Unseen Things
rating: +15+x

Drip, drip, drip — the cave is dark.

Vague shapes can be seen twisting and turning against black rock. Vague light from outside passes through tiny, falling waterdrops, wiggling their way between the cracks on the rocky ceiling. There is continuous dripping, slow and fast; a cacophony of strange echoes piercing the silence. The noise of dripping water travels through the dark tunnel, echoing deeper and deeper until there are no ears left to hear them.

Or perhaps there are — but the world does not care. There are no fallen men in the depths. There are no cries of children. There are no concrete cities, no rotten pages of lost books, no lost symbols chanting the names of unknown, unknowable, unknowing monsters. There is nothing there.

Why would there be?

The constant dripping is shortly broken; a new, unnatural noise breaks the asynchronous harmony of sounds and echoes. It is the noise of a waterdrop shattering against a metal cylinder.

The cylinder is one of four like it, all affixed to the black rock. Four metal pincers furiously bite the rock and keep the cylinders in place, aided by a long, thin spike that pierces the ground and grows deep beneath.

Each cylinder extends from a tubular, iron mainframe. It is large, much larger than you. The tubes hum and creak, always making just enough room for the moving parts. The mainframe's presence is revealed by the soft, almost unhearable creak. The pieces are rusty, if just barely, and the rust whines subtly against clean metal.

The machine keeps going for the entire height of the cave, and then some. Large, moving gears and cylinders extend from behind, making their way through the surface. Some parts even beat, barely slower than the dripping noise.

An emaciated, perhaps malnourished creature is pierced by the machine. Its gray skin is spread across the large metal bed. Seven arms and legs are carefully held in a circular position, pierced by wooden spears at each sharp pike. Its head is untouched, and each of the seven eyes stares freely, just above a gaping, round mouth.

There isn't much to look at — the walls of the cave are black, of course — but each eye is focused, tightly fixated on something.

What does it see?

It sees the round, jagged opening, just a few meters to its right, that leads outside — that leads to the sea. The endless, intimidating sea, that the creature can barely remember.

It sees an immense, right-angled beast, decorated with numerous, massive proboscises and orange, rectangular, featureless eyes that stretch across its body. What the creature sees is barely the immense tip - its front shell, perhaps. It seems that the creature is lying down, using its shell to keep afloat. It has no limbs, no wings, only rectangular structures on top of the shell. It is perhaps dead, with a city built on top of the discarded shell. It is only barely illuminated by the potent lighthouse right above the cave.

The beast is zeroing in the sharp ridge, filled with gaping holes all across. It floats ever closer, as if taken by the ocean. Its vaguely triangle-shaped tip cracks open, splitting into three pieces, and a longer proboscis extends from the opening, undoubtedly making its way onto a hole, and connects with an unseen mechanism. As it closes by, the lighthouse makes the beast's features seen — it is a metal fortress, and its long body is covered by large, gaping mouths, dripping fiery red. It keeps dripping, and the crucified creature believes it does in the same rythm as its cave.

Soon, the creature feels dizzy, almost in pain. The machine mainframe operates faster, faster, faster, moving and beating and howling, and the rust whines stronger, scaring away the dripping noise. All sense of direction is lost, replaced with absorption and efficiency. The creature is upright, tense, trembling.

The dizziness abruptly gives way, faster than usual. The creature goes back to its seat, bloodless.

Each of the seven eyes returns focus to the metal beast, already too far away from the lighthouse. Its maws have closed, and its eyes have changed from orange to a much healthier red.

The beast slowly fades from view, and continues its travel. The creature can hear happy, faded snickering coming from it, right before it simply disappears. Each of the seven eyes then stares back at the black, rocky wall. The seven eyes roll back slowly, one at a time, and are covered by a stream of white, intangible liquid. The liquid drips down the body, and drips down the machine, running down the cave. They are perhaps tears. They are perhaps happy. They are perhaps nothing. They are perhaps something else, only known to the crucified creature. But its mouth will not speak, because it does not know how.

The dripping shyly returns, as the machine's noises die down and the beating stops. The creature stares at the wall, its alert sight affixed to it.

Because, what else is there to stare at?

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