Something Under The House

He lifted the hatch in the floor under the desk revealing a ladder and darkness. Failing to think of bringing along a flashlight, and finding no matches or a better way to light his way, he held his phone in one hand while trying to keep hold of the ladder with his other. Using the flash from the camera on his phone only showed that the ladder ran deep, but did not define the dimensions of the subterranean room. Carefully, he climbed further down the ladder, until the hole in the floor now ceiling shrank to the size of a postage stamp. When one rung snapped under his weight, he threw his arms around the sides of the ladder, knocking his grip on his phone which tumbled down into the inky abyss. He forced himself to listen for the sound of the phone hitting the bottom, but when he lost sight of the only source of light, he still hadn’t heard a sound besides his own breathing. As his eyes adjusted to the darkness, he noticed shapes along the walls, if they were walls, although the distance was uncertain. Arches perhaps, well over his height. And movement. The arches moved, spiraling around him. That’s when he felt a vibration in the ladder, a low hum that grew louder, and roared up from beneath him. A wind, warm and wet, rose from below, and increased in intensity along with the sound. The arches were spinning faster, and getting closer, he was sure of it now. The arches were also folding away from the wall, protruding toward him. Like teeth in the maw of giant worm, the walls closed in on him, snuffing out his screams.

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