Blessed Light of Day – Part Three
Serial Fiction Story
Water flowed over me as I lay in the pool. Drinking it up, I quenched the dryness in my throat and felt energy returning to my fragile body. My mind calmed, focusing on the feeling of the water lapping at my side and the silence that permeated the darkness. The water was the only thing in my existence; it was an otherworldly sensation, like the two sides of my brain had ripped at the seams and as if reality had unfolded and presented itself to—
I screeched in pain as white noise and a sudden, bright light flashed behind my eyelids. It was a sudden feeling — I was drowning, suffocating. An intense feeling of fright and instinctual terror overcame me and my body twitched and convulsed. My pores felt as if they were bleeding, my skin crawling in reaction to the sudden burst of fear and adrenaline. My mind raced, asking in frantic tones as to what was happening. I turned over onto my side, cradling my head in my hands and screaming for it to leave me alone. There was no mercy, however; the noises continued inside my head until I finally passed out from exhaustion.
The air was damp, but still warm, as I woke. Groggily, I instinctively rubbed my eyes, only to find the darkness to intense for my pupils. The ground felt sandy under my back and as I slowly got up to check for a ceiling; there wasn’t one. The sound of trickling water had gone, replaced with silence interrupted by coughing. I moved forward one step at a time, cautious of any rock formations or walls in my way. For a moment, I thought my foot had knocked against something soft, but I attributed it to an overactive imagination. Another step; I realized what I had felt. Kneeling down, I reached out and touched one of my colleague’s corpses. The body was slumped onto the floor with it’s limbs mangled behind its back. I couldn’t tell who the body belonged to; I didn’t care — I needed to see if they still carried any supplies. Running my hand over his chest, I suddenly found my fingers in an inward cavity, dripping with something. I pulled them out and realised that there was a gaping hole in his chest center; blood soaked the shirt around the injury. I had to stop myself from vomiting. Avoiding that area, I searched his pockets. I reached into the trouser pocket and grabbed what was inside. Almost squealing from happiness, I held the flashlight in my hands and flicked the switch. Light came forth from the end, blinding me for a few seconds to let my eyes adjust. Finally, I found some hope of survival.
After sitting on the ground for a couple of seconds to regain my sight, I shone the light around. I looked down at the body and immediately regretted the decision. Dry blood was caked over his face, his eyes removed, his mouth agape in a horrified face. I then saw his clasped fingers. Slowly, I lifted the fingers and found his eyeballs inside his grasp; he must have clawed them out. I felt sorry for the loss, and wondered how the hell his body ended up ahead of me in the cave system. I comforted myself by saying he fell down a hidden passage and crawled his way here; I did not want to begin considering other possibilities. Deciding to continue and have a semblance of hope, I walked away. The beam carved its way through the dark but did not hit any wall or rocks, just a long expanse of darkness. I figured I must have been in a large cavern, devoid of any formations. I stumbled forward, my blistered feet dragging me forward, slowly. After a few steps, I felt the ground was different than before. It wasn’t sandy anymore; my footfalls made hard, clicking sounds on the surface. I could see large indentations in the rock spreading across the floor, making large spiraling patterns. They mirrored the ones found earlier, when we were all still sane and alive. They were beautifully crafted, carved into the stone and forming complex patterns. I still had no idea what they represented, but they must have something to do with what’s invading my mind…
Walls started to appear beside me as I walked; the cavern must be getting narrower. It got tighter and tighter, with the ceiling getting lower and lower. Soon, I had to hunch over and keep the flashlight pointed in front of me in an uncomfortable twist. I reached a point in the passage that was a fork: Two directions, going left and right, the age-old decision. The left side looked smaller, but — upon inspection — seemed to curve less and was a more or less straight line sloping upward; the right side, however, was a lot more spacious. I chose the left side, as I was feeling particularly suicidal.
The passage burrowed through the earth, upward and onward. I trudged through, the flashlight still holding out and guiding the way. Finally, the passage opened up again. I entered a large cavern, the walls bending outward to form a domed ceiling above me. Pointing my flashlight forward, I only can describe what I saw in the vaguest terms, as they were beyond human comprehension. Four stone pillars stood apart equally, the inscriptions enshrined on them eerily glowing in the darkness. I convinced myself that it must be my imagination, but as I continued staring, I realized that it couldn’t be imagined. What I only can describe as non-Euclidean shapes were carved into the ancient rock, shifting and changing in my fevered mind. The darkness seemed to grow and expand into the beam of my flashlight; in a matter of seconds, there was no light in the cavern, only the faintly glowing inscriptions. What felt like hands groped at me, pulling me to the floor, and, with rugged force, dragged me into the dark.
previous: Blessed Light Of Day – Part Two
more by AMADEUS LINSKILL
photograph by Skitter Photo