Chapter Thirty Nine

Chapter Thirty Nine

The Council convened in Nora’s old house, where Trish was currently sleeping. It was the warmest place without a sleeping child in it.

Kesle started by delivering the message from Cragg. “He said to tell Nora he missed her, and that Atkin’s power was going nowhere good, and Rouk needs to go away, and he wants to start a resistance movement, but he needs your help. And he misses Nora. Like, a lot. And there’s a bunch of apologies for some things he said, and she was right and he was wrong, and he doesn’t regret kissing her.”

“Oh, when did that finally happen?” Zena asked.

“The leaving,” Sheen said.

“Wait, they had a thing?” Jacques was confused.

“Have, present tense. Did you not know that?” Zena sounded obnoxiously female.

“No. How did you?”

“I have eyes.”

“Maybe some of the message should have been saved for Nora?” Trish cut in.

“Uh, yeah,” Sheen said. “I’ll walk Kesle out there.”

“Where?” Kesle asked. Jacques explained Nora’s desertion to her. “Okay. Well. I think Cragg should go talk to her.”

“Yeah, that would work better,” Zena agreed.

“Wait, hold on,” Jacques said, “how are we going to get him there?”

“Oh Jacques, do you have to be so practical?” Sheen was only partly teasing, “we’re trying to have a revolution.”

“NO, we are not,” he continued. “Cragg is. And he wants to talk to Nora. But we are not going to take over that.” The girls were all quiet. He let them think for a minute and then went on. “If we could get Nora to come back and meet him halfway, could we sneak him out for a night?”

“Yes, that would work,” Kesle said.

“They can meet on the mountain. I’ll take care of it,” Trish offered.

“Wow, that’s good of you,” Zena said, “thank you.”

“It’s no big problem.”

Plans were made for Nora and Cragg to meet the next night outside of Trish’s cave. Trish and Kesle left to hustle Kesle home a night early so she could explain the plan to her brother.

“Do you really think Nora’ll come back for Cragg?” Jacques asked Sheen as she walked him home in the dark.


“Are you sure?”

“I would.”

“For Cragg? Really, Sheen?”

“Stop it.” she poked him. “You know what I meant.”

Nora was boiling water for lunch when Petto came running toward her. “Nora! Someones coming!”

Oh, great. “Who is it?”

“A boy.” Just before Nora looked up, she was sure Cragg had come to see her. And then she saw Jacques. Disappointed, she waited for him to reach the tree. “Hey.”

“Hey Nora. How’s it going?”

“Pretty good. Sit down.”

He knelt next to the fire. “Okay.” There was a long silence. Nora decided to talk straight. “I’m not coming back, no matter what the council thinks. I’m happier here, Petto’s happier–”

“Cragg wants to see you.”


“You don’t have to move again, but if you come back with me today you can see Cragg in the middle of the night.”

“So? What for?”

“To apologize, and just to see you. He sent his sister with a message.”

“Why didn’t she bring it here?”

“We decided to send her back the same night to arrange the meeting.”

“Oh, so Cragg didn’t actually have the idea? You did?”

“Kesle did, actually.”

Nora stood up and put her hand on her tree. “I really don’t appreciate this, Jacques.”

“Huh? Why?”

“You all think you can fix everything for me? Get out of my life, okay?!”

“It’s not just about you, Cragg wants to talk about a resistance or something.”

She laughed. “Cragg can deal with Atkin. Anyone of you could help him. Isn’t Sheen supposedly engineered for that kind of shit?”

“Don’t do that.”

“I bet she told you this would be easy, right?”


“Well, Sheen needs to learn that we are in no way the same person. I’m not going.”

“Fine.” He stood up. “I guess the four of us will just forget you ever existed.”


“Trish came back. We’ve pretty much given her a spot on the council. She’s using your house.” He started to walk away.

“Wait!” Nora called suddenly. He turned around, his face hopeful. “Let me get my sister.” 

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  1. Trackback: This May be Harder than I Thought « bookyworm

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