Free short story: The boys and the dragon - Part 3
Parts: 1 - 2 - 3 - 4
Copyright © 2015 by Cyci Cade
I shrugged. I didn´t know what we´d do. I didn´t know how to escape. Our strategy classes should start only next year when— according to our coach—we´d be handling any king of weapon properly.
“Wait and see?” I suggested.
“I don´t think it is a good idea. They´ll find us here,” Wei muttered.
“If you continue to talk, they certainly will,” I reprimanded my brother.
Wei snorted. He didn´t like when I reprimanded him. I understood him because I didn´t like when somebody reprimanded me either. Well, we were twins. We had the same face, height, skills, personality, and opinions. Probably, some day some aspects of our lives would be different but we would still have the same face and height.
Wei nudged me and pointed to the creatures. “Look! They are leaving!”
I grasped Wei´s forearm before my brother stood up. “Wait a little. Let´s give them some time, then they won´t hear us.”
“Do they have an accurate hearing?” Wei gazed at me and raised an eyebrow.
“I don´t know! Does it matter?” I whispered as if the corpses were still there.
Wei shrugged and stood up. “They´re gone.” He paced to the corridor the creatures took minutes ago while I paced to the narrow corridor we used to arrive in that chamber.
“Where are you going?” I asked before taking the narrow path.
“Following them. If we are behind them, they won´t chase us.” Wei showed the direction.
My brother had a strange mindset. I didn´t agree with him all the time, but in this case his thought made sense. I followed Wei, and we took the same path of our pursuers. I heard heavy footsteps ahead, they weren´t so far. I believed they moved faster; for an unknown reason, they kept a slow gait and I started to think that it wasn´t a good idea. Who knew where those creatures were guiding us? Certainly, they weren´t guiding us to the exit because they remained in the darkness during the day. We couldn´t stay in this tomb until the end of the day. We had to leave, now!
“Wei,” I whispered.
Wei stopped and glanced at me. “What?” Then he returned his attention to the path.
“We must find an exit. Do you have any idea where we are?” I looked back just to check.
“All corridors look the same. They know how to leave.” He pointed to the path.
A sarcastic laugh escaped me. “Do you intend to ask them?”
Wei gazed at me and raised an eyebrow. He always did it when he wanted to say something stupid. “Of course not. I´ll follow them. Sooner or later, they´ll go outside.”
“Come on, Wei. They go outside only at night! We cannot stay here. Our father will kill us.” I shook my head. “We don´t know if they will get out tonight.”
“They will,” Wei said in a reassuring tone.
When did his brother become an expert in jiangshi? I told him about them less than an hour ago. “How do you know it?” I folded my arms in front of my chest.
“They are hungry. If they don´t find food here, they´ll look for it in another place. It is obvious!” Wei lifted his jaw with an air of superiority.
Wei was right. Those corpses needed to find food, even so, we couldn´t wait here. “Playing cat and mouse with them is too risky.”
“Trust me. They won´t find us. We are the cats.” Wei started to walk.
I followed him. I didn´t have a choice or a better idea. A lethal silence fell on the tomb. I just heard my heartbeat, and it was too loud. I´d enjoy this silence if I didn´t know there were half-dead creatures chasing us. I wasn´t sure if it was right to call them half-dead. I wondered how they became corpses that absorbed people´s lives. Would those dead people in that chamber rouse like walking dead people? Was there another way to become a corpse? I didn´t like it. I did not! I clutched Wei´s forearm and stopped.
“We have a problem.” I tried to look straight in Wei´s eyes under the dim light.
Wei tilted his head and waited.
I continued, “I believe there is a high probability of those dead people waking up like corpses.” I shared my concern. I had to do it.
Wei furrowed his brows. “Are you delirious? You have read a lot of Mr. Fu Chow´s mythology books.” He turned his back to me and walked again.
I remain in the same place. “Didn´t you ask how those creatures are made? Didn´t you ask why there are mythological creatures following us?”
Wei stopped and lowered his head. “Maybe you are right, but I wonder how it will change our situation.” He looked back at me.
I paced toward him. “If I am right, soon those dead people will be chasing us too and there won´t be a place to hide. We must find an exit by ourselves, immediately.”
Wei scratched his head and dodged his glance, it was a signal that he was considering my words.
“We need a plan, a good one,” he said without making visual contact.
That was the problem, we didn´t have a plan.
“Let´s walk to the opposite side. I´ll feel better far away from those corpses.” It wasn´t a plan, though it was the best I could do.
“Okay.” Wei agreed with me.
We followed the corpses until the end of that corridor. When the corpses turned left, we turned right and increased our speed. We were able to move faster without any creature in front of us. We half jogged and half walked. I felt confident when the light shone a little more. We took the right way. We were near the stairs to leave this place, I assumed.