Phew, getting quite long! And not even that interesting to boot, har har. Read part 1 here. -Obachuka
I jogged through the forest, my ears open for the hum of a star. I heard nothing but the crunching of leaves beneath my feet.
Suddenly, “Gooaaaal! Team Nix scores a point!”
I flinched. The announcements were always too loud for my tastes. Well, at least Rodney made it to the goal. I smiled and continued along.
“Wow, another goal! Team Pol scores a point!” I froze this time. Whaaaaat?! How could Rose have found the second star already?!
The sound of quick footsteps appeared from behind, and Rose ran right past me, going at a ridiculous speed. I gritted my teeth and chased her.
She looked behind and saw me. She turned and navigated through a maze of bushes and vines. I dashed after her. Branches scratched at me, the footing was uneven, and tree canopy’s overhead swooshed past over my head. Rose twisted through a mess of trees and I lost sight of her. But I could still hear her messy running and her footprints in the soft, somewhat damp dirt.
I burst through the forest, and a clearing loomed up ahead. And a cliff. Fear shot through me, and I clumsily skidded to a halt and almost lost my balance. I heard my own hear beating, and I paused to catch my breath.
I looked around. Where did Rose go? I followed her footprints, and sure enough, they led off the cliff. I peered down, and dislodged dirt and stone revealed Rose’s direction. I could see gray rectangles at the far distant bottom, which I assumed to be streets or buildings.
More footsteps came running up behind, and I turned around to see Rodney and Banker. Exhausted and breathing loudly, they stopped before me.
“That was ridiculous!” Rodney shouted, his hands on his knees, gasping for breath. “She came out of nowhere, and already had the second star! What gives man?”
Banker’s face was completely sweaty. “I tried to stop her…but her guards are mean stuff.”
I looked down the cliff again. “I have no clue how she did that. But I have to go after her. Meet me at the bottom!”
Rodney shouted to wait, but I took a breath, and jumped down the cliff. Whoah! Too steep, I thought. My legs strained against the side of the cliff, and I stretched out my arms for balance. I gained speed faster and faster, and soon I was sliding down the cliff, attempting to steer with my arms and legs. The air roared past my head, smelling of dry dust and clay. I clenched my mouth, and stared intently at what lay before me.
An gray building squatted at the bottom. I pushed against the cliff, spraying dust everywhere. I slowed down and landed on the bottom, my legs still shaking from the huge height I traversed.
The gray building had a flat top, and contained a few cracks here and there. Moss grew abundantly, but I could still make out faint white lines painted on the floor. In the center, a ramp led downwards, and rusted metal bars stuck out of the edges of the building. I felt curious. What was an old parking structure doing here?
The sweet song of a star quietly hummed. Along the with hum, I heard echoing footsteps below. I grinned, I got this! I stepped forward and –
With a loud crack, the concrete below me collapse. My body tensed, and I plummeted down to the floor below. I hit the ground, dazed and bruised, and picked myself up.
Rose stood in front of me, a surprised expression on her face.
“Ha!” I wheezed. I coughed and tried again. “Ha! I caught up to you with all the speed of…something really fast…” Suddenly, I saw the glow of the star dart by. I quickly regained my composure and sped after the star. I heard Rose trailing behind me this time. The star floated down the ramp, and the two of us followed. After descending several stories, the star traversed down one last ramp, then continued forwards. I ran down to the star’s floor and halted.
The concrete here on this floor crumbled away, leaving the bent, rusty bars of iron support everywhere. I cautiously tested an iron beam with my foot. Sturdy. Relief filled me, and I hopped to the next iron beam, just as Rose arrived. Carefully balanced, I hopped from one support to another, the glow of the star lighting my way. Rose wasn’t too good at balance apparently, and trailed behind me.
The star danced in front of my face. My spirits lifted, and I reached out an eager hand and grabbed the glowing prize. It felt smooth and warm. Success!
Something large hit me from the side, and knocked me into an iron beam. A sharp pain tore through my left side of my back, and I gave a shout of pain. I fell down into the crumbled concrete below, and collapsed onto the ground. Nearby, I heard something large fall into the concrete with a thud, and a muffled shout of pain. One of Rose’s guards.
I touched the left side of my back, and felt a stab of pain along with liquid. I was bleeding. I began to panic, but calmed myself down after a few seconds with deep breaths. I struggled to my feet, which hurt and were bruised. I felt something warm struggling in my hand, and I discovered with relief that I still held the star.
The sound of heavy panting echoed through the parking structure, and I saw Rose’s second guard rushing towards me with a furious expression. My temporary relief ebbed away to that of horror, but I was too hurt to run. The guard stomped closer, but with a sudden thud, Banker tackled him to the ground.
“Mark! Behind you!” I heard Rodney shout. I smiled, grateful my friends caught up to help. I twisted around, which brought about shock in my wound, and I winced. Rodney ran forwards to help, and I tossed him the star. He looked at me with a look of concern, but I waved at him to go on ahead. He slowly backed away, then began a full sprint to the nearest goal.