I woke up in the middle of ruins of what seemed to have been great cathedral once- walls high, arched doorways and enormous windows. For once, I envisioned myself amidst the picturesque walls of Machu Picchu, but this was not Peru, more of the ancient Maya kingdom…
Where is this?
I suddenly found myself asking no one in particular, for alone I was.
I tried things that I had only previously watched in the movies; observing the immediate environment and staying in the shadows.
Scared, Yet still Going
With the sound of my feet completely absorbed by the thick moss carpet, I half crouched crabwise towards the nearest exit. The adjoining room was not as big as the first. The scanned it for any signs of movement and saw none. I could tell there were hundreds of such rooms; I could also tell that this was once a fortified city. I could also tell that I had no idea where I was and how I got here in the first place. I was in the process of deciding whether I was scared or bewildered when I caught a fleeting glance of someone dashing out of view.
I called and rushed towards the retreating shadow. I rounded an enormous pedestal -damn, how big these people were- and ran smack into a solid abdomen. I felt embarrassed by the manner in which I fell after making contact, and by the fact that the slim guy did not even flinch, much like I was just a fly.
Strange Things Old Spies See
Still, on the floor, I worked my way up his profile- I could tell it was a man- and at the same time, mumbled my apologies. His worn-out size nine boots fitted smugly. The corduroy trousers, if I can call them that were some sort of a crossbreed between shorts and trousers. The left leg was covered completely; the right trouser leg was ripped in a jagged manner around his muscular calf, which had an insignia tattoo of the Kamikaze. I forgot about profiling and jumped straight to his face.
An inaudible gasp escaped my lips, and, at the same time, I heard myself break wind, very audibly.
The face of this hulking creature looked like something from your worst nightmare. It was as if he had been cast using wax, then intentionally put on fire before someone tried to put out the fire using a fork. Sunk back in the middle of this face were sharp azure eyes, starring straight at me, emotionless.
This must be the final face of the torture victims of Ivan the Whatever after they were caught trying to betray the Oligarchy.
I saw the face crack- oh, that was the mouth opening. A quick glance down and I saw he had a machete hanging carelessly from his belt. On his left hand was an axe, a bloody axe. I had seen enough to last me a lifetime. I decided to throw all caution to the wind- at least, if I was going to die, I was not going to die seated. I scooted.
You know, I am not afraid of death; I just don’t want to be there when it happens.
Fast Flight to Hope
Fear lent wings to my legs and I found myself flying through the debris and the thick undergrowth, the wind whistling past my ears in a continuous, high octane note. Still waiting to feel the axe pierce through my bony back. Nothing happened.
I must have been running for close to an hour through the thick jungle when I came to a clearing. In the middle stood a dilapidated church. On the door stood a man, dressed like a vicar, he beckoned me. I felt my legs carry me towards him.
“You are supposed to be dead! What are you doing here?” I heard myself ask as I recognized the man- My late dad, who has been dead for close to four years!
He motioned me to shut up and follow him. Still bewildered, I followed him into the church. The rotting pews were arranged neatly in two rows; in the middle of the aisle was a long oblong hole in the ground. My father, who had already produced a candle and lit it, went in. I again felt my legs follow him. As the slanting hole went deeper and deeper into the bowels of the earth, I noticed he was speaking, more of mumbling. I shuffled forward to catch his words and slipped on bat droppings and fall smack on my bottom. He did not seem to notice, I reached towards the nearest wall for support when I noticed that the walls were lined with coffins.
No Questions Asked
I sprung up and rushed at him. Swung him around. It was him alright, a bit surprised at my energy.
“Where are you taking me?”
Again, he did not answer. He set the candle down and moved towards one wall. In the eerie light, I saw we had entered some sort of a small room. I turned my attention to my father, who was grunting and tugging at a particularly large coffin, which gave way and opened.
A cold, wintry blast burst into the room through the opening he had created, promptly extinguishing the candle. We went through the door.