The car pulled up on the rocky, uneven street. Occupying the land is an old, run down looking palace with lightning striking in the background swiftly followed by a loud crash of thunder. I dashed behind my mom and best friend searching for shelter. As we approach the building, thoughts are shooting through my mind. The large door is opened by a man in a uniform made of a variety of colors. The door opens revealing an array of activities. I am nervous about what is in store, but enter guarded by my mom.
Once we enter, I am sure all is OK. I storm the tree house with my friend, Matt, and quickly begin searching the uncharted territory. We open a door to a living room with a tree in the middle. A latter is attached to the tree. I climb one leg at a time up the limb of the tree to the balcony on the roof. I overlook the surroundings like a king and return inside. I mosey into a kitchen. I pretend to cook a whole meal consisting of plastic chicken, cake, and soda. I pretend to eat it at the kitchen table with the tiniest chairs I had ever seen. I’m leaving the room when I look out the window and quickly realize the stream full of “fish.”
Sprinting to the pond wore us out, but we grab our poles and sit down for the long journey. We are fishing for a while. “I think the fishies are gone” I say, but Matt, determined as always, responds by saying, “Maybe they’ll come back”. Just as we are giving up hope, suddenly, Matt feels a tug. “I got one!” he shouts. Rushing to the other side of the stream, we place the fish back into its natural habitat. It swims away leaving a ripple of water in its tracks.
Next, we got to the freeze motion room on the second floor of the building. I quickly strike a pose and it appears on the wall as a shadow. I chase it around the room as if I could catch my own shadow. Matt and I are on a wild goose chase around the room until our shadows disappear. We giggle, and do it again. Our shadows started dancing around the room as if they were at a ball of some sort. We start to get bored, but when the old images disappear, we go for one more round. We strike another pose, me as an elephant, him as a monkey. The figures leap across the room leaping out the window and into the dark of the night.
My mom approaches us with my brother, Zach, and tells of a “secret” door. I was positive they were fooling me but my brother would never tell a lie. Before I know it, my little legs had carried me away and my head is full of curiosity. “Run…” I call, “run like the wind!”
We arrive, and much to our dismay we claim, “It’s just a book shelf.” My brother pops out from the other side and quickly tells us it is magical. He tells us about the one book sticking out further from the rest. “Push it in to place, and you will enter a world beyond your wildest imagination. There are so many adventures and activities to complete.” Quickly, I do as he says and grasp the book and put it into place. The shelf swings outward creaking like crazy opening a gate to a mysterious land. “Oh my gosh…” Matt calls, “Where are we?” My childish brain quickly took over and I yell, “Wonderland!”
We venture deep into the dark room. Matt’s blonde hair and blue eyes make him my one chance at finding where I am going. We feel our way around the space and we stumble a long a sign filled with activities. I read the list silently, “Mystery magic, puzzles and more, mirror maze…” Before I could finish my sentence Matt calls, “This way to the mirror maze!” Not objecting, I follow him in his tracks and we are soon in a tunnel of mirrors with no way out. We see another family in a couple of the mirrors, but we cannot make out which figure is actually them. They disappear in the distance and we are on our own again. We wonder around for a while until we find the exit where we are quickly in another dilemma. We are ready to go back home, but there seems to be no door.
We watch multiple people wander in, but none exiting. I thought we would never make it out. After many ingenious plans, Matt’s light bulb turned on, “Why don’t we just push the book the other way?” The moment of truth is here. We race to the other side of the shelf and push the book the other way. We here a crinkling noise. The door remains shut. Much to our dismay, that didn’t work. “Well, there has to be someone working back here. We could just fly out!” I say. Turned down, Matt says “That would never work.”
A “wonderland worker” must have heard all the ruckus as she quickly arrived on the scene. She escorts us through a hidden door, disguised as a chair, at the other side of the wall. I can smell the scent of victory. I feel like a child opening a gift on Christmas. Matt and I high five each other as if we accomplished an impossible mission. I sprint out the door sure to never go in. I look over my shoulder as the bookshelf slowly fades into the background and I catch a glimpse of Matt running by me.
We arrive at my mom’s side. We tell her of our adventures in the maze and how we couldn’t get out, but then help came to save us. I think she thought we were hallucinating, but I am sure that we weren’t. As it gets to be late, we leave. On our way out, I look up at the sign above me, “Thank you, and come back and visit us soon here at the Magic House.” I think for a minute. Is all I encountered not what I believed? In the moments following, everything quickly made since again.
On the drive home, we drop Matt off at his house. When we went inside to talk to his mom, Matt told her the news. She sounded like as if she couldn’t understand what was going on in our minds and she couldn’t depict the truth from exaggerations.
We arrive home and have our nightly family dinner. I inform them about my adventures, with a little dramatization included. I think they totally disregard my unbelievable story, but I really know what happened. While lying in bed that night, I recall the day’s highs and lows, and I will never forget getting lost in in the secret room behind the book shelf.