“I thought you said no one comes out here?” I asked in confusion.
Liza eyed the cave curiously, trying to see what I’ve found such interest in.
“Its true. The mayor established that it was illegal to enter the cave due to the strange disappearings that occur whenever a villager enters these depts.”
My stomach instantly dropped.
All my thoughts froze in total disbelief as my heart got poked with little pins of annoyance.
I should have expected this. The urge to face palm was so hard right now but I resisted and instead turned to scowl at the idiot.
“You’re saying this is illegal and that we can potentially get killed in the process?” My voice sliced through the amusement on her face and caused her to chuckle nervously as she stared at my raging eyes.
Liza shrugged innocently, “Well technically kidnapped not killed. I did some research and found that seventy five percent of the villagers have not made it but the other twenty five percent who did make it were all foreigners or newly arrived residents. It was a bit strange at first, but I was curious, and I thought since we weren’t originally from the village and we just moved here, the curse wouldn’t apply to us...whatever curse they made up about this place. I just have the need to find out more, don’t you?”
I rolled my eyes at her antics and found that I wasn’t that surprised. Of course Liza would risk our lives for the sake of solving a mystery. She usually only brings me along because puzzles were my past time.... whenever my head wasn’t stuffed between the pages of a book that is.
“Curiosity is not an emotion I like to familiarize myself with Liza, so you already know my answer to that question.”
“You can be real void sometimes you know that right? Sometimes I think you’re not human and then other times you act like a lazy, immature child with an amazing intellectual capability.”
I raised an eyebrow, “thank you?”
I had no idea what response she expected at that. Its true that I have my serious moments, but I never viewed myself as void. Not really at least...I just didn’t find the interest others find in most things at all. I didn’t even find interest in life itself. Its like my soul yearned for a purpose that humanity couldn’t give me. What it was? I honestly didn’t know or care. As long as I could keep lazing around and reading books, I was good.
I turned my gaze back to the cave and squinted my eyes. The more I looked the more the entrance seemed to be pulsing as if it were alive. Almost as if it was protected by magic.... A shiver of dread went down my spine. It was probably just my imagination anyway. Magic of all things shouldn’t be in this town; I’ve already checked myself.... was I wrong?
I took a step back, “I’m not going into that cave with you. I’m sorry but this had got to be the stupidest thing you’ve ever done! There is this dark energy coming off that thing.”
Liza scuffed and hooked her hand through mine, keeping me rooted to the spot. “Dark energy? You need to stop reading all those fantasy books. I think its all going to your head.”
She pulled me along as I tugged at her to release me, eyeing the path away and the entrance of the cave, conflict pulling at my heart strings the closer we came to the source of my unease.
“I’m serious Liza, this isn’t safe. You can get us killed.”
“Then I’m sorry in advance but you need to loosen up. You can’t possibly believe some silly superstition when you don’t even believe there is a god.”
I sighed, “its not about the beliefs of mine or others. Its about the truth. There is truth to every story. The bodies that went missing were never found. The people blamed it on this stupid garden sight instead of apprehending the real culprit which means that there is a high possibility that the kidnapper is still roaming these woods. There are loopholes to the story and without trying to solve the puzzle you are diving headfirst into a risk!” I squeaked at the end of my rant as she tugged me inside the cave.
A strong force knocked into me and I stumbled back in surprise, losing my grip on Liza. My insides clenched in anticipation as blood rushed to my face and made me breathless. The strange force quickly caressed my body as if it were assessing me before it fled. Stars dotted my vision as this strange feeling of euphoria washed over me, and I flinched as Liza’s hand landed on my shoulder.
What was that?
I looked up at her worried face, “are you okay?”
I quickly regained myself and straightened my posture, blinking away the stars. My unease for this cave was gone and for some reason my curiosity was sparked.
I gave a slight nod to Liza, looping back her arms and tugging her forward.
I didn’t know what came over me or what it was that knocked the living daylights out of me, but the familiar feeling of excitement danced inside my gut and I finally felt the urge to know more. This was no normal area, but I couldn’t sense any malice either, so we’d probably be safe here.
Liza huffed and tugged her hand from my hold, “what the hell are you up to? The exit is that way and you’re eagerly going deeper into the dark, murky cave.”
I glanced back at her with a sheepish look on my face, “I think I want to help you find these loopholes now. Its quite interesting once you view all the logical aspects.” I lied straight through my teeth. I wasn’t the least bit concerned about the logical aspects of this stupid superstition the villagers had going on. Whatever it was that crashed into me seemed to have washed away my unease... as if urging me to explore more. As if it’s been waiting for me for a long time.
I couldn’t resist.
Liza grinned in excitement and clapped her hands, the sound echoing against the stone walls, “I’m glad the story piqued your interest so don’t you worry! I have my lucky taser to protect us, and I know you haven’t forgotten all those self defence classes you went to for the last three years.”
I glared at her and placed a finger against my lips. “Not too loud idjit. You’re gonna alert whatever is on the other side of this cave that we’re here.”
Liza rolled her eyes, “you’re so stiff. Relax would you.”
I stomped on ahead and flicked my middle finger at her, hearing her echoing laughter as she ran to rush pass me.
I let her take the lead from there since she was the one with the map, memorizing the paths we took and scrunching up my nose at the cobwebs that brushed against my face and body as we walked. I absolutely hated spiders.
An hour and a half passed by before we finally saw the bright light from the sun shining through an opening up ahead.
Liza squealed in excitement and ran ahead, stopping right at the entrance then turning around to gesture at me to hurry up.
I sped walked the rest of the way until I stood beside her and together, we peaked through the cave and at the other side.
I gasped in surprise.
It was as the rumors said.
Garden of the wolves.