“Wait, please!” you cry, lunging at the invisible panel and trying to drag it back open. You bang on the door again, this time with your fists, and yell out, trying to get Red and Green Eyes’ attention.
Finally, the panel slides back open and Red and Green Eyes are back looking at you. Green still seems to radiate cheeriness, but Red’s mood seems to have darkened, as does the shade of the colour.
“What? It’s you ‘gain?” it grunts.
“Ooh, hello, dear. Have you worked out the password?” Green chirps.
“How can I?” you cry, “These symbols are barely readable! Isn’t there some other way?”
“No. No admission to strangers.”
“Well, we could tell you a riddle,” interrupts Green florally.
“A riddle?” you exclaim. Red looks even more annoyed.
“I’m good at riddles!” announces Green with a giggle, “If you get the answer to this right, I’ll let you in-”
“I won’t!” snaps Red.
“-I’ll let you in and everything will be dandy!” finishes Green, ignoring Red.
Behind the door, a throat is cleared, and, as you roll your eyes, Green begins:
“I’m defeated by winter, yet all my blood runs cold,
In the whole of the planet, I am the most old,
Always running, yet never am I tired,
I’m not destroyed by time, nor even by harshest fire.
What am I?”
Green stops, and both eyes focus intently on you. They’re waiting with strained patience.
“What, that’s it?” you yell. As you glance back, you see the darkness creeping ever forward. You don’t have a choice.
What is the answer?