The Sword of Paracelsus: The Labyrinth, Part 4

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The circular walls of the arcade were pierced by five arches opening into five passageways. They radiated outward from the dome-roofed space like the spokes of a wheel. Except for the one that stood opposite their own, these five corridors were identical. All were wide and lofty. All were perfectly straight. All were paved with shiny black flagstones. All came to a dead stop at a stone wall about fifty feet from the circle center. All of them, that is, but the one directly in front of Eny and her companions.

That passage had door at its further end.

It was a curious-looking door. More like the door of a country cottage than the portal of a prison. It was a narrow green wooden door with a brass doorknob and a square window. There were red curtains on the window, and through the frosted glass a beam of yellow light slanted down gently to the floor.

“A way out!” cried Eny.

As she spoke, a great clash of arms echoed in the corridor behind them.   The Fomorian guards were on their heels! The instant they saw Eny and her companions they cast their weapons aside, dropped on all fours, and took on the form of four snarling wolves. On they came, their red tongues lolling from their dripping jaws. Eny spun around and charged for the door, dragging Baxter by the hand.

“Right behind you!” cried John Izaak, who was still carrying the aged Dee on his back. “Don’t slow down on my account!”

Eny sprang forward. In one great bound she reached the door, grasped the brass knob, twisted it, and gave a slight push. The door yielded easily, swinging open without a sound.

Immediately a blast of heat and light, like the glare of a raging furnace, poured in through the opening. She flinched and shaded her eyes. Looking up, she became aware of a tall, dark woman standing on the threshold at the heart of the blinding glow.

“Here at last!” said the Morrigu, her voice sweet and mellow as a ripe summer fruit. “I’m so glad you could make it. We need to talk.”

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