I don't know what made me go down there. I don't know what made me stay. I don't know why I'm still alive. And as dumb as it may sound, I'm not one for telling stories, so here goes. My name is Marcus. Now, I'm not going to give out my last name, for obvious reasons, and I don't think you care either. All you need to know is "Marcus."
About 3 months ago, I saw an ad for a lost dog, a white chihuahua with a pink bell around its collar. The dog was named Simon, and at first I thought Simon was a bad name for a female dog, but I didn't care. These people were either rich or desperate because they had a two-thousand dollar prize for then return of the ugly little bastard.
They wanted her by the 15th of May, and it was barely the 4th so there was lots of time to spend. I called my best friend, Jack, to help me find the little pupper, and he obliged to come assist me. He would only be late because he was going to the movies with his girlfriend.
They said he was last seen in the park, just east of the river, and they said he was last seen by the shore when they went fishing. I took a number and headed to the park. "I mean, I'm not doing anything at all. It's just quick money," I said. I was wrong. For about 3 hours I searched up and down the sandy pebbles off the shore and was about to give up when I heard yipping.
I searched for the source of the sound and came across a drainage pipe about the size of a short bus. Again, I heard yipping, except this time it... was different, like it was a scared yipping, like something that meant someone was at your back door. It was echoing down the huge pipe and I sighed as I ventured inside the tunnel.
I wish I didn't.
As I stood at a distance from a fork in the pipes, I came across a man in ragged clothes, tattered skin, and bloodshot eyes. "What're you doing here," he said, "exit's thataway."
"I'm looking for a dog."
He woke with a sudden jolt, as if he's seen it.
"Leave now, or you'll never return."
"If you don't want to die down here, leave now."
"What do you mean?"
"I was looking for the same damn dog..."
"Did you find it?"
"Hell yeah I found it. Cost me my life."
"Kid, just get the hell out of here, while you still can."
"What's your name?"
"Marcus, what's yours?"
He stood up, walked quickly towards me and shoved me, with enough force that I fell on the cement.
"Get out of here! Go! Before it's too late."
I stood up, angrily, and pushed him aside, moving towards the yipping like a tornado, kicking anything that got in my way, bags, rats, cans, anything that pissed me off.
Eventually I found a room, with candles, foods, bags, and papers splattered everywhere, and I found the source to the yipping. She was an ugly little bastard, with dirty fur and matted splotches of God knows what everywhere, shades of brown and green in places they shouldn't be. It was a mess.
"Here you go, Simon."
"My name isn't Simon."
"Yea yea, sure it isn't, it's Penelo-"
I threw it and jumped back. What the hell? Did it just talk?
"That isn't very nice, Marcus."
"How the hell do to know my name?"
"You've been down here a very long time, I'm pretty sure we got acquainted."
"I've only been here for about 30 minutes."
"Oh, I see... well then, I'm going to give you a choice, alright?"
"Uh, sure, I guess."
"Kill the man."
"Kill him or you will never go back to your friends, your family, or your normal life."
"I'm not killing him."
"So be it."
He vanished, and along with him so did everything else. I returned to the man, and he shook his head.
"What did he say."
"He gave me a choice."
We sat there in silence. For three months we talked about our lives, but somehow I thought he was lying. There was something off about him, an aura that seemed too familiar to ignore, and that wasn't the end of it. He came from a small town, much like our own, and lived a pretty carefree life. He didn't tell me how he got down here or when, but I was guessing it was pretty soon.
"Soooo... how long you've been down here?"
He looked around, avoiding the question. Then, finally, he asnswered.
"39 years I've been here, and 39 years I chose not to kill the man before me."
That was it, I've had enough of his lies. I understood now. This was all a joke. I was down here waiting for someone to save us for 3 damn months. He was playing me. I missed out on my sister's wedding, I missed out on my best friend's 17th birthday, I missed out on everything because of some elaborate joke.
He didn't even hear the knife cut into his throat. He felt it though. I used unnatural movements and sliced into his neck, reaching the bone and cutting into his bone marrow. I took my time to cut him open and spill his insides out when I heard footsteps.
I whipped around, knife in hand to see my best friend, standing before me in awe. I turned around to access what I had done, but the body was gone. The dog lay before me, snoring, and somehow, instead of a knife in my hand, I see a leash.
"Jack... what day is it?"
"Uhhh, May 4th, why?"