Previous: Shadowed Depths, Part One

 

The water surrounded Hazel, cool and and comforting like a chilled feather-down blanket. The shadowed forest stretched down around her from a watery sky, though they remained translucent. Impermanent, like coiling mist.

Hazels booted feet scraped along the stony bottom of the pool as she walked through the water. Then her body became weightless as the floor fell out from under her, and the trees melted into the shadows of the pool. All became black; Hazel lost all sense of direction. Before she had time to orient herself, or to panic, her head broke the water’s surface, and she took in a deep, steadying breath.


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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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