The Rage: Part 19

XIX

“How do we know this isn’t a trap?” Emilia whispered as we crept along the dark, damp tunnel.

“Have you got a better idea?”

Emilia sighed heavily but said no more. Topi and I walk either side of her, our hands skimming the surface of the walls, gathering the dirt and slime as we feel our way along the tube. We lost all sight twenty minutes ago and now there is nothing ahead but darkness.

A voice nags at the back of my mind, asking if Emilia could be right. I tell myself that we have no choice. We die up there or we die down here. At least the tunnel may lead somewhere. At least here, we might live a little longer.

Emilia forces us to stop, complaining as ever that her feet hurt, her back hurts and she needs to pee. It’s hard to think how much I’m beginning to resent her. Putting her down will be easy when the time comes. I don’t expect it to be too far off now.

I keep walking while she rests, scouting the tunnel ahead for any sign of life or hope or light. There’s nothing. Just perpetual darkness.

← Previous Back to Part One Next →

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.

← Previous Back to Part One Next →