This is part 3 of the stream-of-consciousness bit of writing I’ve been doing to get me back in the habit of writing. No plan, no editing, no desired destination, just a “figure it out” methodology and a “write down the damned words” motivator. So, a few spare moments stolen, and here you go.
Enjoy! (I hope)
Unthinking, I doused my headlamp, as the light around me made it unneeded. I stood, still gawking, at the sight before me, despite my misgivings of its origins.
Eventually, I forced my feet to carry me forward slowly from the solid stone of the passage and onto the path that led me slowly down, into the valley, for a valley it was, regardless of it being buried beneath hundreds—perhaps thousands—of feet beneath the earth. As green and vibrant as any valley I had ever heard of seen in my life, my boots left quickly fading depressions in its verdancy as I continued down.
Finally leveling off, I found myself following the barest of paths through the grass—a type unknown to me—in the general direction of the small copse in the distance. The slowness of my steps exposed the wonder in my mind as my eyes darted back and forth across the floor of this miracle valley, catching glimpses of insects moving rapidly through the short grass and scattered brush, or the flash of the birdlike creatures when they gave a cry unlike any bird I had ever heard, either personally or even in an exhibition by a renowned bird-caller; his name escapes me, but the reputation of the breadth and fidelity of his calls was legendary in ornithological circles.
I might have walked, awestruck, all the way to the trees without another thought, but some sense of reason still lurked in the back of my mind, and I was jolted back to reality before making it a hundred yards from the tunnel I had emerged from.
Stopping dead, I focused my gaze at the trees ahead. It seemed as though the light which had been so pervasive just moments ago began to dim, and my eyes fought to bring out the detail which I knew had to be there in that mass of brown and green. Blinking, I became convinced the light was, in fact, growing dimmer, and a sense of unease began to tickle at the edge of my consciousness.
This was a bad place to be.
I did not, for once, question the voice inside my head, but instead spun on my heel and retraced my steps in the now clearly faltering light back to the tunnel which had seemed a sarcophagus an hour before.
Before I had found this place.
The light faded completely as I reached the opening, fumbling to re-ignite the headlamp. In its glow, I moved a few hundred feet into the tunnel to gather myself. Had I really seen such a place? Could it truly be possible? My breathing steadied and my heart slowed as the feeling of unease slowly drained away the farther I moved from the cavern and its creeping darkness. I determined I would return to the cavern in a few minutes.
Surely, if I had encountered such a place, it had simply been my own nerves that had driven me back, back into the tunnel, cowering like a chastised schoolboy.