Chapter 51: Darkness
WE dashed through the Old City as fast as we could, racing against our last flashlights’ diminishing batteries. Being stuck in the dark would slow us down or stop us completely.
When we hit intersections, Brother Lawrence rolled the dice as quickly as possible, and we followed them. Abby didn’t have much time.
Brother Lawrence’s light was so dim he could barely see the dice.
“You’re sure it’s Lena’s sister?” Harlan said.
“Positive.” I glanced at my watch. 9:55 p.m. Abby had mere minutes left. “That wasn’t her little sister, it was her twin sister.”
“How do you figure?”
“You said Lena’s sister looked only about a year younger than her and that Lena’s powers had probably aged her a little from overuse. She was the same age as her sister until her powers came out that day and aged her about a year.”
Harlan’s brow raised in realization. “That never dawned on me.”
“Abby said she’s sure it isn’t Lena.”
Harlan cursed. “She’ll never see it coming.” He picked up his pace. “Move faster.”
We ran as fast as we could through the passages. As the last vestige of light faded, darkness overtook us.
“Alright, don’t worry,” Harlan said. “Just feel the wall and let it guide us.”
“But how’s he supposed to see his dice now?”
“I don’t know,” Harlan said. “Let’s keep moving.”
The passage we were in seemed to go on forever. Finally, we hit a T intersection. What would we do without the dice to direct us? Wow, had I really just thought that? I leaned back against the wall and slid down to the ground.
“Now what?” I was kicking myself for trusting a pair of creepy dice in the hands of a madman.
What I’d experienced while I was dead assured me that there was more to this world than what I could see. The shining man had mentioned agreements I’d made with Abby that would go unfulfilled if I stayed dead instead of returning. But we were stuck and Abby was about to die. Why convince me to come back if I were going to fail? Why stick me in this godforsaken place and let me die again? None of it made sense. It just felt cruel.
I heard the monk’s robes rustle around as if he were moving. Maybe pointing. But it was pitch black. “Look at what?”
“To the right.” He snapped his finger, trying to guide my gaze in the darkness.
I looked the right. “I don’t see anything.”
“Your other right,” he said.
Oh, duh. He was standing opposite of me, so he meant his right.
He was correct. Way down the corridor, there was a faint glow. “Is that light?”
“I think it is,” Harlan said.
I leapt up and darted toward it.
At the end of the hall, I turned left and saw fiber-optic lights hung from the ceiling.
“I know where we are.” I shed my backpack and ran with everything ounce of strength I had in me. Hopefully, Harlan and Brother Lawrence wouldn’t fall too far behind, but I’d never forgive myself if I were too late to save Abby. Harlan might never forgive me either.