From the instant you reach the waterfall, everything that follows happens pretty fast - all three of you drop down from the waterfall a good moment later after you internally went about preparing your body for the drop. You expect to scream, and to hear the other two scream as well, but thankfully, it’s a much smaller drop then probably any of you you expected - you flop off the rock slab the three of you were riding, and splash into a large lake.
At first, you’re hit by impact of the water and the fall itself, and you’re dazed for a few seconds since it feels like your insides jumped to your throat, then right back down to where they belonged. When your senses return to you, you manage to swim up to the top of the lake surface (which isn’t all that deep, fortunately), and as you use your big feet to kick yourself forward, you reach the edge of the lake you’ve fallen into.
‘Hot damn,’ you think when you can finally pause.
Your brain eventually catches up to the rest of you, and you glance around to see that Erin and Maggie are both emerging from the water as well - both are a little away from you, yet they seem fine, if dazed the same way you are.
It’s only when you take the time to breathe in and glance around that you notice - with a mix of amusement, shock, and just plain relief - that the lake you are now floating in is none other then same lake in front of the cave’s entrance!
‘Holy shit,’ you think. ‘No way…’
You blink a few times and gawk at this newfound knowledge - it’s definitely nighttime, but the moonlight is bright enough above you that you can tell without a doubt that, yes, you are indeed outside the cave, right where you started. Your mind isn’t playing tricks on you - it’s the same lake and waterfall you saw before.
‘We ended up coming full circle…,’ you think, as the reality you’re free sinks into you. You’re elated to be out of the cave, as any sane person would be, and yet, despite that sense of elation flooding through your body, you can’t help but continue to gawk at this. ‘But how in the world did we go from…’
You can’t help staring at the waterfall, wondering how you went from being so low in the cave to being there, in a spot where you were high enough to end up where you did. Or had you somehow gotten your elevation confused? It doesn’t make any sense to you whatsoever - granted, you honestly don’t really WANT to know at this rate.
You shake your head and climb out of the lake, shaking yourself without even thinking about it. You then hop, still mostly dripping, around the lake to where the ladies are - Maggie is getting out from the lake while Erin remains floating there, looking more dazed then you felt or then what Maggie appears to be.
“That… was a nightmare,” Erin says. She groans and shakes her head. “Bloody hell, I don’t ever want to go on a water park ride for the next ten years when I go back to being a normal person again. Fuck me, what even…”
Maggie and you offer your hands out to Erin.
She blinks, then takes each, and together, you help her out of the lake. Once she’s out, though, you can feel her gravitating toward Maggie - you smile to yourself and let her lean into the dingo woman more.
“That was something alright,” Maggie says. She glances from Erin to you, a smirk tugging at the corner of her lips. “Gotta say, mate, you managed to make a few good calls in there. Good hunch deciding to go right.”
You nod. “I have no idea how we got outside from that point, but…”
“Best not to think on it for too long,” Maggie says. “If there’s one thing I’ve learned from this crazy Narnia-wannabe world we’re in, logic? Yeah, that shit can get thrown out the window. We ain’t in a place where everything is gonna make logical sense, my friend.”
“She’s right,” Erin says, her eyes flicking toward the waterfall. “Then again, it hurts my head to think of how we went from being so low into the cave to getting up. But at the end of the day, I really don’t give a damn - we’re free from that nasty, stinky mess, and that is ALL that matters to me right now.”
“Agreed,” you say.
“Damn right,” Maggie adds.
You all just stand there for a long moment of relative silence - dripping wet, yes, but none of you really care. It takes a minute or so for you to fully absorb the fact you escaped the cave after what seems like ages, and when you have, you are mostly thrilled… yet you’re also left… unsure.
You run a hand through your damp neck fur, and begin to wonder: now that you’ve gotten free from the cave, what do you want to do with yourself next?
You had no idea what you wanted to do when you first put that costume on - you met Erin, sure, but then Maggie’s presence sent you running for safety, safety which ended up being that cave. From there, despite being in the body of a kangaroo, you spent a good while hopping around, first to avoid the jaws of death, and then to find, and after help, your new kangaroo friend.
Now, you were out of the cave. Maggie was no longer a threat, and you had survived without major injury beyond Erin’s twisted ankle, which you knew would heal with time.
“What do you want to do next?” you ask.
There’s a pause.
Both women blink several times. They look at each other, then around, then at you, and then back to one another.
“Huh,” Erin says. “I don’t know, mate. I hadn’t thought that far into advance. My main focus was just getting the hell outta that cave, but now that we’re actually out of it, I can’t say I’ve any ideas… besides resting my leg, anyways.”
Maggie merely shrugs.
She and Erin start to move toward a nearby tree, and you slow-hop with them. Once they reach it, Maggie helps Erin sit down beneath it, now that she can sit on the grass and let her leg rest in full. Maggie remains standing, and so do you.
“That is sooo much better,” Erin mumbles. She leans against the tree and lets out a sigh. “Shit, what an adventure that was.”
“Tell me about it,” you say. Your chest heaves, and you let out a breath akin to a sigh, but with more relief. “I never expected to go from the shock of becoming a kangaroo hybrid thanks to putting on a weird costume, to getting stuck in a cave that seemed to go all over the place, to then riding a rock down a river.”
Maggie snickers. “That’s one way to put it, but you know, that was probably the most entertainment I’ve had in a long, long time.”
Again, there’s a moment of relative silence.
“I guess for now… well.” Erin looks at you, then at Maggie. She smiles. “I’d be down for some exploring with you two, after my ankle’s mended. Just no more caves. Or caverns. Or any other stinking hole that we might get lost or trapped in. Other then that…” She gestures around. “I’m down for it. What do you say?”
Maggie shakes her head. “I can’t believe you’d actually want to spend time with ME again, Erin.”
“Oh piss off, you whiny twat,” Erin says.
“Whiny twat? Me?” Maggie laughs. “Bitch, you’ve been bellyaching the entire time I’ve been here! You’re the whiny one, don’t even TRY to claim otherwise!”
Erin grunts and folds her arms, scowling. “Okay, so I’ve been less then thrilled about all of this. I’m sorry. I’m sorry for being so whiny and for complaining so much… and I’m sorry for being such a knob.”
Maggie plops down on the ground beside her. “Ah, shut up, you daft fool. Focus on resting. I’ll stick around until you’re back to one hundred percent.”
Both of them look at you.
Now you get to decide… do you want to stay? Or venture out on your own?
Written by Hollowpages on 30 November 2020