It occurred to you (not for the first time?) that you couldn’t remember how long you’d been following the path. The strange surface was slightly warm beneath your feet (what had happened to your boots?) and you had first assumed from the colour and texture that it was lava rock, an igneous vein intersecting the honeycombed strata of the cavern system, but the ground was… yielding in a strange way that made you shudder.

Yet it seemed impossible to stop your measured tread, one foot in front of the other, ever forward, downward, around the strange spiralling corridor whose walls had started to bend and flow… Subtle movement at first, out of the corner of your eye, but over time (how much time?) it had grown clearer and clearer, so that, whether you were hallucinating or not, it now seemed you were walking endlessly down a seething spiral of fluid, quasi-organic rock leading you towards…

What was it, in the distance, seeming to come closer so very slowly? A sort of gateway, a ring, a sphincter separating the corridor from whatever lay beyond. You were approaching it so very slowly, as though the swirling walls formed an optical illusion and you were marching in place, one foot in front of the other, your thoughts growing more and more abstract, mind slipping into a kind of dazed numbness as you spiralled endlessly downward, floating so slowly, closer and closer towards…

There was a kind of heavy thrumming pressing against your eardrums, seeming to come from the direction of the ring, or gateway, or whatever it was. The sound, if it was a sound, poured out of the rock, if it was rock, and it vaguely occurred to you that you had long ago (how long ago?) started to breathe, deeply and heavily, and move, one foot in front of the other, in time with the monotonous subterrene drumbeat that pulled you ever deeper, swirling endlessly down that flowing spiral of warm, black (was it rock, or…?) slowly, so slowly towards…

It came to you after what seemed like hours (how long have you…?), this fleeting impression you’d been trying to place: the endless corridor, leading to the perfectly-circular gateway, the ring that seemed to glow and pulse in your disoriented vision (pulsing in time with the throbbing in your head?) as you marched helplessly, one foot in front of the other, swirling deeper and deeper down the endless rock (or was it… flesh…?) spiral, the impression you’d had, that kept slipping out of your (thrumming) hazy, disoriented (one foot in front of) mind was that you were being drawn slowly through the intestine of something (rock… flesh…?) as though you were being slowly, gently corroded, worn away (throbbing… marching…) being digested in preparation to pass through that pulsating sphincter in the warm, black (…rock…is it…?) towards whatever fate awaited the remains of you (of…who…?) in the throbbing, pulsing, growing hotter and hotter as you slipped endlessly deeper and deeper towards…

The ring was close enough now to give you another peculiar impression as your glassy, empty eyes peered through the slowly-widening sphincter, something was struggling (fear…?) in the back of your (whose…?) mind but it felt so very far away, far back in whatever had come before the endless spiral of the (warm…flesh…?) corridor, another sensation whose meaning made less and less impression in the softening, dissolving (digested…) mind drifting closer and closer towards…

Something… gleaming… edges… (teeth…?)