The Castle Walls

After reading this, you’ll have a chance to answer questions about the story to earn a free “Fiction Fan” NFT.

Gray was the color of his life.

Gray walls.

Gray armor.

Gray skies.

Gray food.

The only occasional color came from the wardrobe of the king and his lady, and the faded, muddy grass of the courtyard. From time to time, a purple bruise or red blood-stain adorned the knight he attended to.

But Timothy was fine with the gray, because he had a secret of his own. 

“Timothy,” his knight barged into the room as Timothy swept. “I need a fix for this rather large dent.” The knight tossed his breastplate onto the floor. It clanged against the gray stone and settled just in front of Timothy. The knight turned back for the door. “I need it by tomorrow.” The moon glowed brightly just outside of the small window. The fix would interrupt most of what Timothy had planned, but he set the broom down in the corner, picked up the armor, and set it on the small wooden table pushed up against the wall. On the opposite end of the table was an innocent-looking cloth. Timothy quickly tossed the cloth aside, revealing his secret underneath: a vial from the witch.

Constantly bemoaned by the rest of the village, Timothy knew the witch was simply misunderstood. His first visit to her had been for a rare spice the knight needed. Given Timothy’s rank in society, he had been given the chore. Little did he know, that one small errand would change his life.

He shook the glass vial, and the blue liquid inside bubbled and fizzed. This was the reason Timothy didn’t mind the gray and dullness of his world. This vial took him places. He popped off the cork. The aroma wasn’t anything he was familiar with, but was used to it at this point. The closest thing he could pinpoint was dirt and rotting fruit. It tasted as bad as it smelled.

The effects were almost instantaneous. As soon as the fizzling receded from his throat to his stomach, the walls started dripping a purple goo. The small window grew almost to the size of the wall, and the dark night sky had turned into day. The brown, muddled land beyond the moat was now bright green, and Timothy stepped through the window and into the world. His bare feet grazed the grass, now softer than the king’s finest linens. The trees swayed, and smelled of lavender, something Timothy had only heard about from far-off knight travels. Orange, swirl flowers grew taller as he walked near them, and when he passed, they sprayed yellow and red warm liquid at him, which rolled right off and back to the ground. The liquid pooled into small ponds, and blue fish jumped out of the new puddles and followed him on the trail to the top of the hill.

At the top of the hill, the witches cottage loomed. In real life it was smaller than the room Timothy had just left, but now, it was larger than the castle, made of stone and touched the clouds. The witch was waiting for Timothy at the door.

“Back for more?”

“Always, my dear.”

Her bony hand jutted out of her robe, and clutched between her fingers, was another vial. 

“Use it wisely.” She laughed. 

Timothy reached out, but the witch snatched it back and made it disappear into her clothes. 

“I need something from you, this time.”

Her voice echoed inside Timothy’s head, reverberating, and he wasn’t sure if her lips were still moving or not. He shook his head, and scratched his face. The cottage was beginning to shrink, and the sky darkened.

“What do you need?” He asked. His voice sounded different than before.

The witch smiled, and stared, and waited.

Timothy scratched his face again. “Lady? What do you need?” His voice had risen slightly. He turned around to find that the grass had muddied again, and the flowers that lined his trek had disappeared. His attention fell back to the witch, still standing and smirking.

More agitated, he stepped forward. “What do you need?”

She lowered her voice. His focus was on her lips. As she spoke, spittle flew from her mouth. “I need you…” she started.

Yes. Yes. Anything, please, just tell me! The voice rambled in his head, and he nearly reached out and grabbed the woman in front of him, as the walls of her cottage shrunk back to normal and the fizzling feeling in his stomach faded.

The witched continued. “… To kill the king.” As the words landed on his ears, the witch smiled and stepped back. She reached back behind her dark robe and produced the vial.

He stared at the bright blue liquid. At another time, he would never think to betray his lord, but at the moment, and without thinking, he reached out and snatched it. “Yes, of course,” he said, involuntarily. “Whatever you need.”

“Here,” the witch said, revealing another vial. “Take another one.” This bottle was green. “But use this only on the king,” she added.

He shook his head and threw the vials into his breast pocket. “Of course,” he said. “And thank you.”

Although Timothy’s world was gray, he had found a way to escape. The glass vials clinked together as he walked back to the castle walls.


Question 1

What color does Timothy use to describe his life? (Answer should be 1 word)

Question 2

What's 1 word to describe what Timothy experienced after taking the potion? (Answer should be 1 word)

Question 3

What piece of armor did the knight ask Timothy to fix? (Answer should be 1 word)

To access, enter the answers to the questions above, combined, lowercase, and without spaces

WantWant toto bebe partpart ofof thethe New Fiction Society? ContactContact usus