Dark. That’s the word, dark. A crack of light from the ceiling didn’t help at all. Dark, wet, cold. There was another word for what she could sense. She was in the darkness, the floor was damp, and she was cold. What was the other word? She sat up. What was it?
The other word was pain. In her ribs, in her head, in general, all over. Okay, she could deal with this pain, it wasn’t excruciating. She waved her hands around her. She didn’t feel any walls. She crawled until she felt one and used it to stand up.
Some more words started to form in her mind. Fear. Panic. Claustrophobic. The wall was wet. It seemed to be sweating icy water. Was she buried underground? She took a few steps, the water splashed a bit around her feet. She patted the walls down looking for an exit. She had to have gotten in there somehow. The walls were made of equal size rock, she could feel the grooves where the cement was. The rock didn’t lay flat and parts were jagged. She managed to cut her hand on one.
It didn’t take long for her to decide she was in a tiny room. Or it had a lot of corners, she couldn’t tell. She travelled the same path around the walls hoping she had missed the door. But everything was sweating rock, and the water seemed to be a bit higher than before.
She then decided to check the floor, a trap door perhaps. It dipped and varied as she wondered around it. She kicked around rocks and sticks. They felt smooth and different, lighter somehow, from the floor and walls. The water covered her hands and went to her wrists as she felt along the floor.
There wasn’t any trap door or anything hinting at an exit. She sat down on the higher bit of floor that didn’t have any water on it. She was cold, scared, and confused. She had no recollection of how she got there, or even why she would be in such a place. Her head hurt.
The water ebbed at her pants. Was it rising? What she thought were rocks were floating and bumping into her feet. She picked one up and felt it around. A skull. Likely human. She was going to die down here.
The sound of a stream met her ears. Maybe the sound was a figment of her imagination, but the water was definitely rising, now it was hitting her knees. She didn’t even realize it, too panicked about the bones around her. The water picked up speed.
She had to stand back up, or else the water would’ve reached her stomach. As far as she could tell, she had found the highest place. Quickly, it reached her knees again, a good five inches higher than before. She couldn’t stand still, her foot slipped. Thankfully, the water behind her was deeper and kept her from hitting the ground too hard. But now, she was disorientated again and didn’t know where the rock she was sitting on was.
There, the water was at her hips. The bones floated up against her. Repetitively, she pushed them away. She went to find the walls again, maybe she could climb her way out. The dips in the rocks were too shallow to grip into. Warm tears started flowing down her cheeks.
It only took minutes for her to start floating in the water. Her body grew numb in the freezing water. Still, she continued to kick her legs to stay above the water. Stop kicking, stop living. She had to keep kicking.
The current pushed her to a different wall. She didn’t care, as long as she kept afloat. It didn’t take long for it to become difficult for her to be able to tell if she was still kicking or not.
Her head hit the ceiling. It too was made of rock. She put her hands up against it and felt a slope. She followed it to the higher spot, right next to the slim crack letting the little amount of light in. As the water started to slap her in the face, she poked her nose as close to it as possible, to stay breathing. Something tugged at her leg, pulling her away from the only bit of air she had.
Bubbles floated upwards and the girl reached to grab something, to stay higher, next to that crack. But what ever had her was too strong, she kept going down. It wasn’t long before the lack of air became unbearable. Her lungs started to feel like they were on fire. She couldn’t fight instinct any longer.
She breathed in.
The room was quiet. Everything was dry. There was nothing pulling her leg, there was no gash across her hand. She was in bed. She exhaled, relieved beyond belief.
It was just a dream.