The tunnel into the last cavern was shorter, and it hadn’t allowed Clare enough time to brace herself for what she was about to see.
The cavern was mostly empty, with the exception of a few stone pillars that jutted out of the water. Most of the pillars were cracked in half, creating small platforms for the residents of the cavern to reside. The whole room was bathed in pink and red light.
As she took everything in she wasn’t sure if she should be laughing, or screaming. The scenes laid out on top of the pillars were so perverse, so pornographic, that her mind could barely take it all in.
One pillar featured two of the creatures from the previous cavern dissecting one of the mermaids. Her chest was ripped open, and fountains of water, lit bright red, shot from her innards as their little mechanical arms slashed at her. On another a cherub was bent over, an arrow jutting out of it’s back, and an elf was mounting it from behind.
As the boat floated on, more pillars were revealed, each one more vile then the last.
The music from before was replaced with the loud roar of an orgy. The room was filled with screams. Some sounded like screams of ecstasy, but others… others were cries of pain.
Clare looked away, turning her attention to Max.
“What is this?” Max looked dumb founded. “Who the hell would build something like this? How has no one complained about it?”
“I… I don’t think it’s always like this Max.” She closed her eyes.
“What do you…” He froze. “Oh God, what’s going to happen when the boat stops?”
As if on cue, the boat came to a halt.
The scenes on the pillars suddenly became more frenzied, more violent. Clare could hear the sound of crazed, high-pitched laughter, horrible screams of pain. Then, as the whole nightmare reached it’s climax, everything froze.
There was a loud thunderclap, and water began to pour down from the ceiling in a violent rainstorm. In a matter of seconds both Clare and Max were drenched. There was something odd about the water, though.
The water was warm, and thick. Clare looked at her hands. It wasn’t water. It was blood. Blood was raining down on them from ceiling.
She looked up and could see that all of the figures in the room, every single one of them, were looking right at the boat. The mermaid who had early been dissected was sitting up, her guts hanging down, nestled in the top of her fin. Her attackers, those fuzzy little bastards with the long knives, stood, blades at their sides. The cherub was standing now, the tip of the arrow visible through his chest, and the elf stood behind, it’s pants still around it’s ankles. All eyes were on Clare and Max.
Then the laughter began. Softly, at firstly, like a chuckle. Quickly it was a riotous cacophony of sound that seemed to echo off the cavern’s walls.
“One has come home, but where are the rest?” The chanting seemed to filter through the laughter. “One has come home, but where are the rest? The Nameless want them home!”
The chanting grew louder, and the figures all through their heads back, their mouths open. The sound seemed to grow to an almost deafening level, and Clare was forced to cover her ears.
Then it all stopped. The room went dark.
The boat moved with a hard jerk that sent both Clare and Max flying back into their seats. They moved through the darkness quickly, as if rushing down a wild rapids. The boat bopped and bounced, the sides crashing into the sides of the tunnel. Clare and Max were tossed from side to side, and a few times Clare feared she was about to go overboard.
Then there was sunlight.
The boat pulled gently through the wooden, heart cutout, and back to the dock, moving as if nothing had ever happened.
When the boat reached the dock, both Clare and Max scrambled to get out. Clare began to brush at her clothes, trying to wipe some of the blood away, but when her hands touched the fabric of her shirt, she found it dry.
“What the hell?” Max looked at her, than glanced down at himself.
“Whatever is infecting this place is sick.” She glanced back at the ride, and she swore she heard the sound of high-pitched laughter. “Really fricken sick.”
“Shit!” Max began to frantically look around.
“What?” Clare was still trying to get over the shock after their little love cruise.
“My camera! I lost my camera!” Max scrambled back over to the boat. He knelt down the dock, and began to search the bottom of the hollowed out swan.
Clare turned at the sound of a giggle, and something shot out of the exit tunnel. With a thud, Max’s mangled camera landed on the dock.
“Max,” Clare nudged the destroyed piece of equipment.
“Yeah?” He turned towards her.
“I found your camera.”