4 teenagers embark on a mystical journey and encounter strange gods. Nanowrimo 2011 Novel.
|Running in the cave didn't feel quite the same as running on the track, Kalina thought, as her feet pounded softly on the gravelly floor. There was a sense of running through mud or running through thick, muddy, transparent air. It was as though she ran in slow motion and each step seemed impossibly buoyed momentarily in the air before smacking the floor beneath the soles of her sneakers.
Her left arm did its best to keep her bag from swinging wildly off her shoulders while her right arm clung to the strap. "Why didn't I leave the text books at home?" she moaned. The extra weight didn't seem to slow her down but it was making her left shoulder extremely sore.
She thought she saw a tunnel and she had every intention of scrambling into it. However, she shut her eyes for nearly two seconds and suddenly her body met the wall head first and crushing the hand that clasped her shoulder strap.
Sparks of every color flew. She sat herself against the wall, gently probing her mouth for any sign of injury. Her right hand was now the bad hand and the pain, unlike the throbbing in her jaw, radiated each time she attempted to move a muscle in her right hand. "It better not be broken," she thought. She was quite relieved after a few flexes, the pain subsided to a more bearable throbbing much like the one in her jaw after it met the wall.
Everywhere seemed to take so much time to reach, that it never occurred to Kalina that the action of running towards a distant tunnel would end with her smashing into the wall inside the tunnel. She could make out the entrance, where sounds of running feet could still be heard. On her left lay the path that led deeper into the tunnel. That path was darker and completely soundless.
Kalina struggled to her feet and shuffled carefully to the edge of the tunnel entrance. She could make out silhouettes of running figures.
Evan sprung to mind and a shower of fear and desire pierced her heart,found its way into her bloodstream only to course its way to her brain. She shivered and tingled and realized that the intensity of such feelings were new to her. Ever since they came to the cave, they'd been feeling lukewarm, almost in a completely calm state of mind. Although Kevin and Joshua fought, the fighting wasn't new however their remarkable civility was. She'd seen Kevin in his raging fits and Joshua in his rebellious physicality. Evan on more than one occasion had to stand between them to keep them (rather keep Kevin from chocking Joshua) apart long enough for one of them to let go and walk away.
Seventeen and so furious. Kevin was an only child with real parents, unlike Kalina who'd been in foster care for most of her childhood. Yet Kevin seemed more messed up than Kalina. She could only wonder what he went through although to what her eyes could show her, Kevin had a normal life. "Must be something in his blood," she thought.
"Evan?" Her voice came out only as a whisper. Part of her feared attracting the statue's attention by being too loud. There were only two directions in this tunnel: go outside or go deeper inside. She didn't know where the tunnel led, but one thing was certain, she preferred to delay any such life altering decisions for the moment and just stay put right where she was.
She called out her boyfriend's name again, this time louder. In her heart, she expected him to answer her but no response came. Even the footsteps faded to silence.
"Sooner or later, you have to leave," Kalina told herself.
"But... not now. I'm lost. What good does it do me to get more lost?"
"Go out. Look for your friends."
"Who are you?" Kalina's skin crawled. She was moving her lips and hearing her own voice and the thought in her head was loud, focused, and clear, but it wasn't hers. "I know I'm not talking to myself."
The answer she didn't expect, came suddenly. "Evan!" she cried when her eyes caught sight of her beloved walking an impossible path nearby yet several levels higher than where the tunnel entrance stood.
Her heart skipped at his voice. "I heard that," she thought with a thrill.
Evan said, "I'm coming. Hang on." He seemed lost up there, unable to decide whether to go left or right, up or down.
"Do you see me?" she shouted. "I'm down here."