Wednesday 6 October 2021

Mid-Week Flash Challenge - Week 220

This week's picture prompt is by Nate Robert a photographer on Flicker. This was taken in the John Forrest National Park, near Perth, Western Australia. This is the Swan View Tunnel.

Another dip into Tricky's tales and developing the story.   (Last Tricky Tale was on Week 218)

The General Guidelines can be found here.

How to create a clickable link in Blogger comments can be found on lasts week's post here

There is also a Facebook group for Mid-Week Flash, if you fancy getting the prompt there.

Phot of the Swan View Tunnel in WA, taken from the ground viewing the dirty ground and light at the end.

Saved by the Church

Tricky kept pulling herself forward through the mud and grit. She knew this tunnel had to come out somewhere – being that it wasn’t full of water it wouldn’t be the sea!

At least she knew that for certain. She didn’t know much else, like: how much longer would this tunnel go on for? What sort of tunnel was it? She knew it was putrid, although her body was too weak to keep on retching. It must have been a sewer outlet for the people that lived in the bunkers.

She realized she could see the shape of the gravel she was crawling over and the outline of the walls at either side. She looked ahead. Was it? Yes it was; it was light. Just knowing that gave her a boost and she moved forward faster as the light grew.

Tricky paused for a moment and took a deep breath in, reaching out for the energy the light provided and drawing it in. She felt her limbs strengthen and came up onto her knees, tucking her ragged skirts under them so they wouldn’t get more damaged.

As she got closer to the opening, the tunnel started to take another shape. There were defined bricks shaping into an arched roof. What was this tunnel then, if not a sewer? She really had no idea, and probably no one left on the landmass did either, being that centuries had passed since it had been used for its original purpose.

When she finally made it outside and turned to look at it, she saw the peak of the brickwork and a cross imprinted on it. Had this been a church? Had she been saved by a church? Tricky couldn’t help but let out the guffaw that rose up. She stood there cackling at the prospect. She also giggled at the idea that it had turned into a sewer – or had that happened before the shift? Either way, it was ironic and amusing.

It would be one to tell John Thatcher, they’d have a good chuckle over that – should she ever be lucky enough to cross paths with him again. She hoped she would. But there was no telling. As soon as they knew she had escaped they would bring everything to bear to capture her again, especially now, with what she knew and where she was going.

The thought crossed her mind that they had let her escape. It filled her with panic and dread. What if this was a ploy for them to find her cohorts? What if this was some kind of decoy for something else yet unseen? What if they were watching her this very minute?

She whipped her head around, suddenly terrified, but there were only trees, multitudes of them, and she sighed, turning it into a longer exhale. She reached out with her weak energy trails and they responded by flooding her with their green energy light. She inhaled as much as she could. It wasn’t yet enough to heal her, but it was enough to enable her on the next part of her journey.

There was a screech overhead. She ducked down as though she could somehow disappear into the ground, scanning the sky for the creature that had sent out its warning, and then she heard a flapping sound in a tree to her left.

It was Melvin. She’d never been so relieved to see a bird in her life, although a peregrine falcon was a bit more than a bird.

He squawked again when she looked at him, and swooped down low over her head into the trees on the other side. He was guiding her out.

She made a note to thank Safa once she raised enough energy to get into Medie and contact her.

Melvin squawked again.

‘Alright, alright, I’m coming, keep your feathers on!’

Tricky rushed off into the sanctuary of the trees, following his flaps through the dense forest.


  1. Just a quickie.

    This tunnel of filth, this feculent pit
    Where blind hubris has brought me to die,
    Has walls built of corpses. Helpless, I lie
    ‘Mong the bones and the rot and the shit.

    “Don’t go there,” she warned, “the dead move inside.
    And I’d rather have you than the gold.”
    A living cadaver stinking with mould
    Tears soft strips from my brain as I die.

    Ashes to ordure, dust to sticky mud.
    Bony fingers sharp shred my brain-flesh.
    Inside my dead skull they pummel and thresh.
    The ground wet not from water but blood.

    1. You write dark horror very well, thanks for entering.