Author Topic: The Tunnel  (Read 6872 times)

Offline Symphony

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The Tunnel
« on: January 17, 2006, 09:11:04 AM »
I wrote this as a timed exercise, the key word being - as you've probably already guessed - TUNNEL. Most of what I attempt to write is aimed at 4-6-year-olds so this is a bit of an experimental departure for me. I'd welcome any comments. Thank you.

THE TUNNEL

They didnít get it. They just didnít get it! And they never would. Wrapped up in themselves so tightly, brains swaddled in self-admiration, egos bandaged in id, feeding on power, insecurity demanding constant reassurance. What hope was there for me, stuck in the middle, brunt of every joke, prime target for mockery? Tell someone, the ads said. Talk to someone Ö phone this number Ö we can help!

Yeah! Sure you can! If Steven Seagal happens to be around, maybe, or that other guy, the French one. Christ! Whatís his name? Whatís his name? Whatís his name? Have to remember his name. Have to! Have to! Think, dammit, think.

Thinking ÖÖ. takes my mind off it, you see. Thinking of names like that French karate-hero-guy. Is he French, even? Maybe heís not French. Foreign name, though. Foreign name.
I wipe some sweat from my brow, forgetting my hands are smeared in dirt and grime from the tunnel floor. The grit sticks to my head and falls into my eyes, blinding me momentarily. I grip a corner of my tee-shirt in panic and hope itís at least a bit clean, just enough to clear the dirt from my face. Please, I pray. I have to be able to see the light. That light up there.

I sob involuntarily and thank Christ thereís nobody around to hear. That, at least, is something. I take a deep breath and try and pull myself together. I have to come out sometime and the sooner the better. Iím secretly panicking that some smart-arse will come down and close the door, shutting out the light. Iíll never be able to find another door. I know that. Whatís worse is that part of me is thinking that perhaps I wonít want to.

I canít let that happen. Iím sure they thought it was fun. Yeah, thatís it! It was just fun, wasnít it? Losing me in the underground tunnels, running away, snatching my torch? It was just fun. Like when they threatened my little brother last week. Said theyíd land him in hospital. That was just joking, too, wasnít it? Or slipping Rohipnol into my sisterís drinks at the disco? Just kidding, right? They wouldnít have done it. Yeah, they were just kidding around. But I did what they asked anyway. I mean, that was the right thing to do, wasnít it? Wasnít it?

The tears have got to go. I straighten myself up to standing, sore from bumping into walls and tripping over whatever it was Iíd been tripping over in my panic and haste to follow their fading voices, to get out of this tunnel, get out of the darkness. I hate the dark. Dark holds only bad stuff. Iíve never had dreams, you know? Only nightmares. Nightmares and night terrors. I donít do dark, OK? I have my parents to thank for that.

But these guys. They donít know about me and the dark. So itís just fun, isnít it? Mustnít let them see me crying. Jeez! Whatíd they think if they saw me crying? I mean, whatíd they do to me then? No! Iíve gotta come out laughing. Laughing and joking. With the boys. Yeah! Thatís me. Just one of the boys, eh?

Maybe Iíll just get cleaned up a bit first, before Teach notices Iím missing from the group. Thereíll be hell to pay if Iím not at dinner with the rest. Shit! Itís bright! Good to leave that tunnel behind though. I suppose? Is it? Strange! Itís bright out here but ÖÖÖÖ. I still feel Iím in the tunnel. Iím still in a tunnel. Why is that?

Tell someone ÖÖÖ talk to someone ÖÖ. phone this number ÖÖÖÖ


« Last Edit: January 17, 2006, 12:00:40 PM by Symphony »

Lin

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Re: The Tunnel
« Reply #1 on: January 17, 2006, 10:15:17 AM »
I have to say that I loved the opening lines.  Its the kind of thing I love to read, I just wanted to read more, but I did feel that although you were trying to convey conflict and remembering,  here the repetitive use of words was probably played out a little too much for me personally.  I do think its got talent in there, you give the appearance of pressure and its a bit like that dream you have where you are going nowhere fast and the monster is trying to catch up with you and almost gets you!!  Phew!!  Yes as a practice piece its made me read more.

Hope this helps
Lin

Jayel

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Re: The Tunnel
« Reply #2 on: January 17, 2006, 10:33:14 AM »
Your opening paragraph really sets the 'hook', you have some very nice phrase work - brains swaddled in self-admiration, egos bandaged in id -  The emotions ring true, but it did feel a bit redundant as I moved through the following paragraphs.  Of course, by its very nature, a timed exercise doesn't allow for the final polish.  Nicely done with lots of promise.

  ;) And be sure to spell Steven Seagal's name correctly, just in case he happens to read it.

Offline Symphony

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Re: The Tunnel
« Reply #3 on: January 17, 2006, 11:54:32 AM »
Thank you very much. Great comments. Very encouraging.

S

 :D :D (have corrected Mr Seagal's name now!!)
« Last Edit: January 17, 2006, 12:00:13 PM by Symphony »

Offline Angeleyes

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Re: The Tunnel
« Reply #4 on: January 18, 2006, 04:33:34 AM »
I enjoyed reading your work, but I noticed that you say it is meant for 4-6 year olds. My four year old can only just write her name, and my nine year old had a quick look and didn't know what Rohipnol was. Just a thought , but mabey it would be better aimed at older children.
      Ann.J.
May all your dreams come true.

Whether you think you can, or think you can't....you're right!
-Henry Ford.

Lin

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Re: The Tunnel
« Reply #5 on: January 18, 2006, 08:27:47 AM »
I rather got the impression that Symphony was saying this draft was a departure from the usual children's stories aimed at 4 - 6 year olds.  See the first line of her explanation.  This was an experiment going into something new for her.

Lin

Offline Angeleyes

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Re: The Tunnel
« Reply #6 on: January 18, 2006, 08:36:39 AM »
Ooopps. Sorry Symphony! I'm going to go and get my eyes tested now. Thanks for pointing out my mistake Lin. :-[
May all your dreams come true.

Whether you think you can, or think you can't....you're right!
-Henry Ford.

Offline Symphony

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Re: The Tunnel
« Reply #7 on: January 18, 2006, 10:22:18 AM »


Ann - that made me laugh! But thank you very much for taking the time to read it. I think I, too, would be seriously worried if my 4-year-old knew what Rohipnol was!!

I haven't had anything published other than a (self-published nursery rhyme book) so I'm still exploring various kinds of writing and learning as I go ('tis a long road I see before me ...) - today a story about bullies, tomorrow teddy bears ...

 :D

Offline Rebecca Anne

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Re: The Tunnel
« Reply #8 on: January 21, 2006, 02:09:24 PM »
Hi Symphony,
     First person present tense is hard for me.  That can be good for a short piece, but I would find it wearing somehow in a long work.  You pulled it off well, especially for a timed piece.  I'm impressed.  Probably most readers could identify with what is going on with your viewpoint character, as you portrayed it sensitively.
Rebecca Anne

Offline Symphony

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Re: The Tunnel
« Reply #9 on: January 22, 2006, 04:42:45 AM »
Thank you, Rebecca Anne. It was very interesting to get comments on this as it's one of the few 'grown-up'  ;D bits of writing I've done

Desperate to get my hands on Nick's course now, so I can experiment with something a little 'longer'

Symphony

Offline Mini

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Re: The Tunnel
« Reply #10 on: January 22, 2006, 06:26:49 AM »
Hi Symphony,

I, too, made a simliar mistake to Ann J in my haste to get into the story, and had to go back and re-read your intro as soon as I got to the 'id'. I thought it a little high brow for 4-6 yr olds.

I love the premise of this piece. I like the way he is doubting himself and defending their intentions. You have get the reader very involved.

It flows very rapidly, reflecting the panic and conflict within his mind. I think I would be tempted to slow it down in places to reinforce the fear factor. But the 'Think' paragraph does do this to a certain degree. so Maybe you should just ignore that comment.

My response of the ending is ambiguous. I found it a bit of a let down, but at the same time I like the way it reflects his feelings of still being trapped. I feel he should celebrate his physical freedom more and then question hisfeelings suffocated or trapped.

But on the whole it is really good.

Are you doing timed exercises as part of a course or something?

Mini

Offline MTV_poetasters

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Re: The Tunnel
« Reply #11 on: January 22, 2006, 07:54:56 PM »
wow... that was great. It really got me hooked. very suspensful and creepy.