The Not So Deserted Tomb
Also by destinationxunknown
During a blissful summer’s sunset, in the jungles of the northern coast of Mystery Island, there were two companions who dreamt of the world’s greatest treasures. Legend has it that the infamous Geraptiku is said to hold such treasures in its beloved, deserted tomb. As delightfully intriguing as that is, it is also believed that in this tomb lies a greater danger than anyone could ever imagine.
* * * *
Blaze, the fire Lupe, checked his bag and looked up at his owner Salena. He opened his mouth to speak, but before he could manage the words, she quickly cut him off.
"I know, Blaze. If we go in there, we may never again see the light of day."
He nodded. "Who knows what monsters dwell here?"
"And who knows what treasures are to be found in there?" Salena added.
"You're going to risk your life for a few neopoints and a rare item or two?"
Salena grinned and scoffed, "No, just for a little adventure. Why? Are you scared?"
Disgusted at the question, he replied, "We Lupes are fearless creatures. We are the bravest species in all of Neopia."
"...and the ones with the biggest egos," she mumbled under her breath.
"What was that?"
"Nothing," she answered, opening the stone door to the deserted tomb.
A gust of odious air blew into their faces as the door was lifted open.
"Gross!" she whined, gasping for fresh air.
Together they ventured in, blindly into the dimly-lit tomb hallways and found themselves covered in old, tattered spyder webs.
"I hate spyder webs!" Salena shivered. "And I hate spyders!"
Blaze snickered. "Well, there are probably hundreds of them in here, Salena."
Pulling herself together, she angrily said, "Yeah, well, we’re still going!"
Salena looked around her and bent over to pick up a small twig to use to clear her path. She cut through the rest of the looming spyder webs and continued on.
Blaze checked his bag for the fiftieth time in an hour before following deeper into the tomb behind her. He stuck his nose high up and sniffed the air for any signs of danger. Salena pulled her flashlight from her bag and looked around.
"It's terribly eerie in here," she said. “Not to mention filthy!”
Blaze looked back at the open door. "It's too quiet in here... I don't like it. Salena, we should go..."
Suddenly, a low growl reverberated off the tomb walls.
Salena’s eyes widened, her heart began to race, and her throat thickened. Shaken from fear, she dropped her flashlight. "What was that!?"
"I don’t know..." Blaze whispered back. He bent back his ears and looked around. "It sounded like it came from behind us."
Again, the growl echoed fiercely through the tomb.
Blaze poked his ears straight up, listening carefully. He looked down at his stomach, and felt a grumble. He laughed, slightly embarrassed, and said "It was just my stomach."
Very frustrated, Salena snatched up her flashlight. "I told you to eat before we left!"
"I did, but all this excitement is making me hungry,” he said, stifling his giggles.
"Ok. We'll eat as soon as we find the treasure-filled room."
Blaze nodded and together they began exploring the tomb.
* * * *
Salena slowly pushed open the fourth door they came across, shining her light into the darkness. A sudden beam of light reflected back in her face. Shielding her eyes, she entered the room. Neopoints, neggs, paint brushes and all kinds of rare items covered the floor to every corner of the room.
"Blaze!" she gasped excitedly. "We found it!"
Blaze's eyes nearly popped out of his head in amazement. Forgetting about their hunger, they dove into the pile of loot.
"We're rich! We're rich!" they sang together, tossing a few golden coins into the air.
"Oh, I am so happy. Look, Blaze! We can now buy whatever we want!" Salena chimed, filling her bag with an abundance of goodies.
"I can fill the house with Chia shaped gingerbread men!" He licked his lips as his mouth watered at the thought. He began digging through the pile, filling his own bag.
"I don't think I have ever been so happy in my entire life!" Salena exclaimed.
Another growl echoed through the room.
"Happy feeling's gone!" she said worriedly, dropping the neggs she had picked up. Reevaluating her fear, she looked back crossly at Blaze. "Feed that lion in your stomach or let it go."
He raised his eyebrows and shakily replied, "That wasn't me, Salena..."
"If it wasn't you then..." She threw her hand over her mouth as she spotted a long tail slither around the corner and out of the room. Slowly removing her hand, she implored "What was that!?"
Blaze grabbed Salena’s flashlight and looked around the room. His hair stood on end as he too saw the tail. A foul smell filled his lungs. "I don't want to know."
Salena took a step back as she caught a whiff of the smell. "Let's get out of here."
This time, a roar quaked through the walls, shaking a few small rocks loose which fell at their feet.
"Ok, I've had enough adventure for today," Salena whispered.
Before they knew it, they were running through the tomb, toward the exit.
"The... the door... it’s... it’s closed!" Blaze cried.
"No, no. Maybe we took a wrong turn. We had to have." Salena turned around. "Let's go back that way."
Blaze grabbed her arm and shook his head. "This is it. I recognize that boulder."
"Oh give me a break, Blaze, they all look the same."
He raised his light. "No. I'm right. See? It says ‘Exit’ right here."
Salena ran to the door. "No!" She began pushing on it with all her strength. "Help me, Blaze!"
He placed his paws against the cold, stone door and pushed as much as he could. Tears began to swell in Salena’s eyes when she found that the door wouldn't budge. She leaned her back against the door and slowly slid down, sitting on the cold floor of the tomb. She pulled her knees up and buried her face in them.
"We're trapped," she sniffled.
Blaze looked around in the darkness. Something moved. His hair bristled once again.
"Get up, Salena," he whispered.
She looked at him, sensing the mild fear in his voice. "What is it?"
"Ssshhh. I saw something."
Salena jumped to her feet, keeping herself pressed against the stone door.
Blaze looked around, shining the flashlight every which way. "It's gone," he whispered. He turned back to Salena. "It's gone..." He cut himself off.
"What, Blaze? Why are you looking at me like that?"
He beckoned her to slowly come toward him, but instead of moving, she slowly looked over her right shoulder. Nothing.
"Are you playing a game with me, Blaze? This isn't funny!" she whispered.
She looked back at Blaze. He was now frantically waving her to come to him. Salena raised her eyebrows and slowly looked over her left shoulder. Two pairs of big red eyes were staring back at her. Her fearful reflex to swallow was abruptly stopped when she realized a blood-curdling scream was caught in her throat. It was a spyder, and a rather large one at that. Salena was almost too petrified to move. Two of its legs emerged from the shadows and rested on Salena’s shoulder. She felt her body grow faint. As her scream reverberated harshly off the walls of the tomb, Salena quickly covered her mouth, stumbling forward, as she realized the scream was not a good idea.
Just as Blaze opened his mouth to scold his owner, the familiar roar shook the walls once again. Salena closed her eyes as she tried to calm herself down. Her body was trembling and her heart raced so hard it was the only thing she could hear in that moment.
Blaze grabbed her hand. "The spyder's gone now, Salena."
She opened her eyes and looked at him. "It's not the spyder I'm worried about. Whoever’s roar that is knows we're here now."
The foul odor filled the air again.
"It's coming, Blaze," she whispered.
Blaze shone the light around the tomb once again. Suddenly a screeching sound like nails on a chalkboard filled their ears.
"It's coming," she whispered again as she began backing away.
She backed into the wall as Blaze stood in front of her in defense. Another sound touched his ears. He jumped around to face his owner in time to see the floor beneath her feet open up. He grabbed for her, but was too late. Salena screamed as she fell into a trap and was swallowed whole by the darkness. The last thing she heard was another roar of the monster before she was knocked unconscious by the fall.
* * * *
"Salena!?" Blaze cried down into the darkness. "Are you alright!?"
She slowly opened her eyes, groaning in mild pain.
"Salena!?" His voice echoed down to her once again.
"I'm... okay, Blaze. My ankle hurts," she replied. "I think I sprained my ankle."
"Ok. I'm coming down!"
Salena dragged herself out of the way as Blaze made his way down. Feeling the ground around her, she began gathering up the coins that spilled from her bag. Blaze leapt down, landing on all fours, almost as perfectly as a cat.
"The monster left as soon as you fell, Salena," Blaze said as he tended to her. "I think it is coming this way."
"But I can't run anymore, Blaze. My ankle hurts so much."
He pulled his bag from his back and opened the front pocket, pulling out a roll of bandage. He wrapped it around her ankle thickly. "That'll have to do for now, Salena. We have to move if we plan to stay alive."
She pulled her feet in and supported herself with her hands as she attempted to stand, but fell back almost crying in pain. "I can't!"
He looked around. "Okay. Stay hidden. I will look for a way out."
"No. Don't leave me here alone, Blaze."
"I'll come back, I promise. We need to get out of here and we’re only helpless sitting here."
She sighed. "All right. I'll wait here. Come back soon, okay?"
He nodded and cautiously walked away. Salena turned off her light and hunched back against the wall, hidden behind a large rock.
* * * *
It seemed like hours had gone by, but in reality it had only been about a quarter of an hour. A sound was heard nearby.
"Blaze?" Salena whispered, pressing harder against the wall. "Blaze, is that you?"
A horrid breath against her face was her only answer. With shaky hands, Salena grabbed her flashlight and clicked it on. The face staring back at her was a rather frightening one. Its razor sharp teeth overlapped its bottom jaw and its saliva glistened in the light of her flashlight. Its eyes, red and menacing, glared at her. One hand from the monster rested on the bolder beside her. Its claws, long and sharp, scrapped the rock as it gripped onto it. A pair of wings hung behind it and its long tail coiled around its back legs.
The familiar growl rumbled in its throat as a smoke-like substance escaped its nostrils. It was very similar to a dragon, but this was no dragon. It raised its other hand, extending its claws, prepared to grab Salena. The pain in her ankle suddenly left her and before she knew it, she was running through the tomb, screaming, and setting off traps left and right. The monster was close behind her, kicking up rock and dirt as it ran after her.
"Blaze!" she cried, spotting him. He didn't have time to think. Salena scooped him up in passing though they didn't get far. She screamed as she slid to a stop, almost crashing into the wall.
"We're cornered!" she cried, turning to face the oncoming monster.
Blaze now saw what his owner was running from. He began growling defensively, though deep down he knew it would do no good. She clutched him tightly in her trembling arms as the monster stopped, and stood before them. It rose up on its hind legs and fiercely roared. Salena closed her eyes, burying her face in Blaze's soft fur. She pressed hard against the wall.
Blaze's heart raced rapidly against his chest upon the sight of the saliva dripping from the monster's sharp teeth.
"It looks like I can kiss my house full of Chia shaped gingerbread men goodbye!" Blaze whispered, covering his eyes with his paw.
Suddenly the wall behind them rumbled and they fell through. Salena screamed as they slid down a mud bank and landed outside in a swamp of muddy water. The angry roar of the monster echoed inside the tomb and it disappeared into the darkness. Blaze sat up coughing and gagging, his mouth full of mud. Salena crawled out of the water, attempting to clear her throat of vile swamp water. The pain in her ankle returned and was far worse than before.
"I think I'm going to need help, Blaze," she said, cradling her ankle.
He got out of the water and began shaking, sending mud and water in every direction.
"We were in there all night," he said, taking note of the sun which was just cresting above Techo Mountain.
Relieved, Salena said, "That was close." She felt around the mud for her bag. "Blaze, never let me do that again."
"I'm glad you learned your lesson, but now I think we need to get you to a doctor. I hope you didn't break anything."
* * * *
"'I hope you didn't break anything,' huh?" Salena mocked, walking out of the doctor's office on crutches.
Blaze began laughing.
"Oh, I wouldn't be laughing, mister. You're going to be waiting on me for a while."
He narrowed his eyes and groaned.