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Chips Adventures

Story and all Illustrations © 2005 by Donald L. Brown.
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Ancient Ruins........................Page 2

    Falling they both land on a steep dirt incline where they slide and tumble till they stop against a rock wall. Coughing and spitting the dust from his mouth. He calls out as he blindly searches for his mate. “Tasha! Are you alright?”

    Seconds later he finds her motionless as she lay with her head next to a rock. He gently shakes her as he says. “Tasha love. Please wake up.” Even though she doesn’t respond he can hear her breathing. He softly sobs wishing he hadn’t turned the stone the wrong way.

    A short time later he hears soft moans followed by coughs from his mate. He calls to her as he strokes her soft hair. She ows as Chip touches a lump on the back of her head. Rubbing the sore spot she sits up slowly. Then responds to Chip: “Other than this bump on my head I think I am alright”.

    She coughs, and rubs the dust from her mouth as Chip gives her a hug. “I was so worried about you. She hugs back: “Thank you love, but unless we can find a way out of here we may both not have much of a future.

    Just then a shaft of light shines down from the room above as the stone door is opened. The sound of excited voices is heard, Tasha shushes Chip as he starts to call out. She whispers: “Let’s listen for a minute.” Chip nods as they both keep quiet.

    At the door above three raccoons stand looking at each other. One raccoon exclaims: “I didn’t know the floor could open!” The elder raccoon looks down into the darkness: “I think we should look to see if they survived “ The other raccoon nods: “I can get a rope.”

    The elder raccoon turns to the first raccoon: “Fester. You should climb down to see if you can find them.” He responds: “Why don’t we just forget about them, they shouldn’t have been here in the first place.”

    The elder raccoon growls: “They are from the village in the valley below. I don’t want any trouble with their guards. Now both of you, Go find them.” The young raccoons nod: “Yes sir.” They both hurry to get a rope.

    Meanwhile Chip looks at his mate. “It sounds like we are to be rescued.” She nods: “Yes, but let’ look to see if there is a way out of here. They may only wish to hold us hostage while continuing to take valuable relics from our valley.

     With that they walk a short distance.. There Tasha lights a torch that had fallen with them. They slowly walk along the narrow passage. Soon they are climbing stone steps that lead to a room with a small window. When they look out the window they are shocked at the view.

    Looking through the opening they see a shaft of sunlight reflecting off a large subterranean pool of water. Chip turns to his mate: “It must be nearly 50 meters across.” Tasha nods: “The sunlight must be shining down through the well opening in the central plaza.”

    Chip sticks his head through the opening then looks back. “There is a ledge we can walk on. Maybe it will lead to another exit.” Tasha nods: “We should keep moving.” With that they both climb through the small window, they step carefully along the stone ledge that follows the edge of the pool.

    After walking nearly halfway around the pool they could see there weren’t any other holes large enough to exit except up. Tasha shakes her head: “Looks like we are trapped.” Chip hums as he looks through a small hole: “There is another room with a small pool on the other side of this wall. There is a bit of light in there too.”

    Tasha hums: “Let me see.” After looking through the small opening then back at the large pool a few times she turns to Chip: “I think I know how we can get in there.” Chip looks at his mate: “But how? That wall must be 100 centimeters thick. We couldn’t break through it without tools.”

    She nods: “Just stand by that hole in the wall while I try something”. He nods as she turns, and dives into the pool. A minute or so later he hears her voice. “Chip, look here, I am on the other side of the wall.” He peers through the opening saying: “How did you get over there?”

    He calls out: Did you hear me”? She tickles his foot from the edge of the pool, and giggles: “You don’t need to shout I am right here.” Startled he nearly falls into the water. “How did you.. Oh I get it now. There is a underwater passage to the other room.”

    She nods: “Yes it’s only a couple meters down, through a small opening then up to the other pool. Just follow me”. Chip nods and jumps in to follow her. Between bubbles and dim light he barely can see enough to stay close behind.

    Moments later they both pop up in the other pool. Chip shakes the water from his nose, and ears: “That was interesting.” Tasha smiles: ”Yes and there is a passage we can try.” The young rabbit nods as he and his mate climb from the pool. He looks down the dark passage: “I don’t see any light”.

    Tashs nods: “I think one of these old torches should still light”. She pulls one from a slot in the wall, and strikes a flint over a bit of dry grass she pulls from a crack in the wall. Chip Hey’s: “We must be close to the surface with grass showing”. Tasha nods: Yes this room must be just below the plaza”.

    Soon a spark starts a bit of smoke where Tasha blows to make the tiny ember grow and burst into a small blaze. The sound of voices filter in through the small opening just as Tasha manages to light a torch for herself, and Chip. She quietly says: “We best hurry.” Chip nods as he follows his mate down the dark passage.

    Fester Raccoon turns to his companion and says: “I am sure I saw a light though a hole in the wall across the pool. Let’s go see.” His friend nods as they climb out to follow the ledge around the pool.

    Soon Fester is looking through the small opening, he remarks: “I smell burnt grass .Must be how the rabbits lit torches. I wonder how they got in there”. The other raccoon looks all around and just shrugs his shoulders. Fester bats at the other raccoon: “Look for a way then, Raster” They both search as Chip, and Tasha continue inside the passage.

    Tasha stops where steps descend: “Looks like we go down.” Chip nods: “I hope we find a way out soon. I am getting hungry”. She gives him a hug. “I am too hon. There should be a way out of here. We will find it soon”. He gives a hug back and he follows her down the steps.

    Back at the pool Fester Raccoon out of frustration pushes the other raccoon into the water. He starts towards the opening where they came in when a shout from Raster is heard. “I found it! It’s a underwater passage.

    Fester grins: “We have them now”. He then jumps in and follows his companion through to the small pool. There they soon continue chasing the rabbits after lighting torches of their own.

    Tasha, and Chip come to another wall. But soon find a way to open a small door, and find themselves in a familiar room. Chip looks around: “Isn’t this the room we passed through when we were first climbing to the cliff top”. She nods: “Yes it is. There are the slippery steps we climbed”.

    Chip smiles: “That’s the way out”. She nods as they both carefully climb the steps, and a short while later they are in the room blocked by the large stone. Chip takes his mates hand: “Lets jump on the spot to open it”.

    Tasha covers Chips mouth with her hand. “Quite! I think I can see one of the raccoons standing on the ledge outside”. Chip nods as they both look through the gaps around the edge of the large stone. Just then they hear a voice calling to the raccoon, and moments later another raccoon appears.

     They hear him say: “Fester and Raster haven’t returned yet. Should we get ready to leave?” The other raccoon scratches his chin for a minute: “We will give them till tonight. Then perhaps we should move on. If the rabbits have escaped we will have to leave quickly.

    Chip whispers: “Perhaps we should leave before those two raccoons find us”. Tasha nods: “We must return to the village”. With that they both start back down the narrow passage and stairs.

    Just as they enter the large room, they hear the two raccoons arguing about how to open the small door. Tasha whispers: “We must hurry”. Chip nods as they scurry toward the other exit.

    Fester growls “Stand aside; I will throw myself against it”. Raster tries to tell him it’s unlocked, but before he can Fester runs past and flies head first into the large room as the small door quickly opens. Raster runs in after him to ask: “You ok?” Lester looks up, and says: “Do I look ok?” then bats his nose. After which he grumbles help me up!

    Raster rubs his nose as he picks up a torch, and points it to the stairs going up: “I bet they went that way” Then helps Fester up. Who shakes his self a bit, and says: “Well don’t just stand there lets go”. They both hurry up the slippery steps. Raster slips nearly causing them both to fall back down the stairs.

    Lester growls: “Be careful.” They soon find them selves in the room with the large stone blocking the exit. Raster looks around: “They aren’t here”. Lester shakes his head: “Unless they moved that large stone”. He pushes on it and finds it solid. “We must have missed another way out. Perhaps that large room has another exit.”

    Raster scratches one of his ears and nods. Lester grumbles: “Well don’t just stand there, move it!” They soon are going down the steps toward the large room.

    Meanwhile the two rabbits are nearly to the cliff entrance of the cave. Tasha points: “There you can see the daylight. We are almost there”. Chip nods: I hope the rope is still where we left it.”

    Tasha is the first to arrive at the opening. The sudden view of the valley below causes her to step back nearly knocking Chip on his tail. She smiles: “Sorry love. There is the rope. We should be able to climb up to the path.” Chip nods: “let’s hurry.”

    Tasha grabs hold of the rope, and quickly climbs up to the path. She then kneels calling out to Chip: “Come on, I will help you climb up.” Chip shouts: “Here I come.” He then starts to climb up. He ows as his sore wrist hurts with his weight. “My wrist is still sore, but I think I can make it.”

    She nods: “Just a bit more and I can help you up.” Then as Chip struggles to climb up, Tasha reaches while holding the rope. She grabs Chips arm, pulling to help him up to the path next to her. They hug each other for a moment. Then after retrieving the rope they start down the path..

    While the rabbits have been climbing back up on the path that will take them back down to the valley, the two raccoons are hurrying down the same cave that opens to the cliff face. Lester shouts: “There the cave opens. Quickly Raster, Let’s hurry before the rabbits can get far.”

    Just as Raster reaches the opening he looses his footing falling outward and cries out: “Help me!!!” He manages to grab the bush that saved Chip earlier. But it is only hanging by a few roots as poor Raster holds on for dear life.

    The two rabbits hear the cries of the raccoon, and quickly return to the spot above the cave. Tasha calls out. “We will toss a rope down if you promise to not follow us.” The young raccoon looks up first looking at Lester then at the rabbits. He shouts at Lester to pull him up, but he only hangs on to a rock near the cave entrance.

    With the bush pulling loose Raster cries out: “Please help me! I won’t follow you, I promise.” With that Tasha tosses the rope so Raster can grab it. He quickly does and climbs up, hesitating for a moment at the cave to see that Raster has gone.

    He continues on up where the rabbits help him onto the path. He sinks down on the path still trembling: “Lester would have let me die.” The raccoon starts to cry trying to hide his face as he does. The rabbits try to comfort the young raccoon. Tasha kneels to give him a little hug. She smiles. “You will be ok now”.

    Raster nods: “Thank you so very much for saving me. I am sorry we bothered you. But you must go. The others wish to keep you from returning to your village.” Tasha nods: “We heard. Perhaps you should return with us.The others may not like that you let us go.”

    You would do this for me after what my friends did to you”? Tasha smiles: “Yes, I think my father will let you stay till our guards chase the others from our valley. Then it’s up to you. A group of raccoons pass through our valley offering goods for trade now, and then. Perhaps they can help you find a place to iive.
    Raster rubs a tear from one of his eyes: “No one ever cared about me before.” Chip helps him up. Tasha smiles: “Giving him a little hug: “We best go, the path down the cliff isn’t safe after dark.” With that the trio work their way down the path. In the valley below the shadows stretch out as the sun drops lower in the sky.

    Soon darkness falls over the small valley they near the base of the cliff. Chip slips a on a loose rock. He might have fallen if it wasn’t for Raster grabbing him by the arm. Chip stops and turns to the raccoon: “Thanks, you saved me from a nasty fall”. The raccoon smiles: “No problem”.

    Each of them stumbles a bit with the last steps to the valley floor. Tasha gives her mate a hug, and smiles. “We were lucky to make it down. There is a cave a short distance away. We can spend the night there”.

    The night sky fills with stars as twilight fades. Soon a full moon rises over the east ridge giving the small group light to make their way to the cave, and soon are standing at the entrance. Raster peeks inside: “It’s a warm night; I think I will curl up in the soft grass”. Chip nods: “Sounds good”. Tasha smiles: “Good night then. We will sleep in the cave”.

    A few hours’ later Raster wakes; he raises his head and looks around, his ears moving as he listens. He then sits up and scratches chin. Then after a short time he decides to lay down again, soon he is asleep once more. A few minutes later two shadowy figures jump him and soon have him tied with the point of a spear against his chest.

    Raster lays still not sure what to do, he then cries out: “Please don’t hurt me, I will leave”. One of the figures tells him to be quiet. The raccoon nods as he starts to shake with fear softly whimpering as he does.

    With all the commotion Tasha calls out: “Is everything ok Raster”? The second figure steps beside the cave entrance as Tasha walks out. She spots the raccoon tied on the ground then as she looks around the figure beside the cave jumps to grab her.

    Tasha spots the figure out of the corner of her eye, and instantly turns to flip the attacker into a tree where he is knocked out. She then shouts at the other to leave Raster alone. Just as that figure turns to see her coming feet first, he tries to move but is knocked over a log rolling into some bushes.

     The first figure sits up rubbing his head. Tasha walks over and demands what the idea is. She then realizes the two shadowy figures are two of the village guards. She: “Ohhs. I am sorry guys. Are you hurt”? The first guard looks up and shakes his head: “We were looking for a thief, and didn’t know the raccoon was with you”.

     Chip walks out just in time to see Tasha helping untie Raster. She and the two guards apologize to him. She says: “I am sorry about the guards”. The raccoon still shaking nods: “Maybe I should leave before I cause more trouble”.

    Chip looks around, and says: “Tasha, is everything ok? She nods: “Yes, I think so”. She sits next to Raster. ”If you wish to leave it is alright. But there are more guards. It would be better if you go to the village first. Then my father will have someone escort you from our valley if that is your wish”.

    The raccoon thinks for a minute then nods: Perhaps you are right. I will go with you to your village”. The two guards gather their weapons as one asks: “We can accompany you if you like” Tasha smiles: “Thank you, but I think we will be alright”.

    They nod, and soon disappear into the shadows. Raster stretches and walks around. Chip points to the eastern sky: “Looks like it will be light soon”. Tasha nods: “we can be on our way soon”.

    Raster yawns: “This is one night I would rather forget”. He looks at the two rabbits, and shakes his head: “Now I know how you must have felt. I am very sorry”. Tasha nods: “Yes, but we understand your part in it. So we forgive you” Chip nods as they make ready to leave for the village.

    Tasha shouts “Oh gosh! I forgot to tell the guards about the others at the ruins.” Chip ohs: “I would have said something, but I thought you already did”. She nods: “It’s alright. We will be back at the village by early afternoon. I will tell my father. There are ways to signal our guards so little time will be lost”.

    Chip nods and sits on a rock ledge next to Raster. He smiles at the raccoon: “Don’t worry I am sure all will be fine”. Tasha sits next to Chip and nods as they wait for morning light.

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