Pitch: Ben’s abducted into a secret society of kids run by the roll of a dice. He’s expected to save his homeland and fiancée, by his insane leader Fortune, from ruthless thieves and his leader’s mind.
It was summer. It should not have been snowing.
Ben watched the storm blow past the window in front of his face. The cold numbed his hands and vaporized his breath on the clouding glass. People staggered away through the storm and into their homes to lock themselves in.
The last screams and echoes of chaos drifted around the city in the falling lace.
Ben shivered. The city of Yri was dead. All that was left was the grey streets and frosty banks piling up the sides of the houses. His heart pounded in his ears and chest.
Ben slid his freezing hands off the glass and slid against the wall, ducking away from sight. The world was pin-drop silent except for his struggling breath and the few movements his younger brother made beside him. The house felt like ice, but he was sweating, hot with anxiousness.
Something stirred upstairs. Ben’s heart jumped. He glanced at the ceiling and the sleeping latern swinging overhead. Upstairs, his mother and sisters were hiding out of sight and away from the door.
He looked at the front door. The lock was broken. Anyone who wanted to come in could.
If the servants of the Dark Carriage wanted to attack the Westside’s home, they would have no trouble abducting any of the children or young adults hidden inside.
Someone squeezed his arm. Ben jumped. He looked up to see Risha Newmun, the Baron’s daughter, huddling up between him and Liam.
“What are you doing?” Liam demanded in a hiss, his heavy voice shattering the silence.
“I want—I want to stay with you,” Risha told Ben.
As much as he wanted her to stay upstairs, he wasn’t going to argue. In fact, Ben was glad his fiancée wanted to be with him.
Facing death alone was harder then facing it with someone you loved.
He looked back out the window. Nothing moved out on the streets. All he could see was the cold corpse of the city spreading out for miles beyond his home.
The wind screamed through the cold, dead fireplace and creaked against the walls of the house. It was as if the gales carried the last cries of the Taken.
“There’s nothing,” he whispered, glancing back at Liam and Risha.
Risha shivered against his arm.
“May—Maybe--“ Liam stammered.
Horse hooves echoed up the street.
Something squeaked outside.
Risha let out a hiccupped gasp, covering her mouth to stop the noise.
Ben’s head turned and he looked back out the window, sinking deeper onto the floor.
A dark carriage wheel rolled in front of Ben’s nose. Only the thin glass between was between it and him. It came to a halt.
His stomach turned in fear. Ben held his breath.
They all sat in the still silence, listening to the snowfall on their house and cave them in, holding their breaths.
Ben looked outside again and the dark wheel just outside it. No one was there.
A knock pounded once on the door.