Pasatiempo - - KID'S PROSE - by Iso­bel Schulz Age ten, Robert C. Lind­sey Ele­men­tary School, Ch­ester­land, Ohio

Hi, I’m Jaden. Some­thing odd about my brain makes me see mon­sters. When I was six I saw a mon­ster — the one mon­ster you never want to see. She had yel­low eyes like slits. A ser­pent mon­ster! Since I was lit­tle, she’s been telling me that some­day I will come to the other side.

Mon­sters aren’t real, honey ... “Get ready for bed; you have school to­mor­row,” Mom shouted. “Okay!” I called back. I got in bed and Mom came up­stairs. “Good night, honey,” she whis­pered. “Night,” I an­swered. As Mom walked out of my room, I saw a yel­low eye peek­ing out at me through my closet door. “No, wait!” I yelled. “What is it, sweetie?” “Um, can you check my closet?” “You aren’t three any­more,” she said, but she opened the closet any­way. It was empty. “See, honey, noth­ing there. G’night.” She closed my door and went to her room. I closed my eyes, try­ing not to think about what I saw, un­til I fell asleep.

When I woke up, it was the mid­dle of the night. I looked around, hear­ing a noise. “Hello?” I asked in a shy voice. Then I heard some­thing ter­ri­fy­ing: “Come ... with ... me ...” I jumped. “Who’s there!” “It’s me ... your friend,” some­thing an­swered. “Leave me alone!” I yelled. The voice said, “Wel­come to the other side.” With those five words, some­thing grabbed my an­kles and pulled me un­der the bed. Mom came just a se­cond after. “Jaden?”

The other side ...

“Hello?” I looked around in the dark. “Hello, Jaden,” I heard a cold voice say. “Why do you want me here?” I asked. “Don’t you re­mem­ber me?” I thought back to when I was younger, two glow­ing eyes un­der my bed. It’s the ser­pent mon­ster! “What’s your name?” “S-s-set­tle down ... my name is Ceci,” the words slip­ping from her mouth. “What do you want from me?” I asked, a lit­tle softer now. “It is time for your trans­for­ma­tion. You see mon­sters ... And now, like all of us, you will change to your true self.”

“My true self is me!” I protested. “Oh, re­ally ... ,” and with that, I was knocked un­con­scious.

Ceci’s se­cret ...

I woke up and looked around. It looked like a den­tist’s of­fice. I seemed to be strapped into a den­tist’s chair. I looked up; Ceci was right there, star­ing at me. “HELP!” I screamed. “Oh for God’s sake, Jaden.” Then she turned into a nor­mal-look­ing hu­man with short brown hair, green eyes, and jeans with a sweat­shirt. “Wow ...” I said. “Let’s stop wast­ing time,” Ceci an­swered and walked over toward a lever near my chair.

I ex­claimed, “Wait! Don’t do this,” as she looked up at the wall. “Please!” I pleaded again. “You must have been a kid once too? Ceci?” “You’re right, I was a kid once, but then I was turned into this!” “So you’ll help me?” I whim­pered. She turned around and handed me an old photo. I looked at it, study­ing it. It was a girl, with dark hair, blue eyes, wear­ing a blue dress. I looked at the name on the back: “Ce­les­tine Moon.” I looked up in shock. Then she broke the si­lence. “Let’s get you out of here.”

Hurry ...

Ceci helped me out of the chair. “Thanks,” I said as I rubbed the red spots on my arms. Ceci stood on a counter and started fid­dling with a vent in the ceil­ing. “What are you do­ing?” I asked. “If we go through the door, they will see you.” I didn’t say any­thing. Fi­nally, she said, “Okay, climb in­side.” There was just enough space to crawl through the vents. “Will we get lost?” I asked. “I know what I’m do­ing,” she said as she closed the vent be­hind her. We were crawl­ing through the vent when we heard some­one below ask, “Do you think they went in here?” Ceci and I looked at each other. We’d for­got­ten some­thing: se­cu­rity cam­eras.

We crawled as quickly and qui­etly as we could, then Ceci sig­naled for us to crawl out through a vent that emp­tied into a hall­way. On the other end of the hall was a lad­der con­nected to the wall.

“That way!” She grabbed my arm, dash­ing toward the lad­der. I climbed up first, then reached for her, “C’mon, hurry!” “I can’t come with you,” she said. I frowned. “Why not?” “I’m a mon­ster,” she an­swered. “You can use your pow­ers to stay hu­man, right?” I re­minded her. Ceci just shook her head, “When you leave this world, it dis­ap­pears from un­der your bed. If I am go­ing to stay and use its power, I need to go with it when it goes. I am sorry I can’t con —.” Her sen­tence was cut short as I saw her drop to the ground. When I looked, a steel ar­row was go­ing through her back. “Ceci!” I screamed. “HALT!” I looked up and saw two were­wolves run­ning toward me. I looked at Ceci and knew she was gone. I fought back tears as I climbed up the lad­der. The were­wolves were right there as I jumped out of the other

side and slammed the door shut! A flash of light came from where the door used to be. When it was over, I sat there pro­cess­ing what hap­pened. “Ceci?”

What now ...

Tears poured from my eyes so I shut them tightly. It was just a dream,

just a dream, I re­peated in my head as I fell asleep. I woke up to a thump, thump sound com­ing from down­stairs. I stum­bled down the hall­way, hur­ried down the stairs, and ran toward the thump­ing on the front door. When I opened it, I saw a lit­tle girl. She had dark hair, blue eyes, and a blue dress. She smiled. “Hi, I’m Ce­les­tine Moon. Trick or treat?”

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