Horizon’s Calling

Chapter 4: Searching and Hunting, The Game Begins

He starts slowly nodding as he looks away. He firmly grips his hands to the branch, ”Thats too bad. You know, I was wondering… ” He gets interrupted by the guy at the supplies, as he shouts, ”Okay! Can everybody come and meet near the supplies! ”

I ask him, ”What were you about to say? ” He says lightly shaking his head, ”Nothing… it was nothing. Looks like things are finally getting started. ” He shuffles his feet around the branch and drops down, landing without any issues. He looks back up at me, ”Lets see what the wait was all about. ” I shift my body into position and drop off next to him. I wipe some dirt off my shoulder as I say, ”Right. ”

We walk over to the supplies together and the guy sitting over there looks over at us. He gets off the crate and starts walking toward us. This is my first time getting an actual good look at him from a face-on view. As I could see earlier, hes black and his hair is pretty damn cool, especially now that I got a good view. Hes got this fade with curly hair on top, Im pretty sure its called a low taper cut if Im not mistaken. His skin is rough and holds a rich color of brown. Hes got brown eyes and his jawline looks firm. His build isn as strong or tall as the guy next to me, but he isn physically weak either, just looks average in each aspect. We eventually meet close to the supplies as he says, ”Im actually going to need your guys help, do you mind? ” We both shake our heads in agreement and he sighs in relief as he says, ”Thanks. ”

He looks over to the blonde-hair girl that gave me the apple earlier and they lock eyes. He waves her over and she starts walking our way. She really does have pretty eyes.

He says to all of us as she walks up, ”Look, Im going to need you all to help keep everyone calm. I haven even looked through this stuff so thisll also be new to me as well. ” He looks behind him at the supplies as he continues, ”By the looks of it, all we know is that some basic survival supplies are here. I don know how they got here at all though. ” The girl asks confused, ”Wait, no one dropped it off or explained anything to you? It was just sitting there? ” He shakes his head, ”I was the first one awake, and… ” He looks behind the three of us to see people gathering around waiting. ”Ill explain it to you all in a bit, can you each stand next to a crate for now? ”

Tall guy looks around and says, ”Wait, what about the girl that refused to leave her tent? ” Cool haircut guy responds while waving off the idea, ”Shes not budging, no point in waiting for someone who has no interest in taking part, right? Anyway, its about time we start. ”

I walk and stand next to a crate, as does tall guy and blonde-hair girl. Cool haircut guy takes a seat in front of us, and everybody else gathered takes a seat as well.

Cool haircut guy says, ”Hello everybody, glad you
e all here. I was the first one awake this morning, and waking up here, without knowing… ” Chuckles for a moment, ”…anything really… I understand we are all probably a bit stressed out. ”

He looks behind him toward the three of us standing next near the crates as he continues, ”I haven touched these crates here, and I only briefly looked over some of the supplies in that pile off to the right. I wanted to make sure we all checked over this stuff as a group. ”

He gets up and walks over to the supplies pile. He crouches down as he looks through it. He begins to sift his hand through the pile as he moves stuff around, eventually picking up and holding a shovel. He says, ”By the looks of it, we got some basic survival supplies here. There are two pots, a pile of firewood, a few axes, six or so shovels, some rope, and this is a bit random but we also got a notebook and a few pens… ”

He moves some more stuff out of the way, ”We also got some flint and steel here, thatll be helpful in making fire… ” He stands up and looks back at everyone as he points to the other side of camp. He continues, ”And as you all know on the other side of camp, we got that basket packed with bread and fruit. Well have to make that last until we can find another food source. ”

He walks over to the last unmanned crate and says, ”Now heres the mystery, we have these four storage crates that haven been opened yet. ”

He looks down at the crate and touches the top of the crate. He says, ”Even further, on the top of each crate has this sword engraved into it. The sword is facing downward and has a number six etched into it at the center of the sword. This is true for all the crates here, not just this one… ”

He looks back up and toward the three of us. He nods and says, ”Lets open them. ” We all begin to try and pry off the top of each crate. The blonde-hair girl opens hers easily and cheers as the three of us continue to struggle. I pry with all my might, why is this so difficult to open?!

The tall guy struggling, mutters while grimacing, ”Mine won budge. ” Cool haircut guy says, ”Same here. ” He then looks over at the opened crate and the girl cheering as he says, ”At least yours opened, I wonder why the others didn … ” He begins to walk over toward the opened crate, tall guy and I do the same.

The four of us peer into the crate for a few seconds. Tall guy says, ”I don understand. ”

The girl reaches in and picks up a wooden sword inside the box. She pulls it out and looks at it, ”An actual sword! Wow! This is so cool! ” She wanders a bit off.

The three of us reach down and grab some other wooden swords. We drop them on the ground as we continue to grab them. Tall guy says as he looks at the girl swinging one of the swords around, pretending to be in battle, ”Theres a couple left. ” I reply as I grab the last two out of the crate, ”Yeah, I got them. ”

I drop them into the pile as tall guy inspects one of them. Cool haircut guy says as he looks back inside the crate, ”Wait, theres some other stuff here too. ”

Tall guy and I look back over at him, the blonde-hair girl stops swinging the sword and walks back over as well.

He reaches in and grabs out a couple more items and hands them behind his back to tall guy and I.

Tall guy grabs a tiny scrap of paper and says, ”This is just a ripped piece of paper with some scribbles on it. ” The girl adds while holding up a small wooden plank with holes in it, ”Yeah, I don really know what mine is either. ”

I grab the next item he puts behind his back and say, ”At least mine is simple, I just have a standard compass by the looks of it. ”

I hear grunting begin to come from the crate as he struggles to lift something out. He says, ”What the hell is this? ” Tall guy walks over to look into the crate and help him lift the item out, ”Here, Ill help. ” Haircut guy replies in relief, ”Thanks. ” The two of them together slowly lift out a heavy, stone slab and carefully places it on the ground.

I walk up next to them and ask, ”What is it? ” And tall guy responds while looking at it confused, ”I don know, it just looks like a really smooth rock. ”

Various people sitting down toward the front start talking over one another, ”Theres something on the bottom! ” ”Flip it over! ” ”I think I saw something written when you lifted it out… ” The blond hair girl takes a seat with them, next to a girl with purple hair and another girl with hazel eyes.

The three of us lift up a side of the stone slab up to flip it over. We bring it up to the top and push it back down to the ground. A small thud goes off as a bird caws again. Haircut guy and I look at the slab, studying it, while tall guy looks out toward everyone and says ”Thanks. ” Purple hair girl and hazel eye girl do a light fistbump as blonde-hair girl says to them with a smile, ”Nice work! ”

Haircut guy crouches down and touches the stone slab, ”Yeah, this side definitely has something. There are all these markings, almost like something is inscribed into it. ” I walk around the slab for a bit until Im across from the other two guys. I notice theres writing and say, ”Lets turn it around, lean it up against the crate with this side facing outward. Theres something here. ” The three of us lift the slab up again and rotate it, then place it upright as we slowly lean it back against the crate.

The three of us take a step back to study the slab as we all breathe in and out a bit intensely, panting. Tall guy says, ”Dude with the scar, you better have been right about this, Im not moving it again. ” Haircut guy agrees, ”Same…here. ”

I hear someone begin to loudly whisper. I turn around to see blonde-hair girl with a hand in barricading her mouth from the others as if to try and lessen the volume of whats she saying. But it obviously can be heard by everyone as she whispers, ”Hey! I don know if you guys know… but, ” She looks back toward everyone as the hazel eye and violet hair girls smile and they nod their heads emphasizing it. Blond hair girl giggles and looks back at the three of us, ”Theres quite a lot of people behind you! And they probably would also like to read it! ” Some laughter breaks out in response.

Haircut guy turns toward them and chuckles, ”Sorry about that everybody, we were just catching our breath for a moment. ” We each take a seat in the front and look back at the slab along with everybody else.

After a few seconds, I stare at the slab in disbelief. I look to my left to see the other two guys with the same expression. Some people toward the back call out confused, ”What is it? We can see that much from our angle. ”

The girl with hazel eyes shakes the tall guys shoulder and asks ”Hey, are you okay? ” He looks back at her startled as she says, ”Yeah, sorry… we can really read what it says because you guys are so tall, mind telling us? ” Tall guy continues to look at her and then looks back toward the slab and stutters, ”Yea- yea, I can do that. ”

Haircut guy looks over at Ace and notices Ace is too stunned to speak. He says, ”Don worry, I can do it. ” Tall guy looks at him and haircut guy nods encouragingly.

Haircut guy clears his throat and looks back at the slab. He then says, ”This is what it reads…

Running and running, gone with the wind;

Searching and hunting, the game begins;

Numbers and people, whats one to say;

That suffering and pain, isn the way. ”

Total silence spreads through the atmosphere like wildfire. A bird caws once again.

I look back and see people with mixed reactions, some confused, some scared, some show no reaction from the shock I assume. I hear a girls voice toward the back say, ”What does that mean? ”

I can tell the mood and atmosphere changed so suddenly. Another voice comes from off to the right side, this one is really deep, ”Yeah, I don quite understand. ” Im able to locate the sound back to this one guy, he is huge. If the guy that woke me up was tall, this guy is a giant. Haircut guy responds still looking at the slab, ”Im not sure. I really have no idea ”

The blonde-hair girl stands up and looks back at everyone smiling as she claps her hands together and says, ”I think this is a riddle and if we figure it out, we might be able to open up the other crates! Its like a fun game! So for now, lets not worry too much about it. Maybe well even get treasure or something cool like that in the other crates! ” Various people start chatting again as the mood lifts. I look at her, in a bit of disbelief. Im not sure if she thought that through but that was incredible.

I look back at the slab and think, but I can ignore this. She may have lifted the mood but this riddle is important, it wouldn have been in that crate if it wasn . Does it have something to do with the numbers? What could it mean…

Haircut guy stands up as well and says, ”Okay, thats everything I wanted to cover, I guess this meeting is now over. Does anybody have anything else they would like to add? ”

A girl toward the back stands up. Shes hot, she could easily pass as a model. Shes got smooth brown hair and eyes colored a deep blue. Her lips are puckered out and it looks like she has lipstick on but thats not possible, at least I think its not possible. The bone structure on her face is chiseled and well-defined, and her body can really be ignored.

She says as she looks at her long nails ”Finally, that was just a huge waste of time. Can we actually go explore now or are you going to keep us stuck here at camp just like before? ” I immediately can tell by her voice it was the same girl that asked about the riddle on the slab earlier. Haircut guy says, ”Of course, go ahead. I didn mean to make it seem like you were all forced to stay here. ”

She brushes off some dirt on her shorts and mutters, ”…disgusting. ” She then looks down at a girl sitting next to her and says, ”Finally, lets get going. Keep up with me, don fall behind. ”

She turns and walks off as the girl next to her quickly stands up and goes after the hot girl saying ”Please, wait for me! Please… ” I didn really get a good look at her.

Haircut guy looks back towards everyone, ”Id appreciate it if some stayed back here at camp to better figure out how and when we should use the supplies we got here. We also have to count how much food we have so we can begin a plan to ration it out. ”

People begin getting up and moving around. I begin to shuffle my way over to the stone slab with my arms and legs. I sigh as I sit back against the stone slab. I look up toward the sky and put an arm over my eyes as I close them. After reading that message, the last thing I want is for people to leave and go exploring. Its best if we stick together as a group until we have some more information…

I hear someone walk over and sit down next to me on my right. They smell good, like a mix of vanilla and lavender. I quickly notice its a girl as she begins to talk, shes got a raspy voice, ”You know, its easier for me if I keep thinking about happy things. Those two girls might find something really helpful for us. ”

I open my eyes. ”You
e right, but we haven even been here a few hours. As far as we all know, this campsite is safe. But if Im being honest, Im not too sure about that after that message. Its unsettling that we don know where we are, and what dangers may lie beyond this campsite. ”

I look at her. Shes got her knees tucked up close to her chest, with her arms wrapped around them. Shes a stunner too. Her smooth skin boldly expresses a gorgeous, light brown tone. Shes got brown eyes and her hair is coiled into a bun with braids falling elegantly down one of her shoulders. She says, ”Ive thought about that too. But in my opinion, theres no point in worrying about things we can control. I believe… I have faith that our new home, for however long we may be here, will bring many happy moments worth remembering. ”

I look off to the side as I bobble my head into a nod. I look back at her and say, ”Lets hope so. ” She smiles. She stands up and begins to walk off. She then stops walking, turns back around, and says, ”Lets both believe in them today and continue to have faith. ” I look at her and nod. She puts a hand up as if to wave or motion a goodbye and then begins to walk off again into the sunrise.

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