It was now or never...so she took a deep breath and opened it.
The chest was empty. All that spying, sneaking, and stealing to finally hold the chest of the Last Druid in her grasp and the stupid thing was empty?
Rory glared at Molly, her tag-along little sister whose insatiable curiousity was only rivaled by her incessant talking.
"Be quiet, Molly."
"But what's inside? Rory, what's inside?" Molly's tone was edging from whine to temper and Molly in a temper tantrum would bring their nanny on the run and ruin everything.
"I don't know yet, Molly. It looks empty." Rory said and shook the chest gently to prove her point.
The sharp music of shattering glass echoed faintly from inside the chest and Rory set it down and peered inside.
"I heard something. Rory I heard something!" Molly bounced on her toes and peered over Rory's shoulder.
"So did I but it's still empty. See?" Rory slid her hand across the bottom of the chest and jerked it back as glass sliced into her skin.
The cut carved a jagged line across her index finger and blood bubbled to the surface.
"You got cut! Rory, you got cut!"
"Yeah, I noticed." Rory said and stared at the bottom of the chest. She couldn't see glass. She couldn't see anything.
"Do you want a bandaid?" Molly asked.
Her hand felt heavy, suddenly, and she rested her arm against the edge of the chest, dangling her hand across the empty space inside.
"Rory, do you want a bandaid?"
"I can't - what?" Something inside the chest pulled at her, heavier than gravity, numbing her fingers.
She heard Molly's voice as if her little sister was locked outside, yelling to her from beyond her bedroom window - faint and muffled, easily ignored. Blood from the cut slid slowly toward the edge of her finger and she had to grasp her wrist with her other hand to resist the pull from inside the chest.
"Nanny Kay! Nanny Kay!" Molly's voice faded to the edge of her mind and was silenced behind the sudden murmur of voices calling to her from the chest.
A single drop of blood gathered at the tip of her finger, beaded into a gleaming ruby ball and then hurtled toward the pewter floor of the chest.
Rory never saw it hit. The voices surged in volume, their murmurs becoming words in a language she couldn't understand as the floor of the chest opened into a silvery gray tunnel, like the shine of grandmother's favorite candelabra, and the stronger-than-gravity pull lifted her from her bedroom floor and sucked her headlong into a long stream of soft, chilling light.
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