What Lies Beneath

By Mary Vancleve (Sun Valley High School, Aston, PA)

The house had been empty for days, all their stuff packed and gone with them. Questions ran through my head. Why would my parents just leave, why didn’t they take me with them? Where did they go, and would they come back for me? I wasn’t even gone long, but somehow they had managed to get their stuff and leave.

I walked up the stairs to my room. Apparently they took my things to. Only one thing was left over, sitting in the corner of my room on the floor was a recent family portrait. We looked happy, and I wondered what happened. I opened my closet door, and nothing was there either, except a few dust bunnies. I was going to close the door but something caught my eye.

An outline of a door had started to appear. Slowly its shape became more pronounced. Where was this thing coming from, I thought, this cannot be real. I was never a believer in the paranormal stuff, I have to see it, otherwise it isn’t real to me.  I was hesitant to open the door. I’m not going to lie, it kind of scared me. Not knowing what was behind it, or if I was just seeing this and it wasn’t really there. I reached out to touch the door, it was cool and solid. There was no doubt that the door was real. I grabbed the knob, twisted it, and pushed.

I walked through the entry way, and looked around. A bridge was right in front of me so I decided to go that way. A loud bang rang through the air, it was the door. It had slammed shut, I couldn’t do anything about that now, so I kept walking, and hoped that it didn’t lock.

Straight ahead was a little wooden table and a set of small chairs. A tunnel of hay circled the table. It was like a little dining room for small people. All of a sudden a dog started barking, I turned around to see. It was my old dog Max, who had died when I was eleven. This just confirmed things for me, this wasn’t real. None of it was, it was all just a bad dream and I would wake up, my parents would be home and I wouldn’t be here.

Max ran up to me and started barking at me, like he wanted me to move forward, and stop standing there. He started to walk forward, but turned back to look at me. I guess he wanted me to follow him. So I walked with him, not sure where he was taking me. He led me to a tree house, looked up at it and ran off. I wouldn’t be able to keep up with him so I just looked at the tree house, not really sure if I wanted to climb up it. It was a big piece of plastic, and almost looked like a leaf. Instead of going up I just walked past it to another little setup with chairs.

This time it looked like a little living room. A small oval door was right at the front. I walked over to it, and tried to open it, but it wouldn’t budge.  Instead of getting frustrated and trying to open it I walked forward and almost hit a tree. I jumped back in surprise. A creepy looking face stared back at me. It wasn’t carved into the tree, it was just tied there. It almost looked like it was looking at me, and when I moved so did its eyes. Walking away, I could swear that its eyes were following me.

Another little bridge was ahead, and in front of it was a small house. The sign in front said that it was a fairy house. So now fairies were real? This place is weird as anything, I thought. I heard a little fluttering inside the house, or maybe I just had it in my head that it was a fairy house, and it made me believe that there really were things like that in there. I didn’t want to open the door though, not wanting to believe that fairies could possibly be real.

Keeping my eyes on the little house incase anything happened, I walked backwards over the bridge. Going right, there was a path with mushrooms and little bunnies roaming threw the tall grass. Garden gnomes were sitting next to the mushrooms. It looked like a scene right from a fairy tale. Some looked like there were real, and they would get up and move any second. I shook my head. This place was making me crazy and think things like fairies were real, when they clearly aren’t. I ignored the gnomes, and continued forward.

Up ahead was a house. It was incredibly small, and probably couldn’t fit more than a couple of people in it at once.  The outside just looked like a normal shed, with a door on the side. I didn’t want to open the door, because opening a door was what got me here in the first place, but my curiosity won out and I pushed it open.  Strand of ribbons were hanging from the ceiling. It looked so peaceful in the house. The ribbons swayed gently with the breeze, and the birds chirped in the back ground.

Glancing back I saw people standing to the side of me. My grandmother was standing at the front, smiling at me. I stood there holding my breath. My grandmother had died when I was nine. She walked to me, and grabbed my hand, patting the top of it.

“You’re finally here,” she said.

I was so confused.

Why would I have to be here, and why was she waiting for me?

Then, it hit me like a Mac truck. Why I had sen my dog, who had died, and why I was seeing my grandmother.

I was dead.

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