The scent of moist, dampness lingered in the air, the scuttles of small vermin creatures echoed off the cavern walls, whimpers enclosed around each and one of them, tears threatened to leave Lourdes's face. The underground pathway seemed to be infinite. Would they ever escape this hell? Matty clutched to her hand fiercely, his eyes shutting closed as a parasite scampered across his petite foot, and she tugged him closer, warding off any demons in the darkness. A hum vibrated through the ground, the hairs on the back of her neck stood, but her heart would not heed to the words of her conscience, and she did not bother to look back.

Pincers moved closer to the trailing group of children.

Perhaps it had been minutes, perhaps it had been decades that they had explored these rat-infested tunnels, but there was no light. No light to guide them. For once in her life, Lourdes Delgado felt truly helpless.

"Will they save us Lourdes?" a childish tune rang out, enveloping her in golden faith, could it be? Frantically, Lourdes shone her torch in the eyes of the child she had held onto, her heart collapsing in defeat. No it was not. It was moments like this; she missed his voice, full of innocence and life, showering her with affection as she collapsed to the ground in defeat. That voice had died, with the embers, and the ashes. Her baby brother.

"There's always a saviour, Matty." She squeezed his hand in faux reassurance; a dark voice clouded her thoughts, a maleficent voice. Is there my dear? Your blind faith is sickening. Ragged breaths escaped her lips; she clutched her stomach tightly, biting her upper lip, the scent of death and decay shrouded her senses.

Lourdes clutched to the walls in desperation, the scent overpowering, tears rolled down her supple cheeks, her chest felt heavy with soot, her throat blazed with thirst. Her nose became stuffy, her mouth stiffened in arrest. Lourdes, Lourdes, Lourdes…

"Lourdes!" Strong, confident hands shook her shoulders violently to snap her out of this captive seizure, Anne's reassuring smile and wise eyes bore down upon her as she was lifted to her feet. Up ahead stood a ladder with sunlight pouring down through a shaft, a cry of relief sounded through Lourdes' dry lips. A harmonious voice travelled through the walls.

"Lourdes! I dropped my teddy back there; can you get it for me?" Lourdes gulped as she glanced at the creeping shadows behind her, but she confirmed toward the youngster that her able body would retrieve the minuscule treasure for Matty. Watching Anne's retreating body hoist herself into the fresh, chilling air, Lourdes travelled back through the black fog.

A slivery hiss reverberated through her nerves.

She leant to retrieve the possession of her doom. Sweat collected at the back of her neck, a surge of panic travelled through the spine as a deep matted heavy breathing settled above her head.

Feeling her chest coil in fear, she lifted her eyes ever so slightly only to stare into the dark, black void.

Lourdes erupted into a fit of shrieking.

As the Skitter launched at her.