The centrifugal force created by Ethan’s spin launched his knife from its scabbard which was sheathed to his belt atop his right hip. The knife was Christine’s father’s gift to Ethan for their wedding. It had been passed down through three generations of the men of her family. The blade was elegant, yet rugged. Intricate details swirled its handle. Precious gems were seated along the handles edge. Ethan kicked the knife in an attempt to pick it up. It felt as if time stood still as Christine’s family heirloom slid over the platform’s edge. Ethan thrust his hand outward narrowly missing his chance to save the sharpened steel. When his fingers clamped around its grip Ethan pulled the precious metal tool out of the air and then into its case. -This time he made sure to secure the strap over the handle. At this point the platform had lowered itself a total of two feet below the stairs’ edge. Balancing himself as the floor beneath him rumbled and shook, Ethan took three huge steps backwards, shifted his weight to the balls of his feet, and rushed forwards. One…..two…….three…. strides and then a JUMP. Ethan thrust his body upwards as he stretched out his arms and hands above his head. His hands made contact with the stair’s edge. Ethan grunted as he pulled his body up onto its knees atop the stairs. The platform said goodbye with a final thud after it disappeared into the pit.
Ethan turned towards the entrance then realized the checkerboard floor had disappeared, leaving behind nothing. Ethan searched for another doorway. He spotted one across the room and made his way towards it. Immediately after entering the hallway, a stone door slammed shut behind Ethan. A sound that could only be described as a shrieking piece of metal made its way towards Ethan. In one hand Ethan held his flashlight, in the other his knife. A four legged shadow as tall as the forty foot room stood opposite Ethan. The torches at the far end of the hallway provided just enough light to create a shadow of whatever it was that scared the piss out of Ethan. The shadow began getting smaller and seconds later the creature came into view. It was some type of cat, slightly larger than an ordinary house cat. It had tan fur with black stripes. Its chrysoberyl eyes sparkled in the light. The cat must have belonged to the beast. Ethan tried shooing away the cat but it didn’t budge. It looked at Ethan as if he told it to stay put. Ethan thought,” Time to move.” As Ethan moved past the cat it took a few steps towards him. He stopped. “Go away!” shouted Ethan. The cat took a step backwards, then stopped. That was good enough for Ethan. He made a few steps forward and this time the cat took two steps towards him. Ethan told the cat, “Fine. You can come with me but, I have no food or water so your own in that regard. Just then a grinding sound came from the wall behind Ethan. “You gotta be kidding me” said Ethan. The wall was sliding towards Ethan and the cat. With the cat along side him, Ethan jogged further down the hallway. “It feels like a furnace in here,” shouted Ethan. Ethan saw the floor up ahead was not floor at all but, molten liquid magma. The floor beyond the magma had to be 20 feet away. In a series of fluid movements the cat ran and jumped over the gap, clearing the angry crimson bowels. The molten lake emitted bubbles the size of elevators. Suddenly Ethan’s vision became clouded. His feet lifted off of the ground. A bubble had him enveloped and was carrying him over the boiling hallway. Ethan was halfway through the hall when he spotted a spike shooting straight down from above. Without any time to react, the spike pierced the bubble, causing it to burst. Ethan fell fifteen feet downwards……..into another bubble…which on impact allowed Ethans body to be suspended in air once again. Once Ethan cleared the scalding liquid and rock the cat swiped his claw and broke the bubble and Ethan landed on the floor. “Thanks for getting me out of that bubble” Ethan said to the cat. Ethan pet the cat behind the ear and it responded with a series purrs. “Ok cat. You did me a solid. You can hang with me. But, you need a name.” Ethan thought hard. “Your name will be Carl.”