The moment that Selena Bodega stepped foot into the Pyramid of Dragons, as translated by English speaking colonists in the area, she lifted her lighter to the gasoline soaked towel at the end of a branch. Instantly, the area dubbed the “front corridor” was revealed in golden light and showed off the intricate carvings on the walls. Those carvings, of tall men and women, weren’t what Selena was after, so she walked past them without a second glance.
Selena was her own excavation team, and after discovering the Pyramid in the forests south of Ellaya, she wanted to do her best to find out why there was a lone stone structure in the middle of nowhere.
Coming to the large metal door that had stopped her in her previous excursions, she ran her fingers over the etchings half an inch deep in the dulled steel and sighed. She had finally figured out how to open the handle less door, or at least she hoped.
As she opened the satchel on her hip, her thin fingers wrapped around an item that she had found in the grass surrounding the entrance. In her hand was a silver dowel, a quarter of an inch in diameter and four inches long with a crescent at one end and a star burst on the other.
Selena stared at it for a few moments before she looked back at the door and looked for the slot that she had found on the second time she had made her way to it. In every carving in the “front corridor” had shown the dowel connected in a man’s ear, much like an industrial piercing. When she saw that, she looked wherever she could for the dowel, and upon finding it with a metal detector, figured that the ends would twist off. As it turned out, they wouldn’t budge.
Finding the slot she needed, she brushed her hand over the cobwebs hiding the depictions surrounding it. Above it was a picture of the starburst end of the dowel and below was the crescent. Checking behind her, she could still see the light of the sun filtering into the tunnel and pushed the crescent end of the dowel into the slot, following the directions as on the carvings.
The dowel spun easily in the slot and the crescent was now above the slot while the starburst had taken its place below. After Selena pulled the dowel out, she heard a scraping of metal and the lights in the hall began to go out.
Spinning around, the woman watched as something began to block her exit and attempted to run towards it. Her hands hit the object that had moved quickly into place and the dowel dropped from her hands. She didn’t bother calling out for anyone, as she was sure that her voice wouldn’t be able to carry over twenty miles past another metal door.
Another squealing of metal made her head turn and light began to pour into Selena’s carved prison in the hall. When she turned to look at the metal door that she had inserted the dowel, there was no door. Instead, there was a completed hallway and something causing a shadow at the end of it.
“Is… someone there?” she asked, shielding her eyes from the bright lights. She had forgotten the dowel completely in the dirt.
In response, a loud screaming infiltrated her ears before she began to hear snapping sounds above it. Opening her eyes, she saw the shape of a man above her with something in its hand.
“Thank…you…,” a low growl said before he reached down to the hand in which Selena held the dowel and pulled it up. Looking in her palm, the man tilted his head and placed a foot on her chest. It was then that Selena realized that she had been screaming and the snapping sound was the ligaments of her arm being torn as the figure began to pull her arm out of its socket.
Sobbing on the ground and unable to hold her torso since both of her arms were now next to her feet, the figure above her bent down to the ground at its waist and spidery fingers took the dowel out of the dirt. As it straightened back up, Selena saw a pale face with an extended muzzle and gleaming black eyes. At the end of the muzzle, red smoke came from two slits with black teeth bared beneath them.
The muzzle seemed to turn upwards at the edges before the lights went out on Selena and she felt metal around her neck.
Long talon like fingers twisted the starburst off of the end of the dowel and shoved it through the cartilage of a pointed ear. A deep rumble sounded through the hall and it kicked aside the headless body for those that followed him. Shoving the starburst end into the opposite slot and twisted.
“Follow…,” the figure growled before Selena’s screams were heard inside his gut and he stepped out of the “front corridor” with a red haze following the swish of his pointed tail.