The Tunnels of Tad-Dlam – Part 1

Sara had only ever heard of snippets about the caves. The area around them was called Tad-Dlam but it wasn’t until her teens that she had found out that meant “Of The Dark”. Of course, the locals told stories, secrets and whispers about the dark underground hollows that ran below their feet and the spirits that thrived in them. Not being considered an “authentic local” despite her parents arriving before she was born, so Sara was never included in these conversations. Whenever she enquired regardless of if it was at school, shops, post office the people of the town hushed up. She was not one of them.

“Sara…” The voice started when her mother passed away.

“Sara…” It was quiet to begin with, more of a whisper than a voice but increasingly it was more and more insistent.

“Sara. Find me”, it hissed at her in the darkness late at night when no one was around. Grief, Sara told herself. The voice would leave her when she had stopped grieving but did a daughter ever really stop grieving for her mother? She didn’t think so.

Time passed and the whispering, hissing voice became part of normality. It whispered in the darkness until she fell asleep and then it invaded her dreams. As winter approached and the days contained more dark than light, the voice spent more and more time inside her head. “Find me. Sara. Find me.”

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Winter came and went and spring began its inviting chorus. Each day Sara walked down the little path that led through the garden to the gate. The garden had been her mother’s pride and joy she had spent hours pottering around, clipping, trimming and planting. They had often joked the Greenhouse was her second home.

As the anniversary of her mother’s passing approached Sara took to the garden. At first, it was little bits trimming the trees, and hedges and cutting the grass. Sara had never been green fingered. As the little garden responded to her attentions Sara’s confidence grew and soon she decided it was time to take the next step in tackling the Greenhouse. At first, the sight of her mother’s apron and gardening gloves caused a lump to rise in Sara’s throat and she had just grabbed the first tools she needed and headed back to the garden. Steeling herself she decided it was time to evict the cobwebs that now consumed all the equipment her mother had treasured so much.

The Greenhouse seemed to encourage the voices. “Find me, find me Sara”, they whispered into the enclosed space. Ignoring them Sara began to pull each item out into the garden. Giving some things a clean and wipe down others stacking in a ‘to be discarded’ pile. The work was hard and the light began to fade but it had taken so much strength to get to this stage so Sara was determined to continue. As she heaved and lifted and cleaned and sorted the voice spoke to her continuously almost like a rhythm to the tasks.

“Sara. Find me, Sara…

Sara. Find me, Sara. ..”

As Sara emptied the bottom racks of the shelves her eye was caught by a crack extending out under them. She pulled the cabinet out and saw it extended under the wall to outside. Climbing from her knees she walked outside to the greenhouse. This side of the garden hadn’t yet been touched. Nettles and bramble bushes grew far and wide. Sara thought and scratched her way through until surprisingly she came to a large opening. The earth had fallen in just outside her greenhouse. Yet the way the ground opened appeared to slope downwards.

Sara’s curiosity got the better of her and she found herself ignoring the cuts and the scrapes of the gnarled bushes snagging at her skin as she pushed her way back to the greenhouse to go in search of a torch. Dusk provided a warning red glow in the sky but she was oblivious. She had to get a torch. The voice no longer whispered it championed her. “Find me, Sara. Find me.”

Relieved she found the tool she needed and returned to the opening, enticing her in like a venus fly trap to a spider.  Flicking on the torch she began to descend.

Waiting - Tunnel - cavern - image by Sue Vincent


Written in response to Sue Vincent’s prompt – #writephoto. You can join in this weeks image or have a gander through the many interesting posts inspired by this wonderful photo by clicking here. KL ❤

 

 

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