Heyy! Sorry for lack of updates. I am trying to finish this story. It will be finished, I promise! Thank you for the reviews they really inspire me to write faster! XD
Chapter 21 – And Into The Fire
I ran on through the jungle until I saw a movement in the trees and halted breathlessly thinking it was a hunting predator. I had lost the trail of Travis as the jungle grass and vegetation grew denser. The growing darkness didn't help either. I slipped down a muddy bank and looked towards the massive cave in front of me. It was covered in vines and exotic plants. My heart told me that Travis was in there. Out of the corner of my eye I saw another movement and prepared myself for an attack of a big cat.
"Oi! Oi!" I jumped back as a half naked man toppled from a branch above my head. He had black paint smeared across his face and carried a bow and arrow.
I raised my fists as he rushed towards me. At this, he hesitated and then whistled loudly. I looked above me as a rustle of leaves distracted me.
"You don't want to do this." I growled, feeling the adrenaline pump through me.
His eyes squinted in confusion and then they widened in realisation. He dropped the bow and arrow, smiling.
My fists lowered when his weapon faced the ground.
"What do you want?" I demanded. I didn't have time for this. The man started talking in a language I had never heard. I couldn't make out what he was saying, but he pointed towards the cave constantly.
"My friend. He is in there. I need to get him back." I pointed toward the cave and then used a backing motion with my hands to signal I wanted something back.
"Have you seen people go in there?"
He started speaking rapidly and by the looks of his face in a great deal of distress. I shook my head. I wasn't getting anywhere like this.
"I need help." I muttered.
I looked up as the man repeated what I said.
"Help! Get my friend back." I pointed towards the cave again and then pointed to myself.
"Ah! Ah! H-elp you – man."
"Yeah, sure. I need to go now."
The man pointed towards himself and then grinned. He whistled twice and then took off towards the cave. I rushed after him. I'm coming, Travis.
After we rested for a while and bandaged up any cuts and bruises we filed one behind the other with my uncle taking point. He was the only one who had a flashlight. McCain put a hand on my shoulder to steady him in the darkness of the cave, but I shrugged him off. It was uncomfortable having him walk behind me. I was too busy imaging McCain stabbing me in the back that I didn't pay attention to what was happening in front of me. My uncle had stopped abruptly and I collided into his back. He stumbled forward slightly and then spun around flashing the torch into my face.
"Travis." He growled irritated. I threw my arms up to cover my eyes from the piercing light and mumbled an apology.
"Just watch where you are going."
"Why have we stopped?!" McCain demanded. My uncle shone the light in the direction we had been heading in.
"Holy mother..." McCain whispered. He looked down. It seemed impossible, but in the middle of the cave was a massive drop. I looked over and felt butterflies in my stomach.
"Now that's what I call a fall."
"It's a pit of darkness...All the way to hell..." McCain whispered.
"And on that happy note! How we gonna' get across?" I joked.
"You can't be serious?! It must be about twenty feet to the other side." McCain exclaimed.
"There is a rope." My uncle drew the light upwards to shine on a fraying, grey rope. He reached into the darkness and grasped for it. He drew it close to him and tugged to feel its strength.
"Seems okay." He tugged it again.
"Great. I'm going first." I stepped towards him to take the rope, but he gave me that smile, that condescending smile that matches Beck's to a T. My uncle pushed me back.
"Hold it, cowboy. I'll go first. I want to make sure that rope can hold my weight first."
"Whatever." I clenched my jaw. Why did everyone treat me like some idiot kid?
My uncle saw the flash of injured pride on my face now that our eyes had got used to the dark.
"You're the only family I have. Can you blame me for wanting to make sure you're safe?"
"Dude, I'm a grown man..."
McCain snorted behind me. I spun around, angered by his interruption. My arm was already raised to punch that smug smirk off his face, but my uncle caught my fist and pulled me away from the man.
"Travis! Calm down. Lord knows you get that temper from your father's side of the family."
A laugh tore from my throat and I exhaled loudly. I looked him in the eyes and felt my anger slip away. "Okay, I'm good. Just hurry up and get over there."
"Okay." He slapped my cheek playfully. "Here I go."
My uncle took a few steps back from the edge, inhaled sharply and then ran, kicking at the ground to send him soaring to the other side. My heart hammered in my chest as the rope creaked from above my head. He flew across the gap and landed ungracefully on his backside. A cloud of powdered mud flew up in the air.
"Travis, you're next." He yelled when he had found his footing. He tossed the rope towards McCain and I.
"No way! That rope is about to rip! Only one more person can go before the whole thing snaps." McCain hollered.
I grabbed the rope quickly and dashed away from the edge, ready to take a running jump before McCain could get in my way. Just as I got to the edge McCain grabbed around my waist.
"Ahh!" The added weight of McCain caused my hands to slip down the rope. It burnt across my palm and fingers. "Let go! I can't hold both of us!" I cried out. The cast on my arm and wrist meant I couldn't get a good grip with my hand.
"I'm going to fall!" I slipped down the rope further as it hung in the middle of the opening. McCain began to climb up me. He grabbed on to my belt and my shoulder and heaved himself up to grab the rope too.
"You bastard!" I yelled in his face. McCain's face was red from the exhaustion of pulling up his own weight.
"You have to jump! The rope is going to snap!" My uncle cried out, flashing the light in our direction. McCain pushed his knees up against my stomach and pushed off me, throwing himself through the air to grab the other side. I gasped as he winded me and gripped on to the rope as McCain's movement caused the rope to fly back towards the other side. As it swung back, I saw McCain heave himself up beside my uncle. I heard a snap and suddenly I was free falling. A scream tore from my throat as I realised I was falling into the endless darkness. I reached out in front of me, desperate to grab on to anything.
I felt something tight around me like a snake strangling its prey and then I was spinning to the other side in whirlwind of madness. I flew across the gap so fast my eyes couldn't keep up. I dangled for a second before I realised I wasn't falling anymore and my arms were pinned to my sides by another rope.
"What the hell?" I looked upwards, but the darkness swamped the image of the person who had lassoed me.
"Who is there?!" I demanded, kicking uselessly in the darkness.
"Who do you think? Who always saves your scrawny ass?!"