Sorry it’s late! Easter got in the way and I was too busy devouring eggs. If you wish to read chapter 7, click here.
A hand grabbed me just in time. I tried not to look down. I hadn’t realised that the castle was built on a rock surrounded by nothing. I couldn’t help myself and looked down for a single moment. A thick mist arose from the darkness and I tried my best not to throw up.
“Just let her go. You know her Majesty doesn’t like intruders,” a female voice spoke from above me. I looked up and tried to see who said it, but I couldn’t quite see. I made a mental note to insult her as best as I could, the moment I set foot on solid ground again.
“Her Majesty has invited this girl to come to the castle. I am sure she is not going to appreciate you murdering her guests,” Stranger bit back.
His eyes found mine. “I’m going to pull you up now, okay? Are you ready?”
I nodded and before I realised it, he pulled and I flew back over the edge and landed on the ground. My attempts to get up were in vain, as my legs were shaking too much to hold me. The girl who had spoken before laughed at this and I had to try my best not to push her over the edge myself.
“Do you think this is funny?” I snapped at her.
The girl was surprised for a moment but then started laughing again. Her skin was even paler than Stranger’s. Her hair was short and blue and her lips painted a bright pink. She wore colourful clothes that did not match the gloomy surroundings. She wasn’t particularly beautiful, but there was something intriguing about her.
“Why, yes. I did enjoy that to be honest,” she said, taunting me with her grin.
“Okay ladies, be nice to each other. Holly, this is Cloud. Cloud, this is Holly,” Stranger said.
She waved at me but I did not return the favour. “Stranger. Cloud. Is there nobody here with a normal name? Like Bob or Suzy?” I asked.
Stranger grimaced but Cloud just started laughing. “We all had normal names, just like you. But when you come here, you can’t keep living the lie of your first life. You change and so does your name.”
I wanted to keep arguing with her. There was something about her that angered me. But Stranger took my arm and pulled me up towards the castle.
“We’re already late,” he explained.
I decided to drop the issue. For now.
We walked the steps with Cloud in tow. When we reached the entrance, the large black doors opened without any help. Stranger led me through a dark corridor to another door.
“Are you ready?” he asked.
He looked slightly concerned and I wasn’t sure if I had to be too. I just nodded. Ready or not, I was going to have to go through this anyway.
Stranger pushed the door open and we stepped into the most beautiful hall I had ever seen. Bright lights illuminated the walls and a large chandelier shone upon the black floor. All the way in the back, a group of people stood together. They did not turn around as we entered. Instead, they all faced an empty black throne, decorated with black skulls. I held my breath as I was led towards the throne myself.
“Good luck, normal-named girl,” Cloud whispered in my ear. She laughed again before she dashed off and disappeared into the crowd of people.
As we reached the group ourselves, they all stepped aside without as much as glancing at us. It’s like they knew I was here, but they did not wish to acknowledge it. My heart was pumping so fast that it made me dizzy. I had to remind myself not to throw up here either.
Stranger stopped me right in front of the throne. He did glance at me one more time. I assumed to reassure me, although that was a mission impossible.
A boy appeared from behind the throne. He must have been about seventeen. His skin was dark and his black hair long and wavy. He cleared his throat.
“Ladies and gentlemen. Please bow for our Mistress Death.”