Short Story: Trapped in a Shelter

They had run into the cave for shelter from the rain, only for it to turn into downpour that became a solid wall that turned their shelter into a trap.

That was yesterday, and the rain showed no signs of stopping. Wearing only the light swimwear they had on when the rain started, one of them had already fallen ill, and the rest would surely follow if nothing changed.

“I found something.”

Always full of energy, his sister had explored the caves while they waited out the rain. They turned their attention to her.

“There’s an exit on the other side where the rain isn’t as heavy,” she said.

They followed her deeper into the cave. It was dark, but they had been in the cave long enough to adjust to moving in low light. Without a word, they followed her until the light changed.

His spirit lifted when he realised that there was light.

“Over there.”

Before them was a bend in the tunnel, lit by the light that streamed in from the other side.

And in between them and that bend was a maelstrom.

Perhaps on a normal day, a stream cut through the path they were on, but all the water from the downpour outside fed into the body of water until it churned and thrashed like an angry beast. He imagined the beast snapping its jaws on his sister to a watery death.

This was their way out?

He grabbed his sister before she jumped in. She turned to him with righteousness indignation, but softened at the look on his face.

“Let’s try another way,” he suggested.

She didn’t sigh out loud, but he was certain she did internally.

“Alright.”

~End~

 

Genre: general

Short Story: Of Strength and Skills

Everyone came to the caves with their dreams. Dreams of wealth, of glory, of a better life. Holding these dreams, they ventured into the dark caves.

And there was enough treasures for everyone, if they could go deep enough instead of squabbling among themselves at the surface cave chambers.

Using the light and scent of a fragrant candle as bait, she stood at a corner of the cave chamber and slashed the cave dwellers as they pounced at her. She aimed for their weak points to take them down one efficient strike after another until the cave chamber was cleared. Only then did she collect the treasures from the cave and any valuables left behind after the bodies disintegrated.

Sometimes, she crawled the caves with a group, sometimes she crawled alone. Both had their own dangers, so she made sure to prepare for both. In the caves, it was always better to be over prepared than under.

“Please be our teacher!”

But she wasn’t prepared for this.

She regarded the team of five before her. They had crawled the caves together a few times in the past. They weren’t strong, but they genuinely did their best to help and hadn’t backstabbed her so far.

“Alright.”

Cave crawling alone was lonely. Even if she was strong enough to deal with everything herself, it would be interesting to change things up with regular teammates.

And if greed whispered its temptations and they decided to betray her, she would be prepared for that too.

~End~

Genre: fantasy

 

Related to Of Caves and Candles, Creative Cave Crawling, and Hidden History Held.

Short Story: Creative Cave Crawling

Everyone came to the caves with their dreams. Dreams of wealth, of glory, of a better life. Holding these dreams, they ventured into the dark caves.

She ventured into the caves too, but not as a cave crawler. Down in the caves, the biggest threats weren’t the cave dwellers, but the other cave crawlers. She could deal with the cave dwellers, but not if she had to fight off the other cave crawlers too.

In the beginning, she tried cave crawling in a team. Didn’t like the politics and backstabbing. She tried cave crawling alone. Didn’t like getting picked on by bigger teams. But she wasn’t going to five up on the caves so easily.

Before she came to the caves, she was a daughter from a long line of merchants. going back to her roots, she tried something different.

Cave crawling required resources, and the deeper people go into the cave, the more scarce those resources became.

She would fill that gap as a travelling merchant.

It wasn’t easy in the beginning. Competition was fierce in the cave, and any other cave crawler, even one on the same team, was a threat. But she learnt the fastest and most efficient paths to travel to the safest spots where her wares would be most appreciated. She built up her reputation as a valuable ally who shouldn’t be crossed. She traded smartly, exchanging her goods with treasures from other cave crawlers who could go deeper faster than she could.

In time, she became untouchable. And she continued her journey deeper down the cave, not as a cave crawler, but a travelling merchant.

~End~

Genre: fantasy

 

Check out the related fic Of Cave and Candles, Of Strength and Skills, and Hidden History Held.

Short Story: Of Caves and Candles

Everyone came to the caves with their dreams. Dreams of wealth, of glory, of a better life. Holding these dreams, they ventured into the dark caves.

But there were costs to venturing into the caves. It wasn’t just the danger posed by the cave dwellers, or the fierce competition with the other cave crawlers. In the caves, there were no shops, and even the rare travelling merchant sold wares that were heavily inflated to include their hazard pay. If anyone wanted to succeed in the caves, they had to prepare for everything and anything they could need before they entered, or be prepared to pay an exorbitant price to keep going.

Long ago, he came here as a cave crawler with his dreams, only to find himself completely outclassed by his competitors. It was only luck that allowed him to survive the caves intact, but now he knew that the caves couldn’t grant him the dreams he had come here with.

So he became a chandler. Everyone needed candles to navigate the pitch dark caves. And he didn’t stop at just normal candles. He made candles that produced different coloured flames to detect the different dangers in the caves. Candles that would cleanse the stagnant air and noxious fumes. Candles that could double as bombs or amplifiers with the right accessories.

In time, his candles became a must have for any serious cave crawler. He might not be able to go into the caves, but now the treasures in the caves came to him in exchange for his candles.

It wasn’t the life he expected when he came here, but he was happy all the same.

~End~

Genre: slice of life, fantasy?

 

Related to Creative Cave Crawling, Of Strength and Skills, and Hidden History Held.