Making my rounds inside the stonewalled prison
Working inside a prison is much like working in a cemetery for the place is filled with zombies and walking undead who fill the bunks and dormitories like skeletons from the grave. The moment you enter the huge outside gate, the metal grinds as the locks twist the two heavily hinged black painted panel sections of steel shut and locked by the flip of a switch located twenty five feet about in a secure tower.
Armed with a rifle and sidearm, the officer checks every corpse, cadaver and person who walks through those gates night or day, the procedure is the same. The prison is like a castle, huge walls with silver razor wire surround and capsulation of life sustained only by the will to breathe and survive.
From the entrance down below, the path leads to a huge wall that shows bullet penetrations where the firing squad practices their executions in front of the eyes of the undead who witness such voracity to kill with an equal appetite to kill any officer that comes near them unprepared and unarmed to fight their lust for blood and killing.
Coming upon the partially hidden steel door near the stairs, there lead a pathway under the other cellblocks and buildings where catacomb tunnels of death are spread out like veins throughout the body. At the access point, there is a checkpoint where another officer stands with shotgun and sidearm, waiting to verify your identity and purpose into the catacombs of death.
The door opens, the darkness catches your eye and your hands reach for a light so you can see you way down the stairway to hell, as the metal creaks and the smell overcomes the pedestrian walking through a tunnel that reeks with mildew and other vile odors.
Another smaller door opens and the space opens up like an open field, underground without sunlight and without fresh air. Then suddenly the tunnel narrows and the girth of the field has been reduced to the size of a tennis court.
Down the numerous hallways with light in hand, the darkness brings an eerie feeling of fear if you are new or not used to walking the catacombs in darkness. Passing several closed portals and gates, you can tell the temperature is dropping as the frost begins to exit the mouth as your breathing is labored
On one side of a tunnel is the infirmary where the infected are carried away and buried. Then, as you walk towards the end of the main hallway you can find a large wooden chest filled with gear that is used to forcibly extract the undead from their cellblocks or dormitories if they resist or refuse to come out of the darkness.
Next to the chest are gurneys for those who cannot walk or have expired while buried underground for any length of time. These survivors are rogue in nature and troublesome to keep under control but the catacombs of darkness keeps them alive and hidden until they die.
Spiders, large spiders the size of a man’s head are all over the ceilings. They attack if you get to close but normally remain passive rather than aggressive since they are fed daily and kept content by those who are assigned caretakers of the catacombs of darkness.
Spare no water and spare no light, for the scorpions are active and join the spiders in their feast if a victim is found or wandered into the darkness without a light. As the spiders or scorpions get too close, the officer attacks the creature and knocks it down off the wall or ceiling finishing it off as it is still alive and kicking when it hits the floor.
Kicking it, stomping on it and clubbing it with the light, the lifeless beast is no longer alive and will be fed to the other when mealtime comes around. The creature is decapitated, dismembered and put inside a bag as its head, legs and chest are heaved into the cloth burlap bag for feeding time.
The catacombs are endless, there infinitive lengths is anyone’s guess and as you head own deeper into the abyss below the ground, there are more stairs and more rooms as the stench gets stronger and the elevation deeper. Shining the light through what is now a fog or mist, you spot a human skull near the end of the run on the right side of you and as you step gently out of the way, you know someone had wandered too far alone and was eaten or devoured by the creatures hidden in the darkness.
You make your way around bones and piles of skeletons left there for the last decade or so as the cemetery up above is full and no space has been found to bury the dead with any decency or covered with dirt. The death rate is high and the frequency is often but the catacombs of darkness hides all that happens underground as well as what occurs above when the lights are turned down or the rooms are filled with complete darkness.
Continue your way around, and take another set of stairs that lead you to an open room where the light from above shines through a window connected to somewhere up above. This natural light serves as a means to navigate the paths now surrounded by water almost frozen as the temperatures drop below freezing.
You pick up the pace, you are surrounded by the cadavers of the human race and suddenly you find yourself staring at a mirror. A mirror that shines in the darkness and gives you a view of your mortality and weakness in your armor as you enter the dungeon where you meet the dragon.
You stop and open the chest there in front of you and take out a weapon forged to be strong and able to kill with one swift by mighty swing of the blade to the head as it falls on the stone floor of the dungeon.
A distant roar, a flame of fire and a sound that sends chill down your spine as you are aware, the dragon is away and willing to protect its lair from any intruders including those with the light.
Before you head into the direction of the fiery flames, you take out your blade and pick up the pace to prepare yourself for battle as the weapon forged can kill anything it touches if you need to defend your honor or life with such vengeance.
Suddenly, your foot feels something solid on the floor and stepping on a pressure plate hidden, it opens the door to another catacomb that leads away from the dragon as you hear the roar but return the blade to its holder focusing on following the tunnel that now leads you down the main path as you see an open door at the end of the hallway knowing you are close to leaving these catacombs of darkness.
You made your rounds as you were told to do, your courage carried you through the entire journey underground and following the catacomb of darkness. Your spirit, your courage and your strengths has earned you renewed respect and as a reward you are told you no longer have to walk these catacombs of darkness.
You head back to the light, you cross a wooden planked bridge and the light becomes brighter. You hear the wooden plank break so you jump across the water and as your foot reaches the other side, you can feel something tugging at your other foot still in the water.
With all your strength you pull yourself clear and find yourself on the stone floor again safe and away from the water. You see the stairs, and take them up to the light as you breathe heavily because of the steepness and the stairway comes out at the end of the tunnel where you can see the stars up in the heavens.
Not yet clear of any obstacles or prisoners kept there in the darkness, you have been warned not to talk to any prisoners that calls out to you and if one does, you must kill him after you open the cells that hold their weakened bodies.
Walking now on fresh green grass, you realize there are no more infected bodies, no cadavers or skeletons around you. The smell of the air is chlorophyll as the grass is freshly cut and odorizes the entire area with chlorophylls.
Tonight, you did not have to kill anyone, nobody called out to you and nobody was released from their cells. There was no need to pull the levers that unlocked them and no need was there to swing the blade forged to kill. Last but not for the last time, you found no enemies to kill or pierce your armor.
Resting your feet, you sit down to eat, as your stay in the officer’s room is brief but close to the cellblocks where the prisoners are kept inside their cells 23 hours a day with one or two hours a week of time inside one of those darkened catacombs you were walking.