Sunday, September 1, 2013

The Rave in the Cave

The steady thrum of club music was sometimes loud, sometimes faint, but always somewhere just ahead as Mark stumbled through the damp tunnels, chasing the dimming white circle cast by his flashlight. The tattered printout of directions to the so-called "Cattacombe Rayve" he clutched in one hand had stopped being useful the fourth or fifth time he'd face-planted into the thin layer of water that covered the irregular floor, but he refused to let go. As long as he was holding it, he could cling to the hope of finding his way out again.
   He was sure he must be getting close, if only because there couldn't be too many more tunnels he hadn't already explored. The music was definitely growing steadily louder, and he picked up his pace as he stepped around one last unremarkable corner to find himself face-to-face with a pair of hunched, goatish figures, lounging against brick walls on either side of the path, long-faced, hairy and reeking of blood. They looked him up and down, red eyes gleaming. "All right, this gotta be the last one. So full can barely fuckin' move," croaked the slightly fatter one.
   The slightly larger one belched and added, "Gotta love Craigslist," before slapping a hand on a battered boombox, silencing the dubsteb that filled the air, the diminishing bass echoes fleeing through the maze of passages. The cheap radio tipped forward from its precarious perch atop an untidy pile of the chewed and torn remains of party-seekers, slipping down the slope to rest in a tangle of organs. Mark was still staring blankly at it, desperately trying to find just one thing in this scene he could make sense of, when a gnarled fist slammed into his skull. He dropped, the world spinning. As he lay immobile on the chill concrete, his brain decided against his will to start counting the individual heads, cracked open and wetly gaping, scattered in front of him, but a second blow that came swooping lazily down from out of the dark put a merciful stop to that.

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