Tainted Victory – Chapter 9, Part 10 (Page-a-Day)

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Evelyn cleared her eyes. The bright light faded. She took a step out of the passageway and onto more brick. She looked around and felt herself go numb. She had stepped out of the secret passageway and into the bathroom. She quickly constructed a mental map in her brain. It did not fit together. She shook her head, took another step and kicked dirt. The dirt wafted up to her peripheral vision. It was not brown or colorless. Instead it was a thick black. The dirt floated back to the ground. 

Evelyn looked down. Her foot had broken the seal of a circular, blacken ash. It was a near perfect circle. She moved her foot to see some small runes etched into the stone. She knelt over. She was wrong. The runes were not etched into the stone, they were crisp, burnt, and smoldering. She looked at the arrow in her hand. She cleared away the ash with her thumb. She recognized some of the symbols. 

Evelyn ran to the door. Her body was moving too slow. She felt her mind telling her what to do before she could do it. SHe flung the door open and crossed into the hallway on the second floor. She looked out over the throne room below. The secret passage entrance had remained intact. She threw her head side to side. The hallway was empty. She heard her heartbeat resonate in her eyes. Sweat perspiration through her body. Her heartbeat reached her finger tips. She had figured it out. She had figured it fu- 

The familiar tapping of boots echoed from the open passage. They were slow, even meticulous. Evelyn could make out the figure’s silhouette in the darkness, but she had no doubt who it was. The first thing to cross the threshold were a pair of brown leather boots, followed by her pants, and then a head of fiery red hair that was pulled into a bun that looked like she set a bonfire atop her cranium. She was dirtier than the last time Evelyn had seen her. Probably came from falling down the shaft and rolling in the dirt. It didn’t change the fact she was the killer. 

Evelyn had to think fast. She had to stop her from getting away. “I know what you did!” was the first thing she could think of, and had said. Claudia looked up at her. Dirt was smudge on her pale skin. Evelyn looked around. There was a railing separating herself from the floor. Beyond that was a pillar. It was too large to wrap her full body around, but it would do. She tucked the arrow into the back of her belt. She ran, leapt onto the railing, then gave a second leap onto the pillar. She stretched her legs out, letting the soles of her boots drag down the pillar, slowing her descent. Her feet touched the edges of the pillar. She jumped away from the pillar. She hid her left hand from Claudia’s sight and used that cover to grab the handle of her knife and pull it up to hide it. She took a step closer to Claudia.

“What are you talking about? What was all the flippin and sliding you’re doing?” Claudia pointed her finger at the pillar. 

“I’m talking about how I know what you did?”

“Try to save you?” Claudia asked. Her voice was flexing and changing. 

“Save me!” Evelyn got closer to her. “What you did is not saving me!”

“I really don’t follow.” Her eyebrows wiggled about on her head.

Evelyn dug into her back and pulled out the arrow. “This! I found a whole lot of these in that secret passage!” She waved the charred arrow in Claudia’s face. Claudia’s eyebrow rose. Evelyn couldn’t tell if she had gone white though.

“That’s not mine,” Claudia said. Hey eyes narrowed on the arrow. 

“Sure.” Evelyn lowered the arrow. “Just like how your magic arrows magically mean you couldn’t have killed Raisor!”

“Killed Raisor? You think I did it?” Claudia pointed to herself. “I didn’t kill him!”

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