Through the Portal
Two hours later, and after asking for directions from those we came across as we left the beach, we finally found the steps leading to Poseidon’s Cave. They started at ground level, and then snaked down until they gave way to a dusty, stony path that was a little easier to walk upon and navigate.
Before long we rounded a tall, red stoned wall and there it was. The entrance to the Cave, facing us head-on.
The two of us stood there, staring in wonder at the sight of our gateway into Elandrea, and glanced at each other before heading towards the opening after pulling out our torches.
It turns out we did not need our torches after all, for there was still plenty of light pouring into the cave, and soon found our way to the back.
Harry slipped our backpack from his shoulders and, letting it fall to the ground, sat down with his back against the slightly eroded white wall of the Cave. I unzipped the front pocket of the backpack to take out the small drawstring bag Dad gave us and took out all of the trinkets; assembling them in seconds to form the portal mechanism before checking the time on my watch.
‘What time did the weather app say is sunset would be?’ I asked, not looking up from the watch face.
‘Meaning we’ve got four and a half hours until the portal opens’ I calculated, lifting my face now and tilting it back so I was looking up at the cave ceiling, which glistened like diamonds in the beams of sunlight that managed to reach the back of the cave.
‘Yep. Do you want your Nutrigrain bar?’
Harry took out his own bar after handing me mine and checked the air temperature reader clipped to his hip, ‘it’s still pretty warm in here, despite being the back of a cave. Fifteen degrees.’
‘You’d have thought it’d be cooler’ I noted with surprise.
Harry answered with an agreeing nod and leant back against the wall again.
As the hours passed, the temperature inside the Cave continued to drop and by a quarter to five I was sat with my arms wrapped around myself to keep warm.
‘Ellie, are you warm enough? You look a little cold’ Harry asked.
‘I’m fine, thank you.’ I smiled as I spoke, but I could feel myself shivering and I knew Harry could see it.
‘Come here, I’ll keep you warm.’
I chewed on the inside of my cheek for a second before crawling over to sit beside him – but an arm stopped me.
Turning to Harry I noticed his legs were now bent at the knee, and slightly parted.
‘It’ll be warmer if I have my arms around you.’
I looked at him questioningly, and then stood up; turned around, sat down between his legs, and leant back into his chest as he gently wrapped his arms around me.
I will not lie. I was a little embarrassed, sitting there between Harry’s legs, but I didn’t say anything: his arms and chest were so warm, I didn’t wish to ruin it by admitting to him how I felt.
‘Harry?’ I asked after a while.
‘I’m a little tired, do you think I could sleep for a bit?’
‘Sure, go ahead and sleep, I’ll wake you in an hour so that we’re not in a rush when the portal to Elandrea reveals itself.’
Making myself comfortable, and turning into Harry’s torso, I closed my eyes and soon fell asleep…
‘…Ellie, come on sweetheart it’s time to wake up.’
Harry’s soft voice roused me gently from my slumber, and I opened my eyes to find my unopened bottle of water held out in front of me.
‘You must be thirsty.’
Sitting up, I accepted the water gratefully and took several long gulps before asking Harry the time.
‘It’s just gone half six’ he answered as I crawled over to our bag to have a rummage around, my hand soon re-emerging holding our Cadbury’s bar, and broke off two rows for us to nibble on.
At seven on the dot, the last shafts of sunlight shone through the Cave, and onto the wall. As they hit the wall, Harry and I watched in awe as the mechanism started to shimmer; brightly coloured particles flowing up from the centre to form a sparkling ball that expanded until it was the size of a floor-length mirror.
‘Shall we?’ asked Harry, smiling and holding his hand out to me.
I took the outstretched hand and grinned back at him, ‘let’s do this.’
Gripping each other’s hands tightly, we stepped through the portal, and into the unknown.
Hey my lovelies, I really hope you’ve been enjoying the reading the chapters so far. If you’re enjoying them please do share them with friends and family as it really helps give my novel exposure around the world – but don’t worry, this is the only time I’ll ask this of you all. I’m not going to repeatedly ask you to share at the end of every new chapter, as that would be both pushy and rude :).
You have wings. Believe in them and yourself, and you will fly.