An alarm clock rings. Its beeping wakes you. Your eyes are sticky and your mind foggy from the nightmares you’ve endured. For an instant reality is uncertain. Mouthfuls of dirt were delicious just moments ago, but it can’t be. The rational mind is telling you it’s inedible, but a craving stalks you. The thought of pushing your hands deep into the earth and having particles of dirt force their way beneath your fingernails evokes within you an unknown desire. You sit up in your bed and close your eyes. The fantasy of a rainy day showering over an open field of grassland induces hunger. Tear the grass off the land, bury your hands into the mud, and dismember the ground. Dig your way into the world. Dig until your heart is pounding and then dig until it bursts and the blood within stops flowing.
You take a deep breath and stare out your window. The sun rises in the horizon. The sky is clear. The closet awaits your command. You put on a pair of pants, an undershirt, and sneakers. Your house is now devoid of meaning or essence. A silence has overtaken it and the neighborhood. The importance of your job disappears along with that of your family. Your mom is now but a distant dream in your subconscious, and you can only think of the ground beneath you. How many worms will you kill on your journey into the planet? How many handfuls of dirt will it take? You leave your home and drive, and when you open the window your mouth opens instinctively to savor the vaporized sludge of the city’s smog. As the traces of dirt in the air hit your tongue and your neurons fire with the taste of the world your body shakes in anticipation. Where is the largest field of open land in this manmade hellscape? Where can you empty your flesh and burn your muscles until passing out?
Your foot sinks into the accelerator pedal and your body inches forward in an attempt to close the distance between your skin and the open field. Nothing can stop you from carving your way into the center of the planet, not anyone, not anything. Small buildings and large buildings and houses and apartments and offices and hospitals fly by your side. Green lights and red lights lose all meaning and the honking and the screaming of pedestrians are lost in the haze of your frenzied drive to reach your destination.
An unexpected sight greets you at your arrival at the stadium. Hundreds upon hundreds of empty cars are flooding the entrance, and crowds of people are climbing the vehicles, running and walking and sprinting. You ram your car into countless people and crash into the back of a large truck. The stadium looms 500 yards away. Your hands and tongue tingle and you run towards it, toppling men and women and children on your way. They don’t seem to mind, and you don’t either, and when you reach the entrance you notice everyone’s seeking the same thing as you, and they’ve come prepared. Pickaxes and shovels abound, and huge lumps of the ground are being thrown into the air, each man digging for himself, lunging the dirt into the holes of another. A loud chattering echoes in the stadium across the seats and the walls and the halls, the voices of the grunting and huffing and puffing from the exertion of cramming the tools into the earth.
A boy, no older than ten is digging before you, and you take his shovel, and when he screams in protest, you smack his head with it and watch him bleed from his temple and his ears for half a minute. Nobody bats an eye, and when once you might have felt guilt, now it was only a craving for the ground. You push past the crowds of diggers, stepping on corpses and fallen men, and make your way into the center of the stadium, and there, below a clear blue sky, you take a handful of dirt and stuff your mouth with it. The soil induces in you an orgasmic frisson and you smack the man in front of you in the back of his head, and when you’re sure he’s dead, you dig.
You dig like you’ve never dug before. Shovel in, shovel out. The crowds are deafening. Your heart is pounding. A woman screams as she’s removed from her post by a large man. A baby is crawling in the dirt, squirming in it and laughing, and dogs are barking in the distance, unaware of their own desire to harrow the land. The smell in the stadium turns foul with drying sweat and blood.
In the distance a voice screams above all others.
“She found it!” A man spilling blood from his throat shouts repeatedly, and an urge overwhelms you. You run towards him, along with a hundred others. The sound of shoes trampling and cracking the bodies of people reverberates in the air. Squish, crack, squash, crackle, but before you can reach the screaming man a half-dug hole appears before you and you trip. A foot lands on your stomach and your vomit. Another steps on your throat and you’re drowning. A fat woman falls on you and your head strikes a shovel, and you bleed.
People are screaming in joy. A yellow light erupts from the ground and then your eyes explode as another man steps on your head and cracks it.
Now everyone is laughing.
Now the laughing fades.
Now your heart convulses.
Now your heart has stopped.
Now the world fades away.
Now the world ends.