The tunnel was claustrophobic, stuffy, and dark, except for occasional glowing circles of light that dotted the sides. There was a rank smell of burned corpses.
Sometimes the walls of the tunnel felt, and even looked, like human flesh, with almost psychedelic lights, which flashed around the eyes of the naked man and woman who were crawling through, lighting their way, yet also confusing them. At other times, the walls their hands, knees, and feet thumped against felt like steel, with only a faint light far, far ahead, suggesting a way outside. The light dosage of drugs that had been put into their bodies, to put them to sleep earlier that night, made it difficult to distinguish between dream and reality. All they knew was that they had to get out of this place.
When they’d been knocked out by the drugs, the man had been dreaming about swimming deep in the dark sea at night, seemingly able to breathe water. The woman had been dreaming about crawling through a giant intestine. Then they both heard the sound of a door sliding open, and they woke up…or had they? They crawled in, her not sure if she was still crawling through a giant intestine, or through a steel-walled tunnel, and him not sure if he was still swimming in an ocean, or crawling through a transparent plastic tunnel, surrounded by the sea.
The dream-like state of their consciousness, what they saw, heard, and felt in their bodies and brains, seemed to shift from consciousness to unconsciousness like the waves of the ocean. Her sense that the tunnel would shift back and forth from intestine flesh walls to those of metal, and his sense of crawling in a tunnel of transparent plastic, or of swimming in the sea at night, would similarly shift back and forth, again, like the waves of the ocean. Like crests and troughs, undulating up and down: that’s how the back-and-forth shifting from the surreal to the real felt for them. They both almost felt as if they were breathing water.
Speaking of wetness, only their soaking sweat covered their total nakedness as they shuffled through, banging their elbows and knees against the sides of the tunnel. The desperate urge to escape made Petunia LeBar and the man crawling behind her forget their fatigue, as well as the unbearable heat.
“How much longer, do you think?” the man asked in gasps, seeing transparent plastic walls around him.
“I think…I see a tiny…dot of light…up ahead,” she panted, now crawling faster in what seemed like a giant’s intestine. “We’re almost there.”
“Thank God,” he said, now seeming to swim. “We’ll be free…of those bastards.”
“The light…is getting bigger,” she said, seeing metal walls around her. “This is it.”
They started crawling faster, in eager anticipation of their soon-to-come freedom. The shifts from intestine-to-metal-to-intestine-to-metal were speeding up for her, as were the back-and-forth shifts from transparent plastic walls to ocean water for him.
Then, from behind, they heard the squealing sounds…like a million screeching violins in a crescendo.
“Oh, no,” she said with shaking breaths.
An electric shock of adrenaline neutralized the stupor they’d felt from the drugs, a reaction that came every time all escapers heard those sounds in the tunnels. Now, they recognized the steel walls of the tunnel all around them, and they saw only that.
“Let’s hurry…before they get us…Be brave!” he said. Suddenly, though, he felt an army of short, thick worm-like things crawling up his legs. “Oh, God! They’re on me!”
“Oh, my God! Frank! No!”
She looked back and saw the short, glowing Creeps, wiggling in colours of blue, yellow, green, and orange, some crawling past him and towards her, others crawling all over his body, aiming for his ass and head.
Before he could close his buttocks in time, one of those things slithered inside his anus. He screamed and jerked his whole body, banging against the walls, roof, and floor of the tunnel, as the Creep slid deep inside his rectum, then into his intestines as fast as mercury. It wiggled inside, tickling him; then other Creeps made their way inside, one in his right ear, one up his left nostril, two in his mouth, and another up his ass.
He kept banging his head and limbs against the walls of the tunnel in all helplessness as he endured the unbearable tickling…so unbearable that he ignored the pain of his bruised and bloody toes and fingers.
Then the first Creep settled in his intestines…
…and the burning began.
“Oh! Oh! It’s hot!” he groaned.
“Frank! Frank! Oh, God, don’t die on me!” she bawled, slowing her crawling, confused over whether to go back and help him or flee the approaching Creeps.
He moaned in pain at first, then the ball of fire he felt inside himself grew, burning holes in his internal organs. He felt the fire cut into his stomach.
“Ah! It’s burning!” he screamed, then coughed blood, his body now shaking and writhing with as much violence as that of the burning Creep. Then his body went limp and he lost consciousness, falling on the floor of the tunnel.
So horrified was she by his death, always sobbing and shaking, that she hadn’t noticed the Creeps crawling up her legs.
Then she snapped out of it.
“Oh, God!” she shrieked, trying to close her legs; but one of those things was too fast for her, and it slid inside her vagina.
Her whole body shook. She screamed, putting two fingers inside to try to scoop it out, then two other Creeps slinked in. They got past her flickering fingers and joined the first, deep inside her now. Then one of those wigglers crept inside her anus.
The three inside her vagina melted. She felt the ooze permeating her body within seconds, passing through the mucous membranes of her internal organs. The other one snaked up her rectum and into her intestines. As she continued shaking all over, banging against the tunnel walls as Frank had, she softly sobbed.
Am I going to die, too? she wondered.
That worm melted inside her, too, in about the same area of her body as the one that killed Frank, and she could feel its substance pass into her bloodstream and spread throughout her body.
But, what was it?
Would it burn her insides, too? If it was going to do that, she figured it would have already begun burning. It had to be something else. But what? Part of her would have preferred the burning and a quick death to her forced life of prostitution in this hell of a house. She trembled as she waited for it to take effect, for she knew these worm-like Creeps were how her enslavers kept her and all the other nude women and men here under their control.
Soon enough, she began to feel the effect of a drug. She grew light-headed, her body swaying left to right. It almost felt like ecstasy, but it was a depressant rather than a stimulant. That ocean of dark waves she’d been seeing before her grew darker, and wavier, now. She now had no sense at all of being in a smelly, hot tunnel: it really felt as if she were breathing deep underwater like a fish swimming about at night, among a school of glowing jellyfish.
Her eyes grew heavy, and the glowing multi-colour Creeps surrounding her grew foggier before her eyes. Her limbs and head grew even heavier, and within a minute she slumped onto the floor of the tunnel and passed out.