I denied it at first, hell we all did. It was a simple idea: scout out the valley, look for prime locale to build, and report back.
It was a large and desolate place, to be honest I hated it—being there was suffocating. I had heard about the bloody history of the area as a child.
Yet they didn’t really like to teach that in our schools, that was something most children shouldn’t have to learn about. There was just an awful, eerie aura to the place. It was said that the spirits wandered the land, mourning their bloody sacrifice. I thought it was horseshit, but after arriving very quickly I got the distinct feeling that there was something else—something other than us amongst the ancient stones and structures.
I was young though, my father was the real head of the project anyway. It wasn’t a month past my seventeenth birthday that I had reluctantly agreed to go with him to the valley. The project was a bit bizarre; my father was the best architect in the land though and loved challenges—so he took up the project very quickly. It appeared we were building a sort of tower, a sort of testament to our providence.
What I was told, was we were rejecting the times of old and moving on, expanding and ascending. Those words always stuck with me, mocking me, “expanding and ascending.” Essentially, we were building some sort of staircase to heaven. It was supposed to be a light on our scientific achievement and advancement. Blaspheming the old Gods and dropping our old legends.
Dad believed that this was a golden opportunity to shine—being the idealist he was. I disagreed, but I wasn’t completely sure why. It seemed to me that this tower was almost a sort of mockery to the very foundation we had built our civilization on. Like a rebellious teenager full of so much angst we would build an idol to give the finger to the old Gods and Goddesses. Dad obviously disagreed and got everyone together to head out. We had no idea what we would find, nor did we ever believe we would walk into the Pandora’s box that awaited us.
The valley was hidden deep inside the dried out landscape of our mountains and canyon to the west. We trudged through the arid land and made our way there, taking note of everything we could. There was a large graveyard tucked just below the path to the valley. Briefly we looked for the grave keeper but he was nowhere to be found. Regardless we stopped there and camped out for the night.
I couldn’t sleep that first night. I laid there in my tent and listened at the strange rustling and whispering that was becoming more and more clearly audible outside. It sounded almost as if something was moving; something was outside that shouldn’t be. To my shock, the next morning I found out that almost everyone had heard noises all night. Perhaps it was a coincidence.
That day we headed up the path and made our way to the valley. After about an hour’s hike we finally reached the edge, hot and exhausted. Before us was an enormous rock wall; the other side of the valley. A small river gave us a brief reprieve from the scorching sun as we sent some men up the wall. In an hour the ladder was down and we were on the other side, a barren landscape before us. I couldn’t put my finger on it, but there was something... off here. You could feel it, saturating everything and everyone in this dingy, awful energy. I probably sound like the nut-job town psychic in west district, but it really was an uncanny feeling.
There were the ruins of what appeared to be a castle. It was amazing really; it dwarfed the surrounding landscape with this enormous shadow that only seemed to beckon us into it. I’ve read a little bit on the area and I do recall hearing of old castle ruins from a war torn past. My father suddenly bolted across the area to an elevated piece of land just above the spring that fed the river below. We all quickly followed behind him. As I ran up the hill I passed by what looked like a well.
I would swear on my life as it fell behind me I heard the sounds of moaning—the hair on the back of my neck darting up as I approached my father. He would turn to us and tell us that this is where it will be, this wide expanse into the mountains would be the future location of “The Towers.” We decided to further explore the location for the next few days. For the remainder of day two, we scoped out the castle and took small notes on it. We considered taking it down so The Tower wouldn’t have any “Structural Competition” but we decided to keep it up, after all it was a piece of history—no matter how bloody and dark the said history is.
On the third day we discovered a path behind the clearing for The Towers that after hiking for a few hours discovered a small and simple cave system. We trudged on through it, it was only an hour and we had come out at the other side at the gaping maw of what appeared to be an endless desert. It really did seem infinite, with blowing sands and hazy brown clouds that seemed to stretch out far beyond our horizon.
The heat from the sun and wind was intense, but more than that there was the strangest attraction to it—a beckoning that made me want to go out into it. I would swear that I saw something moving out there, under the sands, pulsating and breathing. We all swallowed our draw to the Desert Edge as my father named it and returned to the building site. A few men returned to town to gather more people as Father began to organize people for the long path ahead of us. He wanted The Towers done as soon as possible.
For the next few days we gathered and organized materials and men, we were going to begin building immediately. It was strange, my father seemed somewhat different. Everyone did, they all seemed almost in a craze, like they desperately wanted to get this done. I dismissed it as simple worker hype, an intense ambition driven by the kid like spirit they all had for their work—yet deep down I would swear there was more behind it. My father called me into his tent on the sixth night, patting me on the head and saying, “My boy, very soon it all begins.” I smiled and bowed my head, I couldn’t help but feel uneasy. There really was something ominous in the distance of all of this.
It was on the seventh night that it all seemed to reach the pinnacle. A man by the name of Afir had stumbled back into the campsite. He was bloodied, beaten, and stammering nonsense. A few men woke me up as my father ran out with the others to help Afir. He was holding something up to his chest. His shirt and leggings had large gaping gashes in them, what had he run into?
“What’s going on here Afir? Where did you go?” my father asked, kneeling down in front of the stammering lunatic. I had just realized he was leaning up against the wall of the castle, its shadow darkening all of us around him, swallowing us into its ancient infinity. “D-d-desert-t, in the d-desert-t. I got this, th-this,” he said, looking down into the shape in his arms. Father reached for it only to be lashed out at, “NO! Stay away! Th-they, they see you. It-it wanted out s-so I... I g-got it. N-now, we all get wh-what we want.” Everyone looked around, what the hell was he talking about? “Sh-she, they know about i-it. The gu-guardians, c-couldn’t keep H-Her i-in,” he added.
Just then a sound, a howl of the most peculiar nature roared out from across the valley. We all jumped, whatever it was certainly didn’t sound like anything we had ever encountered. “Th-they are an-angry... b-but they can’t l-leave there—d-desert…” Afir said, standing up. He stared at us, blood all over the place.
His eyes, the expression in his eyes was the most terrified expression I’d ever seen. He was a big man, not small by any means, but he looked like a scared child. I immediately became fearful; whatever was going on here was far beyond what we were prepared for. He coughed up a small puddle of blood, falling forward and collapsing. My father picked him up, looking up at me with a very confused face. I leaned over and picked up the object in his hands.
It was a mask; he had brought back a mask. It was purple, with all sorts of orange and red patterns all over it. There were 3 large spines sticking out on each side, as well as two coming out of the top. What really got me were the orange eyes; they were wide, like Afir’s. Not wide with shock though, they were wide with awareness, alertness. They—they were looking at me, looking at us. It was hideous, this... thing was the face of a monster. I knew right then and there we shouldn’t have this, this needs to go back.
I stood up, my father standing up alongside me as a few men picked up Afir. He took the mask, “This, this needs to go,” he said, turning and walking back to the tent where Afir was being taken. I ran up alongside him, pleading with him to let me take it back immediately. “No, you aren’t touching this, go back to your tent and get some sleep,” he replied. I couldn’t argue with him, I stood there in the moonlight. The castle laughing at me in its silence, the well in the distance moaning strange and silent curses to us, I hated this place.
I ran to the Desert Edge. No one had seen me go, I just wanted to know what it was—what that place was. I turned on my lantern and headed into the cave, somewhat fearful of what I was going to find. The desert, the guardians, and what is this She he keeps talking about? Or “they?” Before I knew it, I stumbled out of the cave and onto the Desert Edge. It looked even more infinite, the black in the distance swallowing everything. I could feel a small breeze, bone chilling cold and piercing. This place, it seemed unreal. This place seemed like, it was a dream, like I was in a place I shouldn’t be. “I shouldn’t have come...”
I whispered to myself, turning around. Just then that howl, that horrific shriek we heard earlier echoed across the desert straight into my ears. It was incredible; it rang deep into my bones. An angry roar that soared across space and time, creating an aerial dissonance that practically brought me to my knees. I jumped and ran back into the cave, whatever was making that sound was out there—and it was indeed frustrated. Strangely enough it sounded like there was more than one.
Upon coming back to the campsite I found my father and the other men gathered around the main tent. “My boy, come here! We’ve got news!” Father said, walking through the crowd over to me, the moonlight barely lighting a contorted face that frightened me. What had happened to him, to everyone? They all seemed so okay, so sure that everything was going as planned, completely ignoring the desert, the howls, the mask, and Afir. “I found it to be, very inspiring.” He turned to everyone else who all nodded, “I’ve changed some of the textures of the design for The Towers to match the mask, you know—a tribute to that which was here before us.
I didn’t like the way he said that, he sounded almost, fake. “W-what’s going on?!” I said, breaking away from him and the crowd. His face went very serious, all of theirs did.
“For Majora, son, we’re doing this for Majora,” he said, looking over towards the site. Majora, it stung the air when one muttered that name. I looked at everyone, then at my father.
Whatever happened while I was gone—it had changed everyone. We would begin building The Towers soon, and no matter what I couldn’t escape the mask, that thing, Majora.
I returned to town the next day, leaving Father, the project, and everyone else behind. I couldn’t stay there, not with the reminder of what happened that night. To this day decades later, in my dying years I look to the west and see those things, those blasphemic idols.
Father died years ago, I gladly continued his construction legacy the best I could—the only way I could remember his old self. When he returned from the mountains those years ago he had changed. Silent, staring out into space, I would watch him and take care of him with my wife in his dying days. In the end when he was on his deathbed he called me to his side, a bizarre look on his face. He never said anything, he just widened his eyes and stared at me.
He watched me as he died, no—Majora watched me as he died. I will never forgive Afir, I will never forgive that god damn mask, I will never forgive anyone for what happened. I had it in a chest in my basement a few years back. I never even wanted to look at it. Yet one day a strange man came and asked for it. I stared him down, his neatly combed hair and pack of masks certainly threw me off, not to mention the eerie aura that surrounded him, but he was willing to pay huge for that mask. I certainly didn’t want it, and I needed the money for construction in the festival coming up. I sold it and he was on his way, he disappeared as strangely as he had come.
These days things are strange, especially as the festival approaches. Everyone seems on edge, all the town waiting for something we can’t explain. Apparently the mask man is in our clock tower, at least a few of the locals said they’ve seen him in there. To really top it off, the moon is—something’s wrong.
It looks as if it’s getting bigger… getting closer. Some people say they can see a face on it, a widened and angry expression. A few times I have looked up at it at night, and I would swear that I would see Majora’s blazing, horrific eyes on it. I would never keep looking at it long enough to find out if what I was seeing was real. I don’t know if any of this is real, ever since those decades ago perhaps this has all been a dream. We’re all asleep, Majora is just a nightmare that came to life