“So, how do I look?” I turned to find Dahlia wearing a short black dress, her haired curled to frame her face beautifully, bracelets, and some nude colored heels. I nodded in appreciation. She looked amazing. She was always the hot friend, no lie. I didn’t care too much about it though. If she looked good, then she looked good. End of story, no need to compare myself to her.
“Very nice. Those heels look really comfortable.”
“They are!” I giggled again and went back to scrolling through my dashboard on tumblr.
“You’re not ready!?” I jumped slightly as her voice rose an octave and turned to see her rummaging through her closet.
“Um…I am ready,” I stated looking down at my t-shirt, skinny jeans, and leather jacket. “I’m not wearing a dress.”
“Fine, you’ll need something comfortable for upcoming events anyway,” she said with a wink. I rose an eyebrow.
“And you’re not?” She imitated me in a childish voice and I giggled before closing my laptop. She threw me a pair of flats and I put them on before checking my curly hair and makeup in the mirror. I heard a car horn go off and grabbed my phone. “Ready?” I questioned.
“Always,” she said, shrugging on her leather jacket and following me out of the door.
The party was at its peak when I saw a familiar guy in a dark hoodie and button up shirt with his phone out. “Matt! Hey, Matt!” The philosopher himself turned towards my voice before smiling and walking toward me.
“Hey, Kam!” he shouted over the music. “What’s up?!”
“What’s up with you?!” I giggled as we looked around at the scene before us. People were dancing, getting drunk, twirling glow sticks and jumping around. I had lost Dahlia in the festivities, but was having a pretty decent time watching everyone enjoy their time away from school. As I continued to look around, I saw a certain blonde with a camera. If you’re thinking Andrew, then you are wrong.
It was Casey, Matt’s crush. We had photography together and I was paired up with her for a project. I looked at Matt and saw him start to walk over. I shook my head in amusement before I felt someone bump into me.
“Oh, I’m sorry,” we apologized together when I turned around. I got lost in the same blue eyes that I saw earlier today. Andrew had his camera up, filming the party. I giggled and waved at it. “Hey, Andrew. What’s up?!” I yelled.
“Oh, uh…. I was um….”
“Hey!” We both turned to see Casey with her camera held up.
“Hey!” I greeted.
“What are you filming for?” she questioned to Andrew in curiosity.
“I’m just filming!” he answered.
“What?! I can’t hear you!”
“I’m just filming!” he repeated louder. The music seemed like it was getting louder. The ravers continued to jump around with their glow sticks.
“Oh, cool. I’m filming for my blog!” Casey said. “You should check it out…”
“Oh, hey! Hey Casey!” Matt said as he approached us, trying to make it seem like she wasn’t the reason that he went to the party in the first place. That’s right, Matt, I know what you’re doing.
“Hey!” she responded, looking slightly uncomfortable.
“How you doin’?”
I had to try to keep myself from Matt’s failed attempt at flirting at this point. Andrew was giving me a concerned look at my reaction to the event as well making me laugh even harder.
“It’s pretty lame, right?”
“Why is it lame?”
You know, Young said that parties are people’s way of seeking wide spread validation and I’m not one to clamor to be cool, you know?” I was laughing so hard that I was slightly leaning on Andrew for support. Casey was nodding with a look of discomfort. I saw Andrew smile, trying not to laugh as well.
“Wow. Way to put an analytical psychology spin on this barn party, Matt,” she said sarcastically. He shrugged. “That’s awesome.” She then walked away to film the rest of the party. Matt looked so dejected, I almost felt bad until I remembered how the two would turn out.
“Hey, Matt!” He turned to Andrew who was still smiling. “What did Young say about glow sticks?” We laughed as Matt flipped him of and walked away.
It was getting really hot in the building, besides the fact that I need a jacket, and I felt like the walls were slowly closing in and more people arrived. My breathing was getting raggedy and I was starting to shake a little bit, realizing that I didn’t know most of the people here.
“Hey, Andrew!” I shouted. He turned away from a couple of dancers and pointed the camera towards me. “I’m gonna head outside. It’s getting way to hot in here. I’ll see you around.” There was a split second where it looked like he didn’t want me to leave, or he wanted to go with me, but he just kind of nodded slowly.
“Uh, okay. I’ll see you around.” I nodded and started towards the door. Hoping that I could find Dahlia in the mass of bodies.
I finally made it outside to see an ecstatic looking Steve with the devil herself. When he spotted me, he almost sprinted into a running hug, picking me up and spinning me around. His energy was almost to contagious and I found myself laughing with him.
“Dude, Kam! There’s something we gotta show you! It’s so weird and it makes this awesome sound!”
“What is it, Steve?” I questioned, shaking in anticipation. I was excited and nervous, knowing exactly why he was so excited. What if something bad happened?
“It’s like this hole. It’s huge and it makes this weird sound. You gotta see it!”
“You know,” I looked toward the entrance of the party to see Andrew walking towards a tree wiping away at his face. “I think we should get it on camera.” Dahlia smirked at me as they followed me towards the tree.
As I got closer, I saw Andrew cleaning his camera. “Andrew!” I called out. He didn’t turn around immediately, but he did when he heard us get closer.
“Andrew with the camera,” Steve said with a smile. “Can we borrow that thing?”
“What?” he asked in confusion. I couldn’t blame him. It was kind of weird when someone you didn’t know to well ask to borrow your things. Especially expensive things.
“We found the craziest shit, and we gotta get it on tape,” Dahlia explained.
“Uh, it’s not…” he stopped to sniff.
“What’s up, man? Are you okay?” Steve asked in genuine concern.
“Yeah, I’m Andrew.”
“Alright. I’m Steve. Steve Montgomery.” Steve stuck his hand out in greeting.
“Yeah, I know.” I wanted to just give him a hug, hold him close and tell him how much he mattered in the world. I guess the way I was looking at him conveyed my feelings because Dahlia bumped my shoulder to get me to pay attention. I didn’t notice that everyone had started to walk away. Blushing, I quickly followed everyone to our fate.
As we walked, Steve continued to babble on about his amazing discovery, making me more nervous and excited than I already was. I felt a hand on my shoulder and jumped as Dahlia rose an eyebrow. I shrugged and we continued on in the dark.
“Hey, you have a light on that thing?” Steve asked Andrew, voicing my thoughts. Andrew mumbled something under his breath before a light appeared. I dodged a tree that was in front of me before hearing Dahlia laugh. I pushed her slightly and we continued walking, the feeling in my stomach multiplying by the second.
“Oh, that’s right! Andrew Detmer! I remember you from homeroom, freshmen year. You always had that grey zip-up hoodie.” Steve stopped to put his hands around his mouth and call for the third member of the soon-to-be trio. “Garetty!” Blood started pumping quickly through my veins as we walked further into the woods. I turned to Dahlia and took a deep breath.
“You ready for this?” I questioned. She gave me a head-nod as if to say ‘You go first.’
“Where’d everybody go?!” Dahlia shouted to Matt as we approached him.
“They all left! Come on! LET’S GO! LET’S GO! Is that the camera?”
“Yeah, we got him!” Steve answered. My eyes instinctively went to the giant hole in the ground that Matt was crowded around. We got closer and the feeling exploded in my stomach. This was it. This was our fate.
At this point, everyone was talking at once and I couldn’t quite catch what they were saying. It didn’t help that my mind was going into overdrive as well. I felt Matt pulling me closer and the two of us crouched down lower, anticipating the strange sound that I’ve heard many times before. Everyone was shushed and all that was heard was the sound of the wind blowing the trees.
Suddenly a loud metallic rumble came hurtling out of the hole making everyone jump back in fear. A wide smile spread on our faces and a chill ran down our spines at what we had just discovered. I giggled slightly as Steve put his arm around my shoulder. “How creepy is THAT!?”
“What the hell was that?”
We then knelt down again. “Is the sound coming up?” Matt asked Andrew.
“I don’t know. I mean probably. It is pretty loud.” I felt bad for Andrew. I stood from my spot and approached him.
“You okay?” I questioned. He nodded a little bit.
“Yeah, I’m fine.”
“Alright, we’re going inside!” Steve said, making a decision for the five of us.
“Wait, what?” Dahlia questioned. A lot of gibberish ran through my mind while everyone started to talk at once again before Steve crouched down and slid inside the hole shouting “STEVE!”
“Oh shit, he’s a ninja,” Matt giggled as he got closer to the hole. I punched him in the shoulder and he slowly started to lower himself inside.
“Woah, Matt, what are you doing?” Matt hesitated slightly before waving his arm slightly.
“Hey, can you give me some light?”
He slipped, and I heard the echo of his feet sliding deeper into the hole.
“Matt you’re my ride home.”
Andrew pointed the camera at me and I shrugged. “They’re crazy…” He then pointed it back towards the hole and I patted him on the shoulder. “I’ll be right behind you.” He bit his lip slightly before slowly lowering himself into the hole.
Dahlia grinned at me and we did our handshake-one that we made up in the sixth grade. “I’m behind you.”
I took a deep breath. “You better be. You got us in this, and we are going to get ourselves out, together.” She rolled her eyes and nudged me closer to the hole.
I nodded and walked in. My foot slipped and I slid the rest of the way in. When I attempted to stand, I heard a scream and laughed. Dahlia slid into me and I felt my hand touch something wet.
I grimaced and wiped whatever it was onto my shirt.
Andrew coughed in front of me, shining the light of his camera around in the hole. “You guys!” he shouted. I walked behind him, Dahlia in toe.
Steve jumped from behind the wall and screamed, scaring Andrew and making him bump into me.
I giggled as I imagined him glaring at the boys.
“Andrew’s such a pussy,” Matt remarked. Dahlia walked passed me and I saw her reaching for him, but he was quick to evade her hands.
“Does it go down much deeper?”
That’s what she said
“Yeah, man,” Steve answered. “It goes really really far.”
I snorted again and Steve laughed, realizing what he just said.
We continued to journey through the hole, not seeing any kind of end.
“Look at the walls, it’s like a straight shot down,” Matt said.
I moved in front of him, shining my phone’s flashlight on the ground to see where I was stepping. My stomach felt queasy and tingles ran down my spine. I wanted to get this over with. Find the crystal and leave. I didn’t want to be in this hole anymore.
For the most part, I ignored what the boys were talking about, having heard most of their conversation many times already, and I ventured closer and closer to my fate.
“Woah, Kam, slow down.” I paused and turned to see Steve chuckling at me. “Don’t get too excited. It could just be a…”
I waited for him to finish, but his mouth was wide open. I rose an eyebrow until I started to see his face glowing blue. He started to walk passed me and I followed, awed by our discovery.
“Holy shit,” I mumbled. The crystal was bigger than I expected it to be, taking up most of the room in the cave. Black vein-like roots seemed to grow inside and around it.
I stepped closer, holding onto the back of Steve’s jacket. A loud noise made me duck and I covered my ears. I slowly started to put my phone back into my pocket, not wanting to accidentally drop it.
Out of the corner of my eye, I could see Steve touching it. I let out a breath and decided that it wouldn’t be too harmful if I did too. I reached out and grazed it with my fingers. It was smooth and solid.
“Guys! Guys look at this!” I looked to Steve and saw his sweat being pulled from his nose and onto the crystal. My eyes widened and another thundering sound boomed into my ears.
“Shit! Did you guys hear that?” They didn’t listen to me. “Guys!”
“This is awesome-“
“Woah, dude, your nose!” Steve’s nose started to gush blood before he passed out. Matt was thrown into the wall by an invisible force and another sound made my vision go blurry. I fell to the ground, holding my ears, and I screamed.