The toddler jumped, always falling in the same color. Carefully, his face reflected concentration as he calculated the next jump. He had to land in the black zone, falling on any other color would mean a death as certain as painful.
He jumped, his foot in sneakers fell right in the middle of the black square and breathed a sigh of relief. He was just beginning his way, if he could reach the end, he would escape from the corridor full of traps, of sharp blades that could cut him in half, of poisoned darts that would come out of the walls killing him no doubt moments after touching the unknown floor. It was said that the risk was worth it, at the end of the corridor, the door held treasures worth dying for, or so he thought when he decided to go through the treacherous corridor.
He breathed, settling down. Carefully, he rested both feet on the ground, taking a moment to study his next jump. He looked at his goal, a huge antique wooden door, carved with thousands of arabesques, studded with metal here and there, an ancient, heavy and intimidating door made to shelter a great treasure. It seemed closed and he didn't know how to open it, but it was still far away and the boy told himself that once in front of it he would find a way in.
The boy gathered all his courage again, jumping agilely a couple of times, first landed with the right foot centimeters from the edge, taking advantage of the impulse to continue the jump, landing with the left foot a meter and something beyond. As he flew, he felt a slight breath of air move his black hair and a drop of cold sweat came down his forehead, knowing that the wind might well have been caused by a sickle that would undoubtedly decapitate him.
Fear threatened to immobilize him, he knew how close he was to dying in a terrible way and his breath shaken again. The sweat came down his forehead in heavy drops, his legs became stiff and the tremor took over his body. He seemed helpless and defeated there in the middle of his journey; still far from the great door.
But he continued, determined not to risk his life in vain; he would be careful and patient. He breathed deeply, slowly, over and over again to force his body to calm down. With the back of his hand he wiped his forehead and little by little the expression on his face changed from fear to decision. Another jump and another, and another.
He was now very close to his goal, he could distinguish the drawings on the door. He was surprised at how far he had advanced in that death-plagued corridor. He took a moment to study the big door.
It was huge, I already said that. Ancient wood, heavy, with enormous hinges of ancient metal corroded by time, the whole surface covered with tiny and delicate patterns reminiscent of ancient civilizations. Here and there, studs of the same old metal evenly distributed throughout its surface, studs that for the child were nothing more than spear heads ready to impale anyone who dared violate the door.
He looked at the lock, trying to figure out how to open the big door once he was in front of it. He noticed that there was no eye in the keyhole, "so I don't need a key," he thought. That gave him hope.
Another jump, this time it slipped when landing and almost stepped out of the black square. When he looked down he saw the edge of his shoe millimetres from the line; he immediately removed it, closed his eyes tightly and waited for death in the form of a log falling from the ceiling. It didn't happen. The boy looked up and thanked heaven for helping him this time.
Now he regretted what he had started. He looked back and knew that he could not return, he had to continue or die there, alone in the trap corridor. At times it seemed he could not gather the courage to continue but our child was no coward. He overcame his fear again and advanced, leap by leap to the end.
At last he was there, in front of the big gate. He looked at the polished wood and the extravagant patterns that covered it. He looked at the studs that he thought were rusty but at that distance there was no doubt that dried blood covered them. Instinctively, he looked back and distinguished among the dust on the floor a dry skeleton covered in spider webs. The boy knew that if he made a mistake when he opened the door, the studs would come out, shot through it and push it over the treacherous floor he thought he had left behind.
But behind the door was the grand prize. So much work, so much risk would be rewarded, he told himself. It took him an eternity to make up his mind, he took a deep breath and stretched his hand towards the large knob. He held it delicately and tried to turn it very carefully. It didn't give in, the ancient door was huge and he could barely grasp the knob with his childish hand. He stretched the left hand, joining the right hand. He clutched the handle with both hands, and with a deep breath he set out to turn it.
It gave way. The boy felt a slight click under his hands and stopped motionless. He had not been pierced by the spears hidden beneath the studs. He let the air escape in a long sigh. He continued to turn the knob until he felt the door open. He pulled it out, the door spun on its hinges without a sound, sliding silently despite its size and age. The boy looked at the fantastic hidden treasures now revealed before his eyes, stretched out his hand to take the most valuable within his grasp as he flinched at the sound of macabre behind his back. He knew he was dead when he heard:
─Alejandro, I told you to leave the cookies alone!
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