Twocells  wandered through the caves. His guide had
promised "Aw then tic pastor all see nury"  but so far
all he had seen were caves. Spectacular caves, certainly,
and a few dull ones, but surely there would be an exit
somewhere. And then, why wouldn't the guide come down?
The outing wasn't a total loss. After all, he had met
Amsterdamberlincairodublinzurik who had kindly offered to
sell him moment oh!s and keep sakes  for his trip. Of
course, the merchandise had been just a little expensive,
and Twocells was not entirely sure that the pair of matched
diamonds were not zirconium^3, but still, it was only
money. There was more money back at the lodging.
Of course, now he could not eat until he returned to the
boarding house. He patted his pockets in case he had missed
an odd coin somewhere. No, he was flat broke and he seemed
to be stuck in a maze of tiny, twisty passages each one like
the last. His flowered shirt and long, wide shorts failed to
protect him from even the damp drafts that twisted around
Up ahead, there was a small tunnel leading left and
upward. This must be the way out! He turned and began
Something was shining on the floor, a very slight
octareen glow of magic. As he grew closer and his eyes
adjusted to the deeper gloom of the side passage, he
recognized the shape of a wand. He picked it up and
stuck it in his belt. You never know.
Soon it was obvious that this was not an exit. When
Twocells bruised his nose on the blank wall at the end,
even he had to admit it was a dead end tunnel. Dead is
such a prophetic word.
He turned and was surprised to see two bright eyes
peering at him.
"Top o' the marnin' to you, sir," the dark shape sang
out loudly, "and would you be having a spare coin or two
about your fine person?"
"Uhm, I'm, uh, sorry, n-no!" Twocells stammered, "I've
s-spent all my money today." He tried to see through the
gloom. All he could make out was a pointed beard and a
pointed ear. Well, this trip was looking up indeed! A
colorful local person! What more could you ask?
"Ah, surely a fine lad such as yourself, guv'ner, must
have a bit o' gold for old paddy?"
"No, I have none." Twocells was more sure of himself
now that he was faced with a definite tourist attraction.
"Would you come down below so I might see your colorful
"No gold, eh?" The bright friendliness was gone from the
voice, now it was low and threatening. "Aw, bugrit."
Suddenly, the colorful native leapt at Twocells! Pulling a
heavy stick from somewhere, he began to beat the hapless
tourist about the head and shoulders.
Twocells was taken unawares  and soon fell to his
knees. "No! Stop! You must not impede the inward flow of
foreign currency which will support and revitalize your
ailing economy!" It was no use, the blows continued.
A blow landed on his shoulder, knocking down his arm. His
hand brushed something protruding from his belt. The wand!
With any luck, it would be a /oFire or a /oDeath. Desperately,
Twocells grabbed it and shook it at his assailant.
A mighty voice roared out "TWOCELLS, I WILL GRANT YOU A
WISH. QUICKLY THOUGH, YOU WON'T LIVE TO MAKE IT IF YOU
Twocells, dazed, couldn't think straight. He found himself
voicing his current regret. "Uh, I wish I had money!"
ZZZzzzaaaAAAP! A single zorkmid appeared in his hand.
"Gold!" The colorful local shouted, dropping his club and
grabbing the coin. "A tip o' me hat, guv'ner, you come
through in the pinch!" So saying, he disappeared with a loud
Twocells groaned. He was broke again.
The wand had stopped glowing. He shook it anyway, just in
Twocells stood up. That sounded easy, didn't it?
Twocells stood up? No, it took nearly a hundred heartbeats
for the bruised and bloody traveler to get from his knees
to his feet. Along the way were many groans and shudders
and even a rest leaning against the dead end wall.
He looked at the wand, still in his hand. It seemed dark.
He tried to lift it, but the strain on his dislocated
shoulder made his hand shake. It shook, and shook, and
shook. Suddenly there was a loud voice.
"WHAT, YOU AGAIN? ALL RIGHT, I'LL GIVE YOU ONE MORE WISH.
BUT THIS IS THE LAST, MIND YOU, SO MAKE IT COUNT."
Twocells' jaw dropped. His hand was still shaking, but the
wand was definitely dark now. He thought about the cooling
draught of a healing potion. Then he thought about
wandering these horrible caves after drinking it.
"I want an exit," he said, "right here, and leading right
up to my lodgings."
This time the ZZZzzzaaaAAAP was accompanied by much
RRumumbling, a few screeches and the plop of some stray wet
cement that fell from somewhere. It instantly hardened by
Twocells' feet. After everything else had quieted down,
there was a tiny POP as the lump of cement disappeared.
As he crawled up the cold staircase, Twocells patted his
pocket and mumbled "They're diamonds. After all this,
they've got to be!"
||| Named for the number of
batteries providing light behind his eyes.
||| I don't know what a nury is either. It's
probably a long, hot giraffe. |
||| A keep sake is a kind of hot drink container.
||| He was rarely taken any other way. |