Darkness envelops me, dragging me off to my eternal slumber.
I hold my torch out to see the rock formations. Each one an intricate puzzle of chips and cracks. To my left I look into the hazel eyes of my fellow spelunker. We're close… Around me realization dawns on the two others. We've been here before.
We keep climbing deeper and deeper into the unforgiving abyss, hoping to find a treasure at the end of our ebony coloured rainbow. Unsteady ground could give away at any moment, hurling us to our doom.
The smell of sulphur mixed with decay stings my nostrils. I see a signal from afar. One, two, three: Treasure. I run with all the strength I have left in my legs.
Rubies, emeralds and diamonds ensconced in a nest of gold. Excitement fills all four of us, we are going to be rich. We make camp for the night and prepare ourselves for the climb back to the surface.
A scream pierces my ears as I wake to find that we are only three… The one with the hazel eyes is gone.
We quickly pack and search the area for any sign of him, but droplets of blood are all that can be found. We assume an accident, because the alternatives are too horrible to ponder.
Onwards we trot and upwards we climb to reach the warm embrace of the sun.
A feeling of dread creeps across my spine as I realize the stillness around me. I send out a signal. One: All report. A flash comes from my right, but two flashes from my left: Trouble.
As I run to assist the person to my left the uneasiness grows more unsettling. At the point of signal I find a gruesome scene of death. Blood cascades down the rocks creating a twisted piece of art against the blank canvas of the stones.
Four adventurers had become two and death their constant companion.
Safety in number becomes the only option. We walk carefully and quietly, afraid of waking whatever had brought death into our midst. As we get nearer our exit the path becomes less treacherous and hope fills our hearts.
Whilst climbing a steep ridge I look to my right to see claws close around my companion's neck. I am unable to do anything but watch as he is choked and then dragged off into the darkness.
Mere inches separate me from my final climb as I look to my left and stare into the hazel eyes of death…