The Tunnels by Larten21

There is a legend about tunnels everywhere has them, they are deep under the ground built centuries ago. They were believed to have a strong magical force infused into the walls. A force that would trap evil and demonic spirits in the tunnels, back in ancient times people would bury their hardened criminals like serial killers and rapists in the same tunnels believing that their souls would be trapped in the tunnels.

Me and my friends, Sam, Tom and Harry found an entrance to one of these tunnels and being the cocky teenagers we were we didn’t believe the legends and decided to go exploring. That was our first mistake.

We got to the entrance all of us ready to explore, some of us were a bit creeped out as the entrance was in a forest which was an ex-military firing range. We managed to eventually pry off the enormous stone slab used as a door to the stone hut and the first thing we see is a wall, we looked at each other in confusion, there had to be something there. I looked at the walls, nothing.

I took a step back and the floor under my feet moved, I found it, the entrance to the tunnels.

We lifted the circular slab from the floor revealing a long vertical shaft that went further than we could see, there was a rope ladder trailing down one side of the shaft. We decided to climb down, our second mistake.

If only we knew what was waiting for us we would have turned around, resealed that hell hole and gotten out of there as fast as possible.

We reached the bottom of the shaft and the first thing we realised was that it was bright down there, we saw torches set in the walls burning bright, strange the slabs covering the place were covered in dust and cobwebs so these flames must have been burning for quite a while.

The second thing we noticed was bones on the floor, we didn’t think they were humans and decided to explore more of the tunnels.

We explored for about ten minutes before things got really weird, we started hearing moans but brushed it off thinking it was just the tunnels creaking under the weight of the earth and the age of the tunnels themselves.

We kept brushing off the sounds until we heard the most blood curdling scream followed by a blood thirsty growl, we freaked out and started to run back the way we thought we had come from.

We ran for a minute or two then came to a stop all of us panting and out of breath. Sam, Tom and Harry were talking rapidly between each other obviously terrified, I was focused on something else. My eyes were fixed on the floor where there lay some bones, the same bones we saw when we reached the bottom of the entrance shaft.

The others must have realised I wasn’t speaking and they stopped talking and turned to ask me what was wrong. I couldn’t speak, I could only stare at those bones. The others quickly walked around me to see what I was staring at.

They all took a step back, stunned when they saw the bones. None of us could believe it, we looked quickly up, there was no hole in the roof and no rope ladder it looked exactly the same as the rest of the roof.

We were all freaking out now, suddenly a noise caused us all to fall silent, it sounded like something falling onto the floor hard. We stood silent trying to figure out which way the sound had come from. We started to hear loud footsteps approaching so we ran in the opposite direction.

We ran for about fifteen or twenty minutes before we again stopped, partially to let Harry catch up as he had started to fall behind and partially to catch our breath and try and figure out what we were going to do. Harry wasn’t too far behind and would only take a second or two to catch up, we looked towards him to check on him and heard the same blood curdling growl we had heard earlier and just as we heard it long dark arms tipped with claws shot out of the floor and grabbed Harry.

We ran leaving him behind, I know it was horrible thing to do but we were terrified. As we were running we could hear Harry screaming. I think we were all in tears when the screams were silenced by a growl, this time the growl was different and a part of my mind thought that it now sounded excited.

Sam and Tom kept babbling on about Harry, how we had left him and that we should have done something to help him. I just stood there silent trying to think if there was anything in the legends that would help us escape these cursed tunnels. They both turned on me asking if I knew what was happening, I told them I didn’t.

We started to hear a whispering it sounded like it was coming from the walls all around us, we could hear that they were repeating one word over and over “Arthur.” We started walking quickly away trying to get away from the whispers fearing they would lead whatever was behind the growl straight to us. No matter how fast we walked or ran the whispers followed us all the time whispering that one word, “Arthur.”

Tom sat on the floor hands clamped over his ears, shaking and muttering, “make it stop, please make it stop.” repeatedly. We had stopped trying to escape the whispers, they wouldn’t stop and were driving us crazy, Tom more than me and Sam.

The same excited sounding growl came again and as soon as it started the whispers stopped. Sam wanted to run, Tom was still sat on the floor shaking. I stood there still, usually I have a plan for everything but down here in these tunnels I was clueless.

The voice that had been whispering before the growl came back again this time as a shout with only one word, “run”. We reacted instantly, me and Sam grabbed Tom, pulled him to his feet and ran.

The excited growl echoed though the tunnels again and as if a switch had been flipped Tom’s legs gave way and he collapsed. We tried to pick him up again but he just kept muttering “leave me.” I tried to tell him we wouldn’t and then we saw it.

It emerged from the wall like it was some kind of sentient mist but as it reached the centre of the tunnel it started to solidify. It stood on two legs that looked like the legs of a bear that ended in long, sharp claws, it had the body and arms of a person but instead of fingers on its hands it had five talon like bones that looked sharpened into points. Its head was like that of a goat with curled horns, it was like a monster out of a movie or your worst nightmare.

We tried again to grab Tom and make him move but he was like a dead weight and we couldn’t move him at all, he just sat there still repeating, “leave me.” I looked up and saw that thing was closer, I thought that for a something that looked like a jigsaw of animals it could actually move quite quickly.

Me and Sam both stood, tried to apologise to Tom for what we were about to do but neither of us could speak. We ran. They say never to look back but like an idiot I did just that and what I saw will haunt me until the day I die. I saw that creatures jaw open to an impossible width like a snakes and then it clamped down on Toms head and started to chew.

We ran as fast as our feet would carry us but no matter how far we went we could still hear Tom’s screams and the crunching of his bones. When the sounds stopped we stopped running, looked at each other and burst into tears. This couldn’t be happening. “Run” the voice from inside the walls shouted again, we obeyed and ran with tears running down our cheeks and blurring our vision.

We ran until our legs burned and we felt like we couldn’t run any longer, we collapsed against opposite sides of the tunnel and slid down the wall until we sat there looking at each other not saying a word just sobbing uncontrollably.

The voice in the walls started up again but this time it sounded like a collection of people and it was repeating a sentence “Arthur has returned, help us Arthur.” We looked at each other, Sam asked again if I knew what was happening or if I knew who this Arthur was, I didn’t, I had absolutely no idea.

After a couple of minutes rest we decided that we had to start walking again in case that creature was following us. We were hoping that if we kept walking we would find a way to escape the tunnels and this twisted nightmare.

The tunnel started to widen slightly and then suddenly it opened onto a chamber. The chamber was filled with body parts some still covered with flesh and other reduced to just bones the majority were heads and skulls. Sam vomited at the sight, heads were hung all over the walls like some kind of twisted hunters trophies. All I could do was look around the room in stunned horror and then my gaze fell onto something that made me burst into tears all over again, Harry’s head mounted on the wall and pieces of what were obviously Harry and Tom’s body strewn on the ground under Harry’s head.

I tore my eyes away from the grisly scene of my dead friends and continued to scan the room and that’s when I saw it. Standing there was that creature inside a huge pentagram that looked carved into the floor. As if it was waiting for me to see it the creature raised its head, it was smiling the most twisted, evil smile imaginable. It growled that same sickening growl, I turned grabbed Sam and we ran again.

It felt like an eternity before we stopped, unable to run anymore, physically and mentally exhausted. We collapsed using the walls to keep us propped up into a seated position and as my gaze fell unable to meet Sam’s eyes I saw them. Lying there on there in the floor like they were taunting us were those damn bones we had seen when we first entered this place. I was about to look up hoping to see the hole in the roof and the rope ladder that would lead us to salvation when I was stopped dead by sound of the creatures growl.

I stood up ready run again when I saw the creature just standing there not far from us with that twisted grin on its goat like face. Suddenly it disappeared, I hoped that I had been imagining it and it hadn’t already caught up with us. I turned my head to look back at Sam and saw the creature dragging him into the wall, the while time it held eye contact with me.

I slumped back down to the floor, I had lost every last drop of hope, I would never leave this place and eventually that thing would catch me and take great pleasure in tearing me limb from limb. I wanted to cry but I couldn’t.

“Look up, the roof.” I thought I was imagining the whispers, the onset of some kind of psychosis, I had almost convinced myself of this until they said the same thing again but instead of a whisper it was a shout. I looked up and couldn’t believe my eyes, they were there, the hole in the roof and the rope ladder. I shook my head in disbelief and blinked to make sure it was real, it was. I climbed that rope ladder faster than I had ever climbed anything in my life, afraid that if I stopped or slowed down for even a second I would find myself back in the tunnels.

I emerged into the hut and stumbled out into the sunlight unable to believe it. I ran with every last drop of strength I ran home. I got home and burst through the front door in tears and collapsed to the floor. My parents came running into the hallway and when they saw me the dropped to the floor with me in tears.

When we had recovered my parents told me that I had been missing for three weeks and that there was a county wide manhunt for me, Sam, Tom and Harry, at the mention of their names I burst into fresh tears. I explained everything that had happened to my parents and they called the police to report that I had been found, I was told they were on their way and I would have to tell them everything that had happened.

My grandmother lived nearby and had come to the house to hear what I had to say in my interview with the police, after the interview she took me into a separate room and dropped a bomb on me.

She explained to me that the legends about the tunnels were all true and more. They were created to act as an artificial hell because the devil and his demons are real and they used to roam the earth freely killing, raping and causing general pain and misery. This was put to an end when a group of immensely powerful magicians decided that enough was enough and hired a highly skilled group of masons to build the tunnels. While the masons worked the magicians placed wards and spells all over the tunnels in hopes that it would trap the demons inside the tunnels. Somehow they managed to lure all the demons down into the tunnels and the spells and wards did their job trapping the demons inside. The doors were sealed and more spells and wards were placed upon them so that the demons could only escape if a magician of pure heart broke the seal on one of the doors and didn’t reseal it.

My grandmother then went on to tell me that I was the descendant of one of the magicians that hired the masons, she told me his name was Arthur. She told me that I was also pure of heart and that is why she had always told me that I should stay away from any doors I found leading into tunnels or caves, not because she was scared they could collapse on me but for fear that I would accidentally release the demons back into the world.

I had unknowingly broken that seal and ran away before putting the slab back over the shaft that led into the tunnels therefore leaving it unsealed. I had freed them, every single demon in that hell hole are now free and able to do whatever they want.

It has been a week now and their have been reports on the news every night of mysterious and gruesome murders. Every time I tried to get any sleep I hear the whispers from the tunnels saying the name Arthur then my name and then shouting run. I believe that everything that happened down in those tunnels will haunt me till the day I die which might not be too far in the future.

I’m writing this as I slowly drift off to sleep as an attempt to stay awake because I’m scared. I’ve heard it the last few nights the same growl from in the tunnels, at first I thought it was a trauma induced hallucination that was until last night. Against my better judgement I looked out of my bedroom window after hearing the growl and there it was, standing three or four houses further up the street underneath a street lamp and I swear I could see that grin on its goat like face.

Tonight I’m even more terrified as I’ve already heard that growl twice since it got dark. I can now hear tapping on my bedroom window, my bedroom is on the first floor a good 12 foot from the ground so no person could be playing a cruel prank and there are no trees outside the house, that leaves me with only one explanation. If there is a god then I pray to you now please god help me.

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