I, at first, couldn’t work out the meaning of the three symbols. A wine glass, a teapot and a key – how could they even link to a number?
Puzzled, I said aloud ‘three’ – logical choice with there being three objects. The shimmer and shake told me it was wrong. ‘Ninety-eight attempts remaining’ announced the voice from nowhere.
There was a number on the key. ‘20102’ I hoped this was correct; I was told otherwise.
‘Ninety-seven attempts remaining.’
‘Ninety-seven’ I said, carelessly thinking aloud.
‘Ninety-six attempts remaining.’
If I’d have carried on in that vein, I would have been fine, but I didn’t. That said, I was still fine, as a burst of inspiration suddenly struck me from somewhere.
It was the wine and the nine that I noticed first. Rhyme. Spells work in rhyme – well, some do. It was worth a go.
‘Ninety-five attempts remaining.’
‘Ninety.’ I added the tea to the wine.
‘Ninety-four attempts remaining.’
‘Ninety-three’ I threw in for good measure, using three for key.
A burst of lightning pulled the package from out of my hands, and it hovered before me, slowly opening itself.
Now all I had to do was to put things right.