Title: The White Path
Genre: MG/YA Fantasy
It was night. The sky was colorless. Thick fog rolled in from the sea and hung; there was no wind to blow it away.
Aryn couldn't sleep. She heard a rumble and the ceiling creaked. She felt herself want to fear, but instead closed her eyes and shut out the world.
"Aryn." The whisper was right in her ear. "Get up, please. Now." Her mother's voice was strained, full of emotion.
"What is it?" Aryn sat up, wide awake again.
"Please, let's not talk. Get dressed quickly. I'll help you."
Mother bent to Aryn's old trunk and pulled out her grey dress and brown slip. Aryn slipped from her bed, her throat aching with tension. She braided her dark hair with numb fingers.
Mother had a candle, and in the light Aryn dressed. She tied her cloak and turned to face Mother.
"What is—" There was a crash, and something exploded in the street, filling the room with hot, orange light.
"Get out!" Mother cried. Aryn followed her out the door and into the hall. The house was bright with flames.
"Calendra! Aryn!" her father shouted. She half fell, half ran down the stairs. Someone grabbed her by the back of the dress. "Out the door!"
The door was locked.