The Tunnel

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There is a tunnel, buried beneath the layers of the world, outside time, outside creation. It is dank and musty. It is covered in slime, moss and lichen, pregnant with rot and decay. The walls are smeared with the stale blood of creatures that were extinct billions of years before the Big Bang.

It is a prison, erected to contain a race of pestilence and destruction that had once spanned the breadth of creation. They spread like cancer, defiling everything in their path, a cosmological blight that nearly brought all of reality to its knees. Entire universes fell in the attempt to take them down, and only when the Immortals came were they finally forced to yield.

If death could have stopped them, the Immortals never would have built it. But they would only have assumed another form, and their evil would have continued to dominate. The only way to protect the cosmos was to quarantine them, to lock them away forever in a tomb of stone, fortified with wards and seals to prevent their escape. The Immortals gave their very life essence to strengthen and uphold it, to keep the walls solid and substantial against their feral outraged cries.

But now the place lies in ruins, corrupted and forgotten, those who built it having moved on. When the prisoners were abandoned, they wondered if their captors even remembered they were there.

The seals weaken with the passing of the ages. In some places, they are stretched so thin that the prisoners can once more sense the outside. They scratch at the walls with insubstantial claws, and they give, ever so slightly, in tiny imperceptible increments.

Time has made them hungry. The Immortals thought starvation would break them, make them weak and vulnerable. But it only strengthened their resolve to ravage the cosmos once more.

Now they sense a breach, a rip in the fabric of their prison, and they rush at it with teeth bared, picking and tearing, prying and pulling. They work with grim anticipation.

They know the walls are about to come down.

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Author: Jeff Coleman

Jeff Coleman is a writer who finds himself drawn to the dark and the mysterious, and to all the extraordinary things that regularly hide in the shadow of ordinary life.

92 thoughts on “The Tunnel”

  1. I have not read a book in years, where is the rest of this !!!!!! I want more to this story! You left off at “They know the walls are about to come down” please for the love God where can I read more now! This shit is like a drug.

    1. Thank you, Jesse. Glad you liked it! I haven’t released a related novel yet, but I do have a rough draft on Patreon. If you become a patron you’ll be able to download it and read it 🙂

        1. More is coming 🙂 I’ve been sending out a related novella to my mailing list since Saturday, and I have a related novel that will be released early next year. I’m also planning a series of books that will directly address and resolve the conflict started by The Tunnel. Things are happening 🙂 If you join the list, you’ll get a lot more 😉

  2. By reading some of your earliest posts, I see that you are writing a related novel. Does that mean that you are not finishing” The Tunnel”? Very impressive writing and a great sense of imagery. Thanks, I love a fresh novel.

    1. Hi Bill, the related novel is tangentially related, but I have a planned series of two or three books that will be much more central to the plot introduced by The Tunnel. That series is just a bunch of notes right now. The related novel, on the other hand, is already finished and has been passed off to an editor. I’m hoping to publish late this year or early next 🙂

    1. Thanks, Ray! I am working on a related novel that will be published either late this year or early next. If you join the mailing list you’ll get an announcement when it’s done 🙂

  3. I stumbled upon this by sheer happenstance, but I must say, for lack of a better word, this is brilliant! The imagery is so vivid and the language so powerful that it triggers deep emotions and leaves a sense of eerie foreboding. Masterful job, would love to read the rest!

    1. Hi Amanda, thank you so much! You’re very kind 🙂 As it happens, you’re in luck. I’ve already finished the draft of a related novel and plan to release it at the end of this year or early next (after it goes through editors and revisions.) Stay tuned! 🙂

    1. Thanks, Michael! There is more 🙂 I’ve finished a related novel (I’m sharing a draft now on Patreon), and will be publishing late this year or early next. If you join the mailing list, you’ll get an announcement when it’s ready.

  4. Damn brother. I’m hooked!! Your writing is so enthralling. It really grips me and now i want more. Has (or when will) the novel come out?

    1. Hi Robert, thank you! This was intended to be a piece of standalone flash fiction, but I am working on a related novel that will become the prequel to a much larger series. If you join the mailing list you’ll be hearing more about that in the coming months 🙂

    1. Matthew, thank you so much! That means a lot to me. I’m really glad you liked it 🙂 If you sign up through the form at the bottom of the story, you’ll get an announcement when the related novel is ready.

    1. Thank you, Joey! 😀 Can’t wait to share more with you (there will be many books, one related novel that’s coming out soon, and a series that’s much more central to the story.)

  5. Hello Jeff this is really good. I do have one question that maybe you can awnser for me. How can one that has no money get a chance to share there work like you have and get replys from readers?

    1. Hi Anne, thank you! 🙂 I apologize for the late reply. I won’t lie, a lot of the exposure I’ve been able to get has been the result of Facebook ads, which I pay for. The biggest problem is getting your work in front of eyes in the first place. Organic reach is difficult, at least until you have a lot of readers already. But if you don’t have money to spend on ads, you can probably find forums and other blogs where people share similar interests and develop relationships that way. I imagine there are a lot of creative ways to get quality hits on your content without having to spend much or any money.

    2. I.didnt think there were animals or anything for that matter existing before the big bang which I don’t believe in anyway. God.crested the universe. But I liked the story. I love old tunnels. 🙂

        1. Kathy, don’t worry, I’m writing a novel based on this piece of flash fiction 😉 If you join my mailing list, you’ll get an announcement when it’s done. 🙂

  6. Dissppointed to find this isn’t a book I can buy…sounds like it would be an awesome read. 🙁 Keep writing.

    1. Hi Dawn, it actually will be 🙂 I figured out a story I could base on this and am about half way through the first draft of a novel. If you join my mailing list you’ll get an announcement when it’s done 🙂

        1. Hi Dawn, sorry I didn’t reply. I use WordPress.com to manage my comments and for some reason I didn’t get a notification for yours. Glad you figured it out! 🙂

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