I looked around the room that was now our prison. Everything in it seemed so uncharacteristic of Perdeen and Rutheus’ rule. From everything I had heard and read, I’d never imagined there would even be a room like this in his entire castle.
It was larger than a prison cell and despite its stark appearance it was not uncomfortable. I wandered around the perimeter twice, leaving the safety of our circle that had now turned to white sand.
Curious I leaned down and swept some of the sand into my palm. The grains were like teeny tiny pebbles of various shades of white. Some sparkled, some shimmered, and some were as clear as glass. With a sigh I tossed the grains over my shoulder and returned to my pacing.
As I came around to where I had tossed the sand I noticed some inconsistencies with the flooring. I got down on my knees to examine the strange phenomenon. Little tufts were coming out of the hard wood that looked almost like…
“Carpet,” I exclaimed.
“What?” Sareanne asked surprised.
“What were these rooms like before?” I asked wonderingly.
“They were servant’s quarters,” she replied confused. “They weren’t as nice as the rest of the house, but my father made sure there was a fireplace in each room and a comfortable bed and carpets on the floors. No one ever complained.”
I wandered around the room again pondering the turn of events and contemplating what could have caused the carpet to appear in little tufts all over the floor in that corner and then it struck me. The sand! I raced to my circle and scooped up another handful of sand and tossed it in the same area, but concentrated on one corner.
I heard the same hissing sound that had accompanied the tarrange’s change and watched as the bare floors melted away to reveal soft carpets and the corner of a fireplace.
“Sareanne, look!” I half shouted.
She glanced over to where I pointed and her eyes widened. “What did you do?”
“The sand,” I cried. “I looked at it and then tossed it over and where it landed the curse burned away.”
“Just like the tarrange,” she finished.
I nodded excitedly. This was a fantastic development and my mind moved quickly towards a possible solution.
“Do you think you could make a protective circle big enough to fill the entire room or even the castle?” I asked anxiously.
“I don’t think I could do the castle,” she replied hesitantly. “It exhausted me just to surround the cottage.”
“Let’s start with the room,” I encouraged.
She nodded and then began speaking the words under her breath. At first I didn’t notice any changes, but slowly I saw the bare floor boards disappear and soft carpets appear in various places. I wondered that they hadn’t shown up when she had first built the circle around us, but then I realized as the room changed to its former appearance that where we had been standing was bare floor.
The carpets were located strategically throughout the room to give comfort when treading with bare feet from the dresser to the bed and fireplace. When she finished she slumped heavily against me and I helped her over to the soft bed. She closed her eyes concentrating on her breathing and I looked around at our magically refurbished room.
The bars were gone from the window and had been replaced with glass panes that sparkled ever so slightly in the fast approaching evening light. The door no longer had a barred window, but stood whole in its frame, allowing for privacy of the occupant. I went over and tried the knob. It turned easily in my hand like it had never been locked.
“Did it work,” Sareanne asked breathlessly.“Yes, even better than I thought,” I said swinging the door open to reveal the empty hallway.