4012

by Maya, age 11
4012 Maya is a rising fifth grader in NYC. She is rarely seen without a pencil in hand to capture her thoughts. When she’s not writing, Maya likes to perform in plays and cabarets (especially singing her original songs), read, play tennis and horseback ride. She is grateful to have such a supportive family.

“And I sit there with the compass and laugh, because neither is right. But I breathe in and smell the trees, hear the hum of birds, see all the color, and most of all, wish I was back home, with my people.”

December, 15, 1587

Dear Diary,

Daddy said he’ll be back soon. But I want to go with him just so bad. In England, here, there are not many opportunities for women. Hardly any, really. In what daddy calls ‘The New World,” people must farm. They must work. Even women. So maybe I’ll get a break from laundry, cooking, and cleaning all day. Maybe I can help build with my hands. Maybe I can learn how to fish! Here in England I did a task as simple as walking into a store in which they sold wood. The seller looked at me and said, “Hello, there. Um, the fabric store is just one avenue down. I can walk you if you’re afraid you’ll get lost.”  The man had a thin beard, just as thin as the ice he was standing on if he said anything like that to me again. No one will be on the land Daddy and I will venture to. Last night, Daddy had a man named Walter over for dinner. I call him Sir Rohlly, though. He wore a rugged blue coat and white shirt. He wore brown pants and shoes. The land will be called Roanoke, after my grandfather. I am begging my father, John White, to come along.

December, 15, 1804

Dear Diary,

Lewis just bosses me around. He knows of my many tongues, several skills, and connections so I can’t be too angry he is scared. Clark is no help, either. He simply buries his head in his hat. Sometimes they can be nice to each other, but most of the time, they fight like cats and dogs! “No, North is this way, Clark!” “No, Lewis.” And I sit there with the compass and laugh, because neither is right. But I breathe in and smell the trees, hear the hum of birds, see all the color, and most of all, wish I was back home, with my people. Instead of on the Lewis and Clark expedition. At home, they would include every one. We would share everything we had. I remember lending countless items to neighbors because they said please. “Please, Sacagewea, may we borrow your fishtrap?” We were all so polite. Ahhh, how I miss that.

December, 15, 1853

Dear Diary,

Tonight was a bigger group. Thirty, thirty-five, maybe. They all may be scared, but that sure doesn’t stop most of them. They travel through with me fast. Whenever they’re scared I tell them to think about the South. They start whispering with their neighbor when they’re scared, or they start to slump. They cross their arms at any sign of sound to think about how badly they were treated there. They quiver more thinking about the South than when they’re scared following me. Usually, it gets them going. Ten of the ones I rescued tonight were from my own plantation. Back when I left, the idea was next to insane. But now, people are flocking to hitch a ride on my railroad, with the best conductor. I must keep going back because I can’t think about those people I left behind. Even if they’re strangers, because of this, we’ve become friends. My brother is a Tubman, too. I wonder when he’ll want to leave. When I left, he wouldn’t leave. He would rather stay there, in the South, than travel to the North. He said he would rather be oppressed than get caught by people who approve of slavery. 

December, 15, 1903

Dear Diary, 

Not to brag, but I just won the Nobel Prize! For the second time! I recently discovered a green rock. It glows. I can turn it into liquid and find more. I call it Radium. Here, I’ll use it in a sentence; I discovered a new element: Radium. How about a song? Or a poem? You know what? I have to go to dinner soon, but maybe next time. This new element could do so much! It could save lives! Well, maybe. I’m worried about my husband. Ever since we started this project, he’s been very weak. But, as I’m sure you know, Curies are strong. He’ll recover.

December, 15, 1921

Dear Diary, 

Robert Abbot gave me a place to go. I want to fly so bad. And I will. In France. Not many will teach a black girl to fly in this era. I guess that means I’m ahead of my time. In France, I fly on a small plane. There are more buttons than there were sharecroppers on my field back in Texas. But I eventually learned what they all meant. As soon as the plane’s wheels start turning, I see the path growing shorter and shorter until I could no longer see the rock-filled road. Until I could see that very same road grow into nothing but one line amongst greenery so lush, it looked like second clouds. Until I could no longer see the road anymore, just a quilt of green. Until finally I could see the faint line of the road, then it grew bigger, and bigger and bigger, until the wheels of my plane smoothly touched the road. I remember the dirt roads in Texas. How when I walked my heels kicked up red dirt. It took me a while to get used to the city.  After many days of being up in that plane, I am handed my flying license. It has a picture of me and next to my picture the index card says “Bessie Coleman”.

December, 15, 1921

Dear Diary,

My father says that no woman should be in the cockpit. That they shouldn’t even be in the passenger’s seat. Well, to all those who think that, I will prove you wrong. It’s my third week flying on The Canary. It’s bright yellow and has an upgrade: cup holders. But I am fully focused on the air, the sky, and the cockpit when I am flying. When I was small, my father took me to an airshow. The male pilots did amazing things that took real courage and moxie. They did figure eights and loop-de-loops! I was absolutely marveled as they spun round and round. I told my father, right there, “Daddy, I want to do that. I want to fly.” My father told me to just see what happens. And now, fifteen years later, I am in the cockpit. First, the heat is so hot it’s like I am in a desert in the summertime. But I still climb into the tiny plane and flick up some switches. Then I start to move. When the wheels take off I feel like I’m on top of the world, though by this point I’m only 50 or 60 feet in the air. I have nothing to worry about. The blue goes on forever. And when I’m up in the clouds, I leave behind every one who thinks women shouldn’t fly. And I just do. I just fly. But what comes up, must come down. The plane’s wheels hit the ground again. And I get ready to re-enter reality. Because flying  in that plane up there seems almost to good to be true.

December, 15, 1935

Dear Diary,

It’s my husband’s second year serving as the president of the United States. And it’s my second year serving as the first lady. I drive the car to grab groceries, cook dinner, clean, and give speeches about civil rights in the very same day! Of course our maid, Mary, helps with chores, too. Living in the whithouse does have its perks. I am to speak tomorrow as well. I have it all prepared. When Franklin was campaigning, he would practice each of his speeches at least fifty times. And he would speak them to me. So I present my speeches to Franklin. Every night. He gives me terrific feedback. Our goals are different, yes, but Franklin supports me a whole lot. I am grateful to have such a wonderful husband and think we make a wonderful team. 

December, 15, 1872

Dear Diary,

I went through the streets today. Seventy-five women followed me, holding up signs saying “RIGHTS FOR ALL” and “EQUAL RIGHTS FOR WOMEN”. I held up a sign that said both. A couple of months ago I voted. They said it was illegal, but ,no, it was right. Three women came with me. Everyone stared, but we put in our ballots and walked out of there like we owned the place. I had dinner last night in my apartment. I cut out the words in articles that all citizens are supposed to trust. Usually, I love seeing my name in print, but not in these articles. They say things like Susan B. Anthony voted illegally for the U.S. president. She will be questioned.

December, 15, 2000

Dear Diary,

I know that everyone deserves a fair trial, so I give them one. I am the second female Supreme Court Justice. I don’t have much to write about. Yesterday I argued a murder case. It’s really quite exhilarating. Looking at evidence, hearing both sides, (it makes it easier when my kids are fighting) and getting to decide the fate of these people. I am working on a case for a woman named Mrs. Boji. She says while she, her husband, daughter, son, and sister were on the beach for ‘Splash Saturday,’ there car was stolen. In the car, there was a necklace of diamond and gold. I am writing now, but Ms. Boji, Mrs. Boji’s sister, is supposed to come by and talk so we can figure out more about this case. I must look over some documents and papers before she arrives.

December, 15, 4012

Dear Diary,

This is the first time I’m writing. I thought it might be a good time to write considering I am going on an adventure. I am in my space pod right now traveling back in time about 3000 years to meet Elizabeth White. Then I will keep recruiting influential women from the past. Why? Oh. Because an evil man named Xoron Zomm is trying, and succeeding, to destroy planet earth. He wants to put us back in the dark ages. My name is Quinn Quile. My father is… well… our version of a president. So, he chose his only daughter to save the world. I’ll write back soon, but I think I just landed In England. December, 15, 1587.

***

Alright, Elizabeth’s on my ship. I was so brave! Elizabeth was sewing on a rocking chair when I walked in. I told her of the future. She was actually looking for adventure. Of course, it took me an hour to get Elizabeth to that state. At first she held her needle up like I was an intruder. But she wanted more. She knew coming with me would give her that. So, she followed me onto my pod.  She gladly followed me on my ship with her needle and thread. She is now looking all around like she’s never seen an intergalactic starship before! Daddy taught me of each of these times and constantly, up to the moment my pod left 4012, to not tell of these women’s individual futures. So I couldn’t tell Elizabeth that Roanoke disappears and that she could not venture there with her father. But I could venture myself to retrieve the next woman on my list. Sacagewea. 

Sacagewea is now on my ship. I found her three hours ago sharpening a wood knife. She pushed another sharp object away from her. She didn’t look up from her task until I said. “Ma’am…” I mean, sure, ma’am might not have been the best thing to call Sacagewea. You call a Prodfert ma’am. 

Prodfert: Noun

Meaning 1: A 4000 century version of a president.

(The Prodfert in 4012 is Zomp Quile)

Meaning 2: A small water bug that is green and microscopic.

(That atom is as small as a Prodfert) 

Or

(Another name for a female Prodfert is ma’am.)

But, I mean, I was super nervous! Even in my time Sacagewea is a legend. Anyway, she looked up from her knife, and she said, “Hello…”

I took a deep breath. I was talking to the Sacagewea. Deep breath. But before I could say anything else, she said something. “Why are you wearing such funny clothes?” I looked down, forgetting for a moment that the clothes I was wearing Sacagewea did not know of. I was wearing a Jupingoe.

Jupingoe: Noun.

Meaning 1; A garment of silk cloth that important people of 4012 wear.

(I saw Quin Quile wear a Jupingoe on Sunday.)

Now, before I continue I would like to alert that I am only writing explanations of these words because Daddy says we might get this book published. They will sell my book in every year in every place. Anyway, I told Sacagewea I was of a different world, which was more or less true. I could tell her everything as soon as she was looking around my pod like Elizabeth, like she had never seen one before. Sacagewea wore Shoshone clothing and her long black hair was in two braids. I recognized the two men behind squabbling about something. Sacagewea looked at me. Sacagewea wasn’t going to come with me by will, but maybe by fear. “I am a Nimerigar. Go pack.” Sacagewea looked quite scared. But she listened. I know it was cruel, but daddy told me to use any tactic necessary in order to get the women we sought to cooperate. I will tell her the truth in the pod.

Nimerigar: Noun

Meaning 1: A Shoshone myth of a person that eats people.

Sacagawea followed me, brown bag slung over her shoulder, knife in hand. When I showed her my pod she put her knife in her bag.

“You are no Nimerigar! This is not a Nimerigar home!” Sacagewea turned to go back.

“Wait!” I screamed after her. She turned back.

“Yes?” She said harshly. “I know you do not like Lewis and Clark. But you are talented. I need your help. Please.”

“How?” she answered skeptically.

“The future is in peril. And we need you to save it.”

“Why would I help a liar?”

I sighed. “Because if you stay, you, yes you, will be a legend.” Then realizing what my father had said I added, “Maybe. But, you can change the world if you come with me.”

And she said “Okay.” And that is how I got Sacagewea on my pod. Next stop; 1853.

***

So…that was hard. Harriet came after many attempts, but eventually, I knew just what to say. Three down, six to go. Marie Curie. I got out my radiation suit.

***

Marie Curie was easy to persuade.

I found her where she spends most of her time. In her lab. She swirled the glowing liquid with a spoon. “Marie Curie…” She wasn’t as surprised as I’d expected.

“Hello. I always have time for fans.” 

“No, no” I stammered. “Well, yes, I am a fan, but that’s not why I came. The future is in peril. We need your help.”

“Sure,” said Marie. “Really? Just… just like that?”

“Well, yeah. I think it’s a great opportunity. Besides, I’m quite curious.” Curious Curie down. Five more to go.

***

Both Bessie Coleman and Amelia Earhart jumped at the chance to come to the future and fly. They became great friends when I brought them back to my pod.

“I think we deserve a nickname.” Amelia said.

“I agree.” Bessie found a spot next to Amelia who found a spot next to Marie. “How about…. The Future Flyers!

“Brilliant, Bessie!” Amelia cried.

***

Eleanor Rooesvelt I found cooking smoked salmon with her maid for dinner.

“Mary, will you give us a minute?” I smiled a little. So did Elanor.

“So, how’d you get in? Through the front door?” The truth is, I used my flantro.

Flantro: Noun

Meaning 1: A device that makes you shapeshift.

I turned into a ma’am. But of course I didn’t tell Eleanor that. I told her the same thing I told Marie. It’s just getting easier and easier.

***

I now have seven women on my pod. I just retrieved one more. I found Susan eating alone in her house. She wasn’t all that scared to see me.

“Susan—” but before I could go on Susan interrupted me.

“I prefer Ms. Anthony,” she said sternly.

“Ms. Anthony.”

“Oh, yes.”

“The future needs you.”She looked down. “I must stay here. Women need me.” “Exactly. In the future. No time will pass.” Ms. Anthony nodded.

***

One more. Ruth was in a courtroom. She was alone. “Ruth.” She looked up from the paper she was reading.

“Ahhh. You must be Ms. Boji, sister of well, Mrs. Boji.”

“No, sorry.”

“Oh. Then why are you here?”

“The future is in great peril. We need your help.”

“We?”

“Everyone in 4012.”

Ruth studied my face. “I am a judge,” she said. “I can tell if you’re lying or not. And my conclusion: I believe you.”

Nine down.

December, 16, 4012

Dear Diary,

Alright, I have nine women who are strapped in. Elizabeth has had eight… incidents… if you know what I mean. About to be ten. Of course I’ve only traveled this far through time once. And that was to England to meet Elizabeth. Ms. Anthony still seems a bit confused. But this is not a problem. She will soon see the peril the earth is in. I still have pictures in my head. Xoron wears his hair back slick, and says I am his niece. By blood, I am. But I do not love Xoron in the slightest. He says he is trying to cure the world of a terrible illness and only three stand against him. I stand against him and so do my parents. The visuals give me nightmares. Silly. Big twelve-year olds like me don’t get nightmares. The women are growing to be impatient now. So, I climb in the cockpit, turn on The Super Lukspower 3000, and start the engine.

The Super Lukspower 3000: Noun and Proper noun

Meaning 1: a super time travel thing that me, Fomal Cruston, the writer of this dictionary, does not understand. It helps with time travel. I think.

Meaning 2: An amazing futuristic cereal that I, Fomal Cruston, the writer of this dictionary, invented. Try it!

Not really my first choice to include a dictionary, but everyone from everywhere and whenever may read this book, so I kind of have to include one.

The engine revved and then I saw black. In the back I heard nine groaning noises. What a mess that must have made. I thought, too afraid to look back. Such a shame these women left their journals and diaries back in their time zones. That was three hours ago.

When I landed in an intergalactic port, one which we call, Intergalactic Port #14. (I think it’s got a nice ring to it). No one realized my return or that I brought nine women out of my pod or the different cultures each came from. Why? Xoron. Xoron’s view on how to “cure this wretched planet” (his words, not mine) was to absorb everyone into their phones, holograms, TV’s and video games. So, as I, and my nine recruits walked up the cobblestone road, only Ruth and I recognized the oldest of the technology that someone was holding to their face. An iphone x. There was a big building and in front of it were the words “You will be processed for weaponry and other security needs, but welcome to earth. Or welcome to 4012.” Elanore Roosevelt and Marie Curie took great lengths of time feeling the walls of the building. I don’t know why. I’m sure even in 1903 and 1935  they had extra-condensed-super-absorbing-foamy-incredibly soft metal that looked and smelled and felt like vanilla cake (ECSAFISM), but if they didn’t, I suppose I understand why they had their noses glued to the wall. I let the girls sniff the wall while I tried to get us Country Enter Forms. The accountant was clicking his mouse furiously. He clearly had had that computer for a very long time if it still had a mouse.

“Excuse me?” I asked in the most polite way I could considering everything with Xoron. 

“I’m on my break,” said the man not looking up. “Try Sarah.” He then groaned and started clicking again.

“The thing is,” I tried again, “We need Country Enter Forms… now.” I said this in  a very harsh, stern voice. The man playing video games kept his right hand to the mouse and his eyes locked on Pac Man, but with his left hand he grabbed a box of Country Enter Forms from under his desk. 

“Man! You messed me up!” The man looked up at me. His pupils glowed… blue. “If you ever mess me up again I… oohh! A new round’s starting!”

Country Entrance Forms: Noun

Meaning: A form which you need in order to legally be on Earth in the 4000 century.

The girls followed me outside. Several people, kids and adults, sat cross-legged in the shrubbery behind Intergalactic Port #14’s parking lot. I took the biggest flying van. Sure, you could call it theft…

Then, I drove home, situated my recruits, greeted my parents, and am now writing to you back in 4012 in my nice bed. I need something to call my recruits. The Recruits. No. The Maybees. Nuh-uh. The Time Capsule. Yes. I made a small… index I guess you could call it that. Here it is;

The Time Capsule:

A cool team of heroes

Elizabeth White

Their Supername: A Braver Snow White

What They’re Good At: taking on risks

What They’ll Do: they’ll work in the field

Sacagewea

Their Supername: Mother Nature

What They’re Good At: many tongues, is one with nature, and is brave

What They’ll Do: they’ll work both in the field and as a detective

Harriet Tubman

Their Supername: The Conductor

What They’re Good At: brave and daring

What They’ll Do: they’ll work in the field

Bessie Coleman

Their Supername: The Perfect Pilot

What They’re Good At: adventures

What They’ll Do: they’ll work in field and specialize in flight

Amelia Earheart

Their Supername: The Amazing Aviator

What They’re Good At: adventures

What They’ll Do: they’ll work in the field and specialize in flight

Marie Curie

Their Supername: The Mad Scientist or Curious Curie

What They’re Good At: curiosity

What They’ll Do: at home base

Susan B. Anthony

Their Supername: Superb Suffragette

What They’re Good At: determined

What They’ll Do: both

Eleanore Roosevelt

Their Supername: The Revving Roosevelt

What They’re Good At: persistent

What They’ll Do: both

Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Their Supername: The Judge

What They’re Good At: fair

What They’ll Do: at home base

Quinn Quile

Their Supername: The Leader

What They’re Good At: brave

What They’ll Do: both

 I  have a plan on how to defeat Xoron.

December, 17, 4012

Dear Diary,

I met with my father and The Time Capsule after breakfast. The room we were in was dark and dank with only one computer. We had to keep our plans secret. I gave each Capsule a Jupingoe to fit in. They still don’t. Not like anyone is paying attention.

“My father and I believe Xoron has the control of all technology wherever he is. So we find that, turn it off, and then, the electricity in all technology shorts out worldwide. No more tech, no more zombies.” The women nodded reassuringly. I read aloud the chart I wrote last night and they all seemed pretty pleased, so I was pleased.

“Well, you know your uncle, where would he go?” asked Ms. Anthony. I knew my uncle not, but my father grew up with Xoron.

“Dad?” I asked.

He looked ahead. “Syshy Valley,” my dad said, snapping back. “We used to go there for summers. But then one summer, Ma’ams had infected the place. It took years to rid them, so we bought another house during those years. We never went back to Syshy.” I nodded. “Thanks.” The seven women who were out in the field with me followed me. Bessie and Amelia flew for backup.

When we arrived in Syshy Valley, I could tell there used to be houses; plots of land were bare without the grass, but only one house remained, well, if you could call it a house. Wood panels were torn from the base and I could only see the faintest bit of teal paint that was once oh so bright.

“Ready yourselves,” I told my girls. We easily broke the rotting door down. Empty. Well, except for a striped couch that had so many holes, you could call it swiss cheese.

“Dad,” I said through the intercom, “it’s empty.” There was silence for a moment, but then my dad said. “The boathouse.” We walked another mile to a smaller house with similar appearance as the last. Again we knocked down the door smoothly and with ease. There was indeed a man hunched over a table and a ball-type thing which I assumed was the tech controller. Beakers with blue liquid and pastry dishes with red filled the table, cluttering it beyond my belief. The butterflies in my stomach would not stop flapping, but I walked forward.

“Oh, my niece,” said Xoron, not turning around, “you brought friends. How quaint.”

“Go,” I whispered. Eleanor was punched in the eye by Xoron. Girl down. “The ball thingy. Get the ball thingy.”

“I can hear you, you know. Now, before I punch anyone else, I’ve prepared a speech. A villain speech.” The walls were rotting like those zombified people. “Good.” Xoron smiled. “The blue light that shines off of tech is great! For every year you look at it, you live an extra five years. It’s great! And the pupils glow a pretty blue. Always was your father’s favorite color.”

“No, Xoron!”

“Ahh, so uncle is a thing of the past. Last chance. Does no one not want to be punched?” Elizabeth put up her fists. “Start punching.” Each writhed in pain for 20 minutes. Harriet knocked her head on the wall. Xoron punched Sacagewea three times in the stomach and Elizabeth five times. But I led Xoron outside. This gave Bessie and Amelia time to sneak in and grab the ball. 

“Sorry, unc.” And I threw metal cuffs over Xorons hands.

“You’ve stopped me, but you will never stop the world I created!” I’ve been working on the police force since my tenth birthday. My father always taught me to never listen to a freshly arrested criminal.

“You’ll never stop me…” That’s mostly what they say. So, I walked back to my van with Xoron and put him in shotgun.

December, 17,  4012

Dear Diary,

I think each of these women brings different things to the team. Marie is a scientist, Ruth is a judge, so she can get the truth out of people, and all of them are just so brave; they’re perfect for the field. Almost everyone in 4012 is zombified by their tech. I’m with Marie working on how to work the ball so we can turn off all the phones everywhere. Ruth is questioning Xoron. She came out with no definitive expression on her face.

“He’s telling the truth,” Ruth said as she came out of the prisoner wing. “The ball is what controls the tech.”

“Can’t we just… cut it,” Suggested Harriet.

“Cut it. Cut it!” Marie said sarcastically. “Wait… ” she said, “that could work.”

“Bessie. Amelia. Do you have… a wrench or something? For your plane?”

“Yeah. I was helping Amelia work on the fuselage last night!” Everyone except Amelia stared at her blankly. “I’ll go get it,” she said. I think she was embarrassed.

Seven minutes later she came back. Marie took it from her and pounded. It didn’t budge. After several more tries, it split. It split! Marie took out the important wires. We had done it! Our one computer screen turned off. We really had done it. All nine of us have saved the human race! 

December, 18, 4012

Dear Diary, 

Every rose has its thorn; every cloud rains; every up has its down. Today I must return all of the women back to their respective time zones. 

***

Alright. I’ve returned them all. I cried at every one. But each of them said if there’s anything that ever happens to call them. That it was super fun working with everyone. I also told them to tell no one of this adventure. No time had passed. I had completed my mission and made a few friends on the way. I kind of hope another peril happens. I could assemble The Time Capsule again.

Epilogue

May, 11, 4013

Dear Diary,

When I awoke this morning I heard a loud, blaring alarm. My father ran in and shook me. He looked worried. I’ve never seen him this worried before.

“Xoron’s escaped,” he said, painting, “and so has every other villain in our cells.” I knew that I could assemble The Time Capsule again! Time for another adventure.

1 Comment

  • Howard (“Papa “)Shurdut says:

    So that is what you were constantly writing. We always knew you were bright and creative. Keep up your wonderful passion to express yourself.

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