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"We have to get out of here," Annabeth said, a panicked edge to her voice betrayed her calm facade. Christina had already left the bedroom and was pacing by the front door. Annabeth could tell she was thinking about what to do.

"I don't know how we are going to get out of this one," Christina admitted with her hands covering her face. Annabeth walked over to her and placed a comforting hand on her shoulder. She was shaking.

"We'll figure it out," Annabeth tried to reassure her. "They still can't get onto the part leading up to the house, maybe there's another way out?"

Christina lowered her arms. "No, the part of the bridge leading to the house ends by the front door." Christina suddenly stopped moving when she finished her sentence. Annabeth didn't know Christina long enough to identify her habits but the way she stopped made Annabeth think that Christina might have had an idea. Christina looked at Annabeth dead in the eye. "We can jump down."

"Are you crazy?"

"After the week I've had? Definitely." Christina swung the front door open and walked onto the bridge. The residents of the Land of Make-Believe started to emit more noise upon seeing Christina. Annabeth soon followed with knives in hand. She tucked a couple in her belt before handing some over to Christina.

Christina looked over the rope barrier to the area below. A little further down, closer to the end of the runway where the residents were waiting, was a wide-open space underneath that resembled a town square. Tall buildings lined the square's edge; their uses impossible to decipher from the distance between the two platforms. A bright light shone from a mile away from a huge tent. Christina remembered seeing one just like it when she was younger when the circus came to town. A sudden roar of cheering originated from the tent.

"We'll break our legs if we jump down," Annabeth highlighted a flaw in her plan; namely the risk to their lives. Christina didn't seem to care. She walked toward the residents as if teasing them with her flesh. Annabeth reluctantly followed. "What if we break our legs? We'll be unable to run and find Katherine and Christopher. We'll be unable to escape!"

"Have faith Annabeth," she said as she put her leg around the rope. Once she got the other one over, she held on tight to the rope. Glancing below, she took a moment of reprieve, then examined where she would fall. Several bridges criss-crossed below her before the town square but she knew she would probably miss them. Getting to the town square seemed the best chance to access to the heart of the underground town. "Quick!"

Annabeth huffed as she repeated Christina's process of struggling to get over the rope. The rope shook as she found her footing.

This was a bad moment to be afraid of heights.

The two girls looked at each other. Annabeth opened her mouth, "count of three?"

"One... two..." Christina started. Even she started to doubt herself before the inevitable moment of falling. She paused before the final number. Her hesitancy unnerved her companion. "Three."

Christina and Annabeth let go. The moment they did, the residents whose throats bled endlessly down their fronts started walking in different directions to get to the town square.

The fall felt almost heavenly to the girls. For a moment, there was silence. Even when Christina's head narrowly missed getting tangled in the rope of another bridge that looped through the air, she felt peaceful. She looked up to the sky of the Land of Make-Believe. There was no sky, only rock.

The world came crashing back to them once they landed on the ground. The knives they had in their hands spilled in several directions. The harshness of the impact against their bodies brought them back to reality. Christina coughed and rolled on her front. Annabeth sat up.

Ashes of the Innocent (Abyssal Sanctuary #2)Read this story for FREE!