I must of started to fall asleep, because I wake with a start. A noise. I heard a noise. Not the rustle of dead bushes in the wind, or the howl of a far off animal, a scream. Human. My mind races. If they’ve made it this far, that means they would have to have water. Maybe if I just asked for a small sip… There it is again. And this time there’s no mistaking it. It’s a cry for help. Filled with pain and agony. And it sounds like Thalia. Summoning what little energy I have stored up, I slowly struggle to my feet. I listen for the sound again and rush as fast as I dare go without collapsing, towards the faint cry.
I stagger around a corner and almost fall into the depths. Luckily I manage to grab onto a tree branch to stop myself from plunging into the dark hole. All this time, lying on the ground, the depths were just a bend away?!
I scream Thalia’s name into the depths, and listen anxiously for an answer. There’s a pause and then my name. My heart races. “Where are you?!“ I yell back. “In here!“ Is her answer,
“I’m coming down, keep talking so I know where you are!“ I say.
Being very careful not to slip on the dry sharp rock and dirt, I gingerly clamber down the rock about 5 metres. It’s torture what with the sharp rocks that stick into your hand and my utter tiredness, but somehow I make it down onto a small ledge. “Down here!“ Thalia says through gritted teeth. I look down to see a small tunnel leading off the ledge that I’m on. The voice seems to be coming from here, so I fall to my hands and knees and crawl though the tunnel. Did I mention that I HATE closed in spaces? Well I do, and this is about as closed in as it can get. I need to get out of here. But somehow I muster the strength to make it to the other side. I take a huge gasp of cold air that isn’t plagued by my own warm breath.
I’m in a small circular cave with a small puddle of water lying in the bottom. The knees of my track pants are muddy and soaked. I look up and see my sister, sitting there, trying to keep off the water and soaked in mud. I splash over to her and check her over. When I touch her leg, she winces in pain. I carefully roll up her trouser leg. She’s sprained her ankle and there’s a nasty gaping wound by her knee. “How did this happen?“ I ask her.
“I rushed round a bend and I didn’t see the depths in time to stop. I fell and luckily landed on that ledge.“ She says pointing at where I’ve just come from. “I landed badly on my leg and… yeah.“
“It’s a good thing this water was here then. You would have died of thirst without it.“ I say. “Come on, let’s get you out of here and to a doctor.“ I start to get up.
“Lorrie, there’s no way I’ll be able to climb back up even with your help. Why I would hardly be able to do that without a sprained ankle, let alone with one!“
“Then we’ll have to find another way up.“ I say with a sigh, “Come on.“ I hold out my hand to help her up. She winces in pain as she struggles to stand. It hurts me to see her like this. To have to make her come with me through the rocky depths. She’s stronger than I would be at this. I would have given up by now. And I will get her to safety. I will.