“That’s a relief,” Al agreed and held up his eye piece followed by looking through it towards the castle. “I’m surprised there are no guards.”
He handed the eye piece to Elyse and she looked through it as well. Scoping out the entrance, she noted it mentally and closed the eyepiece. Handing it back to Al, she began the trek to the castle.
When the duo crossed the bridge and entered, everything was silent. Elyse took in the sights, looking at another courtyard this time with a fairy fountain instead of a unicorn one. Resisting the urge to shake her head, she walked up to the front doors of the castle, and with Al’s help pushed them open.
They walked into an antechamber and saw a red door with gold lining straight ahead of them. She shook her head this time and moved forward. Opening the door, which to her was strangely unlocked, there was a main room they entered. An old fashioned book complete with decorations was sitting open on a shiny blue pedestal.
“That’s an illuminated manuscript!” Elyse said.
“A what?” Al asked.
Elyse sighed. Before Al could take a step forward, Elyse quickly placed her arm in front of him. It was just in time, for a spike soared up in a matter of seconds, forcing Al to take two steps back.
“There’s no way, we can just grab the book,” Elyse said. “Besides I thought only human hands can touch it?”
“You’re right,” Al agreed.
“Do you still have those biscuits?” Elyse asked.
Al nodded and took out a satchel filled with biscuits. Taking two of the biscuits and weighing them in her hands, Elyse made her next move.
“Stand back,” she warned and threw a biscuit to the far-left side of the room. Bam! Part of the floor exploded and Elyse staggered a bit but regained her balance.
“We have to figure out the rest of the traps and avoid them,” Al said.
Elyse nodded but had no idea how aside from throwing rock hard biscuits at each tile. She looked at Al not knowing what to do next. Al randomly handed her a vellum sheet with markings. Taking the paper, she studied the symbols.
“Where’d you find this?” She asked.
“When you threw the biscuit I took it from that,” Al said and pointed at a corpse.
Elyse gulped and resisted the urge to scream. She looked at Al and back to the parchment.
“It looks like a map around the traps,” she said.
Studying the symbols for some minutes more, she looked at Al.
“Step exactly where I step. Don’t trip. Don’t sneeze. If you have to, don’t even breathe.” Elyse said.
Al nodded his assent once more. Using the parchment, Elyse and Al stepped on the correct floor tiles, and avoided the traps. Finally, she picked up the book but before they could sigh with relief, the floor tiles, descended leaving them on the tile with the pedestal.
Confused, Elyse looked around and saw a tall man with dark gray robes and a long gray beard. His eyes, a deep and piercing blue, caused Elyse to shiver. The man was floating in air and pointed a finger at Elyse.
“You don’t know what you’re messing with,” he said. “Return that book to where it belongs.”
Al withdrew his sword and let his light blue wings protrude from his back. He flew to meet the wizard in combat.
“Your fight is with me, wizard!” He screamed.
Elyse could not move. Holding the book close to her, she watched the fight take place. Al parried magic that was thrown at him with his sword. Some of the wizard’s magic got through and ripped his clothes but the fight went on. Elyse opened the book, looking for something, whatever she could use and realized she couldn’t make sense of any of it. As far as she could tell, it was in Latin, and she had never learned another language. Closing the book in frustration, she watched the fight.
To her, it looked like Al could win. He parried more magic and managed to get a few strokes in but nothing that would completely damage the wizard. Remembering the biscuit, she still had, she threw it with all her might at the wizard. It bounced off him and he looked at her and smirked, then continued to fight Al. One of the magic projectiles went through his wing. Al screamed and Elyse flinched. Right when Al’s back was turned, the wizard formed a magic sword of fire and impaled Al with it.
The wizard turned toward Elyse with an evil grin on his face. He pointed to the illuminated manuscript. Elyse hugged it to herself in defiance.
“Put that book back where it belongs little girl,” the wizard said.
“I’m not little. I’m twenty-five and you can’t have it!” Elyse screamed back.
“Have it your way,” the wizard replied and charged towards her.
She held up the book as a shield. The wizard dived past it and stabbed her with his magic red sword.
Fluorescent lights pierced through her eyes. Blinking back tears of pain from the sudden light, Elyse woke up attached to IVs. Standing next to her were her parents, who naturally, were arguing with each other. When they realized she was awake, her mother spoke first.
“This better be important Elyse,” she said. “I have important things to do and instead I’m here.”
Her father went next.
“You don’t call me, you avoid me, and now I find you here? What’s wrong with you?”
Had she the energy, Elyse would have rolled her eyes but instead remained silent and let her parents say those things to her. A nurse came in to talk to them.
“We have all your blood tests. Everything is normal. However, did you happen to be eating any chocolate recently, Elyse?” The nurse asked.
“Yes,” Elyse said, remembering the half a chocolate bar she had eaten.
“All chocolate has been recalled due to a new strain of what is generally known as molly. As far as we know, the new strain causes fantastic hallucinations and most have gone insane because of it. I’d advise you to stay away from chocolate for a while,” the nurse explained.
“Our daughter is a drug addict!” Her parents stated. “That explains everything!”
“Miss Elyse, would you like them escorted outside?” the nurse asked.
“Yes,” Elyse answered.
“We’re your parents, how dare you do this to us,” They shouted. “Don’t bother coming home.”
Elyse sighed as her parents were escorted from the premises. After a few minutes, the nurse came back in. He looked at the vitals on Elyse and stood there.
“Miss Elyse, we did find something else, but we wanted to tell you alone,” he said.
“What is it?”
“The doctor will explain. He will be in shortly.”
After another hour of waiting, the doctor walked in with the same piercing blue eyes as the wizard. Eyes widening, fear spreading across her face, Elyse tried to escape but the doctor was quicker and held her down. She fought to get out of his grip but to no avail.
“I told you to return the book, but you chose this path. You have no one to blame but yourself!” The doctor said, cackling and injected Elyse with an unknown drug.
(The End.) (Look for a new story next week!)