Tattoo: The Books of Glory

a webserial about people who are not like us

Tattoo Book 7 part 2.11

Posted by harmony0stars on May 23, 2011

“Hey, hold up a sec,” Trevor said suddenly and trotted away towards the sounds of the sheep. He disappeared over a low hill.

“Bog break,” Maria snickered.

He jogged back a few minutes later. “Okay, the shepherd said the caves are over this way.”

Maria scowled, while Mike chuckled. Shooting Mike a dark look, Maria said, “I hate when you do that. Couldn’t you just have a vision of where the caves are?”

“Honey, you have your skills, and I have mine,” he said airily. “Unfortunately, I’ve never met anyone who had convenient visions. I pretty much have to follow the bread crumbs. Even if I‘d seen the caves, that wouldn‘t have told me how to get there.”

“It’s still annoying,” she said with a slight pout.

Trevor didn’t dignify her complaint with a response. Slipping an arm around her, he herded Maria in the right direction with Mike and Glory trailing after. Glory rolled her eyes but held her tongue. If that was the kind of babyish behavior Trevor was willing to put up with, more power to him. She’d never understood how some people thought immaturity was endearing.

They walked several more yards, scrambling down a steep dune to walk along a bit of the beach before heading back inland when they approached a wooded area. “Okay… so here we are!” Trevor announced with a flourish, leading them into the brush. The trees were old and gnarled, with barely room for any saplings to grow beyond sickly bushes that struggled in the shade of their parent trees. Not that there was much shade to be seen. Despite the sunny day, Autumn was in full swing on the isle of Islay and half the trees and the straggling children were denuded.

The cave was not immediately obvious. They didn’t even notice it until they were nearly on top of it. Whenever it had been in use, the trees had probably kept it completely obscured from casual view. If it had been spring or summer, it might have been even more difficult to locate it. If not for the path that led up to the entrance, they might not have noticed it at all. The plaque declaring the entrance to Kildalton Cave did help, but only because the nearby trees had been stripped of their leaves by the winds.

“Kind of anti-climactic,” Maria said, frowning at the opening. “Anyone bring a torch?” Glory pulled out two flashlights and handed one to Trevor.

A natural cleft in a rocky protrusion led into the cave. There was no sign that anyone had visited the area recently, but she wasn’t so adept at tracking that she would have been able to tell beyond some obvious sign. It was just windy enough that a crumpled candy wrapper or a used water bottle would have been blown away soon after being dropped.

As they entered the cave, whirls and other patterns on the walls seemed to indicate prehistoric use. The marks were so time worn that they might have been nothing more than an illusion. The passage branched off soon after they entered. Signs that the natural opening had been enlarged were obvious. The walls were too smooth and free of awkward outcroppings.

“Well, which way?” Maria demanded in a snotty tone, arms akimbo.

“Why don’t you and Trevor go that way and play kissy-face, while I go have a relaxing stroll alone and without the critique fairy?” Without waiting for a response, Glory walked into the opposite passage. She’d seen nothing so far to indicate which way to go, but her instincts said the turning on her right was correct.

“Hey! I’m not just another pretty face,” Trevor called out while Maria sputtered with rage.

Mike muttered under his breath and hurried after Glory. She tried to ignore his presence as she scanned the walls for whatever sign Ehecatl had promised. But there was nothing but more vague whirls and even those were few and far between the further they progressed.

“What are we looking for?” Mike asked as they walked.

“I have absolutely no idea,” Glory said unhappily. “I was told I’d recognize it when I saw it..”

“Helpful,” he grunted.

“Very, but my friend is about as helpful as one of the three Stooges trying to helpfully swat a fly with a hammer.” Glory paused now and then to peer at the walls, but there was little to see.

“Nice…” Mike said in a tone that spoke volumes.

Glory cast the light back and forth over the walls as they walked, ignoring side passages as they sprouted from the main one. In the absence of any discernible clue as to where they were meant to go, she had no choice but to pretend her instincts were leading her somewhere. Did Trevor ever have to deal with the same uncertainty, or did he always just have visions?

Back at the juncture, Trevor reached out to touch Maria’s shoulder, but she moved out from under his hand. “Give me that,” she said testily, snatching the flashlight from his hand.

“Sweetie,” he said in a chiding tone as she stood glaring after Glory. She was so hard to calm once she became irritable.

“Don’t give me sweetie,” she snapped. “I can’t believe you let her talk to me like that.”

“Maria, you were kind of riding her about the cave,” he said gently, knowing it would make no difference.

“You… you just be quiet and show me where they went!” she snapped. If she’d been able to see his face in the dark, she might have reconsidered her tone, but Trevor went forward quietly enough. He held his tongue and forced himself to think of the fun times and how much Maria meant to him. She was fun and witty… and could drink him under the table without even trying.

to Book 7, part 2, page 12

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2 Responses to “Tattoo Book 7 part 2.11”

  1. Fiona said

    Smart-ass and alkie – and those are her good points! lol

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