Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Tauy Creek Digest #18: Cellar Door

Kevin opened his locker between classes and saw a bag hanging in it that he had never seen before. He grabbed it and opened it. Inside was a bag of trail mix, a hunting knife, an old fashioned key, and a rectangular block of glass. Kevin was confused by what he was seeing and started putting the bag back in his locker. Suddenly a noise came from the bag, like someone tapping rhythmically on a coconut. He pulled the rectangular block of glass out and saw that it now read UNKNOWN and SLIDE TO ANSWER. Taking his finger, Kevin slid across the screen and held the block to his ear. "Hello?"

"Kevin, a map is on this phone in the photos app. Take the bag and begin walking where the map tells you. Use the knife for protection and the trail mix for sustenance. When you get to where you are going, use the key to unlock the door. Take the bag, Kevin, go," and the phone hung up.

Kevin looked at the blank screen of what he now figured was a phone. Taking the bag, he closed his locker door, and headed out of school. Kevin pressed the button in the bottom center of the phone and the screen lit up showing several small squares. He tapped the square for photos and found the map. It came up small and blurry, Kevin used his finger to move the map around and then figured out how to zoom in and out. The map was a topographic map and followed a road leading from the school out of town and then to what was the location of an old ghost town.

"Why do I need a knife for protection?" he wondered out loud to himself but headed to his car and drove to where the map said to go and parked where the road ended and a narrow trail went off into the woods. Kevin got out of his car, slung the bag on his shoulder, glanced at the phone, and headed into the woods.

Kevin walked through for nearly an hour through the woods which led into a clearing. He stopped and looked at the map. He ahead to where he was supposed to go, sighed heavily, and continued walking. He came to a burned out house near an inaccessible part of the river. He looked at the map and saw that this was where he should be going. The house was unlivable. Unusable. He took the key out of the bag and went up to the front door of the house. It was a newer door so the key was nowhere close to fitting. Kevin went around the house and found a cellar that seemed untouched by time. The old fashioned key fit perfectly into the cellar door's keyhole. He turned the key and the lock engaged easily and the door unlocked with a click.

Kevin pulled the doors open and opened them wide. He stared into the darkness, past the chipped and crumbling stone stairs. Kevin took a deep breath and began descending the stairs and going into the darkness. As he reached the dirt floor of the cellar, a loud buzz went off.

Kevin woke up back in class with his friend, Shane, shaking his arm. "Hey, man, class is over. It's time for lunch."

"I'm in school? I had the weirdest dream," Kevin said, grabbing his backpack and standing up. "There was this bag in my locker with food, a key, and some sort of futuristic phone in it. I was supposed to find this house in the middle of nowhere and go down into the cellar. I was just about there when the bell rang and woke me up."

"Ah, that sucks. I hate when a good dream is interrupted," Shane said. "I'm heading to lunch."

"I'll be there soon. I'm going to drop off my backpack." Kevin went to his locker and opened it. He saw a bag hanging in it that he had never seen before. He smiled big as he grabbed and opened it. Inside was, as he thought, a bag of trail mix, a hunting knife, an old fashioned key, and a rectangular block of glass. He grabbed the phone and waited and within seconds, it rang. UNKNOWN and SLIDE TO ANSWER came on the screen and Kevin excitedly slid his finger across the glass. "Hello?" he answered.

"Kevin, a map is on this phone in the photos app. Take the bag and begin walking where the map tells you. Use the knife for protection and the trail mix for sustenance. When you get to where you are going, use the key to unlock the door. Take the bag, Kevin, and go," and the phone hung up.

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