The 5th Era

Once again only one title so far.

A young caucasian woman, Ella, travels down from Townsville to Gympie where she meets an aboriginal girl, Lucy, who shows her a ‘Sacred Site’. When Ella touches things she should not their adventure begins…

Do you want to read a bit?…’course you do…

‘Don’t touch anything. It’s forbidden!’ Lucy snapped. ‘And, you didn’t discover this, just like your people never discovered Australia,’ she ground out. ‘It has never been lost. We have always known it was here. But, oh I forgot. We don’t count. We’re not really people, after all.’

Her tirade stopped mid-thought as she saw Ella push aside a leafy branch exposing a handprint, a little to the left of the main body of work. It was similar to the ones found all over caves and rocks throughout Australia but this one was concave, carved into the stone. Ella slipped her hand into the shape.

‘No! Don’t!’ Superstitious dread raised and sharpened Lucy’s voice.

Even before the words finished, a rumbling sounded, followed immediately by a grating noise. Ella ripped her hand away and jumped back a pace as her heart thudded rapid and high in her throat blocking the surprised shout that rushed from brain to lungs. She couldn’t distinguish her own trembling from that caused by the rock’s movement. The rock was moving?

Danger! Run! Her mind screamed. She swallowed hard. Automatically, her hand shot out to clutch the arm of the young aboriginal woman. She turned to Lucy wanting to be reassured and make fun at stories about magic and ghosts but words evaporated into the haze of Lucy’s alarm. She felt the tremors of terror racing through the girl’s body. Ella’s gut twisted as the girl’s absolute terror telegraphed itself to her through dark, protruding eyes. She took in the sickly yellow of the other girl’s face and knew that her own face was devoid of colour, all of her blood having drained down to her feet. The weight of it made it impossible for her to do the sensible thing and run.

Lucy stood rigid. Panic filled her making breathing difficult. Her heart faltered before breaking into a gallop. Her mouth worked silently as she took a step back, lips trembling. Cold perspiration rolled down her face and back as dread filled her every cell. With an enormous effort she yanked her arm free of Ella’s grasp and turned on her heel, fleeing from the presence of her angry Ancestors.

‘Lucy wait!’ Ella called in a hoarse whisper, her throat constricted by her fear. ‘Come back, Lucy. Lucy?’ The last words a groan as she recognised the futility of any attempt to stop the young woman, who even now was disappearing into the thick scrub surrounding the site.

Ella wanted nothing more than to join Lucy in her escape but her own legs would not move; were, in fact, in danger of giving way altogether. If anything really dangerous happens I’m powerless, she thought. With an extraordinary act of willpower she forced herself to turn back to the sound of the moving stone and whatever was behind it. She held her breath as her gut knotted ever tighter and watched the huge stone inch further open.

While the coward in her wanted to run, a part of her brain dispassionately observed what was happening. Oh my god, she thought. I’m going mad. Another part of her observed the observer. Perhaps it’s my journalist’s training, she hoped. The large rock weighing, she estimated, over a ton was sliding to the left with a slow, grinding, unstoppable movement. It crushed the rocky debris in its path with a power that was wrought of more than its huge weight. It was being moved by something, some type of force that would not be gainsaid. Branches in the way snapped off and small stones in its path exploded into powder, gun-shots in the echoing stillness. The door slid into the wall of the hill and stopped.

Echoes of its movement died away. No birds, no wind, not even the chirr of cicadas disturbed the hot afternoon. Ella had never felt so terribly alone. In front of her opened the maw of a deep, dark cavern.