Where Are The Letters?!

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The rest of the day, Atamar tried to figure out an explanation for her parents' strange behavior. She was still trying to understand what was happening as she headed into the maze that evening.

Her friends quickly noticed that something was bothering her. Isoje asked, "Atamar, what happened? You look troubled."

Atamar related her concerns. "I have not gotten a single letter from my family since right before Prince Crenip arrived almost two months ago.

The last letters I had told me that they were about to cross over into Signs. So when the first letter didn't arrive on time, I didn't worry too much figuring it took longer now that they were across the border. However, as more days passed I grew very worried.

I kept asking Uncle Ulap about it, but he hadn't received a letter either. Finally he brought me word that my parents had written him and given him a message for me. The message didn't mention my letter about losing my family.

That doesn't make any sense, because my parents would not ignore that letter since they are desperate to keep me from losing anything. The next week, I also didn't get a letter, but just another message from Uncle Ulap, and again they didn't mention my letter.

Anyway, in their message, they said they were so busy they were only going to write once a month. Well, yesterday was one month, so I asked Uncle Ulap about any letters.

He said there was nothing, although the conversation was very odd. I feel like something was going on because the messenger with whom he was talking had several very odd looks on his face while I talked to Uncle Ulap.

I don't know what it was, but anyway, today Uncle Ulap gave me another message from my parents. Again, they didn't mention my letter, nor did they mention the princes. They always mention the princes.

They also said they hoped I was keeping up with my studies. How can I not keep up when you aren't allowed to pass me? Uncle Ulap won't let me read any of these letters from my parents. I don't understand why. Something is wrong, but I don't know what."

The others pondered her words, trying to figure out a logical answer to the puzzle. Enitala asked, "Are you sure your parents got the letter?"

Atamar shook her head. "I guess not, but I should be able to find out. Hamori delivered the letter to a messenger himself. I can ask to talk to that messenger. That still doesn't explain the rest"

Several of the teens nodded in agreement. Suddenly, Thifa's eyes got very wide. "Oh Atamar, I just had a terrible thought. Everyone turned their attention to her. "I really hope I'm wrong, but do you think that Uncle Ulap might be lying about the letters from your parents?

What if they haven't written at all. Maybe Uncle Ulap & Relos's plan was to kidnap your parents, but Uncle Ulap doesn't want you to know that they are missing yet.

It would explain why he won't let you see the letters, and it would explain why they didn't write to you, and it would explain why their message was so weird."

Thifa was right. It was a terrible thought. The teens sat there in stunned silence for a minute before Yendys spoke up. "You know, it could also explain why the messenger was giving you two such odd looks. Maybe he had been giving Uncle Ulap a message about their disappearance so he was shocked at you asking about a letter and Uncle Ulap not telling you that they were missing."

With such horrible thoughts running through their heads, no one could focus on studying schoolwork. Princess Atamar wanted to go find Hamori right away to ask to talk to the messenger who had delivered her letter.

Since only some of the teens were in the maze that night, she asked them to make sure everyone knew their suspicions so that they could be on the lookout for more evidence that her parents were missing.

"Surely that news can't be a secret from everyone. Some of the adults would have to know. We have to find out."

Isoje left the maze with Atamar. They didn't talk, but having someone else with her was comforting. When they got near the edge, Atamar asked Isoje to go out first. "If any of the princes are there waiting I don't want them to see me yet.

I want to talk to Hamori first. Will you send him in the maze but then wait at the entrance to keep any princes from following?"

Atamar only had to wait about a minute for Hamori to arrive. "Hamori, I would like to talk to the messenger who delivered my special letter to my parents. Is he here? I want to know if my parents got the letter."

"He is not here right now, Princess. In truth, he never returned after his mission to deliver your letter, so there is no way to know if your parents got the letter or not."

Atamar's heart sank at hearing this awful news...

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