Written By Ankita Srinivasan (Grade 10)
“Don’t panic. I’m sure there is a solution,” I whispered, looking at the boy pressed next to me, the small space suffocating. The boy next to me, Edward James Parker, looked a little peaky, but then, the expression is expected. We were stuck in a small cupboard inside a desolate, but a humongous old house. It would have been perfectly fine to hide there had the cupboard not decided to lock itself and we hadn’t been left in complete darkness.
Playing hide and seek in a street none of us knew wasn’t the best of ideas, but then, none of us were the best at logical thinking. So the six of us, Edward, Remus, Harry, Lilian, Alice and I decided to pair off and go hide, while the seventh in our group, Charles, was the finder. Edward and I, the ‘bravest’ or probably the most foolish, decided to hide in the biggest, gloomiest and the most run-down house we could find. We climbed the gate and ran straight into the house, our over-competitive nature unwilling to let us get caught. The door was unlocked, but that wasn’t something I registered until it was too late. We found a cupboard in the decrepit hallway, and, instead of splitting, we decided to hide together. The place was small, but we figured it was fine to hide for about 15 minutes. We were wrong.
Barely had we closed the door did we hear the lock click, and we were beyond frightened. Not to mention, Edward has claustrophobia. This made it worse. I whispered reassurances, as I tried my best to retrieve my phone from my pocket. Unlocking it, I turned on the torch, but, when I tried calling, I found there was no signal. “I can’t stay calm, Titania, I can’t breathe. Claustrophobia, remember?” he whispered back, “Hey genius, I do remember, I’m trying to think of a way, but your panic isn’t helping.” He shut up but was breathing like a horse. I racked my brains, and finally, decided on using the most foolish one. “I can’t reach my head. Pull out one of my hairpins, will you?” I whispered, thanking heavens I had remembered to wear pins unlike usual. I felt Edward reaching up and pulling a pin out, handing it to me carefully. Bending down a little, using the light from my phone to help me, I inserted the pin into the lock, working at picking it. After a good fifteen minutes, it finally clicked open, and the musty air in the room was like a fresh breeze to us. Breathing a sigh of relief, we ran out, only to find that our other friends weren’t there.
Featured Image Courtesy – The Backyard Gnome