The others were understandably alarmed when they awoke to see that Genevieve and Ethan were missing.  They grabbed flashlights and made torches out of the branches of wood that Evan and Daniel had found, and then set off into the dark interior of the cave to find their friends.

            The cave seemed to go back forever, narrowing as it went.  There were branches on the floor for a while, and then just rock.  It was cold and damp, and the darkness was heavy upon them.  Jason felt a cobweb on his face and gasped, making the others jump in the dark.

            “Sorry,” he said sheepishly.

            They continued on and were just beginning to wonder if the path would ever end when it opened out onto a bigger chamber.  This chamber was huge, with a high, stalactite-strewn ceiling.  In the centre of the roomy space was an underground lake, nearly a perfectly circular pool. 

            “Where are they?”  Dan asked.  “They should be here.”

            “They swam across.”  Neal stated matter-of-factly.

            “How do you know?” Alex asked doubtfully.

            “Because it’s the only other way to go, other than back the way we came.”

            He walked to the edge of the lake and began taking off his shoes.  He noticed Genevieve’s sneakers a few feet away, one had fallen on its side and he could see the sock inside it.  He took off his pants and sweatshirt, and then slipped feet first into the water in his boxers.  It was cold, as cold as only a mountain lake can be, but he found it strangely refreshing.  It cleared his mind of the sleepiness and worry he was feeling.

            Neal swam slowly, using one hand to keep his flashlight out of the water.  He eventually got to the other side and saw that Evan and Owen were already in the water.  Dan glared at him from across the water and then put his torch out, shucked his clothes and got in.

            “Shit, it’s cold!” He hollered.

            Alex and Jay came last, Alex shrugging at Jason as if to say They’re crazy, but I guess we have to go.  It bothered Neal that Alex didn’t want to follow, but he didn’t hold Alex’s reluctance against Jason.  He knew Jay always followed his brother’s lead.

            Once they were all on the other side of the small lake, they set off after Genevieve and her brother.  It was easy to follow their trail, as they had left behind wet footprints.  Genevieve’s were of bare feet, but Ethan’s tracks were of his sneakers, as if he had been too preoccupied with where he was going to think of taking them off.

            As they headed deeper into the mountain, Neal wondered how Ethan was walking at all, and where exactly he thought that he was going?

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