I looked around at the half visible city trying to think of some possible way to free these people from Antheus’ curse, but no ideas popped into my head.
I could see this land seemingly frozen in time, yet I looked over at Sareanne and I could see a very subtle passing of years. She was not as young as the portrait in the gallery had shown, but she also wasn’t as old as she should have been. Rutheus, I was certain, looked just like he did when the curse was first put into place. I examined the villagers. I couldn’t tell whether or not they had aged at all, but then I remembered the cloaked and hooded people viewed from the window high above.
I wondered how the curse had affected them. Had they walked like shadows in a half-life, not really living and not dead either? I shuddered. The thought of being frozen in time made me sick. As my thoughts rested on this last notion I felt like a light bulb turned on inside my head.
“That’s it!” I shout startling everyone around me.
“What?” Sareanne asks coming immediately to my side.
“I think I know how to break the curse,” I reply excitedly.
“How?” Sareanne asks anxiously.
“Come with me,” I say pulling her toward the main entrance.
We scramble through the doors and down the hall past the throne room and toward the first winding staircase. I wracked my thoughts to remember where I had seen the huge clock with the different faces. I knew it was in one of the round stair rooms, but I wasn’t sure which one.
My feet silently groaned at the thought of climbing multiple levels of stairs, but we hurried along.
“Where are we going?” Sareanne asked breathlessly.
“The clock,” I reply. “I think that is the way to uncurse Anderosea.”
I glance over and see the understanding and agreement creep into Sareanne’s eyes. Her pace increases and this time she leads me. We climb the stairs and traverse the hallways until we reach the rounded room where the clock resides. I take the last step onto the main level and stop.
Before us stands the clock and in front of the clock is a glowering Antheus.