He’s dying, Unkha.
The words fly through my mind; the locusts of angst ravaging the field of my objective. An unending darkness from the cave below leaves no distraction from the thought. He’s dying. I cling onto the rope tied around my waist. The threads lightly unravel. It creaks against the edge of the abyss’ mouth.
My foot slips and a loose stone detaches from the muddy wall. It plods in its descent until there is only the creaking left. Is there ever a bottom? My left-hand feels a handle from the slime of the wall that envelopes me. I squeeze it between my fingers and palm. It compresses. I shriek and retract my hand. A fungus. The words swarm into my mind again. He’s dying.
They appeared on his nails first. Green and black with the stench of rot radiating from them. This world is new and we don’t know what dangers await or lurk in the dark. They seem not to care for light. His arm was engulfed within two days. His neck and chest, by the end of the week. They’re killing him…