|Chapter 9 - Consequences|
|Name:||Chapter 9 - Consequences|
|Series:||A Garden of Roses|
|Release date:||3 Jan 2015|
|Previous chapter:||Bad Omens|
|Next chapter:||Willow Explains it All|
"Where are we going to run?" she asked."Away from him!" Larch gasped. They careered through the trees, zigzagging this way and that way in a desperate attempt to shake off the intruder. Catching a glimpse of the council circle, Larch adjusted their direction towards it, but within seconds - and with a blinding flash of light - he found his path blocked again. It was hard to decide whether this apparition was more or less frightening than the last. Its skin was certainly a more familiar shade, yet its whole being appeared adorned with ominous Cherry's nearest available limb.
"Sssimm..." it rasped. "Give mee, plant man."
"**** off, lizard!" shrieked Lily in blind panic. She wrenched her baby out of its grasp and she and Larch darted either side of it. Behind them they heard the reassuring thud of the two attackers colliding.
"Oh Larch, what have we done?" Lily sobbed. "Can it get any worse than this?" A scream answered her call, echoing from the lake. "Holly!" Lily rushed in the direction of her sister.
"Wrong way! Lily, are you insane? We're running away from danger.""That's my sister you heartless worm!" Lily pressed her lips together, heading determinedly away from Larch. He cursed and shook his head, but followed her nonetheless. It seemed he might as well know the worst, now that it had descended upon them. It didn't take long to ascertain what the cause of Holly's screams had been. Before they had even reached the cabin, the wolfish stranger had caught the scent of
Willow and Oak stared at them, mouths agape. They certainly were a sight to behold, covered in dirt and sweat with a flesh-baby in their arms, having rushed in with no explanation and rearranged the furniture. Willow bowed her head and walked slowly to the window. Oak took one look at Cherry, glanced sorrowfully out and groaned. Every suspicion he had been suppressing was forcibly dragged from the recesses of his mind.
"Oh, you fools," he said. "Do you have any idea what you've done?" He put one hand on his head, the other on his heart and promptly collapsed in the middle of the floor. The pair were still too out of breath to speak, but they exchanged a worried look.
"Well, who's this then?" she said, turning around. Lily bowed her head, shame flushing her cheeks as red as her daughter's name."This is Cherry," she replied. "Our daughter." Larch ran his hands through his leaves, barely suppressing his irritation at giving the whole game away so soon. Part of him had somehow hoped he could worm his way out, despite his assertion that he wanted to
"What are they?" Larch asked finally.
"Consequences," she replied. Larch rolled his eyes and began to glare at the elders each in turn.
"What?!" he exclaimed. "That's the line you're going to take here? I've just been running for my life from these, these things and you're turning it into a condescending little teaching moment? Let's take another opportunity to tell Larch how much he's screwed up, how he's ruined our perfect, boring little bubble of rules and regulations."
"Not for you, for me."
"Because I'm telling you, - wait, what?"
"Larch, you have always raised a lot of questions. I think maybe it's time I answered them."
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