The Cave

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A large fracture in the otherwise solid rock served as entrance to the cave. The opening is a half a foot shorter than Jazzlyn’s five feet six inches, and approximately half as wide. Standing in front of the small threshold, the cool, musty air from inside the chamber leaks out through the crack and pricks her skin. The jagged gap is just big enough for her to squeeze through sideways if she keeps her head ducked down. To Jazzlyn this hardly felt like a challenge.

First, extending her right arm through, followed by her shoulder, leg and hip, she firmly plants her right foot on the ground inside. Angling her body slightly, careful not to drag her skin along the ragged rock, she pulls the rest of her body through the narrow opening.

The distinct change in atmosphere is immediately apparent. The cave’s cold, damp climate is an abrupt contradiction to the warm, dry air she left behind outside. She wrinkles her nose against the musty smell permeating the air of this place. Inside, the cavern is surprisingly spacious. Jazzlyn is able to stretch both arms out to each side and not reach the rock walls that surround her. Several inches of empty space between her head and the ceiling allow her to stand at full height, which is not the case in other more cramped parts of this cave.

From the atrium where she stands, the cave branches out into two tunnels. The one to the right is nearly impassable and though Jazzlyn’s sense of adventure is keen, her sense of self-preservation is keener and she never travels that route. She will find the company she seeks through the path to the left and so she starts in that direction.

Considering the lack of light, she is accustomed; growing up in the darkness of Creperi, Jazzlyn’s ab...

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... out from inside a deep crevice etched into the wall of the cave just next to the table where Jazzlyn sat waiting and hobbles over to her.

“I’m just too excited to see what you’ve brought me, give it to me now please.” His voice rang with anticipation as he shuffles closer to the table.

As promised, Jazzlyn holds up one fisted hand and instructs Zac, “Close your eye’s first, and when you open them they will sparkle with delight.”

Zacrabus does as he is told, and Jazzlyn unclenches her fist to reveal an extra fat fuzzy caterpillar that smells horribly foul. This particular brand of caterpillar releases a sticky substance from the bottom of its feet when it feels threatened that smells like something rotting to most people. Zacrabus on the other hand, is not like most people and the rancid smell this creature produces does not appear to bother him a bit.

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