Shadows Of Guta (Excerpt 518) Rope
Sitting on a bench nearby is Tamas. He is looking up, watching the old woman as she tries to steady the platform. Off to the left is a mechanical humming sound coming from an old generator, which is adding even more difficulty in hearing this unrestrained conversation.
“What is she doing up there?” Stephen asks as he looks around at the various steps and closest doorways to the area where she is standing.
“She’s after the rope.” Laszlo says as he looks down at his hands.
“Rope? What rope?” Zsofia asks as she touches her grandfather’s arm.
With a loud snap followed by a high-pitched screeching sound, a section of the platform, only a short distance from where Klara is standing, falls away crashing down on the decking of the third floor pathway. Stephen and Zsofia heard this exact sound just before entering the conservatory and it is now obvious the unstable walkway is rapidly falling apart.
“That landing may give way at any moment.” Stephen says as he watches the old woman steady herself. “What the hell is she trying to do?” He asks as he watches her but directs his next question to Laszlo. “Where is this rope you’re talking about?”
He then sees it, the item in such demand that an old woman is willing to risk her life for it. Hanging from the platform, where the suspension cable attaches to the decking, and to Klara’s right, is a long thick rope with a straight cut end that has slightly frayed over time.