What Lies Beneath?

By Savannah West (Sun Valley High School, Aston, PA)

The wind carried her towards her house, in the distance she could still hear the padding of its feet. The rustle of the straw and her petrified expression gave away enough evidence that she was in danger. She charged in, taking a quick glance out the front window. All she saw was the door that hid in the prairie, slamming shut with no trace of anyone being there. Slowly, she creaked the front door open again, only to reveal a three foot tall gnome. As the girl reached for the decoration, its eyes began to glow, seconds later everything went black.

The crisp autumn breeze blew an array of colors into the little girl’s rosey cheeks. She chased the leaves into the wall of faded green rows and came to the crimson colored cedar bridge. The unreachable rails stood above her as she clung to the intertwined twigs for support. Pushing the green strands out of the way, she saw a dirt path and began to follow. A great big oak stood in her path and a mailbox to her right. A crumpled paper clung to the inside of the postbox as a gust swarmed through the field. Uncrumpling the paper she began to read, “What lies beneath? Take a look inside the book, stay awhile and you’ll find a smile. It’s ever so greeting, but you should be fleeting.” As she removed the paper from her face, a door appeared in the side of a hill, right next to the towering tree.

Placing the dirt crusted paper back into the mailbox, she slowly crept towards the door. Her gaze was set upon the carved handle that stuck out of the door frame. Yet out of the corner of her eye, she could just make out what had recently been etched into the tree. “Go back or it shall attack!” The swiftly carved lettering frightened her, she cast her gaze back to the ancient door. The peephole began to glow, almost pulling her in, she reached for the handle and opened the door.

She clung to the concrete walls and even though it was summer, they were ice cold and sent shivers down her spine. In the distance, the echoes of girly whispers broke out; she continued to follow the spiral staircase into the depth. As she turned the final corner a squeal came from an all too bright room, she closed her eyes and took a step forward. The sound of leaves falling brought her back into the moment, seconds later she was trapped by pink flecks of pixie dust. The noise was not the autumn leaves, but the flapping of wings that had come out to play with her. A small, green, luminescent girl floated over to her and asked, “Would you like to play a game with us?”

With a nod of her head the fluttering of wings stopped and the pixies began to change. Frightened the little girl took off back towards the staircase, on the very first step sat a storybook. The Gnomes was opened to page one and there was a circle of pixies surrounding a child. As she charged past the book, the page flipped, to show how the pixies were a disguise. The young girl clambered up the steps, little glass men right behind her. As she took one final step before reaching the door, the gnomes transformed into a straw figure. She swung open the door and raced through the prairie.

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