The night was not dark or stormy. If it had been, perhaps they would have been more careful. As it was, the three of them stumbled right into the hole and fell.
The eldest’s lantern broke, the middle’s extinguished, but the youngest’s light still shone. Mainly because she broke its fall by bashing her own head against the ground. The world swayed around her.
“Are you all right?” the middle sibling asked. He brushed his hands over her hair, coming away with blood. He grimaced.
“Take her light,” the eldest instructed. He did so. She wanted to protest, but her tongue stuck to the roof of her mouth.
Her eldest sibling picked her up. Cradled in their arms, she felt all arguments fall from her mind, replaced by a new sense of clarity.
“Can we climb back up?”
“Not like this. We search for another way.”
It’s just a hole, she wanted to say. But as she felt them walk, continue to walk away, she realized it couldn’t be a mere hole in the ground.
They had found the entrance to the Vault.