16 year old Zoe Amber has been uprooted from every place she has known ever since her parents died when she was 7. Travelling with her aunt Vara from continent to continent as her aunt pursues her nursing career with the Nurses Without Borders organization, Zoe feels as though she is a burden in her aunts' life - the tacky ornament that no one ever wanted but felt compelled to take along.
But unknown to Zoe her worth is far more valuable than the price of a snow globe .
The torch bearers walked with purpose and weight. Their faces concealed by the hoods of heavy Hemp cloaks that dusted the floor as they walked in unison. Save for the muted shuffling of footsteps and the far-flung calls of finches to the heavens the air remained quiet, expectant.
Dusk fell across the mountain, an opaque glow of rust red’s, dusty pinks and burnt oranges that swathed the mountain top and enveloped the heady plants trembling against the light zephyr breeze. In a flurry of wings and motion the finches took their final flight across the skies, abandoning the sanctuary of the Elm and Frankincense Trees.
Shadows and spectres created by the fading sun’s rays danced across the twenty eight magnificent stone pillars of the secluded temple atop the plateau. Its large flute columns rose sturdy and ever-standing from the mountain quartz as though it had ever been a part of the landscape itself. The fire torches burning within the temple seemed to breathe life into the sculptures carved in the limestone as they swayed and leapt across its walls. The five torch bearers continued their silent march across mosaic floors, passing through marble doors and passages that gleamed white as the light touched and passed.
Reaching the cella of the temple the hooded troop paused as one stepped forward to unlock a heavy wrought iron gate, barring their way forward. It rattled and scraped across the floor, a slow moan of metal and stone. The cella appeared windowless and, save for the dim light filtering in from a skylight, remained unlit. One by one they drifted into the room, seemingly bodiless beneath the cloaks, each took up a position in the corners of the room facing a solid marble block in the centre of the room. The fifth torch bearer and holder of the key stood silent in front of the marble slab. Light trembled across the cella’s walls, illuminating shelves filled with scrolls and leather bound books, their encumbrance imbued an ancient sovereignty.