Story by Alexis
Wednesday, April 12, 2000
    I've been in this tunnel for days-- what I wouldn't give to feel sunlight on my face.  I know the sun hasn't been destroyed yet; it shines through the gaps in the stone. When I clear my mind and look at it I can almost imagine that everything is back to the way it used to be, before the Rips.  It's very soothing.  It's really my only grasp on sanity here in this dark dank tunnel.

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    It's noisy out there.  I wonder what they're doing now that they've eaten everything.  Reproduce, raise families?  Have cannibal barbecue parties?  The outside terrifies me.  I dare not go near the sides.  The noise is killing me slowly, the grinding chewing noises, grinding and chewing, grinding and chewing, wet squishy chewing.  WHEN WILL THIS END?  I'd never even heard of a tunnel this long.  I figure that I've been walking about 40 miles a day, for I don't know how many days.  Weeks, it seems like.  Living on canned beans and jerky that isn't going to last much longer.  I wonder what's the point.  A voice inside me, slithery smooth asks “why go on?  It seems obvious you're the only one left alive...”
    Several times I've thought of sliding through that hole, towards those horrible noises.  The end would be swift, certainly.  Better than slow starvation or worse, an unhinged mind.  I'm not sure what stopped me.  Maybe tomorrow I'll go through with it.

Thursday, April 13, 2000
    Another person!  I've met up with another person in this blasted tunnel.  His name is Alfred.  He's a short fat man who doesn't say much, and he has a dog with him.  A dog! How preposterously insane, to waste food and water on a mongrel mutt.  Obviously, though, Alfred is getting more than enough food.  
    He seems to know where he's going, but he won't tell me.  He claims to be as aimless as I am, but I don't believe it.  How can this man be so elusive when we are possibly the only two left alive on this planet?  He sleeps like a baby, while I toss and turn with the nightmares of the past.  I will torture this man for answers if I must.

Tuesday, April 18, 2000
    The man died today.  The new cancers are so quick.  
    He told me where he was going.  I don't feel like writing.  I'll write when I get to Wella (what he called it).  It's my last hope, please God, please.  I don't have any water left.

Thursday, April 20, 2000
    Wella.... the name is so appropriate.  This morning I reached the end of the tunnel.  The sky was cloudy, but the air was so fresh and pure!  I was in a clearing, with a large building, about as big as a gymnasium, in the center.  I looked about frantically, but although it was open air, there were no Rips.  How peculiar, I thought.  The ground outside the obvious boundary lines of the clearing was stagnant and dead, dangerously still.  But then I rounded the corner, and I saw people! People on the steps of the building.  I yelled, and they ran toward me in surprise.  “Where's Alfred?”, they asked, and I explained.  They didn't seem very sad, but they did act happy to meet me.
    Later I learned that most of the people here are scientists.  The scientists have created this force field that withstands the Rips.  Before I was always the tiniest bit skeptical of technology.  How ironic that it should be my savior.
Friday, April 21, 2000
    The scientists and their experiments.... perhaps the y will recover the world.  I've heard rumors that they are working on a new force field, one that neutralizes the Rips.  I, always the skeptic, am hopeful but pessimistic.  Still, I aid them in whatever menial way I can.

June 1, 2000
    The Field is complete.  My instincts cry out against it, something is wrong.  The neutralized air is sandy and purple.  I refuse to go.  I warn the others, but they are too hopeful to listen to doubt.  They will all go at once, no time for trials, the food reservoir is nearly out.

June 2, 2000
: voice recording:
“Here we all stand.  I still refuse to go.  There they go, across the field, running.  Their skin and clothes are turning purple with the colored sand.  Everything seems fine.  I won't be left alone; I'm going.
There's a woman in front of me; her skin is crusty with purple sand.  My God, the sand is crusting away!  Along with her arm!  This woman is crumbling! My own hand.. Oh My God!  My hand! my handmy hand......”