“Are you all right?” Antheus asked coming to where I lay.
“Yes,” I said huskily, not trusting my voice completely.
“It’s almost sunrise. As soon as the sun comes up you’ll be safe.”
“Safe from what?” I questioned, my temper getting the best of me.
“From my father,” Antheus replied surprised.
“What is he going to do to me? I’ve never seen him. He is just this scary character you have told me about.” I was really worked up and angry now and nothing was going to derail my questioning. I wanted answers. “What is really going on here, Antheus?”
He looked at me, his eyes narrowing slightly, and then he sighed in frustration. “I can’t tell you.”
“Why not? This isn’t some fairytale enchantment, or is it?”
I doubted the words as soon as they left my mouth. Hadn’t Sareanne’s hand changed from the ugly, scaley thing to a normal hand when it crossed the protective border? I looked into Antheus’ face and I could see the struggle there. He wanted to answer my questions, but something held him back.
I wondered if I should just keep my mouth shut about Sareanne or if I should say something to him about the whole experience. My mind still didn’t completely trust him and there was this nagging feeling that he wasn’t there to necessarily help me right now.
“Are you going to leave me alone today?” I asked with a grumbling sigh.
He glanced down the hall at the ever brightening light from the windows. “I have to go, but I will be back shortly.”
He got up to leave and I held back a retort. More than anything I wanted to speak with Sareanne. I watched Antheus move down the long hall. As he disappeared from view I noticed the circle of rocks around me shimmer and then settle into the fine sand I had discovered each morning. That was my cue to get up.
I glanced back to where Antheus had gone and then down the stairs and decided it was time to get some answers. Since Antheus couldn’t share I would go in search of Sareanne. I ran down to the next level and looked around for some sign of her passing, but nothing gave it away. Was she only able to come out at night?I was thoroughly frustrated now. This whole experience had tainted my idea of magical lands and fantastical adventures. I was tired and grumpy. My stomach growled in agreement and with a discontented sigh I made my way toward the back corner and up the winding stairs to the room I had discovered the first night.