the underworld revealed

"Psst. Izzy!" someone called from behind a tree.  Curious, moved closer until she saw the speaker.

"What are you doing here?" she demanded.

Icaris fidgeted for a moment and held out a pouch towards her. "I have something for you. I saw the queen and heard what she said."

"What is it?" she asked suspiciously.

"Take it, take it before she knows."

"Before who knows? What are you talking about?"

"Take it!" he said putting it in her hand.

She looked down at it and back to him but he vanished.

Not knowing what else to do and still nervous about seeing the goblin queen she ran all the way home. Not risking going inside she went behind the tool shed to her secret spot between the fence and the wall of the shed.

She laid the pouch down on the damp grass and opened it slowly. Inside she found an old leather book, engraved on the covers were intricate swirls and lines. Something felt familiar about the drawings. Inside she found more of the symbols and strange writing but as she looked closer, the writing became clear and she found she could read them.

When she took her eyes from the book, hours had passed, the skies were dark and the sun had set. She carefully wrapped the package and tucked it into her shirt. Peering around the corner she looked anxiously for her parents. Not seeing them and seeing an opportunity sneak upstairs to her room she tiptoed up to the back porch. Slowly she turned the knob and found it unlocked. She opened the door slowly, listening for any signs of her father who she knew would be home by now.

She peered inside and found the kitchen dark as the night sky outside and the hallway to the stairs leading to her room empty. Each step was painfully slow as the urgency to get inside filled her and the dread of seeing her father.

“Where are you going!” came a voice that left her blood cold.

The lights flickered on and her father stood in the doorway to the dining room, his shirt unbuttoned, his hair disheveled and reeking of alcohol. Even from this far she smelled his fetid breath.

She ran towards the stairs and got one foot on the bottom step before her father grabbed her arm. He jerked her off her feet and she fell backwards into the wall, the carefully wrapped book spilling across the cold wooden floor. He moved towards her and something inside her snapped. Something changed. Words and images from the tome filled her mind and everything became clear and the world slowed down. She watched her father move in slow motion reaching for her as her own hand reached out for him.

“Somnus nunc!” the foreign words flew from her lips in a roar. Her father stopped in mid step and fell to his knees then collapsed onto the floor. She stared at him in shock, not knowing what just happened or realizing what she had done. She crawled over to him.

“Father?” she called, touching his face.

In response, he suddenly snored loudly. He was sound asleep. Fear filled her, What will he do when he wakes? she asked herself.

Urgency filled her. She scooped up the book and ran up stairs into her room slamming the door behind her.

I’ll run away, she thought. I’ll go somewhere where they won’t find me. Somewhere I’ll be safe.  She flung a backpack onto her bed and started stuffing it with clothing.

The End

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