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Knock, knock

The air is thick with dust and shadows, as death creeps closer in the dark. Endless tunnels. Twisting, turning and twisting again. Who knows how many tons of soil and stone separate me from the sunlight. I’ve been walking for hours with nothing but the hard-packed earth above and the burning breath in my chest.

And the knocking. The never-ending knocking. Footfall after footfall and always the knocking. The knocking, the knocking, always knocking. Knock, knock, knock. Never stopping, always there. Filling my brain with constant noise. Ever closer. Closer and closer.

Footfalls are getting faster. Tearing flesh and breaking bone, but to no effect. All I hear is the knocking. Over and over like a ceaseless drumming that rips a scream from my throat and bounces off the walls into shadow. The scream returns, sevenfold, from every direction, a taunting call of malice. Malice and madness.

The screams grow louder and louder. I run faster and faster, my skull is bursting with sound. I don’t know where I am. I’m running blind. Twists and turns and twists again, all the time the terrible knocking that cleaves my mind in two. But no matter how much noise you make it will never reach the surface. I’m already past six feet under. Nothing but soil and stone and running and wide eyes, flailing hands, writhing bodies and the taste of blood. The screams are everything now, echoing in my ears with a pulsing glow of scarlet. Insanity is sweet as it burns itself into your brain. A fiery brand that eats itself deeper.

After the screaming comes the silence. Blissfully silent. As a grave should be. I turn to face the spiralling passageways that are perfect and empty once more. Wet, slippery warmth drips from my mouth, my eyes, my ears, my hands. This devouring beneath is sated once more, contentment and sighing satisfaction.

But it’s like a clock, tick tock.

It never stops.

Around and around, that constant sound, forever coming.

Knock, knock.

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