hen I awoke I found my se]f alone. I was in a small dark cell. There was a lot of straw on the floor, and a dirty bowl half full of some foul looking stuff.
There were also an awful lot of hungry looking rats gathered around the bowl.
When I looked at them they looked back. Some of them started to move towards me and I decided that I had better do something fast! I looked around, but I couldn't see anything to use as a weapon besides the bowl, which was surrounded by rats.
What a fine time to have to rely on one of my spells I thought. Oh well, there was no help for it but to try. I tried to decide which spell to use, I figured that the Erth spell would probably bring the dungeon down around my ears. The Wahter spell might drown me if it got out of hand, since I had no idea how well drained this place was. Which left the Fieyer spell, probably the one I was best at, and the quickest to kill me if I got it wrong.
I had made my decision.
I concentrated on the formula carefully...... And nothing seemed to happen. I opened my eyes and looked fearfully at the rats. They looked back.
Then to my utter surprise the leader said "Hey, nothin' 'appened! Let's get'er boys!"
The lead rat stopped in surprise. "Hey guys, I c'n talk!"
"Duh huh, so c'n we boss!" said one of the other rats.
The leader eyed me suspiciously, stalling his attack. "What'd y' do?" he queried.
"I'm not exactly sure." I answered hesitantly.
"Duh boss, you want we should get'er?" asked another rat.
"Noooo, I don' think so boys. I'm formin' a li'l plan. I think we should use this 'prentice magi' t' get us more th'n a bowl of mush!" I didn't like the drift of this rat, but anything was better than sitting here. Besides, maybe I could get his help in finding Geoffrey and Beeg.
The rats cleaned out the bowl, the leader whispered to a large black rat with a bite out of her tail. She scampered off through a grate in the floor that I had missed earlier. The leader studied me a while then got up and walked over to me.
"Youse will'in t' help us?" he asked.
I had already decided. "Perhaps, if you will help me."
"Wat d'yuh want?"
"I have two friends, I believe that they might also be in this dungeon."
"They would not by any chance be uh purple drag'n an' uh orange chick'n would they?"
"Yes!" I exclaimed. If he already knew about them there was an even better chance that I might find them.
"Wul now. I suspected as much an' my li'l lady friend," here I assumed that he meant the black rat with the bite out of it's tail, "has gone to bargain wit' them. My plan is t' break into th' kitch'n. Now youse bein' uh 'prentice magi' I figure that youse must have at least one useful spell."
"I know three spells, it's just that they don't always work as I expect them too."
"I see, like makin' us rats talk!"
"Well...., yes that's a new one though. Usually its just a matter of quantity. Most of the time nothing happens."
"Oh. Wul now, what spells do youse know?"
"I know Fieyer, Wahter, and Erth." "Wul, we don't want th' food soaked 'r buried, so it'd better be th' Fieyer."
"Umm, that's the one I used on you."
"Youse is better at one o' th' others?"
"Okay then." The big black rat returned at this point, and the leader went into conference with her. All I could do was wait.
Later, the lead rat spoke to me again. He said that my friends had agreed to the plan. In return the rats would help us escape.