Amazing Kids! Magazine

The Lost World & Spider Jungle

By Mason Duke Martin, age 10, New York


I walked downstairs and found breakfast waiting for me on our brown oak table. There was a note from my mom to do all my normal chores, so I went outside to the mailbox painted with the address 11 Willow Street, and inside it was the normal mail. There were some letters from my mom’s friends and some business letters for my dad, but one letter looked strange. It stated, “To None and Everyone.” It was sealed with a big red stamp. I figured since it was addressed to everyone, I should be able to read it. When I got back inside the house, I took my mom’s letter opener and tore it open.

A little piece of paper was furled up inside. I unrolled it and saw a map of an island that I knew did not exist. I knew it was a fictional place because I studied the globe in my room every spare second I had. I knew every island like the back of my hand, and this one definitely did not exist. As I continued my chores and got ready for school, I slipped the map into my backpack in case it came in handy.

When I got to school, everything was normal. I got to class, turned in my homework, dozed through a boring lecture – repeat. Then, the day took a wrong turn: On the way to history class, the white tiled floor of the hallway opened and I fell into a long brown, winding tunnel. At the end of the tunnel, I saw a light and crawled toward it. I was nervous about what could happen and as I got closer to the light, the tunnel got narrower and the roof got lower. As I squeezed out of the tunnel, I fell off of a cliff that must have been twenty feet high.

It felt like I had just fallen 30 meters. Even though I had only dropped twenty feet, I landed face-first in mud. I must have sprained my wrist because when I tried to push myself up, it stung with pain. I looked around and saw a huge, hairy, black spider that must have been two feet tall.

I realized that I must be in a jungle. Thick-vined trees surrounded me and there were little trees about a foot tall. With my good hand, I took a stone and cut a long vine off a tree. I took two tiny trees and tied them to my hand to form a makeshift splint so it could heal. As I walked through the forest, I saw a small, mud hut. It was camouflaged in the wilderness. I walked up to the hut and checked if anyone was inside. There was an old man about fifty years old inside, wearing very old clothes filled with holes.

“How did you get here?” he asked.

“The floor in my school opened and I crawled through a tunnel and fell here,” I said.

“That same thing happened to me about forty years ago when I was fifteen,” he said. He told me that this was a different world. They kidnap one person every forty years, because time was different here. Their days were four times as long.

As we talked my stomach rumbled. The man asked me if I was hungry and after seeing me nod, began to prepare a very good smelling stew. I asked the man what was in it and he answered, “There’s only one type of food around here. The only things that survive in this jungle are spiders, so eat your spider stew.”

I cautiously took a bite. It tasted delicious so I gulped it down. After that, I decided to look at the map again. It showed a forest with the name of Spider Jungle. I asked the man, “What do the natives call this jungle?”

The man answered, “The natives probably call it Spider Jungle.”

As the day went on I decided to make my own hut so I started gathering sticks and tied them together with vines, making sure they would stay by putting mud in the cracks where the sticks were weak.

After 8 hours of grueling work, I had finished all four walls and started making a roof. As I started to make another wall that I could put on top for a roof, a big crowd of men appeared off in the distance. They chanted a strange language that was not from our earth. As they got closer, their faces grew clearer. These creatures looked like a sort of dog-human hybrid. Their arms and legs were like the paws of dogs and their faces were even worse. Their faces were black and hairy but had the features of a human. Their language was a mixture of English and dog barks.

As they came to the other man’s hut, they asked him, “Where barkthe bbarkoy thatbark sbartbarkook?”

The man responded, “Inbark obarkther cbarkabin.” As the dog men began approaching my cabin, I realized the other man was a traitor. The man said, “Come out, it’s safe now.”

The dog men were still approaching my cabin. Suddenly, they surrounded the building snarling at me. They smelled fresh meat, and I was their prey. I thought quickly and surveyed my options. I could climb out, because I had no roof, but I immediately discarded the thought since if I climbed out, I would land on a crowd of dog men that were probably angry.

The only way to get out of my cabin was to dig my way out. I took a stone that was lying on the floor and started to make a hole. I realized that my attempt to escape was going to be useless, so I threw a second stone over the walls that I had made, and the dog men went chasing after it. I guessed that their dog instincts had taken over. Realizing that I had to go now, I quickly climbed out of the little hut and ran off into the forest.

As I ran into the forest, the dog men’s human instincts took over and they started chasing me. I easily outran them because of their short dog-like hind legs. As I was running deeper into the forest I realized that there was a portal shown on the map that I had. Maybe this portal will bring me home, I thought as I set off in the direction that I wanted to go.

A huge spider appeared in front of me, seemingly from out of nowhere. Its mouth filled with green poison and its pincers gleamed. It approached me slowly and quietly. As I backed away, I tripped and fell on a big tree root. I picked up a large rock and threw it at the spider as the stone crushed the spider’s skull. Green venom and black blood splattered everywhere.

I looked at my map and saw that I would have to cross Frostbite Mountain and the Abandoned Desert to get to the portal. As I prepared for the long, long journey ahead, I thought about what would happen if I encountered another group of the dog men. I knew I would need a weapon to defend myself to be more prepared this time.

I started sharpening a stone and found a 3-foot long tree branch. When my grayish stone was completely sharp, I used it to cut a crack in the long side of the stick and put the stone in the crack. Then, I took a vine and secured the stone by tying the stone to the stick. I admired my handy work. It was the first time I had constructed a spear and it looked amazing.

When I finally got out of the forest, I saw more dog men waiting for me. As I prepared to fight them, 3 huge spiders appeared behind me. The dog men started backing up. I quickly realized that the dog men were scared of the spiders. But the spiders were still approaching me. I knew I had to do something so I charged the spiders. As I stabbed one in the venom sack, the second spider bit me in the foot. Good thing I was wearing my durable leather boots. The spider’s pincers barely touched my sock! I stabbed the spider that had almost bit me in the head and then I chased the remaining spider into the woods.

As I started to leave the jungle, I saw a dozen or so huge 1000 or more foot mountains in the distance. As I walked, I imagined what horrors could occur on those mountains, such as avalanches, snowstorms and hailstorms. Maybe I’d even see snow creatures with long hair and big muscular arms. Perhaps that was a silly thought. There was no such thing as giant hairy monsters that lived in the mountains. But yet, there was no such thing as this island or dog men or the spider jungle. The more I thought about it, the more I realized this place didn’t exist. It was just a figment of my imagination.

Suddenly, the scenery around me changed: The mountains morphed into desks and the sky diminished into a rectangular whiteboard. I looked around and saw students hunched over papers while our math teacher wrote something on the board. Had I fallen asleep? It didn’t feel like it. I looked down to grab a pencil under my desk when I saw it, sprawled across my lap: The map of the Spider Jungle.