The Cloud Castle – Page 119


Next Perilous Jack enters a narrow corridor, from which issues the sound of whimpering.

Hardly has he gone a few feet when he comes upon a pit in the floor, which seems to be the source of the noise. Peering down into the dimness, Jack sees – Princess Vasilisa! The girl sits upon a steel grate floor in a small, dirty chamber, crying softly to herself. Below the grate, Jack thinks he sees movement – another cell, perhaps? Or the lair of a creature?

“Vasilisa?” he asks. The girl leaps to her feet, a broad smile breaking out on her face.

“Jack! You’ve come to rescue me again! The Illithids captured us when we tried to escape. Layla’s in the next cell, Jack. I don’t know where the others are. I’ve been so worried, but Layla said you rescued her before and also you rescued me before, so we agreed you’d probably come and rescue us again. Help me out and we can go get Layla and look for the others.”

Jack hesitates. Certainly, what Vasilisa says is plausible, and the girl’s breathless manner of speaking is authentic, but there is something about this situation that feels wrong. There is a strange feeling of pressure on his mind, as if a cold finger lay across the surface of his thoughts.

If you think Perilous Jack should try to help Princess Vasilisa out of her cell, turn to 85.

If you think he should promise to return for her when the Giant is slain, turn to 134.