The Monster Below

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Part 11

With a hard, bone-rattling thud I hit the ground, gasping for breath. Above me, through a large hole in the ceiling, stars shined brightly. More stars than I had ever seen before in my life. There was something about them, something strange. It was like they weren't from my world.

Which, thinking about it, I guess they weren't.

Where the hell am I? And where is Reidar?

Scrambling backwards I moved well away from the large stone thingy-mi-bob before me. Last thing I wanted was for Reidar to come flying through the gateway, or whatever it was called, and crash straight into me. If he was going to come through that is.

No, I couldn't think that way. He wouldn't leave me here, wherever here was, he had promised.

Standing up, I took my first look at my new surroundings. I definitely wasn't in the human world anymore, that was for sure.

Or maybe I was? I had no idea how all this other dimension thing worked.

I was in some form of cave. The stone that made up the floor and walls was damp and cold. The only sound, other than my racing heart, came from the drips of moisture dropped from the lip of the opening high above. It was almost pitch black, the hole above the only source of light and even then I struggled to see anything.

Looking around I searched for an exit but the hole seemed to be the only one.

I'm trapped!

Sitting down I waited, waited for Reidar to appear. How long would he be? He had been fighting those 'others,' whoever they were. What would I do if he didn't come? I had no idea where I was or how I had actually gotten here, other than it had something to do with that large stone thing.

This didn't seem good.

As the hours stretched on - though it felt more like days than hours - the coldness surrounding me began to seep into my bones. I couldn't stop my teeth from chattering, my body shaking violently.

Something must have happened to him. What if he hadn't escaped them? What if they had overpowered him? Killed him? I would he stuck here forever. Left to die in an unknown land from starvation, if I didn't freeze to death first.

I hoped that I was wrong, that he had just been delayed for some reason and would appear through that thing at any moment. But I was just fooling myself.

Laying down in the dirt I tried to get comfortable, curling myself into a ball in an attempt to keep warm. I was tired, maybe if I slept I would awake to find that Reidar had arrived.

I drifted for a while, but every so often strange noises would come from above and I would gaze up wide-eyed at the hole, praying that nothing would come in. I had no idea what type of bloodthirsty creatures roamed this place.

As the small section of sky visible to me began to lighten, a strange noise reached my ears. Sitting up, I scrambled backwards towards the wall of the cave. Maybe if I got into the deepest parts of the shadows surrounding me whoever was coming wouldn't see me. Because someone was coming; the sounds I could hear getting closer were definitely those of heavy boots.

Holding my breath, I waited.

The steps stopped and silence reigned once again. As time stretched on I began to relax, thinking that maybe I had imagined the heavy footsteps from above, until a rope was lowered down through the hole and a strange hooded being slid down it.

It wasn't Reidar, I knew it in my heart - though how exactly I had no clue - but I didn't get the bad vibes that I had seemed to get at times with Finn.

Landing silently upon the hard stone floor the being gazed straight at me. So maybe my idea about the shadows had been wrong.

Lowering the hood, I was surprised to find a woman beneath it, an almost human-looking woman. Then again, both Reidar and Finn had looked human...ish. There had been something about both their eyes had had given me a sense that they were something else entirely, and this woman was no different. She had dark hair which was cropped short, and the most amazing gold eyes.

"Where's Reidar?" she asked stepping closer.

She knew Reidar? For some reason that fact didn't sit well with me. Was there something between them? How did they know each other?

"I don't know," I answered honestly.

"Well, my name is Yeta. I'm a friend of Reidar's."

How close a friend?

Nodding she gazed down upon my ruined dress, her eyes widening even further. "How long have you been here?"

"I'm not entirely sure, but it was night."

"And he's not come through?" Shaking my head in answer. "This is not good. We need to get you out of here."

What? No. "But he said to wait here, not to go anywhere. He'll come, I know he will." Or at least I hoped so.

"I'm sorry Phoenix, but I have to get you out of here... now. It's not safe for you here."

"I don't care! I'm not leaving." I couldn't. This was the only way back to my world that I knew of. It was also where Reidar had promised he would follow me too. There was no way I could leave here, not until he arrived.

Sighing, Yeta shrugged, "I didn't want to do this, but you leave me no choice."

Do what? What didn't she want to do?

Coming to stand before me she frowned, looking deep into my eyes as if searching for something, expecting to see something within them. Shaking her head, she raised her hand, clenching her fist. "You always were a stubborn thing," she moaned before her fist flew towards me and connected hard with my head.

As my legs gave way and darkness descended I heard her mumble an apology. "Sorry."

So was I. Sorry that I had let her get that close.

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