Nothing At All

May 20, 2008
By Tiera Greene, Marietta, GA

If he had to suffer through one more argument with his sister, Tristan Reynolds was going to go crazy. Eve was the spawn of the devil, and she never seemed to stop talking.

Eve took a sip of vitamin water, flipped her chestnut-colored hair, and continued with her story. “And then he was all, ‘Oh my god, Eve, I did not cheat on you,’ and I was all, ‘Yes, you totally did!’ It was so dumb.”

Tristan rolled his eyes.

“Don’t you roll your eyes at me, little brother,” Eve snapped. “At least I have a social life to talk about.”

“At least I’m not failing Geometry,” he shot back. Eve glared at him and reached for her fork.

“Eve! Don’t you dare throw that fork at your brother,” their father, Martin, scolded.

“Then make him stop being mean to me!” Eve whined.

Martin sighed. “Tristan, could you please-”

Tristan scoffed. “You’re kidding, right? She’s the one who started it!”


“Just forget it,” Tristan said. He rose from the table and stormed off, heading for the basement. He kept a small art studio down there, since drawing and painting seemed to calm him. Also, art kept him from going all homicidal on his family.

He threw open the basement door and started down the stairs. He was halfway down when he realized that he had forgotten to turn on the light. He ran a hand over the wall in search of the switch, found it, and flipped it to the ‘On’ position.

Nothing happened.

Tristan shrugged, figuring the light bulb needed to be changed, and continued his descent. Once he reached the bottom of the stairs, however, it became apparent that something was wrong. Terribly wrong.

The basement, which was normally full of boxes and Tristan’s art supplies, was empty. The walls were bare, the boxes were gone, and the table over in the corner had vanished.

“What on earth?”

Tristan took a few tentative steps forward, the sound of his tennis shoes on the concrete echoing throughout the room. Everything was gone. He glanced back up the stairs, where there was a square of light shining through the doorway. He could hear Eve still yammering on about something or other, so this definitely wasn’t a dream.


Tristan jumped and whirled around, his eyes searching the room frantically for the source of the noise. A large wooden door he hadn’t noticed before had swung open. He stared at it for a few seconds, knowing that if this were a horror movie, walking through the creepy, spontaneously-appearing door in the basement would most likely lead to a painful death.

He decided to check it out anyway. A few steps towards the door brought him no closer to seeing what was there, so he stopped. Then a long, pale hand extended itself into the darkness an beckoned to him. Tristan’s eyes grew wide. He considered yelling for help, but figured that whatever creature could completely empty a room of furniture and make doors appear out of nowhere could probably kill him within seconds, and therefore yelling would be extremely unhelpful.

So he stepped forward. He walked until he was standing on the edge of the doorway, then stopped. Nothing was visible except for more darkness. Tristan took a deep breath and willed himself to move forward. He soon found out that there was no floor. And then, he was falling.

A cry fell from his mouth as he fell for a short while and landed on something that crunched--a plastic something. Tristan groped around in the dark and managed to grab hold of one of the objects. It was a hand. A…plastic mannequin hand? What? Tristan thought. He soon discovered that he was, in fact, sitting atop a pile of plastic mannequin hands, and started to panic. Where am I?

Suddenly, the pile started to rumble. There was a great hissing noise, and the hands began to move beneath him. He had no clue what was going on, but something was telling him to get out, now.

Tristan got to his feet and ran, tripping occasionally as the no longer lifeless hands reached up and wrapped themselves around his ankles. He shook himself free of them and went on, stopping only when he came face to face with a solid wall.

“No!” he shouted. “I’m only thirteen; I’m too young to die!”

And then it was over. He was back on the basement floor, shaking and gasping for air. The lights were on, and all the furniture was back.

Tristan sat up, bewildered, and wiped a few strands of sweaty blonde hair from his eyes.

“Tristan! Are you all right?” Martin came thundering down the stairs and crouched on the floor next to his son.


“Eve and I heard yelling. We thought something had happened,” he explained. Eve walked down the stairs slowly, looking terrified.

“What happened, Tristan?” she asked. Tristan looked away from the two of them and let his gaze fall on the spot where the door was.

But it was gone. He turned back to them and tried not to think about it. “It was nothing,” said Tristan. “Nothing at all.”

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