“The fool is the precursor to the saviour.” -Jordan Peterson
As I wonder round stupidly through the deep black corridors of stone, my heart races. The electric cold water runs deep into my wellies and around my toes, my very being learning to fight my own self-criticism. I had begun to process my deepest of thoughts: To be a caver, for me, you must start out feeling unsure about what’s going on. You trip, you don’t understand how others can travel faster than you, you don’t understand the mechanics of how your mind and body have to work together and it’s a clumsy adventure, really. But the very fact that I was full of faults doesn’t mean that I had to stop. You see, every time I tripped up, made a mistake, got scared or felt too shaken to carry on underground, it could only grow me into a stronger caver. My thoughts race whilst I calculate each jump, step, and navigation. Every time I stumbled and clawed my way through the darkness, I knew I could only grow stronger falling into the unknown. My boldness fuelled by sharp steps and I hurled my body across each hallway, barely being able to recognise myself in my newly fuelled confidence. A lady’s voice pricked deep into my ears as the sound rose behind my back. I persuaded myself to not look back, and to ignore what I very well knew were water voices in the stream of darkness that shrouded behind me.
Having fast tracked half way down a corridor, I came to a passing where most of the group were in deep discussion. They did not greet me, but only acknowledged my presence with simple questions:
“Where’s guy” Jack’s eyes flickered with a controlled panic, almost as if he could remain calmer in the worst of situations.
I stutter. “He’s gone for a… A callout at the TSG. H-have you seen those things?”
Will interjects quietly: “Acripericulumi”
“Ya wot” I answer.
“Acriperuculumi. I’ve named them based off their biology: Peruculumus, the Latin for Monster, and acri, the meaning of being sharp. It’s based on the sharp joints and teeth that they show through their skin” Will was always very clever about these things, but I calmly spoke back: “Well that’s great Will but that doesn’t really help, does it?” For I was very wrong, and Will had helped me very much when writing this all out later, for he had finally named these things.
Gamble spoke calmly, breaking the interrupted conversation: “We saw them just now. They took Blaire and we’re about to try and find her. We’re setting off now”
Blaire, a fresher I had only briefly met merely a day before. I remember when I first laid eyes upon her crystal face, glimmering in the sun as we stuffed our caving kit in the car. Her smile infected my eyes into feeling, perhaps, that I should not leave her side but help her with pushing all the kit into the boot. I remember her bubbly personality shining through her smile and her honey hair that hung loose around her pale neck. We hadn’t really talked in deep conversation, but I remembered how her eyes had set upon me for a single moment across the buzzing room last night. It made me feel the desperation of wanting to talk, but her captivating green eyes set me on edge as if I had been commanded to stay where I was. But now she was in real danger, and there was no use talking or thinking about such things.
Leo’s voice rose from the darkness with instruction.
“Right. You lot stay here. Will, Jack and I will go together to get this sorted.”
And so they did, but I had so protested to come along too. After all, I knew where these things actually resided. So we fast travelled. I hopped amongst the rocks, leading these expert cavers through each stream of water and each crawl of mud that stuck to our fronts. All until we came to the exact point we had last seen the Acriperuculumi, just before the wall climb and into the depths below.
I flew my words through my heavy breathing. “Well this is it. If she’s not down there then I don’t know where on earth she is but from this point on we need to stay as silent as possible. Not a rock shall be dropped or a sharp word left in the air.”
Nobody acknowledged my words, but Leo began to climb the small wall and looked down upon the deep dark room before him. His eyes scanned his surroundings and he quickly jerked his head to us. “She’s down there” He mouths. He climbs back down and we formulate a circle.
“She’s safe, and the other things don’t seem to be around” He continues.
“You mean the Acripericumuli?”
I sharply whisper “For god’s sake Will! But yes, yes, that word”
Will carries on regardless: “Well it would only be best that I carry her back up as I’ve got really strong arms to carry her with” He had a great point there, but Leo’s counter also made a good point.
“No, we need someone who’s quick on their feet and smaller like Jack to get the job done with no noise being made”
“Yes” Continued Jack. “But I’ve got lots of SRT kit on right now and it’s only going to bash against the rock and make noise, whilst Leo is the only one without SRT kit on so it would be best for him to go down, no?”
My face hung into my hands because I could see time pressing on. I slowly moved away from the circle, only Gamble’s eyes had clocked onto me. As our eyes locked he gave me a slight nod of approval. With a new found confidence, I started to climb the wall. With much effort, I got to the top and swung my legs around to the other side, toppling my body weight onto the large rock below me. I stumbled down as I heard the others watch me with surprised voices as I climbed down. (Or rather, angry voices, as I had known I did the wrong thing)
The guys were now shining their high-tech lights onto the room, lighting up each rock and crevice. I scanned the room until a human object caught my eye, a clump wrapped in red and blue lay on the floor from afar. I climbed down each rock painstakingly until I reached her.
And there she lay before me. I gazed at her lifeless body, my knees dropping before her as I took off my gloves. “Blaire” I whispered delicately. “Blaire I need you to wake up.” My eyes flickered around her head and neck. No blood could be seen. I checked her pulse, my fingers pressing hard against the side of her dewy throat. Perfectly clear. She was alive.
Her eyes switched open, but she stared at the ceiling like she was pained or troubled by something. “Blaire can you hear me?!” I whispered, lowering my head close into her ears as I felt her pain. I had been here before. I knew exactly what those monsters did. They didn’t just break you, but they hypnotised you. They drained every last piece of glucose in your body and made you feel like you owed them everything in your life as soon as they came near you. They made you suffer in silence and cry, but at the same time, made you feel glad about it. It was like.. like..
“They Chose ME.” Blaire’s voice trembles with such anxiety but she smiles in the corner of her mouth. Her eyes are filled with tears but she remains calm and her breath fills my face before me. I grasp both her shoulders with my hands as she lay helpless to an unconceivable power she has surrendered to.
“They chose me” She mumbles again as she looks at me directly in the eyes. I can see she is full of pain but she can’t let go of this feeling. They had taken her but were not hungry yet. She was for later. She was left on the cold hard surface to die, unable to move an inch. Stuck in the cement that was air, muscles frozen over. I look at her face and I felt the scariest feeling of joy. She made my heart pound but my head calm and cool. My anxiety had melted when she was in my presence. And for some reason, I knew in that very moment, I knew what I had to do. I unclipped my helmet in a cool fashion and placed it quickly yet silently on the floor. I placed my hand on her face and she whispered close to my lips: “They chose me.”. She was terrified, and more tears flowed from her eyes, running down the sides of her cheek bones.
“I know. I know they chose you.” I remained calm and controlled, using a comforting voice. “But I am the one who will chose you now.”
I rub my fingers over her smooth soft face and press my lips against hers, her tongue giving way and diving into my very being. Her passion flowing into me. My nose locking into the side of hers whilst our eyes close in delight. I can feel the power regain into her body as she raises her hand up the side of my waist. She presses her hand hard into my over suit. I pull away and see her face, tear stains still present, but a wide smile now dominates her beautiful full lips. Her dimples capture my eyes and my heart: she begins to laugh ever so slightly. “Wow.” She mouths. Her hand slides up my back and onto the back of my head, to which she pressures me to come down again for more. Kissing me relentlessly and without fault.
I felt my breast push into –
*knock knock* um. *stops typing*
I open the door.
The president stands in front of me.
“Ur….Botch, what are you doing in South Korea?!?”
“ Hey Elise. Yeah I’m just here because I think this caving fan fic is going a lil bit too far with the whole kissing thing and I need you to tone it down a bit. Also to answer your question, when you become CHECC president you gain access to ‘Skyrim Like’ fast travel so.. yeh. I can kinda just go anywhere now.”
I scratch my head. “ahhh ok so you’re saying kissing is cool just not too much, right?”
“yeh pretty much, just don’t want suss to have a bad reputation ‘tis all.”
*sigh* “ok fineeee”
We hear another booming voice from within the corridor
Will enters and pushes past the CHECC president.
“As Women’s Officer I deem this very acceptable content and it should be explored more within this artful piece”
I flash a confused grin. “Ok so how did you get fast travel then?” I ask.
“You wrote me in mate, I can’t answer that”
“ok, so if I wrote you in, can I just write you back out?”
Botch jumps in. “Maybe with Will, but because I’m the president technically you can’t-”