“Do you remember what I told you when you first came to be with me?” Bast shook his head yes, and stood up. He was anxious to go back out and explore the rest of the mountain, and he was not going to recite the words again. “Don’t go too far today Bastus, there is a storm coming,” the old man said as he sat back in his chair. With that the young child was out of the homely cave and into the sunlight again. He looked back one last time and saw the old man sitting in his chair, a smile slowly spreading on his face as he roasted his toes on the fire.
Bast hopped up along the rocks like he knew them well. He had to be careful, but it shouldn’t be too difficult, especially with its help. It liked to help Bast. It liked to show him things. It was tricky sometimes, reasoning with it. It had a weird sense of logic. Like a puzzle. He learned to use it, but first he had to learn what it was saying. He was still figuring that part out, but every day he understood more and more of its insane language. He found that he could ask it to show him the minds of animals. He found that it showed him things he may not want to see. Powerful things to come. Bast couldn’t contain himself anymore, and he smiled brightly as the thing whispered into his ear. He knew his time would come in just a few short years, and this “magic” the old man showed him seemed like nothing more than mixing powders and looking stern. “No, that was not for him.” He needed to bring forth his own magic, and he knew how could get answers to that.
The mouth of the cave was not really a mouth at all. More like a small slit in a rockfall. Bast knew that there was a cave under there, but getting to it was going to be tricky. He shuffled up along the rocks and wound his way up to where the small opening was. There was no wildlife here. To anyone else this may have seemed strange. No squirrels, or marmots on the rocks barking at his approach. No birds in the air to whistle warnings. Not even bugs would come within eyesight of this place. Bast was told this was an old place, a place of death and decay.
There was steam rising from the opening. Steam that stunk of death and rot. As he moved closer, there was a thought that kept coming to the forefront of his mind. At first it was a whisper, barely audible over the hum of normal thoughts. As he inched closer to the mouth of that cave, however, the whispers grew. Something unnatural was making this happen, and Bast intended to at least find out what it was. He approached carefully and made sure that he had solid footing. He was sure that he had mentally mapped this area well, and knew which rocks to step on, and which ones to avoid. The rockfall came down the mountain, like they all do. A big mess of granite that piled up around the foot of the mountain. He worked his way closer, and had to stop twice to take a rest. The cave was very close now. All he had to do was squeeze through this last rock, and he would be at the opening. Opening is a strong word. The mouth of this cave was under a rockfall, and was little more than a two foot wide slit that ran from higher up the mountainside, down to the ground.
As Bast made his way closer, he felt a pull on his clothing. He couldn’t be sure, but the whispers in his mind were getting louder. More chaotic. They were drowning his mind with thoughts of death and other things. It could not help him here, he realized. Either it could not, or it would not. He could literally feel it being drowned out by the cacophonous chorus of whispers in his mind. The first thing into the cave was his right shoulder. He wanted to go back to the safety of his cave, but it was too late for that. He had already set his mind to this, and he intended to find answers, or die trying. As this new thought spread into his mind, he felt a tug on his right hand. He let out a gasp and his eyes went wide. He tried to pull his hand back, but something was gripping it. Pulling it. He let out a shriek of terror, but screaming did nothing to help with the adrenaline soaked madness of panic. As he was pulled into the cave, the last thought he had before the world went black was of the old man sitting in the cave roasting his toes saying “Don’t go too far today Bastus, there is a storm coming.”