19:48

“Christ! Where have I landed myself?” he said, cursing himself. He was standing in front of four dark entrances that led to darker tunnels.

Chadwick, 22, more popular as Chad, always had a passion for camping and discovering new things. He loved adventure. Ancient stuff lured him. He had gone camping and hitch-hiking several times, sometimes alone and sometimes in a group. However, he personally liked exploring alone…taking his own time and at his own leisure.

One such ‘unaided’ trip happened to bring him across the ‘Satan’s Hill’ that boasted of copious tunnels of the ‘House of Hellish Frights’. He sat down on the grass and turned on his laptop. He wanted to Google the place before entering it, like he always did. All he discovered was that the Satan’s Hill was 315 years old and that it was known for the execution of death sentences in those days. On searching for the ‘House….Frights’, he came to know that those were never-ending, haunted tunnels. He also came across the factual stories of those who ventured to see the sights of the tunnels and never returned back.

The web results, however, failed to deter him from going into the tunnels. He was accustomed to such stories which stared him in the face every time he set out of his house for another exploration.

His virtual search led him to a map that showed numerous snake-like tunnels that seemed to have no end. He took out his portable printer and printed a copy of the map to guide him through the endless lanes beneath the surface. He checked his backpack for the things that he might require: Torches, spare batteries, water bottles, first aid box and some munchies. He stood up and gazed at the hill while his wrist watch ticked away. After a few moments had passed, he checked the time. His digital watch flashed 8:17. He said to himself, “C’mon Chad, its time. Lets do this!” and he proceeded towards the hill…unhurried at first but then gaining speed.

He sent a silent prayer to the Heavens and entered.

In about 20 minutes, he stood at the entrance of one of the tunnels. He could see nothing beyond the threshold. Nothing but darkness. He sent a silent prayer to the Heavens, switched on his torch and stepped into the dark tunnels, his heart pounding. Such adrenaline rushes weren’t new to him.

He chose to walk along the walls, a wise choice. As soon as his palm came in contact with the tunnel’s wall, he realized that they were slimy. He couldn’t understand the logic of the walls being slimy. Nevertheless, he walked on…

After walking for about 30 minutes, he turned around and saw that he hadn’t come a long way; he could still see the opening of the tunnel! He decided to increase his speed. After a few moments, he encountered a turn. He turned, blocking the view of the opening of the tunnel. Complete darkness embraced him now. He still had the torch in his hand but the plastic object failed to alleviate his uneasiness. He kept walking, praying and exploring the tunnels as he strode on.

It was 10:00 and Chadwick was still going on, taking short draughts every now and then and tallying his location with the map. Suddenly, he stopped. He realized that he had reached the end of the tunnel he was walking in. The air around him had changed and he could smell something strange. He walked a bit further to see what was the source of the weird stench. He stopped short. He stared at what lay ahead of him in bewilderment. He just couldn’t believe what he saw…just couldn’t…

Ahead of him lay thousands of human skulls and incomplete, decaying human skeletons. He knew that this place was the place where death sentences to enemies and criminals were executed. What he didn’t know was that the bodies were dumped in these tunnels.

Ahead of him lay thousands of human skulls and human skeletons.

He took out his camera and took several photographs. As he was returning the camera to the backpack, he heard a noise. He turned around and with the help of the torchlight scanned the tunnel. Nothing. He heard the same swishing sound again. This time he stood still and tried to make out the direction from which this sound was coming. He swirled his torch and saw a rat scuttle away. He was damn scared and on comprehending the fact of the situation, he chuckled. He returned back to surveying the…the creepy…place.

He didn’t know what was in store for him.

After he had collected enough evidences of the sight before him, he sat down to take some rest and before he knew it, he fell asleep.

Chad woke up to the flapping of some wings. He immediately directed his torch towards the sound and found a colony of bats flying overhead in the tunnel. He checked the time. It was 4:43 p.m. then. He sure had slept for long…

He got up, ate an energy bar and proceeded. The tunnel, at this hour, was seized by an eerie silence, except for the rare sounds made by its nocturnal inhabitants.

…the never-ending dark tunnels…

“Christ! Where have I landed myself?” he said, cursing himself. He was standing in front of four dark entrances that led to darker tunnels.Chad stood there, trying to make up his mind. Impulsively, he entered the second entrance and kept walking. Soon, Chad encountered another turn and came to a dead-end. This spot was characterized with engravings of all shapes and sizes. They were all faded and worn out and Chad could hardly make out what it was that was engraved there. He again took some photographs and turned around to go the other way when suddenly he thought he heard someone call to him. He stood still and heard again but to no avail.

He took a slow step and peeked into the tunnel he came through. As soon as he aimed his torch, it went off.

“Shoot!” he said.

He quickly replaced the old batteries and as soon as he switched on the torch, he saw nothing. He heaved a sigh of relief and stood straight, scanning the tunnel. Zero. Nothing at all. It was getting late and he wanted to get out of there as soon as possible. He started jogging. After a short while, he stopped. He felt a shudder. With his pulse racing, he called out, “Anybody there? Hello?!” No answer. He supposed he was hallucinating when suddenly he felt a tap on his shoulders. He turned around…nothing.

As soon as he turned back around, a deafening sound rang up in his ears and a bright light blinded him. He stepped back, trying to see but the noise was piercing in his ears and the light prevented him from seeing anything. He kept on stepping back and he fell. He fell into a void. Complete oblivion. The last thing I know is that, he lay there on the grassy ground, motionless. His dead eyes staring at the stars overhead that seemed like angels smiling down at his lifeless body…pitying him.

It was a huge loss for Chad’s family. Chadwick’s life had come to an end at exactly 7:48 p.m. on the 24th of August, 2009. Nobody knew what had happened in those depraved tunnels on that unfortunate day, but whatever it was could not be explained…

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