3:22 AM

As dungeons go, there’s probably worse ones. The smell of cleaner can be a bit much but it’s almost pleasant if you had to pick a stink to be trapped in.

I won’t even try to guess how long it’s been, me being down here. Lost track of days and weeks with no changing light, just the permanent gloom with no real pattern to when he comes down, making it hard to tell when he sleeps or wakes, if he sleeps at all.

“I made too much toast” he announced last time he showed up, with not a slice of toast in sight. “If anyone wants some I can bring some down.”

Some did, and so he did. It strikes you as weird what people are capable of enjoying when in the worst situations. Sometimes a piece of toast, some decent sourdough in that case, connects you to a different world, a better world that isn’t haunted by a sleepless lunatic, a world that isn’t blanketed in cleaner masking the smell of nightmares just underneath.

He seemed happy a few of us accepted the toast, happy to be part of such a small, almost normal moment, and then he got that look in his eyes again, like this world was barely there to him and he was seeing something else, hearing something else.

“Not tonight” he said to whatever he saw through the walls. “They just ate.”

I’m not getting out of here.