What Lies Beneath?

Payten Piccioni (Sun Valley High School, Aston, PA)

Ignoring her boyfriend’s remarks of how it was childish, she began to grasp the handle of the wooden door before her. It had creaked open at her touch and Cara, one who lived for adventures, walked inside noticing a whole new world. The door shut behind her and locked her boyfriend on the other side. Barely noticing, Cara’s eyes lit up, a smile broke onto her face, excitement coursed through her veins to the orange sky and pink poppy fields. A two feet tall boy wearing a red pointed hat, a blue collared shirt, and pointy toed shoes stood in front of her.

“Follow me, I’ll show you around,” he stated.

She agreed and the two winded their way through shrubbery covered trails and eventually came to a weathered worn bridge with a tiny house built underneath.

“This is where I stop and you have to continue on alone,” he whispered.

Turning around to ask why, she noticed, he had disappeared. Before Cara could put a foot onto the bridge, a fat, spikey haired, pointed nose troll came swaying over to her. She shoved past and the troll dropped to the ground rolling on his stomach. Once over the bridge, her eyes bulged and her eyebrows raised. There were hundreds of moss covered huts stuck between trees, doors ajar, fog covering the ground, but not a soul in sight. Seeing articles of tiny clothing askew on the ground, she realized the gnomes used to live here and did not leave willingly. She twisted further through the village and saw bigger homes that were the size of sheds. The doors were closed and she still saw no one. Opening the door to a wooden little hut, she noticed she could not see anything in front of her.

“You made a mistake walking in here, foolish girl,” a man replied.

A bright flash of light appeared, causing her to lift her arm up to her eyes to block out the light. Slowly she moved her arm down from her face, squinting, and could now see the man. He had a pointed blue hat covered in stars with a long gown to match. The inside of the house was filled with test tubes, erlenmeyer flasks, and different colored liquids in each.

“What the –”.

“Be quiet, you fool,” he seethed.

With his remark, her mouth had glued shut, words muffled. Grabbing at her face, trembling, she locked eyes with the man. Looking away, Cara observed a gnome poison recipe in a potion book. The man mixed different solutions together and put them all in one large basin. Chanting in Latin, he disappeared. While her heart pounded in her ears, her head throbbed, and her legs hammered the ground, as she exited the house, over the troll’s bridge, and back to the gnome’s new village. As she kept running, she hit her head on a branch and darkness overtook her thoughts.

Her eyes snapped open and she was on the other side of the door. Jumping to her feet, Cara called out to her boyfriend.

He strutted over to her and questioned, “What’s on the other side?”

“No time to say, we have to go back and help the gnomes defeat the wizard to stay alive. How long have I been gone?,” she questioned.

“Calm down, you’re talking crazy Cara. You’ve been gone for a couple minutes.”

“That’s not possible I was in there for at least an hour. I talked to a gnome, a wizard, and pushed past a troll.” she exclaims.

“No, I would have called the cops if you had been gone that long. It’s been about two minutes, babe.”

“No,” she mumbled in disbelief.

“Let’s get you home. You should rest.”

Looking behind her, she saw the door start to disappear. Wiggling herself around in his arms, she pushed against him in an attempt to get back to the door.

“The door! it’s disappearing! I have to save the gnomes!”

Her boyfriend, dragged her away and reassured her that the door would be there the next day.

It wasn’t.

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