TITLE: The Mercurial Way
GENRE: YA Dystopian
I leave my room at the stroke of Somber bell. Wearing just my nightdress, the cold stone hall brings a shiver as I hurry past my Sisters’ doors. But the Petrat are early, and I duck into an alcove, holding my breath with eyes shut tight and heart pounding. As the guards' steps fade I race for the spiraling stairway. By the time I reach the closet nestled in the base of Haven tower my lungs are rough with terror.
The closet door latches with a gentle click. With trembling fingers I pry two loose stones free of their placement in the back wall, my efforts noisy to my ears. I pause, listening for anything unusual, but no alarms sound. I squirm my way through the narrow opening and into the space beyond.
The darkness is perfect. I dare not use my solar flame behind such ancient mortar, and so from memory repair the stonework before feeling my way along a twisting staircase that ends in Abri’s forgotten cellar. The space is crammed with relics of Goddesses past, beautiful girls whose secrets will keep forever. I light my flame and shadows spring to life, but I do not fear. The relics are drenched in spider webbing—proof enough they’ve remained undisturbed since my last visit. I take care not to touch these forgotten Sisters as I move among them. Reaching Abri’s foundation, I slip through a wide crack.
My flame brightens. The curious tunnel I discovered as a child stretches before me.