The Long Chron – Online Edition – Chapter Thirty-Three

I hear a loud scream followed by a few more, joined with a couple of gasps and the grumbling murmur of many voices all around us.  I open my eyes and am blinded by the bright light of the sun as I see the cathedral directly above me.  I stand and look to see that Griff and I are on the cathedral steps.  The Wizard is sprawled out at our feet.  Griff shakes his head as he stands.

A crowd gathers around us.  Unhappy glares are aimed in our direction until finally we are confronted by two men wearing full armor and holding large swords in their hands.

Without a word, they pull us through the crowd toward the back of town.

“What the hell did you do?” Griff asks.  “We were safe!  The Wizard was gone!  Why did you use that stupid thing?”

“I don’t know,” I answer.  “I got scared.”

“Well, what’s happening now?  Where are they taking us?”

“I don’t know.  I don’t know anything.  We could be anywhere.  Well, I mean, we could be anywhen.  I just hope we’re not being taken back to The Wizard.”

“But he’s dead, isn’t he?  That’s why they’re dragging us through town, isn’t it?”

“Still haven’t figured out how this time travel stuff works, huh?”

“Nevermind, I don’t want to understand.”

 

We are dragged to the bridge which leads to the castle.  We cross the bridge and are brought under an ornate open gate, entering a magnificent courtyard, filled with sculptures of stone and bush.  A great fountain sits before us, which we are directed around and to a set of stairs off to the right of the grand entrance.

We enter a small door and are shoved down a narrow flight of stairs to a dark cramped basement.

“Looks familiar,” I say.

“See one dungeon, you’ve seen a hundred,” Griff laughs.

“Silence, prisoners!” says the man on our right.  He opens a gated door and shoves us in, causing me to fall to the ground.  He slams it shut and without another word, the two of them exit the same way we had entered.

“Alright,” Griff sighs.  “Now what?”

“Well, first, we’re going to have to figure out some way to get out of here and to the body of The Wizard.”

“Why’s that?” Griff asks, sitting up in interest.

“We need the pendant he was wearing.  Ours isn’t going to be able to get us home.”

“Well, if you knew that, why didn’t you grab it off him before we got pulled away?”

“They were dragging us off before I could figure out what had happened.”

“Well, if we’re lucky, they’ll have a potter’s field around here somewhere and we’ll be able to dig him up after we get out.”

“Gross, but okay.  So, then how do we get out of here, oh master of dungeon secrets?”

“You’ve got me,” Griff shrugs.

“What?” I yelp.  “I thought you knew everything about dungeons.”

“Well, yeah, I do, but that doesn’t mean I can get out of all of them.”

“Can’t you pick the lock or something?  Find another hole on the ceiling?  Anything?”

“Getting out of the cell isn’t the problem,” he answers.  “This dungeon’s right outside the castle’s front door, a castle which just so happens to be somehow situated in the middle of a deep canyon with only one way to get out.  I don’t know if you noticed, but there were quite a lot of guards sitting out in the courtyard and on the gate above the bridge.”

“I hadn’t noticed.”

“Yeah, so, we need someone who’s more familiar with the lay of the land before we try to escape that way, someone who might be able to direct us around all of that.  What about the pendant?” he asks.  “Couldn’t we just use that to do whatever we did to get here in the first place?”

I open the pendant and point it toward Griff, repeatedly pressing the clock face in and out of the setting in the middle of the compass face.  “I don’t know what’s wrong.  It was like this the first time we traveled.  Maybe there’s a refresh period or something?”

“Damn.”

“Yeah.”

“Well, this was your bright idea. What’s the next step?”

“Hey, I was the one who got us away from that mob, why don’t you do something for a change?”

“I killed The Wizard and got the locket back.  I think I’ve done way more than you.”

“Fine, but that doesn’t change anything.  I still don’t have any ideas.”

“Well, we’re going to have to come up with something quick,” Griff frowns.  “I have a hard time believing this place is afraid of old school capital punishment.”

“What does that mean?”

“I mean, eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth, and all that. We’re in here because they saw us standing over a dead body.  We’re more than likely sitting on death row.”

“Oh.”

“And there’s one more thing.”

“What’s that?”

“Have you looked at the guy sitting in the cell across the hall?”

I hadn’t noticed we weren’t alone down here.  I walk to the bars and look across, squinting my eyes in the dark at the figure I can just make out across the way.  I turn quickly to Griff and yell in the quietest yell possible, “Is that–?”

“No fake beard or polyester costume, but it sure looks like him, doesn’t it?”

Go to Chapter Thirty-Four

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