THE FATE OF THE DAMNED
His voice was barely clear, his breathing was labored and he was in a state of panic.
Where am I, was the only question that bounced in his head in the middle of that place where there was no trace of light where only his rapid and loud gasps could be heard accompanied by the splashing of his footsteps.
- Lost? - he said a little calmer and more subdued, as if someone was trying to maintain serenity in the middle of a place he didn't even know himself, or tiredness was having an effect on him.
After a few seconds he decided to move forward in the darkness, but every step he took was marked by a slimy sound and accompanied by a nauseating odor similar to that of rotting flesh.
His body trembled as he moved forward and the toxic smell penetrated his lungs.In one of his steps he slipped and leaned against a rough and slimy surface, the blow to his head produced a little heat accompanied by a little hot liquid that slid down his forehead.
-A cave -he whispered a little disoriented without giving importance to the small pain he felt, he extended his hand over this surface to see if it was what he babbled about.
Standing up, he extended his other hand towards the front, still holding on to the surface so as not to get lost.
There was no doubt, this was a hallway.
He exhaled more calmly knowing that it was a hallway, the peace this caused him was because it meant he would soon find a way out but something bothered him and it was the fact of the fetid aroma coming through his nostrils, an aroma that made him dizzy to the point of wanting to make him vomit.
His walking became much stranger as he not only heard the sound of his careful footsteps, but also the sound of water splashing and the rustling of branches breaking.
This gave him a strange feeling and he thought that if it was a corridor he would have no reason to hear the sound of branches or water, unless it was an abandoned place.
He stopped suddenly as he noticed something, the smell had changed, it now had a similarity to living blood, a metallic smell that he remembered very well.
-What is that?
He whispered fearfully after hearing some strange footsteps very fast as if they were running.
-Who's there?" he asked looking to the sides.
After hearing no answers he bent down and reached across the surface where he was walking, in the dark it was hard to find anything but fortunately he came across a branch of the ones he heard snapping in two during his walk.
When he picked it up he found it strange that it was smooth like marble and not rough like a normal branch.
-Glup - he could hear the sound of his throat above the sound of the water droplets hitting the ground.
He remained on his knees in silence listening to his surroundings, clinging tightly to that piece of branch as he scanned the darkness hoping to see something.
His body trembled as he heard small footsteps approaching.
It was a detrimental situation for him, he could see nothing, he didn't know what was chasing him and above all he couldn't breathe properly due to the toxic smell.
After a few seconds of silence on his part the noises ceased and the sounds of water drops became louder as if they were the tik tak of a clock.
He took a deep breath and exhaled eagerly to get out of that dark passageway.
He stood up and continued to lean against the wall, feeling the floor with the piece of wood because of the idea that maybe later he might run into a hole.
Walking he thought of several theories about the being that seemed to be following him and had not ruled out that possibility and much less after realizing that he was walking away from those desperate footsteps.
First he thought of trolls or ogres, it was very common for these creatures to attack villages and stay somewhere they found pleasant but he discarded this idea because in his school he had been taught that trolls and ogres had hibernation stations and currently they would be hibernating, after this he thought of snakes but immediately discarded this idea because they could not walk, he also thought of giant spiders, this idea gave him chills all over his body because he was terrified of these beings, seeing their eight eyes and their long fangs were things that always scared him.
-I hope they are not spiders," he whispered.
He shook his head and continued to think about what lurked in the darkness.
He gave up on spiders because of the difficulty they would have in moving in a space like this.
-So they could be goblins," their words lacked emotion, they seemed to have frozen after hearing this.
He panicked when he heard footsteps nearby, he stopped, turned to all sides as if he could see through the darkness, a bead of cold sweat ran down his forehead and he strengthened his grip on the branch, his eyes dilated searching for something in the darkness but this would not be possible, he was practically blind.
-Grrrrr," he heard the growling and turned to the left.
He wanted to ask who it was but held back the impulse.
- grrr haah -
Laughter could be heard closer and closer and footsteps sloshed through the small chinks in the passageway.
What do I do, he wondered in his head, he didn't know whether to run away or stay to find out who he was up against, and if he thought about the goblins and in terms of strength one on one he might win but there was always something wrong with goblins, and that is that they never attack alone.
His body reeled in the midst of this exasperating feeling.
He shook his head and ran towards the front, he didn't know if he was moving away or towards that creature because the sounds were uneven.
After running for a few minutes his body was buffeted by a current of air that brought the smell of blood, rotting flesh and a bit of cornfield.
The exit, he thought immediately and his body was flooded with hope, he was grateful to be able to get out of this disgusting passage and not die at the hands of some deranged goblins.
He advanced without worries, he was no longer afraid of what he would find in front of him or if he could not see anyone.
-At last," he whispered as he saw a lamp-like red light at the end.
The closer he got, the more clearly he could see what surrounded this reddish light, all this time he was trapped in a warm and cozy cave but at the same time terrifying and more so because of the being that was always chasing him.
But something strange was happening with his being, and as he got closer and closer to the exit he felt disconcerted, he felt a huge cold that ran through his bones and a strange fear of the outside was born from the bottom of his heart as if telling him that he did not want to go out.
He let go of what he had in his hand, what he thought was a branch was nothing more than the femur of a person, this took him out of his mind and motivated the idea of wanting to leave this place without paying attention to what his heart was telling him.
He shook his head and continued, the light guided him towards the narrow entrance or exit, which he could only cross by crawling on the ground.
Without much delay he jumped down and began to crawl, the rocky ground was wet and slippery, there was a black substance that made it difficult for him to continue.
Halfway along the path he noticed the reddish light outside accompanied by the cool breeze, he was glad for it and eagerly continued but all the positive excitement collapsed when a rough, burning hand grabbed his calf.
Under the paranoid gaze wreathed in several beads of sweat produced by his desperation, that being was not a goblin, it looked like a demon the stature of a child bathed in tar holding him down and forcing him back inside.
He gritted his teeth and without a care in the world began to struggle to free himself from its grip with fierce kicks to the head that caused him to break free.
Once free he continued on and quickly climbed out of the small hole, he stood up wide eyed and watched the cave entrance, he took a medium sized rock between his hands with the idea of hitting it if it peeked out.
After a few tense seconds waiting for that unknown creature, he lowered the rock as it gave no sign of coming out, exhaled calmly and then got a strange look on his face as he saw a tar-
black liquid running all over the cave entrance.Without giving it much importance, he rested his hands on his knees to breathe better. As he did so, he realized that he was naked and that his body had changed a lot.
-What happened to me? -was what he asked himself, because his hands were as big as those of an adult, as were his legs and his virile member, which was now bigger and hairier.
He looked at the open field filled with white flower buds among thorny roots, all bathed in the reddish light of the full moon high in the starless sky.
-What is this? - he wondered again as he descended.
Walking toward the open field he noticed a small stream coming out of the cave.
Curious and a little thirsty at the same time he guessed that maybe this water was drinkable so he brought his fingers to this liquid, wet them and then licked his lips with some of these drops.
-This is water," he exclaimed happily and brought his face close to the murky stream so he could drink more.
Once satisfied, he averted his gaze to the panorama, observing the place carefully.
-Thank goodness I'm out of this cave, but where are my parents? I bet they must be waiting nearby.....
His body trembled feeling thirstier than usual, this thirst gnawing at his lips was something inexplicable as he felt the need to quench it or he would die.
He saw the stream, noticed that it crossed the arid surface to a small pool of water.Without hesitation he dipped his head into the reddish liquid, sweeter than he remembered, accompanied by a metallic scent.
He searched for the reason for his addiction but thirst overcame him, the need to drink that liquid turned his head and clouded his judgment, he drank so eagerly that he even forgot to breathe and was on the verge of drowning.
He withdrew his head accompanied by a great splash and many desperate coughs that calmed down after a moment.
Calmer he began to analyze the place and to go through all the towns he had engraved in his mind but from one moment to another his thoughts were changing focusing on the unquenchable thirst he had.
-What's wrong with me? - When he looked up he realized that the stream was not in front of him but meters away.
He tried to reach the puddle but his legs would not obey him, he fell to his knees on the barren ground and many crimson thorny branches began to surround him like snakes.
-What's wrong with me? -
He put his hands to his face, the full moon was shining more brightly and the puddle in front of him showed his true face.
He had the face of someone he had never seen before, he tried to speak but his lips produced no sound.
With a loud shuddering sound the puddle began to rise, overflowing its waters to flood this strange valley, the rising waters increased in volume so fast that they were already up to his knees.
He couldn't move, it was as if he were a rock.
-I can't be an adult, right, I'm just a kid who just finished sixth grade.... Well what happened today, I didn't catch anything weird because I just remember coming home from school today and my parents, election day and what else.
Desperate she remembered everything she had experienced in the last few days to find some explanation for this place.
-But why don't I remember their faces -despair flooded her heart making her slowly lose her mind.
-You shouldn't worry about that," the wind pronounced these words with a terrifying sound.-Who is there? - he asked and this time he was able to speak.
He turned his face from left to right several times looking for the one who had answered him, he had the need to hear the answers to his questions.
At the top of the cave, he saw two yellow eyes watching him with total attention, a penetrating gaze that frightened him and made his heart tremble to tears.
-Who are you? -
After waiting he got no answer from that yellow-eyed being.
-Oh little human, if I were you I would immediately look for the exit or the entrance," he heard this strange voice again.
This voice did not belong to the creature that was watching him.
-Exit or entrance, what does it say if I am outside, right? right? right? right? come on, my senses do not deceive me. what does it mean? - I stop looking at him and look for him.
I look towards the cave, that creature with yellow eyes was still above that place watching him carefully and suddenly a large greenish scaled snake appeared behind this being.It was a snake.
He shook his head thinking that it was all a hallucination produced by the toxic gases of the cave, he rubbed his eyes with his forearm and suddenly he noticed something, it was a trail of tar that descended from the cave.
His eyes opened wide, his heart began to beat with desperation and his ears were alerted to listen for the slightest possible noise.
He turned left and right as he heard footsteps splashing in the water.
-Where am I? answer me, what happened to me? - He looked for answers in those creatures that appeared in the reddish moonlight, that being that watched him was a lion with bat wings and a snake tail.
It opened its mouth showing him what it had between its fangs, the head of his inanimate father full of saliva, bathed in blood, lifeless and with a heartbreaking expression.
-No no no no no no
Tears streamed down his face, the memories of what happened invaded him and were so painful that they tore his soul into pieces, pieces that faded from his memory like a jigsaw puzzle.
-They can't be dead, right, they're not dead," he cried.
The snake threw something towards him, this thing floated in the middle of the water until it reached in front of him.
When he saw the golden ring on the ring finger he recognized what it was, there was no doubt who it belonged to, it was his father's mutilated arm.
-Answer me, it's not true, is it? - she shouted once again with her head down, rejecting the concrete evidence before her.
After a long silence enveloped in her soundless screams she looked up, realizing that the bat-winged lion was flying overhead far away from all this and that the water around her was already up to her waist.
-What are you going to do? - asked the strange voice.
He grabbed her arm and hugged her fervently.
- I need a way out," she answered.
-This way," the thorny branches and roses pointed to a path that led to a nearby cave.
The man wiped away his tears and let himself be guided by that voice, trusting it with all his being because he thought there could be nothing worse.
-I'm thirsty," he thought and stopped to drink some, he took his hands to drink some water but when he swallowed it had a strange texture, it was slimy and tasted horrible so he spat it out, when he looked at his hands they were red as blood.
Suddenly the only source of light disappeared next to the exit leaving the place with a dim light in the same style of a cloudy and gloomy day.
He tried to run to take refuge in the cave but it was not possible, his body was tied by the roots and it was impossible for him to move, from above a rock of a considerable size hit him hard making him let go of his father's arm.
-No," he exclaimed in pain trying to recover it but unfortunately his body was stiff as a stature.
-Why can't I move? - she asked herself.
He reached into the viscous liquid with the intention of uncurling his legs, but they were no longer the same, there was no trace of skin or muscle on them, only solid blocks rising from the ground and extending to his waist.
-AHHHHH!" he cried out in terror.
With his fingers he tried to peel them off but these solid blocks instead of legs only let out a kind of onion skin-like tissue that did not cause him any pain, on the contrary, they regenerated immediately.
-What's wrong with my skin and why can't I move? -.
He looked at the liquid in search of a reason for all the misfortune that was happening to him.
From one moment to the next he found himself free, drifting on his back like a floating log and wondering who he was, who was this being that had caught him by surprise jumping from the bottom of the lake.
-What are you, who are you? -he asked, almost without breathing, because that being was suffocating him.
-I, I'm just you," this liquid being bathed in tar took the form of his current body, a 12 year old boy with messy hair, with black eyes that showed nothing but pleasure as it crushed his windpipe.
-Now just die," she pushed his body to the bottom of the lake with enormous force.
-Help, help, somebody help me.
He tried to scream but unfortunately his voice would not be heard by anyone, much less by his father who no longer existed.
The black liquid was entering her nostrils, the pressure in her windpipe and the solidification of her body had already sealed her fate.
-That's it, that's it, remember that you are my slave, Alair," laughed the little being as he dipped him with his small hands.
-Don't you find the scent of Ether delicious, I find it enchanting but your damned gods don't like it at all.
With his adult hands he tried to free himself from his child version but it was impossible, his body was difficult to hold because it was so slippery.
-Tell me my son, son of Ether, how does it feel to go back to the origin of everything and break the great agreement, tell me Alair, how does it feel to be just the food of the world?
-I see that you have fainted, sweet dreams my son.
After this, little Alair continued choking him until he disappeared.
-Ouch," Alair exclaimed in pain as he felt his head banging incessantly against the wooden wall.
He was glad to be awake and to see the hands he remembered, but everything changed when he saw his father's arm wrapped in a piece of cloth he had torn from his shirt.
-No no no no no no no it's not true no -
She cried and screamed drawing the attention of all the well-dressed boys her age.
Unlike the others, Alair was beaten, his nose was broken and his clothes were soaked with urine and blood, his eyes were swollen and he had a large snake bite on his arm.
This was the fate that had befallen him as a child of the ether.