Wednesday, June 3, 2009
Danger is Not My Middle Name #7
It stank in that passageway. I won’t even describe what it smelled like in case you’re eating. I’ll just try to explain that it stank like something undead and decaying would stink after three or four days in the hot sun.
Jennifer gagged beside me.
“Breathe through your mouth,” I whispered. “I used to have to change my baby brother’s diapers. It’s the only way not to puke. Trust me. As a matter of fact--”
“Shut up,” she hissed back, coquettishly.
So I lapsed into a sulky silence. If I were Bogart, it would have been called a manly-yet-deeply-injured silence. So I decided to sulk in a manly manner. I was wondering if teasingly asking Jennifer if she had her cranky panties on would help or hurt me when my mind jumped tracks to a completely different train.
Was this passageway designed for humans? It felt wrong. The stairs were too narrow, the tunnel too tight. The angles were wrong in ways I cannot describe to you. The walls were slick with something wet and sticky at the same time.
The light was murky as a politician’s heart, but some things could be made out. I saw a white sphere perched precariously on a narrow step before me. My foot barely touched it and it teetered uncertainly for a second and then, in slow motion, slid off the stair and rolled downward, sounding like two garbage can covers being slammed together by an angry gorilla in the silence.
We stopped and stood very still.
“Idiot,” hissed Jennifer in my ear, still playing hard to get.
We both heard the slithery sound in the living darkness before us at the same time. We froze. Then we heard it again.
Something was coming our way and in the narrow passageway there was nowhere to hide.