Chapter 1

The air was stiff with dust like a dirt road after a drought. The dust that formed with every step threatened to make Micon lungs useless to him. Breathing was harder with every move he dared to make. Every second he was getting deeper into these old tunnels. The cold burned his bronze skin. The temperature was getting colder with each minute that passed by. He rubbed his forehead with his tattered hand trying to relieve his tired blue eyes from the clutches of his hair that fell over them. The musty smell of the tunnels clogged Micon's nose. The smell reeked of death and despair.

In the silence of the dark tunnel came the occasional pattering of feet along the cold concrete floor which made Micon's skin feel like a thousand tiny spiders were running along his body. Micon rested his bruised and beat body against the wall. The wall had a strange wet feeling to it. Micon touched it. A warm liquid, which was on the wall, had begun dripping from his hands to his bare feet forming a small red puddle. Realizing what was on his hand, he rushed to wipe his hand on his brown shorts. Micon did not want to picture what the liquid could have come from.

Micon stood still. A noise had caught his attention. Something was watching him. He looked around. Then he saw it. The golden eyes of a Retorox peered at his panicked face. Inches apart the creature smiled its devilish grin. Micon glared at its powerful fangs that could snap through him in just one bite. He slowly backed away from the beast. Stumbling on the rocks below his feet, he desperately tried to get away, but his legs gave way beneath him. "You can't escape", the rocks small, desperate whispering voice floated through his mind," Give up! Come to us! Become the land that lives under your feet!" everything he knew of this strange land was a trick. Everything that was allowed in this place only wanted his life to be destroyed. Vines came from the large cracks in the walls. Their green tentacles pushed their way through the ragged walls. Their sharp thorns pricked at Micon as the vines slowly forced their way around his body taking hold of him. The Retorox watched. He was waiting. Micon's eyes flooded and his face turned the shade of blue from the lack of oxygen. The vines were closing around his face. Panic arose in his chest. This must be the end for him. When the last bits of the vines were closing over his body he could still see the Retorox watching, but only barely. It was watching his prey, which laid there, utterly hopeless. As the vines closed, Micon could see the Retorox walking up to him. His slender body flowed with every movement as if he was made of water, not every evil thing that can inhabit a person's dreams. The creature bent down and laid his muscular human-like hand on Micon's chest and smiled. Micon's eyes rolled back into his head. Then all became total darkness.