PREFACE: This is the Discord where these contests take place weekly: https://discord.gg/gdT896j
“He's a real asshole, I'll tell ya that.” Wallman lit up a Camel, then passed the lighter to Tom.
“You say he's the asshole, but you're the one who started the fight, you know?” Donny snickered. Wallman dragged sullenly.
I noticed in the flickering of the discarded work light, Wallman's eye was now bright purple. I knew he also had a knife gash across his shoulder, but I made sure to bind it up tight. Leroy had been left behind, but I figured he could throw the Jacks off. He knew Civic Center better than anybody.
“C'mon, let's get going again,” said Roost. True to his name, his red mohawk drooped over the back of his shaved skull. “Them Jacks catch up to us an' last thing we need to worry about is who beat who, kapeesh?” He motioned to Wallman, who spat to the side, before begrudgingly butting out his smoke on the tunnel wall. My feet were cold and wet from wading through the sewer, but no one else had complained yet so I kept quiet.
We walked along for a time before Wallman spoke up again, kicking up some water. “How much further do we have to go, Roost? How do we know this fella of yours will follow through? We ain't hardly met him!”
“Lawrence my friend, Wallman, I'd appreciate it if you trusted him. We're nearly there. ”
Wallman stayed silent as we continued on. Eventually we reached an opening where the sewers opened up into a room, where a raised platform of cement awaited us. Tom and I were the first ones up on there, and when we saw that this was our destination, we eagerly took our wet shoes and socks off. Donny, the clever bastard, had taken his socks off before wading, and exchanged his wet shoes for the dry socks once he reached the mound. The five of us took a minute of reprieve.
Roost broke the silence. “Listen, Lawrence is a bit jumpy around new people, so stay calm and don't give him any reason to run or nothin'. He whistled down one of the number of tunnels that spouted from the room. Deep in the darkness of the tunnel, another whistle came in reply. “He's coming,” Roost reassured us. A minute passed, and the whistle came again, obviously closer. Tom had the flashlight, and flashed it down the tunnel. Nothing but blackness.
Wallman opened his mouth to complain when the blackness moved, a low gurgle barely audible as it squished it's way through the tight passage. Tom froze, keeping his light on the shapeless form that approached us. A splash behind us made us aware of Donny, running down the opposite corridor. Wallman's mouth had opened wider, his disbelief as evident as his rage. “Roost,” he said, his voice shaking, “What the fuck is that?”
Roost turned around, but I sensed immediately that the man who stood before us wasn't Roost. Not anymore. “He's my friend,” he said in a monotone voice, his eyeballs seeming blank in the darkness. Lawrence whistled in response. “Stop shining the light on him, he doesn't like it,” Roost commanded Tom. Tom was unresponsive. Roost knocked the flashlight out of his hand with a kick, snapping Tom out of his trance and scrambling towards the flashlight. It had fallen into the water. “Stop!” Roost called, in his own voice. Tom didn't listen. He jumped into the water, and with a sudden yelp, he keeled over in pain.
“MY LEGS!” he howled to us, turning around. He fell backwards and his legs- what was left of them swung up as he was enveloped in the water with a quickly muffled scream. The water had torn the flesh straight off. Wallman cried in horror. Lawrence whistled in a tone that reminded me of a disappointed mother. Roost was nonreactive to Tom's death, he turned immediately back to Lawrence, who had nearly reached the mouth of the tunnel, as far as I could tell in the darkness. I shivered, pulling my Rangers cap further down my brow.
“As long as you stay calm, everything will be fine, Roost assured the two of us. The thing entered the room, growing and stretching to fill the room, engulfing all but our plateau.
I picked up Tom's lighter and flicked the switch. In the light, a thousand bulbous eyes stared at me. They whistled directly to me their lullaby, and I let the lighter off. Their music was beautiful.