He opens his mouth to speak. "Go put the fire out in the kitchen, Hilda's left the jug boiling."

Unwary you obey and when you reach the kitchen you find a jug boiling over a low fire. The jug, you notice when you lean over it, is full.

You return to the lounge and take your seat.

"The jugs quite full. Hilda must have done something," you comment.

"No lad." He shakes his head. "I do very well at keeping things full. Hold out your hand."

You obey and lean forward with your hand out.

He pulls a small vile from his jacket and puts a drop of something purple in the middle of your palm.

"Just wait a moment, I need to get something." He gets up and walks to a table by the edge of the room. You wait patiently with the drop in your hand. It feels cold, but it's small. Slowly you think you're beginning to feel the cold creeping further across your hand.

"Handkerchief?" Mr Morgan has finished rummaging in the drawers and is holding one out to you.

You look down at your hand and see purple dripping onto the carpet. Quickly you nod.

As you briefly dab at the floor then turn to the mess on your hand Mr Morgan sits down.

"What's that purples stuff then?" You ask.

He smiles. "It's not what it is, but what was done to it. I'm terribly good at making things expand."

You understand now what his power his.

"Can you do it with anything?"

"Oh of course not. Liquids are the easy thing, some things can be much much harder. But that chair you're sitting on used to be for a doll."

You get up quickly, but realise there's no danger in the chair and sit back down. You rather wonder which power you would prefer.

"There's a lot to tell you Ayeston, but our time is limited, we must leave the city."

"What?" You've never left the city before. People who leave the city have somewhere else to go or are adventurers in stories. You're neither.

"I can't leave."

"Then Magalouf will kill you tomorrow, it's not a hard decision."

His bluntness is true, and you know the decision you have to make. It's just hard making it.

You could give the ring to Lady Evelyn; you wouldn't be killed but you'd want to make yourself inconspicuous for awhile. But something's stopping you, something that's telling you there's more to the ring than just money. You've been dragged into this because you were thought to be honest, you wish you weren't so. But the decisions already been made and you have to go.


He jumps at your words.

"Go pack some food from the kitchen if you can find any." Then he bounds out and you wonder how you ever saw any frailty in him.

Slowly you walk to the kitchen. You're about to leave everything you know. You'd gotten out of the box, but outside was bigger than you thought. Any chance to returns through the hole had vanished completely.

As you find a sack in the kitchen there's a knock at the door, a desperate one, and panic rises inside you. Mr Morgan strides boldly down the stairs and motions for you to hide. You slip just behind the open kitchen door.

There's a draw of air as the door opens and a murmur comes from the door. It's a murmur you recognise.

It's your brother.