Arc 1 – Lost
Ch. 3 – Let me help you
While my sweat trickled down on my cheek, I suddenly arose from my deep slumber. My body, albeit sluggish, could move properly.
For a moment, I was dazed. I couldn’t accurately piece together whatever may have happened to me. All I noticed then was the fact that my hand was wet, even though I couldn’t find any traces of liquids nearby. I shook the liquid off.
Before I could stand up, my mind was hit with a sudden realization. My memories came back to me so suddenly I had no time to think straight. A headache struck my head.
After calming down, I touched my back with my hands, trying to find out if I was still bleeding from those lacerations. I could feel those wounds on my skin. They stung but I wasn’t bleeding…
That was a plus in my book, at least – even though I couldn’t figure out the reason how the bleeding stopped.
Unable to remember anything else, I decided to find a way out. I had survived that lion-like Beast, and while it was a miracle, I couldn’t rely on luck anymore. I had to walk out of here.
Even if I was a 13 year old kid, I had enough knowledge and common sense. And common sense told me that staying in an unknown cave wasn’t something to cherish.
I hurriedly stood up and began to walk. The cave, while intimidating, had a clear path. I could somehow feel like someone’s been there before. The rocks were gray and the occasional pieces of dirt were somewhat moist. The humidity of the place was considerably reassuring.
With each step, I noticed more of the terrain. That cave was significantly spacious, adorned with a starry sky-like formation of gems. They mysteriously illuminated the place and allowed me to see a path.
The only way I had was forward or at least until I found a forked path. Two almost identical entrances were seen. Left and right were my choices.
As my dominant hand was the right one… I chose the left path.
I’m not into superstitious stuff. Not like I know my way out of here anyway.
After deciding my path, I breathed in some air and tried to calm myself down.
Recklessness is the path to death. I can’t let myself get dominated by this dreadful worry.
Reassuring myself, I continued down my path.
With each step of my shoes against the hard ground, I looked around for any signs of movement, carefully looking around between my blind spots. That did nothing to calm me down…
I was scared shitless. The fact that I was alone in a cave; that I got attacked by a huge Beast – they were unfortunate situations for a child to experience and as such, I was barely keeping my act together.
Even though I had enough strength to keep on going for a some time, my stomach rumbled fiercely.
Damn you lion! I was about to eat those succulent apples!
I tried to lighten myself up with a joke… It didn’t do much, but it was worth a shot.
Blowing these things away, I heard some taps on the rocks. I immediately halted and looked around. Behind a boulder, I could notice a small figure hiding.
Instead of running away like any other normal person would do, I approached it. It was sudden, yes, but the whole situation didn’t spell danger for me – those small taps were small and desperate; disarrayed and scared.
As my own steps approached the figure, I could see that it was a small Beast. I couldn’t, however, make out the details. I could feel its fear seeping out and engulfing me.
It reminds me of… Never mind.
“Hey there? I’m not here to hurt you,” I called out in the hopes of calming it down.
In response, the little one jumped from its place. It held onto the rock like his life depended on it… What did I expect?
I kept on approaching, although more slowly. I wanted to help him, to calm him down. I didn’t hold any grudges against Beasts or anything – in fact, I thought they were cool and admirable.
Even if I was attacked by that Beast, it didn’t mean that all Beasts were like that. I also felt the need to do something. I knew what he was feeling first handedly: complete and utter fear.
Reaching the little boulder, I reassembled my wits and looked over.
The Beast was a little wolf cub. He had a vibrant fire color to him, and his fur seemed really fluffy and pleasant to touch. He was pretty small in size and, while trembling with his little paws, he intently stared at me with his fear-covered ruby eyes.
I had never seen that kind of Beast before and I couldn’t help but admire it at that moment.
After a short period of time, I extended my hand towards the little wolf to calm it down, though it was really stupid of me.
As my hand was about to touch his pelt, I felt a burning sensation on my fingers. Paying attention to him, I could see his fur standing up and his surroundings sizzled with heat.
I instantly retracted my hand but didn’t leave the place.
Oof… It hurts.
While examining the little cub, my eyes laid on one of his front legs. It was bruised and painted iron-red. It seemed like he got hurt somewhere… or by something.
I couldn’t afford to leave him like that. I knew how much it hurt to be alone, in the dark and without any capability of doing something; anything.
I had to comfort the little one. He was quivering and afraid, looking at me like he’d die at any moment.
Again, I mustered all the strength I had at that moment and extended my hands, touching his fur.
It burned. It hurt. I wanted to retract my hand and go away, but I didn’t. He must’ve been scared way more than my hands hurt at that moment. I just knew it.
I lifted him up and he began to resist. He turned and twisted, clawing my hands and burning me but I kept holding on.
Holding a painful scream, I hugged him. His claws ripped my shirt, and his excruciating heat burnt my chest, but I kept the meek cub in my grasp.
“Shh… You’ll be fine, I’m here for you,” I ruffled his fur gently, trying to soothe that desperate cub. “I know how much it hurts. Being alone isn’t something good.” I could feel his resistance decreasing and the heat going down. It was working!
After some time, his struggle wore down. I could finally hold him in my arms without getting burnt.
“We’ll get out of here… I assure you,” I gently passed one of my hands through his fur.
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