Embers break apart, spark. Nothing. Again. And again. And a flame, singeing my hands. Bright red and black. Plop-lop from beneath me. The squid squirms, not trying to escape, but not trying to stay either. Its tentacles merely poke their tips out of the water. My eyes settle. Pitiful thing. My footsteps tap against the stalactites and stalagmites, my coughs bouncing from one wall to the next. My lips and throat crunch around the smoke. Ploup-clo-ap from behind me. I turn. The poor fucker and its little condom-shaped head rise out of the water, standing on boneless legs, until it doesn’t. It squishes against the floor, and lies there, its slimy, silvery skin pulsating. My eyes rest on it again. My steps crunch and clap around the walls. I don’t know what I’m walking into, what the shadows hide, but the embers just under my nose show me enough.