The Secret of the Stone

In the sequel to "The Secret in the Woods", the four girls, Serena, Lily, Jay, and Amber, are back! But, will they have to courage to persevere when they're pushed to their limits physically, mentally, and emotionally? How will they get along when five mysterious boys arrive at the door of their safe haven? Traitors, heart break, deaths, and friendship.

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14. Darkness

          "What is that?" Amber squinted into the darkness. She tried to send a blast of fire into the dark never-ending tunnel, but she forgot a moment too late about the power swap. A huge vine flung itself into the darkness. "Oops." She said quietly.

          "I think it's some kind of a wall." Matt glanced in front of them, and with Luke's powers over the night, he saw right into the darkness.

          Serena smacked her nose right into it."Yup, that's a wall." And she went over to Lily for condolence. 

          Jay started hyperventilating. Her eyes grew wild and she looked frantically around, all her humanity long gone. "Wall. Wall, wall. We're trapped. There's no escape!" Jay ran foreword and clawed desperately at the unmoving obstacle. Jay was known for her rapidly fluctuating moods. This was one of those moments. The girl's panic morphed into anger as she clenched her fist and smashed into the wall. Her rock powers instantly forced the brick wall to settling dust at their feet.

         "Nice job!" Ash pulled Jay along by her wrist.

         The stubborn girl was practically mindless, just shuffling her feet and allowing herself to be dragged along. "Whatever."

         "Come on, I think I see a light up ahead." Luke said. The weary group trudged on, their resolve beginning to fade due to the seemingly endless darkness. 

~

          "Okay, I'm done." Serena gasped. "I can't walk another inch!"

          "Well, here's about as good a place as any to camp for the night." Aaron looked around. Somehow, the group had ended up in a vast cavern. The tunnel was constantly changing structure and direction, turning at impossible places, and stopping for no reason.

          "Whoever has Amber's powers should probably get a fire started." Luke gestured at a musty pile of old firewood, apparently from the last people to brave this labyrinth.

           "That would be me." Aaron got right to work. Although he nearly incinerated everyone's eyebrows, they eventually got a nice fire going. Lily had brought out the rations they had packed and started a delicious-smelling meal of various canned soups.

           "So, are we even remotely close to Blaze's HQ?" Matt asked, impatiently. Jay muttered something inaudible then stared at her shoes.

          "Don't think so. What's up with Jay, anyways?" Luke asked.

          "She hates closed spaces where she can't see the sky. It makes her like, this." Lily gestured at the pale girl. "She should snap out of it soon, though."

          The teenagers continued to eat in comfortable silence and drifted off to sleep one by one where they sat around the campfire. Every now and then, a random gust of wind would blow through the expansive cavern, causing an eerie moan.

          Matt sat with Ash on watch. Jay curled up sound asleep against his side with Ash's arms around her, and Serena laid her head on Matt's lap. Everything was peaceful for a while. The ceiling was so high that the two sentries couldn't see the top. Then the noises started.

          "Did you hear that?" Matt whispered harshly to Ash.

          "What?"

          "That."

          "I have no idea what you're talking about."

          "The scuttling. A bunch of legs." Matt insisted.

          Ash listened harder. He made out a sort of shuffling. That sound...

         "Oh man." Matt breathed. "Don't move."

          Ash held his breath. "What is it?"

          "Spider. Big, big, spider. 3 o'clock. See it?"

          "Crap. We need to get out of here." Ash shook Jay awake. Matt woke Serena, who woke the other girls. Together, they formed a ragged circle around the dying campfire. Each person gripped their weapons, nervous, as the giant spiders closed in. This would be the first fight without their powers.

          The first spider lunged at Aaron who shot a hasty blast of flame. The spider wailed, and backed up. Then, they all attacked.

~

          Serena lunged back and forth with her trident all while copying herself and appearing next to the spiders, confusing them. "Can't catch me," She teased. "Whoops! Now I'm over here," The blonde transported herself behind the pack and laughed at the annoyed spiders hisses. "This is just too easy. Hey Aaron! I almost wish I had your powers all the time. Almost," Serena laughed and continued stabbing away the hairy beasts. Unfortunately, one snuck behind her and jumped, pinning the petrified girl to the floor. "Ewwww. Your breath stinks! Get off me you vile creature!" The spider drove his fangs into Serena's arms, causing her to scream. Matt surrounded the pack in darkness and pulled his girlfriend away from the battle. "You're my hero!" She shouted but then burst into tears when he set her down.

          "Are you okay?" He asked the crying Serena.

          "It-It stabbed me," She sniffled and gestured to her arm. "It hurts!"

          "I know, I know. Lily can fix it after we kill all the spiders. Right now you just stay here and I need to go fight. You'll be okay, I promise," He smiled at her and she smiled back even though he was talking to her like she was little.

          "You're so brave," She crooned.

         "Ok. I'll be back," Matt grabbed his club and jumped back into battle.

~

          "Yikes!" Amber exclaimed as she barely rolled out of the way of a giant spider. It tried to drop on her from above, but she had moved just in time. Now, as it turned and started charging at her like an angry bull, she hastily ripped off her golden necklace and grabbed an arrow from her quiver. She pulled the string to her ear and aimed at one of the spider's numerous unblinking eyes. Firing, she got another golden arrow and released, over and over. In the end, the huge spider took four arrows in its eyes before it thudded to the ground at Amber's feet.

          "Geez, Serena, these things die hard, huh?" She asked over her shoulder. Hearing no response, she turned around and searched for her friend. Finally, she spotted her lying on the ground a few feet away. A spider was dropping down on top of her, and she didn't notice it. Frantically, Amber let arrow after arrow loose, aiming straight at the beast's heart. It died in midair, landing with a thud next to Serena. 

          "Ahh!" Serena cried, sitting up straight in surprise. She looked around crazily until she found her rescuer. "Amber!" She barely managed to get out. Serena was looking in terror at something behind her.

          What now? Amber thought. Turning, she caught sight of a spider lurching toward her in the dark cavern. She barely had enough time to throw herself on the cold stone floor before its fangs grazed her neck, oozing venom. As the poison entered her bloodstream, Amber wildly wandered around, randomly shooting her arrows, as the world spun and the ground lurched like the ocean. She sat down, her back to the cold wall and closed her eyes, not knowing what to do. The spider's poison was slowly killing her, and without help, Amber knew she wouldn't be able to make it much longer. "Lilyyy…" Amber whispered as the world faded to black. Her last glance, a spider's form looming over her.

~

          As soon as Jay saw the spiders, she snapped to attention. The second Ash woke her up, Jay knew something was up. The hairy beasts were now engaging her in a tight battle. One spider snapped its slimy jaws inches above her head. Jay did a backwards somersault under the belly and slammed her spear into the soft tissue. She had to make a mad dash to the side to avoid being crushed under the lifeless skeleton. Jay made her way over to Ash, impaling more spiders while she was at it. It was hard, not having her powers to back her up when she needed them. They fell in back to back as the two had done many times before.

          "What do you think?" Jay leaned over to Ash.

          "Too many. No good."

          "Eh, you never know. We make a good team."

          Ash had modified his katana so that they could clip together at the hilt. When he spun them, they made a prefect circle. He did that now, and started to spin the enhanced blade. This allowed him to perform rapid slashing attacked more efficiently. Jay's spear morphed into a sword. Together, they took on the nearest spider. Ash opened his (hopefully) temporary wings, and landed on the spiders back. While it was distracted, Jay snuck under and dispatched the behemoth. Another one saw its fallen brother, hissed in anger, grabbed Jay with its legs, then started to rapidly climb up the wall of the cavern.

          Jay screamed and writhed in the spiders tight grip. "Let go!"

          Ash angrily tried to take off, but to no avail. Ash had never learned how to fly, and it certainly was harder than it looked. After struggling to fly, he gave up in the wings, and decided to just have the air lift him after his girlfriend.

          The spider was currently wrapping a screaming Jay into a silky cocoon, presumably for dessert. 

          "Hey!" Ash shouted in defiance. 

          The spider turned and saw the dark boy floating in midair. It screeched in anger, and started to scuttle over. Ash spun his swords and swiftly decapitated the spider, watching its body fall into the darkness. They were easy to kill, but there were so many of them, and if they got a hold of you, you were a goner. Ash hovered over to the cocoon and sliced it open, catching Jay as she tumbled out.

          "What is this place?" She gaped, looking around.

          Covering the ceiling that they couldn't see from below were sacks similar to the one Jay was imprisoned in. The only difference was, the people were never rescued. There were bones in some of them, while others were more fresh. That would explain all the old and musty campsite remains.

          "I guess the spiders had eaten all the people who tried to spend the night here." Ash answered, awestruck.

          "See what I mean? Only bad things happen underground. Uh, no offense." 

          Ash smiled. "Whatever. We still need to help the others."

          Ash floated back down and together, the couple launched back into battle.

~

           Lily stepped to the side as a spider charged her.  Forgetting her power switch, she thrust her hand out, intending to tie him down with poisonous vines. Instead, the vile creature fell to the ground in a groaning heap, dead. Lily hadn't even done anything! She gasped, astonished at the sight in front of her. 

           "Ash..." Lily whimpered. 

           "Duck!" he called from across cavern, throwing his knife into the large abdomen looming over Lily. 

          "Thanks," Lily said shaking herself out of her stupor. All around her Serena, Amber, Jay, Aaron, Matt and Luke were fighting fiercely. It was time Lily to join the battle. Turning to meet the next attacker, Lily pulled her charm giving her two fighting knifes. She slashed and thrust, killing numerous spiders or wounding them dearly, but they kept coming as if they were battling an endless sea of the eight-legged assassins. It was a hopeless battle.

          Unless, Lily thought, they could find a way to escape. A tunnel! They would  need some pretty heavy weight to seal them off from the predators. Lily worked her way over to Jay, telling her of her idea. 

          "Of course! What if we created an avalanche?"

          "Perfect. GUYS! MOVE TO THE TUNNEL. WE CAN TRAP THEM BY AN AVALANCHE," Lily yelled frantically relaying the desperate plan. The others seemed to hear her and they retreated into the tunnel.

 

POWER SWAP *If you're confused*

ASH - JAY'S POWERS 

LUKE - SERENA'S POWERS 

MATT - LUKE'S POWERS 

LILY - ASH'S POWERS 

AMBER - LILY'S POWERS 

SERENA - AARON'S POWERS 

JAY - MATT'S POWERS 

AARON - AMBER'S POWERS 

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