By Savannah Lewis (Sun Valley High School, Aston, PA)
Ashley, Emily, and Sophia were jogging deeper into the dark, off woods. As they entered the heart of the woods, they began to see small, shiny objects. They passed a tree with tiny gnomes, windows and doors all around it. When they continued to walk past the tree, the gnomes’ eyes followed them. Emily’s eyebrows rose when she saw them. Sophia looked around at all the trees as she wondered about the tiny objects. They continued on when Ashley was startled by something in the distance that had not been there before. When they approached it, they could see it was a door in the ground.
“Let’s open it!” Ashley exclaimed with excitement.
“Are you crazy?” Sophia asked.
“Just a little, just to see what is inside,” Emily pleaded.
Opening the secret door just a crack, their jaws dropped. They were amazed with what they had walked into. Inside was a different world that didn’t look like theirs. The girls would have never thought that it would be real. Ashley took a step like it was her first time walking, and the other girls followed. Standing there with their eyes wide and their feet still, they thought of what this new world could be. Roaming deeper, they saw a miniature bridge to walk across with a door on the side. They paid no mind until a gnome made its way out of it. He had a long, gray beard, a pointy red hat, and loose overalls. His face looked fake as it shined in the light. Emily then noticed with a stunned look on her face that there were more gnomes under the bridge. Ashley and Emily smiled, knowing they had finally found an adventure, but Sophia had a sickening feeling in her stomach to move ahead because something was going to happen, and it wasn’t going to be good.
“I think we should go back.”
“Why?” questioned Emily and Ashley at the same time.
“Do you not find it strange that we just found a random door in the woods and we walk into it to find a whole new world with tiny gnomes everywhere?” Sophia said angrily.
However, Ashley and Emily didn’t listen. They continued to walk and check out everything around them as Sophia dragged herself behind them. Once they had quickly walked over the bridge, they wanted to find more gnomes. They saw a medium-sized house that was round with a triangle at the top. Getting closer to the house, they saw windows on it. Ashley squinted to see from afar. She saw four gnomes walking around inside the cozy home, cooking and watching television. As they walked past the house, they saw something they wished they never saw.
Their hearts skipped a beat. Sophia felt dread sink into her stomach. There were gnomes all around. It had to be over 500, standing around human figures made of straw. Half the gnomes picked up sticks that were on fire and set the figures up into flames. Emily screamed as loud as an air horn, and all the gnomes turned around. They started to bolt towards the girls. They sprinted past the gnomes’ house, over the tiny bridge, and to the door they had entered from. Ashley tried to push the door, but it wouldn’t budge. Sophia grabbed Ashley and ripped her from the door. She then kicked down the door, and they started to run. They forgot to shut the door behind them, so all the gnomes got oeut and into the human world. The girls ran as fast as they could until they found somewhere to hide. Emily ran over to a treehouse that they had built when they were last in the woods. They made it so they could play in it, but they instead used it as a safe house.
“Over here!” yelled Emily from the treehouse.
“We can hide here! Hurry!” Ashley said breathlessly.
They made their way into the treehouse and all laid on their stomachs to hide.
“Shhh, be quiet.” Sophia whispered.
An hour later, the girls were still hiding. The gnomes began to get frustrated. They stomped their feet and marched back to the entrance of their world, right past the treehouse. When the girls saw the gnomes walk by them, they held their breaths and made no movements. Even the smallest movement could snatch the sight of a gnome and draw attention to them. The cluster of gnomes was almost out of sight, but then Emily had the urge to sneeze.
“Hold it in; they are almost gone,” said Sophia.
“I can’t hold it in,” Emily said, her face scrunched up.
“Be quiet; they’re almost gone,” Ashley noted.
As the last gnome walked by, Emily let out her sneeze, and the gnomes did not hear a peep. When the gnomes were finally gone, the girls made their way out of the treehouse and out of the woods. They walked past the entrance of the strange looking door. They then took a can of red spray paint from the ground and wrote, “DO NOT OPEN OR YOU WILL REGRET IT,” on the door. After they were done painting the door, they walked back on the pathway home.
“We should have never gone in that doorway,” stated Sophia.
“You’re right; we should have never came here in the first place,” added Emily.
“At least we know what could happen in these woods,” Ashley said with a straight face.
“These woods are a dangerous place; let’s hope we find a good dimension next time.”