December 25, 2015
Entry III: The Lonely Escape
Location: The Sewer Facility
Date: Friday, June 19th, 2015
I could still feel the faint burning sensation of the rope in my hands as I pressed against the heavy metal door. It was probably best that I hadn’t jumped down; the ache in my leg was bad enough as it was. If I could have, I would have run straight out of those awful tunnels. Who would keep such a place? At least I had found that old handgun; it seemed to work and from the smell of it, it had been used already. I fingered the gun in my pocket; it seemed like a familiar weight there. The grinding of the metal door pulled me out of my thoughts and back to reality. I needed to focus on finding a way out of here and back to Rachel. As I entered the sewers, I noticed an exposed ventilation shaft high above me. The grate looked like it had been kicked out and laid bent before my feet. Maybe someone crawled through there, but it was so high up, that must have been a sore landing. I also saw wet dirt and grass smeared on the ground. At least now I knew there was a way out of this place.
I climbed a ladder as I searched for an exit but I only found a mess of filthy garbage bags. There were rips in most of the bags and the smell wafting from them was disgusting. I found an old VHS tape sticking out from one of the bags, I wasn’t sure what I hoped to discover with the tape, but I took it anyway. I found another ladder leading to a lower level. Once I had descended to the bottom, I could hear the faint trickling of water. I didn’t know where it was originating from so I continued on until I reached a door with a sign above it that read: ‘EXIT.’ I opened it hastily, thinking I had reached freedom when I was hit with rancid air. A rusty ladder lay halfway sunk in murky water. There was no way I was getting out that way but maybe I could find a way to drain the water.
I went back the way I came and found a door I had not tried before. In the room was a kitchen knife, covered in drying blood. Thinking about it made me sick; I didn’t even want to touch it but I thought I could use it to pry open whatever door or panel I may run into. I slipped the knife in my boot since I still had the gun in my pocket. Did I really need all of this? Then I remembered the dead body in the house and the bones buried in the tunnels… I kept them both and moved on. I came across another door but it was locked and there was a musty smell permeating from the inside. I entered a much larger room next, with four valves like features sitting in each corner. I thought turning these may shut off the flow of water. I struggled with the large metal wheels until each one had been turned. I should have felt exhausted by the physical exertion but instead, I felt revived. I had the hope of finally escaping this place and going home.
I hobbled back to the exit door to find that the water had indeed been drained. I carefully climbed down the ladder, since it was still covered in a thick slime. When I reached the bottom, I could see a metal grate in the wall, it looked like the water had been siphoned through there. When I looked closer, I could see a small metal key floating in the shallow pool of rancid water. I pocketed the small key, it was an odd-shape and I had no idea what it might open, but it may prove useful nonetheless. Next, I reached what looked like a break room. There was a safety poster on the wall that had definitely seen better days. Just how old was this facility? I past another locked door, this time I could see a faint light illuminating the room from within. I banged on the door and called for someone to open up but it seemed like there was no one inside.
I continued my search and found another ladder, this time it lead upwards. This facility was an absolute maze and I was starting to get tired now, I just wanted to go home and see Rachel, to know that she was safe. I came across another door, the handle turned but there seemed to be something blocking it. I pushed all of my weight against it and forced it opened only to discover that it was a dead body that had hindered me from opening it. Another body?! What the hell was wrong with this place? The clothes looked like that of a sewer facility worker and by the wounds all over his face and body; I figured he’d been stabbed repeatedly. Stabbed? My hand bolted down to my boot but then coiled back in revulsion. Was it the same knife? I shook my head and came back to my senses; I needed to get out of this place. I examined the body and found a keyring sticking out of the man’s pocket. I carefully picked the keys from his pocket, I was almost worried he was going to grab me but the sewer worker remained still. I looked around the room before leaving, noting a security camera in the corner. Maybe that VHS tape I had found in the garbage was from the security camera and may be useful, if only I could play it.
I went back to the locked door with the light still on and tried one of the keys on the keyring. The sound of the lock clicking back into place was like music to my ears and I hurriedly entered the room. There was a shelf full of security tapes that was strictly organized, though covered in dust. I examined the tapes and noted that one was missing, so the tape I had found was from the security cameras. There was a dusty VCR on the desk next to the shelf. I had to know what was on the VHS tape so I flicked the monitor on and it came to life with a low hum. The VCR worked too, so I put in the tape and sat down to watch it with the hopes that what I saw would give me answers. The image was grainy but I could make out the outline of a man… a man right there, in the same room where I found the dead facility worker… being attacked. I pulled out the tape and examined it; the tape had been stretched like someone had tampered with it. I put it back in the VCR and played it again, I couldn’t believe what I was seeing, I just couldn’t. I watched again as the man was attacked… wait, was he attacked by one person or two? I couldn’t do anything about the picture quality but I knew now that a killer was on the loose. I had recently stumbled upon two dead bodies, but to see the act of murder with my very own eyes had made their killings a reality. I couldn’t help it when my hand slipped into my pocket and caressed the old handgun.
I exited the security room so quickly it was like I was fleeing, fleeing everything I had just witnessed. I came across another locked door and tried a bunch of keys on the keyring until finally it opened. I paused for a moment, steeling myself for what I might find. Inside, there was a collection of stale liquor bottles littering the floor; it almost looked like the kitchen in the dead man’s house. The wall was covered with dozens of old and faded papers. Whoever did this was obsessed with local murders. According to some of the clippings, bodies had been found in ravines, in the wood, and in one case… even dumped in the back of an abandoned truck. I couldn’t be sure but I thought some of these same articles had also been pasted on the walls in the tunnels. I spied a faded receipt that was half-trampled on the floor. It was from the local train station, and it was for two tickets. I didn’t know what use it could be but I neatly folded the soiled receipt and slipped it into my front pocket.
Another ladder led me up, hopefully towards an exit. As I traveled down the narrow hall, I saw what must have been the other end of the ventilation shaft. It was low enough that I could have climbed into it without much difficulty. Whoever used it could have gotten past the flooded room with this. I reached another ladder and began to climb. I couldn’t help but think about all the events that had happened to me so far. Would I need that gun, or that knife before the end? Both weighed me down and aggravated my leg as I climbed the old ladder. The thought of the VHS tape still gave me chills. Who was it that didn’t want to be seen? Was it the same person that hid all those clippings away in that locked room? Suddenly, the awful smell of the sewer gave way to a pine-scented blast of fresh air.