Gold glittered in the light of the torch as far as she could see which wasn’t actually very far as darkness pressed in from all sides. Flecked among the gold were the bright and colorful sparkles of precious stones attached to beautiful jewelry. She stood on a solid ground of pressed dirt. At her feet lay a ruby which seemed to have rolled from one of the golden mounds.
She grasped the torch and tugged it out of the ground. She had no idea where she was or what had happened. The last thing she remembered… well she thought about it, and she couldn’t remember anything.
Her heart began to race, and in order to calm it down, she decided to investigate the closest shimmering mound. Up close, the mound was actually made up from tiny, round coins made from pure shiny gold. She picked them up and let the pieces slide through her fingers, keeping one to examine it closely. On one side there was the face of a very regal looking person wearing a crown, on the other there was a crest with a shield and a bird holding onto a worm. She dug through and found many different variations of such gold in a similar shape only with different regal entities and differing symbols. They lit a small flame in the back of her head, but she let it go when she noticed a few pretty rubies and one bright sapphire floating free on the pile. Those she couldn’t help slipping into her pocket for safe keeping.
She started walking in a direction, still on the dirt though at times she’d kick one of the smaller pieces of gold in her way and then she’d have a companion for a few seconds until it gave up the march. The piles merged together, each of differing sizes, there was not always a clear ending or a clear beginning. They were just one long pile.
As she made her way, she found pieces that she had to take– other loose gems in her path, a necklace with more stones than she could name, and a delicate ring with gold wires swirled along the edge. Coins fell away from her hand when she removed pieces from the piles like grains of sand, splattering across the floor and tinkling across her bare toes. She put the ring on and kept walking, every so often looking down at her fingers. The intricate designs looped around one another.
A presence loomed over her, and she glanced up from her ring. A mountain of gold rose into the darkness. She lifted the torch and still couldn’t see the top, though something about it was different from the other piles. This one was darker and almost shinier. It was somehow smoother on the sides, and she instantly wanted to run her fingers over the pile to make those strange dark coins join their lighter counterparts, but the original pile she’d been following lay between her and the new, more interesting mound. She’d have to climb over that to reach the new subject of her curiosity.
She didn’t. She kept moving, taking note of all the variation in the large mountain. It had to have been an older pile. As she walked, it became such a deep red it verged on brown. Under the glow of the fire, it nearly appeared to move. She kept going, following the large mound until it began to taper back towards the ground nearly disappearing behind the heap between her and it.
She came to a stop and gasped. A face had appeared. The eyes were shut tight and the mouth slightly open. Dark flaps of flesh gently sputtered over the sharp teeth covered with yellow slime. Suddenly she remembered the sight of her kingdom from the air, every building the size of a doll house, even her beautiful castle with the stained glass windows and the lovely little moat that had lily pads growing in it.
Just as the creature opened its eyes, she dropped the torch, killing the flame and leaving them in complete darkness.
It’s not too late to join the challenge! Look to the end of this post by A.M. Harte to see the other participants and the basic “rules” of the challenge.