Between Year 40 & 41 of the Addergoole School – about 2 years before the story I just posted.
In a year or two, Cya’s grandkids were going to start attending Addergoole. In a year or two, the cycle was going to start all over again; she would pack them up with hawthorne in their pockets and rowan between their clothes. In a year or two, she would think about not doing this anymore. Not when the boys were younger than her grandchildren.
It had become, she thought, a bit of an addiction. Not even the sex – half of them didn’t like girls anyway – not even the control – she’d gone a year with nothing more than the base orders, just to see if she could, with the last one. But something about the routine. New year, new boy.
She dropped her Masks, safe in the boundaries of the Village, and let her power loose. Find me the boy, she told it. Find me the one that can benefit from this. The one I can hook. The one who won’t hate it all. The one we won’t hate.
Before she’d finished, practically before she’d started vocalizing, she could feel the tug. She followed the pull, combed her fingers through her hair, wondered if she should have put on make-up. She didn’t look any older… but this boy… this boy would be…
He wasn’t at Maureen’s. Cya was never sure if that was a good sign or not. Wandering around looking lost, hanging over Maureen’s fence… this one was sitting on the ground outside the tavern, looking like he’d lost his only friend.
Cya stopped in her tracks. At first, all she could see was the blonde hair, the antlers – just budding, little velvety stubs – the pose. Not him. No, no.
Him, her power insisted. That one. She’d never felt it this strongly.
It was like he could feel it. He looked up at her, and the spell broke. He was so pretty, for a moment she thought he might be a girl. His hair was fairer than Leo’s, nearly white. And his chin was a point you could use to cut cheese.
Saying the right thing wasn’t her power. And part of her mind was screaming No, no. We don’t *do* boys with antlers. We don’t do that again. But she found herself opening her mouth anyway.
“Come on, kid. You’re coming home with me for a while.”
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