The Citadel

The softness of the unkempt spring grass tickled the palms of my hands as I brushed them away in search of the key. There was urgency in my head, but my hands wouldn’t express it. I needed them to. My friends were in that damned forsaken place.

I looked up at the Citadel before me shaped by time and the cavern it had sunken into many years prior. The opening above casted just enough sunlight into the massive rock structure to encourage the various vines, grasses, and occasional wildflowers to grow. Only partial areas of the Citadel were eroded ruins, but the northern door to the storage underneath the structure was intact. And still locked.

I grumbled at my clumsiness and looked back down into the moist dirt my hands had revealed. There it was. A nearly rusted key stared back up at me. I swore under my breath at it, berating it as if the key had purposely lost itself and hid from me. For good measure and my own personal satisfaction, I vigorously shook the rusted key with both hands, growling obscenities. The storage door I knew wasn’t just for storage was calling to me. My head turned towards it, thinking I had heard a whispering. I must be hearing things, I convinced myself. I reached the door, shoved the misbehaving key into the lock, and moved away the plank barricade from the wooden doors. Alright, here it goes… I thought to myself.

With a huge heave and a grunt, I managed to open both doors and prop them on the stone sidings next to them. I clapped my hands together to get the dust off of them and stared into the darkness. From my adventuring gear, I reached back and pulled my torch stick from the hook on my left. A match from my belt locked seemed to reach up to me like a child wanting to be picked up. I smiled and took it, lighting my torch. It illuminated the edges of the entrance to the Citadel’s storage compartment. With new light, I made my way down the staircase.

My hand clenched around my torch, my saving grace. Here I come, guys. I’m on my way. Just hold on.

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