This is a story I wrote as a 15-year-old high school junior at Uni High.
Sammy walked through the woods on the way to his secret hiding place. It was not really a hiding place, but just a place he liked to go when he wanted to be alone. He had known about the place for as long as he could remember. It was dark and quiet, and there was nobody there to yell at him or nag him or tell him to hurry.
It was really nothing more than a hole in the rock which, from the outside, looked like a small animal’s burrow. Sammy kicked away the stone covering the entrance and went in.
Sammy stood in the little room, inspecting the rock walls. The ceiling had always been just high enough to let him stand without bumping his head, and the walls just far enough apart to permit him to stretch out. Sammy made himself comfortable on the floor and relaxed, thinking how nice it was to have a wonderful place like this.
Suddenly Sammy was jarred out of his meditation by a loud voice at his side. He sat up and jerked around. His jaw dropped open and he stared dumbly at the owner of the voice.
It was a little man, about a foot and a half tall. He had long white hair that partially covered a large pair of ears, and a little red nose that wiggled when he talked. He was dressed in funny white clothes that were like nothing Sammy had ever seen before. He was glaring at Sammy very accusingly. He reminded Sammy of a little white rabbit.
“What are you doing here?” demanded the little man. He waited for an answer, but Sammy was too surprised to reply. So the little man said, “I suppose you are one of these people who try to ignore rational thinking. Very foolish! Nevertheless, I am always cautious to avoid judging people until they have been given a proper chance to explain themselves. Therefore, I ask you: How did you come to be in this place?”
Sammy finally managed to find his tongue. “Well, I just… I just wanted to think, so I came in.”
“But you have missed the point of my query entirely. Have you never considered the fact that this situation is completely impossible?”
“What do you mean?” asked Sammy.
“For example, where is all this light coming from? The only possible source is that small hole in the ceiling. Of course you realize that the hole is not sufficient to light a room of this size. Yet, you can see me quite clearly. Very Illogical.”
Sammy considered this. What the little man seemed reasonable, and it was true that he did not know where the light was coming from. He decided he had to accept the little man’s logic. Abruptly, the room became pitch dark.
“Much better!” said the little man, switching on a very bright flashlight. “But that is not all that is wrong with this place. You seem to be quite comfortable sitting there. Yet I must say that I would find it extremely painful to be in your position.”
Sammy looked around the floor. For the first time, he noticed that it was covered with hard stones. He began to feel sharp rocks digging into him from what had been a soft bed. “It has always seemed so comfortable here,” he said. He was becoming very disconcerted.
“Most ridiculous. It never ceases to amaze me to find how a person will let his imagination fool him. But now, to get back to my original question. I am curious as to how you managed to enter this place. You will notice that the only entrance is a very small hole in the ceiling. Seeing that the hole is so extremely tiny in relation to yourself, it is definitely impossible for you to be here.”
“But I am here!” protested Sammy. He was becoming very upset. He was forced to keep squirming by the sharp rocks poking him in the back, and the little man made him still more uncomfortable by constantly shining the flashlight in his eyes. All this added to his growing confusion. He knew he was there but the little man’s reasoning sounded so logical. He had never stopped to think about how he was getting in. Sammy wished the little man would go away.
“I must be here! I’ve been here lots of times. You know I’m here, don’t you?” pleaded Sammy.
“Ah, but that is entirely irrelevant. The question is whether or not it is possible for you to be here. Furthermore, the answer is obviously “no”. That is purely logical. And I sincerely hope that you will come to understand that no matter how you got in, there is absolutely no possibility of your getting out again. And now, if you will excuse me, I must be going. I simply cannot tolerate existing under such illogical circumstances. Good day.” With that, the little man vanished up the hole.
Sammy jumped up and looked out after him, but could see no trace of the funny little man. Perhaps he had been dreaming. Yet, his arguments did seem logical. For several minutes Sammy turned the experience over and over in his mind. He had no choice but to agree with the logic. Of course it was impossible to go through that tiny hole. Clearly, he was trapped. And of course, nobody knew where he was.
He tried to stretch out on the floor, and was not too surprised to find that the rock walls had closed in on him.