About the Book
Kaliel watched the little girl in the silvery night dress skip along the frozen tundra. Her bare feet kicked up a layer of frost, leaving a trail of black footprints across the land. She was laughing and singing a song at the top of her lungs. Sounds twisted into the sky as Kaliel drifted along behind her, a cascade of black hair dropping to her ankles. It shimmied this way and that, strands sweeping along the ground, writing faint lines in the tundra.
The girl stopped short, a hand placed on her brow as though she was trying to see far into the distance. Kaliel followed her view and her stomach lurched, smoke twisting into the sky. The little girl smiled gleefully and her song continued. Kaliel caught the words.
Everything is burning
Everything is burning,
Fire and brimstone,
Ash and smoke,
The Horsemen leave nothing,
Alive when they go.
She began skipping again but Kaliel stopped following. She was paralyzed, a lump in her throat, tremors lacing through her body. The Horsemen were burning everything, everything was burning. Krishani was burning. She squeezed her eyes shut and caught a single glimpse of his brown and golden eye, his face covered in flames. She opened her eyes, still surrounded by the never-ending stretch of tundra–short bushes, frost on the ground, horizon far in the distance, the sun creating an orange line of the sky, the rest of it cast in deep gray clouds. She felt claustrophobic; the big space making her feel like the land was compressing her into a tiny ball. The little girl glanced over her shoulder, her white face inviting.
“Come on,” she said, waving a hand in the air as she continued skipping.
Kaliel let out a breath and felt herself float forward. She wanted to escape but she couldn’t wake up. She struggled against herself but nothing happened. This was like the sandstorm, the same little girl who called herself Morgana, the little girl who brought the Horsemen.
She was the reason they were burning everything.
Morgana stopped. “You don’t want to miss the deaths,” she called, her voice ringing out like wind chimes. Kaliel recoiled from the sound, holding her hands to her ears. “Even the roads run red with blood.”
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