Chapter Eleven -- The Rim
Allie, her forearms perched atop the rocky crater rim, took in the area directly in front of her. Then she wiggle-pulled herself all the way up and out of the crater.
When she got to her hands and knees, she saw there was only about three feet of a rock and then nothing.
Not good. She carefully scooted to the edge of the rim, she felt like she was being buffeted by unseen hands, and looked down.
"Whaddya see?" Jay called up to her.
He sounded even further away than he really was, thanks to the wind whistling past her. She seemed to be in some sort of wind tunnel, though she couldn't really see the reason for it. Then she peered over the edge.
"Whoa!" Below her, a sheer 70 foot drop separated her from the bottom of a swiftly flowing stream that seemed to shoot out from the crater about fifty feet below. When she saw the stream, she'd expected to see something like this, but not such a large drop, or the stream having so much force coming out of the crater. To the sides of her crater might have had some opportunities to climb down safely, but she wasn't about to leave Jay behind.
"What's wrong?" Jay called up.
"I'm coming down," she said over her shoulder. No sense getting him worked up over their less than ideal options.
She looked down to see if he was where she'd left him, and saw that he had his brush in front of him like a talisman. He was looking up at her, and oddly enough, the boars were, too. She hurriedly swung her legs over while keeping a tenuous hold on the top of the lip.
"Wait. Before you come down — is there any way you can pull me up there with you?"
Allie clung to the rock with fingers that were already losing their grip. "No rope. No Arnold Schwarzenegger to hoist you up. Not gonna happen."
She slowly let herself start her slide down the crater wall, the sharp edge of the rim seeming to dig into her belly all the way back to her spine. She sure hoped Jay was prepared for a hard landing in case she couldn't keep her grip.
"So what's up there?"
"I found a way out. Unfortunately it's not up here."
As she moved lower, the boars became bolder. They took a collective step forward, grunting as they moved. Jay swung the torch.
"I can't," Allie said.
"No. I'm talking to the boars."
Allie rolled her eyes. "I'm going to fall in about two seconds."
"Good because the torch is almost out and you've got the lighter—"
Allie's fingers couldn't keep there's grip and she dropped on top of Jay's shoulders. Her foot caught the very edge of one shoulder and slid off him. Somehow, with the use of his free hand, he guided her to a jarring halt on her feet, face to face in front of him.
Body to body, each of them stared at each other with wide eyes. Allie looking into the turquoise eyes and decided he would have some pretty nice looking kids someday.
The grunt of a boar made her whip her lighter out and spin away from Jay, clicking the lighter on as she moved. What was wrong with her? She had...