Previous: An Imparted Plea

 

Hazel followed Ash through the long stone corridors, her mind racing as she tried to figure out what she had done, what was coming next. That she had asked her father for help shouldn’t have meant much of anything at all. But his smile had been entirely too smug, and the hush that had hung in the breakfast chamber entirely too ominous.

What, exactly, had she done?


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Old-Door

 

I like it when the new year rolls around. There’s a sense of optimism that knocks about the pessimism that sometimes follows me around. It’s like crossing a threshold, and that’s exciting. Who knows what’s on the other side? It makes sense that January is named after Janus, the god of gateways and beginnings, which sounds like an excellent time to start a new year, don’t you think?


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Previous: Locks and Shadows, Part Two

 

Holly awoke in darkness. She tried to sit up but banged her head against a wooden plank.

“Ow!” She lay back down and rubbed her forehead. The air was warm and stifling and the room jostled to and fro. Where was she? She summoned a little flame into her cupped hands and sucked in a breath.

She was in a wooden box.


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Previous: Locks and Shadows, Part One

 

Hazel’s mind went blank as she seethed in fury. She closed her eyes and forced herself to breathe. Throwing a fit wouldn’t help her here, she needed to think.

When she had composed herself, Hazel opened her eyes. The room looked different now. Instead of a warm, comfortable space, it was now cramped and oppressive. And very, very dark. The coals in the hearth had died down again, and all Hazel could see were the stones in the fireplace and the surrounding floor. All else remained shrouded in darkness. Before Hazel could do anything, she needed light.


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Previous: The Edge of Winter

 

Hazel hurried down labyrinthine stone corridors as she fled from her father and the summoned aspect of her mother. She had no idea where she was going, which was just as well as she’d likely have no idea how to get there even if she had. She just needed to get away; she needed a moment to breathe.

It was all starting to feel like a dreadful mistake, her coming here alone. She had known, deep down, that her father would likely refuse to release her mother. And yet, Hazel had never come up with a plan on how she would stop him. That particular detail had always seemed so distant, caught in a hazy, nebulous future that had never felt as pressing or urgent. But now that moment was here, and Hazel had no idea what to do.


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