23 Jul Cairn
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Estimated reading time — 3 minutes
Imagine this. A city, built into a monolithic cavern, in an almost endless desert. A bright, beautiful city, alive with markets, streets, lights, and people. Imagine, a modern day Rome, a Rome built in the Earth. This city, the inhabitants called “Cairn,” referring to the stone that the city was made of. Now, imagine this city, in its prime, and in all its glory, housing a secret. A dark secret. A secret that was its ultimate downfall.
The city, they had not built themselves. Oh, no. Before them, the cave had tribal inhabitants. Hideous beings, truly. They were not humans, by no means. Close, but not close enough. The people who planned on living in this ideal, already-beautiful cavern, had no wish to live with these beings. But they did not know the cavern, as the tribals did. So, the leader of these human travelers thought of an idea. To gain the trust of these tribals, to learn this unfamiliar territory. The humans decided to test this idea. Unfortunately for the the tribals, it worked.
It happened all at once. The women and children were first. Using whatever they could find; rocks, bricks, and other blunt objects, the humans smashed their heads in, broke their bones, and destroyed their homes. The men were all that were left. They were imprisoned, and forced into slavery. Forced to build the monuments to these people, of these people. For these people. And when they were finished, they were slaughtered, their blood spilled into the streets.
But these tribals did not tell the humans everything, oh no. And that is why the humans did not know of what else resided in the cavern. What these tribals revered as a God. The Alek’tir. A creature with skin as black as night, but eyes the color of the whitest clouds. A creature that sensed death, and smelled life. A creature with hatred for these humans. Hatred for them because of the slaughter of its worshipers. And this creature wanted blood for blood.
It started out as rumors between the people. A strange creature sighted on the outskirts. Nothing unusual for them. And then, people began going missing, only to return several days later, only for their minds to be completely absent, and their eyes completely dull. This began to cause alarm within the city, and voices cried for these people to be sent into the desert to die. The council within the city hall met soon after to discuss this. No sooner had they decided to to go with the rest of the city’s thoughts, and send this undesirables into the desert, there was a great rumbling. As they rushed out of the hall to see, they saw the rest of their city screaming in terror. A rock slide had blocked the only way in, or out, of the cavern.
Not long after the rock slide occurred, all of the lights, city-wide, went out. And that is when the Alek’tir began to have its real fun. A single screaming noise began. This was enough to drive some mad that moment, and they began clawing at the rocks, ripping the fingers from their hands. All the while, the single scream became multiple screams. The older humans recognized them as the screams of the tribals. Most commit suicide soon after. But not all.
Some thought to try to hide, to live out the rest of their days in the empty shell of the once-great city. But the Alek’tir was not yet done with them. The survivors were unaware of its ability to smell life. In the pitch black darkness, the Alek’tir was invisible, save for its eyes. In the darkness, it moved, almost as a wraith. Smelling out the last life in the city, it moved towards the building the survivors were taking shelter in. It’s very presence so nearby made one of them sick, and that was enough. Not long after, the sick one died very abruptly. This startled the rest of them, making them paranoid.
And then, the corpse started twitching and shaking. It began foaming from the mouth, and this was enough for the remaining survivors. As fast as they could, they fled the building. They ran, and ran, into the darkness. Right into the waiting trap of the Alek’tir.
The city remains still standing, in a long-forgotten desert. It remains deep under the sands, and lost. Some believe the whispers continue, and, as for the corpses, they became what they slaughtered and hated most. So deep underground, that they forgot what the sun looks like, and have lost all need to see. But it seems in the nature of man to be the murderers, only soon after to become the murdered.
Credit To: Conical