You open your eyes, blink, close them, forget whether they are open or closed. It makes no difference. The rock, now, you stumble into and it hurts, you start to cry out but bite it back because here, deep in the caverns of the earth, you are afraid of making noise. All around you is the drip-drip of water, strange echoes from elsewhere, but you don't know what might be there, you don't know what might come when you make a sound. You touch your arm where you stumbled into the wall – or was it a stalactite, or a boulder? Your fingers are clumsy from the chill of the earth, and you think you might be cut but you cannot tell for sure. Is that blood or just some of the water dripping from the ceiling, from all around?
The blackness presses on your eyes. You've gotten more dirt on the cut, if it is a cut; you're covered in cave grime all over. You feel your way along the wall as you climb down a steep passage, a channel, a hole sinking deeper, deeper, deeper, into black. The stones close in. You can't tell if you're seeing the cave or the inside of your eyelids, if you're hearing your own breathing or the scrape of stone or the echoing drip-drip-drip of water in the distance; you can't tell whether your cold fingers are fumbling over rock or your own clothes and limbs.
There is rock all around you, now. Where is the hole you came in through? Your breathing quiets. You can feel your heartbeat, and hear it, thum-thum, thum-thum, thum-thum. You become still. In the chill, in the damp, in the stone, you become part of the stone, part of the earth.