Bellowing moans echoed over a heavy flow of water which aroused my scenes, bringing me back to conciseness. My reality instantly muffled by the beating of my own heart. Every nerve in my body screamed discomfort, it hurt to swallow and my eyelashes were sticky and difficult to part.
My lungs were heavy and as I pierced my lips with my tongue there was no denying the strong metallic flavor in my mouth was blood and the essence of grit scratched the surface of my teeth. Memories of mythic carnage revisited with fear as I struggle to focus on my surroundings.
As I focused it was evident my own intrigue had not brought me to this mysterious place. My chains were cast in gold, adorned with brilliant jewels and sparkling abalone which gnawed effortlessly into my wrists and ankles.
I desperately struggled to piece together the events that had taken place. A harmony of angelic song eerily complimented the ghastly moans which coaxed the tiny hairs all over my cold wet body to stand on end.
I follow the chains to their secure home amongst a large bed of oversized muscles clinging to the wall beside me. My ankles leak a steady flow, as pools of blood alter the lush green floor below amongst a somewhat choreographed dance of pinching claws.
Panning for an escape route I marvel at the magnificent treasures tucked into mossy coruscation garnished cubbyholes lining the cave walls. Romantic swords and glistening statues of mythical deities peering form their tombs are unnerving and draw my eyes toward crimson scales trailing down the only visible corridor.
A loud shriek triggers action as the walls come alive, freeing the chains which bind me. While taking hold of sharpened steel, a frightened voice calls out for help in agony. I follow the crimson scales through the catacomb to a large open subterranean cluster of pools.
Entering slowly I duck behind a large rock formation peering between stalagmites which span from ceiling to floor. The disturbing sight of a blindfolded man shackled amongst the pools covered in tiny crabs comes to view. I ready my sword and cautiously venture toward him. His moaning is constant as the creatures slowly consume his flesh.
I begin to dislodge the chains on his ankles as he bellowed “God no, please…” Flicking off the gruesome creatures assured him I was here to help. A stabbing pain shot up my back as the broken man’s pleas were silenced by his decapitation.
My body went limp as his disembodied head rolled directly in to my lap, his lips still moving, pushing out only a faint gurgle. My heart raced, screaming out in fear as my body is dragged to the edge of a pool. A devilish figure laughed and fingered my limbs like a child pawing a ragdoll.
Not a word was spoken; it only laughed and smeared at me with demon eyes whose lids closed sideways. Its chest was sliced open on both sides and flaps of skin expanded and contracted with each breath passing through its disfigured lips.
The upper lip was wide, stretching clear across the face. The bottom lip was overlapped by a wide set of long hooked fangs, secreting a deep purple sap like substance from its freakish grin
This frightening beast’s body compiled of the same crimson scales which led me to the tortured man cave stank of putrid fish and death. It took all my strength to keep from passing out again.
My wounded back drained blood; the precious liquid escaping my body was altering the water below to a ghoulish magenta. Fear of death engulfed me as my arms and legs were bound once more and I was left dangling from the cave ceiling. The horrific figure had gone, only I and the headless body remained in the cave.
The walls of this cave were the same as the first, lush green moss covered cubby holes but the trophies within were not made from gold or steel like the last. These trophies were slaughtered human remains, whose eyes starred widely out at me, as I dangle from the ceiling among the stalagmites. Each and every space held a human head and as my eyes panned the gory remains of barely recognizable men one of which wore a blindfold.
The creature returned piercing the surface of the water with web like fingertips, cackling boldly, as is slithered beneath me. It began to poke and prod my mangled body, its fleshy scales slicing deep into my skin with every caress. Its head was covered in a flow of translucent metallic flesh which continued passed its broad shoulders loosely flowing like a horses main down the center of its back.
I begged for my life, pleading with this gruesome creature that seemed to enjoy torturing my already battered body. Dangling in agony I noticed others watching from afar, each looked similar but tiny in comparison to this evil being all partially submerged in pools of water.
My clothing was stripped with each swiping motion laid upon me and as the blood dripped from my body a serpent like tongue danced below to collect the essence which once flowed through my veins. I was slipping away.
Before I lost consciousness the creatures below came clear into view. The mythical legend of the demon mermaid was true.