Copyright© 2021 by Charly Young
Quinn’s two little friends had elected to take up Edie’s sister Norma’s offer to stay with her. He was glad for them. Maybe now they’d have a chance for a normal life. His anger flared again. He’d been too kind to the Leprechaun. How many other little lives had the asshole ruined.
As he drove north, his mind switched to planning his trip to Montana. Airbnb had a cabin listed on Wise River that was expensive, but it would save time getting to the river in the morning. His finances could handle it, he decided. Just leave all this craziness behind and have some fun. If only he could break Gus loose for a week, be way more fun with a fishing partner. He wondered if the little wolf girl liked to fish or if anyone had shown her how.
The call came as Quinn was crossing over the Snohomish River on the SR 2 bridge.
“Lan, the girls are gone.” Mandy was crying so hard that he could barely understand what she was saying.
He flinched. Felt a coldness wash over him. His mind You had one job.
instantly went to the barn and poor Edna’s body.
Quinn took a deep breath.
“Slow down, Mandy. Take a breath and start over.”
“Susie’s daughter Charlie and Katrinka have been connected at the hip ever since we brought the horse home. The last anyone saw of them was when they took the little horse out to pasture.”
She started to cry again. “It was two o’clock in the afternoon, Lan, not like it was nighttime. We haven’t seen them since. I’m sure somebody or something took them.
“Okay, listen, I’m almost to Lake Stevens, so I’m thirty minutes or so out. I’ll get there as quickly as I can. How is Suzy holding up?”
“Not good. Anna is with her, trying to get her calmed down. Please hurry, Lan.”
“Mandy, which of the Sisters is the best at scrying?
“Okay, call her and have her come the clinic. I hoping she can do a casting and tell us what happened and what direction they went. Would you do that? Calm down and get your mind centered. Get to cracking on it.”
Quinn’s mind raced with other possibilities. The clinic bordered the Opari. The girls might have gone on an adventure and wandered into the Opari’s border.
He didn’t want to think of the real possibility that the Hag had come back for the little wolf.
He wondered again what he was missing about the little girl. What did this mysterious Druid want with her?
He dialed Nimah, hoping she was out of Oldtown.
She answered on the first ring and started talking before he had a chance to say anything.
“I already heard. Sari called me. I’m on my way.’
“Good, meet me at the clinic. I’m going to need your tracking skills. You were always best at that.”
When Quinn drove up, Mandy and Anna were waiting in the parking lot for him...
He jumped out of his truck and strode over to them.
He looked over at Mandy. “Take me to where they last were.” His tone must have been a shade too cold and abrupt because she jerked back at his words.
“Easy Lachlan,” Anna said. She looked at Mandy. “It’s okay, Mandy, just take him there.”
Mandy gave him a doubtful glance but led him through the clinic and into the pasture north of the clinic.
The clinic must be doing well, Quinn thought. The barns and other building were very well built and the white post and rail cedar fencing around the ten or fifteen acre property looked sturdy, well maintained. The whole set-up was not cheap.
Mandy’s healing talent must be powerful. The little horse was already looking better. Her eyes were clear and her ears were perked as she curiously watched the group of women standing next to the fence at the north side of the pasture. The dark mass of the Opari Wilderness loomed on the other side.
Quinn walked up and glanced worriedly at the massive trees and then at Niamh. She nodded. She knew as well as he did that they had very little time to find them.