Stalactites hover, forcing me to stoop as I snake my way through the icy tunnel. It’s under zero degrees and the temples of my head are aching so much I fear they will break any moment.

Every breath is a loss of self. An incremental death. I keep losing the warmth that comes from within, now enveloped by this cold.

In this freezing underground, what was invisible in the sun now shows itself a mixture of grey and white. Steam coming out of my mouth. My heart is doing all it can to stay warm but the ghosts in the tunnel feed on light and heat.

Red blood, quick blood slowing down like a snail. The next heart beat is harder to make. The chansons of the chest are evanescing into low violinist tones. Lower by the second.

It looked like diamond when I approached. Glittering in the light of the sun. Rainbow all around. Was it ignorance or short sightedness? It wasn’t too clear then but it did look inviting.

From the desert of sand, and parchedness, the cools of the tunnel invited us in. It didn’t occur to me how these two were juxtaposed against each other, but for relief, I did not care to ask.

In I went and the moments that began were bliss. Cool diamond. Sweat brought to an end. Thirst in an instant relieved.

Until I began to change with this place. Soon all the heat gone, it demanded more. I was cooled down but I needed to give more. Warmth, food for the cold.

I decided to get up and find my way out but by now my muscles were taut and my sight blurred further by the mist on my glasses. No amount of wiping could stop the mist.

Unto groping for a way out. Stooping below the piercing and cold stalactites that were the roof of this place.

It’s getting colder, and my bones are becoming more and more brittle. My eyes are losing their light. My heart is slowing its beat. I fall like a log onto the floor.

Outsiders stay outside. They find their death when they go in.




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