What Lies Beneath

By Adam Finnegan (Sun Valley High School)

This unforgettable story starts with the door. Michael, my best friend, and I were walking through the woods in search for something to occupy our time, which would usually get us into a whole other world of trouble. As we walked aimlessly into the wilderness, Michael began to pick up anything he could find and throw it at trees.

He began gathering stones and throwing them as far as he could, not knowing where they would land. He was down to one stone and as he wound up to heave it he shouted, “I’m so bored!” and threw the stone with all his might. We laughed as the stone pierced the mid-day sky. Our laughter was however cut short by a loud thud in the distance. The rock had struck something that clearly wasn’t a tree and at that moment Michael and I locked eyes and, as though we had sent a message to each other with just our minds, turned and sprinted towards the direction of the sound.

As we ran we looked everywhere for whatever could have made that noise, which distracted us from the path we were galloping. We kept stumbling over  rocks and branched that rested upon the path. “That must be it!” Michael yelled as a mound looking object sticking out of the ground began to come into eyesight. Approaching it, we realized it was a door.

There was no way it was someone’s home because there was no room for an entire house, it was just the door standing upright. It baffled me that after six long years of parading through these woods with Michael, we had never stumbled upon this door. It was made of wood and had a relatively large handle on the right side of it and there was a word scratched into it. The word was written in Latin, a language that I knew little of, but this word, however, was one that I knew. I took a step back and tilted my head puzzled at why this was carved into this door.

I turned to Michael and said, “Well, after you, good sir”, with a smirk and waved my arm to allow passage. He stood, frozen, his face paler than the moon on a cold winter night. “I can’t, not now, not me.” He kept mumbling these words as he turned and began to walk away. “Fine, just go home. You’ll be the one missing out.”

I turned to the door and after a deep breath I opened it. Instantly a gust of wind made its way through the branches and pushed at my back. I turned and gazed at the sky, taking a moment to watch the clouds float by. Without warning, another gust came but this time from the door itself. The wind sucked me in and I began falling into the dark abyss that was behind it. As I fell, my mind was tortured by the word on the door.

Interitum…..”The Afterlife”.

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