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When I was young, and adventure routine,
With excitement and newness still unforeseen
I was eager to spread my wings to the world
And seek more adventures as those wings unfurled
Within my long travels I happened to meet
Two other men, with friendships replete
One was named Beckett, the other one Flynn
And better friends there never have been.
We’d been together, ‘t was our sixth year,
And still our adventures made us cohere
To every madness – to every rave …
Until we decided to enter: The Cave.
With our ropes and lanterns and other such gear
It was into The Cave we then disappeared.
The light from our lanterns speared into the dark
We spoke very little - made no remark.
We found a small dry spot and then we assessed
This was a place we could stop now to rest.
I set down my lantern, and took off my hat,
When Beckett said: “Hey. Did you just hear that?”
I moved not a muscle, and my ears went to strain.
All I could hear were cave droplets, like rain.
Then … from The Cave’s bowels came a loud din
I continued to listen – then heard it again.
We looked at each other, but said not a word
Confused and startled by what we’d just heard
It wasn’t a moan, it wasn’t a gasp
But more rather like a guttural rasp
Then from The Cave’s deepened black hole
Came again sounds from a source with no soul
The sound was menacing, and one I despise,
I watched the fear grow within my friends’ eyes.
Instinctively then, we three moved as one
In that instant – our re-ascent had begun
I had been last in the line coming down
But first in line in this turnaround.
The lamp on my hat pierced through the black
And I looked for our markers to lead us back
To save our strength, nothing was said
Again - that loud sound which filled me with dread.
Somewhere behind me, then snarls I heard
Loud and vicious, run together and blurred
Close … so close … the Beast was so near
Adrenalin rushed through me to react to my fear
‘T was then I was hit by an overpowering stench
My stomach turned and my bowels went to clench
The odor blew past me, and I knew t’was the breath
Of the Beast of The Cave – its’ stench of Death.
I was near running, but down on all fours
Sweat was streaming from all of my pores.
Then I heard those terrible screams
The ones I keep hearing in all of my dreams
It was Beckett I knew in his shocked agony
Midst the snarled snapping of jaws I can’t see
I heard bones cracking and squishing of flesh
And my fear within gave new strength afresh
My fingers were raw from grabbing the rock
But on moving forward my mind had its’ lock
My stomach still queasy from the stench of the beast
I knew it was finishing its’ beastly feast
I screamed: “Flynn! Catch up to me!”
But took not the time to look back and see
For the beasts’ crashing against The Cave’s face
Told me it neared – and was upping its’ pace
In less than an instant, Flynn was there too,
His face in my hat-light was of a strange hue
And as he helped me get back to my feet …
Flynn turned around – t’was the Beast there to meet.
The stench overwhelming, but the sight was much worse
There standing before us: The beastly curse
Of layered scales in shades of dark gray
The rest of its body concealed in umbrae
But its’ eyes … its’ eyes … I’ll never forget
Rheumatoid yellow, and deeply inset
Its’ reptilian lids blinked just one time
‘Fore its’ lips peeled back - revealing the slime,
Glistening yellow over dagger-like teeth
Then oozed from its’ mouth to fall there beneath.
The beast reared up, we then saw its’ claws
Sharp and deadly within its forepaws
Towering above us, no sound the beast made
On beams of our lights had his gaze stayed.
Unexpectedly Flynn then turned to face me
… With less blinding light, the beast could again see
Why Flynn had turned I never will know
For the beast bit him in two, at his torso
And I was looking at Flynn – direct in his face
When the beasts’ bite his life did erase.
I screamed, and instantly away did I run
Away from the beast, and dead companion
Through the price of Flynn’s life, more time had been bought
To reach The Cave’s entrance – the goal which I sought
I heard its’ clawed talons scraping the wall
And prayed I’d not again stumble and fall
Then, up ahead, a small opening I viewed
And I saw my chance, to hope there exude
Twelve feet … six feet … then it was three
But the beast and its’ stench was there behind me
I dove through the rock-opening, scraping my head
But better that injury than ending up dead
I was elated, and about to rejoice
I then heard a scream – it was my own voice!
In my leg erupted intense blinding pain
Looking down I saw the bloodstain
My leg, through the opening, still was stuck out
There was but split-seconds,’fore I’d lose it no doubt
I pulled my leg back, and in but a flash
My shoe was removed by a clawed talon slash
I crawled back from the opening, then I could see
My wound was deep, from ankle to knee
Then suddenly through the opening came
A clawed talon whose aim was to maim
I quickly withdrew out of its’ reach
As claws shot through the openings’ breech
The opening too small for continued rampage
And the beast began then to voice its’ outrage
Its deafening roars assaulted my ears
Echoed Cave chambers and to my mind did adhere
I began attending unto my grave wound
Knowing I now was no longer marooned.
Another two hours ‘fore I crawled out The Cave
And many more days ‘fore I’d shed the shockwave
Of what had transpired, and what I had seen
But my damaged leg was lost to gangrene.
Now sleep evades me, for my horrible dreams
Show beams of light, and unearthly screams
Of Beckett and Flynn and The Cave we were in
I know tonight, I’ll re-live it again.
So, now you’ve the story, you’ve heard the deed
I swear is the truth I’ve herein decreed
And Beckett and Flynn are enslaved in their grave
And I lost my leg to … The Beast of The Cave.
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