Earthbound: A Hero Chosen (book 1)

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PSY 12: Huge Problems

PSY 12 - Huge Problems

 

My energy returned all at once. That butterfly, whatever it was and wherever it came from, was something else. Maybe even magic. I closed my eyes and felt the absorption of its power. It satiated all my survival needs. I blinked my eyes and sat up completely refreshed, just like as if I had woken from a long restful slumber. I climbed to my feet with no effort, I almost stood up too fast--the energy I had was amazing. When I looked around I didn't catch site of the butterfly, even when I covered my eyes from the glare of the sun. It didn't matter though--I felt amazing. I gave a long stretch and cracked my neck.

When I looked back the cave I came out of loomed behind me like the mouth loomed like a giant. It had definitely not been a dream when I came running out of there after that wave of rats. The best part was I had an amazing new ability.

Turning back to the road ahead I found a grassy ledge over another cliff face. A rounded out hole in the rock formed an other cave entrance. My journey int Giant's Step wasn't over yet. And of course I suspected some kind of deadlier creature ahead. The difference between now and before--I was ready and armed with a new power that could tear such a beast apart. I picked up my bat from the grass and squeezed the leather grip tight. With a self nod of approval I marched across the grassy area and into the mouth of doom.

As soon as I stepped inside more insects scattered, these ones larger than the ones in the previous cave. They looked like super big ants with  multicolored antennae. I breathed a sigh of relief that at least there were no mice present. I looked to my right and found a drop off with more unexplored cave below. But my destination was to the left, where yet another cave mouth beckoned me. I had to head deeper in. I went through that one and found myself in a straight across expanse of cave. Insects scurried here too. I ignored them and walked through and into yet another cave.

There I found the climb. A rope hung down the cliff face in the small cavern. Looking up, I could see no end to how high I might have to ascend.  My head began to spin. Fears such as those of heights had no place in a destined one's life, or so I tried to tell myself at least.

 

Once again I found my way only by climbing a long rope. I wished that it was a ladder like at Lier's--because it was not fun at all. And none of my adventure so far had been. Each pull upward was necessary. I didn't look down for the entire trip up. When I arrived at the top, I sighed and hugged the ground, grateful to be safe for the moment. It was really no time to celebrate or feel any sort of relief because I stood on a small ledge and the next climb was before me. I was only resting in the middle of a dangerous area. Another rope led even further up into darkness.

"Oh boy," I whispered.

It was time for another climb. I rubbed my hands together and grabbed the hanging rope. Before I began to climb I stared up and my heart thuddered in my chest. Already I could feel it. There was an immense power at the top. I cursed under my breath. Fear was natural. I was right to be scared like crazy. If not I'd be insane. But fear could be defeated with courage.

As I began the climb it it soon became dark. I wasn't going to quit, even if I had to climb forever up to where I couldn't see. There had to be a light at the end of my tunnel, or in this case climb. No longer could I see anything but the immediate. In my chest, no my heart I could feel as if evil began to absorb me. All hope was fleeting. My fear doubled, tripled and quadrupled. Then I could hear someone--a voice in my head. It wasn't like Buzz Buzz or the words to unlock my powers, it was pure evil and terrifying, eating away at my soul.

"You finally got here," it whispered.

I steeled myself and kept climbing.

"This is the first 'Your Sanctuary' location."

I continued trying to ignore it as much as was possible. But it drilled further into my skull--into my being.

"But it's mine now."

My fingers reached the lip of the cliff and I pulled myself up, climbing over the edge. As I stood and drew my bat, the voice gave a final threat.

"Take it from me, if you dare..."

 A flash of darkness poured over my eyes. Violet and maroon colored lights zapped around like a laser light show. Bursts of lightning crackled lighting up parts of my location. Then there was a heavy rumbling. The ground beneath me shook and I started to fall back, crying out, throwing my hand forward to grab something--anything. I did. I caught something cold and metallic, and quickly pulled myself up before I fell.

"Not yet," the ecstatic voice said from inches away, "That would have been too easy."

Fear consumed me. Light flashed around the monster of Giant Step, and it was a humongous thing. Before me, on six long steel legs stood a Titanic ant. It was so large I was barely able to fit on the small platform. Its cannonball sized head bore a smiling mouth instead of pincers like a normal ant. Two antennae stuck out from its exoskeletal skull, twitching and sending arcs of electricity between them.

Before it could act I thrust my hand outward and focused on sonic energy.

"Rockin'!" I yelled.

The beam of energy shot right into the monster's face. My own explosion of light went off and I ran. I ran like hell. I ducked between the creature's legs and I hid behind a stalagmite.

My for screamed in anger as the light faded and the titanic ant thrashed its legs and black striped thorax.

Small mini-monster ants, the ones from below, scurried around. Each of them had arcs of electricity. I gasped as one spotted me and came running toward me. I quickly swept the bat sending one flying off the ledge. To my shock it screeched like a child. The great monster growled.



Jake A. Strife

Edited: 15.10.2019

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