Jones White Writing Center held a Facebook contest for the National Day on
Writing. For the contest, students were encouraged to share their reasons for
writing, and the winner would have a piece of their writing shared on the
Writing Center’s website. Asher Rehn, a freshman writing studies major, won the
contest and submitted a short story he wrote titled, “The Tunnels.” The Writing
Center would like to congratulate Asher and thank all the other participants
who took the time to share their thoughts.
By Asher Rehn
It is dark, and cold. The air is wet. Where am I? I don’t know. I can’t
see much. I can only see a little past my hand. I can hear a lot more than I
can see, which isn’t a lot. Seeing isn’t a lot I mean. I can hear a lot. I wish
I couldn’t though.
It sounds like metal pipes. There is a horrible clanging sound coming
from somewhere. I can’t tell where exactly. It seems like its echoing around
the halls. I think I am at an intersection now. It feels like I am at one
anyway. My hand isn’t touching the wall anymore. Now I am crawling on my hands
and knees. There is a corner I can feel. On either side of the corner is a
different hallway. The clanging sound is coming from both. I guess I’ll go down
Something isn’t right about that noise. There is something wrong. It
almost seems like there is a whistle in the clang. It isn’t in a regular pattern, like from a
machine. Something is hitting the pipes. The, clang is getting louder. Maybe I
didn’t go down the right hallway. Did I go down the right? Or was it left?
I tripped over something. It almost looks like a glove. Right? Left.
Left glove. It’s on a hand. A hand? Is someone else down here? I try to say
something. My voice almost sounds like a gurgle. I’m so hungry. Is this guy ok?
I try to ask him that. More gurgles. He isn’t moving. I pick up his hand. I
can’t find a pulse. Am I doing it wrong? His hand feels different than mine.
I’m so hungry.
There must be a monster somewhere in the tunnels. Where else would the
noise be coming from? It isn’t natural, and I’ve never seen anyone else. I’ve
never even seen anyone else. Right? Wrong, the glove man. I’ve seen the glove
man. I’ve never heard anyone else. I would hear them. I can hear a lot. I can’t
see a lot.
How long have I been here? In the dark I mean. And these tunnels. Why do
I know they are tunnels? How many times have I gone through here? I don’t
remember what happened with the glove man. I took a step away and when I tried
to find him again I couldn’t do it. I have his glove. It can’t fully fit on my
hand. How long have I been here?
A long time. I can’t remember a time I wasn’t here. Where is here?
Tunnels. No, that is what is here, not where here is. I think, right? Wrong.
Why? What is happening? The tunnels are everywhere? Are they? Everywhere can’t
be tunnels, right? There can’t be tunnels everywhere?
The glove doesn’t fit? Why doesn’t it? Is it a glove? Maybe it’s too
It’s so dark, the clanging noise won’t stop. Where is it coming from?
It’s echoing everywhere? Is there an original sound? There must be a sound
that’s real right? Right? Wrong. Not in the tunnels. The tunnels are cold. The
tunnels are empty. Except for that noise. And the glove man. Why can’t I find
the noise? It must have a source, right? The monster must be somewhere.
I must be the monster.