I’m in a long hallway. Though it’s still rock, it has an entirely different feel about it. Sort of… manmade I guess. I must be maybe half way down the hallway when I hear a dry, creaking sound coming from behind me. I spin abruptly and to my horror, see the door closing back into it’s place. I start to sprint back but I’m too late. Guess there’s no turning back now. Now I can’t get back to Thalia. There must be a door on this side too, but I stumbled on the other one by accident. There’s no guarantee I could find it. I realise just how much light, the cave was giving out. As now I am plunged into near pitch black. I’m grateful for the flashlight. Slowly I wander forward again. I’m wanting desperately to sink down and cry. But I won’t. I have to find a way out. There’s five or six doors in the hallway, and stairs at the end. I’ll just try them all. The first room I walk into consists of nothing special. I try I few more, but end with the same result. I’m starting to feel that feeling you get in your stomach, when it’s as if the whole world is against you. I stare at the smooth, flat rock floor. A single tear wells in my right eye. It starts it’s journey down my face but gets caught on my nose. I shake it free and it falls to the floor, wetting the dry dusty rock. Just then the flashlight blinks and flickers out. Great. Just my luck. I have just two more doors left, plus the stairs, but they too go down. And that tiny speck of hope I had is too starting to flicker out. I might as well try the other doors. I was hoping for some food or maybe even medical supplies, but it doesn’t look as if that’s gonna happen any time soon. I trudge into the room and rub my eyes. I stop when I see a man. Just sitting there on a chair with a book that seemed to glow. Was I hallucinating? Or was this man really getting up and shaking my hand. “Hi.“ The man said casually. “You must be Thalia.“ He continued. “We’ve been expecting you.“
“Um I’m Lorrie. Thalia’s my little sister.“ I said shakily.
“Ah yes. I thought you looked a little older than ten.“ He said. “Well then. Nice to meet you Lorrie.“
“Er, I hope this doesn’t seem rude, but, who are you?“ I ask. I must have about a thousand questions. But this one seems a good starting point. “I am merely you and your sister’s escort. You can call me Chris.“ He tells me. I start to say something, but he interrupts. “Come. You must have many questions.“ He laughs.
“Wait! My sister. Thalia. She’s back up that ladder with a bleeding knee and a sprained ankle. We have to get her down.“
“Do not worry. When we get back to the commons I’ll send a group of medics to go get her and patch her up. Come.“ The man Chris assures me. With one more reluctant look behind me, I turn and follow Chris to the staircase at the end of the hallway.
Part way down the stairs he pulls a lantern off the wall. It isn’t lit. With one spark he lights the lantern and continues down the stairs. I’m jealous. Usually I can make fire within half an hour. Never ten seconds. The amount of questions are quickly building.
By now we’ve pretty much reached the end of the stairs and Chris is leading me through a long straight rock tunnel. There are two paths at the end, one going left, and one going right. Without hesitation he takes the left path and I follow. On this path there are several other paths to take. Again, he without hesitation chooses the path and walks quickly down it. I don’t know how he’s navigating this. I would get hopelessly lost.
After a few more twists and turns, we emerge from the tunnels in a small room. Chris silently walks to the other end of the room, grabs a piece of the rock a pulls it sideways, opening a cupboard with a keypad in it. He then pulls something out of his pocket and looks at it for a second. Then he puts it away and keys something into the keypad. I jump when I see the whole wall move up, like a garage door. It moves slowly and when it’s finished I’m faced with a stunning scene.
It’s a city. An underground city. The first thing my eyes drift to are big round ponds. One on either side of the door we just came through. My mouth opens wide, as I take in my surroundings. Green grass, something I haven’t seen since I was young. Tall buildings that look almost futuristic. Everything looks that way. It all seems very out of place, coming from dark rock tunnels into here. “Welcome to the Commons.“ I hear Chris say. “Do you like it?“ I nod, mouth still open wide. Quickly I shut it.