This is Part 18 of an on-going serial I’m writing called, “Lyr the Enchanter”. To read the story from the beginning, you can find the story index, here.
Whatever was lurking in the dark only made itself known when we stepped off the bridge, although it never moved from the shadows.
‘Lady Arastia,’ it wheezed. ‘What brings you down below?’
I had seen the gatekeeper only once. He was old beyond counting, his form beyond comprehension. He was not of my world, but from the world of nightmares.
‘Mind your business!’
‘It is my duty to keep the gate, Lady. You know this.’
Arastia turned to stare into the gloom. Slipping her hand into a fold of her dress, she withdrew a small potion bottle and held it up for the gatekeeper to see.
‘You have a gift for me?’ he asked, his voice laced with ill-concealed desire. A hand of bone and nothing else escaped the darkness, reaching for what Arastia held.
When it was only a finger’s breadth away it vanished and the gatekeeper wailed.
Arastia, laughing, beckoned me further into her father’s otherworldly kingdom.
Written for Crimson’s Creative Challenge # 18 | Once more, I’m over the word count (159)…this story just keeps getting away from me…