WRITTEN FOR Sue Vincent’s WritePhoto
Photo: Sue Vincent
DIGGING OUT SECRETS
By Neel Anil Panicker
A ganglion of stone-cut steps, each steeper than the other took Ethan further into the bowels of the Earth.
As he reached a small landing, just one among the countless he had stopped at, albeit momentarily while descending down into the bowels—a small oblong platform strewn with withered leaves that had long lost their original colour and shape and looked as orphaned as the other deadened features of the decrepit
surroundings—Ethan felt his heart beats go racing up and down like an unhinged go-to.
His creamy white cotton shirt had turned an unrecognizable darkish hue, and its inner folds now clung to his hairless chest and arms and around the collars like blood sucking leech to human skin.
Ethan raised his hands in a bid to wipe off the hot beads of sweat that trickled down his forehead but all his fingers made contact with were the hard stony walls of the dungeon.
He must have stirred something for the next instant something scratched his scalp, and then flirted away, narrowly
missing his eyelids.
Bats, he surmised, as raw fear filled his veins.
‘How far was he from civilisation? How more such steps he needed to come down? How far down before he would arrive at his destination? And the biggest of them all___how he ever succeed in his mission? Would he ever find answers to all the questions that he had set out looking for?”
As Ethan stood motionless, some 500 feet inside the inner folds of earth, the words of the oracle began ringing, albeit faintly in his ears—“Remember son, go down for deep in the Earth, you will find an iron chest, and inside the chest lies a thick black book, a book that has answers to all the questions you are seeking.”
Ethan, his heart filled with renewed vigour, stepped forward.
He knew they was no going back.
He had to find out who was responsible for snatching his childhood, for reducing him to living a life of penury, for the brutal killings of his loving parents and his dear little sister.
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