Finally, we had found it, the Ice Cavern. We lift our paddles out of the water and rest them on our knees as we let the boat drift so we can admire the beauty surrounding us.
Over an hour since we entered the dark cavern mouth, now light surrounds us as if we were not deep beneath a glacier but on top of the world. How so much light is capable of seeping through is a wonder in itself.
“Let’s get some pictures” Tom say’s to me as he reaches into the container by his feet to find the camera.
As he fiddles with the camera settings so we can get the best shots possible I notice something in the ice not far ahead of us, a dark shape I want to study further.
“Can you see that Tom?” I ask pointing to the patch of ice.
“What is it? I can’t make it out. Shall we get closer?”
“Yeah, let’s get a close look.” I say picking up my paddle.
Tom secures the camera around his neck and lifts his paddle. Together we make a few smooth strokes into the water to bring us closer to the mysterious sight.
At first it is still difficult to make out what is hidden beneath the ice, frozen and trapped. As we pull along the section a shiver creeps along my spine, I have never seen anything like this before. Some kind of creature is within the ice, only it isn’t frozen or trapped as we suspected, it is moving, very slowly but definitely moving.
“Holy crap! What the hell is that thing?” Tom exclaims and the creature appears to stop its movement at the sound of his voice echoing through the cavern. It’s head lifts and turns in our direction.
“Shh, Tom, I think it heard you!” I gasp in a harsh whisper, as the thing presses its hideous face against the ice wall separating it from us.
Double rows of razor like teeth show as it curls its lips up in what looks like a smile. I smell its breath as it seemingly passing straight through the ice as if it is not there. The scent of rot and decay fills the air.
“I think we should get out of here” I whisper to Tom who is busying himself with the camera.
“Just a few shots first” he whispers back “It’s behind the ice, we’ll be okay. We can’t go without any pictures after coming all this way!”
“I don’t know, can you smell that? I don’t think that ice will keep it from us, and it doesn’t look very friendly”
“I think you are worrying too much, sure I can smell something, it’s probably just something that died down here and that things looks pretty freaky, but honestly what is it going to do?” Tom has stopped whispering and his voice has clearly attracted the things attention again. It presses against the ice now as if smelling us and deciding what to do.
Tom starts taking pictures, the cavern truly is beautiful everything looks as if it is pure crystal, so clean and clear. But, I cannot stop watching the thing. After a few minutes of hovering close to the wall near us it backs away and I breathe a sigh of relief that is it leaving us. Tom turns back to face the wall having finished taking shots in each other direction.
“Why didn’t you tell me it was going? I wanted to get some pictures of it. We might have discovered a new species here!?”
“Sorry, I wasn’t thinking, I was just too relieved to see it go”
“Damn, Lisa. now what do we do?”
“Just go, please, I’m creeped out after seeing that thing”
“I dunno, this cavern still goes deeper, who knows what else we could find”
“I think that’s exactly what I’m worried about”
As Tom laughs a peculiar sound echoes around us and a crack begins to form in the ice wall right where the creature had been.
“Look at that, be quiet and let’s go NOW!” I curse starting to paddle quickly in the direction we came. Tom stumbles, almost dropping the camera as my rowing makes him fall back to his seat.
“Jeez Lisa…” He begins just as a huge shadow crashes through the ice, sending shards raining like glass over us. It vanishes beneath the water sending large ripples that rock our boat, knocking my oar out of my hands into the now murky depths. Fear consumes me and I sink to the floor in the middle of the boat pulling Tom to me.
The silence and beauty of the cavern are lost, overpowered by the stench and noise of the stalactites crashing down around us. Seeing this happen I look up just in time to knock Tom away as a massive blade drops right where we sit. It pierces through the boat and freezing water starts to flow through the hole it makes.
“We’re going to die here Tom” I cry, just before we are both thrown into the numbing liquid by something bashing into the underside of our vessel.
I struggle to surface and Tom is nowhere to be seen. I call out for him into the emptiness but no reply comes back and I realise it never will, redness that can only be blood is staining around me. I feel something brush against my leg and close my eyes tight as I am yanked downwards by an unseen force. Water floods into my screaming mouth and pain shoots through me as the creature begins to rip my body apart…
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