A loud crash in the distance caused me to open my eyes suddenly, and I realized I was surrounded by complete yet utter darkness. I rubbed my eyes to try to get them to adjust to the to the engulfing darkness around me. My breathing was strained as I felt the thickness of the humidity in the surrounding air, the humidity was so thick in this area I was in; I was surprised I was even able to breathe. At this point I was utterly terrified, as I had absolutely no clue as to where I was. In an attempt to figure it out, I scanned the surrounding area. Unable to see anything, I began to think, but my mind was completely blank. Not a single thought was in my mind, and I had no idea who I was or how I even ended up here.
Just the thought of having nothing in my mind bugged me to the point of frustration. I brought my focus on what I knew, which at this point was that I was in a completely strange place and could not see any means of egress. My mind began to power up as my thoughts raced and I felt my mind pushing me to find a way to get out of here. Rubbing my eyes again as they now began to burn from the thickness of the air, they began to finally acclimate to the darkness. The downside was they only adjusted enough for me to see in small glimpses, and I could only make out that I was in some kind of cave.
The small glimpses I could capture began to reveal more about my surroundings. I noticed the walls were covered with a strange green glowing moss and there were jagged rocks hanging from atop the cavern. These rocks atop the cave had a slight bluish glow to them and they began to light the area a little better, allowing me to see a little more clearly. Droplets of water dripped down from the rocks hanging from the top of the cavern, and the warm water warmed my face as it grazed it. As far as I could tell at the current moment, the area was lifeless besides the rocks and strange moss. One conclusion I came to was that water had to be nearby because of the heavy moisture in the air as well as the moss.
I felt my breathing become short and forceful as I began to fall into a state of terror. Continuing to look around me, I still could not find a means of egress and I began to struggle to breathe. My chest grew tight as I continued to let the dark thoughts of never making it out of here begin to overtake my mind. Heart pounding now, I felt as if I was going to die in this cave and I knew that was the absolute last thing I wanted. Focused on my breathing now, I took in slow and deep breaths as I tried to bring my focus onto something else. Feeling my heart rate beginning to slow down, I began to focus on the surrounding sounds to get my mind out of this state of anxiety.
Crickets were chirping in the distance, and I could faintly hear water trickling nearby. Strangely, I thought the cave was lifeless, yet I could hear something that sounded rather large moving about the grotto. My heart began pounding again as my breathing became short and ragged once again. Now I had to worry about getting out of this place and whatever that large thing was lurking about the cave. I knew I needed to get my mind shifted onto something else to think about, so I could calm down. Feeling the weight of what I was wearing, I looked down at myself to bring my focus on the clothes.
I looked at the clothes I was wearing and realized they were heavily worn. The shirt I was wearing was made of some kind of heavy leather material and was peeling as well as having tears throughout the chest area of it. It was a tannish brown in color and felt heavy enough to be a winter coat. My pants were brown as well, with the same peeling of the leather, and it had tears throughout the legs. Breathing normally now, the heaviness of the clothes grounded me, and allowed me to focus on what I needed to focus on. Before beginning to get back to finding a way out of this wretched place, I felt something tight around my waist. I looked down at my waist and realized it was a belt, and attached to it was a sheath with a small blade inside it.
Pulling the blade out, I looked at it curiously and noticed the fine crafting of the redwood on the handle as well as the blade being extremely sharp. Unfortunately, the blade was tiny, so I knew it wouldn’t be much use against anything large. Placing the blade back in the sheath, I looked at my surroundings again, but this time with a much better view. Finally, I was able to see clearly, and I noticed the walls of the cave were grey and jagged. Also, I observed that the area I was in was too narrow for my liking. I began to walk through the narrow cistern until the rippling sound grew louder, so I stopped to discern where the sound was coming from.
The sound appeared to be coming from my right, so I began walking that direction and the sound became louder as I ventured further into the narrow area. I still couldn’t see the water, but continued to follow the sound as it grew louder, and part of me hoped it would lead me out of this cave. As I continued venturing, and following the rippling sound, I was suddenly stopped by a blinding light. This light burned brightly throughout the entire area, lighting up every dark crevice, and every sound in the cave went silent. Strangely, the light brought me this inner peace, and felt familiar, as if I knew it.
The light radiated even more brightly as it began to speak. “You are Transmiel’s last chance at bringing back the peace of the land and saving it from its utter demise. Go forth, Anister, and begin your path to heroism,” the bright light foretold as it quickly evaporated, leaving me in the darkness.
I stood there for a few minutes pondering on what it had said and was utterly puzzled. My eyes took forever to readjust to the darkness, but after a few minutes they acclimated again, and I was able to see the water flowing through the cave. The water was the color of blood and frothed as it ran through the area, and it was no small stream but an enormous river that rotted the surrounding rock. I looked ahead to where the water was running too and noticed a shimmer of light up ahead, but unsure that it led out of the cavern, I decided it would be best to continue to follow the water.
A loud hiss echoed through the cave as a gigantic creature lunged right into me and knocked me down to the ground hard. Hyperventilating, I scrambled to my feet to face the unknown thing that came out of nowhere. I stared at the ugly creature as I dragged the knife out from the sheath, and it circled around me, ready to strike again. My feet felt heavy as if they were stuck to the ground as I stared at the reptilian animal noticing its seven-foot-long body, and its bright red color as well as the single orange stripe that ran down its right side. Several razor-like teeth hung from outside its mouth, and it stood about three feet taller than me with large muscular legs. Its large tail swung back and forth as it continued circling around me, I concluded that it had to be some kind of lizard.
Now at the ready for its next strike, I gripped the dagger in my hand, but I realized that it may not be useful against this creature at all. The lizard quickly circled around with a swift swing of its tail as the force sent me flying into a nearby wall, and I heard something crack as I landed against the wall. I struggled to breathe as I got to my feet and wheezed heavily as I brought myself to a stand. Through tear-filled eyes I scanned the area for the lizard as I continued struggling to breathe, and finally I spotted it slowly stalking toward me. So, I readied myself for the strike I knew was coming as the lizard picked up its pace. And I swung the dagger in the lizard’s face in an attempt to deter it from continuing to attack me. But it was ultimately useless as it slammed me to the ground, lingering over top my body.
I stared into its black lifeless beady eyes and the smell of its breath was awful as it breathed in my face. Now in a frantic mindset, I swung the dagger around blindly as I began to feel as if I was going to die in the grotto. Thankfully, the mindless swinging of the dagger amounted to something as the dagger pierced into the creature’s neck. It hissed in pain as it back stepped and gave me the opportunity to jump to my feet. Blood covered my hands from the wound I inflicted on the wretched thing. The stupid thing was still stunned from the stabbing, so I took off running through the cave. Behind me, I could hear the heavy steps of the creature pursuing me. I tried to run quicker, but it wasn’t quick enough as I felt its claws dig deeply into my back. I screamed out as I fell to the ground and quickly rolled over to face the thing.
My body grew warm as I began to sweat profusely, and I kicked the lizard in the abdomen as I rolled out from underneath it. I wasn’t quick enough as the thing slammed its head into my chest, and it felt as if a freight train ran into it. Quickly I got to my feet as I winced, and tears filled my eyes. This began to seem like a no-win scenario as my mind raced on anyway, I could kill this thing with the small dagger. My distracted thinking let my guard down as the lizard barreled into me. Now it was back on top of me and I stabbed it in the neck once again as it hissed in pain and blood dripped onto my clothes. As it back stepped, I got to my feet and prepared for its next strike, and this time I had a plan and was ready.
The creature lunged at me with enormous speed as it got over being stunned, and as I got within range of me, I swiftly grabbed its neck as I swung myself on top of its back. I wrapped my arms tightly around its neck as it bounced around in an attempt to knock me off of it. Finally, it stopped jumping around as if I didn’t know I was still on top of it, so I looked around for any weak spot it might have. I spotted a soft spot between its neck and its head, so using one hand I grabbed ahold of the dagger while still holding its neck with the other hand. Gripping the dagger tightly, I jammed it straight into the soft spot on the lizard’s neck as it hissed and fell to the ground lifeless.
Blood began pooling around me and soaked my pants, and I tried to get up, but soon realized that my leg was trapped beneath the weight of its body. Frantically, I pushed with all my strength to get the thing off my leg, but I had no such luck as it left me drained. I scanned the area nearby for anything within reach that I could use as leverage to get the thing off my leg, and in the distance, I spotted a large branch. It was just out of my reach; I sighed as I discerned, I may end up trapped here. Then an idea popped into my head as I took the dagger and stretched my arm as far as I could and slammed the dagger into the branch.
And I pulled the branch over to me as I shoved it underneath the lifeless creature and put all my body weight against the branch. The body lifted just enough for me to quickly get my leg out from underneath it. Blood dripped from my pants as I stood up, and I could feel the warmth of my own blood oozing from the scratches on my back. I felt woozy as I began to try to walk, but I pushed myself to keep going as I made my way back toward the sound of the river. As I found the water again, I went back to following it until I stumbled upon a large opening.
I stepped through the wide opening and was instantly blinded by the brightness of the sunlight. Sighing with relief at making it out of that wretched place, I covered my eyes to give them time to adjust to the brightness. Once they had adjusted, I put my hand down and looked out at the surrounding area. I realized I was quite a way up from the ground and judged that it was at least half a mile down to the ground. Overly woozy now, I fell back onto the ground as the world spun around me. Once the spinning had stopped, I looked back out to the vast land before me. It was filled with beauty and destruction, and the sky was clear with clouds here and there, and a crisp breeze was blowing in from the south.
In an attempt to stand, I fell back to the ground again, so I knew I wasn’t going anywhere for a while. I sat back against a nearby rock and just sat there admiring the colorful landscape before me. The area was beautiful except for all the charred areas woven in between the overlay of colorful plant life. I closed my eyes as everything began to spin around me again and knew I wouldn’t be going much further today. There was no way I was going to attempt to travel anywhere in my current condition as I felt my body beginning to force me to rest. Crawling over to what looked like a little crevice off to my right, I entered it and laid onto the ground.
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