Somehow They're Alive (part 16)

I know that it's been a while, but I can guarentee you that the wait is totally worth it. I'll try to have part seventeen up in a couple of days. If not

please be patient. I'll get it up sooner than parts fifteen and sixteen. My mom is taking Microsoft Word classes too, so that could mean a small delay.

Created by: Topaz

  1. ***Jaslina's Point of View***It didn’t take long for us to find the mountain. Of course, now that we’ve found it finding the secret entrance isn’t as easy as we’d hoped for. Hours of endless searching leads to hardly anything. We’ve been looking the mountain up and down forever it seems like and still nothing. Where could there possibly be a secret entrance on this mountain? Perhaps bringing Jay with us would’ve been the better option. There’s probably nothing happening at our camp right now, anyway. Tired, I stop to take a sip of water. I guess it isn’t over yet. There’s still a lot of mountain to search. When someone taps on my shoulder it startles me into choking on my water. “Sorry, Jaslina. I didn’t mean to scare you.” “Its fine, Rayla. So is everything okay?” “Yeah, everything’s fine. I just forgot my water and was wondering if I could drink some of yours.” My thirst being already quenched, I give my water to Rayla. Apparently she isn’t just looking for a reason to take a break. She is truly thirsty, because my water bottle is only half full once she gives it back. Giving the bottle back to me, she says, “Thanks. I feel better now. So have you and Ryan found anything?” “Not yet, but I can sense that we’re close.” “Speaking of Ryan, where is he?” “Still looking around. The man’s too stubborn to take a water break.” She smiles. “He’s stubborn but driven. The same goes for Jay. When you look at it the two of them have a lot in common. It’s no wonder they’re friends.” “This is the fourth time you’ve mentioned him within the hour. Are you missing him?” Hesitantly, she confesses, “Well, maybe a little bit. There’s nobody to keep us laughing with jokes or sarcastic comments.”
  2. “I sense that it’s more than that. You know once we find dad and Josephine, and everything is happy and cheerful, we should double date.” “Double date?” “Sure. It could be me and Ryan and you and Jay. Once Tammy finds someone she can join us. Doesn’t it sound fun?” “Yeah, it does. I’ll think about it.” Just then Audrey runs toward us. “There you are,” she says to Rayla. “I couldn’t find you for a moment.” “Really? I told you that I was getting a drink of water.” “I know. I just didn’t see where you went.” The three of us stand around and talk for about fifteen minutes. I desperately want to continue searching, but I guess a small break never hurt anyone. Right when we’re about to start looking again we hear a shout from Ryan. Not a shout trying to contact someone. It’s more like he’s falling and screamed from the surprise of it. Either way I go rushing off to where I last saw him and Rayla and Audrey follow. I think to myself, "Ryan, why must you be so headstrong?! If you would’ve waited somebody would’ve been there with you!" The three of us arrive to the crest in the hill where he was last seen only to see that he’s no longer there. “Ryan!” I shout in distress. “Ryan, where are you?! Are you hurt?!” For a long and frightening moment I don’t hear a sound. Only Ryan shouting back his response calms me. “Don’t worry, Jaslina, I’m fine, but you guys have to get over here! I think I found it!” “Where is ‘over here’? We can’t see you!” says Audrey. “Just follow the sound of my voice and walk slowly so you don’t fall. I think I’m about twenty feet from you.” “Twenty feet? Are you sure?” “Meh, more or less.”
  3. Unsure of what to do, we follow his instructions. Sure enough, we find him after a few seconds. The hole he’s trapped in astounds me. It’s perfectly round, and its walls aren’t dirt and tree roots as I expected them to be. For about three quarters of the way up it’s made entirely out of metal. For the last quarter it’s made out of thick wooden planks. Some of the planks look to be nearly rotted through. That explains how he fell down there. His mom should’ve used a more durable material. “Do you thinks it’s what we’re looking for?” asks Rayla. “I’m almost positive. It definitely looks like something my mother would build. If my guess is right, there should be a trapped door here somewhe—“ He doesn’t finish that last sentence because there’s no need to. The sound of a creaking rusted metal answers for him. “I’m right! There’s without doubt a trapped door down here. I was actually sitting on it.” Nervously, Audrey asks, “So what now? Do we risk our lives going down there?” “You don’t have to, but I sure am,” Rayla replies. She doesn’t need to ask me what I plan on doing, because I’m already working my way down a rusted latter and toward the trapped door.
  4. ***Meahwhile, at the Campsite*** Other than the singing of the birds and the scurrying of the rodents, the forest is completely silent. Jay normally isn't used to this kind of silence, but he'll be fine for now. Bored, he decides to boil water for supper later. maybe Rayla will be impressed with his culinary skills. Like his mother has always said, "What woman doesn't like a man that can cook?" Hopefully his mother is right. As he kneels down near the washtub to fill up the cooking pot he realizes that there's no fire wood. "Darn it," he says to himself. "Well, I might as well pile up the the fire wood. It's not like there's anything else to do." He sets the pot down near the fire pit and saunters off into the brush. Luckily there are a lot of large branches, so finding kindling isn't hard. While he picks up the wood he notices his pale blonde lockes falling in his face. "Alright, first thing when they get back, Ryan's cutting my hair." Nobody would ever guess this, but Ryan is awesome at cutting hair. Well, guy's hair. He couldn't cut a woman's hair to save his life. If he did cut a lady's hair his life would probably end on account of an angry woman. The mental picture that forms in his mind at the thought of a mob of angry women chasing him makes hims chuckle to himself. Once Jay's momentary fit of laughter is over he starts singing "Our Song" by Taylor Swift. The song is old but he loves it. Frankly, he loves Taylor Swift. "Wow, Jay," he says to himself. "If you let Rayla know that then your chances with her are over." After a while he switches from "Our Song" to "Tear Drops on My Guitar". Just then an acorn hits him in the back of the head. "Ouch! Stupid squirrels." Once he says that he realizes that there aren't any squirrels nearby. He isn't standing under an oak tree either. Really, even if he was, the acorn hit him at a vertical angle. Even so, he ignores the thought and keeps walking. When he does three more strike him. This scares him more than irritates him. "Who's there?!" he shouts out. Nobody answers. "I know somebody's there! Show yourself." Nothing. "Jay, you're going crazy." Right when he says that a cold hand grasps his shoulder.
  5. ***Jaslina's Point of View*** The four of us walk through the dark, damp tunnel arm in arm. It’s nearly black, so we’re afraid to release one another. Having met the White-dressed Woman we should be running into a flashlight soon; even someone as evil as her isn’t inhuman enough to have night vision. However, since there isn’t a flashlight right now, each person at the end is feeling along the walls. Hopefully this labyrinth is hidden away enough so that no poisonous spiders or snakes found their way in here. I desperately want to talk, but focusing on where we’re going in the pitch blackness takes all our concentration. At some point the silence breaks. “Ouch! What the heck, Audrey?” Rayla exclaims I was about to say the same thing. It seems like we turned so suddenly. “Sorry. My hand is going along the wall and unexpectedly I feel nothing, so I assume that it turns off here.” “Yeah, you’re right,” says Ryan from the shadows. “I can feel a corner right now. It goes only left. Let’s keep moving.” Without a word we turn and then continue moving steadily down the hallway. There’s a long period of half-hour silence. Eventually Ryan feels something worth telling us about. Thank goodness that we don’t stay completely silent for too long at a time. I’d go mad otherwise. “Hey, guys, I think I found something that might interest you,” he says. “Really?” I ask. “Sure have. I think it’s a door.” “You think it’s a door?” asks Audrey. “Hey, I can’t be sure. The thing that’s tripping me up is that it’s made out of thick metal. You know, like the door to one of those big freezers at restaurants. Know what I’m saying?” “We understand,” says Rayla, “but why would they have a door like that? Wouldn’t making it out of wood be much more effortless?” “Who knows? Nobody can understand the woman. Let’s just go with it and see what happens,” I suggest. Ryan sighs and bangs his head against the tunnel wall. “What I wouldn’t give for a flashlight!” Ironically, that’s the exact moment when Audrey touches just the right area in the wall. Instead of a flashlight she finds a light switch. Ryan’s tension eases. “Thank you, Audrey, you’re a miracle worker.”
  6. Unlinking our arms, we join Ryan by the mysterious metal door. In the dim light of the age-weakened light bulbs the door looks to be made of steel that’s lost is shine from being underground. There are numerous dents in it as well that look to be from the heel of someone’s shoe. The prints are fairly small, so I’m guessing that they must be from either Sapphire or her mother. The final thing that catches my attention, it should’ve caught my attention first come to think of it, would be the bright flashing sign that coats the door’s upper portion. Rayla reads it aloud. “Danger: High Voltage Area. Trained personnel only. Anybody else’s entry is in violation of the law and will result in prosecution from the local court and/or jail time.” “Maybe we should go the other way…” says Audrey. Rayla argues. “Audrey, you must know that that sign is a fake. She’s probably hiding something behind that door and doesn’t want us to know about it.” “Yeah, but she should also know that it’ll bring the curiosity out in some people. There’re always going to be people stupid enough to open the door with the warning sign. If anything, whatever’s behind that door is probably a trap. Right Ryan?” “To be honest, it could go either way. Mom’s mind is a long, sick and twisted, labyrinth of intelligence.” Wow, if that isn’t a good description of the woman than I don’t know if there is one. If only Ryan’s mom wasn’t such a genius then we might have a fighting chance of finding my dad and sister.
  7. “So what is it then? Do we go behind that door or continue down the hallway?” I can feel Audrey’s sympathetic gaze resting on my back. “Maybe we should let Jaslina decide. This is her family we’re looking for.” Everybody’s eyes turn to me, and a sudden bout of nervousness comes over me. How am I supposed to know which way to go? I don’t want to get us all lost! A second hardly passes before Ryan asks, “Jas, do you have it in mind which direction we should take?” At the last minute I side with Rayla. “Uh...maybe….I’m thinking we should go behind the door. That sign she put up wasn’t for nothing.” “Alright, if that’s what you want.” As Ryan picks the lock on the door with my bobby-pin Rayla exclaims, “Thank-you, Jaslina! Somebody gets what I’m saying!” About ten minutes later the door swings open. Passing through the narrow entryway one-by-one Ryan says, “Wow, mom outdid herself with this lock. She spared no expense. There might just be something down here after all.” We hardly walk ten feet before running into another door which also happens to be sealed up tightly. “Ryan, we need your expertise,” says Audrey. He sighs and tromps over there. “Mother, you do realize that all of these doors and locks only make you look suspicious,” he mutters to himself. This time it takes fifteen minutes for him to get the door opened. “A few more locks like that, Jaslina, and I’ll owe you a new bobby-pin.” By this time we’re walking down a dim narrow hallway. There was a light switch but it’s still pretty difficult to see. Of course, I don’t see what I’m complaining about. Anything helps if there’s nothing but blackness. Finally I respond to Ryan’s comment. “I don’t care about the bobby-pin. I’m just hoping to find dad and Josephine. Do you really think that they’re down here?” “Let’s hope that it’s them we find. Knowing my mother we could find just about anything down here.” “Anything? What do you mean by that?” He’s silent for a moment. “I’ll tell you when—or if— the time comes. For now let’s just keep walking.”
  8. We do keep walking. It seems like we keep walking for hours down that single hallway. In reality I know that we’ve only been walking for about forty-five minutes. Time passes a lot more slowly when you’re nervous and twitching. Hopefully Sapphire doesn’t decide to make any trips down here today or we’re all doomed. If she has a gun, that is. Unless she has a weapon the four of us could probably take her down…if we work together… I shut the thought out of my mind and focus only on walking; eventually losing my mental sense of how much time we’ve spent down here. When I try to get it back it occurs to me that it’s been much longer than forty-five minutes by now. Where exactly are we going? I speak up. “Hey, guys, do you think that this tunnel really leads anywhere? This tunnel seems endless.” “Yeah, I’m thinking the same thing,” says Rayla. “It feels like we’re going in a circle. Maybe we should go back.” “Going in a circle? What are you talking about? We haven’t made a single turn!” exclaims Ryan. “I know, but it still feels like we’re getting nowhere.” “Ryan, are you sure that your mother would put random tunnels down here just to get people lost?” asks Audrey. At that question he sinks to the floor, hitting himself in the forehead repeatedly. “How could I be so stupid?” Audrey states, “I was right. This is a trap isn’t it?” “Not necessarily a trap. It’s more of a diversion. If this were a trap we’d be locked in some room right now,” I say in defense. “Alright, fine, I give you that. But with all of these useless tunnels how are we going to find your dad and sister? It’s impossible!” “Yup, Ryan’s mom does enjoy making things impossible,” Rayla says more to herself than to us. After a slight pause, I say, “So what now? Do we just go back?” “Yes. What else is there to do?”
  9. Conversations such as that one are consistently repeated throughout the day. After getting back to the main hallway we must have gotten lost a half-dozen times in the past ninety minutes. Certainly there are a lot of trick tunnels. Hours of relentless searching, usually followed by retracing our steps, tell us that. Ryan’s mom could be in the Genus Book of World Records for the world’s most in depth labyrinth. Finding my family is just one battle, because then we have to find the way out of here! “Alright, guys, we have to take a break. This isn’t working,” says Rayla sliding to the floor. We’ve just made it out of our eighteenth dead end. Audrey’s Irish accent is suddenly very thick. “I agree. This is the most exhausting thing I’ve ever done. Who would spend so much time making tunnels that lead to nowhere?” “A woman with two prisoners that she wants to stay imprisoned, that’s who,” I reply, now sitting down myself. “This is crazy. Who knew my mother would try so hard to hide someone? She never tried this hard to hide the other people she kidnapped!” Enjoying the few moments of being off of my legs, I look around the room we’re in. The walls, floor, and ceiling are all made out of the same dull, thick, and impermeable steel. The door would be too, but there isn’t one. Compared to the other rooms we’ve been in, this one is relatively empty. There is a square wooden table with two chairs in one corner and a stack of four or five boxes in the other corner. What they contain I don’t know. Yet again, I don’t care either. Above my head on the wall I’m leaning against are three oil paintings of lakes and mountains. Across the room from those are two shelves stuffed with books. A few are cook books and the rest, oddly enough, are romance novels. Mrs. Caroga never struck me as the romance novel type of woman. Of course, according to the thick layer of dust coating everything, maybe she isn’t. “What do you think, Jaslina? Jaslina?” Rayla’s voice brings me out of my trance. “Sorry, Rayla, I blanked out for a minute. What’d you say?” “I just asked if you wanted to continue the search or go back to camp to see if Jay’s all right.” I know my answer immediately. “Maybe we should keep looking. If we’re persistent we’ll find them eventually.”
  10. Audrey comes over and puts her hand on my shoulder. “Jaslina, we’ve been at this for hours on end. Everybody’s tired including you. Perhaps we should leave and—“ “Shush!” Ryan cuts her off without warning. “Ryan, I was just—“ He throws a hand over her mouth and hushes her again. “Be very quiet,” he whispers. At first all of us are stunned, but then we understand his strange behavior. I don’t hear her at first, but I do as she walks further down the hallway. The gentle click of Sapphire’s high heels against the cement floor. The soft sound echoes loudly with all of the steel around here. Luckily we’re sitting in the corner where it’s the most shadowy. Hopefully she won’t see us. As we listen to her more I discover that, if the situation weren’t dire, this would be quite amusing. Apparently she must be bored because she starts singing, “I want my iPod. I wish I had my iPod. What do I want more than anything? I want my iPod. It won’t work down here anyway…” to the tune of I Want Candy. Suddenly she seems a lot less frightening. Trying to stifle a laugh I whisper, “Ryan, your sister won’t ever be a pop star.” He sounds just as amused. “Oh, don’t I know it.” She groans and mutters to herself, “My feet are throbbing. Why didn’t I wear my high-tops?” First there’s the soft thud of her sitting down on the hall floor followed by the much louder thuds of object being flung across the aisle. For a moment I have no idea what she just threw, but then I see a sparkly gold high-heel roll just inside the doorway. If we get lucky, she won’t plan on retrieving that shoe anytime soon. “Oooooh, my aching feet!” Sapphire moans in agony. The pain can’t be that excruciating. I’ve walked a mile in high-heels twice before. Just when it seems we’re safe I hear her crawling across the floor to reclaim her shoes. When she comes into view none of us takes a breath. For a moment all I do is look at her. The last time I saw her was about seven months ago. She was behind glass in an orange jumpsuit without any makeup and her hair was tangled and stating to get oily. It’s amazing how much her appearance has transformed since then. Now she’s wearing long, white, skinny jeans and a zebra striped blouse with ruffles. Her long, wavy, hair is now clean and shimmering black and her face is adorned with all of the makeup that she must have missed ever so dearly. Everything from eye shadow and eyeliner to foundation and ruby red lipstick is on her face. This Sapphire is entirely different from the one I saw in the prison cell. On the outside, that is. Her eyes and whole demeanor are still as stone hard and ice cold as before. Like mother like daughter, I guess.
  11. As her head comes into the doorway we’re all certain that she’ll see us. Then, to our luck, her cell phone rings. It’s incredible that she’d still have reception down here. God is on our side after all. The four of us just might make it out of here unnoticed. Eventually. She digs her phone out of her jeans pocket, and looks at the number. An expression comes across her face that I haven’t seen before; one of love and relief. I know already who’s calling her. Once she answers I discover I’m right. “Landon, you’re safe! I haven’t seen you since the airport. I thought that the cops got you!” It’s on the floor and it’s on speaker. Too lazy to hold it to her ear, I presume. “Nope, the cops didn’t get me. I’m fine. I’ve just been…busy…over the past couple of days.” “Thank God.” Her relief suddenly turns to wrath. “What have you been busy with?! Where have you been?!” “You said that the last place you saw me was the airport. Go ahead. Guess.” She’s silent for a moment and then resumes yelling. ”Landon, you didn’t help her did you? She’s supposed to be dead and in the ground!” “Sapphire—“he doesn’t even have time to finish his sentence. She swears. “Landon, if you didn’t bury her it’s you I’ll kill next!” “Don’t you trust me, sweetie?” “I’ll keep trusting you as long as you tell me that she’s dead and buried.” “Don’t worry about her. The girl is as dead as Abe Lincoln, and is in the ground.” “Really? Tell me the truth.” “She is. Tammy is as dead as a doornail. She’s gone from this world forever.” All thoughts of my father and sister are temporarily forgotten as I feel my heart sink along with everybody else’s. How could we have let this happen?

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