“You haven’t asked about leaving,” Muir observed, sopping up the last of his broth.
“I will work off my debt first. After that, maybe one of the folk here will take me back to the mainland.” Doing so would be less taxing than conjuring another boat.
“I don’t see how. Not a boat to be had on the island.”
“That doesn’t make sense. They’re surrounded by sea! Don’t they fish?”
“Actually, no.” Muir rose and moved to the other end of the table, where the book still lay open. Cian had looked at it while Muir was out. It was a book on bee-keeping. Judging from its condition and stained pages, it had been salvaged from the sea.
“But if there are no boats—”
“There’s no leaving. Now good night. I want to read.”
Cian dragged himself to his little room and barely knew anything after his head hit the pillow. The next morning when he sat at the table, Muir gave him no porridge. He had made only enough for himself.
“But I worked!” Cian protested. “I worked hard!”
“For a bed. I said that in exchange for work, I would let you sleep here. I said nothing about meals.”
Muir wasn’t a farmer. No crops grew near the tiny house, and the man kept no herd beasts or fowl. How he had any food at all was a mystery. Small wonder he grudged sharing.
“Are you suggesting I go out and catch a goat?”
“You could. There are easier ways. I want you to walk to my neighbor, a woman named Scaith. As you walk west, keep the Horn on your right and you will find the path. Tell her I sent you. She’ll have something for me.” The sorcerer flung on his long black cloak before setting out into the chill morning. “If she takes kindly to you, she might feed you as well.”
Sorcerer's Knot is being released on Wednesday by Dreamspinner Press. Here's the buy link.
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