“Byron was mad, bad, and dangerous to know,” Mae had said, as she searched the book shelves for secrets only she could uncover. She hadn’t been Mae at the time. She’d been one of hundreds of nameless, grimy orphans with gaps in their teeth. Only she knew the attic. She’d spent many hours scurrying among the book shelves.
It hadn’t been forbidden. Not to her. Not to Shelley or Byron either. All three of them could sing. Wards intended for the Goddess’s choir were allowed this. They could leaf through tattered books, with spines and covers barely clinging to them. Knowledge was dangerous, but sometimes it was necessary. Especially if you couldn’t think of a name. Many children didn’t want to brave the attic’s secrets, because the air was thick with dust. Only the two boys were willing to accept this girl’s invitation.