Haruyama: The Short Story of the Sempiternity

Hoping to make history, Kai is a member of an archaeology team who sets out to record data from an unknown island. His friend, Amy Morikami, along with the team leader, Caine, experience unexpected changes in events that spiral into a mess that challenges them to survive.

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2. Caves

Kai groaned awake. First his sight returned, blurry and disoriented.

"The—" Kai groaned, "the ship."

As his mind awoke, he felt pulsating behind his head.

"Where am I?" Kai croaked.

It took a while before Kai could feel again, but it wasn't long before he felt every bruise and scrape flushing through his body.

 

Kai blinked hard to rid his blurry vision, but it didn't help him to focus.

"Ow!" he cried out. His vision pulsed rhythmically with his heartbeat.

Kai looked above his head, trying to make sense of where he was.

 

"The ground?"

 

Kai was confused. He shook his head and looked up again. He saw crates, torches with their flames burning upside-down and piles of red mud scattered around the flickering room.

 

"Upside-down," Kai whispered. It only took him a second to finally realise his orientation.

"I'm upside-down!" The echoing shout made his ears ring.

 

Kai tried to wiggle out of the restraint, but his arms didn't move from his chest.

"What is this?" he grunted. He used his upper body to examine his restraint, seeing that his body has been wrapped in a white cocoon-like silk, like a spider that trapped its prey.

"I've got to get out of here!" Kai stuttered after the thought of a giant spider having him for a meal.

Kai froze to think. He needed to escape. He didn't know where he was.

 

He needed to find his group members.

 

Kai studied the restraint. He found that his shoulders were still visible, and only his torso and limbs were wrapped.

"Maybe if I squirm," Kai suggested as he groaned through his attempt.

He tested his plan. He tensed his abdomen to lift his upper body, his head now above his waist. Thrusting his head back, the restraint began swinging as his upper body created momentum.

 

He heard a rip around his shoulders. The sticky silk loosened around his chest.

"Almost there," he hissed through his clenched teeth.

He repeated his technique, pulling his body up and then swinging back. He felt the sticky restraint break away from his arms, loosening enough to wiggle his legs. Giving one last jerk of his head, Kai let out a grunt with a heavy thrust downward.

 

Kai squeezed his eyes shut as he felt his body slip out of the cocoon. The momentum he gained from swinging flipped him upright immediately. He heard the musky wind wheeze briefly past his body. He was falling from the ceiling, straight to the gravel below him.

 

Kai's knees slammed into the ground, hearing a pop echo in his ears.

 

Kai wailed with intense pain, the echo chafing his eardrums. His vision went static, and his mind began to drift again. He fought the instinct to shut down, choking to slow his rapid breathing and keeping his eyes widened.

He slowly sat on his rear, wincing as he gently spread his legs. It was immediately noticeable that his right knee had dislocated. The sight made Kai dizzy. He wasn't planning to walk with a popped knee.

He took a deep breath. "Okay," Kai stammered, “I can do this.”

He placed his palms on both sides of his knee cap, and inhaled hard—Kai held his breath.

He clasped his palms together, hearing the same pop and the rush of excruciating pain shoot from his knee. Kai’s throat clenched throughout the initial surge of agony as he rolled around the dry gravel, clutching his thigh just above his knee, his fingertips indenting through his thick carpenter jeans. As his mind succumbed, he let out a hard sigh and gently closed his eyes. He sat still as he relaxed his body, slowing his breathing.

 

Kai slumped over, his body numbing itself again.

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