Near my house, there was an old maintenance hatch which led down into the sewer beneath the town, which had since been sealed over with cement, because of reports of people going missing when falling down the open hatch. We heard that engineers working down there had reported strange noises coming from down in the depths of the old drainage system. The locals rumoured that there had been once been a mass grave dating back to an ancient plague. This had been thought to have been cleared out in the 18th century so it could be for underground tunnels. In the 60's the government had decided that it be used as a sewer for the rather large town above.
My friends Grant, Sarah, Tim, George, Paul and I had the fantastic idea of breaking the seal with a sledge hammer that we had “borrowed” from someone’s shed. As we peered down into the ancient catacomb, the blackness was infinite, so profound it had made the darkness of the hole so chilling, that I hardly blame Tim and George, who were our youngest friends. For saying they were experiencing extreme nausea, a fancy way of saying they were scared clueless, like the rest of us. We didn’t admit it though. Least they had the sense to go home, unlike the rest of our gang whose stupidity outweighed our usual good sense. But I’m getting ahead of myself.
Before we descended into the darkness below, I almost changed my mind. I just wish I had gone home. That kind of thinking was late, for we were already clambering down the ladder. Once in the first part of the tunnels we realised, all too late, that the only source of light we had with us, was a phone and a crappy little flashlight. Once we hit the bottom of the crooked, rusty ladder we recognised the smell of… death, I choked for a second or two.
We had sniggered and joked about the smell saying that it was Grant and we moved forward on our adventure although none of us fools were too sure of exactly where we were going. While we joked about the smell and saying that it was Grant, it was really funny but, for that split second when it all went quiet and we heard it. There was a scratching sound behind us we turned our heads very slowly as the flashlight flickered we could see the disfigured mangled corpse of a man in a stained dark red jumper and ripped trousers, the scratching sound, on closer inspection, was there were several rats devouring the corpse.
Against much negative words coming from everyone to go on with this idiotic quest for adventure, but Grant being the big macho man he was, trying to prove himself to everyone, argued he wanted very much to carry on and get to the next hatch on the other side of the passageway. Sahara and I knew that there was no hatch on the other side of this tunnel.
For we had seen the old maintenance map near the entrance showed that this tunnel, just curved round and deeper into the sewer. But still we pressed on, due to Grant. For some reason we could still hear a scratching from behind us even though we were more than fifty feet from the corpse, after more than seventy feet we could still hear it, eighty feet, not wanting to turn around, that feeling of fear of if you turn around that your worst fear could be right behind you of just standing right behind you.
That fear was enough to keep me from turning around, just blaming it on the curved walls of the sewer that seemed to bounce the sound further than it was meant to. More than about, one hundred and fifty feet I could not put it off any more, I decided to turn around and see what was going on.
When I focused the flickering flashlight on what I thought to be the source of the sound, It stopped but I found that there was another corpse half way out of the trench where the undisturbed waste lies, but the thing that made me stumble, the thing that took my breath for a second time was that it was staring right at me. There was no way that I wouldn’t have seen it when I had past there the first time. It must have floated up to the top, but that doesn’t explain how it could have got up onto the side of that trench.
On closer examination I had noticed that it still had most of its… stuff which is weird for a place such as this for flesh to still be on a corpse more than a month, maybe it’s one of the engineers. I thought, “What if somebody had killed him and left him there.” This thought quickly escaped my mind for some reason that is when my friends began to shout after me. I told them what I had seen, after finding but another corpse, we should’ve gone to the police, but because we were either too stupid or the pressure from Grant was too high because, he had threatened to push us in the sludge if we didn’t carry on.
Grant most likely wanted to impress Sarah, which, I couldn’t blame him for trying. He pressed on, we couldn’t leave him to go by himself so we followed him. Upon recollection, I probably should have pushed the fact that we had found two bodies, and that we should leave. What if the person that killed him was still here? I didn’t know that soon, I would receive the answer to my question, even if I had voiced it or not.
Again I had heard the same scratching sound from behind us I told the guys to stop and I quickly spun around, there right in front of me, was a corpse, still moving, scratching its way towards me. Less than 15 feet away, where its eyes were supposed to be there were, just two deep black craters staring back at me, I use the word “it” because it, had no lower body, just black entrails sliding along with it.
It opened its disgusting mouth to reveal several rotten, dark yellow coloured teeth it screamed a sound so unholy, so tortured, that my a cold chill went throughout my entire body. As it did, the guys quickly stopped their conversation and turned to look at me, I yelled at them to run and not to stop running until they find the exit hatch.
Scratch, thump, scratch, thump, scratch, thump. "It was picking up speed; it was quick, too quick for what I had seen previously," I thought, "What if there were more of those things." I could already hear it breathing behind me. As we were running I knocked into Paul, he tripped and fell into the trench, me and Grant tried to get to him, but it was too late the creature was on him, tearing his flesh and gnawing on his throat with its disgusting teeth, there were more than just one, several of these things, most still had the lower parts of their bodies.
He was trying to scream but instead he just gargled as he suffocated in the mixture of blood and faeces and all we could do was run. I ran so fast and for what felt like hours, until when I finally stopped to take a breath, I had realised that there was no heavy crack of feet on concrete, no heavy breathing from behind, I must have taken a wrong turn somewhere.
The only sound was the distant screaming of the corpses and then a few seconds later, a scream off in the gloom ahead, I was alone, I am all alone with my crappy little phone for light. That’s all I had now after dropping the flashlight when trying to help get Paul out of the slop, and being underground I had no reception. Being all alone and my entire arms stinking of faeces, I slid against the curved wall and sat down.
I waited for around half an hour, I could tell because I had my phone, I then heard someone crying down I the tunnel, I think it was a girl’s cry, I called out for Sarah but all I got in reply was silence, I got up and shouted down the tunnel for her again.
But then I heard then something screamed, I recognised it as the same as when I met my first corpse, and then its friends, responded by three other screeches, my heart sank in my chest and my hairs stood on edge, I couldn’t move, frozen in fear. I looked down at my phone, I flipped it open so I could use the backlight. It was very dull and could only light a few feet in front of me. In front of me, just a few feet I saw the withered bloody hand of one of the creatures that had, most likely had killed at least two of my best friends, I turned and ran.
There was no way of escape, I couldn’t see anything. But as I turned one corner, there were more about another two to four of these, things, there is no way of describing of just how repulsive they were, though at the same time, there was a veil of pity surrounding these creatures, as they had died centuries ago building this dark and endless tunnel, and it would only end up being their grave. They could not rest.
Although they were staring at me with those deep, empty sockets. The backlight on my phone turned off, I panicked and fell over, as soon as the light went one of them jumped toward me. I heard behind me as I ran for my life, scratch, thump, scratch, thump and the echoing sound of bare feet hitting the ground. I ran and ran but the scraping of their nails and the thudding of their bare feet terrified me as they shadowed me, my phone flickered, I tripped on something.
I hit the ground shattering my knee, I could see the exit hatch just a hundred yards in front of me, the light from it was peering through the gaps in the iron manhole. The petrifying "scratch, thump" and the thundering of bare feet on the concrete behind me, was deafening. I was petrified. You know how they say that, right before you die, all of your memories will flash before your eyes, well it doesn’t.
I dropped my phone, behind me I could hear the scratching of nails and the ever slowing beating of my heart, the slapping of feet on cold concrete, I scratched for my phone. I felt something, something hard, my phone I had found it, my heart skipped a beat, I felt a stiff breathing on my neck. The battery died. And so... did I.
Credited to Mr. Catacomb