Corona

Pit pat, pit pat. Their footfalls are like rain down the hallway, echoing on the old wood floor. The shadowy cephalopod is silent, though, making not even a slipping, sliding, or slurping noise as it advanced.

In here, Kate commands.

Ladies first, Josua.

And lock the door behind you.


“Just get inside!”

Slam. Slap. Click.

The lock falls into place easily and the three children fall into a heap on the floor. The grimoire tumbles out of Josua’s hands to the ground, falling open to yet another blank page.

As their puffing breaths fall back to the regular ten to twelve per minute, Kate and Lynne peer and ponder over the old book.

Nobody binds in leather anymore. Not even grandpa’s book are.

So this is older than grandpa?

Guess so.


They look up at each other, jaws slack and eyes wide.

Wow.

That’s old.


As they looked back down at the crisp white pages, though, their eyes alighted on a word now written there.

Josua, it–

–says something again!
Lynne finished for her twin, Kate.

“Don’t care! I’ve found something else!”

Both girls read the word on the page, rolling it over in their minds: corona. Neither had a clue to what the word meant, and quite frankly only cared because it might hold a clue to the thing that was chasing them in the hall.

Josua interrupts their thoughts after only a few moments of, well, though, presenting them with his new-found treasure. And what a treasure it was.

“It’s a crown!” Josua exclaims, tugging it to his chest. “And only kings wear crowns.”

What are you– one of the twins starts, before Josua interjects.

“So therefore it is for me. If it were a tiara then you could wear it.”

He has a point.

Not really.

Just agree. It makes him shut up.


“Hey! I can hear you, y’know!”

By now he has the crown atop his head, all gold and gilt and glittering.

His cry falls to deaf ears, though, as the tips of tentacles tickle at the crack under the door, Kate and Lynne more interested in escape than Josua’s self-coronation.

“Celphalowhahoozies!” he cries, pointing a finger at the door. “Your king commands thee to stop!”

The End

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