Thursday, September 10, 2015

Tunnel of Love

Day 10 of StoryADay September
The Prompt:

Your main character is about to enter a tunnel.

Carl pulled the cotton candy from Janessa’s hand and dropped it in the trash can.

“Hey, I was eating that!”

“It’s purple sugar. This’ll be better,” Carl grabbed Janessa’s sticky fingers and pulled her toward the string of chasing lights over the tunnel.

“The Tunnel of Love? Seriously?”

Carl smiled, a laugh curling out into the night air.

“The only point of these is for couple’s to make out. While hoping a serial killer doesn’t jump out and kill them.”

“That about sums it up.”

“So why would we go? We’re not a couple. And I’m pretty sure there aren’t any serial killers inside.”

”When you’re at the carnival with another person, you’re required to float through the Tunnel of Love. I’m pretty sure it’s a law.” Carl nudged Janessa with his hip. Janessa laughed, shaking her head, but moved toward the tunnel.
They were greeted at the tunnel’s entrance by a crisply starched gentleman in top hat and tails. He swept open the door to the gondola waiting at the tunnel’s entrance. Carl and Janessa climbed in, settling onto the plastic bench. “Enjoy your journey,” the man called as he guided the gondola into the tunnel.

Janessa giggled as the heavy black drapes closed behind them, cutting off the light from outside. The gondola bumped between the two close walls before drifting into a wider space. Twinkle lights circled images on the fake stone walls. “We might be the only people to ever see these,” Janessa said, pointing out a painting of a couple twined together under the Eiffel tower.

Carl’s laugh rang through the tunnel. “Probably. I’m not sure anyone has been through this tunnel with their eyes open.”

The next couple of minutes were filled with giggles, as the quality of the paintings declined. “Oh, my God, look at that one!” The couple squinted their eyes in the dimming light to look at the belly dancer on the next segment of wall. “What’s wrong with her head?” Janessa asked Carl.

“It’s kind of deformed. Clearly the ‘artist’ realized no one was likely to see his work. Maybe that’s why the lights are dimmer here, too?” Carl sat back, his eyes skimming over the walls.

“That one looks kind of like Charlotte.” Janessa said as they moved to the next image.

“Yeah, it does. Weird.”

“And that looks like Max,” Janessa looked to Carl for agreement. He moved his head in a tight nod, leaning closer and bracing his arm on the wall, stopping the movement of the gondola.

Carl reached out a hand, resting it gently on the painted surface. “It’s not a flat wall,” he said, skimming his hand up the leg of the figure to the stomach. He jerked his hand away from the wall, falling back into the seat and sending the gondola into movement again. His eyes caught Janessa. “It’s a person stuck to the wall. I think that was Max.”

Janessa swallowed back the bile as her eyes sought the next image. This one veered sharply from the romance theme. This one showed her best friend Tisha, beheaded. Janessa screamed into the dark as the gondola bumped into the wall at the end of the tunnel.

Carl realized the tunnel had no exit as their tuxedo’d host stepped into the gondola, his smile flashing.

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