A/N: So, this is part of the Expect The Unexpected series I'm working on, which is, frankly, exactly what it sounds like. As part of my everlasting quest to defy any and all possible cliches, something completely unfathomable occurs with one member of the Glee club in each fic of the series. The goal? To have each character put so far out of their league that they should be OUT of character, but still remain IN character. This is installment number fifteen (holy hell), but none of them are connected plot-wise, so there aren't any prequels you have to read for any of them. Some will be tragic, some scary, some mysterious, some humorous. Enough jabber - please enjoy!
Kurt's breath fogged in front of his nose as he crouched behind a metal shelf, the putrid subterranean air clogging his nostrils and making him want to vomit. He looked down at his shaking hands, their skin turned green in the odd lighting of the underground room. There were only four fluorescents on the ceiling and two smaller ones directly over the worktable at the other end of the room, and the weak light from them was passing through the shelves fully stocked with jars of every shape and size. Kurt tried not to look at the contents of the jars, squeezing his eyes shut as he tried to listen to anything that might be happening on the floor above.
He barely managed to suppress a startled gasp when he heard the latch on the door click open and the hinges squeal. "Blaine?" called a man's voice. "Are you down there?"
Kurt held his hand over his mouth and nose, trying to hide the sound of his uneven breathing as his blood roared in his ears. The stairs leading down from the door creaked as the man descended, and Kurt's eyes began wildly searching for a way out.
His heart skipped a beat when he saw another door set into the wall behind the furthest shelf. The door was only two and a half feet tall and it looked like it hadn't been opened in years, not to mention the fact that Kurt had absolutely no idea how far underground he was, but it was Kurt's only chance at getting out without being seen.
Taking a deep breath in a weak attempt to steady his shaking hands, Kurt rolled onto his knees, feeling the dampness of the hard-packed dirt floor seep into his jeans, and watched the man glance once more around the room, then shake his head and shrug, turning to bend over his worktable, tying an apron streaked with old blood around his middle.
Kurt fought the urge to gag and crawled towards the small door, trying his best to not let his shoes scuff against the floor. He ducked behind another shelf, peering between the jars to make sure that the man was still working…
…and knocked a beaker off the lowest shelf.
The glass shattered on the ground, spilling luminescent green liquid across the floor, the unbelievably pungent smell of formaldehyde exploding into the musty air and making Kurt's eyes water.
"Who's there?" The man had turned around and… oh god. A pistol was in his hand, ready to shoot.
Kurt glanced at his exit, made a quick decision, and launched to his feet, running for it as fast as he could.
"Hey!" the man shouted. A shot roared through the air, and three of the jars on the shelf closest to Kurt exploded. He felt the skin on his cheek rip open as a flying shard of glass sliced through it, but he kept running until he reached the door.
Another shot cut a hole in the wood slats covering the wall above his head, and Kurt flinched at the splinters that showered over him. He rattled the latch on the door, but it had rusted over years ago and wasn't unlocking easily. A third bullet whistled past his ear and embedded itself in the wall. Come on, come ON, Kurt pleaded silently. His fingers were starting to hurt from pulling on the latch, and flakes of rust were sticking to his palms.
As the fourth shot missed his head by a mere inch and a half, Kurt finally succeeded in opening the latch and pulling the door open. Without pausing to look through the opening to see what lay beyond, he dove through, yanking the door shut behind him and plunging into total darkness.
His chest heaving and his eyes still watering, Kurt quickly began to crawl through the shadows, feeling the loamy soil squish between his fingers. The air was difficult to breathe, thick with the odors of rotten plants and minerals centuries old. After several minutes of crawling, his hands and knees were beginning to feel scraped and rough, and he slowly stood up, keeping a hand above his head in case the unseen ceiling was low. He was somewhat surprised to feel that there seemed to be no ceiling whatsoever. Standing straight up and reaching his hand as high as he could, he felt nothing but air, and yet he still felt smothered by the dimness and the earthen smells clogging his nose and mouth.
He froze as he thought he heard… something. His eyes as wide as they would go, he strained to see anything at all, but all he could see was blackness. Even his hand when held up in front of his nose was completely invisible, and the silence surrounding him seemed infinite.
…Until that. There was a definite rustle coming from somewhere behind him.
Not even waiting to see what was creating the sound, Kurt ran blindly with his hands out in front of him, his heart knocking violently against his ribcage. And then, out of nowhere, he collided with a wall of soil and rock and fell back onto his rear end, bits of dirt coating his tongue. He coughed, trying to get the dust out of his throat, and realized that he was crying, tears streaming down his face. Pulling himself to his knees, he sat back against the wall, trying to catch his breath.
There was another louder rustle from somewhere beyond the shadows, followed by crunching gravel, and the sound was getting closer. His mind began to imagine all sorts creatures both big and small that might be lurking not even three feet from him, just waiting to strike.
Kurt was going to die.
A/N: I know, this is VERY confusing, but hey, it's just the prologue. There's a lot more to come. Please review!