Story Intro


Ms. Clark, the secretary at Manzanita Elementary School, hated delivering bad news. Unfortunately, that was the exact thing she had to do on this particular Tuesday. She walked briskly down the hall, her black high heels clicking on the linoleum floor.

As she exited the school’s main building, she cringed. Ms. Clark had always hated the sound of children. Their gleeful shouts and the clank of the swings and tetherball chains echoed throughout the playground as she strolled towards the fifth grade wing.

She scanned the row of classrooms and knocked briskly on Room 17’s door three times. Cheery Mrs. Salvin cracked open the door and stared at Ms. Clark expectantly.

“Plan Thirty-seven,” whispered Ms. Clark. She then turned and marched away, as if she were late for something.

Mrs. Salvin slammed the door and drew the curtains sharply over the windows.

Principal Hartwig’s plan had begun.*

 

*Tell me if you like this beginning and if I should continue the story through your comments!

Dreams and How They Came to be


Long ago, dreams were not known to humans. Sleep was dark and black, and people had no hope or wishes. This is how dreams came to be.

Once upon a time, there was a brilliant painter who could capture anything and display it on her canvases. Her imagination ran wild in her paintings. They were always very colorful and unique.

Unfortunately, the people of that time did not understand her vibrant colors or strange pictures straight from her own imagination. They proclaimed it witchcraft and announced that she would be burned at the stake the next morning, when her “powers” would be weakest. Until then, she was locked in a cell in the King’s dungeon.

The dungeon was damp and gloomy. She curled up in a corner and fell asleep, though it was only noon. And even though she didn’t know it yet, she did have some powers, just not the kind that the people in her kingdom thought she had. If she concentrated hard enough, her imagination could become a reality.

She awoke just as the sun was beginning to set. As was the custom in that land and time, she made a wish right before the sun disappeared behind the hills. I wish that I could get out of this cell. I wish I could, I wish I could. She imagined herself walking through the wall. She quickly shook her head. That’s why I’m in here, I can’t go on doing it! I’ll be in more trouble than I was in before! But her mind took over. Images of escape filled her head. She closed her eyes, savoring this last chance to daydream. She paced around her cell, eyes still shut tight. All of a sudden, she tripped on a hard block of stone. Surprised, she quickly blinked and looked around her…cell? She was free! Behind her stood the wooden door that had kept her from leaving the dungeon. But that was behind her. Up ahead was a long, winding staircase. Her ticket out.

She dashed up the steps, not daring to look back to find that it had been a daydream after all. The stairs came out on the side of the castle, but she was still in the King’s domain. She saw a group of soldiers guarding the main entrance. Glancing around, she saw that the stone wall surrounding the perimeter had blocks scattered throughout it that jutted out more than the others. She could use these stones to get over the wall!

Dashing across the well manicured lawn, she saw the soldiers turn and spot her. With angry yells, they started to chase after her. She reached the wall and hoisted herself up to a block. With panic filling up her thoughts, she frantically searched for another block. The soldiers were almost to her, and she wasn’t high enough off of the ground to be safe from their large hands, ready to seize her and take her to the King.

She spotted a block farther down the wall, but she would have to jump for it. Heart beating abnormally fast, she took a flying leap and just managed to grab the block with her fingertips. Using all her strength, she pulled herself onto the block. From there on, there were lots of blocks to climb onto.

The soldiers were frustrated, but not ready to give up. They all sped toward the gate, ready to meet with her on the other side of the wall.

When she finally reached the top, she looked down to the ground and saw all of the soldiers, plus almost all of the townspeople, armed with pitchforks and long wooden staffs.

This would be a problem.

Luckily, nobody had seen her when she peeked over the wall, so she still had a chance. Her head out of sight, she maneuvered around to the other side of the wall. The side with the forest.

The forest was the exact opposite of the place anybody would want to go. It was dark and mysterious, and there were many creatures in there that were said to kill on sight (and eat their own kind!) Witches were sometimes banished there and it is said that their powers wax stronger inside the forest. No one had ever come back once they had traveled into its depths.

But nobody would ever look for her there, and she was sure that she could survive long enough to find a way out.

So she climbed down the other side and crept into the forest.

The forest was cold and foggy. There wasn’t a path, but some branches and bushes had been cleared away. Someone had been there.

Unnerved and wary, the artist continued on. However, it was difficult to see with the darkness of night impending. She climbed a nearby oak tree and settled herself on a large branch. Dark, black sleep overtook her.

§

In the morning, the forest was still dark. She supposed that she would have to get used to it. She trudged on and on, occasionally pausing to rest. If she found any running water or food, she devoured it, for she had no idea when the next food source would appear. She went on like this for days, pondering that strange new power she had discovered in the dungeons, and she couldn’t help but laugh when she imagined the look on the soldiers faces when they realized that she wouldn’t be coming over the wall after all.

Then one day, she came to a very small cottage tucked away under a tree. The artist wouldn’t have seen it at all if she hadn’t tripped and turned around in the process. She slowly turned the doorknob and peered into the dusty room. But no one was home. She did see some porridge and a soft bed, though, so she decided to stay a while. She laid down on the straw bed and dark, black sleep paid a visit.

§

The artist heard a heavy thud and a creaking noise. She blinked and saw an ugly nose in front of her face. She jumped. Where was she? Then it all came flooding back! She was in the abandoned cottage! Or maybe it isn’t abandoned…she thought.

“Who are you?” asked the ugly woman. “Maybe you haven’t noticed, but you are in my house!”

“Err….”

“What’s your name?”

“Dream.” She said proudly. Her name was unique, just like her paintings.

“Ha!” cackled the woman.”I got you!”

“Err…what do you mean?” she asked nervously.

“What do you mean? Don’t you know the story?” When she shook her head, the woman seemed kind of mad.”When you tell a witch your name, she has the power to place a curse on you or simply destroy you.”

“Wait…you’re a…a witch?” Her stomach was twisting in knots, realizing what she had just done.

“Dream, eh? What do you do Dream?” the witch asked her.

“I…I love to paint,” she said uncertainly.

“Well then, you will paint dreams.”

“Er, what?” she said, confused.

“You will be trapped in the minds of the human race. You will paint their dreams!” cried the witch.

And from that day on, Dream has painted the dreams of the human race. She brings color to our minds and gives imagination. She is the thing that brings creativity.

Luck


“Oh no!” I moaned, as my lucky penny rolled under my desk. “Now I’ll have to go and get that.” As I crawled under my desk and tried to find it, my horseshoe fell off of my belt and landed on my foot. “Ouch!” Having a twenty-pound piece of metal fall on your foot was not a thing the doctor would recommend, plus, it hurt a lot. I finally managed to get my penny and fasten the horseshoe to my belt, when I saw the class lining up outside to go to lunch.

I hurried outside and got a place in line. As always, I counted the kids in front of me to make sure that I wasn’t an unlucky number. The kid in front of me was number twelve, so I was number…THIRTEEN!

“Can I please cut you?” I said to the boy in front of me.”It’s super important. Pleeeeeease?!”

“Uh…Let me think,” said the boy in front of me.”Hmm…I’d say…NO!”

I groaned and was about to turn to the girl behind me, but the line was starting to move. I sighed. Too late. My horseshoe weighing me down, I trudged to the cafeteria with the rest of the class, crossing my fingers, hoping that it would block the unluckiness of being number thirteen.

When I got my food, I accidentally dropped a salt packet and salt spilled onto the linoleum tile. I quickly pinched some salt between my fingers and tossed it behind me. Right into the beet-red face of our dreadful principal, Mr. Simmons.

“Oh, I’m so sorry, sir! I…I’m r-really sor-rry.” I stuttered. Right before he could yell at me, I ran out of the cafeteria and into the lunch court. My eyes darted around the room, trying to find something to bring me good luck again. I spotted a board of wood propped against the wall. I could knock on wood! As soon as my knuckles brushed the board, it toppled over and hit my lunch tray. Ketchup spurted all over my new shirt and chocolate milk drenched my face.

On the walk home from school, I realized something. These lucky things were bringing me bad luck! I needed to stop thinking about my luck and focus on important stuff.

All of a sudden, a black cat walked by.

Aaaaaaaaaah!!!!!!!!