The Cycle of the Six Moons: An Eclipsing Autumn
Chapter Twenty-Six: Stagnant
After a moment, I hear the familiar high pitched clinking of metal against stone. I try to scream, “Is someone there?” but it probably can’t be heard from the other side.
I look at Jayse, who’s leaning against the wall, and I signal to him to do the shouting for me.
He calls out the same thing. “Is someone there?” He must put all his air into it because as soon as he’s done, he falls back against the wall and starts to slide down.
I rush to his side and help him stay on his feet, using my hand to fan him viciously, hoping it’ll cool him down or help him breathe easier or whatever. I don’t know if it does anything.
The hammering has stopped momentarily. Then, far away and muffled, I hear someone shout back, “Yes! Yes, stay right there! We’re coming soon.”
I sigh with relief and look at Jayse. He’s sweating so much that the blood on his jaw has already washed away. I wipe the sweat on his forehead with the back of my hand.
“You want to sit down?” I whisper.
He slides down, then stops himself. The hammering on the other side of the stone barricade has continued, but another sound is louder, closer. The sound of sharpening blades.
I swallow a lump in my throat and look back down another hall to the right, the one we’d have taken if the lanterns didn’t lead here. Something is definitely coming this way. I light the hall with a steady stream of fire. Several yards away, the digger scrapes his scythes against each other. When the fire reaches him, he sprints forward and I scream.