Old machinery covered in grime and cobwebs fills most of the space inside the little building. The only other thing in here is hatch in the floor. Topi picked the lock, but we didn’t go through; beneath it, a long ladder descends into darkness as far as either of us can see. Emilia didn’t even look; she said it would make her sick.
One of us has to be brave. One of us has to do it. It will most likely be me. To even suggest that Emilia should go first would be tantamount to threatening to kill her and letting Topi go would be to remain with her. She still hasn’t forgiven me.
As soon as she’s asleep, Topi gives me the nod and I creep to the hatch. I wait for it to creak, but it is silent, even as I lay it open. Inside, it’s just black. I wish I had something to drop so I could guess how far down it goes. I take a deep breath and put my foot onto the first rung of the ladder.
“Wish me luck,” I whisper.
Topi smiles and I begin to make my way into the darkness.
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