Professor Garaiburu’s Diary (Part 1)
After so many years of rumors and false leads, I have finally found a thread to pull from.
My name is Antonio Pérez Garaiburu. I was born on December 21st, 1936. I spent all my childhood in Mazarrón, a small town on the coast of Murcia. I studied history at the University of Murcia and I have worked as a professor for 40 years. I married the love of my life in 1966, and on the last day of this millennium I lost everything. From that moment, from the day my beloved Elena parted, I have dedicated my life to finding out the truth. But for it to be understood, I have to start from the beginning.
December of 1945
It was not the first time we were going to the mines. At Christmas, production was reduced to a minimum and it was very easy to sneak in. So, one afternoon, we took our bikes and started riding that way. Eusebio’s father worked in the mines and he had taken his son there several times, so he led us to one of the tunnels that was no longer in use. There, we would be able to investigate and have fun without getting caught. Carrying the miners’ lanterns that Eusebio found for us, four of us went down. Only three returned.
I’m not sure what happened, but we were down there for 2 days. The only thing I can remember is Bartolo’s face when they caught him, his eyes full of tears, screaming and calling for his mother. For many years I had nightmares about the tunnels, all looking so similar, and us running through them without being able to find a way out. They all ended the same way, at the feet of those things, the ones that took my friend. I don’t know what they were, but I’m sure they weren’t human.
They said we got lost, and one of the tunnels probably collapsed. For two weeks there were search parties going down to the mine, but they found no sign of Bartolo. I’ve been obsessed about that incident all my life.
It wasn’t until I was in the university that I started investigating what had happened. I had already overcome my trauma, or so I thought, when some news made me relive it all. The son of one of the miners in the Mazarrón mines had disappeared inside the tunnels. It did not appear in the media, but I still had friends in town who told me about it. People say that was the main reason why they had to close. The shutdown was already in the air due to low productivity, but that incident ended up burying the mine.
I was following the news on it, and about two weeks after they stopped searching. I started to investigate other similar events in the area and found many reports of missing children, but there was little information about them.
Two months later, over the Christmas holidays, I convinced my best friend to come with me to the mines. At first I just wanted to go for a walk and see if I could talk to someone from the town. Once we were there it was not difficult to enter. It was all closed, there wasn’t even a guard there, so we just had to jump over the fence. Once there I felt an irrepressible urge to go down. I needed to go back to the tunnels. My friend tried to talk me out of it, but he only got me to promise that I would leave marks on my way so he could find me if something happened.
I went down to the tunnel where the boy had disappeared. I went down for a long time; I didn’t know how far the search teams had gone, but something kept me going down. Something, a feeling, that was pressing on me. I knew I had reached the place before I even entered the tunnel. It was half buried under the rocks, so I had to use a pickaxe I had carried, just in case, to make my way. On the other side there was a large cavern that seemed way too big to be inside a mine. Everything was illuminated by a dim bluish light that came from some strange plants. In the middle there was a rock placed like a table, although the word that came to mind when I saw it was “altar”. And there was something on top of it. A body. It was a boy, and he was dead. It had been there for a long time, or so it seemed. But something had prevented it from rotting and it was like mummified. His mouth was open, as if he was screaming. He has had his tongue cut out and his eyes gouged out. Something had been carved onto his chest, but I couldn’t make out what it was. On the altar, around him, there were symbols drawn and the remains of candles. Then, something began to move on the other side of the cavern. I couldn’t see what it was, because it seemed to absorb the light, but I could tell it was looking at me. I ran away. The next thing I remember is that my friend was dragging me out of the tunnel. At some point I must have hit my head.
We called the police and went back down into the mine. We found nothing, neither the cave, nor the body, nothing. They told me that the commotion from hitting my head must had made me imagine or dream everything involved with the cave. I didn’t believe it, but I had no proof. For many years I continued investigating without finding anything, and little by little I forgot again, until I lost Elena.