TITLE: BOOK OF SHADOWS
GENRE: YA - Fantasy
There were theories of what hid in the night. Whispers from another world. Monsters that plucked your heart from your chest. Every day, as the sun kissed the horizon, fires burned bright all across Solbourne. It was the only way to stop the shadows from moving.
A flint cracked in my palm, igniting a broken lantern hanging outside the shop entrance. I exhaled in relief and pulled the curtain closed, cutting us off from the buzzing marketplace pathway. Dull sunlight peeked through threadbare cotton, casting a golden hue onto the dirt floor.
“Cleo,” Mummy Fortuna called, ancient voice raspy and impatient. “Quick, finish lighting the fires. We mustn’t make him wait.
Loosening a knotted string, a row of dangling candles lowered so I could reach. The flint cracked again, burning hot in my hands. During eveswallow, the few hours each day where the sun dragged itself low, though never dipping down far enough to disappear, it was law to light fires. The sun always had a place in the sky, at least in our half of the world. It was those few hours when light dimmed that made any hint of darkness illegal.
“He said last time he's not coming. Remember, Mummy?” Rom was so quiet and sickly I hardly heard his voice. “Remember, Cleo?” I shook my head, blowing on my hand to soothe a fresh burn. “Doesn’t anyone remember?” he pleaded, coughing a little. “Fine,” he said when we didn’t respond, and continued dusting off the customer stool with a pointed needle broom.