Songbird Trilogy Book 1: The Maze Girl (complete)
Author: Julia R. West

Chapter 6
Dmitria's Letter

"Oaths are but words, and words but wind."

~Samuel Butler


If not for the seatbelt, I am thinking about running away, but now that we're taking off, I don't think it's a good idea. So I begin to yell things at him. "You never told me! You lied to me and you kept this a secret!" I shout. It feels good, but terrible at the same time. Like something I am sure to regret, but I do it anyways. My head is spinning. He never told me. Why? To protect me? To keep the truth from himself? I don't know why, but all I know is that I want to hurt him.

"Calm down!" Is all he says. But then he adds in, "I'm sorry." And he doesn't say a word. Teryn looks worried. I can't tell if it is because she doesn't want to be here with Rory (or, of course, me.) or if it is because she knows I am such good friends with him.

Probably the latter, because I don't think she's said more than a few sentences to Rory in the past year, I'm almost sure of it. But she knows us. To so many people, we are adressed as one. A package deal, but we're not. We're friends, and we fight, like right now.

"I'm sorry," he eventually repeats.

I nod and look him in the eye. "Me, too."

He smiles, but all traces of it are gone within a few seconds. Teryn looks at me sympathetically. Soren stares at his shoes. Maybe he doesn't like yelling. Rory is trying to look very engrossed in fixing his hair, which I know is nothing like him, but he's still doing a good job not paying attention to me.

Finally, after what seemed like an excruciating eternity, the announcement comes. "We have successfully reached our cruising altitude. You are free to move around the plane."

I unbuckle my seatbelt as soon as she is finished, as do the other three. Soren disappears down the purple hallway; Teryn down the scarlet one, and I down the navy blue. Only then do I realize Rory is following me. "Seventeen," he says.

"Thirteen." He smiles when I tell him. Maybe he asked to be in the same hallway as me. Could you even do that? I don't know, so I try to think positively and decide that he did.

I watch him pass as I close my navy blue door with the number thirteen. I wait a few seconds and hear the door--which I am sure is seventeen--click closed from down the hall.

Everything in the room follows a color scheme: navy blue and gold. I'm betting anything that the scheme in every hallway matches the color on the initial curtain. The walls are a deep navy blue, the floor a mirror-like golden tile. It's almost eerie.

The bed sheets are the same color as the walls, with a swirly, intricate golden pattern on them. The two bedside tables are a very dark wood-cherry, maybe--and on them sit golden table lamps, dimly lit. Everything is ornate and spooky, like a haunted house from a movie.

A note sits on one of the end tables. I pick it up.


Dear Miss Rowe,

I sincerely hope you enojoy your room. Also enclosed in this envelope is the key to your room. You may wish to lock it when you leave, for precautionary reasons only, of course. I would like you to come and meet me in the Pilot's Quarters at 4:30 this afternoon, to talk over a few things. Take the silver hallway from the Waiting Room. I am happy to have you aboard.


Your Co-Pilot,

Dmitria Love


That must be the chirpy-voiced lady from over the intercom. She seems nice enough, I suppose. I just can't help wondering if this meeting is for me only, or for everyone? I decide to ask Rory if he got one, too. But later.

My suitcase is propped against the wall in the far corner of the room, next to a door that I'm assuming is either a bathroom or closet. I open it up to find a small closet, but I don't bother to put anything in there. I'm only here for one night, right?

I decide that there has to be a bathroom somewhere around, and I'd better know where it is soon. I exit and lock my door with the key that I found on the bedside table inside. The room at the very end of the hall on the wall parallel with the curtain has no number. I'm assuming that is the bathroom.

I walk down and open it. I was right. And it follows the same color scheme as the rest of the hallway. As I walk back to my room, I realize there are no windows in the rooms or the hallway. Perhaps no windows at all.

I hesitate before knocking on Rory's door. "Rory?"

"Yeah?" He opens the door.  He's smiling, but not much.

"Did umm...." I had to look at the letter again to remember her name, "Dmitira Love...invite you to meet her in the Pilot's Quarters today?"

He shook his head. "Why?"

"Because I got this letter..." I hand it to him.

"No, mine only talked about the key and how she hoped I enjoyed my room," he looked at the letter more closely. "This isn't Dmitria's handwriting. Or, I don't know which one is. This looks completely different than mine."

He goes inside his room. I follow him as he walks over to his bedside table. I feel a wave of deja vu as I step inside. His room looks remarkably similar to mine. He shows me the letter.

The words are the same:


Dear Mister Griffin,

I sincerely hope you enjoy your room. Also enclosed in this envelope is the key to your room. You may wish to lock it when you leave, for precautionary reasons only, of course. I am happy to have your aboard.


Your Co-Pilot,

Dmitria Love


But he's right. Dmitria did not invite him to meet her, and the handwriting was vastly different. "What do you think's going on?" He shrugs.

"I don't know, but it doesn't seem like a good thing."

"Go with me," I say.

He looks confused. "Go with me to meet her. Whatever happens, we can take it together."

He hesitates, but eventually agrees. Good. "Can I see your key?" I ask him.

He picks it up. "Sure, why?"

"I'm going to try something. Follow me." I walk to my room, which is locked, and jab his key into the lock. It clicks and unlocks. "All keys unlock all doors," I say under my breath.

Rory curses. "None of this makes any sense." My thoughts exactly.


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