It was the door again. It was the hard, metallic wall, high and wide, with lots of rust and dust on it as if no one had ever cleaned it. Its handle had already fell off, leaving a black rusty hole with insects living inside. There were plenty of rooms like this in this countryside secondary school, all were abandoned room that were filled with cracked chairs, tables, and other broken equipment. It was at the end of the long corridor. Lots of people pass through it every day, but no one had paid any attention to the door.
Fred was the last in the line. It was humanities class now normally, but somehow the humanities teacher was not feeling well today. She got mad when she found that the humanities class room was filled with a class of noisy students (as normal). The consequences of a humanities teacher getting mad—2 vases smashed, 1 book teared, and 3 tables and 2 chairs kicked and went up-side-down.
The class was punished to stand in the corridor during the whole lesson. It was not too bad, that most of the classmates standing in the corridor were feeling excited that they did not have to learn any humanities. Thirty minutes, 1 hour had passed. None of the classmates were tired, but majority were boring—some were playing with their fingers, some were chatting, and some looked angry and were looking around. The corridor was filled with darkness. There were three bulbs in the middle of the corridor, but was dim and was almost useless. Fred was the last one in the line, and was standing in the end of the corridor. It was filled with darkness. If the door was not there, Fred could not even recognize the directions. And that was the first time in school had he noticed the door.
Like the others, Fred was also bored and he was interested at the thing, the door in front of him that he had never noticed before. He was always rushing in the school—the 3 minutes break between the different classes was short enough for students to rush without looking around the school, the other classrooms they always passed by but never had a look of it. Fred started examine the door. The metallic door was simple, without any decorations. He put his hand on the surface of the door, and felt the freezing cold as his warmth being conducted away by the metal. He took his hand off the door quickly and found his hand full of dust.
The door has nothing to be examined about. Fred talked to himself. He was already a little tired from the punishment and rest his head on the door. As he did this, he could not hold his balanced and his head was hit hard on the door. “BANG!” The door made a long, loud noise and all the classmates turned their head and laughed. Fred was embarrassed. He put his head down slowly this time. Before he did this, he heard a scream inside the door, and then he heard something broke, maybe a cup or a plate.
Fred jumped, but then calm himself down. He did not want to bump his head for the second time. However, his heart was already hanging up. He slowly, slowly, found a small, thin gap on the door and put it to his eye-level, then looked inside. Darkness. Darkness in the whole room. His eyes were lost in the darkness and could not came back. He was curious—what was inside the room that screamed? His eyes were still searching in the darkness, waiting for something to appear. However, his heart bumped faster. He was afraid of darkness. He feared that something might came out suddenly, quickly, in front of his eyes. “Or maybe slowly, without me noticing, and getting closer and closer to me.” He thought. He was so scared, but his curiosity did not allow him to stop looking through the gap. Fred felt awful but cannot control himself. As he was searching deeper into the room, everything around him seemed to stop. He found himself surrounded by darkness. He looked back, willing to see a line of classmates chatting and playing with each other, but he saw nothing, but infinity darkness. He listened. There wasn’t any voice. He walked. His feet moved but touch nothing. He did not know if he moved or not—there was nothing around him and that made him the centre of the space. He was unprepared for everything.
He began to think of things, things that were similar to his situation now. However, all he could think of in his brain was the scary movies. A Quiet Place. He looked into the darkness, and was feeling faint. “The monsters in the movie was coming!” His heart said. “Stop thinking about the movies!” He fought back, but it was useless. “They hear you, they hunt you.” Another sound said. He started trembling, and something from his memory suddenly bounced out: “AAHHHH!” He heard the scream again. He opened his mouth, but no sound came out. He fainted.
When he woke up he found that he was still facing the door. He widened his eyes and turn around quickly. And now he saw the line of students were already gone. In front of him was the humanities teacher. She seemed to be furious and shouted: “You were sleeping while I punished you. Hmm… So that meant that you want more punishment? Ok, let me think. You will be standing for next class also in that corner. You understand! …”
Since that day, Fred always walked to the corner of the corridor to look at the door. He does not dare to walk near the door. His experience last time was terrible. He always heard strange sound coming out from it, but never know what that is.
It was another Friday. Every Friday the school promised the students to have more delicious food that every other day in the week since it was the last day of the whole week. 11:30. Fred read his watch. He was very hungry after running for 50 laps on the playground. He had no more classes and walked to the canteen with tiredness. As he came to a turn, he glanced the end of the corridor as usual. He did not look away. His eyes were straight and he did not move. Something was different. The light reflected out from the end of the corridor somehow looked different. He tip-toed a little bit in, and saw it—the door was opened.
Surprise. He was so surprised that he was almost drowned in the ocean of surprises. “AMAZING!” The curious part of his heart cheered, “Now you can walk straight in, without being discovered by anyone, and see what was inside now. Isn’t that what you wished for weeks? Then walk, walk towards it.” Fred felt a force pulling him to the door. He did not resist. It does not feel bad, just to look around inside. As he walked to the opened door, he suddenly stopped. He wanted keep walking inside, but something stopped him, as if an invisible door that was preventing him from walking into the door. “It was too dangerous inside. See, it was dark and you never know what was coming out. Stop and calm down.” It was his fear. His fear was coming out and spread like a net that prevent him to do everything dangerous. Confusion appeared in Fred’s eyes for a second, but soon it disappeared, instead his eyes became firm, and he stepped in, ignoring the suggestions from his hear.
He stepped into the darkness. It was different from last time, when he was somehow sucked in by the door and went into the space of darkness. This time, even though it was dark, Fred could still see things stacked in the room. The broken tables and chairs entangled by spiderwebs, cardboard boxes covered with dust, and some clocks with pointers that would never run again. Fred looked down carefully so he would not step on a single thing and would not made a single sound. There was nothing unusual in the room. He searched for minutes, under the equipment, behind the door, in the corners, but everything seemed to be normal.
“Then where does the scream and the strange sounds came from?” There must be something wrong. Fred told himself. He started to test the floor with his feet, to see if there were any bumps there. Soon he found one. The floor tile was higher than the others. Fred hit it gently with his fingernails, but the sound was too small. He took a broken chair leg and hit it hard. “Dong!” The sound was smooth and long. Fred knew that there must be a hollow place underneath the tile. His was amazed. He had read in books that there could be secret chambers in a room, maybe in a castle, but he never expected that there was one, or maybe more, in his school.
Fred used the broken chair leg to lever and lift the tile. As he expected, it was hollow under it. There was a deep hole with a wooden ladder that allow one thin and light person to climb down. He walked down carefully, and left the tile opened so he could climb out after exploring. The hole was deep as if it never has an end. After climbing of ten minutes, Fred was decided to give up. He was sweating a lot and it was nothing interesting to climb a hole. Just then, he saw something reflected. He looked down. It was a marble tile.
Fred cheered in his heart. The long hole finally ends. There was a long and dark tunnel in front of him. It was dark and wide. Fred could see a tiny dot of light. It was the other end of the tunnel, that leads to somewhere with lights. He walked and walked. He started to feel cold now. The sweat he got from climbing down the ladder were taking his heat away as they evaporated. He had a strange feeling since he walked into this tunnel—that someone was watching him from behind. But when he turned back, nothing was there. He walked for a few more steps and had that feeling again. He was too scared to look back. He walked for five minutes, however, the light dot in front of him did not seem to be any bigger. He walked faster.
After another ten minutes, Fred finally reached the other side of the tunnel. He walked out. It was very light here, with lots of light bulbs on the top of the room. As his eyes grew accustomed to the light, he could see that the room was a simple kitchen. There were lots of pans and pots and food that smell yummy. He was familiar to the smell, the delicious smell of their Friday lunch each week. He carefully walked nearer to the stove, and found lots of food cooking inside. He was attracted by the food and started smelling it. Fred could taste the delicious every Friday, and wanted to make the same delicious food by himself. He told his dad, who was a famous cook, about the food. His dad never believed that the food was more delicious than the food he cooked, but that was the truth, and Fred never dared to tell his dad about this.
As his put his head closer to the stove, he suddenly saw a small bag of powder on the side. It was already cut opened. The powder inside were white, and shiny. He picked it up and read the bag: Food powder, cheap and delicious! 1/10 teaspoon of it will make a potful of food more delicious! On the back of the bag was the list of ingredients. The ingredients were all chemical words that Fred did not know, but he was sure that none of them were natural food. At the end of the list was a tiny sentence, that no one would see it if they did not put their eyes on the bag. “Overuse of the powder will make the food toxic.” There was also a small label underneath the bag that marked the price: 1 cent for 10 bags.
Fred knew the whole thing now. He found out why the Friday food were so delicious; he found out why his dad could not make the same delicious food, he found out why the small kitchen was hid underground. He found out a big secret about the school.
And suddenly, he knew the reason why he always had a feeling that someone was behind him in the tunnel. He turned around quickly and stared the entrance of the kitchen, but it was too late. A hand came behind his neck and covered his mouth with a towel. He saw a hammer wielding towards him. He closed his eyes, and it was over.
Two people jumped out.
Cook: What did you do! Why did you kill him?
Chef: He went down to this kitchen! He saw the bag of Food Powder! What if he told the other people in the school!
Cook: But you don’t have to kill him. You don’t know if he saw the powder or not!
Chef: I did! I saw him reading the bag!