Chapter 8: In Which Walls Come Close

Princess Madison and the Sort-of Knight squeezed through the secret entry in the fireplace into the passageway behind. They were surprised to discover that it was quite spacious, though entirely without light. After they entered, slowly the stone door began to close. They could hear the shouts of the attacking magical creatures, and Madison wondered if the door would ever close. They both held their breath, wondering if they would be caught. Just as the last crack of light was slimming between the passageway and the chapel, a witch shouted and a stream of light hit the door.

By the light of the Knight’s torch, Madison checked her body. She did not seem to be transformed into something, though the gray stone door became covered with pictures of daisies.

The daisies on the door were actually an improvement, but it meant that their attackers knew exactly where they were, and it would only be a matter of time before they too solved the riddle and opened the stone door.

They had to move.

“What do we do now?” the Sort-of Knight asked.

“I don’t know, really. We’ve got to crawl away, I think.”

The Knight nodded grimly, and turned toward the darkness. The passageway was wide enough for both of them side by side, but was not tall enough to stand up. They crawled away from the daisy-covered stone door, and only looked back when they heard someone pounding on the door, trying to break through.

They quickened their pace, scraping their knees along the dust covered floor. The passageway was dry, so that Madison felt the dust sit in the back of her mouth, and she was suddenly thirsty. The air smelled old, like a closet full of clothes that have not been worn in some time.

The further they crawled into the darkness, the further they were from the people trying to catch them. But the more they crawled, the further they wandered into the great unknown before them. Madison was frightened of mice and rats, and didn’t like bugs that she couldn’t see, but she was really frightened of this dark.

Even on the darkest night, there is always a little light. There are always a few stars, or a candle lit somewhere, or the glow of a television from a living room in the house across the street. But there are places in the world that are truly, incredibly dark. This passageway was one of them. At moments when the Knight was crawling ahead of her and blocked the light of the torch, Madison was not able to see her own hand in front of her face.

She felt the darkness crowd in around her, and the mystery of the unknown press against her chest. She began to worry, which was something that Princess Madison Jayne was quite good at, generally speaking. But now she had real reasons to worry: Where was her mom and dad? Was her little brother safe? What would the attackers do to her room? Did this passageway lead somewhere safe, or did it lead to more danger? Who was this strange, silly masked stranger leading her through the darkness?

As Madison crawled on, she began to cry, tears quietly falling down her face. She wanted her mom to hold her, or her dad to put his arm around her. She wanted her bedroom, her glorious pink bedroom and her four-poster bed and all her toys and books and teddy bears. She just wanted to go back to waking up this morning, to the boring everyday life in the castle. She even wanted to go back to those awful hand waving classes. Anything but crawling in the dark in the midst of great peril.

Madison was so lost in her own sadness that she did not notice that the passageway had gotten bigger. She found that she was able to stand up and walk crouching instead of crawling along the ground. By the time she caught up with the Knight, she was able to stand straight up, and he too could crouch instead of crawl.

Soon the tunnel widened and expanded to a large room. The Knight lifted his torch to reveal that the cavern walls were covered with intricate paintings. The stood in awe of the beautiful colours, greens and blues and reds and browns and yellows, large murals of sweeping scenes, each one beginning and ending at the entrances to four tunnels that ran directly from the large room they were in. One of the arches above a tunnel was painted a golden colour; another was deep red. A third was an emerald green, like the scales of a dragon; a fourth—the tunnel from which they had come—was painted a light purple colour, much like the glass in the window of the chapel.

They stood silent for a few moments, drinking in the rich beauty of the cavernous art. Finally, Madison broke the silence.

“It’s the history of our kingdom. Here’s the magical forests and the Imaginary Nocturnal Mountains, then the faerie wars, then the rise of the human kings.”
“It’s incredible,” the Knight said.

Madison nodded in agreement, wiping her wet eyes on her sleeve. She had momentarily forgotten her sorrowful feelings, and in the light and colour of the mural room, she felt hopeful.

“It is. But which way do we go now?”

“We can’t go back that way,” the Knight pointed fearfully at the tunnel from which they had come. They were not sure if they imagined it or if it was real, but it sounded like people were crawling through the tunnel to find them.

“No, we can’t,” Madison said resolutely. “We must go ahead.”

It was time to choose, and Madison looked at each archway for some hint or clue as to the direction they should go. The Sort-of Knight drew his sword, hand shaking as he tried to protect them from whatever might emerge from the tunnel underneath the purple coloured arch. To Madison, they each looked as frightening, with none being more inviting than the others. Each tunnel was small, dark, and could contain great peril or miraculous escape.

What should Madison choose? Seriously, what tunnel do you think they should choose? You get to choose the next part of the adventure. Simply go to and vote for which direction you think the Princess and the Knight should choose.

When you make the choice, the next chapter will appear mysteriously at your door within 76.4 hours.

Published in: on July 2, 2010 at 1:14 pm  Comments (4)  

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4 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. did you really break your finger? or was it just a joke? Princess Madison Jayne

  2. when am I going to get my next chapter ?

    • Hey, you will get your chapter mysteriously within 76.4 hours (or within three days)

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