All in all, I was alone in life. So, when I woke up on the big day and found a Christmas present on the floor, I was understandably confused. It was perfectly wrapped, green paper covered in cartoon snowmen, with a flawless red bow, like a prop from a movie set had been dropped in the middle of my living room floor. My first thought was that someone had broken in, so I immediately searched my apartment - not that there was much to search. I didn't find a thing.
I went back to the living room, and carefully picked up the present, sitting down on the couch as I slowly shook off a hangover from the night before. I rattled the box, but nothing moved inside, like it was either empty, or so tightly packed that nothing could budge. So, I removed the bow, and tore off the wrapping paper, revealing a box that was textured in exactly the same way, the cartoon snowmen staring up at me from the cardboard. Something about it was off, but I couldn't pinpoint what, like it had been fabricated by a machine with no understanding of what a box actually was.
When I took off the lid, I wasn't sure what I was looking at, at first. I just sort of sat there, staring down into this dark hole inside the box. I moved into the light, and it shone down into a tunnel of dirt and rock, like I was holding a portal to another universe. I moved the box, angled it however I could, even held it upside down, but it was always the same. It always led into that dark, earthen hole, like something had burrowed through the ground, and somehow came up through the bottom of the package no matter where I put it. I set it down on my table, and rummaged through my drawers to find an old flashlight, switching it on, and shining it down into the box. It didn't reveal anything new, just more of the same tunnel, extending straight down into the darkness. I grabbed a spoon off the kitchen counter, and dropped it into the hole, listening carefully, but I never heard it hit the bottom.
At that point, I wasn't quite sure what I should do. I remember looking it up online, like I'd somehow find a hidden community of people who received boxes with holes in them. As expected, there was nothing. I left it on the table until I could figure out what to do with it, and after a while, I almost forgot about it. I'd still look at it every time I passed through the living room, but I think a part of me just wanted to pretend it wasn't there. I had no explanation for it, and it sent chills up my spine every time I had my back to it. This went on for most of the day, until I went to the kitchen to heat up some leftovers from a couple nights ago. I remember wishing that I had a microwave, so I wouldn't have to use the oven.
I turn into the kitchen, and guess what I see: a microwave, sitting right on the counter. It wasn't plugged in, and I couldn't see through the glass. Come to think of it, I don't even remember there being a cord. Instead of numbers on the panel, there were runes that jumped and skittered whenever I looked at them, like I was trying to read something in a dream. It was at that point that I realized something was seriously wrong. I almost felt like I was in danger, like this sense of dread that I couldn't understand was slowly creeping into my mind. My hands shaking, I reached forward, trying to keep as far away from the microwave as possible. The handle felt warm, like I was touching skin. Wrapping my fingers around it, I pulled the door open, and backed away. It was another hole, in the back of the microwave, extending off into the blackness.
I started to hear something, then. Something that shook through my bones in a way that I could barely even feel. It reminded me of standing in a street above a subway tunnel, while a train was running beneath you. You barely noticed it, but you knew that something was off. I closed the microwave door, and went back into the living room, listening carefully. There it was again. I put my ear to the wall, feeling a subtle vibration shifting beyond it. It sounded like rock and dirt being ground to pieces, like something was chewing through the earth, but I was on the sixth floor of my building, and those walls were paper-thin.
The feeling of danger only intensified, like I was an animal being cornered in by a predator. I had to get out. I had to leave, as quickly as possible. I ran to the front door, and moved to put on my shoes, but stopped at the last second as a feeling of terror suddenly paralyzed me. Looking down, I saw only darkness within the shoes. They weren't even mine. They had no detail, like they had been molded from a featureless plastic. Adrenaline surging through my veins, I backed away from them, and opened the front door.
That was when I realized why I had felt so afraid. There was no hallway beyond that door. It was just a tunnel of rock and dirt, stretching into an infinite darkness. I could feel the trembling sensation course through my bones, and my skin began to feel hot, prickling with an acrid sweat that clung to my clothes. There was something moving through the shadows - something that I could barely understand, or even consciously perceive - and it was getting closer. I couldn't move, like every muscle in my body was frozen in absolute fear. As the shadow stirred, I felt urine begin to trickle down my leg, and a wave of crushing dread washed over me. The panic overwhelmed the terror, and I lunged forward to slam the door shut, stumbling back as something shifted from just beyond it.
I ran back to the living room and picked up the phone, my hands shaking so much I could barely hold it. I dialed 911, but when I put it to my ear, it didn't even ring. I just heard that sound, like shifting earth grinding through the receiver. I tried the windows next, but they didn't open, and they wouldn't shatter no matter how hard I hit them.
I can't leave my apartment. I don't know how long I'll survive, but nobody seems to hear me, no matter how much I scream and yell for help. People have been walking right outside, but it's like they can't even see me. I tried tunneling through the wall, but it just cracked away into the dark, like there was nothing on the other side. It's been over a day, now, and I can't sleep. It's like those things are all around me.
I don't know how long I have left.