All characters are the property of Tamora Pierce

Tammy Drabbles 53: Two characters talk about one of the only things they have in common. One is holding something very peculiar.


Alanna did not want to be where she was. She did not want to see Jon and she did not want to have to wait in the hall, especially with Lord Wyldon as company. It was taking all her restraint to avoid calling the man a few choice names. They'd already had two stiff exchanges about the weather and the stables, after which a long and strained silence had fallen. And if Jon didn't get a move on, Alanna might have to do something dastardly to him.

"You ever seen anything like this?" Wyldon asked out of nowhere. In his hand was a tiny, gold glyph.

Alanna studied Wyldon's face for a moment. He was about as likely to ask her advice on something as he was to invite her to spar. Finally deciding he had no ulterior motive – or at least none that obvious – she answered, "Looks like a magic charm, similar to the type used to avoid pregnancy, except I'm not familiar with that particular glyph – or maybe it's just poorly formed. Have you asked Numair or Hairalt?"

Wyldon shook his head, a strange look crossing his face. "I imagine his highness will be able to tell me," he said confidently.

Alanna bit her lip. Jon was magical, and trained very well to use it. She should know, she trained beside him. "Where did you find it?" she asked trying not to let her irritation show.

"It fell from the pocket of a page – a young man of questionable lineage."

Alanna looked at Wyldon like he was the biggest imbecile in the world. In her experience nobles were just as likely to cause trouble as commoners, and in some cases they caused more. She reached out a hand and snatched the glyph before Wyldon could stop her. Then she tested it with her own purple magic. "Congratulations, Lord Wyldon, you've discovered a hedgewitch's heartbeat charm. Somewhere there's a mother who asked her son to carry that and now thinks something dreadful has happened to him."

Wyldon paled and stood, just as Jon's door finally opened. It was with a self-satisfied smirk that Alanna headed through the door. She figured Wyldon now had somewhere else to be.