Part 2 Chapter 13: The Cave

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Part Two  

Chapter Thirteen  

The Cave 

September 3rd.

Now, three days after finding the diamonds in the toy panda, Chase and Amy were still heading towards The Purple Topped Mountains. They'd been through part of The Great Forest, skirted around a yellow desert and were now searching for The Great Canyon, the caves and then hopefully, The Mapmaker. Chase was watching Amy cantering on in front, he felt very proud of her. She was nothing like the scared little girl who trembled in the saddle and clung so tightly to Momek's mane.  

"Where are we actually going?" She called impatiently over her shoulder a moment later, bringing Chase out of his thoughts. Her cheeks were flushed where she'd caught the sun.  

"Yer know," called Chase pulling a disapproved frown; as she'd asked this question four times in the last hour already, "Kish said to head for the Purple Topped Mountains and we'll find a passage through to a canyon, then," he shrugged, "just pick a cave and we'll find this Mapmaker."  

"How do we know it'll be the right cave?"  

"Kish said whichever cave we choose will be the right one. We won't find The Mapmaker, he'll find us."  

"Huh! Perhaps that ring will buzz! Has it done anything yet?"


"What do you think it's for?"

"Again, I don't know!"

With another sigh, Amy looked at her watch. She was feeling hungry again. Eleven thirty. September the third. They'd packed up their camp very early that morning, although the day felt the same as it did before they fell asleep; then ridden for a few hours before a brief stop in a shady spot at the edge of the desert. She felt as though she could sleep for a week, but Chase was keen to keep going. They'd now been riding for well over four hours since their last stop. Keppets never got tired, hungry or thirsty. They just kept going.  

"Are we stopping soon?" she called. "It must be nearly lunch time somewhere in the universe." 

"We should be well into the mountains in another two hours. We'll stop then."  

"Two hours!" Amy groaned and slowed her keppet to a walk, slipping her feet from the stirrups. "It'll be your birthday soon."  

"My birthday? Whatever made yer think of that?"  

"I don't know. Because it's September I suppose. We'd be back to school by now if we were at home... well, I would be, goodness knows where you'd be. What would you like for your birthday?"  

Chase grinned, "Silly question." he sighed and reined in his keppet along side Amy's. "To have the last couple of years never happen I guess."  

"Oh..." she said, "never happen?" she added softly, sounding disappointed. "We can do it, can't we Chase? I mean, find this Fire Stone? It all seems so far away– at least now I feel at last we're doing something towards it."  

"Course we'll find it, 'specially if we've gotta map!" he said with a hint of sarcasm in his voice. "I'm sure that's gonna make all the bloody difference!" 

Amy nodded in agreement. "Don't you think that's a bit odd? I mean a map... surely they could've found all their stilly stones years ago if they had a map." Amy hunched her shoulders, "It just sounds so.... so silly!"  

Chase gave her one of his looks, "That's what I'm sayin' Amy... Perhaps there's another reason Kish sent us out here. And alone, no chaperons." 

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