I approached it still wanting desperately to run in another direction.
Stepping between the nearest set of trees, the gentle breeze suddenly stopped. There was no movement. None. Even the leaves in the trees above me stopped mid-movement.
Silence, as I’d never experienced, came over the entire forest.
The leaves on the ground in front of me began to move on their own accord.
They slowly parted from the center of the circle of trees leaving bare dirt behind them. Minutes later, the leaves were neatly piled up in a neat rim around the outer edge of the trees.
I stepped into the circle of dirt.
The icy quiet continued.
In the center of the dirt was a door size of a manhole cover.
Kneeling in front of the door, I touched it.
A small steel handle materialized from the bare wood.
It was as solid as anything I’d ever touched. I gave it a jank.
The wooden door gave way much easier than I had expected.
Flipped up in my face, Flopping back on the dirt behind it.
I stared at a dark hole in the ground.
Peered into the blackness. I Pick up a small pebble and dropped it into the hole. It disappeared into blackness.
Listening for a sound. Nothing. Not sound of it hitting water or dirt. A heavier and bigger stone went into the darkness.
Still no sound from below.
Shrugging my shoulders, I knew I was going to do all along.
Sitting down with my legs over the edge. I lowered myself into the hole.