Chapter Four - Where am I and what on earth is going on? 

Story so far:

Hannah was bored of life so when she is invited to be an adventurer she decides just to go. She is told to follow her feet and ends up in The Tunnel to Nowhere and Everywhere. Following her instinct, she climbs through one of the many man-holes in the ceiling and ends up in another world. Hot and sweaty from the intense heat, she goes to take a drink from a pool only to see a fire breathing monster charging towards her. Will she escape?! Read on to find out…

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Fire pouring from it’s mouth, the monster descended on her. With every thunderous step it pounded closer and closer. There was nothing she could do, nowhere she could run. She was trapped. Trapped between fire and water. Rocks closed in on every side. She was as small as she could be, but there was nothing for it. A jet of flame shot forward and she felt the heat burn her face. At the final second she closed her eyes, mind frozen, thinking of nothing but fear and then it happened. The creature crashed into her and they toppled, a mass of confused limbs and shouts, bursting into the pool. It was alarmingly deep and for several seconds all Hannah could do was thrash around, unsure of whether she was burning or drowning. 

“Trapped between fire and water…unsure of whether she was burning or drowning”
- Own Photo - 

The creature took control. Struggling free from her instinctive grasp, it dived deep taking in lungfuls of water, quenching it’s burning throat. Hannah scrambled towards the edge and watched in astonishment as it finally surfaced, panting and wheezing, clearly exhausted. What on earth was going on? It didn’t seem to be attacking her. As it recovered it paddled forward and stared at her. Disproportionately big black eyes boring straight into her. It looked so intrigued, so pathetic, so cute that she wondered why on earth she had found it scary in the first place. This was no dragon. It was a little creature, it was sweet. Its fluffy skin all singed from the fire and its tiny little limbs all twisted and burnt looking. Its body was nearly completely round with little legs and arms sticking out at odd angles and a little round head perched on top with a tuft of soot blackened hair sprouting out of it. She guessed that before the burning it would have been quite brightly coloured. Not a human sort of creature at all. Indeed, not even like any animal she recognised. It was a creature from another world and something, or someone, had hurt it badly. 

Hannah approached it gently, softly, not wanting to alarm it or dislodge her heels, which had miraculously stayed on this time. It blinked slowly, staying stock still, floating in the water. She reached out and touched the side of it’s head as though she was comforting a sick child. It was all that she could think of to do. Pointing at herself she whispered: “Hannah”. The creatures wrinkled all of it’s face up in confusion. ‘Of course’, Hannah thought, ‘it won’t understand me.’ But not for the first time today, she was wrong. The creature tilted itself back up onto it’s legs and waddled up, out of the pool. She followed and watched as it touched its chest. Steam was still spilling from it’s mouth, adding to steam already filling the cave. A croak emerged from it’s throat instead of a voice. It sounded a bit like “Teeegaa” but she couldn’t be sure. ‘Teegaa’ Hannah thought. ‘What on earth is that?’. 

“Steam was still spilling from it’s mouth, adding to steam already filling the cave”
- Own photo - 

Without warning a loud bang blasted from the nearest tunnel, and a roar like a volcano reverberated through the stone. The cave shook from the noise and the Teegaa jumped a foot into the air in shock. The roaring continued as other voices joined the first. Whoever they were, whatever they were, they were angry and they were coming this way. Before Hannah could react the Teegaa had shot off down another passage and without thinking Hannah followed. The Teegaa hadn’t eaten her but there was nothing to say that this new danger wouldn’t and she wanted to figure out where she was before she got eaten, thank you very much. Running and running they passed endless passages and caves. Was this a maze? How was she ever going to find that man-hole again? The Teeegaa was surprisingly fast, it’s little legs spinning round strangely so that they became wheel-like, and it was all Hannah could do to keep up with it. The passage emerged into a large cavern, the largest she had seen by far. The ceiling went endlessly upwards, several football fields would have fitted inside. Hurtling across the middle the Teegaa sped up and Hannah knew she could never keep up, tottering as she was. Throwing caution to the wind, she kicked her heels up in the air and just caught them as she accelerated barefoot across the floor. 

She was just in time. As they reached the safety of the passages on the other side, a shout behind them announced the arrival of her pursuers. Turning, she just caught a glimpse of the foremost figure when a hand grabbed her waist and pulled her into the darkness. A hand. A real human hand. As she struggled against it’s force in the cramped dark she felt a second hand clamp tight over her mouth, silencing her. Powerless, she could only watch as the roaring figures rushed past her, unseeing. They were fearsome to behold, tall, almost ten feet she guessed and wrapped in only a loincloth. Their faces were almost lizard like although with undeniably human skin, blackened and oiled by the fires they lived with. Their expressions were all fixed, unmistakable, terrifying. They were hunting. For her? Stuck, deep into a crevice as she was, they did not see her and as quickly as they had arrived, they had gone. Only then, did the hands loosen their grip. They pulled her gently, further into the crack which eventually widened out, intense darkness all around. There was the sound of a match being struck and she looked up into the face of the man, now illuminated by the flicker. She gasped. His tanned skin was dirty from the fires and he shook the tangled curls out of his dark eyes. He stared at her with and intensity that made her blush and his lip curled into a half smile. “Hello” he breathed, making her quiver, “My name’s Kaspian”. 

For Chapter 5 - The Climb - click here

© Isla Robertson 2017