The Tunnel

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Horror  |  House: Booksie Classic

Some friends go exploring tunnels that are said to be the entrance to hell

After graduation some people my age go off to the workforce, military or on to college and supposedly to bigger and better things but neither of these appealed to me. I have always wanted to travel, I had a world map pinned to my wall, so I blindly chose a place and my finger landed on a country called Peru in South America. 
Now that I found a destination I needed to find the means to get there, I could ask my parents for the money but they were none too pleased with my idea they preferred that I enroll in college and I promised I would but first I wanted to see the world or at least part of it before life caught up to me and I ended up being one of those people who wished they had followed their dreams when they were young, my only option was to get a job and in the meantime I would research and immerse myself in the Peruvian culture I even downloaded an application that taught me the languages of country. 
After a year I had saved up a substantial amount of money and the Peruvian language became almost second nature to me and on the plus side my parents finally realized I was truly serious about this and stopped hassling me about college, well mostly, I kissed my loving family goodbye and headed to the Philadelphia International Airport. While I was there I met a cute guy named Lars, I was instantly attracted to his long black curls, dark eyes and olive tanned skin, he was traveling with a group of friends also headed to Peru he introduced me and we became fast friends having similar interests in adventure. They were going for cave exploration and I decided to join them for the thrill of the unknown and to get to know Lars better and with my linguistic skills I was an asset to the group. 
Tom, a tall fair skinned blue eyed red haired man with a vibrant smile to light up a room, was going because he and Lars had been studying speleology which I learned was the study of caves and they wanted to advance in that field not only for the adventure but also for its lucrative aspects in the tourist industry. And there was Sarah, Tom's girlfriend, slightly shorter than her boyfriend with dark eyes and pale skin and long curling brown hair. She was really beautiful in a magical sort of way that if she weren't in love with Tom she would likely be in a mythical forest among the faerie folk. She was studying botany and was looking to advance into dendorolgy, the study of trees, and was excited by the prospect going to Peru to take pictures and cuttings of the flora.
We traveled for several days visiting the touristy cave sites and local taverns, Sarah and I visited the shops and began amassing quite a collection, we enjoyed ourselves immensely but it was becoming obvious that something was bothering Tom but he didn't say anything so we just let it slide. Then one night he and Sarah came back to the hotel, his face just beaming with excitement, he told us that he'd met a local who knew of a small village nearby that had a cave system that was supposedly haunted. It wasn't on any of the websites and the village itself was quite obscure and likely didn't speak any Spanish therefore the caves were very likely uncharted. 
The very next morning we found a ride and headed toward the village and once there we located a hostel and a pub. After a while I heard some locals at the bar talk of superstitions surrounding tunnels located way outside of town and I tried chatting them up about it but they refused to say anything more without some incentive and I refused to part with my hard earned cash for something that may or may not be true. 
After locating a guide, parting with a great deal of cash, and ignoring his warnings we were on our way to see these tunnels for ourselves. We learned from our guide, Antônio, a Brazilian native in his mid 40's, very charismatic and devastatingly handsome with his long curls tied back, that the tunnels were not man made and that the villagers believed they go straight to the bowels of hell and at night you can hear the sounds of something breathing. There’s a story that some explorers went in and never returned. 
By the time we reached the area where the tunnels were located, the sun was beginning to make it’s trek across the last half of the sky and it would be dark in a few hours but we were prepared, we grabbed our gear and walked the rest of the way to the tunnels. Antônio stayed with the vehicle and said he would wait there for us till the morning.
Along the way I felt excitement and fear wrestling within me that my teeth began to chatter, I clenched my jaw and tried not to let the things I heard color my impressions of the place. When we finally reached the entrance I began to have misgivings about our plan but our group seemed enthusiastic so I shrugged off the feeling, turned my head lamp on and went inside.
We were able to walk upright for about maybe twenty feet and then it started to taper to the point where we were on our hands and knees. The tunnel was just high enough to lift my head but no room to turn around in. Eventually we came to a small room big enough for the four of us to sit in and in front of us were two tunnels to choose from. The left one had a curtain made of an old web from some long deceased spider and there was a breeze blowing through it. The right tunnel was clear, I moved closer to see if there was a breeze and felt nothing on my skin. The thought occurred to me that something must have traversed this one and it could possibly still be down there.
We checked our equipment and took a drink, since I was closest to the tunnel Tom asked me to mark an X on the wall beside it just in case anything happened to us then rescuers would know which tunnel to use. I found a rock and marked an X on the wall beside it then tore away the web and headed down the tunnel.
As I continued down this tunnel it began to sound like the breeze was getting stronger, like a low howl, but it felt no different than when I first entered and that misgiving I felt outside returned. The farther I went the more frightened I became. I felt a presence of evil, I did not see anything that would suggest as much other than the sound and the feeling in my gut. Up ahead I saw another set of tunnels and I froze as the howling sound turned to a guttural growl. It was like the previous tunnels where one side had a webbed curtain only this time it was fluttering like a stronge wind was blowing through it yet there was no indication of anything other than a mild breeze. 
I felt almost as if I were under attack, my heart was pounding in my chest and I could not move, then I felt someone tap me from behind, in my fear I had forgotten I wasn't alone and knowing they were there gave me a little bit of courage to try to move forward. I crept slowly towards the second tunnel entrance, all the while trying  desperately to quell the intense fear but the sounds coming from up ahead made me want to back away but those behind me were pressing me forward so I had no other choice but to keep going. 
I kept thinking to myself, 'As soon as I get to the entrance, I'm going to tell them we have to go back.' And I knew that meant I'd have to wait my turn sitting next to those godawful tunnels and the thought of being the last one to leave, that made me panic, I had to stop and try to gather my wits, one step at a time I told myself and started moving again.
Finally I got to the entrance of the two tunnels and I turned around to tell my friends that we had to go back but I was completely alone, they had left or so I thought and I didn't even know it, then it dawned on me, "Oh my God, who was pressing me forward?"
My instincts kicked in and I scrambled as quickly as I could to get myself as far away as possible but something grabbed my legs, I screamed, I tried to grab on to anything I could as I was dragged down the tunnel but it was no use. My headlamp came off and I banged my head on the ground and blacked out.
Outside the rays of the sun appeared over the horizon and found an opening through the foliage to cast a shard of light on Antônio's face. The warmth of the sun woke him from his slumber, he stepped outside the vehicle took a few steps and scanned the trail leading to the entrance of the tunnels, he listened for any signs of life but in his heart he knew they would never return. He went back to the vehicle and sat down behind the steering wheel he looked at his watch, it was eight o'clock, he waited for a couple more hours for his own peace of mind before returning home.
By the end of that day the group who went to explore the tunnels would become part of the legend that was talked about among the locals in the bars where eager tourists would listen.

Submitted: April 04, 2021

© Copyright 2022 LyeCoatha. All rights reserved.

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