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I love to write, especially about the darker parts of life. Few people want to face the reality of what lays beyond the fantasy of writing. But I differ from these cowards of realism. I do not come to escape. I come to explore.

Professor Bethany J. Rhinehart

November 22, 2019

    Tall trees surrounded me, a black canopy blocking out all light from entering my hiding place. A beast with twenty legs littered in golden spikes growled from outside the mass of trees hiding me away, loyally remaining in their place. I was crouched down, my pockets filled with heavy treasures the beast was guarding. A vicious growl sounded - a warning - encouraging me to come out of my hiding amongst the trees. I watched her twenty legs covered in golden spikes pad along the lush forest floor. I waited for my opening, waiting for the moment I could escape the beastly fiend and return to my camp victoriously where my comrade Dr. Dra Gon awaited.
    The beast began to back away, it's black muzzle lifted in the air in an attempt to find my scent. I saw that my path was clear and made a run for it. My hat fluttered in the gusting winds the raged past me as I made my escape. Intense heat suddenly slashed through the air as the luscious forest ground fell away into a deep pit of molten lava. I stopped short of the pit, looking for any possible route to continue on my course and make it back with my findings. I heard the hungry growl of the fiend behind me, prowling closer and closer as I edged toward the lava pit. My eyes caught sight of the jagged cliffs with narrow steps I could try to climb. It was my only chance and the possibility of being eaten by a voracious creature five times my size didn't sound too appealing.
    I made a wild jump for the cliffs that seemed so far away. My hand clasped onto the rough rocks, dangling just above the blazing pit below. I heard the whine of the fiend behind me, irritated that its dinner got away. I toughed my way over the treacherous cliffs, somehow finding the strength to pull myself up into a standing position. I looked down with wide eyes. I grinned as I looked down at the bubbling pit of red hot lava. I wasn't scared, not in the slightest! I was the bravest explorer to ever explore - Professor Bethany J. Rhinehart - known around the world for my epic adventures across oceans and lands lost to history! A little lava was nothing compared to anything I'd been through.
    With a mighty cry, I flung myself the three yards away from the end of the lava pit. I looked back at the ferocious monster that dared to try and grab me, finding large, black eyes glinting dangerously. I tipped my explorer's hat to her.
    "Maybe another time," I said.
    I continued to trudge onwards to my camp where my comrades awaited my return. I lifted the treasure high into the air, cheers sounding all around me. Dr. Dra Gon ran over to me on his two large, blue legs. He pushed up his glasses on his long, blue, scaley snout.
    "Congratulations, Professor Rhinehart!" he said, joyfully, "You've recovered the fabled -"
    "Sunni, time for lunch!"
    I blinked multiple times, finding Dr. Dra Gon stiff in my hands with my Grandma's glasses on his snout. I looked around at what was once my comrades to find them still on the thick, fluffy carpet in a circle that I stood in the center of. I looked down at my hand where the "treasure" laid. What I once saw as priceless artifacts were, in fact, my Grandpa's watch, the dog's shiny collar, and a few pieces of my favorite candy. I looked behind me to find my aunt's dog, Sadie, running in through the doorway after me. Her long fur still looked like the spikes I once saw.
    "Sunni?" my Grandma called from the kitchen.
    "Coming!" my six-year-old voice called back.
    I looked back at my stuffed dragon. I set him down, abandoning the reality I had created. I got to my feet while petting Sadie. I trudged back to the doorway and walked down the hall. But I didn't want to let go of the world I had felt so apart of. I turned and ran back to the playroom at my Grandparents' house. As I slid to a stop in the doorway, I looked at my stuffed dragon long and hard.
    He winked.
    I giggled excitedly, knowing that the world where Dr. Dra Gon and Professor Bethany J. Rhinehart were the bravest pair of explorers known around the world was waiting for my return. It was easy to leave behind this world I had created with just a blink of an eye because I knew it would be just as easy to return. Until then, I took off the hat belonging to Professor Rhinehart and straightened the hairband that belonged to Sunshine. I smiled again. Maybe I was Sunni right now, but one day, Professor Bethany J. Rhinehart would return to save the world. Well, her world. 


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