Survivor Part 9
Shya wandered the vast corridors. She could explore the fortress every day for a year and still discover something new. After Stowe showed her to her room, a lavishly decorated room larger than her childhood home, he told her she could go wherever she pleased but she would not be allowed to leave the walls.
Three days of exploring and she had finally found a perimeter wall. Beyond the window, she could see the purplish-blue of the sky. A full moon floated about the picturesque view, blending with the soft hues. Shya braced herself against the window frame and leaned her head out. Her shoulder length black hair whipped before her eyes before settling. That’s a long way down she thought to herself. She furrowed her brow as the cool wind parted her hair. Far below, the Maze stretched out as far as she could see.
A faint scratching sound came from behind her. Pulling herself from the dizzying sight of the Maze so far below, she turned to see a large wooden door across the hall. Shya pressed her right ear to the door and the scratching stopped. After a moment of silence, the scratching continued. Shya softly knocked on the wooden door and it slowly swung inwards with a groan.
A woman with dark, stretched skin sat at a wooden table scattered with hand written documents and several ink wells. It was the same woman Shya had seen in the cabin the night she had met Reis. A night that seemed so long ago. She smiled when she saw Shya and lifted her quill from the parchment. “Come in, dear.” Her voice was quiet. “It would be an honor to entertain the Survivor.” She smiled again.
Shya open her mouth to speak, but her eyes shifted to the far side of the quaint room. There were seven mirrors of various designs. In the center was a tall, thin mirror with a smooth frame of solid gold. Shya took a step back while she tried to compose herself. To the right of it was another familiar mirror, circular with a wooden frame.
Shya turned to face the seated woman, questions burning within her.
She nodded. “Yes, Shya. I was in this very room when last we spoke through that mirror. We have been doing everything in our power to get you here in time. You’re one of us. You are a survivor.”
“You want to make sure I don’t fulfill the prophecy.”
“Of course. Stowe and I do everything we can to prevent the prophecy from coming true. Just like we always have. With your help.”
“Agatha?” The voice came from the doorway behind Shya. Stowe didn’t have the Book with him this time. “It’s quite safe, I assure you,” Stowe said, as if hearing her thoughts. “I am sorry to interrupt, but it’s very nearly time,” he said to Agatha. She nodded in understanding. “Come with me for a moment, Shya. Your part will come after.”
Shya looked to Agatha, who motioned for her to do as she was instructed. She followed Stowe in to the corridor.
“You must understand,” Stowe said after closing the door, “the mirrors can manipulate time when necessary. And it is necessary that you deliver a message in a few minutes.”
“Why would I help you?”
Stowe smiled. “For starters, it’s the right thing to do.” Obviously, he saw her disbelief. “I was afraid you wouldn’t see reason.” Stowe pulled a mirror from one of his pockets and held it out for her to see. Instead of her reflection, Shain and Mira lay asleep within the Maze. “I believe we understand each other?”
Shya lowered her eyes, hoping to conceal her anger. “What am I supposed to say?”
“I’m sure that you’ll think of the right thing to say.” He opened the door, placed his hand at the small of her back, and guided her to the gold-framed mirror.
She immediately recognized her reflection. The shoulder length dark hair and sunken eyes belonged to the woman that had spoken to her in that damned desert.
The mirror rippled and she saw herself, gasping for air and drenched from the wave of water that had spilled from the mirror.
Shya took a deep breath before she met her eyes. “Few survive the first test. But, of course, we knew you would survive.”