A key in her pocket wiggles free and flies downward into darkness, the silence shocking her ears as she flirts wide-eyed with the bottomless reservoir of black beneath her stretched out shape. Just a little more, she reasons, listening for the telltale click of the latch with half-shucked coconut eyes.
Then her shoe slithers off her foot, and goes to join the key. The pitch jolts her forward, shoving the piedy pen-poker into the catch on the latch on the golden cage.
She twists, her eyes scrabbling wildly for the gilt bars of the cage, spinning round, frantically memorizing every little piece of the scenery, the candles in their alcoves, the sloping green wonders of the pillowed dome above her head, the charred and wax-covered volumes padding the walkway in like layers of stomach lining.
A flash of blue fire engulfs the space above her paling cheeks and knocks her off her balance. As she falls she notes, with some detachment, the clanging of the open cage door against the bars- and not a brown hair singed. Pretty good for a school teacher.