Highly Commended Story - Junior Category
“The Secret Dungeon” by Luna Perez-Escolar, Runnymede College, Spain, is the Highly Commended story in the junior category of the first biannual Short Story Contest 2020.
Luna Perez-Escolar was born in Madrid in 2008. She lives with her older sister, parents and two charming dogs. Since she was very young she loves reading and writing. Not only does she enjoy reading books, but she also is passionate about theatre. During the weekends she spends time painting with her grandmother or playing with her friends. One of her dreams is to travel to Africa to see the wild animals and also to cooperate with an organisation to help educate vulnerable and poor children.
The Secret Dungeon
I woke up not knowing where I was. The little sunlight that entered through the metal bars scarcely illuminated the room. Thousands of thoughts disoriented my mind. Where was I? How did I get here? Who locked me in this filthy cage? ...
I looked around; all I could see was a metal box. In the corner there were old bones, with a pile of dead rats on top. There was no blanket, no duvet, no covers, no pillow, no bed. I could taste dry-ness; it felt as if I hadn't had water for months! My nostrils were filled with all kinds of rotten smells that made me want to throw up. All I could hear was me asking questions and my stomach growling like a fierce monster. I felt shivers running like cheetahs multiplying by the second.
Slowly, I sat in a corner, a few minutes later, tears started to run down my face. Am I ever going to get out of this filthy place? I looked around to see if there was a door.
"There must be one," I thought, "If not how did I get here?"
It seemed as if there was no enter or exit. After a few minutes of thinking, I gave up and slept on the freezing floor, with my mind more muddled than ever.
Suddenly, I got woken up by a gorgeous young girl. Her eyes were oceans and her blond hair was a beach. She was wearing an extraordinary dress that was crimson like her lips. She started bombard-ing my head with millions of questions; not giving me enough time to reply.
"Oh sorry, where are my manners? I'm Lizzie, short for Elizabeth, and you are?" she asked in a refined accent.
"James," I replied timidly.
She then said to follow her and no matter what, to not make a noise.
We were crawling like toddlers through tiny old vents. My destination was unclear, and I was un-sure if I was safe. My knees were now hurting tremendously, as if I had broken them. The vents were slowly increasing with light, my face now had a smile on it and I could no longer feel any pain, or the complaining hunger. Was I going to end up in a secret German hideout? Was I going to take juicy information back to the British?
As I came out of the vent, I realised I wasn't in Nazi territory at all, but somewhere far better - in-side a captivating, high-ceilinged room with cerulean walls. The ceiling hung majestic chandeliers above the crowd of energetic well fed children.
"They're my siblings" to which I nodded. "Follow me and blend in." I tried to do as she said, but I continued to stand out as a sore thumb to the rest.
The children machine gunned me with: Who are you? Where do you come from? What is your name? Will you play with me?
"He's just a boy I found in the dungeons, you need to help me to hide him."