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Chapter 2

“Great Zoshnah blesses you,” a voice said again. “Isn’t that what you say when someone sneezes?”  It continued.

What the hell was that? Is there someone else in the cavern? Am I losing it? Damn it Fru keep it together. 

Fru stood there in the darkness and silence thinking about what he just heard and what to do. He sneezed and someone replied to him. But in this darkness, it could easily be that his brain was playing with him.

I need to do something. I need to check if this is real or just a figment of my imagination, Fru thought.

“Wh- who is there?” Fru asked but the echo was the only thing that’s returned back to him.

“Sh-show yourself. I know you are there,” he tried again but still no response.

Oh man, oh man, oh man, this is starting to freak me out a little. Keep it cool Fru, keep it cool, you know what you’re doing and you’re getting out of here. 

“RAAAWRR!”A gigantic roaring sound echoed in the caverns like a stampede of wild bulls.

The fear in Fru’s bones run through his bones almost paralyzing him. He stood there trapped between darkness, his own fear, and an unknown enemy that was lurking in the shadows.

“Show yourself beast!” Fru yelled. “This, this is not real, this is all in my head, I’m imagining it.”

“Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!” The hysterical laughing echoed even worse through the caverns then the roar did.

“I will kill you! You hear me? With my Bear hands! Show yourself your filthy beast!” Fru was now scared to the death.

This was definitely a thing. He wasn’t alone in the caverns. But why that… that thing or whatever it was, waited so long to reveal itself to Fru? Why now? And why like this? What’s it’s agenda?

Fru had no clue. All he knew was that he needed to find the creature and deal with it before it deals with him.

“Filthy beast? Well, how do you know I’m filthy? It’s dark here, and you don’t see a finger in front of you, so how do you know if somebody is actually filthy or clean or even a beast? Hm? How do you know anything about this darkness?” The voice said.

“That’s it I’m hallucinating. I’m officially going insane and this is all in my head. That mushroom must’ve been toxic or something and now it is in my system,”  Fru said.

“Insane? A mushroom? Haha, no, Fru,  I assure you none of this is in your head. It is as real as it can get. And you are stuck in this darned cavern, with me. You’d have to excuse me, but I have to say that this is fun. Actually, this is tremendously great fun,” the creature paused its breath for dramatic effect. “Aah, I haven’t had such fun in ages. So amusing.”

“Who are you? What are you talking about? Show yourself, or…”

“Or what?”

“… Or I will scream until we both go mad out of echoes, that’s what!” The second he said it, Fru realized how banal and stupid that idea would be, but at the moment he wasn’t able to come up with anything better.

“All right, all right, shush you, no need to yell. Can’t a man joke a little?”

“Joke? Joke?!” Fru yelled. “Why would you wanna joke about something like that? What normal person would do something like that? Don’t you see where we are? And who the hell are you anyway?”

All right dude, chill out. It was just a joke in the dark, no biggie. We will get through this together. I am not the enemy here. Let us start over. Tell me where are you right now?”

“Well isn’t that obvious? I’m in a dark cave.”

“I sense a tone of irony in your voice, not cool bro. Look, You are stuck in this cavern, and so am I, and it seems that we have something in common here, wouldn’t you say that?”

Damn, this can’t be happening. Maybe you are just my paranoia,” Fru said.

“You know, saying something isn’t real is not actually going to help you. But what can and will help you, is a little bit of light. Here is what I propose. You stomp on the ground with your foot so that I can hear where and how far you are. Then I can lead you to me.”

“Oh, wow, what a masterful plan. How come I didn’t think of that? You are not gonna lure me to you. Must you think I’m stupid or something? Well, guess what, I am not,” Fru stood out firmly.

“Ok dude, calm down, don’t get mad at me, we are all in this together.”

We? Who’s we? There are only two of us. Are you saying there’s someone else here as well?” A new wave of paranoia sprinted through Fru’s mind.

“No, no, no, just two of us, no other beings. Can’t guarantee for bodies, but no alive beings except you and me, are walking this cavern.”

“And I was just beginning to trust you.”

“Really?”

“No.”

“Why not? I am such a trustful persona. Got that flare in the eye. A people person.”

“Yeah, a people person who frightens people in the caves. Really trustful perk.”

“Oh, will you cut it already? It was a joke. A freaking joke. You have to admit it was funny.”

“It was not funny.”

“To you. To me, it was hilarious. You would do the same thing as well if the circumstances were different.”

“Nope.”

“Well, either way, it’s just one of those things that people do sometimes, you know, a prank. Just get over it, and come to me.”

“Nope. Still not coming near you.”

“Sigh, ok dude, I’m sorry.”

“What you said? I didn’t hear you?”

“OK, I see where this is going. I said I am sorry because I frightened you. Aren’t you a sensitive soul.”

“No, I’m not.”

“No need to decline, it’s OK, I accept you.”

“What the hell are you talking about? You’re crazy… wherever you are.”

“No, I’m not. Don’t call me crazy, I don’t like when people call me that. I am not crazy, well maybe just a little, ah I’m not. Either way, even if I was, which I’m not, I wouldn’t know.”

“Heh, yeah right.”

“Look Fru, bud, I sense you’re really close to me, like five or six steps. Just crawl straight and you should probably bump into me. Let’s not waste any more time on this empty talk, ok?

“Don’t make me regret this, ok?” Fru said.

He decided to give chance to blind faith and find this creature. Maybe it could really help him to get out the cavern. It wasn’t like he had any other option and two heads were always better than one so he gave it a chance and went forward.

“There, there, you are closer. See we are moving bridges already. Imagine what will be able to do together.”

“Yeah, yeah, just keep talking.”

“ I hear your steps louder. You’re almost here. Continue to follow my voice.”

Fru crawled through the cavern following creature’s voice. A sharp pain in his knee stopped his crawling search. He hit something. A stone, rock or some other clobby object.

“Ouch! My leg. Goddamnit, I hit into something.”

“Surprise! It’s me! You hit into me.”

Fru went down on the ground with his hand searching for the object he hit. He found something. A cold feel under his hand was spreading. He touched a metallic shape. He moved his hand up and down feeling the object more.

A-ha! I found something. Feels like it is a sword, Fru thought. And he was right. It was a sword indeed that he stumbled upon. “Hey, where are you? I just wanna let you know that I found a sword. So if you try any anything stupid I will defend myself.”

“Oh, I see, a true warrior. You know I also found the sword. Maybe we found the same sword.”

The moment Fru picked up the sword, it started to glow around his hand. It illuminated his body and the room around him. It was not dark anymore. The sword was glowing in a bluish white light.

“Well hello there handsome. Finally, we meet,” the sword bent in direction of Fru’s face.

“Wait a minute the sword is you? The voice from the shadows is not a creature but a talking sword instead?”

“Yep. And I’m awesome!”

 “I definitely went crazy,” Fru sit down on the ground. He tried to grasp and process the information but it was more than he could chew right now. A talking sword, that can also glow? It was one step too many.

“Yeah, it’s a bit hard to understand. I am a talking sword and to be honest, I’m actually even more than that. But I’m not gonna tell you what yet because I don’t know you but I’m willing to get to. So um, what’s your name boy? Do you remember your name?”

“I do. It’ Fru.”

“Well, that’s a nice and simple name. No complications in pronouncing, no high expectations when saying it, just a simple common townfolk name. ”

“Oh great,  I’m talking to s sword who is also an expert on names. In this godforsaken cavern.”

“Yeah it would definitely have been better if we met at the party or at some other fancier place like a cabin terrace with a nice look at the sea followed by a beautiful velvet sunset rhapsody, but oh I guess the caves will just have to do. Anyway, I’m Mervin.”

“Mervin to talking sword. How fitting. Well, I can’t say I’m thrilled to meet you.”

“That’s OK you’ll get used to it. Now look, I have to tell you something important, but since I don’t know how to do this without freaking you out, I’ll be frank and lay it out for you plain and simple. And it’s better we sort these important things right from the start if you ask me. You see, we, you and I, are bonded now like for life and even more beyond life and even more beyond that and even beyond. And so on. Anyway, you get the picture. It’s because I am an ancient cursed artifact.”

“Huh?”

“ Basically, in essence, whoever grabs me is bonded to me forever and the bond can only be broken when that person dies. So, yeah no pressure, no biggie we should take it slow.”

“You saying that you cursed me? On purpose? You bastard, you dirty old bastard sword. “

“Hey, you can’t blame me, I was lonely. Like you would do any different if you were in my skin. Anyway, it is what it is, we’re bros now, yeah! So exciting.”

“I don’t care. You tricked and cursed me forever. And I don’t even know you. Who on earth would do such a thing to another being without asking first? Like I don’t have any bigger problems right now. Like being stuck in this cave without memory wasn’t enough,  now I even have a cursed weapon on me, for the eternity. What else is going to get me? Oh man, this day is just getting better and better.”

“If I told you, you would pass me over and we would never bond. I’ve been there before and it was not a pleasant situation, let me tell you. And then I was alone for a long time. Do you know how it is to be alone in this cave for a decade? Do you? You were here for an hour and you freaked out. You have no clue bro, no clue. So yeah, I tricked you to bond with me, because I was lonely, mostly. But you grew up on me fast. And hey, I am your cursed weapon, and guess what, I am beginning to like you.”

“Yeah, well you shouldn’t.”

“Oh yeah, almost forgot, there’s this one more tiny thing about this curse and that is if you leave me or let me go or try to abandon me in any way you die. So I wouldn’t suggest any of those ideas. Happy thoughts yay.”

“What?! You cursed me? And you are telling me this like that? Just like it’s some random side thing? Great Zoshnah, this is really, really not cool… bro. Sigh. All right Fru, play along and chill, focus on getting out of here first, and you’ll sort this out later… somehow. But for now just wing it on the fly. Sigh, well if that is the case, if we are bonded forever now like you say, Marvin my faithful Cursed bonded bastard sword, do you have any idea how do we get out?”

“I thought you’d never ask. I do have some ideas in mind, actually. But first things first. We need to get to the bottom of the cave. Put me up so I can radiate some light around us, for a better picture in here. Finally, it’s time to get out of this dead-end,” Marvin said.

“I agree,” Fru replied.

“Oh, I believe this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.”

“Yeah it sure is, it sure is.”