Episode 19: Escape from the Cave Monster
When the adventurers awoke the next morning, it wasn’t even the morning. It was the late afternoon, and they were feeling punchy because of their hangovers and because of being in a scary cave. After dragging themselves out of their sleep sacks and waking up with some good, strong coffee, Hardy led a roll call to make sure everyone was still there.
“Do we really need a roll call?” asked Blowjob. “There are only six of us. I am looking around the circle right now and I can see that everyone is here.”
“Maybe that’s how they do things in China,” said Hardy, “but here in my America we do a roll call.”
“Fine,” said Blowjob, “it’s your funeral.”
“One man’s funeral is another man’s pie,” remarked Snog-Dog sagely.
Hardy smiled. “Spoken like a true team player,” he said, patting Snog-Dog on the back. “Now let’s do the roll. Lady Midnight!”
“Ha ha ha, good one, Beans. Professor Blowjob!”
“. . .”
“I said, ‘Snog-Dog!’”
“. . .”
And then Hardy looked up from his clipboard to see that Snog-Dog had disappeared!
“You see, Blowjob?” Hardy asked. “If we hadn’t done a roll call, we would have had no idea that Snog-Dog was missing!”
“But he was here just before you started the roll call,” said Blowjob. “Remember? He said the thing about how funerals were like pie. In fact, it is logical to assume that the roll call is the very reason we stopped paying attention long enough for one of us to disappear.”
“No one cares about your stupid logic!” shouted Hardy. “Snog-Dog is missing! And if one of us is missing, then all of us are missing! Now let’s get up off our asses and find that Storm Fighter!”
“Yeah!” they all shouted, except for Blowjob, who was still feeling a little sore about the roll call argument. Nonetheless, he was a Storm Fighter of Courage to the death, and so he made his way deeper into the cave like all the rest of them.
They walked on into the cave for what seemed like forever and then they took a pee break and then they kept walking. Darker and darker and deeper and deeper it got, until the only thing they could see was darkness and deep. When it got too dark to see anything anymore, they tied ropes around their waists and crawled. They all held hands as they inched along the craggy ground, Hardy in front, Beans bringing up the rear. Their hands got scraped and their knees bled, but still they inched along, anxious to fight for their missing friend.
Suddenly, they heard a growling that sounded like a beast no one had ever heard before!
“Do you hear that?” whispered Lady Midnight. “I think there’s something freaky in this cave … and it sounds hungry!”
“That must be what got Snog-Dog!” shouted John Nightnight. “And now it’s getting us!”
Hardy set out his hand to keep crawling and realized that there was nothing beneath his hand but pure air. Then he looked down and the ground dropped away forever.
“Look out, you guys!” Hardy shouted. “There’s no more floor!”
They all stopped crawling and took a deep breath. No one told them this mission was going to test the limits of their fear. But that was what you got when you signed up to be a Storm Fighter of Courage: a lot of chances to be courageous. This was no different. In fact, it was almost exactly the same.
The growling got louder. They all looked down as a giant light began emanating from the murky depths of the bottomless cave.
“Uh oh, you guys,” said Nightnight. “I don’t like the way this looks one bit. Crawl back for your lives!”
The gang turned around and started crawling like they’d never crawled before. Beans was in the lead now, and he was a wise and fearless leader. They crawled straight back, the light behind them growing ever-brighter and the growling becoming ever growlier. Now that there was light, they could see that the cavern they were in was quite vast, and there was really no reason for them to have spent so much time crawling. So Beans made the wise and fearless decision to stand up and start running.
The rest of the gang followed suit, except for Nightnight, who wasn’t able to get up fast enough. Luckily, they still had the ropes attached to their waists, so as they ran they dragged Nightnight along behind them. It hurt, but Nightnight didn’t complain because he knew he was lucky to be alive. Also, his mouth was full of rocks and dirt.
Just as it seemed like the thing would overtake them, Beans saw an opening in the wall of the cave. He didn’t know where it led to, but he knew wherever it was, it had to be better than wherever they were now. So he leapt, and as he leapt, everyone else leapt with him, except for Nightnight, who flopped along behind them, probably dead. As they soared through the opening, the growling light whipped past them, and they could see it was a horrible giant flying cave insect! They escaped … but just barely!
Next Episode: Inside the Crystal Palace