Down at the base of the sea-cliffs, more than half submerged at high tide, was the dark mouth of a cave. It was hidden around a kick in the rock, so that sunlight never penetrated more than a few scant meters, and impossible to see unless you were standing right in front of it. A strange heat and the smell of decay emanated from the opening, dissipating quickly in the sea air. It was the kind of place the locals of a town with a less intelligent populous might have called haunted. None living in the town had been into that darkness beyond an arm’s reach of the sunlight, but they all felt with an unspoken concert that it was the kind of place they would not like their children going on a dare. So it was not called haunted. It was not much spoken of at all, and were the things that crawled and dripped deep in the darkness capable of knowing or understanding this, it would have pleased them.

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