When the Tunnel Collapsed

This story is by Jamie Hartshorne, aged 13.

The excavation was a brilliant success at the start of 1876. The walls were filled to the brim with iron! Our company thought “We can build the bridge in months if it keeps going at this rate!”. The opening night of the mine was nothing but celebration! The industrial revolution was in full swing and we were contributing massively!...However, things started to change. Over the next few weeks, the amount of iron we found halved each time we went down there. It was like something was sucking the life from the rock! ‘Where did it all go?’ we thought. That answer would come to us sooner than we expected.

One day, our employees came rushing out of the back entrance to the mine. They were shouting something about ‘collapsing’ and ‘people trapped inside’. It was really all a blur. I rushed to the stairs, cane in hand, with the other miners watching from the door. Once I reached the bottom I realised what was happening. Gigantic boulders blocked the way, with a strange blue light emitting from behind. I tried prying them away with my cane, but it snapped in two. What strange force was holding them here I had no idea. I turned to run back but was hit in the head by something. It was the boulder. My vision went blurry. The blue light expanded. I saw silhouettes of about a dozen people. ‘That must be them’ I thought. They stared at the blue light, now expanded to a giant sphere. I called out to them but no sound surfaced. They stepped towards it and…they were gone. I mustered up the strength to crawl over. I heard echoes from there, whispers, voices that didn’t have a source, voices that I had never known before. It got closer, engulfing my vision, emitting a large humming sound. I drew nearer and nearer until I was face to face with the orb. I plunged my head in feeling a watery sensation. The humming sound grew louder and louder until…

It stopped. I was outside. I collapsed, having no more strength. I heard horns going off to my right, with what sounded like fast spinning wheels on gravel. Around me I heard birds and water flowing, people talking. I didn’t know where I was…actually, let me rephrase. I didn’t know when I was.

I fell asleep at that point. I woke up…who knows how long later. It had gone cold. I had mostly recovered by then so I supported myself up and I realised that…I was in the same place. At first I thought it was a dream but then I saw it. I saw the bridge. How was it there? Surely I couldn’t have slept through all of it…right? What about the orb? The miners?  So many questions surrounded me as my memory came back to me. I didn’t have answers, but I knew one thing for sure: This wasn’t home.