Okay, so my Cave #BlogBattle story is a total cheat. This is an excerpt from a short story I’ve been working on. I doubt it will make a ton of sense, but it’s exciting, and you’ll be able to read the whole thing in the ASF Short Story Contest Anthology book, The Crux, when it comes out!
La Puerta de Siempre
The hushed whisper of his name called to him from a million miles away. He floated on the night sky, stars glittering all around, no ground beneath his feet.
“Owen,” the familiar voice whispered again. “Owen,” she said, firm and a little harsh.
Stinging pain shot through his cheek and he groaned, the stars fading into the blurry face of Julianna, her wet white-blond hair matted and hanging limp around her face. He blinked several times and rubbed his cheek. “That wasn’t necessary.”
“Sure. And Vesuvius never blew.” Julianna flopped back and leaned on a rock at her back.
Owen rolled to his elbow and pressed up into a sitting position as he groaned and took in the immensity of the cave. Light filtered in from somewhere above. He could still hear the falls but in a distant way. His rain poncho hung on him in shreds, so he pulled it off, and instead of dwelling too much on his sudden fear of being trapped, he stood and helped Julianna to her feet.
“Where are w—”
Words escaped him at the sight of a structure so far out of place his mind could not grasp it. A Taj Mahal-like arch reached toward the roof of the cavern, light spilling in to illuminate it.
“La Puerta de Siempre,” Julianna said, her voice soft with reverence. “It must be.”
Before Owen could stop her, she charged up over the rocks, along the mossy path, up ancient dilapidated steps. He could hear her laugh, her joy and amazement bright enough to rub off on even him. He followed her at a slower pace, rubbing just below the wound on his shoulder. With a wary eye, he scanned the dark corners of the unbelievable cave.
Most of the light seemed concentrated on the arch atop the hill of rock, its timeworn, ridged surface covered in thick moss so green and soft Owen thought of lying down and resting. But that notion was short-lived as a shot rang out in the cave, reverberating off the walls and only matched by the scream of his sister who ducked, covering her head with her hands.
Owen stumbled but immediately broke into a run up the slick steps toward the top where Julianna slowly stood, her hands raised in the air. He slowed to a stop near the top as Miguel Alvarado, five of his bodyguards, and Jorge came into view. The goons had all guns pointed at Julianna. They didn’t even bother pointing one at Owen with her in their sites.
Jorge’s hands rested at his waist and were tied with rope, and he sported a dark, puffy bruise around his left eye which had disappeared in the swelling of his face.
Alvarado leafed through the ancient journal. “You know, Mr. McFadden, I underestimated you. I do not know how you hid that map without my seeing. If not for Dr. Shaeffer, we would not have arrived with such haste, and who knows what damage you and your sister might have done here.”
Wouldn’t you like to know! 😉
Thanks for reading this super short excerpt by way of my entry to Blog Battle this month!