Episode 4 Chapter 9

Oboe crouched at the mouth of the cave, keeping watch through Theo’s binoculars. It was quiet outside but she could not let her guard down. She needed to focus. She needed to not think about anything else. Theo was counting on her to protect Percy.

Something moved. Oboe stiffened and then launched forward. She transformed into a snarling wolf and chased off the suspicious looking squirrel skulking around outside. The perimeter was secure thanks to her vigilance.

Percy paced deeper inside the mine. He grew antsier with each passing hour. They brought a bunch of Theo’s books to pass the time but the prince found them all very boring. Oboe didn’t blame him. Technical manuals, rulebooks, and textbooks. What was the point if there wasn’t even a story or pictures?

“How long are we going to stay here?” Percy said.

“I dunno,” Oboe said. She scratched herself with a hind leg before popping back to faun form. “Until it’s safe.”

He scowled. “That could take weeks. Maybe months! You don’t know Conrad like I do. He doesn’t just stop.” He pulled another wedge of cheese from the supply bag and chewed. “Maybe this was a mistake. Whisper had a plan to get me out of the valley. We should be looking for her.”

“Theo has a plan too!” Oboe said. “We should stick to it! He’s smart!”

Percy sat cross legged on the cave floor and grimaced. “I ran because I felt trapped. Now I’m even more trapped than before. I wish I could just… go. I’m sick of it here. I’m always a problem everyone else has to worry about. I wish I could change. I’d rather be someone, anyone else.”

A shiver ran down Oboe’s spine. It was getting hard to ignore the Fates swirling off the prince. They filled the cave like the scent of baking bread and left her tense with craving.

She shook herself. Looking away, she shoved the binoculars back in her face. She needed to stay focused. This is why Theo should’ve watched the price instead.

It was easy enough yesterday to push the hunger from her mind. She had plenty of practice. But this was more fates than she had ever tasted before. Now the excitement of the escape had faded. Now she had time and quiet to think about how long it’d been since she last used her magic on someone other than herself. Now, after years of fasting, she was stuck guarding a banquet. No one would miss one grape he platter.          

She pinched herself, hard. This wasn’t about her, it was about Percy. He needed help and she wasn’t going to take advantage of him. He was counting on her, and now Theo was counting on her too. She made a promise to grandmother and was going to keep it. She would not be weak.


Her fur stood on end. She shot a glare at him. He needed to stop talking. “What?”

“I’m gonna go for a walk.”

She flung herself in front of the door, arms splayed. “Nuh uh! No way! No! There’s knights out there! You’ll get caught!”

He pouted. “I know that. I’m not a child! I’m just going stir crazy in here. I need some fresh air.”

Oboe felt the same. Air sounded amazing.

“Theo told us to stay here,” she said to remind him as much as herself.

“It would just be for a little bit.” His smile was pleading. “I’ll be careful.”

Oboe held her breath. Her arms drooped. Peering down the mountain trail, she saw they were alone. “Okay,” she said. “But I’m going with you.”

This is a bad idea. This is a bad idea. This is a bad idea.

“Excellent.” Percy stepped past her. “Let’s go.”

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