After school Risa, Zee, Kali Ren and Cato headed towards the river, where they met Miki.
“Enjoy school?” He ask, a slight smile playing across his lips.
“Uh huh. What did you do?” Risa asked him.
“Not much, I found a way to the waterfall though.”
“Really?!” Kali exclaimed, suddenly interested. Up until then she’d been more engrossed in fluttering her eyelashes at a couple of good looking boys who were loading crates onto one of the larger boats. “Today’s so hot, a swim would be perfect!”
“Well then, let’s go!” said Miki, “Race you to the bridge!” He set off at a run.
Zee came first, with Risa, Cato and Ren not far behind. Miki and Kali got stuck in a queue of people piling off a fancy barge and ended up about five minutes behind the other four.
“I thought you said race, not slow walk!” Cato laughed when they finally caught up.
“Ha ha ha.” Kali said slowly, “I thought it was a race too, not a fight the stampeding boars.”
Miki just raised an eyebrow.
They crossed the bridge and Miki led the way through the crowded stalls and up the river to a small boatman’s hut right against the forest fence.
They squeezed around the back.
“It’s through here.” Miki said, leading them into a cave in the rock face, “Come on!”
Inside the cave was a passage. They followed it downwards, deep inside the cliff. It was dark and Zee struck a match. It flared up gold against the damp walls.
“Whoa! Creepy or what?” Zee said, “Looks more like the entrance to a tomb than a passage to a waterfall.”
“It is the entrance to a tomb.” Miki said, tracing the wall with his hand.
“What!” Zee exclaimed, striking another match, “and you bought us here!” He looked around nervously as if he thought a ghost was about to jump out and steal his soul.
“Aha!” Miki pressed the centre of a small circle carved into the wall, ignoring Zee.
There was a grating sound, and the wall split open, revealing another passageway leading off to one side. This one sloped slightly upwards, and there was the sound of running water.
“How do you find these places?” Risa asked him, looking around.
“I look.” He replied, shrugging his shoulders.
After a while the passage got lighter, and the floor became slippy with weed. They came to a turn, and there before them was a wall of water, pouring down into a blue pool below.
“The waterfall!” Kali exclaimed with glee, “I haven’t been here for so long!”
They edged around the water and scrambled down the rocks to a small beach. The boys climbed up a tall rock and dive bombed in, but the Risa and Kali weren’t so sure. They walked about in the shallows, splashing any boy who came near. Ren found a small bucket hidden among the stones and used it to pour water over his head.
“Come on, It’s lovely!” Cato shouted from the middle of the pool.
“It’s cold!” Risa complained, splashing the water with her feet.
Zee marched out and, ignoring her protests, lifted her up over his shoulder. She screamed at him to put her down but he just turned and walked back into the pool.
Once he was waist deep in water, he relented.
“Ok. I’ll put you down.” He said, laughing.
“Don’t you dare! I’ll…” she was cut off as she hit the water.
She resurfaced a couple of seconds later, behind Zee. She grabbed his arms and pulled him backwards. Taken by surprise, he tripped and fell, taking her under the water with him. They came up coughing and spluttering, but laughing as well.
“Ren, get your sister in.” Zee called.
“It’s actually really nice.” Risa told her. Kali just crossed her arms.
“I’m not going anywhere near her.” Ren stated, wading toward them.
“Come on Kali!” Cato said, moving towards her. She raised her eyebrows.
“I don’t think that’s a very good idea.” She said, in a dangerous tone.
Miki suddenly appeared on the rocks behind her, with the bucket.
“Nor’s this!” he said, as he tipped the contents down on top of her. She looked up just as the icy water hit her.
“Miki!” she screamed, scrambling up the rocks toward him. He tried to avoid her by climbing sideways, and ended up on a ledge above the pool. Kali pounced on him, tickling him until he writhed on the ground at her feet.
Miki’s foot caught Kali’s knee, and she slipped, taking both Miki and the bucket tumbling down into the pool below.
When they came up, Kali put the bucket on Miki’s head, and swam towards the others, who were laughing hysterically.
“Enjoying your swim?” Ren asked her.
“All the more for this.” She replied, splashing each one of them in turn.
They stayed at the waterfall for several hours before heading back to the slums. By the time Risa reached her house, the sun was already setting, colouring the summer sky a deep shade of red.