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October 30th, 2004


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dahl_cyrus
03:40 pm - here goes....
Ah well, i'll give it a go....
No title as yet, this is just the first bit, so, lets see if i've done this right...
constructive feedback would be appreciated...

PROLOGUE PROLOGUE

The boy stopped. On the path just ahead of him was a small patch of dappled, morning sunlight cascading down through the sporadic leaves high above his head. He stepped into it and lifted his face; a gentle breeze caressed his features. The day was going to be hot; the otherwise still air hung around him like a heavy blanket. But it wasn’t hot yet; the slight breeze was like standing in front of an open refrigerator, so nice. Yet that wasn’t why he stopped, there was something bothering him, something that wasn’t quite right with the world.

He listened, among the screams and whistles that the animals and insects of the deep bush made -that he expected- there was something else. There seemed to be a faint hum drifting about in the background, but he couldn’t quite pinpoint the direction it was coming from. He closed his eyes; sometimes that helped him filter sounds better.

Just then, another boy; around the same age and size, came crashing through the bushes, thumped him hard on the back and knocked him down.
“Hurry up, Sea.” He said breathlessly. “Race you to the top, slowpoke!” Then he ran away laughing, just as quickly as he had come.

“Oww..., Damn it Sef. Just wait, I’ll get you!” Sea called, as he scrambled to his feet and raced after him, the reason he had stopped, forgotten. He could see Sef’s back, bouncing and weaving through the bushes just ahead. Sef may have been older, but age was no match for his agility. Sea knew he could catch him; he just needed the right moment.

Seeing a chance he made his move. Then he saw his mistake, but it was too late to stop. He swerved to miss the large craterous hole that loomed in front of him. Then he had to leap over the soft remains of the rotted tree stump that had filled the cavity, eventually landing in a chest-deep hole full of thorns and brambles.

“Stuff!” he muttered angrily. Looking around, he saw a more solid log, not wanting to move but realizing he had no choice; he raised his arms above the thorns reach and gingerly crept forward. After clambering on top of the log and making sure the cuts on his arms weren’t as bad as they felt, he sat back and took stock of the situation.

He was on top of a log that was perched on the edge of a steep scree slope, surrounded by the ocean of vishus thorns that he had just escaped from. He knew he had no hope of getting himself out of this, so he searched his backpack until he found his GPS device and turned it on. He lay back to wait, knowing it wouldn’t be long, but as he imagined how he would pay his brother back he slowly realized that something wasn’t right about this place. Then it struck him, there was no birdsong and… there… that hum; it seemed louder here. Yes, definitely louder.

It was coming from the bottom of the scree slope. He leaned forward to see down better, but the log tipped beneath him and started to slide rapidly down the slope. He rode it down, somehow managing to stay on the top as it bounced and rolled. He was starting to enjoy himself until the log came to a sudden stop he was thrown off amongst a clatter of stones and dirt.

Amazed at how his entire life; all 12 years of it, up until that moment; everything he’d ever done, everything his parents had ever said to him, seemed to flash through his mind simultaneously in less than a second. He lay still for a moment trying to get his breath back and see if anything was broken, but a violent fit of coughing rapidly answered that query.

Wiping the dust from his eyes with the last spluttering of coughs, he looked around and saw that the pit he was in was deep and the sides unclimbable, he could not go back the way he had come.
‘Oh, bloody wonderful,’ he thought, ‘can’t get any worse, can it?’ He saw a small opening on the north side behind a straggly bush and remembered how his father always said that if they ever got separated, they should find a safe place and stay where they were.

Taking his GPS and leaving his pack in the open where they would be sure to see it and slapping some of the dust from his tattered shorts, he went over to investigate. Besides, that sound was louder over there, drawing him; he had to find out what was making it. He squeezed his way behind the bush and fell down a short drop into a large cavern.

“Wow!” he whispered when his eyes had adjusted to the dim interior, the walls were covered, top to bottom in rich veins of gold, silver and diamond. Clusters of precious, opalescent crystals and gems. The noise was almost deafening in here. Wandering about, he followed some cracks and discovered that the veins went deep below the surface. There were no cracks large enough for him to fit through and look further, so he turned to go back and promptly stumbled over the only rock on the cavern floor and cut his knee. After cursing and wiping the blood away with his sleeve, as children tend to do, he picked himself up and was struck by the complete silence surrounding him. The noise had stopped.

He looked closer at the oddly uniform rock and as he passed his bloody sleave over it, it changed to the same colours.

“Whoa!” he cried, “Wait’ll Sef gets a load o’this!” and without thinking he reached forward to pick it up. Instantly, a blue and white beam of light arced out from the rock, hitting him precisely in the middle of his forehead sending him flying through the air and landing unconscious on the other side of the cavern.

The crystals seemed to flicker in the silence.


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