“This has nothing to do with Elliot, Harold!” I heard my mother yelling. Another day, another fight, another nasty cut on my arm. They fought every single day and I couldn’t help but feel better when there’s a physical pain that could overcome the mental torture.
One night, something inside me snapped and I went haywire, knocking everything in my way. The bickering from the next room ceased and my parents rushed out as I yanked the front door open. The freezing autumn breeze hit my whole body as I lunged myself out of the house. Behind me, my parents pleaded me to come back but I just ran faster with a smirk on my face. There was no way I was going back.
Miles away from home, I realized I was lost. Looking around, I found myself wandering down a dark alley cluttered with trash and filth. I passed a few bone-thin beggars with unruly hair sleeping on cardboard near the drains. The gruesome sight gave me goose bumps all over.
“This planet’s a dump and it’s all the grown-ups’ fault,” I muttered as I kicked a stray tin can.
The can rolled down the alley until it came to a halt upon reaching boney feet owned by a hooded figure. “What’s wrong dear boy?” a soft yet trembling voice asked. I was frightened but somehow intrigued to get closer and have a peek at her face. As I inched closer, lightning struck, giving me a clear view of the crooked features of an old woman. Slowly, she walked away as if forgetting her question and I felt my legs swinging under me, following her.
I had to blink thrice to check if I was dreaming because at the end of the alley stood a marvelous water fountain, its edges made of pure marble and gold, the water a calming blue. “Go ahead, dear. Make a wish,” she whispered.
My eyes closed shut as I made my wish without even thinking twice. “I wish for a better world,” I started. My lips curled upwards as I said the next words, “where kids rule.”
The next thing I knew, I was free-falling into the majestic fountain without getting a single drop of water on me, as if the water was nothing but thin air. It was far deeper than I’d thought. I wanted to scream but I couldn’t for I was choking on my own breath. The fall seemed endless.
“King Elliot?” A boy’s voice startled me from a deep sleep. I opened my eyes and found myself sitting on the shoulders of two chubby boys. How did I get here? I wanted to scratch my head but my hand collided with something hard. A crown?
“Welcome to Childhood City, Your Highness. We’ve been waiting for your arrival.”
I looked around me and saw a wondrous sight. Above our heads were colorful rollercoaster tracks that could take you just about anywhere you needed to go. Next, I saw a bunch of kids coming out of an ice-cream parlor carrying jumbo-sized ice-cream cones that were dripping on the bright green grass. Best of all, everywhere I went, kids would drop what they were doing and bow down to me. During the tour, I didn’t see a single adult who could ruin this perfect world. Good riddance.
“It’s time to visit the tower the children built for you, my King,” said one of the boys and I let them lead the way.
Much to my dismay, the view from the top was spine-chilling, the absolute opposite of what I expected when we arrived at the tower which was made from top to bottom, completely of genuine LEGO blocks. It was built so tall, I could see everything in the exciting city-including what lay beyond. Past the borders was anything but exciting. Through the binoculars, I could see adults in torn clothes hard at work harvesting wheat, carrying weight on their backs and sorting through trash for something edible. They were so thin, they barely seemed human. They looked miserable and yet they were the ones keeping the city alive. I stared at the heart-breaking scene without realizing that tears were rolling down my cheeks. Were my parents out there too?
“Every kid becomes an adult when they turn 18 and will be thrown out of the city to become slaves. Including you, Elliot.” Upon hearing the familiar trembling voice, I spun around expecting to come face-to-face with the old woman but no one was there. My heartbeat accelerated as I raced out of the tower. This wasn’t the perfect world I wanted and I was determined to fix it!
I gathered my subjects for a rally to set them straight. “Things are getting out of hand here so we need to enforce some rules.” Those were probably the most mature yet pea-brained words I had ever said in my whole eleven short years of living.
“He’s thinking like a grown-up! He doesn’t deserve to be King!” said a blonde girl. The others murmured in agreement and some were already climbing the podium to grab me. Realization dawned on me. Who was I kidding? Kids hated rules! I hated rules!
They weren’t just planning on overthrowing me they solemnly wanted to kill me. I was brought to the bottomless caramel lake to face my doom. Through the corner of my tear-filled eyes, I saw the old woman smiling sadly at me amongst the crowd of anxious children. I wanted to rip her head off for this mess but soon found out that she wasn’t the bad guy. She was a friend.
“Make another wish, Elliot. A better one,” her soft, now velvety voice rang in my head as I hung upside-down for the royal dip. I closed my eyes and thought thoroughly this time, too afraid to mess up again.
Right before my head reached the caramel, I realized what I really wanted. “I wish my parents are here to save me.”
My whole body was drenched and I felt a pair of strong hands carrying me. I peeked through my heavy eyelids and saw an aged policeman looking exhausted but relieved for some reason. “I found him!” he shouted. A few paramedics rushed to me to check if I was alright which, strangely, I was.
Another pair of hands took me from the policeman and warm lips caressed my forehead. “Oh, Elliot, honey. We’re so sorry we did this to you,” my mother spoke between sobs. My parents squished me in a tight embrace but I didn’t mind for it was a feeling I longed for. For the first time in a long time, I told them I loved them but it came out barely a whisper. Another kiss, signaling they heard me.
As we walked back to our car, I silently thanked the old woman for helping me fathom that not every adult is evil. The paramedics and policemen are heroes, in fact. My parents are heroes too. They just needed their son to make a stupid wish and open their eyes a bit. But of course, from then on, I learned to be more careful what I wish for.
wokay! it didn't actually get me to Dublin but it's gotten people to see me as a good writer which is awesome enough for me. I just like to be acknowledged for something I do, y'know?