"I just don't get it," Astra sighed. They were sitting on a log by the
stream where they had just quenched their thirst and cleaned up a bit. "The
frustrating thing is that the solution is probably dead easy for a local
with the right knowledge. Just like that riddle the traveller told me."
"What traveller?" Retep asked curiously. They were not making any headway with the current problem, so they might as well look at another one for a bit of diversion.
"Oh, this person I met once," Astra explained. "He claimed to be a teaveller from a faraway place I had never heard of. So he said anyway, he never named it. Come to think of it, he had an accent similar to yours."
"Interesting. Do you remember the riddle?"
"Do I remember the riddle?!" the princess exclaimed. "It is indelibly etched into my memory from countless repetitions!" She paused, and recited:
Who is here?
Retep nodded. "So what do you make of it?"
"Well, the first part is pointless. All it says is "I am here", and that's always true. Also, the speaker is pretty forward addressing the listener as his dear, and unless he's addressing his mother, "my dear" or "me dear" would be more correct. So it must be written that way for a reason."
"The second line contains the solution somehow. "Shake it" suggests some kind of rearrangement, possibly an anagram. If you reverse the first line concept-wise, you get "Where am I?" which is the real question. So the answer must be... an anagram of "I, ma dear". All I have found out is that if I add an M, I get "a mermaid", but that's a person, not a place."
Retep nodded. "Madeira," he said quietly.
"You were right, it's a question of having the right knowledge. The answer is Madeira, which presumably you have never heard of."
"You are right. So what's a madeira?"
"A kind of wine."
"You have no heart," Astra sighed. "Here I am, stone cold sober, and you speak about wine! I suppose it's also the name of the place it comes from?"
Retep nodded. "It's an island in the..." he trailed off. "In my world!" he shouted with sudden clarity. "The traveller was from my world!"
"Good for him," Astra responded drily. "Wonder if he ever got home again..."
3/20/2011 4:06:42 AM
The Never Ending Quest Home
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