The Long Hall

A single candle to light my way, I continued down the ancient corridor. The stone walls were visibly damp, their raised details telling tales in a dead language. The secret passage that opened up when I examined my library lead me down this path. A single curving hallway that I know nothing about. Further up ahead I can hear some indistinguishable sound. I’ve been hearing it for the past ten minutes, however, walking down this hall. The continual enclosed space looks as if I’ve made no progress atall. Though I know better, there’s a small slant to this tunnel, it’s a giant spiral. To where, I dare not know. There’s no wind, but the air remains fresh.

As I descend deeper, my hard soled leather shoes begin to splash through water, soaking my suit’s pant leg. I continue on, intrigued by the mystery of my own underhouse. My house coat keeps my warmth as the heat dissipates into the depths of the constructed cave.

Once I am waist deep into the liquid, a strange hand reaches out from the dark and touches me, dragging me under. My candle’s flame extinguishes upon the surface, and I lose it. Below the surface, being dragged along the bottom, I start to see luminescent stones lining the underground path. Soon, I pass out.

When I come to, I’m in a cavern. The symbols from the hall are now set in glowing stones on the cave. By their light, I can tell the room is actually entirely spherical, carved to a perfect gloss. The sounds from before now emanate from under the surface of the large pool of water, and I long for the former comfort of my library.

The still waters become waves as I attempt to stare into the reflective surface. Slowly, my candle arises from below, still lit. Attached to the handle is the hand from before. The glow of the stones oscillates. I get a sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach as the figure continues to rise, revealing a grotesque arm covered in a sort of black sludge. The rest of the thin figure arises, entirely humanoid. The featureless shadow steps upon the water, and walks towards me, holding my candle out, offering it to me. I take hold of the handle, noticing the glistening white top of the creature’s head, dark ooze sliding off.

“There are depths present in this world and beyond.”

I hold my candle up to the speaker, and see that the substance has removed itself, revealing a human skull stripped of its flesh. I stand there for a moment, startled. She embraces me, and the black gunk pours forth from the eyes of the skull, enveloping me. Oil slick kisses choke the air from my lungs. I begin to flow into the water, my essence being absorbed into secrets untold. Filled up with ghosts, burning into the ritual stones. The end of this life: personal; dark; vast; unending.

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