The squeeze has been getting tighter as you’ve progressed deeper into the crawlspace. Much too tight for anything resembling comfort. You don’t consider yourself a claustrophobic; you never had any problem being stuffed into tight vehicles, scrunched in between your friends, heading to some beautiful gathering together. The ceiling and floor that your body is pressed against here do not feel anything like your friends. The destination on the other side of this stupid fucking cavern anus better be as beautiful as all the carnival of the gods itself if it’s going to be worth this horrendous experience. The the stone absorbs your heat slowly through you contact with it, and you consider yourself lucky for it because your nervous system is now getting wired and you need to dissipate the heat or you’ll surely overload. And then what will you do? Puff up and get inexorably stuck? Try to go backwards? The mere thought sends the first murmurs of panic up your spine.
And now you’re getting stuck. Like Winnie the fucking Pooh. You hear the scrabbling of one companion in front, and the sounds of the other behind you. You’re not on all fours anymore, that seems like a luxury taken for granted in the distant past of minutes ago. No, not quite stuck yet. You’re now on knees and elbows, worming your way forward.
You have your own light which you stupidly did not grasp before getting into the squeeze, and now it’s too late. Your pack, which you’re pulling by a string, might as well be in a different country for all the availability you have to it now. There is a feeble light from beyond your forward companion, enough to see, but they’re also worming themselves, and sometimes the flicker and shadow gives way for brief but total darkness, so dark it’s like a being unto itself, hungry to snuff out anything seen.
You have known darkness before. The gentle darkness of a darkened bedroom. The jump-scare pranky darkness of the cellar. Darkness that likes to scare little kids. But this darkness that flickers in and out of negative space in the tiny crawlspace underneath a million tons of stone is different. The kinds of darkness you’ve known are trickles of water falling off the roof or murmuring creeks. The inky blackness that threatens you now is the vast ocean. It exists on time scales far beyond the brief flicker of your existence. It cares nothing for your life or what you bring to this place.