Into the Tunnel

Submitted into Contest #30 in response to: Write a story in which someone finds a secret passageway.... view prompt

42 comments

Mystery Adventure Middle School

I drop my bag and step into my new room. Every step I take, the creaks in the floorboards get louder. I turn back and across the hall I catch a glimpse of my old room. I miss it. It was bigger, and if you look hard enough you can see a carving of a bird and the letters "ERI". Under the window above where my desk used to be. My uncle carved them when we first moved into this old creaky house. Emma Reese Ivana, AKA Emree, though I'm the only one who calls myself that.ย ย 


Two weeks ago my 14-year-old brother, Wren, started to complain that his room was too small and, being their favorite, my parents automatically offered my room. He gladly took it, and now my old room is his new room. I've got a lot of work ahead of me. I think as I look around the room. The walls and floor are bland and the only way to tell someone actually lived in it before was a small wooden bed, with a sad blue comforter, and an old wooden wardrobe.ย 


โ€œHey, Emma,โ€ my dad says as he drops my desk abruptly in the middle of the doorway. โ€œHeres your desk, put it where you want,โ€ he says, practically running to Wrenโ€™s room to see if his favorite child needs any help.ย 

I roll my eyes and grab one end of my ornately carved wooden desk. โ€œThanks for the help dad,โ€ I mumble. โ€œAnd its Emree,โ€ I add.ย 

Wren looks through the doorway, his smooth long black hair, showing only one of his dark brown eyes. He flicks his head back as to move his hair out of his face, but his attempt fails.

ย โ€œNo one cares, Sis,โ€ he says.ย 

I ignore him and start to drag the desk over to the opposite wall, scratching the creaky wood with the legs of the desk. I feel my grip start to loosen on the end of the desk and before I know it the desk slips out of my hand and falls on to my foot causing me to fall back into the wall. Instead of hitting the wall and leaving a dent or two, it acts as a door, and swings open. My eyes grow wide and I start to fall back again, this time falling all the way to the floor. I start to duck for cover expecting some evil mastermind to come walking through the tunnel and destroy the earth and everyone on it, but no one comes out. All there is to see is a long dark musty tunnel. All at once I realize what it is and start to scream.ย 


โ€œEmma stop making so much noise! What's going on in there?โ€ my dad calls from across the hall.ย 

โ€œUh- nothing!โ€ I respond. โ€œAnd, once again, it's Emree,โ€ I say louder than before.ย 

โ€œThat's a dumb name! You can't combine two names! Your 11 years old, you need to grow up and choose between Emma or Reese!โ€ my dad tells me.

ย I roll my eyes.

ย โ€œIt's my name, and I choose Emree!โ€ I yell trying to counter everything my dad says.ย 

As I wait for him to yell something back, my curiosity gets the best of me so I start to enter the passageway. Itโ€™s dark, creepy and has trouble written all over it. The more steps I take the more endless it seems. Finally, I see a glimmer of sunlight. I run towards it and get excited as I see that there's a...hole.ย 

Great, I have to climb my way out. I think.ย 

I dig my foot into the dirt wall, creating a foot hole. I do the same all the way up and out of the passageway. As I emerge from the hole I'm blinded by the bright 6:00 sun, which was supposed to set 30 minutes ago. I assume it's my eyes playing tricks because I have been in the dark tunnel for so long.ย 


โ€œHello!โ€ a cheery voice says.ย 

I back away from the short man who had suddenly appeared out of nowhere. His face looks as if he had a permanent smile. The man had shining white teeth, and light brown, short, wavy hair that was gelled perfectly into a swoosh to the right of his cheery face. The only thing out of place with the man were his eyes. Before this, I was almost positive that my eye color was the weirdest eye color ever. I mean, my left eye is bright green but my right eye is dark brown, both with amber specks in them. However, this manโ€™s eye color beats mine for weirdest. The thing is, he doesn't have an eye color at all. It's all black. It just looks like he has really big pupils. He notices me staring at his eyes so he starts talking again, trying to change the subject.ย 


โ€œSo what brings you to Aleeza?โ€ he asks. I start to look around. โ€œAleeza?โ€ I ask.ย 

The man smiles again. โ€œThe city of joy! I'm Cayo!โ€ he tells me.ย 

I nod, and Cayo starts to lead me farther into Aleeza. The whole place is bright and everyone looks exactly like Cayo; perfect hair, perfect smiles. The only thing left to worry about is their eyes. It just doesn't make sense why they don't have color in their eyes if it is such a cheery, perfect place. The grass is a healthy shade of green and all the plants look just as healthy. There are no utility poles, which means there's no electricity. All their light comes from the sun.ย 


โ€œDon't worry about us; the sun never sets,โ€ Cayo says.

ย I stop abruptly. Cayo turns and looks at me.ย 

โ€œEverything all right Emree?โ€ he asks. I start to back away, trying to get back to the passageway.

ย โ€œD-did you just read my mind?โ€ I ask.ย 

Cayo looks away, worriedly.ย 

โ€œA-and how do you know my name?โ€ย 

Cayo cocks his head. โ€œYou told me!โ€ he says.ย 

I shake my head. โ€œNo, I didn't! Thereโ€™s something wrong with this place!โ€ I yell.ย 

Cayo gets angry and calls something in another language.ย 

โ€œCeโ€™ ser tang hanso!โ€ He calls.ย 

All of the people in the village turn their heads, their cold, lifeless eyes staring straight into my soul.ย 

โ€œI had faith in you, Emree. You failed us.โ€ Cayo says. โ€œSungosed!โ€ Cayo calls.ย 

All of the people lock their eyes with mine and start chanting.ย 

โ€œCogod doson! Cogod Doson!โ€ As they chant, my head starts to spin and the world starts to go black.ย 

I back away and climb down the hole. All of the people in Aleeza are now taking large steps toward the hole into the passageway. They stop at the hole and don't come after me as I back away. I realize they can't follow me and start to run back to the entrance.ย 


By the time I make it to my room I'm exhausted and lightheaded. Whatever the mutant monsters had done to me was how they mutated everyone else. It didn't surprise me that my dimwitted brother hadn't found the passageway before. What did surprise me is when I look in the mirror to check for any sign that I had left the house, the amber specks in my eyes had been replaced with black specks. The next day half of each of my iris's colors had been replaced with a cold, hard black. I feel compelled to go back to Aleeza and stay there forever, but I know it's because of whatever spell those evil mutants put on me. There are days where I venture halfway through the passage only to realize I'm walking myself to my death bed. On other days I don't know if I'm more human or more mutant. I'm torn between two worlds. The world where I belong. And the world where I want to be. Torn between two halves of my heart. Each half telling me to go a different direction. My head asking me every minute of every hour of every day. Where do you belong?ย ย 


February 29, 2020 04:23

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42 comments

Lee Kull
18:24 Mar 06, 2020

Interesting story... it reminds me of an odd mixture of Alice in Wonderland and Narnia, haha. Good job! I am an editor, so as I read the story, I took note of some of the errors I found in it. I hope this is helpful to you. :-) My corrections are directly below each one. and the letters "ERI". Under the window and the letters E.R.I. under the window a lot of work ahead of me. I think as I look around a lot of work ahead of me, I think as I look around Heres your desk Here's your desk โ€œThanks for the help dad,โ€ โ€œThanks for the help,...

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That was so helpful, thank you so much!

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Lee Kull
03:57 Mar 13, 2020

You are quite welcome! If you ever feel like returning the favor, feel free to comment on any of my stories if you find the spare time. All feedback is quite welcome. :-) Thanks, Lee

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Lee Kull
21:05 Apr 01, 2020

Thank you so much for commenting!

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Your welcome! All your stories are amazing, and very well written! Thank you so much for sharing your stories!

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Lee Kull
12:24 Apr 07, 2020

Thank you, that is very kind of you to say! I look forward to seeing more of your great stories as well. :-)

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Ola Hotchpotch
19:52 Mar 01, 2020

Nice story.

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Thanks, did you submit one?

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Ola Hotchpotch
04:29 Mar 02, 2020

Yes

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Cool! Whats it called?

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Ola Hotchpotch
03:16 Mar 03, 2020

Mindiacid the playacting

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Thanks, I'll have to read it!

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Ana Govindasamy
16:33 Feb 05, 2021

I love Refugee by Alan Gratz too!

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Ana Govindasamy
16:36 Feb 05, 2021

:)

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Ana Govindasamy
16:36 Feb 05, 2021

:)

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Lucia :)
15:13 Feb 04, 2021

WOOWWWW this was absolutely AMAZING

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lolll really?!?! I wrote this almost a year ago(feels a lot longer) and I feel like it's really badXD thank you tho!!!!!!!!

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Lucia :)
15:36 Feb 04, 2021

Lol I just read it but heck yes! It was amazing! ps want to do a collab on the next prompt? Idk how, s you'll have to show meh ;)

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thank youuuuu:DD yeah! You mean the prompts for next week? Before we start planning, do you have an email that isn't a school email(not sure if you're still in school, but a lot of times I'll try and do a collab and cant because I can't email or share a docs with someone with a school account. Just want to check:D)

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Lucia :)
15:49 Feb 04, 2021

Ok, yes I am in school, but we can e-mail people outside of the district :) The collab will work with you! If you're not using your school account, could you tell me yours?(idk if I'm very comfortable letting a ton of people my email)

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ok, cool! :D My email is lunacolon1508@gmail.com

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11:47 Jan 25, 2021

Oh my god, your stories are so awfully dynamically unbelievably Cool. They have this amazing mix of slowly developed characters and beautiful writing style! Hey there, you recently liked one of my stories (i don't know why i said that, actually have only ONE story, crazy me) and that's why i thought that I would check your stories out. (by the way, should I call you Carrot or Claire or do you have any other name?Fruit (/vegetable) people are getting confusing! in your bio you said that you were an Harry Potter fan, so here, I am one too ...

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hi! Thank you so much!!! You can call me Claire from my vegetable name, or Luna which is my real name. Yeah, when people have completely dif names it gets pretty confusingXD *high fives back from computer screen* yessss another HP fannn!!! What house are you in? Thanks for reading my stories!!!

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01:16 Jan 27, 2021

Hey, So So So-rry that I couldn't get to you right away! I am very bad at checking the feed kinda things, I would probably run off into a wikipedia rabbit hole๐Ÿฐ or something (or I will end up thinking as if there is no tomorrow) Oh, I am totally not sure about the house, seriously every only quiz I have taken either puts me (50%) in gryffindor๐Ÿฆ or (50%) in slytherin๐Ÿ or gets really confusing and I can't choose either, they are both sooo GREAT. And thank god that you didn't leave me hanging ๐Ÿ˜‹ (What's the meaning of XD by the way? [I kno...

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no your good!! yea! Have you tried the pottermore quiz? :) XD is just a face, if you look at it sideways, and no you're good, I didn't know what it meant at first eitherXD

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07:46 Jan 28, 2021

Arhh! I am late at replaying again! Sorry (ยด;๏ธต;`) No, i haven't tried it and its cause what if even it's result comes mis matched!? I'ill be doomed โŠ™๏นโŠ™ I guss i will try it soon anyway (i will let ya know!) And thanks for explaining about this XD XD XP =P And would ya mind if i asked you to check out my new story? And thanks for the suggestion and explaining again, bye!

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you're good! lol sure! I'm in school right now, but I'll read it when I get a free moment! bye!!

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Echo Sundar
20:59 Nov 24, 2020

Wow!! I can't say this enough! Your stories are so compelling my heart is beating in my chest. Your stories are amazing!! You are officially my favorite person here on reedsy. Your writing technique is amazing and your stories are so interesting and make me want to read more. You are going to be the first person I follow. Because your writing is so so AMAZING!!

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Thank youuuuu!! That means so much, especially since I'm a much smaller writer on here๐Ÿ˜Š Your literally making my day with these comments<3

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Echo Sundar
00:51 Nov 25, 2020

Reading your stories is making my day!!

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Echo Sundar
20:55 Nov 24, 2020

Wow. I can't get to say that enough about your stories!! They're so compelling!! My heart is pounding. What happens next? How does it end??? You are so so talented! I want to read more of your writing! Your officially my favorite writer here on reedsy your writing is so good and your stories are so interesting!!

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Wow, that's a great beginning story! It was very interesting to see just how long it took before things went downhill. The part at the end is so relatable, choosing between two paths/ideas. Super job! L.W.

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thanks!! It feels like soooo long ago since I wrote this story so I'm glad it still holds up;)

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Holly Pierce
23:41 Nov 19, 2020

This is so cool! Emree is a very interesting character! I love the way her family interacts, even though it's kind of sad. The slightly open ending is really creepy (in a good way) because I'm wondering if Emree went back to Aleeza or stayed in the normal world. I love your imagination, this story is really good!

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Thank you so much!

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Holly Pierce
23:49 Nov 19, 2020

no problem!

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