The Alarna Affair – Chapter Ten – A Marvelous Secret Revealed

Jon was having trouble sleeping again.  There was a lantern lit in the sitting room, where Hellin’s shadow was visible as she sat waiting up for Doctor Blackfeather to return.  Jon could see her silhouette clearly though his tent wall as she picked up a book, set it down again, poured a cup of tea and then let it sit, ignored.  She was worried.  That worried Jon, too. The children had spent all afternoon getting into Anna’s way as she tried to get the dark room set up and the photographs developed.  The pictures were drying now in a little line, carefully left alone to work their magic now that Anna had done with them.  The children had spent another part of the evening in a fruitless search for the missing pick pocket girl.  When the Professor had come back in the late afternoon they had all told him breathlessly about their day.  And then Doctor Blackfeather had not returned, and continued not to return.  Hellin had insisted they all get some sleep, and now she waited alone in the sitting room, sometimes sitting, sometimes pacing.  Jon watched her, sleepless.  The whinny of a horse came from outside, and Jon saw Hellin’s face turn to the tent’s entrance.  She put a hand to her lips as a strangely shaped shadow lurched into view.  The shadowy mass unfolded into several more unrecognizable silhouettes before falling into her outstretched arms, in more recognizable dimensions.  Jon held his breath.  He could just barely hear their whispers. Silhouttes by Ruth Lampi (more…)

The Alarna Affair – Chapter Nine – A Rooftop Chase and a Grim Revelation

Kara dashed around one corner and another, mentally cursing her terrible luck.  The boy behind her was not losing ground.  His nice clothes were quite dust covered and his hair was coming loose, but he was not giving up.  Kara was beginning to suspect he knew these alleyways.  She didn’t, not yet.  This place was still new.  But no bespectacled little pretty-boy was going to catch or find her when she wanted to disappear.  She found a set of uneven steps around another corner, and dashed up them to the roof tops.  The boy followed.  Kara ran along above the narrow streets, upsetting birds, and hopping up and down levels as they changed.  The boy stayed right behind her.Kara Rooftop by Ruth Lampi (more…)

The Alarna Affair – Chapter Eight – What Amazing Events Can Transpire in Half an Hour

The next day nearly all the children had excuses for why they wanted to go into town.  Hellin regarded them at breakfast with an amused but cynical eye.  “If I didn’t know better, I’d think you were all plotting something.” Jon reddened, and looked down at his plate. (more…)