Dunscaith Castle

(Hey guys, this is Rebecca here! We’ve decided to write one short story, or the beginnings of one, each month. If you like the story, ask for more and we’ll continue it at some point. This one’s by Roman James. Please enjoy!)

The lion slowly walked towards the large open doors of the dimly-lit castle. The macaw gently waddled behind her, making soft cooing sounds.

The castle was high built, with elegant paintings on the roof and walls, and was barely visible by the light that streamed in from the windows on either side.

The lion carefully studied the furniture placed about, all of them with large long white sheets draped over each. Meanwhile, the macaw was very carefully creeping just behind the lion, glancing about with watchful eyes.

Pacing down the hall towards more doorways with the macaw close in tow, the lion stopped at an open door to her left. She gently peered around the corner, straining to see in the low light.

As the macaw peeked his small head past the frame, a low, gentle rumble could be heard from the room.

Jumping back as a gust of wind came through the doorway, the lion watched as the small macaw was blown across the hallway.

She gave him a small smile of amusement, which was returned by a cold stare of annoyance by the small bird.

Walking to the doorway again, the macaw spread his wings and loudly squawked into the dark room. His voice sounded against the cold walls and echoed slightly. He stood for a moment more before venturing in, closing his wings together.

The lion slowly followed him, unsure of what he was doing. She walked in the dark room for an unusual amount of time, following the mellow sounds of the macaw’s feet clicking on the floor, and the occasional squawk he produced.

Quickening her pace, she followed the sounds and found the small bird, standing in the dark turned towards her. He was softly cooing, and as she approached him, he turned once more and continued to hobble into the darkness of the room.

Still following the soft sound of the macaw’s feet against the floor, the lion heard his steps grow closer for a moment before they cut off abruptly.

Silence condensed in the room, and the slow cold feeling of the darkness clung to the air. The lion stopped walking and listened for the bird against the thickness of the room. She slowly started to walk forward again, still unsure of his whereabouts.

At first, she walked slowly, expecting to find the small bird ahead of her, but as she walked further, there was nothing but the cold silence of the room to greet her.

Her steps now making soft sounds echo off the walls on either side, she stopped after a short amount of time, and turned around, puffing a deep breath of air. Closing her eyes, she listened closely to the dampness of the room, listening for any sounds of the macaw.

She stood for a time, and then a time after that, listening to the walls gently mimicking the sound of her breaths, and the soft movement of her chest. She felt herself grow heavy, and began to feel her heartbeat rise.

The silence was at once broken, as a very faint squawk could be heard echoing across the room. Opening her eyes, the lion started off in the direction of the noise, pacing across the floor. She ran for a while before reaching one wall of the room, so long that it ran along beyond her sight on both sides. Moaning, she tossed her head from side to side, looking for any clues that the bird had been there.

A soft squawk could again be heard from her right side, and so she ran along the wall once more, carefully avoiding the tall candle stands that lined it. She moved quickly over the floor, placing each paw in front of the other in a quick staccato movement.

The faint squawks grew louder as she moved, and she could hear less of an echo as she closed in. The lion slowed her pace as she approached something on the floor of the room, a large soft fabric that spread out across the floor.

She gently stepped onwards, making calls to the bird every few moments. The macaw would then respond to her sounds with gentle squawks. The lion moved closer to the source, now running full across the fabric floor.

All at once, a large wall, and more importantly, the small macaw appeared in front of her. She braced her feet against the floor in a desperate attempt to stop, but the fabric slid with her, and she went tumbling into the bird, smashing into the wall.

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