Secret of the Keepers Excerpt #3
“Come to me …” a hushed breath mingled with the constant rush of water. My eyes flew open as cool air billowed in from the darkness. I directed more power to that side of the room. A small entryway appeared. Impossible. A few minutes ago there was nothing but a solid wall.
Gavin’s protection ran through me … but he didn’t understand. This was the mountain. Only good things dwelled here. His anger spiked as I made my way across the cavern.
As soon as I stepped over the new threshold, the room filled with muted red light. The place felt more like a den or a burrow, and a shiver ran down my spine. It was as if the rock itself fought my energy. The grit of metal and dirt clung to the stagnant air. Fear plummeted through me as I looked at my feet.
A sharp, crude shape within a circle marred the cavern floor. This was not sculpted in the way of the Alfar, where artist and medium worked in unison to create and express. This was a violation of the mountain. It had been chipped and chiseled, forced to bend to the will of its creator.
My senses heightened. Crimson spattered across the granite as if someone threw paint and left it to drip, pooling into dried black puddles at the base of the floor. Something caught my eye, just beyond the carving ... something shimmering in the limited light. I made my way around the circle, careful not to step on the symbol’s sharp angles, stopping as I neared the corner. I could feel the energy drain … the air grew heavy. Squinting, I stared at silver strands lying in a pile of tar. Was that unicorn hair? I dropped to my haunches, taking a closer look. The slippery silk felt like part of a mane, but what was …
“No…” I muttered in horror.
It wasn’t tar … it was dried spilt blood.
Gavin’s anger now threaded with panic, the power of it took my breath away, and I stood, stumbling backwards.
Pebbles slipped from a ledge behind me, their small sound echoing in the chamber. My head whipped around. Adrenaline rushed. Something was here. Someone was watching.