How nice of Them to let her be imprisoned on the rock she already calls home. Okay, They called it being exiled, but she may as well be locked up in a small room. Trapped on a rock floating in metaphysical outer space is actually worse. There’s nobody to talk to, nowhere to go, not even some version of cable TV.
She has managed to keep her dragon collection, so that’s something. They wanted her to release those who were “taken by force”, but it turned out she was made of sterner stuff than Them.
“You must release them. They must go to an appropriate place.”
“Don’t you understand, Child? You’ve made changelings out of these people. It’s worse than damnation!”
Being called Child pushes her over the edge. She concentrates, and They are banished from her rock, thus beginning her eternity of solitude.
She is on her way back from visiting the dragon collection(it’s never in the open in case They stop by for a surprise visit) when she finds it—a ginormous door set in the rock. If she could open it, the door would open upward, leaving a hole one could jump through or climb into if there’s a ladder, and who’s to say that’s out of the question? But she can’t open it. There’s a handle made from some kind of metal and pulling it does no good. Damn thing’s locked up tight.
She sits. She thinks about the door. She becomes angry with the door. It figures They’d exile her, then put a door in to make her think she can go somewhere, but then it doesn’t open. Next thing, she huffs, they’ll be sending visitors to stay the night and leave when she starts getting attached.
More from frustration than because she expects results, she lies down. Her ear just happens to be against the door. This is what she hears:
“What is this?”
“It’s the key to the door that keeps all the night things locked away.”
“I don’t want it.”
“But you’ve got it. It’s yours to look after.”
Typical of the world. Give a child a key to a door to literally nowhere and tell him he’s responsible for it. As if that’s not enough, you tell him monsters are behind the door so he’ll never open it.
She is disgusted. She is also intrigued.
I have time. I can figure out how to get the door open. Or maybe I can get him to open the door. I have plenty of time.
She goes to work. At some point during the work, she decides nowhere is as good a name for this place as any.