The Vault
rating: +36+x

The door was heavy, and old, but still strong.  It sealed the passage tight, blocking even light from around its edges.  The hall was claustrophobic, and in near total darkness but for the dim, drooling light from the far-off stair. He beat on the door again, feeling the thick reverberation bounce through its solid core.  He could try and pick the lock, or bash it in, but that was not the way.  Not their way, never.  Respect was always foremost, even at the utmost end of need.

He folded back on his haunches, his sigh turning the dust on the long-abandoned floor.  He looked back, at the dim stair, and considered again just going back, letting it go.  He thought this way for a long time, then stood with a new, more burning resolve. He went and knocked again… and again… and again.  He hammered on the door.  He beat on the door. He slammed his fists over and over, thundering against its mocking, ageless weight. He beat his fists until they split, spilling blood that looked like deeper, slicker smears of darkness onto the unrelenting wood.  He threw himself against it, biting, clawing, gouging at the wood like something rabid and in pain.

Finally, he slowed, then stopped, pulling away from the blank wood with an almost sheepish slink.  He folded back up again, letting the split, reeking flesh stop pulsing and start to knit over. He turned the black, pulsing mass that gave him sight to the door again, split tongues lolling as he chastised himself for his reckless, misplaced hatred. They had gone, those many, and hidden deep in their vaults.  This may be the last, the very last flake of rotten flesh left of their abandoned body.  Their endless impatience had called to them for correction, so…they had come. Man had hidden deep in their vaults, their short-sightedness leaving them no retreat, no escape.  

Now they waited, delaying their final lessons with every futile breath… But to worry and to lose one's temper was not the way of the People.  He resolved that, once ages had turned the door to dust, he would show them the folly of hope.

One eon at a time.

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