“No! Don’t you realize? You guys wouldn’t even be going on the journey if I wasn’t because I needed to meet the wizard. You can’t just give up. I’ll be stuck here forever.”
(Haven’t read Part One? Read it here!)
All three of us started patting the invisible tower, trying to find a door.
“Ugghhhhh! This is impossible!” Minsy exclaimed.
“Yeah, we’re probably not gonna find a door. Let’s just give up,” said Rina disappointedly.
“No! Don’t you realize? You guys wouldn’t even be going on the journey if I wasn’t because I needed to meet the wizard. You can’t just give up. I’ll be stuck here forever.”
“So?” Minsy asked. “You don’t like it here?”
“Well, no. I mean, yes, um. Well, I just want to go home!” I wailed.
Just then, the invisible castle started to fade into its color. First light purple, then dark purple, then darkest purple spread across the castle, and then a door creaked open.
“We did it! We opened it!” all three of us screamed at the same time.
“Come on. Let’s go,” Minsy said, about to go in.
“Are we allowed to just come in to someone’s house?” I asked.
“Eh,” Minsy shrugged.
“Come on. Let’s go. Chop chop, people,” Rina said, pushing us in.
The door closed behind us. We looked around us. Now we were in a huge room. The walls were a bright shade of purple covered with paintings of these people that looked very similar. I read some of the labels. “Jim Zodar,” “Jim Zodar II,” “Jim Zodar III,” Jim Zodar IV,” “Jim Zodar V,” “Harry Zodar,” “Jim Zodar VI,” “Jim Zodar VII.”
“Wooooow, that is a lot of Jim Zodars,” Minsy said. She was reading along with me. I looked up. There was a giant chandelier that hung down about ten feet from the ceiling.
“So, this is a big house,” Rina said. “How are we supposed to find the wizard?”
“Well, we are in his house, so there’s probably not so many people here,” I explained.
“I guess. But we probably shouldn’t wander around, or he may think we’re robbers.”
And just as I said that, an alarm went off. It was so loud that the three of us had to cover our ears, and even when we covered our ears, it was still very loud. Suddenly, we heard a man scream. And then, right in front of us, we saw a very short man with purple overalls and messy hair standing in front of us.
“What are you doing in my house?” he screamed. I was speechless; all three of us were silent.
And then, I heard Minsy say, “Are you Jim Zodar?”
“No,” said the man.
“Well, are you Harry Zodar?” she asked.
“No!” he said again. “My name is Galfred Zodar.”
“Then how come you’re not on that wall?” Minsy asked, pointing to that wall with all the portraits.
“Well, I didn’t earn it yet. Well, you see, every wizard has one job that they have to complete. And I haven’t completed it yet, so… well, I shouldn’t be giving you too much detail on it. Anyways, you three wanted to see me about something?”
“Yes,” said Minsy.
“Oh, very well then,” said the man, calming down. “Why did you need to see me?”
“Um, well, we have a problem,” Minsy started. “So, my friend Patrick, he’s from the Other Side, and we don’t know how to get him back. My mom said you would know, so we came to you.”
“All by yourself?” the man asked. We nodded. “Impressive.”
“Well then, I guess I should help you.”
“Great, thanks,” said Minsy.
“Now, follow me.” And the three of us followed the man.
As we followed the wizard down the halls of his house, we saw fancy vases on top of gold tables. We then turned left at the corner of the long hall and into a small, blue room. The walls were blue, the chairs were blue, the floor was blue, the ceiling was blue, everything was the same shade of blue.
“Now,” the wizard said, “all of you take a seat on one of the chairs.”
“What are we going to do?” Rina asked.
“We’re going a take a test,” said the wizard.
Rina smiled. So did I. I was excited to see what kind of test it would be. I looked over at Minsy. She didn’t look too thrilled.
“What kind of test?” she asked nervously.
“You’ll see,” the wizard said, taking three pieces of paper off of a blue table. “Now, take the papers I give you, and put them in front of you. And let go of them. I know it seems like they will just drop on the floor, but trust me, they won’t. Just listen to me.”
He put the papers in our laps, and we did as he said. Sure enough, the papers didn’t drop. Instead, a desk formed in front of us, and the papers just lay in the middle of it.
“So, don’t start the test yet, but when you do start it, do exactly as I say,” the wizard told us. “Now, any questions before I explain the rules?”
I raised my hand. “Yes, Patrick,” the wizard said.
“Are we going to use pencils to take the test?” I asked.
“Of course,” the wizard said.
And with that, he flicked his hand, and a million different pencils dropped on the floor, one by one. I watched them fall. Every single one was completely different. Either a different length or color or eraser color or how sharp it was. I didn’t know which one I was going to pick, or if we were even allowed to pick.
Then, the wizard said, “The three of you come around and choose one of these pencils, but remember to choose very carefully because this is a big part of the test.”
So Minsy, Rina, and I walked around the room to try to find the pencil that we liked best.
“It doesn’t matter the shape of the pencil or the color of the pencil, or even how sharp it is. If you pick a pencil that doesn’t have a tip, don’t worry about it. It will still be good,” the wizard told us.
Then, he waited there while the three of us chose our pencils. Two of them looked really good, and I was choosing between them, but then I remembered what the wizard said and tried to choose ones that didn’t look as good. I saw Minsy doing eeny-meeny-miney-moe with two hot pink pencils with gray erasers. One was short and stubby, and the other was long and thin. She finally chose the short and stubby one and went back to her seat.
Rina was at a little section in the middle, counting a group of green pencils. And I was watching them from the very end of the long trail of pencils, still deciding between one with a broken tip and no eraser and one with an eraser that was as hard as rock. One of them had a weird squiggly design, and the other one looked like a plain pencil (except for its hard eraser). I examined the pencils closely, then from far away. I closed one of my eyes and squinted with the other, trying to find any little markings on the sides of the regular looking pencil.
And then suddenly, as I was rolling the pencil around between my index finger and thumb, I saw the letter “P.” I smiled. I knew I had to pick that one. I mean, come on. It’s not every day you see a pencil with your initial on it. I held it tightly in my hand and walked back to my seat. Then, a few minutes after, I saw Rina finally pick a tall, green pencil without a tip. Once we were all in our seats, the wizard walked in front of us.
Then he yelled, “El guardia sebedosa exconigeck em com skavik kravick embey embey!”
The three of us stared at the wizard for a few seconds after that. We couldn’t move. That spell was so startling.
“Now,” the wizard started, “the first rule of this test is to never use your pencil to write with. You must instead think the answer with your mind and only your mind. Second, there is no second rule. Third, you cannot lose your pencil (hint hint). I repeat, you cannot because I need to keep it so afterwards the next people that come and ask for my help can use it. Now, any questions?”
The three of us all raised our hands.
He sighed and put his hand on his forehead. “They never get it. Rina.”
“Yes, um, didn’t you say that the pencils were a very important part of the test?”
“Yes, I did say that, I think,” the wizard said.
“Well then, how come we can’t use them during the test?”
“Ahh, very good question, Rina, but I can’t answer you! Now, you might be asking why I can’t answer you. Well, I can’t tell you that either. Just, like I said before, do what I say and maybe you’ll learn more later.”
“Okay,” Rina said, nodding.
“You may begin,” the wizard projected.
I looked down at my paper, and I saw a normal looking test. It looked like math, but when I looked closer I saw that it wasn’t.
The first question said, What is your favorite color? in curly, bubble letters.
Blue, I thought really hard in my mind. I kept thinking it over and over again until it appeared on the paper. Blue Blue Blue Blue Blue Blue Blue Blue.
Then, I moved on to the next question:
Are you wearing pink socks with red polka dots today?
No! I yelled in my head.
Do you have any siblings?
Do you have a pet?
Okay, okay. Don’t gotta yell at me! it said. Stop! You’ve reached the end of your test.
Thank god, I thought in my head. I put my pencil on the table and threw my head back. Then, I just sat there waiting for Minsy and Rina to finish their tests too. I heard their pencils tap the tables a few minutes after.
“Is everyone ready?” the wizard asked.
“Yes,” the three of us said.
“Wonderful. Now, I’m not going to check your tests, but I need you to show me your pencils.”
The three of us stood up with our pencils, and the wizard took out his wand and spun it around in his hand, and the three pencils rose up in the air and glided towards the wizard.
“Let’s see,” he said, holding up a stubby, green pencil. “Rina, you picked this pencil.”
“Yes,” she said.
“Mm hmm,” the wizard said, observing the pencil carefully. “Great job, Rina. You passed the test!”
“Um, thank you?” she said and then sat back down in her seat. Then, he took up a hot pink pencil which I knew was Minsy’s. He then checked Minsy’s pencil the same way he checked Rina’s, turning it over and over again with his fingers.
“Wonderful, Minsy. You passed as well!” he cried.
“Yes!” Minsy said and then sat back down in her seat.
Then, he picked up my pencil. He held the eraser carefully and spun it around between his fingers. As he examined the pencil, he made a weird humming sound that kind of sounded like a groan but also like a laugh. I crossed my fingers under the table. The faces he was making didn’t make me think that I was going to pass, and then started to make me wonder, What happens if I don’t pass? Will I still be able to go home? Why did Rina and Minsy have to take the test if they were going to go home either way, or maybe they wouldn’t go home if they didn’t pass? I started sweating and taking deep breaths. But then my wondering got cut off by —
“Patrick! You passed! You passed! You did more than pass! You helped me complete my job!” the wizard cried.
“Whaaaaaa?” I asked.
“Well, I didn’t tell you guys before because I wasn’t allowed to, but I can tell you now. So, remember before when I said that every wizard has a job that they have to complete in order to get their name on the wall?” We nodded. “Well, that job was to make sure that someone I helped got the magical pencil. And the people that don’t pick the magical pencil are the people that don’t actually need help. They just want to say that they met me. But now, because you picked that magical pencil Patrick, I am going to grant you with your wish of going home. But, before I send you home, there is something else that I need to tell you.”
“What is it?” I asked.
“The rules to your pencil,” the wizard said.
“The rules to my pencil?” I asked.
“The rules to your pencil!”
“The rules to my pencil?”
“The rules to your pencil!”
“Yeah, I still don’t get it,” I said. The wizard slapped his head.
“Ahhh, Patrick. You have a magical pencil here! So I’m going to teach you what magical things it can do!”
“Oh okay,” I said.
“The first thing you need to know about having a magical pencil is that you can’t lose it. Once it is lost, that means it is in someone else’s hands, someone who doesn’t know they are dealing with magic and is. They could write a 20-page essay in the amount of time that it would take someone else to write one word. They’d be able to fly. They’d… they’d… they’d… well, you get the point. So, the trick is, don’t keep it in your normal pencil case because you might accidentally give it to someone.”
“Well, the pencil will do anything you want. You just need to tell it. For example, if I want to turn invisible, then I would just say ‘Make me invisible, make me invisible, make me invisible, make me… INVISIBLE!’” the wizard screamed.
I stared at the wizard, and after he finished his weird spell, he vanished into thin air.
“See? Now I’m over here! Now I’m over there! Hoo hee ha ha!” the wizard yelled.
I could hear him running around even though he was invisible.
“Okay,” I said.
Then, I heard the wizard say, “Turn not invisible, turn not invisible, turn not invisible. Turn not… INVISIBLE!”
He reappeared right in front of us.
“Anyways, that’s how you use it. Now you guys have to get going, so, Patrick I’ll show you how you can get back home,” said the wizard.
“You’re so lucky that you get to keep a magical pencil,” Minsy said.
“Yeah, I can’t believe we didn’t all get those cool pencils,” Rina chimed in.
The wizard led us out of the room, and we walked across the hallway until we got to a new room. We walked inside, and everything was clear.
“Patrick, stand in the middle of that circle,” said the wizard.
“Sure, which circle?” I asked looking around. The tiles on the floor were circle-shaped so I didn’t know which one he was talking about.
“Um… that one,” the wizard said.
He walked over to one of the circles and tapped his foot on it three times. After that, the circle started glowing and then grew five times bigger.
“Okay.” I shrugged, walking over to the circle. “Wait. I want to say bye to my friends first,” I told the wizard.
“Oh alright, but make it quick because you have to get home soon,” he answered.
I nodded and walked up to Rina and Minsy. “Bye, guys. I’m going to miss you. And Ethamopia.”
“We are going to miss you too, but you know that you can use your pencil so you can see us again. Right?” Rina said.
“Yeah.” I nodded and turned to the wizard. “Sir, I will take very good care of your pencil.”
“Group hug!” Minsy shouted.
So, the three of us huddled up and gave each other a short, quick hug.
“Doesn’t this remind you guys at all of The Wizard of Oz?” the wizard asked.
“I think I’ll miss you most of all,” I said in a high-pitched girl voice. “Well, I do a good Dorothy impression.” Minsy and Rina laughed.
“Well bye,” I said and stood on the circle. I pointed my toes outward and closed my eyes on the circle. “There’s no place like home, there’s no place like home, there’s no place like home,” I whispered in my Dorothy imitation. Minsy and Rina giggled. I clutched my Magic Pencil tight in my hands and waved one last time at my new friends. The wizard took his wand out and mumbled weird words to himself, and soon enough, I was back in my hotel room. The end.
“So, that’s the end of your story?” Susan asked.
“Yeah, that didn’t show how you lost the pencil. That just showed how you got it,” Stanley said.
“Woah woah woah. You guys wanted to know why the pencil is so important to me. You never asked how I lost it,” Patrick explained. “But okay, I’ll tell you how I lost the pencil. It’s not a very interesting story though. So one day, when I had the pencil in my room, I was trying to ask it to make me able to fly. So I held it up to my chest, and then it did that glowing thing it does before it casts its spell. So then, to test it, I jumped up into the air, and I wasn’t able to fly. So I asked the pencil again, and it must have heard me wrong because instead of allowing me to be able to fly, the pencil turned itself invisible. But I knew it was still in my hands, so I just asked for it to turn un-invisible. But now I knew that something was really wrong with this pencil since it didn’t hear that right either. Instead, I felt it rise up from my hand and then, well, who knows where it could have gone. It could have left my room because my window was open. It could have flown out the front door, and now it’s out in the world. So basically, I’ll never find it. So, do you have any questions about my story?” Patrick asked.
“I’ve got one,” Marty declared. “How did you remember that whole story in great detail?”
“Funny story. So, before I lost my pencil I asked it to write about my time in Ethamopia, so it did.”
“Follow up question: that whole story fit on your hand?”
“Well no, that’s the beauty of magic. You see, when I want the story to show, then I tell it to,” Patrick explained.
He waved his hand, and the words appeared on his hand. Then he waved his hand again, and they disappeared.
“Also, if I want to scroll down, then I just go like this.” He held up his hand and scrolled down as if he was scrolling on a touch-screen computer.
“Coooool,” his friends said.
“Oh,” Marty said. “Well then how is anybody going to find an invisible pencil?”
“Well, there’s one part I left out of the story. You see, the wizard also gave me this magic sharpener,” Patrick said, taking the velvet pouch with the “Z” on it out of his pocket.
He turned the pouch upside down and dumped a regular looking green sharpener out of it.
“With this sharpener, I can communicate with the pencil when it’s not working correctly. Except this sharpener isn’t working so well either. All I’ve managed to do is get the pencil un-invisible.”
“Well, how do you even know it’s un-invisible if you can’t find it?” Lola asked.
“Well, the ‘Z’ on this pouch glows every time that the pencil follows one of my spells. And that ‘Z’ hasn’t been glowing when I’ve asked the pencil to return home to me.”
“Could I see that sharpener for a second?” Stanley asked.
“Sure.” Patrick handed the sharpener to Stanley.
Stanley held the sharpener up to his face and said, “Return back to Patrick’s house.” The “Z” didn’t glow.
“Oh, sorry, Patrick,” said Stanley.
“Oh, that’s okay,” Patrick said.
“But you’re probably going to find it eventually, right? I mean, everything that involves magic usually turns out alright in the end, right?” asked Lola.
“Eh, I dunno,” Patrick sighed. “It’s going to be pretty hard to find a magic pencil. It could be anywhere in the world right now!”
“True… ” Marty looked down at the ground.
A few minutes later, Patrick’s mom knocked on the door and poked her head into his room.
Smiling, she said, “Hey, Patrick. Your friends have to go home.”
Patrick’s friends started to stand up.
“Okay, bye, Patrick. Thanks for telling us the story!” Susan said, waving. She walked up to Patrick’s mom and said, “And thank you for having me over Mrs. Binny.”
“Oh, you’re welcome, darling.” Patrick’s mom put her hand on Susan’s shoulder.
Lola followed behind Susan. “Bye, Mrs. Binny. Bye, Patrick!” she said quickly and skipped out the door.
“Bye, man.” Stanley smiled. “I hope you find your pencil. Bye Patrick’s mom!” he called back as he ran out of the room.
“Hey, dude, sorry about your pencil. I didn’t understand why it was so important before. I’ll search my whole house when I get home,” Marty said.
“Thanks, dude.” Patrick held up his hand and Marty high-fived it.
Marty walked slowly out the door and said, “Bye, Mrs. Binny,” and walked down the stairs.
“Sorry about your pencil, Patrick. Even though I have no idea what they’re talking about. I’ll buy you a new pencil tomorrow.” Mrs. Binny patted Patrick on the head and messed up his hair.
“Thanks, Mom,” Patrick said. “But I don’t want a new pencil from the store.”
Patrick’s mom shrugged and sighed and made one of those parent faces that they make when their kid gets in trouble at school and then lies about it. With that, she walked out the door and closed it behind her.
That night, while Patrick was sleeping, his newly painted walls started to glow. Patrick was in a deep sleep and dreaming about how he would find the pencil and further adventures he would have with it, when suddenly —
Patrick’s eyes went from completely closed to wide open, almost a perfect circle.
“Psssst, Patrick,” a familiar voice whispered.
“Rina?” Patrick exclaimed, sitting up in his bed. “What are you doing here, and how did you get here?”
“I came through that wall,” she said, pointing to Patrick’s wall. “Also, I came to return your pencil to you.”
“You had it?” Patrick almost screamed. “I’ve been looking for it for like a whole month!”
“Sorry, but we didn’t take it. It flew over to us!” Rina argued.
“All the way to Ethamopia? Yeah right,” Patrick mumbled.
“I swear. The wizard called me over here and told me that I had to deliver this to you. He didn’t know exactly why it came here, but he figured it must have something to do with the Ethamopian magic glitch.”
“So, you mean no Ethamopian magic was working?” Patrick asked.
“No, and we had to figure out why, so the wizard has been sending me and Minsy all around Ethamopia and to anyone’s house that had magical objects. We had to see if they misused the objects and possibly broke them,” Rina explained. “So I have to look at your magic sharpener.”
“Uh… okay.” Patrick shrugged, taking the pouch with the “Z” on it out of his pocket.
He plucked the green sharpener out of the pouch and laid it in the palm of his hand.
“Thank you,” Rina said formally, taking the sharpener.
She opened up the top of the pencil sharpener, and sure enough, she saw pencil shavings.
“Just as I suspected. Patrick, have you used this pencil sharpener to sharpen a regular pencil?”
“Maybe? Okay, yes, sorry. I didn’t know that it would start a whole commotion and wreck everything magical forever!” Patrick swooned overdramatically.
“Woah, it’s not that big of a deal. You can chill out, man. We just need to find it. I’m going to bring it back to the wizard, so he can fix it, and then return it to you. But remember, you’re going to have to return the pencil back to us in a few months. Because you only get it for a year, and then you have to return it. And if you don’t, then you will be stuck in a portal between Ethamopia and your own world forever!” Rina screamed, her eyes wide and she was breathing heavily.
“Why?” Patrick asked, suddenly scared.
“Oh, pssh, that doesn’t actually happen. I was just trying to make things dramatic,” Rina laughed.
“Phew,” Patrick sighed.
“Anyways, here’s your pencil. I want to give this sharpener back to the wizard to fix. See you back here tomorrow at this exact time,” she said, looking at her watch.
“Okay? But I can’t promise you that I’ll be awake.”
Rina ignored him and stepped through the wall. Patrick sat in his bed for second, blinked a couple times, and then he pushed his covers off his legs and hopped out of his bed.
“Yes, yes, yes, yes!” he squealed, dancing around his room. “Oh, pencil, I’ve missed you so.”
Patrick hugged and kissed the pencil for a few minutes. His mom knocked on the door.
“Hi, sweetie. Um it’s one o’clock in the morning. Just wondering, are you alright?”
“Never better, baby.”
“… Okay,” Patrick’s mom said, slowly backing out of the room.
“Yes!” Patrick said one last time and leaped onto his bed.
He slept like a baby, knowing that his pencil was safe and sound. And that’s the story of the missing pencil.