Jennifer Flores, Writer

“Alright, students, I need one of you guys to solve for X here,” Ms. McCormick wrote the math problem on the smartboard as we copied it into our notebook. It was 11 in the morning, and I was doing math. Such a dull day today. I looked around the plain white classroom with no posters or windows and the students sitting in rows doing math.

I tried to figure out the math problem but gave up a few seconds later. Why do we need to solve this math stuff? I don’t see where we need this kind of math problem unless I want to be a math teacher. I took out my phone secretly from my pocket. I changed my song choice as I privately listened to it in my air pods.

“How about you, Avery?” Ms. McCormick called on me.

I looked up and saw my teacher staring at me with her arms crossed and tapping her foot on the ground. “Me?” I asked.

“No, the alien in the back of our class. Yes, you, Avery, come up here and solve the problem instead of looking at your phone. And bring the phone up here.” Ms. McCormick reached out her hand to let me put my phone in her hand as I walked up to the front of the classroom while the students snickered and whispered behind me.

I gave her my phone while the music was still playing in the air pods under my hair. I stared at the smart board screen, trying to find a good answer to solve the problem with the pen in my hand, but nothing came to my mind. “I dunno, ma’am.”

All the students laughed, and the teacher was about to scream at me, but then the bell rang for lunchtime. All the students ran out of the class as if Michael Jackson was coming to the auditorium right then and everyone wanted front-row seats. Ms. McCormick gave me the death stare and wiggled her finger to gesture for me to follow her to her desk. She pulled out a pink note from the drawer in the desk, and I knew that the pink note was for going to the office.

“Alright, go to the principal’s office, and I’m confiscating your phone so that I can take it to the office myself.”

“Can I get my phone back for a sec? My song is still playing on my phone.”

She looked so red I could picture the red mask face emoji on her.

“Give me those air pods right now.” She shut off my phone, and I gave her my air pods, and I walked to the office by myself. Sheesh, she gets so mad for just having my phone out for a few seconds. This teacher needs anger management classes.

I walked to the front office and saw no one at the desk. I looked to my right and saw the doors to get out of school. The doors to freedom, I thought, I could just leave quietly right now without anyone noticing. I looked up to the ceiling and saw the security camera, but it was old, and I bet it wouldn’t even record my face well to figure out who had left school.

I glanced around the office and suddenly ran out quietly to the doors. I expected an alarm to go off or something, but nothing. Just silence and the noise of the cars passing by in front of the school. Too bad I don’t have my phone to call my older mischievous brother to pick me up from school.

I was hungry as a pig; I ran out of the school zone without anyone seeing me, and I spotted the closest food truck down the street. I ran up to the truck, and it looked like it was in poor condition. The truck’s color was peeling off, and one of the front windows was broken as if someone had thrown a baseball. I didn’t care about that; I only cared about my hungry stomach.

“Hello? Anyone here? I want to order four steak tacos with mango juice!” I shouted since I couldn’t see anyone because the food truck was too tall to see whoever was up there.

“Four steak tacos and a mango juice coming right up, lady.”

The voice came from behind me, and I turned around to see who it was, but as I turned my back, a tall man dressed up as a clown put a giant potato sack over me and swooped me up from the ground.

“Hey! Hey! Let me out right now!” I screamed. No way I’m getting kidnapped right after escaping school! This would make me feel like a total loser when I think back to it when I’m older! I felt like I was being carried into the food truck since it was very close, and I felt the truck being driven away. I tried to open the potato sack I was inside; I found a small hole and ripped it open with my fingers. I got out quickly and saw I was inside a van and a person was driving it in front. Is it the clown? What’s going on?

I got up, ran up behind the person driving it, and realized it was an old woman. Why would an old lady kidnap me as a clown? I tapped her shoulder, and she turned around. Her big glasses covered almost her whole face. Her eyes widened when she saw me.

“AAAAAH!” She screamed louder than a sperm whale. I covered my ears, she swerved the wheel to the side, and the whole van flew. “Oh, dear! Oh, dear!” The old lady screamed and looked at me, “Make sure you take the apple pie out of my oven, please!”

“What?!” I screamed at her, confused. We flew in the air in slow motion. What was going on? This isn’t normal! I felt nauseous, and I looked out the window. It looked like we were going to crash into a river. She was crossing the bridge, and I scared her half to death. The old lady pushed me out of the window, and I fell into the water, stomach flat.

I screamed underwater, and I saw the van falling into the water. I swam out of the water to breathe fresh air and swam to the shore. I gasped for breath in the dirt and lay in my wet clothes. As I thought the day would be over, I felt the soil was too muddy. I felt myself sinking into the ground and realized I was in quicksand; my whole body was sinking quickly, not giving me enough time to get up. I tried to scream for help, but the muddy dirt covered my mouth, and I went into complete darkness.

“Hey, she’s moving! Someone smack her head with the stick!” A little voice screamed.

“No! I wanna see what she would do when she sees us!” Another voice called out.

“Huh?” I woke up all tied up around a stick, saw the small fire cackling below me, and realized I was getting cooked alive. “Wait, stop!” I moved around, the rope loosened, and I got out of the fire. I was in a cave with the winter air blowing outside the cave, and I saw many tiny eyes looking at me with their jaws dropped on the ground. They were trolls with strange clothing and tall red hats. They wore clothes made from leaves with different colors, and some wore matching clothes.

They all began screaming and running around everywhere below me. I didn’t want to move my leg to run away because I was scared I might step on one of them. “Stop screaming and running!” I yelled, and everyone froze, all their eyes on me. “Listen, I’m having a bad day today! Can you please tell me where I am?”

“Dummy, you’re on Earth!” One troll hollered.

“You’re in Hocus Town!” Another one hollered.

“Hocus Town? Where in the world is that?!” I asked, confused.

“Earth.” The same troll who gave me the first answer said.

I groaned and walked out of this place. I felt all eyes staring at me while I walked away. I kept walking, and I didn’t realize I had walked too much, and I found myself in the middle of the jungle.

“What the?” I looked around my surroundings, and I heard birds chirping around me. What is going on today? Have I gone crazy? I shut my eyes, opened them, and saw myself in a different place. I was in a frozen world. Everything was ice and frozen. It felt so cold that I could see my breath. I blinked again and found myself in a different place again. I was back at the taco truck right where I started.

I felt like I was going crazy. I gasped for breath as if I had run a marathon. What’s wrong with me? I pinched my cheek, arm, and leg to check if this was all a dream. I closed my eyes and took a couple of deep breaths to calm myself down, and I opened my eyes.

I woke up in a psychiatric hospital. I was lying on a patient bed and wearing a hospital gown. My mother held my hand while sitting on a chair on the right side of the bed. She had a worried look on her face. I looked up at the white ceiling and my surroundings. The walls were light green and had zoo animals smiling. It made me a little sick to look at them smiling at me.

“Avery?” My mother called my name worriedly, “Are you okay now?”

“What happened..?”

“You don’t remember? Your teacher Ms. McCormick called me to say that you were lying on the floor as if you fainted on your way to the front office!”

“What? No, I didn’t, I remember going to the office, and I ran out of the school, then a bunch of weird stuff happened!” I don’t remember falling to the ground at school.

The patient room door opened, and a doctor said, “Hello, Avery, I’m Dr. Rylee. It seems that you have woken up. You have been asleep for two days!”

“I did?!”

“Yes, right after you came to a different hospital, the doctor had to send you right away to this hospital. We had to do a lot of research to find out what was happening, and it turned out you have a different illness we do not know much about.” Dr. Rylee came up to me with her clipboard.

“What is wrong with me?” I asked.

“You have a mental illness that causes you to dream unusual things for a long time. It’s not something normal that would happen to people.” Dr. Rylee looked at my mother, and my mother nodded with her tears flowing down.

“Why it isn’t normal?” I looked at them, confused.

“This illness is very powerful to a human being, and it can make you go out of control and harm others. The more you hallucinate, the crazier you will go. We don’t want you to hurt other people.” The doctor took a shot out of her pocket, and my mother looked at me, still crying. “I’m sorry to say this, miss Avery but I hope you had a good life.”

My mother covered her mouth and cried, and the doctor put the shot in my leg, and complete blackness covered my eyes.