Caelan reached for Beth’s hand, as Gabriel had instructed them. Gabriel put his hands on her shoulders and pulled her closer to the glowing symbols, lines and dots mixing together. He removed his right hand from her shoulder and placed it on Zeke’s, closing his eyes and muttering some quiet words.
Beth looked around them as the world started to quiver, shaking and flickering. Her eyes began to ache, but she kept them open, intrigued by what was going on. Everything seemed to be flashing, wavering uncontrollably at a quickening pace.
Soon, the blue sky was no longer there, replaced by a black one, stars shining brightly and a moon bigger than she’d ever seen. The grass was taken over by pale slabs of stone, and the field disappeared completely, an enormous flash rolling out from where they were stood, forcing her eyes shut.
After a few moments, slowly, she opened them.
She gasped in surprise at the beauty that lay before her.
There were rolling green plains in front of her and she could hear the squeak of night animals, the rustling of leaves. Some of the trees were taller than any she’d ever seen; their branches long and thick, heavy. There were shorter trees that had less foliage, the branches sparse and spread out. What surprised her even more was the stone she was standing on. A couple of metres away, the grass stopped, replaced by the slabs. She turned slowly and gaped up at what she was faced with.
The house in front of her was undeserving of such a title—even ‘mansion’ would not fit it. Like an ancient manor, it rose out of the ground with such majesty that it commanded authority in itself. Its main front was square in shape, the large set of double doors set in the middle. Attached to this part of the building was a much, much longer rectangular area, not as tall but still significant. The stone it was built from seemed to some sort of sandstone, the roof a dark grey. Each window was large and extravagant.
“Welcome to your temporary home,” Gabriel said, walking towards it as if it were nothing to him.
The three followed in silence, awestruck by their surroundings – even Zeke who had grown up in a similar manor, though his home was considerably smaller in size.
To their left was a separate building that was sixty, maybe seventy feet long but only about ten feet tall. Beth wondered what it was but didn’t quite have the ability to ask. It was made of a similar stone to the main house, though darker in colour.
The walk to the door was full of quiet admiration. Although this was nothing as to what they were to see when they entered.
“Please ignore the menagerie; Sam has a thing for animals,” Gabriel told them as he opened the huge wooden doors as if they were nothing.
Beth’s whole body just stopped. The main feature in the enormous entrance hall was the glass chandelier. The whole room was lit by it though it didn’t seem to have a source of light; there were no candles, no light bulbs – of course, not of this was going through Beth’s head at this particular moment. The next thing for her to notice was the sweeping staircase that lead up to a sort of balcony that must have led to other rooms, causing a double storey effect in the entrance hall. The floor was marble, black and white alternating slabs.