Humor

Brady’s World: Journal Entry Nine

You know, journal, the worst part about being the future dictator of the world is knowing just how many people will probably be out to assassinate you once you get there. Then again, after finding out the truth about the contract, assasination attempts really don’t sound all that bad. I think Dad started to realize something was up around the time I asked whether the hospital offered frequent visitor discounts to regular food poisoning patients.

“So, let me get this straight,” he said, rubbing his temples. “You snuck out at midnight, met a group of bullies in a haunted house, and signed a contract saying you’d eat Tuesday’s Mystery Meat for a whole year if you couldn’t outrun… your shadow?”

“Yep,” I replied, slumping. “And it wasn’t until afterward that I realized they’d rigged to race to be after the sun goes down so I won’t even have a chance.”

He paused. “And… nothing else in that situation raised any red flags?”

“What do you mean?”

Dad closed his eyes. “Why me?”

Yet, when the Dull Droll Trolls didn’t say anything else about the contract for a while, I started to hope they’d forgotten. At least until I arrived at school the week of the race. There, taped up on every wall, locker, chalkboard, and toilet seat, were homemade flyers for “The Great Race.” Flyers… with pictures… of me.

Now, contrary to the opinion of Mrs. Downlarn’s poodle, I’m not really one for panicking, but desperate times call for desperate measures. By the time Kevin and Suzanne found me, I had given up the idea of a tin-foil fortress and instead resorted to digging a tunnel to Mexico. Actually, I was making progress until Mom saw the hole in the backyard. 

“It’s not that bad,” reassured Suzanne. “No one really takes the Trolls seriously, right Kevin?”

“Are you kidding?” replied Kevin, his eyes wide. “Even the teachers have started handing out flyers. Mr. Kowinski said the school hasn’t had this much free publicity since Eisenhower campaigned in the gym.”

“Thanks, Kevin.”

Still, future world dictators never give up. The next day, I smuggled some cookies to Coach Johnson in hopes of getting him to agree to turn on some of the big lights around the track.

“Sorry, sport,” he said, taking a bite, “but those lights are only allowed to be used for designated sports activities.”

The day after that, I tried to convince Principal Pallwin to call the cops on anyone who trespassed on the track after hours.

“I’m afraid, Mr. Costen,” she replied, dryly, “that Forrestwood Middle School is public property. Anyone wishing to enter its grounds are more than welcome to.”

Finally, the day before my doom, I made one final attempt.

“I’m sorry!” I cried, falling to my knees before an unimpressed Mrs. Grapeswrath. “I never meant to insult your cooking with my prank. Your cheese-sticks are a light to mankind!”

“Can it, Costen,” growled the lunch-lady, her hair spiking through her hair net. “Whoever loses the bet will be eating reheated Mystery Meat for the rest of their middle school career, and that’s final.”

“Please!” I wailed, falling face-first before her. “Have you no humanity?!”

“I’m a lunch lady, kid. We’re not exactly known for our humanity.”

Finally, dejected, depressed, and desperate for a Coke, I visited Randy after school.

“I’m dead,” I said, slumping in a seat. “Totally and utterly dead.”

“Yup,” he said, not even looking up.

“I don’t get it. I’m the good guy! I tried to stand up for Suzanne and Kevin and everyone else getting bullied, and look where it got me.”

“Dead,” affirmed Randy.

I sighed, slumping back further. “So… what do I do now?”

“Nothing.”

I stared at him, incredulous. “What?”

“Nothing,” he replied, turning to look at me. “You’ve done everything you could. You asked for help, went to the people in charge, and tried to make amends. Period. Whatever happens tomorrow, good or bad, you’ll know you did your best.”

I hesitated. “That isn’t exactly encouraging.”

“No… but it’s all you can do.”

I thought about that all night. It was true. I might not be able to save my stomach, but I knew that if I was going to lose, I was going to lose like a champ. So, after dinner the next day, rather than waiting around while my sister Sylvie prepared for a date with Randy, I headed to the track and began sprinting back and forth. As the time drew near and people began to gather, I could hear the Trolls taunting me, but I blocked them out. They didn’t matter anymore.

By 8 o’clock, it seemed the entire town had gathered to watch. Taking a deep breath, I took my place at the starting line. “One lap, Costen,” growled Mrs. Grapeswrath, positioning herself as the judge beside me. “That’s all.”

“Got it!” No turning back. As she blew her whistle, I sprinted forward, racing along the track past the parking lot towards the first bend. I cut to the inside and sped around it, sparking laughter. Let them laugh. As I rounded the second bend, sweat pouring, I could hear several more cars pull into the parking lot. No matter. Yet, as I neared the third turn, more and more of the watchers stood and cheered, waving me on and pointing excitedly towards the parking lot. That’s when I looked. There, parked up against the side of the lot, were four very familiar cars. I watched in disbelief as one by one people began to get out, shouting and waving excitedly. There were my parents, grandpa, Kevin and Suzanne, and, out of the last truck, Sylvie and Randy, grinning from ear to ear. Their brilliant headlights lit up the starting line, and all at once it was like heaven had opened before me. I rounded the last bend with a fury and lept high over the line, leaving my long, black shadow spread out far behind as the crowd cheered. 

“That’s cheating!” cried one of the Trolls, his face pale as he rushed over. “He can’t do that!” Yet, as I looked over at Mrs. Grapeswrath, I could see from her smile that perhaps there’s a little humanity even in the most jaded of lunch ladies.

An hour later, after the last of the stragglers had left the school grounds, the nine of us stayed behind to enjoy the night air, gathered together on the lawn with the celebratory Cokes and chip bags that Grandpa had smuggled in his ancient trunk. As I sat there, with the sounds of our laughter and crunching filling the night, I couldn’t help but grin. All that night, long after we finally went home, a funny, warm feeling swelled in my chest, and it wasn’t from the race. Do you know what it’s like, Journal, to have someone drop everything to rescue you from the jaws of doom? Let me tell you, its a whole lot cooler than anything anyone ever did for any old world dictator. So, as the year comes to an end, maybe instead of planning my rise to power, I can just focus on being a good friend instead…

Nah, ruling the world is way cooler!

 

 

The End

 

 

Photo Credit: Sabina Boyer

9 Comments

  1. Nice job, and I’m glad that Brady doesn’t have to eat the mystery meat for the rest of the school year!

  2. Elizabeth Nelson

    Great job! I am going to miss article so much!

  3. Lucy Pevensie 👑

    Awesome, Sabina!!
    I really loved reading Brady’s World this year!

  4. This was amazing, Sabina! Are you going to continue it next year?

  5. lol these r so funny

  6. lunch ladies not having humanity :)) haha

  7. Your stories are so good!! You’re an awesome writer : )

  8. the Bee's Mate (not)

    Sabina, your writing is HILARIOUS XD. I’ve been a silent reader all year and didn’t realize you were the author till now…

  9. Elizabeth Nelson

    People here at tps have the life. We have no lunch ladies lol!