It had been a day since their last meal, and to Ameli it was an unbearable time full of misery and blame. Blame that she would point at her traveling companion, Clark. Though, in honesty, he was to thank for the previous meal’s existence. Despite that, they were hungry, upset, and hopelessly lost in the most complicated dungeon imaginable.
“You’re ABSOLUTELY sure there isn’t ANY food left in your bag?” Ameli asked, knowing full well that they had finished the two weeks of rations the previous night. Also, it being that she had asked this question twice before today, and once in the past hour.
“Once again, Yes.” Clark reiterated as he tried to read the book he held, An Adventurer’s Guide to Caves, Dungeons, and Holes, using the light illuminating from the twig he called a wand.
“But did you even check?” She continued, but Clark did not reply with anything more than a scowl of focused annoyance aimed directly at the page of his book. Ameli let out a long groan as she leant against the wall before dramatically sliding down to the floor with a thump. Clark stopped to look at her pathetically, but she did not return the look through her dramatics. Instead she sat against the wall, continuing to let out the world’s longest groan. Clark took the opportunity to calmly, and quietly sit against the wall across from her.
“You’re not the only one who is hungry, you know.” Clark mumbled but was ultimately drowned out by Ameli’s groaning. “You’re also wasting energy by…”
“Don’t care.” Ameli groaned out as she took a breath so that she could continue the sound which Clark equated to a dying animal. Not one in extreme pain, mind you, but more of a mild discomfort at dying. Though as she continued Clark realized that the hallway they were in was echoing her misery throughout the dungeon.
“You know you might attract enemies if you don’t stop.” Clark bargained, desperately wanting her to stop so he could read in silence.
“Maybe they will have food…” She once again moaned amidst the sound of the monster roaring from her stomach. Though with this she did stop, which did alarm Clark to look up from the page on rock formations and the philosophical meaning. Ameli was looking further down the hall of the dungeon in perplexed thought. “Clark.”
“Ameli.” He gave back with the utmost sass.
“What?” She looked at him confused.
“You said my name, I was saying it back.”
“Oh. Shush.” She held a finger to her mouth before returning her gaze to the hallway before them. It took a second but Clark heard what she was quieting him for. It was faint but there was a sound echoing back towards them, something Clark could have easily mistook for Ameli’s groaning. This wasn’t it though, it sounded like… insects.
Before Clark could start to arrange his thoughts, or find a book to explain the noise, Ameli did as she always did. She took off towards the sound. Clark quickly scrambled to his feet to follow her, but found himself alone running after the sound of her distancing footsteps. His book was shut and placed in his pouch and he was chasing the fleeting sound of his friend into a darkness that was faster than him.
What if he loses her? The dungeon separates them for good? He would be all alone in a place he didn’t want to be in the first place. Clark knew she would be fine. Ameli was strong. Panic filled his chest and head. He only knew the darkness that he couldn’t outrun, and the light from his wand didn’t seem capable of keeping away. The walls were a blur, so much that he almost didn’t notice them change. Change? Oh no. He was going to lose her. He was going to die here and it would be his fault. All because he couldn’t keep up with Ameli again…
Though, amidst the anxiety and fear clenching Clark as he tried to catch up to his partner he was too blind to see her stopped in the middle of the hallway until too late. She also wasn’t paying attention to anything more than the strange buzzing wax covered hole in front of her. So the two friends stopped to reunite as Clark crashed into Ameli sending them both into and through the waxy floor covering down into another part of this prison known as Lemniscate, The Infinite Dungeon.
“My boots aren’t working!” Ameli shouted as the two fell into uncertainty. Clark realized why they weren’t working, but found that falling to certain doom was not the time to give Ameli another lecture on why her magic boots of levitation did not stop her from falling. Instead he searched his mind for a spell that would work.
Ameli realized that Clark was probably trying to think of some magic to help out. Trusting him, she looked to where they were falling. Before she could really get an idea of where they were, she began to notice a slowing of their descent. Feathers fell around them as Clark cast a beginner’s incantation that put them slowly onto the ground.
“Why didn’t my boots work?!” Ameli shouted, concerned her new magic boots were broken. “I used them before! Why now, boots?”
“Because your boots don’t let you fly. All they do is negate the force of gravity on you.” Clark explained while Ameli pulled off her boots, examining event he soles.
“Okay. So why didn’t they negate the force of us falling?” Ameli sassed, returning her boots to their place upon her feet. Clark sighed.
“Because it only negates the force of gravity, so if you had continued falling forever then you would fall consistently at the speed you were moving upon activating but…”
“Where are we?”
Clark let out another sigh at being cut off before joining Ameli in her investigation of their surroundings. “It looks…”
“Like a big beehive!” Ameli shouted with glee, before going over to one of the hexagonal cells on the wall. “So does that mean this is honey?”
“It’s possible.” Clark came to the wall and touched his hand to one of the waxy cells Ameli was panning over. A blue light shone from around where his hand was on the wall. Immediately the spell he cast informed him that it was mostly just sugar and water. “Yeah, it’s honey.”
Ameli gave a look that Clark could only compare to that of a child who had been denied candy ever since their first taste being told they were now the proud owners of a sweet shop… made of sweets. Before he could say anything Ameliorate had pulled out her sword and punctured it straight into one of the cells.
“That may not be a good idea.” Clark started.
“What’s the worse that could happen?” Ameli stated as she pulled her sword from the wall. With it a stream of honey began pouring from the puncture. It flowed down the wall and onto the ground and at her feet. “Oh.” She said, taking a step back from the puddle of honey.
“I told you.” Clark stated matter-of-factly.
“Well, this sure is a…”
“Sticky … Situation.”
The world went still as the words were uttered. The wind forgot to blow through the trees of distant forests. Oceans calmed, and left the water smooth. Animals stopped their hunting and hiding to take witness to this event. The rustle and bustle of cities stopped as the world no longer seemed to spin. The sun stopped in the sky and the moon joined it in a moment of amazement. Clouds did not drift, and rain did not fall. Somewhere a baby cried. Time did not pass for the longest time, as the universe collectively took in a breath. Then, after an eternity disguised as a few seconds, the universe let out a sigh, and everything went back to normal.
“You sound like your Dad.” Clark sighed, his face digging into his hands in utter contempt.
“My Dad is hilarious.” Ameliorate chuckled, happy with her joke. Clark, desperate for Ameli to not make any more jokes, started looking for something to put the honey in. Ameli took the time to take a taste of the subject of her humor. “This stuff is delicious!”
“Yes, well, if I can find a jar we can take some with us.”
“Oh, man. I can hardly…”
“If you say contain yourself I will destroy this entire place.” Clark looked at her with death in his eyes.
“That’s much better than what I was going to say.” Ameli commented.
Before Clark could question what joke she was going to make instead of the obvious a hexagonal hole in the floor opened behind them. Up it flew two of the largest bees either of them had ever seen. Clark assessed that they must have been six feet tall as they landed in front of Ameli and he. A set of spears were pointed at them, which left only the sound of honey slowly pouring out of the floor. Ameli and Clark raised their hands in surrender.
“I had something for this.” Ameli said, furrowing her brow.
“Ameli… Just leave it be.” Clark begged.
“Oh! That’s a good one!”