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I was just poking around that scary casket with the Halloween skeleton in it and saw the most beautiful statue of a cat. It was dirty, but I wanted to take it for my bedroom. I know that Mom can help me clean it up. Then I decided to look at some of the items in the broken well. There was an identical statue! Cleaned up, they will make beautiful bookends in my room.
After Mom and I cleaned and polished the statues, I put them in my room and then wanted to go to the castle to see how Dad was doing with the lighting project he was doing. The first thing I saw was this beautiful lantern all lit up. As I was looking at it, a butterfly came and landed on the lantern. Oh no! The lantern ate the butterfly! After it ate the butterfly, it opened and gave me an item just like the magic gargoyle cupboard did. But it ate a real butterfly to do it! I just sat down and cried for the butterfly. The Iron Knight knelt beside me, trying to comfort me. He told me that my Mom or my Dad could either make a spray that would keep the real butterflies away, or a screen that would serve the same purpose. Then he told me of what he called a winged amulet. It was in the shape of the butterfly and I could find some of them in the overturned carriage. I think I may have to change my opinion of the Iron Knight. He was very kind to me, and understood why I was so sad over the loss of the butterfly.
I ran to the overturned carriage and found the winged amulet and brought it back to the lantern. It did just as the magic gargoyle and took the amulet and gave me a different item
This time the lantern gave me this ugly looking black eyeball looking thing that had what looked like seaweed around the outside of it. I don't know what I can use that for so I just put it in my keepsake chest. Last time it gave me a round disc with a hole in the center and little vampire bat on it and little spikes around the edges. That too, went into my keepsakes.
When Dad broke through to the Ice Rock, I was afraid to talk to the Mountain Troll Rustle. I decided that it was time to check out Rustle. The first thing he said to me was "Hi. I'm Rustle. You're probably smarter than me, but I'm a lot uglier." I had to laugh at that and decided that I liked Rustle. After talking to him for a while, he decided to have me help him make some items. First he sent me to the coffin, what he called the crypt, to find a torch. Then I was to take the torch to the burnt tree next to the crypt and look inside for a ring that he called a Nocturnal Ring. To me it was just a ring with a pink stone in it and another bat on the front of the ring. They sure have funny names for things here at the castle. Then I had to find a key in the broken well and open the chest that was across the walkway from the well. Rustle called it the Rock Garden. I could not see where he got that name, I didn't see a single flower in that garden. Inside the chest was what looked like a flower but it had a black rose in the center of it. Rustle insisted that it was called the Midnight Rose. Then I had to spend a little of my allowance for glue so we could put the Nocturnal Ring and the Midnight Rose together to make what Rustle said was a Vampire Sign. I thought that was a pretty creepy name for such a pretty ring, well, except for the open mouthed vampire bat that is.
For several days, there was a very strange looking raven that would fly in and sit not far from me. This raven was strange looking because he had a bow tie around his neck, a top hat on his head, and he wore an eye piece. Now, I have heard about ravens picking up shiny items, but I never saw one wearing a top hat! This raven would try to talk to me and every time he did, I would get up and leave. This time, I decided to stay and hear what he said. He told me that to get another key for that great big lock, I would have to help Rustle, The Mountain Troll, get the items that he wanted. Then Rustle would give me a key. So I went back to Rustle to find out what else he wanted.
This time, he wanted what he called a Demons Seal. For that, I had to find another torch from the coffin/crypt. I asked him why I couldn't just use a flashlight, and he told me that if I did, the magic would not give me what I wanted. So I found the torch, and then went to what I liked to call the Butterfly Lamp, but he called it the Astral Lamp and got one of those rings with the hole in the center with the bat on it. Rustle called this item a Demonic Ring. Now, I had to take my torch to the Burnt tree and find an eyeball called a Demons Eye. Then Rustle and I put these two items together to make the Demons Seal.
I went in to Old Salty and told him that there was a very strange looking raven in the side yard. "Oh so you finally talked to him heh?" said Salty. "And he is not a raven, he is a crow. I think he would be highly upset for you to be calling him an odd looking crow, Caroline", he said. "So what did he say to you?" So I told Salty about helping Rustle with getting some items he wanted. I even had to get Dad to use his tools to open another magic place in the brick driveway at the Castle Gates. Then we had to open an old Iron Chest close to that coffin/crypt and even then we weren't done. We had to fix the Sign Post so people would know which way to the Castle and which way to the Tavern. I didn't tell Dad this but both the Iron Chest and the Sign Post were magic too. You put two items on the post and get something else back. The Iron Chest took these two triangular eyes but they opened the chest and there was always something inside of it.
I continued to help Rustle the Mountain Troll for a while and when we were finished collecting his items, he gave me a key! I think it is one of the keys that will unlock that huge lock on that really big door. One more key and we can find out what is behind that door. I hope it's not Marty's Kraken.
After talking to the crow, I found out that his name was Professor Pinfeathers and he was going to guide me through the castle. He would be telling me who to talk to and who to help get the items they wanted.
When Dad took down that old, ripped, dusty curtain, I found another resident of the castle. I went in to speak to him and he was very rude, said his name was Lord Chamberlain. I remember Old Salty once told me that not everyone in the castle was as nice as Anabel and The Knight. I even liked Rustle the troll better than this Lord Chamberlain. He just had that attitude that he was better than everyone else. He had me get items for him, telling me that he had the last key. When I was finished collecting his items, he did not give me the key, as I expected him to do, he had me go to Old Salty to get Salty to pay his debt to this rude man. Since he would not give me the key until Salty paid his debt, I decided to help Salty collect the items he needed to pay his debt. Once the debt was paid, Lord Chamberlain finally gave me the key. Alright! Now we can find out what is behind the huge door with the huge lock and chains! "Not so fast, Caroline," said my Dad. "This will wait until tomorrow. You start back to school tomorrow, so it will be after school when we open that door." I did not realize that the whole summer had gone by during my meeting the castle residents and doing their scavenger hunts. They called them quests, but I like a scavenger hunts better.
When I went to bed that night, I started thinking about all of the people I have met so far, and especially the strange crow, wearing a top hat. Strange? This whole place is strange. Magic cupboards, road signs, lamps and even a magic cupboard built into the brick road. As I fell asleep, I wondered what adventure tomorrow will bring.
At school the next morning, all I could think about was that huge door and what might be behind it. During lunch/recess there were 3 boys bullying this little girl. When I saw that, all I could think of, was how Lord Chamberlain behaved just like a bully when I first met him. As his actions had stirred anger in me, so did the 3 bullies and I went to help the little girl. As a crowd of kids gathered, I said in a loud voice, "Will no one stand up to these bullies with me? Will no one do what is right?" Immediately, I felt, but could not see, Old Salty the Innkeeper, Anabel, the Iron Knight, and even Rustle the Mountain Troll, standing beside me. In a small voice in my head, Anabel whispered, "We are always with you Caroline". Then little by little the other kids in the playground came to stand beside me against the bullies. The bullies turned and ran into the school, but it was too late for them, as the teachers had already seen them. This made me think of Lord Chamberlain again. I remember thinking that I need to stand up to him and any other bully I come across in the Castle. Then I heard Old Salty say, "There are many bullies in the Castle, Caroline. We will stand with you."
The rest of the afternoon went quickly and I stood proud, knowing that I could stand up to anything I came across in the Midnight Castle. When school let out, I ran all the way home so we could open the huge door in the Castle Entry. I was so excited to see whatever was behind that door. But I did hope that it was not Marty's kraken.
As I ran home, I was hoping that Dad was ready to unlock that huge door with the great big lock and all those chains. I can't wait to see what is in there. When I finally got home, (it seemed to take hours) I found that Dad was going all out for Halloween. After he had put lights in the gargoyle and the Astral lamp, he decided to light up the driveway to the castle, and put a lamp on the overturned carriage. Then he put candles in the crypt and between the crypt and the burnt tree. There were even small candles in the burnt tree. The most amazing things he did was light up the dragons that were climbing the tower that looked like a lighthouse. He made them look like they were breathing fire!! The sign post in front of the crypt was especially neat. Somehow, he made it light up and send out smoke from the animal skull.
On my way to the castle, I also noticed that he had put some candles on the rock garden. But then I noticed something that I had not seen before. Those stones in the rock garden and the magic trunk were all floating in air! When I said that to my Dad, he said that if I looked closely, I would be able to see that the rocks are sitting on another stone set upright. I looked again, and could not see anything holding those rocks up. Dad could see them, but all I could see was that they were floating in air with nothing holding them up. I am going to have to ask Old Salty about this.