Four Below The Fifth

Four Below The Fifth

A Story by The Message

Part one of The Ageless Reform


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-Excerpt from a letter to Sally Lincoln.



    We found ourselves inching through the void like ants, incapable of losing contact with one another lest we find a solipsistic end in the infinite black of the passage. Our sole source of light was a laughably tiny flashlight with a dying battery, and that was in the possession of Mr. Clark at the head of the line. With this meager lumination, he lead us into that place of shadows... the rest of us were blind.
    We were four in all, Mr. Clark, Mr. and Mrs. Getty and myself, Frances Lincoln. Mr. Getty and I had arranged a meeting in the forest to examine slime molds, a shared field between us. Though our task was scientific in nature, he had suprised me by bringing his spouse who was an avid bird-watcher. I saw no harm in this, as both studies would be rather lethargic in pace. None would be inconvenienced.
    As we wound our way through the foliage, we happened upon the perch of a hunter, Charley Clark. Introductions were exchanged and we soon learned of this man's peculiar prey. Mr. Clark was utterly disinterested in deer, fowl or other beasts of the woods... in fact, we found this entire area of the forest to be quite eerily devoid of such fauna. Rather, he was hunting a mysterious monster, one that was rumored to stalk these lands and feast on anything organic, plant or animal. You see, Mr. Clark was not just a hunter, he was a cryptozoologist.
    Thinking that a larger group might attract attention quicker, and supposedly also for our protection though that was most certainly a secondary interest, Mr. Clark opted to join us on our walk through this empty eden.

    Our trek was without incident, until we were to come upon a large rock, and to spy within that large rock a strange cleft and to discover within that cleft a slender entrance. Bound by a curious compulsion, we took it upon ourselves to enter the forested shrine. 
     Mere feet into this narrow cave, there two attributes were made quite clear to us. Firstly, the angle of the entrance was such that light had difficulty piercing the veil. As such, we had to resort to Mr. Clark's miniscule flashlight. Second, the cave, if it can be called such, branched into a multitude of directions every few feet. Many of these myriad passages terminated abruptly in jagged walls, others marked a rapid descent to a degree which was dangerously similar in slope to a sheer cliff.
     Worried of getting lost, Mr. Getty marked our passage with an iridescent powder that he had on his person. With this trail of starlight behind and stoic darkness ahead, we marched into that foul place, the domain of such unnature I shudder to think of it.

     So it was that we went deeper and deeper, and so it was that the journey brought with it a growing element, an element that at the time I thought not of due to indifference, one that now I think not of due to horror of that most ghastly of realities. Deeper and deeper, there was an atmostphere born in increasing intervals of intensity. It was of a fungal nature, a moldy odor, an inaudible sounding that reverbed the cracks of stone. 
     Yes... it was a sound and a marking. The sound was felt rather than heard, for I know it invisible to the human faculties... yet it was felt. It grew in pitch and rhythmic frequency as we went farther into the dim sepulchre. However, it was subsonic in nature, so when I say it grew in pitch what I should say is it neared human comprehension, though never quite reaching that atrocious revelation.
     And the marking. Long tendrils of a mossy texture that spread across the ceiling, then the walls, then the floor... never quite covering everything, or even very much surface at all, but still present enough to be notice and of a strange nature that I cannot quite describe. These tendrils, as the sound, grew in multitude the nearer we were to that... that... entity.

     Finally, we found ourselves in a relatively large space, a space vast enough for us to spread out in a standing fashion and remark to each other in idle nothings as to the nature of this cave. The thin tendrils of moss-like matter were omnipresent on the floor and reached a sort of nadir in the center of this chamber, a tiny hole. Down that hole they led... to what I cannot say and have no wish to discover.
     As for the sound, it was nearly to the pitch of a barely audible hum... but not quite. Nevertheless, it was potent enough to be a tangible presence and found itself a prime topic in our banter. The banter which was to be painfully short of life.
     One of us happened to glance up, to the ceiling which was, I regret to say, a mere 7 feet from the floor at most. A gasp shuddered through the room and before Mr. Clark had opportunity to shine that feeble ray into the sky the whole of the prison burst into a sickening pale glow, emanating from strange polyps on the wall-tentacles. Above us was a sight that haunts my every nightmare.
     Covering the entirety of that stone ceiling was what appeared to be some sort of plant, though it was unlike any other plant I have ever seen or could ever imagine. It was a pale green... no brown... no, now it is vibrant and... no. What we beheld was a rippling, rapid shifting of hues. The plant-thing was bright green and would quickly fade into increasingly sickly shades before becoming dark brown and decrepit. Then, just as suddenly as it had faded it would burst back to the initial bright green. And so this cycle continued fluidly, not in concert throughout the entity but instead occuring in stepped waves without seeming rhyme or reason.
     In the center of this plant, was an orb of dark blue. It was glassy and peculiar, though of it I can speak no more.

     And then... we left. We had no idea what the plant might have been, but the extent of our imagination was quite simply that we had seen some new form of life. There was nothing sinister in that cave... not yet, in our minds.

© 2009 The Message

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I really liked this story and you refuse to finish it... :( It was getting really good!!!

Posted 13 Years Ago

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Added on August 22, 2009
Last Updated on August 22, 2009


The Message
The Message

Hoover/Mobile, AL

I like music (Listening, playing and composing), reading and boardgames. As to writing, I prefer complex metaphor and Lovecraftian influences... and generally being incoherent, haha. more..

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