Sunday, November 29, 2015

The King's Challenge #120

TKC 120

As I head forward, the lantern serves to animate other light sources, from amazing chandeliers overhead to twirling orbs at floor level. Clearly the lantern is a device and, while I am uncomfortable carrying a magical object, I hold on. I prefer the light to darkness, here.

After a time I realise I am in a circular space. The base of the Spire? Other than the imposing doors I entered through, I see no other means of egress. If this is the beginning of a narrowing tower into the clouds of Arc, how then do I ascend? Where is the exit leading to stairs?

Wandering, I note various friezes along the perimeter. All are of hands. A fist, a finger, splayed, waving, pointing. At first the purpose escapes me and then I understand the hands are captured in sorcery’s poses. A sombre sensation overcomes me. If someone adds a rendition of one of my hand’s here, will it reveal how it glows?

Exhausted, I sit on the ebony floor. I am stymied. Here there are no guides and my human eyes do not see how to continue. Ah. Understanding blossoms. I must use the other kind of sight.

Withdrawing my water from my pack, I think about it. Nothing in this place follows the usual rules; therefore I need to act outside of what is considered normal. Sipping, I sit in silence, keeping my eyes open. This is respite. I need to gather my wits before I employ the other sight.

Eventually the inactivity frustrates me. I stand, shove my water into its recess … and close my eyes.

Instantly a spiral stairway appears in the centre of the space. It appears made of cobwebs and I shudder. It vanishes into darkness above.

I set foot to this spidery device, clutching the lantern, my eyes closed. Feeling solidity underfoot, my eyes snap open. The cobwebs seen behind eyelids transform into bannisters and steps of real white stone.

I climb.

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