The sacred enclave
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There's a path through the forest, if you now it, that follows a cleft in the hill down to a natural amphitheatre surrounded by lush green growth and tall eucalypts and a curved cliff-face. A waterfall cascades down over the smooth rocks, tumbling out into mid-air, forming misty tendrils of spray or gushing torrentially into the foaming waters below.
The pool is crytal clear apart from where the cool shower of water splashes down. Ripples spread out and lap at the sides of the lagoon, which is heated by subterranean forces. The water syphons away underground only to reappear on the surface further down the mountain.
I was standing there one night all alone, listening to the waterfall and sounds of the cicadas and crickets, enamoured by my own reflection wobbling on the surface in the faint glow of the waning half-crescent moon.
Something black caught my eye coming out of the trees. Flup! Flup!. EeeeR.
I could hear. Flup! and at the last moemnt saw the bat headed towards me. I ducked but he swerved upwards and away. Flup Flup. Big wide leathery wings beat the air as he circled above and came to rest hanging upside-down in a tree top. Just a flying fox, a very cute bat with orange and white fur and a canine snout. I could hear his echo call Eeer and others replying.
A warmth began to creep up my leg and my first thought was a snake. I turned my head slowly and tried to focus my eyes in the dim light.
From the pool a long liquid tentacle extended and wrapped itself gently but firmly around my leg and beagn coiling it's way up. I pushed immediately against the liquid but it just slipped through my hands and began to flow up and around my arms. I leant against it trying to break free but the waters began pulling me in, running around and over my torso and as I took my last breath I felt the warm waters smother my face and I was lifted and swallowed up in the pool, the waters crashing back behind me sealing me in the liquid crypt.
I woke to find myself in a room lit by candles with grey stone walls and large archways draped with fine white curtains billowing from the southern Zephyrs breath. I wandered out onto the outer terrace overlooking an eerie alien panorama.
The elevated platform overlooked the ghostly remnants of a ruined metropolis beseiged on one side by a frothing rabid ocean and a creeping vapid desert on the other. Building rubble and debris littered the grey lifeless streets of the abandoned city. The dilapidated structures, their paneless windows srtaring vacantly, echoed the willful destruiction as they fell about in disrepair.
Where the great shifting sand-dune encroached upon the city limits only the tallest of edifices poked through- the remainder smothered beneath the relentless suffocating mass.
The seething waters exacted their toll more voilently, unleashing one pulverising wave after another upon the oceanfront buildings, shattering structures into smithereens before greedily consuming the once inhabited lands on it's spume fleckued surface. The floatsem and jetsam lay strewn on
on its surafce like the crumbs of one almighty feast.
In the background a cragged mountain towers above the beleaguered city - the mist-ringed peak crwoned by a verdant plateua, waterfalls rushing joyfully down the sides vanshing mid-stream into clouds of spray long before they reached the valley floor.
The night sky above was filled with the twelve astrological constellations - the circle of animals. While an indigo-colored half cresecnt moon smiled down crookedly at the wretched vista stretching below.
There was a flash like sheet lightning. A liily-white nymph hovered on damselfly-like wings above a golden altar adorned with magical symbols and heiroglyphic script. She was garbed in a finely spun silk gown and postured elegantly, one leg extended down, the other crossed behind.
In either hand she held a heavy chain of wrought iron - the chunky links hanging lossely. Her head was wreathed with bay laurel and inclined to one side, an expression of sorrow and regret upon her face, eyes downcast following the looped shackles to her right.
On the altar two red-eyed demons glowered manacingly, their slimy black reptilian bodies armored with coarse yellow scales, their huge frightful heads, not dis-similiar to a bulldogs only larger and jet black like a panther armed with lethal incisors protruding from drooling flaccid jowls.
About their meaty necks they wore thick collars ornately decorated with preciuous gemstones and sparkling jewels set in such a way to spell a single word on each. The red-eyed beast on the left wore the collar Life, the other's spelt Death. Metal clasps attached the collars to the chains.
The lilly nymph raised her head and from her eyes golden shafts of light struck my own and I was memontarily blinded with a stabbing pain at the rear of my skull.
I stumbled backwards only to find myself back in the forest beside the waterfall pond. In my hands a heavy weight and the dull scrape of metal shifting. A deep rumbling shook me and a rotten stench filled my nose. I heard the squawking echo call of the floying fox setting off from his perch and froze as I glimpsed four gleaming red eyes glaring at me from the depths of the darkness so near.
Like the grasses showing tender faces to each other, thus should we do, for this was the wish of the Grandfathers of the World.