It's Wednesday again and just as well because I've been remiss at updating my blog this week. Something new is needed.
Surprise Surprise I'm using 'where angels fear to tread' as the prompt this week. Bless him, this week it's Pasha who's rushing in...all over the place :)
The boy led Pasha and Gabriel to a patch of wall that looked like every other. He pressed his hand against the stone and a green flash illuminated his fingers. A section of the wall swung open. The boy looked up at them. “Nothing is as it seems,” he said and hurried into the corridor beyond. Pasha and Gabriel followed.
The door clicked shut behind them and they were plunged into darkness. Moments later the walls began to glow, providing more than enough illumination.
“What about you?” Gabriel asked. “Are you what you seem?”
The boy chuckled and turned. The chains melted away as if they had never been there and the cloud of white hair floated around unblemished skin. “Not quite,” he said with a soft smile.
Pasha growled and Gabriel held him back.
“I knew it. I knew you were a deceitful little worm. Where is he?”
“I didn’t deceive you,” the boy said. “You made assumptions.”
“What about the chains? The bruises?”
The boy shrugged. “You saw what you wanted to see.”
“I was no different then than I am now. You merely saw what you expected to see from my demeanour. I allowed you to expand the illusion. You could have broken it at any time if you’d looked with different eyes.” He turned to Pasha. “You saw. Just for a minute, until my My Lord Gabriel reinforced the illusion for you. When you had your hand around my throat you knew there were no chains there, you simply chose not to acknowledge it. Your shock and disgust that you would injure a helpless boy wiped the knowledge from your mind.”
“I knew I should have choked the life out of you,” Pasha growled.
“It would have done you no good and I am a helpless boy. I have no weapons and I was instructed not to fight you. You could have killed me and there was nothing I could have done about it.”
“You were instructed not to fight back? By who?”
“So you are a slave?”
“Same difference. When I had my hands around your throat, you looked as if you would have welcomed death.”
The boy stared at him for a moment, then turned sharply in a swirl of hair and strode along the corridor, leaving Pasha and Gabriel to follow.
At the end of the corridor the boy paused. He glanced over his shoulder. “There are many different kinds of slavery,” he said, “and not all of them are obvious. Nothing is as it seems.”
Turning back to the wall, he pressed his hand against the door and the same green glow appeared between his fingers before it swung silently open.
The room beyond was dim. This time no lights illuminated it. There was a sense of space and openness.
Peering into the dimness they couldn’t see the other side of the room. They could, however, see a glow coming from the middle. Pasha turned to the boy to ask him where to go, but he’d vanished as silently and completely as he’d appeared.
“Damn,” he said. “That little beast has disappeared.”
“Are you surprised?”
Pasha thought about it. “No, not really.”
“What now?” Gabriel asked.
“I don’t think we should stay here.”
“Which way? This place feels big.”
“I think we should check out that glow.
Gabriel loosened his sword and laid his hand on it in readiness. “Okay.”
Keeping behind Gabriel, Pasha followed him across the floor towards the misty glow. They soon realised why the glow was misty when they felt the first touch of ice on their skin. Whatever was glowing was surrounded by a cloud of dry ice, or something similar.
The cloying mist clung to their clothes, faces and hair, frosting them and burning their eyes and throats.
“Should we go on?”
“The question is whether they are trying to keep us away or draw us in.”
“Does it make a difference?”
Gabriel grinned at him. “Of course it does. If they’re trying to keep us away that’s double the reason to go on.”
Shaking his head, Pasha pressed on as the mist thickened.
A few moments later he was about to turn back. “This isn’t Dry Ice,” he said. “Dry Ice doesn’t hurt like this.”
“You’re right. What do you think it is?” Gabriel’s voice was hoarse and he coughed. “Do you think it’s dangerous?”
“Maybe. Just a few more—“ He broke off, as the mist thinned allowing him to see what lay at the centre.
Pasha lurched forward but Gabriel pulled him back.
“Wait. It might be a trap.”
“I don’t care.” Pasha’s eyes were fixed on the glass case within which the same cold, white mist swirled. Pressed against the lid of the box were a pair of hands, as if the person inside was trying to push off a lid. Around the wrist attached to one of the hands was a colourful band, bearing a number of tiny charms. It was
“Remember, nothing is as it seems. Don’t believe what you see.”
Pasha shook himself free and strode forward. He stopped just short of the box. The surface of the glass was frosted with ice crystals and the air was so cold Pasha’s breath misted to party obscure his vision. Breathing was painful and his lungs burned with cold. Still, he fell to his knees and peered into the case. As the mist swirled it revealed snatches of golden hair and pale skin.
“It’s Uzzy,” he moaned, reaching out for the glass. Gabriel grabbed his wrist and yanked it back.
“It’s too cold, Pasha. If you touch it your hand will burn.”
“I don’t care.” Pasha wrenched his arm away and reached forward.
“Lord save me from fools who make it a habit to run where angels fear to tread.” Gabriel sighed but hovered protectively.
Pasha’s hand touched the casket. It was warm.
And now it's time to move on to the other delectable delights set out for your enjoyment this week.