Name: Louisa Busuttil
Age:   9 
Title:  The Hollow Tree

I woke up. It was a beautiful morning. In a rush I remembered that that morning was my birthday. My sister rushed in followed by my parents. My sister straightened my bedsheet. Then my mum placed a tray on my laps. On it lay a stack of pancakes and a jug and glass full of cranberry juice, with a card that said ‘Happy Tenth Birthday.’ 
 
I ate and then scrubbed myself in the shower and dressed myself in my pink jumpsuit. I rushed downstairs and helped pack a picnic bag, then we hit the road. We came to a hilly park. We ran deep through the trees, and we found a hidden piece of meadow and settled down there. I ran off to climb a tree. I climbed to the very top and then somehow, I fell hooked into a hole. I twisted in and then I fell down and down. I passed moving oak faces and they were gasping and murmuring between themselves, apparently in another language. Suddenly I fell on a wooden floor and was out like a light.  I woke up. It seemed like days later. I still was on the crumbly wooden floor. Ahead there was a tunnel. In front of me there was a stick and a packet of matches. I felt brave. I picked up the packet of matches and lit the stick. Then I began walking down the tunnel slowly.  After about an hour I came to an arch way and then I stepped into a room that looked like it was made of mirrors. Light bounced of every wall and almost blinded me. I was really awed by the room. I passed through and stepped into the next room. In this room the walls were quite amazing. There was no light hanging but the walls seemed to simmer and there was enough light to see. I crossed carefully, through and found myself in a triangular room, were the walls in there were coted with x’s and o’s (hugs and kisses) and pictures of food, then an enormous library looking like it might collapse with all those books. Near this archway there was an enormous slab of rock that looked like it would take a dozen people to carry it. As I was at the other end, the slab of rock glided silently and closed. As it closed, a white envelope fluttered down onto the floor. I picked it up and out slid a note. It read:  

  Dear player    

  You are being watched .

  I am aware that you know how the escape room challenge works .You have 5 hours 43 minutes and 40 seconds to escape .If you don’t manage the walls will cave in and squash you alive.  here is your first clue:  

 

  DON’T FORGET TO READ IN BETWEEN THE LINES  

 

  Sincerely,      

  Master game

 


I was really puzzled by the clue. I shook the envelope for more clues and out rolled a blacklight pen and a mirror. I suddenly knew what I had to do. I picked up the blacklight pen and shone it on the space between the lines of the letter. A message written backwards appeared. I grabbed the mirror and put the stick on a holder and shone the torch on the paper. I turned the mirror facing the paper and saw that the words appeared clear. I read to check behind the pOster xXx…I was confused. I read it again and again until my eyes went blurry. Then after the third time I saw that the x was capital, and so was the o then I knew what I had to do. I pulled down the xoxo poster and found a letter like the one that fell from the ceiling. I picked it up and found another letter like the last one except it said this:          
  
  
 Dear player,  

 Well done for figuring that one out but the clues are going to get harder and                                     and time is ticking. Here’s your next clue check in the 2 6 place.  good luck!

 

 Sincerely,

 Master game 

 


 
I thought of the queer clue and then thought that maybe he was talking about the library, but that was impossible. After a few minutes that was still all I could think of. So, I went over to the library and saw that it had three rows and six columns. My heart skipped a beat I ran over to the second row and went to the last box. There were four books there, I pulled them all down and I checked behind them and saw that there was nothing. Then I wondered if there was another letter in one of the four books. I decided to check them. Then a voice from somewhere, boomed that I have two hours left and that I’d better hurry up. I flipped through three books when I came to the last book saw that had the title of the escape room, and strangely there was no author on the cover. I just flipped through and when I came to page twenty-six there was another letter that read this: 
 
 

 Dear player,  

 

 You’ve come so far, but I’d hurry up if  I were  you here’s your next clue: You’ve come so far  don’t give up now, you goal is well hidden and not visible to who’s on the ground, try climbing, the  library will do, but you might need a chair or two, dig in the circle and  you’ll be out of here in a  minute or two.  

 Sincerely ,      

 Master game.  


I had no choice, but to try to climb the library. I made several attempts to get on and finally I managed. I looked down on the floor and saw the green shape drawn on the floor the same shape that Master game had drawn. I looked around the room looking for a spade, when I saw a gold one hanging right above me. I grabbed it and the voice boomed out that I have one hour. I jumped down and ran to the circle and dug and dug and dug. Until finally, I hit something hard. 
 
I pulled it out and I saw it was a beautiful gold button. After I pressed it, the rock slid open and I sprinted through the glittering wall room and then the mirror room, down the corridor and then into the hole I had fell through, I gulped as I saw the dent I made. I grabbed a rope that now was dangling down the hole and climbed up. My mum was calling me to have are picnic, so I slithered down the tree and ran to my mum. I told her that I was sorry I took so long, but she laughed at me she said that I was a silly pumpkin and that I was only gone five minutes. I smiled to myself and started on a sandwich. 

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