I felt small as I glanced at the cave’s 10 foot tall entrance. I felt like a guppy about to be swallowed by a bigger fish’s mouth. Then the goosebumps broke out.
I inched forward as if I was wading through knee-high levels of snow. I nearly peed myself as I entered the cave and bumped into a set of teeth. My heart was about to burst, and my mouth hung open as I turned to notice the teeth were only a jagged set of rocks. I sighed, chuckled and moved forward with a smile on my face. Nothing was going to stop me from getting to the bottom of this place.
Just then I heard a lightning strike in the cave. The hair on the back of my neck stood up, I tripped over myself and fell face first into the dust. When I got up, I brushed the dirt off my face and shoulder, and I could see clearly now. A tiny pebble had fallen and the echo had frightened me into thinking I had heard lightning. I laughed at myself, “Imagine! A grown man afraid of a falling pebble. Get it together Adam.”
I came to what looked like the end of the cave. I glanced beneath me and saw a sort of ladder built into the crumbly mud with rotten wooden panels. I held my head high and then I started down below.
There was a constant dripping sound in the distance as I took each step. Each drop of water became a loud thud that caused the veins in my neck and head to bulge and my eyes to blink. To make matters worse, each wooden panel creaked as I moved. The dripping and creaking became something like an unsettling song that played in my head as I descended. I told myself that the song was precisely that, just something in my head. The cave was getting to me.
And that’s when the cave got under my skin. I nicked my finger on a rusty, ragged nail sticking out of a panel. I ignored the pain, the adrenaline pushing me forward, as I skipped one or two dilapidated panels. I reached the bottom of the cave. There was no more light.
I found myself at the beginning of a long, mud hallway, and now the dripping was as loud as thunder. As I moved through the hallway, I found the source of this sound: it was a tiny sink. I washed the cut on my finger and dried it with a nearby towel. I noticed mounds of dirty laundry all around the sink, and I gulped.
I turned the corner and saw a massive black rectangle, in landscape mode, that resembled the monolith from 2001: A Space Odyssey. As I squinted, I thought images were flickering on it. And I could have sworn there were hands moving behind the rectangle. In the foreground, no one could have missed the brown and bear-like couch.
Suddenly, a head popped up from the couch and turned around to face me. I stood deathly still as sweat ran down my cheek. I looked the other way, screwed up my face and closed my eyes. My face wore an expression: brace for impact.
“Hey dude,” said the head, “I’ve been playing video games all day. Care to join me?”