GENRE: New Adult Fantasy
As Ayla slipped through the door into the shadows of the square, a breeze touched her face for the first time in weeks. She tipped her head back, breathing the scents of a summer night deep into her lungs: aromatic pine, horse manure, the dragonlilies that grew outside the tower. Above her, the patterns of the stars were comforting in their familiarity. She hadn't been locked up that long, after all. It just felt like forever.
There will be no-one patrolling the square. She repeated her brother's words to herself. Go straight across. The postern will be open, and you'll find supplies there to help you. After that I can do no more.
She hesitated where she stood, skin crawling with tiny spiders of unease. The darkness on the far side of the square was too heavy for the moonlight to penetrate; anything could be waiting for her over there. Yet Myrren's instructions hadn't failed her so far. When she'd tried the door of her cell at the seventh bell, it had been unlocked just as he'd promised. And the two men in the guardroom had been deep in the oblivion of sleep, not stirring even when she crept past them to climb the flight of steps that was the only way out. Her brother's words were her compass. She had to trust them.
Straightening her spine, she stepped into the illuminated patch at the centre of the square, forcing herself to walk as though she were unafraid.