Through rainfall, the dying hurricane entombs itself. The world below swallows what were once its clouds, beginning a process of transformation beyond human eyes. Eventually the weather above ground calms, but from the storm’s perspective, this is far from the end. Underground rivers become new arteries and reanimate its vaporous flesh, allowing mist and soil to merge into a new kind of sinew. After several weeks of gathering its bones back together, the storm returns to life in the depths of the planet.

Meteorologists mistakenly refer to the feature that centers hurricanes and typhoons alike as the “eye.” It is more appropriate to think of it as a mouth, especially once its mountainous teeth grow in. In this second phase of life, the storm spirals sideways, whirling into a conical mess of sharpened stone and muddy winds that travels along the world’s fault lines, seeking a passage back to the surface. Earthquakes occasionally form as a result of its tantrums and conflicts in the depths.

You remember having been told this tale as you try to find your way out of the cave, exhausted from several days trapped in what was once the city’s subway system. Perhaps it’s your fault for getting off at the wrong stop, but it’s certainly not your fault that the station had no apparent exits to the surface. The only way forward was a jagged stairwell cut from bedrock that led you further down into the world, illuminated softly by lightning that hung from the walls like ivy.

Eventually, all traces of urban infrastructure disappeared, and you found yourself here, in strange catacombs whose walls flow like mud through your fingers before dissolving into the surrounding air. The atmosphere is full of a bitter petrichor, not warm and kind like the scent of recently fallen rain, but more what you imagine it would taste like if the world could truly bleed. Long cylinders of hailstone curl throughout, forming the skeleton of something much larger than you. Every surface feels as though it is breathing.

There is perhaps still hope for you, as the storm appears to be asleep- but there’s no telling for how long.