What Lies Beneath?

By Sienna Novelli (Sun Valley High School, Aston, PA)

It was a Friday night when Olivia and Malcolm decided to walk to the woods outside of their town. They wanted to find out for themselves if the stories they heard about the door of no return were true. Old Jim was the owner of the local pizza shop, and would tell anyone who would listen that the wooden door opened inward, and anyone who entered the door had exactly sixty minutes to get out, or they would never be heard from again. All of the teenagers, for miles around, heard about the story, but none of them really thought it was true. Olivia and Malcolm had been dating each other for the past year, and have always been an adventurous couple. As they got closer to their destination, Olivia began to wonder if they were doing the right thing. Were they heading to a dead end path? Olivia started to grip Malcolm’s arm tighter as they walked for hours to what they thought would be fun. They both stopped, looked into each other’s eyes, and continued to their destination. Hand in hand, they decided to cross over the bridge. Would they open the door? Or would they walk away? Once they arrived, Olivia hesitated on going any further. However, since Malcolm was the daredevil of the two he was willing to do anything. He pushed the door open as he turned to Olivia. He took her by the arm and noticed that she was shaking. He closed his eyes, and took a deep breath as they went inside.

They heard noises they could not identify. The room was empty except for a table and four chairs, plus a large clock on the wall. As the couple was looking around they came upon a second door, opened it and walked down the steps to a basement. They noticed beautiful flowers, and colorful paintings that hung in the room. They were admiring the furniture, when a man grabbed Olivia by the arm, and pushed Malcolm against the wall, He was unconscious before he fell to the ground. Olivia shouted “Please leave me alone.” As he moved towards them. he pointed to an old clock over his right shoulder, and told them “They have been in his house for twelve minutes, and have just forty eight minutes left to get out, or they will be executed for trespassing.”

The stranger picked Malcolm up, and after he threw him over his shoulder, carried him upstairs, sat him in one of the four chairs, and tied a rope around him. In the meantime, Olivia was trying to find a way out when she noticed the house did not have any windows or doors, just the one they came in. The stranger started back down the steps, as Olivia hid underneath him. She found a large piece of metal and tried to hit him over the head, but he pushed her against the wall, and cut her left arm. He carried her upstairs and placed her in one of the empty chairs. She looked at the clock on the wall and realized that she had thirty minutes to live. After the stranger left the room, she tried to wake up Malcolm. Olivia could not free him, because the rope was very thick and she just could not undo the knots. Malcolm was still lifeless. The stranger returned to the room, grabbed her arm and placed her in the chair, across from Malcolm. After he finished tying her up, he took another rope, and threw it over the wooden beam above the table. He placed the rope around Malcolm’s neck, and tied the other end to a pulley that was attached to a wall. The stranger explained, “That he was going to hang both of them for just coming into his house”. Malcolm woke up, just as the stranger was placing a rope around Olivia’s neck. She began to cry hysterically. The stranger told them both, “It will be over in minutes.” The stranger walked over to the pulley, and started to laugh. The couple were yelling and screaming as loud as they could, in hopes that someone would be able to help them. At exactly 9:35, the stranger started to pull the rope, and lifted Malcolm, by his neck. Olivia could see his feet kicking, and then silence. As the stranger turned towards her, Olivia’s heart began to race, she was never this scared before. She finally passed out.

She regain consciousness in the local hospital, and noticed a nurse beside her bed. The nurse gave her an injection in her left arm, and she started to feel very comfortable. She looked around and was quite confused on how she got to a hospital. Several minutes passed by when a police officer walk into her room. She could only see his back. The officer was talking to the nurse and she heard him explain that he found her walking alone, and unable to talk on a bridge. The nurse picked up several pieces of bandages and left the room. The officer was writing something on a clipboard. He turned around and walked to the bed.

She opened her eyes and froze.

It was the stranger from behind the door.

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