Chapter Twenty

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Shade woke up in darkness yet again. She heard soft breathing across the room. Was she still in the oubliette? The cold, damp air confirmed her disappointment as she sat up, pulling the blanket down from her head. She felt around for her light stone, which lay cold and dormant in the center of the room where she'd left it. Grasping it, she reignited it. Her eyes focused in the dim light as it grew. She watched the bundle that was Dylan softly sleeping. He wasn't aglow anymore. He must have slipped his glamour back on like a robe before bed.

She set the light stone down again, wondering if she should wake him and also how long she slept. She didn't know what day or time it was anymore. It could have been hours or minutes, and she wouldn't even know it down here in the dark, dank bowels of the earth. Her cell phone was long dead since she hadn't charged it recently. She leaned against the smooth stone and thought about everything they spoke about before she'd let sleep win her over... had it been the night or day before?

Shade felt sorry for doubting Dylan, but he didn't make much sense to her half of the time. She was glad that she wasn't alone down here anymore but pondered the subject of escape. Just will it so? What the heck was that about? Like, tell the stone to open up and let me out kind of thing? Shade thought with frustration. She was pretty sure she hadn't asked to be placed here, at least not on purpose.

She stood up again and shook her head. Oh, whatever, this entire situation doesn't make any sense. Changelings, witches, faeries, and whatever the hell else pops up. She wondered how much of the world she'd grown up in was real at all. It seemed like none of it was. It was just a lie, just a façade that the Fey played on all of humankind. They probably got a good laugh out of it all the time. Oh, what dumb humans they are. They can't figure out that more than half their land isn't even on their maps because it's ours. We can do whatever the heck we want, and they don't know any better. Idiots!

She kicked the wall again, but not hard enough to hurt her foot. It did force her to grunt, though. She thumped her back against the wall, groaning.

"You all right there? The wall isn't going to kick you back, you know. It didn't really do anything to you, anyway." Dylan had his hands behind his head while he remained lying, head up and staring at her, grinning.

"Oh, shut up. How do we get out? We need to get out, like yesterday, Dylan! How do we do it?" She stared at him, huffing out her anger as she marched back to her sleeping bag. She shook it out violently and stuffed it into her bag. Pulling out her canteen, she gulped down the cool drops of water. She tossed her bag to the side as she sank down to the ground, feeling the tears sting her eyes. Darn it if she was going to give Dylan any more signs of her current breakdown. She just couldn't take the mortification.

Dylan sighed and stretched out. He stood up and held his hand out to her. "Come on. We gotta go." He waited as she stared back up at him, tears still pooling in her eyes. She took his hand and stood up, swinging her pack on her back as she followed him over to the smooth walls of stone. "Now, to leave these prisons, one must believe in impossibility. Lay your hands on the stone and think. Think about the mountains you saw before you got here and the fountains. Wish your way out. Make a road in your head that will lead you to the place you want to go, and it will happen. Make a way for yourself, for us."

Shade studied his face, feeling a prick of hope mixed with disbelief as he spoke. She licked her lips and did as he told her. Closing her eyes, she wished the stone would open and let her out into the sunlight, into the wilderness she so longed to see again. She prayed and wished as hard as she could, caressing the cool rock and waiting for the stone to do something under her dirty fingers.

Nothing.

Shade opened her eyes and frowned at the rock. She looked over at Dylan and shook her head. "Nothing's happening, Dylan. What if we're stuck here forever?" She stared at the curved wall, wanting a way out where there was none. She sucked her breath in. "Wait!" She'd just remembered something and grabbed her pack, rummaging through it frantically. She pulled out the rune stones Ilarial gave her. She held them in her gritty hand and stared at the symbols. How was she supposed to know what she had to do with them? Ilarial said they would help me find my way when there is none, but how? She stared at them and closed her eyes, silently praying for a way out of the oubliette.

Ever Shade (A Dark Faerie Tale #1) by Alexia Purdy (complete)Where stories live. Discover now