What a wonder, that old terror can be turned to new strength. Who could expect such a thing? Praise the Maker.
Hand in hand, the Wingfeather boys made their way deeper into the cave, the light behind them fading to nothing the way Oood’s breath had faded the night before. …
Kalmar led them on for what felt like an eternity before he stopped. “I can’t see. I just realized it.”
“What do you mean you just realized it?”
“I’ve been smelling my way, and I can kind of hear where the tunnel goes. I just closed my eyes and realized that everything’s totally dark now.”
Knowing that neither of them could see almost unhinged Janner. He had begun to feel like the mountain was pressing down on him, crushing the part of his mind that knew light and shape until he was forever blind. He needed to light the lantern before he went mad. When he let go of Kalmar’s hand he realized he had been squeezing it for a while now. But with nothing to hold onto he lost all sense of place and felt like he was falling. He staggered and caught himself against the wall. It was cold and damp, like the wall of the tunnel under Anklejelly Manor.
“What is it? Why are you laughing?”
“I was just thinking about Anklejelly Manor. The ghost of Brimney Stupe. Aaaaaaaaaaah.” Janner snorted with laughter. “We were so scared that day!”
“The hungry ghost of Brimney Stupe awaits your BONES to swallow,” Kalmar said, and now he was laughing too. “Remember how fast we ran home?”
“You were screaming like a little girl!” Janner wheezed and doubled over. It felt good to laugh, no matter how insane it seemed in their situation. As he leaned against the wall and slid to the floor, he wiped his eyes and saw a million colors. It was a comforting illusion. “That was the most afraid I’d ever been. And now we’re in the Deeps of Throg, and neither of us can see a thing. If the ghost of Brimney Stupe showed up, I’d give him a hug.”
It was, perhaps, the first time laughter had sounded in the Deeps of Throg, and when it had passed the brothers were braver for it.
Discussion: Have you ever experienced a reversal like this, where something you thought you couldn’t handle turned out to be what helped you handle something else?
Do you enjoy scary stories? What do you like about them? What are your favorites?
Do you agree with Podo or Leeli about the dragons?
What passage stood out to you this week?
Andrew on tour: By the time this post is up, Andrew will have already finished one UK show, but there are four more! If you live anywhere near one, I know he’d love to see you. Check out his music page for details and tickets!