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Next time you use the toilet, check under the seat.

Someone might be watching you from The Gutter.

Metropark by Andrew Novak

The air tank on my back clangs against the corrugated tin walls when I move. 

The first moments are taxing, but claustrophobia subsides after only a few minutes.
I settle in.
According to my estimate, I have roughly an hour and twenty minutes of oxygen remaining.
I look up, through the tempered glass of my goggles, past the darkness around me. A haze of orange summer light floods in through the small opening above, which is good. I’ll need light. Without it, the footage will be too dark and unusable. Artificial lighting is not an option. Could give away my position and compromise the entire project.
I remind myself: If anything goes wrong, you work for the university. You’re doing research.
I turn the camcorder over in my gloved hands to inspect the front. The underwater housing is holding up. A strip of black electrical tape still covers the tiny red light. The lens is clean. Everything is in order.
I wait.
Cicadas buzz nearby. Or maybe it’s the cloud of flies around my head. I cannot tell.  
Wet heat weighs on me. For some reason, I hadn’t imagined the drysuit insulating so viciously. No matter. It’s a necessary evil—the only barrier between me and the biological cesspit in which I crouch.
My heart leaps at the sound of the wooden door scraping open just above me.
A tingling sensation grabs my lower abdomen as I anticipate the coming events.
My fingers fumble over the camcorder. I manage to press the “record” button. I raise the viewfinder to my right eye and watch, filming the opening above, all to the soundtrack of my rabid heartbeat and delicate footsteps overhead. Droplets of sweat roll onto my eyelashes. I blink them away.
Through the opening, a shadowy form of wide hips and round, pale buttocks snuff the orange glow like a solar eclipse, lowering onto the resting place just above me. Thankfully, there’s still just enough light to see.
I shake.
Nervousness. Excitement.
My testicles swell. My member stiffens, fighting the tight neoprene covering my left thigh.
A sharp creak of flatulence startles me, but I remain calm, focused. A clear stream of urine dribbles jaggedly onto my chest, down from two parted lips veiled partially in dark hair.
I lean back slowly.
As the camera refocuses, I capture a clear shot of the pulsing anus, only a foot or so from the lens, from my own face.
A calm rises in me, but my erection rears, writhing aggressively and uncontrollably. My eyes pull slightly out of focus as they fix on the shadowy orifice. It opens ever so slightly.
Some say our universe was born inside a black hole, that black holes are “the cosmic mothers of new universes.”
Goddesses, creators of life.
Spacetime slows.
The opening grows larger, only infinitesimally, though, with each passing second.
My gaze shifts to the dark, wrinkled ring encircling the black infinity: event horizon.

Puckered flesh, a circle imperfect. All expanding and contracting.
I stare into the singularity, that stinking abyss. A perfect recreation of the birth of life as we know it, some scientists would undoubtedly agree.
I bear witness.
I kneel before it, inferior.

I set the camcorder down. 
My cock thrashes wildly without my intent, stretching the neoprene. I clutch it.
Above, the singularity expands. Matter emerges, dark and slick. Dense. Asymmetrical.
The spasms of my erection grow faster and more intense. Fuzzy darkness devours the outer edges of my vision. My body seethes, my mind falls serene.
Soothing chemistry rushes over my brain like ether. My sex bulges. An unquantifiable amount of seed drives for release.
The singularity opens fully, then closes off. Matter drops in front of me. Concurrence.
The contractions of my sex reach a fever pitch and I fall backward from my knees.
Semen bursts from my cock. I imagine it as a viscous molecular cloud or an ethereal star formation. 
Falling onto my back, I let out a soft moan, consumed almost entirely by thick, warm dark-matter.
I hear the faint sound of a woman shrieking in the distance, miles away maybe.
My head sinks until darkness creeps over my goggles like a slow primordial soup.
My erection jerks sporadically as it vomits last drops of semen.
My eyes water.
My breathing slows.
Time passes.
Violent hands hoist me up. I hear shouting. A gloved hand wipes my goggles, pushing hard on my face. Pain. Sunlight. Two huge men in hazardous material suits drag me by my arms toward an armored truck. The words they use are bitter and filthy. I stumble along, slipping every few steps, catching myself.  
I turn, still dazed. Behind me, another hazmat man seals my camcorder into an orange bag near the entrance of the crude wooden structure. 

“I—I work for the university,” I mutter, exasperated. “I’m doing research.”
I shake and cough. I taste the rank sludge on my lips and retch.
One of the men at my side grabs the back of my neck, tightens his grip, and pulls me along.

Andrew Novak is a journalist and news editor in Washington, DC. He likes to read. He likes to write. He likes to take pictures with his camera. His fiction has appeared in Shotgun Honey.