Sink hole

Detroit Underground

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*Scholarship Submission*

Walking out of the liquor store, a fresh pack of smokes in my pocket, I fumbled to put my striped gloves on. The wind whipped my face. I gritted my teeth and walked onward towards salvation, the warm building at the end of a snowy vortex. Ahead of me, I saw a hexagonal formation of traffic cones obstructing the quickly approaching sidewalk. No caution tape or signage denoted their purposeful placement in my path, so I walked through them despite the vague apprehension that made my stomach churn as I passed between the orange pillars.

As my boot crunched the gravel beneath my sole, the ground canoed ahead of me as if I’d split the red sea. Suddenly, my body plummeted into the depths of Detroit via what was assumedly a sinkhole. With a force that shook my whole body, my feet made contact with the soil beneath my toes. Snapping my head upwards, the street above me looked like a strange, celestial body shining light down upon me and me alone. My hands desperately searched my pockets as snow and gravel idly dropped on my head, falling from the edges of the crevasse. I finally retracted my hand to look down at my smart phone, fifty percent battery. That’s not so bad. No signal or any hotspots were within range from this far underground. That’s bad. I scratched my head, and pondered if anyone saw me slip from the surface without a sound.

Not a ladder in sight, I was beginning to panic. I yelled for help, not that anyone would bat an eye at my cries with the boundless apathy and clamor of urban America, and fruitlessly, I found myself sobbing on the ground, the spotlight shone down upon me, with no crowd or anyone to listen. The darkness laid heavy upon me as my eyes fixated into the distance, staring a thousand miles into the abyssal depths. I grabbed the lighter from my pocket, took off my glove and struck the flint, dimly illuminated the tunnel I now found myself in. I pursed a cigarette between my lips and lit it, at least it isn’t as blistering as smoking in the frigid wind. I paced and tried to collect myself for a moment; yelled for help as loudly as I can one more time, and listened to the reverberation of my own voice travelling down the tunnel at the speed of futility. Suddenly, I heard a scuffling ahead of me, my field of vision extended only to the end of my cigarette. Whatever was making that sound is now lumbering for me at full force, I can hear the great thudding created by mighty feet clashing with the ground, that accelerated towards me. I let out a wail that sent my cancer stick dashing towards the ground, and sent me dashing away from the great beast that approached me.

As I ran through my spotlight for the last time, I felt something grip my ankle, the bone fracturing under all the pressure. I struggled to stay in the light, but the almighty force pulled me with ease back into the depths. Watching the light recede, a single striped glove lay centerstage, with a still smoking cigarette withering away in the cascading light.