The Kid Who Destroyed the World (and saved it again)
Chapter 1: My Idea
I didn’t mean to destroy the world. It wasn’t my plan at all. I just had an idea. So, technically, my idea destroyed the world. I did save it again, so you have to give me some credit. But since my dad told me to write why I destroyed the world on a sheet of paper, I’m going to give him all the details. And maybe, possibly, that will get me out of trouble. Probably not though. Anyway, it all started with my idea.
My idea was a simple one. Kids always think about it. Everyone does, I think. Except my dad. And my mom. And the baker and the grocery store delivery person and the school teacher and the florist at the flower shop and the graphic designer and OK, wow, I’m getting off topic. Already. So maybe lots of people don’t think about my idea. But I sure did. Especially when I got it into my head. Well that is when you start thinking about things. Anyway, you’re probably wondering what my idea was. Well, Dad already knows, but in case this becomes a famous document, I better write it down.
What if we had superpowers? It might seem like a normal question. But one question leads to another. Like, if I was wondering what was for lunch, I’d say, “What’s for lunch? Is it a turkey tuna melt?” (Yes, that is my favorite lunch.) That would lead me to think of other questions like, “Will Dad make it yummy or all sloppy like he did yesterday? Will it be cut in half or quarters? Will there be more turkey or tuna or cheese?” And those questions will keep going and going and going until you have an answer. Or until you blow up in despair because you can’t find the answer. And I would probably be pretty good at blowing up, so I decided to take the second option, which (of course) was to give us superpowers.
To a normal person, this might seem impossible, but I’m not normal. I put on my cape and take flight. Well, until I fall onto the floor because humans can’t actually fly. But let's not talk about that. Instead let’s talk about cool stuff like making my superpower.
MY SUPER COOL SUPER LIST
Step 1. Run to my room and jump off my bed for inspiration.
Step 2. Grab my notebook and start doing random math problems. (Scientists and inventors always seem to use a lot of math.)
Step 3. Pretend to type on my cardboard computer.
Step 4. Jump on my bed again to rethink my plan.
Step 5. Hear Mom yell at me and say no more jumping on my bed.
Step 6. Make a plan for how to make all the pieces for The Thing.
Step 7. Realize I do not have these pieces and go to ask Dad to loan me about $1,000.
Step 8. Get annoyed at Dad when he says no to $1,000 and gives me $10 instead.
Step 9. Try to find a cheaper plan and maybe figure out where to cut things out of it so my budget goes down.
Step 10. No success.
Step 11. Time for …
Chapter 2: Plan B (plan bff)
I ran to my dad and pickpocketed his phone like the Artful Dodger. Then I ran to my room and dialed Amy. Ringgggg. Ringgggg. Ringggggg. Ri—
“Amy! I need your help with my—”
“Your new idea, I presume.”
“Well, yeah. How did you know?”
“Let me think. Let’s flash back to yesterday when you asked me to help out with ‘non-smelly diapers.’ And then the day before that you needed help with ‘water lasers.’ And the day before that ‘no sun grass.’ And before that—”
“OK, OK I get it, I am very creative. Fun to hear all my ideas, though. They’re pretty good. Maybe I’ll come back to the ‘no sun grass' one later. But I’ll work really hard on this idea and won’t give up.”
“You always say that,” replied Amy. I could just see her rolling her eyes over the phone. “Whatever. I’ll help you anyway. And if you follow through with your idea, I’ll give you free ice cream sodas for a week.”
I hung up with Amy and realized that I didn’t set any time to meet with her. Whatevs, we’d just meet up at the bus stop or maybe at recess. It wouldn’t kill her to miss one dodgeball game. In fact, it might save someone else.
I dropped Dad's phone on the dining room table and darted upstairs to start planning my ideas just as I heard Dad going, “Honey, do you know where I put my phone?”
* * *
At my desk I started to doodle (ha, doodle) sketches for my idea.The controls would be simple. Lever, button, button, another button, red button!, green button!, switch. Boom, controls. Simple. Well, definitely not to build, but that would be Amy’s job. Next is the HARD PART, blueprinting. I needed to know how to make the machine so people can go in and not get burnt to shreds. Or torn apart by zombies … or I don’t know, in any way obliviated. Good thing I’m a genius.
I got an idea for the design, but how to make it was still VERY unclear. But again, as far as I was concerned, that was Amy's job. I started in and when it was finished (it took about 2 hours), it was a pretty good drawing. Very labeled. Amy would have no trouble building it … maybe. But first I decided to set up a number where people call me to get their superpower. And also, maybe, to be my test subjects so I wouldn’t turn to dirt. But then I decided to just make it simpler by asking them during recess. Activate plan R! Just then the phone rang. I darted downstairs and grabbed it.
“Hello, this is the Superpower Service! What superpower can I sign you up for?” There was a pause on the other side of the line.
“Um, I’m calling to speak to Tim Bakontony. Do I have the wrong number?” I realized I forgot I had not started my company yet.
“No, you don’t have the wrong number. Please don’t hang up. Please go on hold while yours truly goes to find Tim.” I darted upstairs screaming, “DAD! SOME DUDE ON THE PHONE WANTS TO SPEAK TO YOU!”
Dad rushed downstairs calling to me, “You're on mute right?”
“Nope!” I said proudly, “I told him to go on hold.”
“Honey, that's not how hold works … oh no!” Dad scrambled to the phone, where, apparently, the person on the other line hung up. Let’s just say that maybe I wasn’t in the best of situations that night.
Chapter 3: A Sticky Situation
I trotted out my front door and galloped to the magical cave of wonder and sparkles (yeah I was playing ponies, so what!?), otherwise known as “Adam Street.” Amy was waiting there, and I ran up to give her a hug. “Hey!!!” I shouted and then gave her my blueprints.
“Hey! Nice blueprints,” Amy said approvingly. “I can manage these. But where are you going to get the funds?” I stared at her. Amy sighed. “You know, the moolah!” I continued to stare. “Dollars!” I raised my eyebrows. “CASH!” she shouted.
“I was hoping you would, uh, pay for it out of your allowance?”
“Do you think I’m made of cash! These blueprints ... WOULD COST $1,890, just for what you’ve drawn out! The parts you’ve forgotten will cost lots too! And what about the controls?”
“My dad gave me $10?” I put in. Amy sighed and shook her head. “Look, Amy, I tried to cut costs, but jumping on my bed didn’t work and—”
“We could try to fundraise. I’d help. Not today, I’m busy, do you know 1,882 people?”
“I didn’t know that there were that many people.”
“GOD LOLA, WE’RE IN FOURTH GRADE!” Just then it started to rain. “Great,” said Amy sarcastically. Then we exchanged a glance. We needed to move if we were gonna catch, “OH NO THE BUS!” It turned the corner and we broke into a run, but no matter how hard we tried, we couldn’t beat a machine.
“Looks like we’re walking,” I sighed.
* * *
As I stepped toward my classroom, Jacob ran out to give me a high five and his twin sister Janet gave me a hug.
“I heard that you were starting a business! Superpowers, right?” Janet asked, grinning. “I’d love to be able to fly!”
“I’ll put you down on the list,” I told Janet, high fiving her. “You chose the right superpower company.”
“Well I don’t know any others,” Janet replied, laughing in her giggly way. I smiled at her. Jacob just looked away, rolling his eyes. I shrugged. “Guess he doesn’t think I can make a superpower machine,” I said to myself. Just then Mrs. Lea clapped her hands, and we all rushed in before the bell rang.
After that Mrs. Lea came up to my desk and handed me the paper with the morning announcements and I skipped down the hall, grinning, because I knew exactly what I was going to say.
Chapter 4: Big Trouble
I read the morning announcements loud and clear, but then looked down. I was almost at the end of the page and then I’d have to go back to class. So I took my chance.
“Hello again, students of Dogden Elementary! I have a special announcement! The creative genius known as Lola Bakotony is going to create a superpower machine that will zap superpowers into your body forever! Anyone who would like that can meet Lola and her assistant Amy at recess! And if anyone would like to be my test subject … I mean you have the thrilling experience of going first! Again, meet Lola and Amy at recess for the opportunity to get superpowers! Good day Dogden Elementary! It has been a pleasure reading you the announcements!” I turned off the switch and looked up, pleased with myself. But when I saw Principal Truman’s face, I knew I was in for a world of trouble.
* * *
“So you see, Dad,” I started off, looking into the angry faces of my parents. Right then my baby brother toddled in and lifted his soccer ball.
“Pway?” he said hopefully.
“Not right now, Brendan. I’m in trouble,” I told him.
“Lolo no pway?” Brendan asked my dad.
“Not right now, bud,” Dad said, ruffling Brendan’s hair. “Judy, please take Brendan right now!” my dad shouted up the stairs to my older sister.
“Daaad, I’m busy!” Judy moaned.
“Take your brother, or you’ll be in big trouble!”
“UGHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!” Judy huffed and marched down the stairs. She picked up Brendan and immediately transformed into her babysitting mode. Before she went upstairs she looked at my parents and asked, “I’m getting paid by the hour, right?” My parents sighed.
“OK, go on with your story, Lola.” Dad told me. But by then, I was longgggg gone.
* * *
When I got upstairs, I flopped on my bed, exhausted. What a day! I was totally grounded, I could tell. Plus I needed to find a way to get the moolah! I was gonna fundraise like Amy said! But how could I make customers care? How could I make them want what I was selling instead of just meatballs? How? How? I mean, I want the money, but I don’t know if that’s really a cause…
I grabbed the phone and texted Janet. “Hey, would you make a superpower flier to make customers give us money? Thanks! You're the best! Byeeeeeeeeee!”
I am so smart.
Chapter 5: Test Day
“Come down, Lola, we need to talk,” Dad called upstairs where I was revising my blueprints like Amy told me to do, which was TOTALLY unfair since I was the boss. I hopped downstairs and sat on the couch.
“Wassup dude?” I asked, playing it cool, because I knew I was totally doomed.
“Well, first, please don’t call me dude. And second, remember how Monday is test day? Well, I want you to study every day for as long as it takes. If you don’t get more than a B, you will be in trouble. This is your chance to make up for getting detention for talking on the morning announcements. We haven’t given you a punishment, yet, so take this opportunity. Now go hit the books, OK?” I sighed, nodded, and walked upstairs where Brendan was…
“BRENDAN! STOP EATING MY TEXTBOOK! I HAVE TO GIVE THAT BACK AT THE END OF THE YEAR!”
* * *
Daily Chart of My Professionalism
Monday: Should be studying. Who cares!? Got a week!
Tuesday: Totally studying. Sure. Not really. OK, nope. But we raised $5 from somebody. Amy says great, but I think she's being sarcastic.
Wednesday: Dad asked if I had studied yet. I said yes. So I guess I’ll study. I’ll start tomorrow.
Thursday: Um, I'll study this weekend. Meanwhile everyone loves my company idea. I need more money!
Friday: It’s almost the weekend! Who studies on Fridays? I’ve got 20 superpowers on the list.
Saturday: Uneventful. Lots of playing.
Sunday: Same. Hey, who studies on a weekend?
* * *
And then fate played a cruel joke on me. The day I had been waiting for/dreading was here. Test day. And no one had told me to study! Mrs. Lea gave the tests to us. Math, 8 multiple choice, 2 essay. OK, not too bad. Possibly. Language Arts. Oh no. 5 essay questions. 6 multiple choice! I bit my lip. Why didn’t I study!? I really should’ve. I kind of said I did, and I did read for like 20 minutes. What are we supposed to do again? I wasn’t really paying attention the 14 times Mrs. Lea explained it.
“Mrs. Lea!” I called out.
“Yes, Lola?” Mrs. Lea walked up to my desk.
“Are we supposed to work or just, you know, do eenie meenie minie mo?” Mrs. Lea looked at me and sighed. Eenie meenie it is.
* * *
Next day. Test results. Needed at least a B. Mrs. Lea walked up and down passing out the papers. First Liz. Then Janet. Greg. Tim. Now my paper. Deep breath in. Deep breath out. Breathe in. I flipped the paper. I…
Chapter 6: Grounded
“Lola, please come down here … and bring the test,” my dad called from downstairs. I grudgingly dragged my feet down the stairs, test in hand.
“Here, honey. Give it to me,” my mom told me. I plopped down on the couch, and bit my lip. My hand held out the test even though I willed it not to. Hey, she's an authority figure. My mom sighed and handed the test to my dad.
“Lola, you’re grounded.” My dad said.
“What!” I protested. “Over one lousy test!? Judy failed many more and—” I quickly stopped as Judy marched in the room. She shot me a look and grabbed her sleepover bag to go to her friend Tina’s house. I had a feeling she and I weren’t going to be on the best terms the next day.
“This isn’t just about the test. This is about the announcements and the test and the phone call,” my mom replied.
“... but it wasn’t my fault. Our class pet, Larmy, escaped!” (Larmy is a lizard, no one remembers what type.) “He started darting around the classroom and then he got on my test. I freaked out and couldn’t concentrate for the rest of the test, even when Larmy got back in his cage.” I looked up. My parents weren’t buying it. But it was my last chance. Last time I got grounded, I had to stay home for a MONTH! No after school activities, no playdates, no electronics, barely any friend calls, NOTHING! I had to risk it.
“You want to risk the consequences of lying?” Mom asked. My parents invented the consequences of lying just for me, which would’ve been pretty awesome, if it wasn’t a punishment. I shook my head sadly. “Grounded for two weeks.” I sighed and walked up to my room and collected my electronics.
* * *
“Here.” Amy handed me a walkie talkie. I smiled. “You're grounded, but this way we can still talk.”
I grinned. I had a question, but didn’t want to seem ungrateful. “Well, thanks, but how loud is it? Because if I get caught—”
“Don’t worry. You won’t get caught. Let's test ’em out now.” I nodded. “Hello!” It came through the walkie talkie softly. I grinned. Perfect.
“Thanks!” I shouted as I ran towards home.
* * *
That night a crackle came through the walkie talkie while dad read to me. I groaned.
“What’s that?” Dad asked, confused.
“Oh, that … it’s, um, just one of my toys out of batteries,” I lied. Dad nodded and continued to read. Just as he left the room, the walkie talkie started crackling again.
“I’ll get some batteries for that toy tomorrow, just remind me,” Dad said. I nodded, knowing I wouldn’t. Dad left the room, and I started to get up. As my foot touched the ground, the door soared open. “I forgot my water,” Dad said. I let out my breath. “You look like you’ve seen a ghost,” Dad stated. I shrugged, and he gave me a hug. “Well, get a good sleep. Love you.”
* * *
The next morning, on the way to the bus stop, I told Amy that she couldn’t just turn on the walkie talkie and start talking. I grabbed mine from my bag and handed it to her saying it was too dangerous. Amy nodded.
“So,” I said, changing the subject. “How much do you think we should charge someone to get a superpower? I’m thinking $5, but I dunno, what do you think?”
Amy opened her mouth, but right then the bus pulled up and her friends dragged her into a seat. I took the seat near the end and pulled out the math homework from last night. I know you’re supposed to do it at home, but I was busy doing, um, stuff, so what could I do? I reached into my bag and felt around for a pencil. There was none. I checked again. Nope. I couldn’t not do my homework! I’d get in even more trouble! Especially because I already hadn’t done it twice this week. I turned around and saw my friend James. He was also doing his homework.
“James, can I borrow a pencil?” He reached into his bag and pulled one out, still not looking up from his paper. “Thanks!” I sat back down and worked on homework the rest of the way to school.
Chapter 7: Sign-Up Sheets
After I did all the boring classwork, I went out to recess and met Amy there. We walked around and collected more superpower wishes from kids. I looked at Amy as we walked back from talking to Biff, the school bully, and said, “Well, should I charge $5 or $10?” Amy gave me a strange look.
“Don’t charge anything!” She replied.
“Why?” I asked, befuddled.
“Well … what if the machine doesn’t work?” I stood in shocked silence.
“But if it doesn’t work, couldn’t you…?” I stuttered.
“I’m not a professional. And even if I was, this is rewriting logic. Trust me, only Phineas and Ferb can do that.” All I could do was stare at her. She sensed my discomfort and quickly changed the subject. “So, um, did you think last night’s math homework was hard?” I shook my head. A loud clanging rocked the school playground. Saved by the bell.
* * *
That night, all I could think about was Amy. When I got to school the next morning, Amy was standing there, breathless and grinning wildly. She waved her arms at me happily.
“Come!” she shouted. “To the janitor’s closet!” I smiled. Amy never gets this excited about things. Inside the janitor’s closet was something covered in a dust rag. She pulled it off with a flourish and I stood in shock, glancing up and down! It was the machine!
“How? Where? When?” I stuttered.
“Well, I felt a little bad about yesterday and I had about $200 because we did collect a lot of money, at least for fourth graders, so I started to work. The outside of the base is cardboard, but inside are wires and stuff. There’s a place where the controls will be and also some other things. This is just a rough copy. It’ll take about 2 weeks for it to be all done. OK?” I nodded. I wished I could just fast forward my life two weeks!
Chapter 8: Fast Forwarding My Life Two Weeks!
Since this is just an essay, I can totally fast forward two weeks. Those two weeks of my life were pretty uneventful, other than getting $20 by winning a pie eating contest, being bored, failing another test, presenting a chart about balloon animals for school, and setting the house on fire. (Barely, the fire department only kicked us out for 2 days.)
Anyway, the day had come.
“Come innnnnnn, come innnnnnn,” spoke Amy in her mad scientist voice. I danced into the room. No one had been allowed in the janitor’s room for the past two weeks except, of course, the janitor.
“I can’t wait to see what she’s doing in there!” Janet said one day, after we had complained about a math assignment. I just nodded, distracted.
Today was the day. I was allowed in. As I stepped into the room, I fell back at the sight of a shiny gold machine.
“That!?” I screeched. Amy looked hurt. “Sorry, I didn’t mean it that way. Just, how!? How’d you do this?” Amy recovered her smile.
“Just, you know, stuff. A scientist/inventor/possibly mentor never reveals her secrets.” She looked around and whispered, “Paint. Lots of paint.” I laughed. Some things never change.
* * *
“Come one, come all, see this hamster get superpowers!” I shouted to the crowd that had gathered behind us. One of the kids from my school rolled his eyes. A bunch of parents stared at me doubtfully. The mayor sighed and looked at his watch.“Free t-shirts are 5 bucks!” I yelled. “Buy one, get one half off!”
“Shouldn’t we test it in private first?” asked Amy nervously. “What if it doesn’t work?” Behind her, the wagon rattled and clunked as it carried the machine ... and Carla, our new class pet.
“Don’t be such a worrywart! Come on, we’re gonna be late!” We rolled the wagon behind a curtain and entered the middle school. I bit my lip and jumped on the stage. My family waved at me from the crowd as they walked in. “Welcome every—”
“SCREEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!” Everyone covered their ears as the mike admitted feedback. I sighed. Another day off to a great start.
“Sorry about that everyone!” I started over. “Today I am here to show you a miracle in history! A new first in the world! A beauty to this nation! The Boostinator 5000!” I paused and turned around. “The Boostinator 5000!” Nothing. “Amy!?”
“Sorry!” apologized Amy. “This thing is heavy!” I sighed. Amy appeared, with the machine covered by an old Strawberry Shortcake bedsheet.
“Is this a science fair project?” a random person in the audience whispered way too loudly.
“What’s with the bedsheet?” I asked. “You said you’d bring a … oh, nevermind.” I stepped back to the microphone. “This hamster is about to go down in history!” I put Carla in the Boostinator’s superpower box and started turning the dials. It started to heat up. I gasped. It was actually working! “What superpower, folks?” Hands shot up.
“You!” shouted Amy.
“Turn him into a turtle!” said the little boy.
“Sorry,” said Amy. “Not possible. C’mon shout out! I don’t care!” The crowd glanced at each other.
“Make him fly! Make him fly!” They chanted. I set the dial. The machine was getting hotter.
“Care to do the honors?” I asked Amy. She gestured for my hand to stay. She added hers on top. And …
Chapter 9: The First Flying Hamster in the World (that we know of)
Smoke poured out of the machine, and I started to gag. Amy shrugged apologetically.
“I thought the smoke would be a cool effect,” Amy whispered. I sighed, which was not the best idea, due to all the smoke around me. I was about to insist we turn the machine off for the safety of humanity when the smoke stopped and the machine dinged.
“Why is the Boostinator 5000 dinging?” I said as I glanced over at Amy. “It sounds like a toaster.”
“Um, well, I guess so it would make a sound?” Amy replied, strings of doubt in her voice. “Besides, who doesn’t like toast?!” she added more confidently. I was about to break into a fit of giggles when a group of kids in the crowd started shouting at us to hurry up and open the machine.
Slowly Amy reached out and grabbed the handle. She looked around at all the faces in the crowd and yanked the door open.
People craned their necks as they leaned forward trying to catch a glimpse of Carla. The smoke that was still inside the box cleared, and snickers came from the crowd. Inside the box sat Carla, looking normal. I sighed as behind me people laughed.
“You should’ve turned him into a turtle,” I heard the little boy from before groan.
I turned to face the crowd and caught a glimpse of Amy. She was reaching in the box to pick up Carla. I turned back to the crowd.
“Listen, we're only in fourth grade! Let's see you make a superpower machine!” Grumbles in the crowd turned to gasps and even the mayor's eyes widened in shock. Confused, I whirled around and saw Carla jumping out of Amy’s hand, wings wide. Screams came from the crowd and I saw reactions between terror and glee on people’s faces.
“See!” I shouted. “I told you we could build a superpower machine!” Carla soared around the room, knocking off one lady’s wig and stopping to lick another person’s ear. As she flew past me, I grabbed her, and she curled up in my hand.
I glanced at Amy. She was in shock. I thought about poking her, but decided it was better not to.
“OK … who wants to try the machine?” I asked, trying to get the crowd's attention back. Dead silence followed. I bit my lip and caught my sister's eye, giving her a pleading look. “C’mon Judy,” I muttered. I saw her start to get up when suddenly a kid from my class stood up and said, “You're all dorks. I’m getting superpowers.” I recognized him as Gordon. He marched up to me. “How much?” he asked gruffly.
“Um, uh,” stammered Amy.
“Ten dollars, fifteen if you want a t-shirt,” I replied, as I tried to get back in sales mode. Gordon plopped a ten-dollar bill in my hand. I beckoned to Amy. She snapped back to life and walked over. “What superpower?” I asked. Carla flew out of my hand.
“Quick! Catch her! We need to bring her back to school!” Amy shouted. Gordon grabbed Carla by the leg. Carla squirmed, then sat down on Gordon’s hand.
“I’ll take telekinesis.” I nodded and set the dial, handing the money to Amy. He stepped in and in a minute came out looking dazed, but happy. “Woah!” He put two fingers on his head and moved a chair from outside onto the mayor's lap. My stomach tightened, but the mayor just laughed, a big booming scary laugh. People stood up and held out money.
“Pick me!” They shouted. “No, pick me!” I grinned.
“Form a line! If you want a superpower, you gotta have ten dollars! T- shirts are buy one, get one half off! If you need any help, ask Amy or me! Come on, come up! Get your superpower here!”
The first in line was a little boy. I grinned.
“What power would you like?” I asked good-naturedly.
“Mwe? I wanna be able to mwake magical cwouds! My name’s Willy!” I laughed, then cleared my throat.
“Step right up, step right in!” I said. Willy’s parents rushed up with another boy.
“Are you sure this is safe?” asked Willy’s dad.
“Can Billy join Willy in the machine, they both want the same power,” Willy’s mother asked. I opened my mouth to reply, but she beat me to it. “What am I kidding, of course you will.” Willy’s mom pinched my cheek, then put Billy in my arms.
“I want lasers!” Billy shouted. He jumped out of my arms and danced around the room.
“Willy, get in the machine,” I said, ignoring the little boy bouncing around. Willy hopped in, and I set the dial. ZAP! I had a feeling it was going to be a long day.
Chapter 10: TV
Amy and I danced around the living room.
“EEEEEEEEEEEEEE!” I called out gleefully. Just then the doorbell rang. Amy laughed nervously. I rushed up to the door and shouted, “Hi T.V. dude!” The man smiled and stepped in, microphone in hand.
“Todd Cheswick, Channel 8. Let’s step outside for the interview.” I nodded and rushed off to my parents. As soon as I got the seal of approval from Dad, I darted outside, quicker than a Lightning Mega Fast Turbo Bullet. Behind me marched out Amy and then Todd. He set up his camera and pressed play, then said, “Hello everyone, I’m Todd Cheswick, and this is your news at 10.”
“But Todd ... it’s 8!” I informed him. He sighed.
“We’re going to be shown at 10:00 though. As you can see, here are the two creators of the Boostinator 5000, otherwise known as the superpower machine, or that cool thing those kids built! You two got anything to say?”
“Amy’s the one who built the machine!” I said. “I did everything else.” Amy cleared her throat. “OK, mostly everything else.”
“Hello America!” Amy shouted. “I’m Amy and we’re here to talk about the superhero … wait a second, are people actually seeing this? Bye America!” Amy darted away, and I debated whether I should go after her.
“Sorry, she’s got stage fright,” I informed Todd. “Had it since the 1st grade school play when she forgot all her lines. What a disaster. Crazy night. She was a tree and had to say ‘I’m a tree!’”
“We kind of need her. Can you fetch her back?” Todd asked, ignoring the story. I nodded.
“Course.” I started to sprint across the yard, panting. When I caught up to her, I grabbed her arm. She bit her lip.
“I can’t be on T.V. Lola! You know that! I thought this was a joke! What am I gonna do?” Her voice faded away as the sky filled with dark clouds and the world seemed to rumble. Suddenly a hole appeared just feet away from Amy! I shoved her to the side.
“I think the real question is, what are we gonna do…” As I uttered what I was sure would be my last words, the world went black.
Chapter 11: The End of the World
“Amy!” I screeched, sounding like a seagull. Not the most elegant thing, but hey, whatever. Elegancy is for hippos. Why hippos? I don’t know, but it is.
“Ahhhhhhhhhhh!” Amy replied in a “very calm” voice. “SAVE MEEEEEEEEEEEE!” Even in the darkness, I could see her terrified face. I closed my eyes and yelled, “TOTAL LACK OF APOCALYPSE TRAINING, DON’T FAIL ME NOW!!!” I laughed because I knew I sounded just like Wendy from my favorite cartoon, Gravity Falls.
I backed up, then took off running and lunged toward Amy, knocking her over. I felt my shoe fly off as I landed and heard the distant cry of pain and the familiar thump as the shoe hit Todd.
“Lola!” Amy screeched.
“C’mon, we gotta get inside. We’re gonna get killed out here!” A laser zoomed by my face and the thought of the cracks in the world flew from my mind as I set all my body power to getting to my house. It was our only chance of survival. I could just make out Amy’s figure behind me as I sprinted toward my house. Once we were both inside, I tried the light switch. Nothing. Again. Nothing. Again. Nada. Nope! Death by lightbulb.
“Oh work, you stupid thing!” I shouted.
“I think the power’s out,” Amy said softly.
“I know that Amy!” I snapped.
From the very loud whispering, I could tell my family was somewhere in the house. I could also tell that they knew we were in the house. Amy glanced at me, then broke into peals of laughter.
“You! They! The powers!” She bursted in a fit of wild child giggles. I shook my head.
“What do you mean?” I asked.
“People took control! Because of all the powers! The powers we gave out!” She explained between laughs.
“So they got power crazy and greedy and are destroying the earth single handedly? Because of us!?” She nodded and snorted.
“Um… about how many people did we give powers to?”
“1 sec,” Amy muttered. “Two, three, carry the eight.” I sighed with relief, she was in the low zone. Even being in the ten zone would be OK. Just as long as she didn’t say-
“About 721. Exactly 721.”
“Why did we do this!?” I screamed.
“Lollipops are yummy, and we used our moolah to buy so many!” Amy cackled. I sighed. Just great, I thought. This is what I really needed, an insane, sugar crazy Amy. Perfect.
“Amy what powers did we give out that could be potentially dangerous?” I asked.
“Laser eyes, supersonic sneeze, hypnoteyes hair, puzzle power-”
“What is scary about puzzles?” I asked.
“They give you headaches.” I nodded. She had a point. “And then there was Mr. Trent that we gave classy clouds to.”
“What the heck is that?” I asked.
“Oh, it makes all these cool popular clouds that just talk on their cell phones and worry about fashion. I think he meant to order Commanding Clouds, to make a cloud army. He managed to get a few to try to eat people to scare the rest of the people in town into line and obey him, but since clouds are made of water molecules, it just got people wet. Didn’t really do the trick. Guy isn’t the sharpest tool in the box. I have no clue how he ended up as our science teacher.”
“Why the heck did we do that!?” I screamed. “I mean not the cloud thing. That sounds hilarious—”
“There were videos of it posted on Youtube.”
“Oh really, I’ll have to check that out. But we need to fix this. This is our fault. Maybe mostly mine. Let's think of a plan.” We sat in silence for a while. Then I jumped up.
“I got it!” I shouted. “I have a plan.”
* * *
Amy and I crouched next to the machine. The rest of the household was in the next room, huddled against the fireplace that had no fire in it. I suggested they get a match and light the fireplace, but all I got was a look that meant, “Lola, that would set the house on fire! For the second time!”
“You ready?” I asked.
“As ever,” she replied. Amy hopped into the Boostinator 5000 and set the dial to the “End of the World” setting. I waited until she came out. Then I reset the dial and stepped in. Inside was like an oven. Molecules of sweat dripped from my forehead as I was being shoved and pushed and shoved again by these weird robotic arms in the side of the machine and then thought how strange it was that we had an “End of the World” setting … as I fell out.
“AMY! YOU KNEW THIS WAS GONNA HAPPEN!?” She shrugged.
“I think ahead,” she replied. I sighed.
“Go. Now. Don’t stall. The world’s fate is upon us. And Amy, we’re talking about the whole ‘knowing the world was going to end thing’ later.” Amy jumped out the window, ran and then lifted off, zooming into space and beyond. After a lot of bright lights, screams, and battle cries, Amy raced back in through the window
“Mission bubble is complete. Are you sure about this?” (People, people, everything is soon to be explained. Vamos! Read the fun stuff! Go! Go!) “The bubble is set, but it’s dangerous out there. I can go.” I shook my head.
“No. You did your part. It’s time for me to do mine. At quarter to 2, destroy the machine NO MATTER WHAT. The earth depends on it.” With that, I stepped out the door, and wandered into the abyss.
Chapter 12: Lots of Glue
I broke into a run with my faster than the speed of light speed (hey, I wasn’t the one who named it), shooting glue out of my palms and lining the earth with it. If I messed up, it was over. Amy did her part, with bubbling the world. If it wasn’t bubbled, we would’ve all floated away and who knows what would’ve happened then. Now I had to stick the world together. Literally. Luckily, Amy had built an emergency destruct switch that took away everyone’s powers, but we didn’t know if it took away the damage, or fixed it. We just had to hope for the best. I remembered what I was supposed to be doing, then darted forward, avoiding anyone or anything in my way, including classy clouds that were chasing me. I spotted Willy, who was hanging onto a crack with no end in sight. It was the last cosmic split on the planet.
“Willy!” I cried, then jumped in and shoved him out at the last second. The ground started to rumble. I checked my phone. 1:44. It was happening. I blasted the ground with glue. It wasn’t enough! It wouldn’t close! I shoved the glue together and felt my leg slipping. The glue hadn’t hardened! I was going to drown!
“Help!” No one was around to hear me. Willy had run off to his mom. Everyone else was fighting or attempting to stop it. The ground shook and rumbled. I tried to add more glue to shove myself out, but my powers were gone. This was it. The end.
The ground was adjusting. I was sent flying in the air, but by then I didn’t care. I had a sense of calm as everything went hazy, then became no more.
Chapter 13: Back to Normal (mostly)
I could hear it. The noise. It was close. But what were they saying? What was going on? I peeked one eye open. The voices were getting louder. They were coming. But who? What was going on?
“Lola! LOLA!” I could faintly hear someone shouting. I was too tired to respond. I shoved open my eyelids and saw figures standing around me.
“Her eyes are open! She's OK!” I recognized that voice. I yanked my jaws open to reply. I used all my power to speak.
“Mom?” I muttered. I looked around. “Dad? Brendan? Judy?”
“And me,” Amy whispered. “Are you OK?”
“Yeah, I think so … what happened? Is everyone OK? Did the world end?” Amy shook her head.
“What are you talking about? That must’ve been a dream. You fell out of a second-story window,” Amy replied.
“What? But? NO!”
“Don’t tease her yet,” Judy said. “That’s my job.” I laughed.
“You can’t fool me that easily, Amy!” I said hoarsely. “Now seriously, what happened?”
“You saved the world,” Dad told me. “Let’s just say someone has a lot of cleaning up to do.” I smiled.
“Amy, the clean-up is your job!” I joked.
“Yeah, sure,” Amy replied, rolling her eyes. “I still can’t believe the machine worked!”
“To be honest,” I said, “neither can I!” Amy made a face at me, and we both laughed.
“Are you sure you're OK?” Mom asked. I nodded and attempted to get up, then winced with pain.
“Actually, I think my leg is broken. And my wrist. And maybe everything else,” I replied.
“Let’s get you fixed up,” said a voice from behind me. I screamed, and he laughed. “You’re at the hospital missy. Don’t worry.”
The doctor, a short bald man, checked me over and confirmed my broken wrist, leg, and also my big toe. Amy turned on the news. Todd was standing in front of my house.
“And this is where the legendary girl, Lola, lives. Her friend Amy lives a few doors down. And they’re the ones who saved the world.”
So, Dad, that’s my summary. Or story. Well, nonfiction story. Or whatever you want to call it. My toe is better and my wrist is too, but my leg is still in a cast. That was a very exciting 3 months. Or 4. I kind of lost track of time after we blew up the machine. Mostly because I was unconscious. And, Dad, even though you were there, I bet you're dying to know what happened.
Basically, Amy turned off the machine, and it blew up. All the superpowers got taken away. But not the damage. So you were right, we have a lot of cleaning up to do. I guess we’re lucky the glue stuck. Though I do wonder what would happen if it didn’t … Kablow! Interspace News! Planet Destroyed!
Dad, this better get me out of trouble. Now I have to answer a “fan letter” from NASA on the whole bubble trapping astronauts from leaving Earth thing. And, for the record, this should get turned into a scientific document, because I’m pretty sure there won’t be any books on the superpower chaos, because people wanna forget all that. And because I don’t think future generations will believe us. So that’s that. I’m gonna go now. To NASA and beyond!
Lola Bakontony, Superpower Kid
Ellie loves to write, read, play her flute, and run cross-country. Her favorite books are The Lord of the Rings and The Hunger Games series. She lives in Rhode Island with her mom, dad, and fish Lightning.