We doused Sareanne and then the two tarranges with the grape seed water and then carefully stepped over the circle of stones. Nothing happened and I was certain that my grape theory was correct. I kept the bottle of grape powder in my pocket just in case we needed it.
“Where are we going?” Sareanne asked nervously.
“Out to the village,” I replied confidently. “We are going to start breaking this curse and I want to start in the village.”
Sareanne stopped in her tracks. “I don’t have the energy to uncurse the entire village!” she exclaimed.
“I know. I have an idea about that.” We reached the stairs and I looked down the circular stairway. “Where is Antheus usually at during the day?”
“I’m not sure. I’m always in the prison during the day. I think sometimes he would take Tuug and Jiun out into the courtyard, probably to scare the invisible villagers and workers. From some of their talk I think he might have taken them out to the tower during the day. Even after twenty years he is still trying to find a way to get to my book.”
I skidded to a stop and Sareanne crashed into me. Several things came falling into place with her one statement.
“Why is he still after the book?” I ask incredulously.
“Because of its power,” she replied.
“But I thought he wanted the vineyards.”
“That was part of it, but I guess he has always just wanted the book.”
I grabbed her arms. “Sareanne when did your father discover what the grapes were doing to everyone?” I ask anxiously.
“I don’t know, a few years before all of this happened.”
“Did you have your book?”
“Yes,” she answered slowly.
“When did you get your book?”
“Well it started out as a kind of journal when I turned twelve and then it just kind of grew into what it is. Why?”
“This has to do with the book,” I say slapping the palm of my hand against my forehead. “It’s all about that book. Antheus wants that book and he was willing to do anything to get it.”
“He can’t read the book, only I can,” Sareanne replied sadly. “I tried to explain that to him when he called you from your world.”
“What is in that book, Sareanne?” I demanded.
“My thoughts and feelings when I work with the earth, some simple spells…”her voice trailed off and her eyes widened.
“What?” I ask painfully.
“That’s when it started. I was about fourteen when I started hearing..no, feeling the earth. It was speaking to me. I didn’t realize that was what was happening, but I did write down the thoughts and feelings in my book. Those words must be very powerful. They come from the Gods of the Earth, they were speaking to me.”
She looked into my eyes with a slightly pained expression. “It was a few months later when my father cut himself terribly. The healer said he would lose his hand for sure, but the next morning it had started to heal. It only took two days and there was no scar. I didn’t connect it until now. The words I felt, that I wrote down in my book…I had no idea.”
“That’s what Antheus wants, Sareanne. He could care less about Perdeen or your grapes. He simply wants to be the master of those words in your book.”