Alex winced as the thorns dug into the pimply skin on his cheek . He knew he must get the ball back. There was no way Jake would forgive him if he lost it, even if it was in his own back garden! He pushed his shoulder further into the undergrowth, wincing yet again and pushed back another branch with his outstretched hand.
Transferring his weight to his forward hand, he gasped as it continued to descend beyond the grass and into a cold, empty space beyond. The sensation was unnerving, like walking off an unexpected extra step on a staircase. His chin and nose hit the dirt and tears filled his eyes instantly. As he pulled the arm back through the ground fractured and crumbled around the fresh hole, revealing a dark and ominous void. He leapt back, avoiding the approaching edge as it sank away from (yet towards) him.
Narrow shafts of sunlight penetrated the surrounding bush, and although they cut through like spears towards the hole, the darkness quickly consumed them. All noise, all movement, all light seemed to vanish as the hole held him, spellbound. And then, far below, faintly, more like a shadow than a tangible object itself, and only for an instant, he saw it.