Baldric winced as he saw the blood. Ronen stumbled over to his mother. He tugged on his sister’s uninjured hand but she didn’t respond. “Ronen, leave her be,” Baldric said. “Mother, what are we going to do now?”
“I’ve got what I need to tend to Ceinwen for now,” Adina said. “I brought supplies to last us a week. That’s how long the spells preventing the detection of our presence will last.”
“I can slip out and see where we are,” Baldric said. “Maybe see if what happened in the valley has made it to wherever we are.”
Adina nodded. “I’ll have you go out tomorrow. Today, I need you to help me with the others.”
Baldric kept the other three from disturbing Ceinwen while Adina made up a potion for pain. She made Ceinwen drink the medicine first. She cleaned the wounds with water from a hand pump in the kitchen. Clean strips of linen were wrapped around Ceinwen’s head, neck, and arm, leaving only her nose and mouth free.
“Is Ceinwen okay?” Ronen asked, curling up beside but not touching his older sister.
“As soon as I can get her to a healer,” Adina said. She forced a smile. “Don’t worry about her, Ronen. It’ll be all right soon enough.” Her smile faded as she noticed that Ronen seemed bigger than she remembered. “Ronen, stand up for a moment.” Ronen did as he was told. “Isabella, Grainne, Baldric, come here.”
“What’s wrong, mother?” Baldric asked.
“You’re all bigger. You’ve aged,” Adina said.
Baldric looked down. His clothing, which had been loose fitting and comfortable, was now tight against his body. His sisters looked out of place in their too small dresses. Ronen was the worst. The seams had popped in places on his shirt.
“Mother, what happened?” Baldric asked.
“I don’t know,” Adina said. “Something with the spell went very wrong.” She waved her children away as another bout of dizziness almost caused her to black out.
“Can I stay with Ceinwen?” Ronen asked.
“Is that a good idea?” Baldric asked.
“Ronen, don’t touch her. But yes, you can stay here with Ceinwen,” Adina said. She stood up and walked over to the supplies again. She put together a small meal made up of bread, cheese, and boiled eggs. Then she shook out the blankets and made the others go back to bed.
The next morning, Baldric slipped out the back of the house and went over the garden wall. Ceinwen woke up and began to cry.
“Ceinwen, it’s all right. Drink this and it’ll help,” Adina said. Ceinwen drank the pain killer and was soon dozing again.
It was early afternoon before Baldric returned. “Mother, I’m not sure what you did but I don’t think we’re where you wanted us to be.”
“Where are we and what did you learn?” Adina asked.
“We’re in Northport. It’s grown a bit since you and father brought me here. King Theron’s listed as one of the great kings of the age, and it’s his line still on the throne but we’re two maybe three generations away from him,” Baldric said. “The fashion is very different, some laws are bound to have been changed, and the sea port is busier than it used to be. We didn’t just move to Northport, we moved through time.”
“I’ve never heard of the spell working like this,” Adina said.
“Maybe the gods did this to protect us,” Baldric said. “Or maybe you were so desperate to save us that you did this without meaning to.”
“That would explain why my magic is non-existent, and why I’m so weak,” Adina said. “It would also explain why Ceinwen –.” She stopped and swallowed hard. “So we’re two, maybe three generations out from our own time.”
“What are we going to do now?” Grainne asked. She and Isabella were sitting together, watching their mother with wide, frightened eyes.
“I set some things in motion that should bear fruit,” Adina said. She dug the papers out of the pack. “I need to find out. I won’t know until I go into town to look into it.” She stood up. “Baldric, you’re in charge while I’m out. Stay inside. The garden isn’t protected by the spell.”
“Yes mother,” Baldric said. Adina slipped out and over the wall of the garden much as Baldric had done.