Hands

We ventured further and further through the endless labyrinth buried metres beneath the ground. It was nothing like Balsh had described it as. It was just an ongoing, black passageway lit by small torches sitting in brackets on the walls. The air was thick and musty and weighed me down, making this so called ‘5 minute walk’ into a torturous 3 hour hike. It didn’t seem like much of a palace to me.
Every few minutes there would be a corner and a sharp turn to manoeuvre and as the minutes churned into hours, the metres were gradually decreasing. Finally ,we turned one last corner and walked a five metre passageway to a gigantic wooden, beautifully carved door. Balsh uttered a few words and I leaned against the wall to regain my strength. The others of the group watched as Balsh undid several intricate locks until the door heaved a great sigh, sending a sheet of dust travelling back down the passageway.
We entered a room occupied by many tables mounted with food from nuts, fruits, vegetables and wine to chicken, pork and an arrangement of cakes.
“Welcome!” Balsh exclaimed, “To my room of feasts!” This guy must be crazy, I thought, to have a room so tucked away, so discrete just to host feasts in. I launched myself to the nearest table and began to eat whatever food was close enough to me. Quite quickly, the stacks of food were disappearing and the water held in the spherical, clay jugs was diminishing.
I watched as Deirdre poured Balsh another chalice of wine. It was half full when a blinding light appeared at the doorway causing Deirdre to spill the wine on her silk dress. People stopped eating to stare at the interruption. The source of light was coming from a stone held by anonymous hands. It was shaped like a grave stone and crumbling at the edges but what intrigued me the most was the large foreign writing carved on its surface. I heard the shrieks of baby Flynn as the light reached her face, she struggled in her mother’s arms. The stone wasn’t there long enough for me to decipher what was written on it, the time it took to come was the time it took to go.
We were all speechless, unable to comprehend what had just happened but perhaps the most shocked of us all was Balsh. He couldn’t believe that someone had found his room of feasts and the expression on his face told us he knew what the inscription on the stone had said. Flynn’s crying continued to fill the room and travel back through the labyrinth where it drowned out the retreating footsteps of the anonymous stone holder.

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