Chapter Seventeen


A Delicate Guillotine

Bryony sobbed all of the way to the hospital, the note crumpled in her hand. Not Syrina. Not her dear, brave and true friend. It would be too cruel. It would be too much.

She ran through the hospital doors and up to the front desk.

“I am looking for my friend Syrina. Rikki-Tikki said she was here, and I’m so afraid! Is she alive? Is she hurt? Oh, won’t you help me find her?”

The receptionist stared at this otherworldly woman whose soul was mixing with tears and spilling out of her ephemeral eyes. She wanted to grab the girl’s mitten-covered hands and tell her stories about faeries and trolls and great green monsters born from gardens. She wanted to ask her if she thought it would hurt terribly when death came to take her, as it most certainly would. Why, perhaps even this very minute! Time is of the essence! The receptionist opened her mouth to speak.


Bryony spun around at the sound of Rikki-Tikki’s voice and grabbed onto his sle
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