I Don't Know Where I Am
Ali Strydom, Grade 6, Sunshine Coast Grammar School
My name is Mikaela Tyler, and I don’t know where I am.
Walking down this alleyway is giving me the creeps. It does every time. The tall, dark cobble walls loom over either side of me. The heels of my boots click-clack along the surprisingly smooth stone floor. There isn’t anyone in this alleyway, there hasn’t been for ages. Just me. It never ends. It’s dark and all I have is a candle and my thoughts.
I know how I got here, but I don’t know where I am.
I am a traveller, of sorts. People would never understand, but there are so many realms. Beautiful realms and nightmarish ones. Creatures in the dark, the deepest horrible kind. Then there are the creatures of the day, the ones that make you happy, just looking at them. I travel alone, never with anyone else. I don’t have a normal life, but I like it that way.
I was in a new realm. One I had never explored before. It was beautiful, and its beauty led me astray. You could hear the birds, hear the whispers of old, forgotten tales of these realms, whistling through the wind. The smell of so many exotic flowers and fresh clipped grass. It was sunny and warm. Then I found a gate. A pretty gate, one of those old kinds that are white and rusted. It didn’t lead anywhere, just a blank, white gap in the realm. Of course, my curiosity got the better of me, and I opened it and stepped through.
Then I fell. Nothing was around me, just darkness, and I fell, at peace, and I didn’t know where I was. I kept falling.
I thought I was dead. But I had memories, both good and bad. I was afraid of the dark – I still am. I feared it. I feared the myths lurking in the dark, and people deny these myths because they are scared. Scared of what comes when the night falls.
I fell for a while, but it felt like millennia. Then I stopped and opened my eyes, and here I woke, in this alleyway.
Like I said before, it never ends. It just keeps going. I’ve been here for ages. I never age, I’m never hungry or thirsty, or anything else. I don’t need sleep and it is constantly dark.
When I woke, I found that I had an ever-lasting candle, casting dancing shadows across the walls, haunting my presence. They aren’t normal shadows, they are the shadows of the dead, of the deceased. Of the adventurers who ended up here. They travelled the realms too. It says so in the myths of the legends of the realms. And now here I am.
I wonder if that makes me a legend. If I’ll become a shadow to the next realm traveller who ends up here. I wonder if I’ll become a myth. A legend.
It’s a bad dream, non-ending, but I keep walking.
I don’t know where I am.