Chapter 1.5: The Darkness
Crossing the hallway felt like an eternity. With each step, his footsteps echoed and reverberated across the hallway. It was cold outside of the chamber, and though he was fully covered, he had started to feel the chill. There was no wind in this place, thankfully. The air seemed to have cleared as well past the chamber. He looked back and realized that he must have walked a great distance. The chamber he had just left was now a tiny light in the distance, the torches he lit maintaining their dignity and marking his entrypoint. He wished that there were lights to guide him to his next destination as well. But this reverse lighthouse, served him just as well.
After what seemed like an even longer time, he reached the end of the hallway. A stone door stood in his way. There was no bolt, but the door was less cooperative than the oak door he had just moved past. He tried to push the stone door as hard as he could, but it did not budge. The stone felt heavy, immovable. It stood in front of him in silent defiance, mocking him, almost laughing in his face. Despite his frustration, he took hold of himself and tried to find another means of moving the door. He cast his torch upon it, trying to make sense of it all. The stone door was great indeed. It stood about 10 feet tall, a great archway above it. There were carvings on the door, symbols of a language he did not recognize. In the light of his torch, he could not make them out. The door did not appear to have a specific mechanism with which to operate it with. Doors of this size normally had levers, machinery with which it relied upon to effect movement. There was no evidence of such machinery and the door stood before him, still as immovable as ever. He took a few steps away from the door and looked around at the hallway he had just crossed. The ceilings were high in this place. The hallway itself was about 100 feet wide. He estimated that in the time it took for him to cross it, and by the size of the light in the chamber he had just left, that he had walked about a mile, which made for a really long hallway. He had wondered why there were braziers in the chamber, but none in the hallway.
There did not seem to be any other way to operate the door that he saw from the hallway. He was starting to lose patience even more. Did he just come to life, only to see it end, this time slowly, his life ebbing before him with no way out? Did this tomb rouse him to life only to mock him till the end with its silence, its darkness and its unyielding stone? He turned to the door once more, running his hands over the cold stone, trying to see if there was anything he could feel, anything he could use to effect the mechanism that would open the door for him and provide him with a way out. After a few moments of trying, he felt an indentation in the stone. It was a rectangular shaped indentation somewhere about where his chest was. He ran his hands over it again, just to be sure he was not imagining it. By torchlight, it was not visible, but it was definitely discernible through touch. He took his right hand and tried pushing. Nothing. He tried both hands and tried again. Still no movement. In desperation and frustration, he took his fist and pounded in the space. The indentation moved slightly. Perhaps he was imagining it? He pounded on it again, this time the movement was greater. The indentation was getting deeper, more pronounced. He pounded with renewed gusto, excited that was making progress where there was previously none. The indentation move forward by a few more inches. After about the fifth or sixth pounding, he heard something click into place. He heard the movement of gears above him, coming to life in a whirring frenzy of activity. After a few moments, he heard heavy movement.
Finally, the door started moving. He saw it swing outward slowly, the dust dropping as it moved. As he watched the door swing outward with satisfaction, he had a brief flash of inspiration. Once the door had finished moving, his brief flash of inspiration had yielded him something of value. A name. His name? It was very familiar. It seemed to speak to him of memories from long ago, things that he could not recall, but that called out to him. It was a start and it was something he could use for now.
“Mykall. I think my name is Mykall.”