Chapter 3

Trap Down Under

Halea's POV

The walk back to the surface was quiet; the atmosphere was ominous. Even with all the negative tension looming over the tight space we were currently walking through, I was thankful that they were considerate for my mother's death.

Looking back, I remember the days where I always get in trouble with my mom. I would always disobey her; much like how I did recently, then silent treatment on both our side. But it never went as far as a few days. At the end of our small spats, she would always treat me double scoop of coffee and vanilla ice cream. After, we would lounge around in front of the television with a deck of DVDs and a huge bowl of popcorn. For the whole day we would watch movies to catch up on the times we've lost moping around.

I can't believe those days are gone...

I lost my thoughts when I bumped onto Josh. I would've lost my balance, but he held me in place; his hands holding on my waist tightly as he pushes me to him.

"Why'd we stop?" I asked.

"Listen." whispered Luko as he stared at the walls of the tunnel. I heard it. It was loud, almost like the cave was growling at us. Josh tightened his hold on me; I feel him getting tensed by my side. I held on to his shoulder as I stared up at him. He stared down at me, worry clouding his eyes. I can see that it wasn't just because of my well being regarding my mother's death; something was wrong. I rubbed his other arm, trying to comfort him a little, lead him away from his troubled thoughts, but even I can't stop the worry and fear from coming out.

My worry was plastered on my face as I thought of possible scenarios causing that horrifying grumbling. Josh, seeing my state crumbling, just held me as he stared frantically on the walls.

We hurried our way back to the base of the 'Elevator', but on the way, a small river has formed beneath our feet. This wasn't good. Soon enough this cave could get flooded. I started to panic, but what worried me more was the others a few miles below. We had to warn them.

As if God heard, we saw the ComBox near the base of the 'Elevator'. Josh ran past me, hurriedly reaching for the CB attached, hoping to get a signal down to forward base. I ran next to him, anticipating on hearing someone's voice.

Luko grabbed Josh's shoulder to grab his attention, "Josh. Up - good. Down - bad." That was a sure understatement from what we can tell. With the rate the water was flowing down from the elevator, the cave could get flooded in a matter of hours. Panic was boiling over in me; I grabbed the speaker end of the CB. I desperately fiddled with the knobs on the panel boards, trying to work something out. I kept shouting at the CB trying to get someone's attention from the other side, while Luko pulled Josh towards the elevator's base.

"Halea, is that you?" someone yelled from the other side.

"Jim? Jim! What the hell's going on?" I was getting frantic; the noise from the other side of the CB wasn't exactly calming my nerves especially with the seniors looking way more panicked than we do. Something was definitely wrong.

"Halea! You've got to pull the team right now. The storm is taking its way into a cyclone."

I was about to ask what he was talking about, but the CB was pulled away from my hands. Looking up, I saw Josh's face looking as distraught as, possibly, mine. "No! The others are still down there. The CB's down."

"Josh! Get out of there now! The-" Static. The signal was shit with the weather brewing into a cyclone. I stared into space as I try to think of what to do. As of now, I have no clue. The weight of my mother's death, the guilt of leaving the people in forward base and the responsibility of saving the lives of my companions were smothering me.

One thing was for sure, I was not leaving Frank down there on his own. Even if Josh blames him for my mother's death, I knew the risks, and I'm sure my mother did to. Unfortunately, my mother took a too big of a risk to handle. I'm not saying I loved Frank after what he did, but I'm not saying I hate or blame him either.

I saw Luko readying Josh to be hauled up as he keeps on yelling at me to hurry over. This was wrong. I had to go back. Whether the chances are slim, there is still a chance to save their lives and I'm not giving that up.

Without a second thought, I sprinted away from them, back to forward base. I heard Josh scream my name, but I knew what I'm about to do was right.

On the way, I slipped a couple of times, but I always balance myself back. I was nearing 'Flowstone Falls' based from the sound of the rushing water from the forming falls. I was getting near; however, one particular slip caused me to fall all the way back. I was anticipating the pain of the cave's rocky floor to hit my fragile back and head, but It never came. I did notice though that warmth has somehow spread along my backside. I turned my body around and felt my eyes widen.

"You didn't think I'd leave you, did you?" humour was evident in Josh's words as he stares at me, but I felt like there was an underlying message behind his cryptic words. I shrugged my curiosity away for now, and leapt into his arms.

"Thank you" simple words they may be, but I meant every word. I was glad that his anger over his dad wasn't overshadowing his judgement on saving him. I pulled away slowly and smiled as I basked in his embrace.

As if reading my mind, he answered, "My dad may be fucked up, but he's still my dad. I'm not leaving him," He said with determination. "and I'm definitely not leaving you." I wanted to say something, I wanted to know what he meant. However, distant voices from below the 'Flowstone Falls' caught our attention quickly.

Josh released me from his trapping arms and holds on my hands instead as he guides me towards the edge. Only now did I notice Luko trailing behind us. I feel the blush slowly creep on my cheeks, 'was he here all the time?'

I shook my head, I had to concentrate.

"Dad?" yelled Josh as he leaned not-too-close to the edge of the 'Flowstone Falls'.

"Joshua?" I can hear Frank's panic once he recognized the voice of his son. "What the fuck are you doing here!" he was beyond furious, but now wasn't the time for this.

I tied a secure line around a huge boulder to serve as a secure line, Luko helping me from the other side. I hauled the line to Josh as he throws the line down to, what I now can see, Vic and Carl.

All three of us worked in securing the line while Vic climbed up the rope ladder. For an experienced climber, she was slow. But, I guess the rushing water was hard to fight against.

She was close; I saw her head and helmet light bobbing up in between the strong current of the falls from behind Josh. She was pulling herself hard while Frank directs her what to do. Just as her head finds solace away from the rushing water, I feel the boulder move.

"Shit!" exclaimed Josh. He turns back to Vic while Luko and I tried to push the boulder hopelessly to a halt. "Stop! It's moving", but Vic was persistent. She pulled herself onto the ledge, but just as she brings the upper half of her body on the hard surface with help from Josh, the large boulder jerks forward. The boulder pushes both me and Luko backward, pushing Josh and Vic off in the process.

"Josh!" I hear myself screaming out to him. I stared at the pungent water down below horrified, trying to find a figure. Relief overcame me when I saw Josh gasp for air from below.

Vic was okay, but I wasn't that happy for her sake. It was her fault we were currently in this predicament: If she didn't pushed herself up when Josh told her to stop, we could've untied and release the boulder from the pull and on to something more stable.

Now look where we are. Me and Luko are currently trying to push the boulder, but I knew it was futile. It was physically impossible to push this big of a boulder away from the falls' mouth with it's weight and the push of the water combined. I stared at Luko, and I can see his fear. I was pretty sure I had the same expression, but I tried to stand clear of any emotion as I try to think of a way out of this position.

"Halea, You have to let go." I hear Josh from below.

"No! If she lets go, the boulder will push on her." Frank reasoned out.

The two bickered for what felt like hours for both me and Luko. Right now, I didn't know what to do. I stared at Luko, hoping to see something that could reassure me. But I never expected him to do what he did next.

He pushed himself way from the boulder leaving the force of the boulder on me which caught me by surprised.

Without Luko's additional restraint, the boulder pushes on me and hits me squared on my head. I felt my grip on the boulder loosen as I was pushed roughly away from the boulder and down in to the watery abyss. I tried to keep my eyes open, but unconsciousness quickly caught up on me before I can even comprehend me free falling. Last thing I heard was Josh's voice screaming my name as I plummet from an uneventful doom.

I agree, it's incredibly short. But with school work and limited internet, I hardly have time and inspiration to write... I'll TRY to write more frequently, but no promises. Hope you guys enjoyed it and, as usual, R&R R&R R&R R&R R&R


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