Justin appears from the gloom.
“Justin! Where the hell is the plane? Please tell me you passed it on your way here.” Justin walks closer, mouth slightly open, eyes staring down the tunnel. “Justin? Are you okay?” Gabe takes a step towards him, rubbing the arm upon which he fell.
“The plane is gone.” Justin looks at the ground, arms held straight at his sides.
“What the hell do you mean? Where did it go?”
“It sunk down.” He looks up, staring straight ahead. “It’s gone.” His words are strained and he inhales after he finishes this statement, a sharp noise of abrupt intake of air.
“It sank?” Justin does not respond, expression blank. “Justin? You okay?… what happened to the radio?” Justin stares at him, eyes wide and the corners of his mouth turn up ever so slightly.
“No one’s coming to help.” He reaches out both hands in the direction of Gabe’s neck, and Gabe notices that there are patches on his skin, circles where the tissue has parted and grey shows below. The circles grow larger as he watches, rims red and wet, though no blood flows from them. Similar red rings seep through his shirt. Justin’s eyes bulge and then pop out, two spikes similar to those that impaled the businessman protrude from the sockets, points curling up and out in opposite angles.
Gabe recoils from the sudden transformation, his face a semblance of noiseless choking. He dashes past the thing wearing Justin’s skin just as three more tendrils erupt from its right leg, arm, and cheek. They flail about, the tip of one grey lash dyed red as it cuts Gabe’s bicep. It is red only briefly, the blood absorbed into the tentacle within seconds. The thing staggers after Gabe, more tendrils appearing with each passing minute, but its pace does not approach Gabe’s, nor does it seem to care, partial grin plastered on the defiled face. As Gabe runs, he has to sidestep as more bodies start to rise from beneath, their blank, eyeless faces preceded by more spiky tentacles growing from the ground around them, whipping around as soon as they are long enough. He gasps in short, strangled breaths but does not slow down. As he reaches the downward slope he slips and falls, rolling down and down, lines of tentacles popping up in rows behind him. He keeps rolling, actively attempting to outpace the tentacles as the slope gets steeper. The walls are a blur as he passes them, but an impression of sharp edges and moving tubes like ridged snakes run up and down the walls, a mass of wretchedness in the low, darkening light and pervasive mist. A few times he notices what appear to be faces as well, stretched out visages invariably in agony. His panic pulsates within his skull, and once again he hears the buzzing noise, this time louder than before and from all around, blocking out every other noise. Gabe manages to scramble to his feet again, doubled over and still moving forward when his run turns into a leap over the edge into the pit in front of him, the edges of which are not visible in the dark. He screams as he falls face down, a deep yell that fails to reverberate off the writhing walls.
( ©2016 Sean Dorsey )