Chapter Twelve: When Paths Divide
An arc of light cut through the gloom in the twisting passageways, the beam scaled the walls glistening off the moist stones and damp floor, casting distorted shadows in its wake. The anxious group crept onwards as the pressing cold began to dull their lead weighted limbs, the sounds of chattering teeth and stuttering breath only served to hasten their step.
Donatello lingered, searching through the worn front pockets of his faded backpack. Breaking into an erratic jog he quickly closed the gap formed between himself and his brothers. They continued in silence, neither daring to speak, a feeling of electricity crackled on their skin as they neared the next twist, the corridor gradually narrowed as it wound down the spiralled stairway. The group tightened, closing in on each other for warmth and security, Leonardo and Donatello pushed forwards starting the cautious descent while Michaelangelo and Raphael hung back, peering down into blackness before beginning to follow their brothers.
“Stay close! I don’t want anyone getting lost down here.” Leonardo turned to shine his flashlight back up the shaft only to be met by vacant emptiness.
Michaelangelo reached the bottom of the steep stairway, another dark cold corridor stretched for what seemed like miles before him. He scanned the area with his flashlight, playing it up the walls and along the long stone floor as he waited for his brothers to catch up. After a few moments he turned to shine his light back, what was keeping them? Suddenly the realisation hit him like a hammer; knocking the air from his lungs, he was alone!
Donatello hiked his backpack further up his shoulders, his eyes firmly glued to the portable magnetometer. Nothing spectacular had occurred yet and they had to have been travelling for at least half an hour. Without warning the needle shot to the other side of the dial as if propelled by a great force, the magnetometer screeched out a high pitched wail before the phenomenon died away. “Did you guys see that? We must have hit a pocket of magnetic force! Exciting isn’t it?” Donatello spun round; only to find he was alone, the only sound he could hear was the relentless howling of the wind outside the castle walls.
Raphael silently fumed all the way down the stairs; this was Michaelangelo’s fault! It was his fault he was here now, freezing is tail off in some forgotten draughty hellhole in the middle of nowhere. Why had he ever let that halfwit sign him up for something like this? ‘It’ll be fun!’ yeah right, having the time of my life here. Blinded by rage Raphael noticed nothing until he reached the bottom of the stairs, he narrowed his eyes as he glanced around the barren corridor. “Yeah, real funny guys! You can come out now.” Only stillness replied. “Guys? Guys?!”