Speck led the others into the cave and down the first part where natural light still showed something. The air had changed and now instead of the rain cleansed smell they had all grown used to, this was a dark dank smell thicker than normal air.
Speck and Joel were conscious that they had nothing of substance to light the pathway ahead. Assuming, of course, there was a pathway. The mobiles had all died and the one torch was no faint and fading. They had used some of their clothes to make some simple torches, torn up and wrapped around the end of a stick – each one of the carried one. With no oil or wax, these torches relied on setting fire to these damp rags.
The cave passageway curve around to the right enough to prevent the light from the entrance being seen. it was soon pitched darkness and Speck carefully inched his way forwards and stopping often to feel all around him.
The others held to the one before them, all afraid to speak in the stillness of the cave. Speck suddenly yelled and Joel behind him felt Speck fall away suddenly. He stood still, sweating as the fear of the unknown gripped him, and others now sensing the fear.
The short time at the cave’s entrance seemed much longer but really just a couple of days. The walk felt endless, at times, and the times walking in darkness pathway you were largely robbed of your senses though it was estimated by Speck and others to be 4 or maybe even 5 days. There was a dispute about the time of day, 6 am or 6 pm.
All food of any kind had long been eaten and most of the team had not eaten for over 3 days. The knawing pains had passed on the third day and now there was just an emptiness. Fortunately, along the pathway, there was fresh water from the trees that dripped down from their branches to get a little cold, cold water. They all did not recognize that then, but most now thought that the trees had and hopefully are going to continue helping them.
Chloe, Sarah, and Rowan all complained about the need to wash and change clothes. Few had brought anything to change into and now the whole group stank horribly. They wanted to wash and of course to eat.
Speck and Keith decided to take a better look around and see what they could find. Several hundred metres from the cave they found a small stream and with fresh running water from the hillside, but so cold. They drank it with cupped hands until their hands hurt so much.
They ran back to let the other know about the stream, and to get a fire started…….. (to be continued)