Saturday, May 17, 2008

Awakening: Part Four

“Head’s up” yelled Stan. “What?” Micah yelled back just as a bat hit him square in the face. The muffled expletives were not audible for Stan to hear but he found amusement in them nonetheless. Turning Stan looked at Micah and said “I said ‘Head’s up’. Just thought I’d warn you of the bat that was coming directly at you so you could duck. Guess I was too late!” He laughed.
Stan was Micah’s best friend and closest colleague. Sturand was his birth name but for obvious reasons very few knew him by anything other than Stan. They had decided to spend the weekend away from family, civilization, or anything else doing what they enjoyed: Caving! Finding some hole in the middle of a cave floor, wall, ceiling anywhere and finding out what adventure might overtake them.
They had been traveling through this cave system for almost a year and still were finding new places every time. One time when they thought they had been farther than anyone ever could possibly have been Stan found some carvings on a rock. Henry 1815 was written on it. Probably from some runaway slave who had been hiding out from his master in this cave. How he had made it this far in the cave through the crawl spaces and cramped places with a torch as his only guide was beyond their imagination. Micah and Stan had modern technology, halogen lamps, and MAG lights yet still had a tough traverse of the caves.
This current trip they had found a rock that looked like a mushroom coming out of the side of the wall. It was possibly 200 feet tall and 75 feet wide. Water was coming in from the ceiling and falling down over this mushroom rock waterfall. There was a spot where they went back under the waterfall and just sat, watching peacefully as the water fell off the stone. So many wonders were to be seen in this cave.
After a few hours the pair turned to go. There was a dry spot in the cave they wanted to get to so as to un-pack their gear, eat and drink a bit and then sleep some before returning to reality the next day.
It took them almost an hour to get to the look out point. It was a flat spot next to a large drop that went straight down about 75 feet to the floor beneath where a small stream wove through the underbelly of the cave. They would always light a few candles to illuminate the area while they ate and then sleep for a while.
After a fine dinner of Beef Jerky and some water, they pulled out their thermal blankets and laid down using their backpacks as pillows. Sleep came fast for both due to their 14 hours of climbing that day.
Suddenly Micah woke up. Something had aroused him from his deep sleep. Was that a voice? He sat quickly trying to look around but the candles had all burnt out. He hit the button on his watch; his face was hit by its green luminous glow. When his eyes finally adjusted to this bright accosting of light, he saw the time 3:00 AM. His stomach immediately knotted

All items contained in this story are the property of the Author and can not be copied in any form without written permission. Copyright May 2008 by Curtis Cecil

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