Pieces of Nine: Part III – A Serialized Story

Pieces of Nine

Part III

Jerry and I made a fateful decision that day, one that would change both our lives. We entered the tunnel. The walls around us were shored up with wooden planking. The tunnel itself was probably six feet tall and four feet wide. The dirt floor sloped constantly downward at a gentle grade. We silently walked what I judged to be 50 paces or so, maybe 100 feet. This would have put us somewhere under Newport Street, I thought to myself.

In another moment or two, the walls changed to solid granite. The planking ended and the floor became granite also. Instead of the gentle sloping, the granite had been carved into steps leading ever downward. I figured we were maybe 30 or 40 feet below street level at this point. I wasn’t really sure.

“Look at that, Kev!” Jerry said, pointing at the wall to our right.

“What is that? Some kind of writing?” I asked.

“Looks like, but ain’t nothing I’ve ever seen.” Jerry answered.

It looked like some sort of stick drawings and other gibberish. I’d seen writing like this in books at the library, books about ancient Egypt or Greece or some places like that. It was strange. I couldn’t figure any of it out. It was neatly carved right into the granite walls. It continued on as we walked. It could have been an entire book; there was so much writing.

After another 100 feet or so, the walls became damp and oozing. The floor became slippery and wet. The smell was like an old canvas tarp that had been left out in the rain and then thrown in a dark corner of the shed. It smelled green and moldy down there. We were starting to get a bit scared at this point.

“You think we should go back, Kev?” Jerry asked.

“Do you wanna’?” I asked him.

“Dunno. You?” he asked back.

“Who could have made all this?” I wondered aloud.

“The old Captain, maybe?” Jerry suggested.

“Hmmph. I guess so.” I replied.

Just then my flash light slipped out of my sweaty hands and clattered a few feet down the steps in front of me. It went off, of course, so I couldn’t tell where it landed at first. Jerry had his flash light off because we were saving batteries by just using one at a time. Even though it should have been pitch dark in the tunnel, there was a distinct glow down there. It was bright enough that once your eyes adjusted, you could actually see quite well. I could even see my flash light on the step about five feet in front of me. Stranger and stranger. I walked down and picked up my flash light, but did not attempt to turn it on.

About 25 feet further down the tunnel, the narrow walk space widened into a kind of gallery about the size of a parlor in a house, maybe 20 feet square. At the furthest side from where we entered there was a heavy metal door mounted into the solid rock with iron hinges and a lock. It was rusted to a dark brown color. In the center of the room was a podium-like granite stand. On this stand was a metal box about 12 inches square and 4 inches deep. It had a latch on one side and hinges on the other.

We walked up to the podium. Etched on the metal box in Old English script was this:

Step not further another step without ye reading these words or thy doom thee shall meet.

“Kevin, I’m scared for sure now.” Jerry whispered.

“Me too, Jer, but we can’t turn back now. We’ve come this far. Don’t you want to know what this is all about? I asked him.

“Sure Kevin, but I’m still scared.”

I reached out and lifted the latch on the box. Inside was a large leather bound book and the key to the iron door. The cover on the book said “Log” on it. I opened the book. We read the words printed there, not understanding all of what they were saying, but reading it all just the same.

©2008 V. T. Eric Layton (excluding images)

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Next Tuesday, friends… Part IV.

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Comments

  • ebrke  On May 4, 2010 at 15:42

    So, are you composing this as you go along, or is this something you’ve been keeping in reserve?

    • V. T. Eric Layton  On May 4, 2010 at 20:48

      I wrote it in ’08 as part of a Halloween writing challenge that we had going over at my Out of the Woods board. 😉

      Thanks for reading. 🙂

      ~Eric

  • Securitybreach  On May 4, 2010 at 21:44

    Another great entry. I cannot wait to see where it goes.

  • BambisMusings  On May 5, 2010 at 09:10

    Awesome. Love these types of stories.

    Can’t wait to see where it goes. 🙂

    Great job so far Eric!

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