But Melody wasn’t looking at the floor or the holes, she was staring at the ceiling. Fearfully, reluctantly and slowly, I turned my head up. There were more faceless men than I could count in the darkness; with the panic pumping in my veins. I think I made a sound because all at once they turned their heads in my direction. Blank and eyeless, all of them focused on me.
“Hello,” the said in unison.
Then they began to shift and squirm. Upside down, their arms were tucked tightly to their sides. And then they seemed to get closer. I hoped it was my eyes playing tricks on my, but when Melody took a step backwards, I knew the truth. Foot by foot they wriggled and dangled from the ceiling. Beyond their torsos’, there was nothing human about them. The pale slick part that made up what would have been legs was segmented and round like a worm. They continued downward, rocking and curling slightly. I didn’t have to guess; didn’t want to chance it that they would be more than long enough to reach me.
Tapping Melody softly, I nodded in the direction I intended to run, and she turned to get ready. I had to be careful to get my feet under me, and make sure I had a good footing or risk slipping. Then I took in a deep breath and made a break for it. Melody and I weaved around the holes, speeding to who knew where, as long as it was somewhere else.
“Hello?” The men called out from above me. They were moving faster now, dropping down from above. “What’s your name?” There was a splash and slap of mud as one of them fell down behind me. I didn’t want to look, but I didn’t. “What’s your name?” It was nearly face to face with me, and I stumbled into a hole. “Jacob.”
My ribs slammed hard into the side as I went down the hole. This time the drop was straight down. I plunged into a pool of water that was deeper than I expected. My body was spun in circles until I couldn’t tell up from down. Desperately I swam to find the surface. I came to the surface through another hole, just wide enough for me to squeeze through. It was dark and quiet. Afraid of what else might be lurking here, I quietly pulled myself out. The ground was a few feet down, and I flopped out onto the hard floor. I noticed immediately that Melody wasn’t with me, but there was no time to think about it, as the water began to slush and bubble. Getting to my feet, I looked for somewhere to go, only to realize that I was in a bathroom. It was a normal looking bathroom, but none that I’d ever been in. To one side was a closet, and I slipped inside. The door was slatted, and I watched as the faceless man emerged from the toilet. It rose up on its worm body and appeared to scan the room. Then let itself down onto the floor and crawled toward the shower. The man half and the worm half began to detach from each other with the sound of ripping flesh. Tendons and skin separated until a set of legs came sliding out. The man crawled the rest of the way into the shower, closing the curtain behind him. The worm half recoiled back down the toilet, and then there was nothing.
Was it waiting for me to show myself? Was this just another part of the hell world that I had found myself in?
The bathroom door opened, and the lights came on. A man, balding and paunchy, came stumbling in wear boxers. He yawned and strode up to the toilet. For a moment, he paused and looked at the shower curtain. Then he shook his head and started to pee.
Without a sound, the faceless man’s hand began to push the curtain open.