I stood facing the ominous task in front of me. A tunnel with white flickering lights were placed periodically along the ceiling. More than half the lights were out, and the ones that were left flickered. The ground was hard, it wasn’t like the ground where I was from. The lights were strange and unearthly, and they seemed to come from only some sort of clear tube. I didn’t understand how the lights even kept the light. There didn’t seem to be any fire in it, and the light was somehow cold. The were cracks in the rock floor, and cracks in the rock wall, and cracks in the rock ceilings. The whole tunnel gave off an eerie foreboding feeling. I wondered if I should turn around, go back to my life, go back to my family, my home.
“Do you really have to go?” my brother asked.
“I don’t have too,” I answered him, “But I want too.”
“Will you at least visit?” he asked.
“I’m not sure I can..”
Where I come from the ground is always soft and theres always dirt, or moss or green grass. Green is everywhere. Trees grow so tall the touch the sky. Deep into the woods where there are no inhabitants, people say there is a tree as tall as a mountain. A tree so large, that a whole village could fit in it trunk. Flowers grow of every color, and the weather is always warm.
The sun that shines is full of light. It is welcome. It brings happiness and it brings warmth and feelings. The sun gives us light in the day.
At night the moon and stars and plants give us light. Stars that are streaked across the sky. There are so many stars, it looks like someone spilled milk. Even some plants give us light. The glow in the dark. Theres flowers and mushrooms and leaves that glow, speckled with light. Its almost as if the sun rained, and it dropped its light in their leaves and petals.
We live in trees too. The trunks in the trees open up to us. Its a perfect life, a perfect ecosystem and a perfect world. We take care of our own, and our own is the world around us.
At the very end of the world there is a tunnel burrowed into the side of the steepest and tallest mountain in the world. This is the tunnel I stood before.
“Haven’t you heard what they say about that world? Do you really want that? Please, think about this Amanda. How do you know you want this?” my brother pleaded with me.
“ Of course I have. I don’t know if I want this.”
“Then why the hell are you going!”
My brother was getting frustrated now. It wouldn’t be long until he stormed off like he always did.
“Just please, for once, listen to me…” his voice trailed off.
No one we know of has ever returned. Very few even venture into the deep ominous tunnel, because of the rumors about what is on the other side.
They say the people there do not care for their world. They drill holes in mountains for metals and rocks. They put evil black smoke in the air for fun. They kill animals for food. They actually eat animals. They truly must be evil.
They say there are spots in the world where there are absolutely no green on the ground, and the ground is hard and black and gray, like a neverending flat rock. They make towers taller than our tallest trees, towers that touch the clouds. The sides of the towers are made of what looks like completely clear ice, but it doesn’t need to stay cold. The people were bent on killing off every other inhabitant in their world, or at least, that's what it seemed.
“Amanda, how could you leave me here, alone. There's no one else but us now. I can’t do this on my own. Please, don’t leave me. Who’s going to help me here? What about everyone else? They need you too. And you’re just going to leave us. Just like that,” my brother started crying. He never cries.
“Michael, there’s nothing left for me here. I’m done. I can’t stand being here anymore. I can’t stand living in this world. This is the only alternative,” I reasoned.
“Alternative to what?”
“So what then? I’m nothing too you!” He finally stormed off, wiping tears off his face.
A tear fell down my face, as I walked into the unknown.