The Riddle of Amaryllion: Part 1. A Strange Deal

By Amanda Pizzolatto

Find more of the story here each week!

The quaint little city of Calla Springs in Nysa has come to be known for many things, an exquisite landscape, grand Easter celebrations, magnificent churches, a fondness for flowers, and a contagious joy that sweeps across the city like the sun’s rays as it rises in the sky. It is certainly a wonderful place to live and is rather peaceful. But when they find out that the town has practically been invaded by a giant, invisible rabbit that’s making off with all their produce and it actually belongs to the mayor’s son, there’s really one thing to do. Well, more like two meshed into one – they pray to God to send them a genie so the genie can take care of the problem while they look for a genie. However, the mayor seemed to beat them to the punch as not long after they began their novena the mayor released an announcement – whichever woman can see the rabbit will not only drive the rabbit away but also marry his son. Women from all over the city, and eventually, the country, and from all walks of life attempted to try and see the rabbit, but the mayor’s son always seemed to know that they hadn’t and were turned away. 

It was into this desperate time that another young lady entered the scene. She was a traveling photographer and had planned to get a few pictures of Calla Springs for a few projects she was working on. When she entered the town, the gloom seemed to settle like a fog and it concerned her. What had happened to the usually happy Calla Springs? She was determined to find out, but first things first, she had to get a room for her stay. She made her way towards the Martagon Hotel and found it nearly bursting at the seams. Desperate for a room, she sought out the hotel manager. 

“Hello, I’m Matthew Bleu, the manager of this fine hotel. What can I do for you?” 

“Hi, I’m Kathleen Simmons, I need a room for the week. Please tell me you have something, even if it’s the smallest room you have. I only need it for the week, and I’m out of here.” 

Matthew chuckled. “That’s funny because the only room I really have is actually the most expensive.” He told her the price. 

Her eyes bulged. “Wh-what? That’s more than what I make in a week!” 

Matthew shrugged. “Sorry, but it’s all that I’ve got.” 

“Are you absolutely sure there’s nothing smaller than that available?” 

Matthew turned to the pegs behind him and pointed to the lone key, “Sorry, but that’s the last one.” 

“Ugh, and there are no other hotels with rooms available in town, are there?” 

Matthew shook his head. “This is the only one . . . unless . . .” 

“Unless what?” 

“Well, I could make a deal with you. You do something for me this week, and I’ll rent you the room, free of charge.” 

“That, that sounds great! But, uh, what do you want me to do?” 

Matthew grinned as he nodded towards the other women gathering in the main hall, “All of the women are gathering because the mayor’s son has a giant, invisible rabbit ravaging the town and the only way to get rid of it is if a woman can actually see the rabbit. So far, everyone who’s tried has failed, but, if you could come with me and dine with the mayor’s family for the next few days and give it a try yourself, then I’ll let you stay free of charge.” 

“Oh, uh, is that all?” 

Matthew shrugged, “Pretty much. So, what do you say?” 

“Well, it wouldn’t hurt to give it a try . . .” 

“Great! Here’s your key, third floor, the room is at the end of the hall. Be ready at three o’clock tomorrow, everything starts at four.” 

“Um, alright, uh, thank you,” stammered Kathleen, but Matthew was already gone, off helping another customer. Kathleen glanced at the key still in her hand and, grabbing her bags, went up to the third floor. The room at the end of the hall proved to be simple yet elegant, just how she preferred it. This was just one of the many reasons why Kathleen often gravitated back to Calla Springs – they knew how to be tasteful without looking ridiculous. She set her bags down and went back downstairs for a quick bite. Matthew joined her, letting his clerk Leonard handle the front desk. The two mostly chatted of small talk topics, with a few hints of the comings and goings of Calla Springs on Matthew’s part. After some time, she excused herself and went straight to bed. Matthew watched her leave, a smile curling on his lips. Yes, he thought, she would do just fine with the mayor’s son and the rabbit.

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