by Hilary Robertshaw
The cry for silence swept over the crowd of weary searchers like a wave.
Craig held up his dust streaked hand and craned forward to listen. He could have sworn he'd heard a cry. No, not a cry - a whisper. Now there was nothing, just the drip of water off the rock face and the shuffling of his companions.
“Hello? Can you hear me?” His voice was harsh in the silence. He felt a hand on his arm.
“There's no one there, Craig,” Joe said, flashing his torch down the tunnel.
“We can't give up.”
“We're way passed the accident site. He's gone.”
“Then we have to find his body,” Craig snapped back.
“He could've been swept miles. The flood was torrential. Face it, we don't have the resources to go on.”
Craig rubbed his hand over his face.
“I can't believe...”
Joe squeezed his arm again, the grip tight, tighter... “There. What's that?” Just ahead of them, lying against the tunnel wall, was a yellow helmet.
Craig rushed forward. The uneven surface disappeared in front of him and he halted on the edge of the void.
“Whoa..! Shit..! Mike..?” He scanned the walls of the chasm. “You there..?” His voice echoed back at him, mocking.
Then, something pale, a streak of red and a white face appeared twenty feet below him.
“You took your time, mate. Now get me out of here. Please.”