Tunnel Vision

by Alex Baturin, age 12
Tunnel Vision Alex J. Baturin is twelve years old and lives in Camp Hill, PA. Alex loves sports as well as politics, crafts and business. He also enjoys watching movies. In addition to loving school and languages, he loves seeing his friends. Alex plays baseball and basketball for his school and local leagues. He also writes adventure stories and comedies!

“I was walking along the streets of Georgetown with my friends Jason and Barry, watching the filming of the new Wonder Woman movie. The busy street was filled with all sorts of 80’s cars, and there were cameras everywhere.”

I was walking along the streets of Georgetown with my friends Jason and Barry, watching the filming of the new Wonder Woman movie. The busy street was filled with all sorts of 80’s cars, and there were cameras everywhere. There was even a movie theater that pretended they were playing 80’s movies like Gremlins.

All of a sudden, I saw a tunnel that looked like a secret passageway. It looked like one of those old dead-end alleyways. I immediately nudged Jason and Barry. We originally thought it was part of the filming, but then we saw it was past the end of the film crew’s roadblocks and looked deserted. There was a door at the end of the tunnel, painted all black, even down to the doorknob. The door itself blended into the tunnel, and we pulled towards it, deciding to check out what was inside. As soon as we were inside, the door slammed shut behind us.

I threw my shoulder against the door, but it wouldn’t budge. We were trapped. I pulled out my phone and dialed my brother’s number, but I didn’t have a signal. I couldn’t see a wall behind me, so I started walking away from the door. After a few steps, I found three tunnels. The first tunnel had a sign on it that said DO, the second tunnel had a sign that said NOT, and the third had a sign that said ENTER. That couldn’t be good.

“Well, this sucks,” Jason sighed loudly.

“The door didn’t move, and I can’t get signal. Why not try a tunnel?” I asked.

Despite suggesting it, I had no idea what tunnel to go through.

Barry then suggested, “How about we split up? If one of us finds the right tunnel, we can all meet up and get out that way.”

I stopped pacing, smiling in disbelief. “You’re joking, right? We can’t do that. What if one of the tunnels goes to a maze or something? We could get lost.”

Jason said, ”Sticking together is definitely the right option.”

Barry then said, “I still think we should split up. More tunnels, less time.”

Jason replied with, “Why in the world should we split up”

“You all want to go home, right?” asked Barry sarcastically.

Jason said, “Well, I am not going to split up.”

Barry said, “Fine, stay here and rot if that suits you.”

“I’m just trying to stay alive, to be honest.”

I took a deep breath. “Look. We have an equal chance of picking a wrong tunnel as we do the right one. Let’s just take the first one.”

Jason and Barry, having no better argument, agreed. When we reached the end of the DO tunnel, it was a dead end, the tunnel filled with nothing but dust.

Barry started humming a bass line.

Jason gave Barry an annoyed look. “Is that one Another One Bites the Dust? Seriously?”

I led us back to where we started and then went into the NOT tunnel. At the end of the tunnel was another door that was completely covered in dust but seemed like it had words on it.

Jason looked skeptical. “You guys willing to trust another door?”

Barry shrugged and wiped the dust off. There was something on the door in a weird language. The words, Omissa spe quae ponitur faciatis, were carved at eye-height. We spent a few minutes trying to figure it out, but seeing as none of us could speak Latin, we were stumped. As we began to walk back to the lobby, a man in a dark robe jumped out of the shadows scaring the crap out of us.

We ran around a bend in the tunnel, but when we stopped, we heard him speak, in a dry, rasping voice.

“Stop! I can translate that for you. I know you don’t trust me, but you’ll want to hear what it says.”

We inched back towards the door and saw the man waving us forward. As we walked towards him, he spoke again.

“The writing on this door says Abandon all hope ye who enters here.

When Jason heard that, he said, “Dang that’s freaky. Let’s just go back to the beginning and wait for someone to break us out.”

The man in the robe then said, “Wait! My name is Bernard. I’ve been trapped here for almost a year. Please. If you’re thinking of going through this door, don’t. When I went in, I barely made it out alive.”

Barry then said, “Well if it is our only way out, we have to try it, right?”

I replied with, “I agree, but if going in there equals death, it isn’t worth it.”

Jason said, “Equals death, seriously?”

I said, “Yeah seriously. And Bernard, what happened when you went in there?”

“They attacked me,” he said.

“Who attacked you?” I asked.

“No doubt we should go in. It is pretty much our only way out.” Barry interrupted.

Bernard looked nervous.

“Bernard, will you come with us for a little while?” I asked.

“No, never will I go back there!”

“Please just once,” I pleaded.

“Please?” asked Barry.

Bernard groaned reluctantly, but placed his hand on the old doorknob.

Barry, Jason, and I all looked at each other hopefully.

Bernard opened the door, and we all went in. It was pitch black in there for about ten seconds until a ginormous red light shined on all of us. A voice, deep and menacing, thundered from all around us.

“WHO IS THERE?”

Jason screamed and inched backwards. I shot out a hand to grab him.

“We just got in here, man!” chuckled Barry. “You can’t freak out on us yet.”

 

“Oh, but he can, and probably should” exclaimed Bernard, looking like he was regretting the decision to stay with me.

“Not helping,” I said.

“I ASKED YOU A QUESTION,” the voice boomed.

I was dying on the inside but found some scrap of my voice. “We were just leaving! Do — do you know where the exit is?”

“DON’T LIE TO ME! I CAN SEE BERNARD UNDER THAT HOOD,” the loud voice said.

“How do you know who I am?” Bernard said, his voice even more filled with nerves.

“TAKE THE HOOD OFF,” the voice snarled, sounding different now. “DO IT OR DIE.”

Bernard, faced with no other option, shook as he slowly took his hood down.

He had somewhat long dark brown hair, a small brown beard, brown eyes, was wearing a black sleeveless shirt, and had black pants. He looked rugged and intimidating, like he fit in this underground situation.

“Bernard?” asked Jason, the anger returning, “Something you wanna tell us, buddy?”

Bernard turned slowly and began to speak.

“I know this place. These are my old friends. We came here years ago, but they have been building incredible things for decades. They were made fun of as kids, and when I stuck up for them, I was made fun of. We wanted to take over the world. I realized it was pure evil, and I decided to turn on them. Using their technology, they stopped me. They brainwashed me. I’ve been under their control for almost a year and just escaped.”

“Sounds like they’re great buddies,” spat Jason.

Barry had the courage to laugh. “Hey, you know? You go out for a round of spelunking with your pals and get brainwashed and trapped trying to stop them from world domination. Sounds like a great Tuesday, am I right?”

“We can help, Bernard. Do you want us to help you kick their butts?” I asked, looking at Bernard, who looked pitiful.

“No, go now and get help. There’s a key under the mat at the end of the ENTER tunnel.”
“You just thought to tell us this now?!” Jason exclaimed in disbelief.

“I just remembered now!” Bernard shouted, pointing at his temple. “Brainwashed, remember?”

“Right.”
He slipped his arms out from his sleeves. “Here, take my robe. It’ll keep you concealed.”

I took the robe and thanked him, not wanting to think about Bernard taking on whomever “they” were by himself. We ran back to the second door, all the way back to the entrance, and sprinted down the ENTER tunnel. The key was right where Bernard had promised it would be.

When I left the tunnel, I felt like a vampire in the sun. We were going to go straight to the police, but then realized they would never believe us. I knew though we couldn’t leave Bernard behind. Barry was in on going back to help Bernard before I even said we should. Jason seemed reluctant but ready.

As soon as got to Barry’s house, we slipped into his garage and began making weapons to do whatever we could to help Bernard. I found a metal baseball bat, Barry made Jason a whip out of hot glue sticks and duct tape, Barry made a mace out of a hard foam ball, tacs, tape, the chain of many key chains, and a mini M&M’s bottle as the handle. We also got three baseballs each.

We were ready. Now the only other thing I wanted was a headband and eye black.

Once we finished, we went back to the tunnel. I thought we must have looked like idiots walking through Georgetown with our makeshift war weapons, but Bernard was in trouble. We tip-toed in and peeked at what was going on inside. We saw two strange looking people sitting at a table looking to their right. There was a third person shackled to a chair, and I could only see half of their face, enough to see a thick brown beard. After that, they pulled out some weird looking sci-fi gun type thing.

Then Jason said, “No! That must be the mind washing machine!”

“What do we do?” I asked.

Barry looked at us like we were stupid. “You idiots! We charge!”

He then let loose a scream and charged like a buffalo who had just robbed a candy store, his M&M-handled mace swinging wildly behind him. Jason and I had no choice but to follow. We ran through the door and threw a few baseballs at them. I ran up to the one in the middle and struck. He pulled up a metal pole and blocked it. Barry went and attempted to hit the one on the left with the mace, but the guy dodged it. We all continued to fight as Jason went and freed Bernard. Bernard then grabbed a hammer and was ready to get in the action. I was having an intense one-on-one battle with my guy, and Barry kept trying to hit his guy but kept missing. Right when I was starting to struggle holding mine off, Bernard came in and whacked the guy in the back of the head, making him crumple. Jason ran to help Barry, whipping the guy Barry was fighting in the back. The man saw that his friend was down. He made a break to a table that had tons of their technology on it. I knew we couldn’t let him get the table, so I ran to guard it. When the man got to the table I smacked him in the forehead and realized why Cabrera must love his job. My bat rang off his forehead and was still shaking by the time the other three got to me.

Bernard got chains that were in the room and tied his now unconscious captors up. After that, he led us out. We were covered in dirt and dust, our hair was all messy, we had rips in our clothes, and and my right shoe was ripped. We all tried to make to through the crowd without getting noticed, but everyone wanted pictures of us because they thought we were extras on set. I had completely forgotten that everyone else in Georgetown was having a normal day. We walked to the police station, and we told them they had to come to the tunnels to arrest the psychos and confiscate the weapons and technology. The police went down the tunnels, arrested them, and took the weapons and technology. They then blocked down the tunnels and returned us to our parents.

“Fun day today, right guys?” Jason laughed when we had all taken showers and were watching a movie at his place.

“Now you’ve got the spirit!” Barry laughed. “We should do this more often.”

“Heck yeah!” I exclaimed.

 

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