Outcast (Part 11)

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We waited for what seemed like an eternity before Singing Deer returned with a doctor. He nodded a greeting and paled when he saw Rider of Winds.

“What happened?” he demanded.

I glanced a Dafar, who gave a barely noticeable shake of his head. “What happened is no concern of yours. All you need to know is that the arrow needs to come out. You’ll be paid well.”

“Who are you?”

“It doesn’t matter.”

The doctor grunted and went to work on Rider of Winds’ back. Dafar had started a fire and Singing Deer was heating some meat. I sat near the doctor, not fully trusting him. He slowly extracted the arrow and pressed a cloth to the wound. After wiping away the blood, he wrapped it in a clean bandage. He stood. Rider of Winds stirred. I stood.

“I want to know what happened.” The doctor said.

“I would tell you, but then you’d have to die.”

He shrugged. “I’ll have no choice but to tell the king that a band of outlaws have kidnapped the prince and almost killed him.”

I almost panicked. Dafar took over. “No, you won’t. You know that you’ll be arrested for coming out here and helping us.”

The doctor shrugged again. “The king will find out anyway.”

I frowned as I reached into my money pouch. I wasn’t sure how much to give him, but five gold coins seemed sufficient. The doctor shook his head.

“I will be put to death, when the king hears of this. He has spies everywhere. Just tell me what happened to him, and then you may kill me.”

I looked at him. He looked serious. I didn’t know the extent of my Moon power, but I had recently discovered that I could numb pain. Maybe I could cause him to fall asleep before we had to kill him. I told the doctor what had happened, starting with the black flames from the dagger in Ixol’s back. The doctor rubbed the back of his neck. “It seems that the king feels threatened by you. He is a Moon Holder; all of the Snow Kingdom knows this. But because he knows that you are also a Moon Holder, he is afraid that you will try to overthrow him somehow.”

I glanced at Rider of Winds, who still hadn’t woken up. “The prince is a Moon Holder.”

“Yes, but he is also heir to the throne. The king knew that the prince would not try to take the throne prematurely.”

I shrugged as I digested this information.

“The king has spies. He probably knows that I am here.”

I looked across the fire at Dafar and Singing Deer. Dafar was scowling and Singing Deer looked nervous. What if one of them was a spy? What if they both were? I shook my head. Neither of them could be spies. They were my friends. I realized that someone was calling my name. The doctor was kneeling over Rider of Winds. I rushed over and knelt on the other side of Rider of Winds, across from the doctor.

“Where is Moonbeam?” Rider of Winds demanded.

“I’m right here.” I didn’t call him by his name because I felt that it was too long.

He opened his eyes and cupped my cheek with his hand. “What happened?”

“You were shot. We were escaping from the palace.”

“Is everyone alright?”

“With the exception of you, yes.”

He moved his gaze to the doctor and sat up quickly. “This doctor is loyal to my grandfather.” He nearly shouted.

I thought he would immense pain, but if he was he didn’t show it. “He may be, but he help us.”

“I’m sorry, but he can’t be trusted.”

I looked up at the doctor who shrugged. It seemed to be his favorite thing to do. “Can we have a moment, please?”

The doctor stood and walked over to the fire.

I looked back of Rider of Winds. “I know he can’t be trusted. He knows that we can’t trust him. I already said that we’d have to kill him.”

“Why do you never say my name?”

“What?” I was surprised by his strange comment.

“You never say my name.” He stretched his legs out.

“Well…I think—”

He put a finger on my lips. “I doesn’t matter what you think. Besides Rider of Winds isn’t even my real name. It’s just what Grandfather wanted to call me.”

I looked away from his face. The doctor was watching us, a little too intently to be minding his own business. He saw me looking at him and looked away. I stood up, pulling my dagger from my belt. I didn’t really want to kill him, but if he was eavesdropping, then I had no choice. I walked over to him and put my hand on his shoulder.

“Thank you for helping us. I don’t want to have to do this, but you were eavesdropping, and if I let you go, you could report us to the king. I’m going to put you to sleep, so you won’t feel anything.”

The doctor nodded solemnly. I moved my hand up to the top of his head. I closed my eyes as I felt the power of the Moon surge through my entire body. My arm started tingling and I opened my eyes just in time to see the shadow of a man before it turned into a fine mist that blew away in the breeze. I gasped. I hadn’t meant to make him disappear.

“Only five Moon Holders have had that power since the first Moon of the World.” Rider of Winds said, coming up behind me.

I started shivering. I wasn’t cold, I was terrified. I had just killed someone with my bare hands. It would have been fine if it had been with my dagger or an arrow from my bow. I felt Rider of Winds’ arms wrap around me. I couldn’t stop shaking. He tried to lead me away but I could barely walk. He picked me up as if I were weightless. He took me to a small clearing away from the fire and Dafar and Singing Deer. After setting me down, he built a small fire and sat down beside me. I was still shaking hard. He wrapped his arms around me, enveloping me with a blanket of warmth. I stopped shaking a couple minutes later.

“Are you alright now?” he asked softly.

“Yes.” I relied. “You never told me your name.”

“I was born Moonrider.”

“Moonrider. Much easier to say than Rider of Winds.”

“I never really like Rider of Winds.” He said, pulling me closer.

“So if you had another name, do you have another personality?” I poked him.

He grabbed my wrist gently to keep me from poking him again. “Not really. I keep a few things hidden, mainly Moon Holder traits.”

“Start letting them out. The World needs to see that Moon Holders are not evil.”

He let go of my wrist. “I can’t show them. I haven’t used them in so long that I fear that they may be out of control.”

“Try. You have to use them.” I said, putting my hand on his arm.

He looked at me. It was as if he was gazing straight into my soul and looking at my Memories. Suddenly there was a searing pain at the back of my eyes and a blinding light. I gasped and covered my face with my hands.

“Are you alright?” Moonrider lifted my head.

The light was gone, but the pain was still there. “Yes. I held your gaze too long.” I had learned a while back not to hold someone’s gaze too long, because I had little control over my Memory sifting abilities.

“I’m sorry.”

“It’s not you, it’s me. I should have looked away.”

“I won’t do that again.”

“You were looking at my Memories?”

He nodded.

“What did you see?” I didn’t ask because I wanted him to forget, but because there was a whole time in my life that I didn’t remember. After Moondancer had taken me back to his mountian home, he had erased my Memories of two years. He let me keep the Memories of the last year, which now that I thought of it, might not have been the best idea, since I was coming back.

“Why do you want to know?”

“Because for three years Moondancer held me prisoner. And for two years he erased my Memories. I have no knowledge of what happened in those years.”

Moonrider sighed. “I don’t think you want to know, Moonbeam.”

I opened my mouth to protest, but he put a finger on my lips. When I closed my mouth, he moved his finger and brought his lips down to mine. I pulled away before either of us could deepen the kiss.

“What are you doing?” I asked, breathless.

“I’ve wanted to do that ever since you knocked me off my horse.”

I smiled, then reached up and pulled his head down. Just before he kissed me, he whispered one thing. “Moonbeam.”





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