‘The Tunnels’ by Henry Betson, Soham Village College

I woke up. The year was 1967. Today I was scavenging. I shot out of bed and went deeper into our colony to get to eating room. After 15 minutes the leader of our colony announced “Today’s scavengers are Lan Cho Li and Han Tin Son!” Everyone looked at us as the leader continued. “You will be leaving in 30 minutes, take enough ammunition for 6 hours that is when we expect you to be back.” We finished our rice, then me and my friend (Son) got up and left to get ready and everyone was cheering us on in the back. We went through the backup hatch and got our camouflaged hazmat suits on, we also grabbed our AK-47s as well as ammo. We left into the deep Vietnamese jungle. “You know, if we could plant this tree everywhere in the world, maybe the air would clear up.” Son commented. “It’s a good idea but we can’t find the seeds of these trees.” I answered. “Well, we’ll just have to find them!” Son replied sound optimistic. i “Guess so, but let’s head east for now, leave the findings for the scientists.” I responded. We headed out east in search for supplies and after about 30 minutes we stumbled across Saigon. “Should we go there?” questioned Son “Best place.” I answered. We wondered into Saigon looking for places to scavenge. “A rice mill!” Son shouted while pointing. “Perfect!” I responded. We ran over to it and it was perfect, bags full of rice. We were just about to pick it up when. Squeak. Our heads turned. I knew that sound, A mutated rat. We raised our guns and aimed on the open door, it was standing there, foaming from the mouth, spores growing on the side. I aimed in and pulled the trigger. The bullet soared through the air and maid contact. The mutated rat lay dead. “Poor things, pick up a bag of rice before more arrive.” I ordered. We left the rice mill and as we started to leave a sound made us both freeze. It was a mutated elephant. “Run!” I whispered. We blasted of. “Get into the jungle then drop the rice we can come back for it later!” I said while panting. We made it. The elephant was big but clumsy, a spore covering one of its eyes. We dropped our rice and went deeper into the jungle hoping the trees would block it. Another blood curdling sound and then peace. Not a single thing made a sound. “Should we go back for the rice?” Son questioned. “Not yet.” I answered. “We leave it here for next time.” I continued. “Why?” Son asked. “It’s still too dangerous, the elephant is territorial, it is still watching.” I responded. We started to back up slowly until the rainforest became as thick as honey. We made it back to our colony opening the first hatch, we were welcomed back.