The concept of bridges is something that manages to combine the notions of being literal, and figurative. Which does allow for a lot of creative ideas to sprawl forth in either direction. Yet at the same time, it manages to instill a sense of journey, adventure, and discovery in the process. Below is my entry, which does manage to instill a sense of discovery. While managing to reveal a sense of history, and myth. Enjoy my entry, title A Bridge best left Forgotten.
A Bridge best left Forgotten
Feeling the cold piercing breeze against my entire body, I stared at what I hoped was the last bridge. Watching as the wind whipped the old wooden rope bridge back and forth. Shooting off the layers of snow and ice in the process. The snow and ice lingered with a slight twinkle as fell into the surrounding chasm. Pushing myself forward through the heavy I approached the bridge carefully.
Making a quick silent prayer to the sky, as I grabbed the slippery ice covered rope. Taking slow cautious steps onto the old wood. Hearing it creak with every other step. The other bridges that got this had done that, but it was still an unnerving noise. Taking small breaths off the oxygen tank I continued forward with caution. Keeping a tight grip on the rope as I stepped forward. Forcing myself to keep looking forward to the cavern at the bridge’s end, as the wind used the bridge and I like a rag doll. Slowing my hesitant pace even more.
It felt like hours had passed before I entered the shelter of the cavern. Knowing that keeping myself warm would easier without the wind cutting into me. With caution, I turned on the small light and my flashlight, before moving far from the cave’s entrance. The light illuminated only a few feet in front of me. If the ancient map I unearthed months ago, this was the entrance to an ancient forgotten city. Taking a deep breath, I took several cautious steps into the cave. Stopping as I almost collided with something. Shining my light on it I saw several intricate carving in the merged stalagmite and stalactite. The carvings showed a strange looking bipedal creature. There something disturbing about the carved figure. Long muscular arms flowed from its torso, ending in twisted four digit talons. Its face was a thing of twisted horror. With two sets of four saber like teeth protruded from the statue. Along with the four diamond shaped empty eyes, that stared out at me. Seeming to follow the light as I inspected it. Carefully I moved around it. Noticing that three almost perfect copies of it were carved all around it.
Trying to get away, I explored the cave further. Seeing more strange bipedal carvings were etched on the wall. Some had almost bird-like features. Others looked more like some amphibious reptile monster. Strange almost alien looking hieroglyphics rested between every carving. I couldn’t even decipher them, as they bared no resemblance to any ancient languages I studied. Within seconds of my examination of them, my light sources began to flicker. Hastily I looked around for a brazier. Finding one on the other side of the cave. Running towards it, I fumbled around for the matches in my coat pocket. Pulling them out within a step of the brazier, as my lights died. I managed to light a match tossing it where the brazier was.
With a stroke of luck, I managed to ignite the brazier. Forcing it to burn an eerie bluish flame.Pausing myself, I took several breaths off the oxygen tank. Ignoring the strange chill that was starting to creep into me. Trying to shake off the chill off, I glanced around for another brazier. Finding two more positioned at the center and left the end of the cave. I knew lighting them with the thin air was impractical. Yet the more this chill clawed into me, I was thinking they were necessary if I wanted to starve out this chill. Walking over to the center I lit it quickly, before moving to the next one. Tossing another lit match into it before, feeling at ease. That is when I noticed the flames were a different color. The left one produced a dark green flame, as the middle one produced a flame of unearthly red. It was odd to have the braziers each burn a different color but, I assumed there wasn’t any ill intention from it. There was little chance of me making it back down this late to report my strange discovery. Resigning myself to rest here I made a quick camp near the middle brazier. Hoping the flame would keep me warm as I slept.
That night haunting dreams fell upon me. Filling my mind with nightmarish visions of the cavern and its carvings. Fear alone forced me from my slumber. Only to see the carvings had created eldritch figures. The figures seemed to be dancing around a ghastly white flame. Somehow the light was being emitted from something within the first set of carvings. They seemed to be not to notice me. Forcing myself not to scream as I watched curiously. Becoming quickly memorized by the spectacle. That is when I began to hear a chant. The chant echoing around the chamber in an indecipherable language made of up clicks and growls. Yet the more I listened to the more I began to understand it was more than that. Somehow that managed to bring me their attention.
Finally letting out a pent-up scream, that echoed around the cavern. Noticing a shift in the eldritch beings’ expressions as they approached me. Their hands reaching out with a twisted, hateful glare penetrated through me. With twitchy hands, I searched my bag for my pistol. The chanting resumed filled with intense anger, as I grabbed the coated handle of my weapon. Firing blindly at the approaching ghosts, hoping to have some effect.
It didn’t take long for me to get down to my last bullet. Deafened by the echoing sound, I realized why the map to this place was buried.This was not a place for man, but of demons and monsters. Resigning to save myself from a fate possibly worse than death, I put the barrel at my temple. Firing my last bullet into my head without hesitation. Letting death’s hand save me from them, and keeping this place lost to time.
Word count: 990
Critique level: Full