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Spotlight: The Dark Passage

Hannah B., Illinois

Choose Your Own Adventure


You wake up in the dark with no recollection of where you are or how you got there. You think about your options. You can either 1 feel around your surroundings or 2 check your pockets for something useful.


You move your palms over the ground and feel the cool, rough surface. It is hard, uneven, and stone comes to mind. You remember the lighter you keep in your pocket and think it would help shed some light on your situation. Go to 3


You check the left pocket of your jacket and feel some coins. Doubting their current practicality, you move on to your right pocket. This time you don’t leave. You take out a lighter. Go to 4


Luckily you’re wearing the jacket you keep the lighter in. You check the right pocket where you’ve always kept it, and it’s there. You take it out. Go to 4


You can tell from its weight that the lighter is low on fuel. You flick it on and allow your eyes to adjust to the dim light. Looking around, you seem to be in some sort of linear underground tunnel carved from stone. You have the choice to either go 5 left or 6 right.


The path left is straight. You move cautiously, only using the lighter occasionally to preserve fuel and avoid overheating it. Every time you use it, the tunnel seems to be narrower than the last time. You wonder if going forward really was the right choice. You can either 7 continue forward or 8 turn back.

The path right is straight. You move cautiously, only using the lighter occasionally as to preserve fuel and avoid overheating it. You walk for what seems like hours, but every time you light the way everything still looks the same. The lighter is on its last bit of fuel and you wonder if you should even use it anymore for now. You can either 9 continue to use the lighter or 11 stop using it and save the fuel for later.

You continue forward. The ceiling, which you could see before, has opened up into a dark shaft. A rock falls from the void above, landing forebodingly close. The passage soon becomes so narrow you have to walk sideways between its looming stone walls. You can’t stop wondering if you should have gone back earlier. You can either 10 continue forward or 12 turn back.


You turn back, deciding to put away your lighter since you’ll just be backtracking. After a bit, the silence is broken when what sounds like thunder reverberates from behind you. You’re just glad you made the choice early on to get out of there. Go to 13


It’s a good thing you decided to continue using the lighter, because the next time you turn it on you are shocked to discover a deep opening in the ground right in front of you. You can’t tell if the tunnel continues on the other side, but even if it does, you doubt it would be smart to try and leap over. You put away the lighter and begin backtracking. Go to 13


Pressed tightly between the walls, you reach a dead end. Your only choice now is to go back. The lighter is nearly out of fuel so you put it away. All of a sudden, a loud rumble reverberates from your way out. You squeeze yourself from the narrowest portion of the tunnel and walk until you stumble over something. You flick on your lighter and the remains of a rockslide are briefly illuminated. Your only source of light goes out. No more fuel. You try to clear the path in the darkness, but it’s no use. Every time you remove a rock another tumbles down in its place. Ending 1: Trapped

Try again?


You put away the lighter and walk some more. Suddenly you slip and lose contact with the ground. At first it feels as though you’re flying, but that can’t be. You come to the realization far too late– you’re falling. Ending 2: Freefalling

Try again?


You regret going forward and decide it would be better later than never to turn back. Your lighter is nearly out and since you’ll just be backtracking you put it away. After some walking, the tunnel widens. You feel relieved to be out of that claustrophobic section as a faint rumble comes from above. Go to 14


As you walk, a sense of déjà vu comes over you. You feel as though you’ve been here, in this exact same situation before. You can either 15 stop and remember or 16 continue walking and try to ignore it.


You’re hit first by a shower of pebbles, and then some larger rocks. You’re struck over the head by a small boulder, and before you know it, your body’s been lost in a mound of rocks. Ending 3: Crushing Defeat

Try again?


You wake up to your alarm clock and realize that it was all just a dream. You’ve been having this same dream a lot lately and wonder if it means something. You eat breakfast and prepare yourself for the long workday ahead. Ending 4a: Just a Dream

Try again?


You wake up and realize that it was all just a dream. You’ve been having this same dream a lot lately, but don’t have time to think about it now. You’ve somehow managed to sleep through your alarm clock and are late for work. Ending 4b: Just a Dream

Try again?

Enlightium Academy is proud of the writing our students do and wants to give them the chance to publish their work. All Enlightium students in grades 7–12 are invited to submit their writing through the Spotlight Program. Every month, one piece of student work will be chosen to be published. Check out our main page on the Spotlight Program for more details.

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