Wednesday, February 16, 2011


The Traps
By Darius Wolf

“Time to clean the traps” Johan said.

Cleaning traps. It had to be Kari’s least favorite duty, but it had to be done. Trap duty came up on a rotating schedule– everyone had to do it twice a month, everyone who had a strong back, a strong arm, and the stamina to wade upstream against the current of the underground tunnels.

Undead were always trying to sneak their way into the city. It was a common, everyday occurrence. The traps were what kept them at bay– narrow oubliettes of sharp stone with strong, circular currents pounding through them to shatter and break apart anything unlucky enough to get caught in them– the only access to the city from the outside other than the main gate.

But sometimes the traps got clogged. They got clogged with bodies, with still crawling undead caught in the currents almost every night, and the only way to clear them was to kill the currents, wait for the water to clear, seal the tubes, flush them with methane gas piped from the underground pig farm, and then set off the ignition switch. The resulting blast of heat and fire burnt the pipes clear, left nothing but a few flaming chunks of metal to be picked out of the works before the water could be piped in again.

And then there were the bones, the dust and ashes. That was what Kari hated most.

The dust.

The ashes.

And the week long fits of coughing up blood that came with them.

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I am a high school student who also works in a sewer.


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