Doors To Mirrors (Excerpt 203) Toppling

Snow is still in the melting phase as the first hint of twilight glows in the sky. Stepping to the side of the south opening of the tunnel, Nadja and Viktor can hear crashing sounds as the tunnel continues to fall apart. Turning back to look behind them, the heavily wooded area above is shifting as the quake rocks the tall trees in all directions. Fearing a collapse under their feet, they decide to step away from the immediate area and run toward the gravel path.

From the main path along the side of the mountain, Nadja and Viktor hold each other tight. Neither is speaking and it is obvious they are both wondering about Aaron. Is he now buried forever inside this once safe and useful tunnel?

“I’m Sorry, Nadja.” Viktor says as he holds her closer not sure how she feels about the possibility that Aaron has lost his life.

“You did all you could, even more than you should have.” Nadja replies as she rests her head on Viktor’s shoulder. “I don’t know what to say.” She looks into his eyes but neither one speaks a single word.

A low rumble continues from underground as trees begin to slant to the side with some toppling over from their once upright positions as the roots easily slip out of the soft soil. It is obvious now, in looking through the woods, to know exactly where the tunnel once stood. The morning light reflects off the branches of the trees as snow shakes from them as if snowing once again. During this time, Nadja and Viktor stand in silence until the grumbling ground goes quiet.

“Stay here, I’ll go look at the opening.” Viktor says softly.

Very slowly, he walks from where Nadja stands back to the opening to the tunnel. The door frame, bent and twisted, stands in an odd manner. Dirt, rocks and roots are the only visible items where the opening to the tunnel once stood. As much as he grew to despise Aaron, he cannot agree that this is a good ending to the mystery of his dreams. Yes, Aaron would have killed both he and Nadja if he could, but Viktor cannot fathom having behavior like this. Even at the end, he wanted to help Aaron out, and is now kicking himself for not being successful.

“Viktor, we should go.” Nadja says just loud enough for him to hear her.

“I know.” He replies as he starts walking in her direction. “We need to get to Carl’s cabin so we can report this.”


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