Blessed Light of Day – Part Two
Adventure Fiction Stories
The words crept into my mind. Again and again, the markings on the wall we had observed filtered into my consciousness. The scrawls and dialects ran through my thoughts over and over, recovering and making me remember things in my past, I didn’t even knew existed. They also reminded me of how I had selfishly left my friends to die, but I knew I had no choice in that matter. Still, the feeling of guilt and shame burned within me. As I continued to crawl through the dark and narrow passages, I heard voices calling my name. Whispers, screams and half forgotten mumbles echoed through the darkness. I ignored them, continuing on. I knew that my mind conjured the personas, and that whatever I had seen had somehow scrambled my mind. That abomination, that mound of flesh, couldn’t have conceivably existed nor survived down in these depths of the earth. I tried thinking rationally, looking at every possibility, but the madness washed over me again and drowned out any sense in me. I crawled on, while the flashlight lighting the way flickered every few seconds.
After a couple of hours, I sat in the blackness for a while, and tried to let my mind rest. I soon found that this did the opposite of what was intended, and visions began to fester in my eyesight, while distant animal screams taunted me. I couldn’t move, as my muscles ceased responding to my commands. I was locked inside my head. For what felt like an eternity, I desperately shifted my eyes around, trying to make out what was around me as the light flickered in it’s area of influence. The sensation of disorientation and confusion was overpowering. I tried to will my voice into screaming, but not a sound came from me. Cuts and bruises on my body began to sting and ache. The paralysis sent me into a panic, my breathing sped up and my heart beat hard in my sheet. I thought of slowly dying of dehydration in this decaying part of the world, and the agonising pain to inevitably come. Longing for death, I thought of nothingness. I ignored all stimulus, attempting to shut down my body through sheer force of will. As I imagined the infinite stretch of the void, I started twitching. Fingers spasmed, my eyelids blinked rapidly and the sick feeling in my stomach migrated to my throat, resulting in a final release of vomit. This was a victory in my crushed spirit, with all feeling gradually coming back over the course of a few moments,
My tattered and ripped clothes that were wrapped around my frail body did no use in protecting me, from the cold and bitter winds that blew through small holes in the rock. This was a good sign, as I knew I was close to the surface. It was an arduous journey, as steep inclines presented themselves in the tunnels and crawl spaces funnelled me through the system, but I carried on in vain hope. Insanity still haunted me, and more visual hallucinations sprung from the blackness in the corner of my eye. I could feel it’s force watching me.
Whatever had caused this delirium, “it” was not far away, I could feel it in my bones. Pressing on through the caves, I found more strange carvings on the walls. As I tried with all my remaining sanity to tear my gaze away from them, they always returned to my mind and eventually, vision. It was impossible not to look, and as I progressed further through, the walls became covered in the markings. The cold wind still faintly wafted against my skin, it remaining as my only source of hope down in the earth. While crawling through another tight passage, the light on my head flickered dimly, then went out, leaving me to be eaten up by the dark.
Panic set in. Scrambling to get out, I shuffled and scraped my elbows along the rock, only being able to feel my way through the subterranean maze. Two ways presented themselves to me, and as I was deciding which direction to travel and whether or not there were just two ways, a terrible noise rumbled. The rock shook under me, the walls felt as if they were closing in. A sharp sounding scream (imagined or not) pierced the air. For a moment, my light suddenly came back on, but I regretted being able to see. For that half a second, I saw even more of the markings in the rock, still tormenting me. In an instant, the earth opened up beneath me, and I fell down through the dark.
I woke up slowly, my head hurting and my ears ringing. When I tried in vain to look at my surroundings, I could not see anything. In this cave, I might as well have had no eyes. Feeling my way, I discovered there were no walls around me. It seemed as if I was in an open space somehow. The wind blew stronger now against my face, and I soon found that I was able to stand. I stretched my back for the first time in hours, finding my composure returning. Remembering, however, that I had no idea where to go, I soon returned my gloomy disposition. My throat felt so dry and coarse, and I longed for just a drop of water. Hoping to find a quick death, perhaps a large drop, I decided to continue in a random direction. After a few presumed minutes, I began to hear the sound of lapping water. Assuming it was yet more auditory hallucinations, I ignored it and carried on. However, I soon felt the rock beneath my feet to dampen and the sound grew stronger and clearer. I felt the ground, and there indeed seemed to be water running over it from a source nearby. Crawling on, feeling my way, I found it. A pool of water was in front of me suddenly, and I wasted no time replenishing my hydration and lost spirits.
previous: Blessed Light Of Day – Part One
more by AMADEUS LINSKILL
photograph by Leeroy