Cynder skimmed through the air, rapidly turning her ears every direction possible, listening for the whistles that were becoming weaker yet nearer, and more desperate with every second. She was blind and the scent of fire was too strong now to scent anything, so she had no idea where she was and therefore could not guess which of her friends was in danger, possible even dying.
But then finally, after what seemed like hours but what was only a mere 10 minutes or so she heard another croaky wail for help, and an even more feeble whistle. It was coming from the right.
She quickly became human and found herself outside the study door. By the markings on the handle it looked like the one on the twelfth corridor of the ones she had ordered Matt to investigate. She wrenched open the door, wincing at the burning metal of the door handle, and glanced around.
"H... Help..." A husky whisper sounded from the left, but Cynder couldn't see anything.
"Matt?" She trod cautiously to where his voice was coming from. She could hardly see; her eyes were stinging because of the smoke.
"Cynder... Here..." He was barely audible now. But when she looked more closely, she could make out a hand, then an arm, reaching out from underneath a heap of burning wood. Matt's head poked out from it, his eyes drooping and glassy.
"What the heck happened?" Cynder coughed, rapidly removing the heavy fallen planks.
"Wardrobe... Fire... It fell- I think... My leg..." Matt groaned in pain as she aimed to move a bit of the flaming wood from his left leg. Cynder didn't reply, but when she finally freed him from the rubble and got him to sit up, she looked around for something- anything- to support him.
"Can't... Breathe..." He wheezed.
"You've breathed in alot of smoke," Cynder explained hurriedly, eyes darting around the room. "Did you cover your mouth?"
"Good, that's why you're alive." Barely, she added silently. "Here, take this--"
A few minutes later they were out of the study. Matt was leaning against the wall, drowsily clutching a stick that was probably supposed to be part of a table or something. His body jerked whenever he coughed, and he was shaking violently. "Go... Robin..." He rasped.
"No, we need to get you out."
"Robin..." Matt repeated. "He might be--" He was cut off as another bout of coughing racked his body. Cynder was about to reply when footsteps hurried down the corridor. "Say my name?"
"Robin!" Cynder gasped. Robin dipped his head- there wasn't a scratch on him.
"Questions later." Robin said sharply when his younger sister opened her mouth questioningly. "Get whoever else is here and meet at the Tall Oak." Without waiting for a reply, he took Matt and ran.
If he was in pain, Matt didn't show it. Cynder figured he was too dazed to notice.
Within seconds the boys and vanished, and Cynder took flight as a hawk to gather the others.