A 23rd Century Girl in the 20th Century -- Chapter 7

               A 23rd Century Girl

                in the 20th Century

                                      Chapter 7
                           By Starla Anne Lowry
 
 
As the group made their way through the cave with no idea of where it could lead, Lizzie Jane remarked, “We forgot about George. I hope he is okay – wish he were here with us.”
 
Ruth said, “Well, look behind you.”
 
Lizzie Jane stopped, turned around and there was George. He had made it through the fighting, by the bottomless bit and was running along between Ruth and Josh and Lizzie Jane.
 
“Hey, atta boy, George,” smiled Lizzie Jane.
 
“I guess we can rest here. I don’t hear anyone following us,” stated Doctor Ledbetter, stopping to catch his breath.   “I don’t think they will go beyond the pit. We were fortunate to cross on that narrow ledge.”
 
“No, not fortunate,” said Lizzie Jane. “God was with us.”
 
“I wish I had your faith.”
 
“I don’t think we have to worry with the natives back there. If they had an exit, I am sure it was not this way,” added Lizzie Jane. “If my bearings are correct, if we find an exit, it should be on the other side of the mountain since we seemed to have been going in a fairly straight line. That should place us on the side where Momma Gorilla and George lived.”
 
“Good, let’s rest awhile. I know we are all tired. One of the men and a woman can stand guard in case they hear anything. I am thinking that we are so tired that it will be easy to fall asleep. By two standing guard, they can keep each other awake.  Another couple can relieve them later.”
 
Doctor Ledbetter was correct. Although excited, exhaustion finally took its toll. Soon all of the group, except those standing guard, were soon sound asleep. Even the guards caught themselves nodding from time to time, fighting to stay awake.
 
The group had stopped to rest at a spot where the internal light had dimmed. From now on, the group would have to walk more carefully because of the darkness that was expected to envelope them as they continued further through the tunnels. All the equipment, except weapons, was left behind when fleeing.
 
Josh and Ruth had taken the first shift as guards. In a few hours, Jake and Lizzie Jane relieved them. Doctor Ledbetter had planned to take the next shift with Linda to keep him company. Doctor Ledbetter loaned the guards a pocket watch to mark time. It could be barely seen by turning the face of the watch toward the dim light.
 
Instead of waking him for his turn as a relief guard, Lizzie Jane decided that they should just let the good doctor sleep. Maybe he could think of some way to lead them through the darkness just ahead if he had time to clear his mind. It was very dangerous to walk through a cave in the darkness.
 
Jake had dozed off, as well as Lizzie Jane. Lizzie Jane opened her eyes first and, looking into what was expected to be complete darkness ahead, she saw light.
 
“Doctor Ledbetter! Doctor Ledbetter! It is morning and I think I see daylight just ahead,” she exclaimed as she shook the doctor.
 
Doctor Ledbetter opened his eyes and, with blurred morning vision looked toward the distant light streaming in what was apparently from outside. He stated, “That must be the other end of the cave.”
 
The group was all awaken at the conversation and could not believe their eyes. Each individual rushed toward the light were with haste, anxious to see daylight again. The exit came out on the side of the mountain, revealing high cliffs in every direction with a very small stream of water coming out of the mountain.
 
Surveying the situation, Doctor Ledbetter said, “I think I see a way down. It is rough, but the way up is not any better. Besides, I don’t think we would want to go up anyway.”
 
“Doctor Ledbetter, May I make a suggestion?” asked Lizzie Jane.
 
“Of course.”
 
“Well, we were all surprised that we were captured. Up here everyone is safe for now and you have water. How about me and Linda going down and check things out, working our way up in the trees? It has been a long time since we were here according to the earth’s calendar and things may have changed.”
 
“Well, after I saw how you girls can swing through the trees in rescuing us, I think it would be all right.”
 
“Oh, thank you so much,” replied Lizzie Jane.
 
Lizzie Jane, Linda, and George eased down the steep cliff, taking their time, until reaching the bottom. “So far, so good,” said Lizzie Jane as she scampered up a tree with Linda behind her. George climbed a tree close to the one they had chosen.
 
Reaching a comfortable height where the girls thought they would not be noticed too quickly, they began to make their way through the limbs. Very little swinging was attempted because it was thought that would cause them to be spotted more quickly. Instead, they traveled from limb to limb, both girl having sufficient experience – Lizzie Jane spending a year in the jungle being taught by George and Linda learning aerobics in school. George, being the unusual gorilla that he was, had learned by himself.
 
A few yards into the jungle, Lizzie Jane stopped and, puttinng her finger to her lips to indicate silence, she whispered, “Look.”
 
Below them were a group of gorillas, each wearing some sort of vest, carrying a bow with arrows in a rough quiver. “They are acting almost human,” quietly stated Linda.
 
“Almost? They ARE acting human,” whispered Lizzie Jane. “Listen, they seem to be talking.” She motioned to George to listen, too, by signaling with her hand to her ear and pointing.
 
After a moment, Linda asked, “Can you understand them?”
 
“A little – but it is strange. It seems to be a new language, a mixture of English and gorilla speech.”
 
“You mean gorillas can converse?”
 
“Yes, George taught me his language and I taught him some human language.”
 
“What does this mean?” asked Linda.
 
“I don’t know. Let’s travel a bit further and see what else we can find out,” answered Lizzie Jane.
 
They eased deeper into the jungle with a careful eye. The animals and vegetation seemed to be normal, just as it was when the girls had been trapped in this same jungle, caught in the time warp. The fact that gorillas seemed to be civilized appeared to be the only strange thing, that is until ---
 
Before them lay perfectly created huts in what seemed to be some kind of planned village. The gorillas even had markets set up with various items displayed. Not only where there editable food, but other items, such as tools, weapons, etc. Watching a transaction take place, purchases seemed to be made on the barter system.
 
On the side of the mountain, there appeared to be a cave with an elaborate front wall, constructed with flat rock and decorated with precious stones. In appearance, it appeared to be a palace. George began to make some small sounds, jumping up and down.
 
“George must be thinking the same thing I am,” said Lizzie Jane. “That appears to be the cave where Momma Gorilla and George lived – and was my home for a year. Can’t be sure, though. So much as changed.”
 
“Look!” exclaimed Linda. “There are humans down there, too.”
 
Two men and a woman came out of the palace and made their way down a long flight of stone steps, a matching stairway for the structure. The girls observed them strolling through the market place, stopping occasionally to look at some item.
 
“They don’t look like cannibals to me,” said Lizzie Jane. “George and I am going down there to try to converse with them. We might learn something. I was able to understand some of their conversations earlier when we first spotted the gorillas.”
 
”Please don’t, Momma Elizabeth. You don’t know what may happen,” pleaded Linda.
 
“Well, if I don’t we may never get a chance to try to find your mother’s records.” Speaking to Linda, she continued, “You stay here in case of trouble. You can always rush back to get help.”
 
“Please, Momma Elizabeth, don’t…” Linda’s pleas fell on deaf ears.
 
Lizzie Jane slid down the tree and, hand in hand with George, walked toward the market place. A male gorilla saw them coming and said something in his language. The other  gorillas, as well as the humans, turned toward the brave girl and her friend.
 
As she approached, Lizzie Jane pointed toward herself and said (first in English), “No hurt.” When it appeared that was not understood, she tried something similar in gorilla language. Again, there seemed to be confusion. Not wanting to give up, Lizzie Jane tried different combinations of English and gorilla language, but nothing worked. She pointed at her heart, crossed her arms and then pointed to herself and George in an effort to show love.
 
Two huge gorillas who seemed to have some official authority slipped up from behind and grabbed her, holding both arms. Lizzie Jane tried to kick herself free, but was being held too tight. Linda watched from her perch, unsure of what to do.
 
 
Doctor Ledbetter and the group waited on the mountain for word from Lizzie Jane.  Josh noticed that Ruth had fallen asleep and remarked, “She must be extremely tired – to still be sleepy,” explained Josh.
 
Ruth woke suddenly and, with wild eyes, exclaimed, “Lizzie Jane! She is in trouble!”
 
“You were probably just having a nightmare,” said Josh.
 
“No, no! No nightmare! My daughter came to me in a dream – Lizzie Jane’s mother –- and told me that we need to rescue Lizzie Jane.”
 
“Now, you realize that dreams are just a figment of your imagination,” said Doctor Ledbetter, trying to calm her down.
 
“No! Maudie said that Lizzie Jane’s mother – my sister – has talked to Lizzie Jane in dreams lots of times and Maudie believed it. She said that Mary came to her once in a mental hospital and talked to her, too. Everything that Mary said had come true.”
 
“Mary? Was that your daughter’s name,” asked Jake.
 
“Yes, she was murdered one night going home to celebrate Lizzie Jane’s birthday, but she is still watching over Lizzie Jane – even in death.”
 
Jake replied, “I know that Lizzie Jane’s mother does talk to her and, if she needs to be rescued, we need to go now!”
 
“Let’s go,” stated Ruth as she checked her six-shooter. “My granddaughter is in trouble, I am going – if I have to go by myself.”
 
“Me too,” said Josh. He had gained a revolver, too, when Lizzie Jane had handed out the weapons when the natives captured them.
 
“Well, I am not staying here by myself,” said Doctor Ledbetter.
 
____________________________________________________________________
 
 
The human male and the gorillas appeared to be in a serious discussion while Lizzie Jane was tied and placed in a corner. Finished their talk, they nodded their heads in agreement. Walking over to Lizzie Jane and helping her to her feet, she was dragged to an open area between the palace and market place and tied to a post. Five gorillas line up with their bows facing Lizzie Jane about 25 feet away.
 
‘They are going to execute Momma Elizabeth and I don’t have time to go for help,’ thought Linda. She immediately swung down and knocked a few gorillas off their feet in a daring rescue attempt, but there were too many gorillas, so she was captured, too.
 
Being held tightly, she could do nothing but watch helplessly as the gorillas placed arrows in their bows and took aim at Lizzie Jane.
 
 
To be continued
 

Copyright 2008 by Starla Anne Lowry

Oh My!! What A Cliffhanger Starla!!

This I was not expecting. Great chapter!! Evidently, you have watched the Planet Of The Apes movies.
May Your Light Forever Shine

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