Friday, 22 February 2013

The Padlocked Chest - Part 2

I held my breath, but nothing happened. No noise, no tipping forward and falling and no shrinking feeling. Instead bright light flooded the chest, sunlight, dazzlingly clear.
     'What can you see?' called someone.
     I gazed through the doorway. 'I can see,' I said slowly, 'the sea.'
     'What? said Robert, incredulously.
     'Yes,' I said, 'I promise you. Are you coming?' I turned to look at them. I could see them more clearly now, there must have been nearly thirty of them huddled together, most with worried faces.
     'You're not going through there?' said a man.
     'Well I'm not going to stay in a chest I can't get out of,' I replied, 'now is anyone coming with me, or am I going by myself?'
     'I'll come,' said a girl, stepping out of the crowd. She was about my age and height, although, since we'd shrunk, I wasn't sure if that meant anything.
     'So will I,' said someone else, and then suddenly they all decided they'd quite like a change of scenery and eventually even Robert gave in.
     'Good,' I said, 'let's go then.' Slowly I stepped through the door and onto soft sand. The sun was hot and bright and we all blinked as our eyes adjusted to it. We spread out onto the beach and some people went cautiously down to the water's edge. Others turned and looked around. When the last person stepped through the door it swung firmly shut, and no amount of banging or wiggling the handle could open it.
     'It's like the lid of the chest,' I said, 'it can only be opened from one side.' It looked very odd stood there on the beach by itslef but now we began to wonder what new world we had found.
     'Where do you suppose we are?' said someone.
     'It's the Caribbean,' said Robert.
     'Or the Pacific,' I offered, either way, it's an island.
     There was a small hill rising away from the beach and after a short climb we were able to see all around and this confirmed my statement.
     'Well it's bigger than the chest,' said the girl.
     'Can't be more than half a mile long, though,' said Robert, 'and less than that wide. I don't see any more doors either.'
     'Will you stop being so gloomy,' said a woman, this is much better than the chest, and of course there aren't any doors, everyone knows the only way off an island is by boat.'
     She's right, I thought, I just hope it doesn't take eighteen years for one to turn up.

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