Monday, January 23, 2023

4. The Wabbit and a Surprising Discovery

The snake led the way. Another fell in with its undulation - and followed by the Wabbit, Wabsworth and Lapinette, they hissed their way into the catacombs. Their way was lit with hanging lanterns. Crumbling bones and skulls of all kinds lined the walls. The smell was peculiar. It was dry and dusty with the faint aroma of church. Here and there a lemon scent wafted through the air. Wabsworth knelt to examine the bones that lay scattered on the floor. "These are recent," he said. "In fact, this doesn't seem like Roman catacombs." Wabsworth was an android and his memory banks were capacious. The Wabbit nodded and so did Lapinette. "Someone else uses this place," said Lapinette. "I wonder who?" said the Wabbit, who could be a little vague at times. "Ssssshhhhhh." The snakes came to a halt and hissed long and hard. They murmured to each other. The Wabbit could only catch snatches. Lapinette flapped her ears. "I can hear musical chanting." It was audible only to Lapinette. The snakes slithered forward in a silent serpentine motion, heads swaying in synchrony with the music. Now Wabsworth and the Wabbit could hear it, They could smell scent. "A burnt offering," said the Wabbit. Wabsworth nodded sagely. They followed the snakes round corner after corner - until they came upon a door. The snakes melted away like fitful vapour. The door was old as Ezekiel and according to graffiti, he'd carved his name on it. Its iron hinges creaked as it swung back ...

[Bones by Wolfgang Eckert, Pixabay Catacombs by Hermut Kellner, Pixabay]