The door to the orphanage opened silently, its well oiled hinges issuing no complaint. Outside the soft yellow of a waning day lit the earth. The wind carried the smells of the changing season, warm with life but with an almost sickly sweet undertone of decay. The air cradled the fragrance of the soil, the horizon held the color of turning leaves, and the sky spanned a cloudless blue across the sky. A warm day, a day to relax and let the world turn softly underfoot.
Ardwen ran a hand through his hair and blew out a sigh. It was an amazing day for lazing about and here he was at a commorancy for children as a way to win goodwill from the locals and because one of its residents was apparently afraid of the dark. Why anyone would be surprised or alarmed that a small child should be terrified of shadows was beyond him. He tugged at his gloves and stepped across the threshold.
No sooner had his boot thudded on the immaculate wood floor than he was greeted by two people. The