It was half-past nine on a sunny day that all the excitement began. It was the 15th of May, and like every year, Summer Valley School, New York City, was hosting a summer camp for all the children.
The school selected children who were scholars to go to the school camp, and those who did not get selected had the option of paying for the camp. There were hundreds of children who wished to be a part of the summer camp, but because of their financial conditions, not many children could not afford it.
Everyone was thrilled to go to the camp. They stuffed their bags and got ready for their adventurous journey.
Dona, Alice, and Acreena were best friends. They had known each other since kindergarten. They were thick as thieves and were very protective of each other. The three of them had not scored good grades in school that academic year, but they got lucky! Though they could not afford camp, their teachers chose them because of their superpowers.
Dona was a thirteen year old who stayed in an apartment with her parents. She was a short-sighted girl with golden hair and she wore dark-rimmed spectacles. She was serious, smart, and brave. She could read books in different languages, and she loved solving mysteries. She hated cleaning her room, and her room was always filled with books lying around the floor and furniture. She had a tattoo on her right arm which glowed in the dark. She was a very inquisitive and friendly girl.
Alice was a thirteen year old girl who stayed in a hostel in New York City. She was thin, short, and fair, Her hair colour changed with her clothes. She never gave up and was very argumentative. She liked experimenting with things, and she could make a chemical potion at any time. She hated reading books, but always carried a sling bag which reminded her friends of Pandora’s Box.
Acreena was the epitome of beauty with brains. She had the unique ability of connecting and tracking gadgets, and could bring any toy to life. She had silky hair and brown eyes. She was a very secretive and smart girl.
The first day went well. Dona, Acreena and Alice were assigned the same tent. They built rafts, climbed rocks, and zip-lined. They were all divided into four groups and all four groups had different teachers. Dona, Alice and Acreena were in the same group, and their teacher was Miss Nancy.
All the girls slept under the stars and had fun with their teacher during the night. They talked about mysteries the whole time, and scared their fellow friends.
The next day, Alice, Acreena and Dona woke up and found the camp oddly quiet. Alice stepped out of the tent and looked at the breakfast area – the food was half-eaten, but no one was seated at the table, nor were there any camp monitors sounding the alarm bell! Alice started crying, and for many hours, they were stuck inside the camp without anyone close by. Dona, being very inquisitive, wanted to explore the jungle. So, Alice and Acreena decided to follow Dona, because she was the bravest of them.
After many hours of walking, the three of them became hungry. Suddenly, Acreena’s eyes fell upon an apple tree, and all of them were so hungry, that they ran towards it as fast as cheetahs.
While plucking apples from the tree, Alice fell into a tunnel. In search of Alice, Dona and Acreena also decided to jump into the tunnel. All of them slid towards a dark room covered with spiders.
Alice was allergic to spiders, so Acreena turned the ones in the cave into toy spiders. Dona’s tattoo started glowing in the dark. Right then, they saw a box in front of them. It was brown and very dusty on the outside. They managed to open the box with the help of Alice’s potions.
There was a piece of paper inside which read
“Hello travellers! Welcome to the mysterious tunnel. To get out of here, you need to solve many mysteries. Here’s your first hint:
Press the red button beside you, and your journey begins. Beware! You may need to pass many hurdles and difficulties to reach your goal.”
After reading this, Acreena pressed the red button, but nothing happened. So Acreena tried to fix it and then pressed it again.
Suddenly, a bunch of keys fell down. At first, they did not understand what to do. Then, Dona examined the keys and saw that there were words written on the keys in Latin. Dona took a paper and pen, and started writing all the letters down.
The three of them tried to find the whole word. After half an hour, Dona finally got the word- it was “inside walls correct“. They were very confused. They tried to figure out what the phrase meant.
Alice thought to check the walls. All the walls were brown, and they were covered with dust. Alice prepared a potion that made the walls look brand new, and they could see many words written on the walls. Dona realized that they needed to find the word “correct” on the walls. They were struggling to solve the puzzle, but Acreena did not give up. Finally, they found the solution and could see the word ‘’correct’’. Still, they could not understand what it meant and what they must do next. Then, Acreena thought of another hint.
At last, she realised what the solution was. The note had said “inside the walls”, and that meant they needed to open the walls. So all of them pressed the word “correct” and the wall opened up. There was a key that was covered with protection glass. The glass had a code, and inside the glass, there was a transparent key-shaped box.
Acreena thought that she could crack the glass box and find out the code. She asked Alice if she had a foldable table in her bag. Alice was not sure, and when she opened the bag, it was a mess. However, they managed to find the table. Acreena was so fast that she hacked the code within minutes. The code was “come 2 me.” All of them had their fingers crossed as Acreena started typing the code.
Finally, it was correct! They felt relief knowing that it was. The glass opened automatically, and the key-shaped box came out. They found a piece of paper that said,
“WELL DONE TRAVELLERS! YOU ARE IN THE FINAL STAGE. THERE IS A COMPASS BESIDE YOU. IF YOU GO NORTH, YOU GO TO THE MOTHER’S TOMB. IF YOU GO SOUTH, YOU WILL REACH THE DRAGON DUNGEON. IF YOU GO WEST, WHERE THE SUN SETS, YOU WILL REACH THE DARKEST SEA. HOWEVER, IF YOU GO EAST, THE BEAST WILL SHOW YOU THE FEET TO THE RIGHT LEAD.”
After reading this, Dona was the only one who wished to go to the dark sea, as she wanted to explore it. However, Alice and Acreena were very tired. They decided to go east. As they were heading east, their heart pounded. They were terrified to face the “BEAST.”
Suddenly, they saw a shadow. It was gigantic, and it had a big, sharp nose with long, dark hair. They turned towards it and took a deep breath. It was the most horrible odour they had ever smelt. They were terrified and let out a loud shriek.
The beast grabbed all three of them and started walking away. The three had to come up with a plan to get out of the beast’s clutches. Alice prepared a potion through which the beast became deaf. She took out a drill and made a hole in the tunnel which let the sunlight in.
The sunlight blinded the beast. He fainted and fell on the ground. Suddenly, the tunnel started shaking because of his weight, so the girls quickly ran away from the beast, towards their camp.
They were very happy to see their teachers and friends, to whom everything seemed normal. The teachers didn’t seem to notice that the girls had been missing.
Now the girls were confused! Was it a dream, or had it all really happened?
Divisha Aggarwal was born on the 16th of September, 2009. She is 11 years old and studies in Modern School Vasant Vihar, New Delhi. She has tried her hands at writing a story for the first time and thoroughly enjoyed herself. She is a very creative and inquisitive girl. She loves solving mysteries. She enjoys cycling, swimming, baking, painting and decorating her room. She has an ear for music and has been learning to play the piano. She loves spicy food and spending time with her brother, although they fight a lot. She has finished all the books in the Rainbow, Bad guys and Secret Seven series. Divisha is a kind-hearted, friendly, and confident child who can make friends very fast.