This year, whether you’re young or old, try your hand at illustrating the chapters of this story, told in turn by six authors. And maybe see your drawing published in our magazine. This month, it’s Emma, 9 years old, from Barcelona, who created images to go with Alex Cousseau’s words.
Boating on the lake
8. A journey to the center of the earth
The door opens, and a blast of stifling heat hits Itipulco, misting up his eyes. The breath knocked out of him, he jumps back. But the ground gives way beneath his feet. He falls over, and feels himself slipping. He is sliding into darkness, toward the heat that feels more and more intense, forcing him to cover his face with his hands. He can’t see a thing. He hears the door close behind him with a dull thud, but continues to slide downward. “Itaki!” He instinctively yells out to his sister, but recalls what she had told him. Itaki had warned him that she couldn’t accompany him any farther. But why not? Why had she led him here, to this furnace? Why did she abandon him in this dark tunnel leading deep into the earth? Was it to get rid of him? “Itaki! Help!”
Itipulco continues to slide downward for an endlessly long minute, then collides with a series of obstacles. It is as if arms were grasping him from all sides, holding him back. He rebounds several times, then comes to an abrupt halt. He opens his eyes, and finds himself in a pool of light. Itipulco is caught in a bright web, a mesh of yellow and white roots, at the bottom of an underground cave. He is at the center of the earth; somewhere under the volcano, under the lake. He can see the tunnel he had traveled down, and others, here and there, like different ways out. Water trickles down the walls and Itipulco makes the most of it to refresh himself. And then he hears someone murmur his name from behind: “Itipulco . . . here you are at last.” To be continued.