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The Riddle of the Cave

Short story By: Savior

The dragon leads you to a cave, where your next challenge awaits.

Part of the Riddlemaster's Journey.

Submitted:Dec 26, 2008    Reads: 365    Comments: 6    Likes: 2   

The dragon puffs slightly, and a small sliver of flame briefly flares out from his nostrils. He turns his head sideways so that his right eye is staring directly at you.

The dragon draws himself up to his full height, and nudges his head to a small cauldron cooling in a corner.

"Take a drink from that cauldron," he orders you. His voice is like the sound of a gravelly thunder.

You pause in front of the cauldron. The liquid bubbling merrily inside is green. You hesitate. The dragon lets out a snort of bright flame behind you. You decide to take a small sip.

The liquid is surprisingly cool, and holds a slightly sweet flavor. You feel extraordinarily at peace.

You hear thud, thud, thud, as the dragon walks up behind you. He nudges you forward with his nose, towards a small passageway in a corner of the wall. You walk slowly towards it. As you pause before the entrance to the passageway, the dragon pushes you in with a sharp jab of his nose.

You feel as if you are floating. You dwell in the darkness for an undetermined amount of time, before you see a white light ahead of you. You walk towards what you believe to be the exit. You feel an urgent need to reach the white light. Somehow, you knew that it was a place where you belonged, a place that you had to return to. It felt like home.

Suddenly, a ghostly mirage of a woman appears in front of you. Glowing with a faint white light, she smiles at you with ageless beauty. Shaking her head sadly, she frowns at you.

"If you exit this tunnel, you will never be able to return to where you have left. You will never become a Riddlemaster. Are you still sure you wish to continue?" She tells you softly.

You consider her for a moment. "What lies before me?" You ask.

"Another riddle, and not one that is mine to give," she says with a smile.

You pause. Slowly, you nod your head in understanding.

"I wish to continue my journey to become a Riddlemaster," you say. The white light still seems to call to you, but it seemed less urgent, as if it was respecting your decision.

"I do have the power to return you to whence you came, but you must pay the price. You must give the answer to this riddle," she tells you.

What can give a man hope in despair

What do idle hands lack?

What can bring life from the brink of death

Yet some can never find?


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