Part 2: Chapter 14: The Mapmaker

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Part Two 

Chapter Fourteen 

The Mapmaker. 

The tunnel appeared to be stretching on and on. The faster the children ran, the further away their destiny became. Chase slowed the pace signally Amy to slow too. Then all of a sudden the creature was gone and the tunnel opened up into a huge cave with carved, decorated walls and arched ceilings.  

Tall black candles dripping with hot wax and brass oil lamps let off a strange smoky vapour and lit up a magnificent cavern.

"What The Hells this!?" exclaimed Chase hardly believing what he was looking at.

It looked like a magician's lair, if ever there were such a place. Strange odours filled the room; coloured bottles of bubbling liquid hissed and steamed everywhere. Odd leather bound books reached the arched ceiling, either in bookcases or piled precariously on top of one another. Scrolls and manuscripts were scattered across trunks and large armchairs. Medieval tapestries and paintings hung from the walls.  

There was a stuffed owl in a brass cage and bundles of peacock feathers and quills crammed into several tall silver topped jars. Maps, compasses and scales cluttered a gigantic desk. Strange globes floated unaided in the air. On the wall behind the huge desk was a very old drawing of a pentacle, very similar to what Chase and Amy had seen on The Wall in the cellar at Weir House. Next to this was a fat glass jar filled with yellowing liquid containing what looked like a two-headed pig. More glass jars of various sizes and colours containing other equally bazaar things were on shelves all around the cavern.  

Then suddenly behind them in the distance came a sudden creak and then a loud crash! Invisible locks and chains could be heard flying into place, barring their way out! Amy leaped behind Chase as he turned, clinging tightly to his arm, just as a huge door, which they had obviously come through but not seen, also suddenly slammed shut. The key in its lock, turned. The echo thundered on and on through the cavern making all the glass jars shudder. The occupants inside appeared to wave eerily.  

"Ooh Chase we're trapped! But what is this place?" whispered Amy waving her hand around the cavern. "It's well... it's like it was on earth... I mean the things... the paintings... of humans and I'm sure I've seen something like that," she pointed to a five legged lamb, "on the Isle of Wight," she looked at Chase, who seemed confused, "in a jar," she added, "not in a field."  

Chase nodded towards the darkest corner in the room. It suddenly shimmered as the cloaked figure stepped into view again.  

"What the bloody Hell's go on!? We could've been killed back there! Are yer The Mapmaker?" Chase asked angrily. The figure stood stiffly with its arms folded across its chess, the large hood still covering its face.  

"Hmmm. That depends," answered a deep voice. "Do you want me to be The Mapmaker?"  

"It would save a lot of time if yer just tell us," sighed Chase. He was beginning to think this was all some kind of joke.  

The Cloaked figure laughed, "I like saving time!" then began talking faster and in a much higher pitched voice. "Oh! I can see I'm going to like you! I'll give you nine points for finding the right cave, even though I did make it extremely easy for you. Eight for not panicking too much when time shifted–although you should've done better there–"  

"Time shifted?" Cut in Chase. "What y'mean?"  

"Yes, yes time shifted. What else could it have been?! An illusion? Well, yes, I suppose some of it was– and don't interrupt me when I'm in full flow! I thought you'd be able to work it out far quicker than you did or maybe you didn't– or come up with something of your own. Tut tut tut, you should've done! Should've done! Seven for the finger trail– good idea, but quite useless here! We can't have every Tom, Dick or Harry following it, can we, thinking they can find me? Minus two for following a complete stranger into the unknown, but then again, if you hadn't, you wouldn't be here now, would you? And then you wouldn't have any points at all, would you, would you? No! Hahaha!"  

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