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.


3. The Maze

          Lily's group plunged into the maze, taking the path that led East. Her animal instincts kicked in, and she could practically smell the danger. Beside her, Jay tread lightly, her body tense, and her sword lifted high, incase something unexpected were to happen. Lily had been in the maze before, and she knew what it was capable of. Ash and Nick, on the other hand, had no clue what was in store for them. She sure hoped Nick didn't die. Over the weeks that the boys had stayed there, she had grown quite fond of him.

          All of a sudden, Jay burst ahead of the group, pulling a trip wire that made sharp metal spikes shoot out of the side of the walls of the maze. Using her powers, Jay used wind to simply stop the spikes in midair. They dropped to the ground with dull thuds.

          Lily exhaled, "Thanks. I didn't notice that."

          "Well, someone had to stop them." Jay said with a smirk.

          "So, this may actually kill you?" Nick asked, pulling the edge of his shirt away from his neck.

          "Duh. That's how it works. We should keep moving, or it will kill Amber. We should be able to see her soon." Jay replied.

         "What do you mean, 'see her'?" Nick prompted.

         "Once the groups make a certain amount of progress of mistakes, the maze will lift her to the center, so we can see how she's doing, and how she is being tortured. I thought you were smart." Jay said, rolling her eyes.

          "Oh, C'mon, Jay." Lily chided.

          "If you're all so smart, why don't we keep moving, so that we don't do what we wasted our time explaining not to do." Ash said, earning a confused look from everyone in the group.

          The four trudged on, dodging various traps that were thrown their way. So far, they hadn't made any mistakes, until Ash stepped on a pressure plate that, as far as they could tell, didn't have a trap rigged to it. They found out what it did when they heard Amber scream in agony from the middle of the maze.

          "Watch it!" Jay warned.

          "We need to be more careful. As far as we know, we could've just killed Amber." Lily explained. 

          Moments after Lily uttered those words, a thick fog settled in. Lily doubled over in pain with a sharp exhale, and clutched at her stomach.

          "What's going on?!" Nick asked, rushing to Lily's side. Next, Jay screamed, and fell to the ground, writhing, and clawing desperately at the tattoo on her back where her wings disappeared to. She opened her wings, and in a mad frenzy, started to try to take flight, each time falling to the ground with a sickening thud. From behind them, a large beast loomed, composed of dead flesh and swirling chemicals. Lily continued to groan in agony from her spot where she lay curled up on the ground. Jay continued in her hysteria, only pausing from her desperate antics to laugh eerily.

          "Nick! We need to beat it. To protect the girls." Ash called desperately to Nick.

          Nick started muttering to himself, pacing back and forth as he did so.  Ash closed his eyes, concentrating on the beast in front of him.  Slowly, the dead flesh fell away, leaving an angry storm of chemicals.  It moved closer Jay and Lily, making Lily scream in unseen agony.  Her scream woke Nick from his thoughts.  

          "Hurry!" Ash said to Nick as he drew his swords. 

          "What are you doing?  It's not going to help," Nick retorted, his voice rising in anger.

          "I can at least distract it from the girls," Ash said as he bravely stepped forward, slashing at the monster.  

          Nick started muttering to himself again, his brow pinched with worry.  "I got it!" Nick exclaimed. "You better step back, and drag the girls back too," Nick warned.

          Once he made sure the girls were safe behind him, Ash focused his attention on the events unfolding in front of him.  The chemical storm grew darker and darker in color, the center compacting with the pressure of the wind and speed it was wielding.  It spun faster and faster, making both Nick and Ash take a step back.

          "Dude, what did you do?" Ash asked with a waver in his voice.

          "I added chemicals, with the intention it would explode," Nick answered, for once not giving a five minute explanation.  

          The storm grew in height, threatening to do exactly what Nick wanted.  And then it happened.  The wind that seemed to have been trapped flew out of control, causing Nick and Ash to be forcefully shoved to the rocky ground.  A terrible ear piercing sound was omitted.  And then it was gone, Nick helped Lily up, just as Ash did for Jay.  

          "What was that? Are you hurt?" Ash asked Jay.

          Jay pulled down the top of the back of her shirt, revealing multiples marks where she had desperately clawed. "I'm fine," She said, determination in her voice.

          "Are you okay, Lily?" Nick asked, concern lacing his voice.

          "Ya, I'll be okay, thanks," Lily said, shyly taking her hand back.  "I wonder how the other group is doing." 


          At that precise moment, the "other group" was trying to navigate their way through the tricky winding paths of the maze.  They kept running into dead ends and it seemed like they were getting nowhere.

          "C'mon, over here!" Luke's voice echoed though the daunting passages, "I think I found the right way!"

          "Let's go guys," Serena called over her shoulder as she began to jog in the direction that she hoped Luke was. Earlier, the small group had decided to split up in an attempt to make better time through the maze. It had been fruitless, until now. Max shoved Matt as they hurried to catch up. Matt turned and threw a small pebble at the lava boy. Max fell down, then quickly recovered and brushed his legs off. Satisfied, Matt jogged back to where Serena was.

          Finally, Serena located Luke and called the two boys over.  They quickly paced to where Luke and Serena were standing, looking at a triangle in the wall.

          "It looks like a keyhole," Luke said thoughtfully. Taking a closer look, Serena found that he was right. The small triangle itself was made of wood and was about the size of an adult's hand.  There was one tiny hole in the very center of it, and no clue as to what it was.

          "Ya, but where is the key?" Serena asked realistically.

          "It might be over there," Matt spoke up from behind them.

          Luke and Serena spun around and found a clearing in the maze that they were sure hadn't been there before. It was just an expanse of dirt that had nothing special to it. It was surrounded by the same thorny plants that made up the maze. At the other end of the rectangular patch, there was a shiny object in the dust.

          Serena was about to start for the object, but Luke threw an arm out to keep her where she was.

          "It's a trap," he said, his voice low and quiet.

          "What do you mean, 'it's a trap'?" Serena countered. "Look! The key to that triangle is right there on the ground! I'll go get it and maybe the triangle is a door that will lead us to Amber!"

          As the two were fighting, Matt had stepped forward and was now about to cross into the dirt area.

          "Dude! Watch it!" Max growled Matt pushed him into the prickly bushes. Max shot a ball of lava as Matt leaped to the side to avoid being crushed.

          Multiple things happened at that moment. One, Max got seriously pricked. Two, Matt's momentum carried him into the section of empty earth. Three, the seemingly harmless patch of dirt opened up and shot a bunch of small spikes at Matt. Four, the group was distracted as a blinding light came from upward. Shielding her eyes, Serena saw that it was Amber in her glass cage. The bright afternoon sun was glinting off her golden armor. Squinting to get a better look, she saw that Amber was flailing against an invisible attacker. She moved her arms this way and that, as if she were squatting a million flies.

          "Amber!" Serena called hoarsely, her stomach twisting into a knot at the sight of her friend.

          "What have you idiots done!" Luke screeched and pinned Max to the ground. "Matt is covered in spikes because you pushed him. Why? In order to impress your little girlfriend. And now Amber is being tortured because of you," Luke sneered, the entire section of the maze darkened.

          "Ummm, Luke," Serena tapped his shoulder gently, not wanting the sky to turn pitch black.

         "What?" He turned to face her, his blue eyes piercing in the moonlight. She pointed towards Amber, sprawled helplessly inside the glass cylinder.

          "We have to help her," Serena stuck her hand out and helped Luke up. "Come on Max. Matt, you stay here, I need to get Lily," Max stood up and brushed the thistles off of him. Calling a wave, she threw hundreds of gallons of water at the glass, but to Luke's disappointment, nothing happened. "What the heck?" Serena looked at her hand quizzically. "Let's find the other group. Luke, use your creepy darkness powers to locate your brother," Luke plunged back into the maze, lifting up his hand to sense Ash's darkness. Max trudged behind the group, embarrassed that Luke called him out about liking Serena.

        "Over here!" He ran over to Ash and embraced him. "Hurry! We found Amber!"

       "And Matt is hurt!" Serena piped up. Lily transformed into an eagle flying in front of the group to locate any traps. She touched down, turning back into a human, and knelt by Matt's side. He groaned from the pain, about 20 spikes protruding from his torso. The gaping holes were filled with green slime, dripping from the tips.

      "Poison," Lily muttered. "You guys go ahead, if he doesn't get treatment in the next 3 minutes...." She trailed off, already working on removing the spikes.

      "I'll help," Nick stepped forward. "Chemicals are kinda my thing," Lily blushed as Nick sat down beside her. They were soon in deep conversation about healing methods.

      "Are we going to help Amber or not?" Luke paced and jumped around impatiently.

      "Right, let's go," Jay led the way, sword unsheathed, going deeper and deeper into the maze. Finally, they arrived at a clearing. In the center was Amber, clutching desperately at her throat as the air was slowly leeched out of her capsule.

       "On three," Ash held up his hand, and three skeletons emerged from the ground.

       "One," Thunder clouds boomed in the distance, lightning flashed.

       "Two," The sky turned black.

      "Three," Everyone charged, their elements combining to form a swirling mass over Amber. The glass broke, shattered by the sheer force of the five warriors powers. Luke ran desperately to Amber and caught her right before she hit the ground.

       "Thank.... You," She coughed before passing out in Luke's arms. 

       "Get her to Lily!" Serena summoned a pool of water, supporting Amber's weight as it carried her back to Lily. They arrived to Lily and Nick feeding Matt some sort of leaves. The green slime was gone and all of the spikes were in a pile next to him. He had bandages covering his chest.  Luke ran over and gently laid Amber beside Nick.

        "Is she okay? Will she make it?" Lily checked Amber's pulse, then looked at Luke's worried expression. She burst out laughing. Soon, everyone joined in, except Luke, who was standing there with a puzzled expression on his face.

        "She'll be fine," Lily coughed out, still giggling. And with that, everyone marched towards the exit, Amber and Matt in tow, laying on clouds of water vapor as Lily and Nick led the way out of the maze.


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