Dungeon Level

A Carboard Fortress in the Attic,

Chapter 10

Stinging plants!  What the shit?  They aren’t even plants!  They sure do sting, though.  It was nearly dark, just a sliver of light from the corner so that she could see the ‘plants’ in this room were small spiked cardboard shrubs nearly covering the floor. Carefully she found her way to to the light brushing up against the plants as she moved.  It was a trunk, a chest.  A treasure chest?  That’s a bit on the nose. Cynthia cracked a smile.  With a firm swing of Thunder Slice the padlock flew off the chest and the lid burst open.  An electric guitar trill rang through the walls and the room lit up.  It was a compass. Just a single compass.  An actual metal thing in this world of cardboard.  She reached to touch it only to find herself momentarily blinded and a loud guitar riff came out of nowhere.  When the trill cut out she could only hear a low buzz.

Rubbing her eyes Cynthia noticed something had changed about the air around her.  There was a breeze.  Something about touching the compass had moved her.  She was in the middle of a vast dim space with platforms rising out of a seemingly bottomless pit.  Each platform was too far to leap to, although if she could find a way to navigate between them the platforms led to what appeared to be an exit in the distance.  The compass had moved to her jeans pocket.  She touched it, hoping to move again. Nothing.

There’s something here.  I know it.  She looked at the compass, she turned, turned, then...  POP! What did I do?  What’s different? There was a whiff of smoke in the air like and extinguished match. I think I moved.  I think I’m on a different platform! Yes!  Yes!  Yea… how did I do that? She looked back at the compass.  Making certain to pay attention to the compass’s readings this time, she turned again and turned the compass in her hands, as well.  She was facing another platform with the ‘E’ lined straight ahead… POP!

As she grew comfortable with her little teleportation device she was able to make jumps very quickly.  After a good string of quick teleports she realized she had passed a split in the path.  It appeared there were two ways out.  She decided to continue the way she had started but found it just lead to a room on the edge of the pit and not a clear exit.  Frustrated, Cynthia backtracked the other direction to find it, too, was not an exit.  She would have to use one of her tricks.

It had been an hour or two alone in one of the rooms on the edge of pondering, panicking, turning, and lashing out with shouts into the pit before she tried something that should not have worked.  She drew a door.  It did not open for her… but it did open for her compass.  She pointed the ‘E’ at the door and it lit up as an opening into a strong white light.  Cynthia stepped through the whiteness… SPLASH! She was in a watery corridor, with eel-like water-creeps splashing through the murkiness.

Goddamn snakes. Cautiously, at first, she stepped forward in the knee deep muck swatting Thunder Slice down at any slithery-ness.  CHUNG CHUNG! The sound vibrated through the water creating splashes and ripples.  She was close.  There was something big at the end of this corridor, and Cynthia knew Harris was just on the other side of that something.

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