Quickly she drew the knife from the bag and cut the cords binding her feet. Then, after chafing her wrists and ankles to get the blood flowing, she attached her bolg to her belt and pulled out the Feth Fiada.
Fodbgen groaned, raised himself on one elbow, and looked around. Eny threw the invisible cloak over her head and got to her feet. As she watched, the giant’s bewildered black eyes turned towards her. They seemed to linger on her face momentarily, then swept blindly past. She took one hesitant step, then another. She moved towards the narrow opening in the rock.
Just then Fuat blundered into the dell with a wineskin over his shoulder.
“I’m back!” he cried. “Had to go all the way to our stash on the other side of the mountain. Never thought that—”
Suddenly his eyes popped and his mouth fell open. “Where is it?” he blurted, scanning the grotto from one end to the other before casting a pleading look at his partner. “Where’d she go?”
Fodbgen’s face was red as a beet. “I’m skewered if I know!” he shouted. “Why in Balor’s Evil Eye did you let her get away?”
“Me?” fumed the other. “I just got back! What’ve you been up to, pig?”
“Who’s calling who a pig?”
“Ate her all up yourself, did you?”
Eny slipped past the two squabbling Fomorians and crept out between the two stone pillars at the edge of the circle. She heard Fuat screech in pain as they grappled and fell into the simmering coals of the dying fire. I’ve made it! she thought. I’m home free!
But no sooner had she stepped outside the ravine than something behind her caught at her cloak and twitched it away. Suddenly she felt naked. Snagged it on a rock, she thought, looking back to see what had happened.
The first thing she saw was a pair of burning green eyes.
In the next moment a couple of pointed black ears took shape just above the eyes. Then a sleek black tail could be seen flickering over the ground.
At last the entire cat took shape before her eyes, emerging as if out thin air. It was sitting on its haunches, staring at her serenely with the Feth Fiada in its mouth. Apparently the two Fomorians could see it too, for they stopped their scuffling and slowly approached the rocky portal. There were expressions of mute terror on their pale, flabby faces. At the sound of their footsteps the cat dropped the invisible cloak and turned to face them
“Just checking,” it said—and as it spoke, it reared up on its hind legs and assumed the form of a beautiful, dark-haired, green-eyed woman in a long, black robe.
“A simple test,” she continued in a calm, soothing voice. “To see if the system works. I’m afraid you two failed.”
As Eny watched, the woman lifted her right hand. Instantly the Fomorians were reduced to two piles of smoking ash at her feet. Then she turned and smiled, her eyes glowing like two green moons. Eny knew her at once.
It was Madame Medea. It was the Morrigu.
“How pleasant to see you again, my dear,” she said.