On a boring Saturday morning I got into an intense argument with my family. I woke up in a bad mood because the events of the previous evening were still fresh in my mind. Some stupid girl had beaten me to my crush. She stole him; right under my nose. I punched her and she scratched my cheek, but we were separated before the fight got ugly. I gave him one last look and turned away. Then I left the party and went straight for home, to bed.
But in the morning when my parents asked what was wrong, I answered in such a rude manner that my little siblings went quiet and stared with dropped jaws. Mom glared at me, Dad yelled. When I couldn’t take it any longer, I sprung to my feet, grabbed a piece of toast, and dashed out the front door to leave them losing their heads behind me.
I walked down my neighborhood for a while, nibbling on my toast. It was lame. Each step that I took, I counted, and each square of the sidewalk I took, I counted. When I reached the edge of the suburb, I stared longingly at the forest beyond the field. I was not allowed in there. A few years back a kid had disappeared and was never found. Neighbors always said that the place was haunted, or that some evil, twisted lunatic lived in a cave, waiting for victims to stroll by, to catch them, to murder them, and to eat them.
But I was angry. I wanted to go into the forest and show the world that I didn’t care that some stupid whore from school stole my crush, or that I didn’t care that my family hated me. I glanced over my shoulder and saw that nobody was chasing me, so I clambered over the fence and jumped onto the grass on the other side. Then I rushed across the field, straight to the trees. Just as I stepped under the shade of the tree line, though, I heard someone’s faint call in the distance. “Jade? Jade?” I looked back and saw Dad climbing over the fence. Even though I knew I was gonna be in huge trouble, I kept going. Soon both the suburb and Dad were lost behind me, and I was surrounded by tall, skinny trees and the sounds of birds and insects.
When I had run for several minutes, I put my last piece of toast into my mouth and chewed it as I slowed my pace. I swallowed and inhaled a lungful of that sweet, clean forest air. Then I was falling. Falling and falling and falling. I couldn’t scream. I knew I was falling, but at the same time I knew I wasn’t. I just floated in nothingness. Nothingness of a dark color, of a white color, of a nothing color.
And as soon as it started, it stopped. My feet were on solid ground again, but I didn’t stand in the forest; I was in some house I had never been to. A cabin, more like. There were dusty pieces of furniture decorating the one-roomed home, and a fireplace stood cold and empty. Where was I? I glanced out the window and gasped. A desert. A flat, dry desert with no end in sight. Sand forever. I went for the door, but as soon as I stepped out into the desert’s heat, I was falling again, and I landed in a bright place, too blinding for my eyes.
My eyes adjusted to the painful light and I realized that I was staring up at the sun. I was lying on the ground, in a bed of scratchy weeds. I got up and brushed myself off, then I saw huge animals walking around me. Lizards with long necks, and others with horns on their faces, and little baby ones that looked like chickens. Dinosaurs. What was going on?
Again, I took a few steps forward and I was falling. This time I landed on nothing, though. I kept falling, going straight down to a huge white surface. Snow? Sand? I looked up and saw no blue sky; it was black. I turned the other way and nearly crapped myself. Earth, blue and beautiful was floating before my eyes. I was falling to the moon.
I expected the scene to change, but I kept falling. I fell and fell and fell, the moon getting closer, and when I finally hit, the blow punched the air out of my lungs and I felt my bones shatter and limbs fall apart.
But I woke up later, lying in the forest near my house. My whole body trembled as I glanced around, and I was shocked to see a skeleton not too far away. A small skeleton, like a kid’s. As soon as I spotted it I knew I was staring at the lost kid from those years ago. What had happened? Had he gone on that weird trip, too? Had it been too much for him, so he just curled up and died?
I got to my feet and approached the pile of bones.There was a slip of paper off to the side. A note that read: I went on a journey. I can’t explain it. I’m looking for it again. If you read this I’m probably dead. But I have to do it. I want to see the places again. I’m looking for the hole again.
After staring down the skeleton’s skull for several seconds, I gulped and felt fear beginning to flood inside me. The kid had died looking for a hole. Had I fallen through the hole he was talking about? What hole, though? I didn’t remember falling through any hole as I walked through between the trees. I glanced around the forest and felt the trees watching me. No birds were chirping. No wind was blowing. And I knew I had to look for it. I needed to see the places again. The cabin in the desert, the dinosaurs, the moon. I had to do it. I felt the urge singing in my veins. I would search for this mysterious hole that sent me on that walk through time.
And I would search for it even if it took forever.