by Maggie T., Age 13
, Grade 8, Lawson Middle School, Lawson, MO USA
I wake up to darkness. I sit up and look around. I’m laying on a slick, smooth surface. There is no window, no light whatsoever. It is complete, utter darkness, like staring into a black hole. “Where am I?” I whisper to the darkness.
I have to get up, I have to get out of this horrible room. This dark, dark room that smells of iron, like blood. I push myself up off the slick floor and and my foot hits something. That something is squishy and smells of decay. I stifle a scream, try to stabilize myself, then step over whatever it is.
I reach the wall without further obstacles. The wall is rough, like sandpaper. It makes me cringe inwardly when touching it. I drag my hand along the wall searching, searching for a way, any way, out of this horrible room.
My fingers guide me along the wall until I reach the corner, I turn and walk again, my steps hesitant. My fingers find something, almost like trim around a door! I reach down and find the slick knob, while I silently pray for it to be unlocked.
My hand squeezes around the knob and I turn. The knob turns with my hand and I breathe out a sigh of relief. I’m hesitant to open it. What will be waiting for me on the other side? My fear of the dark room smelling of blood is greater than what is on the other side. What if it is the open beautiful sky and fresh air? What if someone is waiting to pierce a knife through my heart? I have to get out. I pull the door open.
The hinges creak like my bed did when I fell asleep last night. Suddenly, I’m overcome with homesickness and start to tremble like jelly in an earthquake. I force the door open more, dreaming of my family. On the other side, I see a dimly lit hall almost like an old, dark bunker. I hear the tip-tap of footsteps coming my way.
What should I do? I freeze. Around the corner comes and tall, young man, about my age, 15. “Hello,” he says. He looks timid, frightened. Maybe he can help me out of this horrid place.
I stand silently not knowing what to do. He comes closer to me and asks, “What are you doing here?” He says this with a hint of amusement, like he already knows the answer to that question.
“I don’t know,” I whisper harshly. I can’t look at him, my eyes still too sensitive to the dim light.
“Well, hi. My name’s Jared. I’m just walking around enjoying the beautiful day. What’s your name?” he says. I look around wondering how he sees a beautiful day in this dark, damp, underground place. He cannot be sane.
“Everyone calls me Trixy,” I say, not trusting him with my real name Beatrice. I see a bulge in his jacket, now that I can see better. Could it be a knife?
“Do you want to come with me?” he asks waiting almost excitedly for my answer.
I don’t have a choice. I can follow him and try to sneak off later, or maybe find out if that is a knife when he sticks it in my gut. Every instinct in my body is telling me to run, but I know I can’t. “I don’t really have a choice, do I?” I look him square in the eye as I say this and he just frowns and takes off down the dark corridor.
Jared leads me into another hallway, identical to the first. It has a door almost identical to the one I came through. In the next hallway, Jared leads me to the door, he opens it without hesitation. Should I take off now? I can’t risk going through that door. Almost as if he’s reading my thoughts, Jared looks at me. Then he grabs me and chucks me into the dark room. I fall hard on my elbow but quickly get back up. I hear him come in, then the door slamming. I can’t help it, I scream.
I wish I could see what was happening. I hear soft footsteps on the other side of the room. Almost incomprehensible. They are on the far side from the door. How did Jared get over there so fast? There has to be someone else in this dark, terrible room.
I don’t move, breathe, too scared I’ll give away my position. Where is my position? I start to panic. I need to focus. I take silent, deep breaths. Did I see movement over there? Did I hear a knife sliding out of a sheath? Please say I’m imagining it. I start to cry silently. The salty, hot tears streaming down my face.
I hear movement behind me. I turn to face it, ready to defend myself. I will not go down without a fight.
Suddenly, a hatch is thrown open above me and I see the clear blue sky and can smell the fresh air, again. Police come down and take away the man named Jared who was standing behind me ready to slit my throat.