2068 C.E. by E. Yamamoto

The street lights slowly blink on, as I do my homework in my residential unit.  I wait for #1138 to arrive.  As if Accelerated Global & Diversity Class (AGDC) homework was not hard enough, my burnt arm begins to throb uncomfortably again.  I limp (due to my broken kneecap) over to the unit’s QuickAid kit and apply new bandages to my arm, and for good measure, I change the dressing to the now infected acid wound that covers the left side of my face.  I have had to deal with this since numbers 1507, 4617, and 2045 cornered me in our school’s Chem Lab (at least they cleaned up after themselves this time) two days ago.  I would have gone straight to the Community hospital afterward, but my school had a mandatory presentation from the Tolerance Police, and I have not had any time since.  Just as I am about to head back to the desk, I hear a polite knock on the door.

“Come in, #1138,” I call.  We have never spoken before, but it is considered tactless (even illegal if we had laws) to refuse someone’s invitation, lest one offends them.  All I know about her is that like me, she is one of the few people to score a perfect 900 on the BRE.  Unlike me, she chooses to spend all of her free time at community service projects and has many friends.

“Thanks, #1701, and how did you know it was me?”  she enters, replying with a little more confidence.

“My Fellow Residents never knock, and I am not expecting anyone,”  I respond offhandedly as I find a chair for her.  I notice that she has been to the cosmetic center recently.  Her hair is a bright orange with one side cropped short, and her olive skin has taken a distinctive blue sheen.  It is the current trend for showing that one is “different”.  She takes a seat while staring at me peculiarly.

“Not to offend,”  she begins,  “but is it true that you, #1701, eschew friendships of any kind?  I mean it’s good that you don’t make exceptions at (that would hardly be nice to everyone else!) but it must get tiring to express your individuality that way,”

“Actually, that was rather offensive,” I feel my face reddening, but I look up from the desk and see that her facial expression has changed from one of curiosity to mollification and embarrassment.  I cut her off as she begins to apologize excessively. “But I don’t care.  If we were allowed to be as offensive as we liked without worrying about the Tolerance Police, I bet we all could get a lot more done,”  I shove her my homework.  She is a year older, so homework help was a convenient excuse to have her come over.  Her expression, which had so quickly changed from to curiosity to shame now melts to one of discomfort and nervousness.  Her face clouds over and she looks away from me.  It is unheard of to question an institution as benevolent as the Tolerance Police!

As she looks over my answers, she smiles and begins to laugh.

“#1701, I don’t understand.  You’re at the top of your class, these questions should be easy for you,”  She looks up to see my blank expression and continues,  “I’ll do the first one for you, ‘How was the invention of airplanes by Our Society a technological advance that allowed us to win the Second World War single-handedly?’  Simple, with airplanes, we were able to support our ground troops and ships.  It gave us light, but powerful reinforcements which other nations did not possess at the time.  You can elaborate,”  I stare at her smiling face in disbelief.

“What you just said is simply incorrect,” I begin. “It’s an established fact that airplanes were invented much earlier.  Furthermore, Our Society was not the only nation to possess airplanes in the Second World War, you could go downtown to the Community museum to see that.  Finally, we certainly did not win that war ourselves.  That’s hubris we can not afford as a nation.”

As if physically shocked by the harshness of my words, she sits straight up in her seat and glares at me.

“#1701, how could you say something as awful as that? That was incredibly offensive and I don’t underst-”

“I think you understand plenty.  And stop calling me #1701!  No one ever got offended by a name.  You are intelligent enough to know that what you said is a contradiction.  I just hoped that I was not the only one who could admit it to myself”

All pretenses of being polite fade.  The girl shoots up from her seat.

“You are being unpatriotic, intolerant, and bigoted.  You are not being a Good Citizen, and I feel it’s my civic duty to report what you have said to the Tolerance Police”  She tries to break away, but I grab her arm and prevent her from reaching the unit’s door.  She may be older than me, but she has never had to fight for her safety.

“Hear me out, because you’re just as bad as me if you leave,”  I do not wait before I continue.  “Tell me, what’s your definition of a bully?”

“Someone who forces their will on others, making the person do or not do what they otherwise wouldn’t”  she retorts easily enough, glaring at my hand which is still preventing her from retreating.

“Right,” I respond. The acid wound throbs uncomfortably, “And our government tries to prevent bullies as much as possible by allowing everyone their own voice, right?”

“Of course, so I don’t see why you-”

“But by definition, the allowance for one voice is the suppression of another.  Don’t you see that everyone thinks and acts uniformly?  Look at what happened to me, I refused to stand up during our ‘Optional Required Pledge of Tolerance’ and I got beaten up.  Think about it, the slogan of the Tolerance Police is literally ‘We don’t tolerate intolerance.’  Now that sounds a lot like your definition of bullying, don’t you think?”

I see that she has stopped struggling.  We stare at each other.

“I guess I see where you’re coming from,”  More silence follows.  I loosen my grip on her arm.  She makes no move to the door.  “I, mean… I  guess I agree with the number thing at least.”  She then whispers, as if afraid to say it even to herself, “I hate being called #1138,”

“What would you rather be called?”  I ask.

Before she can respond, a sharp knock sounds twice on the door.  I shuffle over, only to see that the locked door swings open.  In front of me are a man and woman of about equal height.  Both are wearing government mandated coats.

“Hello, we are from the Tolerance Police.  We are just here to do a random inspection,”  I turn to see the girl looks concerned, rather than excited as she should have been.  The woman takes my arm in an iron grip and leads me to the central hallway outside of my unit.

“Wait!”  myy friend calls,  “If she goes, take me, too.”  The man, who was just about to give her a drug which I recognized would induce temporary amnesia very quickly, looks puzzled, but the woman goes in again and grabs my friend.

“Trust me, we are going to have much fun working together,”  the woman says to us as I feel a sharp sting on the back of my neck.  I turn to see the man inject a needle into my friend’s neck as well. The fiery pain spreads down my spine, my vision blurs, and I stumble to the ground.

“Help, I can’t mo-”  my friend gasps before she to collapses.  I stare back helplessly.  I can not move my mouth to talk back.  The two agents of the tolerance police stand over us with blank expressions.  Shortly after I feel my arms stiffen, and I sense that my legs are going numb.  Seconds later I black out.

The Sea by Elola Eckford

Waves crashing against a shore,

The tide is coming in.

Cold seeping into a wetsuit,

Hearing the sea sing.

 

Ripples in a rock pool,

Seaweed tangles your feet.

Catching fish in a net,

Fingers sifting through the sleet.

 

Water rushes over my back,

I jump these tidal waves.

Diving, gliding through the sea,

These currents i do brave,

 

I comb the beach for treasures,

Cupping shells to my ear,

Watching from the cliff-face,

As ‘way from the rocks boats steer.

 

And from my bedroom window,

I listen to the sea sing.

Knowing my home truly is,

Where from water waves spring.

 

The Story of a Smile by Ceylin Erkan

“Smile, say cheese!” I heard the photographer exclaim, his voice echoing against the walls of the auditorium. He had spent about an hour trying to arrange the way we stood and looked as the students of the Orphanage of London.

Anyways, let me first start by introducing myself. My name is Rosaleen. Including the past 12 years of my life, I’ve always been smiling, even at the darkest and scariest of times. I’ve also been somewhat clumsy, although every moment I’ve tried to be active and sociable. I sometimes feel like my body is playing a trick on me. It awkwardly and involuntarily makes me do things that I sometimes don’t even want to do. However, that’s me.

A few months ago, we, as the kids of the Orphanage of London, have been informed that we’ll be taking a fun trip to the United States of America. All of us were so excited and overjoyed when we heard the news. The reason for this kind of trip is probably best defined as the orphanage’s reputation on the society. They’ll most definitely call the newspaper editors and TV shows to let them know basically how great they are.

So, today was the picture day, and its object was to publish photographs of all the people at the orphanage including the staff and the kids on a newspaper article talking about how the Orphanage of London is the best than any other in the year of 1990. Tomorrow was going to be the actual trip day to New York. I’ve been enthusiastically waiting for this day to come for about a few months, and here it was, only hours away.

Finally, the long day ended, and I went straight to my bed at night. Before I slept, I dreamed about what kind of place America would be like, and the numerous things I could do when I got there. With the comforting feeling my thoughts gave me, I fell to sleep…

 

***

 

It was an exhausting trip experience with the plane, but it was definitely worth it.  We had finally got outside the airport, and there I saw a huge city crowded with people and tall buildings. The people from the orphanage walked along the sideways, obsessed with everything they saw.  The staff was leading the students to look around the beautiful city. Finally, all of us got tired, and decided that we should just take the bus to Manhattan.

After getting a glimpse of the Statue of Liberty, I knew we had arrived. From there we rushed to a hotel and got rooms for every pair. I simply paired up with a shy and an agreeable girl whom I knew from before. It was already night, so we just slept right after we had gotten into our rooms.

All the people at the orphanage woke up at 7 a.m. We probably had a long day awaiting us in the City of Dreams. I was astonished when I saw thousands of people crowded like ants at this early hour of the morning outside the hotel.

Our first destination was Central Park. I had never heard of the name before, so from the title it was given I assumed it would basically be a park in the center of New York. If I were to be honest, the expectation bars weren’t high. We again took the bus to the destination. In the bus, there were excited mutterings about the Central Park. I was disappointed with myself that I didn’t even know anything about this place. However, we arrived. Everything in my brain was suddenly wiped out, and without needing to worry about even a single fact, I felt satisfied. I stared at the incredible place with awe.

The Central Park could be defined as “one in a million.” Sitting at the center of tall buildings packed together, there was a masterpiece of nature. I shook my head, and my brain started to fill up. The first question that came to mind was, “Apart from all these crowded buildings, how do the people manage to preserve this part of nature?”  The wonderful place could be compared to a tame animal right in the middle of a bunch of wild animals. We listened as the tour guide gave information about the history of the place, enthusiastic.

Unfortunately, just after I felt a raindrop on top of my nose, it started raining like cats and dogs. Everyone around was urgent to move to a safe place. I followed the girl from last night, but it was difficult to keep up regarding the fact that about hundreds of people were in the place. Everyone was just staring at me because I was smiling, but I couldn’t help it. I could simply not move the muscles of my face . . . And surrounded by that thought, I lost sight of the girl, of anyone whom I knew. There I was, in the middle of the stormy rain. I didn’t know where to go, nor what to do. I just stood there alone, desperate.

 

***

 

The sun had risen again a few hours later. Although the Orphanage of London is supposed to be very organized and careful, no one did come back for me. None of the staff had informed us about what to do in situations like this. I didn’t know anything about this city, and now I was all on myself.

Across from me, there was a woman watching me mysteriously. After she recognized my glimpse, she smiled and started walking towards me.

“How nice you are!” suggested the woman, then added, “You’ve been smiling almost for an hour. That is incredible!”

Oh…” I said disappointedly, “I’ve always been smiling my whole life, so it is not an extraordinary thing for me.”

The woman suddenly lost her spirits, as if she was recalling something.

“What’s your name?” the woman asked with a spiritless voice.

“Rosaleen. What about you?” I wondered.

“Where are your parents?” the woman surprisingly changed the subject.

“I don’t have parents. I came all the way from London just for a trip with the orphanage,” I explained, feeling ignored and interrupted.

“So, may I ask why you are here sitting alone for a total of 2 hours and 37 minutes?” the woman inquired.

“Well, I’m supposed to be with them . . . But, when the rain poured down a few hours ago, I lost sight of them in the crowd. And now . . . I don’t know what to do,” I described, getting gloomy, but still smiling.

“Okay, nothing to worry about. I’ll help you find them!” the woman grew enthusiastic again. She definitely had rapid mood changes, I thought.

From there, she helped me to stand up, then we started walking, discussing what to do first. Apart from all that, we both couldn’t resist telling each other something about our lives. We figured out that we were very much alike after comparing our personalities. I told her about how I had been smiling literally my whole life, although it brought the woman’s spirits down again.

The woman’s name was actually Belle. She was one of the best brain surgeons in New York, and had born and been raised in New York. At the start of our journey, we were no more than two strangers who knew nothing about each other, but surprisingly, towards the end of our journey, we were like two old friends who have known each other for years.

“I think that’s enough of talking about personal lives, right?” Belle asked me gladly. Even though we had planned about talking what to do for finding the people of my orphanage, we had been talking about our lives for about an hour.

“Oh, yeah, definitely,” I agreed sarcastically, “we should go back to our main issue.”

The woman looked at her watch and suggested, “Why don’t we just go to my house and rest for a bit? Don’t worry, I promise we’ll continue our search early tomorrow morning.”

“That makes sense,” I said agreeably, “sure.”

 

***

 

There was something that made me and Belle attract each other like magnets. I never did want to go back to London, I wanted to stay with Belle here, in New York, but I had to keep telling myself that it was impossible.

However, we arrived at the “great mansion” of Belle. It was a huge, lilac colored house. It looked very pretty from the outside, and I wondered what the inside of the house would be like. The inside was just the same, beautiful and satisfying. Belle wasn’t married, so she lived all by herself in the house. She showed me the room I’d be sleeping in, after walking about 5 minutes around the maze-like structure of her house. When it was time to sleep, I respectively thanked Belle and went to my room and fell into a deep sleep…

The next day, I woke up, and excitedly went to the living room where Belle was. Suddenly, my smile had faded, because Belle was… different.

“Come, sit,” she insisted, trying to look alive.

“What’s wrong?” I asked, looking into her beautiful sparkling blue eyes.

“Look, Rosaleen,” she started, “there is something I have to tell you. Yesterday, when I was watching you . . . I recognized something, and I got suspicious . . .”

“Come on, Belle, what could it be, just tell me straight away,” I said, hoping the issue wasn’t serious.

“Okay, fine,” Belle inhaled deeply, then added, “Rosaleen, I’m really sorry about this, but . . . my research in medical school was about a brain disorder, a unique and a rare one. And yesterday, I recognized that my research and you were somehow connected.”

“I don’t understand anything you’re saying,” I said, confused.

“Based on my research from years ago and the research I made just yesterday night when you were asleep, you have a high chance of having a genetic brain disorder. It is where the person cannot stop smiling. Just like you… The person is also somewhat clumsy in many aspects, and sometimes involuntarily does stuff. Rosaleen, does this description match you or not?”

I couldn’t speak. Words just didn’t come out of my mouth. I stared at her, not believing anything she had said. But it was true. The description she had given me and myself were like puzzle pieces. There was still that smile on my face . . .

Rosaleen continued, trying to be reasonable, “But, technically, there is nothing to worry about. I will be your surgeon. You trust me, right? Look on the bright side, after, you won’t be forced to smile, ever. You’ll smile whenever you want to. Can’t you imagine how wonderful that will be?”

 

***

28 YEARS LATER

 

How wonderful was being able to snort! I had told the phrase to myself over and over again for the future 28 years of my life. I was a woman now, a woman who wasn’t smiling all the time. My mother, Belle, had adopted me from an orphanage 28 years ago, and she had made me who I am today. Regarding the fact that she was my idol and what I wanted to be like when I grew up, I followed her path and became a brain surgeon like her. And now, just like my mother did, I cured children who were forced to smile by an unfortunate defect in their brains, just like me!

How the Pencil Stole Erasers by Gabriel Echeverry

Chapter 1

 

Ca-Ching! Jackson hears the typical sound of his mother’s cashier. Jackson’s mom owned an artifact store that was known all around Canada for all of the rare stuff they sold. They had from thousand-year-old pottery from all around the world to a baseball hit by Babe Ruth in a Yankees game.

“Hi, Honey! How was school?” his mother asks.

“Ok,” replies Jackson in an unsure tone. Actually, he got a D plus on a math test and he lost his lunch. “Have anything I could scrape up from the storage today?” he asked hopefully.

“Well I do have something but I’m not sure you`ll like it,” she responded. “Something is something, said Jackson desperately.

So his mom packed the two things in a box and told him not to open it until he got home. On his way home he wondered what was in the little box his mother packed for him. But when he got home he was very disappointed. When he opened the box all he saw was another box made of glass and a little pencil. He had no idea what he was going to do with the two things. All he could think of was to put the pencil inside the box.

“What a rip off!” Jackson exclaimed. Usually Jackson’s mom gave him cool stuff like comic books or baseball cards, but this time, she didn’t search hard enough, or did she?

Meanwhile, as Jackson did his homework he started to hear some strange noises. Clack! A small noise was coming from inside the room. Jackson jumped from his seat and asked in panic, “Who’s there???”

But as shocking as it sounds, a little voice answered with delight, “Oh, thank goodness you found me. Could you get me out of this dark, door-less room?”

Jackson fainted.

A few minutes later he woke up and remembered what had just happened. A little man was inside the peculiar box his mom gave him and wanted him to get him out. So Jackson carefully crept up to the box and slowly opened it. This gave him a huge shock. He saw no man, but only the little pencil he had put in it, only now IT was a HE!!!!! Jackson was now more shocked than the first time. The little pencil had eyes, ears, nose, mouth, arms, and legs.

“Did I bring you to life?” Jackson asked in horror.

“No. That little box you put me in has magical powers that can bring things such as myself to life. I know what you want to ask, how do I know all of what I just said. Well, I was a secondhand pencil that has gone all over the world and passed through different schools from all around. So right now you can ask me anything you want,” proclaimed the pencil proudly.

Jackson was stunned. He owned a pencil that doesn’t just come to life if you put it in a magical box, it also knew everything.

“So could you help me in school? My grades are kind of bad, but you can help me turn them around!” Jackson exclaimed in delight.

“Your wishes are my command. After all, you did bring me to life!” yelled the pencil in delight. Now Jackson had a super brainy pencil that just came to life. That was a bright, problem free future, or was it?

 

Chapter 2

 

The next day, Jackson woke up extremely early so that he could put the pencil in his backpack without it making a big fuss about it being smelly. But on the walk to school it just wouldn`t shut up. At first it started to budge about being uncomfortable inside the backpack, but then, it forgot about the stuff bothering him and so he started to say all sorts of randomly useless facts like when the first pop-up toaster was invented and stuff like that.

When the two of them got to school, they were exhausted, but things started looking up! Apparently, Jackson had a pop quiz on distance measurements which he hadn`t studied for, but he was all covered. The pencil did his magic and started working on the test, meanwhile Jackson read a book inside his desk. And the rest of the day went exactly the same except for last period: science. Science was kind of boring. Mr. Shrookshanks did these super long lectures on the unit, in this case: The Galaxy.

Mr. Shrookshanks was one of those teachers who like to give those super long speeches about our new topics in class. So I entered the white room filled with fancy gadgets and models of plants and animals. Jackson sat down on his favorite chair and waited for Mr. Shrookshanks to start talking. He started by telling us about how important it was to pay attention to the things we learn in class, because you never know when you might need it. Then he told us we were in for a treat, but usually his treats freaked Jackson out because the last treat he gave us were two straight lessons on human reproduction, and the one before was on the food chain. But this time he wasn’t lying. “Kids, today we are going to study all about the weird stuff in nature.”

Jackson was amazed by what he had just heard. Finally, he thought he would do something cool. And the pencil kept his ears open to see if he heard some good information (that’s what the pencil did every time the teacher said something interesting).

Mr. Shrookshanks started by telling the class some boring stories, but, then, something caught Jackson’s attention.

“Some ancient artifacts were enchanted by magic unknown to us today that had powers, and when those powers were put into these items, they became charms that could do miraculous things like bring things to life!” he proclaimed in his sharp clear voice.

But before he could say anything else, Jackson blasted his hand into the air and yelled as if he’d just been shot,” I just got an enchanted box that can bring things to life!”

“Good for you. How about you bring it to school tomorrow?” Mr. Shrookshanks hissed back in a calm but angry tone. He is usually a calm and cool teacher, but today, he really blew up inside out.

The bell rang, and it was time to go home.

“That was quite a day,” Jackson said sweating.

“You can say that again. How about we tell some jokes on the way home? Oh and can you also get me out of here? ” squeaked the little pencil from inside the backpack. So Jackson got the little pencil out of the backpack and went home with a riot of laughter from all of the pencil’s great jokes.

When they got home the pencil got going on Jackson’s homework, meanwhile Jackson grabbed the box and put it in his backpack right along with another pencil he could use as a demonstration to the class for the next day. Just then, his mother got home.

“Hi, Honey! How was school?” she said in that usual silky mommy tone.

“Great! I aced all the quizzes and answered everything correctly!” he boomed down to his mom from his room in pride. But he told her he had a lot of homework to do, so he slammed the door and got going, but by the time he got there, the pencil had already finished. So they went to bed looking forward to the presentation.

 

Chapter 3

 

The next day Jackson was bothered, because the other students thought that he had lost his mind and that he had imagined everything about that box, but when Science period started, all of the jaws in the classroom dropped (including Mr. Shrookshanks’, who isn’t that easily impressed).

What Jackson did was that he put the new pencil he brought inside the rare box and left it there for ten minutes. Just then he heard it. So, he opened the box and there it stood. A pencil with eyes, nose, mouth, ears, arms, and legs. No one spoke for the rest of last period except for the new pencil. It started to sing “What Does the Fox Say.” When last period was over, nobody would stop talking about the magical pencil and its radioactive voice for singing.

So on his way home he was really proud. He had aced every test and he amazed everyone in his class. Nothing can go wrong. Or could it?

The next day Jackson had a math quiz. The new pencil started to answer randomly, because he didn’t know anything, but even Jackson knew that the new pencil was incorrect. So he erased what the pencil had put so that the experienced one could do it all over again.

But, then the new one proclaimed in disagreement, “Hey! You can’t destroy my creation! It was perfect, and you disappeared it using that magical erasing machine!”

“It’s called an eraser and I don’t want to get an F because of a moody pencil!” Jackson whined at the fresh new pencil.

Meanwhile the other pencil was working on the test, but suddenly, “Jackson! Who are you talking to?” hissed Mr. Staples: the math teacher.

Jackson hesitated, “Um . . . No one, I’m just talking to myself!”

After that quiz the new pencil stayed inside the smelly backpack for the rest of the day, but he was plotting the biggest robbery that Canada had ever seen. He would steal all the erasers in the country in just one night. But he needed help. He couldn’t do all of this alone. And he couldn’t rely on the two people he knew.

 

Chapter 4

 

He needed an army large enough to cover all of Canada in that night. Then a bright idea shone in his mind. He had to wait till night to do all this. And so he did. When school finished at last, he stayed still and stiff as an iron bar. But he got bored on his way to the house so he started to do Jacksons homework even though he knew nothing of the sort.

After that he fell asleep. He was woken up by a huge thud and a hard hit on the back. It was Jackson flinging his backpack across the room. Now all he had to do was go shopping for pencils. He carefully crept out of the room without being seen meanwhile Jackson and the other pencil were redoing the completely incorrect homework.

“What a great distraction,” he murmured under his breath with a grin on his little wooden face. He went from store to store shoplifting all the pencils he could find. But then he figured out that he couldn´t bring them all back on his own, so he took a pencil box that carried twenty-four pencils and brought it home. He left it on the doorstep while he went for the magical box. He was lucky that Jackson and the other pencil were reading a book in the kitchen, so the coast was clear. He snatched the magical box as quickly as he could and ran back downstairs into the doorstep.

He put down the peculiar box and stuffed the fresh, new pencils in it. He closed it, and, in a few minutes, all the pencils were alive.

“Fellow Pencils. We have to create an army. I will later explain what it is for. But if we want to make it, I will need you to go and get all the pencils you can gather and bring them back here. Do you understand?”

All the other pencils were stunned. He sounded like he meant business, so without a question, they all ran off to get as many pencils as they could. By the time they got back, they had over a million boxes mounted up into a little hill as high as the house. So, one by one they put the pencils inside the box and little by little, all the pencils were alive. By the time they were all alive it was midnight and the group was as large as the population of Canada (which is around 35 million, which is not that much).

So he gathered all the pencils at The Peace Monument in Ontario. He climbed to the top of the head of the monument and with a loud clear voice he proclaimed, “Hello to all the pencils from all around Canada. I would like to ask you for a little help on defeating our natural enemy. We create and they erase and destroy our creations, so I am planning on eliminating this creature and ending all this erasing nonsense, but I will need your help. You will recognize this creature for being either white or pink. And remember it can´t harm you because it is life-less. LET’S GO!!!”

The crowd gave a loud, cheerful roar. They got into squads of a thousand pencils each. They would gather back at the monument by dawn to burn all the erasers they found. But what they didn`t realize was that the roar the crow gave was so loud that it could be heard from a mile by the sharpest ears. And that’s what happened.

The little pencil in Jackson`s house was woken up by the loud roar. So he woke up Jackson. He told him that he had just heard a large group of pencils yell at a frequency only pencils could hear but then it hit him.

“Of course! It was that other pencil you brought to life yesterday. Remember how furious he was when I erased his work. And then he did some random things on my homework to use as a distraction, so he could leave the house! This all adds up!” blasted Jackson at the pencil with joy.

“Yeah. But the loud roar that woke me up surpassed the twenty million pencils by far!” the pencil whined in fright.

“Then what are we waiting for,” said Jackson bravely.

So they tip-toed downstairs, grabbed the magical box, and set off in the direction of the sound on Jackson’s bike.

 

 

Chapter 5

 

They got to the key place of the operation at around two in the morning. All the erasers were already gathered in a big pile with acres of land covered in pencils that were looking at the hill of pink and white.

“How do we get in?” asked Jackson in a panic.

“There is one way to stop this. You will have to open and close the box ten times, and after that, everything ever brought to life by the box will automatically burn to a crisp. Even though you will lose me, I made you a sheet that has all the stuff you will learn throughout the school year, so you will do just fine without me,” the pencil said calmly.

So, Jackson did as he was told and right before the erasers were burned, a shiny silver light came out of the box and in a few seconds all the pencils were burned to ash. So, Jackson returned to his house before his mother woke up.

A few months later, Jackson couldn´t stop thinking about the pencil, but then he had to start focusing more on school. Fortunately, with the review page the pencil gave him, his grades went up and he became a straight A student. He thanked the pencil every day for that boost.