Volume 2, Issue 1, January 31, 2007|
|The Rainbow Bridge|
by Hank Quense
Gary Helgeson, holding an ancient amulet, watched in bafflement as the mirror and picture jumped off the wall for no discernable reason. After a blast of thunder rattled the dishes piled in the sink, the wall exploded inward, shattered by a solid-looking rainbow that stopped at the floor of his apartment. Gary dove under the kitchen table with the amulet still in his hands. A cloud of sheet-rock debris filled the air, dimming the brightness of the rainbow. Quaking in terror, Gary coughed at the pungent stink of ozone and dust. He covered his nose and mouth with a hand towel.
Two figures grappled on the rainbow. One, tall with a slender build and wind-blown reddish-brown hair, held a second in a headlock, pulling him along. The second struggled and bleated.
Once they stumbled off the end of the rainbow, it disappeared and the wall reassembled itself, like a film run backwards. The mirror and picture flew back onto their hooks and the dust disappeared.
The first visitor released the second, a short figure with a fierce expression and a paunch that protruded from a sleeveless, open vest. "Truce?" the first said. "We have business here." The speaker looked at Gary and raised an eyebrow. "Thrall! Why are you holding my amulet?" The man wore a sky-blue tunic, red hose and a forest-green cloak. Heat radiated from him in waves.
Gary gawked at them.
"Don't be stupid," the short one said. "Look at the treasures in this hall. He can't be a thrall."
"Well, he can't be a warrior. Not with that scrawny build. And warriors don't cringe under a table."
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