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Neopia's Fill in the Blank News Source | 8th day of Hiding, Yr 22
The Neopian Times Week 5 > Short Stories > Griffin and the Lava Cave

Griffin and the Lava Cave

by dragonshark173

Griffin the male fire Lupe had dedicated his life to saving Chias from selfish Chia-eaters. So what kind of adventure do you think he'll get into this time? A river filled with man-eating piranhas? Fire raining from the sky? Aliens? No, today he's doing something of a different breed of adventure. *dun, dun, dun!* Camping!

What can I say? Kicking bad-guy booty is tough work! He needed a break already! His owner, Valerie, paid for the low-cost trip easily. Griffin loved to camp, he remembered going with his friends ever since he could remember. He trusted his brother, Draco, with taking care of his Cobrall, Surpento Fuerte. It was as simple as that: He loaded up Larie, Griffin's Steed, a telepathic half-raptor half-Lenny with supplies on a handmade pack, and started the long hike to his favorite camping ground from when he was younger.

It was late at night. Griffin's tan-colored tent was set up next to a tree in the middle of the field. Larie was tied to the tree with her reins, as she was easily spooked. Griffin wore his usual khaki-colored cowboy hat with the pull-string and the thin black band around it lined with shark's teeth he found at the bottom of the ocean. His red bandana was tied tightly around his neck, and he stared the fire, the deep flames almost hypnotising him. He snapped out of it and took out some marshmallows so he could make s'mores.

As he bent over, he oddly enough heard a rumbling sound. He jerked up his head, one of his ears twitched back, like a confused cat's would. The rumbling got louder by the second, and he got up on all fours, his fire sword in his paw, ready. He looked above the tent to see about twenty Lupes in primitive armour and weapons riding on heavily armoured Unis. What looked like the leader was riding the only white Uni with its head bowed, the Lupe's attack fork ready in his paws. The Lupe was an odd grey, possibly because of his old-looking age. They approached faster, and eventually Griffin had to duck his head under, his hands covering his head.

It was only about twenty, but it seemed like a thousand Lupes jumped over Griffin's campsite. Instead of going on forwards, as Griffin guessed, they turned around, facing Griffin, surrounding him and Larie. The leader's pure-black attack fork was pointed right at Griffin. One false move and the leader would've thrown the attack fork, and he didn't know how good this Lupe was at throwing attack forks anyway. Griff looked around, and seeing no escape, raised his forepaws in the air. He gulped, and looked over to Larie.

Griffin, what's going on...these guys don't look to friendly... Larie telepathed to Griffin. Griffin only looked over to Larie, blinked and focused his look back on the leader.

The leader Lupe, as I already said was grey and old, and had a long, skinny white beard. His eyes were clouded from age and a part of his ear was missing, most likely from a battle. A long, deep scar ran from his forehead to his mouth, and his glance seemed ready. The leader's eyes narrowed a little more and nodded to one of the other Lupes All Griffin could remember after that was a horrible-smelling smoke, then, blackness.

Griffin awoke on the back of a yellow Uni, trotting with the rest of the pack at the end of the group. He tried to move, but saw that he was chained to the Uni around his stomach, legs, paws, even his mouth so he couldn't cry for help. He decided it would be best not to, anyway. The pack probably thought he was still unconscious, and if he made any noise, they'd knock him our again, this time with probably something like a fist in his face. He looked around with his eyes, as the chain around his muzzle made it hard to move his head.

Griffin, how could they do this? Who are these people. Griffin, I am right behind you, my beak is chained and there is a metal cuff around my neck with a chain attached to it, the chain welded to your chains. I tried to hold the Uni back, but as I weigh little I couldn't stop the Uni from pulling me. What is going on? Larie communicated to Griffin.

Griffin looked down. He had no idea WHAT was going on, anyway. If he broke a chain loose, then the whole thing would come off and he could easily slip it off of Larie's beak. Poor Larie couldn't even get that ugly party hat off his head when Griffin first saw Larie. He knew if he was free, he'd have to free Larie as well, costing precious time. He closed his eyes and tried to stay focused, tried to think. He had it!

Griffin had the idea to get off of these chains! He opened his eyes merrily. But what he saw, was not-so-merry. A white Lupess riding a stars Uni The Lupess had a scar coming down her eye and a Sword of Domar in her paws. Griffin looked at her and put on a meek smile. The Lupess frowned, and hit Griffin in the side of the cheek with the butt of her Sword. Griffin was immediately knocked unconscious.

Griffin woke up deep in a cave. He fluttered his eyes a little to get his vision back, and saw ahead of him, the pack of Lupes savagely eating pieces of cow meat. They were an odd group, seeming almost mystical in a way, but still, evil. Griffin then noticed where he was; chained to the wall of the cave, his legs spread out. Larie was next to him, a chain around her foot, the end of the chain firmly attached to the wall.

Griffin, Griffin...how are you going to get out of this one? He decided to wait until the pack fell asleep to try to escape. It was only wise, as if he escaped now, those Lupes would tackle him to the wall and chain him there again, or worse. He couldn't do such a big risk.

Griffin had no idea if it was morning or evening, put the pack was asleep and the candles were blown out, so he figured the time would be now. The pack never chained up his tail, if that could be any use for him...But how on earth was he going to undo these chains? He thought to himself. His elements were mainly of fire, and he knew the ability Fiery Roar...it would cut through the chains like bread, but it would wake the entire pack. Not good. Griffin looked down at one of the chains and bit it as hard as he could, to see how strong the chains were. Ow! They were strong, all right! Griffin's teeth hurt. Let's see here...there was a chain of knots right about where Griffin's belly was. If he could undo the knot, he'd be free! But his paws were chained to the wall, remember, and he didn't have a long neck to reach down and undo it with his teeth...his tail! He knew it'd come in handy! Perfect!

After nearly an hour of fiddling with the knot with his tail, the knot became loose. Freedom never felt so good! Griffin landed on the ground on all four paws, and padded silently over to Larie to get of her chains. Wait--Larie might start screaming and squawking, surely to awake the pack. He'd leave the chain on Larie's beak until they were far away from the pack. Larie's foot was free. She pawed at the ground fitfully, and you could tell she would've squawked right there and then if you saw the fire in her eyes. Griffin held the end of Larie's beak-chain and looked around. If he went up and out of the cave, the pack would think that he took that way out and surely hunt him down like a rabbit. If he went deeper into the cave, there would surely be a way out the other end. He lead Larie to the tunnel that went deeper into the cave.

They walked for what seemed like miles, going down the steep path, fear of falling even deeper. The whole cave was like the stomach of a great beast, but worse. Griffin got to a cliff, and not knowing it, almost fell off. His paws slipped and he had to regain his balance and back up, away from the cliff. He gulped as he saw that at the bottom of the cliff was boiling, fiery lava, bubbling and spurting. The red-orange lava lit up the room like a million lights, and at the other side of the cave was another steep cliff. He supposed that there used to have been a bridge there. Griffin sighed and looked at Larie, then sighed and leaned against her leg. "What are we going to do, Larie...that lava will eat through us like acid if we fall down there."

Larie looked down, sadly. Griffin looked around the cave, looking for a possible way across. He smiled and got up on all fours as he spotted something! "Larie! Look!" Griffin said, pointing to a vine hanging down from the ceiling. "If it can support both of us...we might just have our freedom trip!" Griffin laughed and looked up at the vine. "I'll go first. When I get across, the vine should swing your way. Grab it with your beak and swing across!" Griffin was bursting with happiness.

He licked his lips and rubbed his paws together. In a single bound, he leaped high into the air, his paws ready. He got to the vine and grasped it with his paws. The force swung the vine to the other side of the room, and Griffin leaped off the vine, landing on the ground. As the vine got to the other side, Larie jumped onto it, her beak holding it tightly. When it reached the other side, she fluttered onto the ground, squawking merrily. Griffin widely grinned and they continued down the path.

After about three steps forward, Larie screamed at the top of her lungs and reared back. "Larie! Calm down! What's the matter?" Griffin said, looking at her. He looked down and gasped. The bones of...I don't know, something, lay there in front of them, right there. Larie gave Griffin this look like, 'Hey, look, I am NOT going across those.', and snorted. Griffin gave her the 'Look' and bit his lip.

Suddenly, they heard yells and the skidding of paws and the hoof beats of Unis. A voice yelled, "There they are!" and the pack was on their tail! Griffin looked back and laughed. The lava kept them FAR away. "Come and get us. Let's see you try!" Griffin said. The leader of the pack jumped over the lava as his Uni's wings outspread, and flapped down in front of Griffin's face. Griffin glared back, slowly unsheathing his Fire Sword. In the blink of an eye, Griffin had his sword raised above his head. He had confidence! "One false move and..." He looked around him. Behind the leader, the pack stood. HE didn't stand a chance.

"You harm one of us, the rest will pounce on you like a Chia!" the leader said. "Don't you see? This pack has been chosen, one Lupe by one Lupe, from all the best hunting packs to get rid of you once and for all! Our hunting grounds are covered by your silly self, warding off us! I warn you now, get out of our lands and we'll release you!"

"So sew me. Is it really that difficult," Griffin said, lowering his sword, "To get rid of one Lupe? Is it really that hard to knock me out in the Battledome? I am one Lupe, but I represent a hundred thousand something Lupes and Chias that feel the same. So what is it, really? Get rid of me and you'll be victorious? I'm in the hearts of many pets, so many they can't be destroyed. So really, it's leave me and my friends alone or their anger will engulf you."

"So be it!" The Lupe said, screaming and unsheathing his Ice Sword. He swung all his strength into a blow of the sword, and Griffin dodged it, the sword hitting a rock. Griffin laughed at him, seeing the sword stuck in the rock.

"Your sword gone, punk? Eh? Come and get me now!" Griffin said, his muscles tense. Then, a rain of arrows showered him, narrowly missing him by a hair. Griffin gulped, hard. "My bad..."

He bolted towards Larie and jumped on her back. "Go, go, go, go!" Griffin said, holding her neck. Larie ran as fast as her long legs would carry her, jumping over various rocks, savagely being chased by the pack, their pounding hooves vibrating the cave. Griffin lead her into a large room, full of rocks loosely attached to the walls.

What are you doing? The vibration from the hooves will cause the room to collapse! Larie communicated to Griffin.

"I've got it covered," Griffin said, a smirk on his face. He had the pack right were he wanted them. "Faster, Larie! We're almost there!"

Griffin had passed the room. The oncoming pack made the entire room rumble, and Griffin halted Larie to a stop, the two turning around. The flaming eyes of the pack leader, his solid black attack fork at the ready. The room shuddered, and an avalanche of rocks and boulders overcame the pack, dust and smoke rising in the air, blotting out Griffin's vision. Seconds later, the smoke cleared, a wall of pure solid rock separated Griffin and the pack. Griffin grinned.

"Yes...YES!!" Griffin shouted, a paw in the air, the other on Larie's neck. The room rumbled a bit more, and a few rocks tumbled down. Griffin cuffed his mouth. "Oops..." He said. "Let's get out of here. It can collapse at any moment."

***

Hours later, Larie and Griffin had seen the back entrance to the cave, and crawled out. The sun blared on them, and they knew they must've been in that horrible cave all night. The fresh air felt good, and to see the sun again was a blessing. Griffin decided it would be best to get back to the house, in case of any injuries or anything. Besides, they were both hungry.

Back at the log-cabin like house, Valerie was watching a movie with her pets, Saving Private Jetsam. Griffin burst in through the doorway, panting and sweaty. Val ran over to Griffin. "You all right? You look a little beat!"

"A LITTLE?" Frightful said. "He looks as if he's spent all night battling the Monoceraptor!" Griffin laughed out as much as he could muster.

"Come on, Griff. We'll fix you a Cup of Hot Borovan," Valerie said.

At the table, Griffin was wrapped up in a blanket, his hindpaws dipped in a wash bucket of hot water, his Cup of Hot Borovan in his paw. "...And when the wall collapsed, separating me and the pack! Then I found the way out and ran home." Griffin said, finishing his story. All other three of the pets were crowded around, listening to it.

Valerie just grinned. "Griffin, Griffin...what next, the Lost Desert? Maraqua?"

Griffin smirked. "Naw, I'm just thinking about staying here for the next week to recover." He coughed, and said in a whisper, "And veg out..."

The End

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