Creeping Horror – Part Four: Erebus

My foot hits the ground and I expect to hear the echoing step reverberate off the walls of the corridor, but there is nothing. As soon as sound is made, it is dead. The cold wind funnels through the corridor, penetrating my winter coat and making me feel its evil influence even under my thick sleeves. I run my hand along the wall as I walk: the rock is smooth as silk and freezing to the touch. It’s not long before I reflexively move my hand away, such is the risk of burning my flesh on a surface of such frigidity.

The torch in my hand is virtually purposeless: it illuminates little more than a few paces in front of me. Its light skirts the walls that enclose me but does precious little else. I will nevertheless hold onto it: the light it gives off, no matter how impotently, is comforting, the sole beacon of hope in a place made of nothing but despair. Such hope is essential to my mental state: the passageway seems tailored exactly to my proportions. My head just manages to avoid scraping the roof as I traverse into the darkness, a feeling akin to being trapped in a coffin, one which stretches into perpetual darkness.

After walking along this gloomy, seemingly unending corridor for what must have been the best part of a quarter of an hour, it eventually opens up to what looks like a cave. Stumbling upon this opening is jarring, the contrast between this natural formation and the stark, forboding passage I had just emerged from causing my skin to crawl. It is a relief, however, to step into this expanse: removing myself from such cramped confines alleviates the sense of dread that weighed heavy on my soul just a few minutes prior.

I look back into the corridor behind me, expecting to see a pinprick of light from outside highlighting my exit, but I am met with nothing but an expanse of pure blackness. I press my hand on the rugged wall of the cave and press onward, using it as guide to aid me in navigating back to the world outside. As before, my torch is still practically useless. There is something eerie about this place: the darkness seems to be sentient, alive, hell-bent on smothering any light that would threaten its existence. It was a wonder that the numbing cold hadn’t served to asphyxiate my torch completely. If that happens…

I try to shake the thought from my head and plough onward. I move forward, the discomfort throughout my being increasing with every step I take. I do not want to be here, but I must press on if there is any chance of finding out the purpose of this place.

The further I move into the cave, the more chill the evil cold becomes. I am forced to stop due to the freezing temperatures to which I am exposing myself for the sake of curiousity. The coldness, along with the creeping darkness, has pushed me to the limits of my wits. The total lack of stimuli of any kind has my mind playing tricks on me: despite the fact that I have encountered nothing of the kind over the last hour, I am certain that there is something in the murky gloom, watching my every move. I glance into the blackness every so often, but there is never anything there, or, at least, never anything I can see.  I’ve had enough: my only desire now is to leave this place and never return. Despite my initial enthusiasm, I decree that this particular mystery was not worth solving.

I turn around to head back to the corridor when my eye glimpses an uncharacteristic and welcome sparkle on the rock face…



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