Recovered from the journal of [NAME REDACTED]

I don't know if someone will ever read this. I don't care. I just need to reassure myself that I'm not about to die a horrible death.

Although if you do somehow make your way here, all I ask is that you not tell anyone about this. The last thing that needs to happen is to bring attention to this location. Just leave here while you can, and leave this journal with my corpse. If there even is one.

Wow, look how I'm joking, even when I'm about to die.

I suppose that's where I should begin.

I've always had a fascination with rocks and minerals. As a kid I used to take a plastic toy pickaxe and dig up my backyard. At the age of 9, I could tell you the molecular composition of gypsum and the chemical properties of pyrite. All I ever wanted was to work in a mine, like my late father. Of course, had I known about what price I'd have to pay, I would have never bothered. But that goes without saying.

Sure enough, my struggling town persuaded me and the other youths to contribute our efforts to the mining industry. Naturally, I was delighted. I drove over to the local operation, the [NAME REDACTED]. They assigned me and the other workers the standard equipment- a headlamp helmet, a sturdy pickaxe, and a uniform. On my first day, I struck a vein of pure copper, worth about 80 dollars. The other miners, naturally, were jealous. To prevent tensions from rising, they reassigned me to dig out a shaft in the lowest part of the mines. So happily, I grabbed my gear and headed down the mining lift.

As I descended deeper into the earth, I began to wonder why nobody else was joining me on the assignment. Perhaps they're already down there, I thought. Then, the elevator stopped. As the doors opened, I was greeted by the sight of a long, dimly lit tunnel. Feeling slightly nervous, I picked up my gear and strolled into the shaft. As I walked forward, I became increasingly unsettled by the absence of workers. There were unfinished supports and empty toolboxes lying all over the place. I continued until I reached the end, and unsheathed my trusty pick and chisel. As I swung, I noticed out of the corner of my eye a strange rock formation to my left. I went over to it and inspected it. The wall was suspiciously flat, and as I reached out to touch it, I discovered that it was in fact a camouflaged tarp. I pulled it off to reveal what looked like an ancient, sealed-off mining tunnel. I took my pick and pried open the rotten planks. I stepped into the shaft and gathered in my surroundings. The cavern stretching in front of me was almost inhumanly straight. As I turned my gaze to the walls, I found that they were perfectly smooth. That's not what unsettled me, though. It was the single light bulb hanging from the ceiling, swinging to and fro. Yet somehow this small light source was able to illuminate the entire expanse of this tunnel.

In awe, I continued forward, not realizing that I was already dead.

I then saw a glint out of the corner of my eye. I turned to face what seemed to be an immaculate ruby ore vein. The way the crystals were jutting out, I estimated their value at about 250 dollars. Quickly I swung my pick and screamed in horror as red, viscous liquid oozed out. My pickaxe fell in the liquid, and was dissolved subsequently. Never had the term "ore vein" been so pertinent. I then realized the gravity of what I had done. This cave was blocked off for a reason: it wasn't one. That lightbulb wasn't manmade- it was a lure. Now I wanted to get out of there. I backed away frantically, but in horror discovered that my way out was blocked, by the same wood I had removed just a few minutes before. As I collapsed on the floor, where I lie as I speak, I heard faint scuttling off in the distance. Followed by the scuttling was a deep growl that sounded like it had arisen from the bowels of the earth. And I suppose it had. And now it's coming for me.

So here I am, awaiting my death. If you have found this, my word of advice is this: Get out of here. Never look back. It's probably already too late. Butyou won't listen, will you. You're just a greedy miner, like me. You've just seen that glistening crimson crystal out of the corner of your eye, and have just dropped this message to take it. To you, good riddance. To me, farewell. All I have left to do is wait. And all I have left is this one little light bulb, swinging endlessly… endlessly…

[NAME REDACTED], on my deathbed, 189X

Author Information: Me, SCP-9083
Story Title or Titles: The Canary

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