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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15. Discovery in the Dungeon

          "C'mon!" Matt shouted.

          The group frantically sprinted to a tunnel on the opposite side of the cave. 

          "Jay! We need an avalanche! There's too many!" Lily screamed as the last of them made it inside the narrow passageway. The group had decided to make a hasty retreat; there was no way they would win the battle with the spiders. Both girls held up their arms and concentrated. Within a matter of seconds, boulders and old cocoons tumbled down, sealing off the opening and crushing a spider that had narrowly made it. The body writhed on the ground before going completely still.

          Luke shivered. "Okay, let's move on."

          "Agreed." Aaron concurred. 

          The teenagers turned around. The tunnel before them looked just like a jail. The floors were hard concrete, and every three meters there was a new doorway, closed off by thick metal bars. Lily yelped.

          "What's wrong?" Serena asked, concerned. 

          "The spirits... They're so loud. Be quiet!" Lily's eyes were wide, and her gaze flitted from one random point to the next.

          "Wait guys, there's something else here too, besides ghosts. Can't you feel it?" Amber noted.

          "Is this what it's always like for you?!" Lily asked Ash, her hysteria rising.      

          Ash smiled nervously, "Only in places where people die."

          Luke gasped. "Is that...?"

          In a locked jail cell was none other than the stone. There it sat, glimmering in the pale light.

          "Is this real? Surely it can't be this easy!" Serena gaped.

          "Blaze probably didn't expect us to make it past the spiders, which means..." Jay pondered. "We're in his territory now."

~

          Ash stepped forward. "So, how do we use it to get the powers back?" The group was now surrounding the glowing stone.

          Without warning, it flashed a bright light, making the teens cringe. As each member exhaled, a wisp of element came out of their mouths. The colors swirled around until they aligned with the correct person, waiting for an inhale. They breathed in, then smiled. 

          "It worked." Matt said, smiling at Serena.

          "Well, that was... surprisingly easy." Aaron noted, slightly confused.

          Jay unfurled her wings, and stroked the soft feathers.

          Ash looked around at things unseen, savoring the feeling of having his rightful powers back. 

          Lily immediately sprouted a flower in a crack in the grout and sighed.

          Serena wandered to the corner where there was an old tap. Out flowed impossibly clear water for a spigot that old.

          In Luke's arms, Amber smiled, and the color returned to her normal tan shade. Luke darkened, contrasting greatly with his glowing girlfriend.

          Aaron stood there smiling, showing no need to test his powers.

          Lily's head snapped up from her view of the pink pansy. "Run!" She shouted, then bolted down the long hall, her footsteps echoing on the cement floor. Without a question, the others followed, nervously glancing back.

          Jay pulled up beside Lily. "What was it?"

          "Wolf. Coming." Lily panted.

          The runners rounded turn after turn, the ground changing from brick to dirt, to tile, to even dead leaves.

          "Stop!" Serena yelled as the group was running along another tunnel, this time the floor was a deep mud, and the teens could barely wade through it.

          "What?" Amber asked. She tried to shake the mud off of one leg, but the other one sunk even deeper in the quick sand mud. The fiery girl started panicking, not at all in her element. "Luke!" Amber cried as the mud came up to her waist. Her boyfriend wasted no time in pulling her out of the dangerous mud. "Thanks," She breathed.

          "So what were you saying about stopping, Serena?" Aaron asked.

          "There's a big body of water up ahead." The water girl explained.

          "And a big cavern, and many…deaths." Ash said.

          "Okay, let's get going, then!" Jay said, and, flying above the dangerous floor, went straight into the huge expanse in front of them.

          "Wait - Jay!" Lily cried.

          But the winged girl paid no heed to her friends' calls. Instead, she just flew right past them. After a few moments of strained silence, the group heard a sharp scream.

          "JAY!" Ash yelled. He surged forward, going impossibly fast in the tricky ground. "Jay! What is it?"

          But instead of his girlfriend, Serena replied. "Shark."

          "Mechanical shark." Aaron said.

          "What?" Lily asked, confused.

          "There is a big cavern up ahead filled with a pool of water with mechanical sharks." Aaron explained.

          "And Jay's in there!" Ash yelled. "Let's go! Let's go, let's go, let's go!!!"

          The group started forward, forcing their way through the knee-deep mud. They were determined to help their dear friend.

          Finally, the small dark tunnel turned into a huge cavern filled with a pool of water. There was no sign of Jay, however, there was some blood in the water, and around the doorway that was across the expanse of shark-infested water.

          Ash fell to his knees, "Where does the water end? What happened to Jay?"

         "Don't worry. I have a feeling Blaze wouldn't kill Jay. I mean, not yet, anyway." Luke comforted his brother.

          "Yeah, okay." Ash didn't look very convinced. "Serena, can you do anything about the sharks?"

          "I'm not sure. I can maybe crush them with water pressure. If only they were real sharks, dang it!" 

          Out of the water burst one of the 'sharks'. Serena immediately impaled the mechanical form without a second thought. The metallic shark sparked and whirred, then slowed until it was completely still.

          "Well, trying to cross is completely out of the question." Aaron offered.

          "Someone's a genius." Matt rolled his eyes.

          "Boys! We can't afford to waste time bickering among ourselves. Who knows what's happening to Jay?" Lily scolded.

          "She should be okay, more or less. She's tough." Amber offered uncertainly when she was Ash's horrified expression.

          "Hmmm... Maybe if I..." Serena twirled her finger in a circular motion. The water complied, forming a deadly fast whirlpool. The sharks remained more or less unfazed by the water girl's attempt. Serena then balled her hands into fists and punched the air. The response was a sound of metal caving slightly.

          "Normally, that kills anything. Ohhhh! I know!" She closed her eyes and tapped her foot slightly. "Come on! Come on!" Suddenly, three real sharks appeared in the huge pool and started to attack the mechanical ones. "Yes!" She stumbled forward and watched the Great Whites gnash their teeth against the metal. "That should do it," Serena sprouted a fountain and drank some water. Wiping her mouth Serena faced the group. "I can summon some dolphins for everyone to ride across. Or I can freeze the top for everyone to walk across, but that will take a long time and it might melt. Those are the only ways. Sorry Amber," She gave a sheepish look. "What do you guys prefer?"

          "I think the dolphins would be better," Matt said.

          "Yeah. Much safer," Ash agreed.

          "I love dolphins!" Lily jumped excitedly.

           "Alright. Dolphins it is. Do your thing Serena," Luke turned to Amber. "You'll be fine. Don't worry."

            "Okey, dokey," Serena closed her eyes and focused once more. Hearing a splash, she opened her eyes to six dolphins waiting eagerly in the water. "There's your ride. I'm going to swim." She helped Lily, Aaron, Matt, and Ash onto their dolphins. Then, she faced Amber who was standing next to Luke, looking uncomfortable. "Its okay. They're super sweet. You can ride on Bubbles!" Serena clapped her hands together and fed Bubbles a treat. "Luke, you get to ride Flipper, and they're brothers so you can be beside Amber for the entire ride. Now up you go!" Once Luke and Amber were settled, Serena hopped into the water, her legs morphing into an aqua tail. She waved her hand and the group was off.

          Lily was laughing as she hung onto the dorsal fin of her dolphin, Splash. Ash, Matt, and Aaron laughed among each other while Luke concentrated on his girlfriend. Amber was petrified, clinging to the dolphin for dear life. Bubbles squealed and dove under the water playfully. Amber coughed and spluttered once her dolphin surfaced.

          "Bubbles!" Serena scolded. "Our friend, Amber, doesn't like the water, so we need to be nice!" Bubbles nodded and slowed down. With a flick of her tail, Serena swam in front of the pod and halted the animals. "Good boys and girls," She cooed and fed each dolphin one a fish. "Alright guys, we're about half-way through. We're going to come up on a shallow part with some sharp rocks so try to keep your legs on the surface. Trust your dolphins. I'll lead. Lily and Splash will be the caboose. Let's go!" Serena signaled to the group and dove under.

          Ten minutes later, they reached the end of the huge pool. "Wasn't that fun? I just love dolphins!" Serena helped everyone off their dolphins and hugged Amber. "You did awesome! I knew you could do it!" She went and pet each on of the animals, calling them by name and feeding them treats. "Thanks guys, I'll send you back to my room." Closing her eyes, Serena transported the dolphins back with a flick of the wrist. "Alright people! Let's go get Jay back!"

 

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