Callie and the Valentine’s Day Catastrophe

by Rota Safiri, age 11
Callie and the Valentine’s Day Catastrophe Rota Safiri is a rising sixth grader at Spring Hill Elementary School. She is eleven years old, and is an avid and experienced reader and writer. She prefers writing her emotions down onto paper, rather than saying them aloud. She is the kind of person who would be found reading a good novel rather than playing basketball with everyone else.

“She didn’t know how, or why, but Callie was face-to-face with a prehistoric grizzly bear. She screamed as it opened its mouth, and that’s all she could remember before the room went dark.”

 

    Callie walked back from the school bus, feeling sick of all the pink, red, and violet flowers that were unfortunately all over the place. Cupid decorations could also be found here and there. Today was Valentine’s Day, and eleven year old Callie was not very happy about this. Her school, however, celebrated Valentine’s Day, and appreciated its many colorful qualities, unlike Callie. When she finally got home, she walked into the kitchen, washed her hands, and prepared to make herself a delicious after school snack. As she was making a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, Callie saw her baby brother, Tyler, sitting in his little crib next to the couch. Looking at how adorable Tyler was, her mood was raised immediately, even if it was just a little bit. She smiled to herself then got back to work.

    Callie groaned as she heard the girly squeals of her sister as the front door slammed shut. Reyna walked into the kitchen gushing happily about prom night, and showing off the chic, expensive dress that Mom and Dad got for her. Callie gave her sister a sheepish smile, and was about to walk away with her two pieces of peanut-butter jelly covered toast until SPLAT! Reyna shrieked and Callie gasped as they both discovered what Callie-the-butterfingers dropped her toast on this time. The dress! The perfect, amazing, gorgeous dress was now covered in peanut butter and jelly. Oh great, Callie thought, this is just the thing I needed to add to this perfect, perfect day. Reyna was probably about to slaughter her.

     Callie ran up to her room, and angrily sat on the covers of her bed. She then noticed  something written onto a sticky note on her desk. It was from her mom, and it said: Happy Valentine’s Day, sweetie! Don’t forget to finish your homework before dinner! Love, Mom. She buried her face into her pillow and replayed the entire day in her mind. Now that Callie thought about it, today was a great, unbelievably amazing day for everyone. Except for her. She thought, I wish I could go back in time and start this entire day over. Then none of this would’ve happened. She closed her eyes, crossed her fingers and wished hard. Then she lay down, and minutes later, fell asleep.

      The moment Callie woke up, she knew something was wrong. The Valentine’s Day decorations from the previous day were still hanging. That was unusual. Since Callie  hated Valentine’s Day, her parents had a “decorations are not to be hung before or after the day itself” rule. She checked the calendar. It was once again, Valentine’s Day. Callie’s wish had come true! What she didn’t know, but would soon find out, is that time travel has consequences. Her parents had mentioned something about being able to time travel once, but she didn’t actually dare try it. But now, it seemed like she accidentally had. Suddenly, Callie froze. She slowly looked up. She didn’t know how, or why, but Callie was face-to-face with a prehistoric grizzly bear. She screamed as it opened its mouth, and that’s all she could remember before the room went dark.

Two Months Later:

    Callie opened her eyes, and for the the first time in a while, she saw light. A bunch of men with hunting weapons were gathered around her as she crawled out of space she was in. When she asked them what happened, they told her she’d been in a bear’s stomach for approximately two months and a half. So unless she’d miscalculated, it should be April 29th. Callie thanked the hunters for killing the bear, and quickly dashed out of the forest she’d ended up in, and back into her neighborhood. What made Callie jump about five yards into the air was the screams she heard when people saw her casually walking down the sidewalk.

   She went up to her house and walked in silently, making sure she didn’t slam the door behind her. As she went into the living room, she saw her mother crying, and Reyna and her dad attempting to comfort her. When they looked up and saw Callie, they all rushed up to her and hugged her. They told her how her status was “missing” for the past couple months, and everyone thought she was dead. A lot of people wanted to have a funeral for her, but her parents refused and didn’t lose hope, though they were on the verge of doing so. After they cooled down a little bit, Reyna awkwardly strolled over to her sister, and said probably the closest thing to nice that someone like Reyna could manage. Reyna told Callie that she was glad Callie wasn’t dead. And Callie, for once in her life agreed with her sister.

     A month passed, and prom was right around the corner. Reyna had purchased an even more expensive dress after Callie ruined her old one. She liked this one even more than the previous one, and wouldn’t stop talking about “the most important night of her life”, much to Callie’s “delight”. Plus, flashbacks from when she was in the bear’s stomach were haunting her. Everyone kept telling her how lucky she was to be alive, and they were transfixed when she told the tale of how she had to eat raw meat and drink the juice of the contents in the bear’s stomach. Although it disgusted her, it fascinated others. So anyway, with prom and her sister’s excitement, she decided that this just had to be the best month of her life.

One Week Later:

     Callie had been feeling a little moody lately because of the tightness of the many new rules that were added to their household after her return. Her mom insisted on tucking her in every night, and her dad changed the curfew to an hour earlier than usual. They were both suddenly extremely strict, and saying Callie didn’t like it was an understatement. The one thing she did enjoy about this situation was Reyna’s behavior towards Callie, and that was because it was good behavior. For the first time since probably when Callie was born, Reyna had actually started treating Callie in a sisterly way. Instead of giving each other nasty snarls back and forth, they exchanged cheerful glances, and occasionally smiles. The one thing Callie did not at all appreciate about this newfound friendship was how Reyna always insisted on giving Callie a makeover. Now, this kind of thing was not optional, because Reyna (who played soccer every day after school) always said Callie can either do her laundry for a month, or receive a makeover. For some reason, Callie never chose the laundry option. Neither of them knew how, but they had become great friends, and they both liked it.

  Anyway, it was finally prom night. Their mom took Reyna’s picture with her date, and then just like that they were out the door. Callie smiled to herself, then headed back upstairs. She paused and turned around. She shivered because of the sudden coldness, and called out to see if anyone was there. When she looked around and didn’t see anyone, she walked up the stairs with suspicion, and a little bit of fright. She didn’t hear the wind blowing behind her, or the sudden amount of darkness at the bottom of the stairway. The lights turned off and a dark whirlwind entered her room, taking a few of her belongings with it. She didn’t have time to scream before it swallowed her up too.

   As Callie opened her eyes, she attempted to look around her to see where she was. However, she couldn’t. It was dark. Very, very, very, dark. She was scared. She’d simply had enough. She yelled and screamed and shouted, but no one heard. Even Callie herself couldn’t hear anything. That’s when she remembered. Back when she was at school, they’d learned about it in Science. Callie finally realized where she was. The thought frightened her, but it was the truth. Callie had fallen into a black hole.

    Callie was straight up annoyed. She’d been in the black hole for such a long time, she thought at least a whole day had gone by. Then, she was struck by a thought. What if she could somehow climb out of the black hole. Objects were always whizzing in and out, so why couldn’t she? She looked around for any objects she could use to give herself a boost. She saw a table, a really tall lamp, and four chairs stacked on top of each other. She grinned, stacked them all on top of each other and with a lot of effort, she was finally able to climb out.

     For the second time in the last two months, Callie opened her eyes after seeing dark for a long time, and saw light. She heard Reyna telling their parents that she’s finally awake. The three came into Callie’s room, surrounding her. Her mom then played the “explain yourself, young lady” card. Callie told the story starting from the peanut butter, to the bear, all the way over to the black hole. Reyna joked that the universe was probably after her for messing up the strings of time. Callie laughed. That’s when she finally learned her lesson: no matter how awful, your day is, you’ll survive it, and if you’re lucky, you’ll survive it without time travel.

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