TITLE: Short Swords
GENRE: Young Adult Fantasy
The darkness was absolute. Sophie concentrated on putting one foot in front of the other. A hand along the slimy stone wall and a rough map in her mind was her only guide. “I must be getting closer,” she thought, opening and closing her eyes to see if it made any difference. It didn’t. Thinking it was lucky she wasn’t afraid of the dark, Sophie pushed on until her foot hit something solid. The preceding thump echoed through the cellar causing Sophie to freeze in fright. When no answering call sounded she dropped her empty sack and ran her fingers around the object she’d just kicked. It was a wooden crate. Pushing the lid aside, the smell of autumn apples intensified and for a moment she was tempted to stay put until she had eaten her fill.
As suddenly as this thought had arrived another pushed itself forward. Brent’s face appeared in her minds eye, matted hair hanging long, his brown eyes shining with the promise of better days to come. She couldn’t abandon him. She knew, even though he had tried to hide it, what he had risked to get her this opportunity. Sophie had watched, out of sight among the shadows, as he had argued her case.
“I ken her to be reliable. We’ve been friends for years now, my mother ken her grandmother,” he pleaded, his street slang thick with the common dirt accent.
But the boys before him were shaking their heads. “It’s not enough Brent, to say ye ken someone so well as to predict their future.”