22 Aug

By Maria Miller
4th Grade

My life’s mysterious and I’m about to change it forever.

I slam the door to my room and lock it. I crumble my homework and throw it out the window. I’m not going to stay here anymore. I pack up everything I’ll need to travel: money, a compass, paper, pens, my laptop, an extra pair of shoes, etc. I have everything all planned out. I’ll stay here for one more night. Then in the morning I’ll tell my mom that I’m going to school, and run away instead. Since my parents talk about sending me to a different family, I know that they won’t miss me while I’m gone.

The next morning, I pretend to get ready for school and set off on my adventure. At school everyone calls me weird. They say that I’m horrible at math, science, and every other subject. My family says that I am unhelpful, but all that I want to do is have fun.

I’m in a big city with a lot of people around me. The buildings are at least ten stories high. By the way that everything looks and the way that the people look, I know that I’m in Denver. I’m still a very long way away from where I should be.

I’m going out to the Atlantic Ocean. I want to be in the water every day. When I get to the ocean, I’ll try to make a small shelter for myself.

I think I might get lost in this big city. Everyone is a stranger to me and I’m really lonely.

Back at home, I have six other siblings. My parents couldn’t take care of all of us, so they said that they were going to send some of us to a different house. They were planning on sending me!

I see a lady in a wheelchair and I feel sorry for her, so I start to talk to her about the weather and small things like that. Talking to people is fun! This woman is creeping me out! She has cold black eyes and her skin looks almost green. All of a sudden she grows into a long, green alligator! I have to run away from her. Soon some more people start turning into alligators and chasing me.

Their teeth are about as big as a five-year-old and they have about 40 of ’em. I zip open my backpack while sprinting as fast as I can and madly searching for my phone. After about two minutes, I find my phone. I call the police and ask them to come quickly.

Right after I finish the call, the alligators turn into anacondas! They smell like old cheese and soap, but I don’t notice because I hear the cops coming.

I wave and yell, “Help!!!” But it does not good. A snake bites my heel and I feel horrible pain. I fall to the ground, and my vision flickers, and I know that I’ll be unconscious soon…


I wake up in a white room, with white everything. There’s a person in a white coat feeding me a brown thing that looks like cake and tastes like spinach. The guy doesn’t seem to notice that I’m awake.

The only thing that breaks the “everything is white” rule (other than the cake) is a big dark-red spot at the end of my bed. It takes me a while to notice that the red is blood, my blood. As soon as I notice that, I know why I’m here in this white room.

“How long have I been here?” I ask the white-coated man.

“Hmmm? Oh! You’ve been unconscious here for two days.”

“Wow! If I’ve been here that long, I must be getting worse,” I say.

“Actually, you’re getting a lot better. Since this is the first time you’ve woken up, I need to ask you some questions. What is your name?”

For one scary moment I forget my name. “Let’s see, I think it’s Bella or Annabeth or something like that…Oh! My name is Annabella! I wonder if the snake bite caused some kind of disorder in my brain,” I say.

“Whoa, whoa, whoa, you’re going too fast! What snake bite?” the white-coat asks.

“I got bit by a snake-lady-alligator guy I was just walking down the street when some old lady came up to me, talked to me, and then turned into an alligator and started chasing me. I went down the street and some more people-alligators started chasing me. Then, all of a sudden, the alligators turned into snakes and one bit my heel and I feel unconscious.”

“Wow,” is all that the man says.


Five days later, I am completely healed and ready to keep going. But when I reach in my pack, I notice that my compass has been smashed to pieces, and so have all the other breakable items in my pack. I realize that when I fell down after I got bitten, I fell so hard that my phone, my compass, my laptop, and my mirror had smashed.

I have no access to long distance communication. My life is now ten times harder. The sun is up in the middle of the sky, so I don’t know which way is east or west or north or south. I’m not going to talk to anyone after what happened to me the other day.

Right now I’m in a small town. The buildings aren’t higher than three stories and it looks as if everyone knows everyone. I walk past the baker’s shop and see a stack of newspapers. The headline says:


Mrs. May let her daughter go to school alone and her daughter did not return home. Mr. and Mrs. May say that their daughter was kind, funny, and warm-hearted. If you find the girl, call: 429-800-8009.

I am horrified. I need to find a disguise, but I don’t know how to get one. If I go to a Halloween store, people will definitely notice me.

I have a plan! I rush to the nearest bush, pull out some leaves and sticks and arrange them in my hair and clothes. Now I can go into the Halloween store.

When I walk in, a bell rings and I smell caramel and chocolate. There are rows of clothes and capes and different kinds of costumes. I notice wigs on a shelf. I choose one that will make me look like I have wavy blond hair, because my hair is straight and black.

When I walk up to buy my wig, the lady at the cash register gives me a pair of glasses to go with it. The woman is tall, red-haired, and sweet. She looks very familiar.

She asks, “Do you need anything else, sweetie?” and her voice sounds really familiar.

Astonished, I say, “No, but what is your name?”

“My name is Amy May,” she says.

“Nice name,” I say, even more amazed.

She is my aunt. My dad never talks about her because she ran away from home like me, and he hasn’t seen her since.

When I leave, I can see the sun setting in the west, so I walk the opposite way. As soon as I find the nearest alley, I take the sticks out of my hair and put on the wig. Now I can travel around anywhere without being noticed by other people.

As soon as I walk out of the alley, I run into another girl. “What are you doing here?” she asks in a loud whisper.

“I’m going east to the Atlantic Ocean,” I whisper back.

“So am I! Want to go together?” she exclaims.

“Sure, let’s go!” I tell her.

We start running east and while we run, we tell each other about ourselves. I learn that the girl’s name is Lilly and that her parents were talking about sending her to a boarding school, so she ran away.

After running for a while, we get tired and start walking. I notice that we’re out of the town. Now we’re on the side of the road. To our right is a cornfield, and to our left is a farm with horses, pigs, chickens, and a huge field. Because of the big cornfield, I know that we’re in Iowa. I’ve been to Iowa about five times to visit some of my parents’ friends.

When Lilly and I get tired, we sit in the cornfield, eat some corn, and sleep for a while. When I’m sleepy, I smell the sweet corn and fall asleep instantly. Right now, we’ve just stopped to rest a while.

“Hey, Lilly?” I ask.

“Yeah?” she answers.

“Do you ever feel like you’re being watched?” I ask.

She responds, “Yeah, all the time. In fact, I feel like that right now.”

“Me too!” I exclaim.

Suddenly, some corn drops and I hear something like a sneeze and we get up.

“Hello? Who’s there? We don’t want to hurt you,” Lilly says loud and clear.

We hear the sneezing sound again and see two boys come out of a space between the rows of corn.

“Hey look, Mike! It’s two girls!” the taller one says.

“Ya think we should go with ’em, Freddy?” Mike says.

“Why not?” Fred says.

The boys come closer and ask if they can come with us where we’re going. Lilly and I aren’t so sure, so we huddle.

“I bet they’re rotten, no good scaredy cats,” I say.

But Lilly thinks differently. “I think they might be perfect. See, they look smart and we need some brains.”

I guess she’s right so we let ‘em join. I’m not so sure about having the boys right next to me because their breath smells like rotten eggs and it looks as if they haven’t had a shower in ages.

These boys are smelly, but it turns our they are really useful. One day, a mean old farmer sees that we’re in his cornfield and starts chasing us. I have no idea what to do, so I ask the boys for help. They say we should split up, then meet up at the scarecrow when we’ve lost the farmer.

That works out really well. But when we lose the farmer, we meet a huge spider. The boys aren’t smart enough to help us with that. So now, if we run away from the spider, we’ll run into the farmer.

The big, black, furry spider comes up to us and we know that we’re going to get hurt. I close my eyes tight and wait to feel pain, but nothing happens. I wait about five more minutes, and when I open my eyes again, the spider is gone. I’m not a human sandwich or blood juice.

But when I look around me, I can’t find Lilly, Mike, or Fred. Suddenly I hear chattering sounds behind me, and when I turn around there are all three of my friends with chattering teeth, closed eyes, and goose-bumps all over.

“Guys!” I say. “Open your eyes now. The spider’s gone.”

They open their eyes and sigh.

“We shouldn’t stay in the field any longer,” says Lilly.

“She’s right,” say the boys in unison.

“Okay, okay, we’ll leave,” I say.

As soon as we get to the road, we cross to a big field of grass by a barn. As we cross the street, Fred gets hit by a big van. Fred starts crying really hard, and I see that his arm is in a weird position. I think it’s broken.

“Lilly, do you have a phone?” I ask.

“Yes. It’s in my backpack. Help me look for it.”

As I help Lilly look for the phone, I remember how much I needed my phone right before the snake bit my foot and I look harder. Finally, we find the phone and Lilly dials 9-1-1 and explains to the police what happened and where we are.

When I look at Fred, I see a poor family-less boy in a lot of pain. I feel really bad for him, but there’s nothing I can do to help him.

The ambulance, police and firemen get here about two minutes later. The police ask Mike, Lilly, and me a lot of questions. We have to lie for a few questions. We say that we’re homeless kids and that we’re traveling west of California. The firemen tell Lilly and me where Fred will be, and after everyone leaves, Lilly, Mike and I walk to the hospital to see Fred.

We talk about Fred and what a great person he is. I don’t know Fred very well, so I ask Mike for information about him. Mike says that whenever Fred tells a joke, it’s so funny that people end up coughing. I want to know Fred better.

We get to the hospital and ask which room Fred is in. The woman at the front desk leads us to Fred’s room. When we walk into his room, his face lights up with joy. He says, “I’m so glad to see you guys! I knew you’d come!” We sit down in some wooden chairs and talk to Fred about his arm. Whenever someone touches his arm, he cries out in pain. I’ve broken my arm before and I know how much it hurts.

Suddenly I feel the need to be in my hometown with everyone I know. “I’ve got to leave,” I say. “I need a real family. I mean, we need a real family.”

“But Annabella,” says Mike. “Fred still needs his cast and we need enough money to pay for his injury. We can’t just—”

“Annabella and I have plenty of emergency money,” Lilly says. “Together we have about $1050.”

Once Mike is convinced that we can pay, he agrees that we should find a family. When we get lunch, we finish up quickly. The lunch is a salad, tea, and ham-and-cheese sandwiches. When Fred takes one sip of the tea, his arm fixes itself and it can move again! I guess it was some sort of magic or something. Since Fred is all healed, we can leave now.

We catch the first plan to the small town where my aunt lives and get there in about half an hour. We meet my aunt and she gladly lets us live with her and her husband in their coconut-smelling house. They love us so much that they adopt us.



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