SpelunkingA Story by A.L. James
“Do you think we’ll ever get out of this alive?” Sarah listened as the wind whispered past the wall between the travelers and freedom.
Sarah was a vivacious and athletic fifteen-year-old with an insatiable curiosity. She had convinced her best friend Keisha to come with her to explore the cave she had found in the mountain side behind her home. Devon a neighbor boy who lived two doors down insisted on coming too.
“One can only hope,” said Keisha as she ran her hand over the rubble that had entrapped them when a slide had filled in their only escape.
“Give me a hand with this; your arms are skinnier than mine are.” Devon pulled off his shirt and tried to stuff it through a crevice in the rocks separating them from civilization.
“Oh yeah that’s just a great idea,” Keisha sneered, “Block off the air so when somebody finds us years from now we will be good and dead.”
“Think about it silly.” Devon was still struggling with the shirt. “Big red shirt, flag down someone looking out onto the mountain…”
“I’ll help, you lift the loose rock up a little and I will try to push the shirt through.” Sarah picked up her walking stick and shoved it hard into the crevice, forcing the shirt to peek through to the outside. Hard as they tried the shirt would only poke out of the hole in a small bunched knot. Nobody could force part of it to go all the way outside to flap a signal. “Using our arms would be a bad thing. Last thing we need is someone stuck in the rocks here while we look for another way out.”
Devon wrenched the stick loose for the girls while Keisha tried to see what was in her daypack in the deepened gloom.
“I know I had a maglight down in the bottom of this thing somewhere,” she said brushing blond hair away from her face.
Keisha and Sarah had known each other since the fourth grade. Keisha’s skin was so pale, she looked like she was glowing in the half light of the darkened cave.
Devon was a big muscular dark skinned seventeen-year-old. Without his shirt on, he kind of blended in with the darkened shadows of the corner he sat down in. He mindlessly dug his fingers in the dirt beside his khaki shorts. Finding a few interesting loose flat stones there; he pushed them into a pocket to look at them when he had more light.
Sarah pulled out her daypack and started fishing in it for lights. She pulled out several chemical lightsticks and three of the plastic glow bracelets she had bought at the dollar store. “Here, you didn’t think I was going spelunking without bringing something to see by did you?”
“I want the pink one.” Keisha held out her arm in the dim light of the glow bracelets.
“That’s pretty smart Sarah,” Devon stood up clocking his shaved head on the low ceiling there. “Ow!”
“Yeah I figured it might be fun to wear these, and easier to keep up with each other in the dark.” Sarah handed Devon the green bracelet.
He could not get it around his wrist, so he wrapped it several times around a finger. Sarah handed out the lightsticks and the three of them looked at the black patch of emptiness opposite of the rock slide.
“It’s pretty dark back there. Keisha did you bring that flashlight?” Sarah cupped her hands around her lightstick and held it so Keisha could see into her bag easier without being dazzled by the green chemical light.
“Got it!” The candle power of the maglight was refreshingly bright after being trapped in the dimness for so long.
“I am glad you brought that!” Devon poked the walking stick He had tied his lightstick to out into the darkness at the back of the cave.
There in the dim glow, the three of them saw a deep chasm about two feet wide they had to leap over. Without light to see by someone might have died right then.
“That was a close brush!” Keisha directed the little bright flashlight beam across the deep hole. “Look!”
There floating on the other side of the chasm was a small golden creature with large liquid eyes. “Do you require something?” The three heard the question in their heads. The creature never moved his lips.
“Um, we were just coming here to explore the cave.” Sarah was backing away from the creature, her back against the rockslide now.
“The large male has something that belongs to us.” The creature stretched out his tiny hand. “Return it, and I will open the entrance for you to escape. Refuse and you will be our guests for the rest of your very short lives.”
Devon remembered the small stones he had picked up near the entrance of the cave. He fished them out of his pocket and offered them to the vision from a fairy tale. The small fellow accepted the tokens gratefully, and with a wave of his hand, transfigured the rocks into a glass archway. The rumpled shirt lay in the new doorway unharmed.
“I am a Grillion.” The creature fluttered down to the solid ground beside the teenagers. “I come from a different planet, a sister planet to yours.”
“May we come see you again?” asked Sarah. She was getting her nerve now that the shock of seeing this tiny dragon was fading.
“Probably not,” was the answer. The little creature ushered the three out of the cave entrance that sealed up seamlessly as mountainside behind them as soon as Devon picked up his shirt.
Devon reached into his pocket where the small stones had been. There was a single stone remaining. Not a stone at all, it was an odd coin. Engraved on it was the word Escellion.
Sarah gasped. On the back of Devon’s head was a small bruise that looked exactly like the Grillion.
© 2008 A.L. James
Added on July 17, 2008
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AboutI am a 53 year old widow. I love life, and I love writing. My day job will allow me to go to conventions and events as often as I wish during the summer. I am interested in fantasy and sci fi. I l.. more..