I wrote this story for English a little while ago and thought I’d share it with you! It’s inspired by the catacombs in Paris. Let me know what you think in the comments!
I stumble into what I think, at first, is just any old cave, breathing heavily. Surely they won’t find me here; surely an abandoned cave would be the last place they would look. Right?
I run further into the hollow cavern to make sure that I can’t be seen on entering, finally stopping for breath. Suddenly, I realise that I don’t actually know where I am, so decide I should look around in the hope that I might decipher this little mystery. Looking to my left, I see a wall. At a first glance, it just looks like any wall might, made of what looks like stone, just slightly cracked. When I look again, I realise that there are a line of skulls. I jump back in fright, only to be met by yet more of these hollow faces. I reach up so that my hand is level with them, soldier-like in their formation, and touch one with the tip of my fingers. The ancient bone is worn, yet oddly smooth in places and pointed where a nose once lay.
Around the lined up skulls is a jigsaw of either stone or bone; I can’t decide which. I think I smell something, so inhale deeply through my nose. Sure enough, there is something lingering in the air. The smell of death, perhaps? Or maybe something else; something more sinister than I could ever imagine. It’s quite unnerving really, being surrounded by all these skulls. I feel like they’re watching me, even though they have no eyes. I try to reassure myself with the latter and start to focus on looking for a way out that isn’t back the way I came. The soldiers could be anywhere and the last thing I want in here is to bump into them.
Focusing my mind on the task at hand – getting out of this place, and quickly at that – I run in the opposite direction to where I came in until I come to a wall. There’s a path either side of me; both look fairly dark and eerie, lined with yet more bones and hollow, expressionless skulls. In a hurry, I decide to go right. If in doubt, go right; that’s what I always say to myself and, so far, it’s turned out fairly well.
I carry on running until my legs are weak and I have a stitch in my side, desperately trying to find a way out of this seemingly never-ending maze of lost souls. When I stop to catch my breath, I wonder if I am alone in this place. It seems almost too eerie to be real, like it’s a figure of someone’s imagination; someone who is very good at world-building. I hope for my own sake that I am dreaming, and that I will wake up to find myself back in my home without fear of soldiers chasing me. What did I do to deserve this anyway? But those men are ruthless killing machines. They don’t care who I am.
Eventually, I collapse in a heap on the stone-cold floor. My legs are tired, my throat is dry and I am surrounded by darkness. I think I hear something – maybe footsteps, I’m too tired to know – and know that I can do no more. They’ve found me.
xx Elly xx
(I do not own the image at the top of this post!)