I looked around my dull, pail, uninteresting room. I couldn’t believe that my family had just finished moving to Indianapolis, also known as the most boring place ever, and we were stuck inside for three weeks due to the virus that had been attacking the world for about a month and a half now. I was a thirteen year old girl who was stuck inside. The most boring thing ever. 

“Victoria, come down it’s dinner!” I heard my mom shout from downstairs,

“Coming,” I answered quickly so she wouldn’t be mad at my hesitation to answer.

I slowly walked downstairs and could smell the alluring aroma that was wafting from the kitchen. I don’t know what my mom was making, but it smelled like something that could put a smile on anyone's face. As I sat down at my chair my mom could tell something was wrong. We talked about how I was bored, and she told me that she could give me work to do after dinner if I wanted to do something. To make her go away I said that I would look around our new massive house to pass time.

After dinner I started my journey around the house with a piece of paper, marking down all the windows, doors, and cabinets I could find to pass more time. I started up stairs and worked my way down to the basement which had a bookshelf with one, small, dark book on it. This was strange because my mom and I haven’t started to unpack yet, so we didn’t put this book there. The book was really old and covered in dust, so covered that I couldn’t see what was written on the side of the book. I pulled it out to see what was written on it, but then something started to happen. It started with a slow creak and then ended with a loud bang. 

The bookshelf had opened up to reveal an old stone passageway. 

Although I was scared, I was also excited; I have never had something like this happen to me before. I stepped forward slightly; I wanted to get a better look at the passageway. It was dark and cold, with hard stone floors and cracked stone walls. It looked like no one had been there for many years. It smelled like the crisp aroma of an old book's pages; it seemed to tell a story like a book as well. I didn’t know what to think. Was this a passageway during a war? Was this something that people had placed in my house to break in? Was this dangerous? These were all thoughts that were racing through my head, but the more I got thinking, the more I thought that I knew how to get the answers. I had to go into the passage and see where it led. 

You can’t do that. It could be dangerous. You could die. My mind continued to yell at me. I knew that I could get hurt, but my curiosity was so strong that I couldn’t resist the temptation of entering that passageway that seemed to hold the answers to the questions that were racing through my mind. 

I stepped into the old, dark, dusty tunnel, worried that something would go wrong. I walked closer to the only thing I could see which was a small, small light at the end of the tunnel. I was anxious, but I kept going through the darkness. I could start to hear something coming from the light. It was the sloshing sound that the water in the ocean makes when it hits against something, weather it be a boat or itself. Then I heard loud, horrified screams from men. I ran towards the dim light and was about to take another step when I realized that if I did, I would have fallen into the ocean. It wasn’t a long drop, it was right there. I was underneath the arch at the very end of the hallway, looking back at my basement, but when I turned I was in the middle of the sea.

I couldn’t understand what was happening; this didn’t make any sense, but I continued to watch what was happening. It looked like I was somehow standing on a stone passageway in the middle of the sea watching a boat with the sailors going absolutely crazy. It made no sense to me until I realized that there was a gigantic beast in the water. I was horrified to see something that looked like a whale but was fifteen times larger barely come out of the water and run into this boat. Horrified, I ran back to the safety of my basement. When I came back, the bookshelf had closed just like how it had opened, and on the ground was the old, dark book. I picked it up and blew off the dust to see that the book was Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne. I was shocked. I had read that book and I know how it starts, the story starts by telling the reader that there had been many shipwrecks or incidents that included a big monster that no one could quite understand. Was I just in the book? My head started to hurt with everything that was going through it, but I came to the conclusion that there was only one way to find out if what I think was happening was. I had to put it to the test. 

I ran upstairs and grabbed an old book that I had read that was about a young girl on a farm, and my watch. Then I ran back down and put my theory to the test. I put the book onto the shelf, looked at the time, and pulled the book out. Then just as before, the bookshelf opened, and in I went. 

The passageway looked the same, but something seemed different. As I continued to walk, I noticed that the dim light from before was now brighter. I reached the end of the hallway and I was on the edge of a farm on what seemed to be a warm July evening. This is exactly how the book starts, I was right! I thought to myself. I went back to my basement, put everything away and went upstairs to go to bed. I went to sleep that night with a warm smile, knowing that I had discovered something extremely special. 

March 27, 2020 22:25

You must sign up or log in to submit a comment.


Jane Andrews
05:38 Apr 04, 2020

There were some nice ideas in this and it has the potential to be a good story. I like the way you combine the secret passage prompt with the idea of a magic portal to a world inside a book - and the way that your protagonist can choose the book world she wants to visit. This has the potential to be developed into a much longer piece - maybe a whole novel where each chapter focuses on her adventures in a different book world. Your story would certainly work as an introductory chapter. However, you do need to tidy up spelling, punctuation and...


Show 0 replies
Sue Marsh
16:05 Apr 02, 2020

good story line I enjoyed it


Show 0 replies
RBE | Illustrated Short Stories | 2024-06

Bring your short stories to life

Fuse character, story, and conflict with tools in Reedsy Studio. 100% free.