Sharon’s notes: People can be illogical. They get so focused on something they want and they stop thinking about consequences. Thinking things through is not one of humanity’s strong suit. Neither is taking responsibility for ourselves. The things that we do may not be our fault, but they are our responsibility. Warning: Author is working this too, but promises that the better you get at thinking things through, the better things get.
I ran with my hand against the wall, my ragged breaths echoed against the walls almost as loud as my heart in my ears. Tears welled in my eyes and my lungs ached. My foot hit something that crunched and screamed, and I went pitching forward. I managed to get my hands in front of my face and avoid cracking my face on the ground, but my palms ached with the impact.
For just a second I hugged the ground, huddled against an attack I knew had to be coming. Seconds went by, and nothing happened. I shakily pulled the flashlight from my pocket, and shined it back the way I came. The hallway was empty, and the only dead thing I saw was the rat I’d stepped on.
I didn’t know if Kathy had managed to stop them or they were just delayed, but staying put wasn’t a good idea. I scrambled to my feet and continued following the tunnel. My lungs ached, so I kept a steady pace, but didn’t run. Had someone told me what was at the other end of this thing? I couldn’t remember. No matter what, it couldn’t be worse than the body snatching vampire ghost behind me. Besides, all I had to do was survive till dawn. Kathy said that the ghosts lost power then.
Unlike the rest of the hospital, that mostly smelled like stale dust, the tunnel stank. A combination of rot and urine turned my stomach. It was probably the rats. I passed an old gurney tucked against the wall. It was a uniform gray under the dust, exempt for the nest of rats tucked into the middle. A small pink nose poked out of the rotted sheet. Was it still called a pinkie if it was a rat, or was that only mice? It didn’t matter. I kept going.
As the tunnel started a gentle incline, the air started to warm up. There were enough rats that I had to watch where I stepped. The stench of decay was getting worse, and I hesitated. Maybe it would be best to wait in the tunnel. It was unpleasant, but not currently dangerous. No. Elizabeth might be following, and the smell was probably just a dead rat.
And I wondered what was at the end of the tunnel. I’d already seen enough to fill a dozen books and keep my blog going for years, and my curiosity had been progressively gotten me into worse situations, but . . . I was due some luck, right?