T’was midnight when a lone Luka sat awake in the dark comforts of the bedroom, staring blankly at the computer monitor with a freshly opened word document. The cold breeze from the poorly installed air conditioner unit seeped into the room, sending unwanted chills up and down Luka’s spine. Shivering and legs bouncing from an unnerving anxiousness to try and produce some kind of work for the day, Luka endured the cold and went to Google, the starting point for a journey of ideas.
The search bar was empty, awaiting for some kind of input to put Luka down the right path. An empty head plagued Luka, nothing new coming to the front. In a random fit to look for inspiration, Luka’s fingers moved on their own across the blue-lit keyboard. These are the results…
I ended up looking up the Word of the Day for January 22nd, 2021 on Merriam-Webster again. After an hour and a half of writing, half of which was devoted to light research just to make sure something in this story was somehow accurate, this is what I came up with.
Today’s Word of the Day from Merriam-Webster is Sarcophagus.
“Just a little further and this will all finally be over.”
Osaze lead us through the narrow corridors, keeping a single torch lit above as the only light source. Spider webs decorated the massive walls, hiding the hieroglyphics that told the stories of an ancient past. When I looked up I couldn’t see the top, the distant darkness lingering above our heads.
“You don’t exactly sound exited about reaching the center of the pyramid, Osaze,” I pointed out.
He glanced back for a moment, “There’s nothing exciting about entering a tomb of an ancient one.”
Based on the legends that survived the ages, entering a tomb was essentially a one-way trip into hell. People who ventured deep within the pyramids told stories of being chased by the spirits of old believers and worshipers of the “Ancient Ones,” gods who walked the Earth from long ago. The spirits would chase away those who dared to disturb the resting place of their gods, their screams and cries often ringing through the numerous halls and corridors, in search of those who got lost. For those brave enough to ignore the screams of the dead and navigate the confusing pyramids, they were never seen again.
But Wilson and I planned on being the first people to go in and come back.
I looked back at Wilson as he tinkered with the video recorder, “How’s it coming along? Does it still work?”
Wilson gently moved around different bits and pieces of our handheld recorder, trying not to damage it any further, “It’s pretty dinged up and the battery seems to be damaged too, so I’m not sure how much juice it has left.” He presses a button and a red light came on, “It’ll still record, but I’m not sure for how long before it decides to drop dead on us.”
“Is the SD card still intact?”
“Yes, and I still have the spare in my pocket.”
“Let’s not use it until we reach the center. Rather have it die in the middle of recording something important than trying to record everything.”
“Roger that,” Wilson replied, putting the recorder back into its carrying case. “I’ll make sure not to take a hard fall again.”
I faced forward, following a few steps behind Osaze as we took more turns down the dark corridors. The deeper we went into the pyramid, the colder it became, a thin layer of fog forming down at our ankles. My breath came out as white mist under the warm flame in front. I never would have imagined that getting closer to hell would have been so cold.
We descended down a set of stone stairs, everything around us slowly being enveloped and vanishing into pitch black. When I looked left or right I couldn’t even see the walls anymore.
“Whatever you do, don’t stop moving,” Osaze said, his voice trembling under every word. “Continue moving forward until I say so.”
“What’s wrong, Osaze?” I questioned.
Osaze kept quiet. Under the flame of our torch, I picked up on his shivering body, twitching as if something was trying to escape from his chest. I called out to him again and he remained quiet.