Anthony dug for hours, but he remained warm enough to reach the orange jacket once more. A putrid scent filled the air. Stomach acid rushed to escape his body. When I tell this story to my friends, I’m leaving out the part about me hurling. The darkness of the snow didn’t press as much and Anthony’s breaths came easier. Anthony found the jacket and pushed the slime and rocks out of the sleeves. Then Anthony searched for the bottoms.
Further away than Anthony expected, the bottoms bunched around a strange set of long stones. After fighting them past the slime and pebbles, Anthony discovered a small hole. He felt around the hole and it cracked under his fingers. The snow shuddered around him, and Anthony pulled his hand back. A small hiss came from the hole. An air pressure differential?
Anthony leaned closer to the hiss and warm air brushed his lips and nose. Tingles rippled across any skin the air touched. Next, the sweet smell of cooked food. Grilled pineapple? No. Saliva filled Anthony’s mouth as his stomach grumbled like Atlas begging. Snow fell over the hole as Anthony shifted to get more comfortable. Shit. Anthony couldn’t find the sweet scent anymore. Frantic to regain his small amount of bliss, Anthony dug, more aggressive than before. His heavy breathing muffled the growing sounds of cracks.
The small hole opened beneath him as the cracks turned into a perfect circle. Anthony turned, grasped for the edge. His feet swung beneath him. Ice clattered on stone far below. The gloves he’d found slipped inside and out. A new rumble shook the opening under his fingers. The slime in the glove gave way. The glove remained frozen in place as Anthony fell.
This is how I die. If I don’t die in the fall, then I’ll die from internal bleeding from the impact. A shimmer appeared against the closest wall and Anthony’s heel caught on something. Anthony slammed into something solid and flat. The breath rushed out of his lungs. Then he slid down the flat surface, all the blood rushed to his head. Anthony almost vomited again before his head touched a rock floor.
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