there was a spinning wheel a stool and a little fire bent round the corner out of immediate line of sight someone had been here that was certain the wheel was strung for weaving and a little kettle hung above the flames

hello she ventured

no reply

im tela i was sent they said that i should come down here and ask you ask you what about me the city my father the futility of her errand began to impress itself up on her sighing she sat down on the stool and began to look around her

it was really quite a cosy little room or alcove she supposed less goddess like than governess and yet those reaching shadows would worry her the cave clearly continued and who knew what might come shambling out of it

in fact staring into one of the corners it was as if she saw an outline within the dark black within black like a heap of rags a spidery form crouched there she rubbed her eyes with the back of her hand was it all imagination

she stood and walked nearer certainly there was something there she couldnt be sure what perhaps just old clothes out of sight out of mind

at that the dark on dark opened its eyes

they were blind eyes cave eyes white corneas around a clouded iris sightless as marbles yet they stared in her direction at the scuffle of her naked feet on the cave floor

tela fell to her knees and waited for an answer

well what did she say

it was difficult at first to adjust to the abrupt passage from dark to light from cold to late afternoon sunshine shed been gone most of a day it seemed from what they said the girls clustering around her as she stumbled out of the cave her feet and hands were streaked with blood from the numerous falls and bashes shed suffered on her way back up from below

now she sat quiet and still with a blanket wrapped around her and sabras hand holding hers fast

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