Photo from http://www.panoramio.com/photo/38968052

The black tunnel begins and ends with light.
In between is unknown, and unwritten…

Local rumors and heresy from people who
may or may not have passed through
speak of witchcraft, ghosts, spirits,
deities, demons, and nothing but an
empty black tunnel burrowed through Cathedral Mountain.

Since the time I can remember,
the age of five, I heard the whispers
of adults over wine and other alcohol
beyond the closed door, where we
were supposed to be asleep of these
rumors and certain townsfolk…

They say Bobby, the only mechanic
in town, who at 43, went in one night
with flashlights, lanterns, guns
and a cigarette, determined to put
the gossip and rumors to rest and
emerged on the other side 3 days later,
naked, shivering, and mumbling.

He has not been the same since,

Then there was Cindy, 17 years old,
a trouble maker of sorts, born to
alcoholic parents, abusive to her
and themselves, who one night during
an especially heated argument, packed
a few things and ran away, into the
tunnel.

She was missing for 10 days before
she ambled home looking 15-years older
wiser, and decided she was moving to India.

I have not gone through the tunnel.
I stood at the entrance once, after the
3-hike it takes to get there, and
that is when you know where it is,
and listened.

Some time passed before I realized there was
no sound, not even birds, or squirrels chattering.
Calm trees as no wind was blowing.
Still like a painting or nature.
And then I saw it.

I sit in the cafe and local VFW, listening
to folks talk and whisper, and I take notes,
looking for any indication that others
have seen what I saw.

It was then I realized what it
the black tunnel is –
the one thing, fear, that we must face.