"Where are we going?" Amanda whispers, her breath warming up the outlines of my ears in the brisk cool night. The darkness seemed to shroud us under the shadows of the tree's dense leaves as they crowded together to form a canopy over our heads, shielding us from the rain pouring above. Small beams of white rays penetrated through the leaves that shown a spotlight against us, caressing our skin with its gentle fingers and carefully glowing ahead of us to show us our way. The sound of the pads on our shoes crunching on the dry grass beneath our feet echoed softly in our ears, creating a sweet harmony with the light wind that floated gently through the air, pulling at the ends of Amanda's strawberry scented hair as it reached my nostrils.
"I don't know." I answer her, wrapping my moistened hands tighter around her small ones. "Come on. This way."
I lead her to a turn as the light switches paths, shimmering in the direction of a more closed off space as the trees came closer together. We continued running and dodged twigs and roots sprouting from the ground, turning from every pointy looking branch and jumping over logs.
We made sure to stay quiet in hopes of not getting caught. Our plan tonight was to run, run as far as our feet would take us. We were tired of this place and we wanted to be free. Of course, like most teenagers in love, we didn't have a plan. We followed a code called NO ROADS. Rule #1 that had to do with anything a teenager could engage in. This is a rule where you don't think. You let your heart carry your life out and your body lead the way. And I, being the sick stubborn boy I am, ran.
"Stop. Stop." Amanda's raspy voice came from behind me. "I need a break." she inhales a breath of the freezing air and lets it set on her lungs, plummeting down on her back and resting her head against the bare bark of one of the rough trees. I could see that her cheeks had breached at a startling red in the dim light. Her pale strawberry colored eyes seemed to have darkened as she continuously gasped for air.
I took a seat beside her and sat with my legs stretched out in front of me and my hands shielding my scalp from the tree's roughness.
"Do you… do you think running away was a good idea?" Amanda asks suddenly. My eyes flicker in her direction and land on the enlarged pupils in her eyes hurdling bullets at my head in dear hope of going back. As much as I liked to please her I liked to please my gut more.
Getting to my feet I brush the dirt stains off of my drenched jeans and grab hold of her hands, pulling her up.
"Come on. If we're gonna go we better start now before the sun sets in." I heard the slight exhale of a breath as her body seemed to shrink in size.
We began our journey once again, only slowing it down to a mid paced walk as we continued to follow the moon's hallow light. Then we reached the end of its trail.
"That's weird." I mutter to myself. Light doesn't end, not moon light. So why can't I see it?
"Coal. What's going on?" Amanda asks hesitantly as she started tugging on my arm. "Coal, I really think it's about time we start heading back. I'm getting scar-"
"Stay here." I demand.
"Stay here." I repeat. "I'm going to check out the area. I won't be far. Make sure to stay hidden."
I plant a kiss on her forehead before stalking off into the foreboding darkness ahead, making sure to catch a near by tree so I would be able to track myself back. Pulling out a flashlight from my back pocket, I turn it on and let the light dance around the area in front of me from tree to tree. I stalked forward slowly, my feet hitting the soft dirt and broken twigs until I felt a new sensation from the ground, as if it had gotten softer than before. I let my flashlight skim the ground until all I see is dirt and dead leaves laying lifelessly on the earth. Convinced, I take two steps forward before I find myself falling.
It was if the ground had been stripped from my feet and I was being shoved harshly. The wind rushed past me quickly, as if it hadn't, it would explode from keeping its energy locked up on the inside. It clawed at my face and arms as I flailed around grasping for a source to pull me up, but all that met my fingers were walls of built up dirt and crusts of fallen leaves. Then the air stopped and I found myself on ground again, only I met it with my stomach as all air was pushed out of me. I couldn't breathe. My throat felt dry from the lack of oxygen and my lungs felt as if they had been set on fire. The flames slowly started rounding my chest and I felt as if I was about to choke. I felt as if I was going to die.
How was I suppose to run if I was dead? What would happen to Amanda? What about our dream of getting married in Vegas and being the parents to ten magnificent children? What about spoiling my grandchildren? All the things I'd ever dreamed of and they were only seconds away from ending.
But almost as immediately as it had gone, I was finally able to take an intake of air and sweet, pure oxygen started to run in my veins once again. The fire had stopped in my chest, cold and refreshing as the water drained away the burning. I could feel the sizzles vibrating in my chest as I cooled down and took another breath of air.
I wasn't going to die.
Turning on my back and bringing myself to my feet I realized I couldn't go anywhere. I was trapped. Though it was dark since I had lost my flashlight due to the fall, I could tell there was no escape. I felt my heart drop to my stomach as I slowly digested the feeling of being utterly alone. My tongue wasn't quite used to the taste and could bare it as bitter, but my stomach growled in resentment as it caught on quicker.
Oh my gosh! I thought. I was never going to Vegas!
"Coal!" a frightened angelic voice, smothered in honey roasted turkey and thick cotton candy screamed.
"Amanda!" I yell back. "Amanda! Over here!"
"Coal! Coal! Where are you?"
"Amanda! Watch your step! Don't fall!" I screamed, my voice rising in an unnaturally non-manly way at the end. If she fell down too then we'd never get out.
"Coal!" the head of an angel suddenly popped up at the hole above me, covered with worry and fear.
"You have to get help!" I shout up in her direction.
"What?" she exclaimed confused. "I can't leave you!"
"Get help or I'll be stuck down here forever!" I repeat. "You have to go! I'll be fine! Go get help and run as quick as you can! Follow the moonlight's path and make sure you make it there before day!"
"Amanda. Go." I say in a very, very strict voice. Deep and even. Manly in every way.
The angel's head disappears.
"Amanda! One more thing!" Her head pops back up again. "Be careful."
"I will." she answers. "I love you."
"Me too. Now go!" She was gone, and I was still stuck. What to do, what to do?
I prodded my foot into the dirt wall in hopes of this keeping me busy. Although, I already knew the answer to that. Why didn't I think about bringing my game boy or a notebook or something? Now that I think about it, we really didn't get into too much depth on thinking on what would happen after we were done running. God! I don't even think we brought any money with us! Maybe this was God's way of telling us it was a bad idea on going on the trip in the first place.
I started poking harder at the dirt as my irritation grew. My toe formed circles on the dirt and the pads of the shoes left little arrow prints. I rummaged a bit more on the area until I found myself kicking at the wall. The duration of my patients was wearing thin as I put in a little more strength to my footing, creating bigger circles and more visible footprints. Then I gave the final blow and I felt my foot being pulled into another area, sending me on my back and my legs hurdling forward in front of me.
I let out a grunt as my back pressed against the dirt once more. Then looking down at my feet I found the source of my clumsiness. A hole about the size of a medium sized boulder sits there, and on the other side I saw light. Lifting myself up into a sitting position I tilt my head forward in hopes of a better look. Finding none I start to debate whether or not to crawl into the hole where a monster could be waiting to chomp me up, or sit here where it's probably safer and I'd be picked up soon. Or I could look at it this way and either sit here and rot from boredom or cross the hole and have a good time. You know my pick.
Crawling through the hole, army style, I sprung my head up along with the rest of my body. Only, the area in which I was now I had to be in more of a crouch position from the lack of space going on. Placing my hands on the ground to keep balance, I get into a comfortable crawling stance and slowly trot my way through the narrow land.
Bright radiant walls caped themselves around me, and as my hand met the ground, it was immediately met with a cozy warmness that trilled mercifully at my fingers. I could smell faint smoke coming from me and I guessed it was from my jeans meeting the warm substance that seemed to take over the ground. Then I found myself taking a right turn and crawling through more tunnels until I'd reached the end. A dead end.
"Seriously?" I shout at the wall, so angry I could slap it. But instead I decided to shove. Though something unexpected happened. Instead of meeting with the solid wall like I had expected, my hand had found a way to pass through and meet air. I pulled my hand back startled and jumped causing me to hit my head on the ceiling above my head.
"Ow!" I scream this time jumping forward and running into the wall, passing through, and hitting a hard object. "Ow!"
I'd be lucky if I were to die from a concussion sooner than I would of hunger. Curse the day I was born from the most clumsiest mother put on this earth!
Reaching my feet once again I notice that the light appears to have dimmed in the room I was in now. Though it wasn't the previous orange state I was in before, the sun probably runs these underground railroads because I was now in a pool of red. The light didn't come from the walls though. They came from the diamond shaped crest about the size of in igloo that rested on a square stand in front of me.
The light created this mood, an aurora that almost had me toppling on my side again. A new emotion suddenly came rushing inside me, filling my body up faster than you would a glass of water. It ranged in an assortment from excitement to fear and curiosity to interest as my eyes continued circling the object. I felt as if I was floating off the ground and shuffling forward slowly, as if savoring every moment. For some reason unknown I felt as if my hands belonged on that object, like I could picture myself in the glass and peering back into my reflection. Another step up and I see myself floating on red, not blood, but water. My hair's drifting around my head and scavenging about as my arms and legs are held open and my eyes are closed. Another step I can see bubbles popping throughout the water and hitting my skin leaving the tiniest of blister. My last step and my eyes flick open, showing off my penetrating green eyes. My arms are suddenly raised forward and I'm pulling someone in. That's when I do it. I place my hand on the diamond. Then everything goes black.