SHE startles awake with a gasp, her heart beating so hard she can hear it pounding against her chest.
It’s so dark. Too dark. There must have been a power outage. Even in the middle of the night, she can usually see the dim light from her alarm clock, but this dark is deeper than any she’s ever known. She can’t see a thing.
She touches her eyes, just to be sure they’re open; they are. She tries to get up to look for a flashlight and cannot; she is met with resistance. She lies there for a second, feeling the panic build.
What is that smell? A mixture of bleach, plastic, and... and rubber? Now she remembers... It isn’t a nightmare. She’s not at home in her bed. She’s freezing and her body aches.
She takes several deep breaths and tries to stay calm. She reaches up and gently runs the knuckle of her index finger around her prison. She must have fallen into something. Maybe through a floor into a crawlspace? But what crawlspace... what house? She can’t remember getting here. She can’t remember her last memory before “here.”
Her head feels heavy, like she’s foggy and half-asleep. But she feels like she’s awake and this really is happening. Her throat is parched and sore, along with her throbbing, bleeding fingertips and at least a few broken nails that she can feel, but not see, to give her enough discomfort to realize she is definitely not dreaming. She’s in a confined space—trapped—that much she can tell just by trying to raise her arm straight up, because she cannot. When she tries, it’s as if she hits a roof or a lid—something—before she can extend her arm all the way. She can feel her own hot breath blowing back against her face, as if there’s nowhere for it to go but bounce back at her. Is she in a crawlspace? Or... could it be a coffin—or a box?! She wonders, feeling the panic build again.
Screaming, she feels along the hard surface, then resorts to clawing before she stops, gasping at a painful stab under her fingernail. She tries to ignore the throbbing of her finger to concentrate on more exploring. There has to be a way out.
To the right is a wall. She rolls to her back and reaches out, feeling equal space to the left. Her mind is fuzzy, but she’s starting to remember awakening once before to discover herself trapped in this darkness and wildly trying to find her way out, not succeeding. She’d been met with dead-ends every which way she turned, moving in circles like a sand crab trying to find its way back into its dark hole—or out of it.
Click Follow to receive emails when this author adds content on Bublish