The growling, slobbering sounds behind them were getting closer. Despite running as fast as they could, the ground was too soft to gain enough traction for a full sprint. The walls absorbed the sound, no echoes could be heard, no reflection of their panting, their cursing, their soft footsteps. Nothing to obfuscate the direction of their approaching doom. It was right behind them. And it was closing in.

The tunnel was shaking all around them. Peat and soil fell off the walls, off the ceiling. A clump fell in Daphne's hair, another hit Eris in the chest. Brian got a face full and nearly fell again. He tried to look behind for a moment. Some twenty yards behind them, emitting a vile blue glow, was a writhing, amorphous mass of monstrous faces and limbs, thundering and writhing through the narrow space of the tunnel. He yelled in fear and redoubled his efforts to get ahead, deeper into the dark.

A wooden tendril brushed his face. Without thinking, without knowing why he did it, he pulled at it as he ran past.

With a deafening noise, the ceiling came down behind him. The evil glow was snuffed out as tons of dirt and earth collapsed on top of the writhing mass that was chasing them. As the tunnel collapsed, the ground began to give way beneath their feet. They tumbled down a slope, the thunderous roar of the avalanche all around them.

Until suddenly, they were in freefall. For just a moment, they were in mid air, wind whistling in their ears which rang with the noise and pressure. With a crash, they landed in water, an underground lake. Dirt from the tunnel fell all around them, but the collapse seemed to have ended at last...

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