057 - hangnail
Marlowe was losing feeling in his legs. He threw his arms back into it, and tried to lift with all of his might. Again, it proved to be futile. His hands just dug into the soft surface, leaving deep, crumbling claw marks. He just couldn't get a good grip on it, but he knew that even if he could, it was simply too heavy.
His body was weakening, too. That last effort had felt noticeably weaker to Marlowe, and combined with the loss of sensation in his lower extremities, he knew time wasn't on his side.
"Help! Is anyone out there? Please help!" Marlowe's voice called out. This action, too, was futile, as it had been every other time he had tried it. The place was empty now, devoid of any of his employees.
Marlowe began to come to grips with the harsh truth that, in the back of his head, had been there since this all happened. Since the gigantic cheese wheel had dislodged itself from the top shelf and fallen to the floor, with Marlowe sandwiched in between. He was going to die here, under his large wheel of cheese.
He laughed at the thought, as it was somewhat comical, even he could admit. It hurt to laugh. What he could still feel in his torso, all of it hurt, especially breathing in and out. "Will the newspaper headline read 'Cheese Kills Marlowe,' really?" He asked himself.
The cheese reeked. In all his years in the business of making cheese, Marlowe had always been a great connoisseur and lover of his own products. Before being put in this situation, he imagined he would have thought it wouldn't be all that terrible. The Marlowe that hadn't yet been stuck under an impossibly heavy wheel of cheese for several hours would have proposed a different solution.
Marlowe should just eat his way out. If he were successful at consuming enough of it, he would be set free. And if he were to die, either as a result of the untreated injuries or from simply eating way too much cheese, it still wouldn't be that bad. He would have at least died gorging himself on the food product he loved the most.
But the Marlowe that existed now, the one actually beneath the wheel of cheese, was revolted by the very thought. This cheese had become his enemy, and it disgusted him. It was no longer a sublime food of the gods. If eating his way out were the only option, Marlowe would have preferred to be instead trapped under a humongous pile of dung.
Exasperated, and still in a large deal of pain, he threw his head back against the wooden floor. Staring up directly at the rafters, Marlowe found himself just wishing for an end. "If this is how it must be, if this is how I come to an end, then let's just do it already." He wondered how many hours he might have left, stuck under this wheel. Growing ever feebler, slowly but surely slipping from this world into the next.
Terrible, it was terrible just waiting for death like this. Marlowe tried to convince himself that, if he were really able to endure for that long, perhaps morning would come and one of his workers would find him. Perhaps there was hope, but he wasn't holding out for it any longer.
To him, the sheer occurrence of a giant wheel of cheese falling down on him, and now crushing him out of his very existence, was a clear indication that his luck had run dry.