I wanted to dig my hands into the soft, moist ground, to shovel it aside and sink my fingers deep. I wanted to burrow through the dirt and soil, to slither and twist through the secret, wet passageways of the earth known only to mole and worm, to slip through the cracks in the unyielding bedrock, and merge with the cool, clear groundwater.

The earth is hollow, you know, hollow like you are. It's a living thing, with veins and bowels and cavities — entire worlds beneath your feet that have never seen the sun and never known the yawning heavens above.

Oh, such things, such sightless wonders! Underground rivers flowing through measureless rock mazes, black lakes stirred by no wind where colourless, eyeless creatures splash and cavort, vast caverns spreading their spindly fingers wide, crystal geodes big as palaces and twice as beautiful, vast stone cathedrals larger than kingdoms.

And things live there, oh yes, things forgotten or never conceived of by the day, burrowing, crawling, slithering, digging things. The worms, mites, and micro-organism of the earth, the fungal mats covering all surfaces in their soft embrace, the blind inhabitants of cavern and crevice, feeling and listening their way in the timeless dark — and people, people long abandoned by the surface who have abandoned it in turn. Cities sink, are built over and pushed under layer by layer or swallowed by the earth in sinkholes and landslides; mines and cellars and catacombs and underground dwellings, tunnels where rites forbidden under the sky are practised and secrets too volatile to see light buried, dug ever deeper; and they never stop digging, never stop building, ever downward, ever deeper into the twisting dark. Nothing is ever lost, only buried and left behind. It is only the surface that forgets.

I wanted to dive, to make my way through the caves, the catacombs, through the ancient tunnels dug when the world was young; to descend ever deeper, past the hidden fungal warrens and the secret crystal gardens; to join, at the very roots of the world, the nameless, forgotten things born before time, which silently seep and slither below the steady crust and gnaw at its pillars; wanted to plunge, at last, into the primordial sweet ocean, deep, dark water never once disturbed by light or rolling thunder, the deepest abyss far below the world.

Oh, how much I could tell you, how many wonders could I describe to you, and how many more must I leave undescribed — things improper to speak of under the burning gaze of the sun, things no tongue that has tasted the weak, turbulent surface air can express.

Such wonders!