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"The Magic Hat" by Anahata: Dec. 2023 1st Place

It was Tuesday morning in Gravestown, Massachusetts when I heard a knock at my door. I opened the door to find a Christmas hat. It seemed to glimmer in the morning light. “Put me on,” read the note on the hat. I picked up the hat and put it on. The next thing I knew, my head was whirling, and I instinctively closed my eyes.


Opening my eyes, I realized I was whirling through what seemed to be a glittering portal. I blinked. When I opened my eyes again, I was standing on a giant toadstool. I climbed down from the toadstool and started walking around.


Crunch. I looked down and saw a crushed seashell under my foot. Looking forward, I saw a path of seashells leading toward a small hut with what seemed to be gemstones stuck on the roof. As I approached the hut, I heard a sucking noise behind me, and saw the portal close up.


Hoping to find someone that could help me, I went inside the hut. Once I went inside, the hut seemed to be recently abandoned. There was a bowl of soup still steaming on the kitchen table, and several papers in a language I couldn’t read were scattered around.


The only thing written in English was a letter that said “The Portal to the Otherworld has been opened. We must eradicate the threat that came through.” I gasped as I realized what this meant.


I was the threat.

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