Lanterns In The Sky
A pair of boots, complemented by the pitter-patter of bare feet, echoed through the empty, glimmering corridor. Hair rose on the fair skin of the brunette girl as a chill settled upon her. She wore fighting leathers and wielded a dagger. The chill on her skin was battered by a single, naked flame, flickering on the torch she held. It eradicated every shadow cast off the marble columns and towering archways surrounding them.
“Hurry! They’re catching up!” she insisted. Her other hand pulled a blonde girl in a lacy white nightgown along with her.
The girl in the leathers tried the nearest door— white and wooden with intricate gold detailing. The door handle simply rattled in its socket.
“Who is? What’s going on?” the other girl asked, her voice trembling. She shivered in her nightgown and brushed her hair from her eyes. Unlike the first girl, she hadn’t been expecting this—any of this—and had been safely tucked away in her quarters until the other girl had barged in to whisk her away.
The brunette turned to the blonde and looked her firmly in the eye.
“There isn’t time to explain,” she said darkly. Her severe words struck like ice, and all warmth seeped from the other girl’s chest as dread roped around her lungs.
The girl in the leathers tried the next door, which creaked open. They both hurried inside.
Looking around, the girl in the leathers remembered the first time she’d set foot in this room. It had been a much happier time. Now, the library looked as dark and dreary as she felt—books sat in their cases, watching tragedy unfold before them.
Three levels high, with bookshelves just as tall, the library was the most impressive part of the palace. But at night, it was a dark, forbidding maze, hiding secret passageways everywhere.
Those passageways would be the key to their survival.
The girl in the leathers tugged hard on a particular book, sitting in a particular bookcase, and the adjacent shelves began to slide away, revealing a tunnel.
“Do you trust me?” she asked, turning to the other girl, who frowned.
“Of course I do—”
“Well don’t. Don’t trust anybody. Just run.”
Frozen, the other girl struggled to make sense of the situation. Then, almost as though she remembered who she was, her authority started to thaw through the ice that had encased her, and a hard glare appeared on her face.
“I don’t understand—”
“There is no time! You must go!”
She hesitated. The last thing she wanted to do was run from the unknown, without a single reason why.
The girl in the leathers gritted her teeth. Knots formed in her stomach at the thought of what would happen if the other girl didn’t hurry up, and she cried,
At last, the other girl caved and ducked into the secret passageway. The girl in the leathers watched her run until voices echoed through the