Here is a story I wrote fro my introdution here. I would like to continue it. Looking for somebody to play Nirani.
Please PM me if interested.
Balto could feel the cold winter wind even here, but it was much better than outside. He almost froze to death on the way up. Most of the warm skins the tribe had were left behind when they left the village months ago. They were too heavy to drag for hundreds of miles through the forests and they all thought they will be back long before the winter. As he was soon to become a man Balto was already supposed to act like one. Which meant no warm clothes for him. Only for the children and the old ones.
Everybody looked tired. Some were barely standing on their feet. They have been climbing the mountain every day for almost 2 weeks now. But Kahaal did not let anybody wait in the camp. He told them he needed them all in the cave to pray for a sign from the gods. And nobody, even the elders, could oppose the priest. Not after all that happened. Resolving the mystery of the god’s anger was the only important thing now. As long as the gods are still angry and keep making the earth shake almost every day the tribe could not return to their normal lives. And Kahaal was the only one who knew how to speak to the gods. When the earth started to shake many months ago he left the village to live for three weeks in complete solitude. Then he learned what had to be done. The entire tribe had to go to the ancient temple below the summit of the Marakshi mountain where a ceremony had to be performed every day until the gods please to manifest their will.
Balto was not very interested in the ritual. After seeing his tribe praying solemnly so many times and still receiving not sign from the gods he thought something is wrong. May be the gods were not listening or Kahaal was not doing it right. Either way he didn’t see why he should put too much effort in it. And this time it was even hard for him to concentrate on the holy worlds, because only 2-3 meters before him was standing Nirani. Lately she was in his mind very often. Boys of his age were not supposed to talk to the girls or even be too close to them unless they are in big groups or in presence of adults. This made the thought of getting alone with Nirani even more tempting for him. He was not sure exactly what he will tell her if such opportunity arises, but this thought did not bother him much.
Balto looked around. He was the last person in the congregation. Nobody was behind him and everybody was looking straight up and ahead or had their eyes closed. He picked up a tiny piece of rock and threw it at Nirani. She looked back at him. Balto made her a sign with his hand to go back slowly. She made him a negative sign and looked back forward. He was not going to give up that easy. Another tiny stone flew up forward. This time there was not reaction. Balto picked up slightly larger one and repeated the throw. The immediate angry look told him that this one probably hurt.
Nirani backed slowly and whispered:
“What do you want?” – She was angry.
“Just to talk to you. Are you that busy? We did the same thing yesterday. You are not going to miss anything.”
“And we are supposed to do it again. The priest said…” – Tried to explain Nirani.
“The priest is wrong. This does not work. We did it so many times. It is pointless and boring.”
“For your sake I hope nobody hears you. I am going back.” – She said and slowly started to sneak walk back.
“Wait” – Slightly louder said Balto and grabbed her hand. They both froze startled by his voice. Fortunately nobody has heart.
“What?” – Nirani whispered.
“Come with me for a minute. I will show you something interesting. We will be back before anyone notices anything.”
“No, my mother will notice. Let go of my hand.” – She pulled he hand lightly.
“She will not, but if you don’t come she will. I have a big stock of pebbles here.” – Balto said still holding her hand.
“All right, but just for a minute. And be sure it is not something stupid.” – She said pulling out her hand of Balto’s grip.
They walked slowly towards the exit of the cave hall. As they were disappearing behind a large rock Nirani looked back to make sure nobody saw their silent retreat. Nobody had. The prayer was continuing under the oval roof of the hall.
Balto took a torch and led them through several tunnels away from the part of the cave know to Nirani.
“Bal. Where are we going?” – She asked.
“You will see.” – Answered Balto .
After several more turns they reached a small. Near one of the walls there was a big pile of rocks. Balto handed the torch to the girl and with great efforts managed to move away one big rock in the base of the pile. There was a little hole under it. On the dim light of the torch it was impossible to tell how deep the tunnel on the other side was. Then he started to squeeze in.
“What are you doing? I am not going there.” – Said Nirani leaning above Balto who was half way into the hole already.
“Come on. It is not dangerous. And the thing I wanted to show you is in here.” – He said and disappears in the hole. Than his hand popup up – “Give me the torch and come here.”
The girl stood there for few seconds. Than looked back. She did not want to get back without him.
“Ok. But we should go back soon.” – She said handing him the torch.
As they were creeping inside the tunnel it started getting wider. Finally they managed to stand up and started walking. A sound of running water echoed in the walls of the tunnel. They continued on. After minute or two they started seeing glimmer somewhere ahead where it looked like the tunnel ends in a hall.
“Be careful. It gets slippery.” – Said Balto as they were approaching the end of the tunnel.
Moments later a magnificent view revealed itself in front of their eyes. They were standing at the end of the tunnel. Before them was a big abyss. On the other side there was an ice waterfall. It was big wall of ice formed by the water slowly running somewhere inside it. It was going 20-30 meters up and 5-10 meters down ending with a small pool. The water has created marvelous forms and the light of the torch made them look like they are moving and changing all the time.
Nirani was looking around enchanted this wonderful sight.
“Told you.” – Said Balto.
“How did you find it?”
“Three days ago. I was having fun exploring the cave. It’s not the first time I don’t stay for the entire thing. I mean the ceremony.”
As they were staring at the wonderful ice spectacle a sudden warm wind coming from somewhere beneath enfolded them. How could such warmth come from the heart of the cold mountain? They looked down and saw small waves furrowing the pool below. Several seconds later a bubble coming from under the water burst at the surface and another and another. Soon the pool was boiling. Dull roar shook the ground. Balto grabbed Nirani’s hand and started for the exit of the tunnel. Soon the whole mountain around them started shaking. Behind them a cloud of hot vapor was melting the ice. They felt almost unbearable heat coming from behind. Small stones started flying around the narrow tunnel. They were bouncing off and to the rocky walls with every mighty quake.
Then everything stopped. The ground was again solid and steady.
“Are you alright?” – Asked Balto.
“I think so.” – Answered Nirani although she was covered in scratches and bruises.
“We must go out” – Said Balto and without waiting for confirmation pulled the girl towards the exit.
Fortunately the small hole they used to enter the tunnel was clear except for several small stone they could easily remove.
“The other must be looking for us.” –Said Nirani as the boy was helping her out of the narrow tunnel.
“Don’t worry. From here it is easy. We will be back in the temple in not time”.
They started running through the tunnels expecting to see the distant glow of the torches of the congregation after each turn. Finally they rushed through the last corridor and made the last turn.
But instead of the big hall that their tribe used for temple they saw a pile of stones blocking the entrance. Balto and Nirani stood there looking towards the place where their families, their whole tribe were 15 minutes ago. They knew they could not have left. The ceremony was supposed to last the through the entire day. Slowly the terrible thought entered their minds. Everybody are under this pile of rocks. Nirani slipped on the ground with eyes full of tears.
They tried every possible entrance to the temple, but they were all blocked. Tried to remove the stones one by one, but every stone they removed was soon replaced by another threatening to crush them when falling down to the vacated place. Finally after the few torches they found lying around were all burnt they started for the exit.
When they got out of the cave a terrible storm was awaiting. No of them could tell how they were inside, but outside it was already dark and the furious snow blizzard has turned the way down into a slippery slide. The trail was dangerous in a good weather and now it has become almost sure path to their death.
They stood for a moment at the entrance talking about their hopeless situation. They knew that in this season the storms could last for days and did have neither food nor any means to keep themselves warm. The only chance was to get down as soon as possible.