Chapter 4: He Walks!
Her head throbbed painfully, her body ached with every movement, her vision was blurry momentarily as her eyes fluttered open. The ground offered no support or comfort, the boulder she was resting on made her back arch in an awkward position. Unsure of where she was, she examined her surroundings with caution. The cave's walls loomed over her, its surface indented with shapes and then smoothed flatly. The cavern had a pool of clear blue freshwater to her left, rain water dripping and streaking down the walls through leaks as she heard a distant pattering. The grey walls offered no answer as to what or how she got here, the distant rain offering a soft lullaby of peace as she tried to sit up. She sat straight up on the large boulder, rubbing her neck and head to soother the pain to no avail. Lana tried to squint through the darkness, the low visibility of the musty sunlight through the cracks in the cavern that offered no help.
She tried to reminisce about the day before, her mind foggy and throbbing with a headache as she soothingly rubbed the back of her head. Everything was so confusing and unclear, what was she doing here? How did she get in here? She couldn't even see her hand in front of her face, let alone stumble upon a mysterious cavern. Was it one of her hiking trips around the site, and she fell in? But then where was the hole she fell in from then? Her mind whizzed and flowed with questions as she tried to piece everything together. Then as the soft rains stopped, sunlight streaked inside and the cavern lit up fully. She was in the center of a large cavern room, a pool beside her and the boulder and at the far left was collected things mysteriously spread out.
Curious, she stretched and made slow steps towards the pile, careful to listen for any mysterious noises. This could be an animal's lair, if it was a black panther's den or alligator's nest, she could possibly awaken a very dangerous creature and get herself killed. As she neared the pile, she realized it was her things. Her family photo album she brought to remind herself what she worked for, her dismantled and contorted tent ripped and clawed to shreds, food, the supplies she received the other day, crates, camera, scuba gear, it was all here! Her heart began to pound loudly, her world around her taking a whole new shape as she realized something was terribly wrong about this. A panther may scavenge through tarp and supplies, but bring it all to its lair? That's not natural.
As if on cue, splashing was heard from the pool at the far side, things being thrown from the water to where she stood with the pile. Her jacket, flashlight, it was thrown at her feet as her eyes widened in horror. She took a few careful steps back and thought maybe she could hide, not by the boulder, but run into another cavern room. Mouth agape, she frantically looked for the nearest opening and found a small hole leading deeper into the cave. It was the size of a small vent shaft, just large enough for her to crawl through. Seeing no other options, she grabbed her soaked jacket, satchel, and flashlight and began to crawl through the dirty opening and saw no end to the tunnel as a roar erupted behind her from the end she came from.
Terrified, she began to crawl faster and began to silently pray she wouldn't die, hoping to see the light as she fumbled in the darkness. Feeling the small tunnel walls gone, she stood up in the new room of the pitch black cavern and tried to use her flashlight to navigate through it. Frustrated and scared, she smacked the plastic light repeatedly until it flickered, the light shining on the grey, rocky walls that surrounded her.
"I need to get out of here and fast." She told herself in a soft, determined whisper, unsure of where to turn when another roar came from the end behind her. Lana's heart stopped again, her mind racing with thoughts of her dying in the Amazon and no one would know. Scenarios of what could happen played in her mind as she started sprinting down to the right. She continued running, faster and faster as much as her legs burned at the stress but she continued. Her breath sharpened, her mind went numb, her body soaked an stuck to the wet jacket as she tried to fight the cold, dampness of the cave. The flashlight began to flicker on and off, Lana desperately smacking it as se tried to keep it on for as long as she could when she saw the bright entrance of the cave.
"Finally!" She smiled triumphantly as she tossed the faulty flashlight into her satchel. Just a few more steps and- a black panther pounced in front of the cavern on top of its prey, a large bird. It began growling and purring with hunger as its golden eyes flickered to her direction, blood staining its whiskers as it took confident steps towards Lana. She wasn't sure how to feel, her options on how to die were now get eaten or face whatever was in the cave. Carefully, she reached into her bag for the flashlight and smacked it softly. The panther paused at her glimmering flashlight, taking a liking to the piece of metal as she backed away slowly from the entrance and threw it as an offering to the big cat.
"Nice panther... I mean no harm... Please... Go ahead, take it, I'll... Just... Run over here... Sorry." She cooed, backing deeper and deeper away into the darkness when the panther then began to sprint to her vague figure in the cave. Seeing she couldn't outrun it, she closed her eyes tightly and hugged herself, praying and saying her last goodbye when a roar erupted right behind her. Terrified, she stood there in between both beasts and kept her eyes closed, hoping it would be a quick death. Josè would probably find some remains of clothing, assume she had died, and in Florida a funeral would be prepared. The institution and many of her co-workers and peers would attend, say kind words in her honor, but call her a fool for believing fairy tales. Her family would be devastated, maybe James would attend and regret certain things, but that would probably be too much to ask for.
The panther hissed at the roar and slowly backed away, a pair of wet and scaly hands gripping her arm and waist as she felt everything rush into her mind. Lightheadedness caused her to faint, the stress of everything bearing down on her as her limp figure fell back into the Creature's arms. With another roar, the panther scurried out of the cave, the Creature proudly carrying his prize back to her boulder where he knew she would stay permanently. He placed her down delicately on the rock, examining her peaceful face for a moment with admiration. No human had been in the area since the incident, they all forgot about him for all these years. But now, now he had found the one. She brought no other humans with her, she wasn't like the others. They had the big men with guns to protect them. They hurt Gill-Man with their poisons, explosives, and harpoons.
His scales began to dry off and the Creature dived into the pool beside her boulder to allow his skin to breathe again. He wouldn't make the same mistake again, this time, he'll watch her more carefully. Her things were brought into his lair, with her funny boxes and materials she brought into the lush jungle. He let himself sink a little into the water, waiting for the human girl to arise as he relaxed himself. It didn't take long, her long hair was flowing off her shoulders and her eyes scanned the room once more in confusion when she realized where she was again. Darting left and right, she catches a slight ripple in the pool.
"Hello...?" It's a stupid question, but she had to start somewhere. Whoever was bringing in her stuff, they had to be here somewhere. She takes a few steps towards the pool, scanning its waters for any sign of life when he began to rise. He left the comfort of the water in front of her, waving his arms high above his head to show his good form. As a mate, surely she would be attracted to this. Instead, she screams in horror and falls off the boulder, hitting her head against the large rock and watching as her world faded black and that Creature filling her vision before reaching unconsciousness.
Hey! Decided to update, do you like it? :)