Tag: homework

Wishes and Super Powers

“I did it!” Missy clutched the leaf in her raised fist. “I caught a leaf while it was falling!”

Ben shrugged. “So?”

“So I get a wish.” Missy held her hand in front of her face and opened her fist. The leaf uncurled in slow motion. “Cousin Sara said so.”

“Really?” Ben looked around. He dove for a nearby leaf. It fell inches from his fingertips. He darted after another, and then another. Each time, he just missed the falling leaf.

“It’s harder than you think” Missy said. “You’ll see. It took me days to catch one. It’s worth it though. Now I can have a wish.” Missy closed her hand around her leaf and smiled a smug sort of smile.

Ben stopped chasing falling leaves and instead turned to look at Missy. “What are you going to wish for, then?”

“Why? What would you wish for?”

“I don’t know.” Ben reached for another leaf and missed again. “I guess I’d be a pirate. I’d like to find buried treasure.”

“That’s not what pirates do, really.” Missy looked up from examining her leaf. “Pirates hide treasure that they stole from people. Then they dig it up again when they think the police aren’t chasing them anymore. They’re just robbers who ride around in boats instead of cars.”

Ben folded his arms across his chest with a scowl. “Then who just hunts for treasures? Only pirates do.”

“Archaeologists.” Missy looked back down at her leaf. She poked at it with her finger. “I wonder how to make the wishing work. Cousin Sara didn’t say. Does it happen if you wish while you catch it? Or do you have to do something else?”

“So, what are you wishing for?”

Missy frowned. “If I tell you, maybe it won’t come true.”

Ben looked around. “How will you know when it happens?”

Missy sighed and put the leaf in her pocket. She held up both hands at arms length, palms out facing Ben. Ben vanished.

A chilly wind blew down the sidewalk, chasing a few more leaves. Missy reached out a hand, fingers separate, and raked at the breeze trying to catch the leaves as they blew past. She didn’t catch any of them.

“Ah well. It was worth a try.” Missy adjusted the straps on her backpack and skipped home.

“Welcome home,” her mom called from the kitchen. “Do you have any homework?”

“Nope.” Missy dropped her backpack in front of the closet and took her shoes off. She made a face when she saw her older brother’s shoes already by the door. It wasn’t fair that he always got home first.

She walked into the kitchen. Her brother, Martin, was reaching for the last cookie. Missy raised her hands, palms out, facing Martin. Martin vanished.

Her mom looked up from her mixing bowl. “Oh good, Martin left you a cookie. He was just in here a moment ago. I hope he went to do his homework.” She tasted the batter. “Needs salt. Where did I put that teaspoon?”

Missy took the last cookie and bit into it. It was oatmeal raisin. Her favorite. She smiled, and a cool breeze blew through the open window. The curtains fluttered in the breeze like ghosts.

Missy left the kitchen, and felt in her pocket for the leaf. When she took it out, she was disappointed to see that it was ripped in a few places. Perhaps her pocket wasn’t the best place for it.

Just then, her fluffy gray cat, Fishface, batted at her ankles, and Missy dropped the leaf. The cat pounced on it. “Fishface, no!” Missy yelled. She reached down to pick up her cat, palms down, facing Fishface. The cat vanished.

A breeze blew through the window behind her, swirling away the remains of her magic leaf. Missy looked down at her hands. How had this happened? It must be a terrible mistake.

The phone rang. Martin thundered down the stairs to answer it. He held the phone out to Missy. “It’s for you. What? Why are you looking at me weird?” Missy took the phone, glaring at her brother as he pushed past her on his way into the kitchen.

“Hello?” she said.

“Hello,” Ben’s voice answered. “Missy, how did you send me home? Was it your wish? What a waste. You should have wished for laser beam eyes or to fly or for super strength…”

Ben continued listing super powers. Missy looked around the living room. Fishface peeked around the couch. Missy pinned the phone to her ear with her shoulder and held out her hands, palms out facing the cat. Nothing happened.

Ben was still listing super powers. “…and healing. That’s not so bad. But flying’s better. Invisibility is good…”

“It doesn’t work any more anyway,” Missy interrupted. “I don’t know if it only works three times or if it’s because the leaf broke, but it stopped working. I can’t send anyone anywhere anymore.”

“Oh.” Ben didn’t say anything for a moment. “That’s still cool, though. We should catch more leaves and experiment. What kinds of super powers does an archaeologist have?”

“Archaeologists don’t need super powers,” Missy said.

“It couldn’t hurt,” Ben said. “X-ray vision could help with treasure hunting. But flying would be better. When I catch a leaf tomorrow, you’ll see. I’m the best wisher ever.”

“It’s harder than you think,” Missy said. “You’ll see.” A cool breeze blew through the room once more.

Charlie’s Room: Visiting Kangaroo

“Guess what?” Charlie said at dinner.

“You lost a tooth?” Isaac guessed.

“Nope.”

“You did well on the math test?” Marianne guessed.

Charlie smiled. “Well, yes. But that’s not what I was thinking about. Guess again.”

“You’re wearing your lucky socks?”

Charlie shook his head at Isaac’s guess. “Nope. Do you give up?”

Isaac and Marianne nodded.

“I get to write an essay about my favorite movie. I need to watch it again for research. I have a list of things to watch for. Can we watch it together after dinner?”

Marianne smiled. “I can, but your dad has some paperwork he was planning to do.”

“If Charlie needs help with his schoolwork…” Isaac began.

“I think we can handle it,” Marianne said. “Let me know if you need any help.”

After dinner, Marianne and Charlie popped some popcorn and took pens and papers and the list to the living room. Isaac put off the paperwork a little bit longer by doing the last of the dishes. But, when he heard the movie start, he knew he couldn’t put it off any longer.

He trudged over to his desk and sat down. It was his least favorite part of the week. But he’d agreed to be in charge of the paperwork when he and Marianne divided up chores as newlyweds. Allergies prevented him from doing yard work, so Marianne really had the harder list of things to do.

He hummed along with the soundtrack of the movie, imagining the scenes as he worked. Slowly he worked through the bills and such for the week. As long as he regularly kept up on it, it really wasn’t so bad. It was just really, really boring.

He checked income versus expenditures and compared it against their budget. Things were going well. He could even add a little extra to savings. Having a little extra in savings always made him nervous. It seemed to attract trouble.

Marianne thought this was a ridiculous idea. She said that trouble would come, no matter what, and weren’t they lucky that they always seemed to have just enough in savings to cover it? Perhaps Charlie’s lucky socks were more powerful than they guessed?

It looked like he was going to finish up in time to catch the ending of the movie. Isaac filed things away with extra focus. He was so intent on his work, that when he heard a knockg on the sliding glass door near his desk, he jumped.

He turned and looked through the door. There was a kangaroo in the backyard. Isaac blinked.

It was still there. Why was there a kangaroo in the backyard? Did it escape a zoo? And why was it knocking on the back door? Was that normal behavior for kangaroos?

Isaac stood up and walked over to the door. He opened it, but not wide enough for the kangaroo to go inside without permission. “Hello. How can I help you?”

“I was passing through, and I wondered if I can graze in your backyard? The trip home is a bit long, and I only brought a tucker bag.”

“What?”

The kangaroo held up his paws. “No worries, I can find somewhere else.”

Isaac shook his head. “No, you are welcome to graze here. I just wasn’t expecting you.”

The kangaroo chuckled. “Too right, I’m not your normal kangaroo.”

Isaac raided the vegetable drawer and fruit bowl. The kangaroo stood by the door, telling him which things he’d prefer. Isaac paused at the cupboard. “Would you like a water bottle? Can you open one?”

“I’ve got teeth, don’t I? Who needs thumbs?”

Isaac added the water bottle to the pile of food. The kangaroo tucked it into his bag. “Why are you traveling so far away from home?” Isaac asked.

“Haven’t you ever had something that you just felt like you needed to do?” the kangaroo asked.

Isaac glanced at the desk. “Well, I do have paperwork that I was just working on. It isn’t pleasant but it needs to be done.”

The kangaroo clucked. “I don’t think it’s the same thing.”

Isaac shrugged. “It’s not an adventure into the unknown in order to find myself or the meaning of life, but it is a way for me to take care of the people and things that are important to me. It can be difficult, but it’s worth it to me.”

The kangaroo nodded slowly. “Maybe you do understand.”

Isaac shrugged. “You don’t always have to leave home to learn the important things. The lessons can find you when you’re ready for them.”

The kangaroo nodded again and turned to leave. With a thump, thump, thump he’d bounded away and was gone. Isaac closed the door.

He finished filing away the last few bills and left out the things he would put in the mail on his way to work. The soundtrack to the dinosaur movie got louder and he could hear roaring. He’d finished working just in time to watch his favorite scene. He smiled, turned out the lights and left the room to join Charlie and Marianne in the living room. He hoped they saved him some popcorn.

Charlie’s Room: Just Charlie

When Isaac returned home from work, Charlie was waiting for him by the door. Isaac smiled at him as he changed his shoes. “Hey, kiddo. What’s up?”

Charlie scuffed the toes of his shoes against the carpet. “I need help with my homework.”

Isaac hung his coat up. “Okay. I’m ready now. Lead the way.”

He followed Charlie down the hall to his room. Charlie turned his desk chair around and sat down. Isaac pulled the chair by the bookshelf over and sat facing him.

“I’m supposed to write about what I want to do when I grow up.” Charlie picked up a paper off his desk and turned it to face Isaac. The assignment written on it was just as Charlie reported.

“You mean like a bucket list? Things you want to do before you die?” That sounded like a fun assignment. Someday Isaac wanted to sit down and write a list like that. The challenge would be to narrow it down to the things you really, really wanted to do. There were just so many interesting things in the world, and not enough time to see and try them all. Read More

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