“I have to go,” Zanna said as she squeezed the old woman’s hand. “Thank you,” she said. Then she ran alongside the line, dodging the listless creatures queued for their judgments. She ran, her arms wrapped around her, holding her blue shawl close. The wind pushed her hair into her eyes making it hard for her to see. She quickly lost sight of the man’s black cape, and she slowed her pace to look for him amongst the lines. Instead she found herself face to face with a lovely girl with green skin and glowing silver eyes.
“Why are you running?” she asked Zanna in a surprisingly deep voice. “What are you after?”
“The caped man. I thought I saw him come this way,” Zanna answered, moving closer to the girl and joining her line. “Did you see him just now?” she whispered, not wanting anyone to overhear her.
“No, but I heard him nearby,” the green-faced girl answered. She was very young, Zanna noticed, much younger than she was. Her hair was a few shades greener than her face, and was tied back in an elaborate braid.
“Who is he?” Zanna whispered.
The girl looked surprised. “Mikelo, you mean?”
“Is that his name? The caped man?” Zanna answered urgently. She could feel the girl closing off, getting nervous.
“Yes, that’s him,” she took a step back and looked anxiously ahead at the row of priestesses in the distance. Her turn was still a long way off.
“It’s okay,” Zanna said. “I’m new here,” she tried to smile, looking into the girl’s amazing silver eyes, but the girl was fixed on the priestesses. It wasn’t working, the silver-eyed girl was lost. “Thanks,” Zanna murmured, and darted off up the line.
She quickly found a gap in the lines and turned, wandering past a group of lanky boys with lizard eyes. She shot them a smile as she passed. Zanna kept going, hoping to catch sight of the black cloak, the tall man – Mikelo – who knew his way around this world. As the gap widened into a path, she picked up her pace, resuming her run. She knew she was attracting attention, but she didn’t care. The air was cold and fresh and it felt right to keep moving.
Find the rest here.