Yuva was actually not nowhere to be found. She was actually off in a far corner of the room, guarded by the fairies and Bin. Ruby Lawks huddled next to them, thankful to be out of the way.

“Why couldn’t you just stay at the Circle?” Yuva asked.

“Pipe down!” Nutrose hissed. “Those golems might not be able to see us, but I don’t know if they can’t hear us.”

Bin, Yuva and Ruby looked at each other. They looked back at the fairies, confused.

“And just why can’t they see us?” Ruby asked.

“Because I’m bending the light around us,” Goldmight muttered. “And if you keep moving around, there’s not a thing I can do about it.”

He looked at the three behind him, then back to the room, and nodded. “We need to figure out how to get that door open, or none of us are leaving here alive.”

Ruby whimpered. “We’re going to die.”

“Hey!” Goldmight looked at the Hoppi, and pointed a finger. “Everyone else is out there, trying to survive. If we can’t figure this out, you’re letting them die for you.”

His gaze softened. When he spoke again, it was earnest and kind. “I believe you can do it, Ruby. You and Yuva are two of the smartest people I know. If you put your heads together, there’s nothing you cannot do.”

The elf and Hoppi looked at each other. Them? Figure out a trap that none had in centuries?

“You are our one hope,” Nutrose said. He moved away, towards the fight. “I’m going to help give the others cover.” The fairy disappeared in a haze of darkness, and someone cried out nearby.

Yuva closed her eyes. She couldn’t think, she could barely breathe. She took a deep breath, and tried to block out the noise. Block out the sound of sword clashing against magic. Remove the chants, and the panting footsteps. The clank of the golems. All that was left was the beat of the lights.

Yuva frowned. Lights shouldn’t be beating so…rhythmically. Thrum thrum thrum. Thrum thrum thrum. It was a pulsation that almost felt like…

“It’s a waltz,” She said. she looked at Ruby, and smiled. “This entire room is supposed to be a dance.”

The Hoppi looked at the golems with new eyes. Sure enough, their pattern of movement seemed almost…melodic. Step, bow, strike. Move left, swing step. Their lumbering movements disguised the rhythm.

“Suffrn was a recluse,” Goldmight protested. “He would never even leave the front door.”

“And those are the ones that look at society with the most longing,” Ruby muttered. She glanced down at Yuva’s lute. “Can you?”

Yuva nodded.

Ruby grimaced. “There’s just one problem,” she looked at Goldmight. “You’re…way too short to be a dance partner.”

“Can’t you just waltz alone?” he asked.

“Commit such a sin, to a dancing spell?” Yuva asked. “Do you want this done or not?”

“Well, the Archiwrecks aren’t exactly the best dance partners,” Goldmight muttered. “And everyone else is busy.”

Ruby sighed. She laid a hand out, and placed it on Bin’s shoulder.

“Bin?” She asked.

“May I have this dance?”

copyright 2018 Jack Holder

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