[Prompt from http://daily-writing.blogspot.com/. Characters and story from a novel idea: Woodbloom, the first book in the Under the Rose series.]
The place he took me to was literally a hole in a wall behind one of the lower-quality market stands. Through the tears I was still fighting, I saw that strips of fabric had been sewn together to form a make-shift covering of the hole. As we approached, I noticed that the fabric trembled as if moved by a breeze only the air was calm.
At the opening of the cave was a crudely carved sigil; a spiked hand closing around a dagger. I involuntarily glanced at Journey’s left forearm. My suspicions were correct, his tattoo was of the same design, if more intricate in detail than the carving on the stone.
I made a move to pull back the flab but was stopped by Journey’s arm across my stomach.
He pushed me behind him.
“I ask for shelter from those who wish to capture my spirit and frown upon the necessity of my actions,” he intoned solemnly.
I had never before heard his voice take on such a grave quality.
He then reached forward and pulled the fabric aside. Immediately inside the cavern stood two men, daggers poised for action. They nodded towards us as they lowered their daggers.
Journey’s hand was on my lower back, pushing me gently forward into a long, dark corridor. I wanted to tell him that the last thing I ever wanted to do was go into a Thieves Hole without any other Seeker.
But I was just too tired to do anything beyond ask, “What are we doing here?”
He have a dark laugh behind me. “You said you wanted to go someplace safe. Contrary to what you Seekers believe, there’s no safer place in a city than this. We have honor amongst ourselves, you know.”
“Why now?” I whispered. There was light at the end of the corridor. The narrow entranceway had opened into a surprisingly large room decorated in the brightest of colors. There were so many people gathered there, some that looked the part but many that I would never have guessed would be involved. “I’m still a Seeker.”
I turned to find Journey staring down at me, his eyes crinkling at the corners as he gave me one of his rare soft smiles.
“I’ve seen your world these past few weeks,” he said, just as quietly as when I spoke. “I thought it time you truly see mine.”