The Geraptiku Two: Part Three
The Crocalus hissed menacingly. Their somewhat small bodies looked monstrous in such a big amount and in such a grim color. As one skittered past me, I noticed how ugly they were with those permanent scowls.
"Uh...," Sivus muttered, unprepared.
I was sure no one could have expected this in all Geraptiku history, but there was no time for me to feel sympathy for him. "Let's run!" I shouted.
And run we did. Instead of coming across a boring, lame, continuous hallway, we entered an exciting and totally simple zigzagging path. Left, straight, right, straight, stairs, straight, two lefts and straight, stairs, right....
On our path, the Crocalus didn't let up. Some followed us while on the walls. Others clamped onto my shoes. "Aah! Rargh! Graa!" was how my scream combined with the Crocalus' noises sounded. Sivus had no relief. His flying did not go well due to the little monsters on the ceiling that threatened to jump on his back with their foul growls. After ten whole minutes of frantic screaming and running, Sivus and I saw a door that opened in the middle. We came to it. Then grunted in agony.
"It won't open!" Sivus screamed.
"Are you serious!?" I approached the door, too afraid to be cautious. The little nippers began to crawl up my legs and bite them. One gave a specifically nasty wound that distracted me from trying to pry open the door. I bent down to knock them off and examine the damage.
Sivus screamed, sounding baffled, "What are you doing!?"
"These Crocalus are biting me!" I shouted. "Open the door!" Down there, the Crocalus began to snap at my fingers as I tried to wrest them off my socks. I would be examining my swollen fingers for weeks. I didn't bother to look at Sivus, who was probably struggling.
"It's open!" Sivus cried.
Without even looking, I dove through the doors. Sivus closed it behind us swiftly enough to trap all the Crocalus behind us.
"That was... scary. But interesting," I said. It was surprising I could catch my breath at all. I thought about how irrational our choice to relax was. I lifted my hands to look at--ugh, I couldn't even look at them. They were gruesome.
"Interesting to say the least," Sivus agreed, also winded. "But on the bright side, as long as we seem safe, now is a perfect time to sleep."
Sivus was correct; the room we were then in was liberally lit and would maybe seem cozy if it were not in a tomb. True, it wasn't a living room or even a home, but it would do. "I'll agree to that."
We worked out a plan: I would sleep while he stayed awake, and then he would nap while I stayed alert. This was arranged after I suddenly bolted upright after realizing my hands hurt more than anything did. I lay down to sleep. Glorious sleep! My pulse rate thankfully lessened, and I calmed down enough to where I could presumably sleep. But something kept me up. Was it the iciness of the stone floor? Was it the sheer knowledge of my surroundings? I only slept for a minute, or so it seemed, and then Sivus's voice woke me up. "Kyra," he urged quietly. "Your thirty minutes are up."
"Okay," I said, sitting up. I faked a yawn. "Sivus, what did you even do for that half hour?"
"I brought a book to read, "Sivus said defensively. "And this guy kept me company."
Sivus did something dreadfully dull in that moment. He raised his wing, and on it perched a small ghost Crocalu like the ones we'd just escaped. I began to cower but then noticed the Crocalu did nothing but scurried around Sivus's wing.
"Are you crazy?"
"It made it in here, and I didn't know what to do with it," Sivus cried, the words turning into mumbles. "But it's so cute, is it not? And it doesn't even bite!"
I sighed. "Let me guess. You've named it, too."
"Yes," Sivus said with a triumphant grin. "His name is Runt. Because he's so small."
I didn't even take the time to acknowledge the mere thoughtlessness of his actions. Instead, I told him he could sleep. It was then that I realized Runt might be harmless; he slept right along with Sivus. But it was still ugly like the rest. And its friends had decided to bite at me. His size was slightly cute, though, and his snoring noises were, too. He could still be despicable, however.
Sivus was asleep in an instant. Poor thing. Not only had he been thrown into a completely different realm but he'd also been severely caught off guard. Gosh. Where would I have been without Sivus? I thought back to that fungus sandwich he'd told me about, when he came to my door looking well-equipped, and when he warned me as I fell through the floor. Question: Where would I have been without Sivus? Answer: Lost, clueless, lonely, and afraid.
I dug in Sivus's bag and pulled out a book. Books were not my favorite things, but they could be out of the ordinary. I decided to judge the book by its cover. Gourmet Cooking for Your Pet. As much as I could care less for that in particular, I had nothing else to do. The book proved to be as boring and meaningless as I thought it would be. As I tossed it in Sivus's bag, Sivus himself rolled over and grumbled, "I can't."
"Come on, take a nap. You've worked too hard," I said.
"No," Sivus said, sitting up. "What's the point? I'm not even sleepy."
I sighed, not even wanting to cajole him to sleep any further. "If you say so. So, what's next?"
"Well," Sivus said. When he got up, so did his little friend Runt. Oh, cute! He pretended to sleep only for his owner. How... adorable. Sivus continued, "We keep walking. I guess."
"Well, I'm ready if you are."
Sivus nodded. "Let's go, then."
As if on cue, the ceiling began to drip with what I had hoped was water. It started to fall like rain. A breeze vibrated though the room, and the place became an indoor forest.
Or, as Sivus and I would soon discover, an indoor pool.
"Weird," Sivus muttered. "But nothing to stop us." We, all three of us, began to walk. I thought that it was peculiar how the tomb was really just a combination of those chambers, hallways, and stairs. And dangers and treasure. We moved on to another hallway that was so narrow we had to walk in a line.
"Is it raining or something?" I blurted out. The pitter-patter, sloshing, and plop sounds grew louder as we walked. It reminded me of rain on the island; I remembered how gracefully it would land in the ocean and how rhythmically it would land on the ground and our roof. It sounded like the ocean was actually behind us.
Sivus shrugged. "This is an old tomb," he stated. "It bet it leaks all the time."
My suspicions were confirmed when Runt ran up Sivus's leg and I lifted my shoe to find one thing: a puddle of water.
"Should we run?" I asked Sivus.
Sivus opened his mouth to answer, but the cold water that stung our legs distracted him. He screamed his quick answer. "Yes!"
The water threatened us, making sure we didn't slow down at all, lapping at our heels. The walkway was so tight, running became a problem. Sivus began to fly right behind me. As I ran wildly, desperately trying to flood out--no pun intended--the noises of the water, I noticed Sivus grazed my head a few times. Suddenly the ceiling sloped down and transformed our walkway into a confining crawlway.
"Sivus, I haven't done this since baby years!" I screamed. I glanced back periodically to make sure Sivus hadn't been caught up in the deluge's grasp. I thought back to when I longed for wings, and in that crawling moment I wanted nothing more than to be able to deftly slither across the floor. I wanted to be a Hissi, I concluded.
"Glarh!" I could hear Sivus cry. Oh no. I had to speed up my crawling. Just as soon as my legs began to ache, I spotted a flight of stairs. Thank goodness!
But no, not thank goodness. I stared agape as I realized the stairs led down and not up.
"Sivus!" I howled. Could he come to my rescue again?
"What?" Sivus hollered.
I grumbled. "Uh... the stairs!" I approached them at the same rate I crawled at, sure that if I stalled the water would catch up with us. It was brutal crawling down the stairs. I tumbled down them more than crawled down them. I heard Sivus grunt above me as he picked me up by my arms. I was flying. I got a birds-eye view of what was yet another massive room. An empty room. That is, until the water came not far behind us.
I tumbled to the ground in a blur. Sivus screamed. Rocks, it seemed, fell from the sky and knocked me on the head repeatedly. While twirling in the sky I realized the ceiling was breaking down, collapsing. The water began to collect on the ground that I soon slammed down onto. A puddle of water flooded into my mouth. I crawled around to stay low in an effort to evade the falling chunks of roof.
"What do we do?" I shouted to Sivus who flew in the sky. I spotted Runt crawling around on the walls--smart Crocalu.
I didn't want the water to accumulate so rapidly like it was, no matter how well I could swim. I remember Leven teaching me to swim, and me not wanting to because I was afraid of it. Leven assured me that I would be safe. But how could I be safe in that deserted tomb in the lost city while Leven was likely fretting over me? How?
I had to stand and wade through the water. "Did you bring anything like... I don't know, snorkels?" I distraughtly called to Sivus.
Sivus dropped and shook his head. "I didn't expect for this to--" He stopped in the middle of his sentence and plunged downward. What?
I turned around to face his destination. As rocks tumbled around me and water barely lapped my chin, I saw the complete wall revolving.
Two things happened rapidly. A hunk of ceiling struck Sivus on the head, and the wall slowly inched past its halfway point in revolution.
To be continued...