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Fleeing Safety


Not everyone in that lovely glass fortress was so enthused to be there. On a lower floor, in a back corner of the basement to be exact dwelt two naysayers who rarely mingled with the others. That their section of the glass wall had gotten smudged goes almost without saying. After all they didn’t want to be there, so why should they waste their time polishing windows?

  Gilbert and Arthur laid out their game pieces to plan their strategy. “We will be cut off from friends and family if we leave,” Arthur pointed out, moving one of his men.

                Gilbert shook his head. “They’ll get over it. They’ll be disappointed and heartsick of course, but we’ll keep in touch.”

                “If we can.”

For a few minutes all that could be heard was the shuffling of game pieces and the occasionally squeak of a chair.

                “They say that the Outside World is flat and there is a tremendous drop off at the edge.”

                Gilbert grimaced. “And that we will fall and fall and never stop falling even while being engulfed with flames.”

                “Sounds scary.”

`”Sure it does, but we’ll stay well away from the drop off point—if there is one.”

“Granddaddy says one can be sucked in quite unexpectedly just about anywhere.”

                “How does he know?”

                “He was there, and escaped by the skin of his teeth as it where, when a friend was sucked in.”

                “We’re sitting here scaring each other. That desert looks so attractive with the setting sun lighting it up and we are much too confined in here. Let’s just go. We can always come back.”

                Gilbert swept all the game pieces into a cloth bag and tossed it on to one of the cots.

                “OK, let’s go.” They let themselves into the hall way and looked both ways before continuing.

                “Where are you going?” a sister paused while scurrying down the hall with a tray for an invalid. “It’s almost suppertime.”

                “We’ll soon be back,” Gilbert answered evasively. She leveled a thoughtful look at them but didn’t try to block their way.
                “Let’s try to go out by the concealed trapdoor. That way we won’t be noticed by so many.”

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                “Help!” Arthur yelped, “I didn’t know the descent was so steep!” They looked over the embankment, almost chickening out.

                The castle was built on a cliff with slick embankments on all sides. “I didn’t mean to descend so rapidly,” Arthur muttered a moment later, trying to keep his balance while slowing his pace.

                Windows flew open here and there!

                “It’s Arthur! Looks like he’s in trouble!”
                “And Gilbert! Throw out the lifeline!”

                “No, no, that’s okay,” Gilbert retorted grabbing on to a thick, twisted root that reminded him ominously of a huge snake. “We’ll make it.”

                Prayers ascended up to the King while they picked their way carefully down the steep embankment but they didn’t listen.

                “It’ll be better after we get on to level ground,” Gilbert muttered half to himself. He took the liberty to glance back. My, the castle had never looked so beautiful…so strong…and secure…before.

                He mentally shook his head; but it is too confining. I want to see what the Outside World is like.

                 From time to time they heard someone calling them from the sheltering walls above but mostly ignored them. They were fine. They didn’t need any help.

Very soon another type of help appeared. From below many hands reached out to give them assistance. If the boys were surprised or even cynical about receiving help from those who used to ignore them, they didn’t show it.


Books from Marilyn Friesen are available at:www.prairieviewpress.com