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  • Home > Anne Bishop > Black Jewels > Tangled Webs (Chapter 48)      Page
  • Tangled Webs(Black Jewels,Book 6)(48) by Anne Bishop
  • A hesitation. Just long enough to tell her he was picturing the possibility—and enjoying it.

    Since that cheered her up, she waited while Rainier used Craft to light two of the oil lamps in the room.

    Somewhere in the house, a gong sounded twice.

    Rainier held one lamp while she opened the paper.

    THERE ARE THIRTY EXITS FROM THESPOOKYHOUSE, BUT YOU WILL NEED TO LOOK CAREFULLY TO FIND THEM, FOR THEY ARE WRAPPED IN DANGER.EVERY TIMECRAFT IS USED, AN EXIT IS SEALED, AND THAT WAY OUT IS LOST.WHEN THE LAST EXIT IS SEALED, YOU WILL BECOME PART OF THE HOUSE—AND STAY WITH US FOREVER.

    “What in the name of Hell…?” Rainier said, following Surreal as she moved away from the children.

    “The gong,” she whispered once they were standing near the door. “It sounded twice when you created the tongues of witchfire and lit the lamps. I heard it when I made the witchlight.” Which was still floating in the hallway.

    “When I checked the time, I called in and vanished the pocket watch,” Rainier whispered back.

    “So that’s five times we’ve used Craft since we went through that gate in the fence.”

    “Five times that we remember.”

    He had a point. The Blood—especially darker-Jeweled Blood—were so accustomed to using Craft as a way to siphon off the power that flowed within them, they weren’t even aware of using it half the time.

    “The gong must be a signal that Craft was used,” Surreal said, glancing at the children to make sure she and Rainier were still out of hearing.

    “Or a signal that one of those exits closed because Craft was used.” Then Rainier added on a psychic thread, "But communicating like this doesn’t appear to trigger…whatever this is."

    They waited, but no gong sounded.

    She read the note again and considered the implications.

    "Rainier…I couldn’t have been the only one to receive an invitation."

    "An invitation to a trap, from the looks of it."

    "Yeah." She gave him a moment to consider that. "The others haven’t shown up yet, and we don’t know how many invitations were sent."

    "Fair bet invitations were sent to Yaslana and Sadi. And the caretaker, or whoever he is, did say there were twelve visitors per tour."

    "Doesn’t mean twelve of us were expected." She studied the note. "Every time Craft is used, an exit is sealed, and there are thirty exits. That sounds like the total number of times Craft can be used between all of the Blood in the house. Which means the more Blood in this place, the less chance we have of finding a way out while there stillis a way out."

    "Agreed," Rainier said. "What are you suggesting?"

    She handed the note to him. "That we not play the game and try a direct approach for getting out of here."

    Returning to the hall, she opened the front door. Still had solid brick behind it. But brick was no match for a punch of Gray power.

    Turning inward, she made a fast descent in the abyss until she reached her inner web and the full power of her Gray Jewels. Then she turned and rose like an arrow of psychic power released from a bow.

    She raised her right hand, aiming it at the bricks framed by the doorway. The Gray Jewel in her ring flashed as she unleashed a punch of power that would blow out the whole damn wall.

    Or should have.

    She stared at the undamaged bricks. Then she heard an odd crackle. A sizzle.

    “Surreal!”

    No time to reply. Some kind of webbing suddenly wrapped around her head and torso. She couldn’t see it. Her fingers couldn’t feel it. But it felt like a web made out of lightning and wire that passed through her skin and tightened until it squeezed her lungs, closed her throat.

    Her heart thundered in her ears as she fought to breathe, fought to stay alive.

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire