iii) Not very friendly

“Not very friendly,” says Fassn, kicking the dirt.

“We do owe her some money,” Shyan says.

“For my teeth,” he replies, smiling.

“Cang in castle,” Abia says.

Lightning cracks. The gang huddles under a tiny overhang outside the lighthouse. The castle is shrouded in black wisps. Shyan glimpses the occasional flash of unnatural purple light from one of its many windows. She says a single word, then sets out into the rain.

The castle’s gates are iron wrought, taller than a person. Shyan grabs a couple of the bars, gives them a preliminary shake. She steps back, sizes them up, then sets her feet and takes hold of two of the bars. She begins to pull.

Abia holds a length of her robes outstretched to keep the rain from pouring into Shyan’s face as she struggles with the bars.

Shyan’s blood boils as she strains. The creak of metal slowly giving is soon swallowed by another burst of thunder and lightning.

One of the bars begins to crack.

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