Mara awoke to the sound of different bells.
On most other days of the year, there would be the clangour of the brass handbells as the monitors roved the hallways and wakened their charges for the morning meal. But, this day, there would be no morning meal, and instead of the brass handbells, it was the deep voices of the great iron bells in the high towers that woke her, pealing out over the whole of the great fane in the city of Gran Seray.
Mara turned over in the narrow bunk and pulled the bedclothes tighter around her, but it was no use; the bells were cheerfully and tunefully insistent; she must wake. She opened her eyes to see a pair of long legs dangling down in front of her, before her roommate Mea dropped down from the upper bunk.
"Come on." Mea merrily pulled Mara's blankets away.
"If I could sleep just another hour . . . " Mara groaned.
"Don't be silly," Mea answered. "You don't want to be late for your own execution!"
Opening: Steve Wright.....Continuation: Khazar-khum