The Disappearance of Winter's Daughter

The key was done.

Genny finished it more out of habit and a sense of accomplishment than anything else. She had no idea if it would work, and only a mild desire to test it. Curiosity was the only driving force now. Escaping felt almost counterproductive. Better to be killed and retain a thread of hope than live and discover the truth. In a choice between the murder of her body and a murder of her spirit, she suspected the former might be best. At least she wouldn’t be forced to suffer needlessly. Besides, if it worked, the key would only open the collar. The shackle around her throat was held fast by a warded padlock, but the door’s lock was a tumbler, and she didn’t know anything about those.

She rubbed the key with her thumb. “You did a good job, old girl,” she said aloud, and she wasn’t just referring to the key.

She was alone again. Mercator and Villar were both

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