“Hold on,” they both screamed without hearing the other.
They landed in a heep. The stone shot back upwards and left them behind. They were in a tunnel
“Do you have your light with you?” said Sebastian.
“Yes, I have some matches too should we need them.”
“And I have a lighter – this is the sort of place that has torches in the films – what was that?”
They heard a clashing sound as though metal was striking stone very hard. Esme shone her light towards the sound. It picked out a chessboard with a black knight on horseback attacking a white pawn, which fell over and was kicked off the board by the knight’s horse. Next the white queen hurtled across the board and smashed the knight into the darkness. The game continued in such acrimonious fashion until the black king fell five moves later.
Esme whispered to Sebastian, “These are the Lewis Chessmen and they are all at least three metres high”. All the pieces that had been knocked off in the previous game magically returned to their places and the game began again.
“What’s that on the black knight’s sword over there,” said Sebastian redirecting Esme’s light slightly, “it looks like a …. Oh my lord .. it’s part of a skeleton”.
“Someone’s been here before us then,” she said and shone her light around the board. She screamed and clutched at Sebastian – the beam had picked out two skulls and a few other bones.
“There’s something else Esme,” he said and pointed to the other side of the board. “There’s another noughts and crosses puzzle on the wall over there”.
“How will we get across without being hit by the thuggish pieces?” said Esme.
“We have to go behind the pawns on the black side when the game starts and we’ll have to run.”