The Secret of the Passageway

Every now and then a talented child author emerges. Today, I’d like to introduce ten-year-old Sky Stubbeman. A week ago I asked Sky and twin brother Christian to answer a question I posed them. Sky’s response took over an hour to write. I never saw a child that young so engaged writing such a lengthy short story. Here is Sky’s fantasy about an underground pathway leading to a miraculous new world. Enjoy. -Pop


The Secret of the Passageway

By Sky Stubbeman

It was an average Saturday, and I was curled up on my living room couch reading. As I read, I shifted a bit dropping my bookmark beneath the couch cushions. I placed the book on the floor, reached down in search of the bookmark, and my fingers touched something peculiar. It was a hard metallic object that moved down when I pressed it.

Suddenly, the couch seats dropped inward, dumping me a far distance beneath the sofa onto a hard wood floor. My bookmark landed by my side, so I put it into my pocket.

What was this place, and how did I get here? My mind filled with questions. Then I thought about the peculiar thing I had pressed earlier. It had felt like a button.

I looked skyward to see the entrance, but the couch had closed. I started walking down a cold, damp hallway, lit by torches on the wall. All the sides were streaked with soft green ivy and moss.

I walked a long distance until my stomach grumbled. I opened a door on the side of the passageway and found nothing in there except a wooden chair. My stomach growled again. “I wish there was some food in this place. I’m hungry!”

The next door I opened had a table filled with my favorite food—steamed fish and rice. I gorged myself until I felt so sleepy. “Really could use a nice soft bed,” I mumbled.

The next door I opened revealed a bedroom complete with a lamp, a clock showing it was 10:30 PM, and a dresser filled with clothes. I crashed and didn’t wake up until 8:45 AM.

After changing my clothes and putting on a fresh outfit I found in the dresser I continued my trek down the passageway. I had figured out a pattern. Whenever I wished for something, it appeared inside the next door. What would be at the end of the long corridor? I couldn’t wait to find out.

After hours of walking, I stood in front of a painted door with pieces of stained glass window at the top. Light shone through the glass coloring the walls with a rainbow. I reached out a hand and turned the knob.

I stood in a brightly lit entrance with pixies and elves bustling around a mall and working stalls were flushed against brightly colored walls. Elves with pointed ears and pixies with fluttering wings manned the stalls selling all types of wonderful things like apple blossom root, potions for every ailment, and toys. One pixie even sold wings.

As I walked past the colorful kiosks, imps and elves shouted at me. One imp with a chicken shouted, “Get your balloon weed right here. Main ingredient for the Balloon Potion.”

A pixie wearing leaves for clothes bellowed, “Lemon seed power! Make someone’s food super sour. Great for practical jokes!”

One elf with purple hair bellowed, “Purple notus root! Perfect as a purple dye or healing spell.”

A pixie too excited to remain land bound yelled, “Finely crafted wings from the fields of Ketmaniat! Comes with instructions.”

My jaw dropped in awe at all the magical folk walking around. After jostling through the crowd I finally reached the other end and opened a door that revealed the prettiest world I had ever seen. Delicate flowers bloomed wherever I looked, golden wheat fields abounded, and bright green grass and elegant trees were everywhere. Magnificent animals strolled along a lazy creek lapping up water, and fairy folk homes dotted the landscape.

When the sun started to set, I walked up a lane toward an oak tree with flowers defining its path. This led to a red door built into the tree. An elf answered. She wore a tunic and shorts made from woven plant strands and a headband made of woven flower petals.

“Excuse me. My name is Sky. May I stay in your home for a night? I’m so tired.”

The elf’s raven hair rustled in the breeze and her piercing green eyes smiled acceptance. “My name is Evetnaysha, and you are welcome in my house.” She stepped aside so I could enter her cozy home. “I only have one bedroom, but that can be changed.” The elf sang a haunting song, threw pixie dust against a far wall of the oak tree, and magically a bedroom formed.

Evetnaysha pointed to the bed. “See if it feels comfortable.” The mattress was stuffed with flower petals, and the pillow with bird feathers. I smiled my acceptance and fell asleep quickly.

The next morning, Evetnaysha gave me a wonderful breakfast of fruit, vegetables, and scrambled eggs. She then handed me blue rocks. “What’s this for?” I asked.

“This is fairy folk money. You’ll need it if you plan on walking back home and through the mall.”

 She was right. On the way out I eyed the kiosk selling wings and bought a shimmering gold pair, which included the instruction book.

Finally, I reached home, but it was as if no time had passed at all. However, I had those wings and a secret, the secret of the passageway.  

 The End

About the Author

Sky Stubbeman is ten years old. She lives in Encino, California and is currently attending Mirman School, one of the few private elementary schools in the nation devoted to the education of highly gifted students. Sky enjoys art, reading, and writing. She swims competitively and lives with her parents and twin brother, Christian.

Michael is the author of four published novels—Goodbye Tchaikovsky, The Abduction of Joshua Bloom, and The Koolura Series—The Legend of Koolura and Koolura and the Mystery at Camp Saddleback. He is also a columnist for the Los Angeles Examiner writing articles about parenting and education. His blog features YA authors and books.

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