A Pilgrim in the Court of the Crimson King, Part I
The door was small, rectangular and wooden. It was set in the city wall and had an iron knocker at its centre. When I knocked, the sound echoed off the wall and rang out loudly down the valley.
Time passed. I stood before the door, expectant, wondering what would be inside; for I had heard many stories of this place, tales of splendor and wonder and marvels.
At length, the door swung open and I saw, inside, a little man wearing a grubby brown leather apron. He had hardly any hair on his head, but a long grey beard. In his wrinkled hand was an iron ring with several keys jangling on it. This was the Key-Keeper of the City.
"Well, well!" he exclaimed, seeing me. "A pilgrim, a pilgrim! It's been long since I last opened this door."
"Thank you," I said, entering.
"The City Gates," said the Key-Keeper, "them I've given up hope of ever opening again. But day by day I've waited by the Pilgrim's Door, and now I've waited my fill. What have you come for, my boy?"
"I..." I began, and realized th