Chapter 12: Trial By Fire Commence

The height of the latch opening was just above Jule's stomach. Not yet trusting her legs, she crawled through it. Gabe followed and ducked through the entrance. Gray Man followed, locking the latch behind him and pulling a lever next to it.

A crushing rumble sounded from the hole they had just left. Glad she hadn't stood, Jule cast a look of confusion and fright toward Gray Man. The still and silent winter above wouldn't be able to conceal a roar of that magnitude.

"They aren't following us yet," Gray Man interrupted her thoughts as he pushed through Jule and Gabe. He began leading them down the narrow hallway.

The hall started low. Gray Man barely stood straight. There was no fire to illuminate this new world - but light emanated from everywhere. It came from the ceiling and on the walls shifting and glowing like bejeweled embers - sometimes green, sometimes yellow and others blue. It was magnificent. The walls were straight, smooth and cool to the touch. Jule slowed in awe of the beauty. Gabe tugged her arm to keep up with the aged figure moving briskly ahead of them.

The floor was made of small cemented pebbles. Not like the rocks Jule was used to though. These glinted of iridescent blues and silver. Beneath her feet, Jule could feel the cool smoothness of the path similar to the seemingly smoldering walls.

As the hall twisted and turned in an endless erratic pattern, it grew in height and width expanding so that now Jule and Gabe could walk side-by-side. They could only move forward. Their entrance no longer existed. It would seem their past had disappeared with it.

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