Mevyn was at choir practice. His mother thought it kept him out of trouble and there was the chance that his voice might be good enough for the church choirmaster to recommend him to the cathedral school. Mevyn liked the sweets that the choirmaster handed out at the end of practice.
They were actually getting to be quite good, with everyone coming in on time in the right place and managing to sing in the correct parts. They were preparing for the traditional spring services sung by children with their scriptures of new life and rebirth. They’d learnt the seasonal Introit, had almost worked their way through the season’s Gloria variations and they were halfway through the section at the back of the hymn book labeled ‘Protection from Evil’, which had nothing to do with any of the liturgical seasons but you always covered anyway in choir.
Father Elb, who’d been sweeping the front steps, suddenly ran back into the church throwing his broom aside as he did so. Things went a bit crazy. The verger rang the church bell and kept ringing it. The deacons came running, took up smoking thuribles, and led a procession of Father Elb carrying his prayer book, the choirmaster and the choir, including Mevyn, out the front door of the church with all of them singing the Candleum from in ‘Protection from Evil’.
As they sang their way down the steps, in the middle of the square Mevyn saw the man in black touching the young female sell-sword’s face. The air around him was as thick as treacle and she looked like a posed wax doll.
Cheddiwick's presence was overwhelming and she knew herself outmatched. She felt the anti-paladin reaching for her essence with the powers from his pact with whatever-it-was he served as he reached for her with his hand. “You hunt and break a ysid triad and free their thralls that are still human? Interesting.” She withdrew mind and soul into that last place where he could not follow.
He could do anything he wanted to her body and she would be able to do nothing. If she emerged to fight back, he would have her.
Then the singing came, high treblish voices with a few tenors and a bass. His concentration waivered then broke. There was more singing from further away but coming closer.
The man in black fled.