The Tunnels Beneath the World | E. Christopher Clark

The Tunnels Beneath the World

The Tunnels Beneath the World are a series of underground passages carved by tributaries of The River Without End that have since gone dry. If you can find the door to one of these caverns, travel throughout the world—and, theoretically, the cosmos—is possible, and at significantly faster-than-normal speeds.


But it’s just as likely you’ll get lost in the labyrinth and never find your way out.


For the traveler who gets lost and does make it out, it’s just as likely as not that they’ll wake in their bed and imagine the whole adventure was just a dream. Michael and Ashley Silver are proof of this.


Back when they were kids, Michael and Ashley each uncovered an entrance to the Tunnels in the basement of their House in Chelmsford. And when they were done exploring the winding paths which led to their grandmother’s house two towns away, or to the backroom of their favorite comic book store, they each woke up in their bed thinking their escapades were nothing but nighttime fantasies.


The tunnels grow and shrink to accommodate the size of the traveler. Though they might appear frighteningly immense or impossibly small at first, they always seem to shift into a more pleasing shape once the traveler has committed to walking the path.


Not unlike the unstuck doors which line the darkened back halls of The Strumpet’s Sister, entrances to the Tunnels are hidden in plain view. Pushing aside the right stone or rounding the right corner in a dark basement at just the right time will get you there.

Localized Phenomena

The tunnels are lit by a series of ghost lights which seem to be powered exclusively by the bioelectrical energy of passersby. Segments of the tunnels light up as people come closer, then fade back to darkness as soon as the person in question passes by.


That said, whatever force is responsible for these ghost lights is a force interested in maintaining the comfort and curiosity level of visitors at all costs. Younger children, who on the whole are more easily frightened, will find the light of the tunnels warmer and more comprehensive than mature individuals who might be up for a bit more mystery and adventure.


In short, the tunnels seem to do everything in their power to keep visitors in the tunnels.

Fauna & Flora

Strangely, visitors to the Tunnels Beneath the World almost always find themselves alone. There are no animals down there, no other people, nothing. As a wise Muppet once told a young Jedi, what’s in there is “only what you take with you.”

Underground / Subterranean


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Dec 31, 2020 01:18 by Dr Emily Vair-Turnbull

These are rather sinister sounding and care far too much about my comfort for my liking. D:

Dec 31, 2020 18:49 by E. Christopher Clark

Yes, I too was disturbed by the sinister turn this one took. These were inspired by a recurring dream of mine, which, while not particularly creepy, made me think about how persistent the dream is. And why.

Now it's time for the awkward wave.
Jan 17, 2022 01:16

It's almost like its alive in some way.   If it is drawing from the person's bioelectricity, does that mean something is actively draining/feeding on them?

Jan 17, 2022 16:03 by E. Christopher Clark

Ooh, thank you for that question! I hadn't thought about it, that but I think the answer is yes—and now I have a new article to write!

Now it's time for the awkward wave.
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