2012 Totem Head Story Contest Winner:"The Day I Changed the World" By Emily, 13 years old, Marvin, NC.
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2012 Contest Winner


The Day I Changed the World
Written By:   Emily, 13 years old, Marvin, NC.

So there I was, gripping the dynamite so tightly my knuckles turned white. Sweat drizzled down my face. My heart raced. I wasn’t afraid of the dynamite, I was afraid of heights, which wasn’t good since I was about to jump off a jet and parachute down to the ground. I tried to tune out the noise of my best friend, Autumn, although I was glad to know someone was the brains in this project, and that we weren’t just winging it.

But it was still annoying when she reviewed the plan again; and again; muttering mostly to herself, "so once we arrive at 273 MPH it will be the perfect speed to jump… the velocity should be just about perfect… according to my calculations which are usually correct… plus our weight… and the wind… we want to land… and lets see the humidity..." She went on like that for a while, pulling out different complicated instruments and papers.

All I cared about was the part when I blew stuff up… not just any stuff, Algebra.

It all started this morning when Autumn and I were doing Algebra. At about the point in our math problems when we were solving -2[(-x-3)(-2)-3]=(-3-3x)(-2)^3-3^2, we got a little upset with our math.

"Lilly, I HATE algebra," Autumn complained.

"Me too! Hey! Maybe we could go on strike against algebra. You know, we should just stop doing it," I proposed.

"That’s a good idea Lilly, but my Mom would NEVER let me do that. And yours wouldn’t either," Autumn pointed out.

"True" I agreed, "but I think I have another idea that may work."

Soon we were loaded into a big black jet with two adult small parachutes strapped to our backs, about fifty packs of dynamite, our algebra books, and about a million other algebra books which we bought from all the people, stores, and printing presses that owned them. It took all of Autumn’s and my money we had been saving for the past five years to pay for all of the books, but we figured it was worth it if we never had to find out what x was again.

"This is crazy!" I screamed above the roar of the engine.

"It was your idea!" Autumn pointed out.

We blasted off leaving nothing but dust behind us. No note, no explanation of where we were headed, we figured we would be back before lunch, so no point in worrying our parents. This is when Autumn started on her calculations and I began tuning it out, and setting up the dynamite.

The algebra books were stacked to the ceiling, with some were threatening to break the roof, and we had barely enough room to squeeze all the books in. If the subject weren’t absolutely awful, the many books pressed to the roof may have been beautiful. From the minuscule ones to the massive ones we had to haul in together, from the red to the yellow to the brown ones, they were all there. Autumn and my books sat on top of the pile. Our matching orange and blue shimmering covers glistened in the sun coming in from the window, the lights dancing off the shiny cover. If that book hadn’t just about killed me, I would have thought it was beautiful. I looked at the colorful mountain of bulky evil books that had ruined so many people’s lives for thousands of years. We were going to put a stop to that. We were going to destroy what Al Khwarizmi created. ALGEBRA!!!

"Is the dynamite in place yet?" Autumn asked. I jumped. I had forgotten she was there!

"Almost." I replied. I placed the last pack of dynamite in between Autumn’s and my books.

"Okay. It’s all set up," I declared.

"Perfect" Autumn said, smiling maliciously. "Light it up." I walked over to the lighter, and picked it up. It felt cold in my hand despite the fact that it was made to light things on fire. My hand was so sweaty that I almost dropped the lighter. I had never lit anything with a lighter before but somehow I managed to get all the dynamite lit.

I looked over my shoulder to see Autumn ready to jump, and beckoning me over to join her. I raced over and together we fell. Instantly I felt a cold rush, as if I had run through a wall of freezing air. I was sweating more than ever now, despite being so cold. I couldn’t breath and I had left my stomach back in the jet. But it was all worth it when I heard the explosion behind me. Finally it was time to parachute. I pulled the cord, and I began to float down gracefully.

I glanced to my right and there was Autumn! She had a crazy grin on her face, and her beautiful brunette hair was all tangled on top of her head. I guessed my golden hair looked just as horrible.

As if reading my mind Autumn stated, "Lilly, Your hair is a WRECK!"

"Ha! You’re talking?" I countered. We laughed. We were finally free of life’s horrible burden, and we had saved the whole world from it too. Finally, we touched ground.

"We better hurry back before dinner!" Autumn said.

"Okay, see you tomorrow!" I yelled to her as she sped off towards her house.

"I’m back!" I announced as I walked through the door.

"How was Autumn’s house?" Mom asked.

"Awesome!" I responded.

"Good! Well come on in for dinner I just finished." She said. Mmmm. Dinner! It smelled delicious. I ran into the kitchen. My mom screamed when I entered, "Goodness! WHAT did you do to your HAIR?"

"My hair?" I asked my hand shooting up to the messy nest. "Oh, well Autumn and I were outside and we-"

"Oh I see, you were just playing" My mom said a little softer, "Well, at least it’s better than when you came home and you and Autumn had decided to give each other hair cuts…"

"We were in first grade," I pointed out.

"Go comb it and then we’ll eat." My mom decided.

She may as well have told me to go do another algebra lesson. It was hard, painful, and took at least a half hour to get back the silky straight gold hair that fell to my waist. Finally I entered the kitchen once again to a neatly set table and food for us. Soon I was eating the delicious steak and not so delicious broccoli.

"How was your algebra today?" My mother questioned.

quot;Oh… I couldn’t find it today…" I said cautiously.

"Don’t worry, we’ll find it!" My mom said helpfully.

"Not likely," I muttered as I plotted how to rid the world of broccoli.




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