"C'mon, let's get going," urged Peter. He headed for the tunnel, which continued at the far end of the storage area. Sasha's ears perked up, and she bounced past Peter, taking her place at the lead.
"Wait a minute!" Colin ran over to the shelf and grabbed the Ouija Board. "We may need this again."
Tom didn't say anything, but he felt kind of sick inside. Mom and Dad would be terribly worried about him by now. They expected him home last night. Maybe he should go home by himself, after all. But how would he find the way? Confused and uncertain, he just followed Colin and Peter.
The tunnel seemed a bit wider than where they first entered it, but not by much. Tom stopped to check the width. When he stretched his arms straight out, he almost touched the damp, stony walls on each side.
His clothes felt perfectly dry now, and the little energy bulbs continued to light their way. Colin was whistling a strange tune. He acted right at home in this creepy tunnel.
"Do you want to hear a song?" Colin shouted. Without waiting for an answer, he began to sing.
I'm gonna find my way
No matter what you say,
Only I can make my dreams come true.
For faith and energy
Comes from inside of me.
With this pow'r I'll make my world like new.
"I like those words," said Peter. "Especially that part about making all my dreams come true. Sing it again."
Colin did. This time Peter sang with him, for the melody was simple.
Tom thought about the words. They puzzled him. "It sounds like some of the things the King teaches," he said. "But He is the one who fills me with strength. Power doesn't come from myself."
"I have everything I need inside me!" Colin sounded confident.
"I do too," agreed Peter.
"I believe the King gives me everything I need," said Tom. "And I have His life inside me."
"See, we believe the same thing. There's no real difference," said Colin triumphantly.
"But there is a difference. I know there is! You just don't know my King. You don't trust Him!"
"So what? I trust somebody just like your king: our Baron. He has power too. Your King isn't the only ruler in the world."
Tom didn't say anything. He knew that he and Colin didn't believe the same thing, but he didn't want to argue about it. Besides, Colin probably didn't want to know the difference.
They kept walking. The air felt damp to Tom. But Peter was the first one to notice the water dripping from the ceiling. "Hey, it's raining in here! Where's it coming from?"
"Maybe there's a spring nearby? Or..." Colin looked concerned. "Maybe we're under the river, and the water is seeping through."
"Does that mean that we're almost in Lucidia?" Peter sounded both excited and worried at the same time.
"Maybe..." Colin stopped. "Hey, what's that noise?"
They all listened. A peculiar noise rumbled through the tunnel. It grew stronger each moment.
"Sounds like some kind of an engine. It's coming our way. We've got to move." Colin looked around for a place to hide while the thing passed.
"There is no room anywhere," said Peter.
"I saw a small opening in the wall a ways back. Maybe it's big enough," shouted Tom. He was already running the other way. The others raced after him.
Tom was right. There was a niche in the wall. Not big. A large box filled up most of the space. They peeked inside.
"It's empty except for some cans of some sort of liquid," said Colin. "Gasoline, I bet."
"Hurry up! We've got to get in there fast," shouted Tom. He bent the outer edge of the box so that they could squeeze in.
Colin and Peter climbed in first, then Tom dove in at the last moment. They were all crammed together like sardines in a can. Tom squirmed all the way into the box, while Colin and Peter whispered things like "ouch" and "watch where you put your knee" as loudly as they dared.
Seconds later the "thing" passed.
"Wow, it would have smashed us!" whispered Peter.
"Hurry. Get off me!" shouted Colin in a muffled voice. "Your leg is killing me!"
"You're crushing me!" cried Peter as Tom slid backwards out of the box. "And watch your elbow. It's poking me in the ribs."
Go to Chapter 14