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Annwn Map > Beconbury Map > Prologue from Glasruhen G >  
 


PROLOGUE

 

          ‘We’re back,’ croaked Camelin as he flew over the tall hedge, which surrounded Ewell House.

          Jack wasn’t far behind.  He could see Motley and the Night Guard scurrying towards the kitchen door as he flew over the hedge; Gerda hurried onto the patio and two small bats fluttered around the doorway.

          ‘We’re back, we did it,’ Camelin announced to everyone who’d come to welcome them.

          ‘Where’s Orin?’ Jack shouted to Motley as he made his descent.

           'Here,’ came an excited squeaky voice from the open window of Camelin’s loft.

           Jack saw Camelin land on the grass and proudly strut towards the awaiting group.  Seconds later, he too had landed.  Orin appeared at the kitchen door and rushed over to Jack.  Timmery and Charkle fluttered around their heads; there were so many questions he couldn’t hear what anyone was saying.  Camelin flew onto the picnic table and swaggered up and down, he threw back his head and loudly made the call of the raven-owl.  Everything went quiet; they waited expectantly for him to speak.  He puffed out his chest feathers, cocked his head on one side and slowly looked at every face.  Jack could see the rats were holding their breath, waiting to hear what Camelin had to say.

           ‘We’ll tell you everything, but not until after we’ve had breakfast, I’m starving.’

            There was a groan of disappointment then they all turned to Jack.

‘I’m starving too.’

‘We’ll we’d better eat then,’ Nora announced as she and Elan joined the group.

Gerda cackled loudly then stopped abruptly and turned towards the lake; another goose could be heard in the distance.

‘You have a visitor,’ Elan explained.

Jack smiled.Gerda was going to be one very happy goose when she got to the lake and found Medric waiting for her.  They all watched as she hurried away.

‘A visitor,’ piped Timmery, ‘oh I love visitors.’

Camelin humphed but no one seemed to notice; all the rats were looking at Nora.

‘You’ll find out soon enough who it is.  Shall we go and eat now?’

‘Great!’ croaked Camelin as he took off and swooped into the kitchen.

There was a scampering and fluttering, and soon only Nora and Jack were left on the patio.

‘I’m going to need to know everything, and I mean everything.’

Jack nodded.  He knew they’d have to tell Nora about the Roman soldiers, what they did to Camelin and about their narrow escape from Viroconium.  She’d find out eventually, even if they didn’t tell her.  There was a rustling of leaves from the hedge.  Jack watched as a message made its way from the great yews to the trees beyond soon it would be in the depths of Glasruhen Forest.

‘When can we go and see Arrana?’

‘After breakfast, we’ll go there first and collect the three cauldron plates the Dryads have been guarding, then we’ll go and see Jennet and recover the ones you found.’

‘Could I transform first?  I’m feeling all squashed up.’

‘Oh course you can, fly to the loft and I’ll send Camelin up, he’ll just have to wait a bit longer for his breakfast.’


                                                                                 

 

Jack hopped in through the loft window.  The two raven baskets were in the centre of the room; both had been covered in debris.  His clothes were in a pile by the beanbag, where he’d left them.  It felt as if he’d been away for weeks instead of hours.  He was so pleased to be back.  His thoughts were interrupted by Camelin’s arrival.

‘Come on, let’s do it, I’m hungry.’

They touched foreheads.  Even with his eyes tightly closed the blinding light still hurt.  When Jack could see again Camelin was already perched on the windowsill.

‘You will hurry up won’t you, Nora says we can’t start without you.’

Jack dressed as quickly as he could.  He dashed down the stairs and along the corridor; as he entered the kitchen everyone clapped and cheered.  Jack felt his cheeks burning as he made his way to the only empty chair.

‘Can we start now?’ a familiar voice croaked above the noise.