A Short Story by Stew Stunes
Chapter 1: The Boy on the Top of the World
Chapter 2: Escape With Me
Chapter 3: The Light Comes to You
Elisa was true to her word, every night at midnight she knocked on the door of the balcony and out came Booker. She flew him north and south, side to side, and sunset to sunrise.
All the while they talked and talked, sharing every story they could think to tell each other about the way they lived their lives before meeting. It was like living in the best part of a dream with nothing that could break them apart or stop them from waking up. When they weren’t flying around together, they were constantly planning out their next adventure. Elisa had started completing her chores twice as fast as before, just so she could have extra time to plan something new to show Booker.
It had been one full week since they first flew off together and after returning from a night of exploring the far side of the valley Booker asked her a question. “Aren’t you worried about all this rain? Since I’ve met you it hasn’t once stopped raining.”
“I’m not scared,” she responded bravely. “It usually rains like this every spring for a month or so and then it dries up quickly.”
She started to float away from him, but his grip on her hand tightened. “Elisa, I want to show you something!”
Excited and intrigued, Elisa agreed as Booker led her inside the castle. For a third time, Elisa passed through the maze of hallways, doorways that opened to stairways and entryways that descended onto new landing bays. This time though, they went further and deeper than Elisa had ever thought was possible. Walking for what felt like miles and miles, down and down they went. All the while the lighted path grew slimmer and dimmer.
“Here’s the place,” Booker announced as he slid between a crevice in the rocks that Elisa would never have noticed if it had not been for Booker’s guidance. They snaked their way along a very rough path that seemed more of a natural formation than the work of skilled diggers. At the narrowest point, they were forced to suck in their stomachs and just as Elisa began to think that they surely couldn’t go further the narrow passage ended and they found themselves standing beside a rushing waterfall.
The shimmering waterfall was a lit by emerald rocks that glowed in the dark and gave the place a vibe of calm and enormity. Elisa peered over the edge and watched as the water spilled far into the depths of the cavern.
“This is where I usually come when I’m feeling sad or need to escape. Hardly anyone comes this far down anymore,” he explained to her.
Feeling inspired and daring, Elisa asked, “Would you like to see what’s down there? I bet it’s beautiful.”
Booker agreed with a smile as she caught his hand and leapt with reckless abandon into the abyss. They rushed down following the sparkling emerald waterfall towards the bottom.
“Look out!” Booker flinched and screamed as Elisa pulled up inches away from slamming into the still water.
“I gotcha, I gotcha,” she soothed as she sat the frightened boy down on a safe and dry rock. They both stood quiet for a moment looking up at the rushing water fall, craning their necks to see the top.
“I’m sorry, I know it won’t hurt me but all I’ve heard my entire life is how dangerous water can be when there is a lot of it.” Booker tried to apologize for his outburst.
“Take your time. I can’t imagine being as brave as you are being right now. I’ve been fortunate to grow up wearing these boots and being able to fly around. All in a week you’ve gone from a boy scared of a little rain to someone brave and mighty, who isn’t really afraid of anything.” She said before skipping off of her rock and skimming across the dark lake.
As she glided over the water, her boots dragged behind her making cute ripples and tiny waves. While she was having fun crossing the lake like an elegant ice dancer, Elisa looked back towards Booker and shouted. “Hey, what do you do for fun down here?”
“We have a game called rolling rock,” he answered happy to get his mind off the water for a second. “Basically the objective of the game is to roll a rock down a tunnel and knock down these pillars. There are 13 pillars that a person can knock down during his turn. If you only get seven down, then that’s how many points you get. If you get all 13 down that’s called an avalanche. The goal is to get the most pillars down in ten rounds.”
“I think I’d have to see it to understand, but it sounds fun.”
“Are you ready to explore with me?” She asked as she skipped across the lake towards him.
“I think so,” he answered,looking much steadier and as if he had a renewed sense of excitement to continue.
She gracefully held out her hand for him to take as she shrugged in the direction of the far side. “Come on there’s a bright light over there that I want to look at.”
Pulling him across the lake, Elisa marveled at the serene experience. As they moved further away from the rushing waterfall the water became still and calm so did Booker’s dashing pulse that she could feel in the tight grip he had on her hand. The glowing rock made it appear like they had discovered their own secret treasure room and the growing silence made it feel like they were the only two people alive in the entire world.
As they drew closer to the bright spot they had to avert their eyes as the light seemed far too bright after being in the dark interior for so long. They quickly learned that the source of the bright light was actually a hole just big enough for one of their heads to fit through in the side of the mountain.
Elisa let Booker look out of the hole first. “Wow!” He exclaimed. “You can see your village from here.”
“Oh let me see,” Elisa asked as Booker rescinded his spot to allow her space to look through. He was right; it was like the village was underneath them as they were still far up the side of the mountain.
She felt water tickle her legs as it rose slightly higher inside the cave. Pulling her head out of the hole, she was at once struck with the fear that Booker and his people had felt their entire lives. Holding her mouth shut she was too afraid to put the words out there. She looked into Booker’s strong eyes and saw the same worry and understanding.
It was at that moment that the mountain rumbled like a tree about to fall. The hole that had let in the smallest of light collapsed in front of them, cutting off all sources of light, leaving them in complete and total darkness.
“Don’t panic,” came Booker’s reassuring voice. It was Elisa’s turn to be afraid and she would have to trust Booker if they were going to get to make it out.
“What do we do?” She whispered in what she hoped was the direction Booker had been.
“It’s dark but it’s not total blackout. Allow yourself a moment and the light will come to you,” he explained calmly. “That’s what the elders teach all of us young kids to do in a situation like this.”
Elisa felt like it was taking an eternity to wait for the light. She wanted to run and fly, she wasn’t made to sit still and wait. This was entirely against her nature and yet she knew that if she ever wanted to run and fly again she would have to trust Booker’s advice.
“See here it comes,” Booker said as the faint white outlines of his eyes came into her view. It was still all she could see but at least it was something, a sliver of hope.
“Now, I don’t want you to panic,” Elisa instructed, despite her own internal panicking. “But I think the mountain is filled to the maximum with the water from this terrible storm. It’s filled to bursting and I’m afraid that if it does burst it would wash away my whole village.”
The twin flickers of brightness that Elisa recognized as Booker’s eyes came much closer and filled up her entire view. He reached out with a timid and meek movement and kissed her.
“Don’t worry,” he assured after pulling away. “As soon as we get out of here, we will go straight to my father. He is on the council of leaders. He will help us. I promise.”
Too shocked to respond, Elisa pulled him along as they made their slow journey back to a place that had some sort of light. All the while, Elisa held him a little bit closer and wanted so badly to break out in a smile but her fear of the mountain of water ready to wash away her village outweighed the joy she felt with her first kiss.
Thanks for reading! See You Next Sunday for the exciting conclusion of Rainboots; Chapter 4: Waterfalls
11/09/14 – Release Date for The King’s Challenge, my second full length novel