Henry Halfdorn found a green crystal in the cave. He rubbed the visible edge with his fingers and it began to glow. He looked around to make sure no one could see. He then pried the crystal free and shoved it into his pocket. At that point in time, if he looked in the crystal, he would find himself in any of several different places. He began to look around for an area to go to next. Halfdorn became quite certain that he was doing something he shouldn’t be doing. A horn sounded and everyone stopped working. The kids began to look around at each other.
All of the kids gathered around to talk in a huddle. Halfdorn recognized the sound of the horn as one that was common to caves and rocks. The horn sounded again, louder than ever. Halfdorn ran off to the edge of the cave and yelled back that he’d be there in a moment. He threw on his pack and started running. Then he stopped running and ran again. He turned and looked back for a moment. As he was running he began to feel cold. He turned back and continued running. Halfdorn was so intent on getting back to the cave that he didn’t realize where he was until he turned the corner.
He saw the forest through a break in the trees. He kept running until he realized that there wasn’t going to be a cave. He stopped and took his backpack off. He started to think that maybe it was the same forest that he had seen while running and pretending to be a Minotaur. A voice said to him that he had just made a mistake.
He had become so preoccupied with finding a cave and staying as far away from it as possible that he hadn’t noticed that he was actually closer to the forest than he had been before. Halfdorn thought back on what the voice had said. He remembered the war. He remembered the other kids. He remembered them telling him not to go to the forest. He looked up at the forest and realized that the forest was going to be where they were going. He left his pack and went into the forest.
Halfdorn stopped to look around. He saw one kid running toward him. Halfdorn took off his backpack. He waited for the kid to pass, then he stuck out his foot and tripped him. The kid fell flat on his back. Halfdorn gave the kid a slap on the back and said, “You’re doing this the hard way.”
Halfdorn and the kid ran in different directions. Halfdorn looked behind him a couple of times. He didn’t want to catch a glimpse of anyone he recognized. After a while, he finally saw the kid he had tripped, they were almost the King now.
Once the kid was out of sight, Halfdorn began to get scared. He felt like something bad was going to happen. He kept running. He ran until he was too tired to run. Then he fell to the ground. He was in a cave, he thought to himself.
He got up and started walking. He came to a fork in the cave. He was very close to the one he was going to go down, when he noticed he had been running so long that he had become frail and old. Had he really run his life away?