From then on, it was chaos.
Danielle had helped Bettina get Mrs. Macy into a recessed corner in the cell, where two huge gargoyle friends of Kimar sheltered the women, while two more fought against four of the hidden guards who had broken off from the main group.
Hearing a high-pitched cry, Danielle struggled to look past the battle just a few feet from her. She spotted Freida, holding Tiny’s head in her lap, screaming at a guard towering over her. Though flashing greys, clattering talons, flailing arms and glinting swords blocked much of her view of Freida, she saw the swift arc of a wooden staff slam its large burled knob into the head of the guard. He toppled sideways onto the floor and didn’t move again. “Mrs. Skulstad is here, then! And she came armed,” she cried.
The noise within the cell was deafening, mostly from gargoyle shouts and the clashing of their talons. But Danielle also heard people shouting, of course. Her mother’s voice wailing over her father’s condition. Anders yelling for Paign. Gudrun’s constant high-pitched wail almost in her ear. Johann shouting at Heidi and Freida to stay low. Her head throbbed from the noise and clamor. She wished Anja had come, and she wondered desperately what had become of her dog. Her breath was ragged and she was nearly hyperventilating. The dust and dirt in the air was choking. She so wanted to cower where she was in the vain hope that all would grow quiet and she’d wake up in her bed in Illinois.
But that was impossible, because more than anything, Danielle worried about her father. She dropped down on her hands and lifted her knees like a sprinter settling into the blocks just before a race. She could see her father trying to sit up on the floor, but there was no way he could manage it with all the movement of legs and wings swirling around him. It looked like her mother was trying to lift him, but she kept getting jostled out of the way.
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