The Other Dimensions ( chapter 1 )




There was nothing; Pitch black. Afraid to move, he stood there, shaking in fear.

After what seemed like an eternity, he felt something brush against his shoe.

Curiosity now competing with feat, he remembered the lighter he always kept with him. He searched frantically through his pockets. His groping fingers identified his knife, a stick of gum, cigarettes and, finally, his lighter.

He spun the ribbed wheel, sparking the flint in the hope that it would light. The pitifully small flickers of light illuminated his surroundings briefly. It showed his surroundings for just an instant, burning a visual imprint upon his retina.

He was in a cave of some king. He tried the lighter again. This time, he held down the fluid release at the same time he struck the flint.

The light from the flame was blinding; his pupils dilated rapidly, as they attempted to adjust. After a moment or so, he was able to focus, and he was able to examine the cave.

It was smaller than he had first thought; he had thought it was bigger, from his first glimpse in the initial sparks of light. The cave was roughly the shape and length of a city bus, and about a man's height wider. Looking up, he saw that it was very tall, tall enough that he was unable to see the top in the faint illumination of the lighters flame. All he could tell was that it expanded as it rose.

Surveying the back of the cave, he discovered a large, round rock, surrounded by smaller, thinner, lengthy stones. Beside it, there was what seemed to be some kind of bone. A closer examination showed it to be some sort of exoskeleton with a large hole in its side. It looked to him, as if it had had its insides sucked out by god only knows what. He moved towards it, trying to get a closer look. Suddenly, it flipped over on its belly.

"Shit!" He yelled out in fright, throwing himself off balance, and onto the round rock behind him. As he fell, the lighter went out.

Just before darkness engulfed him, he got a better look at the skeleton. It looked much like a giant crab mixed with a ladybug. It must have been two foot long, one wide, and a little less in height, with no legs that he could see.

He was thankful the rock had broken his fall. As he was getting up, he pushed against the rock for support. He applied pressure, and the rock seemed to give a little, as it if was not completely solid. Thinking nothing of it, he used the lighter again. Once more examining the huge, beetle-like skeleton, he gave it a little nudge with his foot, as if to make sure it was dead. Almost instantly, something jumped out of the hole in its side. It scuttled rapidly across to the other side of the cave, where it disappeared through a previously unseen opening.

"A way out," he thought, "I might be able to get out of this weird cave and go home."

Moving towards the opening at a brisk walk, he bent, in order to make his way down the tunnel. As he did, he heard something move behind him. He turned around quickly to see the 'rock' lifting itself up, using the thinner, long rocks, which were apparently its limbs, for support.

With this new development, he could see that this thing was not a rock at all. Whatever this creature was, it had an exoskeleton; just like the big, dead bug and the rodent-like thing that ran out of the cave.

This thing at the other end of the cave though, was as big as a lion, and still getting bigger. He stood, astonished, as it rose from the ground. It was climbing out of what was a big hole in the ground. Now fully emerged, he could see that the 'round rock' was actually the creature's head, and the small, thin rocks, its antennae, or something like it.

They were moving, waving around as if looking for him. He was now looking at its entire body; it reminded him of a lizard. He knew, however, that this was most definitely not a lizard.

It had four legs, but it seemed able to stand just using the rear pair. Each limb was about five to seven feet long, and terminated in claws that looked as though they could tear an elephant to bits. There was no visible tail. It stood roughly fifteen to twenty feet in height, and two to four feet in width. It was one solid color, a dark grey, almost black. The same shade, almost, as the rock in the cave, as well as that of the little creature that had run out of it.

"What is going on?" He thought.

Just then, he heard a rumble overhead. He also felt it reverberate through him. So apparently, did the creature in front of him. As the rumbling continued, fading slowly, its head opened like a blooming flower, revealing what looked like mandibles, but with eight fangs instead of four. It also revealed eyes that glowed brightly, and that were staring right at him. Another rumble sounded; but this time, it was accompanied by what could only be described as a larger creature growling or hissing. Somehow, it managed to be doing both at once. At that moment, the creature looked up. It leapt with astonishing speed and vanished from view. Looking up to see where it had gone, he saw the last thing he expected to see.

There were now dozens of pairs of eyes now visible. Thankfully, all of them seemed to be turned away. Apparently, they were not concerned with the small, strange creature standing at the small opening at the bottom of the cave. He could hear them now; moving higher; either running from what caused the rumble, or going to fend it off. Realizing this was probably his only chance to get out of the cave; he quickly bent down and started making his way briskly down the long tunnel. He could hear water beneath his feet.

"This must be how all the water gets out of the cave." He thought.

He was now sure; this was his way to safety and, eventually he hoped, home.

After a few minutes, he could see light up ahead, a somewhat reddish, orange glow. Speeding up, he could not wait to be outside, where everything would be okay, and back to normal.

"God help me." He said aloud, as he emerged from the cave. He was terrified by what he saw. "This is not right."

His hopes of safety and home were thrown away in an instant.

He was expecting to see green mountains and a reddish dawn or dusk, judging by the light he had seen.

Instead, he was staring at the most bizarre scene he had ever witnessed (and that, including what just happened in the cave). Instead of green mountains, he was standing halfway up a rocky mountainside. Whatever direction he looked, the scenery was the same. There was not even the tiniest amount of dirt anywhere, no plants or vegetation of any kind, nothing, just bare rock. Nothing but the dark, jagged cliffs for as far as the eye could see.

However, even that could not compare to what else he saw.

The sky.

It was indeed reddish, orange. But, it appeared to him as if the sky was on fire. An infinite number of bright red lines, or beams, were dancing over what looked like an orange veil. In some ways, it reminded him of the northern lights, with its green beams over a black veil.

Frightening, it was, at the same time, one of the most beautiful things he had ever seen. The atmosphere was hot, reminding him of phoenix, Arizona, toward the summer time. It was also very dry; there appeared to be little or no moisture in the air at all. He began to sweat from the heat as he stood there; trying to figure out what he should do next. After standing there a few moments, he both heard and felt the rumble again. This time it sounded muted, as if it were coming from inside the cave.

He quickly decided to make his way to the next mountain over. Partly to check whether he could see anything from the top, and partly to put as much space as possible between him and whatever it was that was in the cave. Thankfully, he could see a smooth path, carved out of the rock by the water leaving the cave.

After about twenty minutes of clambering, he made it to the bottom. Seeing a small pool of water, he examined it briefly, trying to see if it looked clean. Finally, he decided it was, and indulged himself with a few mouthfuls.

After his thirst was quenched, he looked up; staring at the mountain he was about to attempt to climb. From down here, it looked to be a much more difficult task than coming down the smooth path had been.

The first fifteen minutes of the climb was not as bad as he thought it would be. He slipped a few times on small, loose rocks, but other than that, it proved not to be very difficult at all.

About halfway up, he came to a much steeper incline. Seeing the many jagged rocks sticking out, and figuring there was plenty of footholds and places to grab to climb, he began his task.

After an hour of relentless climbing, he looked down. Disappointed at seeing he had not gone as far as he had thought, he estimated at least another hour of climbing. At that moment, his foothold gave out, and he began sliding, plummeting down the steep, jagged surface. He collided with jagged rocks, bouncing from one to the other uncontrollably.

One stone, crashed against him, slamming him hard in the side. He screamed aloud with the pain of the impact.

He had fallen backwards about seventy-five feet, before he hit a rock that was large enough to halt his fall. Lying there in pain, he lifted his shirt to check his injured side. He had sustained a small cut; there was not that much blood, and already there was a partially formed bruise. He put a little pressure on it with his hand, and again yelled out in pain. His rib, as far as he could tell, was either broken or badly bruised. He hoped for the latter.

He knows he could not just sit there on the ledge. He gathered his strength, and though still in a great deal of pain, he finally made it to the top. Exhausted, he stood up and looked out at the strange world he was now in, and was shocked yet again, at what he saw.

"Where the hell am I?" He asked himself aloud.

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Novel / Novella
writing stringbenderr
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A man awakes in a frightening world.