The cavern walls were warm with condensation. Gabrielle and Hayden found themselves shrugging off layers as their boat floated deeper and deeper in to the maze-like systems of the mountain.
“We’re almost there,” Gabrielle affirmed, wringing the well-worn map between her hands, crinkling it and pulling it close to her eyes, and folding it back up. The blackness of the caverns was getting to her. Having nothing further than the lamplight to see creeped into the back of her mind and let out the demons that revelled in the unknown. Her hand slipped closer to Hayden’s. Hayden squeezed her hand, no more immune to the effects of xenophobia.
“It’ll be worth it,” Hayden whispered in a voice buzzing with the flippancy of anxiety. Both hearts beat quicker and quicker until suddenly the lantern went out.
“We keep going forward,” Hayden announced in a voice meant to drown out the darkness.
“How do we know where forward is?” Gabrielle wavered, clinging to more than just Hayden’s hand. Hayden felt her soft breath flow over an ear. Her arms encapsulated Hayden’s torso. Gabrielle’s heart pounded, echoing off the stone walls.
“The flow… if we just keep following the flow we’ll be okay.”