Elves are real?
As the cloud slowly began to dissipate, a group of people cautiously made their way up the corridor. This group consisted of three men and an obvious pregnant looking woman who followed a few feet behind. They all looked to be in their mid-twenties and are dressed in casual hiking and spelunking gear.
The tallest and widest of the three men took point coughing and waving the remaining cloud away. From his physique and the muscles straining to be released underneath his clothes he just exuded physical strength. His skin was dark from working long shifts in the sun. His face was rugged covered with a full dark brown beard.
Behind him, the other two men both slim in stature, one with glasses and one without, illuminated the way ahead with flashlights. The man with glasses glances back to the lady behind them to see if she's okay. She gives him a reassuring smile and nod letting him know she is fine.
In front of them, a massive hole was blown into one of the walls. The remnants of an ornate mural can be seen surrounding the outer edges of the hole. Filling the hole itself is unnatural darkness. Even the bright beams from the flashlights can't seem to penetrate this void of blackness.
With one hand reaching out towards the darkness; the man in front hesitantly moves closer. His fingertips come in contact with the darkness and slowly sink into it like tar. Moving on its own, the blackness quickly begins to envelop his hand, searing his skin with extreme heat.
He winces and jerks his hand free and backs away. The blackness ripples angrily for a few seconds before returning to normal. The rest of the group hastily make their way up to him checking to see if he is okay. They all watch as his hand that is riddled with third-degree burns slowly heals before their eyes. Once healed, he opens and closes his hand looking at each side perplexed by what happened.
"Carl, I don't know if we should continue. I have a really bad feeling about this." The male without the glasses says looking at the big guy nervously.
"Harry, no!" The female exclaims in offense. "We have spent over ten years searching for this and now we have finally found it. We can't give up now." She says. Then she looks past them to the darkness and runs a hand over her stomach. "And for some reason, I feel like, I'm meant to be here."
They all look at her curiously then she notices their stares. "What?" She asks.
Carl stares at her briefly, contemplating what to do next. He then turns and looks back at the blackness as it begins to undulate menacingly. It's almost like it knows what he's thinking and threatening him to stay away.
Carl closes his eyes and takes a deep breath to build up all the courage he has inside. Finally, without warning, he steps forward. Everyone could only watch in horror hearing the sizzling of his flesh and his groans of pain as he quickly becomes enveloped. Once completely absorbed by the blackness it immediately stops moving.
The nauseating smell of burnt flesh and hair filled the corridor. The rest of the group just stood silently unsure of what to do. They had no idea if he was still alive. They knew he would be the only one who would be able to survive something like that. Several nerve-wracking minutes began to pass making the men start to panic. The female just stood silently staring at the blackness as her eyes began to fill with tears.
Suddenly, the blackness began undulating violently once again. They all turn to look with hope on their faces.
"John, Harry, we should step back." The female says as she grabs John's hand pulling him away.
They all take several steps away before the undulating finally stops. Everything goes quiet, even the group seemed to stop breathing. Another grueling couple of seconds go by before the blackness begins melting away. It slowly ran downward, disappearing into the stone floor.
As more and more of it melted away Carl's smoking motionless form is revealed to them. Every bit of hair is scorched off of him and every bit of skin not covered by clothes is riddled with gruesome burns. The strange thing is his clothes seem to be completely unaffected.
John hesitantly steps forward and places a hand on Carl's shoulder to see if he is okay. He instantly jerks it away with a wince feeling the intense heat coming from Carl's body. It wasn't hot enough to harm John, but it was hot enough to scare him.
"Babe, are you okay?" The female asks Carl as she slowly steps closer looking at him in concern.
Carl doesn't respond, he just continues to stare forward into the room motionless. Afraid the worst has happened to Carl a tear runs down her cheek. "Mel'amin" She says taking another step closer reaching out to him.
Suddenly, just like before, the burns on his body magically began to heal and his hair started growing back. The female gasps as her breath returns to her and a smile forms on her face. At the same moment, this begins to happen one of Carl's hands raises and points to the room in front of him.
The female grabs his other hand as they turn their attention to the room. Awestruck their eyes widen at the sight of a massive grand hall. All the walls, pillars, and even the floor seem to be made of pure white stone, inlaid and bound with silver or white gold.
Filling the room with barely any space to walk are mounds of various coins and other treasures. Hundreds of human-sized statues line the walls clad with ornate suits of highly polished silver and blue armor. Between each statue built into each wall is floor to ceiling bookshelves full of books, scrolls, and other forms of writings.
Lastly, in the very center of the room is a large raised dais with stairs leading up each side. Lying at the very top of the dias looks to be an intricate and highly polished chrome sarcophagus. The metal it is made out of looked flawless, amorphous, almost alien-like. Wrapped around the outside where the seal would be is a wide crimson silk ribbon. Inscribed along the center of the ribbon in golden filigree is a phrase in an ancient unknown language.
Everyone begins to make their way inside cautiously, afraid that there may be more traps. John and Harry spread out to begin investigating the mounds of treasures and bookshelves. Carl and the lady ignore the temptations of the treasures and head straight for the sarcophagus in the middle.
As they begin to get closer to the sarcophagus and the dais, they notice a few strange things about it. Unlike the rest of the room that has a thick layer of dust covering it, the sarcophagus is completely clean along with about a foot of space on the dias surrounding it. Also, even though the chrome-like metal the sarcophagus is made of looks highly reflective, it doesn't seem to be picking up any of the images around the room.
Just before they take their first step up to the sarcophagus, Carl grabs hold of her wrist to stop her. "Babe, why don't you wait down here while I check it out. I don't want anything to happen to you" he says, and she just nods in agreement.
He hesitantly makes his way up the steps still expecting a trap to spring out at any moment. With one hand on her stomach, she watches him nervously as he slowly takes one step at a time. Suddenly, she begins to hear an unintelligible whispering and an unnatural draw beckoning her to come closer.
"Baby..." She says nervously as he reaches the top overlooking the sarcophagus.
"I'm fine," He says as he looks down upon it perplexed. The temperature just around the sarcophagus feels to have dropped significantly causing goosebumps to immediately form on his skin. Even though he is standing beside it, the chrome-like metal isn't picking up his reflection.
Still skeptical of traps Carl nervously reaches out and gently runs his hand across the top. His hand slid across it effortlessly, like it was just gliding through the air. The metal was ice cold and completely frictionless. He walked around it examining it closely trying to read the inscription on the ribbon. The words were in a language he knew very well but the words were jumbled in such a way it made no sense to him.
After his thorough inspection, he began trying to open it. Everything he seemed to try failed. The metal was so slick that he couldn't get any sort of grip on it without his hands sliding off. After a bit he figures maybe the ribbon might somehow be magically sealing it, so he tries to remove it. Once again, he failed. He tried to rip, pull, and even cut it with his knife, still leaving the ribbon unharmed.
Stubborn and not willing to give up, he calls the other two guys over to help him. They tried everything as well, short of blowing it open with explosives. It just seemed impossible; this sarcophagus was not meant to be opened. Frustrated and tired, they finally give up.
The men begin spreading out once again to examine the rest of the room. Still hearing the whispering and feeling the draw to the sarcophagus, the female begins making her way up the steps. Once beside it, the whispering becomes slightly more audible.
"Umbar ha Brien lle harte val. Ere' mela ce varna ho." A female's voice says. Only a few words stood out to her that she could recognize: fate, love, and him. She hesitates and looks over at the men to see if they heard the voice, but it doesn't seem like it.
Just as she looks back to the sarcophagus, she sees a woman’s reflection looking back at her. This female has an unnatural beauty about her. Her skin is pale flawless-looking like it's completely formed of porcelain. Her eyes were almond-shaped, and the irises were a bright turquoise that seemed to have a slight glow to them. Her long flowing hair is pure white topped with a diamond-encrusted white gold tiara. It matched perfectly with the radiant white fabric of her dress. The last unique feature about this woman was her ears, they were tall and pointed like a knife. Each of the points of her ears was capped with more white gold and diamond jewelry.
The reflection reaches out with one hand like it is pressed up against the mirrored metal. Matching the reflection, the pregnant woman reaches out to touch the reflection's hand. Just as soon as her hand comes in contact with the cold metal a sharp excruciating pain hits her stomach. She cries out in pain and falls against the sarcophagus bracing herself with both hands now.
Hearing her cry of pain, the guys quickly turn just in time to see her hands meld into the sarcophagus. The metal slowly begins creeping up her wrists and forearms just like the black ooze did to Carl. Luckily for her, the metal wasn't causing her any pain. It just felt like she had her hands in ice water.
The pain in her stomach surged once again causing her to fall against the metal. The pain was so intense it felt like one of the babies inside of her was trying to reach out through her stomach.
"Amber!" Carl yells as all three men panic and hastily make their way over to help her. Just as they reach the bottom step of the dais a reddish pulse of energy bursts outward from the sarcophagus. The energy passes through Amber and blows each of the men and any treasure nearby across the room.
Amber's pain finally subsides as she leans against the sarcophagus catching her breath. The guys slowly sit up groaning in pain and look towards Amber. The golden writing on the ribbon is now glowing, brightly illuminating the area surrounding the sarcophagus.
Then the ribbon slowly starts to disintegrate, and the metal begins to liquefy once again releasing her hands. She pulls her hands free as she stands checking to see if they are okay. They are both unharmed without a sign of them ever being trapped.
Suddenly, the lid of the sarcophagus begins melting away flowing down each side. The men stand once again to make their way over to her. More concerned for Amber and the babies inside her, Carl runs up to see if they are okay. Amber assures him she is fine.
They all then turn their attention to the sarcophagus as the lid continues to melt away. A strong cool smell of mint fills the air as the center of the lid opens up slowly revealing its contents to them.
Inside the walls and base are lined with pure white satin bedding. All of them were expecting to see either a mummified or decayed corpse of some royal figure. But to their surprise, lying inside was a baby in pristine condition, without any signs of aging or decay.
The baby was wrapped in a blanket made of the same white material that was lining the inside. Written across the seams of the blanket in gold filigree was more of the unique language. They all were stunned by what they saw. This wasn't an ordinary human baby; this baby was something else.
Just like the reflection of the woman in white that Amber saw. This baby had pretty much all the same unique features. The baby's skin was flawless and porcelain-like, almost albino in color. Its hair was slightly different instead of being pure white in color, it was more of a platinum white. It even had the same knife-like ears, just not as tall.
"Is this, an elf?" Harry asks as he looks at Carl then at the rest of them.
"I-I don't know, it looks like it," Carl replies,
"I always thought elves were just fantasy. A creature made up for books and movies." John says,
"Why don't we check and see if it's alive," Amber says as she looks at Carl.
"Alright," Carl says then turns back to the sarcophagus. As he leans down to pick it up, he notices something sticking up from under the blanket by the baby's neck. It was the chain of a necklace. He gently pulls the necklace out revealing a small unique amulet. Half of the amulet was made of yellow gold in the shape of a sun with a man's face. The other half was silver in the shape of a crescent moon with a female's face hugging the outside of the sun.
Suddenly, he feels a gentle breath from the baby on his fingers. The baby is alive but sleeping. He lowers the necklace back down and carefully reaches in to grab the baby, hoping to not disturb its slumber.
He wasn't gentle enough as the baby begins to stir. Its body tenses and its mouth opens wide as it lets out the cutest squeak of a yawn. Then its eyes open revealing the most beautiful radiant emerald green eyes. They connect with Carl's and begin to glow slightly. The baby and Carl both stare at each other briefly then it smiles and lets out a soft coo.