He went straight ahead into the darkest shadow and came to a large doorway. The door was open and through it was a flight of rough stone steps leading downwards. Drewin leaned forwards and peered down the opening. The darkness was complete, like a dry well.
Drewin felt his way down the stairs, reaching his foot down at each step, and touching the coarse stone wall with his hands. He descended slowly, step by step. He stopped at the bottom and waited until he could see where he was. He could make out the flat stone walls: an empty room about half the size of the chamber now far above.
‘It cannot end here. There must be a way forward.’ His voice echoed off the hard walls. He examined the walls tapping and feeling them with his hands. Then he got down on his hands and knees and crawled all over the floor. He quickly found what he was looking for; a flagstone in the floor with a large iron ring embedded in it. He stood up, pulled at the ring, and, with some effort, lifted the stone.
(IMAGE (C) LAURA RENEE)