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Entry 3; I'm Here

Title: I'm Here
Entry Number: 3
Author: littlewolfteeth
Rating: PG
Genre: Mystery
Warnings: None.
Summary: Three friends go exploring in some abandoned mines. Whatever could go wrong? Featuring gunslingers who oddly enough haven't done a whole lot of gunslingin' at the moment.
Word Count: 1154

Notes: Well, this was a battle and a half. I'm not entirely content with how it turned out but whatever. I'm happy writing and I think at the end of the day, that's what matters.

When Estelle could finally feel her lungs working again, when she could finally breathe again, she lifted herself up into a sitting position with a loud groan. She had heard Sunny speak so she knew Sunny was still alive.

“How ya doing?” It still hurt a little to breathe, so her voice came out almost like a whisper.

She couldn’t see since the torch had fallen over the complete opposite of where anyone was sitting but she heard something shift across the ground.

“I think my rear end is bruised. Other than that, everything is hunky,” Sunny replied with a hiss of pain at the end.

But now Estelle was focused on someone else. Jetta hadn’t said a word but she knew Jetta had hit the ground just as hard as either one of them.

“Jetta!” Estelle cried out. As she came to a stand, she let out another groan.

It took her a while to stand up straight and even longer to shuffle over to the torch. Jetta hadn’t responded and Sunny was still struggling to stand, too.

When Estelle picked up the torch, its flame even closer to extinguishing but she hadn’t noticed, she waved it around out in front of her until she saw what looked like a lump in the dimly lit darkness. She winced every time she made a step but she made it over to Jetta’s curled up form.

Jetta wasn’t moving and it appeared that she had fallen on her side.

Estelle lay the ever fading torch to the side before touching her arm gently. “Jetta?” She gave Jetta’s arm a good shake. “Hey, you got to wake up now.”

Estelle could feel the tears building up in her eyes. She hadn’t noticed that Sunny had finally made it over and stood behind the both of them.

“She has to get up. We got up just fine.”

She could hear the crack in Sunny’s voice. The uncertainty. That made things all the more worse. Sunny was always confident. In her own way, but confident all the same. To hear the doubt now, that’s what almost made the tears spill.

Instead, Estelle froze. “I think I felt her breath on my arm.” She couldn’t contain the excitement in her voice. For sure, it couldn’t have been a breeze that had wafted over the hair on her arms. She had to hope that Jetta really was still breathing.

Sunny knelt down and peered at Jetta’s unmoving form with narrowed eyes. “I don’t know. Even in the depths of whatever we just fell into, it might have been a breeze. Or nothing-“

“Now’s not the time to be skeptical, Sunny.” She hadn’t meant to snap but it still came out that way.

Sunny stood back up and breathed out as she did. “Okay, okay. What do we need to do then?”

Estelle looked around the cavern they were in but she wasn’t really looking for anything. It was an automatic reaction to panic. Because, what could they do? None of them knew how to treat the sick or dying. The most they knew how to do in any given situation was to clean a wound. And Jetta had no visible wounds, at least not as much as she could see. They didn’t have one of those people that practiced on the sick and they definitely were not one of those people.

She was quiet for a long moment. Sunny was surprisingly patient this one time. Perhaps because she really was worried as well. Or too hurt to give any more complaints. It was one of those or maybe a little of both of them.

Finally, Estelle had some sort of idea because she couldn’t just let Jetta lay there and die. Or leave her behind, period.

“Sunny, grab the torch.”

“You know it’s almost out, right?”

No, Estelle had not noticed it was almost out. She did now. “Great,” she growled under her breath. “Okay, I’m going to pull her up from this side and then once I get her up, grab her other side. Got it?”

Sunny moved over to Jetta’s other side. “Ready.”

With both of them grunting under her weight, they moved Jetta into an upright position.

“Where do we go now?” Sunny asked and it was hard for her to speak when she was putting in all of her energy to hold Jetta up from her side.

Estelle hadn’t really thought that far. She didn’t even bother to try and see where they were at. That was a mistake she would come to regret for they would have to put Jetta back on the ground and scout around.

“Uh, Sunny…” Estelle tried to sound lighthearted but she knew the bite would still come.

“Don’t tell me,” Sunny tried to keep the accusation from her tone but it still slipped, “you didn’t really think about where to go before carrying her weight?”

With Sunny uttering every expletive under her breath, they lowered her back down.

Estelle took the torch from an angry Sunny and started to pace around the area they were in. From her walk, she could tell it was small and went in a round fashion. There was another tunnel opposite of where they had fallen. When she got closer to it, she realized with a start that her torch was no longer the only source of light.

It was further down but she could see it clear as the flickering, fading light on her own stick. Whatever it was, it was blue and shimmering. The area down there also appeared to be lit up, unlike the complete darkness they had been running around in for who knows how long.

She was perplexed at the idea of lights down in a hole, further down than the actual mine was supposed to be, and apprehensive about traveling down there despite the fact that they would find more light and warmth.

Cold. That was another she hadn’t paid attention since falling down. It was cold. Not the cooler caress of air that hit gently when going from the open air into the bowels of a mountain. It was the kind of cold that sunk into bones. The kind of cold reserved for snow and ice that came to claim people’s lives.

Estelle shivered and brought the flame a little closer.

“I found a way,” she called out to Sunny. But I’m not going to like it.

She made her way back over to Jetta. Both girls knelt down to pick her up again.

“It’s gonna be okay, Jetta. I’m here,” she spoke in a soft voice, “you can wake up now.”

She wasn’t sure if Jetta even heard her but she had to try and bring her back to consciousness somehow. It was a long walk down a tunnel that would bring them all to a place that should be welcoming, but instead did not welcome them.

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