Ramone shivered, his head pressed against the glass. Every limb felt numb, as if they belonged to someone else. Candlelight flickered in the distance, illuminating familiar stone walls. He knew this place, had been there often. How many times had he snuck into this chamber as a young student to shake the globe? Had there been another poor fool trapped inside when he had done that?
An old man toddled into view and leaned toward the glass until his eye filled Ramone’s vision. The chastising gaze made his heart fill with shame. He should never have tried to make a portal without supervision. He should never have taken yet another dare, all for the sake of adventure.
“Ramone?” said the wizard, “Good heavens, boy, we thought you long dead. So glad you survived.”
Ramone’s glass prison echoed with the booming voice, then the air began to shimmer. A moment later he found himself sprawled at the old man’s feet. Afraid to look his master in the eyes, he gazed back at the fist-sized glass globe on the pedestal. The snow crystal, or globe of shame as it was more commonly called, seemed to laugh, the freezing blizzard still swirling within.
“I trust your little adventure has prepared you for serious study, Ramone. The wizard towers are no place for slackers or dare seekers. The balance of the universe is in our keeping.”
Ramone nodded, thankful to be alive and looking forward to a simple, uneventful life.