The great underground lake was a gaping maw, inviting everyone further in. sink into the depths, wash all troubles away. Responsibilities, duties, families…life, all gone beneath the surface.

Greta was not tempted. But then again, she was on the other side, away from the traps. She was running the nursery rhyme through her head, trying to discover some sort of clue as to the next trap.

“Jump six times, turn around three. What could that possibly mean? The gods might kill or invite to tea?”

“Terrible writing,” Rafe agreed. “Whoever came up with the idea should be drawn and quartered by his own pen.”

Greta frowned. “He…or she…was most likely a member of the Order.”

“I stand by my statement.”

Greta could not find a proper response to that. She was too busy analyzing what might come next. There was the remnant of a spell, though something was missing. The spell was asking for something in particular, something that could not be known.

“Have you ever tried to ask a question you weren’t sure of yourself?” She asked. “You knew it was important, but you couldn’t actually properly define what it was?”

“Not really.”

“Of course not. You’re simple enough to always be sure.” Greta looked into the open space before them. It led up towards a great structure, but it was this space in between that Greta was scared of. It needed something, and someone, to start it off. If there was none, then the magic would find other ways of being brought to life. Probably in a most violent fashion.

Greta took out her insignia. A single snowflake, one stem broken off, another faded into nothingness. She held it aloft, letting the air take it in.

“We are with the Order of the Flawed Snowflake!” she called out. “We seek the Scourge. Not to harm her, or to help. We are just checking on her. We have no designs, no machinations, and no schemes beyond sight, sound, and peace of mind.”

The ground rumbled. A piece of rock cracked, and fell to the ground.

Greta turned to Rafe. “Tell what you’re doing here!” She hissed.

“Same.” Rafe said.

The rumbling grew louder, angrier.

“And I want to show the Order I’m not an idiot!” Rafe shouted. “That I can actually be a soldier!”

“And I want to prove I’m a good spy even if I say it too often!” Greta added.

The rumbling subsided, sated.

Greta put the symbol away. “There, a little truth was all we needed. That wasn’t so hard, was it?”

“I would like to hurt you.” Rafe muttered.

copyright 2018 Jack Holder

Leave a Reply