Day 12: The Caged Path

The pathway to the priestess’s tower was almost as lush as the flanking gardens. No one’s feet had disturbed it for quite some time. Vines and creepers spilled tiny blossoms before Umi’s boots. When was the last time anyone had gone in or out?

Sunfruits, snowfruits, and moonfruits passed on either side of him, all growing out of season at once. Trees tickled the top of Umi’s head with the weight of their bursting leaves. It was like something he might have seen dragging his regiment through the desert—a mirage shaped by a dream. The life here was boisterous, but Umi had never been anywhere eerier.

At first, Umi couldn’t place why. But as the tumbling bushes hemmed him in tighter and tighter along the path, the gate began to appear. Bars and spires had been swallowed completely by vegetation and ivy. But like a black skeleton, Umi could to pick out metal vertebra surrounding the tower’s perimeter. If the priestess wanted to go anywhere other than the gardens, she would have to take this passage to Yasha’s tower. The gate encircled everything else.

Umi eyed the tower door as he approached it. The lock glinted on the outside. He hadn’t thought Yasha the type to be so controlling of his women.

But if not a woman, then what exactly did he keep here?

-The Stars Went Out

Camp Nano marches boldly on. I’m ahead of my word count by about 3,000, but that’s for 50,000. I still don’t know what length I’m aiming for with “Stars.” Possibly 100,000? That would be about half the length of “Lost and Found,” and mean I might have another Nano go at it in the future. We’ll see by the end of the month, I suppose. Keep on keeping on!

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