Day 10: Pattern

Art by Rhett Backstrom | Twitter | Instagram

There’s a shirtless guy with a camera. He’s walking through a forest with a camera faced towards himself. He’s alone.

“Hey guys! It’s Ryan. Welcome back to my YouTube channel. As you can tell, I’m not in my usual setup.”

Ryan pans around in front of him, offering a view of a dense evergreen forest. Above the trees you can barely see the peak of a mountain.

“Boy do I have a surprise for you guys. You know how where I live it’s normally raining? Well, the summer held out for us a little bit longer and we get to go explore a cave I’ve been hearing about from some of my hiking friends.”

He’s not really dressed to be exploring a cave. Shirtless, shorts, Adidas running shoes, and a backpack containing some unknown gear.

“I’ve been hearing rumors that this cave has some scary stuff inside. I’m so excited to see. You know I’m not really one to believe in the paranormal. It’s, like, probably just some local kids trying to scare people.”

He turns the camera back around to show the trees clearing up a little bit and it’s a little darker from the shadow of the mountain. His hand goes over the camera and something is twisted to bring in more light.

“We’re almost there, I think. And, man, it’s getting a little colder as we get in the shade. Good thing I came prepared. I don’t think we’re more than like a mile and a half from my car.”

He balances the camera on a stump so it’s facing him and he opens the backpack to pull out a grey Adidas sweatshirt.

“Dude I hope I don’t ruin this sweatshirt. I just got it. Guess I shouldn’t have brought this one for a cave.”

He shrugs it off knowing he can afford another one if needed and returns to filming around him as he approaches the opening of a large cave. He doesn’t say anything for a second and takes a mental note to put some royalty free music in the background while he pans around the scenery.

“Well, this is it guys. Let’s see if it’s as creepy as everyone says.”

But by the way he says ‘creepy’ you can tell he doesn’t take it seriously. He’s now in the mouth of the cave and has to attach a light to the top of his camera.

“Can’t believe it’s this dark in here in the middle of the day. We’re not even that far inside yet.”

He films in front of him. The cave has a little bit of standing water on the ground, but it’s easy to navigate around. It looks the same for a long time before there’s a fork and he takes the middle of three paths.

“We’re going into the cave as deep as we can. I want to get to the bottom of this stuff. I bet it’ll make a cool video-“

His eyes widen and he flips the camera back around. There are three lit candles on the ground and some broken glass with some kind of knife discarded to the side.

“I don’t know how I missed those further back. Oh well, I’m sure it’s some weird kid thing. Let’s keep going.”

He says this with less enthusiasm as if he’s starting to believe there’s something creepy going on here.

The path continues. He keeps seeing more candles and his talking seems to cease as he starts contemplating the scene more. His breath can be heard as he walks faster.

A noise is heard from deeper in the cave and Ryan jumps behind a pile of loose rock. His breath can be heard louder now and the camera is clumsily turned back to his face and one of his fingers goes in front of his lips before the light is cut off.

A couple of seconds pass before the light is flipped back on and a house cat can be seen running towards the opening of the cave with a mouse in its mouth. Ryan turns the camera around and laughs.

“It was a stupid cat. I knew nothing was happening here. Let’s keep going anyway.”

He’s having to convince himself now that it’s all good and well so he can keep filming. The video is going to be uninteresting and he’s trying to find ways to save it. His editor will have to work some kind of magic and they’ll have to come up with a really clickable title.

He should have been paying more attention, but before he knows it he’s standing in the widest part of the cave that he’s seen so far. An eerie red light is above him and he quickly looks up, the camera following.

A gasp can be heard as he realizes he’s filming what looks like some kind of satanic symbol. His feet go on autopilot and carry him closer. The thing is huge. The detail in its eyes looks like…

“A mouth,” he whispers, shakily now.

“Ryan.” A deep voice says. It’s a man. Ryan freezes before he feels a tight grip on his shoulder. “We’re so pleased to see you have decided to continue the pattern.”

The camera drops on the ground, filming only a wall now with a dim red light illuminating it. Ryan’s screams and pleas can be heard.

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