Through partially swollen eyelids he watched as the rising sun cast a cold, pale light over his partially naked body. Lazy cross patterns on and above the steel doors projected an eerie pattern on the stone floor where he lay.
A few feet outside the doors he couldn’t help but notice rocks cast at odd angles but at the same time, he noticed in a set pattern. From what he could discern it took on the appearance of an altar. But for what, or was it more for whom. Blinking to clear his vision, patterns of pale pink to dark red came into view on the largest of the stones.
Pieces of rope, thick and stained maroon, were piled at two of the visible corners.
He lifted his pain racked head to get a better look at what was around. A tug at his throat brought the realization there was an iron collar fastened around his neck. The unmistakable jangled of chain to stone informed him there wasn’t escape. With a hard wrench he tried to free himself from the steel bolt anchored into stone.
As he studied the structure more closely he noticed a large indentation at end nearest him. A long, narrow rope, knotted at one end was threaded through a hole and draped across the stone. Then it dawned on him the purpose. It was so the person being sacrificed would have his head restrained, stretching their chest so the knife could easily pierce the chest.
When he heard voices nearby he was about to call out but when he heard the word kill he thought better. Now, more desperate
“I don’t care. He found us and like the others has to die.” This, he suspected came from the leader.
Suddenly, without warning gunfire rent the air, followed by a pained screams.