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The Helix, Scotland 2019

The Helix, Scotland 2019


The boy ducked down and crept into the hole in the ground.

If he bent his body low enough he could shuffle his way in. He stopped when he was far enough in and sat down, sliding his back down the curve of the tunnel.

The circle of daylight at the end flickered then darkened as a shadow of a dog appeared at the opening, sniffing and snarling, baring all of its teeth, thick saliva dripping from its tongue. The boy's eyes widened and his mouth opened in a silent scream. He began to push himself back further up into the tunnel. He fell back into the darkness and his stomach felt as if it had dropped into his mouth. He remembered that he'd felt like this when he'd ridden on a rollercoaster for the first time three weeks ago.

He blinked. The dog had gone and the light at the end of the tunnel was now behind him. The boy tucked his knees right up to his chin and turned as best he could in the tight space until he could crawl out into the day.

The playpark looked exactly as he'd left it but the fierce dog had gone. A woman sat on a bench nearby. She saw him and waved.

"Oh, there you are," she said getting up and walking towards him. "I was wondering where you'd got to."

The boy rubbed his eyes. He'd been in the dark a long time and the bright sunlight was making them ache.

"Come on. It's time to get home," the woman said.

The boy stared at her. She seemed to know him well but he didn't know her at all.

Feeling brave? Want to share your story? In the words of one Disney princess, Let it go, in the comments below.