Spacemen in a Dank Dungeon

Paul Anderson gripped the thick iron bars between him and freedom and shook them. They didn't budge. "I can't believe this," he fumed. "It's like an ancient B movie: 'Spacemen in a Dank Dungeon.'"

Thomas Mathews looked up from where he lay on one of the four wooden pallets. "At least there are no rats."

Mark Hunter snorted. He was leaning against the wall with his arms folded across his chest, glaring at the bars that shut them in. "I think we need to consider the possibility that these beings are more than animals." He waved a hand at the chiseled stone walls that rose about them, the wooden pallets, the cast iron bars. "Look at all this. It takes intelligence to build something like this.

Giving up on the door, Paul turned around and sighed. "That first one we took certainly looked almost human--except for those pointed ears, of course."

"Pointed ears," Thomas mused. "Like Elves in the old stories."

"Yeah," Paul stepped away from the unmoving bars and dropped down to sit on a pallet. "But the second one--that one we were about to get when they got us--had six appendages. I've never heard of an intelligent creature with four legs and two arms."

"It was a Centaur," Thomas said thoughtfully.

"A what?" Mark asked. "A Scent R? Sounds like some kind of deodorizer."

Thomas blinked and shook his head. "No, no. A Centaur. In ancient mythology, they were half man and half horse."

Paul nodded slowly. "That's certainly what it looked like."

"So, what you're telling me," Mark said, "is that we've been imprisoned by storybook creatures."

"Looks that way," Thomas replied. "It could be worse, though. They could have been Goblins and Trolls."

"Whatever those are," Paul said with a grimace, "they sound bad."

"You better believe it," Thomas said.

Mark shifted his shoulders against the stone and frowned. "In the stories, are Centaurs and Elves intelligent?"

"Yeah," Thomas said, "they are. But you can't possibly think that these creature are Elves and Centaurs. Those are fairy tales. This is real life."

The End

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