A Shadowlander's Tale: The Lingering Shadows Within
Written by Kathryn K Williams
Before long the tunnel came to an end and I could barely believe what I saw before me. I found myself standing at the edge of a very impressive chasm. It's depth swallowed up all forms of light leaving very little for my eyes to take in. I gazed up to see no opening overhead and I looked around to find I could not even see the other side.
"Where is the bridge?" I inquired curiously.
The spider grinned at me, "That is the part I enjoy the most about this job." It stated gleefully as it gathered some thread from its abdomen between its arms, "Stay right here and give me a moment. I will only be a second."
"A... alright..." I backed up against the wall to give the creature way and watched as it tossed a line out into the great darkness before us. In amazement I watched the glowing line fly through the blackness and stick to something at the far end. Suddenly the spider jumped upon the line and started across the pit. The thread did not bend under the creatures weight even the slightest and I watched in awe as the spider moved with swift sureness to the centre and tie another line to the first then leap off. Before my very eyes I observed as the spider wove the magnificent triangles of a truss bridge before me. Instead of steel beams I was surrounded by sturdy glowing threads that has been woven to the thickness of steel. Then the spider started to create horizontal beams between the pillars with such speed that my eyes could no longer see the creature and only the project at hand. Diagonal beams towered over head connecting the entire structure together.
Before I knew it the cavern was a light with the glow of a massive bridge and I could see an opening in the side of a cliff at the other side of the chasm. I could hardly imagine how the spider managed to build such a fascinating structure and as I marvelled over its grandeur I saw the spider jump down to the middle of the bridge and walk casually towards me, a grin still upon its face.
"I always love doing that." It explained as it brushed its front arms together, "The emotions that come from visitors as they watch is always thrilling and they make my work all the more worth while."
"I... it is magnificent." I said in awe, my jaw probably hanging near my knees.
"I model my works after images in your own mind." It explained simply, "So I own you to this structure. You do not think simple now do you." It laughed then gestured across the bridge, "If you would follow me we will be on our way."
I hurried across the bridge, excited to be able to witness such wonders, "You really are something. What is your name by the way?" I finally asked, feeling ashamed that I had not inquired of its name before.
"People just call me ‘The Guardian' and nothing more." It stated, "I do not mind and it has a ring of prestige, do you not think?"
I nodded, "It is a very grand and suitable name." I smiled up at the creature.
"I have a favour to ask of you." The spider asked politely, glancing down at me.
"Anything, just name it." I stated, more then happy to help my new friend.
"You know of that Dr. Jakes fellow. I need you to give him something." It stated, I could almost hear the fear in the spiders voice, "He threatens everything this place represents and all those who have escaped from his reality. If he is left to his own devices then he will endangering your friend and niece, mayhaps us all."
I nodded, "Alright."
"Take this." The spider handled out a small skeleton key on a silver chain to me "Give this to him for me now would you?"
"Uhhh... sure..." I took the key and stared at it. It shone with the same soft blue light as the webs.
"When you do tell him to use it on any door and it will take him where he wants." The spider explained.
I eyed the spider carefully, "What will it really do?" I inquired curiously.
"That is a surprise for you to see." The spider grinned at me then pointed to the far end of the bridge, "You will have to face the Hall of Mirrors if you are going to escape this place. It is a place where you must decide what you want in life."
"Thanks you." I bowed to the spider, "It has been a pleasure having tea with you."
The spider bowed as best a spider could, "The pleasure was mine. I look forward to your return."
"I shall." I promised and turned to face the new cave before me.
The spider set an arm upon my shoulder and leaned close to my ear, "Focus on what you truly want in this world and it will draw you to it."
"I... I'll try..." I said, nervously staring into the depths of the dark cave that stood before me. Taking a deep breath I took a step forward and allowed the darkness to swallow me.
"Have faith in yourself and you will be fine." The spider called out behind me, its voice echoing off the walls around me, "I'll see you soon."
"Later." I replied, even though in my heart I was not sure if I would be able to return, never mind escape this world.
To be continued
Note: The world of the shadowlands, Its stories, Characters and ideas are a copyright of Kathryn K Williams.
This story is based upon my manga of the same name. If you wish visit my site and see some of the art based on this series at http://www.KatAndNekoManga.ca
Also if you spot any typos or other errors please contact me at Kathryn@KatAndNekoManga.ca