Between the Pages

In a magical world, Between the Pages, lives Sebastian and his twin Edmond. That is, until Edmond decides to work against the Queen and disappears to join the Queens brother, and setting a curse over the country. Concerned for his brother (and the world), Sebastian sets of to search after him. But he needs help.

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25. XVI

“They’re closed.” Lina’s eyebrows furrowed. “Why are they closed?”

Sebastian looked at the huge wooden gates. “It doesn’t matter why. We just need a way to get over it.”

Lina swallowed and grabbed Sebastian’s arm before he had any chance to turn Belinda around to search another entrance.

“She closed them to stop us, didn’t she?”

Sebastian looked down and Lina was as confused as ever. “But why? I thought you said we didn’t matter enough?”

His jaw clenched and he looked again up at the closed gates. “That’s what I thought, but I can’t always be right, can I? I don’t know why, and honestly, I don’t care. If she has send soldiers or anything to spy on us or find us, we really should just get out and talk about motives later.”

Lina bit her tongue and stared blankly down.

Melinda turned after her partner and Nellie and Nate followed after.

There wasn’t any wall that limited the city, only trees growing so close that no animal would ever come past.

Sebastian stopped, leaving the rest of the donkeys stopping likewise. Lina was slowly growing annoyed with his mood swings. “So?”

“So,” Sebastian repeated. “We are going to open the gates.”

She looked at him, raising an eyebrow and shaking her head. “That’s your genious plan? It’s heavy!”

He bit his lip. “Well, it’s not locked so it’s worth a try.”

“Not locked? What the hell do they even have it for, then?”

Sebastian smirked. “Well it does look rather nice and official, don’t you think?”

She rolled her eyes. “And we all know how looks are the only thing mattering.”

He deliberately overheard her sarcasm and jumped down, running to the gates. Sebastian turned to Lina. “So, you are just going to leave me doing all the work?”

It’s not going to work anyway, she thought, but still got down to assist him. Couldn’t leave him alone to fulfil his stupid plan, now could she?

Sebastian started to heave at the left door and Lina joined in. She sighed.

“You know, they are going to notice the open gates.”

Sebastian didn’t answer, and she could feel the wood etching against her skin. Moments like these made her wish she had put more work into P.E.

The gate sang in creaks, but it didn’t budge.

“This could take a while.”

Lina smiled, but it didn’t keep long as the gate door felt like it was fighting against her grip.

The gates creaked again and Sebastian glanced at the donkeys that were left standing, aimlessly waiting.

After some time they had managed to pry it open about a hands length. As soon as they let go, it closed again.

Almost simultaneously their shoulders slumped and they exchanged a glance.

“This isn’t going to work.”

“We don’t stand a chance.”

Lina leaned against the gates. Sebastian paced back and forth and groaned.

“What the hell are we supposed to do now?”

“I’m thinking.” She rubbed her temples and closed her eyes. It was hard to focus when Sebastian fancied thinking out loud with the occasional groan.

“Do you think we can fit through there?” A bit further, a small hole had been made into the ground. Kids, probably. About 10 seconds later, both Lina and Sebastian were down in the dirt, grunting. She had to almost pull him through, at times afraid of breaking one of his limbs. When they were both up, they brushed off the dirt of their clothes.

Lina couldn’t help but look behind her as they left. Sebastian was turning left and then headed straight forward, the mountains rising in front of them.

Last time she had been this close to mountains was two years ago, at their vacation in Sweden. It had been cold and snowy then, but here the mountains were completely green, covered in forest.

Lina could feel the steady rhythm of the four legs under her. The grass was smooth enough, so it wasn’t too bad, but she was already fearing those bumpy rides when they would be going uphill.

Lina was surprised to see how fast a donkey could simply walk, she had always imagined them as rather slow creatures. But Sebastian was picking up the pace, obviously trying to put as much distance between them and the gates. None of them said anything, both had too much on their mind.

Lina thought of what her parent’s expression would be when she came home. Nothing, she thought. I won’t even have gone, not really.

 
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