She was beginning to get worried.
Actually, that had started a few days ago. Now, she was beginning to come to terms with the fact that she might be down here for some time. The weeks were starting to blend together.
She still couldn’t really remember what happened. She’d had a fall, she remembered that much, but how she went from being in Meriden proper to down here, that part eluded her. Must have been the Mist. She shouldn’t have taken it. She usually regretted it afterwards, but it was always fairly harmless. A headache, a bad decision or two. Sometimes she’d wake up in some corner of the city she didn’t know and have to make her way back. Nothing like this.
She’d had to eat a rat.
It was cold down here, and she was hungry, and the only thing remotely edible in this maze were the rats. It had been difficult to catch, but desperation bred determination, and she was successful in the end. It was wet, and it twitched as she bit into it, and even though now, wracked with fever and retching, she would have rather gone hungry, relief had washed over her in the moment.
She knew people lived down here, and she knew the Warrens connected to the city regularly, but for the life of her she couldn’t find anyone, or any way out.
Maybe she’d die down here.
She didn’t feel well right now, that was for sure. Slumped against the damp sewer wall, struggling to keep her eyelids open, her insides twisting and coiling about themselves. She could just close her eyes. She wouldn’t have to worry anymore.
There was little reason to fight to get back to the surface anyways. It wasn’t like her lot up there was much better than down here. The food tasted better, at least. There was that. Down here, she wouldn’t have to go to work anymore.
She could feel the capsule in her pocket. She’d found it in the first few days, forgotten in the folds of her clothes. One more dose. It wouldn’t be so bad, she thought. She couldn’t wind up much worse. If a rotbeast found her, at least she wouldn’t feel it. Maybe it was time.
She picked it up, holding it in front of her face. The silvery liquid glinted in the darkness. It’d take her mind off the pain, at least for a little bit. Slowly, she placed the capsule in her mouth, holding it between her teeth, then bit down slowly.
It let out a soft hiss as the capsule emptied, and she smiled as she inhaled. The pain in her stomach wasn’t so bad all of a sudden, and she no longer resisted the droop of her eyelids. She leant her head back against the wall, and everything went to black.
* * *
“Hey. Hey, she’s waking up.”