Apr 9, 2010

Terror in the High Desert [2]

Part 2 - Stepping in It

Brit, Paul and Jen traveled farther into the underground world. The temperature dropped to 45 degrees. The hollow through the rock meandered in a tunnel that split off now and then. Some of the splits led nowhere. Some descended steeply. One like an abyss. It was a black pit that had devoured the solid Earth In a ravenous void leaving a wake of emptiness.

Brits' headlamp caught another drawing. A splattering of red dots with darker dots, it looked like the rock had measles. Her foot stepped over the maw to touch the symbols carved under it. She was intent on touching them and deciphering their meanings. Too much so.

Paul grabbed onto her backpack and pulled her back. "Stupid, Brit! Stupid!" he yelled.

She blinked at him. Then looking down, she realized what she had almost done. "Damn." She kicked a loose rock down the natural shaft. For a long time there was no clatter. Then finally there was an odd plunk. She shivered. "That's a long way down."

Brit shined her lamp down the hole, trying to see what had caused the odd sound when the rock landed. Paul and Jen joined her on either side.

"Curious," Jen said. "What was that? I've never heard that before."

There was nothing to help them figure it out up here. No draft of moistness. No damp smell. Only the strange plunk and the drawings.

"Let's go see," Paul suggested.

"Our ropes long enough?" Jen asked.

"Guess we'll find out." Paul began setting up for the repel, then checked the hold of the anchor with forceful tugs. Jen and Brit added their strength to his. The rope held.

"Ladies first," he gestured nobly then bowed.

Brit stared at the drawing on the far wall, hesitating. Jen brushed past her starting down. Down, down, down. The darkness swallowed her light.

Hmmm, what's down there?
Need to read Part 1? click here