Stairs to Nowhere

Based on a Harris Burdick picture

I find pleasure in reading and writing. It is always nice to dive deep into the unknowns of a book, wrapped up in the fictional characters of magic and marvel. The scenes depicted are things that I could only dream of. Every aspect of books enchanted me. I could travel anywhere, to any time: past, present, or future. But in reality, my life was incredibly plain and repetitive. Each day, I would go to school, as usual, come back to do my homework, eat, read, and then go to sleep. Nothing exciting ever happened, and the highlight of my day was reading before bed. I got to live the lives of legendary characters like King Arthur, Sherlock Holmes, Katniss Everdeen, and Hermione Granger. I was so convinced that I would never encounter anything similar to the numerous books I had read, but in a few days, all that would change. 

It was a pleasant Septemeber afternoon. I was curled up under a huge cherry tree in my front yard, enjoying my newest book, Anne of Green Gables. I munched on my grilled cheese sandwich and was lost in the book. My mind was transported to the fictional town of Avonlea. Around me, was the wonderful Marilla and Matthew Cuthbert smiling as Anne danced in the meadows. The luscious green hills of Avonlea and the joyful faces of Anne, Diana, Marilla, Matthew, and Jerry were a sight to see. If only I could experience something like this. 

Turning away from my book, I looked up at my cherry tree and its beautiful smell intoxicated me. I gazed at the numerous trees as the sun peeked its shining face at me. That’s it. I’m going to go for a small walk to clear my thoughts. 

I quickly ushered my dog, Daisy, and the both of us set off for a small walk. Daisy playfully barked as birds surrounded us. The bright chirps were refreshing and calmed me down. 

As we walked, I noticed my neighbor, Noah, who was playing basketball alone. I’d known Noah my whole life and we had been best friends since the day we were born. 

“Hey, Noah,” I called, brushing my auburn hair out of my eyes. “Do you want to go on a walk with me and Daisy?” 

“Yeah sure,” he answered with a smile. Noah set down the bright basketball, and joined us. The both of us walked and talked about various topics like school, and ofcourse I had to tell him about Anne of Green Gables. 

“Wait, that actually sounds really cool,” Noah said. I had just told him about Marilla and Matthew Cuthbert adopting Anne Shirley from the orphanage. 

“Yeah, it is. You can borrow it after I’m done reading it. If you want,” I murmured. Noah nodded his head. We continued talking about all sorts of good books and soon became unaware of the change in scenery. I looked around to see that we were at the edge of the neighborhood. Menacing trees blocked our path and we had no choice but to turn around. 

Suddenly, I fell. I had tripped under the uneven surface and blood gushed out from my knee. 

“We should turn back now,” said Noah with a concerned expression. His hazel eyes were filled with worry. 

“Yeah,” I agreed. But in this commotion, I had just realized that Daisy wasn’t beside us anymore. “Where’s Daisy?” I asked. I frantically searched and called for my dog but she was nowhere to be found. “Daisy! Daisy!” Noah and I called several times just to be left with silence.

“Maybe she ran off into the woods,” suggested Noah. The sky was growing darker and darker and the air was getting colder.  We needed to find Daisy immediately and get back home. I stepped foot into the dark woods. The tall trees glared at me. 

“C’mon,” I motioned to Noah. “We need to find her.” The two of us walked deeper and deeper into the thick woods, calling out for Daisy with no luck. 

Out of nowhere, we heard a quick bark. 

“Did you hear that?” asked Noah, smiling at me with hope. I nodded with a smile and we started running towards the sound. I heard more and more distraught barks as I ran. The dark trees and the woods were a blur as I focused on the sound. Noah trailed after me and his eyes were determined. My heart pounded and all I could do was hope for Daisy’s safety.

After several minutes, we approached a clearing in the forest. Daisy’s dark coat of fur caught my eye immediately as I ran towards her. I felt so relieved. However, I noticed scratches and cuts all over Daisy’s shiny coat. Noah and I petted her softly and cradled her in our arms. 

“Thank goodness we found you!” I said. 

Suddenly, from the corner of my eye, I noticed the oddest thing. There was a crumbled up building that seemed to be abandoned. What was it doing here? Noah and I directed our gaze towards the building and our eyes lit up. 

“Are you thinking what I’m thinking?” asked Noah. 

“Yeah!” I responded with a chuckle. 

“Let’s go inside!” we both chanted at the same time. Finally I would be experiencing some adventure. Clutching Daisy, I walked toward the building and opened the door. A musty smell filled the air and dry cement fell to the floor. I coughed as the dust filled my nose and my eyes. Noah and I slowly walked into the building, aware of the old state it was in. It could fall apart at any moment. 

“Wham!” I turned to see that the wind had closed the door shut, rumbling the full building. Noah turned to reopen the door, but it wouldn’t budge. 

“It’s not opening,” whispered Noah with shock. Once again, he tried pulling the door open, but it remained closed. 

“It must be stuck,” I answered with a concerned look on my face. “Let’s look for another way to get out of here.” Noah and I tried to open several windows, but nothing moved. From the corner of my eye, I noticed a beautiful staircase. It was a magnificent gold and was smooth as marble. The staircase was huge and seemed to be in excellent condition despite the state of the building. I trudged towards the staircase. Maybe it could help us get out. Noah followed after me with Daisy in his arms. I got onto the staircase and began walking to wherever it may lead. 

Noah and I slowly made our way up the steps. Several minutes had gone by and we were still walking up the staircase. 

“How long is it?” asked Noah with an annoyed expression. His eyebrows created a furrowed expression as we continued walking. 

“I have no clue,” I responded with confusion. Why was it taking this long to get up the staircase?

We walked and walked and walked. Soon and more than an hour had gone by and we were still walking up the staircase. I was getting tired and sweat dripped down my face. Noah, who was holding Daisy, wheezed and panted more with each step. 

“Should we turn back?” asked Noah. He was struggling to talk.

“No, let’s keep going. Maybe the staircase will end soon,” I answered. As I walked up more and more steps, I began to notice the intricate patterns and design that each step contained. Whoever had built this spent an enormous amount of time carving every detail. I peered closer at the steps to see that it was painting a story. Carved into the steps were serpents and monsters, kings and princesses, and surprisingly, people with immense technology. I squinted my eyes to see a carving on the next marble step that looked like me. The carving had the same long, auburn hair. The carving also resembled my stormy, gray eyes. I was shocked. I could feel the blood rushing to my head and my throat seizing up. The next step contained Noah holding Daisy. Noah had the same hazel eyes as the carving and was wearing long jeans, resembling the carving. Daisy’s same shiny, black coat of fur was on the staircase. An eerie feeling crept over me, and I knew we had to get off of those steps at once. My heart thumped loudly as I turned to face Noah.

“Noah,” I called. I was about to mention what I had seen in the steps when suddenly I fell forward. I had lost control of my entire body and down, down, down I went, into the cold darkness. My screams echoed and I looked up to see Noah falling beside me. Daisy’s screeching barks added to the unsettling feeling as we fell into the unknown. 

Afterwards, the three of us were back. Outside the crumbling building. I had never felt more confused as to why and how this had happened. I looked to Noah who had the same confused and scared look on his face. What had even happened? Silently, we walked out of the woods to see our familiar neighborhood. That terrifying and eerie feeling had still not left my body as the walk home was silent. I still don’t remember what happened or how we arrived outside of the building. It all felt like a feverish dream. I had definitely gotten my fair share of magic. At this moment, I felt like I was in a fictional story where I was the main character. Even though my life returned to normal, I can now see that adventure can come to anything and anyone in such unexpected ways. 

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