When teenager Vree Erickson falls in a sinkhole caused by an earthquake on Myers Ridge, she finds a green crystal and unleashes its mysterious magical powers. She uses its power to escape the hole, whereupon the crystal possesses her and shows her a crime in process: a stranger in town is kidnapping her mother. Vree uses the crystal’s power to save her mother, thereby strengthening the crystal’s control of her.
“Trespassing” is the second short story installment of The Green Crystal Stories—an eerie tale set in and around the town of Ridgewood, PA. It’s also the introduction to the green crystal (which should have been part of the first story).
C.S. Lewis, best known for his fictional work The Chronicles of Narnia said, “A children’s story that can only be enjoyed by children is not a good children’s story in the slightest.” I remembered this when I wrote the second book of The Green Crystal Stories. I also recalled his quote: “People (d)on’t write the books I want, so I have to do it for myself.” That was the foundation of The Green Crystal Stories from the beginning: Stories that I wanted to read!
So, sit back, relax, and read on while Vree Erickson encounters earthquakes, sinkholes, and the mysterious power of a magic green crystal.
Would it be that a destination could be otherworldly?
November 4, 2012
The day after Lenny’s fall from Myers Ridge, magma exploded one hundred miles beneath the ridge and slammed superheated carbon toward the earth’s surface at supersonic speed. It shoved tons of carbonic graphite into the deep bowels of Myers Ridge and shook the limestone remnant created by an ice age more than ten thousand years ago. The shaking caused portions of the ridge to cave in.
Vree Erickson, who had finished mowing the lawn before tonight’s expected snowfall, walked toward the shed to prop open its double doors, unaware of the earthquake until her parents’ backyard vibrated and splintered and opened.
She scrambled to climb from the ground falling with her, but the hole beneath her feet swallowed her and her father’s riding mower.
Her landing was softer than she expected despite the rock and stone she fell on. The John Deere’s landing, however, sounded worse. From skylight filtering through the eye of the hole, she could make out the crumpled edges of the overturned mower a few feet away. She smelled gasoline fumes mixing with the cool, earthy air, and knew that rock had punctured the gas tank.
On her backside twenty feet below her backyard, she shivered and rubbed her arms through her jacket. A miserable wet chill penetrated her clothes and stabbed her skin like a thousand icy knives. She looked around and saw a boxy chamber of stone — a cave no bigger than her bedroom. As she sat up, dim green light from a long protrusion of crystal next to her right leg caught her attention.
The crystal rose diagonally almost fifteen inches from the floor and was nearly six inches in diameter. When she took hold of its smooth and angled sides, the crystal brightened and warmed her palms. She pulled herself closer, wrapped her arms around it, and let its heat and blazing emerald light consume her until she felt her backside stop throbbing and the chill inside her leave.
She marveled at the crystal’s heat, tried to recall if all crystals produced heat, and then wondered how she was going to get out. No one was home to rescue her; her mother had gone shopping and her father was at his office in town. And now, the gray sky spat rain that would eventually turn to snow. The thought left her feeling cold again. She hugged the crystal and wished she could magically fly from the hole.
As she pressed her forehead against the crystal and told herself that she would be okay, that one of her parents would rescue her as soon as they got home, the ground shook again.
Tumbling sod from above fell around her as the sinkhole widened. Then the cave floor collapsed and sent her deeper into Myers Ridge. She screamed moments before she landed face down on sod and rubble; a blanket of straggling stone followed and covered her until the second quake stopped. Stunned and dazed, she rested inside her burial mound, the crystal still glowing and in her embrace. Then, coming to her senses, she rose to her hands and knees and pushed away the rocks and dirt and tried to stand, but her lower back felt sprained from the hard landing. She felt battered and bruised, and blood oozed from cuts on the backs of her hands, but none of her injuries seemed life threatening.
Icy air crawled inside her clothes and icier rain fell on her face from where the dismal skylight revealed a larger underground chamber, perhaps forty feet from the top; she prayed there were tunnels to lead her back to the surface.
The rain increased and the skylight almost vanished. She looked down where a shimmer of green light in the rubble in front of her caught her attention. She rescued the crystal and cradled it in her arms until it blazed again and its heat warmed her and stopped the pain in her back. Then she used the rock’s green light as a beacon to look for a way out.
Away from where the topside earth had fallen into the cavern, rainwater streamed across a granite floor and filled centuries-old furrows, turning them into rivulets where the floor sloped down. She followed the largest rivulet for several minutes to a narrow passage. There, the rivulet became the passageway’s floor, so she sloshed cautiously along, keeping her footing until the floor steepened and angled down almost forty-five degrees. She thought about turning around and looking for another way out, then considered she had to be close to an exit, and continued.
As soon as she stepped on the angled floor, gravity yanked her feet from under her. Like a hapless rider on an amusement park’s waterslide, she plummeted along the slippery floor until the hill’s interior ejected her and the rainwater.
The cliffs of Myers Ridge rushed past her and upwards as she followed the rain down. Her sudden entry into bristly treetops along the bank of Myers Creek sounded like gunshots as boughs of pine broke against her tumbling body.
When the fall ended, she lay on her back on a mattress of pine needles, catching her breath. When she tried to sit up, her lower back screamed with pain again, so she used pine branches overhead to help pull her to a seated position.
Lightning flashed and the sky opened. Through the downpour, she saw the green crystal glowing brightly on the ground ten yards away. She shielded her eyes and looked away when the crystal became too bright. Its heat came to her like wildfire then, entered her clothes and dried her, mended her bones and took away the pain, and filled her mind with new purpose. She stood — a slim figure suddenly strong inside a burning array of emerald light — and locked her mind on a familiar’s thoughts miles away.