Sunday, June 5, 2016

"There is nothing for us here."



"There is nothing for us here."

My voice echoed flatly, dully, off the corroded cavern. When I say corroded, I mean it. This wasn't one of those lovely, well-maintained underground attractions that you see on the side of the highway. Garishly painted signs visually blare, "COME VISIT DEEPING DARK CAVERN!" or "SEE THE NINTH WONDER OF THE WORLD TODAY!" No, not this hole in the ground. It was apparently all some twisted trick.

I began to wonder just who was in charge of this place, and if I stood any chance whatsoever of getting my sixty drachmas back from the half-asleep, half-bored-out-of-his-gourd attendant. This place was filthy: there were actual bones littered around the mud-slicked floors and untold decades of trash and detritus that the living invariably leave behind. Graffiti was sprayed and splayed all across the walls and I was pretty sure that the massive grey lump in the corner was some sort of grimy, mold-covered mattress.

Yeesh.

I rubbed my thin hand over my face and worked a weary sigh out of my sunken cheeks. I could sense the build up even before it happened. My Darling Little Princess was about to unleash her wrath... "But Father! You promised that this cave would be different! You said it would be enchanting and exciting and wonderful and amazing and-"

I held up a hand and tried to stave off the mounting tirade. "Yes, yes, I know Princess. I thought it would be much nicer than this, believe me." My attempt failed and she continued to wail. A part of me, deep down, just wanted to throw in the towel. I could tell by her ever-increasing pitch that my wonderful spawn, Gloriana, was settling in for a long, screaming fit.

Princess: 1, Father: 0.

I heaved a sigh and accepted the fact that this was a battle I was doomed to lose. It was that exact moment that my wife wailed into me and things changed from the mere loss of a single battle to the decimation of the entire war. "I thought you knew where we were going, Harold! You said that this place would be a delight and is it a delight? NO! It is NOT a delight at all, Harold."

"Yes, dear." I gasped. "I'm going to go see if we can get our drachmas back." I don't even think she heard me, because I could still hear her wailing all the way at the entrance of the cavern. As I made my way out of the staggeringly disappointing hole in the ground (I mean, honestly - how hard is it to have an impressive hole in the ground, anyway?), I must admit that I was a little confused. A stiff autumn wind whipped around me, stirring the golden leaves into an eddy around my form. Everything that I expected to see before me had changed: the parking lot was deserted, the gate attendant utterly absent, and his post was little more than a mass of moldy wood. I figured that my sixty drachmas were gone too.

Figured.

A couple of kids--living kids--had replaced all that and stood before me, looks of focused curiosity plastered across their pimply, post-pubescent faces. They both held small, odd-looking devices in their hands, and they seemed to be looking through them at the world beyond. It was almost as if they were wielding two tiny windowpanes, through which they were able to glean something about their environment that their eyes alone could not covey. As they panned slowly across the mouth of the cave, their spying eyes finally fell upon me.

The looks on their faces switched from honed interest to outright fear. The girl mouthed the words, "It's...HIM" while the boy screwed up his nerve enough to stammer out a question, despite his quivering lips.

"O, gloomy and ghostly King of the Deeping Dark Cave, please tell us why you look so full of despair."

I heaved another sigh. "Kid, you have no idea...."   

Art Source: "KING OF THE DEAD" (c)/by RM73
Story and Characters: (c)/by Brannon Hollingsworth

#MMWW, #Makes, #Me, #Wanna, #Write, #BrannonHollingsworth, #ghost, #twist, #king, #queen #princess, #cave, #spooky, #ghostworld

5 comments:

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  2. Nice twist! I didn't see that coming.

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