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A Carboard Fortress in the Attic, Chapter 3

There was a drip that dribbled down Cynthia’s forehead.  She looked up to see a dark brown circle in the cardboard ceiling with small drops of water hanging down.  It had been a few hours since she was in the main part of the house and Cynthia’s mouth was getting dry.  Her stomach groaned and rumbled as she eyed the little hanging droplets.  She ran her finger through a connect the dots arrangement of these little drops and tasted her finger.  It was fresh, it was cool.  It wasn’t quite enough.  The cardboard felt soft.


Stretching her arm she pressed on the ceiling.  It had some give but she wasn’t tall enough to give it enough.  Reaching into the pocket in her hoodie she found a pen.  It never hurts to have a pen on you.  She reached the pen skyward and triumphantly pierced it through the wet spot in the cardboard.  She was certain she heard the brief sound of a chorus “Ahhhhh!” and a guitar riff as the pen was at its peak.


The ceiling burst open drenching Cynthia and the water slowly rose until it was just above her knee.  Oof we’re going to have to call a roofer.  But that thought was short lived by the excitement that she had something to drink.  Sloshing playfully she kicking water ahead of her as she continued on.  I’ll worry about this roof later, none of the rest of this makes sense, maybe a gnome or a genie will fix it for us.  She chuckled to herself as she heard the ‘chunk chunk’ just ahead… and above her.  


The water level started to rise.  She hurried to look around the next corner, and the the next.  The water kept rising faster and faster.  It was at her hips then above her belly button.  She started to swim through the maze looking for a way up.  It continued to rise and with two feet of air above her she started to panic.  A roofer is going to be a dick about this, I know it.


She had an idea.  She swam back to where she came from.  She stopped rushing.  She knew she had to wait.  Floating on her back to get air, the sound of the rushing water from the hole she poked in the ceiling grew louder and closer until it gurgled and bubbled.  Her lungs started to heave but she did not worry.  The pressure equalized and the water stopped rushing.  The hole in the roof of the maze had widened to a yard wide and it was quite easy for Cynthia to swim up through it.


The next level up seemed to be all water.  It was vast, far larger than she could imagine like an ocean with no end.  Swimming to speed her buoyancy up and up as her lungs ached and burned as she pushed bubbles of air out her mouth.  Finally the water changed from dark to cloudy to clear and her head burst through the surface in a gasp.  The shore was not too far away for her sore arms.

Back on dry cardboard, she could see this level was more wide open.  Much more wide open.  There was a cardboard “sky” high above that looked to be hastily marker drawn blues and clouds and even a crude sun.  She couldn’t see the edge past rolling hills of cardboard.  There was a triangle point far in the distance beyond the hills.

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