Chapter 8 Scene 3

by Richard Perkins
This entry is part 30 of 65 in the series Doormaker's Fall

By dawn, Tor and his followers stood at the lip of a small crevasse. It was dark and forbidding. Tor noted that each of the Hand displayed their edginess differently. What fears did they see in the shadows?

Surya eyed the dark opening with suspicion. She held her shardspear in a double hand grip.

Drez had unconsciously drawn his shardsling. He stood shifting its comfortable weight from hand to hand.

Meena had stood her shardspear upright in the sand at her side, leaving her hands free. They hovered ready at her thighs, where the hilts of several previously concealed blades were now exposed to the morning sun.

Jorgen seemed undisturbed to the casual observer. Tor could see differently. Though he continued to watch the surrounding desert, he would not turn his back to the lightless opening. His shoulders were loose, but held in the ready state of a seasoned veteran preparing for battle.

Stephen, however, displayed no signs of concern for their safety. He looked into the dark gap openly and dipped his head once, slowly. The face he showed to the shadows held no fear, but something more. Respect.

They were all sensitive to the malevolence of the Shadow Chamber. A good sign. Seeing Surya’s look of unease, Tor smiled to himself. “Relax Surya. There is no need for any of you to go inside.”

Stephen looked to Tor. Was there a trace of disappointment in his gaze? Excellent. He would be ready soon. Very soon. “Where I go now you may not follow. Wait here until I return.”

Without another word, Tor turned away from them. He walked to the lip of the crevasse. Without hesitation, he dropped down into the shadows.

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