Tom was falling but he didn't care. He had his eyes closed but he could feel Sabrina clinging to him in the darkness as they plunged into a deep, swirling pool of water. He was happy to be holding Sabrina and happier still that he wasn't lying in a mahogany coffin on the surface, being impaled by a dozen sharp blades.
Just minutes before, Sabrina had knocked him and The Box of Death backwards onto the stage and quietly unlatched a secret panel that dropped them into the fountain below.
But something was wrong.
The fountain was deeper than he expected and they were sinking too quickly. Tom felt a current pulling them down and he opened his eyes to discover that what had appeared to be a fountain was actually a deep well. Tom realized that the well would have to be connected to an underground river in order to produce the current he felt. He decided that their best chance was to swim as fast as they could to the underground river and try to surface for air before they ran out of breath.
Tom squeezed Sabrina to get her attention, and, through a series of unintentionally comical hand and face gestures, communicated to her that he wanted them to begin swimming in the direction of the current. Sabrina grinned, nodded and followed Tom's lead as he swam straight down.
Tom and Sabrina swam swiftly and were soon near the bottom of the well, but they had been holding their breath for several minutes and Tom began to worry that they might not make it. Sabrina noticed an elliptical opening to their left that led to a long, smooth tunnel. She tapped Tom on the shoulder and pointed to it. Swimming as if he were on fire, Tom made it through the opening and into the tunnel in record time, with Sabrina right on his heels. As he entered the tunnel, Tom could see light coming from the surface a short distance ahead where the tunnel emptied into a large chamber. Tom knew instantly that they had made it to the underground river. He turned briefly to make sure Sabrina was still with him and then he shot out into the chamber and up towards the light.
Tom and Sabrina broke the water's surface just as their air supply was completely exhausted. They floated on their backs and puffed and panted for a full five minutes before either of them could concentrate enough to look at their surroundings. They were in a large underground cavern covered by sharp, electric blue stalactites that jutted from the ceiling at strange angles. To their right and left they could see rock formations covered with glowing green mushrooms. The river appeared to come into the cavern through a waterfall on the east and flowed out through an opening on the west end of the chamber.
Slowly, they paddled their way to the nearest shore and pulled themselves up onto flat, gray rocks that were covered with a slippery orange moss.
Tom picked up a small boulder and moved to where Sabrina was sitting, her ankles still chained together. He wrapped the chain over the edge of a sharp rock and began hitting it with the boulder until the metal bent and eventually gave way. Sabrina slipped the chains off and rubbed her ankles, which had turned bright red. She smiled up at Tom, thanked him, and extended her hand so he could pull her up.
Tom helped her up and they squeezed what water they could out of their clothes. After a few moments of deliberation, they began moving towards the tunnel opening at the west end of the chamber.
Tom reached out and grabbed Sabrina's soggy hand as they walked. "I thought a walk along the river might be a nice...a nice way to get to know each other," he said with a big grin.
Sabrina smiled back and said, "Okay, but I need to be back before sundown or my Mom will kill me!"
They laughed and squeezed hands as they walked into the dark and musty-smelling tunnel opening.
Continued on the next page
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Greg is a web comic artist. He enjoys creating funny web comics for the Internet. It makes him happy to do humorous comics about fish. Webcomics are great, fun, and some of the best comics out there!
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