The Ice King (A Witch Ways Whisper)

The Ice King (A Witch Ways Whisper) by Helen Slavin Read Free Book Online

Book: The Ice King (A Witch Ways Whisper) by Helen Slavin Read Free Book Online
Authors: Helen Slavin
off, leaving just one, golden, glowing, enough to illuminate the man in black’s face.
    It was squared, strong and masculine, the jawline stubbled with bristle, the eyes now staring at Lachlan Laidlaw, a green like a pine forest at midnight, the intelligence keen, the smile broad.
    “You people are very tiresome. You have moved away from here…” he reached to touch Lachlan’s chest, Lachlan felt an icy cold fingerprint press itself into his skin beneath. “And now you exist too much in here…” the icicle fingers tapped at Lachlan’s temple. “But for all that, you cannot alter what is.” the man in black gave Lachlan a direct stare.
    “Your dog is a splendid beast.” Lachlan spoke up out of his unease, trying to seem everyday and matter of fact and keep the waver out of his voice. The man in black laughed, a low, sad sound.
    “Ha. Yes. My beast.” he gazed up into the golden light shed by the sconce above. “You understand, Lachlan Laidlaw, that there are no choices here. There is only what is?” Lachlan had felt the hairs on the back of his neck rise at the mention of his name. He nodded.
    “There is an enemy in the Far North who outlives his time. This king brings conflict of every sort for you. ”
    “Conflict?”
    The man in black turned and looked at him full in the face. “Hearts will clash, bones will break.” he spoke in a matter of fact manner.
    “Why is he my enemy?” Lachlan didn’t know anyone in the North, far or otherwise, the only people he knew who lived vaguely Northward were his mother and his aunt in Cumbria.
    “Because you are his enemy, fated to take his time. You will take on the mantle that he was meant to have shrugged off. Fate owns you Lachlan.” the man in black made a little movement with his fingers, smiled his wide smile. “So she moves you like her little chess piece into the game.”
    “I don’t understand.” Lachlan’s heart was pounding so hard he was certain that the man in black could feel it knocking against the wooden pew.
    “Yes. You do. You have looked outwards all your life and this, Lachlan, is what you have been looking for. You must travel North.”
    The thoughts lingered at the edge of Lachlan’s head. Aurora borealis. Recognise him?
    “I don’t have any resources. It will take me some time.”
    The man in black smiled once more.
    “There is no time.”
    Lachlan’s mind roared like a storm and his heart felt cold without the benefit of the man in black’s hands so that it was some few moments before he realised that the man in black was gone and he was alone and the church was in darkness.
    A matter of days later saw Lachlan engaged in a small poltergeist project at one of the colleges. He was writing up a long night of reporting nothing more supernatural than a saucer falling from a dresser as a truck rolled by.
    “You still up there Lach? Only you’ve a visitor…shall I show him up?” Todber called from the bottom of the stairs. Lachlan was glad of the distraction.
    The last person that Lachlan expected to see was Professor Folds.
    “Lachlan, good to see you.” Professor Folds was warm, effusive, his handshake firm. “How are you?” he cast a glance around the room, noted the research papers on the desk.
    “Very well Professor and you? Mrs Folds?”
    “Excellent. It is, in point of fact, Mrs Folds who has sent me here Lachlan.” the Professor was eager, bursting to speak.
    “Would you care for a whisky?” Lachlan offered. Professor Folds waved the idea away.
    “Perhaps, in a moment or two, it depends upon your answer.”
    “To what question?” Lachlan felt icy fingers at his chest and a broad smile broke across his mind’s eye.
    “Mrs Folds is, as you know, the chair of many historical societies and charities here in Oxbridge.”
    Lachlan nodded. Mrs Folds was an intelligent and interesting woman. Professor Folds continued.
    “The anthropological society has embarked upon a new project, something quite daring and out of

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