SPREADING WIDE THE ENTRANCEWAY INTO MYSTERIOUS CHAMBERS
MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 10, 1979
Night cannot have come soon enough for me. I rush into sleep and dreams. I focus my concentration. I try to recall the prior night’s dreamscape. At first, darkness swirls unfocused. I stop the swirling motion and force the darkness to disperse. The prior image of the rain forest jungle coalesces into solidity.
Suddenly, I’m blasted by cold air. I sense a powerful malevolent presence watching over me. The malevolent presence then whispers in my ear with a sultry and seductive feminine voice.
Corazon, dear Corazon.
“Damnation! It’s that voice again. Why do you have to sneak up on me like that? You almost scared me half to death.”
Scare you? No. Challenge you. Do you not remember? We are the way to your destiny. You must try to help that girl. This is part of your destiny. And why you must come to us. If you dare.
The laughter slithering into my mind is like serpent’s tongues. The ravenous dark night suddenly swallows up the sun. The sky is dark with clouds and is bereft of the moon. Off in the distance I hear the calling of hungry jaguars getting closer.
I see on the top of the ridge ahead of me a road. I approach its hopeful safety. I run down the road, terror, frustration, and anger give impetus to my feet. I fear that the jaguars have my scent and they’re coming after me. I run in desperation, not knowing what else to do.
After a while, I have to stop to catch my breath. I get up the courage and check out what’s behind me. Off in the distance I see their glowing yellow eyes. There are at least four of them. They have stopped their pursuit, and they are simply sitting and watching me. I can feel their hunger and their hunter’s confidence that, I, their chosen prey, cannot elude them.
Each of my fear-filled breaths takes in icy cold air that burns my throat and lungs. If I stand still much longer, I won’t be able to do anything except shiver, either from the cold or from the sensation of dread. I must move to keep warm and to keep the hope of survival alive.
Over the haggard sound of my own breathing, and the pounding of both my pumping heart and my adrenaline-filled legs, I hear from behind the pursuing rhythmic sounds of approaching doom. I slip, stumble, and fall. I scramble to get up. I hear the jaguars closing in on me. I try to increase my pace. The dirt road I’m running on, goes on and on, to nowhere.
A voice inside me tells me that I’ve slowed down. It tells me I must go faster, but I can’t. I don’t have the energy. I plod forward as fast as I’m able.
Hmm. As my speed lessens, so have the jaguars. They’re allowing me to set the pace. They’ve been keeping the same distance from me for all this time. They must know that I can’t out run them, and they have no interest in ending the hunt so soon. I go on with them relentless in their pursuit, waiting for me to simply drop from exhaustion.
Then there’s a remarkable new sound. The magic of the sound soothes my fears and lifts the feelings of doom. It’s a women’s voice singing softly. She calls to me. Beckoning and enticing me. She sounds like a sultry angelic siren. Her voice causes my heart to pound, in ways very different from moments earlier. I want to follow that alluring voice, wherever it leads me. Hopefully away from all this, and quickly, to safety.
I follow her voice back into the darkness of the jungle, realizing that I’m traveling a circuitous route, into the hills behind the temple. I have to keep my arms up in front of my face, to protect it from the low hanging branches, while I mechanically trudge onward, following the voice’s lead.
Ahead of me is a very high hill. I don’t know if I can make it up and over. This could be the end. I’m certain that I haven’t the strength to get up that incline. I should just collapse and let the jaguars have me. In response to my despair the siren’s voice comes from somewhere behind the dense and curling growth of vines and vegetation that covers the hillside, urging me on to greater efforts. While the jaguars start to close in, I consider my options. The voice is coming from inside the hill, which means, there must be a cave entrance somewhere! I must find it, soon - or all will be over. I frantically probe amongst the berry laden and thorn covered vines. My hands get stained and cut up, but I ignore that irritation. Its minor compared to the fate that awaits me from the hungry hunters that are getting ever closer.
Then I see it! I see a thin vertical opening. The voice echoes outwards from within the interior of a cave! How will I be able to get through that narrow cavity? I slide my hands between the moist sides of the opening, which surprisingly yields, to my touch. I carefully, and gently, spread the entrance wider. There’s a momentary resistance and then it’s gone. As if, there was some barrier that I tore through. I slip into this dark and mysterious passage.
I turn and expect the jaguars to leap through the vines and be at my throat. But, it doesn’t happen. I hear their muffled roaring of frustration as they pace in front of the cave’s covered entrance. Their howling once terrifying, now only adds to the dream’s ambiance. They know I’m here, yet they can’t get through. I don’t bother to even consider why or what has happened; I’m simply glad to have gotten to safety. I try to catch my breath and wait for my body to stop shaking from fear and exhaustion.
The cave is surprisingly warm and both the walls and floor are soft and moist. I hear the enticing voice softly calling to me and, leaving behind my thwarted hunters, I follow it into the darkness. I realize I’ve arrived. I’ve managed to make my way back into the obsidian temple. The dark stones of the temple have a blood-red tinge. I hope this disconcerting coloration is only the effect of the setting sun’s scarlet twilight.
Eventually I come upon a spiral stairway carved into the rock. As I go up, I feel a warm breeze coming from some secret source ahead of me and once again, I smell that honey and vanilla orchids. I arrive at the hallway where I’ve been so many times before, outside of the strangely carved wooden door.
This time, the door is open a crack. Yet, when I go to open it wider, my efforts are frustrated by a strong counter force. It prevents me from going beyond. I definitely feel that someone is taunting me. The warmth and the trail of perfume led me on, and yet I’m refused entry. I wonder once more if the secret to the way in is to be found in the cryptic carvings. If I can decipher them, maybe I will discover the way beyond.
The image of the burning letters on the door seems to be familiar now, but the haze of heat still keeps me from seeing clearly. The secret of the carvings teases my mind. Somehow, she, who led me here, allows me to catch only quick fleeting glimpses of understanding, but then the knowledge is coyly covered up.
The rising dawn’s light finds me angry and burning with curiosity still pondering the door’s secrets. I’m exhausted and frustrated from all the thinking, which has not brought me any closer to opening the entranceway. Then shafts of daylight carry me out of my sleep.
KEYWORDS: H P LOVECRAFT, LOVECRAFT, DREAMLAND, DARK FANTASY, FANTASY NOVEL