Welcomed by Dwarven Beings in a Mysterious Underground Realm

Submitted into Contest #203 in response to: Start your story in the middle of the action.... view prompt

2 comments

Fiction Adventure Fantasy

They found themselves falling into a bottomless abyss, hoping that this would finally be the revelatory stage of the adventure they had embarked on. They kept falling through darkness for what seemed to be an eternity, until a faded light became visible. Gravity seemed to change as they fell, slowing down their descent, allowing both to gently land upon a field of giant mushrooms. The air felt denser, and the hunger that occupied their minds moments ago quickly transformed into awe. A cavernous realm with sprawling and fragrant fungi laid before them, flooded with a light that seemed to gain intensity the further they walked downward. Did the likes of Gilgamesh, Germain, Lockwood, and Uri Lloyd ever walk through this realm? That was the question that preoccupied their minds, as the ultraterrestrial companion was able to verify this telepathically. 

A gentle female voice whispering something unrecognizable reverberated throughout the cavernous system, luring them further underground. The longer they walked, the more strange and alien everything around them appeared. Since gravity became so negligent, they began skipping instead of walking. Tiredness was no longer a hindrance, as they both felt completely energized, and breathing became easier and less frequent. The environment began to become less rugged as they traveled, with the stalagmites being replaced with carved marble busts of otherworldly beings. Suddenly the ground turned into a marble highway, lined with classical caryatid-like columns and adorned with vaulted ceilings enclosing what seemed to be pilgrim trail markers. Where did this pilgrimage trail lead to, and, more importantly, who built it?

After walking and contemplating the monumentality of this axial pilgrimage way, the duo came to an abrupt end at the center of a massive hall rivaling the magnificence of the Roman Pantheon, with a form created from the negative carving of solid, living rock. Although there were four massive doorways around the building, they all seemed to be sealed. Various statues and busts indicated human presence there, although some beings depicted were not animals to be found on the surface of the Earth, and were not mythological beings that either of them had ever seen in their lives. Each doorway in this temple-like structure was adorned with a different symbol, and a diagonal line was painted across each of them. There was a yellow, a red, a white, and a blue stripe line. The unevenness of the painted lines indicated that someone had taken a brush and quickly painted without much care. 

Again, a pleasant voice whispering or singing something in a language neither of them had ever heard before echoed through the space. Were there sirens to be found deep below the surface of this world? Were these perhaps emanating from nature spirits or lost souls pleading for help from the depths of Hades or purgatory?

They looked at each other and immediately recalled the story in the Most Holy Trinosophia by the Count of Saint Germain, in which an initiate descends down a cave in Mount Vesuvius only to find a chamber lined with several sealed doorways that lead him to different trials. Maybe this place was also part of an elaborate initiatory trial similar to those created by the Egyptian mystery schools, the Knights Templar, and the Freemasons. But why here, so deep into the earth, and in such a remote location?

Not long after this realization a loud bang was heard coming from the doorway featuring the red stripe. The impact was so violent that some of the limestone adorning the doorway came loose and slowly floated out into the temple space. Even though surprised and taken aback by this, they approached the doorway, which was in proportion similar to the ancient Roman and Greek temples of old - appropriate for any Titan or nephilim to walk through comfortably. Another loud bang flung the doorway open, revealing another cavernous, dimly lit corridor. The force behind the loud and violent bangs was unknown, invisible, terrifying, making both hesitant to proceed. However, they had nowhere else to go but forward if they wanted to complete their long-sought and planned adventure, and so they continued, albeit carefully. 

Upon stepping through the threshold they heard what sounded like a beeping sound - similar to the sound a barcode scanner makes. Startled, they nevertheless walked down the corridor hoping that nothing threatening would befall them. At the end of the long corridor there was a huge dropoff, a cliff that bordered a massive lake below. Almost weightless at this point, both floated downward, still apprehensive about what just happened.       

Upon reaching the shores of the lake, they noticed that they were not alone. In fact, there seemed to be a group of short humanoid beings in the distance waving at them. What sort of people would survive down in this underground realm? Were they imagining or hallucinating after their long walk through that forest of giant mushrooms? These were some thoughts that filled their minds. The appearance of these short beings was dwarf-like, as in ancient folk tales, although they seemed to be unable to see, communicating through some form of braille, using a combination of metallic tablets and telepathy for communication. It was exactly as Lockwood had described these people, and they were very welcoming to the new visitors from above. 

After a few moments of exchanging pleasantries, these beings explained that they were originally from the surface world, and had migrated underground because of a massive cataclysm that destroyed their magnificent cities. Their cities adorned the shores of what is presently the continent of Antarctica. Although the scope of their building became limited underground, they still strived to build great architecture, and were excited to show the visitors what they were able to achieve, even with the eventual loss of their eyesight. 

At the shore there were a couple of boats that looked like Venetian gondolas. They all seemed to have arrived on these, and were about to leave, taking the two visitors with them to their underground city. How can a group of complete strangers meet without suspicion of each other, specially when they were never meant to meet? The mind-reading companion knew the answer to this, and it was because the dwarven beings could also read their minds and see that there was no threat or menace to be concerned about from the newcomers.

June 21, 2023 22:06

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2 comments

L J
17:46 Jun 24, 2023

welcome to Reedsy! This was a good first entry for Sci-Fi. Sometimes it helps to know the characters better if you use dialogue. You could perhaps retell the story through the inner eye of the mindreader or through the blind dwarves. (Then you would have to rely on dialogue to tell the story). Narration is needed for all stories but Dialogue helps define the characters.. Imagine Twilight Zone being done in Narrative only. We aren't able to feel what the characters are going through or how they think. Who is They? Why was there a female vo...

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Hugo Lemes
22:14 Jun 25, 2023

Thank you! I appreciate the feedback. I wanted to write narration only and see how it would go, specially since one of the characters is telepathic. I do agree that having dialogue would help define or give depth to each character, but I wanted to have them behave as a duo. The female voice is still a mystery. :)

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