The Path Was Lined With Tulips – by Emilia Brewer (Middle School)

The road was bright and cheery, yet every man who walked there could almost see the frown behind its smile. It was too welcoming to accept, yet too intriguing to deny. Eli knew that many others had walked the path that lay before him, billions possibly. They had seen the cherry trees, the dirt path, the bright sun glistening above it all, and they had been convinced. And though Eli took the biggest risk stepping towards its smirk, the path was lined with tulips.
The moment he moved, he saw others. They all walked blankly, and their shadows disappeared. He saw that most of them gravitated west, and immediately after realizing, he felt a magnetic pull in their direction. Many of the boys who were slugging west began to sink into the ground, yet their faces lay blank and emotionless. Eli wrestled the pull. He knew that something was waiting below. And though many people thought that this dangerous route was terrible for a boy of his age, Eli knew that the path was lined with tulips.
He breathed a hefty sigh as soon as the magnetic pull vanished. It had been as if the thing below was no longer hungry. There were fewer people on the trail now, and the sky got darker, casting an eerie shadow among the cherry trees, who had lost their playful stance. The people had some life and emotion, but their souls seemed hollowed with age. Maybe it was because of his youth that Eli had lasted this long, but he started to lose a bit of himself with every step. The trail was now a burden, but he didn’t stop, because the path was lined with tulips.
And after what felt like years, he woke up. He wasn’t sleeping, his soul had simply been in the dark. And before his eyes, were thousands, possibly millions, of bright red tulips swaying in the sun. Eli began to smile, for he saw her in the field. And though the path was long, dark, and couldn’t be cheated, it was always lined with tulips.
Learn more about the author:

Emilia Brewer

Learn more about the contest which inspired this story:  Nutshell Narratives 2019-02
Scroll to Top