PROMPT WORD : PORTAL
“Jenna?” Gimeal crouched beside the ground torch, pressing the spikes into the squelching dirt. “We need to hurry it up, darlin. They’ll be on us in a few and I—we need to get as far away from here as we can.”
Jenna didn’t answer, but Gimeal didn’t need any further commentary. He limped from one side of the giant cave mouth to the other and eased down to plant the second ground torch.
Light was needed to be sure that the runes he sketched would mirror each other exactly. He would only have one chance to get this right. Death would greet him at the second try.
He hobbled back to the center of the cave mouth where Jenna waited, patiently. A thin shard of mirror was drawn from his oversized coat pocket, dulled edges still uncomfortable to his calloused hand.
A slender stick of blue-light chalk was retrieved from behind one ear. Gimeal sketched the necessary lines for travel, safety and pairs. These runes he knew by heart.
The words he’d written so many times before. He set the mirror down at the mouth of the cave and called a flame wisp in the heaving breath as he stood upright.
It flared to life before him, orange and red in its perfect shape. Then a fat beam of light shot up from the mirror, caught by the twin streaks of natural light from the ground lamps.
The runes appeared in slow writing across the top of the cave and a low, guttural rumbling started from the back.
Gimeal hurried back to Jenna. He bent and grabbled hold of the worn stretcher handle. The portal sprang to life, vibrant and blue. He charged forward, even as the shouts of their pursuers came from behind.
He listened to the portal fizzle out behind them as the tunnel spat them out on the other side of the Evergreen Solstice Quadrant.
The cemetery stretched out in front of them. Gimeal’s smile wobbled. Her final wish was completed, at last.
(C) S. Harricharan