Alfie dashed along the narrow tunnel, holding his flame lit torch nervously in front of him, the flame flickering Jessie close behind him trying to keep up with his fast stride. He took a deep breath to calm him; the chilling stench of damp earth filled his nostrils wafting back and forth in the murky air. He was wearing a thin white cotton t-shirt and shorts, his body betraying him, reminding him that the underground wilderness held no heat. He shivered; the hairs on his limbs standing up like tiny soldiers.
“Wait Alfie, you’re going to fast!” shouted Jessie sharply, her arms flailing behind her. “Please Alfie, wait for me?”
“ Okay, but it’s not like we have any time to spare, they’re after us Jessie, I know it, I can feel it in the air, come on!” Alfie said desperately, not wanting to let go of a second of time.
The torch illuminated the hundreds of symbols scattered across the mud wall that were carved in precisely in the language of their people. Beyond the rays of light from his torch was an everlasting blackness; it loomed eerily waiting to be graced with light. The darkness was never kind to him, so he was thankful for the torch he had; others before them were never as lucky. To his amazement, Alfie had not come across a demon or beast in the hour he and his sister had be been wandering the passages. All sorts of creatures emerged at unpredictable points in time, presenting themselves to the people. He was beginning to wonder if it was the heat radiating from his torch that was repelling them; demons were cold creatures only showing themselves in the most hostile conditions, warmth was their sworn enemy, which was why the passages were the perfect environment for them to thrive, the foreboding arches towering over the height of the people.
The bulb in the light suddenly seemed to dim, raising alarm bells in Alfie’s mind, for without light, it would be impossible to navigate through the intricate passages; without the reflections from his torch, he would surely be attacked. It was probably the cold, working its evil as usual, creeping up on you when you least expect it to emerge. With this new threat, they quickened their pace; their feet burned as rocks began to tear their flesh, but they kept running and running. Eventually, they came to a break in the tunnel and quickly took the right passage after a sharp bend. They knew these tunnels like the back of their hand, they had ran along them many a time before the plagues of beasts and demons would overrun them. The dirty ceiling was beginning to slope down, this took them by surprise. The ceiling shouldn’t slope here. He thought gravely. Then with a painful lurch of realisation, he knew the beasts must have altered the tunnels through spite as it was physically impossible for the people to squeeze through miniscule cracks and gaps.
“Jessie, look in your pocket, are there any batteries in there for the torch?” Alfie whispered, not wanting to startle any lurking mortals.
“I can’t see...