You’re standing at the edge of the Pencatte Catacombs park, the part where the nicely-curated and protected catacombs are fenced off from the real catacombs, the deep tunnels hiding deeper magic that run under most of Pencatte.
Your group of friends has a tradition of Halloween dares, and this year, all your past dares have come back to bite you.
You’re going to go into the catacombs. Your friends are cheering you on, jeering you on, but they’re not coming with you.
It’s just you, these bolt cutters, and the darkness.
You slip through the gate, flip your friends off, and walk into the dark.
The sounds of your friends fade fast, too fast. The tunnel slants slightly downwards; you’re in a rough section, where the walls are braced but there’s no brickwork or other decoration.
The rational part of you says this is why the park part ends here – the park catacombs are not just cleaned and sanitized, all the bones gone, they’re pretty. Lots of carvings and fancy metal work and mosaics.
This part is just a tunnel.
The rest of your mind has other opinions.
This tunnel, everyone says, this is where the ghosts come out, and the gate isn’t just to keep explorers like you out, it’s to keep the ghosts in.
You feel a breeze from down and to your left. You can’t hear anything at all. Your flashlight plays over the tunnel, and in front of you it splits: stairs downward to the left. A slow angle continuing slower downward to your right.
You’ve gone in.
You could turn around now.
Of course, your friends would know it was barely filling the dare. Also, this would be a very short story.
But you could turn around now.
Or you could keep going. Left, where the breeze is, or right, where you’re not that far underground? Continue reading