Runner-up: Trauma

By Martin Gale

Martin says: I have worked in the printing industry, for major charities and have delivered Meals on Wheels in Essex. Now retired, I have returned to writing after a long absence. I also spend  time walking,  practising  Tai  Chi and lazing around.

I must have fallen asleep. It’s very comfortable, even if it is just a kitchen chair.

I don’t remember coming into the tunnel. I remember getting ready for work. I remember the bus.

The tunnel is about fifty yards long. It has grimy walls of worn red brick and a flagstone floor.  At one end there is a set of double doors, each with an obscure glass porthole. Perhaps I came in through the doors but I don’t remember. I remember the bus.

There is a monkey in here with me. It doesn’t exactly talk to me, it talks IN me. Its voice reverberates inside my head. It keeps asking me my name. Why does it want to know?

At the other end of the tunnel I can see sunlight shining on what seems to be the entrance to a formal garden with neatly trimmed hedges. I think that I can hear the sound of birdsong but it is being drowned out by strange noises coming from behind the double doors – a sort of BEEEP BEEEP BEEEP BUUUURP which is repeating over and over again.

This chair really is very comfortable, even if it is painted in a rather unfortunate shade of bright red. It’s in just the right place, about half way down the tunnel. I must try to remember to find out who left it here and thank them.

Hello, that monkey is back. I think it’s the same one but it’s a bit difficult to be sure as it is now wearing a face mask and a surgical gown. It’s telling me to hold on. Hold on to what?

I remember getting ready for work. I remember leaving home. I remember the bus, its great flat snout coming straight at me as I dash across the road.

I think I have rested long enough and it’s time to move on. There is a decision to be made, garden or doors. I suppose that I had better start walking.