Kirby's Elevator, by Andrew Looney


Once again the little bell rang and the elevator doors swished open.

Yes, it was a dungeon. Gwen peered out of the open elevator doors and saw a small chamber with gray stone walls and a heavy oak door with a tiny barred window. Fortunately, the dungeon door was standing partly open, so Gwen and Kirby wasted no time in escaping from the dungeon.

They found themselves at the end of a small, subterranean hallway. Mounted on the walls at various intervals were flickering torches. Kirby led the way along the hallway to a set of stairs going up. Gwen's slippers squeaked on the cold stone floors.

Upstairs they found themselves in the Great Hall of the Ogre's castle. Windows lined both walls, and bright sunlight streamed in through the windows. Gwen suddenly realized that they must be in a different part of the world, since it was still night back at home.

Mounted all along the walls were ancient weapons: swords, battleaxes, spears, plus shields, helmets and suits of armour. In the center of the Great Hall was a huge firepit. A fire had been burning in the pit earlier... but when Gwen peered down into the pit, she could see only glowing embers.

Gwen went over to the wall on the left side of the chamber to peer out of the windows. Outside, she could see a dense forest. Huge, old trees stood elbow to elbow for as far as she could see. Gwen felt afraid when she looked at the forest. Although the sunlight that streamed in through the windows was warm and cheerful, Gwen knew that if you went into the woods beyond this castle, the sunlight would be blocked by the tops of the trees and it would be dim as twilight even in the middle of the day.

Next, Gwen went over to the right side of the Great Hall to look out of those windows. What she saw on this side of the hall was completely different from the other side. These windows looked down into a small courtyard. The walls of the castle enclosed this little yard completely - she could see the castle walls stretching out from either side of the windows and meeting across the way.

In the courtyard was a beautiful, lush garden of flowers.

Gwen instantly wanted to be down in that courtyard. "Kirby," she said excitedly, "how do we get down into the courtyard?"

Kirby meowed, and trotted out of Great Hall through a large doorway in one corner. Gwen followed, through the doorway, down a hall, down a spiral staircase, along another hallway, into an anteroom, and then, through a pair of big oak doors, out into the Ogre's garden.

Gwen gasped. What wonderful smells! Gwen was nearly overpowered by a wave of delicious fragrances and magnificent scents.

Everywhere Gwen looked she saw flowers. Flowers covered all of the bushes and sprawled across all of the flowerbeds. Gwen was amazed that so many different types of flowers could even exist, let alone be gathered together in the same garden. The display of color was dazzling; so many different hues and shades, all shining vividly in the bright sunshine.

But what really astounded Gwen was the smell of the garden. Never before in her life had she smelled such a delicious combination of fragrances. The smell of the Ogre's garden, full of flowers, was even better than the smell of the candy shop. Gwen breathed in the smell in huge breaths.

In the center of the courtyard was an apple tree, and under the tree was a small fish pond. Gwen wandered along a stone pathway to the fishpond. Lillypads floated in the pond, and Gwen could see enormous goldfish swimming around in the murky water. Near the fishpond, a small stone bench waited patiently for someone to sit down; Gwen let the bench do its job, and sat for a long time, smelling the flowers in the garden and watching the fish swim around in the pond.

Suddenly, Kirby came trotting up. He seemed agitated, so Gwen stood up and said "What's wrong, Kirby?"

Kirby meowed, and trotted away.

"Oh, dear," said Gwen, "I keep forgetting that Kirby can only talk while he's in the elevator." She decided she'd better see what he wanted, and ran off after him.

Gwen followed Kirby back up to the Great Hall, and then back the way they'd come into the dungeon. There, he quickly dashed into the elevator, and Gwen followed him.

"Now then," said Gwen, "What's wrong?"

"The Ogre is waking up," said Kirby. "That means it's time to go."

"But I thought you said he wasn't so bad," said Gwen.

"He's not so bad if he doesn't see you," said Kirby. "But if he finds you in his garden and he happens to be in a bad mood, he might just decide to eat you for breakfast."

"Breakfast?" said Gwen. "But it's the middle of the day! How can the Ogre just now be waking up?"

"He likes to sleep late," said Kirby.

Gwen was just about to say something else when, without warning, the elevator's bell rang, and the doors closed. Gwen looked at the control panel, and just as she did so, she saw the button labeled "The Ogre's Dungeon" fade slowly away. It disappeared, and left nothing behind except a smooth space on the control panel. Gwen gasped, and then sighed.

"Only one button left," she said sadly. "I guess it's time to go home." She pushed the button labeled "Gwen's Kitchen", and sat down on the pillows.


Chapter 5: Gwen's Kitchen

Copyright © 1996 by Andrew Looney.

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