The Continuing Adventures of Sif No. 19

“I’ll live,” Sif replied, sitting straighter. Against her better judgment, she stood slowly. Lilja rushed to her side to help her up, bracing her as she swayed. “There’s Einar,” she said. Lilja half-turned.

Einar strode up to them, wearing a grim look. In his hand was a sheet of paper. “I found this.”

“It’s blank,” Lilja said, taking it and turning it over.

“Look closer.”

Sif blinked against the fuzziness in her head. Things were beginning to come back to her. “Did you find anything else?”

“Why?” Einar replied. “What did you see?”

“Magiker,” Sif replied. “A circle of them around the pool. And—” It was on the tip of her tongue, but she couldn’t quite bring the picture of the scene to mind.

Lilja frowned at the paper. “I still don’t see anything.”

Einar waved at her: quiet. “Sif? What else?”

Sif closed her eyes and focused. “A body,” she said suddenly. “In the pool.”

Einar shook his head. “All I found was the paper.”

Sif took it from Lilja. She could feel the tug it had on the weave. It was a page from a book, if she had to guess—three clean edges, one roughly torn. There was no writing on it. She raised her eyebrows at Einar.

He took the sheet back and frowned at it. “Was that flash magical?” he asked. Sif nodded. He held his hand up with a flourish and passed it over the front of the sheet, touching the weave and feeding energy into the paper. An image appeared: a palm, held up with the fingers all pressed together, in glowing silver.

“A shining hand?” Sif said. “What does that mean?”

Einar shrugged. Sif looked to Lilja, who mirrored the gesture. “Whatever it is,” said Einar, “I don’t like it. Can you walk?”

Sif nodded.

“We need to leave.” Einar looked over his shoulder. “We can’t have been the only ones to see that light or hear the scream. You don’t even know how much trouble we’re in if they find us here and think it was us.”

“Lead on,” Sif said.

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