GENRE: YA Fantasy
The stairs went down forever, darker and darker the deeper they descended into the bowels of the castle. He pressed close to his brother and held tight to his mother's shaking hand.
When finally they came to a halt, the torches guttered out. The darkness nearly swallowed him. His mother crushed him to her chest, kissed his hair, his eyes, his wet cheeks, his fingers. She held his face in her hands and stared at him through the pitch. The warmth of her tears tickled his neck as she pulled him to her again.
"War is upon us, little one, and I must go now to keep you safe. Do not fear the darkness; it protects you and hides you from our enemies. Keep to the shadows, make the darkness your friend, and you will be safe until I come for you again," she whispered into his ear.
His mother knelt and pushed a small, round metal object into his damp hand.
"Hold to this tightly, it will bring us together again. Remember, my little one, time to love mattereth not. I will come for you again; rest safe in my promise. Tell no one who you are. Be as the blackest coal that hides in the darkest midnight cave,” she said, her hurried words echoing against the stone that closed in on him.
“I will, mother. I will, I swear it!” he cried, and buried his head in her unseen hands.
She kissed his head and pushed him gently into the night.