The Opening of Graves

She rapped at the door; there came no other sound.  She rapped again; as if the wood thinned before her, she heard a quick breathing from within.  She did not knock again; she laid a hand on the door and gently pressed.

It swung.  She peered in.  It was dark inside and very long and narrow and deep.  Its floor slid away, hundreds of yards downward.  There was no end to that floor.  A little distance within the shed  the woman was sitting on the earth, where the floor began to slope.  She was not alone; the occupiers of the broken- up graves were with her.  They were massed, mostly, about the doorway; in the narrow space there was room for infinities.  They were standing there, looking at their nurse, and they were hungry.  The faces -- those that were still faces -- were bleak with a dreadful starvation.  The hunger of years was in them, and also a bewildered surprise, as if they had not known they were starved till now.  The nourishment of the food of all their lives had disappeared at once, and a great void was in their minds and a great sickness.  They knew the void and the sickness. 

Charles Williams
Descent into Hell (Ch. 11)

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