Want to keep reading?

You've reached the end of your complimentary access. Subscribe for as little as $4/month.

Aready a Subscriber ? Sign In

Qrange finds what seems to be the best hide-and-seek hiding place ever—until he gets stuck

Qrange was stuck. No, I mean literally. He was having the time of his life playing hide-and-seek with his two friends when he hid inside a box that was out for delivery. The mail carrier sealed it, and here he is.

But let me explain more about Qrange.

Qrange was currently residing on the planet 999 in the state of Iek. Iek was the largest state on the planet. He lived in the city of Unaud. How big was the city? Come on, you’ve never heard of the city Unaud? It’s the largest city in the Milky Way! It currently houses seven trillion people!

Qrange took great pleasure in playing with his friends. Their names were Iooooooop and Uf. They sound like weird names to us, but then we don’t live there. They might say our names sound weird! Like all their games, their hide-and-seek was wild. Iooooooop was the seeker. He counted to sixty, then sprinted down the driveway to find Qrange and Uf.

Uf was hiding where Qrange should have hidden, in a rose bush. Uf was smart— just, applying it to life was the hard part. For example, when Uf’s family got a takeout meal to eat at home, Uf forgot about gravity and tipped the food he was carrying in. Splat! Nobody wanted to be Uf then. Back to the game. Iooooooop found Uf as soon as he started screaming in pain from the thorns. Neither could find Qrange, though. Probably because the mail carrier had already shipped him away. At about this time, Uf and Iooooooop started to question whether Qrange had hidden in a legal spot.

“He hid inside his house,” Iooooooop said.

“No, his mom called him in,” Uf replied.

“He hid inside.”

“No, he . . .”

“Let’s just ask his mom.”


As soon as the mail carrier picked the box up, Qrange thought how fun it would be for his friends never to find him. Then he thought, How am I going to get back? I’m being shipped in a box that’s sealed with rubidium! Rubidium is a metal that melts at 102.7 degrees Fahrenheit. They used it so no packages would break. The mail carrier first seals the box with tape. Then, at the post office, they soak the

box in rubidium. Or the box seals itself if you buy a special kind of box. This is what Qrange’s parents bought. It had sealed while Qrange was in the box.

“No, neither happened. I thought he was with you guys,” Qrange’s mom said.

“He’s not,” Uf replied.

“That’s weird. Well, he must be hiding in the best spot ever thought of. Try to find him for me,” Qrange’s mom said.

By now Qrange was already in the mail truck. He tried to break open the box by sheer brute force. He pushed and pushed, and pulled and pulled. He couldn’t get the box to open! The mail carrier looked back and said, “Huh?” Qrange immediately quieted down. He was too embarrassed to let anyone know what he had gotten himself into.

When this didn’t work, he tried to melt the rubidium with his hands. He didn’t succeed because, just like our bodies, his was working hard to keep itself at 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit. In their measurement, it was 256.3 degrees Meirtable.

Qrange finally realized his predicament. He would have to stay in the box until he arrived at his destination. That meant the people he would arrive at would open his box with a heat opener! The rubidium would burn him! Qrange was sweating profusely because he was terrified. He reached into his pocket to see if anything was in there that might help him get out. He found his Computer Everything Tool that helped him fix computers in his free time.

Qrange passed the time by playing with the computer he was sitting on. He might have broken some of the pieces, but luckily, he was an expert at fixing computers. He fixed it up in a few hours and improved it! He gave it more storage and made it two times as fast. He even coded an “endless runner” game on it. He thought this would be a thank-you gift to whomever got him out of the box.

Qrange finally realized his predicament. He would have to stay in the box until he arrived at his destination.

Qrange got out the next day. He suddenly found himself out of the truck and stopped on a solid surface. He thought this was the person’s doorstep. He was correct. Fortunately, this family had kids, and they ran outside to grab the box. They couldn’t pick it up, though, because of Qrange’s weight.

As soon as the kids’ parents grabbed the box, they quieted their kids and whisked the box upstairs to their room. Their version of Christmas was called Oiin, and all the parents gave a random family with kids a gift for their kids. It was this time, and one of the kids’ gifts was the computer that Qrange had improved.

The mom took the heat opener and started to open the box. Most people had a heat opener to open boxes. Their boxes were cardboard on the inside and rubidium on the outside. Qrange stifled a gasp as the heat burned him. The mom opened the box and screamed. She wasn’t used to having people in a box! She asked Qrange, “How did you get here?”

Qrange answered her, “I was playing hide-and-seek with my friends when I hid in this box!” The mom immediately started laughing.

“I can pay for your bus ticket back home. This joke is enough to pay me back.”

“Too late—I already improved your computer, and put a game on it,” Qrange said.

“Ha-ha! Now the trouble is to hide you up here until I can get you home.”

That night, when the kids were at their evening activities, Qrange got his chance to go home. The mom bought his bus ticket, and he got to ride home, this time not in a box.

Qrange opened the front door. His front door, thankfully. His mom opened the door and yelled, “He’s home!” Immediately his dad ran to the door.

“He is!” His mom and dad wrapped him up in a big embrace.

The next day at school, Qrange tapped Uf on the back. Uf jumped, then looked behind him. “You’re back! What happened?”

“I hid in a box and got sent halfway across the city.”

Uf started laughing. The kids near him stared at him. When Qrange and Uf told the story to them, they started laughing too. Soon, the whole school was laughing, all 334,742,958 of them. Then the whole city, all 7,012,910,734,203 of them, laughed at Qrange’s predicament.