I nearly went blind as I peered into the cave for the first time : the reflections of the pale blue pools of water shimmered across the ceiling and the walls.
Massive, impenetrable sheets of ice had long asserted themselves on the cave, not unlike the vines selfishly claiming ancient castles as their own.
Those who had ventured through this cavern before me had claimed that gazing upon its maw was like gazing into the maw of one of the massive, hellish fire eels that occupied its lakes: like angler fish back on Earth they attracted their prey with luminous glands, but the eels’ glands were instead found in their throats, making their job quicker.
I couldn’t tell if I was shivering from the cold or from fear, but I eventually swallowed whatever it was and took my first step into the gaping maw. Each step was followed by moments of silence and trepidatious glances, in fear of alerting whatever lurked behind the stalagmites. Nothing emerged. Relieved, I continued slowly into the maw.
That was when I heard the sound of ice crunching behind me.