Galen sighed as his captors entered the room again. They’d held him in this strange place for nearly a day. If rescue were coming, it would have by now. While he’d had food and drink enough he had yet to satisfy certain other needs. The question was: would his captors allow it?

“I… need to use the facilities,” he said at length. “I really need to,” he added when the men hesitated.

“Do spirits even…” one man said, trailing off uncertainly.

“He’s been eating,” the young one he’d noticed earlier pointed out. “If it goes in… it probably comes out.”

“Very well, Spirit,” the one who seemed to be in charge said sternly. “We will be watching however, so don’t think to try anything.”

“Of course,” Galen said. He sighed in relief as the bindings that surrounded him dropped away. He expected them to do more than keep watch. They would use the bindings in a different way he was sure. One that would allow him to move freely but still hold him to their will. He needed to time his escape precisely.

The bindings fell away, one tip of each remained, poised near his ankles. As they moved to coil around their targets, Galen jumped into the air, narrowly avoiding the cords. He bounded several steps forward then drew up his energy – what remained of it – and dashed from the room.

He was free – for now. It remained for him to leave the building. His energy reserves were quickly depleted and he slowed to a more human speed. He needed someplace safe to think and formulate an escape plan. At the very least he needed to get out of the building. Already the other occupants of the building were looking for him. He could hear their raised voices all around.

He skidded to a stop as he found an open window. To his surprise, he was on the first floor of the building. He pushed the window open further and climbed out, quickly making his way to the street outside the building. Shaking with exhaustion, he made his way across the street and further away.

He hadn’t gone far when he saw a small, but familiar, building. By the symbols inscribed on the doors and the repeated motif high on the roof, it could only be a chapel. Sighing in relief, Galen bounded up the steps and entered the building.

“Hello, my child,” the priest greeted as he entered.

“I… I need help. A place to stay. Men – mages are after me,” Galen explained. He sank to the tiled floor, energy depleted from both his escape and his earlier struggles against the bindings.

“Of course,” the priest said, his voice soft and gentle. He lifted Galen into surprisingly strong arms and carried him to another building, connected by a covered walkway. “You’ll be safe here, child. This is my home. None would dare intrude here, even mages.”

Galen nodded once before his eyes drifted shut and he slept.

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