|25. Breaking and Entering
Rosella stood before the ominous iron door that was hinged into a mountainside. Tilting her head back a little,
she glanced up at the several ton rock awning above her head supported by four large marble pillars, blue eyes
praying that age hadn’t weakened anything. She unrolled the leather pouch that she had been holding for so long
in her nervous sweaty palm. The key dropped out clumsily with a clang on the smooth stone surface outside the
crypt. Rosella squinted as if the sound might wake the dead while crouching down and hastily picking up her
precious item. “Jenna said this key would open the crypt and that I would find Cupid’s bow inside in order to
defeat Lolotte and save Tamir,” mumbled the princess as if the words themselves reassured her of what it was
she was doing.
The skeleton key slid into the old lock just as the tiny fairy had said it would with a click. Turning the key to the
left, the princess smiled as she heard the distinct sound of ancient tumblers falling into place, releasing the lock
for the one who holds the key. Rosella released the key, and turned her attention to a large iron ring fastened to
the great door. Wrapping her slender hands around the cold metal, she took a deep breath, and did her best to
imagine what stance would give her the best leverage in her awkward heels. While the image was most certainly
comical to any of the birds that watched the wealthy girl from their perches dotted among the gravestones, there
was a fact none could deny. Despite her royal graces, thin little arms, and foolish attire, Rosella had the grit to
pull the giant iron door open with a little groan from her, and great groan from the old hinges. She may have only
opened it a sliver, but Rosella after all, was no more than a sliver of a girl!
Careful not to snag the delicate fabric of her outfit, Rosella slipped inside the spooky crypt. The slightly opened
door allowed a shaft of light to cut into the low light of the torches that burned on the walls. How the fires
remained lit for all time was not something the pretty princess wanted to find out. Suffice to say, dark magic had
its hand in things here. The entranceway led onto a stone platform, high above the floor of the crypt. A long rope
ladder lie in a heap by the edge, presumably the only safe way down.
While the crypt was large, it was not so large that Rosella could not see it in its entirety from the stone platform.
Against the northern wall stood an ornate sarcophagus, resting place of the mummy. A shiver ran down her spine
as she imagined its red eyes, rotting bandages, and reaching hands. Hanging on a hook on the lid of the
sarcophagus was a simple little bow and quiver of arrows. “Cupid’s bow!” exclaimed Rosella immediately
cupping her hand over her foolish mouth. There was a moan that creepily filled the chamber and then nothing but
the flicker of the torches. Daring to breath again, the princess surveyed the rest of the crypt from the safety of the
platform. In the southern corner was a small black box with clawed feet. It was Pandora’s box, and sat exactly
where Rosella had returned it on her previous journey to Tamir. An odd thought occurred to her as she looked at
its deceiving plainness. Certainly Lolotte would have wanted to release all the evil stored in Pandora’s box. So
why did she not retrieve the box when sealing the bow inside the crypt? The question nagged at the girl’s curious
brain, but ultimately it wasn’t pertinent to know at the time. What she did need to decide was, how to safely get
Cupid’s bow. What will she do?