What is behind the door? I had a lot of fun writing this bit with Lyra and the others joining in the elder meeting. So I hope you enjoy reading this as much as I did writing it!
A quick recap:
Chris has gone to investigate the one wolf cry that had been heard and Lyra was told she could finally gain access to the elder meeting. She could finally go beyond the one and only door in the entire Cave.
This was the one chamber I had not seen. The one chamber I was declared too young to enter. Of course I had found ways to listen to what was being said. Where there were weak points in the Cavern walls. My heart thumped in my chest as I imagined all kinds of wonderful and scary scenes. We came to the only door in the entire Cave. Yori opened it an inch before suddenly turning to face us.
“You are not to repeat anything you hear or see in here. If you do you will be immediately expelled and silenced.” Yori did not need to tell us what she meant by being silenced. As part of our final training we select few would learn spells, of what kind we did not know. We nodded in part fear and part excitement. My heart found its way into in my throat. Yori opened the door fully and ushered us into a dark tunnel. We hesitantly moved forward.
“Watch your head about ten paces ahead. The ceiling drops suddenly then for another three paces stay crouched. The tunnel opens into a wide chamber after that.” Yori’s voice informed us from behind. I wanted to rush ahead but I could hear rushing water below and the floor was slimy beneath my feet. I was worried I would slip and fall into the churning water below. A short yelp came from Natasha up front.
“Watch your step.” Yori cautioned. It was uncomfortable walking with my head bent forward. I could feel the Cave walls pressing in on me.
My shoulders rubbed against the walls and my arms getting covered in slime. I suppressed a shudder knowing that being further back I was not getting the worst of it, poor Natasha. The tunnel suddenly opened wide and Yori whispered a word I failed to catch. The cavern lit up brightly, the walls glowing. The light was eerie. I looked around the Cavern. It was circular with rows of chairs carved from stone forming three circles with a single narrow path breaking the rings.
In the centre stood a single statue of an angel. Its arms holding up the ceiling with its wings spread wide and face looking upward. I walked towards the giant statue, my hand reaching out to touch it. A hand slapped mine away snapping me out of my trance.
“Only an elder may touch the stone.” Yori scolded. I nodded and read the words etched into the pale white stone, ‘may they watch over us, may they give us strength, for we are the border between…’ I could not see the rest as the rest of the words had been savagely scratched out. Yori lead me to the back of the chamber and showed me where to sit on the outer back circle stone bench. Moments later my back was aching, the stone hard and unrelenting and sending cold up my spine. I wish I had enough light to see what the stone was. It was not too long before Mr. Herf arrived with Charlotte, Amanda and Kyla. They joined me in the back as Mr. Herf placed his hand on the statue. I was envious. It was as if every part of me wanted to do just that. As if it was my purpose to touch the statue with its pure beauty. Soon the cavern filled with the elders of the Cave. Miss Dale had left her station at the healing cavern, Angus had left the stables, Mrs. Smitt had left the kitchen as well as Harriet our sour faced dance instructor had left her precious books. She refused to be called Miss Dree insisting it made her sound old. I watched as the other elders came in and placed their hands on the statue then take their seats. I leaned over to Amanda on my right.
“Why do you suppose they do that?” I whispered to Amanda as silently as I could. I could see the slight rise and fall of her shoulders as she shrugged. She leaned closer to me.
“A ritual?” She guessed. We fell silent as Miss Dale called across the chamber,
“Yori, where’s Christopher?”
“Hunting.” She shrugged a sudden hush fell over the chamber.
“Very well, our first order of business.” Miss Dale looked at each of the six of us. “Welcome.” Her nod was formal and her tone tense. “Secondly we need to discuss what happened the other night, the man who died.” Many of the elders spoke out loud. I did not catch the name of the man.
“Something spooked the horses.” I heard Angus shout out.
“We should have let him rot outside.” Harriet sneered as many more comments were made before Yori let out a loud whistle,
“Mary, you may continue.”
“Thank you. As I was saying, must we let the Pack know that one of their own has died?” The cavern was silent. My mind was reeling. He was part of the Pack? What had he wanted from me?
“Where is his death stone?” Mr. Herf demanded, speaking for the first time.
“We are not sure. We think he lost it as he transported himself here.” Miss Dale replied. Why did she lie? She had to know that he left the stone to me in his cloak? I was about to speak up when a hand grabbed my arm. I saw Charlotte; she shook her head at me, her blonde curls bouncing. What was going on?
“The Pack will demand payment.” Another elder said when there was a lull in the noise. Everyone thought about this. The Pack leader would demand a payment especially if they think we had anything to do with his death.
“We will have to prove that we are innocent. That we tried to save him.” Mrs. Smitt spoke up.
“How? We burnt his body.” Mr Herf spoke again. Another hush descended, Angus stood nervously as all eyes looked to him.
“Sorry I know we are slightly off topic here, but something spooked the horses.” Harriet groaned and rolled her eyes but he pushed on. “There was something outside the border last night. Something magical, and now with the wolf cry this morning…” He did not get to finish what he was saying because both Yori and Mr. Herf stood demanding at the same time.
“What wolf cry?” I saw realisation flicker in Yori’s eyes as she turned and glared at me.
I hope you enjoyed this part of Alone With Wolves! As always I would love to know your thoughts!
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