Lost in the Tunnels
We put our rope through holes in the rocks on the sides of the walls, then climbed down. Hans went first, then my uncle, then me. Every two hundred feet, we found a flat rock to stop on. We pulled the rope down from above us, tied it to a new rock, then started again. We did this for almost ten hours. We travelled 2,000 feet down.
Finally, Hans said something.
It was only one word, but it was nice to finally hear his voice.
«We’re at the bottom.» The professor and I looked at him.
«I don’t know.»
There was a turn in the hole. There was an open area like a cave at the bottom of the hole, which continued to the right. Our bags were there. After ten hours of climbing down, we were very tired. We decided to spend the night there.
In the morning, we continued our journey down.
The hole now opened and looked more like a tunnel. We did not need to climb because we could walk down this tunnel. We used our torches, so we could see the rock on the walls clearly. It looked like glass of different colours. Some of it was red, some was brown, and some was yellow. My uncle saw me looking at it.
«That’s from the lava.»
«So, you’re starting to enjoy our journey. There’s more to see. Come along.»
We walked for two more days and we found other tunnels. There were tunnels everywhere, but we did not know which was the right one. Unluckily, our water finished.
«Now, what are we going to do?»
«We’re going to find a spring. There are many, but we have to go down further.»
I could not move. I was very tired and thirsty and thinking of Grauben.
«Uncle, I can’t go on.»
«Axel, please. We are going to find water.»
It was Hans’ voice.
«What did you say?»
There was a loud sound behind the wall next to us. It sounded like the water of a river. Hans took a pickaxe and made a hole in the wall. Water came out onto the floor around us.
«I told you, Axel. Water! Ow! It’s hot. Don’t touch it. It needs air. We’re too far underground.»
The water was cold enough to drink after a few minutes and we all felt strong again. We continued our journey but I made a serious mistake. I was very excited about finding the water and I went first. I walked too far in front of the others and I got lost. I tried to go back, but I could not find them.
I shouted their names.
I could only hear my own voice in the tunnel. I was afraid. I ran. Then I fell. I fell through the air down a long tunnel. Then I hit my head and everything went black around me.