the chosen Seeress.”
“It is who she is, but you are too ignorant to see her for what she is,” Celendar defended.
“The Awakening is an obsolete tradition that needs to disappear. That is clear,” Geralde replied determinedly.
“You’re a jealous fool.”
“And you have gone too far this time.”
“Things are going to change, Geralde, why won’t you listen?” Celendar plead.
“Oh, things are changing all right. I will see to that.”
He slammed the door shut after him. Moments later Angelia heard the sound of hooves galloping down the path. She looked at her friends.
“How did he find out?” she whispered.
Her friends shook their heads.
“Angelia, can you come down?” Her grandfather stood at the bottom of the stairs.
She slowly descended the stairs and followed her grandfather into the parlor.
“How much did you hear?” Celendar asked.
Angelia ducked her head.
“I guess you could hear it all,” He sighed. “I am going up to talk to Le’Mone and then head into the city to see Geoff. I will be home late, do you want to stay at Le’Mone’s?”
“No, I’ll be fine here with Sparrow and Kya. Grandfather, is everything going to be all right?”
Celendar shook his head. “I don’t know, Angel. Your father is a very stubborn and determined man. There’s no telling what he will do. I shouldn’t have angered him so much.”
“He wanted to be angry, Grandfather. You could have said anything and the outcome would have been the same.”
“I know, but it still worries me. I will send French up to check on you later tonight.”
“Be safe.” She kissed him on the cheek.
“I love you so much, Angelia.”
She looked at her grandfather in wonder. His tone was very urgent.
“I love you too, Grandfather. Don’t worry about father. He will cool down by the time I go home.”
“I hope so, for your sake.”
She watched him walk up the path toward Le’Mone’s cottage. A feeling of uneasiness poked at her mind like a woodpecker on a fresh tree. With a sigh she returned to her friends. They spent the evening quietly, each lost in their own worries. Later in the evening French came by the cottage to make sure they were all right and after he left the girls went to bed.
The smells of bacon and pancakes brought Angelia awake the next morning. She came into the kitchen yawning, gave her grandfather a hug and started setting the table. Celendar seemed much more at ease now than when he had left the previous evening.
“What did Geoff and Aunt Le’ say about your argument with father?” She finally asked.
“They were both concerned. Geoff wanted to speak with Jexson as soon as he could. Geralde’s threats are not usually empty. We will just have to monitor the situation carefully.”
Angelia nodded. “I’ll call down Sparrow and Kya.
Just as they sat down to eat a knock sounded at the front door.
“I’ll get it,” Celendar said standing. “Go ahead and start.”
He left the kitchen and Angelia heard the front door open.
“Celendar Galashad?” Angelia could hear the man from the kitchen.
Curious she followed her grandfather into the hall.
“Yes, may I help you?” Celendar said.
“Your presence is requested by the Viecity High Council. You will report at City Hall today at one o’clock sharp.”
Without waiting for a reply, the man handed Celendar two small pieces of paper and turned to leave.
“Thank you,” Celendar muttered to his retreating back and closed the door.
He tore open the letter addressed to him. Angelia could see the city crest on the paper. It was an official summons from the High Council. As he read he walked into the parlor. Angelia followed.
Celendar opened the second note and his face paled.
“Grandfather, what is it?” Angelia asked her voice trembling.
“There is a note from your father,” he said not looking up. His voice was emotionless.
Angelia picked up the paper and read aloud:
You are to come to the city with your Grandfather today.
Bring all of your things. You will not be returning.
Angelia stared at the last sentence. “What does this mean?” Her voice filled with fear. “Why did they summon you?”
“I expected this,” he sighed. “You’d best get your things together. We have to leave within the hour if I am to be there by one.”
Angelia looked around the room. She knew her parents would send for her to come back to the city, but why would her father be saying she would not return. Woodenly she moved to the bookcase and began taking out her schoolbooks. Then she stopped.
“No. I won’t be ordered anywhere,” she said throwing her books on the floor.
“Angel, be reasonable,” Celendar pleaded with her.
“No! They never ask me what I want. I want to stay with you. Forever,” she shouted, her eyes brimming with tears. “They...they don’t care about me like you do.”
She sank to her knees, crying.
“Angel, they are your parents. We have to do what they say,” Celendar said gently.
She looked up at her grandfather and their eyes locked. Celendar looked so miserable and Angelia knew she would not win. The tears increased. Sparrow and Kya came into the parlor.
“Angel, what’s wrong?” Sparrow asked.
Angelia handed her the note from her father and Celendar replied, “I have been summoned to Viecity High Council for a hearing.”
“What?!” Sparrow exclaimed.
“Why?” Kya questioned.
“I’m not sure,” Celendar replied. “I need one of you to take a note to Le’Mone, please.” He hastily wrote on a scrap of paper. Kya took the paper and ran out the door. Celendar began pacing while Angelia resumed packing her books.
“I am going upstairs to get my summer things, Grandfather. Do you need anything?” Angelia asked sullenly.
“No, dear.” He returned to his chair and Sparrow and Angelia left the room.
She trudged up to her room and started shoving items into her travel bag.
“I’m never going to get it all in half an hour,” she grumbled.
Sparrow took the clothes from the closet and started folding them and placing them on the bed.
“Whatever you can’t get together Kya and I will bring later.”
Angelia moved to the window seat and began taking items out. She left her grandfather’s scrolls on top.
“My father would be very angry if he knew I had these. Will you give them back to my grandfather?”
Sparrow nodded. Angelia looked out the window and saw Kya returning with French, Le’Mone and Jord. Angelia moved to the top of the stairs and sat sullenly listening to the conversations below.
“Celendar, is it true?” Le’Mone demanded.
“My presence has been requested at one o’clock sharp,” he said sarcastically.
“Angelia’s being sent home,” Kya interjected.
“Sent home?” Le’Mone asked.
“He said she would not be returning,” Celendar said carefully.
“As in never? But why?” French sounded shocked.
“Something is going on,” Jord said. “I’d better let father know.”
French started for the stable. “I’ll get the horses.”
With a sigh Angelia returned to her room. Sparrow had finished packing her clothes.
“The rest can come later,” she said.
She felt uneasy and for the first time she wished she could command a vision of the outcome. She and Sparrow took the bag down to where French and Celendar were waiting.
“Not ever,” Angelia replied glumly. Going home was like going to prison.
Word must have spread quickly because several people were waiting at the north gate when they arrived. Celendar dismissed them and told them to wait for news. They entered the city and made their way to City Hall. Many people stopped and stared. Celendar hadn’t set foot in the city for a very long time.
They reached City Hall and Celendar dismounted.
“You should go home, Angel. Your mother will be wondering—” he began.
“Don’t even pretend that’s true Grandfather, because we both know it’s not. I’m waiting here,” Angelia retorted choking back the tears.
She dismounted and he handed her the reigns. She tied the horses to the rail and watched her grandfather enter City Hall, a feeling of dread filling her chest. Worry and fear built up inside her until she grasped the crystal hanging around her neck, hoping for something. The images jumped into her mind, but she couldn’t focus on anything. She needed to be touching her grandfather.
She sat on a little stone wall that bordered the city park and put her head in her hands. Her friends joined her there. French took her hand and once again images burst into her mind. This time she could see him standing in the cottage holding a piece of paper. He looked angry.
She pushed her mind back to the present.
“Le’Mone, what really happened sixteen years ago?” Angelia asked suddenly. “It seems strange that Grandfather would be summoned to the High Council for telling people about a dream. I know my father has influence, but not that much.”
“Your father has more power than you realize,” Le’Mone admitted.
“What do you mean?”
“Your grandfather had a vision very similar to yours.”
“Yes, I know that.”
“After a year of telling people about it he was summoned to the High Council and told to stop. He didn’t really care what the Council said, but when your father threatened him he stopped.”
“But why tell him to stop, he was trying to warn them?”
“I don’t know if it was jealousy or fear or what. Your grandfather was a well-known, well-liked man in the city. Perhaps the leaders felt threatened by him. With a threat to the safety of the city, Celendar could rise to power very quickly.”
“Grandfather doesn’t care about such things. He’d rather be home reading his scrolls or studying,” Angelia jumped in.
“You and I know that, but the leaders didn’t. Angelia, people will do strange things to protect their sense of control. I think your father was among those who felt threatened. He had done everything in his power to separate himself from your grandfather. If Celendar had become a leader in the city or even governor, it would have been a serious setback in your father’s plans.”
“So what did the Council say they would do if Grandfather didn’t stop telling people about his dream?”
“I don’t know. He never told me.”
“What do you think they will do now?”
“I wish I knew, Angel.”
“I wish I could see the future, when I want to see it,” Angelia mumbled.
Le’Mone and French both smiled sadly in understanding. This was a time when her gift would be especially helpful and she got nothing.
Half an hour later Celendar stormed out of City Hall and came toward the horses.
“Idiots! Fools, the whole lot of them.” Angelia had never seen him this angry before and she stared in surprise.
“What happened, Celendar?” Le’Mone was at his side trying to calm him.
“They deserve the fate that awaits them, that’s what,” Celendar grumbled.
“Grandfather, what did they say?” Angelia begged.
“Angelia!” A hard voice called across the courtyard. She looked up to see her father approaching them. His face was full of disdain. “It’s time to go home.”
She looked at her grandfather. His expression hardened.
“I want to stay with Grandfather,” she stated adamantly.
“That is not an option,” Geralde said with arms folded across his chest. “Is it Celendar?”
Everyone in the group stared at Geralde. Addressing Celendar by his given name instead of the respectful term of Father was a sign of dismissal. Angelia gasped
“Grandfather?” She looked at her grandfather, hoping he would disagree with her father.
Celendar’s shoulders slumped in defeat. “He’s right, Angelia, you need to go home.” His voice, though unemotional, was strained.
She stepped back like she had been slapped. “No,” she whispered.
“I’m sorry…” he began. Geralde cleared his throat and he stopped.
Angelia turned to her father. “Father, what is going on?”
Celendar stepped towards her. “I love you so much, Angel. Always remember that.”
He took Angelia’s hand with a knowing look and she immediately took the crystal in her other hand. She instantly saw an image of her grandfather closing the door of his house and leading a loaded horse to the road. He looked back at the house and waved goodbye with tears in his eyes.
He freed her hand and then gave her a crushing hug. When he released her she stood in a daze watching as he mounted his horse and rode away. She knew what she had seen was the future, but she didn’t want to believe it. He would never leave her when he knew an attack was coming. She felt like all of the air had been pushed out of her lungs.
Geralde grabbed her arm. “We are going home now.”
Angelia yanked out of his grasp and backed away from her father.
“What have you done?” she asked. Her eyes filled with anger and disbelief.
He didn’t answer, but watched Celendar ride down the street. A look of triumph filled his face and he turned to leave.
With tears streaming down her face Angelia screamed, “What have you done?”
“What I should have done sixteen years ago,” Geralde said coldly.
She turned and started to mount her horse, but Geralde pulled her away roughly.
“Let me go!” She struggled.
“You are making a scene, child. Stop at once.” He slapped her.
“Don’t touch her,” French shouted angrily.
“Geralde, please. Control yourself,” Le’Mone intoned.
Angelia looked up. Le’Mone was barely restraining French.
“Stay out of this Ms. Alasteur,” Geralde replied angrily.
“Geralde you’re making a big mistake,” Le’Mone said quietly.
“The only mistake I’ve made is to let this go on for so long,” he replied waving his hand at the assembled group. He looked directly at French. “I don’t want you see you hanging around my house, either. If I do, you will regret it.”
The venom in her father’s voice made her shudder.
Geralde took Angelia’s arm, grabbed the reins of her horse and dragged her down the street. She looked back helplessly at French and Le’Mone with tear filled eyes and dread filling her mind.