Five friends sit around the table, laughing. Around the room are all the signs that this is their house; the pictures on the walls, the books and DVDs, the general messiness of the place. A bowl of crisps on the table, and a board game; a quiet evening in.
I mustn’t think about it; but even the very smell of the dark, dank, dripping tunnel brings back the memories of that evening. It’s a long time since I touched upon these thoughts; the faces of the four of them are soft, blurry, but the pain of remembrance cuts like a knife. No – I promised that I wouldn’t think about it. I make an effort to shove the thoughts out of my head.
It’s about ten minutes since I entered the tunnel, and I’m about halfway to my chosen exit when I hear the familiar groan of he bookcase door behind me.
I swear under my breath and start to sprint, my feet splashing through the puddles on the floor. There’s no need for silence now; there’s only one way I could have gone from the entrance, only one route they can trace to find me. This is all too familiar, and I gasp not just for air but for the pain remembered.
Five sets of beeping go off at once. One voice cries, we have to get out! Another, the bookcase – quick! Disarray ensues as five sets of feet set off sprinting up the stairs. A shuddering groan, and they enter the tunnel and close the secret door just in time to hear the crashing of forced entry down below. They start to run…
I should not have come back here.