Monday, January 31, 2011

Mysterious Enemy #2, Part 3

The Third Month
Itwasjustmeat. Itwasjustmeat. Itwasjustmeat. Itwasjustmeat, was what he forced himself to think when he sat down to eat now. He couldn't not eat, he was already starting to feel weaker and he tired more easily than he had when he first was trapped down here. It was a vile thing to do to his allies, but a necessary thing. He told himself that between mouthfuls of burned meat.

He was making excellent progress with his crude tools. Chips of stone-like dirt littered the floor, and he had made a pile of them to use as a step ladder as he ascended out of the depths of the earth. The dirt was as firm as stone and once he made enough room to stand in the dirt ceiling, he began swinging great blows at the earth with his faux-pick.

It was lightless here, except for the occasional spark of his crude pick hitting stone. He lacked the night vision that some of his friends had had, but he was starting to be able to discern shapes more clearly in the darkness. It was said that his ancestors could see well enough in the dark that that could shoot a night fowl out of a tree at midnight from a several hundred paces with shocking ease, perhaps the enhanced vision was just a side effect of that heritage.

He dug for hours on end, sleeping only when exhaustion came upon him, eating when he was hungry and he could force himself to eat. He had never been a builder, and his trade had given him all the exercise he needed or wanted, so he had no clue if he was pacing himself properly or safely digging his way out of this tomb.

He wasn't.

He was perched precariously in his upward sloping tunnel, his pick a twisted and bent thing now. He would need to find more metal. Inspiration suddenly hit him and he wondered if he could perhaps heat the metal in the oven in the mess hall to shape it more easily. Smiling, he took a half hearted swing at the toughly compacted dirt. He heard the noise of his pick biting into the dirt, and the noise of chips of compressed dirt clattering to the ground, then a new noise. A noise that sounded like a sword or spike being shoved into soft earth as his pick lodged in something.

He had broken through. His efforts and barbarousness had been rewarded. He had found dirt. He didn't even need a pick any more. He'd dig till his fingers bled and his nails tore off if he had to to get out. That was when a torrent of dirt came sliding down and shoved him off of his ledge and smashed him against the ground of the tunnel below him.

When he came to, his mouth was open from screaming in agony, and there was dirt in it. He spat and looked around. He could see the opening above him. Still gloriously intact. The rush of dirt hadn't filled the hall or suffocated him. He looked at himself and saw that his left forearm was snapped and deformed, bent and twisted like a noodle and bleeding everywhere. He had time to notice that his upper arm was in the same shape. He'd never seen his own bones before.

He then noticed that he was still screaming in agony and his blood was turning the dirt to mud.

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