A Harrowing Descent into the Meat Tomb
I first heard of that damnable crypt thirteen years ago while serving as the surveyor for the state engineering group. We were examining a portion of the Yacutinga Rainforest for potential development, and upon observing our aerial maps, I asked my supervisor why such a large section of the forest was cordoned off. “No pasar,” he responded curtly. That was of little help for my curiosity, but I heard enough whispers and innuendo from some of the hired labor to glean a bit more information. At night they conferred in hushed tones regarding he blooming corpse flowers and the constant smell of rank carrion in the region. I should have stayed away, let my curiosity subside, but something about their shaded eyes and fearful, almost reverent tones arrested my psyche. I vowed I would discover the secret of this Tumba de Carne, even if that knowledge spelled my ruin.
To be honest, I’m uncertain how much time I have left. Already it seems the black rot has settled in, afflicting my thoughts and wracking my body with decay. All I can hear are those infernal, grinding slabs of flesh and gnashing teeth and… Oh! The horror!
I leave this account as a record and a warning. Let that damnable Meat Tomb fester and blister alone in the dark of the trees and earth that seclude it. Take no Comunión with the wearers of dead things. And if you smell the scent of rotting flesh, for the love of all I once believed in, run.
I’m getting ahead of myself, aren’t I? Perhaps I should recount more of my tale to ensure that you too won’t fall victim to those great syncopated reverberations from the jungle’s cancerous maw. How would you know to turn back if you hear that garbled black speech that passes for communication between dessicated throats if I refuse to loose my own leprous tongue? In truth, I still haven’t stitched all my fractured memories together, but perhaps that’s a mercy. Consciousness is its own curse, in a way.
I suppose I knew then, thirteen years ago, that I would always find my way back there, as I did six years ago under the auspices of a second site survey; it seems La Oficina Municipal had run afoul of some environmental groups and had finally resolved on development of a different area. The conceit was that some endangered species or other (it’s funny, I can afford so little sympathy for endangerment when my own experiences have proven to me that humanity itself is on that list) had its habitat at the old site, but I heard the laborers mutter about an ancient caste of an even older faith at the root of la problema. New laborers, but they spoke in the same sullen tones and cast the same furtive glances as the old crew whenever they whispered in secret between their bunks about the Meat Tomb and the old blood it pumped into the lost priesthood.
It was on this expedition that I resolved to make a short trip on a rare off day to the forbidden, cordoned area of the map. My time was short, so this was simply a brief excursion to see if I couldn’t get a better sense of where this alleged Tumba de Carne was hidden. I brought with me a GPS device and quite a bit of surveying equipment, but they all lost their haughty power as I passed into la zona prohibida. As it turned out, however, I didn’t even need my navigation devices. My own ears bore witness to a strange, discordant sound, as if emanating from a series of massive grinders crushing a great wet mass into pulp, their titanic lust an oddly melodic cacophony of jarring notes and inhuman cadences. I followed those notes to a deeply shaded vale, and as I drew deeper into the underbrush, my ears confirmed what those gibbering voices (from whence had those come?!?) at the back of my skull told me; this valley hid my target.
I triangulated my location as best my years of experience could afford me and jotted my estimates upon my map, intent that my next trip here would be my last. It’s surprising now that as I climbed back out of that vale and felt the hungry eyes lurking behind the ancient fronds watching my every move I did not recognize the humorous finality of my own thoughts.
If you’ve made it this far, dear reader, you’re by now certain that I did in fact return to the Yacutinga, and that I did in fact find my quarry. It’s only been three damnable days, though it feels a lifetime, since I finally realized my ambition. I’m uploading this document via satellite uplink somewhere near the Yacutinga, though, here at the end of things, I cannot avow to my current whereabouts. I hope you and your friends at the BZ&A know what to do with it.
Late last week I made good on the sentence I had placed upon my own life and ventured once more into the shadowy vale. The smell of putrescence was strong on the air, as was a strange, almost industrial humming; the confoundingly mechanical, yet somehow organic, thrumming was punctuated by a rhythmic pulse. Perhaps the priesthood of the carcass was calling me home. As I delved deeper into the vale, the sound of a great voracious mouth spewing blasphemies and chewing upon unholy, unseen things only grew stronger. I should have turned away, but it was as if my feet were not my own; my teary eyes could not avert their gaze from the great pit that slowly came into focus ahead of me at the bottom of the valley. The shrieks and violent crushing sounds grew to a fever pitch in the claustrophobic canopy, as if all of nature was crying out about the perversion of its order transpiring, as I drew closer to the pit, and still I could not help but shamble forward. Finally, I found myself standing upon the precipice of a great chasm, tremendous red stains sullying its stony throat all around the rim. I could see no bottom, but as I stared, I could just make out the writhing, wriggling forms of great masses, as if…
I have no memory of how long I stood there, nor when it was exactly that I fled that accursed place. Fevered flashes of remembrance occasionally surface amid the dimness that has become my mind, but their contents are disarrayed, confusing. I see snapshots of men dressed in corpses dancing as a tremulous chord emanates with a queasy dissonance from some unseen opening to hell. A faded still-life of me drinking a dark liquid from an unidentifiable animal skull surfaces before my eyes, accented by an impossibly low grunt. I hear fragments of screams, my own or those of another I cannot say, and the echoes of burning drums periodically tattoo my skull. On occasion, a stereophonic grinding pressure will fill my ears, but then the feeling passes into blackness.
That blackness seems to be spreading throughout my body. I have been unable to feel my legs for… hours? Days? My fingers are a gangrenous color, and my skin has the sallow appearance of loose meat. Dear reader, I have very little time left, yet I fear what comes after even more. Heed my warning. Tell the right people.
Stay away from the Tumba de Carne.