Waking up in the darkness was disconcerting. Eyes open or closed, at first it didn’t matter. At first, it was hard to tell if there was any difference at all. It took a little time, then gradually, the edges began to appear. The texture of cold stone, warm stone, dank corners and humid halls opened into an expanse of darkness, thin violet light glinting from the foxed surface of a giant mirror. This had been the way into the dungeon realm; now the reflections betrayed no door nor even whomever stood before it, only the shifting forms of the guards.
It was dangerous to walk the dungeon halls alone, as, so often, it turned out you were not alone at all. Walking with others trapped in the deep was rarely any better, chit chat carried through the darkness and the slightest misstep could shift a pebble, and call down more than spiders…
The longer you remained in the dark, the more you could see. Over time, through exploration, tunnels became familiar. Navigating well worn rat runs with some semblance of safety gave the courage to press on, ranging further into the unknown. The dungeon was bizzare, it seemed to reward bravery. Tunnels blank and dark bloomed with trails of light giving life, however poisonous looking the toadstools might be, it was these she followed now.
The dungeon was bazaar… literally. Strange paths led here eventually, darkness banished by flaming torches, the monotony of stone lifted by banners hanging the colours of the rainbow. It was here she met The Mokki. Even in these heights of the dungeons depths, to find a being so full of light was unusual. Butterflies danced around the essence of sunlight this creature seemed to exude, wise words on lilting melodies keeping them aloft. It was easy and pleasant to pull up a cushion, rest for a while, and listen. The Mokki offered comfort and conversation, and on her third visit, a gift.
“The dungeon has no hold on you past the grip you have on it in return…” The Mokki mused, reaching up and wafting one of the iridescent menelaus in her direction. “There is good to be done here in the dark, you bring the light… See?”
The butterflies multiplied as she walked. ‘Follow the light’ The Mokki said, and so she did, the delicate and ever growing swarm flying ahead, leading the way. Past corridors and alleyways she knew, to those she barely recognised, and through caverns she had never seen in all the long years in the dungeon, yet which had existed all along, intersecting paths she could, and apparently had, walked with her eyes closed.
Were her eyes decieving her? She paused, even as wings fluttered past, moving ever on. Was the lamp at her belt burning brighter? Were those wings reflecting more light? The toadstools at her feet, glowing with more intensity toward the end of the tunnel? Then it was gone, the darkness left behind , no trace of an exit, no shard of mirror to mark the spot. Toadstools here had a benign appearance, no poisonous miasma swirled at her feet. And sunlight. Finally, true sunlight lit her face.