Do you know the panic I know?

It felt like running in a dream; a dream shaft binding one nightmare to the next. Daphne couldn’t get much traction in the soft dirt of the tunnel. And the further she went, the more damp everything became. Her feet sank into the wet ground just enough to make running a far more exhausting task and it wasn’t long before the shiny white heels were lost in the mud, having slipped from her feet and she was fleeing barefooted. Probably for the best, those shoes had been a mistake from the word go. But how was she to have known?

~~I should have known. Nothing in this creepy realm is wholesome.~~

But Will was there. He was still there by her side. She didn’t know him from Adam, but he felt wholesome. Maybe it was just the sheriff’s uniform.

~~And the broad chest beneath the uniform.~~

Daphne smiled for just a moment and was rewarded with a clump of wet dirt falling flat on her head. No more smiling Daphne. Smiles seemed to beget burden in this place. And this place was crumbling around them. Not just from above, but the ground at their feet was shaking and splitting. She had a sense that the others were nearby, all running as best they could, but they’d all been spread out and she could no longer discern their panting from the squishy sounds of footfalls from the snarls and pursuit behind them.

~~Christ I’m going to die with dirty hair.~~

Then Daphne was tumbling. Alone, with others, she could not tell. The ground was a sodden ramp and she was sliding down some chute or gutter, her white dress was no longer white and it was near everted over her head, clinging to her face and making it impossible to breath or free her hands. She felt like she was being birthed by some dirty monstrous beast and then - she was falling. Falling for an indeterminate time. Into a pit of suffocating mire. Her legs kicked, but she could not find the surface; her arms flailed, but she could not find an end to the dress nor remember ever having breathed. It was impossible to say when the panic had given way to peace, but she became still and dark became black became nothing.

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