The Trap Door

A story about two friends who search for an adventure in the rain.

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1. Rainy Invitation

Rain rapped against the shuttered window in the rhythm of a cool summer shower. In the center of the cramped apartment two young friends sat staring at the wall. Forbidden to go out in the rain, they had found little refuge in Jesk's home above the tailor shop, and by mid-afternoon both of them were convinced that all adventures to be had within the confines of his small room had long ago taken place.

 

Sighing, Jesk turned to Eryana. "So, what do you want to do?" he asked for the hundredth time.

"I don't know, Jesk. There's nothing more to do now than an hour ago." She gazed longingly at the shuttered window, pushing a strand of golden hair away from her eyes. "I hate the rain."

 

Jesk grunted in agreement, picking up a set of discarded dice and rattling them in his hands. Eryana leaned back against a stuffed chair and wrapped her arms about her knees. For a moment she considered picking up the book that lay by her side and then discarded the idea, remembering the hero's flight through a dismal rainstorm. Instead, she scanned the room in desperation for some hidden treasure that might offer even the smallest interlude of entertainment. Eventually, her gaze fell upon their cloaks draped over a chest in one of the cluttered corners. She paused as an idea transpired in a distant corner of her mind's eye and then waltzed over to the window and opened the shutter, not bothering to fight off the smile pulling at her delicate lips.

"What are you doing?" Jesk asked, dropping the dice and hurrying to the window. "Eryana, close the shutter. You'll let all the heat out." A cold breeze fluttered in, bringing with it a thousand tiny raindrops that tickled their cheeks with invitation.

Silently Eryana obeyed and turned to face her friend with a grin stretched widely across her angelic face, the trace of a dimple appearing near one corner of her mouth.

"Oh no," Jesk sputtered, "You have that look again. I'm not taking part in another of your schemes."

Eryana shoved past him and picked up their cloaks, pressing one into Jesk's reluctant hands. "Hush up, Jesk. It's not a scheme; it's an adventure!"

"It's the same thing. Besides, we can't go outside; Pa said so."

"He'll never know—put your cloak on. If we don't go now, there won't be enough time," she said, hurriedly pulling her own cloak over her shoulders.

Jesk decided in his better interest not to press it, and shrugged on his cloak. He had never succeeded in changing her mind about anything since they had met; what would make it any different now? "Are you at least going to tell me what adventure we might be having?" he asked, attempting to sound indifferent.

 

Grinning, Eryana cracked open the door and peered down the narrow hallway leading to the stairs. Satisfied all was clear, she stepped into the corridor and peeked back to make sure Jesk was coming. "I can't tell you. It's a secret." She reached through the doorway and grasped his hand, tugging him down the hallway behind her.

Standing at the bottom of the stairs, Jesk's father could be heard conversing with a customer in the next room. Only a heavy curtain kept them from being discovered by a simple glance in their direction. "I don't think this is a good idea," Jesk whispered quickly into his friend's ear. She only put a finger to her lips and pulled up her hood, shadowing her soft features. Without a sound, Eryana pulled a reluctant Jesk out the back door.

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