Madwoman of the Kilghard Hills [Darkover series]
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by Joan Marie Verba
Category: Fantasy/Science Fiction
Description: The life of an untrained telepath may be miserable, but is she truly a danger to herself and everyone around her?
eBook Publisher: Marion Zimmer Bradley Literary Works Trust, 1993 Towers of Darkover
eBookwise Release Date: February 2007
27 Reader Ratings:
Available eBook Formats: OEBFF Format (IMP) [24 KB]
Reading time: 11-16 min.
All Other formats: Printing DISABLED, Read-aloud DISABLED
Young Kennard Lanart sat on the grassy hillside to catch his breath. His brother, Lewis-Valentine, and his foster sister, Dorilys, had run too far ahead for him to catch up. He could no longer see them through the woods and the thick underbrush. But above the trees, he could see the tops of the walls surrounding his Armida home. They were probably in the house by now, snatching pieces of fresh-baked sweets from the kitchen folk.
A pair of antlers stuck up among the grasses, rocking back and forth as they moved across Kennard's path. Cautiously, Kennard crept forward. Two paces away from the antlers, he stopped. A rabbithorn mother was leading her brood through the woods. The young ones only had bumps where horns would later grow. Kennard counted five babies.
A tiny rustling made him turn. Another rabbithorn was tangled in thorns, unable to extract itself. Kennard took his gloves from his belt--his father had given him the gloves last winter on his seventh birthday--and walked over to the thornbush.
"So your brothers and sisters left you behind, too?" Kennard said softly. Gently, without touching the entangled creature, he parted the thorns with his hands. The rabbithorn, only slightly scratched, quickly hopped after its siblings.
Something larger rustled the branches uphill from Kennard. A chervine? They were about as big as a horse, and had antlers like a rabbithorn, only larger. Kennard shifted his weight back and forth, straining to see, but there was too much brush and too many trees between him and what was making the noise. Or maybe Lewis and Dorilys had doubled back, to sneak up from behind and scare him?
The noise continued, but no one appeared. Kennard put his hands on his hips. "All right! I know you're there. Just come out. I'm not walking up there." The rustling stopped. Kennard took a step toward where he last heard the noise. "I said I'm not coming up there."
A large red shape leapt out at him. Kennard got the swift impression of a melon head covered with scraggly hair before he turned and ran, screaming, to the gates of Armida.