Chapter 1.4: The Darkness
The light that illuminated the chamber as he went around lighting torches grew. As he finished the circle, he found himself staring at a great oak door. The door was closed, as if preventing any entrance or egress into this place of non-life. The door was securely bolted to the side of the wall. He wasn’t entirely sure if it was to prevent people from getting in, or out. In the flickering fire of the torches, he started imagining the bolt growing in size until it took on a life of it’s own, shimmering the half-light, growing in size as it began to take the very door itself over. But he glanced at the bolt a second time and it remained fixed in place.
Shaking his momentary vision, he went about immediately attempting to move the bolt and open the door. The bolt, oddly enough slid right off with minimal effort, the wood creaking as it moved, groaning from, at least it seemed years of non-use, though it was grateful for the movement now. Like his muscles that had atrophied, it seemed to remember its purpose, and was spry in its movement, eager to show off its purpose to the world.
Once the bolt fully slid off, it was a small matter to push the great oak door open. It swung outward slowly but surely. When the door was fully open, he found himself staring at the entrance to a great hallway. The sign of the previous battle had disappeared. It was a though the battle that occurred in the circular chamber had started and ended inside of it. There were no signs of struggle that was evident in the circular chamber. In the hallway, there was only silence.
And darkness. Yes, the darkness was ever present. Once his eyes had gotten used to the light, the presence of the darkness was even more pronounced. It stretched as far as the eye could see in the great hallway. The torch he was holding did little to light the way. What great evil snuffed the life from this place and plunged it into the darkness that now overtook everything? And how is it that he had happened to be here? Still alive in this place of desolation?
He realized that the answers, if any lay beyond where he was. That if he was going to learn anything, he would learn it by pressing forward and moving on from where he currently was. He reasoned that he had lain where he was long enough. If he was alive, there was a reason for it and that he needed to learn what that reason was. He started to move forward again, guided by the lone torch that he had lit. The fire flickered around, casting even more shadows in the darkness of the great hallway. The stone walls of the hallway seemed to grow in size, moving as if to entomb him in the darkness. Yet more tricks, he told himself. He quickened his pace as he crossed the hallway. There were no threats here, he reasoned. What life there had been here no longer existed. He was the only living, moving thing in this tomb, and the longer he tarried, the greater the chances that the tomb would reclaim him and he would once again join the rest of his brethren in lifeless sleep.