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Daring Do in Mineshafted Part 1

Grapefoot Feb 3rd, 2017 203 Never
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  1.                                                 Daring Do in Mineshafted Part 1
  2.     The cold mountain air was dry, but not for long.  In the not too far distance, dark clouds loomed, and in them, several feet of snow.  The snow crunched beneath Darin Do's hooves as she stood before the mine shaft entrance.  The entrance was partially boarded up with a warning sign, but it had clearly been breached by several before her.  The numbers 1 and 13 oddly posted on a post beside the entrance.
  3.    Daring sniffled as the cold air tickled her nose, and she held back some drops of mucus.  She dabbed her reddened nose as she pulled out a notebook.  Scribbled in the notebook were various diagrams and maps of the surrounding mountain range.
  4.    “This must be the place,” Daring said to herself in a nasally tone as she sniffed back some more mucus.  She tufted the notebook back into her knapsack and lifted a board up and crawled into the mine shaft.  
  5.    It was damp inside, and considerably warmer then the below freezing, frigid mountain air outside.  These mountains had been teeming with life in the past century when miners from all around Equestria came here to make a quick buck.  Most toiled their lives around the small boom towns for even a dusting of gold.  Most left poorer then when they started.  Towns grew and disappeared, and mine shafts were forever lost, like the hopes and dreams of many miners.
  6.    Daring Do had come to this particular shaft in search of a storied miners treasure.  Legend has it he had found his glory hole, and made millions, but he never showed it.  He still would return to town and go to his shack and live modestly.  While most miners who made money lost it through gambling and vices, this miners supposedly saved his findings deep within his mineshaft to never be found again when he left the town.  It wasn't known if he took the treasure or not, but most assumed not.
  7.    The Mining Museum of Seaddle contracted Daring Do to find this storied treasure, or at least find artifacts, and she was up for the challenge.  Well, she was up to the challenge, but during the second day of her hike up the mountain range, she caught a nasty cold.  But that wasn't going to stop her.
  8.    “Ieeescchew!”  Daring Do wobbled forward as her head shot down and let out a powerfully wet sneeze.  She followed that up with a rough sniffle and a nose wipe.  She sat down and looked at her notebook once more, while she still had the light from outside shining into the mine.  She examined her rough drawn maps closely, trying to remember her route.  The deeper inside the mine went, the more cryptic her map got, up until the point it became unknown territory.  
  9.    Daring Do continued to sniffle and rub her nose as she cleared her throat.  She opened her thermos and took a small sip of water.  She put the thermos down, stepped outside the mineshaft and grabbed some fresh white snow.  She pushed some of the snow in her thermos to melt for fresh water before entering deeper into the mine.  She closed her bottle, put away her notebook, and began to head down into the mine.
  10.    The fading light finally made way to darkness and Daring waited a few minutes to have her eyes adjust.  Still, it wasn't good enough.  She pulled out one of her torches and struck the patched side to the rocky wall.  It immediately lit up as she placed the base of the torch into her mouth.  She carefully took her hooves over and around the mine cart tracks, and remembering her map, she new she could take a short cut ahead.  Up ahead, the rail carts continued on their journey down, but she turned to the left and followed a small dirt corridor.  This corridor would lead her to a ravine, at least according to the map.
  11.    The torch nicely lit up the corridor and dancing shadows trailed behind Daring as if asking her to join them.  The smoke from the flame continued to blow into Daring's already compromised nostrils.  She continued to blow out the smoke in suddens bursts to stop the irritation, but at the same time, trying not to let her nostrils drip too much mucus.  
  12.    The corridor filled with a cool freeze that sent a chill through Daring's spine.  The concentrated light dispersed as the corridor made way to an open ravine with a 50 foot drop into the darkness below.  Daring peered over the edge.  She tapped a pebble over the edge and listened to it ping all the way to the bottom below.  She noticed the corridor continued on the other side, but no bridge crossed the ravine.  Instead a small ledge, no bigger then two hooves wide weaved it's way around the outer edge of the ravine.  Water dripped and ran down the rocky walls, and a tiny ray of light shone in from a crack up above the eye line.  
  13.    Daring place one hoof before her as she tried to reposition her head and hold the torch sideways.  Her hoof pressed on the tiny ledge as her body pressed up alongside the rocky walls.  She sniffed some dripping mucus as she placed her other hoof before her, then the next, and the next.  Progress was slow, but steady.  The torch faithfully lit the way, but the smoke continued to play with her nose.  Daring's nostril's flared.  She could feel some mucus running down, so she sniffed again, but this time a little too strong.  A powerful whiff of torch smoke found it's way into her nose and puffed around her sinuses.  Her eyes began to water as she coughed, but continued carefully along the ledge.
  14.    She looked back through her watery eyes and saw she was halfway around the bend to the other side of the ravine.  Coughing out a little puff of smoke, Daring focused and continued on.  Mucus began to roll down her nose again and hit the tip of her upper lip.  It tickled, so she sniffed in.  Again too much smoke made it's way into her nose.  Her nose quivered as a bead of sweat began to form on her brow.  She sucked in air, as a sneeze was quickly building.  Trying to stop the sneeze, Daring bit hard on the torch, but her nostrils were still exposed and shaking.  They grew in size back and forth as her nose shook and teased a sneeze.  
  15.    Daring wanted so badly to lift her hoof to swipe her nose, but she couldn't  The torch flickered as more smoke wafted into her nose.  Gritting her teeth, Daring blew as hard as she could from her nose in an attempt to blow out the smoke.  Instead, snot blasted out and slopped around her nose and chin.  Unlike the rest of the room, it was warm.  Sadly, the urge to sneeze didn't go away.  Daring quickly tried to assure her footing as she knew she had no choice but to sneeze.  She planted her hooves and placed her weight to her left side against the rock wall.
  16.    Lower lip quivering, and her teeth straining to hold the torch in her mouth, her chest filled with air.  “Uhhhh, Hugh, huuuhhhhh.”  Her eyes glossed over as her eyelids began to shut, and tears trickled down her cheeks.  
  17.    “Huuuuhhhhh-Chhhuuhkkkkkkhhhttt!” Daring gritted her teeth as she clamped down tighter on the torch and shook.  The flame flickered.  Her chest filled up again prepping for another sneeze. “Hhhuuuhhh-Ehhhcchhuuuuukkktt!” Daring jittered as her muscles tensed up.  She routed as much air as she could through her nose, but the blast blew out the torch flame.  But she still wasn't done.
  18.    “Huuueeehhh-ehh-Eeeeeehhhttcchhuuuuuoooooh!”  Sneezing again, the sneeze found it's way out her mouth.  The torch dropped from her grasp and dropped down, hitting the ledge.  Still in a post sneeze daze, Daring jerked forward to reach the torch with her hoof firmly planted, but missed as the torch rolled down the rocky face towards the darkness below.
  19.    The room was dark.  The room was cold.  Silence.
  20.    Clang, clank!  The torch hit the bottom below.  
  21.    Daring pressed herself to the rock wall, and cursed under her breath as she sniffed.  Mucus dripped from her already wet fur under her chin.  She paused and continued forward in the darkness, following the rock before her and carefully feeling with her hooves before her to make she she wasn't stepping towards a fall.  
  22.    The small stream of light above disappeared as a blast of wind filled the ravine and snow flakes swirled into the room.
  23.    Finally the ledge made way to a widened terrace, and Daring dropped down onto the rocky ledge.  She had made it around the ravine.  She pulled out a hanky from her knapsack and wiped up her chin and nose, then blew with a gunky sounding blow.  
  24.    “Euuuggh.”  She said as she finished blowing and shaking the bigger clumps from her hanky.  A twinge pricked it's way into her nose after her nose blowing.  She didn't try to fight it.
  25.    “Hhhheeeaaaeeeccheeeoooo!”  Daring sneezed down as the dust blasted out from beneath her.  She opened her eyes as the ground began to tremble.  Trying to adjust her eyes, she noticed the spot she sneezed down into had removed just enough dirt from the rock she was on from the main rock terrace loosening it from it's foundation. She leapt up and jumped forward as the rock she had previously been laying on crumbled backward and fell into the ravine below.  Massive blows were heard as it cracked and clanged it's way down.  Suddenly all the rocks she was on began to move and crumble beneath her.  She scurried forward as the entire terrace fell down int a  mighty crash, but that wasn't all.  She sprinted forward into the darkness of the small corridor that began to slide on all sides.  Plumes of dust blasted behind her as she continued to run.  Rocks came tumbling down with mighty blows to the floor below.  
  26.    Running blind into the darkness, Daring could feel pebbles and the edge of a dust plume in hot pursuit behind her.  Up ahead she could see a darker structure, but couldn't make out what it was.  It was coming closer, closer, closer.  She closed her eyes and jumped inches from it, and tumbled inside.  The collapse behind her caught up and crashed around her.  She could feel wood, and it began to move beneath her.  Things began to rumble and speed was being gained.  She popped her head up and noticed she was in a mine cart.  Looking up from where she just came, she could see the cave in had blocked her way in, and possibly her way out.  Rocks were still crumbling and falling down the slope.  Even beside her, rocks were flinging around the tracks.  Going at a fast clip, Daring turned to look forward down the incline.  She noticed that the ceiling above her was getting narrower.
  27.    “Oh crumb.”  A string of mucus danced wildly as the cart raced down the steep incline.  Daring lower her head as the rock ceiling came mere inches to the top of the mine cart.  This mine cart line must have not been used for pony transport, but simply material.  She just hoped and prayed there wasn't a collapse up ahead.  She prepped herself for impact just incase, and tried not to tense up too much.  Scrapping was head above her as the top of the cart rubbed against the rocky ceiling.  Sparks flew as the cart took a dangerously fast turn to the right.  The cart, being so enclosed in this tiny corridor, scrapped the side wall but was held back onto the tracks by the right top hitting the ceiling.  
  28.    Thudunk!  The cart came to a jerking halt and Daring smacked forward, then back.
  29.    The cart had stopped, and she was trapped.  The cart got stuck and trapped because of the ceiling holding it down.  She was trapped in the cart with no way out.  She pushed on the rocky ceiling above her, but it was clearly impossible.  She tried shuffling back and forth to move the cart back or forward, but was completely stuck.  
  30.    After a few kicks on the wood of the cart, Daring couldn't break through.  She was trapped in a near fetal position in the cart.  She blindly reached into her knapsack and pulled out some matches.
  31.    Sniffling, Daring pulled out a single match.  
  32.    “If I can burn this wooden cart, it should make the cart weak enough to break through.”
  33.    She pulled a match to her eye line and quickly struck it against the wooden cart walls.  The match lit and she tossed it behind her towards her back hooves.  The flame began to catch and smoke wafted around the enclosed space.  Daring tried to hold her breath, but could help that some smoke made it in.  She again gave in and sneezed, “Hhhheeeaaaeeeccheeeoooo!”  The force of the sneeze made her back legs slam against the cart's walls, and they creaked.  Flames began to burn as Daring could feel the heat on her back side.
  34.    “I got to get out of this quickly.  Maybe one more sneeze,” She thought to herself.  Sniffing in more smoke, Daring let the wood burning smoke do their magic, and just in the nick of time.  
  35.    “Heeeaaassschhheeww!”  The sneeze made her kick and break through the burning wood behind her.  The break compromised the structure of the cart and she quickly began kicking and punching it until it she completely broke through.  The flames ate up the wood and quickly fizzled out minus some sparks.  
  36.    She continued to crawl her way under the low rock ceiling and rubbing her tummy against the mine car tracks.  After about ten minutes of crawling, the low ceiling made way to an open room with a row of other mine carts.  Finding an old kerosene lantern on a table, Daring lit and and place it on the table.  The room lit up.  It appeared to be some kind of sorting room.  There were several mine carts, piles of dirt, buckets full of ore and old minerals, and two weigh scales.  No gold.  
  37.                                                 To Be Continued In Part 2.
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