Tunnels

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“These tunnels are so dark.” Christine said, holding out her hand in front of her face as she tried to make out its shape. “This abandoned mine will be a perfect meeting place,” Charles said in response, “trust me.” As he said this he grabbed her hand and gave it a squeeze as if to say, “everything will be ok.” She smiled lovingly at the gesture, and he lead her deeper into the tunnels. She blindly followed him in the dark, trusting his lead because she knew he had been here many times before, and she would not dare to risk turning on her flashlight at this point in case her father the sheriff and the rest of the men in her small town had followed their trail. How had the daughter of the sheriff fallen in love with the most wanted man in the county? She laughed to herself as she thought about this, her heart pumping as she made her way through the darkness.

            Charles must have sensed her nervousness as he held her hand tighter and said, “Don’t worry, we’re almost there.” Finally he stopped, let go of her hand, and turned on his flashlight. He laughed at the worried look on Christine’s face and said, “You know, about 75 years ago this mine collapsed with the workers inside and…Oh my gosh look out!” he yelled as he grabbed her shoulders and gave a quick jerk. Christine let out a small scream then turned towards Charles, who was laughing at her reaction to his prank and she hit him playfully on the arm. “That’s not funny!” She scolded him, but couldn’t help to smile back at him.

“But seriously,” she said as she looked around, “what would you do if it collapsed?”

“Well there’s not much you could do,” he said, “except preserve the oxygen for as long as you could.” He looked at her worried expression and smiled. “Don’t worry it’s perfectly safe! I’ve been coming here since I was a kid.” He pulled her towards him and kissed her gently on the lips.

She pulled away, “and what if my dad…” she trailed off, not able to finish the sentence, “you know what he’d do to you.” She looked away as the tears welled up in her eyes. Charles turned her face gently back towards his, “If your dad comes then here’s what we’ll do” he walked over to the wall and pressed up against it.

“What, hide?” she asked.

“Nope.” he smiled at her, “Tunnel.”

“You mean, like, dig?”

“No, you see, it’s possible for something to move through walls. It’s not probable, but it’s possible. So if your dad comes we’ll just come over to the wall and next thing you know we’ll be on the other side!”

“Really?” she knew Charles understood concepts way beyond her comprehension, but this didn’t seem believable. It was probably just another of his antics to make her feel better. He smiled at her. “Well, it works better with smaller things… and it’s actually more likely that you’ll end up inside the wall than on the other side of it, but…” he stopped mid-sentence. “Do you hear that?” he asked her. She listened closely and could make out a faint barking. She gasped, “My fath – “ and they heard a loud boom and felt the ground shaking beneath them. Rocks started falling and Charles yelled, “DUCK!” Christine followed his orders. After the shaking stopped just moments later, she turned around to find a huge mass of rubble forming a wall between her and where Charles stood.

“CHARLES!” she yelled as she tried to dig through the wall, she cried hysterically as she called out his name. After hearing no response she looked over hopelessly at the wall. As soon as she looked over a rock fell down and rolled a few inches towards her. She blinked in surprise. Some rocks had been rolling off the wall after the explosion, but that had mostly subsided by now. But this rock, as she saw it fall, did not seem to come from the wall. It seemed as though when she looked over it just appeared in the air – near the wall – and then dropped down. She crawled over and picked it up. She turned it around and saw written on it: DON’T TALK. She suddenly remembered what Charles had said about preserving the oxygen for as long as possible.

Suddenly focused on her survival, she looked around her. She was in a dark enclosed space, with dust filling the air. She didn’t need to have Charles’ brain to realize that she didn’t have very long. She retrieved the flashlight she had and took out one of the screws. She took a rock from the pile of rubble and scratched in with the screw: I LOVE YOU. She held the rock up against the wall, just as Charles had pressed against the wall when he told her about tunneling. She closed her eyes and when she opened them, the rock had disappeared. She listened hard, and finally heard a distant thud. The message was received. She waited for his response. Nothing came. She closed her eyes then looked at the wall. Still nothing.  She thought back to what he told her about tunneling, to try to figure out what she was doing wrong. Then she remembered, “It’s actually more likely that you’ll end up inside the wall…” She desperately pounded at the pile of stones that separated them. She pressed her hand against it, hoping to reach inside and get the message. It had to be in there somewhere. She tried and tried, but it was all in vain. She closed her eyes and began to cry as she sank into the wall. And there in the cold, complete darkness, she felt the warmth of a hand grabbing her own. It gave a squeeze as if to say, “everything will be ok."

About the Author: 
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M is for ... Many Worlds Theory

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K is for ... Kaon

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D is for ... Dice

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L is for ... Light

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O is for ... Objective reality

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N is for ... Nonlocality

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R is for ... Radioactivity

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U is for ... Uncertainty Principle

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