By Carly Carman (Sun Valley High School)
It started with a door.
Andrew, Kelsey and I had been walking through the woods on a warm August morning, when suddenly we came across a door. It was actually more like a barn made of wood. We stood there staring at it, all of us silent, not really knowing what to do. Andrew on my right, his tall figure lingering over me, and Kelsey on my left with her hot red hair and green eyes that always seemed to be glazed over.
So here we were standing in front of some door.
“What is it?” Andrew asked. I looked over at him.
“It’s a door, stupid.”
“Well, where does it lead to?” he asked me. I shrugged my shoulders. “Open it,” he told me. I looked at the door again, hesitating. Then, I slowly moved towards it, my hand extending forward to the long tree branched handle. I pulled on it with all my might, for it had been heavier than I had expected.
Slowly, but surely, the door opened. I stepped back to find only a dark tunnel that seemed to go no where.
“Well that was a waste of time,” Kelsey said.
“Go in,” I said, looking over at her. Her eyes got wide.
“Why?” she asked, her voice unsteady.
“Well if it’s such a waste of time, prove that it’s not. Go in.”
She stared at the black space for a long moment, thinking. Finally, she started walking towards it. I watched as her body became devoured by the darkness. Then, she spoke.
“You guys have to come see this!” she yelled to us. Immediately, Andrew and I bolted forward into the unknown.
It took a minute, but after I crept out from the dark, what I saw was amazing. There were miles and miles of grass and trees. Not a building in sight, it was like nothing I’ve ever seen. The sky was an unusually bright shade of blue, no clouds even beyond the horizon. In the distance, on the edge of the trees, I saw some animals but they were too far to specify.
“What is this place?” Andrew asked. We all shook our heads, not knowing how to answer.
“Something about this place doesn’t sit right with me,” Kelsey said. “I’m going home,” she said, and turned around. Instead of walking away, though, she stood there. “Guys, where’s the door?”
I turned around and instead of seeing the darkness; there was only more field and trees. My eyes widened with fear, not knowing how we were to get home. I heard Kelsey weep next to me.
“How are we going to get back?” Andrew asked. No one answered. We just stood there staring at what should have been basically a black hole.
“What time is it?” I asked Andrew. He glanced at his watch and responded, “About ten.”
“Okay,” I started, “we have all day to get home. I mean, if we’re not back by dinner, people will worry, right?” Again, no one spoke.
“Of course people will look.” Kelsey said, staring ahead.
“Well,” Andrew started, “we better start moving.”
“Where do we even start?” I asked. He shook his head.
“Let’s just try straight.” He said, and with that we started walking towards the evergreen.
It took us about half an hour to reach the edge of the forest.
“Are you guys sure we want to go in there?” Kelsey said, hesitantly.
“Do you have any better ideas?” I asked her sarcastically. She put her head down as she walked on, twirling her fiery red hair with her fingers.
We entered the forest casually, not knowing what to expect really. It wasn’t long before we reached a stream. The stream wasn’t too wide but we could all see it was deep.
“Now what do we do?” Kelsey whined. I looked around.
“There,” I said, point down the stream. There was a small bridge going across the water. It looked like it was made form wood and tree branches. “Come on!” I said, walking towards it. We crossed over one by one and kept walking in, hopefully, the right direction.
“Stop,” Andrew said suddenly, putting his hands out to stop us. Kelsey and I stared at him, questioning. “Do you feel that?”
I was suddenly very aware of my senses. I smelled like some kind of freshly killed animal, the air thick with blood. I scrunched my nose up, and started noticing the ground was moving and rumbling. It was almost like a small earthquake, but even smaller, and had beats in between each rumble and shake.
“What is that?” Kelsey whispered to us. I shook my head.
Then we heard it. It was a tremendous roar; bigger than a lion and a tiger combined.
“Oh my gosh,” I said out loud. The rumbling grew stronger and the beats of foot steps became distinct. I came to the realization of where we were. I could only utter one single word. “Hide,”
I immediately ran to the biggest tree I could find, Kelsey and Andrew close behind me. There were huge roots at the bottom, big enough to hide in, so that’s where we stayed. We lay under a root, huddling together in a spooning position, Andrew in the front, and Kelsey behind me.
“Gale, what’s going on?” Kelsey whispered in my ear.
“Okay, this might sound completely ludicrous but I think somehow we transported to the age of dinosaurs.”
“You mean when we went through that door?” she questioned me.
“Yes,” I said firmly. She didn’t say anything but I could feel the warm moisture of her tears flow on my shoulders and down my back.
The footsteps got closer and louder until I was sure the beast was right next to us. I could hear the calm, steady breathing of the beast. I was almost certain it was a T-Rex.
Then I saw a huge scaly leg come into my view. It was a grey-brown color which had a slimy texture to it. I put my hands to my mouth to silence my breathing even more.
The beast stood there for a moment, hunting. I lay absolutely still making sure not to disturb anything around me. I watched as the leg moved, and the other came into sight as the dinosaur stomped away. I made sure until it was positively still and silent until I spoke.
“Andrew,” I whispered, “get out.” Without a word, or even a sound, Andrew crawled out, looked around, and stood up. He waved us out to tell us everything was clear.
“What should we do?” Andrew asked me.
“Keep going,” I said, as if it were obvious.
“Keep going?!” he replied. “You mean in the direction of that thing?”
“Shh!” I commanded. “Stop screaming. And yes, that’s the direction we’ve been going all day.” He rolled his eyes at me, but I just started following the tracks of the monster. Eventually they lead off to a different path, and the mood eased.
“Look at that!” Kelsey said out of the blue. We looked to where she was pointing to see a small porcelain house nestled between two tree trunks. “What do you guys think it’s for?” she asked, crouching down to examine it. I shook my head,
“I don’t know.” She looked up at me, disapproving. “Come on, let’s keep moving. It’s going to get dark soon.”
Kelsey stood up.
“We can’t spend a night here!” she exclaimed, her eyes widely filled with terror. I looked back at her apologetically.
“Well if we don’t find a way home, we’re going to have to.” Kelsey got very serious.
“We’re not getting home tonight, maybe not ever. Frankly, I’d rather die than spend a night here.”
“Well than, let’s keep walking.” I said, ignoring her comment. She nodded, and again we started walking.
The longer we walked, the darker it got.
“We’re being hunted.” Andrew said suddenly.
“Hunted by what?” I asked, not even knowing how he found this information out.
“Velociraptor,” he told me. My eyes widened.
“What do we do? How do you know?”
“I saw a few when we left the little house thing. There’s about four, maybe five. Just stay close and keep walking, they attack from the sides, not the front.” I nodded taking in all this information.
“Oh my gosh,” I heard Kelsey breathe next me. I looked ahead and saw exactly what I hoped I wouldn’t; A Velociraptor. We stopped dead in our tracks.
“Form a circle!” Andrew cried, taking my left arm, Kelsey on my right. I was staring straight at the dinosaur.
“Where are they, Andrew?” I asked, frantic.
“I see one on my side, how many on yours, Kels?” She didn’t have time to answer, because the next thing we heard was a screech, followed by a scream. We broke the circle, turning to face Kelsey, and greeted by a Velociraptor heading straight towards her. I grabbed Andrew’s hand and ran in the direction we came from.
The dinosaurs did not follow us.
“We just left her,” Andrew said breathlessly when we finally stopped running. “How could we just leave her there to die?” He looked over at me.
“I don’t know, Andrew. I was frantic, and I knew she couldn’t have gotten away, at least not without them following all of us. I’m sorry.” I gave an apologetic look.
“Well,” he said. “She got what she wanted.”
“Let’s just find a way to make camp or something,” I said, and he nodded.
We ended up making a little roof by taking a bunch of large, thick sticks, and resting them against a tree trunk. We took some mud and grass and layered that on top of the sticks. All together, it covered about five or six feet across and three feet long.
“Gale,” Andrew said. “Do you think we’ll ever find a way home?”
“I don’t know Andrew, but I sure hope so.”
“Me too,” he replied, and with that we both fell asleep.
The next morning we both woke up as soon as we could, which basically meant the crack of dawn. We took no time hesitating, and started walking in no certain direction.
“Ugh, I’m so hungry!” Andrew whined.
“I know me too. Let’s keep an eye out for berries or something.” I told him. I hadn’t really thought about how hungry I was until Andrew brought it. My stomach rumbled loudly.
We walked all day, but along the way we did find some berry bushes that held us over for a little while. Just while it started getting darker, there was an illuminated light up ahead.
“What is it?” Andrew asked me.
“I don’t know, but we’re going to find out!” I said, making my way towards the light with Andrew by my side. As we got closer and closer I made out a figure from the light. It was the door! When Andrew and I saw this we started full on sprinting.
“Open it, Andrew!” I said when we finally reached it. When he opened it, instead of darkness, the door was filled with light.
“Let’s go home,” he said, grabbing my hand, and together we walked through the door, taking us home…
“Gale, wake up. Gale? Oh gosh, she’s dead!”
“She’s not dead, Kelsey, you knocked her out, she’s fine.”
I opened my eyes and saw Andrew and Kelsey leaning over me, concern covering their faces. It took a minute for my eyes to adjust to the bright sunshine coming in from the trees overhead. Was I in a forest? I couldn’t remember. When they saw I opened my eyes they smiled. “See, she’s fine.” Andrew said to Kelsey.
Kelsey said, “Gale, I’m so sorry! I was just so excited to find this thing that I flung my arms out and kind of knocked you out.”
“No, its fine,” I said, starting to get up. “I had the craziest dream though. Here, let’s just go home and I’ll tell you about it.”
We turned back on the path we’d come and headed towards home. I couldn’t help noticing though, as we walked away, I heard a low, distant roar coming from the door.