Light tapping on the bathroom door startled her awake. She had no idea how long she'd been asleep, but it was long enough for the water to run cold. Shivering, she stood and hopped out of the shower without even shutting it off. she searched the room for a towel, hair dripping onto the floor.
"Just a minute. I'm sorry, I must have dozed off!" She shouted through the door.
"It's alright, we just wanted to make sure you were okay in there. You've been showering for over an hour!" Bee laughed.
She shook her head and reached for a lone hand towel near the sink. That would have to do for now. She couldn't believe she wasted an hour of daylight. She dried herself the best she could and stuck her head out of the bathroom door.
"So, uhm, about those clothes..." She murmered.
"OH YEAH!" Gabe jumped up from the kitchen table and jogged to the couch where a neatly folded stack of clothes lay. "Sorry about that. Guess we didn't think that one through. There's a towel in there too."
She smiled and reached for the stack before closing herself back in the bathroom. She was shaking slightly from being startled awake, still very damp from her shower, and now starving. She dressed quickly and made her way to the table.
"I warmed your food up a bit. It went cold waiting on you to finish your nap." Gabe teased.
"Thanks," she replied mouth already full of bacon and toast, "We should get going soon." She swallowed reaching for a glass of water next to her plate to wash down the dry crumbs of toast in her mouth.
With a quick nod, they hurried to gather up their things and be on their way. The path up the mountain was steep and her legs were still burning from the evening before. Her eyes were tired, but she kept moving. They traveled up and up, stopping to listen closely to every small branch breaking, rock falling, and bird chirping. Since none of them had lived through seeing one of the The Others, none of them knew what they were looking for, or even listening for. They remained cautious none the less.
The stopped only once to drink from a small spring, and snack lightly on some crackers and dried fruit, conserving the contents of their backpacks. They didn't know how long they'd be gone, or if they'd ever make it home, so it was better safe than sorry.
They gathered around the map occasionally to debate which way to go, but it was pretty clear that they were being drawn a certain direction as there wasn't much debate each time. They felt they needed to go a single way among the 3 of them, and that is the way they continued. When they thought they could go no higher, as the rocks began to jut this way and that, they found their way to the mouth of the cave, and pulled themselves into its cool cavern entrance.
Much to their surprise, the walls were lite with fresh oil lamps, and the winding pathways were marked with chalk. A note was hung on the first thresh hold, Amelia recognized the handwriting from the will left by her parents.
"Continue forward, my child, as only you have the answers they seek. You will find everything you need in this cavern, and you will know when it is time to share what you find."
"Maybe he would have shared that a little sooner." Amelia mumbled.
"No. He did what he had to. The omens were clear. Even in death our parents led us to you. Bennett knew it was not yet time, but even if it is not now, we have no other choice," Gabe had placed a his arm around Amelia's shoulder without her noticing his touch. It was light and felt almost as if he belonged there.
She shook the strange feeling from her body, and continued onward in silence. They moved deep within the cavern walls, following the lit torches, until they found themselves in a large open room, with what seemed to be an underground pond inside. Silver waters glistened, and the entire room was lit up. It was beautiful to see, and she couldn't take her gaze away. She was so entranced it took her a moment to realize that there were no more torches, that the room was lite only by the strange silver pond.
"This must be it." Bee was standing completely still, mouth hanging open. "This is the place where the Others will come from, if we don't figure out how to close it before they find it."
"He did it." Gabe was still, breathing heavily. "Bennett found it."
"How could I have been so stupid." Amelia said approaching the edges of the gateway.
"Huh?" Bee and Gabe said together.
"He inherited this place. WE inherited this place, and I REFUSED to come back here. I knew it was a death trap, and I refused. I didn't want any part of it. I left Bennett alone to carry out our parents work. I left him alone to save the world."
"Everything is as it should be, Amelia." Bee said quietly, "We needed 3. We needed 3 siblings to close this sucker up, and Bennett knew that. He knew there was a chance whoever was here wouldn't survive. That they would take his life before he gave this place up. He did what he had to in order to make sure 3 of us made it here. The only thing we can do now, is," she paused for a minute to wrestle her bag off her shoulder and pull out a book. "Finish what he started." She beamed, holding the book out to Amelia.
Amelia took the book from her hands, and it opened almost by itself. In awe, she looked up to meet her siblings eyes, who simply smiled, as if they knew. She let her gaze fall back onto the open pages, and read.
The power of three is all that is needed to close the pathway to the other dimension. Three gifted souls, primary souls, used to create all that is living. Three siblings, with parents who walk without sin, and would give their very lives to see the earth's children protected. No cult can defeat them, but in the end, they will give their all. Only three siblings that are willing can close the door. Only the marked ones ready to be reunited with those who didn't fail, but fulfilled.
The passage was followed by an incantation that was in Latin, she thought, but for some reason, she knew exactly what to say. She read the passage again and again before turning to her siblings.
"In the end they will give their all." She repeated. "You don't think that means..."
"Oh." She said softly. "Well, I guess I don't have much else going on right now." She joked shakily.
Almost as if they were being drawn to it, the three found their way to a stack of rocks at one corner of the shimmering pond. Amelia set the book down atop the stack and the others gathered round. They'd traveled until the sun was exhausted on their way up the mountain, and continued on well through the evening inside, so it wouldn't be much longer before Midnight was upon them and they could read the entries in Latin end this journey, together.
They waited, hands clenched into each others, circled around the worn book, torn pages still, waiting to be shared. Their voices still, the pond seemed to echo on the walls of the cavern, something she had not noticed before.
"That's not the pond. That's footsteps," Gabe said as if he was reading her mind.
"It's time." Bee said anxiously. "We don't have a moment to investigate. Whatever happens, don't stop reading. We have to finish this, NOW"
Amelia closed her eyes and took a final deep breath. Hands held, voices loud, they began to read.
The sound of footsteps grew nearer, and she could see a small group of hooded figured advancing on them, but they did not stop. They read faster, louder, and continued on. Amelia felt something sharp strike her shoulder, but she only flinched. She couldn't stop now. She was locked in hands with Gabe and Bee, and she was going to finish this. Another sharp twinge, and she felt Bee's hand slip a little from her own. Holding tighter now, she didn't break her gaze with the book. Even though she could feel Gabe slouching, his voice carried on.
Something hard hit the back of her knee, but she was too distracted to care. The waves of silver were rising now, the tide growing. The moon outside must have hit it peek, as they read louder and louder now. The waves took shape, a familiar shape it seemed. They were almost to the end of the page. She could feel herself becoming weaker, and weaker, but she continued on.
Out of the corner of her eye she could see completely the shape of the silver banks now. Finishing the finally sentence on the page, the three siblings collapsed, hands still held tight before the tall, human like figure that had risen from the depths of the pond. Brilliantly, she noticed, it was surrounded but three colors, the same which she found on her neck.
"Bennett" She said tiredly.
"Amelia," His silver voice boomed. "You have figured it out! You have successfully drain the power of three into this temple and you have resurrected my soul for only long enough to encourage you to move on. Once you have accepted your fate, I will disappear, these minions of the others will parish, and the doorway shut forever."
She said nothing, but glanced only momentarily from Gabe to Bee, examining their tired bodies, limp on the floor next to her. They found the strength only to purse their lips and give a single nod. They were ready.
She took a final deep breath and smiled. A single tear ran down her face as she thought about Bennett, her parents, and her lonely life on the run. She didn't know what she would honestly have to miss now that he was gone, they were gone, and as long as The Others were sealed up tight, and her siblings were going with her, where ever she may be headed, she knew she would be okay.
Peace washed over her, and she lifted her head one last time to face the shadow of her brother drawn in the silver pond. Without saying a word she nodded only once, and with a snap of his fingers, the figure of liquid turned quickly to sand, and the world faded to black.
I know I know. Finally! It's over.
Thank you so much for reading! And THANKS for being patient with me. I don't have an editor, so thanks for getting past the minor typos. When I get on a roll, you get the best content when I just don't stop!
What we'll see next week, IDK yet!
STAY TUNED and as always YOU'RE WElCOME!