On the Other Side of the Tunnel

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: Booksie Classic
Just something I wrote... I was going to make it into a novel but.... I dunno... XD

Submitted: June 22, 2008

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Submitted: June 22, 2008

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The sun shined down on the bright needles of the trees. The forest glimmered against the soft pastel blue sky. Jet streaks were painted across the horizon, disappearing behind the scattered marshmallow clouds. Light flooded through every corner of the forest, brimming it with warmth and promise for the day.
I stuck my foot in the stirrup and swung my leg over the white mare's back. She snorted in protest, but stood still long enough for me to slip my other boot into the metal slot of the opposite stirrup. I gently rested my hands against the crest of her curved neck, and we were off. I had loads of homework to do, but not enough to miss out on the perfect trail riding opportunity. Even her stuck-up 9th grade English teacher Mrs. Stifenscoff could respect a high-schooler's need for a little adventure right? Well maybe not, but it seemed like a good idea at the time. What I didn't know that the path ahead of me only lead to something so dark and horrific, that it made that evil English essay look like an innocent little rabbit with those soft, brown, begging eyes.

I nudge the mare into a canter, and we start down the trail. The trees flash past, and the wind blows through the mare's mane. Her long white tail streams behind her, like the train of a wedding dress.
His fingers slip through my grasp, and he looks up at me with stone cold eyes. We both know it's too late. He takes one last glance at my face, searching it for some sign of hope.
I shake my head. "Stop it." I mutter to my thoughts. "Shut up."
Then he falls. My hands tremble, empty. I look for his hand, but it is no longer entwined with mine. He's gone. Its my fault. He's gone. I stare into the fog, looking for his face.
I bite my lip. My mind is rushing. "Stop it!" I yell out loud. I feel the mare under me shy forward at the harshness of my voice.
A tear slides down my cheek. It can't be true. I keep staring at my hand, but no matter how hard I stare, his hand won't come back. Slowly I clench my hands into a fists. I swallow, and take one last look at his body, crumpled in a heap at the bottom of the cliff side. When I look, I stand quickly, and back away. A pair of glittering red eyes stare back at me. They wait for me, and my return.
I drop the reins, and the mare stops abruptly. I put my hands up to my head, and rock back and forth in the saddle, like a little toddler who supposedly has a monster under their bed. Tears flow from my eyes, their small rivers branching out into streams across my cheeks. Finally, I swallow hard, and collect the reins again. I squeeze the mare with my thighs, and we walk onward.
The wind rushes past my face, and through my hair. It whispers into my ears. He's gone, he's gone, your fault, your fault. I flinch, and give the mare a huge kick. She leaps into a canter, and we flee together from my thoughts. I can feel them chasing me, making me push the horse onward. Sweat flecks her shoulders, but I show no mercy, so we run on. I look over my shoulder, as if something might be following me. "Don't be silly." I mutter to myself under my breath, although my eyes continue to frantically search the trees.
A shiver runs down my spine, and I glance over my shoulder again. The mare seems to sense something, and her ears prick forward attentively. I push my thoughts away again, and just concentrate on the trail ahead of me.
We go for about another half mile, and a feeling of anxiety wraps itself around my mind. Then I grab at the reins, and tug the mare into an abrupt halt. A dark tunnel looms in our path. My mother had always warned me that this was as far as I was allowed to go. "Don't go past the tunnel." She'd call to me each day before I hit the trails.
I lean over an pat the mare's sweaty neck. "It's just a tunnel. Nothing to be scared of, right?" She snorts. "Right." I squeeze her on, and she flattens he ears back against her head. I give her a hard kick, but she leaps back wards. Determined, I give her a slap on the rump. She rears defiantly, and balks from the mouth of the tunnel, the whites of her eyes showing. I feel myself slipping from the saddle, and I hit the ground. The mare stands a little further down the trail. She calls for me, wanting me to follow her away from the tunnel.
I ignore her, and look back at the tunnel. Again, I feel a cold shiver crawling down my spine. I peer into the darkness, and let my eyes adjust. At the end of the tunnel, I see a figure standing for me at the end, waiting for me. He smiles. It's him. I laugh, and stumble forward. I never thought I'd see my brother again. Not after the accident. I'd thought he was dead.
"Danny!" I called out. There was no response. "Danny, it's me! It's Courtney." I said, scuffing my boots against the hard ground. I stepped closer.
As I approached, I reached out my hand, and grasp his. I smile, and look up into his eyes. Then I swallow. Those aren't his eyes. They're a bright glittering red. Blood red. I feel a pang in my wrist. His nails are growing longer, and curving into a set of crawls. I scream and snatch my hand back.
I see fangs extend from his mouth. It's not him. It can't be. I scream again, knowing that no one will hear me. I turn and try to run. But I can't move. I'm frozen in his ice cold stare. He grabs me, and I struggle to escape. But it's too late for me. I can't go back through this tunnel the way I'd come. I saw the gaping hole of the other side. "No," I whispered. "Don't take me. Let me go back."
The red eyes stare unresponsively into mine. They burn into me, and I feel a sharp pang on my head. Then the damp tunnel around me disappears into darkness.

I awoke in darkness. Chilly air swirled around me. I reached my hands out, and felt around me. It didn't take me long to figure out that I was surrounded by cold metal bars. My fingers brushed against them. I was in a cage. I jumped at an abrupt scraping sound. It was getting closer.
I dropped to the ground, and breathed slowly, trying to make it seem as though I was sleeping. I recognized the scraping. It was the all too familiar sound of the red-eyed creature approaching.
Snorts and scrapes come from behind me. I hear a tail swish. My eyes begin to adjust to the darkness, and I see the outline of the white mare, also in a cage. She must have followed me through the tunnel.
A rumbling growl comes from the shadows, like a verbal avalanche. I stumble to my feet and turn around on my heel. The creature stands, sticking its nose through the bars, its fangs dripping hungrily with drool. I scream, high-pitched and loud, just like they do in horror movies. I didn't realize that people could actually scream like that,until now.
I threw myself to the back of the cage, and feel the cold metal bars dig into my back. I wince, but push myself against them, fixing my eyes on the creature. Another scream escapes through my lips.
The creature snapped its jaws open, and I got a glimpse of it's long sharp set of teeth. Long strings of saliva fell from its mouth, and I shivered as it looked right back into my eyes. I saw the same evil, red glimmer as I had in the tunnel.
I wrapped my fingers around the bars, whimpering. The creature shuffled around the cage, coming closer. I screamed as one of its grimy, clawed hands shot through the bars. The sharp yellow points of the claws pierced the skin on my arm. I sank to the the bottom of the cage, and crawled out of its grasp. My knees scraped against the concrete floor. I stuck my hands desperately behind me through the bars, and felt at the wall. The creature howled at me, and took a few more threatening steps forward.
My fingers shivered at the cold touch of metal. I ran my hands over the coldness. IT was a switch. I threw the switch upward, and the darkness around me disappeared into a blinding light.
I clung to my cage, and got a good look at the hideous creature. It had a scruffy brown coat, and pointy dog ears. It was almost wolf-like. The creature wailed, and its clawed hands flew to cover its glimmering red eyes. I watched in horror as it collapsed to the ground, letting out a series of high-pitched squeals and shrieks. I swallowed. I wasn't ever going to get out of this cage unless the creature unlocked it. I had no key. My only options were to starve to death in the cage, or take my chances with the creature. I pulled the switch again, and the empty room around me faded into an endless black void of darkness. The creature immediately fell silent, mid-screech. It crawled to its feet, and looked at me through the bars.
"Come on creepy creature." I cooed, hoping it wouldn't understand me, and just listen to my voice. "Can't you let out an innocent little girl? I have homework to do." I blinked sadly at it. It replied only with a low growl. I sighed. "This is hopeless." I told the creature. He narrowed his eyes.
The creature stepped forward, and slipped a small silver key into the cage's lock. Fear gripped me. Was this thing going to eat me? Tons of images popped into my mind. Boiled Courtney, Courtney salad, Courtney soup, Courtney steak, and fried Courtney. The possibilities were endless.
To my relief the creature only slipped a pair of handcuffs over my wrists. I wasn't dead. Yet. Maybe it was just moving me to a new cage. It slammed me harshly into the wall, and strapped some sort of leash on me. I twisted, trying to keep the scratchy material from rubbing at my neck, but I could hardly move. I was pushed out of the cage, and jostled through many long dark corridors. I could feel the leash scratching at my neck, and the sharp metal edges of the handcuffs were making cuts in my wrists. I winced, feeling the blood run over my palms. My knees gave way, and I crumpled to the ground. The creature grabbed my hair, and pulled me to my feet.
By then I sounded like a dog, begging for food at the dinner table. Except I have a heavier price than food scraps. I want my life and sanity as well.

I wrinkle my nose at the foul stench around me. As we head further through the maze of hallways and corridors, it gets stronger and stronger. With each step, I feel myself getting even more nauseated. Through the shadows, I can see moss creeping up the stone walls, and covering the floor.
The creature gives me a hard shove, and I stumble into a room. The stench is unbearable by now. It takes off my leash, and unlocks the handcuffs, before pushing me into yet another cage.
I look around me, and see tons of other cages. Some of them have people in them. I turn to the cage next to me. Curious, I whisper to whoever is inside. "Hey you! Did you go through the tunnel too?"
The person turns to me. Only it is not a person. It's half a creature. Her eyes are orange, and she has small fangs. I can see ears poking out of her head, and a long bushy tail. I swallow.
"Yes." She answered me, with sad eyes. "It is too late for me, and it is too late for you. We are both doomed."
Still gaping, I manage to hiccup and answer. "What do you mean?" I ask.
She looks back at me. Her eyes grow redder, and saliva drops from her jaws. "Don't you see? Look around you. They give you a shot." She shakes her head. "And you become one of them."
My breathing hardens. "A-A shot?" I stutter. The girl-creature looks back at me, and growls. I know that my conversation with her is over. She's a creature now, just like the rest of them. I sit down on the concrete floor, resigned to my fate.
The creature comes back, and I watch as the needle is injected into my arm. My mind is whizzing, and I look up at the creature. Maybe he's my brother after all. Maybe he didn't die. Maybe they gave him a shot too.
The room around me sways. I feel my teeth growing larger, and my ears growing longer and pointier. I feel a tail swish behind my legs. Then it is too late. I fight to keep my consciousness, but my mind is weakening. Before I know it, my thoughts are gone. And I am one of them.

Back through the corridors, out through the tunnel, down the trail, into the barn, and into the small room sits a desk. On the desk is the English essay of Courtney Fielder. The English essay that had hardly begun. It would never be finished. The detectives looked through the forests, but Courtney was never found. Her disappearance is mysterious, and remains unsolved. The only things left of her is her mare, found grazing outside of a dark tunnel, and the unfinished essay.


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