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36 Chapter 9 The Powers within

 "Mama! How come Bertha gets to watch the performers and I don't?"

Bertha was snickering at the unlucky boy that couldn't go to the theater.

"Don't eat and talk at the same time Rowan, you'll choke" He frowned then pushed his plate aside "I'm not hungry anymore!" He yelled before storming away, and Anna sighed before drinking her cup of water.

Until they hide his ears, he won't be allowed to go far.

She'd tried covering them with a head wrap, but he'd always grumble about the sensitivity of his ears to things like that.

Letting him walk around without restraint would prompt grave news, and she couldn't afford to let anything or anyone outside Sirsis to know about them, so she kept him away from the public to achieve that.

Maybe when he's older, and wise enough to decide and care for himself, he'd be able to hide his ears the same way his father did.

From the cabin window, he viewed Bertha and her folks leave for the venue over at the next town. They also had tickets for good seats at the front, but he didn't.

He threw punches at his pillow until it exhausted him. "I want to go too!" Anna was watching the whole time. She wished she could go as well, but she had to stay back because of her son. It was annual, and they'd already missed five of them.

"Rowan?" Anna called.

He assumed what she wanted to say.

"Are we going to the theatre?" a radiant smiled erupted on his round face, and his eyes were bright with hope, but his mother's frown dispirited him and all he had expected.

"I'm sorry, but understand why things are this way."

He turned his back, then landed on the bed with a thud. "Mama, I don't like being a spell caster. I hate it. I want to be like other kids. They can go wherever they want without having to hide or be afraid of being caught. I wish I didn't have fox ears. I want human ears that aren't sensitive like yours."

Anna sat beside the sobbing boy and placed a kiss on his forehead, "You're special. You really are."

"Mama, do you remember that bird story you told me?"

She couldn't recall precisely, but she slowly nodded with a comforting grin, "Y-yes"

"I can relate myself to Blu the bird. Being special means having to leave in a cage forever and watching the others soar the sky. It sucks!!!" He moved his legs and threw his arms around, displaying his bad temper.

"Well, blu was freed at the end, right?"

A mischievous grin appeared on his face and he suddenly calmed down, "That's true."

"So you just have to be patient. You'll get to walk around normally when you're older. By then you'd be able to use your powers." She hugged the boy close and showered him with kisses. His abrupt giggle softened the room as he tussled with his mother, whose kisses felt like a feather brushing softly against his neck and face.

"Cheer up okay. Soon, we'll go on countless adventures together. The both of us will sail ships and do everything else that happens in storybooks." She winked as her hand stroked his back.

"I'm going to the kitchen to make you corn pudding." He waved as she left.

Rowan waited a few minutes before the perfect time came for him to execute his plans.

He peered his head side to side, checking if his mother was anywhere in sight before he scurried to the front door. He pulled the doorknob but discovered his mother had locked it from the other side.

He hoped she wouldn't remember what Blu had done to escape the cage. Anna didn't even need to remember exactly how the bird did it because it was very obvious, and she was certain her son wanted to do the same.

Ma Lari estimated how the snow pressure for the day and she narrated how difficult searching for the boy through the blinding ice-white dust would be if he escaped.

Once Anna finished making corn pudding for her son, she moved from the overbearing heat of the kitchen, and ventured into the numbing air.

She opened up the door and her eyes moved around. Everything was still in place and also quiet.

She proceeded to her room, heart pounding against her chest as turned the wooden handle. Once her eyes settled on the bed, she heaved a sigh of relief then moved towards the tucked in boy.

"I'm so happy you didn't run-" Her face turned ashen the moment she noticed the edge of the pillow sticking out from the bearskin blanket, and terror robbed the last of her words. She switched her gaze to the broken window that was pushed open by the wind, and it answered her question about how he escaped.

***

Rowan dashed through the fluffy snow in his fox form. The only thing he had on his mind was getting to the next town, but the snow's increasing pressure made it hard to do so.

He stopped running once he noticed a waggon flipped to its left side.

Next to it were two corpses blanketed with snow, and caught under the wheeled vehicle was a mere wisp of a girl. The blank canvass was stained red, and he assumed it was from the people that had an accident. The scene frightened him, but his curious part wanted to investigate.

The bleak wind continued to howl, piling up snow in drifts, and blinding the day with its whirly illusions.

"Rowan!!!" A complete state of panic had gotten the best of  Anna. She rubbed her arms as she continued to follow the paw prints that he purposely tangled to delay her.

The clumps of wet flakes continued to drift down, and she trudged through the piercing whispers of the snow. She had to get that boy before someone or something gets to him first.

Breath pale against the numbing air, Rowan batted his lashes as the frost patiently kissed his face. He crouched to inspect the girl, then his eyes flared with panic.

"BERTHA!!!"

His best friend was trembling inside, and terror had seized her brain's comprehension of what unraveled before her. She watched her parents die in the hands of a figure that was moving at the speed of a racing heartbeat. She was certain it would've wiped out her parents in the blink of an eye if not for the engulfing snow.

"Don't worry I'll get the waggon off you" He tried to lift it up, but it was too heavy. He didn't stop trying, but his efforts weren't making a difference.

"I can...hear your mom's voice" Her voice carried a lot of pain as she stuttered because of the cold.

"ROWAN!!!" He flinched at the loud call.

"Ro...you have to go"

"No!!!" He refused. He kept trying to lift the waggon, so she'd slither out. The oak wood weighed on his fingers, and he understood why horses were used to pull things like that.

Once he heard a creak and saw the space he'd created by lifting the waggon off her, his face radiated.

"Finally!" He exclaimed with a grin to express the happiness he felt from what he'd accomplished.

He waited for her to crawl so he could let go, but she didn't move and her eyes glazed with a glassy layer of tears.

"Bertha please..." He gritted his teeth as he did his best to keep the waggon in place "Move!"

She couldn't, and he heard the loud scream from somewhere deep in the snow-clad woods.

"Rowan! Something is here! Something was moving towards our village! I think it found your mom," His mom was in trouble?

He didn't want to ponder too much about what could be highly probable because of the decoy he set in his bed, but the ear-splitting scream of a voice similar to his mother's alarmed him.

His heart swayed, and he turned towards the hazy direction of the sound.

"Rowan, I can't move. I think the weight crushed my legs. So, go check on your mother and come back for me okay. Please!" Her voice fell into a whisper as her teary eyes shifted to the dead bodies of her parents.

He assured her. He slowly lowered the wagon, before dashing to a different direction, leaving the weak girl in the nibbling cold.

Soon the silvery flakes obscured the waggon, and it was out of Rowan's sight completely.