“I will never leave.”

Imagine, if you will, having spent the whole of your life in a dungeon. Imagine that late one spring day, you step out of the dark and into a world of bright windows and polished floors, winking copper pots, shining suits of armor, and tapestries sewn in gold.

Imagine. And while you are imagining things, imagine this, too. Imagine that at the same time the rat steps from the dungeon and into the castle, a mouse is being born upstairs, a mouse, reader, who is destined to meet the light-bedazzled rat.

Roscuro’s dream is coming true – but it’s in the middle of the story, so we know it can’t last.

“I,” said Roscuro, spinning dizzily from one bright thing to the next, “I will never leave. No, never. I will never go back to the dungeon. Why would I? I will never torture another prisoner. It is here that I belong.”

He observes all the happy people in this world of light, thinking that nothing could ever go wrong here.

“Oh, really,” said Roscuro, “this is too extraordinary. This is too wonderful. I must tell Botticelli that he was wrong. Suffering is not the answer. Light is the answer.”

Next time: things begin to go wrong…

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