Kat froze in dread. "Do you hear that?"
The rumble went up to a steady thud, thud, thud, not unlike that of ominous thunder before a downpour.
Darren could feel his heart knotting itself in fear. Those were the unmistakable footsteps of enraged Spooks after their necks. Was there any chance they could hide behind one of the doors? Already Kat was trying that, but it didn't seem like any of doors were opening.
Thud! Thud! Thud! They were sounding deafeningly close now, maybe even just round the corner.
"Run!" He grabbed Kat's hand to try and run further down, but she wouldn't budge. She wrapped her arms around herself tightly, eyes shut and drawing long, controlled breaths.
"I-I'm afraid...of...small spaces."
Darren racked his brain for options. The thought of carrying her away in his arms crossed momentarily, but he quickly swiped it away. Nah, not him. He wasn't one of those buffed TV heroes who always had the situation in grasp.
Breathing so hard the veins in her neck throbbed, Kat forced a few steps. "I'm okay."
They shuffled through the strangely-wet shaft for a few more minutes. All the while, the footsteps sounded terrifying close, always teasing the chance of a Spook clutching them from behind.
Suddenly Kat stopped ahead of him.
Her knees buckled for a moment before she sat herself down. She puffed her cheeks in and out and shook her head from side to side.
"Guess that's a no."
She smiled weakly at him. "I-I must look l-like such an i-idiot."
"Nah," he grinned. "I once had a friend who wouldn't take the lift, no matter how many floors up he had to go."
"L-lifts are okay," Her breathing became more regular. "But this ceiling...the walls..."
She inhaled deeply.
Kat pressed her elbows against the floor, again forcing herself up. "No time for talk."
Whatever glimpses of light there had been earlier were becoming dim as they ventured further in. On the other hand, the rhythmic thuds never ceased.
Stopping without warning again, Kat coughed and wheezed loudly.
So loudly, in fact, that Darren didn't hear a pair of arms approach him from the back.
And grab his stiffened shoulders.