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Cricket Lone Wolf Part 12
By
frogprince

Cricket Lone Wolf Part 12

Daria's jealousy causes a horrible accident.

After Daria made a fool of herself in front of the school, Naomi, Marcia and Stefan became very good friends. They spent time walking Stefan's horse in the courtyard. Naomi and Marcia took turns riding. Naomi formed a close friendship with Stefan because they were now targets of Daria. Naomi insisted they were just friends nothing more.

When the trio was not walking the horse, they explored the courtyard and castle in earnest. There had to be more there than was visible. They walked around and found some odd things in strange places. Marcia wanted to enter the small chapel, but she found it locked. Stefan tried to open the lock, but failed.

One day, as they walked around the back of the castle courtyard, Marcia asked, "In your exploring have you encountered a path to a back entrance to the castle? I walked the exterior wall and saw no evidence of one. There has to be another gateway in and out. That is something we can search for as we walk."

Stefan paused as he thought and spoke, "I haven't looked for a rear entrance. You are correct in your assumption though. There has to be another secret entrance. Why don't we plan to make that one of the goals of our walks? We will find that entrance."

As they walked through the courtyard one afternoon, Stefan remembered something. Every building in the keep connected to the others. The only buildings not connected were ones, which held livestock. Under the courtyard, there was a spider web of tunnels. To illustrate that Stefan entered the dormitory building across the courtyard and emerged a few minutes later from the administrative building.

Marcia showed a particular interest in this feature. She thought for a minute and asked, "Stefan, have you found a tunnel to the chapel while you explored?"

Stefan thought and replied, "No, there are no tunnels to the chapel. That is strange. Let's go into the administrative building and search out the tunnels. We can try each tunnel and search for hidden ones."

"I have not found a tunnel to the church, but in my searching I smelled car exhaust. I searched for the source of the smell, but never found the source. The closest I came was to find where its concentration was highest. I suspect there is a hidden door in the wall of that tunnel, which leads to the underground garage."

Marcia felt encouraged by Stefan's words. Her thoughts turned to speculation on what she would do if she found anything. Excitement gripped her and she wanted to search the tunnels right away. Naomi and Stefan looked at Marcia as a faraway gaze filled her face. It was as if her thoughts transported her to a different place and time.

"Marcia, Marcia, Earth to Marcia, come in please. Come back to us." Naomi poked her.

Naomi's voice poked her reverie and brought her back to the present. Naomi and Stefan walked toward the main building of the school to get ready for dinner. Marcia followed reluctantly dragging her feet. She wanted to enter the tunnels immediately. Before she could talk to Stefan, she realized it was late and they might need more time. She picked up her pace and caught up with her friends.

After dinner, Marcia drifted back to her room. As she did her homework, her mind was more on the tunnels. Her curiosity poked her mind repeatedly. It kept distracting her and it increased beyond a minor disturbance. When she finished her homework, she sat at her desk looking out the window. A thought crossed her mind. Was it possible to watch the chapel from a hidden spot?

"Are you finished with your homework? I want you to come explore with me inside the school." Marcia quietly told Naomi.

Naomi told her with a surprised voice, "I am almost done. Do you think that is a good idea? What do we do, if they catch us? I will go with you partly because I want to explore the school. What are you searching for now?"

"I want to find a classroom at the back of the building, which has a good view of the chapel. I want to observe the chapel at night to see if anything happens there. When Stefan told us about the smell of car exhaust, I thought of an underground garage. We could look for the entrance to the garage outside, but it would be well hidden."

"What will the school provide?" Naomi said confused.

"We can observe if anyone comes from the school to the chapel. That will show that the chapel is safe, but just off limits. When we are out exploring, we can get into the chapel. I never did get up close to the lock, but I bet it may be new and used recently. Maybe Polina can help open the lock, but I won't involve you or Stefan in that."

Naomi asked a little upset, "Why not include me? We are friends and I am your sidekick. Where you go, I go. You are not going to get away from me again. We are stuck together for life and nothing will change that."

"Oh, OK. We will explore together. When you finish, we will go." Marcia said with a cautious edge to her voice.

Marcia and Naomi dressed all in black to blend into the darkness. They walked cautiously through the buildings, quietly entering the classroom area of the third floor. There were lights on in the hallways, but each classroom was dark. They walked about half way down the third floor. A large empty classroom on the left had its door open.

Marcia pushed Naomi against the wall out of the light. They inched slowly to the door watching for other people. They snaked around the open door and entered the classroom against the wall. As they worked their way around the room in the dark, Marcia noticed a desk against the wall. It appeared that someone else watched from the room too.

As she neared the desk, a dark figure stood in front of her. Naomi did not see Marcia stop and she bumped into her. A loud grunt came from Naomi. A loud surprised grunt came from the dark figure as Marcia bumped him. As her eyes adjusted to the eerie light cast by the moon, she saw a man. Marcia gulped as the person in front of her laughed. It was Stefan. He reached out to steady her before she fell.

"What are you doing here?" Marcia asked curiously.

"I thought I would watch the chapel observing anything mysterious. Nothing happened so far. I was about to give up and go to bed."

Marcia ripped off her mask and sat in a desk to talk with Stefan. Naomi joined her. Stefan sat on the desk in order to watch the chapel and talk to the girls. "How long have you been here? We thought to watch for an hour and go back to our room."

"I have been here for over an hour and nothing happened. We are lucky this room is vacant. No one uses it anymore. That was why the door is open. I think the night is a waste of time."

Marcia countered, "It is still early yet. Let's stay another hour, maybe we'll get lucky."

Stefan waved his hand to quiet the girls and signal them to join him. Two men walked across the courtyard and entered the chapel. When they opened the door flickering candlelight spilled out. Something definitely took place inside and these men were part of it. Marcia's need to explore the chapel exploded in her mind. She had to enter there. Happy and satisfied the trio left the room agreeing to talk more in the daytime. They needed to think about the next move.

The next afternoon, the class had time for themselves. Marcia, Naomi and Stefan met in the stable to discuss the night's activity. Marcia wanted to ride a little without Stefan leading. She hoped Stefan and Naomi would talk and get closer as friends. Marcia was ready to ride. She wore ankle length flat boots, a black pair of jeans, a white frilly blouse with a dark blue vest. She looked as if she were born to ride. She grabbed a helmet and mounted Stefan's horse.

Just as she settled on the horse, Daria blustered into the stable. She took a horse, bridled and saddled it. She wanted Stefan to lead her too. She led her horse outside the stable and haughtily jumped on its back. Naomi took Stefan aside to talk to him as Daria made her presence known.

Stefan talked to Naomi about going for a ride some afternoon. Naomi told him, "You can say all you want beg and plead, but I will not go riding." Stefan's handsome face sagged with sorrow and disappointment.

Marcia trotted out of the stable, saw Stefan's face and knew something was wrong. She continued to distract Daria from Stefan. Stefan turned away from the girls, as he shook his head and walked a bit away. He was devastated and hurt. Naomi did not understand how much he wanted to be good friends with her. She was a pretty, young woman, a bit mysterious and friendly. She tried to follow Stefan to explain, but he walked further away with his back turned.

Marcia rode Stefan's horse and walked up beside Daria. It appeared Daria was in some distress. Her horse was uncomfortable with her in the saddle. Daria was not dressed to ride. Her ruffled skirt caught under the saddle. Her shoes fell off. Her jacket was too tight and restricted her movement. She also wore no protective helmet. Her horse started to move, but she was not ready to take control. Marcia reached for Daria's reins, but the girl pulled them away. This signaled the horse to turn. As it turned, it bucked.

Daria was not ready for all this movement and lost control of the horse. It bucked harder and moved faster around the courtyard. Daria bent down and hugged the horse's neck tightly. She was scared and started to scream. The added noise of the screams caused the horse to spin in circles, as it bucked harder.

"You caused this, Marcia! You made the horse act this way. It is all your fault!" Daria screamed at the top of her lungs.

The horse stopped with the screaming and stood very still. Daria shifted, as if to get off, but her skirt held tight. She started to pull her skirt loose and the horse bucked at the same time. Daria fell off the horse quickly and hard. Her left leg hit the ground so hard it broke in three places. Her unprotected head felt the shin of the horse hit it. The result of the shin blow knocked her unconscious. She lay in a heap by the now quiet horse.

Marcia rode over, grabbed the reins of the frightened horse and dragged it away into the stable. Marcia jumped off her horse and tied the horses, before she ran to Daria's aid. Marcia and Stefan reached the fallen girl at the same time. They looked at her and saw the badly broken leg. Naomi ran into the school and grabbed the first adult she saw. He called the medical staff and the headmaster.

The medical staff rushed out with a stretcher and material to make her comfortable. They assessed her condition, as the headmaster ran to them. They conferred for a minute and the headmaster radioed Hans to call for a medical helicopter to airlift Daria to the hospital. She needed more care than they could offer at the school. The headmaster moved the students to the stairs to wait for him. They huddled closely holding each other's hands and watched their friend tended.

As the helicopter left with Daria and a school medical person aboard, the headmaster turned to the trio and took them inside. They went to the dining room to get some tea and juice, as the headmaster heard their story. Each student told their version and talked with the headmaster. He listened intently, before rendering his decision. After an hour of questions, talking and listening, the head master declared the incident a dreadful, horrible, freak accident.

The headmaster left to write a report, after which he would send a letter and call Daria's parents.

This story is protected by International Copyright Law, by the author, all rights reserved. If found posted anywhere other than storiesspace.com with this note attached, it has been posted without my permission.

Copyright © Copyright 2012, 2013 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 by Cal Erickson, aka frogprince

Posted with permission at storiesspace.com

All other rights reserved.

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