“Is that light?” Amaya gasped after another long walked around more corners.
“What?” Marlee asked from behind me. I felt her breath on my cheek as she leaned closer, straining her eyes to try to see. It was hot and moist and it definitely wasn’t pleasant at all.
“Look!” Amaya exclaimed. I couldn’t see her, but I got the sense that she was pointing at something.
“Amaya, we can’t see where you’re pointing,” I told her.
“Oh. Right.” Amaya laughed a bit, “In front of us, is that light?” she seemed nervous. “Or maybe I’m just going insane…”
“No, you’re not insane,” I told her, focusing in the direction we had been walking in a moment ago. “I think that is light.”
For some reason, we weren’t moving.
“Well, are we going?” Marlee asked from behind me.
“Yeah,” Amaya said, but still didn’t move.
I looked in her general direction, concern washing over me. “Hey, are you okay?”
“Yeah,” Amaya said again, “just… what if it’s not the way out?”
I squeezed her hand tightly. “There’s only one way to find out,” I said, “do you want me to go first?”
“Yes please,” Amaya said after a pause.
“Okay, then,” I pulled my hands together and let Marlee and Amaya swap hands before Amaya took my hand again. “Ready?” I asked.
“Just go, Calypso,” Marlee said with a slightly smile in her voice.
“Yes, ma’am,” I said, laughing slightly.
I began to walk and there was slight resistance behind me for a moment before we started moving. It felt like we were a train. All the different train cars buckling together as they moved. I didn’t make the observation out loud, however. For all I knew, they didn’t have trains.
As we walked, the light kept growing bigger and brighter until my eyes began hurting and judging by the slight hissing from Marlee in the back, they were, too.
I was starting to pity vampires. This one glimpse into their life made me understand why they hissed when the sun hit them. Well, sorta.
“Freedom!” Amaya shrieked happily, obviously having the exact opposite reaction.
It was then that I remembered that we had come to essentially infiltrate the castle.
“Shhh!” I hissed, my eyes slowly adjusting to the light. I was starting to see more than just white everywhere. Around whatever room we were in were baskets that looked like they had held something a while ago, but now they were all empty.
“Remember,” I said, turning back and seeing Marlee and Amaya for the first time in who knows how long, “follow me.”
They nodded, both looking just as awed at the sight of real lighting as I was. I was just better at hiding it.
I crept through the room, poking my head out the door on the other side of the room to make sure that no one was there. I gestured for Marlee and Amaya to keep close and walked out of the room.
I wasn’t even surprised to see that the hallway outside the room looked just like any other hallway in this castle. At that point, I was just too tired of having to navigate through them to get annoyed.
“So, this is where all the hallways look the same, right?” Marlee said, obviously forgetting that she wasn’t supposed to be talking anymore.
I turned around and shot her as sharp of a glare as I could muster up. Her eyes widened when she realized what she’d done, and her mouth snapped shut.
I turned back and began moving forward quickly, my eyes darting over everything as I moved. The doors halfway down this hall were opened judging from the light that poured into the hallway from them, but I didn’t hear anything. I kept going, slinking against the wall and hoping that Marlee and Amaya were still following.
At this point, if they weren’t, they were on their own.
My boots felt like they were super loud on the carpet even though I knew that it was only a soft rustling that wasn’t suspicious in the slightest. What was suspicious was the fact that the two girls walking behind me seemed to have no idea how to be inconspicuous.
I was going to have to talk to them about that eventually. Probably right after we got out of this alive and weren’t laughing out our pent-up stress.
If that was even what these two did. I had no way of knowing because I’d never been with them after a stressful encounter like this and I didn’t laugh out my pent-up stress.
I usually just punched something.
“Girls,” I hissed as I looked forward, half waiting for someone to walk through a doorway and catch us.
They both paused and I got the idea that they were waiting for me to continue.
“You’re supposed to be quiet and you’re doing the opposite.”
“You’re not doing much better yourself,” Marlee returned.
I shook my head. In a few seconds, I was going to leave them behind. I wasn’t going to keep risking my neck for people who weren’t capable of breathing in anything other than gasping breaths.
There was a sharp inhale behind me and then another. I let out a warning growl but didn’t look behind me.
There was a sneeze behind me and I took off running down the hall with no regard for the girls I was leaving behind. I was leaving, I was breaking free from dead weights. I was taking care of myself.
I was going to forget about ever doing anything different.
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