Of all the luck. Mirella’s wails had attracted attention. Fine, he didn’t have to go out the great doors, though he’d wanted this act of defiance.
Quinn knew of another way. Down, down. In the bowels of the castle, at the end of a long hall was the last cell, and after that cell was a turn. That was his way out. All he had to do now was wait until the Red Robes came for Mirella.
Quinn hid behind a tapestry and watched as one red snake, then another appeared. Their voices were clearly audible — and exasperated. The more they tried to quiet her, the louder she wailed. It had to do with the Hunter. She was in love with him, and where was he now? Hearing this confession, their expressions of disgust turned to complacency. They could handle a lovesick girl.
Or so they thought.
The more they tried to console her, the louder she got. Then the words came, a torrent of accusations. Not all were understandable but Quinn heard torture and false imprisonment and defiance of the High King, and what might have been a reference to Lady Bresca’s snoring. A third Sacred Servant surrounded her. She gave a high squeal of “One hand on me and I’ll tell the Queen!”
Strout, in his rush to quiet her, made a mad rush toward the group, knocking a blazing scone off the wall.
Amidst the confusion, Quinn made his escape. Down a hall, then down a narrow one and into a curve of stairs. The stairs led to the dungeons.
He was going down the stairs at a breakneck speed, but he was nimble. If all went well, he’d cross the lake that served as a moat on the Castle’s east side before the storm started. He had a boat. It wasn’t his boat, exactly, but one he’d found near the water’s edge on the days when he’d mucked all that needed to be mucked and brushed the horses until their coats gleamed, and the stable master had told him to go explore.
He’d explored everywhere and found his favorite spot by the lake under a large, gnarly willow. It was on his third visit that he’d noticed the boat, hidden roughly four feet out in the reeds. It had once belonged to someone for bits and pieces of lettering were still on it, though indistinguishable. Only one oar was inside, but he’d found wood behind the stable, and fashioned another.
He stolen pitch from the back room of the stable and repaired the bottom and growing even bolder, had flinched a bottle of paint from the scribe’s quarters. The Red Robes were always in the library, writing things up. Quiet as a mouse, he’d crept and made off with a bottle of vermilion and a brush.
He hadn’t thought long before he coming up with a new name for his refurbished craft.
With care, Quinn had painted Flight.