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The rat scampered up to me and looked at me quizzically. “What are you doing here?! You can’t be here! Not here, not now! What were you thinking?!” I stared at it blankly, mouth agape. “I…I…I…” I stammered. A talking rat? Was I dreaming? I was waiting to go home from a work function, only a bit later at night than I’d usually be out, but the subway station and platform did seem eerily quiet.

“Nevermind!” The rat interrupted my thoughts. “We don’t have time to talk about your stupidity right now, we weren’t expecting you until next week and not until two clicks before sunrise. Oh Perta is going to be so upset. No no no she is not going to like this at all.” The rat continued mumbling and walking away from me as I watched in disbelief. Then it looked back at me, “WELL?! We cannot stand around here continuing this conversation. Follow me, quickly!” And it continued to scamper. So, I followed (did I have another choice?).

“Um, I’m sorry, I didn’t catch your name?” I tried to ask.

“For now you can call me Mrs. Peabs. I can’t say my name here but that is my code name. Follow me this way.”

Mrs. Peabs led me to a very abandoned part of the subway platform…an area I’d never been to before. An area I didn’t realize even existed. I followed her to a sturdy looking piece of recycled wood, but she suddenly disappeared beyond it.

“Are you keeping up?” she squeaked.

I realized the wood itself moved easily, and had been covering a hole just barely big enough for a human my size to fit through. I could barely see the wood piece enough to move it, but down the tunnel was pitch black. I pushed myself forward, driven by curiosity and confusion. As soon as I was in deep enough, I slid the wood back behind me and a tiny light appeared in front of my a ways down the tunnel and I could see Mrs. Peabs holding something that was on fire. The closer I got to her, the more I had to hunch down and eventually I was on all fours, crawling through this dirty subway tunnel, slowly sloping downward into the earth. Peabs didn’t wait for me but kept pressing on every time she saw I was gradually making progress toward her. Suddenly the light she held went dark and I was plunged into pitch black. I couldn’t even see my hand when I put it directly in front of my face.

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