The Darwin Chronicles, Book One: The Mountain Ranges

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Chapter 4

A knock came at the door in the evening. Emmett's father opened it. The rest of the family sat at the kitchen table, eating dinner.

"Good evening, Joseph," Emmett's father. Darren, said.

"Evening, Darren. I'm sorry to intrude like this, but I'm afraid we have to find families willing to quarter the Blackfire citizens until their homes are rebuilt. Would your family house a few people?"

"Eliza?" Darren turned to his wife for her opinion. She nodded, and he turned back to Joseph. "That would be fine."

"Terrific." Joseph clapped his hands together and turned away. "You'll be housing the Lyrie family. This is Walter, his wife Marie, their daughter Flora, and, of course, their son, Isaac. Emmett, I think you already know Isaac, yes?"

"Yeah." Emmett stood up and shook hands with each member of the Lyrie family.

"Alright. I'll leave you all to it, then." Joseph left, probably to go ask the next family about housing Blackfire citizens.

"I'm so sorry. we weren't expecting company tonight," said Eliza. "If you're hungry, we can cook something-"

"Oh, no, no. Don't trouble yourself. We're fine, they already fed us. Tomorrow we'll scavenge what we can from our old home," Marie assured her.

"Some arrangements will have to be made," Eliza said breathlessly. "Thankfully we have the guest room, and an extra bed in each of the children's rooms, in case we ever had any more children. So if Isaac slept in Emmett's room and Flora slept in Norie's room, I think that should work."

"That would be fine, ma'am," Isaac said.

"Thank you for your hospitality." Walter nodded to Darren and Eliza.

"Come on." Emmett led Isaac to his bedroom.

Emmett's bedroom walls were covered with drawings-drawings of dragons, drawings of animals, drawings of birds. The only picture that didn't involve animals was a drawing of Emmett and his family. Models of dragons hung from his ceiling.

"Wow," Isaac said, looking around. "Did you draw all of these yourself?"

"Yep." Emmett picked up some coloring pencils and paper from the floor. "Make yourself at home."

The brown-eyed boy sat down on the second bed. Emmett noticed that he hadn't been washed or changed out of his battle-worn cloths since the battle.

"You want to clean up?"

"Yeah. That would be great."

"Right across the hallway. Borrow some of my clothes." Emmett tossed him a bundle of cloths.

Isaac sat on the bed again, leaning against the headboard, now clean and looking fresh. Emmett sat at his desk, drawing a mouse, his leaf-green eyes concentrating on the mouse's whiskers. He jerked his head carefully to the left, flicking some of his brown hair out of his eyes.

"So," Emmett said.

"So what?"

"That girl. Amelia, or Amy, whatever her name was."

"What about her?"

"Is she a Legend?" A Legend was a person who could become mythological creatures.

"Yup. The only one in Blackfire. There used to be two. The second one was her father, but he died. Does Briarlight have one?"

"Uh-huh. My father. A girl called Samantha. Another girl called Julie."

"Ah. So three."

"Yeah. But I think Samantha and Julie both died today." They were silent for a bit, then Emmett asked-"Is she okay?"

"Who? Amy?"

"Yes. Who else?"

"Yeah, she's okay. They healed her pretty fast. She just has some deep teeth marks in her arm now."

"That's good."

"Yeah." Isaac paused for a moment, then carried on, his voice more soft and quiet. "You know, I think she-" He never got to finish, because his mother called through the closed door,

"Boys! Go to bed."

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