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[personal profile] drewkitty
When we last saw our plucky hero, he was crawling along a BART track under construction, buried by an earthquake triggered underground collapse under many tons of landfill and debris. Hindered by a broken leg and horrible thirst, he begins to hallucinate.


I am supposed to be crawling toward the light. I am crawling toward the air.

I am trying not to think about the odds that the air is coming through a thin pipe, or many tiny cracks. The odds of reaching safety are very low indeed.

The odds of dying here if I stop are 100%. I don't want to die in this pit.

No one will miss me if I die, not even my accountant. I had a life and walking down that escalator, all unknowing, I pissed it away.

I wish I had something to catch piss in. Then I could drink.

My head hits something hard. I stop.

End of the line. End of the track.

I reach forward.

What I touch will tell me my fate.

Smooth concrete? Metal? Or jagged rock?

The touch is cold and my eyes frost. I would weep if I could.

I roll sideways a short distance, into the trackway. In total darkness, by touch I assemble the parts. Wires, a smartphone battery, torn bits of cloth.

Spark, spark. Finally it lights.

I am in a construction area. No bodies here. There is a big plywood sign painted in that unique font of busy construction workers with a spray can, "REFUGE."

It is in a cross tunnel between two trackways.

I am half lying in one of them.

There is no chance I can get myself up four feet and over that lip. My broken leg will bear no weight. None.

But if I do not, I will die here.

So it is up to my one good leg and my arms and my ability to suffer.

The screams bring no reply.

My arms and hands and fingers are bleeding now. AND I AM STILL LYING IN MY FUCKING GRAVE.

I mumble. I realize that I am starting to pray.

If there is a God, there is no God down here. No God down here. No God. Oh God. BOh God. Ohgodohgodohgod.

I am lying on the plastic faux cobbles of the safety strip.

I do not know how long I have been out. But it was long enough for divots to form in the skin that was pressed against the plastic.

My pants are ripped. The ersatz torch and its parts are gone.

I start crawling and start to fall off the edge.

No no no no no no!

I desperately twist and start to fall, and kick out. With both legs. The pain is a white hot blowtorch. But my broken leg hooks just long enough for my scrabbling hands to push me back.

I pant and carefully pat as I move forward and away from the edge.

My hand touches the plywood of the sign.

I have to identify items by touch. A can. A metal box. A radio.

A radio!

I turn it on and it gives the reassuring Motorola beep.

The backlight for the LCD display is as good as a flashlight.

I key up.

"One alive in the refuge," I try to say. What comes out is a thick gobble.

I piss in my hand, rinse out my mouth with bloody piss, key up and broadcast again.

No reply.

The metal box is a first aid kit.

The cans are water. They are pop top.

I force myself to sip slowly, so slowly. After half a can I get into the first aid kit. I wrap a foil blanket around myself and slide another piece of plywood under my butt.

Then I pass out again.

I wake up warm and able to see, from the dim sliver of light from the radio charger.

Power. We have power.
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August 2017

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