I hit the floor with a sickening thud. It took several minutes for my eyes to adjust, and when they did, I was aware that 1.) I was in a dark cave, 2.) I could only vaguely see Emma and Fiona, no one else, and 3.) my head hurt awful bad.
I sat up gingerly and looked around. The cave wasn't very large, about the size of my room at the orphanage.
"Emma?" I asked. She came over and sat down. "Where is everyone?"
"Well, I imagine the rest of our gang will be here within the hour." Emma said, glancing at the cavernous ceiling.
"Where is here, exactly?" Fiona asked, and sat next to us, while gently rubbing her temples.
"We're in a cave." I said. Sometimes Fiona just misses the obvious.
She shot me a glare. "No, really." She said sarcastically. "Emma, why did we just plop in here after we got sucked into that whirlpool?"
"This isn't just a regular cave. It's peculiar." Emma said. She opened her palms, but instead of little balls of fire appearing, there was…. nothing.
"What happened?" I asked, and gingerly poked her palm.
"When the loop crashed, it created these pockets- wrinkles, if you will- that drain us of our powers."
Fiona faced me and gave me a mysterious smirk as she extended her arm. I rolled my eyes. Did she seriously think she could ever beat me at arm wrestling? Nevertheless, I decided to humor her and took her hand. On three, I prepared to smack her arm to the floor, but to my horror, my arm was the one nearing the floor. As my knuckles bumped the ground and Fiona released, I looked up slowly. Me, Bronwyn, lose a game of arm wrestling? It just wasn't done. It was impossible.
Fiona looked at her arm. "This is serious stuff, guys."
Emma nodded. "Like I said, no powers. Anyways, we should have a few more of our fellow peculiars visit soon."
Right on cue, Enoch, Claire, and Olive tumbled down onto the cold floor.
"Hey guys." Fiona said.
Just like I had, it took them several minutes to get their bearings. Once they had, Emma had them all sit in a neat, orderly line before they could start asking any questions .
"Alright, Enoch, Claire, and Olive," Emma said. She was standing in front of them with her hands on her hips, and I was reminded with a pang of sadness of Miss Peregrine. "We got sucked in a whirlpool and dropped in this peculiar cave that causes us to lose our peculiar powers."
On cue, Claire reached back to feel her nonexistent backmouth and shrieked. Fiona rolled her eyes. Claire was always the drama queen.
Very cautiously, almost in disbelief, Olive pulled off her shoes and socks one at a time. She then pattered around the stone floor with bare feet, squealing in delight. I couldn't help but smile.
Enoch didn't seem fazed much by the news that our powers were frozen. Much to his displeasure, we had not allowed him to bring any of his "lab" with him on the canoe voyage. Heaven knows, we had enough problems with sea sickness without the stench of pickled animal organs.
Soon after, Horace and Jacob tumbled through and landed on top of each other. Once they were untangled, Emma pulled Jacob into a hug (Fiona and I rolled our eyes) and Fiona informed them of our present situation. Jacob didn't seem very upset: the likelihood of having a shadow creature in the cave was low. Horace, on the other hand, slumped down on the floor, and put his head in his hands. To a random onlooker, they might think Horace was grieving, but from many, many years of living with Horace I could tell he was completely and utterly happy.
Olive came pattering over and pulled me down to whisper in my ear. "What is wrong with Horace?"
I smiled. "Nothing's wrong. Just for once in his life he's not tortured by the shadows of the future."
Horace looked up and smiled at me: a real, genuine smile.
With a shriek, a tumbling Hugh landed on his back right next to Horace. Once he could see straight, Horace opened and closed Hugh's mouth, like a dentist, and when no bees came out, Hugh began to frantically clutch at his throat. Horace swatted it away. "Stop it, mate. This cave thing blocks our powers."
Realization of what Horace said hit him, and he hopped up, ran towards Fiona, and…..
I covered Olive's eyes. Emma did the same with Claire.
Enoch chuckled. "Must be nice to have a snog without having bees shoved down your throat."
I shot him a glare. Hugh and Fiona's passionate lip lock was interrupted by a figure landing on the floor. He wasn't any peculiar I had seen before: he had honey skin and long, dark curls that framed his face. His eyes shot open: they were the prettiest shade of tiffany blue.
"Hey guys!" He said. I would know that voice anywhere.
"My Gosh," Howard said. "Guys, It's Millard!"