Tunneling is the title of my first YA novel. This chapter I am sharing with you is probably one of my personal favorites because it introduces the vines that are hidden in Collin’s walls and entangling his dwelling almost like a living breathing character itself.  Because Tunneling is an allegory Collin’s room symbolizes his personal dwelling (his mind). When anger builds and he slams the door, it brings the destructive vines alive, which are usually hidden just behind the surface of the white washed walls.

When destructive reasoning is not dealt with in our own lives we are creating vines that grow and eventually entangle us to such a degree is it hard to see our way out.

Later in this chapter Collin finds a hidden cave and while something continually calls to him in the bewitching hours of the night, he finds himself compelled to tunnel to the source of his hurts and angers that throb like a deep-seated migraine.

Excerpt from chapter 12:

journal 6

Chapter 12



Collin stood in the doorway of his bedroom , with anger pulsating through his veins like a machine gun firing over the enemy’s camp.

The trip to the beach had only been a week ago, but to Collin it felt like a lifetime. He had slipped back into hiding out in his room. He didn’t know how to handle his anger, so it was just simpler to separate himself. This time his frustration was about his sister’s overreaction to his art. Venomous hatred throbbed in Collin’s mind over her cruel comment.

How can they demand so much from me? What right does Hallie have to call my drawings a bunch of freakish crap? She’s the pile of freakish crap! The way his mom and sister whispered and giggled between themselves while cooking dinner, like they could get on with their lives and advance to “happily ever after,” all drove him crazy, while he stood so alone in the dead center of his anger, not knowing what to do.

Slam! He threw his door closed with such force, a slice of wood splintered off. Crack!

The vibrations of ice-blue veins flickered once more.

What is going on?” He went to the door this time with more curiosity than anger and closed it once more.


Frustrated and at a loss for words, he grabbed the handle. This time his whole body shook. He really wanted to pulverize something. He balled his hands into fists, and just because he had to release his continuous pent-up anger, opened the door and slammed it as hard as his contracting muscles would allow, hoping his family could hear him this time.

Again the tremors surfaced in the wall, but this time the veins made a permanent impression through the paint. Collin walked over to one of them, took up his pickax, and hacked open a piece of the wall. As his ax struck the target, a crawling vine flinched, splintering the drywall as it came to life.

The vine slithered out of the crack he had made. His slamming of the door seemed to be bringing the consuming vines to life. As he grabbed the vine, he felt the pulsations through his hand, but it was irregular, like Morse code.

A response sounded from deep under the floorboards. Collin’s skin crawled, and his breath hitched. The hideous scraping and scratching in the walls, which only appeared when everyone else was asleep, had returned.


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