Welcome to Olympus, where the Muses of Greek Mythology are charged with the responsibility of discovering, inspiring, and guiding the young incarnations of legends past until they once again take the form of greatness.
Embark on an enchanting journey through Architects of Illusion (Echoes of Olympus, #1), a YA fantasy novel series inspired by my backyard neighbors, Biltmore Estate, in honor of George Vanderbilt‘s extraordinary legacy.
IT FELT as if my arms would drop off my body at any moment. I took one look at the massive stone staircase and shook my head. “No. No way am I carrying these up those stairs.” The stack of leather bound books weighed about a thousand pounds, their breath stale with the dust of dead languages.
Tari’s brow wrinkled, her sea-green eyes darting between the daunting trek ahead and a small door hidden in the shadows. She shifted her arms around the half dozen books weighing her down, puffing at the inky ringlets dangling in her face. “We could take the elevator.”
“There’s an elevator?” I looked pointedly at her. “And why haven’t you shared this information before now?” I cocked my head. “Do you know how many times I could’ve been on time for class, had you shared this valuable shortcut?”
Tari bit back a grin. “It’s not exactly a shortcut.”
I blew out an exasperated sigh and trudged towards the door. “I’m willing to embrace the path of least resistance.”
The door beckoned, its frame split between oak paneling and ornate wrought iron swirls embedded in leaded glass. The door slid open on its own, revealing a cozy honeyed floor, gleaming brass lamps and intricate windows of metalwork.
I scooted aside to allow room for Tari, who was shaking her head. “What?” I asked, thinking things were finally looking up.
The door eased shut with the sound of pulleys and gears working to lift the cage. I caught a movement through the glass. Something small was swinging from a tail, like a creepy pendulum. “Is that…a chimp?” I asked, my eyes tracking its swaying limbs.
Tari nodded her head without looking at the upside down face sticking its tongue out. “Yup. That would be Otis. He maintains the cables.”
“A marble monkey maintains the cables?” I looked up at the shaking ceiling. “Oddly, that makes sense. Primates love heights.”
Another sound filled the shaft, akin to the tinkering tones of toy instruments.
“Oh, he’s playing elevator music. Excellent,” I looked over at Tari, her eyes watering with barely suppressed joy at my expense. “This is going to take awhile, isn’t it?”
© 2014 Samantha Redstreake Geary
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