‘It’s so quiet here.’
Melinda was walking around the cave with her best friend, Bree.
‘Yeah, it’s an eerie quiet though. Donchya think?’
‘No, not to me. It’s moving, almost spiritual,’ Melinda murmured. Deep within, she felt a stirring, like butterflies were flickering, escaping. She closed her eyes and breathed deeply. Without being consciously aware, she held out her arms, as if to welcome the spirit.
‘After the last few months, I need to feel the calm. I have to believe there’s something greater than me and this fucked up version of my life,’ Melinda said. She looked around, but the dimness of the inner walls of the cave caused a temporary blindness. She reached for the tape that ran along the path, but her hand felt nothing.
‘Bree!’ she called. No response. ‘Bree!’ This time more urgently. ‘Where are you?’
Her hands flailed about, wildly trying to find the rope, to touch something or someone. Gradually, her eyes adjusted to the dim surroundings. A shape was directly in front of her. Melinda screamed; it was muffled as if she were dreaming. She heard laughter, mocking, taunting her. The shape came into focus.
Bree. Standing. Watching. Laughing.
‘There’s nothing greater than us out there, Melinda,’ she said with a chortle. ‘You should know that by now.’
‘You bitch! Were you there the whole time?’
‘The whole time. And I recorded it. Gonna share it on Insti as soon as we’re up to ground level.’
‘I honestly don’t know why we’re friends,’ Melinda said good-naturedly. And together they made their way to the Information Centre, above ground.