Just Under the Surface

BY : Arian-Sinclair
Category: +S through Z > UnderTale
Dragon prints: 779
Disclaimer: I do not own Horrortale(Undertale AU) nor do I own any of the canonical characters within. This story is for entertainment purposes only and is not for profit. All rights of ownership go to their respective creators.

 1

    I was never quite right in the head. I know this. I never really fit in with the crowd. I never tried to fit in. The world is a dark place. The deeper down you go, the darker it gets. When I'm in danger is the only time I ever truly feel alive. My only friend, the only person I actually consider a friend invited me to a camp out with some of her friends on Mt Ebbot. They aren't exactly pleased to have me here, but this is where one story ends and another begins, so let the fatal game begin as we'll all fall down…

      These thoughts passed through my mind, but I knew better than to act on any of the darker thoughts and urges. Kaori would be upset with me if I did. Currently, we were setting up camp, having reached our destination. I was good with fire, so I was tasked with that while everyone else tried to set up the tent. They looked pretty damn stupid doing it in my opinion, but Kaori seemed happy and to be having fun, so I was content for now. Kaori's smile was all that mattered to me, damn the rest of them. All together, our group was made up of seven people, four male and three female. We were all legally adults by technicality with me being the youngest at eighteen. The others were all either nineteen or twenty, Kaori being nineteen and only older than me because her birthday came the month after mine.

      "I hate setting up tents. They never stay up," one of the guys, Jackson, griped as they finally got the tent pitched so that it stayed in place.

      "You mean like your dick?" I chimed with a cheeky half grin. The others laughed as his face reddened to a dark crimson hue.

      "That ain't true, bitch face!" he said defensively, trying to save face. He only made himself look worse.

      "Jackie boy, you need to chill before you get even more freezer burned," I quipped wittily and he shut up after a moment of his mouth hanging open stupidly in an attempt to try thinking of something good to say in response. He just decided to settle on glaring, a sign that I won that little skirmish.

      "Hey, let's play Truth Or Dare!" Kenmal piped up out of boredom.

      "Sounds fun. I'm in," Kaori said, deciding to play.

      "I'll play along as well," I pitched in, willing to play because of Kaori. Soon, everyone had joined in to play the game, Lisa being the only one who was hesitant and joining the game because she didn't want to be left out. We played for about two hours, laughing and joking and all out messing around. Those of us who boldly chose dare the first round either had to do something really stupid or make out with one of the others, the latter I did without hesitation come my turn. I was the youngest, but definitely the least innocent. Zack and Jackson were drunk, having brought beer with them like party hard idiots. I hated that smell, so they reeked too badly for my liking. That was the only issue I had for now. 

2

    "I've got a dare for everyone," Darren said suddenly, getting everyone's attention. We'd stopped playing Truth Or Dare nearly an hour ago and I was the only one not roasting marshmallows over the campfire. I didn't like those, so I'd turned down taking part in that.

      "Shoot, instigator," Kenmal said, leaning on Darren's shoulder. It was obvious he was hitting on Darren. Actually, it was an open secret they were together. It was similar to Kaori and me, except we had a more friends with benefits relationship instead of actually dating when she wasn't with a more monogamous partner. She was bi, I'm pan. It worked out.

      "Let's go further up Mt Ebbot. We've never gone beyond this area before, so why not explore and see what's up there?" Darren suggested. I rolled my eyes. That wasn't even an actual dare.

      "But isn't that dangerous?" Lisa questioned, whining as if that would change anyone's mind. I hated her. She was annoying, a nuisance I would rather do without.

      "If it is, that makes things more fun," I scoffed.

      "You're nuts, Arian. Kaori, why'd you even invite her to come?" Lisa whined.

      "Because she's my best friend and you guys need to fucking quit with all the shit talk that she's crazy," Kaori retorted with a roll of her eyes.

      "So…We going or nah?" Jackson spoke up, sobering up some.

      "Let's go before it gets too dark," Kenmal said. The sun would be setting pretty soon, and his input on that wasn't surprising. He always kept good track of the time. We sometimes joked he was a living clock.

      "Yeah, and if Lisa wants to stay behind, that's on her," Darren said as if she wasn't right there. Of course, she did decide to come because she was afraid of what might happen if she stayed back alone. I could just about smell her fear, something I'd never really been able to feel myself and lacked any empathy for.

3

      It wasn't long before everyone finished their marshmallows and we put out the campfire so the tent wouldn't end up burned down by the time we got back. We made our way up the snowy mountain side, Darren and Kenmal a bit ahead of the rest of us as we tread a little behind to give the two their space.

      "Hey, guys! Check this out! It's some cave!" Kenmal exclaimed and the rest of us hurried over to catch up to him and Darren.

      "Let's go check out inside it, see if we can find anything cool in there," Zack suggested with a stupid grin.

      "Whatever. In there we can at least get out the wind for a bit," Lisa muttered. The others agreed, my silence on the matter going unnoticed as I didn't care either way. We all shuffled inside the cave out of the bitter cold wind. Even though we were out of the wind, it was oddly warm within the hole on side the mountain, much warmer than it should have been. I could feel an odd energy throughout the space that the others hadn't noticed. Hell, they all probably thought the extent of the warmth within the cave was normal, very likely with how not a single one of them commented on it. I said nothing as well, but only because I didn't care to draw unnecessary attention to myself right then.

      I kept to the centre of our little group, keeping close to Kaori as we walked further into the cavernous space. All our flashlights together did little to illuminate our surroundings, which I actually preferred. Even so, it did provide some ability to see ahead of us.

      We walked for a good fifteen minutes before stopping. We were forced to stop because of a large hole in the ground that Darren almost fell into, his terrified shout echoing throughout the area. It was like an echo chamber, I thought in slight irritation. Kenmal and Zack caught him just in time to pull him back. His own and Kenmal's flashlights had taken a plunge, his directly into the hole and Kenmal's rolling into it after being dropped onto the stone ground.

      "Shit, that was close, man," Jackson commented, fully sober at this point.

      "We should turn back, be safe," Lisa whimpered, her grip on her flashlight tightening as if it was a security blanket.

      "Come on, Li. We got this far. Let's go just a little more," Zack urged. He pointed his flashlight to a narrow ledge along the cave's wall near where he stood. "Look, we can go along there."

      "Are you out of your damn mind?! We'll fall down there and die for sure!" Lisa screeched. She was mistaken about what the death would be from, though.

      "You're so noisy and never take any chances, anyhow. You could just go back to camp on your own," I taunted. Her face reddened at that.

      "Sh-shut up," she mumbled, but otherwise fell silent and glance away from me in embarrassment. She was too scared to go back without someone with her.

      "Do you think the ledge is stable enough?" Darren asked.

      "Yeah. Looks it," came Zack's reply. Darren nodded, trusting Zack's judgement on this. I didn't, but I didn't really care either.

      "Okay. Let's keep going, then," Darren said. We each stepped along the ledge, slipping onto the narrow footing one by one until we were all scooting along it. Two minutes of scuffling along the ledge later, there was a low cracking sound.

      "W-what was that?" Lisa whimpered.

      "We need to get off the ledge, soon. I don't think it'll hold much longer," Kaori said.

      "Shit. I guess we should turn back, then," Darren sighed. "Let's get moving."

4

      Just before Kaori, who'd stepped onto the ledge after me and was the last one on, could make it back onto the wider and less dangerous ground beyond the ledge, a final cracking sound resounded loudly through the cave as the ledge broke off entirely. We were all sent tumbling down into the dark abyss. I was the only one who didn't scream. I accepted whatever fate befell us. The only sound I made was a quiet gasp in surprise, that being drowned out by the others' screams of fear.

      We didn't die from the fall, not a single one of us. Our landing was softened by a dying patch of buttercups, which shouldn't have saved us to begin with as long as that fall had been. I just accepted things as they were without a care while the others gave each other and the area around us uncertain glances.

      "A-are we dead?" Lisa muttered under her breath. It was so disturbingly quiet that we all heard her.

      "I doubt it. That was a weird fall," Kenmal said, the second of us to say something after that strange incident.

      "We should get moving if any of you want to find a way out. We can't exactly fall upwards," I deadpanned, getting to my feet and stretching my limbs. This place had a dangerous air to it, and I liked that a bit too much. It wasn't exactly warm down here, but not cold either. It was sort of lukewarm.

      "Ari's right. We need to be going," Kaori said. With that, the others got to their feet as well and we all started on our way to find some way out of here.


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