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Michael Johnson, author!

 
 
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-Michael Johnson
Chapter 2  The Forbidden Scroll
 
     After pausing to see if the witch would reappear as she had before, Dominic began to work on his new puzzle.  He decided that Ophelia's last words had been a clue, since none else was offered.  He knew that he could touch fire without dying, but exactly what way of doing so would lead him to the Forbidden Scroll?  He touched the flame of his candle to the hem of his robe, but it didn't consume.  "No, no!" he scolded himself, "I have to do it the way the priests would."  He returned to the place of his last sucess and pondered.
     The only other source of fire in the room, save the volcanic stalagmites that didn't make sense, was the torch in the circle.  Dominic pulled it from its place, having a bit of trouble doing so, and waved the burning end at his feet.  Not his robe, but the circle on the floor ignited, and soon, the feeble maerial wore away, sacrificing Dominic to the tunnel below.
 
     Every part of Dominic's back half individually smacked the hard, stone floor as he finished descending into the hall of finely cut granite and wooden doors.  When he regained consciousness, he nursed his headache and examined the room.  In his reclining position, he first noticed the resealed hole through which he had fallen:  no way out there.  He stood and spun to see four identical, thumb-shaped doors with flat bottoms and round tops, three of which bore signs that he read as he carefully visited each before entering.  The north door was marked, "Town Hall", to the east lay the "Courthouse and Jailer's Office", "No admittance" would be offered at the south, and the west remained unmarked.
     ... He almost ran down the huge corridor, trying not to be heard, and, taking the torch he retained from the throne room of Ophelia, pried the metal links from the handle.  Dominic winced as the door creaked open, exhibiting a rather small room with a trunk in one corner.
...
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