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Written By: Arabella Wyatt
Published by: Devine Destinies
ISBN #:978-1-77111-698-5
Word Count:28984
Page Count: 155
Heat Level:
Categories: Fantasy Young Adult
Price: $4.99
Available in: Adobe Acrobat, Palm DOC/iSolo, Microsoft Reader, Hiebook, HTML, Mobipocket, Rocket, Epub, Sony PDF, Sony LRF

    Pandora Laskaris moved along the darkened tunnel. She didn’t know where she was, nor did she have any memory of how she got there. All she knew was that she had to keep walking, one foot after the other, through the darkness, which was illuminated every ten yards or so by blazing torches set in the wall.

    Pandora looked at the walls as she passed the flickering flames. They were made of enormous blocks of solid stone. The roof and floor were the same. Thousands of blocks, huge and heavy, deadening the senses. She continued to walk, turning randomly down side tunnels which looked no different from the one she had started in. How could anyone find their way in this labyrinth?

    She reached another junction where an unexpected stench of damp fur and body heat washed over her. There was something close by, something animal, something big if the odour was any indication. Pandora wasn’t sure she wanted to find out, but she was unable to stop walking. She looked down at her legs, wondering why they kept moving, and was surprised to see she was wearing some sort of skirt. She hardly ever wore a skirt.

    A closer inspection at the next guttering flame revealed she was dressed in a toga, of the sort usually seen in films set in ancient Rome. Pandora rubbed a hand over her brow and found she had a garland of flowers in her hair. She was so surprised she forgot about the animal smell, which meant the shock was all the stronger as she turned another corner and something reared up in front of her.

    Time slowed as the creature turned, holding something in its hands.

    Pandora realised in horror it was a bloodied skull. She tried to scream, but her throat restricted in terror as she took in every detail in front of her.

    Saliva stretched from the skull to the mouth of the creature. Huge tusks, smeared with blood, leered over the black lips. The creature discarded the skull in favour of the fresh meat which had walked so willingly into its den.

    Pandora, frozen in dread, saw the shaggy hair around the protruding snout, the horns growing from the top of the head, the strong legs ending in hooves instead of feet. Behind it, a tail swished in the dark air. Pandora looked into the black eyes of the creature and saw the face of a huge, angry bull, yet a bull somehow mixed with human features. She now knew what it was and where she was. She was a sacrifice to the Minotaur.

    The Minotaur stepped forward, reaching out to its victim, but stopped as the flames illuminated Pandora’s face. It seemed both surprised and angry. Rearing upright, it bellowed in rage, its chest muscles heaving, arms outstretched, filling the passageway before lunging forward with incredible speed, grabbing Pandora and dragging her to within inches of its huge, slobbering jaws.

    The hot stench of raw meat and fresh blood washed over the terrified girl as the Minotaur growled, pushing saliva and splintered human bones around its mouth before speaking, shaking Pandora with every word.

    “Release me,” snarled the creature. “Release all of us. Open the box. Let us feast on the living and consume the bones of their children! Open the box!”

    A strange blue light appeared over the creature, pulsing with every word, growing brighter and brighter each time the monster spoke.

    “Open the box!” demanded the Minotaur again.

    The blue light flared, so bright it was almost white, and then blackness rushed in.

    Willowcombe Clatford. The perfect place to live. A village with standards. A village with morals. A village where everyone knows what is best for you...


    Fourteen year old Pandora Laskaris moves with her family to Willowcombe Clatford, an idyllic village full of friendly neighbours and upright citizens, where the children are always well behaved, there are never any disagreements, and crime doesn’t exist.

    Yet within this calm and beautiful place, Pandora comes to recognise that there is something wrong. What is happening behind the scenes at the village? Why do those who defy village opinion disappear? What part does Pandora’s traditionalist aunt, Mabel Whitemarsh, play in the sinister atmosphere that keeps the village quiet and obedient? And what is the link to the legendary Pandora’s Box of Greek mythology?

    Willowcombe Clatford. The perfect place to live. A village with standards. A village with morals. A village where everyone knows what is best for you...

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