Chapter 21: Agartha

2881 Words
Patrick knew he had no choice but to accept the fact that he was now in a different world altogether and he had to learn how to blend in. Deep in his heart he was relieved that he wasn't in his original time and place anymore- nobody really liked him there and everyone was out for his neck. This place looked promising- he could spend the rest of his life there in peace- he began to zone out. "Here ... try this!", said Layha offering him a long white robe. "Eh.. So this it what men wear out here?", he asked. "Yes, it is a very luxurious gown here- every nobleman wears one of this plus it will hide that strange leg gown you are wearing.", she replied with a smile. "These are called pants!", Patrick replied and snatched the gown from her hands and put it on. Layha was amused and smiled as Patrick put on the white gown which stretched upto his feet. It was strangely comfortable, light and silky. "You look good - now follow me!", said Layha. Patrick followed her down the shack and into the streets. The place was getting crowded as people gathered to watch the parade of the royal guards. Layha quickly led him through the crowd and found him a good spot to watch the parade. Patrick was stupefied at what he saw. The seven feet tall- well built guards stood in all corners protecting the palanquin of the royal one. The old man stepped out from the palanquin and placed his foot on a small decorated stool- he could barely stand and his eyes barely opened. He looked so old and fragile and had a stooped back.He had no hair on his head and even his scalp was wrinkled. He supported himself with an wooden stick. "Here ye!"- said the old man in a trembling voice, " tis the time of the year again- the call for sacred duty of the chosen ones- rejoice for you shall have the supreme honour of serving the God Kings of our land!!", he said. The crowd cheered upon hearing the announcement. Some people even cried in excitement. "Who's that?", asked Patrick pointing at the old man. Layha quickly pulled back his hand and said ," It's an offence to point at royalty- you'll have your hand chopped off… be quiet and listen." Patrick quietly obeyed. "Now who hear wants to fulfill their destiny?Come forth and kneel!", continued the old man. Five average looking men immediately walked up and kneeled down in front of the old man. "Good! I need one more- come forth!", the old man announced. For a moment nobody came until suddenly a young boy in his early teens came out and kneeled. "Begone boy, you are not able bodied yet!!", commanded the old man. "But master, I want to serve the Gods!!", replied the young boy. The old man lifted his finger and flicked it in the air - the boy was suddenly thrown away into the crowd by an invisible force. The crowd gasped in awe. The boy fell down on the ground and was knocked unconscious. Patrick couldn't believe his eyes. "What sorcery is this?", he thought in his mind. "My lord! I volunteer", said another man coming out from the crowd. "Good! Follow me to the great halls, your destiny awaits you.", said the old man and stepped back into his palanquin. The parade turned back with six men following the royal ones to the great halls. The crowd slowly began to disperse. Patrick noticed that some women and children were sad and crying at the departure of the men. Patrick was puzzled at this whole affair. He couldn't make any heads or tails of it and followed Layha back to the shack. After struggling through the dense sss forest for an hour me and my three local guides and Alicia arrived at the fabled-"city of the dead" built by the ancient aztecs. Huge ruins of pyramids, broken stones, pillars and pathways lay ahead of us in a clearing. Alicia was awestruck, "We did it - we finally found it!", she said,her eyes shining through her glasses. Our Incan friends too seemed relieved at the thought of finally getting the job done and returning home,but I for one was sceptical. 'Was it really supposed to be so-easy?',I thought staring at the vast ruined pyramid which was now covered with algae and wild plants.The lost city of the dead was supposed to be filled with immeasurable treasures and hence most difficult to find.Nevertheless I asked Paco one of our guides to lead the way. We struggled to keep up with him as he climbed up the stairs swiftly. "Slow down!", I shouted, as he kept climbing ahead. He seemed to be in some kind of frenzy as if he were possessed. "Paco! slow down !", I yelled again, fearing we might lose him in the ruins. Paco looked back at me and I could swear I saw his face had gone grey and his eyes were green...a chill ran down my spine as I stared at that little boy running madly to the top of the ruined pyramid. "My friend", said Sergio one of the elder guides, trembling with fear as he placed his hand on my shoulder "the king has finally returned home". A chill ran down my spine and I could feel beads of sweat dripping from my forehead. I froze for a moment as I looked at the sheer madness ahead of me.Paco was relentlessly moving forward towards the top of what was once a pyramid like monument,which during the old days was most probably used for human sacrifices.He raged on like a mad bull, mumbling gibberish, occasionally slipping down,barely able to hold on to the flimsy rocks. The four of us hurried to stop him but the boulders of algae ridden rocks made it very hard for us even to step foot on them. "The King-the lord-of Mictlan-has returned?",I wondered trying to remember the history of the place-which wasn't depicted in any map.It was once used as a temple dedicated to the God of the underworld -Mictlantecuhtli.Human sacrifices were performed by great priests of the temple who wore large skull like hats and painted their faces red as they carried out brutal acts of murder on top of the pyramid platform and hundreds of spectators would watch from below as they hoped that these inhuman acts would somehow please the deity.What a dreadful sight it would have been! Paco had almost reached the top by now and as he laid his feet on the platform he let out a horrific scream and fell into some kind of hole.We could only observe helplessly from below."What on earth!- cried out Alicia-did you see that- he got swallowed in- he-", words failed to come out- we were all dumbfounded,but we had to reach the top.The old stairs were broken and we were holding on to crumbling rocks as we scaled the hundred metres tall ruin.Our hands and feet got covered in a strange slime like substance which seemed to ooze out from the cracks,and wild grass and climber plants wrapped round the stones made it harder to climb-still we had to move on.Sergio almost fell trying to hold on to a block of stone.Alicia was the one who reached the top first and we all stood there not knowing what to do. A huge hole was in the middle of what was supposed to be a flat platform.We stared down into the dark abyss and shone our torches yelling out Paco's name.Strangely our lights couldn't even reach the bottom and all we saw was a slime and moss covered wall and an endless dark pit below.At this point I vaguely remembered some line I read in an obscure book -"He shall feast upon blood on a moonless night,he shall dance upon the bones of the dead...he shall rise..."I couldn't remember much but I knew it was a prophecy related to this place - Mictlan! It was almost sunset and darkness would soon fall,we had to return to our camps,but we also had to look for the lost boy.Sergio and the other local guide weren't much keen on finding him as they only kneeled down and offered their prayers.I was furious at this behaviour at first but Sergio explained to me that he was taken as a sacrifice by the deity and that we could have done nothing to help him.Their superstitious beliefs saddened me-surely everything had to have a logical explanation, but I thought it would be more reasonable for us to go back to our camps now and look for the boy tomorrow.We all agreed to head back but as I stood there holding my satchel,I looked at the majestic scenery of the jungle.It would be dark soon and the dense forest was eerily getting silent.I could no longer hear the howling monkeys or the occasional roar of the jaguar nor the majestic birds of paradise,who are known to be notoriously loud with their shrilling annoying voices trying to impress their mates.It seemed as though nature was shying away creepily into sleep and the only thing that could be heard was the monotonous shrilling of crickets and cicadas. The sun had now crept behind the mountains as the four of us tried to find a way down this dreaded place.Sergio was the first to climb down,Alicia and I were going next.As he made his way down,Alicia drew a sharp breath and pointed towards the ruins that lay below.A thick fog was engulfing around the pyramid.It was strange and unnatural as winter was months away.The other guide started to tremble in fear and hurried to climb down the slope.I tried to stop him but something must have spooked him,for he wouldn't listen and was determined to leave the place. Suddenly the pyramid began to rumble as though it was hit by an earthquake.The whole thing was falling apart brick by brick.Alicia screamed and grabbed my arm as I called out to Sergio-"Come back up!Its not safe...grab the other guy!".Sergio quickly held out his hand to his friend who was a few feet away from him holding on to a broken piece of boulder which would likely give away at any moment.But before he could reach him the boulder broke away and fell down taking the poor local with it.We could only hear a fading scream and a dull thud as he was quickly swallowed by the strange fog below.Sergio knowing that he couldn't do anything else had now quickly climbed up.The three of us were barely able to hold on to each other as the rumbling continued and the fog was getting thicker.Behind us was the dark abysmal pit and the way back home was engulfed in the ever growing sinister fog.All we could do was to hold on to our dear lives.But then the rumbling stopped. We were shaken with fear and awe.Alicia was still holding on to my arm and Sergio was trying to catch his breath.I for one was trying to get a hold of the bizzare events that had just occurred and I couldn't make any heads or tails of it.We were stranded in the middle of nowhere with no help from the outside world and this horrible place wouldn't let us leave. Somehow my scientific beliefs were completely shadowed by the paranormal. It was completely dark now and we decided we had to make another attempt to leave.I shone my torch at the pit behind us -it was dark,but I noticed that the walls of the pit were now completely covered with slime and it was moving as though it were alive! It moved slowly but steadily-outwards and upwards towards the edges-through the cracks- towards me-my heart began to race and my ears were filled with the screams of our dead companions. Impossible! - I murmured.But then I heard Alicia calling out to me which broke my trance.She and Sergio had found another way down ,through the broken stairs-parts of the stairs that broke off had now piled up below us making a crude platform towards the ground,but we had to jump.We shone our lights and jumped one by one,onto the platform and a few moments later onto the ground which was still surrounded by the fog.We held each other's hand and moved ahead carefully as we could barely see and the light from our torches reflected back from the thick fog.Still we moved on,the ground below us cracked and I felt as if I was stepping on bones and empty skulls.Alicia kept repeating that the place was cursed and once we were out of here we would never come back. "What did I just see? Who was that old man?", asked Patrick. "He's the vizier - the grand vizier. He speaks for the Gods…he's very powerful!", said Layha The three of them, Patrick,Layha and the kid- Zyan, sat down on the floor of the sack. Layha was preparing some sort of herbal tea. Patrick looked at her carefully. She looked no more than 30 years of age and was incredibly beautiful. Her eyes were blue like the ocean and her hair was dark like the night sky. Her movements were so graceful, like a dancer and her smile eased all his worries. He kept staring at her for a while but realised that she might find it creepy and started to talk while Zyan went outside to fetch some water. "Okay! I want answers… How did you know that I came from the future and tell me more about this vizier and the kings…" , said Patrick. "This city of Sumeria is ruled by three God Kings. They reside in the magestic palace up north and they protect us from foreign enemies. We survive here my farming the fertile land and grazing our cattle in the open grasslands. There is everlasting peace here and we live here happily. But there's a price for this peace- every few months, the vizier comes to our city and asks for able bodied men to go work for the construction of a holy temple in the palace for a few weeks. Many men went happily to serve their godly benefactors during the first time but they never returned…" said Layha. Patrick curiously listened to her story while sipping on his tea. "Why didn't they return?", he asked. "Nobody knows…", Layha replied, " when we asked about it to the vizier, he simply replied that their work's not yet over and that they would return soon. The vizier would return again in a few months and ask for more men. Hundreds of men have left with him for hundreds of time but nobody would return, when asked, the vizier would simply answer that it's an offence to question the commands of the Gods." "That's a pile of shh… lies!", remarked Patrick. "That's what I thought too- there's something fishy about this whole affair but one day something strange happened.", replied Layha. "Like what?", asked Patrick. "A few months back, when the vizier came for the men, he said that he would set up camp in the market and talk to the people and ask them about any difficulties they were facing. But his real intention was to meet me." she said. "You? Why?", Patrick asked. "I was called into his camp and told by the vizier that there's an important task that he would like for me to perform. There's this visitor that would arrive on a certain day at a certain place he said and my task was to acquaint him with this place and take care of him for a few days… Who's this visitor I asked. He said that he would arrive from the future … on a very important task.", Layha said. Patrick raised his eyebrows. "What?", he remarked, "was he talking about me?" "Yes indeed, he predicted your arrival and I was there waiting for you- he said that a great and imminent danger would soon befall on our city and this visitor would be our saviour!" Patrick almost choked on his tea. "You mean me? A saviour? Are you serious?", asked Patrick. "tis the truth! I have never lied in my life- tis quite dishonourable for a lady to lie.", replied Layha with great pride. "I really don't understand ….", Patrick shook his head in disbelief. "Which part?", asked Layha innocently. "All of it!!". replied Patrick in frustration. "I mean… firstly I can't belief that I've teleported 5000 years back in time and then these Gods…and…and… the vizier who can throw away people just by flicking his finger….and what's this talk about me being a saviour? I'm a nobody … ", he said.
Free reading for new users
Scan code to download app
  • author-avatar
  • chap_listContents
  • likeADD