“I’m telling ya ladies , chivalry isn’t dead, just forgotten by the dolts we raised and the ones they raised.” Willy walked toward to forest to find fallen branches to cover the Jeep with, dragging Jasper and Blaine to help.
“Don’t worry about yer bags. We’ll get em ,” Willy called back at us.
I looked at Mom slightly confused at what just happened. She shrugged her shoulders and turned to follow Lilly.
“You’ll fit in just fine here dear ,” Lilly said eyeing me.
“How do you know?” I asked her , sending my Mom a curious glance.
“Dear. We’re all here for a reason. We each have a story that lead us to come to these caves, whether it’s by divine intervention that’s gathered us or chance. We all have become a family here. We help out where we can; we teach the young and care for the old. Come now , dears, I’ll introduce you to the authority. He and his wife will speak with you and when the boy gets back with your things we’ll find you, feed you and show you around. You can pick your spot after that,” Lily said as she shuffled along, glancing back to make sure we were keeping up.
“So, that’s it ? We don’t have to do some initiation thing?” I laughed. Lilly raised her eyebrow at me and smirked.
“Now dearie, I didn’t say that wouldn’t be happening, now did I?” We all shared a laugh as we entered into the tunnels and the sunshine receded into pseudo-night.
We walked down a tunnel using a small flashlight, a tiny little one, like ones you put on your keychain.
It was unnerving trying to navigate by this little orb of light hoping that you wouldn’t step on a slick rock and break your neck.
Mom grabbed my hand for support , both emotional and physical.
“So Lilly, may I ask a question ?” I asked trying to be polite.
We really hadn’t expected to share the caves, but the cave system was big enough we could find our own spot and still be near the other people if we wanted to.
“I don’t see why not.”
“I was wondering what this authority you spoke of is and why is there need of an authority? I’m not saying I rebel against authority. I have always followed rules,” I sighed.
“What I meant is who are they?”
“They are just leaders we all look to. They helped to organize us. Once we realized we wouldn’t be alone and many others began to come here we decided to “elect” this couple as an authority. Someone to help organize us all, to help new comers feel more welcome at having a focal point of their welcoming, and as always, to keep order. They are the strongest among us gifted here, talented those two are, and they have strong ethics and morals...”
“How many people are here?” I asked.
“There are forty-seven of us here at the moment,” Lily smiled.
“ Forty-seven. Wow.”
Not picking the conversation up again , we just walked through dark corridors following the tiny light through the caverns for what seemed like an hour before we noticed what looked like small dots of sunlight shining down from up high or bright stars shinning just to light our way.
“What’s that up ahead?” I asked Lilly.
“That, my dear, is solar power. We’ve run them through some of the corridors, the latrine area, the wash area, and the bath area. We’ve dotted one here and there as well just so you you can get around some slippery areas and what not, but for the most part you will have to learn your way and carry a solar lamp.”
We reached a huge open area that was teeming with people going about their business as if the Militia hadn’t ruined their lives.
They truly were making the best of a bad situation. I liked that.
I thought about the situation we were all in . Those of us that are gifted and those who weren’t gifted who loved us.
I looked at my mom. Who would protect her if something happened to me, I wondered. Then and there in the pseudo-darkness of the caves I vowed to do whatever I could to help the rebellion, to rid the