Sunday Morning Short Story was delayed temporarily due to holiday season frivolity.
The As Yet Untitled Story
The three of them, Sam, Brady and Elliot walked noisily through the densely wooded forest that framed the bluffs. They were carefree and on exciting adventure and completely unaware of the ancient eyes that watched them.
Twigs snapped beneath their feet, the brush was thorny and sharp, it scratched at their legs leaving welts on their skin. Some deep enough to shed trickles of blood, feeding it.
They all felt the twinge of pain, but no one complained or turned back.
After some time they finally broke through the thicket to find the edge of the bluff, the scenery was breathtaking. The roar of the river could be heard below.
“What now?” Asked Elliot who didn’t know why he had even come. Oh yeah, it was a dare he remembered darkly.
Sam inched toward the edge and carefully looked over it. Down the steep cliff he saw several large ridges. “We could just work our way down using those”, he said as he pointed them out to the other two.
“I don’t know,” said Elliot “Is it safe?”
“There goes the chicken again.” Sam taunted making clucking noises and flapping his arms like a hen.
Elliot cringed; well at least if he was going to die, no one could say he was because he was chicken. “OK” he reluctantly agreed, but there was fear in his voice.
Brady crept slowly forward toward the edge and stood next to Sam. It made him nervous to be so close to something so high with something so hard at the bottom.
“I see the ledges,” he said trying to control the shakiness in his voice. “They look big enough we can try, who wants to go first?” he asked as he bumped Sam’s shoulder with his own. This was his idea after all.
“Ok ladies, I’ll go first”, said Sam sarcastically and he got down on his hands and knees and started to climb over the edge. He felt his way testing the surface with his feet. The other two watched his progress with intense interest; they would be next after all.
When Sam made it to the first ledge he called to the others. “C’mon it’s easy.”
Brady and Elliot looked at each other and nodded. Brady was first and get down and mimicked with Sam had done.
Elliot shrugged his shoulders. “Here goes nothing,” and followed the other two down the cliff.
It was a tricky and slow climb. Sam slipped once and almost lost his footing as the other two screamed in terror. But Sam was the athletic type and used his strong arms to regain his balance. They all let out a collective sigh of relief.
Once they reached the bottom they scanned the shore, which was lined with rocks and boulders and even the occasional animal bone. The current of the river was strong; the sound of the water was loud as it rushed past.
They walked along the river’s edge until they came to the opening of the infamous cave. They could see the large boulder that had been place in front of the opening to block the entrance, and the hole dug along side it. Which told them they weren’t the first to come here.
“What now?” asked Elliot as he looked to the other two.
“Let’s go inside,” said Brady. It was a bold move for him. He figured as long as he had come this far, there was no sense in turning back and high tailing it out now.
But he felt something or rather sensed something way down in the pit of his stomach, it was chilling. He hid it deep though, running away was no longer an option.
One by one they entered the tunnel alongside the boulder. It was narrow and a tight fit the walls were lined with slithery critters and spider webs. They kept sliding forward even as claustrophobia threatened. When they had gone about ten feet in they reached the end of the tiny conduit, which opened into a large cavern.
It was dark and the air damp. It smelled musty and old. Sam had thought to bring a flashlight and turned it on to illuminate their surroundings.
They each looked around in silence at the stone walls and the high ceiling lost in awe when a sudden gust of wind swept past them, its breathy fingers stroked them from head to toe as it whisked by. The force of it knocked the flashlight from Sam’s hand and plunged them back into the dark.
Frozen with fear and quite unable to move they listened to a low laugh hiss all around them, soft and haunting. They knew they weren’t alone. They knew that what was with them was not of this world. The three boys had no hope of rescue because no one else knew where they were there.
For centuries it had waited for the right time, the right blood to enter the cave and awaken the spirit imprisoned in the mountain.
To be continued …
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Thanks for reading!