Here’s an excerpt from Dreaming the Moon. I hope you enjoy it.
Robyn and her friend Bryn are in the tunnels below the cliff, searching for what has been lost. But all is not going to plan.
Robyn forced herself to open her eyes and the first thing she saw was light. Not very bright, but definitely enough to see by and illuminating the tunnel in both directions. Ahead she could make out the cavern into which the tunnel opened, which also seemed well lit. She looked for the mark she had just made, only to find that it had disappeared.
‘Where are we?’ she asked. ‘What happened?’
Keeping his arm round her and pulling her closer to the wall, Bryn let go of her hand and lifted the bottle to show her. It was glowing fiercely now, almost incandescent.
‘I think somehow we’ve crossed over. Into the faerie realm. I don’t know how, whether we slipped through a rift in the shield or whether this is a crossing that neither side is aware of, but we’re certainly not where we were.’
‘Can’t we go back through?’
‘Unfortunately not. Humans usually can’t cross unless they’re with a magical being, but at the moment everything’s in chaos so who knows what rules apply. One thing I do know though, we need to keep moving because somebody is going to be aware of that shift and come looking.’
‘Which way?’ Robyn said. ‘Should we go back toward the sea?’
‘Don’t know which way that is,’ Bryn told her. ‘The approximate geography is the same but the transposition isn’t exact. I need to send a message to Holly, see if he’s got any ideas, then I think we should keep going, see if we can find another way out, or something that can help us in the meantime.’ He felt her shiver and gave her a quick squeeze before releasing her and feeling for the pen.
‘I’ll mark the wall,’ said Robyn. ‘Just in case.’
Bryn wrote the message on his arm and they watched it sink into his skin and disappear. Then they made their way cautiously into the cavern which was empty but lit by several flaming torches. There were several tunnels leading off it, most of them also lit. Bryn suggested they take the brightest one, thinking it was the one that was probably most used and therefore the most likely to lead them out. It was eerily silent, their footsteps echoing around them despite their efforts to stay quiet, and they were both on edge as they continued. Robyn marked their way and they walked for what felt like hours, up, down, tunnel after tunnel, with no sign of life at all. Finally they sat down on the ground in yet another small cavern, to rest and eat something.
‘It feels like we’re going nowhere,’ Robyn said despondently. ‘Like in that old film Labyrinth. That girl, Sarah, she keeps walking and walking and it all looks the same, as if she’s not getting anywhere at all, no matter how far she goes.’
‘I know,’ Bryn agreed. ‘But we must be getting somewhere, surely. We haven’t seen any of the arrows you drew, so we can’t have gone back on ourselves.’
Robyn sighed. ‘We need a miracle,’ she groaned. ‘Otherwise we could be walking around down here forever.’ She leaned her head back against the rock. ‘At least it’s not dark. We’ll be able to see as we starve slowly to death.’
‘Cheery, aren’t you?’ Bryn said. He stretched. ‘Come on then.’
It was then that they heard the sound, a slight scuffling from the tunnel to their left. Bryn was on his feet immediately, finger on his lips. Robyn rose as quietly as she could. There was more scuffling, louder now, voices and a steady tapping. Bryn peered into the tunnel and backed up quickly. He grabbed Robyn’s hand.
Glancing back as they careered through the nearest opening, Robyn saw with horror a large crowd of small ugly creatures wrestling and pushing at each other. One of them looked up directly at her just before she disappeared. They heard the increase in volume of voices, but didn’t wait to find out whether the things had seen which entrance they had taken. They just ran, following whichever fork or tunnel was the nearest. Behind them they could hear sounds, pattering feet and strange nasal grunts and whoops, varying in volume so that it was difficult to tell whether they were being pursued or whether it was echoing through from other chambers. As they exited yet another cavern, Bryn spotted a split in the wall, almost invisible yet big enough to walk through, and he pulled Robyn into the small cave behind it. They stood very still, desperately trying to control their breathing, and waited.