116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
Editor’s note: This is the third part of a story written by Sophia Squire, an eighth grade home-school student who lives in St. Ansgar. The prologue and Chapter 1 are available at thegazette.com/kids. Chapter 3 will be published in February.
Are you a young writer like Sophia? Submit your original story to email@example.com — we would love to read and share your work.
I looked down at the water around me and found I was standing on a sandbar. Squinting back at the direction I came, I realized I could hardly see the beach. Was Naomi wondering where I was?
I glanced back down at the sandbar. A large, black square caught my eye.
Throwing another glance back at the beach, I questioned if I should search further.
Curiosity got the best of me and I knelt on the sand, brushing it off of the black square. My hand grazed a metal handle and I grasped it, pulling up with all of my might.
The trapdoor opened, revealing a dark, damp staircase.
I studied it for a second then began to descend.
The stairs were damp and slippery. Moss grew along the edges and spiders scurried out of sight. I shuddered.
At the bottom of the staircase, I reached a long, dark hallway. Glancing back up at the light that came in through the trapdoor, I wondered if I should go any farther. Something made me put one foot in front of the other and continue down the hall.
At the end, I found myself at a large window. It was smudged over with mud and moss and I could hardly see through it.
With one hand, I wiped the crust from it and peered through.
“Hello?” I called, hoping someone could hear me. Behind the glass was an expanse of blackness. I doubted anyone was around here.
The appearance of a small boy caught my attention. He was standing on the other side of the window. His face was dirty and his clothes ragged.
He looked up at me with innocent eyes. He seemed to be asking what I was doing down there.
I glanced behind him and saw the ruins of a city lit with fire.
I looked back down at him to find him staring at me. He mouthed the words, “Are you going to save us?'"
You decide: How does Liliana respond?
A. She shakes her head and runs back up the stairs.
B. She nods slowly and starts looking for a way in.