Fiction Friendship

By: Danie Reynolds

Air whooshed around Myra as she plummeted downward. Her screams were ripped from her throat, and she stared downwards at the empty black abyss that greeted her. It was seemingly endless.

Myra squinted her eyes, desperate to catch a glimpse of Taylor in the darkness. But she saw nothing.

If this pit ever came to an end, Myra knew she'd be flattened on impact. But not once did she regret jumping. She was going to save Taylor. It was her fault they'd even gone into the stupid crawl space in the first place. Well, Taylor was the one who'd let the door shut, sealing them inside, but Myra tried not to think about that.

Then she did hit the ground.

Pain flared up her legs, and she cried out, collapsing onto the floor. But...she was alive. That wasn't possible. The fall had been hundreds of feet, at least.

Curling into the fetal position, Myra breathed in deeply, relieved when a small amount of air filled her lungs. She did this several more times, then tried to stand.

"Ow!" Her left leg was practically immovable. The sting nearly made her collapse again. Tears welled in her eyes as she gently placed a hand on her knee. "Ow, ow, OW!"

So she sat down on her hands and knees, carefully dragging the left one alongside her. It hurt, but the initial pain was gone.

Myra took in her surroundings, but saw nothing more than the same empty darkness she'd seen from above.

But then a small light caught her eye, blindingly bright in the blackness. A light at the end of this tunnel.

Usually, Myra would have avoided that light, but she knew she wasn't dead, no matter how much pain she was in. So she crawled towards it, hoping, begging, that it would lead to Taylor.

Something crawled over her arm. Either a spider or a cockroach, Myra bit her lip to keep from screaming, and whined as she flicked the thing off of her and kept going forward, faster this time.

The light was getting larger now, and with one last push, Myra shoved herself out of the tunnel.

Flipping onto her back, Myra stared at the sky. It was bright blue, and the sun was illuminating it.

That wasn't right. It had been nighttime when they'd gone into the crawl space. The tunnel was probably some city pipe or something that ran underneath her house. She'd fallen into that...and then landed in a place completely unfamiliar to her.

This was not her yard, or her neighbors. There were huge evergreens, their branches as big as Myra. There were flowers scattered along several dirt paths leading through the trees, and there were insects buzzing all around her.

"Tay!" She yelled, cupping her hands around her mouth. "Taylor!"

No response.

She tried again, but didn't get an answer. "Tay..." Her voice trailed off.

Taylor wasn't here? Where else could she be? She'd fallen only a few seconds before Myra had followed her. She couldn't just be...gone.

"Taylor!" Myra groaned and sat down on the dusty path, tucking her head between her knees. She didn't know where Taylor was, she didn't even know where she was, and she had no way of navigating the forest around her.

"Stupid, stupid, stupid." She muttered smacking her palm against her forehead. Why'd she follow Taylor down there? She should have tried to find the way out, and then could have gone to get help. But now they were both stuck here.

Myra was more afraid than she was willing to admit, but she was going to stick to her first plan, at least until she could get help. She was going to find Taylor.

A clopping noise in the distance startled Myra. Hoofbeats. Someone was coming her way.

Not willing to risk running into someone unfriendly in a place she knew nothing about, Myra quickly ducked behind a nearby evergreen, holding her breath as the person approached, grunting as her leg twinged in annoyance at being moved.

But it wasn't a person. As it got closer, Myra could make out a hastily painted black coach, pulled by two frail-looking horses. They had bugs fluttering around their eyes, and you could just see the outline of ribs pressing against their thick brown coats.

But that wasn't the worst part. The creature driving the coach was something Myra could only describe as a half-man, half...lion?

The creature had fur sprouting everywhere around his rough face, like a mane. Golden fur also ran along his arms, and Myra almost thought she saw a tail flick out from behind him once.

His teeth were sort of like fangs, and Myra gulped as the sunlight glinted off of them.

She pressed herself against the tree, willing herself to disappear. To blend in. To not draw attention to herself, so that the lion-man wouldn't see her.

"Please, please, please," she whimpered.

The coach continued thundering down the path, and Myra sighed in relief. But then the lion-man pulled a whip out from behind him, and smacked the horses until the skittered to a halt. Right in front of the tree that Myra was crouched behind.

Myra would have whimpered if she'd been able to breathe.

The beast hopped off the coach, the ground shaking as he stomped onto it. He lifted his nose to the air, and sniffed.

"Human," He snarled, fangs on full display. His voice was somewhere between a growl and a low, gravelly male's voice.

Myra shuddered.

He took three steps forward, then halted. "Come out, come out wherever you are." He cooed, and Myra thought his attempt at sounding playful and teasing was much worse than his real voice. Like a predator coaxing its prey into the open.

Myra slid along the left side of the tree as the man drew closer.

"Come on out," He said again, voice as sweet as sugar. "It's all right. You can come out."

Panic nearly choked Myra as the man trailed his fingers along the tree, cutting deep into the wood. She hadn't realized his fingernails were claws before.

Myra heard nothing for a few seconds, and then the man dove out from her right, so sudden she screamed, though she probably would have anyway.

"Please," She sank to her knees, arms above her head in a feeble attempt at protection. "Please, don't hurt me."

He smiled widely, and Myra shuddered again at the sight of his fangs.


May 15, 2021 23:53

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