Saturday, October 26, 2013

The Living Dungeon

Old Man in Armchair II by Rembrandt

-- From the journal of Ingacio the Elder, discoverer of the most magnificent Dungeon in the history of man. 

Damn you!

I can still smell your fetid odor and hear the omnipresent dripping of water against stone.You haunt my dreams and I find thoughts of you creeping through my waking moments like daydreams from some long-forgotten devil tempting my soul away. If beseeching your better angels would drive you away I would gladly do so; but we both know better. It is clear that you delight in torturing my soul and twisting the corners of my vision with glimpses of your deadly corridors. My every foot step is but one step closer to death and even in the sanctity of my own home thoughts of you haunt me. 

My wife left me. She couldn't compete with you. My children no longer speak to me and I have lost all that is precious and true in this life due to thoughts of you and I curse the day that I first wondered down your perilous halls!

Lo! I remember it well! There I stumbled along, my feeble torchlight struggling against the pressing gloom. I had fallen. For how long I cannot remember, but when I awoke I was well and truly within your bosom. Far above me - so far that even Jacob's ladder could not reach its height - was salvation. Fear clutched at my heart as I stood there listening to your breath and the steady drip, drip, drip of your salivating maw.

Time stood still as I lingered praying for salvation to come and then my feet found the ground again and I ran. I ran with all the speed that was in my body round corner and bend, past foul goblin and murderous kobold. I ran till my muscles burned and my bones felt as though they would burst. Then I fell against the statue with its cruel and twisted visage. It was then that all my manhood left me and I trembled for I knew you would soon claim me. Tears flowed down my cheek and with the last guttering embers of my torch visions of my two little children danced in the darkness.

Some time later, I can not even begin to fathom how long, a light began to burn against the dark. I tried to call out to it, but my throat was dry and tongue cracked. I tried to stand, to run towards salvation, but my legs failed me and I crumpled to the ground. So I crawled, digging my nails into the cracks of your broken floor. The light was growing nearer, and I could hear voices in the distance. My fingers bleed and my vision blurred; it was then I heard you clearly for the first time. Your voice ground against my soul and crushed my hopes as you spoke. "Funny little man-thing," your voice rumbled, "you're bleeding all over me."

"Stop your crawling and sniveling," you shouted! "For I have answered your prayers and allowed salvation to find its way to you. Look at the light and know that it is I who have answered you. I who have allowed you to live these many days and shielded  you from my servants that hunger so. And it is I who will claim your soul when the time comes.

"For now though, go with these 'adventurers' and return home. Home where you shall tell the world of Me. Tell them of My wonders and of the glory in plumbing my depths. Of the ancient vaults filled with golden treasure and the slumbering God resting in My bowels. Spread the word far throughout the world so that I may feast."

And did I spread your word, you damnable dungeon?

Of course I did.

You filled my mind with visions of gold, piles of jewels and priceless baubles. My tongue was not my own as I told and retold of the limitless wealth within to every passing fool. I was compelled to sojourn to churches, temples, and shrines leaving tales of the Slumbering God with every step and built a new faith around You. And now you feast.

Thousands have died within your halls and the few who have made it out spread your Word more with every passing day. Damn you for this cursed life, damn you for the lives that you've led me to ruin. Damn you.

-- Ignacio the Elder

Creative Commons License
The Living Dungeon, and A letter from Ignacio the Elder by Charles Akins is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

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