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The Tinker Trilogy

Book Two

The Tinker’s Apprentice

Shelley Ballard

As his head jerked up, he heard a voice, or was it more like having the memory of hearing a voice?

The Master bids you come.

The words echoed clearly in his head, so clearly in fact that he looked around the room half expecting to see someone there with him. He was alone.

He got up and walked through the house to the kitchen. He put water on the stove to boil for tea and looked for something to eat. Mother and Father had gone to visit a neighbor they hadn’t seen for some time. Paison remembered a time when neighbors dropped by almost daily, but people just didn’t do that kind of thing anymore. He wondered why. Too busy. Maybe. Or maybe there was another reason, a fear of something.

The Master bids you come, Thirteen.

That was not his imagination! He spun around to see who had spoken, but again found himself alone. Should he speak back? No. It might mean he was going crazy. “And hearing voices isn’t crazy?” He had to laugh. “Now I’m talking to myself.”

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