Warm by Olivia Neiderer
Warm. The warm sun beat down on my neck. Sweat drops began to form on my forehead. The long dirt road was packed with vendors and people. Being as short as I am, it wasn't very hard to breath in dirt that made me start viscously coughing. I lugged my one book with me through the crowded streets, avoiding people. My long black hair sometimes swept into my face, blocking my view, so I'd bump into people. I'd quickly scoot away before they could say anything. My glasses were slightly cracked and were always dusty. My parents didn't think it was wise to buy me another pair, since I'm only 13. My parents are some of the few that can afford glasses.
My mother sells seasoned rice and my father is a teacher at the tertiary school for the older kids. Most people only can afford the seasoned rice every couple months or on special occasions, like anniversaries or holidays, it is a very special food because it tastes amazing. The flavors sent your tongue into a blissful dance. I got to eat this rice almost every day because my mother would bring home the leftovers from her stand. I think a lot of other kids are jealous because I get this special food all the time.
As I reached the school I saw some other kids entering the small building with their one other book. We all sat at our assigned seats and waited for our teacher. This building is shared with a lot of other students. It's very dirty and tiny, it gets even tinier when we have over 30 students in this room. There is a single chalkboard in the front of the room, sometimes we can't use the chalkboard because we lose the chalk or run out. The teacher, Mr. W, was late. We were starting to get a little rambunctious. Girls were gossiping and making cute eyes at the boys and the boys were yelling and throwing things around. I sat on the girls side not really engaging in the conversation. I'd rather sit with the girls than by myself.
I could hear the bang of a loud sound. Almost like popcorn. It was a very quiet bang but I knew it was far away. I could see people running. No one else in the school was paying attention, except for me. I watched the crowd as they got closer. They looked angry, and they had guns.
"Guys," I nervously said to the people near me. One girl looked at me in the corner of her eye, she did a double take and I could see the terror in her eyes. She let out a screech which caught everyone's attention. Everyone saw what she was screaming at and they began running and screaming. There were kids everywhere, some ran out of the building, some took shelter under a table. There were more frequent gunshots now. I hesitated and stood frozen. My body was thrown to the ground like a sack of potatoes. Some girl ran into me, but she was too concerned with herself to help me up. My scratched glasses now had a crack in them. I threw them into a corner. My head hit the dirt floor pretty hard, there was a tiny scratch leaking warm blood onto my face. I peaked my head out of the door, the people running, who were all men, had spread out. I think they were trying to get the people who had run away.
Men had come into the school, they started shoving kids into a corner together. They had big guns, I'd seen some in movies and knew they were very dangerous. One girl close to me let out a scream and a couple men shot her, almost hitting me and a boy close to her. I fell to the ground with shock, gasping for air. Fear was rushing through my body. It was hard for me to catch my breath. I looked to my left and saw the girl who had been shot, laying on her side, her eyes rolled into her head and her mouth hanging open like she was trying to catch a fly. She was dead. Lifeless. Her body looked cold, all her warm blood had left her, leaving her cold.
I heard one of the men's boots coming near us, I didn't want to die. I couldn't think of anything, my mind was scattered and was running in a million different directions like all of the kids earlier. I grabbed the girls shirt and all her blood pooled out of her. I rubbed the deep red blood on my white shirt. I lay there like her, dead. My mouth hanging open, not breathing, eyes closed. I tried to hold as still as possible. The boots became louder, I could feel the dirt coming off the ground as it landed on my face. The man hit something hard and scoffed. He walked away. I laid like this for a long time. It seemed like forever till I could take in a full breath. There wasn't anyone else here except for the dead girl beside me and myself. I gently got up, brushing the dirt off of my pants.
Everything was a little blurry without my glasses. I look outside. The men have the kids walking in a big group to the town square. I follow behind, very behind. They look like specks to me, they very well could be close since I can't see anything without my glasses. I followed them to the town, where they had most of the town gathered.
I go into an abandoned building and look outside. Everyone looks like they're in trouble. I can't save everyone, I'm just a shy girl with glasses, well not with glasses right now. I start pacing around the empty space to think of a solution. Out of the corner of my eye I see a rock. It glows red and gold. I walked towards it and pick up the rock turning it around in my hands. I hold it up to my ear and shake it around. The rock vibrates and out pops an old man, his skin golden from being out in the sun. He has a long gray beard reaching his mid chest. I'm startled from this old man, I counter away from him. He looks at me with a small grin.
"You found my rock." He continues with the same creepy grin. "You are quite lucky, I'm good at giving advice." The man spoke so highly of himself, it was hard for me to take him seriously.
"Well, I could use some advice right now." I say quietly.
"My first advice I will give to you is to have confidence." He gave me that same creepy grin, which made my insides feel like they had insects crawling in them.
"Okay," I stood up straighter, "I need to fix this, my town is in danger." The man looked outside and nodded like he was agreeing with what I had said.
"Destroy the King, destroy the Kingdom." Is all the he said, then he vanished. This was not a normal day what-so-ever. I shoved the rock in my pocket and went on my way.
I left the abandoned building in search of the leader. I made sure to dodge all the men with the boots. No one noticed me. I saw a man with a blue jacket. He has to be the leader. I stealthy walked up behind him. I tap him on the back of his shoulder. He turns around and gasps at me.
"Did you ask Angka for permission to talk to me?" He asked, ready to attack me. I shook my head, "Angka will give you all of the answers in life." He pointed a fat finger in my face. "You must be a peasant, you have no glasses. That's good, if you were smart, you would be dead." He sat me down with the rest of the peasants. He walked away, not looking back. I got worried about my family.
I rubbed my rock in my pocket. The old man appeared again. No one else was startled by his presence. I assumed he was invisible to everyone else. "He says I need to believe in Angka," I told the old man.
"Yes, here take this." The man gave me a slingshot.
"Seriously?" I turned back to the man, but he was gone. I sighed, looking at the ground for something to use it with. There were hardly any stones I could use. The leader was in perfect aim for me right now, I needed to make my move or else my whole village would have to learn that this 'Angka' is their new leader. I was constantly looking for anything that would work. As I crawled over to a different space, the red rock fell out of my pocket. Of course! I should use the old man's rock!
I gently load the stone into the slingshot. I aim it, very carefully. This shot could mean saving my village from these people who want to change the education system. The leader lets out a big laugh, leaving his mouth like a giant target. I let the rock fly in the air. The rock hits the chief right in the mouth, making him gag. The soldiers around him hesitate as he chokes on the big rock. He falls to the ground coughing. He lays there like the girl in the school. Eyes rolled into the back of his head, his mouth open with the rock still inside, his body is lifeless. The soldiers start to hug each other and run over to me, hugging me and thanking me.
"We hated that man!" One man with a bald head cries to me. "You are the new leader now!" Another shouts.
"As ruler, I command that everything goes back to the way it was!" I'm raised into the air as all of the soldiers and peasants cheer loudly for me. I've never felt happier. My mother finds me through all the madness and kisses me on the cheek. She's crying, she's so proud of me.
Everything went back to the way it was, some teachers were killed but the magic stone brought them back to life. Everything was normal again, even though I was still the ruler. I still went to school. The magic stone revived the girl that was killed at the school as well. It was all good again.