As soon as my skin contacted the latch, a grinding noise began to emanate from the hard concrete floor. Jerking my head from left to right, I had roughly half a second’s premonition of where the sound was coming from before the ground beneath me swung inward, launching my naked, unprotected body down a chute. It was only a short fall, but the hard packed dirt did nothing to cushion my impact, and as I glanced down a trickle of blood dripped off my right quad, forming an eerie floral pattern on the dank ground. Grimacing slightly, I gingerly stood up, aware now of my stinging leg but feeling no other immediate pinpricks of an injury.
Squinting against the dim lighting, I was able to discern what appeared to be a medium sized chest of drawers, which I blindly blundered towards. I fumbled for the handle to a drawer, smearing blood on the otherwise pristine surface of the wooden cabinet. After opening the drawer and digging around in the near blackness, I successfully removed a pair of stretchy pants, a green, faded spandex t-shirt and undergarments, and a flimsy pair of brown boots. Grateful for the covering, I practically leaped into the clothes, oblivious to the sticky wetness of blood drying the pants to my leg.
Now that I was dressed, I felt the fogginess seep out from my mind, replaced with the adrenal desire to escape whatever this dreadful underground encampment was. Peering upward, I concluded traveling back up the shaft through which I had fallen was nearly impossible, leaving the dark, unknown corners of the room I was in as the only way out. Groping about like a kitten whose eyes have not yet opened, I felt along the earthen walls, trying in vain to discover another door through which I could leave. As the minutes ticked by, I began to consider digging a tunnel upwards using my bare hands. After what I estimated to be an hour and a half of harried searching, I began to formulate a method by which to bore through the layers of dirt and earth encasing me.
A mere two minutes into the dig, however, my fingernail bent back sharply as a dull metal glint rebounded off the wall. Cautiously, tensely, I brushed back the dirt until a metal doorknob came into view. Grasping it firmly in both hands, I twisted the latch, eliciting a shrill moaning from the hinges, and pulled on it with all my strength until with a screech of defeat, the creaky door sprang heavily open and into a room filled with opalescent, white light.