As the wood struck against the sandy shores, the rowboat grinded to a halt. As the captain and his six men touched down on the sandy shores they saw before them a lush jungle that was only parted by a path that seemed to go straight forward. Every leaf and grain of sand seemed new and undisturbed by man’s presence. The island seemed to have this untamed yet almost calm beauty about it. After a moment of silence, the Captain called “Well lads, time to get to work”. The grey clouds that had parted when they had reached the island were now back into place giving the sky a tense feeling as the wind began to pick up.
They moved onward towards the ruin. The plants moved with the wind pointing their long green fingers forward up the path in a pattern as if it was almost a welcome reception. Suddenly, the path curved to the left at a random sharp angle. This obstructed their view so one of the crew volunteered to look ahead. After a few minutes, there was nothing but silence. Captain Carson was getting impatient and feared that the man had gone ahead to steal the treasure.
Then he saw the first glimpse of the ruin itself. It was old, cracks had begun to show in many places. Part of the roof was visibly collapsed. The smooth cobblestone that made the ruin looked faded and had seen better days. And this was only the top of the ruin that Captain Carson was seeing. A shiver went down his spine at the thought of what the rest of it looked like.
Just as the steps of the ruin were coming into view, a field of thorns stood in Captain Carson’s way. Without hesitation, he pushed forward quickly urging his men to follow. Moving hastily so he could reach his now missing crew member, he tripped and landed in a pile of these thorns cutting him in several places and a few piercing through the skin causing him to gasp in pain as the sharp ends cut deeper into his body. His crew members rushed over and picked him up guiding to a safe spot beyond the field.
Undeterred by this recent event, he kept pushing forward taking out the thorns as he went and dropping them on the ground. One crew member cried out in pain as he had accidentally stepped on one after the captain had released it from his hand. “Sorry there!” Captain Carson said but, he kept looking forward.
As he reached halfway up the steps a soft ugshh sound made him stop and turn around. It sounded like a wet cloth being squished together after being filled with water but, alien somehow different. Captain Carson looked around and saw nothing. He continued on towards an opening of the ruin that had two doors completely ajar, dipped in gold and silver. Lined with rubies, emeralds, sapphires, and carvings so detailed they seemed to tell a story just by looking at them. None of that mattered as he was focused on one singular task, to find the missing crew member. The inside of the ruin was less extravagant than the doors had been, it now looked as it was designed for function rather than style with four walls that were complete grey and dull blank spaces. With one staircase leading into darkness. Unknown to the captain, he alone ventured farther down the staircase, feeding the impulse that was driving him.
Minutes, then hours seemed to go by as he went up, down, left and right seemingly going nowhere. Every once in a while he stopped to look around only to find himself in the same place he had been in before. It was after many hours that he finally saw it.
A room filled with gold, much more than he could ever imagine. Flawlessly cut diamonds sitting there just waiting for him to take. The reflections bouncing off every corner lighting the room. The impulse to find his now missing crewmate had suddenly disappeared, and turned into greed. He scooped up as much as he could. Handful over handful, spilling gold coins over his fingers in a frantic effort to carry as much as he could.
Then, the sound came again, Ugshh! It was much louder and clearer this time, it reminded Carson of a potato being mashed but, it was as if that potato was being mashed in a wet cloth. From underneath came a creature that Carson had never seen in his life. It was about the size of a cat, walking in six scaled legs that came to a point rather than a foot. Its entire body has a dark complexion that seemed to blend among the grey walls, with scales that covered its entire body. However, it’s most striking feature were its eyes and mouth. Two completely black ovals on the side of its head. With a mouth full of tiny jagged teeth and two curved mandibles that sat in the corner of its mouth. It looked back at him and…
To Be Continued…