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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Light at the End of the Tunnel (01/23/14)

TITLE: A Different Light, A Different Tunnel
By Lillian Rhoades


A Different Light, A Different Tunnel

Everyone who knew Med agreed. He could be anything he wanted to be. From his boyhood days, his penchant for wanting to know what lay beneath the surface of anything and everything earned him the nickname, Probie. We all thought he would turn out to be a scientist, doctor, or even an explorer. Although he always kept us guessing, it was no surprise to us he turned out to be one of the three.

I'll let Med tell you what he finally became.

After all the years of education and training, the moment I had been waiting for finally arrived. My heart pumped a notch faster, and a gulp of water momentarily satisfied my dry mouth. I carefully checked emergency supplies to make sure nothing was missing, ran a test on my equipment, and then positioned myself at the beginning of the tunnel.

Fortunately for me, preliminary work required for my first adventure had been carefully carried out, and all visible debris had been removed. This allowed me every confidence that the surface of this elongated cave would not impede my progress.

That was not my main concern.

Uppermost on my anxiety scale was the risky journey I was about to take. One wrong move could damage the walls of the tunnel and cause irreparable harm! Perhaps a cave-in...

Throughout my training, there had been numerous warnings about how to avoid life-threatening moves. Keep your equipment directly in front of you, and stay away from the walls. I, and my college buddies, had heard the warning so much that whenever we met in the hallway, we jokingly reminded each other to, “stay away from the walls.”

Now, about to enter the cave, I knew it was no joke, but a matter of life or death. Not only might I damage the walls, but also the areas surrounding the tunnel.

Recurring memories of the warnings set off alarm bells in my head, and I took another squirt of water.

This is NO time to panic, I hastened to remind myself. You'll never start if you give in to fear.

I bowed my head.

“Father, this is my first exploration. Help me not to be afraid, because I know you're with me. ”

With the deftness my training afforded me, I stepped into the unknown. Slowly, carefully, I inched my way, all the while making sure my equipment remained in front of me. Occasionally, I paused to check out several indentations on the surface. Halfway through the tunnel, I stopped abruptly.

My eyes widened as I focused on an object that protruded from the surface. Its mushroom shape was not something one would find on the surface of this tunnel. With surgical precision, I removed the odd shaped specimen, placed it in a plastic bag, and tightly sealed it. If this is what I thought it was, then I would definitely have to return to this cavern again.

With the precious specimen carefully tucked away, I reached the end of the cavern, blew a deep sigh or relief, and turned off my search light.

Several days later, I sat at my desk, and smiled at my patient, Mrs. Winters, who sat across from me with fingers locked in a tight fist.

“No need to worry,” I assured her. “The results of the polyp I removed during your colonoscopy came back negative.”

I continued. "But I would like to keep an eye on that colon of yours, so I suggest we do a follow-up every three years. I'm glad you finally decided to have this done."

Mrs. Winters relaxed her fingers, and held out her hands towards me.

“I'm SO relieved, doctor. These past three days have felt like a life time. I can't thank you enough.”

Alone in my new office, I, the young Dr. Med, opened the bottom drawer of my desk, pulled out a box, and reached inside for a replica of the endoscope I had used to perform my first colonoscopy since graduating from medical school.

"You'll never know, Mrs Winters, I spoke to her absence, “ how relieved I am that with this little light, I made it through the tunnel without damaging the walls.

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This article has been read 404 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Ellen Carr 01/31/14
I really enjoyed your story and you had me believing that the MC was on a caving trip until the surprise...he/she was performing a colonoscopy. Well written and most engaging.
Tracy Nunes 02/01/14
I LOVE when a story makes me think it's going in one direction but then smacks me with a surprise twist that I didn't see coming. Well done! Very much on topic and highly creative.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 02/01/14
It doesn't happen often, but when it does I'm delighted. I love a good twist and you did this one expertly. When reading it again, I spotted the clues and it intrigued me Even more. Great job on a unique take on the topic. I totally enjoyed this from beginning to end.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 02/01/14
Oh, I meant to mention this earlier. It's hard to know for certain because I'm looking at it in hindsight. I'm terrible about reading titles and didn't see yours til I was done reading, but I wonder if I would have seen the twist if I had read the title first. Just be careful that the title doesn't give the ending away. You really did a great job and you brought the MC to life. I could totally feel her anxiety and then relief. Again, thanks for a great read.
Virginia Lee Bliss 02/01/14
I read this entry before you threw a brick. After reading it I passed out. When I came to, you had posted the brick.

A very creative entry and it had me fooled until the end.

My entry is about a sewer so I suppose there isn't much difference.
lynn gipson 02/01/14
What an original and fine take on the topic. I have colonoscopies quite regularly, so they don't bother me.

This is well written and a very interesting story. Tells me once again I should still be in level three. lol

Blessings, Lynn
Noel Mitaxa 02/02/14
Should we take a 'stern' view of stories about colonoscopies - or should we 'rear'range our stance? I was puzzled about caving trips or birth canals - until your twist at the end. Very creative work.
Judith Gayle Smith02/02/14
A true original, and eminently readable ...
Graham Insley02/03/14
Very clever and very well crafted.

How come you declare fiction to be hard when you do it so well.
C D Swanson 02/05/14
Certainly a different and creative approach to the topic at hand. Nicely done.

God bless~
Linda Goergen02/05/14
Unique and creative take on the topic, very well done!
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 02/06/14
Congratulations on ranking 9th in your level and 11 overall. (The highest rankings can be found on the message boards.) Happy Dance!!