I had been adopted when I was young by my father, but I had no mother or any other siblings, so life could get rather boring at times when I wasn't in school or doing something else. I spent most of my time outside, in the backyard area of our house. We lived in the wilderness with the forest surrounding us on all sides and the mountains on our right. So needless to say, this was quite the playground for a young boy.
My father took notice of this and told me to never venture too far into the wilderness, especially the mountains. He always warned me of various dangers that could come upon me in there and he would sometimes share cautionary tales of other people who did so. He worked as a geologist in the area so I assumed he knew of these tales firsthand. I might have been the curious and explorative type but I trusted my dad and I heeded his warnings.
While playing outside I would usually hear various forms of wildlife creaking, croaking, and generally making strange noises in the deep. Sometimes I'd even see some of them walking, running, and hopping around near our home.
But they usually didn't come too close to us and I rarely found any traces of them left behind. So it was strange when I came across shed skin on several occasions. The skin was always quite large and it had a scale like pattern. At the time I wasn't too sure what it was and I'd ask my dad on several occasions. But his answers were strangely vague with the only answer of there being large reptiles in the deep wilderness.
I wondered what type of animals these creatures were but I didn't push the issue any further with him. He didn't seem unnerved by the size of the skins so I assumed they were harmless. I figured there was no sense in worrying about it. But I couldn't help but wonder what it was that was shedding such a large amount of skin.
Fast forward many years into the future and I am a full grown adult. I had been sitting in my bedroom, browsing the web, when I heard several loud bangs across the hall. I got worried and rushed outside to see what was going on. At the end of the hall, by the bottom of the staircase was my father lying on the ground, unconscious.
I assumed he may have lost his balance and fell so I rushed towards the phone to call 911.
An ambulance arrived not long afterwards and I rode with my dad inside. When we got to the hospital I had to wait in the lobby. A few hours later I got some troubling news; a doctor came out and told me that he wasn't likely to make it.
He regained consciousness some time later, but for the next few days he was on life support the entire time. I stayed by his side during this and we tried to comfort each other. But he passed away just a few days later.
Once it happened, I felt like I had been punched in the gut and it was a very emotional time. I had a hard time accepting it but I recovered some after the funeral and I tried to move on after everything had been settled.
But there was one thing that hadn't been settled yet. We had one particular conversation about his a strange coin of some sort. He made me promise to retrieve this item after he died and not a moment before. He said they would be in the attic at home and there would be a note with the coin. The note was for instructions on how and where to use the coin. I did as he asked and I kept my promise after his death.
I found those items just as he described and I examined them very carefully. The coin itself looked rather odd as it appeared to be made out of some kind of metal that I was not familiar with. There were also strange creatures on both sides, in the center of the coin, alongside some kinds of symbols.
But then I read the note very carefully and was careful to follow all the instructions as was given.
What I understood by this point was that the coin was actually a key to some cave, by the mountains, closest to our house. I was given the task of discovering what was inside but I wasn't sure why exactly.
Fueled by my own curiosity and an obligation to fulfill my promises, I prepared for a long hike up towards the mountains and I brought along a GPS which would give the coordinates of my location and the cave.
The hike was exhausting and since it was winter, snow covered the area. But it didn't take long before I found the exact coordinates of the location. There in front of me stood, the stone surface of the mountain and a strange post of green like color. It looked like a strange stone with a flat top and I got closer to examine it. There I could see a small slit in the center of the surface and I assumed this was the use for the coin.
I retrieved the coin from my backpack and inserted it into the slit before pushing down on it. Then almost immediately I heard the roaring sound of stone pushing itself to the side and I could see an opening in the mountain.
It was extremely dark inside so I retrieved a flashlight, along with the coin and I carefully made my way inside. At first it was hard to tell but I could see that the cavern was several cars wide and several cars long. It was so large that I stuck to the right wall and moved forward, while I kept close to it. While doing so I noticed strange drawings all over the walls. They depicted reptile like figures and symbols from another language I had never seen before, nor did I understand. They looked old as if they had been there for centuries and had been drawn by cavemen.
I found this very unsettling but I continued forward until I got to the very back of the cavern. I moved alongside the wall until I got to the very center and I noticed another post standing before it. I assumed this was yet another doorway and I inserted the same coin into this post as well. Just like before the door opened and another cavern was revealed. I shined my flashlight into it and walked towards it.
Once inside, I noticed something quite large in the center. It looked almost as big as the cavern itself and it stuck out among the surrounding landscapes. It had been tipped over onto its side and I could nearly see the entire body of the thing. The front part was round but the rest of the body had a more cylinder shape to it. The thing even had a skin like texture to it and for a moment I wondered what it was.
Then, while approaching the thing, I tripped on an obstruction I didn't see before. I immediately rushed to my feet and brushed myself off before looking down to see what it was. It was a shed skin with scales and it was quite large. I panicked and rushed all around with my flashlight to see what else there might have been.
That's when I saw large amounts of skeleton bones, scattered across the ground in the distance. There were skulls too and some were of animals, but not all of them. There were remnants of human remains among the piles of skeleton bits and something else too. I noticed all across the ground were the same skins I had just tripped over.
My panic grew and I rushed back to the original cavern. Once inside I kept running until I was completely out of there and I prepared for my hike back home.
When I got back I remembered something. The skins I found in that cave were the same as some of the ones I had found in my very own backyard as a child.
My dad never told me why he wanted me to go there and see all of that. But I suspect there was a good reason.
Now I know that he had something to do with that awful place, but I'm afraid to know how he's involved.
Written by Gabemcceldry