Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Prompt: Exploring the darkness

Thanks to Eric (altair-e on deviantart.com) for permission to use his eerie "Roots of Anger"!

“It’s so freaking hot in here. You said caves are usually cold.” Dennison complained as he pulled off his cap and wiped his brow, swinging his rifle light in a careless arc.

“Hey! Go back! Hold that light steady!” McKinney snapped. He swung his own rifle light straight ahead. “Look. Water. No movement. A lake maybe.” His light reflected on the dark, smooth surface. He lifted the light slowly, looking for the far cavern wall. And whistled. “Holy Mary…”

Dennison barked a short laugh. “I think you got the wrong religion, Mac.”

The far wall was covered with an enormous mural that reminded McKinney of the Memphis necropolis he had been studying before they shipped him out to this gods-forsaken site. Narrowing his eyes, he thought, Maybe not so gods-forsaken after all. That did look like a row of men making a ritual offering, although the distance kept the light from revealing the full mural.

“Hey, Mac, check out those stalactites. Stalagmites? I can never keep ‘em straight.” Dennison shone his light on an impressive row of long, conical stalactites hanging from the ceiling. He swung the light along the row, revealing another row in a long triangle.

McKinney swung his light lower and pointed under the stalactites. “Look. There must be a ledge there. Stalagmites growing underneath. You often see them matching like that, if the stalactites are dripping enough liquid. But look how well-shaped those are.” He swung his light along the triangular path of the sharply pointed stalagmites.

Dennison ducked. “What the—”

Two bats flew from across the water into the glow of their rifle lights. McKinney laughed. “They’re just bats, Dennison. They won’t hurt you.”

Dennison growled, “Those are some large freaking bats,” as he swung his light after them.

McKinney’s light flashed back over the water, and he shouted, “Kill your light, Dennison! You’re attracting them!” Dozens of bats flew in a cloud across the still lake. McKinney knew large bats tended to be fruit-eating, but he still felt a chill run down his back as he shone his light at the ground. The chill deepened. The water had been completely still, but now it was pulling away from them, leaving wet sand at their feet.

Dennison shone his light toward the glistening stalactites, then down toward the stalagmites. They were moving closer to the stalactites. He moved the light farther along the row, and it gleamed off of a reflective patch on the far wall above the stalagmite ledge. The reflection glowed yellow, with a black seam down the middle.

McKinney shone his light to their right side, where they had not yet examined. A matching yellow circle with black seam shone steadily in the light. Then it blinked…

Dogs in House
Houdini, Brindle

The Frey, “Love Don’t Die”

Time writing
40 minutes, including research

May word count

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