The magical house in the lost city of Atlandia | Teen Ink

The magical house in the lost city of Atlandia

May 18, 2021
By HSquire, Tooele, Utah
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HSquire, Tooele, Utah
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Author's note:

This piece is very detailed, and it has a lot of adeventure in it. It is a perfect beginning to a story for anyone who loves fantasy.

Every time I go into my basement, my mind is flooded with the memory of the day my life began to change forever. It was on the fourteenth of June, in the year 2043. This was also the summer before my junior year of high school. This magical discovery started with me being bored. I was looking for something to do, so I went into the basement to look. I would have been working at my exciting summer job as a national park ranger, but I was on my vacation then. The basement, I thought, was the most interesting room in my house. It is fairly big, with a lot of interesting things in it. 

So then I turned on the light and walked down the stairs into the basement. My first thought when I got down there was to look for a good book to read. This basement had a massive library, and I loved coming down there to get lost in a book when I needed a break from work. There was a shelf with many fantasy books on it. I grabbed a random one titled, “ The great book of magical things”. I opened it up and started to read. On the first page, there was a mysteriously bright light that lit up the entire page as I read. There were many interesting words that I read. This particular page talked about an amazing portal that took you to any place you wanted to go that was in a fantasy world. I loved this book and began to read more about this portal. I got so caught up in it, that I started to look around the basement to explore it some more and see what kind of other magical things I might come across.

 Before I get too much further into this fabulous fantasy, I suppose I should introduce myself. My name is Brianna Madison. My mother named me after my aunt Brianna. I was born on the 31st of July in the year 2027. My mother tells me that she loved to raise me a little bit more than my other siblings, because I was a quiet, obedient child. I never wanted to get punished. She also loved that I talked with her as often as I could, after all, she was my mother. I have a big family. I have 7 other siblings. I am one of the middle children of 4 girls and three boys. All three boys are younger than me, and I have one older sister. My youngest brother, Ethan is nine years old. And, man, it can be hard to live with him some days. He goes around the backyard and house multiple times every day, and makes a lot of little messes along the way. He never cleans up his messes. So, on the weekends, when I just want to be relaxing, we instead have to spend hours cleaning up after him.   Anyway, back to talking about me. I have blonde hair and hazel eyes. I got this from my father, and I thank him for it.

 Some days, I wish I could just spend most of my time with my dad, but I have a job, and school, so it just wouldn’t work out. So, here I am, bored at home on vacation. I look around in the library, and I suddenly realize that the book I had picked up earlier and started reading is back on the shelf. That's weird, I thought. I didn’t even put it back on there. I am busy looking for the book again, when I am pulled in by a woodsy looking door that looks like it almost enchanted. 

The wood on the door is from a spruce tree, and it looks almost beautiful. The door doesn’t have a lock on it, but it does have a knob.  Before I turn it, I think for a few seconds about whether I should change my clothes before going into the portal. Right now, I am wearing my favorite tie-dye shirt and a pair of jean shorts, as well as my favorite earrings that are red roses. I am also wearing my favorite pair of light blue sneakers, but now I realize that maybe I should change into something that I wouldn’t mind leaving behind in this portal. I ignore the impulse, and since I don’t know whether I will be able to wear my favorite clothes without them getting left behind in another world, I decide I will just walk in.I turn around the knob, and the door opens, as if a voice from the other side of it wants me to come in. I take a step in, realizing I should call my mom to let her know where I am. I take out my phone and dial her number. 

“Brianna. I am so happy you called”, she says, right after the first ring. Her name is Jessica, and she works as a seamstress for whatever plays the high school puts on every year. She is really good at it, and I sometimes wish I could be able to sew like her. “Yeah, mom. I just wanted you to know where I was in case I can’t get home in time for dinner tonight”. “You see, I was in the basement, looking for something to entertain myself, when I stumbled upon a book that told me about an enchanted portal that could take me wherever I wanted to go. This portal is amazing, because you can go wherever you want forever, as long as you live in the house. I just walked through a door that led me to where I am now”. '' Here is a question. Where exactly are you”?, she asks, and I can hear the concern in her voice. “ I am at the library. You see, I wanted to spend more time with dad, and I wished that I could have some downtime at one of my favorite places. So now, here I am”. “ Ok, Brianna. You can stay there, as long as you find a way to get home before dinner tonight”. “ I will. Bye, love you”. “Love you, too”. She hangs up. 

My dad, Adam, is a librarian at the community library.  I find him at the front desk and explain what I am doing there. He asks, “ How did you get here? I don’t see your car outside”. I am going to have to really start thinking of my response, because he might not believe me. While I would have normally driven my blue Volkswagen Beetle, I did not get here that way. This is going to be a long explanation, so I take a deep breath and start talking. 

“ I was bored and looking for something to do. So I went into the basement, and a really interesting book caught my attention. It told me of an enchanted portal that could take me to wherever I wanted whenever I wanted to go. At that time, I was wishing I could be at the library, because not only did I want to spend some more time with you, but I needed a place to escape for a while. That is how I got here, to answer your question”. 

My dad’s face goes from serious to intrigued. “ Let me get this straight. Are you telling me that you found an enchanted portal in our basement that could take you anywhere you want, whenever you want to go there, and that this portal can be used indefinitely unless you don’t live in the house”?

 “Yes, that is exactly what I am saying”.

 “ Well, Brianna, thanks for letting me know how you got here. But how long was this portal in our house for? Did I miss seeing it all this time while we were living in it? How did you find the portal? Was it written about in a book,or did you just find it instantly? Why didn’t I know about this earlier? Does mom know about this? Can you get back home after you jump into the portal? Do we have magical powers and not even know it”? My dad had so many questions. I didn’t know how I was going to answer them all, so I just started looking towards the shelves.

 “You’re welcome. I am going to just keep looking for books to read over there”, I say, pointing to the nearby shelves. I couldn’t wait to start reading a wonderful book. It is a good thing I enjoy reading, because with my dad as the librarian, we can check out books for free, and we also have slept over for a few nights in this place as well. Those are some of the best privileges and perks when your dad is a librarian.

 “ Ok. Have fun. Your mother and I will have to look in the basement tonight and find this portal you have been talking about. I don’t see how we have missed it all these years we’ve lived here”. His eyes still look surprised and intrigued, as he puts his hand on his chin, deep in thought.

 “ Well, Atlandia is a pretty interesting town to live in'', I say, about to gather my things and read some books. “Yes. That’s true”, dad says, going back to the scanner at the side of his desk. There is a huge pile of books next to him, and he starts to scan them, checking them in.

Meanwhile, I walk to the back of the library and start looking around. Where should I start?, I wonder, because I love everything about the library. There are so many books here, that you could never stop reading for a long time. After a few minutes of consideration, I decide that I will start at the fantasy section. After all, that is where I spend most of my time in a library. It has always been fun for me to read fantasy books and escape into the world of another character. I feel as though I could escape and finally be satisfied with my life, because every time I escape into the world of another character, no matter what ending the book may have, I always feel happy after reading it. There are rows of many well-worn, torn, and well loved books. I open up a few of them, and some of the pages are so old that they fall out of the book automatically. In that case, I just pick them up and put them back in. A few rows later, I am stopped by a book called “The secret garden”. This looks interesting. I read the back and figure out the plot, and even then it still looks good enough to read. I find a beanbag chair and start reading.

A few hours later, I wake up, unaware of what time it is or where I might be now. I look around me, and see many tall trees surrounding me on all sides. Many trees, ranging from spruce to pine to aspen trees. I look ahead of me, only to figure out that there is a long dirt road that stretches for what could be many miles ahead. On each of the sides of the road there are many beautiful wildflowers. I look further and see forget-me-nots, Indian paintbrush, and little orchid flowers. This place looks a lot like, and reminds me strongly of my job. I don’t think I am in a national park, but I don’t know for sure. My parents would not have just dragged me into my work uniform and sent me to work without me knowing, would they? No, that can’t be right. After all, I am still in the same clothes I was in when I entered the portal. I look up, and I see that it is still light outside. That is a good thing, because otherwise, I don’t think I am going to get home tonight. 

So now the question is where exactly am I? If I am not in a national park, where am I? And am I going to be able to find my way home? Better yet, will I get home tonight?  I recoil at the thought of not making it home. I probably should have read more of that book before I jumped into the portal. I didn’t know what kinds of effects it would have when I got in. And now, I regret not reading those last few pages. Only now I need to focus on the task at hand: finding a way out of this forest and finding a way towards home. I don’t know how to start, so I just take a few steps forward, and just keep moving. 

I walk a few miles ahead of me, my aching muscles growing more and more tired every minute I walk. The sun is beginning to feel even hotter. I wish I brought something refreshing to drink to quench my incredibly thirsty body. But all I have is my cell phone, and I can’t call anyone because there is no service here. I think I will just keep walking and see if I get any closer to home. I need to remember what forests there are around Atlandia, or in it, so that I can find out where I am. I think of all the cabins surrounding Purple Lake, and realize that I could be there right now. I have always dreamed about visiting there and camping in a cabin by that lake. I look around again, and see a large body of water straight ahead of me. THis is good, because I feel like I’ve been walking for hours. The water looks especially inviting today, considering the reflection is a beautiful serene blue you would only see in a fairy tale. A rock that is next to the lake with a fancy sign on top says, “ Purple Lake, Atlandia. Yes, I think. I am going to make it home for dinner tonight.

I lace up my sneakers and keep walking until I reach the sign. There are many people in their swimsuits swimming in the lake. I decide to look around for my family. I find them a few minutes later, and they are all taking pictures by the lake.

“Sorry we didn’t tell you where we were going earlier today”, my mom says, eyeing my tired looking body. “ The family wanted to come here to swim and take pictures, but we weren’t sure where you were”.  “That’s ok, mom. I was enjoying my book, and got so caught up in it that I fell asleep. When I woke up, I wasn’t in the library anymore. I did not know where I was, so I kept walking forward, hoping to figure it out. I eventually remembered that the area surrounding Purple Lake looked just like where I was, so I walked until I got here and found all of you”. “ We are so happy you found us. Dad and I were about to call the authorities to come and look for you”, my mom says with relieved eyes.

 I look out into the water in front of me. The water looks really clear, and I can clearly see the lighthouse on the other side of the lake. The sunset is a nice light orange, blending into a beautiful lavender shade. I see my clear reflection, thinking of how beautiful nature is when you really pay attention to it.

” Today was actually a really fun day”, Jocelyn says. “ What did you do today that made it fun?” , I ask her curiously. Jocelyn wears glasses, because her vision was bad enough that mom made her get glasses. She is fourteen years old, which is four years older than her sister Hayley, but the two of them are really close as sisters. Jocelyn asks me if I am still listening, and I tell her that I spaced out a minute ago. She then continues talking. “ Me and Hayley went for a long walk in the mountains. It was really magical. The trees, wildflowers, and rocks looked like things you would find in a fairy tale. We hiked the same trail that we hike in the mountains that are closest to where we are. The part where it got really fun was where we found a cool rope swing that hung over a small river. I felt like Indiana Jones while I was on it”.

 “ That’s cool. I woke up from last night in a forest, and I didn’t know where I was. So I kept walking, and then I remembered where I was”. Hayley kicks a pebble off the rock we’re standing on into the water and asks, “How did you get there”? I explain to her the same story I told mom and dad. She looks surprised, even awed, when I get to the part about the portal. “ I didn’t know we had a secret portal in our basement. That is really awesome. How have I not known this was there”? 

“ I only discovered it today when I was bored”, I replied, telling her that none of us knew it was in our house the whole time we had lived there up to this point. “ Let’s go home, and I can show it to all of you”. After I said that, mom drove us home, and I showed the family the magical parts of our house that no one knew about.

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This book has 1 comment.

on Jul. 22 2021 at 2:50 pm
SparrowSun ELITE, X, Vermont
200 articles 23 photos 1053 comments

Favorite Quote:
"It Will Be Good." (complicated semi-spiritual emotional story.)

"Upon his bench the pieces lay
As if an artwork on display
Of gears and hands
And wire-thin bands
That glisten in dim candle play." -Janice T., Clockwork[love that poem, dont know why, im not steampunk]

yeah, i have a portal like that too. a ton, actually. i call them books.

uh.... why are they so normal about finding a portal in the basement?