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The Pillar of Dominance


Chapter 17
Inside the Fortress
Warren could feel the cool touch of glass beneath the foot that was
now missing a shoe as he descended the stairs. He looked down at Wooffen
who bounced downwards beside him, his torso always one step ahead of his
rear. “Click-click, click-click,” went the dog’s nails on the steps. Try as he
might, Wooffen was unable to be quiet inside the glass fortress, his own
body presenting an insurmountable obstacle.
Suddenly, muffled voices echoed up from below. Warren and
Wooffen froze, and looked at each other in alarm. The tops of Wooffen’s
dangling ears arched upwards as he listened to the conversation.
"Did you hear that?" said a man's voice. "I swear I heard something up
there."
"Go check it out," said a second masculine voice.
Warren moved down a step, stepping forward with his bare foot to
stifle the sound.
"I'm not going up there alone," said the first man.
"Don't be such a baby," said the second voice.
There was the sound of footsteps. Wooffen was afraid to move
because his nails scraped the glass with every step. Warren pressed himself
against the center column of the staircase and peeked around it. Two guards
were heading toward them.
“This place is haunted,” said the first.
“Give me a break,” said the second.
“No, really, it is,” insisted the first.
“By whom?”
“By Princess Nellalira! This used to be her room and she haunts it
still!”
“Oh please,” said the second guard, “don’t tell me ghost stories.”
Wooffen’s nose twitched.
“Oooooooo…” he howled quietly, lifting his nose in the air and
forming an O with his lips. “Ooow-woooooo…”
“I told you it was haunted!” shouted the first guard. “Let’s get outta
here!”
“No!” said the second man gruffly. “It’s our duty to find out what’s
over there. Come on!” They hurried forward.
Warren looked desperately about for materials he could use to detour
them. There was precious little to work with in the vacant stairwell. He
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