Story Time: “The Better Part of Valor”

Hi all,

Happy New Year’s Eve!  Today, we have Leandra’s response to Gwen’s prompt to write about a choice between three doors.  Be safe and have fun tonight!

Happy Reading,

Leandra and Gwen

The Better Part of Valor

By Leandra Ranger

            While traveling the world, Courage found a house.  It was decently large and all stone, with two huge wooden doors carefully worked with iron.  There were no windows and no other doors (Courage checked), just the big ones.  Just as strange and exciting was the fact that it was all by itself in the middle of a forest.  With such unique mystery, Courage couldn’t help but want to explore, and she grabbed one of the door handles.

To her surprise, one door swung open when she pulled hard enough; it wasn’t locked, just heavy.  Upon entering, she politely closed the door and found an elaborate room with columns, marble floors, and vaulted ceilings.  However, it was completely empty except for two doors at the opposite end.  They were surprisingly normal wooden doors, but Courage still approached, sure that there would be something interesting behind them.  Just as she touched the handle on the left door, a voice emanated from the room.

“Welcome to my game!” it crowed.

“Oh! This will be fun,” exclaimed Courage, “I love games! What are the rules?”

The Room snickered, and the two door sprang open.  Courage jumped back as a cold blast of snow and ice flew out at her.  Fire whooshed through the door to her right.

“You must choose which storm to let free,” proclaimed the Room, “or you will starve here.”

Courage, still shivering, looked at the ice storm through the left door and winced at the idea.  She then looked at the firestorm through the right door and didn’t fancy that either.  With a shrug, she turned around and started walking back across the room.

“What are you doing?” bellowed the Room.  “You have to choose!”

“I am,” replied Courage, stride not faltering.  The Room started shaking.

“That is not an option!”  A column fell, and Courage jumped back so that it wouldn’t take her with it.  The quickest way out is over, she thought, and started scaling the large pillar.

“Take a door,” rumbled the Room, dropping a stone toward Courage.  She jumped off the pillar at the last moment to avoid it, breathing heavily.  That had been close.  At least she was almost at the large double doors

“Turn back,” called the Room, almost pleading, “play my game.  I won’t let my storms hurt you!”  So much ceiling had been thrown at Courage that sun was shining through.  “You would live!”  A wide fissure opened between Courage and the door, leaving only a couple feet on the other side.  Courage turned around.

“You’ve come to your senses, I see,” the Room purred.  The shaking stopped.  Heart beating fast, Courage shrugged, feigning nonchalance while walking a little further to the center of the room.

Suddenly, she turned around and sprinted to the fissure.  The Room screamed with the sound of countless tons of stone crushing each other, but Courage was already at the large gash in the ground.  Afraid but undaunted, she leapt over the obstacles as her surroundings began to shake again.

“You will not leave!”  As Courage landed, the ground began to crumble beneath her feet, but she grabbed the door handle and used her momentum to swing it open once more.  As soon as she stepped upon grass, the ground stabilized again.  She looked back upon the crumbling Room and shrugged.

“Another disaster averted,” she chirped.  Humming, she left the new ruin to find her next adventure.

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