An entrance is an entrance is a way in.
Crouching behind the boulder, Davina and Ghost watched Emma and Dolan grow more heated in their discussion. At one point Emma became so angry she jumped up and down.
‘We’re in so much trouble now Davina,’ whispered Ghost.
‘We were already in trouble Ghost. Now those beings are going to send a search party after us instead.’
‘Davina you’re so weird! What do you mean beings?’ asked Ghost.
Why was Ghost so completey unaware? ‘Use your specially designed eyes and gut instinct Ghost!’ whispered Davina with a stern look.
Ghost stared blankly at Davina, what did she mean?
Dolan and Emma ceased their debate, climbed back into the truck and sped off.
When the van was out of sight Ghost stepped out from behind the boulder and appeared to want to follow the van. Davina watched him struggle and squirm.
‘Why does it always happen to me?’ he muttered and began pacing. ‘I am in the middle of nowhere with an odd girl and no way to get anywhere. How am I supposed to survive?’ he crossed his arms, did a number of frustrated jumps and turned towards Davina with a confused expression. ‘What are we supposed to do in a forest?’
Davina climbed up onto the boulder and pulled her legs into her chest. ‘Do what you normally do in a forest. I don’t understand the issue. We simply get on with it.’
‘Davina I’m from a city. What are we supposed to do about food and drinks – where are the shops?’ he waved emphatically. ‘This is stupid… None of this makes sense… Why does it always happen to me?’ he muttered and then paused.
Davina watched Ghost make a deep sigh ‘Davina don’t you think it’s strange that they didn’t chase us or anything? They just allowed us to escape into the forest. Did they do that on purpose?’
Davina glanced at the road and tried to fathom what was going on. ‘I think it must be a decoy. Maybe they’re trying to draw us out. I have a feeling they want me for something,’ she said studying Ghost’s reaction. Confusion was written all over his face.
The whispering wind spiralled through the trees with a muttering and whistling. It was moving through the woods ‘Do you hear what the wind is saying Ghost?’
Ghost glared at Davina. Was she completely insane? ‘No Davina I don’t hear what the wind is saying. Davina nobody knows what the wind is saying. Why would they? The wind doesn’t speak.’
Davina shuddered; why didn’t he hear it?
Thud! Her concentration was broken. The sensation of being watched tingled down her spine from all angles. She quickly turned to Ghost; he was searching the area for the source of the sound. Was he experiencing the same weird sensation too? They were definitely being watched.
‘Ghost something is there. Something is…’
She didn’t finish her sentence. A solid form shifted behind the trees. It was huge. Davina watched the distorted shape lumber closer. She couldn’t decipher it clearly. All she knew was that one moment it was flying and the next it was on the ground watching her. To her right a cave caught her attention. She waved her hand for Ghost to run towards the cave but Ghost didn’t move. In fact he could not move. He had just found something by his foot. A newly formed, steaming pile of stones appeared. They were in trouble.
Realising what Ghost had found, Davina recognised a pattern emerging. She was not going to wait around. ‘Move now!’ she shouted, dragging Ghost towards the cave.
The inside of the cave was pitch-black with a few open crevices which enabled beams of light to illuminate moss-clothed walls. The rhythmic drip of water echoed in the darkness amongst the damp, stagnant air. Whatever was pursuing them was close behind. The sound of the heavy padding filled the atmosphere along with the sound of dripping.
The pair scurried to the back of the cave and discovered a ledge. Davina explored the cold stone with her hands. Clumps of moss and dirt revealed themselves, but at least the ledge was stable. Nimbly she climbed up and nestled against the wall. All the while, Ghost gazed fearfully towards the entrance.
Davina tapped him on the shoulder and gave him a bunk up onto the ledge. The pair sat quietly watching the entrance.
Ghost tried to pay attention but couldn’t help but fidget.
‘Keep quiet and keep still Ghost!’ she whispered harshly.
Silence descended on the cave. Breathing and a subtle murmur of heartbeats was all that could be heard. In an attempt to determine the creature’s location, Davina listened carefully. Ghost’s rapid breath was a distraction. ‘Ghost be quiet!’
‘I can’t help bloody breathing!’ he muttered back curtly.
Just outside the entrance, they could hear the padding of heavy forms. Bizarre unearthly squawk-like noises, pings and burps revealed the creature’s location. Davina focused intently; she could understand snippets of their conversation.
‘Right we have her cornered… there is no escape. Do you think we should… you know – take her and her little friend back or do you think they are going to….’ trailed off whatever was following her.
Davina sensed that their intention wasn’t cruel, they were trying to guide her. She leant over to Ghost, ‘Ghost don’t be scared but I think that whatever is out there is from somewhere else, a place where the rules are different. That ‘somewhere else’ is where I’m from – I think.’
Ghost rolled his eyes, ‘Davina this isn’t the time to be mucking around!’ he whispered sternly. ‘Anyway if that is the case do you think you did something wrong?’
Davina shrugged, ‘I have no idea.’
Ghost fell silent again and became distracted; imprinted in the rocks behind Davina were some small, hand-shaped indents. What were they?
The first huge figure filled the entrance of the cave. It was solid, with a large bulbous wolf head and appeared to be made of stone. Ghost tensed up while he nervously scratched at the walls behind him. The pair further pressed back into the rock and Davina craned her neck. By the entrance, the silhouette of steaming stones dropped to form more perfectly aligned piles. More and more piles of stones formed. Rising steam, lit by shafts of light, rose towards the cave roof. The icy air in the cave warmed when more creatures arrived. The bulky, warm-stoned creatures crept slowly about the cave – searching.
Davina inched sideways and pressed into Ghost. The rapid breathing and the pounding hearts thudding inside their chests coincided with the smell of fear hanging in the air. The pair waited.
The hulking creatures ventured closer. The pair retreated on the ledge and made themselves as small as possible. Davina pulled in her legs and hugged them. Ghost slowly shifted to cross-legged and using his lighter eye, scanned the huge, dark figures made of stone. They were unearthly. He trembled and held his breath. If they couldn’t hear him, they couldn’t eat him.
A spring trickled nearby, so Ghost focused his attention on the movement of the water. His eyes were growing in strength so he turned his attention towards the centre of the cave. A second lumbering creature carefully searched every nook and cranny. Ghost caught the curve of its face, the glint of an eye and the shape of a large, stone paw. Instinctively, he turned silently towards Davina, reached behind her and pressed his hands into the hand-shaped indents. As he did so, the rock withdrew into the wall and carried them away.