Chapter 9: Buried
Chapter 9: Buried
Skye and I went all over town giving people treats and making friends. People started getting used to my presence, which is good, but I still got nothing in terms of clues. Another day passed by and I progressed in terms of my relations with the town, but nothing else. By the time yet another day rolled around I dropped the farm girl wanna-be act. I felt more comfortable in my city clothes and though the overalls were confy and convenient, I had simply grown used to city clothes.
I still wanted to have an image that would make the villagers feel identified with me; I wanted to make sure all the hostility was gone for good. To be on the safe side while keeping my own style, I decided to order a bracelet from the blacksmith. Of course I would need ores for that. I decided to get them myself. My clothes aren't that different really, jeans, a tshirt and sneakers since I'm going to the mines anyway. I met up with Skye as usual, having him walking next to me felt very natural by now.
I showed up at Barley's farm and was greeted by his granddaughter, May. "Skye!" The little girl had taken to him immediately when we were here before. Naturally, she didn't even notice my presence until after she was done giving him a big hug and rambling about her day thus far. "Big sis is here too!" May finally realized.
We chatted with May as we made our way to the shop. Barley greeted us cheerfully and I made a little small talk with him. After Skye's performance at the horse race that time, having him along does wonders, even more so after we handed out the treats. After a little more casual conversation, I asked Barley to borrow his tools to dig around the mines and smash some rocks. I confirmed that, as I thought, the mines are still a free for all.
After we left Barley's farm, Skye gave me a curious look. "Do you really intend to mine, princess?"
"I do," I replied somewhat proudly.
"You're just full of surprises!" Skye laughed fondly.
I smiled back, "so are you." Yet most of all, we would soon find out that life holds the most surprises of all.
xoxox xox xoxox
Skye accompanied me to the mines and we started digging around. We didn't get much out of our efforts. The ores we managed to find weren't of sufficient quality to make any jewelry out of them. We found a tunnel and ventured in, but I paused and looked back at the higher level from where we came. The dim light from the entrance of the mines wasn't enough to see what we were doing. "I didn't bring a flashlight."
"No problem," Skye took a pen flashlight from his pocket and turn it on.
"For such a tiny thing, that flashlight pen sure is bright," I was amazed. I'm not sure why he would carry such a thing, but it was lucky that he had it, so we didn't have to leave the mines and go hunting for a flashlight.
We continued our trek through the mines, going deeper from one tunnel to another. I'm not sure how deep in we were, but I really wanted to find some good ores. I found a peculiarly stubborn rock that wouldn't break. I got a good grip on the hammer while Skye investigated another rock on the other side of the cave chamber. I brought the hammer down on the rock and it shattered at last, but the thin ground beneath it cracked and broke. I stumbled, yelped and fell, struggling to grab on to the edge of the caved-in ground.
I heard the hammer hit the ground several feet below and my hand slipped a little further. As I braced myself to fall, Skye's hand was suddenly on mine. It all happened in seconds. He was trying to pull me up when the ground beneath him gave way and we both fell deeper in. Skye somehow managed to turn us around in the air with his impressive agility and tried to land on his feet. Yet the distance of the fall was too great and the impact sent him to the ground as he reached the bottom.
I fell on top of Skye, breathing heavily. He dropped his flashlight at some point during all of this and we were left in total darkness. "Skye..."
"Are you hurt?" I could hear the pain in his voice, even if it was too dark for me to see his expression. Yet I could clearly picture it.
"I'm okay," or at least as okay as someone who is buried alive can be. "You're hurt, aren't you?"
"It's just a scratch." I knew Skye was trying not to worry me.
I got off him as gently as possible. I wanted to have a look at his injury, but I couldn't see a thing. "It sounds like more than that."
"I'll be okay." I felt him shift next to me and try to get up, only to fall down again.
I caught him on time and steadied him, then helped him sit down on the ground. "Is something broken?"
"Possibly," Skye had to admit. "But don't worry, my princess, I'm sure you can make me feel better in no time."
"Skye... Only you have the energy to flirt in a situation like this." I couldn't help it but to chuckle and kiss him. The action was completely automatic, instinctual. Surprisingly, it was Skye who pulled away first when he moved his injured leg as be tried to lean in closer to me and it caused him abundant pain. "You really are hurt." There's no time to waste, I need to find a way out and get help.
I got up and felt around for the wall, trying to climb up. My efforts were in vain, as I kept slipping and falling. All that I was accomplishing was getting bruised, scratched and dirty. I searched my pockets and the image of my cell phone plugged to the charger in my room at the Fun Land office resurfaced in my mind. Of all the days to leave my phone behind; I never let it go and today of all days I forgot to bring it.
"Don't hurt yourself, fair maiden." I followed the sound of Skye's voice and returned to his side.
"Do you have a phone on you?" I asked hopefully.
"Unfortunately not," Skye replied. A small moment of silence passed and he wrapped his arms around me, massaging my tense shoulders. "Don't worry, beautiful, someone will find us."
"I hope so," I didn't want to think pessimistically, but I couldn't help it. I had not made any progress in the investigation and Charles might assume I bailed out on him and ran back to the city. As fond as the villagers have become of Skye, he's a traveler, an outsider who doesn't necessarily follow a set schedule. They might assume he left just as much as they might assume I left.
My only hope is Barley, if he needs his tools and doesn't have them back, he might go looking for them. Then when he doesn't find me he'll put two and two together and someone will come looking for us at the mine. Then again, Barley might not need his tools right away. Who knows how long it'll be before he does? What if he thinks I stole the tools and left with them? No, no, I can't think that way.
I feel Skye's arms wrap around me. "You're so tense." I must have been very obvious if he noticed it even in the darkness. "Don't worry so much. Worrying will only make you feel worse and lower your precision." He speaks as if he was in a situation that involved danger and the need for precision before. "Calm down, relax and save your strength. Just give me a little more time and I'll recover enough to climb up and find a way to get you out of here."
"You can't!" I insisted. "You're hurt, and besides I tried to climb up and it's too slippery. I know you're pretty agile." There's the understatement of the century, he's as agile as a cat. "But you're hurt and this is too much, even for you."
"Don't worry, princess, there's always a way out." The way Skye said it was somehow reassuring despite the situation. I leaned into his embrace and took in his attractive scent.
How could I manage to feel so comfortable even in a situation like this? "How did we end up like this?"
He took a moment to reply, as if taking note of how calm I sounded and wondering if I was really lamenting the fact that we're trapped. "In the mines?" He finally asked.
"Like this, anywhere." I heard him chuckle as I somewhat explained.
"I don't even know myself," Skye cuddled against me. "I'll admit I didn't expect it."
"Just randomly flirting, eh?" I teased.
"Something like that," he admitted. "But it's different, things change..." I couldn't see his expression becoming thoughtful in the darkness of the mines.
I thought he was a flirt and a player. I thought he wasn't worth it. I thought he'd stop paying attention to me after a while. I didn't expect myself to give him a chance. Yet somehow we had gotten to know each other and became close. He's been with me practically all the time and he's been so sweet and charming I can't even believe he's still giving me so much attention. Yet when we talk it seems so natural. We like all the same things and it's so easy to get caught up with him and for time to fly by.
xoxox xox xoxox
Time passed and to put it simply, there was a lot of kissing and cuddling, with plenty of dozing off in-between. I slept until I could sleep no more and lost my notion of the passing of time. I was hungry and thirsty to the point where I didn't feel it anymore. But at this precise moment, I'm sure my face must have been crimson, so I was thankful that the darkness hid that, though being in the dark for so long was getting on my nerves. I wanted to see Skye's face, his reassuring blue eyes. Yet at the same time I wanted to take advantage of the darkness to become more courageous, more daring. Maybe I was becoming delirious, I wasn't sure anymore.
Skye pulled me onto his lap, slipping his hands around my waist and drawing me against his body. I wrapped my legs around his torso and held on to him as if my very life depended on it. Our lips met again, curious, brave and adventurous. We kept a comfortable yet somewhat hungry pace for a while until a voice interrupted us, calling my name. In an automatic reaction I jumped off Skye's lap, thankfully not harming his injured leg in my rush. Soon the brightness of a flashlight shone from above us. Gray, Cliff and Rick peeked out from the cave opening above. We were saved, we've finally been rescued.
xoxox xox xoxox
Driven by adrenaline, I somehow managed to stay awake until we got out of the mines. Barley had needed his tools and had wondered where I was. He thought to ask Gray, the grandson of his good friend Saibara to have a look at the mines just in case, as he didn't think I would simply run off with the tools. Gray went to have a look and found the cave in, so he got Cliff and Rick to give him a hand in exploring it and searching for further signs of our presence. Eventually, they found us.
As soon as I stepped out into the sunlight, I knew I could breathe easy again. My deliriousness left me and the way I kept trying to ignore the obvious danger I had been in and seek distractions in Skye came crashing down. Everything came crashing down on me along with reality and I found that I could no longer stand. My face became sickeningly blue and the ground seemed to be getting closer and the bright rays of the sun faded into darkness around me. Then there was nothing.
xoxox xox xoxox
When I woke up, I was at the clinic with Dr. Trent and Elli busily running about providing medical attention for Skye and myself. I later learned that we were trapped in there for three days. When we weren't... comforting each other, we were asleep and actually slept for most of our entrapment at the mines.
Skye's right leg, where he had put the most weight during the fall was fractured in a few places and his ankle was sprained. Dr. Trent said he was lucky though, a fall like that could have been worse. Yet this is Skye, my amazing Skye who kept me from getting hurt beyond a few insignificant scratches and somehow managed to preserve my sanity during the entire ordeal. I never want to set foot in those mines again.
To be Continued