Daily Prompt · writing

Daily Prompt: Tunnel Vision

Daily Prompt: Tunnel Vision

 You’ve been given the ability to build a magical tunnel that will quickly and secretly connect your home with the location of your choice — anywhere on Earth. Where’s the other end of your tunnel?

Hillary’s knuckles were white as she clutched the joystick tightly. Her concentration focused on the screen, her eyes unblinking with pupils dilated wide. Deftly her thumb pounded the yellow button on the controller into submission, causing coins to appear above the head of the tiny plumber as she maneuvered him through the cavern. Her goal was not too far ahead now, emerging from the cave she spotted the flagpole and leaped, sensing victory; only to have the ground open up beneath her feet. She plummeted to certain death at the bottom of the abyss.

Her demise was confirmed by the change in music from a happy little tune of:

dut, dut, dut, du dut du du

To a dirge:

wah wah wahhhhh

And an image of the plumber spinning and shrinking smaller… smaller until he burst like a bubble.

The screen tempted her – Again? It asked.

A swallow of diet Dr. Pepper did nothing to relieve her anxiety. It was warm from having sat on the low table over which she had crouched all evening. The clock above the fireplace chimed twice. Damn, it’s two AM. She had to be at work at six. Better get some sleep.

She turned off the TV, checked the locks and went upstairs to bed, where she fell asleep immediately.

Pressure on her bladder woke her and she rolled over in the bed to look at the clock. Three AM. Shit! She closed her eyes and tried to ignore the feeling but finally threw back the duvet and got out of bed. She had only taken two steps towards the bathroom when she sensed something wrong. She stood still and listened.

Scraping sounds were coming from her closet and a dim blue light glowed from the crack beneath the door. As she watched, the door slowly began to swing outwards, and the little plumber with the red hat peeked out and spotted her. Hillary smiled. He and his brother were tunneling through the back of the closet, carefully placing pipe to shore up the walls. He began to dance and beckon her to come. She faintly heard the familiar music coming from the pipe:

dut, dut, dut, du dut du du

She held up one finger to the little plumber, signifying that she needed a minute. She hurried to the bathroom and relieved herself listening to the happy music coming through the door. She flushed the toilet and excitedly went back out to find the little plumber dancing to the music coming from the tunnel. He took her hand and they walked together towards the entrance. She was glad she had washed her hands. Neither of them spoke.

After only three steps they emerged from the other end. She looked back over her shoulder and could see the inside of her closet. The music was louder here. The plumber released her hand and gestured at the land in front of them. Bright green grass and lollipop shaped trees. In the distance she saw the flagpole. She looked fearfully at the plumber who was no longer small, or maybe she was no longer large. She opened her mouth to ask him if it was safe; to ask if the ground was going to open up beneath her feet again. No sound came out, she was unable to speak but he shook his head and she immediately understood that she would not perish this time.

Hillary began walking towards the flagpole. Soon she was jogging and picking up speed as she ran down the slope. At exactly the right moment she leaped and when she grabbed the pole, found herself clinging to the ball at the top. She felt the endorphins. She felt the surge of relief she had anticipated. She was victorious. She was the master of this game.

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