Leona, and AM … an adrenaline-filled welcome to “Fantasy in the Cage.” As you know, this is a no-holds-barred competition, so dig deep and give our readers your best short stories. You will be allowed a maximum of 2,ooo words, and will have 24 hrs. to complete this challenge. The deadline is 12 pm EDT tomorrow, Sunday, Sept. 25th. Good luck to both of you.
For decades, Fairview Quarry had been a favorite spot for local high school students to congregate. This unseasonably warm October Friday inspired a dozen teens to skip school and party atop the lofty heights of the abandoned sites granite cliffs. Clad in swimsuits, the teen’s employed their usual cajoling, as dares to jump off the quarry’s highest point echoed across the murky surface of the water, nearly 90 feet below. Known as “Freebird,” the spot had claimed the lives of three students in the past decade, the most recent fatality occurring just a year prior. Strangely, not a single body had ever been recovered, despite efforts by experienced search and rescue divers.
Now, the latest dead teen’s best friend, Jamie Daigle, was contemplating taking the same plunge that had robbed him of his childhood companion.
“C’mon, Daigle, you chickenshit…jump!” said one of the truant teens.
Several taunts later, eleven faces peered over the precipice as Daigle plummeted, upright, and pencil-straight, toward the frigid surface.
Daigle fought the tendency to gasp as he broke the surface, the water temperature falling with every foot deeper he descended. He began to employ powerful strokes in an effort to return to the surface when a frightening realization struck; his body was being pulled deeper toward the submerged portion of the cliff face. He felt a burning sensation in his lungs, the need for fresh oxygen acute.
As panic began to take hold, Daigle felt a sharp scrape rake his spine, then felt his body rise to the surface. However, the surface he encountered was deep within a subterranean cave, a strange light emanating from just around the corner of the dank granite enclosure.
There you have it, ladies. Wow us with your writerly wonderment. Good luck!