The last loud crack of the chisel on the ice echoed in the quiet room. In a short moment of panic, Coral glanced at David to see if he’d heard. No, he was still sleeping.
Pulling the chisel away from the wall, Coral stuck her head through the new hole, then her shoulder, soon followed my her other shoulder. Once she could stick her hands out in front of her, she pushed against the ice walls of the cube and managed to wriggle her way out of the hole.
Doing a silent victory dance, Coral tiptoed to the tall doors, and opening them a crack to see in anyone was there, she started for the long hallway of rooms, checking the doorknobs for the promised silver ribbon.
At last she came to the right door, and knocked as quietly as she could.
Arianna had been asleep, and she answered the door dressed in the shimmery night gown that showed she was a subject of the queen. When the sisters saw each other, their faces lit up, and Coral was quickly and enthusiastically herded into the room.
“You did it!” Arianna exclaimed in a whisper.
“Yes, thanks to you,” answered Coral. “So what do we do now?”
“Well, Isabella asked me to go with her to visit her brother, Aaron. I’ve agreed, and have already written to him, telling him of our plans–he will help us. I will hide you in a trunk–we’ll be staying a couple days, of course–and then hide you in my guest room. When it comes time to leave, I will tell Isabella that I resign from her service, and we will both stay with King Aaron as cooks, or housekeepers, or whatever.” Arianna sucked in a deep breath. “How does that sound?”
Coral was, frankly, stunned. Stunned that her little sister had come up with what was really a brilliant plan, and also because she’d actually had a crush on Aaron, back when everything was normal.
“Uh…good. Great plan. When do we leave?”
“Early tomorrow morning. But first…” Arianna pulled a life-size ice sculpture that looked exactly like Coral. Clothes had been painted on and hair and a face, also shoes. “Will it fit through the hole in the wall?”
“Yeah, I think,” Coral stuttered, eyes wide with awe. “But how did you make that?”
Arianna blushed. “Isabella has been teaching me ice magic, so I tried my best. It isn’t really that much like you, but the walls will distort it. And, you know I’ve always liked painting–”
The sound of footsteps interrupted them. “Hide!” Arianna whispered frantically.
“Anywhere, just hide!”
Coral jumped into the laundry basket and closed the lid, and Arianna jumped into bed, closing her eyes, and appearing to be asleep.
There was a knock at the door. When nobody answered, Isabella opened the door herself. “Come on, wake up, Arianna.” She nudged her with her finger and the girl stirred. “We have to make an early start, it seems.”
The Tellams – Part 6 coming soon.