"You partners for this trip are as follows..." Mrs. Grompson rattled off names i narrowly catch my name because i was too busy tying my pretty light green Vans. They seem to be getting untied so often today! I was partnered with Alex. He gave an exaggerated wink to me, i just roll my eyes dramatically.

Today was a new day, and she told us to set our alarms to 7:30. Cause we were supposed to be down and ready by 8. Luckily, Dylan didn't mess with our alarms so we woke up correctly. I threw on dark blue shorts, and a dark green Aeropostale tank top. Scarlett offered to tie my hair back in a French braid. I grabbed my water bottle and put it into a small bag, along with the stuff i packed up last night. Then i headed downstairs for breakfast, which tasted awesome as usual.

The trip today was that we are going to the Dunhuang caves in told us it was this ancient series of caves, and we have like a double sided worksheet to do on it. Each group had a leader, and there were 4 groups, 5 pairs per group. Luckily for us, our leader was Scarlett. Brooke and Cammy got stuck with Grompson, Ha, sucks for them! Our leaders would just show us some interesting facts for the 1st hour, and then let us roam free to finish our assignment.

"Come on,love. Your group is waiting for you!" Dylan mimicked Scarlett accent at her. She glared at him.

"In case you haven't noticed, love, your group is already gone," she shot back.

"OH crap!" and he ran outside to the bus, where his group was waiting. She grinned at us.

"This way guys, our group must be sitting in the..er," she checked her clipboard. "back of the bus. Noah's will be sitting in the front, and Grompson's and Dylan's groups are on the other bus. Crystal?"

"Clear!" we hollered.

"Awesome. Follow moi," she led us to the bus, and we sat in the back. it was a fairly long ride, so Alex and I entertained ourselves by playing Tetris and hockey on his phone. We stopped 3 times in total at rest stops, and finally, we were here.

To say the Dunhuang caves were cool, would be a huge understatement. They were absolutely AMAZING. Magnificent. Outstanding. Beautiful. It was made out of clay, and designs were etched intricately to make pictures and symbols of ancient China. We walked into the visitor's booth, and then after Grompson told us the rules, she let us go.

Scarlett led us inside a cave's entrance. She was very well prepared with facts, because the whole time she was flooding with interesting facts. We were all staring up and down and all around at the dramatic arches and scenery around us to really pay attention to her. We came across a statue of i'm guessing a Chinese Emperor, maybe during one of those dynasties. They were all carved out of stone, their eyes were perfectly almond shaped, and all of them were giving the slightest hint of a smile. It was really something to see. Alex captured a picture of a Buddha statue from the Mid-Tang. It was a little eroded because, oh well i don't know, EXISTING FOR LIKE A FREAKING MILLENNIAL! The upper lip had a chunk missing, and there was a small gap missing by his eyes. But other than that, as brilliant as they can be. There were also these hieroglyphic pictures there, coming in shades of blue,green, and gold usually. They were mostly pictures of emperors, and their queens, in pretty robes and flowers and such. After 1 hour was done, i finished my water bottle, and had to ask Alex to let me waterfall 3 times. My feet were sore, and im pretty sure i was sweating. You know, this would be a nice exercise place for track. Just jogging by statues of ancient Chinese rulers, like "Hey, how's it going?" "Nothing much, some tourist touched my nose despite the sign, Americans, y'know?" "Oh i know all right." "Disgrace to Earth." "Got that right." And then i'd walk past and say "Yeah? Well then your country would go bankrupt cause we're not buying your stuff, idiot" all respect for emperors and average joggers gone.

"Ok, everybody. does everyone know the rules, and when to come back?" Scarlett asked our group when she was done. We said we do, and we were off! Alex and i pretty much finished our worksheet in 30min because of our expert logical thinking on multiple choice questions (guessing), and sharing answers. We were about to head back when i noticed my shoelace was untied,

"Ugh, this has gotta be like the 29th time it came loose!" i grumbled, bending down to tie it. I glanced up to get our bearings while i was tying it. "Um, Alex?"

He was having a staring contest with a statue. Boys will be boys. "Yeah?"

"We aren't lost, are we?"

"Why would you ask that?" he sounded surprised.

"Because there are no tourists around us, and no ropes telling us what we can't touch."

"Then yeah, we're lost."


"Couldn't have said it better myself."

"Shut up. We need to find a way to get back to the Visitor's center," i insisted, looking wildly around for some kind of mark showing the way we had come from. No such luck, it looked all the same. Same symbols, arcs, even the statues seem to be staring at us, as if challenging what we think we should do, and then some were glaring daggers. All of a sudden This beautiful cave seemed haunted. Then i realized it was. After all, tombs of ancient people were buried here for centuries, and statues of the same fricking people were here too. I started to shiver, despite the heat. I'm getting a sinking feeling about this, and we all know those aren't good.

"Um, Izzy?"


"You see the giant door too, right?" I walked to where Alex was standing and look in that direction. Sure enough, was a door disguised as a wall. Hidden pretty good too because no one noticed it for a millenial. We can't be the first ones, right? It was deeply engraved with random ancient symbols, but once you identify it as a door, finding the actual doorknob was pretty easy.

"Well, i guess we'll have to take our chances and go in," i replied, resting my hand on the doorknob.

Alex swats my arm away from the door. "Are you crazy? We're in a 1 million year old cave! Something scary could be in there!"

"Like what, the Slender Man?"

"like spiders as old as fricking Arachne, weird creatures not even known to man, and ghosts!" he protested.

"For your information, Arachne was an actual lady first until Athena turned her into a spider, and ghosts don't exist."

"Well let's NOT find out! I dunno about you, but dying at 14 isn't really on my Top 10 List."

"Dude, we can't just be lost forever. Let's take a chance! It IS summer, after all," i begged. It DID sound pretty cool, am i right? going into a hidden room no one knew about. All adventury and stuff.

"I'm not Phineas and you're not Ferb. Let's find another way."

"Nuh-uh. I'M going in whether you like it or not." turning my back to him, i twist the knob of the door.

"No, Izzy wait!"but it was too late, As soon as it opened a crack, it blew away from my hand, and sucked us into the doorway which was wide open. The last thing i remember seeing was a black abyss which was the inside of the door.