By Anna Blackwell (Summer 2018, Age 10)
One day, it was the day before I went to camp, a time came when I did something wrong. As I sat on the couch Professor Jax put down his bottles.
“Ok, Rose, I am putting my stuff here. Is that all right?”
But I never knew which drink I took til it was too late. “Wha…at?” I looked. Ahh, I wanted to scream! I just drank some of the proffessor’s stuff. I ran to him.
“Don’t worry if you drank the purple one, you’ll be fine. You’ll just feel jumpy, nervous and you know…”
“Well, I did drink from the purple bottle!”
But I never noticed the symbol – SHRINKER FORMULA X74Z1A. As the evening went by I felt like I was shrinking. That night I slept in the living room because I had to get up early for tomorrow.
The next morning I almost screamed! I was the size of a mouse! I looked around.
As I walked around I noticed my bags were small, too. Guess I spilled some of that stuff on them. As I walked I ate the food in my bag. I felt sleepy and took a nap but when I got I up I heard something – was it a wasp, a fly? Soon I knew what it was – a vacuum cleaner. I ran as fast as I could , no sooner could I felt it sucking me in.
“Help!” I yelled.
Suddenly Snoozer, my dog, came. Not knowing where I was he turned his tail swiping me off my feet and onto the vacuum cleaner. I don’t know what happened then because when I fell on the vacuum cleaner I hit my head. I must have passed out from the shock. I woke up in the basement still on it because my backpack got caught on it. As I walked around I felt a chill, in here was the King of the basement, Mask. He was a black spider who moved in here. I don’t know when but he ruled or rules here still and any bug that came down like Buzzy, Angelas fly, never returned.
I looked around – no sign of him. I saw a pipe or hose whatever it was. I went in it. I was too small to see it clearly. There wasn’t any sign of Mask. I read a book, thought and rested. Suddenly I felt like being picked up…help…was I in the vacuum cleaner? No. Suddenly air came in pushing me back. I knew it, air mattress! Thankfully the pipe flowed in the queen size air mattress. I held on tight but it was useless. I was pushed back falling into a dark room. As the room inflated I sat there pale as ever. It seemed like being in a cave that grew wider and wider ready to swallow anything inside it. When the mattress was finally inflated I watched in horror as the cap closed off the entrance. I was too weak to run and jump through. As I got up I noticed how lucky I was to get stuck in there and not in the vacuum cleaner. I knew that here was enough air for one or two days.
As I laid out my sleeping bag I heard something. I turned to my right and then to my left then I saw it – a small beetle settled in here, too. I didn’t know what to do. If I left it might attack me during my sleep and if I killed it the dead body would stay there staring at me til I got out. But as I walked toward it, it was already dead. I saw it had died of starvation. I sighed heavily as I walked away.
I heard my brother and sister…”so Dad we will be sleeping here for one night.” ONE NIGHT…it kept exploding in my head. Would I survive for one night?
As night came I got sleepier. I wanted to stay awake in case I figured out how to get out but it was no use. I looked around to check for bugs then I fell into a deep sleep.
I was huffing and puffing. I felt like I ran a 100 meter dash. “Rats!” I said, there was less air in here. I had to bear it until I got out. It must have been 10:00 when I was really getting hungry. I ate my last egg salad sandwich and two carrots.
Soon by the afternoon I gasped in joy to hear they’re going to deflate the air mattress. Suddenly I knew I had to be ready otherwise if I don’t I’ll get squashed in here when they fold it up. I went to the cap opening. I breathed heavily as it turned, then it popped open and air flowed out rapidly. Before I could jump out I was blown off onto someone’s foot. I felt so lucky not to break any of my bones.
Unfortunately Mariana never felt me because I fell on her slipper. I spent most of my time there, soon I began to say to myself, “this isn’t too bad, it’s fun actually” but no sooner did Mariana go outside.
“I’m going to check the temperature, OK?”
I had to get off as soon as she stepped out. I jumped off nearly dodging her right foot. I gasped. My yard was huge. As I took a step the door opened. I darted legs that were trotting around me. When they went I picked up all the courage I had and started forward. Then I saw George’s stick, it led from the pavement to the bicycle path. I crossed the pavement without any problem. As I walked across I saw movement in the grass. I saw it was two crickets playing a game of tag.
Suddenly a shadow passed over me before I could notice that it was George. He flung the stick up sending me onto the track into a small puddle. As I started babbling about my misfortune as I slugged out of the puddle, I stopped myself from babble then I saw my worst fears – a bicycle! I jumped up, ran here and there dodging wheels. I jumped out of the way to prevent myself from getting squashed then I lost my footing. I fell down rolling into the ditch.
When I woke up I felt warm and dry. Again I was laying on a quilted mattress next to a large candle. Yawn…”where am I?”
“Oh, evening, Misszy.”
“No need to be frightened. You’re among friends,” said the small man.
“No need to be, quite a lot ya been through.”
“Yes, but anyways is there food around here? I’m starved.”
“Oh ho, there sure is. Come right this way.”
I hurried right after but I kept wondering who these people were. Soon I saw an entire small town, the ditch was more of a river. Men were rowing in it, boys were playing with their boats, on the cobblestone paths were ladies going to and fro buying food, their older daughters knitted back at home, poor children played with the town folk and the most wonderful were butterflies and small sparrows carrying people on them. Soon we arrived at a mound of mud which had been turned into a house. Inside looked very cozy and smelled amazing, then a small woman walked up, “Oh hello, Misszy, you look famished. Come have dinner with us.”
I saw a large table with twelve seats. There was lots of chatting, the meal was terrific – honey glazed ham with Greek salad, mashed potatoes and chocolate pudding with blueberry pie for dessert. was terrific – honey glazed ham with Greek salad, mashed potatoes and chocolate pudding with blueberry pie for dessert.
“So can I get any transport to a grey house?” I asked.
“Well, you can take my butterfly, “ offered a woman.
“No, take my sparrow, is faster than a butterfly,” said another.
There was a huge commotion – “My bird is better” “Butterflies are terrific” “No. my humming bird is better” “Coltide is perfect for the job” “No, take my butterfly, they are better than sparrows”
It was getting on my nerves. It didn’t matter what I took. Finally it ended when someone yelled, “A blackbird!” Everyone stared at the person. Suddenly someone squeaked out, “Did it save you?” It was in fact a little girl dressed in yellow. Everyone agreed with her and asked the same question.
“Yep, happened about a month ago. I was taking my blackbird across the river and it just froze. Next thing I knew two green cat eyes were staring but my bird made a cry of warning and the cat ran panically away. I don’t do hand to hand combat so I am glad I have a bird with a way of warning.”
“I think it is the perfect transport I need. I start in two days”
There was a sudden gasp…”Oh gracious, Misszy, you’re not leaving” cried one.
“What’s wrong about that?”
“A figure wearing stood saying, “It’s because our river is being raided by…”
I just thought I knew the answer, “I know the answer – mosquitoes”
“No, not just suckers, C-A-T-S!”
They took me to the ditch..er..river. They told me to wait there til evening when it came. I saw a yellow cat, Honey, we called her.
“So what? It’s just Honey.”
“ (gasp) why call such thing? That is Tasmina!”
“OK, Tasmina, but what is that to me?” I asked puzzledly.
“We see you don’t know who Tasmania is,” said the one wearing white (his name is Clovis) sadly, “Come on ya lads, let us fetch some grub and tell ye all a tall tale.”
We went to a huge campfire where plenty folk flocked around to listen to fairy tales and tall tales. As we gathered he began the story…
The Season Folk
Long before the Season Folk made this town Lord Bark planted the seeds of the earth, the petals of roses, the plants of rain, the seeds of winter and the seed of the rarest. When he passed away his two sons vowed to protect the seeds but the oldest was struck by evil and attempted to steal the seeds. Then the fight between the two brothers began. The oldest was thrown away to an unknown realm. Peace returned and the younger brother hid the seeds. Knowing his brother might return he placed a guardian near each seed and made a map which he came to his cousin.
When the story ended in cheers, gasps and ohs. I too gasped for this was one of the most amazing stories I have heard of!
“Well, I still don’t see what that had to do with Hon….er…Tasmina.”
“Well, years later he returned but was powerless, in his anger he attacked anyone he met. Tasmina was the only one who could defeat him. Knowing her strength he made a treaty and at the dark of night he praised her. So there,” he finished.
“Oh, so is it just her?” I asked getting very interested.
“No, there are two other cats, one brown and one…”
Suddenly horror came in me and before he finished I shouted, “No, not Pippin and Mary!”
Suddenly a paw whacked me in the head and everything went black.
I woke up next to the ditch. “Oh, my head…” I felt a bruise on the back of my head then I thought, “why am I near the ditch? I thought I would wake up with eyes everywhere?” As I got up I was shocked to see the town in a wreck with prints everywhere stuck in the ground and house flattened and to my horror I saw Jack’o flat on the ground, too. He must have got knocked down, too. I ran over.
“Jack’o, are you alright?”
“Oh my poor acken head…no worry, I’m fine…ooh”
“What happened, Jack’o? Where is everyone?” I said, helping him up. Soon I saw what stress he had and stopped the questions. I sat him on a bench and found him some bread, apples and water.
“Ah, much better, thank ye so much, MIsszy.”
“You asked about what happened. Well, I’ll tell ye. When you were knocked down we say her, Tasmina, and on her back Dread (that is the older brother). It was a terrible raid, houses crushed and many fought bravely including myself. Women and children ran to safety. We fought til dusk but I know not of what happened next for I got wiped clean out!”
Then everything came out, “Now I see it – we’ve been raided!”
“Yes, I know how you felt but we musn’t just sit here. We ought to be looking for everyone. They might be stuck.”
We spent a lot of time helping people out of cellars, unburying people who were stuck under the houses. But by the afternoon we finally found Clovis covered in blood, an arrow stuck in his arm and he had a terrible bruise on his head. Only then I decided to do something about Dread. Jack’o, Mac, Bella and Clovis and the others knew it was the right thing to do. They told me to get Egypt (who is actually Bear, the cat) here for he will help us in the battle. I was given a blackbird named Raven and also a powder which would make Egypt follow us back to the town.
I went off at around 4:09. Raven was a pretty smart blackbird for he knew every spot Bear went. When we finally spotted him I braved myself for one of the most dangerous tasks ever. Raven brought up his head, looked both ways, then I held my breath as he darted forward. I prepared my bombing run then, in seconds I dropped the powder sending it fluttering into Bear’s eyes. Raven rested on a tree as I caught my breath. Then Bear looked funny at us then suddenly Raven took off. As he did Bear pounced after. As I opened my eyes I turned around – Bear gracefully ran through grassy plains as Raven flew gently through the air. It looked like my troubles and risks were cancelled.
As we flew back Bear raced after us. When we got back I saw two dogs standing by the town – it was Snoozer and Buddy! When we landed I saw at least five sparrows surround Bear. They dragged him away. Bear didn’t react, he probably was given a sleeping powder. When I got down I was greeted by friends.
“Oh, I never though ye could do it” said Moego.
“Well, I thought so too but I did.”
I was told that Rock and Spotted Hill (actually Buddy and Snoozer) were going to help us in our battle against Dread. It must have been 6:53 when everyone started running everywhere bringing armor to the soldiers, putting metal plates on the birds which were for the soldiers to ride. They gave me an outfit made of snakeskin, leather boots, a helmet (it didn’t have a visor) and light garments over the snakeskin. Soon by 7:52 the army was ready. Egypt (who is actually Bear) was brought to me.
“Boy, have you deferred!” A little girl told me that the markings on his face were battle marks. Soon I mounted Egypt, fastened myself to the saddle, got ready my bow and marched forward. We walked quiet and silently. Suddenly Snoozer began to whine.
“They’re close,” warned the captain who was riding him. As we advanced we got more cautious. Then with a crack of a twig, a cat jumped right in the air at Snoozer.
Three cats shot out charging at the captain and his troops and at least twenty evil sparrows attacking me and the soldiers. Egypt fought wildly at the enemy as I shot several arrows through the air. I caught my eye on Tasmina and I urged Egypt to her but the enemy ordered by her trapped us from getting to her. I slashed my arrow at the filthy birds. I heard the cries of the troops fighting bravely. As I looked up I saw Tasmina. Dread was hauling her away from the battle field, then a spark blew inside me…
“Coward, she is retreating, just running away without notice!”
I thought then I couldn’t hold myself with a burst of energy. I turned Egypt around and smashed through the enemy. As we rushed I noticed that some of the enemy were beginning to retreat. As I ran Dread noticed and bolted like a rabbit. I couldn’t let him get away. I jumped in front of him.
“Coward! Come and face us!” I shrieked at him.
Suddenly Tasmina leaped and before you could say ‘Bob’s your uncle’ both cats charged each other and began to fight. Rapid claws ripped at the other, teeth snapped wildly as they kicked and bit each other. I don’t know about you but I was horrified. Both cats were weaker than ever but dear reader in this part is one of the bravest things Bear has ever done. Soon we were even range from each other and suddenly jerked me almost out of the saddle. Bear jumped at Tasmina flinging her into the ditch.
Suddenly a bright light shot everywhere. Tasmina screamed loudly and jumped. Then in the ditch we saw something like mist float out of the ditch. It turned into the figure of a man, then nodded and floated away never to be seen again. In fact it was Dread’s ghost. My eyes fixed on Tasmina. She had suddenly changed, her evil eyes were now kitty eyes, her anger turned into shyness, her strict face changed to her normal Honey face. Bear gazed at her, she only whined then shyly crawled away.
Suddenly a loud howl came then another then cries of joy.
“We have won! Dread is dead!”
I smiled widely. We went back to the village all in smiles and were greeted with cheers. I fell asleep just suddenly (someone told me I passed out from exhaustion).
By the second day I had to leave. There were bits of tears and joy. As I mounted Raven I was given a medallion.
“Guard this well, wear it always and don’t let any evil take it.” Clovis warned me.
As soon as I gave my oath I heard a loud honk. Dr. Jac’s car – time was running out. If I didn’t get to him in time I’ll stay small for the rest of my live. Raven burst into the air at top speed. Raven sped in the air as I saw Dr. Jac’s car.
“Faster, Raven, oh, do please hurry.”
But soon the word buzzed in my head like a fly – “too late”. The car door shut, the engine started and soon all my hopes fell into a dark hole. Just as soon as I was going to go back to the village there was a sudden crack in my head – “when hope isn’t lost we still have hope” I thought.
I gave Raven the signal to fly forward.
“We have to get to the front of the car,” I called to Raven.
“Cree, Craw, Cree!” he replied and knowing what dangers it would bring we charged in front of the car.
Raven clawed at the windshield creeing and crawing…it didn’t stop him. I felt what I had in my pocket – an arrow head – I must have put it in my pocket during the battle. Without wasting time I grabbed it and threw it at the windshield.
Dr. Jac looked stunned but he pulled over. He got out to examine the arrowhead, when he finally turned his head to us, he caught sight of me. He pulled out a magnifying glass. He gasped so loudly I had to cover my ears (ok, when I was that small it was that loud).
“Rose, is that…that…really y-you?”
“Yes!” I shouted for him to hear me.
He gently picked me and Raven up. He went back at high speed and when we got there he went in and showed me to my family. They were terribly shocked and asked, “Is there a way to fix her?” Thankfully he said yes and I was bigger in no time.
“Rose, what happened to you? Are you alright?” everyone asked.
Soon I was dressed in my normal clothes. My family celebrated my return. Everyone had a question to ask but the question I wouldn’t answer was “how did you survive?” I only shrugged.
When I went upstairs I went to my room. I felt something cold against my chest. I pulled out the medallion – “yes, it wasn’t a dream!” I said to myself. Just then a bird flashed by. I saw that it was Raven. He flew and landed by the ditch. I could just barely see the town lights and there was a big bonfire there. I could hear the folk sing old songs and tales and listen to ancient legends. I smiled to myself and whispered to the air, “I will see them again.”
And then that was THE END.