I hope you are all enjoying these stories by young writers as much as we are! These students are 7th graders at BASIS in Scottsdale, and their assignment was to write a 500 word story or scene inspired by a photo from Issue #47 of HFR. This richly imaginative story is written by Alice Y. and is inspired by "Horse in Hall" by Debbie Fleming Caffery.
* To anyone who had wandered across this hallway in the museum, the rocking horse would just appear to be one of the many unsorted toys, just laying there, forgotten by all. However, this seemingly ordinary plaything is the cause of many premature deaths, its innocent eyes concealing the impending danger that lurks inside it; this rocking horse is one of the few portals that had not been destroyed in the old war. Any child who wanders along this hallway and is foolish enough to play on it is sucked into a portal to the Thirteenth Dimension. But I cannot explain any more of this until I have described the Other Worlds; the Other Worlds exist as the homes of fantastical creatures, those who roamed Earth eons ago until they were banished by wizards to different dimensions. There are thirteen Other dimensions, not including ours, the one known as the Original World, where life began. The creatures were separated by their nature, elves and faeries, the winged ones, shared the first, centaurs, satyrs, and others shared the second, and so on. As expected, not all of these creatures had good intentions, and the ones with the darkest natures were driven to the Thirteenth Dimension, the dimension of nightmares. Demons and Wraiths lurked in every shadow, stalking their next victim, and creatures not heard of since the beginning of time roamed the forests, with dark clouds looming ominously in the distance. Rotting carcasses formed bridges over the rivers of blood and tribes were constantly at war; food was scarce enough that corpses were gathered from battlefields and eaten. This was a world where the weak did not survive. But this would not be what the human lured into this dimension would see; they would find themselves in their ideal world, given whatever they want and accompanied by whoever they want. Their every wish and desire would be fulfilled and they could do whatever they want. They would live in this illusion until the demons grew tired of toying with them and killed them, tearing their still-beating hearts out of their chest, sucking their souls out of their bodies, and feasting on their flesh. Every month, a few children would be lured into the trap. In this world, they would be reported as missing and forgotten, any memories of them dying out with their lives. This inevitable tragedy befalls many hapless children, a tragedy that starts with a simple rock on a rocking horse.