|Smoo Cave - Inspiration for the Caves of the Gray Women.|
This excerpt from Just Wait For Me is from Jillian's visit to the Caves of the Gray Women. She scraped her hands raw while entering the caves...
“Come. A soak in the pool will put things to rights.”
The woman led Jillian through the same tunnel the man had taken, past several off-shoots, torches set in metal holders embedded in the walls lit the way. The air became warmer and moist and the sound of running water louder as they walked. Finally, the shaft opened to another chamber.
Wow! A powerful waterfall plunged from a hole in the stone ceiling at least seventy-five feet above their heads. Sunlight glistened on wet walls and where the water cascaded into a subterranean pool that took up most of the chamber.
“Bathe. ’Twill heal your hands.”
Jillian drew back. “Are you crazy? The water must be freezing.”
“Nae. Hot water bubbles from the earth and the cold water from the waterfall makes the pool perfect for bathing and healing what ails you. ’Tis fae magic.”
Jillian’s hands stung like hell and the pool was inviting. What would it hurt to soak for a bit? Perhaps daydream about the hot blond man.
She squatted near the edge and stuck a couple fingers into the water—perfect temperature. “Okay.” She turned to face the woman, but the woman had gone.
Somewhat unsettled, Jillian glanced around. Although light came in from the hole in the ceiling, shadows played over most of the cave. Where the illumination was strongest, toweling and a small jar with an ornate bronze lid sat on a niche in the wall. She opened the lid, brought the jar to her nose and sniffed. Heather blossoms. Must be soap.
She wasn’t making any headway in getting unlost, yet perhaps she could spare a few minutes for a relaxing soak. She dropped her pack on the floor and kicked off her bike shoes. Careful of her sore hands, she slid the fleece leggings over her hips and stepped out of them. Then extending her arms toward the ceiling in a needed stretch, slowly arched her back, and cracked her spine while tugging off the fleece pullover. Dressed in bike shorts and a t-shirt, she glanced at the water. She didn’t want to get her shorts and top wet so she stripped to her bikini briefs and sports bra and folded her clothing on the pack. Making quick work of braiding her hair, she used an elastic from around her wrist to secure it then stepped into the water. Nice.
She carefully walked deeper into the pool, dragging bloodied hands through the water. The stinging eased. Sand squished between her toes. The pool deepened then became shallower as she walked toward the far wall, covered in green moss and small plants. Finding a ledge, she sat. Water rose over her breasts. Ahh! Heaven. With the warm water and gentle mist from the waterfall soothing her nerves, she leaned back and relaxed.
She must have dozed. Something jolted her awake. She sensed she wasn’t alone. A short distance away, water spilled over the edge of the pool and trickled into a stream that ran under a stalactite curtain wall. No one seemed to be there. She held still, sure someone was in the cave with her.
Hope you enjoyed this wee excerpt from Just Wait For Me, a Highland Gardens Novel.