I walked down the long corridor. Following the dim light towards an uncertain end. The air was dusty and hot. Sweat soaked my shirt. How long had I been in here? Time had disappeared along with my sense of direction. The deafening silence bounced off the walls reminding me I was completely alone.
Up ahead an opening to the left. The doorway pitch black offering no indication of a way out. My flashlight was running on fumes. Carefully I pointed the beam of light into the darkness. Shadowy figures instantly appeared on the walls of an empty rectangle shaped chamber. Ignoring my growing thirst, I knew I had very little time left to find a way out.
How long had I been here? I barely recalled the outside world. Lost in a world of tunnels, chambers and stone. I kept the hope that I would find a way.
The room was empty. Letting none of its secrets out. I ran my hand over the smooth stone. Carefully so I could find any hidden seams that may open to something else, perhaps an exit.
Nothing. Only dust.
The air was getting heavier. The walls were closing in. I felt the reality of it.
Yet something inside me refused to give up.
Just a little further. Keep going.
I left the chamber making note of its location to keep track in my mind some sense of location.
A sound up ahead.
What was that? Maybe someone is here with me?
I strained my ears. Nothing. Did it even happen? I began to doubt myself. Perhaps I was dehydrated and beginning to hallucinate.
Thoughts raced through my mind.
Again the sound.
Even my sense of time.
A strange tension grew between me and the location of the sound.
Images of strange creatures began to form in my mind.
A large animal? Impossible.
Another person lost in this gigantic maze of connecting tunnels and chambers far under the earth? Friend or foe?
“Hello?” my voice bounced off the walls.
This was insane. Panic began to build in my chest.
The light began to dim. Of course. Just like in every horror film ever made. Figures.
I closed my eyes and find the darkness behind my lids brighter then some of the spaces I had just come from.
I took a deep breath and began to move closer to whatever it was.
I guess if I meet my fate then so be it.
Death was a way out.
Just not my idea of an ideal way.
I finished the last of my water. For a moment I considered leaving the empty bottle right there on the floor. If someone found it they would know someone had been here. Perhaps a glimmer of hope?
The sound again. Only closer.
Shit, what is that?
I aimed the weak beam of light down the corridor.
Only emptiness and dust.
I can’t go back the way I came.
The hot air touched every part of me.
I moved slowly. As if doing so made my existence real.