The caretaker charged towards me with a relentless blow, I managed to dodge to the side and avoid his attack. Splashes of water had dispersed in every direction, some even landing on my face. Adrenaline raced throughout my body like a powerful bolt of lightning, I nearly dropped my only source of light in the process. I held on to it’s rusted handle tightly as it’s rough surface pricked my hand like a cactus.
The enraged warden had lost his balance as the sharp claw of his weapon splashed in the water most likely ripping a chunk of the floor apart. He swiftly turned and like a raged bull came at me once again but I managed to dodge in the nick of time as he charged into the uneven spine of the tunnel. Taking my opportunity, I whacked him in the head lodging the silver-plated pick-axe deep into the mess of brains that remained. The shock of the blow still reverberated throughout my arm; it would have rendered any normal person obsolete but this creature just shrugged it off. I just stood there frozen like a statue.
Before I could react, the creature had barged into me with its shoulder knocking me down into murky water ass first. My clothes became saturated and the final embers of the lantern breathed their last breath before dying out. ‘Damn it!’ I shouted. I was now truly fucked.
The caretakers feet splashed in the water as he made his way towards me in the pitch-black tunnel. I tried to stay as still as possible, even going as far as holding my breath just to survive a little bit longer but it was no use the bastard just kept on coming towards me. I closed my eyes as the failures of my life flashed before my eyes. I wasn’t proud of some of the decisions I made in life but I would never trade it if it meant saving my daughter from the clutches of this tyrannical place. I clenched the wooden handle of my weapon with a vice like grip seconds before my demise.
Suddenly the creature stopped in it’s tracks as the sounds of Native American war cry’s erupted like a swarm of bats all around me. I opened my eyes to the sight of total shock, the hairs on the back of my neck became elongated and a terror gushed into my body as the gleaming bodies of spectral figures swung their weapons at the caretaker. What remained of his lifeless body laid almost fully submerged face-face in the water.
There was enough light from the ghostly figures to illuminate the dark body of the cave. They all stood around me in a circle before one stepped forward, ‘You are not Oliver Harrison, why do you wield his weapon?’
I peered deep in to
I looked in its translucent eyes with fear coursing through my veins. Could this be real? Or did that abomination kill me and this is the afterlife. I gasped in a breath and sighed, ‘My name is Brian Harrison, Oliver was my great-grandfather. This thing,’ I pointed at the dead body, ‘took my daughter. I don’t know where she is. Can you please help me?’ I cried dropping a few tears in my plea.
The figure turned and looked deeper into the cave, ‘I’m afraid you’re too late. He must have taken here to the other side.’
‘The other side?’ I asked.
‘Beyond the water lies a gate. Once passed will take you to the lair of the demon that chokes us all with a curse.’
‘So, you’re also afflicted with the same curse as my damn family.’ I sighed.
‘My people the Tse’khene died protecting this mountain from the greed of your family. The silver ore that once filled this mountain protected us all from the whims of the Nun’Tuni’Wi. Oliver understood this and tried to stop the mining operation but it was too late. It’s reach is now greater than the mountain itself.’ The specter explained.
Now I understood why he kept this silver pick-axe in the office, for someone like me to figure all this out. If anyone’s going to defeat that demon it has to be me. ‘How do I lift the curse and get my daughter back? I will do anything just to hold her in my arms again. Even if it’s the death of me.’
‘The curse can’t be lifted; the demon is too powerful for even us. You don’t even stand a chance. I had believed Oliver to be the person to lift the curse but even he failed. When he returned from the battle there was a part of his soul missing. Only with the death of the demon who is now many times more powerful than it was then will the curse be lifted.’ He looked at his warriors and continued, ‘Your cause is just, we will not stop you. We will journey with you through the gate. The demons magic is too powerful for us to take this form.’
‘Then how will you accompany me there?’
Their ghostly aura dissipated into the air around me and gushing into the core of my weapon like water being funneled down a drain. Their presence illuminated the silver with enough light radiating from it to illuminate my dark path.
The water began to rise and reached almost to my neck but the spirit kept guiding me further. I had become completely submerged in the water and could just about make my way along. Panic began to set in as the deep breath I took earlier began to run out. My brain was becoming hungry for oxygen as starvation began to take hold. My eyesight began to fade and that was when I knew I had just made the worst mistake of my life.
Mere seconds before I passed out my head peaked above the water and I grasped the most desperate breath of air I had ever taken in my life. My sight slowly returned to me and that was when I noticed the gleaming crimson surface of the cave as if it had been covered in large rubies. An unnatural heat hugged me as I walked further and the water went back down. I used the glow of the pick-axe to ignite my path as I navigated the endless caverns.