Red Maple: The Uncanny Guests, Part Three

Tad and Sara exchanged a knowing glance.  They were both Netani and grew up on old stories.

“So,” said Tad, “how long have you been living with us?”

Ciara spoke next.  Apparently she was the leader, given the way that the other two seemed to defer to her.

“Not too long.  When we arrived here it was decided that it would be good to aid you.  All of this that is happening is not acceptable. I apologize for causing you such trouble.”

Morgan chuckled.  “It was amusing to cast that hex on the fool who shouted at you!”

Sara gaped at him.

“We are accused of witchcraft and you cast a hex on someone?”  The three clurichauns looked shocked.

“It will cause more trouble?”  Simon began to tremble at the thought.

“Probably,” Sara sighed.

All three looked uncomfortable at the revelation.

“Sorry,” Ciara said.

Tad reached into his shirt and pulled out a necklace with a small silver axe hanging from it.  Like all Netani he revered their patron Nechtan. He didn’t speak, but sat thoughtfully, stroking the pendant.  After a few minutes he stood and walked behind the bar, returning with a large, well-worn axe. Sara nodded approvingly, pulling out her own necklace.  The clurichauns looked at them nervously.

“We must leave,” he said.  “If they find out we are Netani the verdict will be guaranteed.”

Sara nodded again and began gathering items from the bar and settling them into bags and baskets.  Tad began to walk to the windows, watching the street. Ciara began to wonder who these people really are.  Sara continued to walk around the building gathering possessions and supplies. When she had finished, both gathered everything and went to the stable, leaving the clurichauns to rush after them.  They loaded the goods on two horses and saddled two more. Once they were ready, Sara reached down and lifted each of their small compatriots onto the pack horses.

“Sara, we need a distraction, please.”

Nodding at her husband, her green eyes flashed blue as she murmured unintelligible words.  Within moments, the small passengers could smell smoke. They mounted quickly and rode around behind the buildings.  The street was emptying as people ran around to follow the smoke.

“We should make haste,” Simon said, “before the spirits and kegs catch fire.”  He sounded worried.

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