248. The Prisoner of Stephenson

Amy doesn't trust this guy, so she decides to avoid him. She gets down as low as she can and sneaks her way to the top of the stairs. She walks slowly and carefully on her haunches around the hallway. She keeps her footsteps as close to the wall as possible; from her experience sneaking out of bed late at night she knows that floorboards are most likely to creak in the middle. She tries to keep the bannister between herself and the strange man, with one eye on him at all times for any sign that he might notice her.

After what seems like forever she reaches the far wall. So far so good, the man hasn't snapped out of his reverie. She creeps sloooowly toward the door. There's a good three feet between his back and the door. Maybe she can just slip past and-

"Now, what have we here?" says the man, still staring straight ahead.

Amy jumps back, then straightens up. She decides to pretend nothing's out of the ordinary. "Oh, um, well, I just came here looking for my friend, maybe you've seen her? Her name's Shannon, and she-"

"It seems to me," growls the man, "that what we have here is a little sneak thief!" His head snaps to look straight at Amy, intense anger in his eyes. "And I know just what to do with sneak thieves!"

"Sir, I apologize, if you'll let me exp-"

The man raises his right hand and points at Amy while he snaps the fingers of his left hand. A bright light flashes around Amy. When it subsides, she finds herself in a stone cell. Her ankles and wrists are manacled, the manacles chained to the wall. She looks around for an exit. On the other side of some old iron bars a stairway sinks into the floor. Amy tries to walk over to the door to the cell, but finds the chains on her manacles are too short for her to reach.

Amy spends the next few days trying to think of a way to escape, but nothing presents itself. No windows, no way to move around the cell, no food, no water. Amy soon wastes away. Her clothes grow loser and loser as her body loses the stored fat and muscles that once filled them out. Within a couple of weeks, all that remains is her mouldering skeleton. Amy has learned the hard way that the owner of this mansion does not take kindly to sneak thieves.

Amy is in no condition to continue this adventure or her life.

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