I’d crawled down here, through the cramped spaces and tight turns, never able to lift my head above my shoulders. And for what—one chance at fame? I’d heard it on the radio, the news, this creature supposedly stalking our city from underneath. Sucking down toddlers through storm drains, clogging our pipes, shooting our shit right back into to our clean white bathrooms. A moratorium then, a citywide emergency. A Ratking. One chance to kill it. Room for one person to do it. And I’d had my share of heroics, caught the thrill of real life between my teeth and not wanted to let go. This would be, perhaps, my final high. Squeezing through tiny ventilation shafts above a city sewer, inch by painful inch, forever looking down through iron grates, waiting for that first view of a giant furred back, streaked with human blood. And a thousand eyes staring back into mine.


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