They’re coming. I hear them coming. I hear the faint, incessant clatter of their tiny little claws on the hard, cold concrete. On the hard, cold concrete click claws, not sharp enough to tear but blunt enough to dig and dig and dig, until I’m raw and bleeding. And I lay here raw and bleeding night after night waiting, again, for the sound that means this unending torture will commence once more.
They’re closer now and the squeaking begins. Squeaking that starts with one; who smells the blood, who knows the meal is near; who squeals joyously, ravenously, frenzyingly. Others join in. They can’t smell yet, but they’re stirred by their leader. Their squeaks become cacophonous, echoing off the walls of the tunnels they travel to reach me and rending at my cochlea so that if I could I would to finish their work of ripping my pinna from my head.
And then the scent. The fetid scent fills the air, rushing before them to surround and embrace me. I’m enveloped in the rancid smell of fur and filth and breath hot with hunger and undigested bits of me. A blanketing stench that creeps up the soles of my feet and slides through my toes; that crawls over my ankles, my knees, my thighs. Across my body, it insinuates itself, not missing a single crevice, suffusing every pore until, with every inhale, I gag, longing for the release of a breathless sleep.
And now the fur, dear God, the fur. Sticky and stiff again my feet. Sticky and stiff as the whiskers that are tiny little needles; not soft or yielding, but pricking everywhere they touch, quivering with raw excitement. And the teeth come next. Teeth that nibble and taste, as though they reacquaint themselves with the sweetness of the meal in which that have so recently enjoyed and will soon ingest again. Tiny tongues lick wounds until they ooze again with saliva or blood.
And now they climb. And now. And now. And now.