“The Tunnel” by Matt Cowens

June 27, 2010

His home colony faltering under an inhuman attack, Gregor’s world is rocked by a greater threat when he visits “The Tunnel.” [6min]


Gregor slipped through the gap in the fence and into the open space of the park. He dashed forward and dive-rolled behind a steel climbing frame, then sprang up into a crouch. Nobody in sight.

He sized up the distance to the tunnel. The late afternoon sun had little warmth in it as it filtered down through the haze of concrete dust. Pulse cannons had been firing shells over the river for days now and Gregor’s house, the whole neighbourhood, was coated in a fine grey mist. He wiped the back of his hand across his eyes and broke cover.

He ignored the distant thudding of mortars as he reached the tunnel, skidded into its dark concrete interior. It was an old bit of pipe from an early colony construction site, three feet in diameter and ten feet long. It had been dropped into a trench of cement so that it was fixed in place in the middle of the playground. It had proved as popular as the colourful steel climbing frame or the swings.

In the shadowy interior of the pipe Gregor leaned back against the curved surface, his knees by his head, and looked at the graffiti. The inside of the pipe was covered with swear words and rude jokes, stick figure colony soldiers fighting giant spiders, faded hearts filled with initials. There was more ink than blank concrete. He traced the outline of a heart with one finger. Did the initials inside belong to someone Gregor knew? Someone from his school?

Paul Callaghan March 7, 2011 at 12:33 AM

I enjoyed this story. Well written and well contrasted. Nice one Matt.

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