The stone mouth mystery

On the windswept plateaus overseeing the bright Amarina sea, where the rubble from the monumental walls piles up, one can feel the stone mouth chanting. The haunted opening lies there, barely accessible above the rock piles blowing over the cobalt grasslands further down.

Mesmerizing is the gentle back and forth of humid air exhaled there and in the characteristic silence of the deep one could almost hear the earth whisper its secrets timidly. These imaginary words take possession of the mind, lashing at it with incessant waves of curiosity. Drawn to this doorstep of blackness away from the reassuring warmth of the eden bellow the captivated explorer engages in a rough throat of eroded rock. It only takes a few minutes of tiresome crouching before the bowel opens up revealing an elongated cave of reasonable size. Yet a very profound feeling of eeriness permeates the familiar alternating breeze. By the time the first fork in the cave’s tortured layout is reached, there is no telling how much time has been spent treading the last few kilometers of uneven trail. The gentle breeze has grown into increasingly stronger gusts pushing and pulling on the intruder like the turbulent currents of a brisk river. Facing these two large openings the adventurer stands terrified, their white beam slowly uncovering the horrors of the stone mouth hollow a few tens of meters away.

The left passage is smaller and higher up a steep slope. While visually unimpressive, the resonating sounds produced by the violent airflow are songs of horror to the ear and induce an unnatural pressure on the body. A sensation terrifying in itself yet the real theater of nightmares belongs in the lower much larger passage.

Emerging from that direction a small trickle of water disappears under the carpet of loose rocks. It comes from a wall of water. Frozen in time and barely higher than the waist it grows over distance into a large, perfectly still, wave that rises to the distant ceiling. Despite appearing motionless the water is foamy and tormented, swirling into violent currents, and amidst the chaos are human figures. They are still too, in their panicked motions, grasping for air, frozen in pose yet very much alive. The explorer looks at their faces, torn by the kind of fear and despair that physical torture alone does not produce. The slow and haunting realization dawns as the eyes meet. They see, they think, in their own reality they are perfectly aware of the irretrievable state of their condemned souls. Not even allowed to die they have been there for ages and will remain. Shivers run through the explorer and in a moment of distraction, their knees almost give into the hustling winds. There is nothing to do here, nothing to do but turn back. Escape.

By the time the gold glow of the Amarina is seen again a few weeks have passed yet the short hike wasn’t nearly as harsh physically as it was mentally. The sinister secrets of this cursed passage might be frozen in time they still travel through the witnesses.