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Backwards in Time | Forwards in Time

Title: Temptation
Abhorsen Trilogy

Characters: Lirael
Prompt: # 03 - Abstinence
Word Count: 650
She’d gone and done it again. She’d walked passed the door. And the temptation to enter was almost too much for her to bear.
All rights belong to Garth Nix and his publishers. I own nothing.

Author's Notes: No 3 in my 7 Heavenly Virtues Series.



She’d gone and done it again.

She’d walked passed the door. The door that looked so inviting, so tempting, so … exciting.

There was something about it that she loved, something she just couldn’t put her finger on. Her desire to peek beyond its rich oak front, her need to see passed the gleaming silver doorknob and the sparkling griffon-shaped knocker, her desperation to step over the threshold and expose its inner secrets to the world for the first time in eight centuries was so great that it was making her teeth itch.

Standing stock-still in front of it, her eyes locked unblinkingly onto a knot in the wood just above the knocker, she suppressed a shiver of excitement and tentatively reached a hand up to run her fingers smoothly down the panel. With a nervous glance in both directions, checking that the freezing stone corridor was, in fact, deserted, she took a step closer and let a tiny smile slide onto her lips as she pressed her hand against it.

The library was quieter than ever.

Another meeting involving the full Nine-Day Watch was underway, so nearly every Librarian had left to attend. Not remotely interested, Lirael had grabbed another stack of books and left the main entrance in a hurry, dashing through corridors and down spiral staircases towards where she’d thought was the correct section.

But unfortunately for her, she’d not been paying attention to where her feet were actually taking her, ending up instead in the corridor that appeared to have been calling out to her for weeks, now.

She always ended up being here by accident … but was it possible that destiny had actually played a part in introducing her to the immaculate doorway to an unknown realm?

She knew not.

All she did know was that she was sick of walking away from it, when the door quite obviously wanted her to enter it. So today was going to be the day.

… …

Or not.

No sooner had she gripped the handle, steeling herself to push it downwards, than a memory of the Stilken in the ‘Day and Night’ room penetrated her thoughts, accompanied by the fear clawing at her racing heart as she recalled the impossibly sharp talons stretching out through the wrought iron gate towards her.

Pulling back as though burned, she breathed in sharply and bit her lip, heart thumping wildly as she stared half-wistfully, half-terrified at the gleaming silver knocker.

This isn’t the same room,’ she tried to convince herself. ‘It’s a different door. It’s a different chamber. It’s a new adventure!

… …

But what if it wasn’t?

Blinking and tearing her eyes away, she shook her head forcefully and bent down to collect the books she’d deposited to the floor upon realising where she was. Determinedly avoiding glancing at the door again, she set off back down the corridor, her footsteps echoing around her as she grit her teeth and tried to ignore the sense of complete disappointment that was welling in her chest.

But just before she could be sure that she was completely out of sight of the doorway, she turned back one last time, stopping in her tracks and staring at it intently, a sense of hope flying her way from its direction – almost as though it could sense her desire to uncover its contents. It wanted her to enter … could she really ignore its cry? Could she really ignore her curiosity?

Yes,’ she told herself firmly, turning away and marching out of the corridor without a backwards glance. ‘You must have a tiny amount of abstinence hidden somewhere deep down, Lirael. It’s high time you learned to exercise it!

Letting the gateway to the stone corridor swing shut of its own accord behind her, Lirael never heard the little broken whimper of sadness emerge from beyond the strangely inviting oak door.


7 Heavenly Virtues Table

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