The Fountain

Chapter One

The days leading up to the discovery of the fountain were a disjointed series of facts blurring together in her mind. She had never before been as shocked as when she found the journal that had filled in the missing pieces about the journey, the one that detailed the traps and pitfalls as completely as if it had been written by the creator himself. In fact if she hadn't seen the journal being written with her own eyes she would have thought exactly that.

When she was three her father had awoke one day and suddenly started writing as if in a trance. For four years this continued at an alarming rate. He barely ate or drank and lost himself in his seemingly meaningless task which he wouldn't share with anyone. Then at the end of this stretch of time he suddenly gathered up all his notes. Every little bit of information that he had written and locked all of it in a box. Then he took the box out of the house and returned without it. Whenever she asked him about it he would give a vague answer to the tune of when you need to know you will.

That is what had her in this cramped little hole rappelling down an inky black tube, into an unknown black hole a month after her father passed. On his death bed he gave her the key that she often saw hanging around his neck. He then whispered into her ear, "Go to the West Street Bank, and use the key, f-follow the m-map." He grasped her hand, eyes rolling into the back of his head he muttered two words. "T-the f-fountain."

Those were the last words he spoke to her. He had died shortly after and left her alone, her mother having died from breast cancer two years ago. Now she was here, looking for the thing called the fountain with no knowledge of what she would find. In the journal her father had written there was a map. On the last page there was a simple message of three words, THE FOUNTAIN EXISTS. Supposedly if she followed the map she would be led to a vast treasure known throughout history as the fountain.

It was rumored to be the key to eternal life, just as other tales tell it as being an ancient indoor courtyard, abandoned after a party in which all the occupants were mysteriously killed. After it was abandoned the ruler at the time had it blocked, with the bodies of the thousand or more occupants still inside untouched. A century later an earthquake shook the land and the courtyard sank into its foundations, taking with it its mystery and all the treasure the guests had.

Alone she descended into the blackness. On the contact with the bottom of the shaft she unhooked herself from the rappelling mechanism, and turned on her headlamp. Surrounding her were sold rock walls, or so she thought. She was just getting discouraged when she saw the symbol. Right at waist height was an arrow pointing down etched in the wall. Following the arrow down to the floor of the shaft she kneeled puzzled at the place where the wall and the floor met. Both the wall and the floor were seemingly solid with no strange markings. Stumped she plopped on to her butt and scooted back to lean on the wall directly across and under the arrow. The beam from her head lamp pointed at the joint where the floor and wall met. She sat back to think. In the journal the shaft floor was about an hour down from the entrance of it. She only went down about twenty minutes. There had to be something she was missing. Getting back up on her knees she started to feel the area under the arrow. She was positive that this was the way to go, but how? She pushed. "YES!"The wall moved! Sure it was only like an inch but it moved! She braced her back against the wall and pushed it with her feet.