After the first three steps or so, it turned blacker than the interior of a grandfather clock.
Fortunately, my friend was the proud possessor of a silver Zippo. He thumbed the wheel and we had a naked light. The mellow flame added just the right ambience to our adventure.
The flame was never steady and the yellow flickering cast beautiful shadows about the stone circle. But oh, it was tight in that spiral. We were forever turning around on ourselves and every sniff or scuff was magnified horribly.
I began to panic. It felt like we'd been in there for an eternity. The only cure, like so much else in life, was to concentrate on the moment, take it one slow step at a time, banishing the image of the ogre farmer who might be waiting outside the door for our return.
Or quietly following after.
Forever spiralling, I followed the light of the Zippo. The tower seemed to narrow as we got higher. The walls brushed my shoulders. What if there was no way out?
I was beginning to experience full on claustrophobia. And then a miracle. My friend had stopped. There was a sudden expanse of daylight as he pushed the door at the top of the tower open.
We stepped onto the viewing platform. Trees and forests stretching away forever. I leant over the iron railing and sucked in good clean air. The panic began to evaporate. I turned to say something to my friend but he wasn't there.
The platform was empty.