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All that Glitters?

Guttering torches cast eerie shadows that dance along the wet, slimy walls of the long forgotten catacombs. Water lies stagnant and still, pooling where the age old floor has fallen and worn away. Ahead in the dark, reflections glitter gold and silver, shimmering as the torch flames flicker closer.

As the tomb robbers approach, a glistening film retracts into the dark, leaving only a thin sticky film over the scattered coins, bits of armour and other debris that lies scattered among the moist dirt of the passage floor. Eager hands grab and claw at unguarded treasure, turning up old belt buckles, bits of tough leather and the odd half decayed old shoe among the coins. A glistening gossamer slurry descends the walls and forms into a quivering mass, silently enveloping the would be robbers, who realise, too late, All that glitters is not gold

A scream as burning pain sears bare hands and faces, cries of anguish as movement is curtailed, gelatinous slime oozing around legs and bodies, eating into cloth and leather. Desperate frenzy of movement, fight, fight, slash, flail.... the cold grip of Death veiled in the glistening guise of a silent, mindless killer.

A hiss and sputter as bright fire shoots pockmarks and boiling hollows into the enshrouding mass, causing it to recoil, at least in places. A breath of air roars into bursting lungs as the slimy tendrils retreat from the heat of flaming torches. With great effort, bodies pull free from the cloying gel, pain still searing their skins. Compatriots they ignored in the rush for wealth pull them clear of the massive slime now coalescing into a huge uneven blob with writhing fluid tentacles, pulsing with violent colour and shooting acid coated tentacles like whips into the fray.

Wielding torches like swords in battle, the group retreat up the strangely worn steps into a large room, their mindless foe slurping and slipping after them with strange sounds, still pulsing vibrant threats of rage tinted colour, leaving an acid coated trail smoldering in its wake. Victims are washed clean, with water, wine, holy water, washed in the putrid pools, anything to stop the acid rot, their screams still echoing in the dark, haunting the many passages like woeful souls.

Copyright Andy Warner 2004

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