|Bowels of the Underneath
Author: Tauria PM
A story that does not have a happy ending / A man's ten journal entries as his people undergoes a horrible fateRated: Fiction T - English - Supernatural - Words: 2,193 - Reviews: 1 - Published: 09-21-12 - Status: Complete - id: 3059976
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Bowels of the Underneath
Journal Entry One
Silence and shadows; two of the things that once helped us more than anything else in the entire world. They were two attributes we could rely on. We used them quite often in our war against the Scourge of the Underneath. Those two things made us heroes; after we closed shut the Gate. We were sent home, to choose a life of pleasure… We were able to follow whatever life we chose.
Our kind was not one to chase after battles. So, at first, we were happy. But we were born fighters. It was in battle that we were most at home, though we hated the killing. It was, and is, a hard existence for our kind. All of us missed the action we had once gotten when we had fought the Scourge. We missed the battles, the praise we got from our captains. It was a hard time, despite the fact we did little. We waited for the time when we would be useful again.
That day never came.
Eventually, we grew used to our new lifestyle, though our hearts and spirits still longed for a time when we could fight until we were more than exhausted. It caused unease amongst us, and so we went to the king of the full-bloods.
As we were there, we found that this new time of peace was not all that it seemed. His wife, the queen, had turned insane. Or perhaps she had always been like that. It was hard to say. We tried to reason with the king, but he believed the queen over us, saying that our glorious leader – he who closed the Gate to the Underneath – was the one who was trying to corrupt the kingdom, not she.
And who would believe us? We who were more beast then man? The guards were sent after us, driving us back. We fought, like all cornered beasts would, but we were forced to hide…to surrender and go underground. We hid in one of our kind's ancient temple, one that was held sacred to our kind, and all others were forbidden to enter, less evil fall upon them. Or so stories went.
And so begins our first day, stuck here.
The temple is still tall and strong, but the pillars are old. They have cracks within them, as plants grow from them. The windows have been packed with dust and mold, and more plants. When it rains, the ceiling leaks. Dust clogs our throats and noses, but it is better than rotting in jail, I suppose.
We stay in the main room, having stored all of our food below. A quick inventory suggests that some of the food has been preserved… and being what we are, we will not get sick from eating it.
The only two things that give me comfort in this dark prison are my family, and my journal. I shall keep a log of our time here, in case it is ever of use for those who find us… Hopefully alive.
Journal Entry Two
It happened the night we sent someone to go get food. It was a man named Mikal. He was always a sensible man. He was a fine doctor, and was a valuable asset to us during the war. He was also an excellent fighter.
However, when he came back, he was shaking, eyes rolling back in his head. His voice quavered as he spoke. I shall never forget what he said… His words still chill me to the core:
'They have returned… We failed in our ultimate quest. The Scourge are still here… But they are not like the ones we fought before… Their eyes hold utter madness, and they speak of places I cannot fathom… A Gate has been opened in this temple… One to the Bowels… We are doomed… Doomed…'
After he spoke, he began muttering words in gibberish, as if he had delivered his message, and was now reduced to the mutters of a madman. The leaders told us to ignore it; he had probably seen something that frightened him.
Mikal's family is tending to him now.
I cannot help but doubt the leaders. I have seen terrible things, but it must have been something very horrifying to send him over the edge. Something else must be afoot.
I can only pray that it is not a Gate to the Bowels….
Journal Entry Three
More people are going crazy as they fetch supplies. They always return with food, but they also always return with something to say, and then they say no more in an understandable language. Each time the same message is relayed, though with different words, and sometimes things are added on. I do my best to comfort my family, but I cannot deny that I myself am shaken.
Listening to those around me, I know that I am not the only one. Some have said they hear the dead at night… Hear them laughing, walking… muttering under their breath in a language unheard by man or beast. As these frequent hearings grow more common, I begin to wonder if we will survive down here…
Things grow tense between the leaders. Some believe those who rave about Gates, and some declare it is utter madness. As for myself, I just hope things are resolved quickly…
It has been three weeks since we were driven here… Surely the guards are trying to get in. Surely they will rescue us. Even if we were taken to be hanged, I would gladly follow them as long as I got out of this awful place.
Journal Entry Four
Now some of the people sent down to the temples underbelly have not returned… and half of us have been driven insane. I too have begun to hear things… Blood chilling laughter echoes through the halls… Whispers of death and demons echo in my bones... My body is racked with pain as I hear the steps of dead feat on the stairways. They grow closer each night…
I dare not tell my family of this, for fear of spooking them, or making them thing I will join the lunatics soon. Others have begun to see things now. Hands in the dark… Glowing eyes… faceless teeth… Some swear that one almost attacked them last night.
The Grand Leader was brought into this, of his own accord. He noticed all of us were going slightly insane, and the leaders uneasiness. He too, is growing uneasy, but he wishes to stick it out here. He has never been one to 'surrender'… and to leave this place would be like surrendering, in his mind.
For now, I can only hope that those who are called crazy are not correct…
Journal Entry Five
Three weeks more we have been here. Six weeks total, now. Still the number of those who chant in some foreign language grows. We are close to running out of supplies. Yet another trip will have to be made soon.
The children are terrified, and all leaders but the Grand Leader have fallen silent. I have begun to see things as well, and the things that I hear are growing ever closer. Less than half of us remain, and half of those of us that are left are mad. We are dwindling. If it were ever the time to leave, it would be now, but the Grand Leader has decided to remain.
I have decided that I no longer want to know our fate, for I am afraid of what I might find.
Journal Entry Six
Even the leaders have begun to grow mad. Our weakest leader was sent to gather more food, and he came back raving worse than most. His message was short though… I wish to heed the warning he gives, but if I leave now, I will be a traitor to all our kind, and I dare not leave my family. They would not come with me. They are scared of death. But I am scared of madness… Of dying here. I am scared of falling victim to whatever monsters lie below. He said:
'Beware the Gate to the Bowels… The Scourge is here… Leave now, or perish.'
The Grand Leader says that we are strong. Even if there is a Gate below, we can hold them off. We've done it once, and we can do it again. Perhaps we will be accepted as heroes again. Or perhaps no one will hear of it. But we will save our people.
At least, that's what he says. I do not believe him. I wish to leave.
Our people have grown soft. We did not train during the few years of peace and tranquility. Now we all regret it. Now we are paying for our folly.
Journal Entry Seven
I have been placed in charge of research on this temple. Even as I write, I am pouring through books, trying to find out an answer. For now, even our Grand Leader wishes to leave, but despite our pushes on the doors, they remain firmly shut. We found a magical seal was placed on them, and as I pour through the texts I was given, I try to find a way to undo it.
Once again, supplies run low. We are good on food, but ink is running thin, and we need more books. I have been through almost all of these. Candlelight also runs low, but no one wishes to make the journey below…
Journal Entry Eight
I weep today, for my beautiful wife volunteered to go. My children cling to my legs in fear, and my searching has become frantic. I have found little so far, but I know one of these musty books must hold the answer.
I will not let my wife… My precious Armanna have gone in vain. She shivers in the corner, speaking of doomsday. She brought no message, and her words are clear, though I cannot make them out. The Grand Leader tries talking to her, believing her 'condition' not to be as severe as the others. I have a thin hope, but for now, I pour through books.
Journal Entry Nine
I have found a disturbing passage. It reads:
'It was all in folly, opening that blasted Gateway. Our leader said he could bring forth gods, and we trusted him… We were fools. He opened it, and out poured strange beings. They were ethereal… They glowed strange colors, hovering above the ground. They were beautiful. We trusted them…. Worshipped them even. They were our allies.
At first, all was well. We were all happy, and our people rejoiced. We believed that they had finally turned our luck around. This temple was truly something to marvel. Our kind came from miles just to bring offerings to them. It was a wonderful time. Feats were held, and old wounds were healed.
However, one night, as we were sleeping, a good friend of mine brought an offering. Being all alone, I suppose they thought he would not be missed. And so, he disappeared. This happened more, and more often. But as their hunger grew sated, they grew more powerful. Their minds reached out to ours, sucking everything we knew out of our minds, planting strange images. I suppose they wanted to turn us into Scourge. It would not surprise me…. But being more beast then human, it was impossible. We were driven insane… Mad.
Now,I am one of the few left. They have begun devouring us… Screams echo through the temple. This temple was a failure… The Gateway was to the Bowels of the Underneath, where the Creators of the Scourge lie. And the Gate is uncloseable. Seals were placed on the doors by the creatures, so we cannot get out…
But we have Bound them here. So beware all ye who enter. Only death and madness will be found…'
I weep for our elders.
I have reported this to the Grand Leader. I now sit by my wife, holding my children. We await death. They will come looking when no one comes down to get food. And then… Then we will die. We have all accepted this fate.
Journal Entry Ten
I am all that is left. Cold faces of death swarm about me. I write a final warning on the wall in blood, where all who enter can see it. I place my journal below it.
'Beware all who enter here… The Creators of the Undead eternally rest here…'
I will soon be killed. Farewell to the living world…
Tauria: I was playing Skyrim for the first time when I wrote this. It isn't the best thing I have written, but I hope you enjoy(ed) it anyway. I wrote it for fun, and actually had no intent of publishing it. But then I thought, oh, what the heck, and did it anyway. I know it's kinda rushed, and that everything isn't explained well, but they're journal entries! (at least, that's my excuse... -clears throat-
Anyways, please leave a review! XD