Sitting at the kitchen table, the light outside shifts from pale grey to bluish black to pale grey again several times – moving behind the window like film, never mingling/changing the light inside.
Inside the light stays static, like TV static in the air. Constant buzz hum snow. Fluorescence half-dimmed, half-power, the walls yellowed-white. Stale. Calcified.
There is no way to get out of the house, but I know of some other people who have made it out. People before us.
I am drowsy. Paul and I discuss our dreams of escape, but first we decide to sleep.
I walk down the hallway. I don’t know if I have slept. I feel compelled to touch the wall. I push on the plaster. I kick it, and my foot goes through. I call to Paul, show him the hole. We pull the wall apart with our hands and an old hammer.
There is a cavern behind the wall, it leads up. We find wooden rungs of a ladder pressed into hard dirt. We hear a faint rhythmic sound, chipping, chiseling far above us.
I recognize Joey’s dampened voice, faraway, in the dark.
“Did you get out?”
“I’m almost there!”
I grip the wooden notch, smooth, cool, almost slippery. I pull myself up. I’m in. I smell earth. Black and moist.