Ambrosia [A short horror story written by Matthew Munsey - Edition 2]
The darkness was suffocating. All around him Thomas clawed and beat at the cold, wet stone that lay now, resolute, beneath his now trembling knees. From one end of this dank, moldy cavern to the next, Thomas clambered frantically. With each traversal willing himself to find something other than more of the same, but to no avail. Block after great polished block laid together with such precision Thomas could not fit one fingernail between then. And they just went on and on. Endless. But still, he crawled, from one end to the next, determined to find some hint as to where he was, or to how he got there. Thomas must have scratched his mark into each and every inch of the darkness when, finally, he relented. Thomas slumped, defeated now, in one of the four musty corners of this great stone cell. Misery ensued. Thomas thought about his life, his friends, his family. Were they looking for him? No. No, they wouldn’t be. Not with the way that he had left things. Laying his face in his hands, unable to contain the panic and fear within him, Thomas began to sob. His great wails of sorrow echoed throughout the room, reverberating from one corner to the next. Thomas was sure now, that it was over. When suddenly, there was light.
A brilliant beam, cast from somewhere high above the cavern floor, now shone down it’s magnificent, luminous sphere. And set in the center of this radiant glow was a pedestal. Decorated with carvings of warriors and beasts, of lovers and villains. Decorated too in words and letters. All symbols that Thomas would surely never understand. But they were beautiful. The stark image of a young woman, stabbing a great roaring beast through the heart. A man, sitting alone on a tree stump, ax laid down beside him. Defeated and friendless by no one's doing other than his own. A large pond, on one side of it a young governess, seemingly in great agony. On the other, a young girl, and, something else.
The words too were beautiful. Mesmerizing even. Swooping dashes, lines, and circles, conjoining triangles. Long curvaceous configurations of language so mysterious and tantalizing that Thomas could do naught but stare upon them, transfixed.
Still slumped in the corner, staring into this vibrant beam of illumination, Thomas rose. Now on his feet again, for the first time in what felt like a lifetime, Thomas carefully ambled across the room, and directly into the great beam. As he crossed the threshold of the glowing sphere, warmth and happiness filled him suddenly. For the moment he had forgotten where he was. That he was trapped and alone. That he was frightened. Even that he was Thomas at all.
Before Thomas, the great pedestal now stood. It’s storied visage arced and swirled about its magnificent stone body, each depiction somehow even more beautiful than the last. They were addicting. Every nuance of the stone was chiseled and carved to heartbreaking perfection. And now for the second time tears began to well in Thomas’ eyes. The beauty of the thing was simply too much to bear.
Thomas must have circled that stone pillar what felt like a dozen times before he realized it. A small, dingy pewter chalice, completely at odds with the majesty of the pillar that it sat upon. Approaching carefully, Thomas peeked over the lip of the dirty, grey metal, and gazed into the swirling depths held therein.
The liquid inside looked thick and disgusting. Sitting there, at the bottom of the chalice, a mysterious solution unknown by sight to Thomas other than by instinct. Terror rushed over Thomas’ body. Suddenly, it was like he had been here before. But just as quickly as the overwhelming burden of fear had encapsulated him, it was gone. In its place was thirst. A thirst so mind-wrenchingly overwhelming that for a moment, Thomas thought that he would go mad. Reaching violently for the chalice, Thomas grasped its thin neck firmly in his now shaking hands. He stared deeply into the liquid, simultaneously drawn to its abstruse nature, and repelled by bit. But suddenly, he took a sip.
The repugnant stench of the concoction filled Thomas’ body whole. Retching, Thomas nearly threw the chalice from him in disgust. But in the end, he held firm. Calming himself, Thomas stared again, aghast, into the now briefly undulating mixture. Disgusted, he took another sip. Horror surged through Thomas’ body, nearly flinging him from his feet. Bent over double, again Thomas wretched and roared in his profound agony.
Before he could stop himself, he drew another gulp. And then another. And another. The inferno in his belly raged and rumbled. A calamitous vociferation of pain and suffering wrought only by his own misdeeds. The chalice was only half full now. Dismayed, Thomas took another long, greedy swig. The thick, malicious liquid swirled calamitously in Thomas’ gut again. The pain was immeasurable now. Unable to contain himself, Thomas cried out. His scream echoed countlessly through his stone encasement. The dank catacomb rang out with his misery and its mirth.
Staring into the chalice, now clasped so firmly in Thomas’ hand that his knuckles were as white as death itself, the liquid curled and billowed. The undulation of the liquid was not unnoticed by Thomas, but at this point, he simply couldn’t be bothered to care. He took another mouthful. The thick, burning potion eeked and trickled down his stung and ruined gullet. Every inch of its pilgrimage more agonizing than the last. Pain beyond pain.
Unable to contain his lust any longer, Thomas drank deep. He drank and drank until every last drop had been emptied into his wide and welcoming cavity. But still, he wanted more. Shaking and twirling the dingy pewter chalice above his now gaping mouth, Thomas silently prayed. More, was all he could think. More was all that he needed now. The few drops that had clung to the heart of the cup had released themselves unto Thomas’ eagerly waiting tongue, but they did little to appease his lust.
The chalice was empty. Thomas couldn’t believe that it was true. He knew nothing. Not that he was trapped. Not that he alone. Not even that he was Thomas. Only that he needed more. Staring desperately into the pewter cannakin, Thomas finally noticed it. A small flutter, as if a minuscule creature had been trapped within the dark ambrosia all along. Thomas stared, momentarily forgetting about his dark desire. There was no time for that now, after all. Suddenly it flew open. An eyeball planted firmly into the base of the chalice. It was beautiful. Blue and soft the iris gleamed in the light still shining from on high. Its jet black pupil sparkled and danced. So white was the sclera that Thomas nearly had to blink in its radiance. But he did not. He only stared. And then there was darkness. And it was suffocating.
Hey Reader, thanks for reading! Please like and follow if you liked what you've read, and feel free to resteem! See you next time. ~ Matthew Munsey