The situation right now is I’m sinking into wet concrete and no one is going to help me. I somehow got put into the middle of a stupid little patch of it somewhere in the middle of an infinite flatmap while I was busy trying to drink an energy drink. It’s just barely too big for me to grab the edge falling forward. I’m totally stuck.
There’s four Bonemasons standing around me and that’s it. If I freecam out it’s nothing but wandering tire tracks and patches of dead grass as far as I can see. The sky is dark red and never gets any closer, of course. I’m sinking incredibly slowly, about one inch every 65 hours, but that doesn’t change the fact that I am sinking and that no one is going to help me. The Bonemasons are wearing their long black cloaks that flap around even when there’s no wind and are poking at me with thorny sticks. I keep trying to grab them but my hand just passes right through with a fizzy green flicker and somehow gets scratched anyway. Both my palms are covered in cuts now and leaking shiny red.
Time speeds up and in a few minutes I’m up to my knees in the concrete. I can feel microfractures starting to happen in my feet from the weight. Pretty soon they’ll be as flat as two sheets of cardboard. It’s going to be morning soon. My family will be waking up and wondering what happened to me. They’ll yawn and squint at the sun and pour milk and cereal all over the counter because I wasn’t there to get the bowls out. And then while our dog Gargoyle of Perdition is making herself sick trying to lick it all up a man in a green military uniform is going to knock at the door. He’ll have a square jaw and an alcoholic’s eyes and he’ll tell my family that I’m sinking into wet concrete and no one is going to help me. The sun will be behind him and it will cast his shadow across my family and onto the wall behind them, onto the picture of the President that we hung there when we first moved in, so it would be the first thing visitors would see when they entered our beautiful home. My family will cry, quietly at first, and then loudly, and then they’ll all fall over and shining roots will come up out of the wall-to-wall carpeting and pull them into the earth and Gargoyle of Perdition will starve to death because they won’t be there to feed her anymore. The man in the green military uniform will carefully close the front door and put a big yellow “CONDEMNED” sticker on it and get in his car and drive away. The sun will drive off with him and never come back. Meanwhile, I’ll keep sinking into this wet concrete until it blocks all my airways and asphyxiates me.
The concrete is getting close to the ends of my fingertips now. I can feel them jittering. I could lift them out of the way but there isn’t really any point. The concrete is bottomless and is never going to harden, so even if I reached my arms as high over my head as I could, eventually they would be swallowed up just like the rest of me. This way I can deny the Bonemasons a display of desperation, and the image of a final, pathetic hand clawing at the surface for a couple minutes after I go under. I feel a cold little jolt as the tips of my index fingers make contact with the surface. I’m set in my course now. When archaeologists uncover my remains in a few thousand years, from my implacable posture they’ll hypothesize that despite being made of flesh and bone I must have been a statue, sunk intentionally in this concrete as punishment for some offence I committed against my collector. They’ll imagine laborers taking me down off my pedestal in the grand marble exhibition hall in the dead of night, a hood over my head and a gun in my back, my replacement waiting in a crate in the shadows. Illustrations to this effect will appear in major scientific journals, and eventually it may even become true, and my body will turn to stone.
The microfractures in my feet and ankles have begun to join together and become fractures outright. I haven’t lost feeling anywhere, nor will I at any point before I’m dead. The pain isn’t quite unbearable yet, but it’s only going to get worse. The air is room temperature here but I’m starting to overheat because the density of the concrete pressing on me prevents my pores from expelling any moisture. As I sink further the heat and the pressure increases, and my feet slowly compress like an air mattress being forcefully deflated. I close my eyes and squeeze two stinging, sour tears from the ducts. When I open them again I’m up to my collarbone and one of the Bonemasons is checking its wrist watch. It’s a simple strip of brown leather attached to a dark wooden disc, unadorned except for two thin, golden hands. I can’t quite read the time from down here.
It’s becoming difficult to breathe. Beyond the growing weight on my chest, the raw and sullen smell of the concrete is overpowering. My life is rushing up to meet the horizon line now. I exist only in its final minute strip of ground, where the lines are drawn so close together they become a single band at all but the greatest magnification. My pelvis is fractured. Most of my ribs have cracked with loud, wet snaps. My spine is intact, but its natural curve is being warped and exaggerated to an excruciating degree by the flow of the concrete around me. It feels like I’m being scalded by my own trapped fluids. My face is slick and pink and screwed up like a baby’s. The concrete passes my lips. A bit gets in my mouth and it tastes like nothing. I can only breathe through my nose now. I try to decide what my last thought should be. I settle on the image of a bowl of fruit in a farmhouse on a windswept prairie that I heard about in a story that happened before I was born. Two apples, two pears, a large pineapple, a small apricot, a peach, all rotting gently under a flickering light. Then, finally, I exhale for the last time. It takes nearly all my energy to force the air out. The bubble pops nauseously and spits my death in my eyes. The concrete pours in through my open mouth and my body softlocks. All I can see is white agony, even looking at my own face. I feel stupid and I die.
Days later, the top of my head finally slips below the surface. The Bonemasons all clap politely and leave. No one came to help me.