The story begins here
I descended the ladder into the starlit mists, suffering a bit of squeamishness over what I would find at the bottom because I didn't know how much a human body would splash after such a fall. Would I step in gore at the foot of the ladder? Nausea surged over me and I had to stop, pressing my forehead against the clammy rung until the threat subsided. I suffer the curse of a vivid imagination.
Thankfully the bottom of the ladder was lit by a floodlight, or the darkness would have been impenetrable in the deep fog. As I neared the bottom, I began looking below me but even with the floodlight, I could barely see past my own feet. Approaching the ground, I actually bent over to look more closely for what lay beneath but could see nothing except another rung. I stepped down and repeated the action. Then again. After the fourth time I gave up caution and lowered my foot without looking, probing blindly for the next rung. The rung seemed to be missing so without thinking I lowered my foot still further. Suddenly I touched an obstacle much more massive than a ladder rung; I had reached the bottom.
I rested there for a moment at the base of the ladder, once again pressing my face to the clammy metal to stave off nausea. Then I steeled myself and looked toward where the body lay. Nothing was there.