The metal walkway creaks underneath your knees as you pull yourself up from it. The light from above continues to illuminate only a scarce section of the twisted column that you’re stuck in. The grated path that spirals up only offers three paths: towards the light, back the way you came, and down into darkness. With heavy breaths each step feels heavier than the last and even the first flight of steel steps has your knees knocking together. The adrenaline pumping through your system was wearing off and fatigue began setting in and setting in fast. After that final step your body hits the cold, unyielding steel of the second platform and your eyes close for what feels like the briefest of moments.
Your eyes flutter open and the blackness that surrounded you has been replaced with a dull red glow. Your nose is hit with the horrendous smell of rot. The light above still shines bright but the area around you has drastically changed. The walls, once blackened with steel, show wet, pulsating muscles covered in blood. It drips onto the walkway and through the holes in the grate. You scramble to your feet and press your back against the now warmed steel. The wall in front of you starts to undulate with slow pulses and push more blood out from the wall. The pace of the pulsating tumor on the wall continues until it explodes in a spray of blood, nearly blinding you as a hand penetrates through and reaches out to pull you into the writhing mass by your shirt.
Your body jerks and your hands punch at the bloody appendage. After several strikes of your fist against that wet, squishy arm a piece of your shirt rips away and the force sends you stumbling towards the railing. You catch yourself and turn to run. The metal underneath your feet shakes and squeaks with every landing your feet make with the surface and as you bound up the stairs the wall grows more and more of those nasty tumors and hands jut out from every one trying to grab onto anything they can.
One hand almost catches your ankle but swiped just against your foot. It wasn’t that offsetting of a swipe but it was enough to slow you down. Regardless you’re able to avoid getting snagged again but a new sound catches your attention as you make that desperate attempt to climb higher.
The ringing and grating sound of steel mashing together fills the entire metal hallway. The gnashing and grinding is coming from below and you steal a glance downwards and you nearly freeze in terror. Rows upon rows of teeth as thick as your arm slam shut and open from below, devouring everything above it. It scrapes the lining of the wall and something wailed all around you, crying out in pain as the teeth continued to move up towards where you were running.
That light looked impossible at this point but your legs still pumped. The momentary freezing had faded and while still dodging those bloody arms bursting from the disgusting walls you come closer and closer to that blinding light. You can even feel the subtle heat from whatever is above hitting your flesh as the dull, red room turns pink in the glowing light. You’re almost there.
The massive maw speeds its pursuit. It tears away every single piece of platform from the wall you’ve been running on up until the point you feel your own area shaking from the devouring beast below. You stumble a bit but catch yourself on the railing and use your arms to pull yourself back to that sprinting pace you’ve been keeping up for what feels like forever. Foot after foot, yard after yard you continue to climb with that maw gaining on you but that light is so bright and so close. You can feel the heat even more.
Your head pops over the ridge and you feel a hot breeze hit against your forehead. You throw the last of your energy into diving into the light and outside of the column you were in right as the teeth gnash in the light. It doesn’t come through and you’re on your stomach on concrete. The concrete is warm, too warm, and the summer day above beats down on your back. Whimpering you roll over onto your side and see those nasty teeth still chomping, but unable to move further out. After a few moments the teeth descended back into the darkness of the square hole you popped out of.
Tired, yet again, you poke your head up and look around. The wind blew hot and there was not another soul in sight. Trees and bushes surrounded the concrete slab you currently lay on but the clearing around it was sizable. How you ended up there is still a mystery; one you’re unsure if you want to solve or not. You push yourself up from that slab with aching muscles and start to shamble into the woods.
Do you find salvation, or will the nightmare continue?