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Never believe it's not so

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“Right,” Nick said as they left Rupert’s room. “What’s the plan?”

Maree shoved her glasses up with one finger and glared at him. Nick waved the kettle he was holding, dismissing her glare. “I know you’ve got a plan. He’s going to Koryfos. Now. Don’t you want to see it? It’s where we come from. We’re — and I do fully appreciate that what I’m about to say is straight out of Bristolia — we’re apparently lost heirs to an empire on another planet and I, for one, want to check out the old family home.”

Grabbing his arm, Maree dragged him down the corridor and around the corner. “Yes. I know. But we can’t just stand outside the door discussing it. They’ll hear us and then we won’t have a chance. Now, shut up. I need to concentrate to see around the corner.”

“But you’re not looking around the corner.”

“That’s right,” she explained, slowly, “I’m using magic. And as I’ve only just discovered that I can do magic, you will appreciate that I need to concentrate.”

That did shut him up. He watched as Maree’s eyes unfocused. She then appeared to go slightly cross-eyed. He thought he could see the air shimmer like a heat mirage. He could almost see something in the clear ripples of air. Suddenly Maree grabbed his arm and hauled him back around the corner, into the corridor outside Rupert’s room.

“Come on! We can’t lose him!”

Ahead of them, Rupert was just turning the corner. When they got to it, they stopped, piling up like a street theatre slapstick act. They waited until they heard the lift’s ping of arrival, followed by the shoosh and crump of doors opening and closing.

“Argh,” Maree said, “ How do they do this all the time?”


“Move things with their minds! Lifts are heavy. Right. He’s got off in the foyer. Come on, lift, come on.”

The lift arrived with an affronted shriek of brakes. They piled in, Maree’s face screwed up with the effort of sending the lift straight to the foyer, ignoring all the call buttons being pressed by bewildered hotel guests who were watching the floor numbers change as the lift sailed past them again.

Once in the foyer, Maree sprinted for the front doors, glasses bouncing slightly and moving down her nose. She didn’t bother to take the time to fix them. “Damn, damn, damn, he’s getting in his car. Why is he getting in his car?”

It was all Nick could do to keep up with her, though he’d worked out she was heading for her car. She bounced into the driver’s side and barely waited for him to close the door on the passenger side before reversing and, just missing an old estate car that was motoring in, tore around to the back of the hotel, to the kitchen car park.

“There!” Nick yelled, pointing.

“I can see. I can see him.” Maree was crouched over the steering wheel, tense as a bow string as the worlds started to change.

They were on their way to Koryfos.