Anabelle had just taken off her half boots when an air elemental showed up, wafting around her bedroom in a distressed manner, tugging at her dress and the bedclothes.
“Ethereal?” she asked.
“I am Ethereal, Fire Maiden.”
The sound –faint and distorted without the amplification of the horn – came to her ears.
“What do you wish of me, Air Spirit?”
“The Other wants you to come. People are frightened.”
Anabelle recognized the name the elementals had given Jonathon.
“Where?” she asked, already putting her boots back on.
“The place of people holding.”
“Thank you, Ethereal. You have done well.”
And, for a wonder, it had. The air elemental’s attention had not wandered and it had not forgotten it’s task.
Ethereal caressed her cheek, and disappeared. Flicker came from somewhere, feeling her impatient anxiety, and nearly set her chemise on fire. She quelled his exuberance, and put on the shirtwaist and jacket she’d just taken off.
Anabelle went downstairs and found Clare in the kitchen supervising the new cook she had hired.
“I’m going out. Something is going on at the jail,” Anabelle told Clare. “You’ll stand ready in case I need you?”
“Of course, madam,” Clare said, and gave a sharp nod. “Becky can see to the house.”
Anabelle gave Becky an uneasy glance, wondering what the woman thought of that, but apparently the woman accepted her new elevation in stature and duties with stolid composure.
It wasn’t until Anabelle stepped out the front door that she realized both her horse and her gig were still with Jonathon at the County Sheriff’s office. With a muttered word she’d learned from the hound-chasers during childhood, she started off at a cracking pace toward the office and jail.