“I am called Iphsalin.” She said. Her voice was rough and scratchy. From her looks, I had expected an elegant and silk tone to escape from her lips. “From this point until the next transit, if it should please our ladyship, I will guide you.”
“Thank you.” I told her, blushing at the title they kept using incessantly. I was neither pretty enough or graceful enough to be anyone’s ladyship, but, earlier, when I had asked Joshua to quit using the term he became frightened so I did not dare to ask Iphsalin. She bowed slightly and spread out her arm in the direction of the tunnel on the right.
“This is the way that our journey requires us to take.”
She began moving toward the tunnel and I followed. At the mouth of the tunnel, I glanced back to wave at Joshua who I expected to see shrinking with the distance, but he was not there. Joshua, the chair, and the daybed had already disappeared. When I turned back around, I was met with Iphsalin’s face smiling at me. Her body was still facing forward, but her head had turned one hundred and eighty degrees in my direction.
“He’s gone back to check on the gateway. Being newly constructed, his lordship wants the protective force tested regularly to ensure your safety.” She offered the information freely and her head slid back around to the front.
I shuddered at the flexibility of her neck and then stopped in the tracks. Wondering if Sikal’s poison had altered my molecular make-up, I twisted my head to the left in an attempt to see if I could now look directly behind me. My neck cracked sharply and I winced in pain; my face would still be looking in the same direction that my body was facing. Iphsalin had provided me with another piece to the puzzle however. Wherever I was, or wherever I was going, there was a lordship and he had the power to hand out orders. I had already began to plot different ways that I could trick him into ordering me home, when a thought came to me: I needed to know why his lordship would want to ensure my safety, someone he’d never even met.
Anthromagic by Crystal and Pamela MacLean is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.