Jennifer, Kara and Muffin waited for about half an hour, not knowing what to do. They heard nothing, Jennifer’s cell phone would not work, she hoped her emergency alarm was working. They could hear nothing, it was just an eerie silence. Fortunately they did have light and the dust was settling so they could breathe a little without the oxygen. Muffin kept hers on though. Then Muffin ran out into the corridor and up the pile of dirt and rocks to the ceiling that had collapsed.
There she began digging furiously and finally had a hole big enough for her to fit through and she disappeared. Jennifer called for Muffin and she came running back, sliding down the dirt. Meow,meow!=Me dig through to corridor up top, we go out that way. Jennifer looked at her map. The corridor above them would have ended right about where she was kneeling on the floor. Meow,meow.=Wall not there, it broken down now.
So Jennifer crawled up to where Muffin had dug a whole and began digging with her shovel and soon had a hole big enough to fit through. Now, could she drag Kara up to the top? Kara was very weak and had also been beaten. But she went down and together they climbed slowly to the top, Muffin helping to pull Kara on the other side. She probably did not help much, but she likes to try. Muffin went first, then Jennifer so she could pull Kara through the hole.
Jennifer shone the flashlight around the empty area that had been filled with dirt and rock. There was a door on one side which she thought was odd since this area was not part of the corridor, so why the door? Unless, perhaps the corridor at the top was not a dead end originally, but was filled in at a later time. But why? Oh well, now was not the time to think about that, they needed to get out. Then Jennifer had another idea and she ran down to the end of this now empty corridor.
The far wall had been damaged and she could see light. She called through the cracks in the wall and Annelie answered her that everyone was fine. Jennifer told them to move from this side and then she pushed on of the stones out of the wall and sent it crashing to the floor below. Just then Baldwin’s men came running along the corridor towards Kara, then went on to Jennifer. They pushed out a couple more of the stones from the wall and let down a rope ladder so the others could climb out.
Then off they all went back into the castle itself breathing a sigh of relief that they had made it out and found Kara too. “We all need to get cleaned up,” said Jennifer. She was right, everyone was covered with dirt and dust. “You too Muffin,” said Annelie. Meow,meow.=Oh me, not like bath, but also not like dust in fur. Bring on water. Everyone laughed. Carl got a call from Baldwin right then and handed the phone to Jenny.
She started crying right away and gave the phone back to Carl who talked to Baldwin a bit more. “What is wrong Jenny?”, asked Annelie. “Kat, she, she’s dead,” answered Jennifer, barely able to talk. Everyone was silent for a moment. “But how?”, asked Kara, “I checked her, she was beaten bad, but that should not have killed her.” Meow,meow!=It ghost fault, we go after that ghost or lots of ghosts, not care, Muffin not scared of ghosts now!
“Baldwin has ordered everyone to come back home right away,” said Carl, “you all need some medical attention and some rest before doing anything else.” “I guess that is true,” said Jennifer. Meow,meow.=Me not go, me stay and fight with ghost. He kill my human, now he see fury of this cat! “Muffin, you know the rules and you agreed to obey the rules just like the rest of us,” said Jennifer, “and that means obeying our boss, which right now is Baldwin since Steve is too badly hurt.”
Muffin hangs her head, then she walks slowly to Rock. Meow,meow?=You help Muffin? Maybe call boss, ask if me can stay to fight ghost, everyone else go back, just me stay to fight, maybe he say okay. Please? Poor Rock, that was too much for him and he fought hard to keep back tears, but did not quite succeed. He picked up little Muffin, “do you remember when we were falling off that cliff?,” he asked Muffin. Meow,meow.=Yep, me remember, I say you nice man and we not forget you.
“Yes,” said Rock, “and I am not forgetting you, I will stay with you and we will fight the ghost together.” Muffin quickly gave him a kiss. “Hey now you two,” said Annelie, “no revolts in this team, and, well, naturally I’m staying too!” “Oh no,” said Rock, “your leg is hurt, you were already complaining about it, so you are going back!” “I knew I should not have said anything,” replied Annelie. Jennifer then decided to call Baldwin and let him know what they wanted to do. She did not use Carl’s phone this time, she used Angel’s…
To Be Continued.
©2022 Steve McLeod.