Start the Performance

burning bush

Part thirty of Misplaced Fire

Nesrin and Ceylan were camped in Nesrin’s storehouse in front three gargantuan trees. The trees were the shape of an oak, but they were so covered in kudzu from root to highest branch that their appearance more closely resembled overgrown bushes. Twenty four hours ago Nesrin had pressed her stolen stone into the frontmost tree’s trunk and let fire and wind engulf the tree. When the process had first ended the tree had looked normal and moved no more than usual. A full day later, the tree still showed no signs that it now held all the raw power of an insane hidden one. The fact that the stone was now empty was the only confirmation Nesrin had that she’d been correct in assuming that plants counted as organic living beings that could play host. She wasn’t disheartened by the tree’s lack of activity; it was exactly what she’d hoped for. It meant that once Patanī was locked in a tree he wouldn’t be able to do anymore damage.

Ceylan spoke. “I suggest you wait until Mother and Uncle Patanī part ways before you try anything, and I’d strongly suggest you avoiding your usual spectacular shows of bravado. You’ll only succeed if you preserve the element of surprise to the very end.”

Nesrin nodded. “How would you suggest going about that?”

Ceylan smirked. “I’m glad you asked.” She stood. “First we have to go see Dinah.”

Nesrin stood with Ceylan. “Why are you suddenly on board with this?”

“I always was. It just took awhile for your resolve to crack through my reticence.”

They performed the entrance motions for Dinah’s jungle together and appeared in a room of the castle. Dinah sensed their arrival from the terrace and walked in.

Ceylan noticed the piece of moss Dinah was holding. “What’s that for?”

“Don’t know. Brings you here?”

“Mother’s presence is required back at Lesslight.” Ceylan winked. “I was hoping your mossy fauns could give Uncle Patanī a show to keep him entertained in her absence.” She telepathically communicated something to Dinah.

Dinah looked at Ceylan as if she were reevaluating her sister’s entire personality. “They’ll give him an experience he’ll never forget. Staying, Nesrin?”

“Oh definitely.”

Ceylan slipped the dangerous piece of jewelry off Nesrin’s neck and put it in Nesrin’s hand. “Careful how you use this.”

Nesrin nodded, and hung back while Dinah and Ceylan went out to Samira and Patanī


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