The underground is dark, dank and chaotic. It has a distinctive smell of stone and moss which is hard to ignore; a dirty, earthy smell that makes me miss being above ground. I miss running barefoot and lying down in the sunlight, climbing trees and swimming in the river. This particular room smells of damp, but that’s no surprise, the underground is always damp. But it’s home and we’re safe here.
This room has water trickling down the rock face, splashing into a rock pool below. It’s a kind of therapeutic sound, a sound that used to keep me up at night. Today it keeps my mind off the fact that it’s freezing in here and my arms are more goosebumps than skin. It’s colder in here than most rooms, but it’s private and it’s far enough away from the others that we won’t wake them.