Bonus Chapter for YA Fantasy Novel Lady Janus’ Finishing & Reform School
"I am breaking! My bones.” Alice's eyes bulged. Words struggled to break free of her teeth. She would be still then thrash her head window to girls. Girls to window. Times of still and quiet. The boredom of watching the sick would settle. Girls would use hand signs and pantomime. Motioning to the door hands above heads, direct gaze, rigid parody of posture that could only be Lady Janus. Emphatic shakes of heads. Alice Would not suffer for no purpose. Just when mutiny was ready to break in the ranks when Darya for friendship or even to stamp through boredom had a hard on the door did Alice stand.
She was a wild thing, a halo of the elemental worn as a shroud. A bright frenzy as she threw things from her desk. Once clear she sat. Eyes foreword, the pulse in her neck stilled, fingers clawing and opening on the flat of the table. Darya placed the paper in front of Alice and placed the pencil in her hand. An atom atom wound. Alice's hand began in the upper left side of the paper and she began to draw. Detail and shadow. All of their lives frozen in one scene of the play. The stage, the paper, and all the palayers gathered around Alice wondering if She was the playwrite or the audience. There they were on paper as they were now, a crescent but in the drawing they orbitted Hypatia lying on the ground half covered by her dragon.
Darya, as always the first to crow for action, "She might be hurt. We should go." and they did. Why else should they be shown unless they were meant to test their courage. How could they doubt their role in this scene as anything but the hero? Asra stayed behind. Her life measured in geological time. Though young for her people she could see beyound. The room cleared and Asra looked at each girl. One was missing. She shook Alice's shoulder.
Alice turned searching Asra's eyes. Asra pointed to the drawing. Under the dragon's wing. Under Hypatia, there was a shadow. In that shadow a shape that could be a hand, could be a skull ring blinking diamond eyes shining out a beacon, a distress call, or a warning to the ships to stay away and keep from splintering on the rocks.
"The little necromancer. I did not see her." Alice stumbled from the chair eyes determined body weak.
"Run. Go help. I'll catch up."
Asra held Alice's waist gently coaxing her feet to the door." You need me more." Asare whispered into the snarl of Alice's hair. She did not elaborate what she suspected, what she knew and could only keep her chin on Alice's head to keep her from looking'. up and seeing what was true in Asra's eyes.