The Tunnel

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Flash Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic

Cover design: Hullabaloo22

The Tunnel

Which way?” Cassie asked, before they were once again surrounded by the squeals of goblins.

I... I’m not sure,” Phil answered, looking frantically between the three tunnels.

It was possible that they would all lead out of Goblin Castle. It was equally possible that none of them would. He was going to have to pick one; Cassie was relying on him and he couldn’t let her down.

It had all started so well. Goblin Castle was a new attraction outside of town, for those that would dare to enter. The fact that no one had ever noticed the castle before was a bit strange; it had to have been hidden behind trees and hedges, left empty for so long that the locals had forgotten its existence.

Phil had thought it would be a good way of impressing Cassie. Maybe he shouldn’t have said that he had been before. If he had, there was no way he would have returned. The goblins that he had presumed to be fake were very much alive. And vicious too.

They had kept themselves hidden until Phil and Cassie had ventured deep into the building. Only then had they began to swarm; up the walls, across the ceilings as well as on the floors themselves. Without stopping to think which way they were going, the couple had turned and fled and now were totally lost.

Phil knew they were running out of time. He already had a cut that ran from his elbow to his hand. The bleeding had slowed, but not before the smell of blood had whipped the goblins into even more of a frenzy.

Taking Cassie’s hand in his, he pulled her towards the tunnel on the left. “This way,” he urged.

The castle had not been at all well lit, but the tunnel they were running down was so dim it was almost dark. The chittering and whooping began to follow them.

Several times both Cassie and Phil lost their footing. The tunnel had become increasingly damp, making the stone floor slippery. There were broken flagstones on the ground; dips and hollows or sudden rises that neither could see.

Further along the tunnel, the remainder of light vanished. They were forced to slow their pace, but the lack of light did not seem to hamper their pursuers at all.

Suddenly Cassie stopped, reached up her hands towards her face. Something sticky had adhered to it, and she found herself breathing it in. She pulled strand after strand from her skin, out of her mouth, and from her hair. It stuck to her fingers and she became frantic, trying to wipe the strands away.

What? What’s wrong?” Phil asked, before he too found himself being covered by the threads.

What is it?” Cassie asked in a voice that suggested she was close to hysteria.

Phil knew what it was, but he also knew that if he told Cassie they were spider’s webs, she would break down. He hated the things too, but his girlfriend had a full-blown phobia. They had to keep moving, and as if to reinforce that fact, a goblin dangled from the ceiling and grabbed his hair.

Swatting, ducking, and wincing as a clump of hair was pulled out by its roots, Phil pulled Cassie forward. “It’s nothing. Just keep going and try to keep your mouth closed.”

A sob broke from Cassie’s throat. “Please tell me it’s a nightmare and I’m going to wake up any second now.”

Phil didn’t answer. Something had hit him, something that had moved at his touch. A way out? It had to be. He reached out with both hands, then tried to draw them back. Both of his hands were coated in the stickiness and wouldn’t come away. As he left his fingers explore, he felt a scream rise up in his own throat and he barely managed to swallow it down. What his hands were touching, was a body, a human body, or at least what remained of one.

The goblins should have reached them. Why had they stopped? He could hear them hissing and chittering just a few feet away. Before he had a chance to reach a conclusion, Cassie screamed and flung herself against him. Then Phil felt the touch of one of eight hairy legs.



Submitted: March 31, 2021

© Copyright 2021 hullabaloo22. All rights reserved.

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Mike S.

Spooky and excellent tale, Hull

Wed, March 31st, 2021 9:13pm

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