The Unspeller and the Book of Days HTML version

Forbidden Places
They did not outrun the storm. The rain beat down on them as they rode over the rises and valleys
of the road out of Turnstone. Loken's protection spells on Aesa glimmered faintly, and Killian's dorni
sputtered in the rain.
Back in the barn they stabled the horses and dried them off, the scent of hay and animals heavy in
the humid barn.
Aesa touched his swelling black eye. He was hoping his parents wouldn't notice. “Is it bad?” he asked
aloud to no one in particular.
“It's not your worst.” Jasper offered. “Mum will probably put some foul smelling herb poultice on it,
Loken's long fingers sparked a dorni and he examined the purpling eye. He stepped back and cocked
his head to the side. "Just so you know, it's wrong to deceive Mum and Father, but I really don't want them to
see this." He flicked his fingers and a rune sparked.
Killian squinted at Aesa's eye. "Neatly done. You can't even tell."
Aesa could still see the rune, faintly burning under his eye where Loken had cast the spell. "Won't
they see the spell?"
Loken tilted his head. “Not without magic sight.”
Aesa pointed to the rune, flushing red with embarrassment. He didn't know as much about magic as
they did, but he could still see the rune. “I can see it, won't he?”
“You see the rune?” Loken asked.
Still flustered, Aesa shrugged. “Don't you?”
Their silence told him they didn't. His three brothers exchanged glances and Killian asked, “How
long have you been able to see magic?”
Aesa's heart beat faster. Maybe this was a sign that he was gifted. “Always.”
“Why didn't you tell anyone?” Killian asked, he and Jasper peering into Aesa's eyes as if they could
find a clue.
“I thought everyone did. It would be like saying the sky is blue.”
“We can only see the runes if our eyes are opened with magic. You know, when you can see the light
burning,” Killian explained. “This must mean something.”
Loken rubbed his chin. “This is good. It means you must have some magic. I'm pretty sure Moreans
can't do that.”
Jasper asked, "What about his eye? Do we still conceal it?"
Aesa touched the puffy eye. It felt enormous.
Killian knocked Aesa's hand away from his eye, though not hard. “Yes, we conceal it. Mum doesn't
need to know we were stupid enough to leave him alone in Turnstone because we were too lazy to saddle our
own horses.”
When they entered the house it was quiet and dark. Everyone else had gone to bed. Disappointed, he
quietly climbed the stairs to the room with Killian. He'd wanted to tell his parents about his magic sight.
Lying in bed, Aesa touched his swelling eye, thinking about seeing runes. He could hardly believe that
no one else saw them. They were everywhere, sparking in hands when lips moved to call the magic and
lighting up the magic world. The rain beat down on the roof as he turned over the possibilities in his mind.
When he woke the next morning the sun was rising in a clear, rain-washed sky. His brothers had
already left their beds. He stumbled around for his clothes. Perhaps they were used to late nights at Na Serin,
but he wasn't. They were probably doing the morning chores, which was a relief. They had let him sleep for a