Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Write in the ADVENTURE genre (05/24/07)
TITLE: The Flood
By Gregory Kane
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Tendai opened one eye and stared at the ceiling. Judging by the light outside, it was well past dawn. He had a vague memory of Peter muttering something on his way out of the house. Ordinarily Tendai would have been up and dressed long before this, spending an hour, if not two, pounding the streets in earnest prayer. He was the early riser, Peter the sluggard. But this morning a sense of overwhelming fatigue pinned him to his bed, dragging him back to his watery dreams …
The waterfall was enormous, dominating one whole side of the jungle clearing. Thick mist danced across Tendai’s vision as he jumped fearlessly from one precariously-balanced stone to the next half-submerged boulder. Valiantly he leaped across the final unbridgeable expanse of water and landed safely at the cliff face. He followed the narrow path as it passed right under the torrential downpour, revealing in the dim half-light a mysterious, beguiling cave. An unexpected shaft of light illuminated the centre of the cavern where skeletal remains could be vaguely discerned. Tendai stepped forward, conscious that the unending spray had soaked into every fibre of his clothing. He could feel the moisture dripping down the back of his neck, trickling into the cleft of his buttocks in a caress that was as unwelcome as it was undeniably sensuous. All at once the earth gave way beneath his feet; in an instant he was propelled back into the fury of the waterfall. The river closed over his head as Tendai struggled not to draw breath. He fought with all his strength, desperate to reach the surface, but somehow salvation remained resolutely out of his reach. In the end he opened his mouth for one final, pathetic scream …
Tendai sat up suddenly. He managed to cut short his cry of unbridled terror before some concerned neighbour called the police. He looked around the room, shaking his head to try and dispel the powerful images that still lingered. It took several moments before he realised that some aspects of the nightmare were in no hurry to depart. He touched the mattress he was lying on; he was surprised to discover that it was completely soaked. Confused, he reached down and patted his polycotton shorts; for some reason they were wringing wet. Still uncomprehending, he placed his hand on the cement floor, shocked to find that water lapped right up to his wrist. Slowly another sensation impinged upon his consciousness – not the slow drip-drip of the tap that he and Peter had eventually learned to ignore. This was the sound of gushing water and even with his sleep-befuddled brain Tendai understood that immediate, specific action was required …
It was unfortunate that Peter chose this very moment to return to the house. He shoved the door open and stared incredulously at the sight of his housemate standing in the middle of a sea of water.
“What is going on?” he shrieked.
“I don’t know,” said Tendai, still in a daze. “I think I fell into a waterfall, but I’m really not sure.”
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