than three inches away. Its eyes had melted out, trickling into a small puddle under its
chin; I could still see the wet trail from its eye sockets dripping down its cheeks. Its face
and body were black as ash, the skin tight and twisted over its face in a rictus of pain. I
reached for the handle and touched its hand, a hideously gnarled claw frozen permanently
in a desperate attempt to reach the door. Its teeth were clenched tightly and the flesh
around its mouth had been burned away. It was as if Death itself was staring at me
through those black holes, laughing hysterically.
It began to rain; heavy, poisonous, mushroom-cloud black rain. The huge drops
splashed in the eye puddle, softened and pocked the gnarled skin of the body, even in
death still reaching for the safety of the hatch.
I shuddered and descended inside, leaving it there to stare grinning at the next
person brave enough to look outside.