Third Place: Dear Past
‘The’ is a powerful word. It can start a sentence, a revolution, the Bill of Rights and, in my case, a story. And this is not just any story. For me, this is a story about the present, and for you dear reader, a story about the future….
It all started January 1, 2116 when the first gusts of cool air had started blowing. It doesn’t snow anymore thanks to global warming but it still does get cold. I buttoned up my facth (a metal coat with memory foam on the inside) and stepped out into the glare of the sun, partly covered by clouds.
I remember being excited about my new invention I was working on, a time machine, or rather a machine that teleports small objects into a different time period. I was a smart kid. In school they called me ‘Clever Cliff’, which I despised.
I despised a lot of things when I was younger—everlasting cakes, weekend trips to Mars, and almost everyone in my class. I guess you could say I was an oddball, which honestly I was.
My house was a big one because I lived with three families instead of two. Here let me explain: A long time ago before I was born, it was decided that because of overpopulation every two families would share a home so that way all of the houses wouldn’t be crowding everything else. So anyway, back to the story. I was walking into the garage past my family’s Self-Driving Hover Car (SDHC for short). We’d just gotten the newest model – it was a beautiful heliotrope color. As I passed it, a dull mechanical voice said, “Good afternoon, Clifton.” I jumped up and yelled “Jellys!”, which is the new exclamation that finally replaced OMG. I still hadn’t gotten used to the vehicle talking to me!
Then I heard a bright laugh from behind the car. A petite girl with dark skin, dark hair in two long braids and extremely vivid green eyes the color of leaves was watching me. This was Johanna, my only friend. She was very smart, just like me, and lately she’d been helping me with my teleporting invention.
“Still haven’t gotten used to it talking, have you?” she asked as if she had read my mind.
“Very funny,” I replied. I walked over to the storage area and pulled out the box that contained my invention. I used to gasp every time I would look at it but now I’ve gotten used to seeing my plain-looking, but actually spectacular, contraption which uses the power of eospace portalation.
Eospace portalation was discovered three years ago by a man named Antonio Walker. He had been experimenting on some kind of invisibility car and had made some mistake and his invention started pulling little things into it and, as he later discovered, pushing them out to another time period, thus eospace portalation was born!
The day I heard about it I became interested in trying to recreate Walker’s machine. I recruited Johanna to be my assistant.
“Hey Mr. Eospace,” said Joanna, “What do you think will happen if I cut the red wire? Can I try it?”
“Sure,” I muttered, deep in thought and not really listening. Then I realized what she had asked. “No!” I yelled, “Don’t!” But it was too late.
I heard a scream, maybe mine. Then a huge blast propelled me back. I hit a wall and everything went black.
When I woke up, I found myself in a purple hospital room. (Recent studies have shown that bright colors help patients heal faster.) As I scanned the room, I remembered the field trip my class had taken to the 100 Years Ago Museum and seeing all the stuff from a century ago…like the TV! Oh it was so strange! Nowadays they are all 3-D holograms that you control with your voice but back then there were people in screens and to change the channel and turn up the volume you had to use this little thing called a remote control. Jellys! I remember the hospital rooms, too. They had big clunky machines that seemed irrelevant. I looked around at my hospital room and it was mostly bare except two beds and the food machine. Remember how I said everything was voice recognition, this food machine definitely was! All you had to do was say the name of your food (as long as it is from the hospital meal menu) and the food will come zooming up on a conveyer belt from the main kitchen. We don’t need big heart monitors because all the patients have an implanted chip inside them so the healthcare robots can monitor the patient’s health from their Health Watches.
I looked around the room and in the bed next to me was Johanna! I sat up because I didn’t seem to be hurt. But Johanna was another story. Both of her legs were in casts and so was her right arm. As I looked at her with dread rising in my stomach, she slowly opened her eyes.
“Guess what?” she asked excitedly. “It worked! It sent me and the SDHC into another dimension! I saw a lot of people in a fancy building and they all cheered ‘Happy 2016’ and before I knew it, me and the SDCH were sucked back here. That’s how I got so hurt.”
My mouth dropped in shock. “So that means it works. You went back to 100 years ago…and so could we?” I stammered.
“Yeah,” said Johanna.
“I need to keep working on it and make sure no one can talk to people or change the past. We could learn such amazing things about them!” I exclaimed.
“Jellys!” Johanna squealed. I smiled at her and she smiled back, her eyes filled with joy.
So dear reader, I have sent this writing back to you because you never know if someone from the far future is watching…
Bridget Baile is ten years old and has already gone on many adventures. She’s been to Ireland, New York City, a cattle ranch in Montana, and Mardi Gras.
She’s won multiple awards, including first place three consecutive years at State PSIA and Catholic Daughters essay contest.
She lives near Lake Travis, where she loves tubing. She also enjoys drawing, writing, poetry, rock climbing, lacrosse, reading, playing with her friends, making movies with her sister, hip hop, and gymnastics.
Her favorite classes are language arts and math. However, her main hobby is having fun and projecting joy and faith to those around her.
Second Place: A Teacherless Class
“Have a good night’s sleep, Annie!” Dad kissed me and left. I turned over in bed and closed my eyes and started thinking about the day.
The crazy day started off normally. My personal robot, “Cyber1306”, woke me up in the morning saying, “Wake up Annie! It’s 8 a.m. on March 21, 2116. It’s Monday.” So I got ready in 30 minutes. Cyber1307 made a wonderful breakfast for me. I hurried up and put on my jet pack called Harley. Harley has a smooth silvery skin that slips through the sky silently and softly. It can fly as fast as 300 miles per hour. I flew in the air, reaching school quickly. As I landed, I saw my friend, Juliana Glamford. I flew over to her. “Hi, Julie.” I said. She jumped and said, “Annie! You scared me! Hey, let’s hurry or we’ll be late for class. Race ya!”. She began running.
As I was running, I fell and slammed into a wall. Because of the hard wall, I staggered backwards, bumping into Julie. She began to fall to the hard floor. Our robot teacher caught her right before she fell, but that made her fall. I could only watch in horror as the teacher fell to the floor and broke into a million pieces. I got up on my feet and looked at Julie in concern, then asked her if she was okay. “Yeah, I’m okay, but what ’bout Ms. Metal?” Then I looked at the smart board and read the message there out loud: “Dear class, I have a small glitch and I need to go to the doctor. Ms. Steel will be teaching you. I expect you to show her the same respect you would show me. From Ms. Metal.”
Then a stampede of chattering kids entered. “Guess What!” Ella said, “I get to have room for my very own garden! Outdoors!” I was surprised. We live in a small apartment. We barely have rooms since we are so cramped. In fact, it’s rare to go to an apartment and see a pet. No one has room for pets, much less a garden.
More kids stormed in. Lots of people flew in using jet packs. But that’s normal since people normally use Jet Packs, Hover Boards and Minicabs to get around. Only poor people use cars. There’s a lot of pollution around. I snapped back to real life when Ella asked where the new teacher was. I and Julie pointed to a pile of junk electronics on the floor. Everyone stopped talking and stared at the pile. Then Will let out a whoop of joy. “Yeah, no teacher!” he cheered, “Let’s party!”
I can understand why everybody is so thrilled. Kids have few human friends and a lot of robot friends. After all, that’s what people do for entertainment – playing with robot friends or programming them to play sports like soccer or playing on Anipads.
“No way we should have a party! We should tell another teacher or Principal! We should behave like civilized human beings” Jane said. We agreed on a vote, and I would count. “Ok” I said, “Jane or Will? Any other people?” Ella slowly raised her hand and said, “I think we should run the class ourselves.”
“Okay, let’s get started. Who votes for Will?” I asked. 11 hands went up. “Who votes for Jane?” I asked. 5 went up. “What about Ella?” I asked. 12 hands.”Vote’s over. Ella won” I said. A smile crossed Ella’s face.
Soon everyone had an Anipad out, and was playing on it.”Guys, we can’t just play on our Anipads for the rest of the day. We need to do something, okay?” I said loudly, standing in front of everyone. But no one cared what I said because it was recess time. We had a problem after recess. Both Tyler and Clare were hurt during kickball. Tyler had a scrape on his hand. Clare’s leg hurt. Then I remembered our Anipad. I ordered a doctor for 17 Euros online. I entered all the problems in the website. A doctor came immediately. He did something to Tyler’s hand, then put something on it. Then he washed Clare’s wound. Everything turned out to be okay.
Julie’s mom, Ms. Glamford, visited her for lunch and wanted to talk to Ms. Metal. We told her what happened and she called the Principal. He wanted Ms. Glamford to take care of the class today since Ms. Metal would be back tomorrow. So Ms. Glamford taught us Math with love and passion. She is a genius!
When I got home, dad was watching the news on an Anipad. I had to duck as a strange object came flying through the door. It was one of Mom’s robots. Mom owns a restaurant. It’s called: The Fast Food Fans. It’s the best restaurant in Cedarville. She’s the only person working there, like most restaurants. I mean, it takes one person to signal a robot to make food, pass it to a flying robot, type the coordinates in, and make it go. “Your burger Sir!” The robot exclaimed. It held out six arms sticking out of a cube that had fake eyes and a mouth. On top of each arm was a set of tiny propellers. It gave my dad a burger and napkin and then flew away. He ate it savoring every bite. Then he looked up and noticed me. He asked me, “How was your day?” I thought for a moment and then I answered, “Human teachers are better than robot teachers. One thing you should know is that a human teacher is more kind, loving and understanding than a robot teacher. She talks with us personally and knows us by heart. I just love human teachers. That’s what I learned today, Daddy.”
I’m really sleepy now. But I wonder how life was back in 2016 when they had real teachers and real pets. How was it like? I wish someone would tell me.
Rachel Joel lives in Charlotte, North Carolina. She turns ten in June. Her favorite colors are green and light blue. Her parents work in the software industry. She has a younger sister and a younger brother. She loves to read stories of adventure and mystery. She spends her free time writing fiction stories, playing on her iPad, and, of course, playing with her siblings. She wants to be a pediatrician when she grows up because she is interested in saving lives of cute little kids.
First Place: Simplicity Lost
My telepathic sensor goes off. Once I contact my best friend Isabella, she asks me to come over to her house. I barely send her an answer before I start to fasten on my hovergliders. Hovergliders are metal bottoms for your shoes that hover about six inches over the ground because the cement has loadstone that repels the hovergliders. As I start to soar my way to Isabella’s house, my hovergliders make a ridiculous noise and I quickly topple onto the sidewalk. My hovergliders have stopped working. I must have forgotten to put them outside after school to charge the solar panel. Now what am I supposed to do?
I telepath my mom “Hey Mom, my hovergliders crashed because I forgot to charge them”.
“Sorry honey, but you might have to walk the rest of the way to Isabella’s house” telepathed my mom. Walking!!! I seriously did not just bring that in right.
“Fine!!” I telepath annoyed. Even though it is not fine. They did that one hundred years ago! As I start my stroll to Isabella’s house, it starts to rain and then it pours! Our town can control its own weather, but somehow I missed the report that rain was planned for today, and they seriously have to make it rain right here and right now!
I stomp my way to Isabella’s house but as I walk there, I secretly realize how lucky I am to live in such an incredible town with incredible inventions. I glance at all the hoverspheres that pass me. Hoverspheres are vehicles that you ride in to get to a destination and they hover one foot over the street because of the loadstone. I look at all the tintos on the sides of the modern black, white, gray, and other colored houses. They are lighter now since it’s dark and rainy. Tintos are two glass sheets put together that have a black sheet that is used for privacy and the glass darkens if it’s lighter outside and lightens if it’s dark outside. In one house, I see a little girl sketching on super glass. Super glass is made out of thin glass and you can change the background color to any color of your choice and write on it for anything with a special pen and eraser.
Barely anybody is out on the street since everyone obviously got the newsflash that it is raining! Isabella starts contacting me with her telepath. “Hi Isabella” I telepath, knowing what she’s going to ask.
“Where are you? What’s taking you so long?” asks Isabella.
“Well, it takes a lot longer if your hovergliders crash because you forgot to put them outside to charge after school and you have no choice but to walk, that’s all” I telepath.
“Sorry, that sounds terrible. You know that’s how they go around like a hundred years ago!” Isabella said.
“That’s exactly what I told my Mom” I telepath. I keep walking in the rain, but grinning now as people in hoverspheres give me an odd look because walking in the rain in this century is just not done.
I’m a few houses away when I see a person standing in the rain but I can’t quite see their face through the downpour. I get closer and see my friend Isabella standing in the pouring rain waiting for me. We both smile and I dash up to her. We both stand there hugging each other in soaking wet clothes. Then we walk inside her house and I can immediately see and smell the flowers and the hot sun from the SensorTV and it makes me feel better, even though I am still drenched. A SensorTV is a four-dimensional glass cube that hangs down from the ceiling and can be moved anywhere in the house to enjoy TV.
We have a snack and then decide to go upstairs in the attic to search for an old umbrella that I can use to get back home. As we’re searching for an umbrella in the back of the attic, we both see a strange metal object in the corner. I recognize it from one of our history books at school. It is black with pink and white stripes and two wheels. On one side there’s a girls name written in blue that says Reagan.
“Is that a…. beecle….a….beecycle?” asks Isabella.
“No, It’s called a bicycle! Remember, from history class, what kids used to ride to get around before hovergliders?” I said.
“Oh yah….Wait, is that my great grandma’s name on the side?” Isabella asks.
“Her name was Reagan? That’s amazing because my great grandma’s best friends name was Reagan. You don’t think they were best friends just like us, do you?” I ask.
“They probably were” she said with a grin on her face.
Isabella loans me the bicycle to ride home so that I don’t have to walk back in the rain. “WHOA…this is so hard to BALANCE” I scream as I barrel down her driveway not sure how to brake. Once I’m a block away from my house I finally get the hang of it and it is kind of fun to feel the rain and wind on my face, my heart pounding in my chest, and my legs pedaling like crazy.
When I get home, I telepath Isabella and say “I have a wild idea, let’s ride bicycles to school tomorrow”.
“That sounds a little weird, but OK. I think I have another bicycle in my attic that I can use” says Isabella. The next day we both ride our bikes to school, wobbling only a little and laughing most of the way. I realize that one hundred years ago they may not have had all the technology and gadgets that we have today but maybe some things were worth keeping around… because it sure is fun riding bicycles with best friends.
Hello! I’m Reagan Schwendinger. I am ten years old and am finishing fourth grade at Bridlewood Elementary School in Flower Mound, Texas. I have two younger siblings named Jake and Elise and two wild dogs, Scout and Buck. I love to golf all the time but I also enjoy swimming on a competitive team in Texas with my younger brother. When I am not golfing or swimming I like to sew, play the piano, and write. I also love to bike around our neighborhood and explore with my siblings or friends. On lazy days I curl up in our hammock and read books! When I grow up I would like to be an author and write novels or young adult books. I would like to thank my mom and dad and Mrs. Kirk, my English teacher, for encouraging me to write and giving me confidence to be creative.