The Hidden World is a spooky story about an elementary school student who comes across a rusty iron door in the ground that leads to an underground passageway.
It’s a strange memory, but even now, I can still recall it vividly. It happened during the Summer vacation when I was in 5th grade in elementary school. At the time, my family lived in a house on the edge of town. Behind the house, there was a large area of waste land. I often went out there to play alone.
One bright sunny day, I was exploring the far corner of the waste land when I came across a patch of ground that had been paved over with concrete. In the middle of the concrete, there was a rusty iron door that seemed like it led down to a sewer.
When I grabbed the handle of the door and opened it, I could see a ladder leading down into the darkness. As soon as I saw it, I wanted to go down there and explore. It seemed like it would be a big adventure.
I immediately ran home and got a flashlight. Brimming with excitement, I turned the flashlight on and climbed down the ladder. When I got to the bottom, I found myself in a large, dark passageway that ran from left to right. The floor was covered in wire mesh and further down the passageway, there seemed to be recesses in the walls. I could hear the sound of flowing water, but I was sure it wasn’t a sewer because there was no bad smell.
I decided to walk down the passageway, illuminating the way with my flashlight. It was exciting and I wondered where the passageway would lead me. After walking for a little while, I found that the way was blocked by large metal bars. It was a dead end. However, when I shone the flashlight around, I noticed a ladder on the wall that led up to another iron door.
Disappointed, I climbed up the ladder and opened the iron door.
I had only walked a short distance, so I expected that when I came out, I would be on the opposite side of the road. However, when I climbed out, I found myself in a place I didn’t immediately recognize. It was familiar, but at the same time, there was something different about it.
Even more surprising was the fact that the sun was setting. I had only been down in the passageway for a few minutes, and it was only supposed to be around noon, but it was already getting dark. Something wasn’t right. I started to get very scared and I decided to go home.
As I looked around, I noticed more strange but subtle differences. The whole neighborhood seemed to have undergone some slight changes. The convenience store on the corner where I always bought sweets simply wasn’t there anymore. In the spot where it should have been, there was a house. I also noticed a road sign on the street that I had never seen before. It was unlike any sign I had ever come across and I couldn’t understand the symbol drawn on it.
When I rushed back to my house, I was horrified to discover that it was also slightly different as well. Instead of blooming flowers in the garden, there was now a huge cactus. A red car with a strange design was parked in the driveway. Beside the front door, instead of a doorbell, there was now a small lever pointing downwards. Two large, garish ornaments like a giraffe with six legs stood on either side of the entrance.
It was certainly my house… the numbers were on the gate… my surname was on the letterbox… but at the same time, it wasn’t my house. Too many details were different. Something was very wrong. I felt like I was losing my mind.
I was too scared to go inside, so I went around the back and peered through the kitchen window. In the living room, I could see my father. He was sitting on the couch, dressed in some kind of long, flowing purple robe. I had never seen him wear such a thing. It was uncanny.
I had a sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach and I felt like I was going to be sick. This wasn’t my home. I was somewhere else… Somewhere I didn’t belong.
At the time, I had been playing an old computer game. In the game, the hero accidentally falls into some kind of alternate reality. It was a world very like our own, but there were very big differences. In the game, it was called The Hidden World.
“That’s where I am!” I thought. “I’ve accidentally slipped into the hidden world!”
I was terrified. I had to get back to my world.
I rushed back across the street to the iron door in the ground and climbed down the ladder. Then, I ran through the underground passage, hurrying back the way I had come. My heart was beating fast and a cold sweat dripped off my forehead. I was so scared, I was almost out of breath. All I could think of was getting back to my own world.
When climbed up the ladder and emerged from the iron door, it was bright daylight. I ran back to my house and found it just the way I had left it. My father’s car was in the driveway, the flowers were back in the garden and the doorbell was beside the front door. Inside, my mother and father were wearing their normal clothes. Everything seemed to be back to normal.
After that, I was afraid to go anywhere near the waste land behind my house. I couldn’t even bear to look at it. I had absolutely no desire to explore the underground passage further. I was afraid that if I ever went down there again, I would get stuck in that world and never be able to return to my own.
Not long afterwards, we moved house and, little by little, I forgot about the underground passage.
Just six months ago, I was in the area and decided to pay a visit to our old house. I wondered if the underground passage was still there. was still there. However, when I got to the house, I saw that the waste land behind it had been used for construction. There were a lot of new houses and the iron door in the concrete had vanished. The other iron door on the other side of the street had disappeared too. It looked as if it had been paved over with concrete.