“Can you stop flicking that bloody coin,” Regan said, “it’s annoying.”

Chasey flicked the coin up high again, catching it as it fell back towards her hand.

“No,” she replied, “it helps me think.”

Regan huffed, shuffling on the hard seat of the cell to try and get comfortable. They were lucky they hadn’t been separated this time. Lucky more that they hadn’t been tortured again. Gods, the last time that had hurt.

“We’re not getting out of here you know,” Regan remarked, as Chasey continued to flick the coin in the air, “not until the Queen is convinced we’re not Witches.”

Chasey rolled her eyes.

“Her grandmother didn’t fall for that bullshit, and neither will she,” Chasey said, “unfortunately for us we have someone competent on the throne.”

Chasey flicked the coin high into the air, letting it arc high and then fall back into her open palm.

“But this Monarch hates us,” Regan said, “like blood deep hates us. She blames us for the fact her Son became one of them.”

Regan couldn’t keep the note of bitterness out of his voice. It had been what, 10 years since he had first manifested his powers? Ten years since a dark night being bundled off into the forests, told never to return.

Chasey paused before flicking her coin again.

“You’re disappointed she didn’t recognise you, aren’t you?”

It was a statement instead of a question. Chasey knew him better than anyone, they had been through the Trials together, learnt the Ways together. A true Pairing, according to their teachers.

Regan stared at the wall in front of him. That was part of it, his mother just looking at him with no hint of recognition in her eyes. His older sisters flanking her, refusing to make eye contact. Even if they recognised him, they wouldn’t dare say anything to their Queen. Her wrath was legendary enough, but to be her offspring meant you experienced it first hand.

“It’s disappointing, yes,” Regan admitted.

Chasey flicked the coin high into the air. This time, instead of falling, it span in mid air, turning on its axis slowly.

“Catch,” she said.

The coin shot across to Regan. Without thought, he reached out with his mind and stopped the coin from hitting him in the face.

“Haha,” Regan remarked dryly, gesturing with his hand and making the coin arch lazily back to Chasey. It had been a game they had played as new initiates, trying to hit the other with an object when the other wasn’t looking.

Keys turned in the door.

Chasey snatched the coin from the air and in a flick of her wrist it disappeared into thin air. They had supposedly had all weaponry and potential objects that could be weaponry removed.

The door swung open to reveal two hooded figures, their faces barely visible in the dim dungeon light. However, Regan would recognise them anywhere.

It was his sisters.

Two piles of clothes and boots were flung on the floor.

“Get dressed,” his eldest sister, Ringlay instructed, “we don’t have long.”

Chasey snatched the clothes immediately. Any witch would rather prefer their cloaks and clothes to the rags of prison, but to separate a poisoner from the tools of her trade that were sewed into the seams of her clothes was something else.

Regan eyed the clothes and then his sisters.

“Oh come on Regan,” his other sister, Elizan sighed, “pull your head out of your butt and get changed. We don’t have long-”

“But mother,” Regan said.

“The Queen doesn’t and won’t know,” Elizan said, “who do you think hired you in the first place, some Palace courtier?”

Regan slid off his seat, standing in front of his sisters. His sisters who he hadn’t seen properly in ten years.

“You do realise this is treason?” he whispered. They had to know the stakes involved.

“Oh we’re well aware little brother,” Ringlay said, “why do you think we wanted some help from family?”

A coin bounced off the side of Regan’s head.

“Get dressed dumbass,” Chasey said, “they’re on our side. The flowers read them true.”

Regan turned and Chasey held up two yellow flowers in the palm of her hand. His sisters were telling the truth. Which meant that they remembered him.

The shock and relief must have been evident on Regan’s face, as Elizan stepped forward and poked him in the arm, like she had done when they were children.

“Get dress, Reggie,” she said, “we’ve got business to attend to.”

Featured image credit: Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

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