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A Dangerous Game of Hide & Seek This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

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If there's one thing that bothers me, it's claustrophobic situations. Darkness, enclosed spaces, and lack of fresh oxygen are all factors that make me freak out. I hate being trapped.

One Thanksgiving I went to my Aunt's house with my millions of cousins and second cousins. My aunt was famous for her mashed potatoes and thanksgiving rolls, and all of the kids were running around excited for our Thanksgiving Lupper (Lunch/Dinner). My aunt was my brother's older sister... the first of eight children. She also had eight children of her own, and each of her children had an average of 3 kids.... As you can see it was a large brood.

We organized a game of "Sardines" on the giant 25-acre farm. It was a magnificent, impossible game similar to Hide & Seek. There were hundreds of wood shops, barns, antique vehicles, and hidden nooks to hide in. We were running around, kicking up golden leaves in our race to be the first to find the hidden cousin. I was the best finder. The first hidden cousin I found in a grain tower. The second I found in the old barn converted in to a basketball court. It was finally my turn to hide and I had the perfect spot. Nobody would ever find me.

I snuck off, darting between buildings in an evasive action. Finally I found the small rundown shed I had been looking for. It was hidden in the off-skirts of the farm and was crammed floor to ceiling with old woods boards and bird poop. I crept through and found what I was looking for... an old antique blue car. I remembered this spot because my aunt had hidden my Easter loot in here back in April. I opened the door and crept inside. The inside was dusty, but otherwise clean. The leather seats were comfy, with no spiders. I knew it would be a comfortable place to sit while I waited for them to find me. Most likely I would be so well hidden that they would just give up.

I climbed in and slowly pulled the door shut. Ah, relaxing. Suddenly, claustrophobia built up in me. I was in an old antique car with no way out. To satisfy my irrational claustrophobia I reached to pull open the door, but then realized.... the door handle had been removed!

Panic built inside me. Was this a normal thing that people did with antique cars? Remove the handles? I took deep, stifled breaths. The air was stale. I pushed on the window, which gave a little, and tried to suck in some fresh air from outside. Instead, I got a snoot full of dust.

I tried to calm myself, figuring that I would soon be found, but instead adrenaline was coursing through me, along with panic and fear. I had to get out. I was trapped. I was hot. I was going to die!

I began kicking furiously at the windows with every ounce of my strength. The windows didn't budge. How come in movies people can punch through a window so easily? In case you're wondering, those windows would of had to have been made of foil. I kicked for about 10 minutes straight, causing a huge racket. I climbed to the back seat looking for an exit. My breath was ragged, I was overheated and could hardly breathe. I punched at every surface- the roof, the back hatch, the windows. I was trapped like a mouse in a mouse trap. Except... nobody was there to get me out.

Finally I resorted to calling for help. "Help!!! Help!!!" I screamed hysterically, louder than I knew was possible. Surely, people had to be able to hear me from a mile away? Nobody came. What was worse, past the old wooden boards, the firmly shut wood-shed door, and the woods, my family was probably sitting and chatting nearby, not knowing of my plight.

"He-elp!!!!" I screamed hysterically, my voice breaking awkwardly. I began a rhythm. Screaming at the top of my lungs for someone under this forsaken earth to free me, while beating at the windows with every inch of my strength. I was confined. Maybe years later they would find my skeleton still sprawled across the hot, sticky leather seats of the antique car.

"Help!!! Help!!! Help!!!" I screamed, my voice high. I prayed, God just let me out.

Suddenly, I heard a noise. I froze, and couldn't believe my ears. "Help?!" I asked hopefully.

It was laughter. My sister and brother had entered the woodshed and were laughing at my plight from afar.

"Open the door!" I yelled. I wasn't sure if they had heard me. "Help! Open the door!!!" I screamed.

What if the door wouldn't open for them either? I thought. Would the fire department come and free me? Or would I die of heat exhaustion or a panic attack before then?

"Please! Open the door!" I yelled as my sister came forward peering in the windows and laughing hysterically.

"It's not funny! Let me out!" I screamed.

"What are you stuck?" She sneered, laughing.

My face was red, I was panting, panicked, and now.. humiliated and embarrassed.

"Please!!!" I said, kicking the stupid window to no avail. "The door is stuck!"

My brother must have felt sympathy, because he tugged the door open and I leaped out like a jack-in-the-box. My face red, my heart racing madly.

"There's no handles on the door!" I explained, breathlessly. Wanting to run out into the open sunshine immediately.

My sister was still laughing. A group of cousins had gathered by the door, hearing the ruckus.

"Found you!" One of them cried.

I had forgotten all about the stupid game of hide and seek. There was no way I was playing that hazardous game again. Who knew how long it would have taken for them to find me if I hadn't screamed and thumped and rocked the car. It had still taken them 30 minutes, with all the noise I was making to try and make them find me.


"I'm not playing anymore." I said, my face red and my adrenaline still coursing in me.

And with that I sprinted out of the woodshed as fast as I could and into the wide open air. Ah... freedom. Never again would I be in a confined space like that again.

At that moment Thanksgiving Lupper was called. I wasn't hungry after that adrenaline rush, but I still went and grabbed a plate of turkey, bread stuffing, and my aunt's famous rolls.

That Thanksgiving I insisted on eating outside on the front steps by myself. I don't think I could of managed being trapped in an enclosed space (or house) for a while.



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