The cave stretched out dark and long ahead of the little band of travelers now irretrievably lost. The light of their torch sputtered and wavered in the unearthly gusts rising from deep within the ground. The bottom of the cave was slick with bat guano, moisture, and some slimy substance they tried not to think too much about. Death sat heavy in the hot dark air around them, suffocating, threatening. And then from behind them came an unnatural wail that drove itself through their heads, scraping at the fragile walls of their slipping sanity.
“What was that?” one asked.
“The wind?” another answered.
“It must be.”
“The wind. It must be.”
They knew that it was not the wind. They waited to hear if the wail would come again, but it did not. They continued their trek through the sweltering shadows toward the perceived source of the wind. The wind must signal a way out of this pit, they had reasoned. Where the air moved they would find their salvation. Where the air moved there was life.