The Warrior’s Blade, Chapter 2
The setting sun sent a beam of light shooting through the hole in the top of the dark cavern where Jason had just fallen into. Somehow, he managed not to break anything, though a faint ringing filled his ears.
The shouts of the bullies in search of him faded into the distance as the last trickle of sun made the inky black cave, now shadowy.
It seemed to stretch dozens of feet in all directions before fading into the deeper shadows.
The last faint sounds of the other boys vanished from the world, along with the final shred of daylight.
Utter silence and pure darkness engulfed Jason as he stood frozen in the cave, ten feet below his ceiling-entrance, still covered by the ferns which had concealed it.
He turned in circles, and panic struck as he realized his brief-lived escape from the bullies.
Out of the frying pan and into the fire.
Jason remembered his ancient flip-phone and wrenched it from his jeans pocket.
His elation at the thought of having a source of light and rescue screeched to a stop.
None of his body parts had broken in the fall. His phone did. Jason felt the cracked screen and detached top half dangling in the cave’s gloom.
He threw it into the shadows, then took a deep breath.
That’s when he heard the broken phone skidding back to him with great force across the stone cave floor. Instinctive fear stopped Jason’s breathing as he stood, transfixed by the shadows from the direction his phone came back from.
“Hello?” he whispered to the darkness.
No response other than the steady dripping of water down into the cave.
Shaky breaths returned to Jason, along with a frustrated rage.
“HELLO!?” He shouted this time, curling his fists until his fingernails cut into his palms.
Whispers erupted from the dark all at once, like a woken hive of bees.
A cascade of voices whispered back at him. “Hello.”
“Who are you?” Jason yelled back, now circling to face the dozens of voices as they echoed back.
Then, as suddenly as they began, the whispers ceased.
The water dripped louder than drums in his mind.
DRIP. DRIP. DRIP. DRIP.
“This way.” A single hushed voice cut through the silence in front of him.
Jason’s mind felt hazy. Ignoring any reason he might have had in the daylight; he followed the voice without hesitation.
Other voices joined in, though this time all from the same direction. Jason groped toward them in the dark until he felt the cold, wet stone of a wall. He looked up. He saw the pinprick of moonlight through the cave opening several yards away.
“Here,” a voice whispered in his ear, loud enough for him to feel the air on his cheek as it swept through the cave.
He turned back to the wall and felt the smooth stone wall with both hands until he came across something sticking out of it.
A small pole. Or a stake. Or a dagger, he realized. He felt the pommel, hilt, and crossbar before it entered the stone.
“Take it. It’s yours,” the voice whispered in his other ear this time.
Jason wrapped his right hand around the handle and felt the cold metal beneath for a moment, before excruciating pain shot through his hand, arm, then entire body.
A fire burned in his blood as Jason screamed until everything went dark. Darker even than the deepest shadows of the cave.