Creeping Horror – Chapter Five: Lost

Upon closer inspection, I notice a vein running through it. It’s… gold. I pull my torch back, its light revealing that, yes, the entire wall was made of the same material. How had I failed to notice this before? Such a discovery entirely removed the fear I had felt only moments before. I would now live in riches for the rest of my days, the perfect accompaniment to the solitude which I had desired for so long. I whoop, little caring for the fact that it did not echo through the cave. I smile and turn towards the corridor, anticipating recruiting my friends into helping me excavate the cave. My cave.

This was my fortune.

As I take my first step towards the exit, however, I am given a chilling reminder me of the true terror of my situation.  There is a deafening roar accompanied by a torrent of freezing wind, exactly like the gust I had been subjected to on the day the hole first opened. All joy in my heart is replaced with abject horror and, now forgetting completely about my discovery, I sprint in the direction of the corridor – or at least where I imagine it to be.

I run as fast as my body, numbed by the bitter cold inhabiting the cave, will allow me. The chill of the wind penetrates my overcoat, somehow making my skin even colder than before. The roaring continues, its unearthly pained howl deafening me. I do not care for turning around to glimpse the source of the noise: I focus on nothing but fleeing.

Somehow in the darkness, I manage to rediscover the corridor and am bizarrely relieved about entering its confined passage again. Despite its cloying presence, I know that, eventually, it will take me back to the surface and to safety.

However, after minutes of exertion after which should have reached the outdoors, I still find myself trapped in the oppressive grey stone corridor. This is impossible. My torch has almost extinguished itself after my panicked sprint so I cannot see as far with it, but the amount of time I have spent travelling outwards is disproportionate as to my duration of travel upon entering. I squint into the darkness ahead of me and am certain I see the faintest hint of movement in the corridor, expanding seemingly forever into darkness.

I am ready to rest before continuing onwards when I feel a nudge from behind.

I freeze. My heart sinks as my mind races at the possibility of what could have bumped me. It could be something benign: a bat, perhaps, or a spider. This couldn’t be true: in the last hour, I had encountered nothing else living in this subterranean Abaddon. I am immobilised with fear. I want nothing more than to run, to escape this place and leave it behind forever, but the realisation slowly dawns on me that this will never be possible.

Despite my extreme reluctance to do so, I timorously turn around: there is nothing for me now but to face the messenger of my impending doom, clenching my eyes shut as I pivot. The mephitis of the beast hits me hard: the acrid stench of gunpowder unequivocally assaults my nostrils.  I am face to face with abomination behind me.

I open my eyes to the most monstrous being I could imagine.

Face to face with the beast, I have never experienced such horror in my life. Its skin is a vile green, mottled beyond recognition; its eyes and gaping maw extend into blackness much like the cave from which it emerged; and the stench, of caustic vapour and astringent miasma.

Too startled to move myself, the creature, its hollow voids staring into my eyes, nudges me and lets out a single, mortifying noise.







One response to “Creeping Horror – Chapter Five: Lost”

  1. […] Originally published on Ready Up on 25th April 2013. […]

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