Shadowed Moon Chapter 14
I didn’t know how long I had been unconscious but the first thing I noticed when I came to was that there was barely any air for me to breath. I choked and breathed in more dust, choked again. My head ached and I wondered how seriously the rocks had injured it, but then forced those thoughts to the back of my mind. I had to get out.
I struggled in the dark, finding a foothold and pushing myself along the tilted mountain ground. I was going up but how far this pile was I had no idea. I pulled my shirt collar around my face and it filtered some of the dust but there was still very little air to breath.
Pushing shale and stones into the hole that I had previously been in, I crawled upwards, my hands bleeding as I scraped them on the sharp rocks.
Everything was deathly silent but for the tumbling stones I left in my wake.
Suddenly, the whole pile shifted and I was thrown to the side, bruising my arm in the tight enclosure. I bit my lip to keep from crying out and tasted blood.
Pulling in a small breath of air I opened my mouth to shout. “Help! Can anyone here me?!” This threw me into a fit of violent coughing and I decided that shouting was not a good idea.
The loose pile shifted again and I was suddenly seeing sunlight. I smiled through gritted teeth and began to dig at the rocks around the new hole. Some gave while others were firmly stuck and I found it almost like a maze, only a certain way of tugging and pushing would release certain rocks and widen the hole.
For long minutes I struggled to free myself and now that clear air flooded my prison I called out again. “Hello?! Is everyone okay?” It was a dumb question. I knew I wasn’t okay and it was decidedly safe to assume that the others were not okay either but at the moment I couldn’t think of anything else to say.
Finally my head poked through the hole and I blinked in the sunlight. The sun’s position had not changed that I could see and I figured I had been out for only minutes. It was a wonder I had woken up at all.
Then I got stuck.
Growling under my breath I heaved and pushed to no avail. Still, there was no answer to my calls. Finally I made the decision to try and get back inside the hole to free myself, maybe to make the hole bigger. Taking a deep breath, I shoved again, this time with my feet and went back under.
For a moment the darkness and still air seemed to smother me and I panicked. “Help!” I cried again. I put my arms through the opening first and then found to my great relief that I could get out. I clambered gingerly on top of the rocks and stayed there for a moment, panting and unsure of what to do next.
I sat on the rocks by what could very well have been my grave, unwilling to move. The rocks were very loose and I had no doubt that there were more holes like the one I had been in which could collapse beneath me if I wasn’t careful.
My first coherent thought was probably the most selfish thought I’d ever had. And these were such nice clothes.
Looking up, I spotted a bird in the sky and wondered if it was Narris. As a bird, she may have been able to escape unscathed. Ditri was larger and more powerful, he was probably nearby, maybe hurt by a rock but undoubtedly alive—I hoped.
A voice interrupted my thoughts. “Hello?”
I started and screamed. My movement made the rocks slide and I slid with them, tumbling down the slope until I finally came to a stop. I was breathing hard in fear and looked down at the rocks beneath me.
There was one that didn’t look like the others. It wasn’t sharp and flat like the surrounding mountain shale. It was kind of knobby and had a smooth oval in the center. Before I could reach down to inspect it, another voice called out.
“Ditri!” I cried in relief. “Are you okay?”
“I’m fine,” his voice replied, “Faylin is with me and he thought he heard you call.”
Another relief. “What about Catalee and Narris?”
“Both are here. Lara, I’m afraid that I can’t come get you right now. It’s too risky to try flying and I can’t get around this boulder otherwise.” I looked around and found the boulder he mentioned. I smiled a little and wiped a dusty hand over my face, glad in knowing that Ditri wasn’t far away. My smile faded. Even if he couldn’t get to me.
“That’s alright. There’s a ledge on this side and I think I can get to you instead.”
“Are you injured?” the note of concern in his voice warmed me and I smiled again.
“A little bruised and scraped but other than that…” I trailed off as the pile shifted again and the strange rock…twitched.
I spoke slowly, each word separated from the next. “This rock just moved.”
“Yes. As I said, the rocks are unstable, be careful!”
I shook my head before realizing that he couldn’t see me. “No, it moved by itself.”
I reached down and poked the rock gingerly.
“Ouch.” came the muffled voice.
My breath caught in my throat as the dusty rock moved again. This time it opened.
I found myself staring into a very bright, very large, very violet eye.
And well…you can’t really blame me for what I did next, even if I had been doing it entirely too often of late.