The sound of water droplets landing on wet puddles echoed in the darkness. A musty smell filled the air I breathed. I opened my eyes wider to try and see better in the dark and confined space, but everything was lost in the shadows. I tried to feel the surrounding floor around me as I sat on a rock. It was damp and cold everywhere I touched.
Hello. Hello. Hello. Hello.
Echoes. That confirms it. I’m in some sort of a cave. I don’t remember how I got here. My head feels like it’s full of cotton. I don’t remember what I was doing before I got here, but I know I have to get out. The problem is: it’s dark and I have no light source.
Steeling myself and taking a deep breath, I square my shoulders and get up. Slowly, I slide my feet on the floor, carefully trying to avoid any possible rocks that may trip me into falling flat on my face. My arms are stretched in front of me, trying to feel my way through. After about seven to eight steps, I touch the cave wall.
Hmmm…now, do I go right or left?
A slight cold breeze blew from my right, so right it is. Little by little I inch forward while facing the wall and using my hands as my guide. Once in a while I raise my hands to make sure nothing is hanging from the cave ceiling that I could bump my head into. The last thing I need is falling unconscious or having a concussion.
After walking for quite a bit, I noticed that the walls were drier and that my shoes were not sloshing into wet puddles anymore. I wasn’t sure if it was because of the absence of the moisture, but the walls seemed to feel warmer. I stopped and tried to lay my hands firmly on the wall in front of me. It was indeed warm, but before my mind could process the fact, an ear splitting screech echoes through the cave walls. It almost sounded like an eagle, but with a lower and harsher tone. I’ve never heard anything like it before.
My eyes open wide as my whole body begins to tremble in fear. My hands become clammy and my throat dry. I crouch down on the floor, making myself as little as possible, desperately trying to become invisible to whatever made that horrifying sound. I shut my eyes and waited for whatever may come.
The sound of huge, flapping wings moving further away from where I was. My imagination was running wild, trying to envision what creature could possess such huge wings. I waited until all was quiet. Suddenly, I missed the sound of the dripping water. Part of me wishes I stayed where I was. Maybe if I didn’t move I would miraculously find myself in bed, sleeping and everything was just a dream. But no, I have to get out of here.
I waited until my trembling body calmed a little bit and then I slowly opened my eyes. I looked up and saw a pin of light in the distance. Was it just my imagination? I didn’t think I saw it earlier, but maybe I was concentrating on feeling my way through that I didn’t pay attention to what I may see up a head.
At the realization of the possibility of an escape from the cave, a burst of energy filled me and I moved forward in a faster speed. The pin of light grew bigger and brighter, confirming my suspicions that it is my way out of there. A few meters away from the entrance, I step on a rock and twist my ankle. I yelp and fall on my knees at the sudden pain shooting up my leg. Beads of sweat dropped to the ground as I breathe heavily, trying to get over the pain. The rushing of blood in my ears was deafening, masking the sounds around me.
My eyes were tightly shut, but I noticed the sudden dimming of the light from the mouth of the cave. I freeze. There was a distinct musky smell that wasn’t there before and there was heavy breathing. I couldn’t decide whether to open my eyes and see for myself what creature stood before me.
Something wet, warm and leathery touched my arm all the way up to my chin, like I was being licked. I cringe and slowly open one eye. A pair of emerald green eyes as big as my fists stared back at me. I fall on my back and try to move away from the huge creature before me. The light from outside kept its entire face in shadow, except for its eyes. It tilts its head to one side, studying me as I stared right back. I could make out the head which is shaped like a salamander, but with a long neck. It’s huge body was like a kangaroo’s, but with wings? A long tail swept from side to side like a whip, its tip shaped like the pointy end of a heart. I approximated its height to be about eleven to twelve feet.
This is one huge creature I really, really don’t want to mess with.
It’s head bowed low to the ground as it took a step towards me. I move back, wincing at the pain in my ankle. It takes another step, I do the same. It makes an odd sound, like a mixture of chirping and purring as it moves toward me. This time I am frozen in place. It reaches me, its head still bowed low to the ground, almost like asking me to pet it’s head. I just blink at it. It makes the sound again and moves its head towards my hand, nudging it with its head. I open my hand and touch it. It’s skin feels warm, leathery but soft. It closes its eyes, much like a cat would when you pet its head. I smile.
Hello, there. I don’t know what you are but please don’t eat me for dinner.
It jerks its head up, its eyes appearing bigger than before, startling me. A shiver ran down my spine as our eyes met. My heart started to beat wildly once again. It’s head moves towards mine and I gasp, shutting my eyes tightly.
This is it! This is it! I’m going to die! O my Jesus please meet me at the gates of heaven…
(What?!?! That’s it?)