The echo of his voice came back to taunt him as if a group of boys were mimicking his greeting, each with less boldness that the last. The final echo was deadened and the silence which followed seemed deafening in his ears.
The sound had been dulled by the absolute blackness of the cave which totally engulfed him. He could see nothing, not even his own hands in front of his face. The silence was terrifying along with the certain knowledge that he was completely alone in this dark dark place. It was bitterly cold, for no sunlight ever penetrated these thick walls of rock. He shivered and tried to think himself warm. It had been madness to leave his friends and go off on his own. He wanted to pinch himself and wake up from this nightmare but was rooted to the spot as if frozen.
Mentally pulling himself together he shuffled forward. A scuffed stone rolled and tumbled and he was sure he heard it drop. Then he heard a different sound – a faint noise which filled him with hope. He scrabbled on the ground for another loose stone wanting confirmation, and, finding one, he sent it firmly forward, this time with more momentum. Riccochet and then silence as his hope and the stone travelled unseen and then… there it was… a very faint splosh. He knew what that meant.