The Cave Adventure

Submitted for Contest #40 in response to: Write a story about friends who wind up on a misadventure.... view prompt

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Ally parked her car in front of her friend Jane’s house, she pushed her hand on the horn twice. Adjusting her sunglasses, Ally took a large bite of chocolate as she waited for her friend to come out of the house. A few minutes passed and Jane came bursting out of the front door with arms filled to the brim with bags; Ally laughed as Jane finally managed to lock the door and make her way to Ally’s car.

           “What’s with the bags?” laughed Ally, “We’re only going to be gone for at most three or four hours…”

           Jane grunted as she slid the bags into the back seat; she stuck her tongue out at her friend, giggling.

           “I don’t want to risk running out of food and drinks,” informed Jane, “We’re going to our secret cave and so we need to go prepared.”

           “How much of that can we fit into our backpacks?”

           Jane rolled her eyes playfully, “I will make it all fit.”                                                         `

           Shaking her head, Ally started the car and drove in the direction of the beach; they hadn’t been to their cave in a few years, they first discovered it when they were children. The two friends went as often as they could, the beach was an hour drive but the hike to their secret cave was another hour. ‘I guess going overboard with snacks won’t be a bad thing.’ thought Ally.


½ hour into the drive


           Without warning, Ally’s car started to sputter, black smoke began to pour out from underneath the hood of her car. Quickly she pulled her car over to the side of the road, the car lurched forward a few feet before it refused to move at all.

           “You have got to be kidding me!” growled Ally slamming her hands against the steering wheel, “Not now…”

           “It’ll be okay, I’ve got Freddy’s number,” said Jane pulling her phone from her backpack, “He can help us out…plus it’ll give you time to flirt with him.”

           “Why would I flirt with Freddy?”

           “Because you two have been in love for forever even though you both deny it.” grinned Jane dialing Freddy’s number

           Ally rolled her eyes and stepped out of her car, lifting the hood resulting in a face full of smoke. A few minutes later, a white pickup truck pulled over in front of them; Ally watched the driver get out, her eyes widened when she saw Freddy.

           “Hey Ally,” winked Freddy sliding work gloves on, “Lets see why Petunia is giving you trouble.”

           ‘Something’s different with him…” thought Ally observing him curiously, ‘New haircut…new jacket…’

           “I’m gonna have to call Steve to come pick her up and take her back to the shop.” explained Freddy after a few minutes, “I can give you two a ride.”

           Before Ally could respond, Jane struggled with the backpacks and gasped, “That would be great, thanks…I’ll take the back and you two can chat and flirt…” Jane shoved the backpacks and herself into the back of Freddy’s truck.

           Freddy and Ally laughed at their friend’s obvious attempt to get them together; Ally snuck a glance at her long-time friend and blushed when she realized that he was staring. She locked her car and walked slowly to the truck; when Freddy cleared his throat, she stopped and looked back at him.

           “Hey, um…where am I taking you?” asked Freddy blushing slightly

           “To the beach…we have a secret place we go to…” stammered Ally, “I’m sure Jane will be more than fine if you tag along.”

           “Maybe later this week we can have dinner?” suggested Freddy grinning

           Ally’s eyes grew wide for a few seconds before a shy smile spread across her face, she nodded, “I’d like that a lot.”

           As they drove towards the beach, Ally and Freddy couldn’t control the wide smiles on their faces; as expected Jane was thrilled to include Freddy in their secret outing. After finding a parking spot, they began the hike to the cave, trudging through the sand.

           Ten minutes later, they began the steep incline into the woods; Ally wiped the sweat from her face as they climbed higher and higher. ‘Okay, now I’m grateful Freddy offered to take my backpack.” huffed Ally trying to ignore the burning feeling in her legs

           “Guys! I need a break…” wheezed Jane sliding the back pack off her shoulders, “I need to see a man about a horse.”

           “Watch out for snakes.” teased Freddy as Jane dashed a few feet away behind a tree

           Ally giggled, as she lowered herself to the ground; Freddy joined her and leaned back on the heavy pack hanging from his shoulders.

           “Hate to complain…but how much further do we have climb?”

           “Don’t worry Mr. Adventure-pants, it’s only a half mile more and then we get to go downhill for a few minutes and voila!”

           An itchy feeling on the back of her thigh was starting to annoy her, she placed her hands back on the ground. A few seconds later, she felt something crawling on her hands; her eyes traveled down and to her horror her hands were crawling with red ants. A scream ripped free of her throat as she jumped up, frantically trying to get the ants off; Freddy started laughing until he realized the red ants were also smothering him. The two jumped around and tried helping each other get of the tiny biting creatures.

           Jane stood there and watched dumbfounded, she slowly walked towards her friends and let out a slow whistle.

           “What’s…uh…going on here?” snorted Jane as she tried to refrain from laughing

           Breathing heavily, Ally and Freddy wiped the last of the ants from their clothes before answering, “Ants…all over us…biting…”

           Eagerly, they continued their adventure despite the itchy bites covering their legs. Once they reached the top, all three sat down on a fallen log; Ally checked the log for any insects before sitting.

           “The cave is at the bottom of this hill,” informed Jane around a mouthful of Twinkie

           “I wonder if our drawings are still there…” mused Ally smiling

           “What kind of drawings?” asked Freddie curiously

           Ally looked at Jane with warning as Jane got a mischievous glint in her eyes, “Don’t you even…” mouthed Ally eyes wide

           “Oh, you know just drawings that young girls draw…”

           “Ookay…” laughed Freddy shoving a handful of chips into his mouth before zipping up the backpack

           A few minutes later, the trio made it to the cave and began their exploration before setting up their picnic supplies. Freddy wandered over to the cave wall and grinned as he saw the initials ‘F.J + A.P’ drawn on in now faded red paint with faded pink hearts. ‘I knew it!’ chuckled Freddy

           “Hey Ally, I especially love this drawing.” called Freddy taking a picture of the drawing

           Ally walked over to him, knowing that her face was red; she could feel him staring at her, she turned to face him.

           “I’m not sure how that got there,” blushed Ally avoiding eye contact, “Maybe it’s another couple…”

           “We’re a couple now, are we?” smirked Freddy chuckling, “I wouldn’t mind being a couple with you…”

           “Well then, I may have written this the last time I was here,” confessed Ally, “Two years ago.”

           Freddy took Ally’s hand in his for a few minutes before Jane convinced them that they had to eat before she withered away to skeletal form.

           “Well, this was an interesting trip,” chuckled Ally, “My car broke down, we got devoured by red ants and Freddy saw my declaration of love painted on the wall of our cave.”

           “Well, at least you two are going to be a couple now.” grinned Jane wiggling her eyebrows

           “Jane…”

           “I’m up for it if you are Ally,” said Freddy, “We’re having dinner this week plus we’ve known each other for twenty years…let’s give it a shot.”

           Ally had secretly wanted to hear him say that for so long, she smiled and enthusiastically agreed, “Let’s give it a shot.”

           A few minutes passed as they quietly ate their lunch, Jane started to wrinkle her nose in distaste, sniffing loudly causing Ally and Freddy to cast bewildered looks in her direction.

           “What’s wrong Jane?” asked Alley concerned

           “You don’t smell that?!” exclaimed Jane looking around them

           Ally and Freddy took deep breaths and instantly started gagging; Freddy looked to the entrance and saw that the incoming current was carrying some dead fish into the mouth of the cave.

           “I think we should head out…I don’t really want to be in a cave with dead fish.” informed Freddy

           They quickly gathered their belongings and bolted from the cave as quickly as they could. Luckily, the rest of the day went off without anymore incidents and they enjoyed the rest of their picnic on the beach.

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