The Rage: Part 18

XVIII

My night vision is not perfect and this tunnel is too dark for me. I put my hand to the wall and feel my way along the cold stones or bricks, hoping that I won’t hit anything. The air is stale and damp. The sound of dripping water echoes in the near silence. A puddle splashes beneath my foot. I feel my own breath on my face, a cloud of mist, but even that is unseen.

I look back over my shoulder towards the shaft of light that marks the exit. Even that is dim. Too far away. My heart thumps and my head screams for me to go back. A sticky web of spider silk adheres itself to my face. Something crunches beneath my foot. I have to turn around.

I hadn’t noticed how hard it was to breathe. The silence pushed on my chest like a weight, forcing me to hold my breath. I stop. I pushed my tongue against my teeth and whistled. The shrill sound echoed down the tunnel and a flurry of motion followed, rats scurrying, dust being disturbed, the call of a bird and its wings flapping in fright. Animal sounds. Nothing else.

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