Catacombes de Paris

Dear Reader,

I made the mistake of going to the catacombs alone on a rather dreary, rainy day. It was eerie to explore the dimly-lit underground pathways by myself-- reading quotes about death and seeing the piles of bones arranged in certain designs, each skull barely representing what was once alive, once human. The pathways were sometimes narrow and water would leak from the ceiling , adding dampness to the dreary quality that the catacombs already possessed. Nevertheless, it was an interesting experience-- all I could think about as I walked past the piles of human remains was Edgar Allan Poe's Cask of Amontillado, a terrifying short story that I had to read in the eighth grade for English class. The story spoke of the narrator's desire to kill a man who had insulted him, luring him into one of the catacombs of Italy and sealing him alive within one of the catacomb's innermost vaults. It has been a long time since I read this story, but I can still remember the tension that develops throughout the story as the narrator gradually lures his ignorant victim to the depths of the catacombs, his desire for revenge increasing with each step that they take. As a result, navigating the catacombs of Paris suddenly became much more terrifying for me than ever before and the skulls and bones began to seem more irksome and depressing the longer I remained within the depths of the catacombs--  being surrounded by death for two hours. It is important to feel alive again after leaving the catacombs and I spent a few hours in the Parc de Sceaux near campus-- the clouds and rain had finally ended and the sky was blue once more, though it was still rather windy.

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