Secret Place

Personal Essays

By Natalie Unruh

Inside my secret spot, no one can see me.  Mom will never find me in my tent.  Bright western sunlight is dulled by the blankets before it reaches my hideaway.  However, some light peeks in uninhibited to spy on this strange cavern.  Children’s Encyclopedias are stacked neatly under a chair, sharing space with the Little House on the Prairie boxed set.  The encyclopedias are mostly for show, looking quite official with a rough, gray canvas hardcover with gold lettering up the sides. 

Under a different chair in the corner, there is a tipsy stack of National Geographics.  They have been slowly sliding to the floor in an avalanche of yellow to rest, bent backed, against a rough wooden chair leg.

I recline in a corner, propped up by mismatched, slightly flattened pillows.  A National Geographic lies splayed across my knobby knees.  The magazine has been unable to hold my attention for the past few minutes.  I am currently occupied with watching the shadows play across my tent’s walls.  It’s windy and cold outside and the sycamore tree in front of the house is being batted back and forth by the wind.  In my special place, I feel none of the cold.