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My name is Kyle. I work as an explorer, that is, I explore different forgotten or unusual places. I have a small team, three friends: Jim, Andrew, Paul and me. I really love my job, but every time I go to some ancient place, I remember that fateful day.

My father was the best explorer in the country, and he had been to many places. He really wanted me to be an even better explorer than he was, and he always took me with him. So, one day he went to an ancient temple that was in the middle of the forest. And naturally, he took me with him. When we went in, it was very dark, and the only thing that illuminated us was my father's flashlight. He led me through long and old corridors. And then he took some kind of figurine, and then... Everything went completely dark.

I couldn't see anything, but I could hear it. I heard my father whispering and screaming. From the sound of it, the temple was collapsing. I was ready to die on the cold floor, but when I woke up, I was in the middle of the ruins. Unharmed, I lay near the stones and some of the surviving walls. I looked for my father, but I couldn't find him. I didn't know where to go, the forest was far from home, and I was just walking down an unknown path.

Then, I went to the police station and told them that I got lost, that I had gone on an expedition with my father and lost him. But I didn't say a word about the temple, about the figurine, about the ruins... But let's get back to the story. I and my team were having dinner at a restaurant. We talked about the robot and the girls and laughed at each other.

And then, Paul interrupted everyone and said:

”Guys, look at this place I found! It's in the woods, 120 kilometers away. They say there's an ancient temple there, why don't we go?”

" Yeah, you want to make fun of my past? It's not funny, bro. Finish it.” I said. Paul often alluded to that day, but never said anything bad about it.

”Look, I'm really telling you! Here, see for yourself.”

And indeed, that very temple. Everything is the same, everything! I couldn't believe it, it must be a reconstruction or something...

”Well, we can check it out, but I don't think it's the same temple.”

" Whatever, the fact that there's an ancient temple right there in the woods is cool! We have to go there tomorrow.”

" What time?” Andrew asked.

”I don't know, maybe like 6:00 a.m.? If it's later, there's traffic.”

“Okay, let's see you tomorrow then, get some sleep and meet here at 5:50."

Everybody went home, and so did I. I watched some YouTube videos and fell asleep.

The next day I packed my bags and drove to the meeting place. Everyone was there except Andrew, but after about 5 minutes he came too.

"Let's go, shall we?" Said Jim.

"Come on, get in."

Paul started the car and we hit the road. We had a fast car, so we got there in about an hour and a half. There was a big dense forest, and I immediately remembered that day. I was walking through the woods like I was drunk. The flashbacks were making me sick, but I concentrated anyway. Then I heared Jim's voice.

"Guys, we must be lost..."

"What? We came in like two minutes ago, how did we get lost?!"

Paul took Jim's JPS, but there was no way he could find the route we had taken into the woods.

"Bitch, here we go. How are we gonna get out now?"And right after he said that, we saw the hills, and in the middle of them was a huge and old temple, like it was made of gold. We stood there looking at it like it was a portal to heaven. And then I felt sick with the familiarity of that picture. It was the same temple, I swear!

"Are we going there?" Andrew asked.

"No, we just came to get lost. Of course, we're going! Come on, let's go in, all of us!"

"Guys, why don't I wait here? I don't feel comfortable..." Goosebumps ran all over my skin. This temple, it's ruined, how?! How in God's name is it standing right in front of me, without any cracks or signs of reconstruction?"

"Fear not, do you know how many temples like this there are? Come on in, nothing will happen to you" Said Paul. He was very persistent.

"All right, then," I said reluctantly. We went inside. It was bright at the entrance, but then it went dark. We switched on the flashlight and began to explore the corridors. I was worried that something might go wrong, like last time. I was trembling with fear, but I kept going. All my friends were telling jokes and making fun of the ancient drawings, but I didn't care.

And then, in the light of the lantern, I saw two figures. It seemed as if someone was holding the hand of a child and walking quietly. I wanted to scream, but out of my confusion, I just froze in place.

"What's wrong with you?" Jim asked.

"You didn't see? There were two silhouettes, like a child and someone else!"

"Really? Where?" Andrew asked this time.

"There! There!" I pointed to a corner near where there was an aging structure, like a statue.

"That? Uh, a statue?"

"It's not! By it, right there!"

"Well, let's see" Said Andrew. We went to the place where I saw the two silhouettes, but we didn't see anyone else. I thought I was hallucinating from fear and excitement, but I was sure they were there.

Suddenly, the ground shook, and we fell into some kind of hole. My God, it was horrible. That hole was deep, five meters deep. And when we fell in, there were little broken pieces of human bones. And there were rats and bugs running around underneath them.

"WHAT THE FUCK IS THAT?!" Paul almost screamed in surprise and horror. I remember exactly walking this way with my dad, but I swear there weren't any holes or pits or anything like that. That's where I started to get all twisted up with horror. I'm a very skittish person, and can you imagine falling in a thing like that?

"Okay, don't panic. Let's find a way out of this hole" Jim said. He started pulling everything out of his bag and found a folding ladder. His backpack was big, he could fit anything in there."Thank God, Jim! I didn't expect you to bring a ladder."

"We're going to the temple, there's room to scramble," he said with a smirk. We miraculously got out and continued on our way. We were all walking as carefully as possible, for this was obviously more than one hole, and there might even be something worse waiting for us...

We walked for a long time and nothing happened. We found some interesting things we took with us. I was starting to calm down a little, and I was almost completely calm, when suddenly I heard Jim's worried voice.

"Wait, where's Andrew?"

We all looked around but didn't see him. That's when it all hit me. I started screaming and calling out for him, and we looked everywhere for Andrew, but he was nowhere to be found. I really wanted to get out of here, but we couldn't find a way out. It was like a huge ancient catacomb that had been forgotten about as soon as it was built.

We walked in despair down the old corridors of the cursed place. Jim and Paul were no longer the positive people who had been joking and laughing the whole way. We all walked in silence, occasionally asking questions like, "Where do we go now?" "What's out there?"

Then I saw those silhouettes again, and this time, I could totally see them in the light of my flashlight. Then, my whole life flashed before my eyes. That man, He... He was my father. And that kid, that was literally me. I mean, it was me, but 20 years ago. I remembered the day I lost my father, that figure. And then, those figures went somewhere.

I ran after them through the corridors, and then, right in front of my eyes, a huge rock flew over. It almost gave me a heart attack. Who the fuck could've thrown that?! I had a panic attack because I knew someone wanted to kill me. Then I ran headlong down the other corridor. I wasn't thinking about anything, I just wanted to get out of here and forget.

But then, I noticed that Paul and Jim were gone. I froze in terror. I screamed and called out for them, but all I got was silence. Not knowing what to do now, I took out my shovel and tried to dig.

Then, I heard a loud rumble, and the wall next to me literally collapsed. I was shocked by this. When I looked in that direction, I saw another corridor, but it was much brighter than the others. There were torches burning there, and I concluded that whoever wanted to kill me lived here. Clutching the shovel tightly in my hands, I began to look around. But what I saw was something I would never forget.

There were real heads hanging on the walls, and lots of them. Women, men, teenagers, all kinds of people were there... Among them I noticed something strange. When I saw it, I jumped back in horror and screamed at the top of my voice. There were the heads of my friends. Jim's head, Paul's head, and Andrew's head... God, I'd never felt so bad in my life. But that's not all...

I also saw my father's head there, and next to it, that very figure. That's when I freaked out and ran, but it was too late. The hole in the wall was gone, and there were no other exits at all. I thought for a long time about what I should do, and came to the conclusion that the best thing would be to take that figurine and see what would happen. At least it was better than starving to death on a cold floor.

With my will in my fist, I walked over to the figurine and took it. Then, the ground shook violently. I remembered everything that had happened to me that day. Suddenly, a black hooded figure appeared in front of me. It started screaming very loudly, and that made me fall to the floor. My head felt like it was splitting apart, but I lay there and endured it.

Then, I realized it was no use. And then, instead of that silhouette, I saw my father in front of me. He looked at me with a look of sympathy, and the last thing I heard was my father saying:

"You're not getting my figurine."

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