I split back to the camper for a flashlight, then appear at the crevice entrance. Thank goodness no one’s around. I slip and slide downward, bumping into walls, whacking my head on a stalagmite.
I trip over a rock and end up with one bloody knee and the skin in shreds on both elbows before I reach the overhead ledge. Sure enough, high on the Big Room ceiling, I locate the strange markings. “Caterra,” I whisper.
To one side, there’s a scary thin rock shelf I can lie on. It’s a suicide stunt, but stupid me, I have to try. I’ve got to get closer. Seconds later, I’m dangling like a drop of water clinging to a stalactite. I reach into my pocket, pull out my phone, and snap a couple of pictures.
That’s when I hear this C-R-R-R-R-A-A-A-A-C-K.
As soon as my other half hits the cave floor, my hiking half drops to the ground. I’m in the worst pain you don’t ever want to imagine. “Mom!” I yell.
“Don’t stop now. We’re almost done.” Mom turns, wipes her brow, and squats beside me. “What’s wrong?”
“I’m hurt. Real bad.” I touch my legs and arms to see if they’re still in one piece. “My other half’s in Gorman Cave. I found the symbol of Caterra up high on the ceiling in the Big Room. I’ve fallen, and I can’t get up.” It’s so much funnier on the commercials. In real life, it sucks.
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