Bolthole Halloween Story Thread: 'The Bolthole'

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Bolthole Halloween Story Thread: 'The Bolthole'

Postby LordLucan » Thu Oct 10, 2013 2:15 pm

The Bolthole

It was a cavernous wound in the cliff side; jagged like the rotten jaws of an extinct behemoth. Fangs of rock fringed the opening, crumbling and ancient as the great rent itself. The darkness in the hole was absolute, so dark it seemed to draw all colour and warmth from the mountainside. Wind gusted from the entrance, carrying strange scents that none of the dig team could readily identify.

The way to the hole was paved with bones. The ossified causeway crunched underfoot; every manner of beast specimen lay on the narrow path. But nowhere upon the desolate incline was there to be found a single blade of grass, or flowering shrub.

Professor Gerhardt peered over, as far as his harness would allow, kicking a clutch of pebbles into the abyss. He had expected some distant echo of his action to return to him eventually. But, after ten minutes, there was nothing. Nothing but the insidious, gasping breeze.

“What madness possessed the ancestors to flee here, of all places?” Gerhardt muttered to the man who stood beside him.

“I’d argue that’s what I’m paying you and your team to go down and find out, isn’t it?” the taller man chuckled.
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Re: Bolthole Halloween Story Thread: 'The Bolthole'

Postby He2etic » Thu Oct 10, 2013 2:32 pm

Professor Gerhardt glanced over at the tall man, raising his lantern. The second man's eyes were pools of shadow that seemed to absorb the lantern's illumination, dark and deep as the ocean's lowest bottom.

"I will not be coy with you," Gerhardt replied. "You are far from my first choice of employer. It's a man impoverished in spirit that does not care for the welfare of other men."

A mirthful smile spread across the man's face, as he rolled his moustache with a finger. "I'm not sure I have much use for a yellow belly, sir. Perhaps I should find another excavation team?"

Gerhardt cast his eyes down again, ignoring the insult. Never had he worked with a client he detested so much, least of all one he was about to trust his life to. He drew a breath and turned, handing the lantern off to his disliked companion. Gerhardt got on his knees and let his legs dangle off the edge. His companion took the line that connected to Gerhardt's harness and held it to his hip.

Slowly, Gerhardt found purchase on the walls and began to descend. His companion tied the line to a grounded hook, and carefully leaned over the pit to hand Gerhardt the lantern.

"Remember," Gerhardt urged. "It's one yank for pull sl-"

"And two for haste. Yes, yes. For God's sake man, this is just a preliminary descent to evaluate what tools you'll need for the job. Shut up and go already."
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Re: Bolthole Halloween Story Thread: 'The Bolthole'

Postby Tyrant » Mon Oct 14, 2013 11:57 am

After the first few metres the roughness of the wall diminished and became almost smooth, although here and there an occasional outcropping of a harder rock protruded from the surface. The angle gradually shifted to an almost sheer drop and Gerhardt slowed his pace accordingly, carefully feeling for purchase with his feet before shifting his weight and descending further. Already sweat was trickling down his back, though that had more to do with his knowledge of the drop he was poised over rather than any lack of fitness.

The light from above, already growing faint, was diminished further as his assistant Eric swung out over the void and began his descent. An extra pair of eyes was essential during initial explorations like this, and Eric actually did rock climbing in his spare time, which although very useful in this situation was a rather strange hobby for someone who aspired to be a professor some day; at least as far as Gerhardt was concerned.

He took a moment to look around, and realised with a jolt that the shaft had widened sharply without his noticing it. The lantern light was no longer enough to illuminate the other walls, and Gerhardt swiftly revised his expectations. It looked like this place was going to be far larger than he had anticipated, and he wondered what ancient secrets lay beneath his feet, just waiting to be discovered.
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