The Bard's Tale

"That certainly was unexpected," Max quiped.

"Are you not scared, boy?" The Aged Knight boomed, looming toward Max with animated flourishes. "This is the forest of your consciousness. Here there be the darkest, supressed demons of your psyche, and you will have to face them, each and every, if you plan on leaving."

"Oh, a metaphorical forest," Max mused. "A bit on the nose, don't you think?"

"There is something on my nose?"

"No, you're exposition there. It was heavy-handed, overly and clumsily direct, you see?" Max held his lantern up and examined the stone wall. It looked very old and in disrepair, leaving many crevices and spalls as hand and foot holds.

The Aged Knight stroked him beard. "I believe I understand. You are a bard. I never much liked bards. Always quibbling over words."

"Quit talking like that."

"Have you no powers of observation? I am a knight, no magician. I cannot conjur a new voice."

Max turned with exasperation. "Not your voice, your diction. It's not a crime to make a contraction."

"Silence knave," The Aged Knight pointed in accusation. "I will not have you encanting 'round me."

Max sighed. "That'll have to do." He set his lantern aside and clung onto the wall. Taking his first foothold, he heaved himself upward. But when he looked down to find his next foothold, he discovered that he was no further from the ground. Confused, his head bolted skyward, and he was the same distance from the ledge as when he first hoisted himself onto the wall.

"Were you not listening. There is only one way to escape."

"Quit your lecturing, and give me a boost." With the help of The Aged Knight, Max was able to just reach the ledge of the wall. He pulled himself over the lip into a straddling position. He looked back at the knight. "You see, nothing to it," he boasted, swinging his leg over and vaulting off the ledge.

He bent his knees and caught the ground to absorb the fall, and when he rose, there was the knight in his shining armor and the church behind.

"How do I get out of here?"

The End

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