The Ascent

Royce and Arthur carefully navigated the cliff side, sidling deeper underneath the waterfall. The moist surface made the going treacherous. Royce lost his footing once and would have plunged to the river below had Arthur not pulled him to safety.

As they made their way toward the center, Royce’s enthusiasm dwindled. There was no sign of any cave. He was about to give up when Arthur tapped him on the shoulder. “Boss, look!” Royce followed Arthur’s gaze upward. There, fifty feet above them was the unmistakable black hollow of a cave entrance.

“You’ve got to be kidding,” Royce grumbled.

“I got it, boss.” Arthur gazed intently at the cliff wall, plotting his ascent. His path clear, Arthur took off like a gecko, stepping and reaching with practiced precision. Royce knew Arthur was an expert rock climber but had never seen him in action.

In minutes, Arthur was over the ledge into the entrance, and seconds later a rope descended from the mouth of the cavern. Arthur beckoned Royce with a smile. “Your turn, boss.”

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