It could happen anywhere, really. How it occurs or why I do not know. I only know it does. To say this was my first encounter would be a lie, and to say the melody never changes would be my second. My name’s not of importance, so I shall omit it from my writings and carry on.

My hair was pinned in curls, my dress the color of pine with a simple lace. I still remember the gloves I wore, green leather. A smile plastered my face as I entered the sellers’ market. It was at that moment when the hands on the clock struck back, and a beautiful melody emerged, one my ears had never heard before. Everything about it ripped at my core like wildfire. The light around me dappled, and within moments, my feet were planted at another point in time.

Everything about this place was odd and what was I wearing? Taking to account that I stood inside a tunnel, staring at a fast-moving locomotive, didn’t to the hilt bring a smile to my face. Many things happened on this train, but forget about the train for now. I remembered his face, the sound of his voice, the feel of his body, and the fact that he had a birthmark on the upper left side of his chest. He’d been in the war and stationed in a small living quarter on the south side of the tunnel. The tunnel itself was a city, an underground city! There were homes, stores, anything you can think of besides that godawful train that shot by at all hours. It was hard to make out if it was day or night, as light was non-existent in the tunnel.

I too lived in this tunnel and had some sort of job. The place I stayed in was large and filled with many steel beds; many slept there and seemed fearful of their overseer. It showed in their eyes and how they cringed under the sheets come night. They appeared orderly, going to sleep in unison. For the most part, I kept to myself and spoke to no one, in particular when riding the train. I guess you can say I was the observer amongst thousands of travelers, the undetectable passerby in a strange new world.

At times, he’d see me and curl up beside me, but his sweaty form was an indication that something did not sit right. I cannot tell you his name as I don’t recall hearing it, so we’ll call him Belverie. I guess you can say I’m still trying to piece the puzzle of Belverie. The few times we engaged in conversation, which were few, I enjoyed, although his tone seemed worrying. He talked a lot about war and things that made no sense to me, but I listened, hoping it would ease the tension. I found it strange how everyone riding the train seemed at ease except Belverie. Is it possible that he, like myself, did not belong in the tunnel?

That night, after finishing my shift, the overseer made his rounds, calling, ‘Lights out!’ He had an earsplitting voice, the kind that made men quaver. Everyone cringed under their sheets that night, and as Belverie walked toward my bedside, he too cringed! Not that he was fearful of the overseer, but of something else, war! He told me something great was about to happen. I could see it in his eyes, the fear, the panic! Now, I understood why he quivered, why his eyes looked at mine with such fire, and as I embraced him, his curls fell upon my face, and the music began to play. I felt a stir inside me; my voice broke. I glanced at Belverie and tried to hold on, but couldn’t; my body was fading. I was leaving the tunnel!

About The Author

Marilyn Velez is a Literary and Visual Artist. She is an Author of Fiction, Flash Fiction, Poetry, and a Cartographer.

Her love for writing has led her to create The Tundra Tales, Legend of Zaleria Blackwood, The Missing Midwife: Room 7, The Weeliboghts, Road 1402, and Mattie Vex, and her latest works The Tunnel and Red Desert Lands. 

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