CHAPTER 2: Shadowgate
by Elizabeth, age 11
Elizabeth and Espio exited their safe little hideout and set out for a new adventure. The two had had so many adventures already! From traffic jams (Elizabeth brought some bread and peanut butter, just to be funny), to desert struggles, to quicksand encounters, to the beach.
“This adventure is going to last at least a week, perhaps a month!” Elizabeth said. “So we need to gather four week’s worth of provisions…just in case.”
So the two packed things that they thought they might need — even if they end up not needing it after all — including two swiss army knives (one for dining and one for any-old-time purposes), a flashlight, a bicycle helmet, a roll of scotch tape, some shuriken stars (explosive and non-explosive), a bottle of hand sanitizer, a canteen filled to the brim with water, a sketchpad, a pencil sharpener, five pencils that were so sharp, you could actually bleed if you touched the tips, Elizabeth’s favorite eight-and-a-half-sized sneakers, a pair of boots, an extra pair of Espio’s shoes, Elizabeth’s karaoke machine, a ton of batteries, Elizabeth’s pastel purple bathrobe, a bobby pin, a sleeping bag that could hold up to two people, two pillows, two mugs, some hot cocoa mix, a thermos filled to the brim with hot water, a bag of marshmallows, some kleenex, a matchbox, five emery boards, and a month’s supply of food. Elizabeth’s supplies were put into one bag, Espio’s supplies were put into another bag, supplies that the two would be sharing were put into another bag, food and water were put into another bag.
After Elizabeth and Espio packed their supplies, they headed to the castle Shadowgate, the first stop on their journey.
(This is a very long chapter. Click through to read the whole thing.)
The weather was all dark and stormy by the time they got there, and it began to rain hard! The two were glad to enter the castle, and Elizabeth could tell that Espio had caught a cold because she could hear a sneeze every five minutes. Elizabeth finally had to pull their box of kleenex from one of their bags and give it to Espio, who blew his nose.
“Thangx,” he said.
“You’re welcome.” Elizabeth replied.
They continued on their way. Then they stopped when they came to a corridor. there were two torches on the wall, two locked doors, and a terribly vibrant, orange rug.
“That rug – ACHOO! – hurts my eyes!” Espio complained.
“Well the sooner I find the key…” Elizabeth said, “The sooner you won’t have to look at that rug anymore. Wait! I know where to find it! But before I go, I’ll burn the rug for you!”
Elizabeth removed one of the unlit torches from the wall, pulled out their matchbox, and lit the torch. Slowly but surely, Elizabeth put the torch flame to the vibrant rug, and the rug was gone in a few minutes. The rest of the castle didn’t burn, however, because it was made of stone, so neither Elizabeth or Espio had to evacuate.
“I’m gonna look for that key now.” Elizabeth said.
“Take your time…ACHOO!” Espio replied. He blew his nose again and Elizabeth exited the castle. There was a stone skull above the door. Elizabeth reached over, raised the skull, and found a key hidden underneath. She was all wet and dripping when she reentered the castle. There were small puddles of water trailing from the door.
‘I would’ve caught hypothermia out there!’ Espio thought. ‘I’ve already caught a cold.’ “ACHOO!” ‘Enough is enough!’
“Come on.” Said Elizabeth.
Espio blew his nose and continued on. Elizabeth pulled out the key she found and stuck it into the keyhole and turned the key.
She pushed the double doors open and the two walked into the next room which happened to be a long, winding hallway with a green ceiling. There were two torches sticking out of the wall, and a pedestal where an odd book lay, and two candles stood. Elizabeth opened the book and found yet another key! She took the key and left Espio in the hallway while reentering the previous room to unlock that second door…
…and inside was a sword and a sling! Elizabeth took them both. “Espio! Espio!” She shouted.
“ACHOO! What?” Espio asked.
“Check out what I found behind that other door!” And Elizabeth held up the sword and the sling.
“You can have the sword, here catch!” She threw the sword, and Espio caught it perfectly in his hand. He swung it around, Elizabeth taking a few steps backward to avoid accidentally getting diced, then he stopped swinging the sword.
When Espio saw the torches missing from the wall, he asked, “Why do you keep taking torches? Isn’t that stealing?”
“Not if no one minds it being in our hot little hands.” Elizabeth replied. Espio thought for a moment and then looked towards the book on the pedestal.
“So…” Espio said while reaching for the book, “…this isn’t stealing?”
“ESPIO! STOOOOP!!” Elizabeth yelled.
Espio seemed to ignore her as he removed the book, which triggered a booby trap…
A section of the floor collapsed beneath the poor chameleon and he fell!
Elizabeth ran over to the gap in time to grab hold of Espio’s flailing hand and pull him to safety.
“Th-ACHOO!-Thanks!” Espio said, sneezing.
“Your’e welcome.” Elizabeth replied.
There was a strange, white stone in the wall, and Elizabeth pushed it to the side.
“Espio, you go through that gap in the wall,” Elizabeth said, “I’ll go through a door that awaits me at the end of this hallway.”
So Espio got down on his hands and knees, crawled through the gap, and was gone.
Elizabeth however, walked all the way to the end of the hallway, where three doors greeted her. She selected one and went through it.
It was a long journey through the gap in the wall, but when he got to the end, Espio stood up and looked around. There were two torches sticking out of the walls, and a very high door on a platform some ten feet above the floor. Beginning to shiver, Espio jumped up onto a torch and remained there for five nanoseconds, then jumped onto the ledge.
He began to step through the door when the ledge crumbled beneath him, and he fell.
Unconscious, Espio lay there on the floor for five minutes, then woke up. His chest felt heavy, his back hurt, and he couldn’t breathe. Espio tried to get up, but his elbows buckled and he fell to the floor again.
‘Well, I guess this is the end.’ Espio thought, closing his eyes.
Minutes passed, and Espio realized he was still alive, and looked around. Below the door hung an arrow. It was mounted on a wall and Espio took it. He felt stronger now than he did after the fall. Espio didn’t even bother to go through the secret passage that he had triggered – he just wanted to be with Elizabeth! He quickly crawled through the hole in the wall and ran down the hallway until he found Elizabeth, who had just exited a room carrying five stones, a crystal ball, a key, and three gems, each one a different color of the American Flag.
“Hey, Espio!” She said. “Did you want to come with me ?”
“Yes…” Espio said, weakly.
“You sound like you just got hurt. What happened?”
“I fell and landed hard on my back! And the three spikes running down my spine only made it worse!”
“Yeah, and if you don’t mind, I’d like a little massage.”
Espio lay down on his stomach and Elizabeth rubbed his back.
“Oh that feels much better.” She heard Espio say.
Elizabeth stopped rubbing and Espio got to his feet.
“Let’s go.” He said. The two walked on into a frigid room. It stank of decaying meat and Espio coughed and gagged. They quickly opened a door and hurried into the next room. They shut the door behind them and looked ahead. A pair of gleaming golden eyes stared at them — eyes that said without words, “This pair would be nice on toast, and I’m going to make jam out of that chameleon!” There were things scattered all over the floor, including weapons and bones, and even a pile of gold that had been melted together by dragon’s flame. Elizabeth picked up a shield lying around. and held it up, shielding both herself and Espio, just as a jet of flame spewed forth! They both felt the intense heat but remained unharmed.
“Try to torch us, will you!?” Huffed Espio. “Well let’s see how you like it!” Espio pulled out one of his explosive shuriken stars and threw it at the dragon. The star blew up after three seconds, stunning the beast. Then the dragon stepped out; he was a true monster! A big hunk of dark green scales like steel plates, weighing six tons and standing over twenty feet tall! He had teeth that were eleven inches long, and stuck straight out like the horn on Espio’s nose. Acidic drool leaked from the dragon’s mouth and hissed when it hit the floor. His golden eyes stared greedily at Elizabeth and Espio.
‘Hopefully this reptilian beast is still stunned!’ Espio thought.
He threw five of his non-explosive shuriken stars to drive back the beast, who fell back, exposing his vulnerable belly. Then Espio jumped up and thrust his sword into the dragon’s belly, therefore the dragon hissed and fell to the ground, dead. He wasn’t so sure if he entirely killed the monster, but after he pulled out his sword and stars, he thrust the sword into both of the dragon’s eyes. Then Espio grabbed all the items laying around and put them in his bag. Both he and Elizabeth entered the room that the dragon was guarding, which turned out to be a dungeon and it was very dark!