“You okay?” he asked, the quiet concern in his voice calming her.
“Yeah,” she managed. “I just, ah…have a minor issue with heights is all.” Swallowing, she glanced up at the opening they’d dropped from. “More specifically, careening to my death from high in the sky.”
Brett chuckled as he fumbled with the knots around her waist. “Well, you’re not going anywhere while I have you.” His light fingers brushed a section of skin that had been exposed by her sliding shirt, sending a shiver across her. “Sorry about that,” he murmured, concentrating on his knot, secure enough to rival the most skilled Boy scout.
“That’s okay,” Shiloh replied, fighting back the urge to run a hand across his short cropped hair. “So, I was just wondering. Now that we’re down here, how are we going to get back up?”
Brett smiled as he stood, the ropes falling away from both of them. “We’ll worry about that when the time comes.”
“Oh.” She took the flashlight he handed her and flipped it on, swinging it around the cavernous space. A high ceiling was above them, lined with wooden scaffolding, half rotted. Two tunnels split off in front of them, both with rail tracks leading into the dark abyss.
“That’s neat,” Brett commented. “I didn’t know they did mine work here.”
“Judging by the scaffolding work, it was done a long time ago.” Shiloh jumped when something ran across her foot. Her flashlight followed a tail into a crevice with a shudder. “Oh, Jesus. Rats.”
“Did you expect unicorns and fairies?”
Sticking her tongue out at Brett’s back, she hustled to keep up with him as he moved towards the tunnels. “Damn it,” she whispered.
“I have to pee.”
Brett looked over his shoulder with a smirk. “Didn’t I tell you to go before we tied up?”
“Shut up. What the hell am I supposed to do?” The urge was overwhelming.
“Go in the corner over there.” His flashlight illuminated a corner near a third, and previously unnoticed, tunnel.
“With you standing here?” Disgusted, Shiloh shook her head.
“Just pretend I’m not here,” Brett replied, turning and crossing his arms over his chest.
Cursing under her breath, Shiloh took her flashlight and went as far into the corner as she could. She put the flashlight on the ground facing the tunnel while she did her business. Pulling her pants back up, she glanced at the dark hall.
When the man in the tunnel ducked out of sight, Shiloh fell backwards shrieking. Brett pivoted and rushed towards her, catching her just before she hit the hard ground. “Holy shit!” she exclaimed, trying to climb up Brett’s body to gain ground. “There was a – he was – watching me… Holy shit.”
“Shiloh,” Brett said forcefully, grabbing her around the waist. “Calm down. What happened?”
Her hands were shaking something fierce and she tried to calm her breathing, keeping an eagle eye on the tunnel. “I was…I was in the corner and I stood up and then I looked at the tunnel and there was a guy watching me.” Shivering, Shiloh didn’t object when Brett pulled her against him. “He was watching me.”
“Okay,” he whispered. “Let me go check it out.”
Shiloh didn’t let him go far before she was latched onto his shirt, peeking around his arm with wide eyes. The flashlight sat exactly where she’d left it, the beam shining down the tunnel to illuminate a single dark corner.
“Hello? Anyone there?” Brett’s voice echoed through the cavern. He waited a beat and then looked over his shoulder. “See?”
“Shiloh…” The whisper blew in on a light breeze just as Shiloh opened her mouth to respond. It reflected off the walls, coming at her from all directions until she was surrounded.
Eyes wide with terror, Shiloh backed away from Brett. “Shiloh?” Brett asked tentatively.
Behind him, a man’s face appeared in the flashlight beam. Crawling low to the floor with his talon like fingers, face twisted grotesquely in the dim light, he was coming straight for her.
The other great flashers:
L. M. Brown (m/m)
Lily Sawyer (m/m)
Nicole Dennis (m/m)
Sui Lynn (m/m)
RJ Scott (m/m)
Victoria Blisse (m/f)
Pender Mackie (m/m)
Heather Lin (m/f)
Ryssa Edwards (m/m)