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Weekly Flash Contest #10: Write down 5 ideas for some impossible characters – space frogs, singing clocks, walking cactuses – the more unlikely the better. Pick 2 of them. What would happen if they met? Write a story about it.

The week commencing June 1st (Daily Creativity prompt #51) was our tenth week of flash contests, and our entrants rose to the double challenge of inventing some crazily impossible characters, and putting them together in bizarre situations. Well done everyone for your wildly creative stories and ideas! This was such a strange and fascinating group to choose from, that we found it just too hard to narrow down the number to share with you. So, this week we have 6 winners, whose work is published below, and 4 very honorable Honorable Mentions. Congratulations to them all!

Winners

Isabel Bashaw, 10, Enumclaw, WA
Lucy Berberich, 11, Oxford, OH
Federico Lynch Ferraris, 11, New York, NY
Lila Laton, 10, New York, NY
Tilly Marlow, 10, Bristol, United Kingdom
Alice Xie, 12, West Windsor, NJ

Honorable Mentions

"Enchanted Woods" (story and drawing) by Amelia Barth, 10, Elgin, IL
"The Mathematician and the Songstress (A Story Told from 2 Points of View)" by Anna Haakenson, 12, Beach Park, IL
"Polka Dots" by Samantha Lee, 10, Thomaston, CT
"The Eerie Cat-Man Thief and the Gucci Bunny" by Daniel Wei, 13, Weddington, NC

Isabel Bashaw, 10
Enumclaw, WA


Zombie Unicorn vs. Tap-Dancing Carrot Cake

Isabel Bashaw, 10

It was Independence Day in the magical land of Mystic Topia, and a parade celebrating the town's freedom from Wicked Humans was underway in the town square. Horns blared and drums banged throughout the crowded streets. A variety of animals, things, and creatures stood packed together under the sun, straining to see Mayor Cactus, the leader of this year's parade. The Mayor (a famous opera singer in her youth) belted out "God Bless Mystic Topia" as she shuffled unsteadily down the street, forcing the crowd to shift forward and back to avoid the movement of her spines. She was followed by the amazing Tap-Dancing Carrot Cakes. This tap-dancing trio rat-a-tap-tapped along to the bouncy beat of the drums in the marching band. After the marching band scurried a group of vampire, candy-throwing hamsters. Finally the parade ended in a finale of zombie unicorns performing acrobatic tricks for the crowd's enjoyment.

After the crowd had thinned and all the baby creatures slept in their parents' arms, a lone zombie unicorn, hungry from her performance, snuffled along the streets in search of a bite to eat. She wasn't having much luck because the street-sweeping cockroaches had already passed through. Just then, she heard a noise! One of the tap-dancing carrot cakes shimmied up the road, his headphones blaring music so loud that the unicorn (and probably the whole town) could hear it. The zombie unicorn lifted her head slightly and, flaring her enormous nostrils, sniffed the smell of her favorite food: CARROTS! Better yet, SUGARY CARROTS! Groaning loudly, the unicorn galloped over to the carrot cake. He had his eyes closed, humming and tapping along to the music, oblivious to his impending doom. The unicorn took a sizable bite of the carrot cake's frosted arm as it waved around to the music's beat. The tap-dancing carrot cake's head shot up, its eyes staring directly into the eyes of the zombie unicorn, who was happily enjoying his gooey frosting. The carrot cake couldn't feel the strike, but he knew that a piece of his body was not where it was supposed to be. His arm was being digested inside the belly of the undead!

The carrot cake immediately spewed out cuss words like "buttermilk!" and "powdered-sugar!" Then, collecting himself, turned off his music and said in a low, threatening voice: "I. Will. Get. You. Zombie. Unicorn."

Now the zombie unicorn was quite confused. Weren't carrots and sugar meant for eating? This little pastry was freaking her out with its angry, orange eyes and spiteful threats!

"Woah, woah, woah!" she said. "Hold up! This is all just a big misunderstanding! I thought you were food! Can't we just settle this in a peaceful manner??"

The carrot cake kept on glaring, and tapped its feet angrily.

"How about a dance fight?" asked the zombie unicorn. "If I win, you let this go. And if you win, I'll give you free zombie unicorn rides for a week!"

Still glaring, the carrot cake stopped his angry tapping and slowly nodded his head. Just then, a lone street-sweeping cockroach scuttled by, its jaws chomping on scavenged parade candy.

"Hey!" said the zombie unicorn. "Will you be the judge of our awesome dance fight?" The cockroach, constantly glancing left to right, paused to nod its head up and down. "Alright, then, Tasty-Cakes, you're up!" said the unicorn.

The carrot cake tugged his headphones out of his device, scrolled through his music and started dancing to "I Like To Move It." He crazily tapped across the road, only pausing every so often to catch his breath. He went on and on... and on, until finally the unicorn couldn't stand watching anymore.

"OK, OK. My turn," she said, swiping his device with her hoof and clicking on her favorite jam. She swung her back legs and flipped onto her front two, doing a handstand, her horn touching the dirt. Then she clopped around and around, in a kind of shuffle dance move. Finally the carrot cake stopped her.

"Let’s see the results," he said with a smug look on his face. Both creatures turned to the cockroach. "What did you think?" the tap dancing carrot cake asked the insect. The insect shook its head and pointed to the unicorn.

"I WON!!" shouted the zombie unicorn, prancing around gruesomely. The cockroach looked confused. They didn't understand that he was pointing to the unicorn to tell her she had lost. Her dance was terrible! The carrot cake hung his frosted head, disappointed at having lost a piece of his arm and a week of free unicorn zombie rides. The sad cake mumbled, "OK, we're even."

Turning gleefully to head home, the zombie unicorn took one last look back. Seeing the sad cakey look, she said, "alright, alright! Hop aboard. You get one free zombie unicorn ride."


Lucy Berberich, 11 Oxford, OH

Just Another Meeting?

Lucy Berberich, 11

“My name’s Aaaagiten!” The goat baahed cheerfully.

Remen rolled her eyes, looking away in agitation. “I am called Remen.” She said in a monotone voice. Her metallic skin was burning under the sun, and she cursed her master for forcing her to participate in this monumental waste of time. Her master was always saying it was important that she remain in contact with the outside world to keep her database up to date. The computer replacing her brain was always taking in new information, and interacting with other beings was crucial for her development. Still, she felt this particular interaction was next to pointless. This goat may have been capable of human speech, but besides this it was brainless.

Agiten, on the other hand, was having the time of his life chatting with Remen. He found the human-computer fusion fascinating, although he didn’t understand the half of it. He went on and on about how humans were “so smart” and how he was “blessed to be able to talk to them”. His friend the English-speaking peacock had recommended he have a meeting with the computer girl. She didn’t have a human brain… just a computer filling her head with facts and data. So she knew everything about everything, and, to face the music, he didn’t know anything about anything. He couldn’t pass up this chance to learn so much about the world.

“So… who created you?” Agiten asked, still cheery.

“The Agnes Industry.” Remen answered emotionlessly.

“Oh, I was made in a similar industry!” Agiten bounced happily. “The Andes Industry! You heard of it? It’s an industry that specifies in genetic modification of nonhuman animals.”

Remen nodded. “I have, yes.”

Agiten frowned at her apathy. “Say, can you feel emotions?”

The computer girl tilted her head and hesitated for a moment. “I can feel only the emotions I was programmed to feel during certain situations. I am incapable of having the feelings of the average human as I do not have a human brain.”

“I get it.” Agiten replied, not getting it at all. “Well, I can feel 'em all! Wild and free, this one is!”

Remen nodded, remaining emotionless.

Agiten squinted at her, thinking hard, which was quite a daunting task to him. He wanted to test something. Certain situations she had said. As he held up the mainly one-sided conversation, Agiten thought up an idea to test just how far Remen’s programming had gone. While Remen was distracted answering one of his questions, he took the chance to leap onto her. He didn’t have fingers, but he did have an extroardinarily long goat tail. Wagging his unnaturally long tail around, he tickled the computer girl’s face.

Remen let out a guttural shriek and toppled over onto the picnic blanket. It wasn’t long until she was giggling hysterically, and Agiten arose triumphant.

“Ha-ha! I was right! You can laugh!” Agiten yelled in victory.

Remen pushed him off angrily. “That could be classified as harrassment, you know!”

“Oh, you’re just mad because I found your weakness!” Agiten jumped up and down in glee. “I made you laugh! I made you laugh! I made the super computer laugh!”

“ You incompetent excuse for a living being! ” Remen shrieked. “ I will remove you from existence! Get back here and accept your fate!”

The last hour of their meeting was spent chasing each other around and screaming like idiots. But in the end, they both felt that it had been worthwhile.


Federico Lynch Ferraris, 11
New York, NY

The Great Escape

Federico Lynch Ferraris, 11

I was a juggler. I performed at the greatest circuses, astounding my audience with my skills. I even spread my spirit to the great Circuses of the Small. Starting with only two balls, I would have my assistant throw me more and more until there were around 30. But soon, my secret was spilled. My talent was all over the place with your average citizen being able to do my trick. You may have heard this story. It is my story, I am San Pineapple the 34st. And along with three cherry tomatoes, Jerry, Mary, and Harry, I made the Fruit Circus. Me and the tomatoes go way back, they were the first things I had ever juggled. And when we saw that we were perfect as an act, we made the legendary Fruit Circus. But then, the fruit government saw that there was no point in the circus, so they closed it, and put us in the dreaded place. The city of destruction. Also known as, the grocery store. And now, here I am, sitting, waiting for a human to buy me. But me and the tomatoes have a plan. And it’s the most sneaky plan that you ever did see…

Something that you may not know, is that even though I am a juggler, I practically side as a ninja. And so do Jerry, Mary, and Harry. So using our ninja skills, we rolled off of the table, onto the ground and started making our way towards the exit. I’m thinking nobody sees us, but I noticed that they made a loud screeching sound and pointed at us. I wonder what that means. Anyway, we were about to make it to the door, when some evil human scooped us up, and put us in his bag! After a few minutes, he took us out again, but we were in a totally different environment. I had heard about this place. A very strange place, an evil place. This was called an apartment.

He carried us to a bowl on an instrument called the piano. Then, another human yelled, “Chris! Are you back?” Chris called back to the other human, “ Yes mom, and I found a cool set of fruits! Apparently, they are haunted!” Mom came into view with her hands on her hips, “ Pish posh, do you really believe that? We are eating them tomorrow.” Then I realized why an apartment was the dreaded place for fruits. I finally saw that I had to leave, now more than ever...

You know, when I think about it, mom is a strange name. Even for a human. I was thinking about this ( yes, it is quite random, especially when you put in the fact that I should be planning to escape.) when I heard an annoying screech coming from a high tech device humans call chairs. But however loud it was, it started to calm me down. I looked down from my perch, to see a chair with an instrument called the flute! I thought fruit was the only other thing that was alive! I called down to him, “ hey! Do the humans hear you?” He continued playing for a bit, but then said, “ I don’t know, either they don’t care, or they can’t hear a thing.” There was silence for a few moments, then, I rolled over so I could get out of the bowl without making a sound. I signaled to the tomatoes to follow me, and they did. When we all got out of the bowl, we had to think of a way to get down the piano without making ourselves a fruit pancake. Because no one likes pineapple and tomatoes mixed in a pancake. No one.

I finally realized that I practically had a shell around me, and the tomatoes are too small and light to actually hurt themselves this way, so I just went for it, and oh did I fly. I flew, my leaves grazing the ceiling. I flew all the way across the living room. And I flew into a wall. But, my shell protected me! So instead of becoming the dreaded fruit pancake, I bounced off the wall into another bowl. A captivating contraction was there with me, but it looked all beat up. It slowly raised its head, weary from all it's been through. It said exactly what I needed it to say. “ I can see you want to get out. I am a key, and if you put me into that lock, you can get out, but you have to take me with you. Deal?”

Usually I would go with the independent option, but when my life is on the line, whatever thing would get me out of here, I am ready to choose. Even if it includes weeping in front of them, and doing everything they say for the rest of my life. I know that's a lot that I would be willing to do, and it may be new to you, especially seeing that I am the legendary San Pineapple the 34st. So I said, “ deal” and we forged our plan.

I hid the keys in my leaves, then jumped out of my bowl. The chair walked to the door, and I climbed onto him. I put the Keys in, and with a click, the door was opened. Using my ninja skills, we went down the stairs, and into the sewers, from there, I knew exactly where Fruitville was. And the keys knew where Key County was. So we parted ways. The only thing left now, was explaining what happened to the fruit queen...


Lila Laton, 10
New York, NY

Sergeant and the Antique Shop

Lila Laton, 10

“Welcome to Hardy’s Antiques! What can I get for you today?” is what the owner of the Middleton antique shop would say every time someone walked in his store. He was a kind man with a big heart. He especially loved his cat, Sergeant. Since everything that wasn't humans could talk to each other, Sergeant would instruct the new shipments on how they should behave.

Sergeant was licking his paws, getting ready for the new shipment of antiques coming today. Every five minutes Sergeant would go look out back to see if the UPS truck was there. Mainly because of the packages, but also because Mike, the delivery guy, would always give him treats. Sometimes some milk, or sometimes some jerky scraps, but always a tummy rub.

The neighborhood dogs teased Sergeant about how he liked tummy rubs.

“Us hounds are the only ones who get Mike’s tummy rubs around here,” said Scratch, the stray who lived behind Hardy’s.

“He liked me better anyway,” meowed Sergeant as he stretched out in the sun.

“Say that again and I won’t be the only one with a Scratch.”

“Whatever,” Sergeant said, slipping back into the store. He knew that Hardy didn’t like dogs, and that they couldn’t come in.

* * * *

Finally, at five o’clock, the shipments arrived. Hardy had gone home, but Sergeant wanted to stay until the packages arrived. When they did he took his long sharp claws and opened the box. Inside was a little little chipped teacup, a big teapot, a small silver spoon and a big oil painting.

“Welcome to Hardy’s, antiques. I am Sergeant and I will be instructing you because my master, Hardy, won’t be able to,” the stern cat instructed. “Any questions before I show you all where you are going to sit?”

“Can I sit with my mommy?” asked the little chipped tea cup.

“Of course. Anyone else?”

“I do!” demanded the little silver spoon. “Why do you get to sell us? We are as important as any other thing! We aren’t slaves. You can’t just sell living things!”

“Think of this as a hotel. We are just giving you a home that will polish you everyday until a wandering human picks you up to buy you.”

“But what about my little Chip? What if the humans take him away from me?” cried the teapot.

“We can sell you as a set, so no one can buy one without the other. I assure all of you, this is not scary. We want to help. Now everyone stay here, I am going to take Mrs. Teapot and Chip to their glass case.”

* * * *

“Did you know that I am one hundred years old?” Chip said to Sergeant.

“No, I did not,” Sergeant muttered.

“Did you know I was from France? I speak French and English! Two languages!”

“Nope.”

“Chip, darling, leave the nice cat alone,” instructed Mrs. Teapot.

“Okay mommy.”

They kept walking down the halls of the antique shop. Passing creepy dolls, beautiful paintings, and many more things until they reached a glass case filled with tea sets of all shapes and colors.

“Mommy, we get to sit in there all day!?” Chip squealed excitedly.

“Yes darling, we do,” Mrs. Teapot said while smiling. She wasn’t as excited as Chip but by the look of her face she was close.

“You will sit in between the Russian tea set and…. Hmmmmm, let’s see….. maybe Mrs. Vase. Yeah, she is good,” Sergeant decided.

“Excuse me, Mr. Cat?” asked Mrs. Teapot.

“Please, call me Sergeant.”

“Yes, um, Sergeant? Why is there a vase with all of us tea sets?”

“Well, Mrs. Vase was our very first vase donated to the shop. We didn’t have space for a new section so we just put her with the tea supplies. When we got the store renovated Hardy wanted to move her but I said that she was so used to being with the other teapots so she wouldn’t like it in the vase area.”

“Wait, you can talk to humans!?” asked Chip and Mrs. Teapot with their mouths dropped open.

“Yep. I’m like the bridge between humans, and everything else.”

“Wow! Mommy, I wanna talk to humans!” whined Chip.

“Sorry honey, so do I. But Sergeant here has a gift.”

* * * *

When Sergeant got back to  the backroom after he had introduced Mrs. Teapot and Chip to all the tea sets, Minik, the oil painting, was sleeping, and Silver, the spoon, was looking around at all of Hardy’s tools.

“Who wants to go first?” asked Sergeant.

“Not me. I’d rather be put in jail last than second,” groaned Silver.

“Minik?”

“Huh, what? Oh, me? Okay,” yawned Minik.

* * * *

“Your name is so cool, you know. I always wanted a name that meant cat,” Sergeant told Minik.

“My name means cat?” asked Minik, confused.

“No, but it means oil. And you are an oil painting.”

“Really? Wow, I never knew that. You are smart, Sergeant. I never even knew that and that is my name.”

“Well, I can talk to humans.”

“Really? Wow!”

“Eh, it isn’t as exciting as you think. I can only talk to Hardy, because he says if I talk to the wrong person they will freak out.”

“Who is Hardy?”

“Oh, he is my master. My owner. He owns the store.”

“But then why isn’t he instructing us?”

“Well you couldn’t understand him. So I am like his assistant.”

They were silent the rest of the way until they got to the wall filled with beautiful paintings.

“You are a fruit bowl, so you can go between the cafe painting and the garden painting.”

“No offense, but you don’t have fingers. How are you going to hang me?”

“I am not. I will have Hardy do it tomorrow. Is it ok if you sleep in the back room tonight?”

“Of course!”

Minik and Sergeant went back to the back room to find Minik a place to sleep and grab Silver so they could take him to the Silverware section of the store. But when they got there, Silver was gone.

* * * *

“Where did he go?!” Sergeant screamed. They had searched the entire antique shop. Now everyone was tired, but Sergeant was still searching. He knew that Silver wasn’t in the shop, but he kept saying to himself that he was, and that Sergeant didn’t need to go out into the scary dark city streets. But he thought about Hardy, and how sad he would be if he lost that very expensive spoon. And annoyed, at Sergeant. So Sergeant sucked up his fear, and went outside.

The city streets were terrifying. Sergeant had been out for almost 2 hours and still hadn’t found Silver.

“Silver! Where are you!” Sergeant called. He was trying to think of where Silver could have gone, when it hit him.

One day, when he was a little kitten, Sergeant was sitting in a cardboard box with his mother. Then Hardy walked by, saw the free kitten sign, and fell in love with the small grey cat immediately. But he didn’t have love for Sergeant’s mother, so he only took Sergeant.

The next night Sergeant escaped and ran back to the box, but his mother wasn’t there. So he sadly walked back to Hardy’s small apartment. When he got home, Hardy was crying, waiting for him. Sergeant leaped into his arms and purred. He knew that this was his home now.

Sergeant ran as fast as his little paws could take him back to the shop. When he got there he looked at Hardy’s order history. As suspected, the spoon had come from the post office. Sergeant ran to the post office and saw Silver sitting there.

“Silver! I have been looking all over for you.”

“The truck that took me here is gone,” Silver said sadly.

“I know. You remind me of me as a kitten.” Sergeant told Silver about when he had first met Hardy. “This is your home now. And you will make friends with the other antiques, and someday someone will buy you who will be just as great as the people who donated you.”

“You really think so?”

“I know so.”


Tilly Marlow, 10
Bristol, United Kingdom

The Gossipy Phone Charger Meets the Space Skunks

Tilly Marlow, 10

“Oh yes, did you know, Alberta left the WhatsApp group because she thought that Vicky thought that she thought… Really?... Now everyone knows about the thing John said about Sammy… Oh of course… yes... Percy downloaded that ridiculous app…”

It was 7 o’clock on Monday morning, and as usual, the phone charger was knee-deep in gossip. The charger couldn’t actually communicate with humans, but it made up for it with the enormous amounts of chatting it did with itself.

It could read text messages, piggyback phone calls, it could even write to groups on WhatsApp. It could charge phones too, but it found that the slower it charged the phones, the larger the space of time that it could find potential for gossip was.

“Jemima thinks she saw a tribe of skunks? So Wha–What? Out of her telescope? Ha!”

The space skunk tribe in question did not really see the funny side of this. To be truthful, it is rather hard to see the funny side of things while hurtling through the Earth’s atmosphere, especially if you have just become acquainted with the fact that your tail is on fire.

The skunks could have landed anywhere in the world. Absolutely anywhere. The chance of them hitting the very house in which the chatty charger lived was about 1 in 3,921,910,064,328. (The maths has been done. (Not by me) It’s completely true.)

But it so happened that the skunks were that 1 in 3,921,910,064,328, and so they landed on the balcony the chatty phone charger was on. Space skunks being space skunks (without tails) they decided that the nearest lifeform was the commander of that weird new planet, and knew all there was to know about it. The nearest lifeform was… the gossipy phone charger.

Nobody knows about it now, but that talkative phone charger saved the world from a space skunk invasion.

“Uh, yeah, Jane told Jenny the secret secret and Hannie told Melanie who told Janet who told…”

The champion charger bored the skunks stiff, and so, at the next opportunity, the skunks leaped on a rocket and left Earth behind. Haven’t you ever wondered why Earth hasn’t been seized by aliens?  The space skunks told them all.

Never underestimate your phone charger.


Alice Xie, 12
West Windsor, NJ

The Human and the Hare

Alice Xie, 12

Ever since I crawled out of the womb and shot to six feet tall to quench my baby curiosity of what nurses had on their faces, I had been labeled strange. From that one second of bliss where I was a completely normal child, I never had the same life again.

Only a few people know about my “ability” to change size(proportionately, of course. Otherwise, only changing heights and not width would be weird.) My parents, the several doctors who failed to diagnose me, and of course, myself. Honestly, changing size is not that bad, it’s just kind of disappointing. I can’t be like other people who get excited when they’re having a growth spurt after being a midget their whole lives and my parents can’t marvel over how tall I’ve grown because they don’t know how tall I’ve grown.

Nonetheless, like everything else, there are a few advantages of having the ability to control your size. For instance, whenever there are free samples at a supermarket, all I have to do is shrink or grow, throw on a different outfit, and then I’ll be able to get as many free samples as I want. Also, at the movie theaters, my whole family easily could get in with only paying the price for two. My parents would often buy two tickets, go into the cinema, and then my mom would walk out with her and my dad’s ticket. She would give my dad’s ticket to me, and I would grow to my dad’s size in the bathroom stall. I look really similar to him, so the person checking tickets would never be suspicious. With that little trick, our family of three could get into the movies with only two tickets.

But that’s pretty much all the ups of size changing. Out of all the cool powers I could’ve got, like invisibility, flight, or even sticking to walls like a gecko, I had to get the ability to grow or shrink. How lame.

Doctors still don’t know why I can do this. After being a lab experiment for several years, they have made almost no progress. My DNA is not wired any differently that results in my ability to change heights. It’s not an inherited gene, at least we don’t think it is, and nothing about my body deviates significantly from an average one. We’ve all had many weird conspiracy theories about my size-changing that we can’t agree on, such as while I was in my mom’s stomach, my mom ate a strawberry that had a special bug in it. It ended up biting the developing fetus my mom held in her stomach which resulted in giving me this power. The theories get stranger than that. Nevertheless, the doctors, my parents, and I can all agree that I need to keep this ability a secret, because ultimately, publicity can only impact me negatively. I don’t know the tallest I can grow to since I’m only allowed to change heights while inside, to avoid any meddling eyes that can only lead to trouble. I haven’t experimented with the smallest I can grow to either because my parents are convinced that they’ll happen to be wandering around right when I’m the size of an ant and step on me by accident.

One would think that being able to grow as tall as I want would get me interested in basketball, where I could easily dunk on everyone, but that is not the case. I prefer running, and that’s when Logan comes into the picture.

I’m not exactly unpopular at my school and I have many friends. But Logan Burdell, one of the most popular boys in my school, hates my guts and every part of me, all because I’m the fastest runner in the school, one place in front of him. So he’s always out to get me, whether it’s as simple as tripping me in the hallway to stealing my homework and getting me in trouble. But I don’t really care because whatever he does doesn’t affect the fact that I’m still faster than him. My apathy just seems to infuriate Logan even more. And it’s fine that Logan’s friends hate me too, because he doesn’t have many friends. and the ones he has are all dumb jerks. The only reason Logan has a high status at our school is because most people are afraid of him. Sunlight pours through my window, filling every corner of my room and waking me up. My shoulders are sore from an uncomfortable sleeping position, and I stare at my ceiling, dreading the impending school day, until I realize it is a Sunday. Then I let out a big whoop. After taking my time getting ready, as I usually do on a weekend, I race down the stairs to the smell of chocolate pancakes. Right before I entered the kitchen, though, my parents bombard me from behind. I let out a yelp as my mom and dad yell,

“HAPPY BIRTHDAY AIDEN!” I gave them a small grin and simply say,

“Oh, I forgot all about my birthday.” That statement was a lie. It’s a trick I learned that makes people treat you even better, because they feel bad that you may have so many problems that you forgot about your own birthday.

“Open your present!” my mom exclaimed.

“I did not approve of this,” my dad put in, emphasizing his point by looking pointedly at the present. I tear off the silver wrapping paper dotted with stars, wondering what crazy present my mom got me this time. She’s known for her unusual logic behind her gifts.

Underneath the wrapping paper, was a cheap cardboard box. I lifted the lid, looked at the box’s contents, then back at my mom, confused.

“Mom, I’m a fourteen-year-old boy, I don’t use stuffed animals anymore, especially pink stuffed hares”

“Well, I thought that since you were under a lot of stress with midterms and all, you could use a cute little cuddly creature to make you feel better,” I give my mom a long look.

“You know what? If you don’t want I’ll just take the rabbit and get you another gift you actually want, like always,” my mom sighs.

“It’s okay mom, I don’t really want a birthday present.” That was another lie. When I say that, I know my mom will feel indebted to get me a great birthday present. It’s kind of selfish, but my motto is to take advantage of life when you can.

I push past my parents to the delicious chocolate pancakes awaiting me at the kitchen table. The aroma always makes my mouth water, despite the thousands of times my mom has made these pancakes. As I savor the fluffy delectableness, my phone chimes several times, showing texts from my friends that read HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!! followed by several emojis. I smile. Birthdays were the best. After breakfast, I head to my room, prepared to spend a day of playing video games and binge-watching TV shows without my parents berating me for my unproductiveness. Right before I flop onto my bed, I notice a pink fluffy blob laying on my bed and jump back. The pink blob was the small stuffed animal my mom got me for my birthday. I let out a groan, and yell,

“Mom! I told you I didn’t want the rabbit!”

“What?” she yelled back. I was about to reply when I heard the doorbell ring. Instead of replying, I simply take the stuffed hare and throw it in my mom’s bedroom. Then, I race down stairs to get the door. I already knew who it was before I opened the door.

For my birthday, I usually invited my friends over to play video games, talk about inappropriate topics, and of course, eat lots of junk food. My best friend, Travis, was always the early bird, and as expected, he stood behind the door with a goofy grin on his face.

“Happy birthday!” he yells.

I let him in, and we head to the living room to watch some TV as we wait for our other friends. They slowly trickle in, and when they’ve all arrived, we start going crazy. My friends stay until after we have dinner (pizza, of course.)

After all my friends are gone, I return to my room, exhausted from the exciting day. As I enter the room, I spy the stuffed hare on my bed once again. I grumble. My mom was just so annoying sometimes.

“What are you doing here?” I complain, shoving the rabbit aside so I could sit on my bed.

“Well your bed is comfier than your mom’s so why not?”

“What do you mean? My parents have a queen-size bed while I’m stuck with a twin bed-wait did you just talk?” I look over to the rabbit.

“I mean, you responded to me so I’d like to think that I talked. Or maybe you were just talking to yourself like a weirdo. I don’t know.” If you looked at the hare, you couldn’t really tell it was talking. It’s mouth moved a little, but not enough to seem that it was forming words.

“Oh god, I must be so tired I’m imagining a hare talk,”

“You want to see me do something else?”

“So now you are apparently a multi-talented stuffed rabbit. I don’t even want to list all the reasons that what I’m witnessing is absurd. But go ahead. Do something else that will freak me out,” To my surprise, the hare jumped off my bed, and out of all the things it could’ve done, like singing, painting, even playing the violin, it started dancing. Dancing with splits, front handsprings, back flips, and things I can’t even imagine myself doing, let alone physically doing. At this point, I was so exhausted I didn’t even doubt what I saw.

“So, what can you do?” The hare asked as she finished her routine with a triple flip in the air.

“I guess I can shrink to your size but there’s no way I can do that crazy routine,”

“Wait a minute,” I stand up. “I have an idea,”

“By the look on your face, it seems like this is going to be fun,” the hare sort of smiles, as far as its fabric skin could stretch.

“You know what I just realized?” I say. “I still don’t know your name and why you can talk and dance.”

“I don’t know my name either, but your mom called me Pinky. Very original. As for how

I can talk and dance, I guess I was just able to once my last stitch was laid in place. I don’t question it.”

“Works for me,” I shrug, and for the rest of the night, Pinky and I work on our masterplan. What it is, let’s just say, involves revenge on Logan.

The next day at school, though I only had about three hours of sleep, I had an unlimited supply of energy. On the bus ride to school, my friends teased me for having Pinky, but I told them it was for a very important science project. As I walked through the hallways of Jefferson Middle School, I made sure to pass Logan’s locker, Pinky in plain sight.

“So now little Aiden needs a stuffed animal to help him cope with his dorkiness,” Logan taunts. I give him a big smile, and reply,

“Yes, I do. In fact, my rabbit here helps me so much that if I ever l ost it, I would be so shaken I might not be able to do anything, even run,” I observe Logan’s face, and can see the gears in his head turning. It was kind of obvious what I was doing, but I knew Logan was stupid enough to fall for it. My plan was starting to come into motion.

I had first period English, which was pretty uneventful. Second period was gym with Logan. This was the perfect time to execute my plan. My scheme had to scare him enough to stop bothering me, otherwise I would never hear the end of “Baby Aiden needs a stuffed animal” from him and everyone else.

In the smelly locker room, I made sure that Logan could see me put Pinky in my gym locker, and whisper,

“You’ll be safe here, okay? No one will hurt you.” I could practically hear Pinky biting back a laugh. Then, I purposely left my combination lock open, and headed into the gym.

We were in our soccer unit, and to my luck, it was pouring outside so the gym teachers moved all the nets and balls inside. I am pretty good at soccer, especially since I can outrun everyone. But today, I purposely stayed away from the ball, so I wouldn’t get involved, so I could easily make an escape when the time came. If the time came.

It was only when we were in the last few minutes of class, and everyone was all rundown and sweaty, and I was pretty much dying of anxiety, when I heard my cue. A low whistle that could be mistaken with a grumble, but I knew the difference, after tedious practice from last night. Quickly, I raced to my gym teacher, Mr. Ferdini, and asked to be excused to the bathroom. I knew he would comply, after an incident a few years ago when he thought someone was slacking and refused to let him take a trip to the bathroom. The kid ended up actually having to do his business, and after attempting to hold it in for half an hour, he couldn’t keep it in anymore and he ruined brand new equipment. So Mr. Ferdini wasn’t going to take any chances.

After he nodded his head, I rushed into the locker room without making a sound, just in time to witness the best scene of my life.

Logan was in front of my open gym locker, and his hand was just enclosing around Pinky’s neck when she suddenly twitched and he let out a little shriek. I just barely contain my laugh. His hand came creeping toward the hare again, but this time, Pinky lept out of the locker and jumped on Logan’s arm. He screamed again, and started slapping at Pinky like a bug. But Pinky’s swift and nimble moves avoided Logan’s hand and he ended up slapping himself so hard that his arm turned bright red.

“Stop!” he yelled. Pinky began swooshing between his legs and crawling on his back. I shake my head. Oh Logan, we’re just getting started. At this point I could have screamed at the top of my lungs and Logan still wouldn’t have noticed me, because all his attention was focused on Pinky. So I unsubtly sneaked behind a row of lockers and into a bathroom stall, and took the hollowed out pink stuffed hare I scavenged from my mom’s bag of stuffed animals out of the pocket of my shorts. The hare was originally white but I painted it pink to make it resemble Pinky. I then proceed to take off my clothes(unfortunately, clothes don’t shrink and grow with me) and shrink to the size of the stuffed animal. I fit my arms, legs and head through the costume, and move my limbs around to get used to moving in the shell of a rabbit. My eyes perfectly met the holes I cut in the fabric of the hare last night when I hollowed it out. After I am secured into the hare costume, I run back to where Logan was struggling with Pinky. Pinky was dancing through his legs, narrowly missing his fingers each time Logan swept at her. I creeped behind Logan and then grabbed onto his leg. He jumped and looked behind at me just as Pinky leapt onto his face.

“Why are there so many rabbits?!” He yelled, and then began rolling on the floor. Pinky and I jumped off of him just in time and we watched Logan roll around crashing into lockers without realizing we weren’t even on him. We could’ve gone around annoying him for the rest of the day but it was just then when the students started filing into the locker room. Pinky jumped back into my locker and I crawled under the same bathroom stall with my clothes in it. I throw off the hollowed-out stuffed animal costume and grow back to my regular size. After putting on my clothes, I stuff the costume back into my pocket, and casually walk out of the stall like I totally wasn’t dressed up as a half foot tall rabbit a minute ago.

Logan was still rolling on the floor yelling “Get off me” when I stepped out of the stall, and a crowd had gathered around him. His friends snickered, and one of them said, “Dude, are you okay?” Logan stops and looks all over his body. He then shoves everyone out of the way as he heads to my gym locker and finds Pinky sitting there like she was there the whole time. His face suddenly turned red from embarrassment, and Logan realized everyone was laughing at him.

“What’s so funny?” he roars and the storms out of the locker room.

Later, in my math class, I had placed Pinky on the front of my desk because she said she wanted to experience this “dreaded math” I kept on complaining about. I told her it was her loss if she ended up dying of boredom.

Halfway through the painful torture of listening to Ms. Bisley drone about the quadratic formula, Logan, who sat in front of me, turned around and whispered frantically,

“Get rid of your rabbit now. It’s alive!” I stare at him incredulously.

“It’s a stuffed animal. Not a real pet,” I reply

“No seriously!”

“Oh I see. You want me to throw out my rabbit so you can take it and use it as your stress-reliever.” This is when Logan notices Pinky sitting on my desk and yelps. “Don’t worry,” I give him a look of pity. “Pinky is completely harmless.” And right then, maybe because of telepathy or because of some stranger force in this world, Pinky and I simultaneously wink at him.

 

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