M.E. chapter 8: Waffles!

"I do not know what you think you need it for, but no, you may not." Strider replied sternly, pulling his sword further away from me, "last time you borrowed it, I spent over an hour trying to pry it away from you!"

I groaned, now wishing I had given it back right away so I could use it in this time of need. As it is, I was forced to diminish and accept my fate. I shuddered again at the feeling of an arm around me, and grudgingly proceeded to answer all of Stacey’s questions.

Once dinner was over (it was good despite the interrogation) Katy and I followed some funny looking elves (alright, you got me, I think all elves are funny looking) who lead us to our rooms and showed us where we could bathe. We did so immediately before retiring to our beds.

The next morning we felt considerably more rested as it had been the first night we had slept in real beds in over a week. We also had our first opportunity to explore the grounds. This, sadly, required far too many decisions to be made.

"Left or right Katy?" I asked as we were exploring… Actually we hadn’t gotten any further than the doors of our rooms which were right down the hall from each other.

"Um… How about left first?" Katy suggested, "That’s the way we came from, so maybe we can find the dining hall that way."

"We can always try!" I said, perhaps a bit too brightly. We had both been woken up by the sun shining through our windows and the birds noisily ‘singing’ outside our window. Now that I was over my initial anger at waking up, I was in a good mood. I wasn’t sure Katy was awake yet though, as my comment was greeted by something like a grunt.

We went that way and finally found the dining hall about an hour later. "This seemed a lot closer last night." I grumbled as I had gotten hungry over 40 minutes ago.

"The elves were better navigators." Katy grumbled back. We were able to get some food even though everyone else had already eaten and someone would have to make something especially for us. That being as it was, the elves asked us what we would like for breakfast.

"Waffles!" I exclaimed it’s been a while since I had them last. Mmm… Waffles….

"Um… I am afraid I don’t know how to make… Waffles." The elf told me.

"Pancakes, then?" Katy asked.

"No, I am not familiar with those either." He (again, assuming it was a he) informed us.

"Fine," I grumbled, "do you at least know how to make eggs?"

"Eggs I can do." The elf replied happily, "Would you like eggs as well, lady…"
"Katy, just Katy is fine." Katy informed him, "And sure, I’ll have some eggs too."

"Lady Katy, then." The elf replied to make sure he was pronouncing it correctly, then he looked expectantly at me.

"Rachel." I informed him of my name.

"Well, ladies, I will go and make some eggs. You can wait here." The elf said as he turned and left us alone.

"Wow." I said a few minutes later, "This sure is a big room." We both looked around at all the empty tables, thinking about where to go next.

As soon as we finished our breakfast—which sadly wasn’t waffles—we looked around some more. There were three exits from this room. Which one to take… "So, now which way?" I asked.

"I decided last time." Katy pointed out, "You decide this time."

As I was mulling over this vital decision a figure walked quietly up behind us. The figure was followed by two shorter figures. I turned to assess the third exit which was behind me, and was startled to see Stacey, Merry and Pippin sneaking up on us. I may have jumped… just a little.

When we told them we were exploring, they all said they wanted to come with us too. Stacey even wanted to go, though Stacey knew her way around, as she had been here several days already. I made her promise before we left, that she wouldn’t tell us what was where unless we really wanted to know. I chose the second exit and we all left together.

We walked down the halls peeking into rooms. After a few more complicated decisions (about what way to turn) aided by Merry and Pippin’s votes, we found the kitchen and several supply closets. We hung out there for about a half an hour or so thanks to Merry and Pippin who were convinced they were famished, and would waste away to nothing if not fed.

We started off again and soon we came to a hall that Stacey said she had never been to. We went down it, looking into rooms as usual. I caught a glimmer from within the doorway up the hall and started walking towards it at a very quick pace, almost a run.

I got to the room alone, and stood right inside the doorway (turns out to be a small side entrance) stunned. When the others came along to see where I was, Pippin, who was in front at the time, ran right into me.

They looked around. "Oh, great," Katy mumbled, "how will we ever get her out of HERE?"

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