By Charlie Noack
Charlie, age 10, wrote this story during our Super Rad Summer Writing Camp. Our focus was on storytelling and the unwavering belief that every kid has a story to tell–and every story matters.
Isaac stood on a hill overlooking the border.
“Here goes nothing”, he thought to himself. He ran off the edge, plunging towards the freezing water.
“Come on” he yelled! He rummaged through his backpack and took out Lena. He let her go and she flew! Oh, what a glorious sight it was. It was so majestic, he almost forgot about his impending collision. Fumbling with his backpack, he finally pressed the red button to eject his own wings and he started to fly. With the wind rushing through his hair, he did not see the mountain he was about to crash into.
Isaac struggled to complete his paper. He wanted to write an interesting novel, but couldn’t. He just couldn’t! Throwing his notebook aside, he managed to let out a low growl before he threw himself onto the bedside table.
“It’s just a silly book”! He told himself. This was a problem he usually had with these books. Any time he tried to write one, it did not work out. So, he took a walk on the beach with his dog, Lena.
Long walks on the beach are usually what he needed to sustain and control him. With his dog, Lena by his side, he strode onto the beach particularly unaware that this would be the day that changed his life forever.
The whole reason why he wanted to write a book was to commemorate his dad. His mother said that he just mysteriously disappeared one day. Isaac did not believe so, though. He thought his dad was- “WOAH!” he yelled. He stumbled upon a large hole with crabs filled to the brim. He thought he saw something shiny, but he could not make out what it was. Perplexed, he ran home and told his sister, Katherine. A million questions were racing through his head. “What was that? Why did I see it? Was it just some strange mirage”? No, it was real. He could feel it, the sand between his toes, the crabs’ shells… It was very outlandish.
At home, Katherine did not believe it. “But Kath, please! I’m telling you! Just look at it!” he yelled.
“Ok, but I still do not believe you” Katherine retorted.
”So let’s go see them now!” Isaac yelled, excited.
As Isaac and Katherine walked to the hole, his friend Elijah was nearby and noticed them. At first, Elijah interrogated him.
“Wherever are you going?” he asked.
“Oh, some big crab hole we found. Katherine insists on calling it ‘the crab hotel’” Isaac replied. “Although the weirdest thing was I saw a blue light in the interior.”
After some time, Isaac, Katherine, and Elijah saw the hole. But there was a big disappointment: no crabs!
“That’s weird” Katherine mumbled. “He told me there would be crabs”.
Though this was accurate, Elijah and Isaac were staring at something that would have meant a greater complication, the cobalt light in the hole. They all reached out and touched it at precisely the same time and laughed. They were still staring at the light and thought that it might be a UFO.
Staring at the photo on his bedside table, Isaac tried to fall asleep but could not. Living in the big mansion… he did not want any of that, all he wanted was his dad. Suddenly, a blue light appeared. The same one he saw in the hole.
He tried to think it was a hallucination or that he was just dreaming. But then, he reached out and touched the blue light. His veins ran cold with ice, and he fainted.
He woke up in a gigantic tan hole that looked -and felt- like sand. Climbing out, he saw his sister, Katherine, Lena, and Elijah.
“What happened?” asked Elijah.
“Let me put it this way: we are definitely NOT in Florida anymore…” Katherine said.
They did not know where they were, but they did know this: they needed to survive. Lena gathered sticks, Katherine got leaves, Elijah got stones, and Isaac made a shelter. They found two stones and sharpened one of them that they used to hack down a tree. It took some work, but they managed to build a log fort for shelter. They stepped inside and noticed some strange items had appeared. Katherine had a staff with a strange, waffle shape at the end. She pointed it at a tree, and sticky syrup blasted out of it.
“Whoa” sighed Katherine and Elijah, simultaneously. Isaac examined his item. It was a very long stick, and it had an almost invisible string at the end. Summoning all his courage, he pulled back the string and a big, blue arrow flew out of it! Katherine and Elijah ducked, and the arrow shot straight into a tree!
“It’s a bow”!!! Isaac shouted.
“Wow”! Elijah stuttered, and then asked, “Why do you have this? What do I have?” A big feather, almost like a sword, appeared in his hand. He tickled Isaac, and Isaac replied, “Wow, it’s like all the good in me has been brought to my head! I guess that makes bad people or animals good!”
Katherine said, “Wait, if that makes stuff good… then that means… there must be bad people here! Maybe monsters! Quick, everyone into the fort!” Everybody went inside, scared. Maybe monsters were hunting them! Elijah and Katherine put logs in front of the door to secure it and be protected from the monsters outside. They quickly found two pieces of flint and lit a fire at the center of the small cabin. Katherine put leaves on the floor so they could sleep somewhere, and they fell asleep. About eight minutes later, all of them fell asleep, knowing that they would feel groggy in the morning.
In the morning, Elijah woke up first. “We need to leave,” he said. “We don’t know how many monsters there will be out there right now.” So they all set out to find another habitable place. While they were journeying, they saw a few strange places. There was a large thicket of leaves, but each leave had singing and dancing bugs on them! While they were examining the places’ finer points, Elijah suddenly disappeared.
“Where did he go”? Isaac asked, scared.
“What if an evil monster kidnapped him?” Katherine exclaimed. About two days ago, monsters and evil things would have made them just laugh. But now, it could be real. They searched and searched, and, just like two days ago, they fainted again.
Waking up in a place you don’t know is a problem, but waking up in a place you don’t know that is full of hostile things that smell strangely of fresh waffles IS A BIG, FAT, UGLY, EVIL PROBLEM THAT YOU CAN’T SEEM TO SOLVE. The three friends were together but they woke up in a cage made out of a type of tree that was bright yellow and blue. They sat in the cages for a while and it became clear these creatures were NOT friendly. They overheard the strange, waffle dragon creatures talking about eating them.
“I guess eating waffles and loving them over time does that to you” said Katherine.
“Well, at least we won’t die hungry” Isaac said. Elijah did not want to die! So in a rage, he pulled at the bars. Surprisingly, they snapped apart easily.
He got Isaac and Katherine out too, and they fell down onto the floor. It felt strange but when they tried to get up, they couldn’t move! And the waffle dragons were coming closer… and closer… until Elijah fell to the floor, as well. Isaac raised his weapon defensively but it did no harm until suddenly, Katherine raised her waffle staff at the dragons.
The dragon stopped and said, “Hey, look! It’s the queen”! The crowd of dragons cheered and shouted, “The queen has returned”!
And so, the waffle dragons let them out of their cages. One waffle dragon asked, “Do you know where you are going”?
“We need to find a way out of this place, do you have a way to a door of some sort?” Isaac asked.
“Yes” the head waffle dragon began, “There is a portal somewhere southeast of here, but it is guarded by huge mountains and a tribe of leaf-cutters, too. We can give you these wings to use, it will make it easy for you to get through”. The head waffle dragon gave them metal devices.
“If you need to fly, just push the red button. Don’t worry, nothing will explode” and then he burst into laughter, followed by several other dragons. “But seriously, good luck on your journey!” And with that, they took off.
“So… what do we do now?” Isaac asked.
“The waffle dragons said to go southeast to reach the portal.” Katherine said. “Let’s focus on that right now.” They went to a ridge very far and high in the sky, put on their wings, and flew! Isaac had so much fun flying through the sky. With the wind rushing through his hair… oh, he was so relaxed he thought he could go to sleep in the sky.
All that changed when a sudden drop of altitude startled him awake. All of his friends and his dog were startled, too!
“AaaAaaaaeEeeEeEEiiiIi dDddDdOoOooOnNnnnnNtTttT KknNooOooOowWw iIiF wEeeE CaAannnn GeeEet tTtHhHRrrRooOouuUugggHgGH tttTTHHhhiiIiiiSssSs!!!!!” Elijah yelled.
“WwwwWwwWweEeEeellLllLl,, maYyYYyyYbbBeEEee wWwwWeeeeE aAaaAnN WWWwwooORRrk soomeeEtHhiNg oOut!!!” Katherine yelled.
Just then, Lena did the unexpected. She made a magic wand appear that soothed the wind, and everybody calmed down.
“HOW DID YOU DO THAT?” Elijah yelled, “AND WHY AM I STILL YELLING!”
A few moments later, Katherine spotted something on the horizon. It was a big, pointy triangle, with smaller green triangles and circles on it. It looked like it was capped with some powdered sugar. It was the mountain the waffle dragons told them about. They were going the right way but the mountain was covered in giant ants.
“What the heck?” Katherine asked herself. “Oh… I get it LEAF-CUTTER ants! Ha ha, good one”.
“Who are you talking to?” asked Elijah.
“Uh… myself?” was her reply.
“Well, I think you should stop. Because we are about to crash into a mountain!”
That was all that could be heard there, or at least for a while. Then, for the third time that day, they fainted.
Isaac woke up on a mountain. “Why do I keep fainting? This much fainting only happens in poorly written books”! Even though he thought he might be used to this, it felt as if he had never experienced it. He wondered how all that could be possible, yet he had a bigger problem on his hands, the ants. And a gigantic praying mantis.
“Uh oh” he murmured to himself.
“Yah!!! What time is it?” yelled Katherine, waking up. And the funny thing is, she took on the ants and mantis without knowing it!
She did a flying kick at the mantis, which tumbled into the ants and smashed some of them.
“Ew, gross” said Isaac. Then Katherine flipped through the air, completely unaware she did all that, and fell on Isaac.
“Ouch!” was all that he said, and they ALL woke up that time.
“Hey, guys…” Elijah said. “Should we be getting to that portal now?”
“Yeah, we should,” said Katherine. “Lets go!” and so, they went to the stronghold that the waffle dragons said would contain the portal, though they did not know someone else was there.
They stood on the cliff, wondering where to go.
“I’ve completely lost my sense of direction.” Elijah said. “I am SO sorry for being a bad navigator. I totally… hey, look! It’s a huge tower! That might be the place where the portal is!” and so they flew towards it with their wings, and Isaac flew through the open window. He took Lena out of his backpack and set her down on the cold, quartz floors, and just as he did, she jumped right back into his backpack. He was wearing shoes, so he did not know what it felt like and he did something very foolish. He touched the floor.
“Ow!” he yelled. It felt like boiling magma, and he was reminded of home with its hot, sandy beaches. He snapped out of it, for he hoped that he would be home soon. So, he set out to find the portal.
“It’s like a winding maze! Katherine, you- wait, Katherine? Where are you?” and he realized he was lost in a maze! He was thousands, or maybe billions of miles away from home. He slumped down in defeat with Lena licking him, when Katherine came down one hall, and Elijah came down another.
“Where were you?” asked Elijah.
“No, where were you guys? I was calling for you, but I guess it does not matter now” Isaac shrugged. “So, lets find the portal, go in it, and go home!”
“But I actually am starting to like this place! Well, once you get used to the smell.” said Elijah. They all laughed, as if they were home already.
They went into the largest hall because it seemed promising. They started to walk down it and noticed someone else was there. It was a tall guy with a thin moustache and he wore sunglasses and a long, grey robe. He had almost the same eyes as Isaac and Katherine. She was reminded of photos at home and the realization hit Katherine before Isaac, their father! It hit him, too, like a SR71 Blackbird in rush hour!
“Wudafad?” Isaac blurted out, confused.
“Um what, my friend?” the man responded. That was always what his dad said when he was confused.
“It is you!!!” both he and Katherine said at the same time.
“I will… just stand here,” Elijah said.
For the first time in years, they heard their dad speak.
“All right, kids. Lets go home. But first, tell me what did I miss”?
“Ok, um, mom just turned 42, and for last Christmas I got a new book, it was strangely similar to the whole adventure we are on, the main character said the same things I’m saying, too! I got a sketchpad, and we got a dog, she is in my backpack. We named her Lena and… I am exhausted! Lets just go home, everyone”.
Isaac and Katherine’s dad found the portal in the Centre room, where a glowing blue ball hung over an obelisk. This was the same blue light Isaac had seen on the beach and in his room. They all touched it, and a huge, bright light engulfed the room. Soon, they were all back home. Isaac was in his room, hoping it was not a dream. He called for his dad. No answer. He went down to the room that was once his dad’s bedroom. He found him there, sleeping peacefully with his mum.
Katherine was in there, too, but she shushed him before he could say anything. He and Katherine returned to their rooms and went back to sleep.
In the morning, Isaac woke up and forgot everything that happened the day before. He remembered it all when he walked into the kitchen and saw his dad making breakfast.
“Anyone want some waffles?” his dad asked. Isaac looked at Katherine sitting at the table.
“No, thank you. I had enough of waffles for awhile” she replied.