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A Monster Saved (Part 2) – by Alahna
The traveler wiped sweat from his brow and searched the steep trail. A dark fissure loomed in the mountainside above. He nodded and continued his strenuous climb toward the scar in the earth. The man reached up, clutching the small holds in the rock with his fingertips and pulled himself onto a ledge. Regaining his feet, he stepped closer and peered into the cave he had mistaken for a crack. “Hello,” he called, his voice echoing in the deep recesses of the cavern.
He shrugged out of his pack and removed an old lantern – carefully unwrapping the thick cloth protecting the fragile glass – and lit it, the faint glow barely visible in the bright sunlight. Slinging his bag back into place, the man proceeded into the cave. Barely across the threshold, he was struck by the strong, foul smell of mold and rotting flesh. The traveler quickly removed a handkerchief from his pocket and tied it around his mouth and nose, trying to filter out the stench.
As he inched deeper into the cavern, he saw the remains of many creatures littering the floor; large cracked deer bones, a bloody plucked wing, and the dark sticky stains of so much blood. Suddenly, a loud crunch sounded from under his foot. The traveler lifted his boot and gazed into the empty eyes of a human skull, the jaw shattered under his toes. Taking a deep slow breath, the man stepped carefully around the bone fragments, bowed his head in prayer for the dead, and continued forward.
The cave floor angled steeply downward, puddles of water reflecting in the lamp light. Suddenly, the traveler’s boots slipped on the wet rock and he fell to the ground, smashing the glass on the lantern and snuffing the flame. A cry escaped his throat as he dropped through the pitch black, sliding deeper into the belly of the mountain.
~ 1Samuel 24:3
Deep within the bowels of the mountain, a hunched figure pawed through a pile of rusting pocket watches, mildewed coin purses, and decaying playthings. It grunted and gently removed a china doll, the once beautiful dress now in tatters and one of its glass eyes missing. Brushing a lock of matted blond hair back from the face the creature clutched the toy to its chest. It walked to the far wall of the cave where a pile of tattered blankets and clothes lay bunched into a makeshift bed and settled into the nest. Lying curled in a fetal position with the doll wrapped tightly in grimy arms, the creature resembled a scared child clutching an object of comfort during a thunderstorm. It closed its eyes and was soon drifting to sleep.
She was in a dark, drafty stone chamber filled with the eerie wailings of the wind and the rapid beating of bat wings. The frightened girl reached out her arms and tried to touch the walls, but her fingers grasped cold air. Mamma, she thought, trying to call out but no sound escaped her throat. Papa, David? Where is everyone?
“They are gone.” The girl spun toward the low, hissing voice hidden in shadow.
“No one will come for you here. You are all alone.”
The sound of a heavy scaled body moved on the girl’s right, the echo of claws clicking on the stone floor.
W-why am I here?
“They abandoned you. They drove you out and cursed you, never to return to the land of light. You must stay here. With me.”
NO! I-I want to go home. I want to see my Mamma and Papa.
“You can never go home.” Suddenly, a ball of eerie green fire appeared on the ground before her and she stared into the flaming red eyes of a monster, its lips pulled back from razor black teeth in a triumphant smile. “For you belong to me, my daughter.” The beast lunged toward her and the girl screamed.
The creature lurched upright in its nest, the doll shattered in its shaking grip. It glanced frantically around, scanning for the nightmare beast. The cave was empty. Rocking back and forth the creature tried to calm her racing heart. She could still see the monster’s eyes staring at her, its look piercing her soul. Suddenly, a cry echoed from above her head and the creature watched as a body slid down one of the steep tunnels, landing in a heap near her nest.
~ Romans 4:12&14 (Revelations 12:3-4a)
Categories: Critique Group