AN: I posted this as tastetherainbow on HeR :) Thought I'd post it here, too.

Disclaimer: I have the Nancy Drew computer games...does that count?


My fingers trembled with a mix of anticipation and fear as I poked the soft buttons that made up the keypad. I swallowed a lump of fear that had set up shop in my throat and carefully swung open the door.

I stood there for several moments, gazing into the blackness beyond the doorframe. I couldn't bring myself to actually step inside, I realized with a jolt of – well, a jolt of that feeling you get when you realize that you're being stupid. I had been through so much and I was afraid of a stinkin' door.

"You've got it, Drew," I said aloud. My voice bounced off the walls around me and shot back into my ears, piercing my eardrums. "Ow," I mumbled, rubbing my ears. Before I could convince myself otherwise I hopped through the doorway, half expecting a monster to gobble me up.

Well would you look at that, I thought, I'm still alive. I glanced down and wiggled my toes just to make sure. Yep, the ends of my light pink Converse were making the same flexing movements that my toes were.

I snapped my head up. "I'm digressing," I hissed, tugging my handy-dandy purple pocket flashlight out of, well, my pocket. I flicked it on and shone the light around the small circular room, finding that I was alone with rusty walls and a weird grated floor. I took a step forward and peered closer at the floor, since me and rust just don't go well together. My, ahem, accidents with rust were so bad I didn't even want to look at it.

Just let me say one thing: orange feet for three months straight are no fun. Especially not when you're going on vacation to the beach for two of those weeks. And, naturally, during the summer: flip-flop season.

I was digressing again.

With a shake of my head I was back on track, trying to see what the heck was going on with that freak-o grate thing. What sort of floors are grates? Wimpy floors that don't have the guts to become hardwood.

I was about to actually get on my hands and knees to stare into the grate when a loud banging sound frightened me. I screamed, forgetting where I was and how bouncy the walls were (sound-wise), and then found myself on the floor anyway, holding my ears. I sat on my knees for a few seconds then realized that it was pitch black.

"Flashlight?" I grumbled aloud. "Oh zappers, I must have dropped it."


Pitch black.

"Door?" I squeaked, twisting around to face the place where the door was supposed to be. From which light was supposed to be pouring in.

Okay, so either the light was dumb and had gone off to pour in somewhere else, or the door had been slammed shut. I decided to put my money on the shut door because of the sound. Light does not make sounds like that.

I was musing about my current situation, trying to shed some light on the subject (ha-ha! ha-ha!) when I found that the knees of my jeans were wet.

"Uh?" I grunted intelligently, scrambling to my feet. Then my socks were wet, along with my favorite pair of shoes, and then my calves started getting wet. I whirled around and ran slap-bang into the slammed-shut-door.

Having no other choice (other than drowning, and I really didn't feel like doing that today), I started to bang on the door. Being me I had left behind my cell phone at the Ca'Nascosta, and I couldn't see the stupid little PDA thingy in the dark. Those engineers...they should have thought of a lighted screen! Don't they know that people get trapped in situations like these every day?

The water was up to my back pockets. It was swirling, dark (well, duh), and cold. The last time I had been in water that was this cold was at the water park this one time, when Bess, George and I went –

Man, even when I'm about to die I'm going off on tangents.

Whoever thought of that saying, anyway?

Wait a second. I'm about to die.

That was when I started to scream, regardless of the ringing in my ears. I was pushing my whole body against the door and banging on it with both my fists. I was seriously about to give up all hope just as the water rose to my neck; then the door magically swung open as I screamed, "OPEN SESAME!"

As water poured out from around me and I blinked to adjust to the light, I looked down at my hands. "I'm magic," I said proudly.

I glanced up and found myself looking at a mask. "I can't even see my rescuer?" I exclaimed, irked (ooh, I love that word!).

"No," he said in a thick Italian accent. And with that, and a swish of a midnight black cape, he was gone.

A knight in shining armor and I couldn't even see him. No matter that he wasn't shining, or in armor. Well, I mean, I could see him, but I couldn't figure out who he was. What sort of person do I know has an Italian accent that thick? Man, if that was Colin, he was seriously going a little too far with that crazy accent...

I shook my whole body like Togo back home. Water droplets splattered everything around me, and that was a wake-up call. Huh-llo! Ned Nickerson? Loyal boyfriend? Coming to see you today?

And I'm going to look like a wet dog.

Joe will never let me forget this.