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Belly Of The Beast
Darkness was all they knew; it was all they could remember, it was all they could ever see; it consumed their surroundings and dangled a demoralising shadow over their very souls.
They survived by scavenging for food as it fell down from the pure night sky above them; the moonless sky that would never break dawn nor have a sun that set. It did not matter what is was that they found, for they never knew any different. Anything that fell down on top of them or around them was food of some sort. Sometimes they would hear strange noises around them echoing within their large, but enclosed area. They followed their senses and always found the source of the noise and the strange creature that made it. The creatures always breathed heavily and shook in fear as it either mooed, baaed or clucked. Most of these creatures either died in the fall or were torn apart before they had even landed; even if they did survive they were usually too injured to run away, so they were the first to go. The girls often liked to keep the surviving animals as pets, attempting to look after them, but of course, they too went when the food supply ran short.
The lack of privacy was made up for in their inability to see, but it was still uncomfortable to grow up clothes-less and bare. Their eyes were always resting in their silent sleep, even when they were awake or had them open it was if they were tight shut. Throughout their life they had never known if their own eyes were open or closed.
The fowl stench of rotting meat constantly lingered as it was left dangling off the carcasses they feasted on. It filled the foul air they breathed; but with each inhalation of the toxic fumes, they then breathed out of with a sigh of relief, as they continued to live on. They suffered the slow poisoning of their lungs as they lived on for decades, their bodies tainted by their unhygienic surroundings; every touch was moist and marshy with excrement and decay.
As children the group were lost in the wilderness of their bare and murky cave of sludge, but able to have suitable space, but that time had long passed and they had matured. Every day for the past twenty years of their life they had gorged on the contents of their den as it continued to fall from the sky, day upon day, and nothing more. They would stumble and fall all day long while scavenging, unable to hold their balance as their feet sank in the uneven surface. The walk itself was hard enough as they tried to remain upright, but the cave shook on occasion, destroying any remnants of balance that they actually had. The shaking was gradual, rising on the right side before falling while the left side did the opposite motion. The five survivors of the fall would huddle together, holding each other and keeping them up; the shaking would rattle them in every direction as the cave launched itself in various directions with vicious and aggressive force. They would hold on for dear life, clawing at the ground to hold them steady.
Although it was a rarity they were always prepared, until one day; the cave had suddenly over turned! They plummeted down to what was the very back of the cave, plunging into the soft ground that caught them.
The five of them stood up, weary of what had happened, after all, this was unusual.
A sudden spec appeared above them! The eldest male rose his hands up hiding his face from the light. The others looked up as he called to them, hiding them from it, shielding them with is body. The light suddenly shot across, slicing the roof above them creating a long line of light that gazed down on them. The centre was quickly covered by a brief shadow as it reached into the cave and gripped its ceiling. There was a sudden grunt and with a tear the light was split open into a large hole! The light glared; their eyes were finally allowed to work after all that time.
The group flailed around looking at their surroundings, bewildered by the strange scenery. The pink surface that encased them and the rotting animals that they had feasted from were all visible.
The light was reassuring; all they had ever wanted was freedom from that place, but they could never trust something they had never seen before. The light was magnificent and magical, but it hurt their eyes; was it an omen? They could only distrust, for they knew nothing about judgment. The cave was all they had ever known, and nobody knew what was on the other side of the bright light; was it death? Were the heavens finally opening for them? They had no idea, nor could they come to a confident conclusion as to what it truly was.
The light was simply there, it never moved or reacted to them in any way; it simply stared down at them intriguing them. The second eldest was hesitant, but the most curious. As he stepped closer, his toe stubbed a large rock. The rock had never decayed nor had it ever been used in anyway, other than to club the creatures to death; it had fallen many years ago, almost striking them down. As youths it almost crushed them, but now fully grown, the eldest gripped it and swung himself around, releasing the rock into the air. It flew up into the light and they all turned, unsure of what it was they were hoping for.
The rock hit the ground outside! It had skipped and chipped against rocks and softened its fall against the grass. They heard it and as they listened even closer they heard the swooshing of the wind. What kind of world was it beyond their dark cave?
The youngest were the most adventurous, being not as used to the surroundings as the others were; having known there is another world on the other side, the youngest was eager to explore. She dug her fingers into the squelching wall and heaved herself up. As she continued to climb up towards the light she encouraged her siblings to follow. The penultimate youngest soon found his adventuresome attitude and he too braved the climb. As the pair reached the top, they both climbed out, helping each other as they went. The young man quickly poked his head down, blocking the light briefly, reassuring them of the strange new world that they had yet to explore. The next eldest quickly burst off of the floor and onto her feet, eager to join them through the portal of light.
The two eldest were hesitant, they continued to wait patiently, pacing around nervously. Although she had been in the darkness for the longest, she was coming through, and gradually the eldest realised that it would be best, as it could surely not get worse.
He had been in the darkness all of his life, like the others, but unlike the others he had been the most comfortable. While being surrounded by darkness he felt like he could relax, it was where he was most at ease; either through habit or just because it happened to be what he was used to.
A tender hand was placed on his shoulder as his elder sister comforted his uneasiness. He looked at her within the spotlight that shone down on them, and for the first time he could actually see her. He avoided her eyes, attempting to hide his cowardice, but she looked through it and guided him to the wall. He nodded lightly and accepted that they had to move on; this was no life for them.
As his head peaked through the portal, a hand gripped his wrist, and he was born again from the makeshift caesarean that had been cut into flesh. He stumbled out, kneeling on the ground, unable to get up. The sky was even brighter than he had thought, almost blinding him, just as it had done the first time he gazed upon it as he looked up to Rhea’s breast.
He staggered away rubbing his eyes, hoping to adjust them to the light. When he finally looked back he saw a young man helping his sister out of the hole. As he began to absorb his new surroundings he discovered what the hole truly was; it was a gash in the stomach of the Titan that they were stood upon. The man had knocked down the brute singlehandedly, and with his weapon he slit his stomach open, giving the survivors the freedom they had never had; for even at birth they were wrenched from their mother and consumed, disowned by the father who swallowed them whole. They were cast away into the belly of that beastly god, through nothing but fear of his own destruction, fear brought upon by a mere prophecy. However, as the cannibal laid there helpless and in his forced slumber, he would soon realise how his own act of violence aided the prophecy he so gladly ran from.
The siblings dropped from the Titan they reluctantly called their father. Their rescuer quickly led them away. From the distance of Mount Olympus they saw Cronus wake. The Titan rose to his feet, but quickly collapsed, grasping his bleeding stomach. He slowly crawled away, heading towards his kingdom. He turned his head, glaring straight at the impossible son who had come to fulfil his destiny! He roared out in anger, and in pain, leaving a trail of blood as he continued to crawl away, plundering towards his throne upon Mount Othrys.
Having granted the merciful act of sparing the life of Cronus, their saviour sat them down to discuss the inevitable punishment that they would soon place against him. Their saviour stood tall in his white robes, beaming his hatred for his father into the sky like a strike of lighting; for he was Zeus, and the end of the golden age was nigh. The seeds had been sown, and soon they would spring into a decade of devastation. The family feud had sparked revenge in the Olympians and the will to survive in the Titans. Their mutual odium clashed with sparks of lightning, and so began the rage of the Titanomachy War.