It’s All Fun and Games

#BlogBattle “Float” It’s All Fun and Games

Genre: Suspense/Contemporary Drama

A spark of something orange flashed before my eyes, and I flinched back. A sulfur sort of smell burned my nostrils, but I couldn’t see anything after the flash. It was totally dark, and the cold damp of the sandy floor under my bare feet and the slippery stone of the wall to my back were the only solid things in my invisible world.

“Watch it,  Helix. You almost lit my eyebrows on fire.” I wanted to say more but held myself in check. No matter how awful the dark was I was to blame for our being in it.

“Sorry, Adenine. I didn’t realize how close to you I was.”

The apology in Helix’s voice was sincere and made me feel worse for snipping at him. He struck another match, and this one stayed lit. We watched the flame float in a strange dance that lasted all of ten seconds before the struggling glow petered out leaving us in a dark that I was sure was darker than the dark had been before.

“I’ve only got one match left. What should we do, Addy?”

“Well, first off, don’t panic.”

“I’m not panicking.”

“Don’t sound so offended. You were practically on the verge of tears a second ago, Helix.”

“Was not,” Helix, my ten-year-old brother, replied in his most pouty five-year-old voice, the one that always grated on my nerves. It got worse the older we got, too.

“Stop acting like a baby, and help me search for the way out of here.”

I knew Helix was crouching just in front of me, so I reached out and felt for his hand. It took me a second, but once I had a hold of him it was like he had me in a death-grip. I can’t say it was good or bad because I might have been holding his hand just as tight.

We scooted along the wall in the direction I was pretty sure we’d come from, but it would be almost impossible for either of us to admit when we didn’t know something. That’s the thing about Helix and me, we compete over everything, which is exactly how we ended up in this dungeon of a cave.

I slid one foot along in front of the other, scooting so as not to accidentally step into a yawning abyss. I watch way too many movies was the thought drifting through my head, a thought much less frightening than the reality of our predicament, and yet it was impossible to know what lay ahead.

“Adenine, what if we’re trapped in here . . . forever?”

Helix’s irritating question hung in the stillness of the air, it floated around us like a cloud of stink and made me want to thunk him a good one, but instead I took a deep breath; I breathed in the truth of it and nodded my head even though he couldn’t see me.


“Don’t worry, Helix. We’ll get out of here. I promise.”

“Don’t promise!” Helix said, his vehemence out of place but spurred by his obvious fear. “You know what Dad says about promising things you can’t guarantee.”

“You sound just like him,” I said with a mixture of annoyance and longing. Dad would know what to do. He would be able to promise and mean it. “I won’t promise, but I will do my very, very, very best. Okay, buddy?”

“I want Mom.”

“Me too,” I mumbled but kept trudging along the wall.

Slowly, imperceptibly the consuming darkness began to change, but it was only when the smell of salty sea air filled my nose that I noticed it. There was a gray quality to the blackness and upon the realization my heart skipped a beat. I wanted to run forward, to drag Helix away from the chilling depths, but I still couldn’t see, I could only feel the changes–smell them like a distant dream.

We moved on in silence, but hope sprung up in my chest as the texture of the wall a foot from my face began to take indistinct shape, and a welcome breeze wafted across my cheeks.

“We’re almost out, Helix,” I said, unable to contain my relief as I tugged on his hand.

Soon we could both make out the contours of the tunnel and the rocks littering the path and we ran, we ran for the pinpoint of light in the distance. Helix laughed and we grinned at each other as we neared the opening. The bright light that seemed to float in a halo of dark grew and grew the farther along the path we ran until it was a gaping maw before us.

But once we reached the entrance we skidded to a halt. Shielding our eyes from the blinding light we looked in all directions. A sinking feeling dragged my stomach down. We hadn’t gone back the way we’d come.

“It’s a long way to the water, Adenine.”

“No duh.” I huffed and sunk my rear end to the hard dirt and sand. I dangled my feet over the cliff edge and watched the lone, puffy cloud float across the azure sky.

Helix gripped the cave wall and leaned out to look up. While he examined the opening of the white chalk cliff face I sat moping over our predicament. We were trapped. At the time the tunnels under the castles had seemed the perfect spot to race my little brother, but after that giddy scream of delight had brought the ceiling down after us I thought we were in real trouble. Now I knew we were in deep, deep trouble.

“Hey, Addy! There’s a rope out here,” Helix said and leaned farther out against the cliff face.

“Helix!” I yelled as I stood and grabbed for his waist. “You’re going to fall, dummy!”

“I’ve almost got it,” he said, his voice straining like his fingers as they tickled at the side of the rope. “al-most . . . got it!”

The next thing I knew he was swinging away from the opening like a monkey on a vine, and all I could think was thank goodness for little brothers!

17 responses to “It’s All Fun and Games”

  1. I love sibling stories in general, and I enjoyed this one in particular. I think they bring a nice dash of realism to all the romance, bad-guy antagonist, etc. that many of our stories have. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Cathleen. 🙂 I think that’s a great bit of observation, too. I like the idea of keeping things fresh and trying new things. I also like variety. Your stories often have uncommon themes and plots which I enjoy! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. If I’d had a brother, I wonder if we would’ve been competitive like that. 😀
    DNA, lol, nice one!
    I like a fun story about brothers. ^_^

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m sure not all siblings are, but then again maybe they are. Haha thanks, E.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank, my awesome friend. 🙂


  3. don’t panic… that’s always useful advice

    interesting names… DNA who woulda thunked it…. can’t help imagine the names of the rest of the family if they dog called Deox and a cat called Cyto

    so it’s confirmed nobody likes baby voices hahaha there is something to that effect in my story or maybe the same writing muse stars aligned haha weird

    loved the story very “visual” considering its really really really dark (because there is no light in the tunnels as well)


    Liked by 1 person

    1. I typed this whole awesome reply, but it disappeared when I set my phone down to help my son with a set of head phones. It even included the word swine which autocorrect had lovingly given me. Weird. Oh well, it wasn’t meant to be.
      Don’t panic is always great advice, given at just the right moment. Haha and I’m pretty sure you have that family pegged on names. 😀 I just have no idea what possessed me to use DNA! Haha
      How weird and interesting that we’ve got that similar sentiment on baby voices this week. It makes me wonder about the associative effect of words. Either that or it’s true what they say, great minds think alike! 🙂
      I love how you describe the story as visual! It means I accomplished a bug part of what I was attempting! Thanks B. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I hate it when that happens when you write something and then poof… its gone before you press the send button ….disappearing into the ethers of all the unsent bytes.
        hahaha did autocorrect also turn wine into swine, mine does this cute thing where it loves sneaking in a correction of the word muse to museum when I am not looking….
        and my blog becomes Becoming The Museum, that should be an interesting transformation story *should blog it ha!*

        Associative effect of words bah! great minds and such hahahah
        speaking of great minds if you ask me the DNA names thing was just genius and the thing about genius, you cant explain it. ☺☺☺☺

        you welcome


        1. 😀 Thanks for that, B! You are one smart cookie! And you should definitely blog Becoming the Museum! It’s just strange enough to be interesting, especially when your creative mind is applied. 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Challenge accepted

            Liked by 1 person

            1. That’s what I like to hear!

              Liked by 1 person

  4. Strong characters, Rachael! I am a younger brother, so yes, we are invaluable. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m a younger sister and might say the same. Haha Thanks, Andy!


  5. Little brothers do come in useful. 🙂 This reminds me of me and mine. Always competing, always got to be right. Lovely story, and I love the names. Unusual. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. They come from DNA! Haha

      My brother and I had (still have?) a bit of that competitiveness. My kids definitely do! Haha

      Liked by 2 people

  6. […] It’s All Fun and Games by Rachael Ritchey (a little suspense?) […]


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