Can y’all believe it’s almost February already? This month has flown by for me. Now that I’m deep in the heart of Blackbriar Cove, my teasers will come few and far between. Because, let’s be honest, there are only so many I can share without unleashing too many spoilers. So while this won’t be the final issue, I will be publishing teasers less and less. Stay tuned for other posts in the coming months, however! Fun times & giveaways ahead 🙂
This episode was brought to you by the insightful cave artists of yore…
*major spoilers for silver hollow below*
Borderlands #2 Teaser
Faye waited until Amie’s breathing evened, and she was confident Arthur would keep an eye on Grimwich, before following her twin deeper into the cave.
She kept a dagger out and ready in one hand, another out and illuminated with violet light to bank the shadows. The walls were damp and every step seemed to echo with whispers of voices long past. Faye had spent little time in the caves when they’d lived in the Cove. The spirits that tended to dwell here were very old, and the earth often angry by what went on above. But she couldn’t deny the weight of memory and the comfort the dark provided.
Nothing could jump out at her without Faye sensing its presence first. Few beasts or spirits would bother a weaver as powerful as the Blackbriar twins, either.
A dim blue glow bobbed past a narrow hall. Faye ducked and squeezed through, only to gasp at the chamber on the opposite side.
Luminous images, painted in shades of silver, gold, and red shimmered from floor to ceiling. Hardly a single inch of the stone chamber was not covered in spirit writing. Faye shivered as whispers danced upon a draft from deeper in the cavern and made her way around stalagmites and a largely abandoned fire pit.
Jo used her inner light to see well enough to scratch away at her new journal. Ever since Melody Wentworth taught her to read and write English, Jo had endlessly sought knowledge.
A ring of circles surrounding what looked to be a spiraling sun eclipsed by the moon greeted Faye the moment she dared look at the wall again. The images seemed to shine brighter and the grip of Faye’s dagger dug too deeply into her palm.
“Amazing, don’t you think?” came Jo’s gentle whisper.
Faye sighed as she looked beyond the sun and moon motif. “You would go chasing spirit writings after we’ve hiked down a mountain.”
Jo bit on the end of her pen, then tapped at the careful drawings she’d made. “I’d heard of these, but haven’t had the chance to study them before.”
Faye crossed her arms over her chest to ward off the damp chill. “Because we were usually running for our lives. Oh, wait, we are running for our lives.”
Jo walked along, used to ignoring Faye’s commentary. “From all I’ve studied, these writings come from the time before the Unseelie exile. Look here,” Jo pointed further down, closer to the cavern floor and swirls of silver figures bowing prostrate before the sun and moon. “The spirits pay homage to the Great Spirit.”
Goosebumps pricked at Faye’s arms. She’d seen the same symbol for the Great Spirit on the chain Amie wore about her neck.
“Looks familiar, doesn’t it?” Jo asked.
“I don’t care what it looks like. I don’t care what the spirits wrote a thousand years ago, Joey.”
“The same symbol as Wenderdowne’s crest,” Jo persisted. “We thought she and Drustan were Great Spirits when they arrived, remember? Sometimes I wonder if we were right… What if the spirits knew they would come one day?”
“I don’t believe in fate,” Faye growled. Philosophical Josephine was her least favorite.
“I gave up fighting fate years ago.” The glow in Jo’s hand brightened as she closed her journal over the pen and lifted a palm to the wall.
“No, don’t!” Faye’s wrist caught Jo’s as her twin touched the paintings.
The entire wall illuminated a vibrant cerulean, flush with power.
Faye stumbled back, her sister’s arm still in her grasp. Too late. The wall hummed with fresh energy. Jo stumbled and leaned into Faye. “Are you trying to kill yourself? A child would know not to touch the glowy whispering things!”
Jo’s lips quirked into a familiar smile, then her gaze shifted back to the wall in wonder. “Something so ancient should never die, not if we can help it. Beautiful, isn’t it?”
Faye snorted. “Well, it better be, after the juice you just gave up… greedy spirits.”
Jo continued as though Faye hadn’t spoken. “Sad to think they came here all the time before the Unseelie outlawed spirit writing. Our people, Faye. Now so many live in hiding, or only as echoes like in this cave.”
“So we’re forgetting the part where we’re half Unseelie…” Faye grimaced as the whispers in the room began to sing.
Jo shook her head. “Our people came here to pay homage to the Great Spirit, and sometimes painted what they saw of the future.”
Faye’s grip tightened on her sister’s arm. “Thanks for the history lesson, but don’t you think you ought to rest while you still can? We’ll need to press hard tomorrow to get where we need to go.”
“That reminds me…” Jo frowned and shifted to meet Faye’s gaze. The shimmer of lights played off her sharp features. “Where are we headed, Faye?”
“Don’t worry about it. I know exactly where we need to go.” Faye looked to the paintings above them. Higher, crawling over the ceiling, beasts and spirits ran in the wake of the Unseelie invaders.
“They came with strange magic and cruel intentions,” Nanny once said.
Faye bit at her worn nails as she took in her twin’s wan complexion. The day had taken too much from Jo. With a shake of her head, Faye slipped her arm over Jo’s shoulders and led her out of the chamber. “Come on, you need to rest.”
Jo rolled her eyes. “Like your leg isn’t killing you right now?”
“Maybe we’ve got bigger problems to worry about right now. Like the person our best friend just crafted out of thin air,” Faye grumbled.
A quiet laugh from her twin made Faye smile and almost forget the song of memory the spirits in the wall sang long after they’d left.
to be continued…
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