The Smile That Lasts Forever

                Your hand traces your path along the wall in the gloam, the unnatural half-dark of this strange… edifice you find yourself in. Padding silently on the soft floor, you seek an exit where none is forthcoming and begin to wonder: Will you die here? The wall whirrs and vibrates, in and out, in and out, like a quick-breathing giant swallowed you whole. Your heart races to match it. As you squint up in the twilight, you see veins pulsing up the wall, stretching above your head and far out of sight.

                What is this creature that will house your bones?

                An unknowable amount of time later you find the first of them, the piled skeletons. Some human, some animal, some entirely unidentifiable. The only thing they share is the rictus of terror somehow burned into their very skulls. In the rigid smiles of these macabre decorations, you feel the fear they felt as they died, imprinted into their final resting places. You walk on, wondering what else looms in the shade. These creatures did not die from starvation, nor despair, their bones were torn asunder.

                Soon, you hear it, its deep breaths a sharp contrast to the quickly palpitating walls. Its heavy footfalls quite distinct from your own nigh silent steps. Closer, it comes closer, yet you do not bother to run. For however long you’ve searched, the flesh-pink walls have yet to yield an exit. There is no escape, there is only the embrace of what comes. You stop walking, turn around and close your eyes.

                “Come get me,” You whisper, “Come on, you son of a-”

                Interrupting your words, the rending force of a wet embrace. Through the pain, you smile one last time. A smile that will last forever.