Continued from the previous Survivor.
A soft creak awoke Shain; he had become a light sleeper after his sister’s disappearance, but even more so now in this Maze. Without moving his body, Shain opened his eyes. Aelfric and Mira were not in the room and the door was left slightly ajar. Shain pushed himself up from the floor slowly, trying to be as silent as he could. As he neared the door, he could hear Aelfric speaking.
“…it’s too powerful, Mira. I cannot allow this traitor, Stowe, to possess the Book, or to let some mirror jumper take it to their master.”
“But they already have it, Aelfric,” her voice whispered, barely audible compared to Aelfric’s. “Maybe it’s time for you to let go of the Book.”
A lingering silence followed the statement. Shain wondered if the two had left his range of hearing. He cracked the door just enough to see their two dark figures in the moonlight.
“Just start a new life and live happily ever after in the Maze?” Aelfric asked sarcastically. “Well I do hate to be the bearer of bad news, Mira, but that little girl of yours is going to forever alter the Maze.”
“Don’t you dare blame her!” His mother’s words sounded scornful and protective. “My family has nothing to do with your so called ‘prohpecy’. If you hate this place so much, alter it your own damned self.”
Aelfric exaggerated a deep laugh as he spoke. “Oh, I plan to do exactly that. I will tear these walls to the ground and hunt down every last mirror to keep my Book out of their hands.”
“That Book has driven you mad since that night you took it.” Shain could hear his mother crying through her words. “Please, just go. Let me keep my children safe for once.”
The frustration that tightened Aelfric’s rumbling voice seemed to fade. He cradled her face in his giant hand and smudged a tear. “Mira, dear, your children will never be safe, especially in the Maze. Stowe, or whomever else holds that Book, knows about the original prophecy and Shya. They will come for her, they will find her, and they will destroy all who protect her.”
“Then we will be ready to fight them,” Shain proclaimed as he nudged the door out of his way to join their conversation.
Aelfric knelt down to Shain and placed his hands on his shoulders. “You have enthusiasm, lad, but not experience. You are no fighter,” Aelfric lowered his head, breaking eye contact. “If I can recover the Book, we may be able to avoid fighting altogether.”
“Then I’m going with you,” Shain said. “Shya, Mom, and Reis can go to that town you were telling me about and they’ll be safe.”
“Yeah,” Shya spoke mockingly as she stepped out into the moonlight, “I’m not sitting around waiting for the bad guys to come after me.”
“They’ll have to go through me,” Reis stated in a more serious tone as he followed close behind Shain’s sister.
“Dammit,” Mira breathed. “I’ll get my bow.”