The Cathedral, Part II
I wake myself up coughing. I’m lying on my back and there’s something heavy on my chest: a small pile of stones that shift with my breath. One of my feet is twisted beneath me. Light sifts down through tumbling dust. I remember that I fell, can’t tell how deep.
Raising myself on my elbows, I come to a seated position and move the debris trapping my right foot. Flexing it makes me wince a little, but I can move it. On my wrists and knees, I navigate the rock slide, find cool mosaic tile beneath the rubble, the floor of the cathedral.
I clear a spot and rest for a moment, closing my eyes. My heartbeat seems to fill the darkness. I hope Decker and the kids didn’t see me fall.
There’s a lump in my back pocket, and I remember my phone. It didn’t have service when I first woke up, back at home, but I brought it along anyway. Now the screen is cracked and I can’t read the time. Could be hours I’ve been out or just a few minutes.
Something skitters, and I sit up straight. My knees and the rubble around me are dim shapes. If there’s a rat down here, I won’t be able to see it until it’s on me.