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The Tunnel Rat

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I woke up at least a few hours ago. It's dark. I think I'm inside the well. They must've tossed us down here. Jack and Garreth are dead. I don't know why we're down here. That scumbag Michael, that double-crossing piece of... I was shot. We all were. We brought the money and the dude just shot us. The well is thirty meters up and I survived the fall... He shot us, he set us on fire and he tossed us down here. I can't believe I survived this damn fall...

I'm trying to take notes with scrap paper that the workers who made this well left down here. There was an old journal and I had a pen on me. I'm trying to figure out how I'm alive. I've got a bullet in my side. I can feel it. I can feel the hole. It's dark... light enough for me to write but not enough to see the extent of the damage. Not that I'd want to. I have to get the bullet out, but what am I going to use? The pen? My fingers? My fingers are too big. 

I'm trying to wander around, looking for an exit. It's hard to walk. My feet burned, and I attempted to remove my shoes. Bad idea. When he burned me... my shoes, they're attached to the skin. When I took them off, they just peeled the skin right off. I didn't feel anything! That should hurt. The nerves are dead. I can't feel any pain from the bullet. I don't want to die. I'm thinking of Carolyn, my son, my son is going to only "remember" his dad and see him from photographs and Carolyn will...

No! I'm going to live. It's only been a day. It feels so much longer but it could only have been a day. I'm hungry and weak. I'll make it. I've got water. All the water I need. Clean water. When I stepped in, I didn't feel it. It had no warmth, no cold, but it tasted like the coldest water ever... and that was when I realized my tongue was split and jaw broken. How could I not notice that? How could I not feel that? I feel my shirt, my skin. It feels so dry and rugged.

My clothes, and my skin smells. They're burnt. I know I was burnt but my clothes are burned on. I should've guessed that was the case when my shoes peeled off the skin on my feet. When I take pieces of my shirt off, I just hear the tearing, the slick peeling of paint or rubber, sometimes it sounds like peeling off tape. I'm not going to bother. If I can't feel it, I might just be tearing myself apart, and I can't do that.

I pray to whatever God is out there to keep me alive. I pray, I pray. I won't sell, I won't buy, I'll... I'm so hungry. I see the rats around. I try to catch them but my body just doesn't have the strength. I can only stumble. I can barely lift my legs off the ground. I can't roll my shoulders. My body is thinning... The smell of Jack and Garreth... rotting, smelling like bad eggs, moldy cheese, it's unbearable. I'm trying to move around the tunnels. I'm trying to make a map of where I'm going. I'm just getting weaker...

I found a light source. It's a small hole that rises up a few feet. It's tiny, but it allows sunlight that bounces off rocks to shine in. Water drips from it, so I can imagine it's close to the river... I kept track of where I'm at and I've been able to keep track of time, at least day and night cycles, using it. I found two poles. I can feel the rust on them, but I'm trying to use them to gain balance. My arms are giving out and need to rest.

I propped the poles under my shoulders and used them to stand. My eyesight is weak. Even though adjusted to the dark, it's still difficult to make out my surroundings. Instead, I use the poles to keep track of my surroundings. It's sonar, like a bat... kind of. I'm just so hungry. I'd eat the rats but they always get away. What about... No! God. No. What am I thinking! No. I need to sleep. I need to sleep but I can't close my eyes... I can't close my eyes, why can't I...? My eyelids!

I've developed near-sightedness and can't even see down the tunnels anymore. Though my eyes are adjusted enough to write so very clearly, to see myself... the extent of my wounds... I can't see ten feet ahead. I tried to lay down, to sleep, and the poles just fell through my shoulders. They impaled my shoulders. I heard no blood splatter, I felt no pain. This isn't right. This isn't right. This is so fucking wrong! I probably look like a goddamn monster.... But even I have to admit, with the poles fixed in place, I can stand properly now. My feet drag and I stumble, but I have balance. It's weird.

The rotting smell, the rot, the burn smell, doesn't smell like burned rubber or rotten eggs. It smells like... meat. It smells good. I almost consider it... I'd be susceptible to disease but I should've died days ago. I've counted seven days since I found the tunnel and I know for sure it was at least a day before then that I fell. Besides. If they were burned, they were cooked. It would last a few days longer... It can't be worse than the rats. Maybe as a last resort.

They tasted so good. The consistency of undercooked pork. At least, Garreth did. Jack's a little too burned. Garreth had enough fat on him that he could've been slow cooked. It tastes just like pork/bacon. Just like damn bacon. I've got strength but I feel my body just... falling apart. Pieces of my shirt... and pieces of my skin fell off. They just... fell. My feet are bony, I can see the bones exposed, actually. The skin is so thin and no muscle remains. My ribs are visible, exposed. They're protruding out. Some of my fingers have fallen off. I'm glad I have my index, middle, and thumb or I wouldn't be able to write. The fingers that haven't fallen off... 

Crap. That was my last fingernail.

Jack... his wallet survived. He had a note on his body. He had sold us out! He was going to let Michael kill us if he got a share of the money we'd used to get the crack! He got what he deserved but we didn't! That bastard... that... It doesn't matter. It just doesn't matter now.

I've counted at least twenty-eight day/night cycles. My thighs have no fat anymore. The flesh and bone are exposed, the smell is just like the undercooked pork smell of Garreth. I ran out of enough parts to eat of Garreth and started eating his organs. His intestines. I couldn't tell the difference in smell, and I wasn't dead yet. His body is nearly picked clean. I've gone blind in my right eye completely. My left eye can tell darkness from light. It can read and write about three feet away. It can see the map, but that's it. The rats come to me now. The rats just climb right up and try to nibble. I don't feel anything, but once they're attached I just grab them with my hands. Or what's left of my hands.

It's too hard to catch the rats, they always slip. I have no problem eating them raw. I can't tell the difference anymore. My lips fell off. My teeth started to rot out. I know that my body is rotting. My body should be dead... it is dead, but I'm conscious. I know the tunnels completely. I know every inch, of every wall. I know no exits, or entrances but the well itself and the crack from the river's cave. I... regret those prayers. I want to be dead. I want to die. I wished I died earlier. How could I kill myself? Stab myself in the brain? Eat myself? It wouldn't work. I know my heart isn't to blame, it fell out through exposed ribs.

No doctor could help me now... I found some rusty nails which I drove through my right hand fingers to catch the rats with. It works. I didn't even feel the nails go in and they catch the rats easily. When I would sleep in the dark, the rats would come and eat away at me. Now they can't. I just stay awake, and as long as they come I have food. My right eye fell out. My left eye is blind, but I can write blind now. I just keep my journal close. I listen with the poles. My legs are finally done, and I walk by moving my shoulders. My legs keep the poles balanced as they drag across the floor, the rats eating at the toes and feet. I can't reach the rats, but if they dare crawl up my legs... I'm sorry Garreth, I'm sorry.

I heard somebody I vaguely remember. A deal that went wrong or something from my old life. He came back with two others. I heard their footsteps. I heard them coming. "Find the bodies." Something about a "Jack" having crack locations in his wallet. They spread out. "Split up." I followed the steps of one, ever so silently. He didn't hear me. He didn't turn around. I would've felt it. Instead, I slipped my nail hand in his eyes. His screams for "Michael," the name sounding familiar, pierced the halls. I bit into his throat and body. I was so hungry. The meat was so different from the rats, so much better. So much.

"What the hell is that?!" the recognizable voice screams. I hear loud piercing noises. I feel thumps but... nothing really. I hear somebody trip. He's got more weight, a louder thump. More force. More meat.

The last man runs around the tunnels. Tunnels I know. Thunder breaks down the tunnels. Tunnels I'm not even close to. It's silent. He might've come from the well entrance. The one with the high ceiling that sounds echo off of. He runs towards that area, and I try to cut him off. He doesn't know where he's going.

Suddenly I reach the well at the same time he does. I heard clicks and he cursed. He ran past me, shoving me down, but I stuck my nail hand into his back and grabbed the spine. He was down. I heard thumps and whistles in the air, I felt light thumps while he probably tried to hit me, but I only bit into him. He was screaming, but when I reached a spot where lots of liquid poured out, he stopped. I now have enough meat to last for quite some time. It tastes good like undercooked pork all over again. So much better than the rats. So much better. So much better.

My fingers are slipping, not slipping, falling off, breaking off. I can't write anymore. I can't-

Written by Scorch933
Content is available under CC BY-SA

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