Rust. Rust everywhere. Dark red stain, blood oxidized on the walls as much as the substance pounding in his ears. It was dark and confining, as suffocating as a room full of strange people his brother once left him in to go buy groceries. Ironic how such a small, silent space could be comforting under different circumstances. He sniffled, nose wrinkling at the stench of stained metal. He knew the smell well. He had seen enough death, watched enough rituals to know it anywhere. He shifted in place a little, running his small, pale hands along the surface of the metal he was laying on. He barely had enough room to spread his hands across the pockmarked surface, grimacing as he touched what he was certain was dried blood.
He wasn't surprised to find that he was trapped. It certainly wouldn't be the first time. When he was nine he once fell into the old cellar and accidentally locked the door behind himself. It had taken almost two hours before his father had finally found him, snot-nosed and sobbing beneath the cobweb-covered table. He made a noise of disgust as something wet dripped onto his forehead, carrying its metallic scent with it. He reached up with one hand, finding that he had just enough room to rest his hands on his chest, or graze the mottled surface of the low ceiling above him. Testing his confines he tried to stretch, but only made it a few inches in either direction.
A coffin. One made of iron, he assumed. That explained the blood. Witches were often buried in the confines of metal, with blood wardings covering the interior. Protection, in case the deceased happened to be able to work necromancy from the grave. Being buried alive happened to be a local favorite form of execution, with burning at the stake a close second. Which only meant one thing. He had been discovered. His family had been discovered. The thought sent panic jolting through his veins, lungs struggling to draw in air as he stared wide-eyed into the dark. He clawed at the metal above him, scratching and clawing until his nails ached and his fingers were chaffed.
Focus. Breathe. Slow. He had to conserve what little amount of oxygen he had in the small space, or he would have no hope of breaking out. He shut his eyes, counting his breaths as he willed his mind to go blank. He laid there for a long moment, struggling to compose himself. Eventually his breathing slowed, and he let his eyes open in the dark. Think, think. What could he do to escape? He didn't know anything within his abilities that would help him, and he couldn't force his way out. Maybe calling for help would work? He mentally berated himself even as he opened his mouth, the single word clawing its way from neglected vocal cords.
"Help," he began, the noise coming out as more of a croak. He cleared his throat, bracing himself as he tried again. "H-Help!" he managed, a little louder this time. Maybe if he made more noise, more people might hear him? "Help! Help, please!" he shouted, the effort scratching his throat ever so slightly. He brought his knees up, banging them against the bloodied metal above him while he pounded at it with his fists. "Help! H-Help!" He continued for a few minutes, screaming until his throat was hoarse and his legs and hands ached from pounding against the rough metal. He slumped back to the ground beneath him, exhausted and losing more and more hope by the second. He opened his mouth again, but the sound of something faint above him caused a relieved smile to quirk at the corners of his lips.
"Hey! H-Hello! Help, please!" he began again, pounding against the lid of the coffin as he screamed. He could hear the faint noise of footsteps above him growing nearer and nearer, and he gave one last cry before he couldn't bear the pain in his throat. The footsteps slowed to a stop above him, and he let out a relieved laugh. He was saved. He would live. Or so he thought. Without warning the air was being drawn from his lungs, gagging him as he struggled to retain the oxygen in his body. His nails scratched at the surface beneath him, eyes wide with panic as all the air seemed to be vacuumed from the coffin. "Help!" he croaked, choking on his words as he was strangled. This was it. He was going to die.