Mike looked out across the expanse of water inside the large cavern. The filtered light coming in from the cave entrance cast the still water in an eerie green glow. The only sound inside the chamber was Mike’s own labored breathing after climbing down the moss slicked rocks to the cavern floor. There wasn’t even the sound of dripping water. That seems odd, Mike thought. Where did the water come from? There was no movement at all along the surface.
With his head lamp, Mike peered into the unending depths of the cavern lake. The water was crystal clear; he could see for what seemed like hundreds of feet below the surface. He stood at the edge of the water, in awe of its pristine nature. Then, at the very edge of the illuminated depths, Mike discerned something. There was the barest movement in the lake. But before too long he could see something begin to rise to the surface. A cluster of bubbles made its way to the surface; bobbing and dancing as they caught the light from Mike’s headlamp. Just before they reached the surface, Mike took a few steps back from the water’s edge.
The first thing that came to his mind was a methane leak from somewhere deep in the earth’s crust. In anticipation of the rotten egg smell, Mike covered his nose with the sleeve of his left forearm. The bubbles breached the surface, their tiny ripples raced across to the edges of the lake. After only a few minutes the water was again silent and still. Mike took his arm away from his face. There was no tell tale scent of methane in the air, but he did get the feeling that someone had just struck a match then blew it out.
He returned to the water’s edge and renewed his study of its depths. The light cast its glow down through the depths of the lake. Mike scanned the rocky outcroppings in the water for any additional movement. After what seemed an extended amount of time, he finally accepted that the bubbles must have been some sort of outgassing from deep within the earth.
As he turned to leave, though, his mind caught the appearance of a shadow way down beneath the surface. His breath caught in his throat. The dark shadow twisted and turned in the far reaches of the water; much too far for his head lamp to fully penetrate. Mike stood rooted to the spot, mesmerized by the apparition below him. Slowly, it began to rise. Mike’s mouth opened as he apprehended the size of the shadow coming nearer. Again he backed up and even stole a glance to the entrance of the cavern to figure his exit strategy should he need it.
The shadow changed its attitude in the water; instead of meandering to the surface in a horizontal fashion, it became vertical and raced to the top of the lake. Mike tried to move farther back from the water’s edge, but fear and extreme curiosity kept his feet firmly planted. His head lamp no longer pierced the water’s depths, but skimmed along the surface so the shadow stayed a mystery to his questioning mind.
At last, the shadow broke the surface of the cavern lake. A large reptilian snout emerged from the water, its tongue, long with a forked tip flicked from its mouth. The cavern filled with the unmistakeable smell of sulphur, as the dragon’s body fully breached the surface. Mike stepped back, stumbled, and sat down hard on the rocky cavern floor. The dragon spied him, glided to the edge of the lake. It opened its mouth fully. The last thing Mike saw was the heat waves coming towards him.
– – – – –
Inspired by moi’s Once More With Feeling. What thoughts come to mind when you look at this picture?
- Using the picture below write an entry using the picture as Inspiration.
- Write what feelings you get from the image, let your imagination run riot.
- Write a short story fact or fiction
- Please keep to 1000 words or less