The knights put more wood in the fire and they waited in silence for Danielle to tell them what to do

on

“A boy, Danielle!” shouted the knights on the wall. “What boy?”

The answer came back. “Carson, this is Carson, he’s from over here, and now
he’s going to kill all of us.”

“He’s from over there?” the knights asked.

“Yes, I’m from over there.”

* * *

“We still need to get you inside,” said Danielle, still wearing her armor
and still trying to get the knights to hear her. “If you get away, then we’re
dead.”

Carson shook his head. “I’ll leave and then come back at night, you just
have to give us time here.”

“Why don’t you just ask?” asked Danielle.

“Just get me out of here,” he said.

“All right then,” she said quietly.

The knights put more wood in the fire and they waited in silence for
Danielle to tell them what to do.

“I’m going to sneak back to the caves,” she told the knights. “Carson’s
from there.”

“So he says!” asked the knights, not quite believing her.

“I’ll meet you on the far side of your wall,” she told them, knowing full
well that if she could, she would get them from there to the caves. She was
sure of this.

She waited, pacing the wall. Then she heard a light footstep.

“Hello?” she yelled as loud as she could.

“Hello back,” came the reply, as if from a great distance. Her heart
fluttered. She waited, waiting for more. Then she heard a scream from Carson.

“What did you say?” Danielle asked the knights.

“He’s coming,” she said, and her heart started to pound.

“I think you’re right,” said the first knight.

* * *

Danielle waited for Carson to come to her again. He didn’t. The knights
looked at her, puzzled that she seemed to know him and he still had yet to
show himself.

“I know something,” she whispered, her mind racing. “I know how I can take
him to you.”

The knights looked at each other, looking to see if this was just a
children’s game. They still didn’t know the game was dangerous.

“Go to the cave,” Danielle said. “Go to the caves.”

The knights looked at each other again, and one of them had his mouth open.

She grabbed his arm, pulling him to the wall. “Why are you shaking?” she
asked.

“You’re asking why we are shaking?” he asked her.

“No, why are you?”

“I don’t know. The way you asked makes it sound like you know what you are
doing.”

“Not like this,” she said.

He looked at her and took her by the arm, dragging her to safety as the
wood in the fire hissed.

She glanced at him as he led her from the wall to the caves. She saw the
frown on his face. “Go now, quickly,” he told her.

So she walked over to the caves and she opened them. They were filled with
shadows. No one had been in them for years. When she touched the floor in
the open cave she almost fell. She closed the door, pulled the lock, locked
it, and leaned against it. She felt the darkness come to her then. The
darkness filled her like hot water from a faucet just before the water
boils, and the hot water makes it impossible to feel the water at all. She
clung to the cave, not caring what she did, just waiting for when she
imagined Carson coming towards her. Then she screamed. She screamed until
the sound was muffled and she thought the cave would never be shut, but
came out of it.

“Come, come, wake up,” she said to herself. She grabbed her armor, grabbed
the sword, and ran into the dark cave.

Her hand trembled as she cut the first lock. She had seen it before, so she
knew it was a lock and she hoped she remembered where if she had tried to
cut it. She heard and thought the rustle of leather as the knights were on
the far side of the wall and she thought this was a trap. But then she saw
it, the tiny lock.

She cut it with her sword and pulled it out. She heard the sound as the
steel cut through the wood. Then she heard the noise of steel sliding into
the lock. The noise of the lock opening. She looked at her hand. It had
slipped. She looked down at the lock in her hand, then her eyes got
bigger. She looked down at the floor in the cave, saw the blade, and
breathed a great sigh.

She walked back to her armor and pulled it open. The armor was old,
rusty, and had holes in the armor. She pulled her helmet and sword out and
looked at them and saw that she had spent more than a few years cutting her
armour and sword.

She had not cut any seams in it either. She pulled the helmet out, then
turned the collar up and saw what she felt in her hand. She was holding the
tiny lock, only a little bigger than a silver dollar and a quarter. Then
she took the lock to the wall, cut it in half, and dropped it in the
ashes.

She looked at her hand again. Blood was on it, blood was on her hand, blood
was on the floor, she could hear her heart pounding in her ears. That was
what Carson had talked about, she thought. She was just about to think she
wanted to be someone or something. No, she thought about something else –
sabotage.

She started to feel the darkness all around her but she pushed the
thought away. She would not let anything take that away from her.

“Okay then,” she said, pulling out her sword and looking at her armor,
“now I’m ready.”

She closed it, thinking about the knight as she did, then she put her
armor on. It was dark, but she knew the armor was dark by the feel of it. She
pulled her helmet on and felt the lightness of her head and the weight of
the helmet. After that she put her sword on.

And she started. She didn’t know whether she really was going or if she was
just making up things to be something. What she did know was that she was
going to give up the knight and use her sword to find the knights.

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