The rules were the story had to be 4000 words or less and must include the words, "Journey Into" in the title. When I write normally, I usually have the title first. Trying to come up with a story that had to include certain words in the title was maddening.
It took me awhile to come up with an idea. When I finally had an idea come to fruition, I only had a few days to write the story before the deadline.
I know this needs some work. But I hope you will enjoy, "Journey Into Gopher Madness"
JOURNEY INTO GOPHER MADNESS
The light refracted through the diamond casting a prism on the tree in front of Victor. It reminded him of the cover of his favorite album.
Victor lowered the diamond ring and surveyed his yard. Everything thing was perfect. Tonight was the night he would propose to his girlfriend, Marceline. He hoped she would say yes. Then they would have something else to celebrate besides the creation of his shrinking/enlarging ray.
The smell of enchiladas filled the air. Victor hoped they weren’t burning. He turned and rushed back towards the kitchen to check on them.
He bumped into the leg of a chair, stumbled and the ring flew out of his hand. He watched it soar into the air doing loop de loops like an old fashioned biplane.
He couldn’t react fast enough to catch it, but he kept a watchful eye to see where it would land.
The ring descended towards the ground. As Victor’s eyes tracked the ring, a gopher hole came into view.
Panic stricken, Victor did the only thing he could think of; he dove for the ring.
Everything moved in slow motion as Victor flew through the air. The ring appeared to stop above the ground and spin in place.
Victor’s hand slid under the ring. A feeling of relief came over him. He grasped the ring and pulled his hand to his face as he landed on the ground with a loud thud.
A surprised look came over his face as he opened his hand to see it was empty. How could this have happened? Confused, he looked past his hand into the gopher hole.
A feeling of dread came over him as he knew what he had to do. He rolled up his sleeve and reached into the gopher hole to retrieve the ring.
The cold metal of the ring touched the tip of his finger. He let out of sigh of relief. But the feeling of relief was short lived. The more he tried to grasp the ring, the further he pushed it into the hole.
Victor pulled his arm from the hole, stood up, raised a brow and smiled as an idea popped into his head. He ran into the house and came back out with his shrinking/enlarging ray.
He placed the ray in front of the gopher hole and stood on the opposite side with the remote in his hand.
He estimated the diameter of the circle to be approximately three inches. He did a quick calculation and set the shrinking size to the size of his favorite childhood toy, a twelve inch GI Joe action figure.
He glanced down into the hole and pressed the button.
A beam of blue light encompassed his body. The hole grew larger as his body grew smaller until he stood on the edge of a large hole the size of a small hot tub.
He cautiously entered the hole. It sloped at a forty five degree angle making it easy to ascend.
The hole was damp and smelled like fresh mud. He wished he would have been wearing shoes as he hated the feeling of mud between his toes.
He walked until it was too dark to see. He placed the remote in his pocket and retrieved his cell phone. He scrolled through the apps until he found his flashlight app and activated it.
The tunnel was illuminated with a pale white light. He held the phone in front of him and slowly moved his arm back and forth scanning for the ring, but saw no sign of the ring anywhere ahead of him.
Victor came to a fork in the tunnel and wondered which way he should go.
He pointed to the right tunnel and did an eeny, meeny, miny, moe coming to the best one which was the right tunnel.
The pungent smell of blue cheese filled his nostrils as he progressed down the right passage. A squeaking sound echoed increasing in volume the further he walked.
He rounded a corner where the smell was stronger and the noises louder. In front of him was a large gopher. It nudged the now tire sized ring with its nose.
The gopher looked up and made a high pitched guttural sound. Startled, Victor jumped back.
The gopher moved in close to Victor. He quivered with fear as it sniffed him from head to toe. It focused its sniffing on the front left pocket of his jeans.
Victor remembered he had a candy bar in his jeans. He slowly reached into his pocket to retrieve it. He unwrapped it and placed it in front of the gopher’s nose. The gopher sniffed it intently.
With a swift move, Victor threw the candy bar into the darkness past the gopher. The gopher turned and ran after it.
Victor sprinted towards the ring. He bent down and grabbed it with both hands, dropping his phone in the process. The ring was much heavier than he thought it would be. He stood up, turned and ran as fast as he could towards the entrance of the tunnel.
In the pitch black he could hear the gopher galloping behind him. Its steps echoed around him along with its high pitched grunting.
The light from the entrance filled the tunnel ahead of him. He clutched the ring in his right hand and grabbed the remote from his pocket with his left hand.
He held the remote in front of him and clicked the button as fast as he could.
The top of his ray machine came into view through the exit. A look of satisfaction fell upon his face.
He felt the spikey fur of the gophers head ram into his back. It sent him flying into the air and out of the tunnel.
The hum of his ray activating was a welcomed sound. The blue light once again encompassed him returning him to regular size.
He landed on his back and let out a loud breath. He opened his eyes to see Marceline standing above him with a quizzical look.
Victor held his hand towards her, presented the ring and asked, “Will you marry me?”