All Nonfiction Bullying Books Academic Author Interviews Celebrity interviews College Articles College Essays Educator of the Year Heroes Interviews Memoir Personal Experience Sports Travel & CultureAll Opinions Bullying Current Events / Politics Discrimination Drugs / Alcohol / Smoking Entertainment / Celebrities Environment Love / Relationships Movies / Music / TV Pop Culture / Trends School / College Social Issues / Civics Spirituality / Religion Sports / Hobbies
- Summer Guide
- College Guide
- Author Interviews
- Celebrity interviews
- College Articles
- College Essays
- Educator of the Year
- Personal Experience
- Travel & Culture
- Current Events / Politics
- Drugs / Alcohol / Smoking
- Entertainment / Celebrities
- Love / Relationships
- Movies / Music / TV
- Pop Culture / Trends
- School / College
- Social Issues / Civics
- Spirituality / Religion
- Sports / Hobbies
- Community Service
- Letters to the Editor
- Pride & Prejudice
- What Matters
The rotten floor fell away from underneath the table with a resounding crash that echoed not only through the ancient house but also through the vast maze of tunnels beneath known as the “Catacombs of Paris.” The noise echoed far through the dank maze covered with bones. Under a mound of broken skulls, something stirred and a pulsing green light lit the catacombs. A scratchy whispering sound echoed through the tunnels.
Luke woke with a start, his head was pounding and someone was shaking him, He groaned looked around the tunnel, the friends he was having dinner with, just a moment ago, Jacque, Kristi, and Landon, were standing around him.
“Where are we?” he asked, “And what happened to the house?”
“Well,” said Kristi, “The last thing I remember is that we were eating dinner at Jacques' house, and then we fell down into this kind of tunnel place.”
“I can't see the ends,” said Jacque, who was sitting against a wall, “And it doesn't look like we can climb out.” He said as he pointed at the hole far above their heads.
“At least we still have the candles from dinner,” said Landon who was picking bits of yellowed wax out of the wreckage of the table. “Now we can move about, and try to find out where we are.”
“That will just get us lost,” said Jacque. “I'm waiting here for the paramedics and police to arrive.”
“Oh, don't be like that,” said Kristi. “Just come with us.”
“No,” said Jacque. “I will stay here and wait; you may go if you want.”
“Let's go,” said Luke. “We'll send the police for you when we get out of here.”
And they started off through the twisting tunnels.
“What is this stuff?” asked Kristi as the bones scattered on the damp stone floor crunched under foot.
“Just some old bones,” said Luke, staring into the empty eyes of a skull. “Nothing but bones.”
Jacque was sitting on the broken table, staring up at the hole far above his head.
“I should never have invited them over,” he said to himself. “They always cause trouble.”
Just as he said this, a faintly pulsing green light appeared from the tunnel that lay in the opposite direction from where the others had gone off.
“HA! So they went off in the wrong direction after all,” he thought.
The light grew brighter and the indistinct sound of whispering could be heard.
“Hello!” called Jacque. “Thank goodness you have come so quickly!”
The whispering became excited and grew louder; the green light pulsed strongly.
Jacque got up and limped quickly down the tunnel toward the light calling, “My friends have gone in the other direction, and they may be lost in the tunnels.”
The light grew blinding as he turned the corner. He realized it was not a search party.
“Tthhhhannksssss,” the voices whispered. “Jacque screamed but no sound came out of his mouth. He felt his strength drain from him as something touched his chest.
“A crossroad,” said Luke, as they walked into a small room. “Which one should we take?”
Landon took the candle from Luke and walked around the room. He stopped at the middle doorway after looking into the other two.
“This tunnel is the only one that has stairs going up,” he said. “Let’s take this one.”
The candle cast deep flickering shadows on the stairs, making it nearly impossible to see the femur lying on the stairs.
He took a step and immediately fell forward, landing with a sickening crunch on the stairs.
“AAAARRGHHH,” he screamed.
“AAAARRGHHH, aaaarrghhh, ghhh, hhh,” echoed the tunnel in almost a mocking way.
“It’s broken,” said Kristi, looking up from Landon's leg. ”We'll have to carry him.”
“No,” said Landon. “You two must find a way out and send for help. I'll only slow you down.”
“We’re not leaving you here alone,” said Kristi.
“You must,” said Landon. “I'll be just fine.” But his face had turned a deathly shade of gray and his voice was weak.
“Luke go get help, we'll stay here and wait,” said Kristi. “Just hurry.”
After Luke had gone, Kristi tore two strips off her coat and used the femur to create a splint for Landon’s leg. She rested his head on her lap to keep it off the cold stone floor.
“LANDON! KRISTI! LUKE!” Shouted a voice she immediately recognized as Jacque’s.
“HEY!” she shouted back. “OVER HERE!”
“KRISTI?” came the reply, now closer.
“Yes,” she said. “It's me.”
“I found the search party,” said Jacque. “Where are Luke and Landon?”
“Landon is here. He has broken his leg. Luke went to get help,” she said.
“Excellent,” Jacque said. “Don't go anywhere.”
Kristi felt a twinge of unease, there was some thing in his voice, a malicious, almost hungry tone, dripped from every word, and a pulsing green light was starting to appear from the tunnel he had just come from. Then she saw it.
Luke had been wandering for hours and his last candle was getting low, he had stopped at a small pool to rest and get a drink when he heard voices coming from behind him.
“HELLO?” he called.
“Luuke, Luuke,” the voices called.
“HELLO?!” he called. “ANYONE THERE, THERE, there, there.”
“Luke?” they asked.
“Yes,” he replied. “It’s me, Luke.”
“We've been looking everywhere for you, Luke,” they called. “Where are you?”
“Come on Luke,” called Kristi. “We've been looking for you.”
“Yes,” echoed Jacque. “We found the search party.”
“Now we can go home,” called Landon. “We can finally leave this terrible place.”
The words he heard sounded like his friends’ voices, but did not sound like his friends had said them. They all shared that same malicious, hungry tone and their words were broken, as if they had been pieced together instead of spoken. He also noticed a green, almost organic glow coming from the tunnel.
“I'll be there in a second,” he called, but instead, he took off in the opposite direction as fast as his weary legs would carry him.
It gave chase.
On and on he ran. He could hear it behind him. It roared with ten thousand voices and shouted in many different languages.
He smelled fresh air and he heard it falling behind. He rounded a corner and came face to face with a dead end.
“Oh, no, no, no, no,” he thought. “I can't be trapped!”
He scratched and pounded at the walls looking for a way out. He sat down and a small breeze blew out his sputtering candle. He saw two lights one came from the dead end where a square of brick had fallen out and a stream of moonlight spilled out onto the stone floor like a silver pool. The other light was green and pulsing and came from the depths of the catacombs.
He looked out of the hole; there was Paris with its many lights, the moon and stars, and finally a lone tree by a pond.
He said only one word, but it was sucked away with his life.