Astra leaned against a large, bulging rock that sat by itself. Fred stood about ten feet away, scanning the horizon.
Astra looked at Fred again. What kind of man, was he, to treat her so well? The warriors she commanded would fight and kill amongst themselves to catch a glimpse of what she was showing Fred every moment. Then Astra spotted something. Far off against the horizon, to the right, where the dunes were smoother, something glittered. Moonlight bounced off a vague shape. A vague, tall thin shape.
"Fred." she said, pointing. "There. The glittering shape on the horizon. Is that an hallucination?"
Fred followed her line of sight. He muttered some words and then smiled. "No! It is not! It is a structure."
"Are you sure?"
"Positive, my lady. See how the moonlight glints about it in a regular, pre-defined shape?" "No." "Ahh. Please do not take offense but I am trained in matters such as these. I could not be a member of my leige's forces until I could spot the number of freckled children in the Holy Day crowd from the top of the steeple. I am trained in matters such as these. I am positive therin lies a tower and hopefully, our salvation." An hour later they reached the foot of the tower. It was a thousand paces around and rose into the sky such a distance they could not make out the tip. It was black as the night sky but easily showed their reflections as if unto a mirror. "Fred, I confess a misgiving about this tower. It's nature is strange and unusual." "Yes, yes, it is. I know not of a material that reflect light in such a manner as this does. But we have so few choices." "It's not...a hallucination?" Fred scratched his chin. "No it is not. It is real, for all it's oddness." "Is it supposed to be here? It is your lands. What do you know of this desert?" "My dear Princess, the desert is of such an expanse I would not be suprised at what is found within it's borders." "I see. Any idea of how we are to enter?" "Yes. In fact I do. I notice my reflection carries a kingly siglet ring on it's right pinky when in fact I do not." The Princess felt a chill run up her backside. "Curiouser and curiouser" she thought, remembering a phrase from a children's book she had once found. "Then that must be a clue inside." she stated. "Touch your right pinky to it's analog." "Fantastic idea. Please stand back." Astra retreated as Fred strode to the tower wall. He raised his hand, brought it forward. The pinky's touched. Fred's reflection smiled and... Whiteness... Astra awoke, fully clothed, on a bed fit for a queen. A strangeness wafter over her hands and ankles. She sat up, awake and aware, ready to battle what was affecting her. But it was nothing. Her fetters were gone. Astra got to her feet. The strange pink bedclothes surged around her like water in a bath. She would have to find something better, sooner. A wall was to her left. It was red, the color of dug-up earth. In all other directions were bookshelves. She turned. Ahead of her, a shelf faced her. It was made of treated wood and held books on the topic of animals. To her left and right more books faced her. They held similar themed tomes. There were spaces between the shelf in front and the ones to her side. More shelves formed the walls of each passageway, branching to the right and left about fifty paces ahead.
3/7/1999 10:01:36 AM
The Never Ending Quest Home
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