I decided to become an archaeologist for two main reasons: one, I hated society -- I hated those stupid low-lifes not doing anything with their life, and that’s why I became hell-bent on accomplishing some ground-breaking discovery; two, I decided to isolate myself in nether regions of the world to distance myself from the mindless internet and other modern media which brainwash the masses, and make them waste their life. Under the sponsorship of H.L. Marlowe, I was excavating a certain area in Egypt, in search of treasure. The first year was a fruitless search, with only a few pieces of worthless platter and clothing being found; these were carbon dated back to only fifty years ago. On the second year, however, a pickaxe struck a limestone structure. This might have been an already raided cache, natural formations, or pretty much anything else, but we were desperate. All men were ordered to abandon post and dig in this one area. As we worked at the limestone, another, stranger rock blocked our progress: it was much harder and utterly foreign to the whole country of Egypt; and, indeed, foreign to any rock type we knew. It vaguely resembled granite but was certainly an igneous rock, as evidenced by the large crystals embedded in the volcanic material. We shoveled and picked the stone for hours, and dug fifty-three feet down until a pickaxe broke through into an opening. We widened the aperture and shone our flashlights in.
A large, dark room spread out beneath us, and, in the middle of it, an iron rectangular box. It was rusty and mossy. I ordered rope and electric torches immediately. Me, Henry and Ammon (Henry, my sponsor; and Ammon, my friend) rappled in and explored the room with our flashlights. The walls were made out of the queer rock, damp, and collapsed in places where moss sprouted from the ruins. But it isn’t exactly fair to call that thing moss since it resembled some type of fungus, clearly not of this earth; it was a sickly-green hue, and seemed to move faintly despite the utter lack of wind; this exhibition of perpetual motion unnerved us, to say the least.
Ammon and Henry set down their torches at angles which lit up the whole box. Something about that silent metal rectangle, crouching in the middle of an ancient, dark room fathoms beneath civilized soil, was horrifying. I swallowed and nodded to the others. Crowbars were unstrapped and we carefully lifted the lid off the box. As we steadily lifted the plank of iron from the box, there was a swishing noise and we choked on a horrible miasma which escaped into the air. It was this smell of fermentation and decay, it spoke of forbidden aeons far beyond human understanding. Dropping the lid, I covered my mouth but vomit was already rushing up my throat, and out onto the ground.
The workers above, seeing our dismay and smelling a subdued semblance of the smell, dropped down more rope. The miasma was so horrible it could make the plants in God’s very own garden drop dead with decay. We climbed out fast, into the sunlight and fresh air; I was glad to be rid of any traces of that god awful place. I vomited again. So did the others. Henry threw up thrice more. I was sick and weak and felt the smell coming on me stronger again, I heard the grunts of the workers who retreated from the gaping hole. The smell was escaping. I could just hope it would not hold sway over the world, I just hoped there was a limit to the miasma, that the box wasn't a portal to another realm which trapped only an infinite amount of that smell.
We all retreated to the campsite. The shadows stretched out, and then they swallowed the whole world. I eventually drifted off to sleep, and awoke when the sun was at its apex. And, for a change, the sound of the workers mining was gone. I came from New York, and hated it because of the crowds of idiots bustling about the ceaseless noise of traffic. So, I was glad of this silence.
I set out towards the hole were a group was already gathered. I told Ammon and Henry to get the ropes, that we’ll be going in again. After our descent, we stalked towards the box and shone our torches into it; the blackness swallowed our light. I picked up a stone and dropped it, counting seconds.
One... two... three... four...
Five, six, sploosh.
I ordered more rope to be hauled down and more electric torches to be passed, along with scented cloths, and picks. We descended further into our mysterious discovery, our light beams dancing on the unknown-stone walls. As we further submerged ourselves into the darkness the air got thicker and the smell worse, some considered turning back in fear that the intensity of the stench may reach unprecedented levels.
About ten minutes down, the smell made us gag and we forced the cloths against our faces. The darkness thickened and we could barely make out the shape of our flashlights, let alone the beams of light.
Dangling from the ropes, we were like puppets on lonely strings. After about twenty minutes our splashed in about two inches of a slimy, watery fluid. Someone was bold enough to remove the cloth from his mouth and shout up into the blackness. His echo bounced off the walls and was suddenly cut off. We had no choice but to trudge on through the unknown. But Henry wasn't too compliant, he complained and begged me to turn back, but I, in obscene terms, told him that’s not an option.
We had use our picks like a blind man might use a cane, holding onto each other in a three hundred degree circle, swinging our picks frantically, listening for a thuck and feeling some resistance. We ascertained we were in a room with a high ceiling and compact walls. After we progressed north along the walls, we assumed we had entered a tunnel based on the ‘’thucking’’ of our picks. And we were right, for on the other end the tunnel a light glimmered vaguely, and we relaxed our grip on the scented cloths.
We came to a T intersection where we could go either left or right; we voted and continued down the right tunnel. And as we continued further into the darkness, it became evident that we were heading towards the source of the foul vapor. Ammon was at the back, Henry in the middle and I lead the group. So it was me who plummeted down the hole in the ground first, Henry tripped but managed to hold onto some loose brick, and Ammon became stranded in impenetrable darkness.
Water -- or some other, fouler fluid -- cushioned my fall. I flailed like a fish on land in that little pond until I gained my bearings. Now, unsettled, soaked, cold and alone, I began wishing I was back in New York, where I could be safe with society. I saw a faint glimmering of orange light in the distance, and hope spread through me, warming me. I rushed towards it, tripping over algae, seaweed or other invisible, unspeakable things. I felt solid ground five inches above me and climbed onto it, to find I was directly facing the light. Now I was sure that the source of the smell lay directly ahead of me, and I shuddered. Then I touched the wall next to me felt weird mossy, fleshy thing which faintly vibrated under my arm, and which I had no doubt was the fungus we saw earlier. When I reached the end, I saw -- before me -- a horrible expanse of terrifying, alien terrain which was not -- in any realm of imagination -- of this world. It’s no use describing how it looked, it’s too terrible for that; all I can give are vague outlines of what I saw, and tell you the geometry of the place was contorted beyond belief. A path made out of that queer stone ran along a lake of black, slimy water until it reached a huge aquatic monolit: the human-spider-fish caricature standing upon that pedestal was something out of this world, it was terrible. A grotesque fishy face with horns and bulging eyes was surmounted upon an arachnoidal body with six tentacles in place of spider legs; and the two mockingly human things the monster stood were shredded masses of muscles masquerading as human legs. The place was completely alien and ghastly in its weird contours, and unheard-of angles, twisting and sloping landscapes totally unaffected by gravity. And that ghastly stench was at its zenith here; it was like a sepulchral breath, like a mass of ghouls breathing out into the air the odour of the grave.
Muffled and subdued, a splash sounded behind me: apparently Henry fell. I looked towards the ancient idol looming over the sacrificial table, clutching a trident. I felt myself walk down the stairs and tread down the path. If there was a ceiling somewhere in this place, then it was too high to be visible. And just then I noticed the orange light had no apparent source, like it was magical. I walked up the golden, limestone steps towards the statue. Suddenly, a surge of paranoia set in: I jerked my head to the left, the right, behind me, above me, and back to the statue again; I felt shadows darting around the room, I felt eyes peering at me from my blind side. I closed my eyes and recited some prayers; my mouth warped into a whirlwind, whispering frantically.
I was so focused on the prayer that I was shocked by a heavy grip on my shoulder. I whirled around, fist raised, and saw Henry gasping, frightened, behind me. "Howard," he said; "where are we?" I said I didn't know and he insisted we must get out.
A gurgling, bubbling noise sounded from behind me and a green, metallic spider-leg shot out of the black water and struck the limestone pathway. Then another one. The two legs pulled out a writhing fusion of mechanical and biological parts: a huge, ill-defined pulsating, poison-green tumor with ugly veins pulsing along its misshapen structure, connected to mechanical spider legs, jagged and and impossibly contorted, and… horribly grotesque. The mysterious fungus hung off monster, but that's not exactly true; more like the fungus was like an organic part of the creature.
The creature sprang at Henry, piercing his skin with a syringe affixed to its spidery limbs and injected him with something unimaginable. Adrenaline rushed through my veins, and I raised my pickaxe and swung at the monster, striking its core. A splash of yellow juice squirted from the the sides of the pick. Henry shrieked and writhed under the creature's weight; I pulled the pick out -- releasing a further splash of yellow bile -- and swung harder this time. A swishing, liquid sound rang out as my pick struck the other side of the monster's body. Its legs wavered, but it persisted in attacking Henry, and I persisted in attacking ‘’it’’. Jets and streams of the yellow bile were exploding from the thing’s wound and showering us. Finally, with a finishing blow, the thing wavered, faltered and fell sideways.
I never truly believed what I saw; yet, despite the sheer horror of that monster, I could swear I saw the form of a far bigger and far more ghoulish thing below the surface of that black water until it disappeared into unknown fathoms below.
I stooped down to check on Henry. I saw the veins in his body push out against his skin, and his flesh lost its peachy color and turned into a skeletal, pale tint: it looked like the blood from his body was being diverted from the arteries and capillaries into his veins; and then, in a cataclysmic explosion, his veins burst in an eruption of blood and gore. I can’t even start to fathom what that fiend must was injected into poor Henry. I was too shocked and weakened to remember what happened next. All I have are photo-snaps of my escape: pictures of rusty ladder, a pipe I pried open, a confined space we crawled through, a smell of shit which might have been a scent of roses after that ghastly miasma, an upward curve in the claustrophobic darkness and then I remember breaking through something and a flood of light as sand spilled down.
And so I came out through the sewage system of some big city, into the scorching sunlight, and huge skyscrapers towering above me. Overwhelmed with joy and exhaustion, I fainted.
I awoke in a hospital, and was questioned by authorities; after answering question accordingly, I was assured a search would be conducted. They found that the tunnels I was talking about were flooded. Apparently the pipe I had disturbed experienced a sudden eruption of sewage from, and to, some unknown source, and flooded the underground facility.
After I recovered I returned to my room for a final night. I was weary after hours of questioning by my employer and by the authorities, and I wished nothing but to take a hot shower. When I turned on the shower, it shuddered for a moment, belched and a black thick liquid spurted out of it. As the black slime came out of the shower-head, a foul but familiar stench assaulted my nostrils. I turned the tap off so hard I dislodged the handle. Then I stormed out of the hotel, forgetting to even turn my key in.
The last anyone saw of me was when I got to that airport. I retreated to New York, to my home. I used to despise this peasant-filled shit-hole, but now I cherished it; the bustle of civilization gave me comfort, it reminded me I’m not in those lonely, silent, dark tunnels. But I still couldn’t force myself to go outside the house, too afraid of leaving the familiar and safe. And I could not bare to come into contact with water, I was too mortified, I did not turn on the sinks or the shower, and I only drank juice, which, like everything else, I ordered online. I hated the fucking internet, but now I was forced to use it. Then, my lack of hygiene had given birth to an ear-infection. Pain exploded inside my ear-canal and it felt like my eardrum was hammering out the beat to the newest Metallica album; I would have called a doctor but I was too scared. During those two solitary years my money ran out and they cut off my power, phone and water. I would have been glad for the latter two if I was not plunged into complete darkness. Eventually, the ear infection took away my hearing; and now I was cut off from semblance of reality: darkness, silence, solitude -- the tunnels. I kept seeing Henry die to that hellspawn, and I kept seeing that shape in the water, so horrible. I cannot bear this eternal perdition, being trapped in my own house which tortures me with its dark silence. I have thought this out -- or, at least, thought it out as much as my frenzied mind permitted me -- and have come to a decision. I will take my own life. This is my memoir… Fuck this world!
Written by Jake888