I was terrified. I had been terrified throughout the whole course. I had wondered if the camp staff would mind if someone died because that's how dangerous it was. One wrong move, one misplaced step and your life could be over in a flash.
Now, I was blind.
I don't think I had ever been blind before in my life! During power cuts, there had been light; in caves I had visited, there had been artificial light but now there was nothing. No blazing auras (which frightened me more because Eric's had been my comfort and probably the reason I was still sane), no tiny pinpricks of starlight like at night which would surely be of some help, just blackness. And it was scary. I dare not expand upon the memory for fear of reliving the experience.
I realised my life was in A. J.'s hands. Eric's grip tightened on my own - he had obviously heard that thought - but what could he do? He was blind too. My darling Eric, with his wonderful golden soul and brilliant, blazing aura, was just as helpless as I was.
"AJ, I don't care about me," I whispered into the darkness. "As long as Eric's safe, I'm happy. Get him out first."
"No!" Eric exclaimed. "Don't say that, Mystry. We're both going to get out of this. Anyway, I'd rather it was you who was safe. How could I live without you?"
"You don't have to be so melodramatic, guys," AJ said. "If you just listen to me and follow my exact instructions, you'll both get out."
"D'you need anymore light?" I asked.
"It could help, yeah. And perhaps if your aura shone bright enough, you'd be able to see again."
Help me think happy thoughts, I thought to Eric.
I felt him lean in towards me and then I felt the most beautiful thing in the world: the brush of his lips upon mine.
"Wow, that's much better," I heard AJ say, not even a second having passed since the start of the kiss.
Eric continued and I was glad of that because my fear was slowly ebbing away.
"Um, guys, you can stop," AJ said, sounding slightly uncomfortable.
We ignored her.
"Is there enough room for me to carry Mystry?" Eric asked, surprising me as he broke away.
"Um, yeah. Why? Is she feeling weak or something?"
"She's exhausted," Eric replied, and I realised it was true. Throughout the kiss, I had been swaying slightly on my feet. That could have had disastrous effects if we'd started walking nearer the spikes.
"Will you be able to lift me up?" I asked.
"Er, I should manage."
I felt Eric move his hand up my arm to hold me by my elbow while his other hand was travelling slowly down my legs. His arm came under my knees while the other arm slipped under my back and I felt myself being hoisted into the air and being held tight to his chest. Seconds later, cool shadows rushed under me to help support my weight.
"Thanks, guys: that's helping a lot," Eric whispered. His mouth came near my ear and to me, he murmured, "You just rest now."
I felt a massive shift in my mind. I blacked out.