The graveyard rats PART FOUR: Some wet clods covered his legs. Later, another landslide captured his feet, from which he struggled out. The entire tunnel was collapsing!
Panting with turkeys, he crawled as the ground fell. The passageway narrowed until it reached a point where he could not move his hands or legs to continue.
Masson twisted like a worm, until he felt a piece of satin under his fingers and ran into something that prevented him from moving forward. He moved his legs and verified that they had not been trapped in the ground.
He was face down. As he tried to stand up, he saw that the roof of the tunnel was about to touch his back. Terror washed over him. Escaping from this horrible, blind creature, he had slipped into an adjacent tunnel with no salute. He was in a coffin! An empty coffin, accessed through the hole the rats had made at the end!
He tried to roll onto his back without success. The lid of the coffin forced him to remain motionless. He breathed in and tried to push it away. It was useless and even if he did get out of the coffin, how could he get out through the five feet of dirt that covered him?
He could hardly breathe. The heat was suffocating, and the stench was unbearable. In a fit of panic, he scratched the lining tore apart. He tried in vain to dig with his feet into the ground that was holding him prisoner. If he could change his posture, he could dig an opening into the air with his nails…
A cruel agony penetrated his heart, he felt his pulse escaping through his eyeballs. His head felt swollen, as if it were going to explode. And then he heard the triumphant cries of the rats. He screamed, maddened, but he could not push them away this time. For brief seconds he writhed hysterically within his narrow confinement and then he calmed down, exhausted from the lack of oxygen.
He closed his eyelids, stuck out his blackened tongue and left himself in the darkness of death, while the mad screeches of rats echoed in his ears.
I hope you enjoyed this wonderful and chilling tale Rats in the Graveyard (Henry Kuttner)!.