Rabe, Sink and Torkey stood in front of the huge metal door. The door was marked with symbols of an ancient civilization. Some symbolized death, the sculls and bones made that part easy to see. An other seemed to prohibit entrance. The third one was more diffuse, they had no idea what it meant. It was black and yellow, circle shaped with three triangles pointing into another smaller circle in the centre.
Probably some kind of old religious symbol, said Rabe, archaeologist and leader of the expedition. Most likely a warning of some curse or something. Everyone knew curses didn’t work, there was no reason to worry.
The door was securely locked, but Sink was an expert in explosives. The door went down. A dark tunnel lay open in front of them. They could smell a strange stench from inside.
What if… started Sink.
What if what? Torkey looked at her with laughter in his eyes.
What if the signs are not warnings about a curse? What if the tunnel is toxic or something?
Naah! Said Torkey. This tunnel obviously has been closed for thousand of years. If there is something here, it’s gems and noble metals. Don’t worry! They just want to scare us off.
They went deeper into the tunnel, and the smell got stronger. It smelled of humidity and something else. It was like an industrial, chemical kind of smell, yet different, unknown, with a touch of rotten meat. Sink stopped. I don’t like this smell, she said. It doesn’t smell healthy. She was holding her napkin in front of her mouth. She didn’t want to get sick.
Ha! Mocked Torkey. You go back if you want, and let the men do the job.
She did. This didn’t seem like a good idea.
Rabe and Torkey kept moving down. They were several hundred meters under the ground now. The smell was unbearable, but they didn’t want to stop. There had to be something really valuable down here with all these warnings. They came to a great hall with a circle shaped hole in the centre of the floor. A waist high fence by the edge. They went over and looked into the hole. It seemed to have some strange glow deep, deep down under them.
Hmm, said Rabe. He was a professional adventurer, and knew everything about climbing. This was complicated, and impossible with the equipment they had brought. Bummer.
We won’t get any further until we bring advanced equipment. And we are deep into the northern jungles. This is as far as this mission gets.
They stared into the hole. That strange glow… What was it? It was greenish like emeralds. Maybe there was a huge pile of them down there. If they just could get them up. Torkey threw a stone into the hole to get an idea of how deep it was. It fell until it was out of sight.
A sound. Like a scream. Or hundreds of screams. Rabe looked at Torkey. What the hell? Is there something down there? They looked over the edge. A the glow seemed to be getting stronger. Something is coming up! Torkey took out his camera. This had to be documented! Rabe backed away from the hole. I don’t like this, man… Let’s get out of here!
Wait! Said Torkey I have to see what it is! He stared down on the light. It seemed to be creatures. Hundreds of glowing creatures. Thousands even. He was taking photos. The creatures came closer. I better get out of here, he thought. He packed away his camera and took a last look. He could see them now, moving faster than anything he had ever seen.
Some looked like hairless winged rats. Others resembled snakes with claws. Yet others had no form at all, just lumps of meat crawling up the walls. Huge fangs. Evil eyes. He didn’t run. He knew it was too late.
Rabe stood at the entrance of the hall. Let’s go, he said. This is… He stopped speaking. He saw hundreds of flying creatures coming up from the hole. The first ones attacked Torkey. Tore him to pieces. Devoured him in seconds. Rabe turned to run. He got two steps before the monsters were over him. Digging into his back. Eating his arms and legs.
Sink was worried. They were taking too long. She heard sounds from the opening. She looked into the tunnel, hopeful. She saw a light. The torches! They were coming back! The light got stronger. Greener. This was not their torches. The light started to scream. Horrible screams. Evil screams of pain. She stared at the creatures coming up the tunnel. Glowing, fire spitting cockroaches. Reptiles of death. Flesh eating meat. She backed away from the opening. The creatures came out from the hole. Pouring out. Up in the sky. Into the jungle. They were swarming. Everywhere. Even before the first bite she knew she would die.
The creatures kept pouring out. There seemed to be no end to them. Mutants spawned in a radioactive hell for thousands of years waiting to be set free. They devoured everything and everyone in their way. The world ended in horror and pain.
The Witch Doctor