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.Preface. Underground Rhythms lives on the darker side of the horror genre - as in quite literally dark. The only light sources available in this pit of hell are the beautiful cave torches, and even they have their own darkness to deal with. The collection follows the events and happenings of a deep underground cave system run by Baphomet worshipers and dark necromancers, and the goblins have had enough.

.About The Author. Leith Brownlee is an atheist that reads religious texts in his spare time. He spends way too much time studying Gods that he doesn’t believe in, and falling in love with false prophets. Leith is also a writer, using this wealth of worthless knowledge to drive his dark and nihilistic writing.

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.Contents. 1. Underground Rhythm. Pg 5 2. Cave Torches. Pg 7 3. Liberation (Xixnat). Pg 9 4. Lilith. Pg 11 5. Collection Day. Pg 13 6. Home Sweet Home. Pg 15 7. Reanimation. Pg 17 8. The Goblin Domain. Pg 19 9. Portal Keepers. Pg 21 10. The Face Of Death. Pg 23

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.1. Underground Rhythm ~ A pure droplet of water rolled down the stalactite, building up momentum as it made its way towards the pinnacle. Hanging on tightly as it came to the end, realising the path before it, losing its grip and plummeting face first into the dank cave floor with a loud drip. The sound reverberating through the cave system, orchestrating its song with hundreds of other drips in all different keys and octaves, creating a melodic chorus for the ritual chanting of the acolytes residing within. Deep tones hummed with a demonic vibrato, resonating through the walls and causing the torches to flicker and dance. The single soprano of the group standing out above all the rest, the centre of the summoning circle, dressed in a crisp white robe. Her voice tearing through the stale air, screaming with glee, keeping the perfect note until her very last breath. She slumped down onto the altar of Baphomet. Her blood pooled in the carvings and the cracks, overflowing onto the floor. Each deep red droplet, rolling down the sharp crags of the altar, leaping from the peaks like lemmings, letting out a soothing drip as they mimicked the tones of their owner. Adding to the music of the caves.

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.2. Cave Torches ~ The tiny pitter patter of scampering could be heard around the cave. Two pairs of clawed feet dancing around each other playfully, their nails scratching against the rocky ground. Joyful squeals left their aged mouths as they matched footwork in gorgeous unison, the stale air becoming excited as the naked bodies flowed through it with an intense passion. A bioluminescent glow from the sheer heat of their red skinned love lit the surrounding rocks of the tunnel. The imps provided light for the inhabitants of the cave; demonic Torches for the underground civilization. They were ageless and had danced together since the cave first formed. Their infinite lifetimes spent with each other, knowing nothing of their world but love and dance. Knowing not even the flesh of their partner, the burning heat sensation of their hearts working like magnets to separate them. Inches of ash beneath their feet reminding them of their fate. Echoes of squeals turning to wailing, permanently reverberating through their shrunken brains, providing the music to which they danced. Tears of forbidden love cooling their hellfire flesh, keeping them from burning alive from their own lustful existence.

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.3. Liberation (Xixnat) ~ Shuffling sounds all around. Panicked scampering muffled by its light-footed nature. Hyperventilatory grunts and snuffles from a post-bloodthirsty rage. The small goblin kept extremely vigilant. Wing flaps of beetles too close to his sensitive ears caused him to flee to the ceiling, climbing and hanging with his clawed hands and feet. He crawled back to the corpse. In despair he tore his fraying hair straight from his scalp, bringing up clumps of blood with his roots. He dug deep into his own back in an effort of self flagellation. He punished himself as he looked through his master’s robes. A book of prayers and a sacrificial dagger. He snarled at the book with his receded gums and rotted canines. He used the knife to tear it to shreds, losing his sense of caution and croaking with glee. His eyes swelled with sudden realisation. The bite marks that he had left on his owner’s neck glistened with an appetizing aura. He sank his teeth into the sinewy flesh and began to satiate his infinite hunger. The goblin scuttled away after he finished his meal, hearing footsteps following behind him.

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.4. Lilith ~ The angelic statue stood with her irradiant glow, her hands cupped with interwoven fingers to form a watertight bowl. Her warm light filled her enclosed bedroom, blanketing the garden and its Caretaker. The slight smile that sat on her face with its pristine raised corners and full blossoming lips hypnotized her audience with a magnificent beauty. The Caretaker was blessed by her presence. He awoke from his slumber and meticulously inspected his master’s rose bushes. Most of the roots had no soil to grow through and instead just lay upon the hard stone floor, squirming and looking for weaknesses to penetrate. The Caretaker provided nutrients for each individual root, making sure that no one went unfed. So far, only a single rose had budded from all five bushes, the southernmost bush in the pentagram situated just ahead of the Angel, planted in the body of the First Sacrifice. To the east, a second rose was beginning to bud. This made the Angel’s smile grow. This made the Caretaker cry. He cried into the bowl until it overflowed into the cracks below. The Angel’s eyes with their deep caprine gloss began to cry too.

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.5. Collection Day ~ The walls migrated in non-rhythmic patterns. Little legs scuttled about to any free space available. Holes and ridges were ideal, places to hide from the infernals and the starving wanderers. Necro-cannibals scanning the floors for those that fell, crunching through their shells and lapping up all of the spoils within. Tiny incoherent screams were their dinner gongs as playful fingers ran across the walls, knocking off anything that came in their way. Buzzing and flapping noises annoying their way into the minds of passers-by as flies predicted the dead, hovering around their eyes, mouths, and anuses, waiting for their meal to arrive like a sick game. Corpses lasted mere seconds before being swarmed by an infinite number of dermestid beetles and ever-pregnant bugs, devouring as much of the flesh as they could before the body became nothing but an inflated egg sack of inedible hives. Filled with maggots and larvae. Ready to burst. The Bone Men wore grated masks and thick clothes of leathered skin to protect themselves from their workers. They were hunched, moving slowly and in unison. They used brushes to cleanse the bones of broken bug legs and microscopic dung. They placed them in their bone sacks and stumbled on down through the tunnels, the stench of pestilence following them.

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.6. Home Sweet Home ~ The hooded figure scurried through a long series of labyrinthian tunnels. Before each turn they checked behind them for followers, seeing nothing but the glow of cave torches long gone. As the tunnels went on they became much thinner and darker, but the figure carried on at the same pace. Their eyes began to glow through the shadow of their hood, two milky white circles glaring out from the impenetrable darkness. They arrived at a vaguely lit enclave with a single goblin curled in the corner, rocking as its flesh burned away from the fire all across its fur body. The Ritualist removed their robe. Their skin clung to each bone, defining them as perfectly as they could. Their organs seemed to be non-existent as there was a gaping chasm between the ribs and hips where the stomach should be. They sat down in a large patch of moss beside the goblin. Out of their robes they drew a dagger, book, and quill. The goblin cringed and the dagger was brought to its flaming arm, searing into its veins, blood gushing onto the floor into a small rocky well in which the quill was neatly resting. The goblin spat and screeched at the figure as they proceeded to write casually into their book.

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.7. Reanimation ~ The bones clattered against each other as they slowly drifted across the stone slab, finding their place amongst the countless other fragments. A low hum resonated from each one. A faint black aura clouded the gaps that muscle and ligaments once filled, remnants of the dark arts pulling them together. The Sorcerer loomed over the altar, witnessing with great intent the handiwork that he was performing. Sheer concentration bursting from the veins on his forehead, spilling out onto the bones beneath. Painting them red with sacrificial power. As the blood dripped down his temples it filled his empty eye sockets, pooling up in the cavernous expanse of his undead skull. He cried his blood onto the fully formed skeleton, each bone now perfectly placed. An anatomical masterpiece coated in a thick layer of life essence. The low hum turned to a loud grunt, passing through each and every orifice of the skinless body. The Cave had a new servant.

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.8. The Goblin Domain ~ A foul odour filled the deepest tunnels of the cave, a thick green smog of sulfur and sweat. It dripped its condensed ooze as it drifted towards freedom, lost cave dwellers and unsuspecting torches being moistened by the physical embodiment of stench. From the end of the tunnel came echoes of cheering, screams in unknown tongues, a collection of gargling and groaning with no particular meaning. The tunnel opened up into a compressed room, very wide and not tall enough for a man to stand, but just enough that goblins could leap and dance. They all crowded around the centre, all twenty of them, eyes bulging and mouths frothing over as they tried to contain their screams of glee. The room went silent as the center goblin drew an ornate dagger to the air. All around him, different shivs of rock and bone fragments raised in solidarity. He climbed up the back of the closest goblin to him, his skull crown just barely touching the ceiling. He was thinner and smaller than those around him, his head overgrown and inflated like that of a baby. Out of his fanged mouth he screeched through the thick silence ‘XIXNAT FIGHT’. The room erupted with screams and copycats echoing his out-of-tongue human words. The sound carried all throughout the caves, leaving no soul unaware.

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.9. Portal Keepers ~ A pair of large dragon-esque statues towered over the room. Fifteen foot tall monstrosities with cold stone looks across their faces. Their bottom lips hung down with weight, showing off a beautiful set of teeth. The stonework muscles of their bodies rippled with anger as they held position, their eyes were missing from their sockets, hollow chasms left in the skull. In opposing hands they each held a halberd that stood almost as tall as them, the blades intricately carved with runes and magicks sharpened to perfection by their own personal servants. Blood pooled around the bases of the dragons, not a single drop touching them. Between them stood a door. A door with no handles. A door with no markings. A door with no door. It was a gaping hole between realities, the ethereal tear that brought the cave dwellers here - that the ritualists sacrificed entire generations of lives to reactivate. To escape. But the statues will not allow it, the reanimators will not allow it, the cave will not allow it. This is their prison, their damnation. Hell.

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.10. The Face Of Death ~ The pool of blood that had coagulated atop the altar in its five-pointed carving began to coalesce in a slow methodical pattern. The blood streamed towards each vertex of the pentagram and as it reached the very tip, it separated into individual droplets which rose into the air. The orbs floated about to form a huge double-helixed pillar that gradually decreased in girth and increased in density as more and more blood rose from the altar. As the droplets grew closer once more, they began to bind together, forming the perfect human physique. The first limbs to appear were the feet, each toe being separated one-by-one until all ten digits were there. Then came the legs with powerful calf and thigh muscles, void of any kind of blemish or even veins. The torso began as a clean slate, slowly carving into itself unrivaled abdominal muscles and just above began to protrude a pair of perfectly round, nipple-less breasts. The arms and head formed simultaneously, with long, slender fingers being tipped with dark-black talons that she used to carve into her blank face an ever-permanent smile. Once she was complete, she gracefully landed on the ground, her deep red complexion not leaving a single mark as she tread. Left on the altar was nothing but a skull. She inspected it with her newfound hands, snapped off the jaw, and swiftly and without remorse, implanted it into her own head. 23


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Profile for leith.brownlee

Underground Rhythms - A Collection Of Flash Fiction  

Underground Rhythms lives on the darker side of the horror genre - as in quite literally dark. The only light sources available in this pit...

Underground Rhythms - A Collection Of Flash Fiction  

Underground Rhythms lives on the darker side of the horror genre - as in quite literally dark. The only light sources available in this pit...

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