Ned's shout elicited no response, at least none that Ned could hear.
Shouting louder didn't help.
The floor began to tip. What the hell?
The door opened a crack and the beam of the flashlight sliced through the Stygian murk but didn't illuminate Ned or the floor around him.
“Did you feel that?”
The flashlight inspected the floor near the door.
“No, tilting! Don't you feel that? T – I – T... No, T – I – T – L...”
“What are you talking about?”
A foot appeared in the splash of light just inside the door. A moment later, the foot flew upwards and Ned heard a thud.
Bob didn't answer. There was only a groan and the sound of a body sliding across the floor, the beam of light spiraling through the darkness as the flashlight rolled alongside. Ned held his breath as he groped for a handhold to keep from sliding away and listened for a response from his partner.
Another groan. “What's happening?”
“I don't know,” Ned responded. “The floors tilting.”
“Why didn't you warn me?”
“I tried to. Where are you?”
Ned looked in the direction of the light where the flashlight had come to rest against something. The sound of Bob's voice seemed to be coming from a point closer to the door. It was hard to tell. Every sound echoed on the bare concrete walls.
“Where? Near the flashlight?”
Ned's question was met with a moment of silence, then, “No, the flashlight's over there.”
“Can you move?”
Again, Ned waited out the silence that was broken by a curse. “Damn, I'm slipping again!”
Ned gripped his handhold more tightly. The floor felt like it had reached an impossible angle.
Ned strained to see in the darkness. “Spread your arms and legs,” he instructed.
“Ow, damn it!”
“Great idea, genius,” Bob answered. “I just whacked my leg on something.”
“Did you grab it?”
“No, I'm going too fast.”
Ned felt his feet leave the floor. He was now hanging from his handhold. Bob uttered a scream. A thud like a sack of potatoes hitting the floor punctuated the end of the scream.
Silence filled the darkness.
Ned's fingers began to burn. His handhold had edges. They felt sharper with every passing second. He swung his feet seeking a purchase. The swinging of his feet transmitted to his body, and his shifting weight tugged at his grip. He lost it and fell.
He was falling in the dark.
Screaming seemed futile.
Without light Ned couldn't see that he was falling. He just knew that he was falling. Incredibly he discovered that that there was no feeling of falling.
His mind went into warp speed. He calculated that the room was about forty feet wide. At least that's what he thought when they first entered and the lights were still working. It was going to hurt but it shouldn't kill him if he landed like a paratrooper.
Ned had watched them in the old war movies. Bend the knees. Tuck and roll. Bend the knees. Tuck and roll. He kept repeating the mantra until he hit the far wall, now the floor.
He was right. It hurt. It hurt like hell. But, he was alive.
Ned guessed that Bob hadn't bent his knees, tucked and rolled.
He lay there in the dark. The flashlight was about ten feet away. Ned started crawling towards it when he felt the wall, now his floor, tilting.