The landscape beyond that beautiful dark wooden door, adorned with delicately engraved carvings, is that of a cave dozens of meters deep inside, which recharges its roof on enormous and deformed rock pillars that descend from the top to meet the ground, who is in charge of supporting all the incalculable weight of these.
Above, about three meters high, tiny droplets of water, which reach here after filtering through the humidity outside, slide across the harsh surfaces of the stalactites that hang dangerously from the ceiling, with their sharp tip pointing into a large pool of frozen water where the falling droplets freeze almost instantly.
A large puddle, an elongated pool, or a small river extending from the entrance to the deep part of the site. In any of these ways, one can describe the liquid formation that covers two-fifths of the cave.
In this place, despite being hidden among tons of earth and rock, far from any sunlight, everything found inside is visible to the naked eye, even the little pebbles lying on the ground. No superhuman ability is needed to do so, as it is all possible thanks to the intricate inscriptions engraved on the surrounding walls.
From them, unnaturally, a cold celestial light emanates, bathing with its color everything it touches. Besides, this is amplified by the crystals that grow from the cool earthen floor, which reflect it with their transparent bodies.
And that’s not all. As if any slightest degree of darkness were unacceptable, small and innumerable points of white light move everywhere, like fairies or fireflies, while ensuring that every little corner of the site is fully illuminated.
The scene so far described is the perfect representation of the union between the almighty power of Mother Nature, together with the mysterious capabilities of humans.
This is, without a doubt, a perfect and inspiring canvas created with the most beautiful colors that can ever exist. However, this is not yet finished. So far, the only things described have been those material and immaterial objects, lifeless and eternal.
Therefore, when we take the ephemeral beings that inhabit this site and place them on the image described above, then it changes. It is no longer necessary to see it to understand what is drawn on it, for it begins to speak and smell.
She, the image, speaks of misfortune, violence, and hopelessness; she smells of fetid death and putrefaction. The scream of dozens of women can be heard even though they are in total silence.
A group of women, young and old, both small and large, with no concern for their condition, much less their comfort, are lying on the ground or resting their half-naked backs on the slippery ice crystals.
They do not wear adequate clothing to protect themselves, only torn and filthy pieces of cloth, which do not even cover half of their bodies, so that, without uttering a single groan, they all shiver from the cold and even some, who, are in worse condition, have blackened limbs due to a severe case of hypothermia.
However, even in such a deplorable state, the marks that time has not been able to erase show that this is not the worst that they must have gone through.
It is not only their clothes that appear to have been brutally torn to shreds. Their tender bodies still reflect the results of the extreme violence they have suffered. From the slightest, as bruises that may never recover, red scars that still secrete pus in their arms and legs, and even swollen fingers without nails, to the most terrible cases to observe, such as mutilated body parts with wounds that refuse to heal, where the muscles and bones are hidden behind a thin layer of black and dried blood.
The saddest thing in this situation is that, despite all they have been through, their faces are in a better condition than the rest of their bodies, as if they had been consciously cared for by the aggressors. But, thanks to this, we can still appreciate the delicate features that adorn them.
It is obvious that, at some point in their lives, all of them were beautiful and free ladies who, with just their gait, captivated the hearts of countless men.
But now, under their delicate, runny noses are blue, brittle lips and, at the top of their faces, the dozens of pairs of empty, lifeless, hopeless eyes are surrounded by enormous dark circles as they hide behind the messy strands that fall over their foreheads.
Black and yellow colors adorn their heads as they use their hardened hair as the bearers of their grace, yet, despite being illuminated by a light blue color, the dead gray tone is the one that dominates them, in addition unfortunately, a few of them are devoid of that so significant part, leaving only throbbing wounds in its place.
All these wretched women are damaged, broken like dolls, outraged both physically and mentally, yet they are not dead, and that is clear when the clearest sign of life is seen in their bulging stomachs.
Slowly, with difficulty, their torsos rise and fall; rise and fall; rise and fall…
They still breathe; they still live.
Although they still are, it doesn’t change that the environment inside the cave, previously described as beautiful, has become something that can be called an earthly hell.
A place that is exceedingly similar to any pantheon on Earth. One where corpse-like beings rest after terrible suffering. But while they do so, inside, little and innocent beings struggle to live. Ignorant of what their existences cause in their mothers.
The beauty in the perfect harmony has vanished. Now it is the gloomy atmosphere that prevails in a depressing silence, which is only interrupted by the constant fall of drops from the ceiling or an occasional cough that then echoes.
They do not move. They don’t react. They feel cold, but they don’t care. They suffer from their wounds, but they no longer remember them.
. . . . .
It has been a while since the presence of these pitiful martyrs was discovered in this place, but even though this has passed, their situations have not improved at all and may never do so. Or so it seems. However, such a thought is a mistake, for soon, noise can be heard from outside.
At first, it was just an unrecognizable sound, but as the seconds passed, it came closer and closer, so it was easy to discern its origin. It was footsteps. Numerous people approach, and this can be verified by looking at the yellow light filtering through the slits under the door.
Shortly afterward, they arrived just in front of the entrance to the cave, where they stopped, showing no sign of entering.
The silence seemed eternal, as the visitors did not move or even utter a single word, and they maintained such a state until, finally, the door showed signs of opening.
When it was completely open, the first thing that came into view was the image of a wrinkled old woman with long white hair down to her waist, dressed entirely in black, from boots to gloves, with no part of her skin showing, except for her neck and head.
It is unknown why she dresses this way. However, perhaps she does it to hide the wounds that her body may have because, on half of her face, there is a huge burn mark which in its path has taken the vision of her left eye, while it extends from her forehead to her neck and beyond.
The old woman stopped for a few moments at the entrance, observing with an indifferent face the state of the cave or the women who lived there, and later, without daring to take a step forward, she moved away from where she was standing, leaving the way clear for the group behind her, who entered the place without hesitation.
From the jaws of the wolf, a carnival appeared. Or so one thinks as one watches the visitors enter the place from the dark corridor, shivering with cold with every step they take.
White, yellow, blue, green, and red, full of colors, as many as the rainbow has, is how the people who have entered the cave are dressed. In addition, like the one who leads them, they all hide every inch of their bodies under numerous clothes. But in them, not even their heads or hair are visible.
However, no matter how much clothing they are covered with, it is impossible to hide their slender and delicate figures, so it is obvious that they are all women.
Women like those who have had to endure hell inside this place, but unlike them, this new group appears to have superhuman strength in their bodies.
Without difficulty, after following the orders of the old woman who still stands in the dark corridor, they lifted their counterparts, while at their waists are tied heavy metal lamps, which are responsible for illuminating their way when they carry the wretched in their arms to get them out of this damned place.
When all of them were taken out, the only person who stayed behind was the old woman, who, on this occasion, did not hesitate to close the door before following the group of women who were slowly moving away from her.