Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Shadows of Winter

When I had calmed somewhat, and went to get out...the lid wouldn't budge. Shit. I had forgotten, in my haste to get away, and closed it, and it had probably transported me somewhere else. I felt around a bit, and was able to push and create an opening. Seems I was in a drawer of some kind, but it wouldn't open all the way. I reached my hand out to feel around, and after a little exploring, determined I was in a dresser or armoire, but it was leaning against a chair...maybe knocked over.

Luckily, I had just the thing. I reached in into my pocket, and pulled out my Aunt's quill pen. Touching it to the chair, I froze the wooden legs, and the now brittle wood broke with a small nudge...sending the dresser crashing down, my arm halfway out of the drawer. Fuck! That hurt. Some more pushing and maneuvering later, and I managed to tip the bookcase over, and get the drawer all the way open. Stepping out, I found myself in a small room, the furniture in disarray, as if someone had left in haste. It was cold here, and the windows were covered with frost. Quickly finding the staircase, I headed downstairs, and in the kitchen I found a body, its clothes frozen fast to the skin. Before I could clear enough of the window there to look outside, I heard a voice from upstairs, calling my name. "Abigail?" At first I wasn't sure who it could possibly be, but when he repeated himself, I realized it was Hanu. He must had figured out the chest, after all these years. I walked upstairs, and sure enough, he was coming out of the same room that I had when I first arrived. He mentioned something about being hungry, but when I told him the only food I had seen so far was the body downstairs, he declined. I wanted to explore, so we went outside.

We were in a modern world, but one that had been struck by a deep winter. Everything around us had frozen solid, and a bitter winter whistled through the concrete jungle. Hanu, much more used to warmer climbs, changed himself into a polar bear, and I wrapped my arms closer, careful not to touch my jacket. The snow falling burst into steam as it hit the jacket, creating a cloud around me. As we walked, who should we see but my brother Magras, coming towards us on a huge manticore. It seems he had gotten worried, and decided to follow me. Bah. I'm not 12 anymore.

The chest usually takes me near an item, so I pushed them both onward, looking for something that might be a likely place to find one. A couple minutes later, we came upon what was once a museum. The front window had been broken out, and a bonfire raged below the window, inside the building. I jumped down, and scared the shit out of the wretches gathered around the fire. Hanu and Magras soon followed.

There were many questions about who we were and where we had come from, but we simply said we were visitors from far away. They begged us for food, and I passed over what little I had in my bag, just some hard tack. I was looking around the museum, trying to see if there were any items, when Magras turned to one of the men, and banished some kind of spirit from him. Hanu pulled us both aside, and suggested that the lives of these wretches be extinguished by us, while he used his powers to place them in ecstasy, as opposed to letting them starve to death. Magras said he would take any who could answer his riddle back to the menagerie, but no others. It was a classic one, and a youth among the crowd was able to answer. I helped the boy up to us, and we turned our back as Hanu did what we had discussed. It pained me, but I don't see a better solution. At least those creatures didn't suffer.

As we were getting ready to head back to the caravan, Magras gifted me with the manticore he had ridden. Sweet, as always, once you get through the crunchy candy shell. I challenged them to a race to get back, and ran to the building we had arrived in, knowing the bookshelf was still there. Hanu followed close behind. After commanding the manticore to shrink, we climbed back into the armoire. (I shall have to give it a name.) When I to re-open it, however, it was stuck fast.

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