Episode 5 Chapter 2

Bansuri dumped Oboe onto the grassy shore and stepped out after her. She’d never seen him so angry.

“You know you aren’t allowed to use your magic on others! You know we’re going to the Tournament of Titles! What is wrong with you!? Are you trying to get me in trouble?!”

“But they were being mean!”

“I don’t care!” Father said, yanking her by the arm. “Change them back this instant!”

She scowled. Her brothers and sisters climbed out of the boat and waited for their enchantments to be undone. They looked better as rats and slugs and bugs.

“Oboe! Are you listening to me?!”

She growled in frustration and marched forward. She pulled away the spells on each of her siblings, like pulling a blanket off someone in bed. They popped back to normal, one after another

 “All of them,” Her father said, pointing at the remaining slug.

“No.” Oboe glared. “He should stay like that. I hate him!” Bansuri wrenched her closer by the horn nub. “Ow! Hey! Okay! Fine!”

With a tap, Fife turned back into a faun. He was just as smug as before. Oboe wanted to throw him in the lake but she was already in trouble.

Bansuri jumped back onto the skiff and gathered up every child’s mantle before pulling the enchantment out of the boat. It crumbled back into a mess of leaves floating on the water. All the mantles had different colors and patterns so everyone knew who your mother was and who your father was. Bansuri looked back over the herd of offspring and wrinkled his nose.

“Does everyone remember what their mantle looks like?”

A quarter of the children nodded, the rest shook their heads. Bansuri sighed.

“Your mothers are going to kill me.” He tossed the laundry at the kids to let them figure it out.

As soon as Fife pulled his mantle back on father grabbed him and Oboe by the hand and led them aside.

A tangled wall of thorns and vines stood around the island shore. Oboe could hear cheers and shouts and music all coming from the other side. Jugglers and clowns and musicians came from all over to perform. Today there would be parades and games and she would get to meet her grandmother and see all the strongest fey in the Whirlwood compete in the Tournament of Titles.

 Father conjured a chain of magic and snapped it around Oboe’s ankle. She looked up in shock.

“I won’t have my children embarrass me. Not today of all days.” Bansuri pulled another length of thread off the spool hooked to his belt. Whipping it in the air, it snapped its shape into a copper chain. Fife was laughing, until father locked a chain on his foot too.

“What?! Hey!”

“You will both stay here,” father said, anchoring both chains to a sturdy oak. “I will come for you once the tournament is over.”

“No! No, no, no!!” Oboe pulled at her chain but could not get her hoof free. “I can’t miss the tournament! I’m supposed to meet my grandmother! You can’t!”

Father shook his head. “You should’ve thought of that before you misbehaved. Maybe next year you’ll have matured enough to come.”

Fife scowled. “Why am I being punished? This is her fault!”

He bent over them with a scary face. “You provoked her, and she allowed herself to be provoked. I expect more from my children. Let this be a lesson to you both.” He marched off, calling the others. “Let’s go, my darlings! There’s many wonders for well-behaved children to see today!”

Oboe started to cry. Father led her brothers and sisters through the gates of the Inner Circle, leaving her behind.

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