The Greenwich Foot Tunnel

The Greenwich Foot Tunnel

Is closed until further notice

Due to severe flooding

Please use alternative routes

read the sign as Sandrine-Sandrine approached the slope leading to the tunnel. She looked across the swollen river at the great ship which stood proud on the opposite bank

Balloons for hire £2.00 each

was chalked on the wall leading towards the subway. A small man stood holding a nest of balloons each with a plastic bag attached. The idea was that you removed your clothes placed them in the plastic bag suspended to the balloon which was then released to drift to the other side whilst you swam through the foot tunnel

Sandrine-Sandrine paid her fee was soon standing naked on the path that led to the tunnel. In an instant she released her red balloon and watched it float across the river towards the great ship

Important Notice to Swimmers – Always Keep Your Rhythm  

was the final sign before she reached the entrance to the foot tunnel. She had expected to be alone but found a queue of some six people all naked awaiting their turn to dive into the murky waters. This they did at intervals of about five minutes

During this time a few people emerged from the flood. They stood for a few moments awaiting their balloons then dressed and continued their journey. One of these was a handsome man who Sandrine-Sandrine recognised but could not place. He caught her stare as he walked towards her

It was as he passed she realised that she was looking at his penis

Sandrine-Sandrine blushed as she knew that the handsome man had realised her secret stare

The tension was broken when a weasel of a man prodded her in the back indicating that it was her turn to dive. She looked at the black toxic waters and for a moment felt a dread but the image of the great ship inspired her

She arched her back and dived elegantly into the dark cold waters. Within seconds she was in the flooded foot tunnel

The swim she thought was surprisingly easy and well lit. There were signs attached to the walls of the tunnel which she ignored. Occasionally a swimmer heading in the opposite direction passed her. A fleeting smile was exchanged but nothing else

Important Notice to Swimmers – Always Keep Your Rhythm

the notice repeated itself time and time again as Sandrine-Sandrine swam. It was so important to keep your rhythm. To break your rhythm was fatal and you would drown quite quickly

Although the tunnel was well lit there was a part about halfway across that was in in darkness. This troubled Sandrine-Sandrine as she could not think of a reason for this. Very soon she was in the darkness

The tunnel was no longer friendly and well lit. In fact she could not see anything in front of her. She kept her rhythm as to break it would be fatal

She had been swimming through the darkness for about five minutes when she became aware that something very cold had attached itself to her shoulders, it was as if it was riding on her back

In terror she looked around and saw in the complete darkness a rotting head with the skull partially exposed The eyes were hanging out and brushing her lips

As she jerked her body to rid herself of the creature its head became detached from its own body and hit her in the face fully

She knew that her sense of smell would have been rendered useless as she was under water but she smelt in full the creature’s dreadful demise

Sandrine-Sandrine felt herself retch and the retch lodged itself in her throat. But most of all she had broken her rhythm

Although she tried to regain her stroke she could not, she was drowning in the darkness of the tunnel

The water had begun to penetrate her lungs and as it did she felt a sense of great peace although she was still thrashing around wildly

It was as she was drawing what she considered to be her final breath that she felt a horses tail brush along the side of her body. Instinctively she grabbed the intruder and felt herself being dragged forward

This was the last thing Sandrine-Sandrine remembered as she drowned

They considered her dead and covered her with a rotting drape. Another victim of this dreadful flood they thought until she moved, slightly at first and then she sat up

The crowd of onlookers gasped and stood back. A corpse had returned to life

Sandrine-Sandrine smiled and took a chalk from a child and wrote on the cobblestones

You may have stolen my modesty
but there is enough for you
and much for me

She then stood up letting the rotting drape fall. Unsteadily at first she walked towards the great ship

After a few steps a clean but sea worn drape fell at the feet of Sandrine-Sandrine

She looked up and saw an old decrepit woman hanging naked from the ship

“Cover your modesty my dear” the crone said

Sandrine-Sandrine began to cover herself with the sea worn drape. It felt warm to the touch but rough against her skin. She looked around and noticed that the crowd of onlookers had thinned and apart from a couple of street children there was no interest in her. The crowds were now prodding at other corpses to see if they could provoke life

It was when she looked up at the figurehead again that Sandrine-Sandrine noticed that the witch was holding her balloon and the clothes collected in the bag underneath

“What a collection of clothes you have my beauty. But these are now mine and you will end your days in my rags. I will travel in pride once more”

The crone burst the red balloon and began to open the bag

It was then that Sandrine-Sandrine saw a tall blond man climb onto the figurehead with an axe

She recognised the man as the one who had embarrassed her at the entrance to the foot tunnel

She also vaguely remembered a fleeting kiss on her cheek

In an instant the man had swung his axe and had shattered the head of the witch in two. The bag of clothes dropped to the ground

Sandrine-Sandrine although slightly bloodied by the violence picked up her clothes and began to dress

When complete she looked up at the great ship seeking the tall blond man once more

He had vanished

As Sandrine-Sandrine walked barefoot across the cobbled square away from the great ship a small boy who was immaculately dressed came up to her and handed her a note written in velvet ink

It read

Oh Pilot Paine
Oh Pilot Paine
Please guide me safely
Into the harbour again