(A Farseen Chronicles short. No spoilers.)
“Is it ever going to stop raining and warm up?” Clare pulled off her drenched cape, handed it to Eli as if he were her servant, and walked over to warm her hands by the fire.
Eli frowned at his sister’s back, but hung the cape on the hook next to where she was standing. “Tempest said we’ll have more years of cold and wet because of a volcano in the south and changes in the ocean.”
Clare scoffed, “It’s not cold. It’s freezing, and we haven’t seen the sun in weeks. She only said that because the fae elder witches said so. She knows no more about how the planet works than I do.”
“You’re right, I don’t.” Tempest walked in, removed her cloak, and hung it next to Clare’s by the large hearth, where Eli always had warm tea. “What I do know is how to ask questions. The fae have been watching the planet changes here and they believe another ice age is coming, smaller than the last one but deadly to the unprepared.”
Clare rolled her eyes.
Tempest pegged Clare with a hard stare. “Look around. It’s still raining after five months. The entire summer growing season here and in Europe has been lost. No crop in Britain can survive so much rain, even without the cooler weather of the past ten years. Humans will starve. The fae believe it will last at least two years on this continent.” Tempest accepted the tea Eli offered her without taking her eyes off Clare. “You are to join Rayna to inspect the land north of the Aztecs. There are native tribes in the area but Rayna believes there is room for us to live without being seen. Perhaps the tribes will be more accepting of our nature than the Europeans, if we don’t encroach on their lands or way of life.”
“If it’s so important, why don’t you go?” Clare snarled.
“Rayna wants you, and she is our sovereign.”
Clare preened a little and grabbed her cloak. “Same location as before?”
Clare threw on her cloak and opened a way to Rayna.
Eli grinned when the way closed, and asked, “Does Rayna know Clare is joining her?”
“She does now. Mayhap Clare will like the drought there since she doesn’t like the rain here.” Tempest grinned into her cup before turning serious. “Are our food stores safe?”
Eli shrugged, sitting in his chair near the hearth. “For now. Once the humans begin to starve they might attack. They know I keep my stores full, but rarely are they desperate enough to attack me to get it.”
“Your farming skills are impressive. Protect the food. Move it if you have to. We can’t save everyone but we’ll help those we can. The rains will result in at least a couple of years of famine.”
“I’m going to gift some of the food to the monks. They can protect it and share it.”
“Will they?” Tempest didn’t trust the monks. They had the wealth and power to protect the food, but monasteries were run by second sons and unwed daughters of wealthy feudal lords. She didn’t believe the abbots and abbesses would put those in need first.
Eli nodded his understanding. “I know one abbot who will do the right thing.” When Tempest raised a disbelieving eyebrow, he added, “Mostly because he fears me. He saw my other form and thinks me a devil. A devil to whom he owes his life.”
Tempest relaxed. Even if the human was less than honorable, fear would force Eli’s abbot to do the right thing. Eli would see to that.
There was a scratch at the door. Eli opened it and his twin, Patience, entered in her wolf form.
“Why didn’t you shift?” Eli asked.
I’ll shift after I dry. I’m tired of always being wet. Patience spoke directly into his mind as she moved to the fire to dry her fur.
Eli laughed. “Tempest said it’s not gonna stop anytime soon.”
Patience raised her upper lip to snarl at Tempest and shook her fur, sending water flying. She curled up in front of the fire to finish drying.
“The weather is not a result of my actions, sister mine.” Tempest wiped off the water and laid the towel beside Patience to dry. “The fae witches said a small ice age will freeze a lot of our land. Look for snow, not rain.”
Patience harrumphed and flicked her tail.
“Rayna and Clare are looking for a new place for us to live where this time of wet and cold will be less severe.” Tempest stood and rinsed her mug in the water bowl. “I’m going hunting. Mayhap I’ll find a cony to go with the vegetables in your pottage, brother mine.”