A fun story of fantasy, time travel, and the differences between the past and the present, inspired by a prompt. Enjoy, and let me know what you think! 🙂
I had no idea where I was.
My cousin Kayley and I had been exploring in the woods behind our grandparents’ house when we’d discovered a cave in one of the many small hills in the area.
“Let’s go in,” I immediately said, reaching into my backpack and pulling out my flashlight. We always went out prepared, thanks to our grandpa’s drilling about safety in the woods.
“No way!” Kayley protested. “I am not going into that cave, Sydney!”
I crossed my arms. “Why not?”
“Because, it’s so-so dark and creepy!”
I smirked at her. “What, are you scared?”
“I’m not scared,” she replied angrily, putting her hands on her hips in defiance, but I noticed her hesitation. I raised an eyebrow skeptically, my arms still crossed.
“I’m not!” she insisted, tossing her hair.
“Then let’s go!” I told her firmly, flicking on the flashlight and pulling her after me. She followed me reluctantly, dragging a little behind, but as soon as we were in the cave she stayed right next to me.
“Hey, it’s not really a cave, it’s more like a tunnel!” I exclaimed. My flashlight beam revealed that the cavern just kept going. We started walking down the tunnel, Kayley trying not to act scared. I shone my flashlight all around. It glimmered on the stalactites and stalagmites littering the ceiling and floor.
“They look a lot like teeth,” Kayley whispered. I rolled my eyes, but inside I couldn’t help agreeing with her a little bit. I looked back to where we were going and saw something black hanging from a stalactite. Suddenly, the bat moved, along with hundreds of his friends. Kayley shrieked. I have to admit, the feeling of leathery wings beating against my face was not very pleasant. Kayley and I dropped to the floor, covering our faces.
After a few minutes, the sounds of the bats died away. I sat up and heard movement to my left. “Kayley?” I called.
“Right here,” she replied. “It’s so dark in here.”
She was right. It was pitch black. I must have dropped my flashlight, and I guess it must have broken or gotten turned off somehow. “Do you have a flashlight?” I asked.
“I think so.” I heard rustling in the darkness. “Got it!” she exclaimed. The cave was lit by the smaller light, but I was grateful for any we could get.
“Let’s go back now!” she begged.
I sighed. “Okay.” We turned and only went about ten steps before we both froze and our jaws dropped. The flashlight illuminated a pile of rocks blocking the tunnel.
“Where did these come from?” Kelly looked as baffled as I felt. “We walked past here just a couple of minutes ago!”
I shrugged. “Let’s just go the other way. Maybe we got turned around.” I started heading down the tunnel, Kayley following close behind. I didn’t really believe it myself, but I was confused. How did those rocks get there? After a couple of minutes, I noticed the flashlight glinting off something on the floor. I reached down and picked it up, stopping. Kayley looked at me. “It’s a rusty nail,” I told her, studying it.
Kayley grabbed my arm suddenly. “Sydney, something’s wrong!” she whispered. “Look!” She pointed at the floor. I took in my breath sharply. The floor, as well as the ceiling, was smooth, without the stalactites and stalagmites I’d noticed earlier. Wooden tracks followed the center of the tunnel. I shone the light upwards to study the ceiling better. Wooden beams supported the sides of the tunnel.
“This is so weird,” I whispered to Kayley. “It looks like a tunnel for a mine!”
“I don’t like this, Sydney,” Kayley stated, her eyes wide and fearful. “What’s going on here?”
“I-I don’t know,” I admitted. “Let’s just keep going.” She nodded reluctantly, and the two of us continued walking through the tunnel. Ten minutes passed in silence until Kayley grabbed my arm again.
“Turn off the flashlight!” she exclaimed excitedly. I glanced at her curiously and then did as she had asked. “It’s light over there!” she cried. I could see it too, a small spot that was lighter straight ahead of us.
I flicked the flashlight on again. “Let’s go!” I shouted, grabbing Kayley’s arm. We started running. Almost before we knew it, we had come out of the cave and were in a forest. Kayley flopped down on the ground and I flopped down, too.
“I’m so glad to be out of there!” Kayley gasped.
I looked around. “But we still don’t know where we are. Do you recognize anything?”
Kayley looked scared. “No,” she admitted.
“So, where are we?” I asked.
“I don’t know, Sydney!” she snapped. “How am I supposed to know where we are? Do you even know where we are?”
I wasn’t hurt by Kayley’s harsh words. She’s mostly pretty calm and doesn’t often get angry, but, when she does, it’s normally because she’s scared. And I could tell that she was super scared.
I was too.
“I don’t know where we are, either,” I admitted. “Why don’t we look around and see if we can find any landmarks, or a-a house or something.”
“Okay,” Kayley agreed reluctantly. “Let’s go.”