She stood by herself, her only source of light coming from her Ipod that dimly flashed in the darkness. She had no way of figuring out where she was, and whether an exit was near.
It seemed like days had passed. She felt cold, so cold. Her clothes would never dry in here. Out of exhaustion, out of fear, and out of despair, she started crying. Her tears rolled down her cheeks like little diamonds that gently kissed her lips, and vanished at the edge of her jawline down to a long fall onto the wet ground below her.
“The expedition would be a complete success.” she reminisced from the press conference held a few weeks ago. “Many treasures would be unveiled.”
The only chest (unfortunately not of gold) she discovered was the one of a human skeleton stuck between two rocks underwater, and the macabre scenery had given enough inspiration to her companions to tell horror stories to spice up the journey.
She’d wandered through the galleries until she’d reached a cul-de-sac. She could not go back. No, she had to find an exit here, or she’d die too, like all the others. She choked her tears back, and tried to give herself enough courage to venture her light along the walls of the cave until she found a hole of some sort.
Grabbing the Ipod with one hand, she let the device work its magic as she held her breath, listening for any suspicious noise. She knew it would come get her soon. It was only a matter of time now.
She worked hard, forcing her eyes to adjust to the darkness. After a long and exhausting effort, she finally sat down, shivering, wrapping her arms around her legs and putting her head on her knees to keep the heat of her body concentrated in one area. Her wet clothes were not helping. She was also feeling so scared.
The break lasted longer than expected. She woke up to the screams of a threat she knew was near, and her head started to hurt.
She stood up and worked on finding an exit again, now more eager than ever to escape from there alive. The sweat running down her face formed millions of little bubbles on her skin. Her breathing became harder, and louder. The Ipod firmly clutched in her hand, she kept looking for her pass to survival, and ultimately, to freedom, but again, she saw nothing.
She almost gave up. Her head between her hands, she prayed for a miracle to happen. She tried one last time, as she heard it getting closer.
Suddenly she gasped. There was a big enough opening, a few feet above her. The tunnel must have been several feet long, but she couldn’t tell exactly. She could maybe hide there for a while, until it stopped looking for her.
Resolved to do the impossible to survive this underground hell, she pushed herself high enough to be able to find a grip, but she slipped. The stone was too wet. After a few unsuccessful tries, she let herself fall and she cried some more.
The screams sounded very close now. She was sure it could smell her scent. It was a matter of minutes for it to find her.
Still holding the Ipod in her hand, she started reciting a prayer. As a last goodbye to her loved ones, she browsed through the picture albums loaded on the tiny device. She could now hear its loud breathing down the gallery.
Her eyes stared at the darkness, the Ipod as her flashlight, and her mind counted down the seconds until she’d finally face it.
It appeared before her more frightening than she thought. As soon as she saw a glimpse of it, she jumped and tried to climb up the hole again. Everything, but death. Her fingers slipped, her nails stuck to the stone, bleeding as she kept holding herself up, maintaining her balance and pushing through, giving enough propulsion to insert her whole body inside the tunnel.
She suddenly fell like a ragged doll onto the wet surface of the cave, pulled by a force she was unable to defeat. It all happened in a flash. She kicked and screamed, but an intolerable pain started spreading throughout her limbs as she felt dizziness taking over her thoughts, and quickly became deaf to the chewing sounds surrounding her. When her eyes locked on the dim light shining in the dark, she realized that the screen had shattered, displaying nonetheless a picture she recognized. At the sight of it, she smiled… and the Ipod went black.