“Hey girls!” my mother shouted. “Yeah mom?” I asked sarcastically. She came rushing towards me with a book in her hands and pointed straight at something. “What is it mom?” I responded, rolling my eyes. She looked at me with a bright smile and said excitedly, “A cave! Do you want to see a cave?” I could see in her blue gaze that she already knew the answer. “Ummm Mom, we are surrounded by caves. Can’t we just pick a cave and that’s our cave for the day?” I responded. She looked hurt, as though I slapped her in the face. In a high-pitched voice, she said, “this is not just a cave, this a special cave! It’s called the painted cave and it’s really cool!” She looked exited. She spun around and looked straight at my dad who was steering the boat and yelled to him saying, “Daddy go to the Painted Cave.” My dad gave a slight nod and turned the boat. After about 15 minutes of trying to figure out which was the Painted Cave, Dad said, “I think this is it” looking down at the picture and then back up to the cave. “YES!!!! We are here. Are we going in?!?” I asked changing my mood in a second. My dad responded, “Wait before we go in, I need to check it out. I’ve heard there are 20-foot waves in there.” His eyes clouded with worry. “Can I go with you?” I asked sweetly. “No” he said firmly. I shot an angry look at him and said, “please?” “No,” he said, without thinking about it.
Even though I wanted to argue more, my eyes were glued to the cave. I stared at it wanting to look away, but I just couldn’t. The cave swallowed all light around it. It looked spooky. Its tall entrance gave a sideways smile. In what felt like 5 minutes, my dad came back. “It’s fine.” I didn’t like that response, “it’s fine.” We climbed in the dinghy and paddled to the cave. We got closer and closer until we were in it. The stunning blue water made it beautiful. We were surrounded by magnificent algae, and colorful ferns. But there was something that wasn’t beautiful. I saw a group of sea lions starring at us with deep anger burning in their eyes. They didn’t talk, but they looked like they were going to say, “get out of here, this our turf. We are giving you one last chance. Turn around.” I shot them a challenging look. I laughed and whispered, “make us.” Then one by one they slid into the dark water their heads disappearing. I swallowed, saying under my breath, “that was not a good idea.”
I heard the creaking of our oars as we slowly moved closer to the back of the narrowing cave. I froze as I saw air bubbles slowly stalking towards our boat. I got the chills. We turned our head lamps on. The head lamps did not do anything against the dark walls of the cave. My heart stopped. Out of the darkness of the cave, beyond our sight, the echoing of thousand of sea lions emerged. They sounded like they were planning to harm someone. The darkened bark grew louder and louder making my ears ring. “Dad?” I said in such a quiet voice I didn’t think he heard me. Slowly silence crept into the cave until a loud boom broke the silence. That wave we heard sounded like a 10 foot wave. The small waves were pulling us deeper and deeper into the cave. The barking started again almost as though they were chanting our names, “Come here Makena and Shay. Let’s talk and we will we make you feel right at home.”
As we slowly drifted farther and farther the barking grew louder and louder until I had to cover my ears. “Can we please go?” I asked in a scared voice. Dad responded, “it’s just sea lions”. But I can tell these sea lions were not just “normal” sea lions. They held a secret that should never be shared. Some of them sounded as they were whimpering. “Can we go please?” I said again. I had a thought. Were they sea lions or are they spirts that came back to torment other sea lions or us? Come closer, come closer, we want to see you” “No!!” The cave got really dark and it sounded like they laughed and then said “so we can torment you” right about there I almost barfed. “DAD!!!” I said screaming this time. “Shay, relax….. its sea lions its not like they’re going to hurt us” that comment made me jump back startled. No no no no no. “Shay……Shay…..” they chanted “come here….” “PLEASE DAD” I whimpered “PLEASE!” My dad scuffed and then responded laughing “come on Shay… I thought you were tougher than that. Let’s just stay a little longer” I squinted seeing him smirk. He paddled deeper in but before he could get anywhere, I screamed “STOP!” He obeyed and we sat in silence. The lions still barking saying “come on come here, come here Shay we want to see you…” I blocked them out only hearing the pounding of my heart in my ears. “Okay we can go now” he said. I taunted him saying “Are you scared?” I smiled “No,” he puffed out his chest proudly “you guys are the only scared ones.” I coughed and thought if only you can hear what I’m hearing, you would be crying. We started paddling out of the cave. I felt a wave of relief but then my body tensed as I could hear the crying of the sea lions saying “Nooooo come back here Shay come back here” I laughed and said “No way I’m coming back there again.” I heard the growling of the sea lions then I heard a last ear-splitting bark and all went silent. But I looked back behind me and saw a sea lion charging at us at full speed. It was jumping out of the water like a dolphin playing with friends, but this sea lion was angry. I let out a scared whimper as the sea lion was about 2 feet away from me and my sister. I ducked down ready to be attacked but the sea lion was gone. I felt a drop of sweat fall down my face. I flicked it off and said, “that was scary” as light flooded back into the cave I could see 4 sea lions sleeping happily but giving us warning glares. I felt like I survived a hurricane or something, because that was very scary for my first cave experience. We were back at the boat in like 5 minutes. I could see my mom’s bright excited smile and said “how was it?” I didn’t say anything just gave her a blank expressionless stare and rushed towards my kitten, Jinjer. She purred as she saw me come in. I sat down and petted her, my heart glowed. Well that’s all I have for you….. but that I would say was is thrilling and full of untold mysteries. But there is one thing I did not tell you…..