Chapter 5

Written by: Jasmine Groves

Nick was frantic it had been five days since Michelle had left for the cave, and at night-time of all things. The first day she was gone he had hung round the hotel, gone down to the pristine white beach and swam in the ocean.

As the day wore on and she hadn’t turned up, he had become more agitated, if he was honest with himself, he would even say he was pissed off with her.

The first night after the night she left he downed a nasty bottle of cheap red wine in their hotel room, while flicking through random channels of free to air tv, with badly captioned Spanish subtitles.

Waking the next morning with a roaring headache and Michelle’s side of the bed empty he decided he would make the journey up to the cave. 

His first trip to the cave two days after she left was a disaster, after stumbling around in the heat for most of the day he couldn’t even find the cave mouth. He kept taking out his phone and glancing at Michelle and the mysterious shadow, but he couldn’t place the location of the cave.

Evening saw him down another bottle of noxious wine, his fear still at bay, as after all this wasn’t the first time Michelle had taken off to chase a fairy tale.

Heaving over the bed the next morning as his stomach brought up the remains of the putrid wine, he decided he would need to trek to the cave again. After more futile hours of searching he still hadn’t found it.

Glancing again and again at the photo convincing himself the shadow wasn’t sinister and there was a cave, he returned to his hotel for the third night since she left to drown his anxiety in another bottle.

Waking on the fourth morning, his stomach tight with knots, he felt ill at the thought of trudging up the hill again in the heat searching for someone who hadn’t bothered to return even one of his texts.

It was now the fifth day and Nick could no longer deny that something wasn’t right. Not only could he not find Michelle, but he couldn’t even find the cave.

He drew his phone out and zoomed in on the photo that he had been looking at for days. His eyes were drawn to Michelle’s lips, tweaked in a slight smile, gazing out over the ocean. 

As he zoomed back out, he dropped the phone. The image had changed. Instead of a shadow behind Michelle in the photograph, there was a distinct figure, transparent, but clear enough that Nick could tell it was an old man.

Snatching up his phone, he dialled the number of possibly the only man who might be able to find out what was going on. The call was answered at the first ring. “Professor, it’s Michelle. You need to get out here.”

Comments

This is such a well crafted chapter Jasmine. The reason I say this is that you kept with the characters and focused on one, without adding new ones. The story flowed and it made sense that he would be worried and react as he did.