This is for Sue Vincent’s Thursday writing prompt. If the photo inspires you, why not join in?
“Hey! Look! A hole in the wall!”
Above their heads, half-hidden among the ferns growing in the trickling damp, a half-moon-shaped opening yawned blackly. Without waiting for Jason, Danny jumped for a handhold, his feet scrabbled for a foothold, and with a lot of swearing and in a flurry of dislodged vegetation, he hauled himself over the lip of the hole, cave, tunnel, whatever it was. He turned. Jason was huffing and panting behind him. When they were both sitting on the flat stone entrance to the black hole, Danny peered inside.
“Wonder where it goes?”
Jason pegged a pebble into the darkness. They listened but there was no sharp retort of stone on stone. Danny shrugged. “Must have fallen into a load of ferns or something.”
“Ferns? Growing in the dark?”
“I dunno! Maybe we’re just going deaf. C’mon. I want to see what’s in there. It’d be a great hiding place for valuable stuff.”
“Or dead bodies,” Jason muttered, but Danny was already crawling along the narrow passageway paved with flat stones. Reluctantly, his skin crawling with the damp and the cold, and an unavowed sense of unease, Jason followed.
When both boys had crawled through what had once been the fort’s bread oven and passed over the sill of the much older passageway that lay beyond, the darkness silently filled in the space behind them.
The damp air throbbed with a twittering, the scratchy squeaking of human insect voices. Years and centuries of time oozed into the empty ruin, centuries and more centuries of pleading and crying, and the final, hysterical shrieking of those who know there will be no help. And above the layered centuries of distant screaming, the echo of hundreds of excited young voices:
Look! A hole in the wall…