Instantly, the escorts had hold of Rosalinda's arm and her tugging her away. Through a door. Down a corridor. More doors. More corridors. All she could hear was Hyde's drawling tone. "Twenty minutes." How much time had already passed?
She barely realized it when the escorts had let her drop. Behind her, bolts slid into place, sealing the path from which she had come. Her knees felt cold, and wet, and it was with some wonderment that she realized the floor beneath her was submerged in a thin layer of mirky water. She raised her eyes. The room was six feet wide at the most. Behind her was the door from which she had entered, a door that matched three others: one on each wall. She shakily climbed to her feet.
For all Rosalinda knew, there was a labyrinth behind each door. She could be send down turn after turn, lost in a sea of dead ends. There was no time to waste. She rushed to door number one and immediately saw a challenge. The door had no knob, no latch of any kind. How can you open a door without a knob? She threw her fingers to the seam and tried to pry it loose. There was no time for this. There must be barely ten minutes remaining, if that. She rushed to the second door, the middle one, and was relieved to see an iron handle. She grasped and pulled-- but she might as well have done nothing. It didn't budge. She spun around to face door three, and was horrified to see it the same as the first-- completely latchless.
Something's missing, she told herself. Her eyes began to blur and her breath felt short. Her stomach churned. There's a trick to the lock, she thought. She wrapped her hands around the handle, slid them over it in search of something, anything to try.
The pain twinged in her stomach and she doubled over, choking violently. FOCUS! She tried to clear her mind, to think of nothing but the lock. She fixed her eyes to it and slowly moved back. Look at the big picture, she thought, and you'll see the trick somewhere.
Suddenly her foot twisted beneath her. Moving backwards, she had stepped into a recess in the floor, just before the door she had come in. One of her legs had sunk into the pool, which was deeper here... so deep that it hadn't touched bottom.
There wasn't a second to waste. She dropped herself into the pool, and in a moment of terrifying relief she sank beneathe the surface. She opened her eyes and at once they began to burn, but she saw it, some ten feet in front of her and fifteen up, a light was shining from above the surface. She pushed her arms behind her, kicked her feet furiously, and thought of nothing but the light until her face broke the surface and she drew in a sharp breath of fresh air.