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Grade
8

“A Long time ago, there was a world where all humans had roamed free. They walked from place to place without a care in the world. They breathed the fresh air, they swam in the expansive bodies of water and camped in the seemingly endless patches of trees. They felt the warmth of the sun on their faces and the grass between their toes. This was of course before the antibiotic crisis. The antibiotic crisis starts out in the mid-twenty-first century. People were getting infections as usual. Doctors did what they knew to do, prescribed antibiotics. But during the year 2046 people began to get infections, doctors prescribed the antibiotics but the people began to die. It became known if you got an infection then you may only have about 3 weeks to live. Scientists raced to find a drug stronger than antibiotics, but they weren’t finding it fast enough. People began to hole up in their homes in fear of bacteria. Society came to a halt. The politician's approach was to build giant bacteria free bubbles over each city one at a time. Scientists were skeptical and needed time to do the research. The general public saw it as something that we could do “right now” to save themselves. By the year 2051 half of America was under bubbles and half was DEAD!” I finished.

 

My sister, Scherri, replied without even looking up from her phone, “Don’t ya think that it is a bit over dramatic for a history summary”. I huffed in reply,  “If you don’t care then just say so”. Instead of replying, Scherri just walked out. I sighed loudly in frustration and glared at the worn-out dark green chair where she was sitting.

 

I glanced back at my computer and re-read my summary. I decided that I liked it enough to turn it in. I sent it to my printer and waited for the chugging of the old printer to begin. I sat for the two minutes and my printer still hadn’t printed. I stalked back over to my computer and saw that the screen was completely white. I tried clicking on the screen but when I did, the screen went black. I jammed the power button for a minute, but nothing happened.

 

“AARGRG” I shouted. Scherri yelled back, “SHUT UP CALLISTA”. I was so enraged! Nothing is working and Scherri is being annoying, “I HATE YOU”, I screamed in my fit of rage. “Fine”, was all she said back. I stormed up the stairs making sure that I made a boom on each step. I stomped into my room and picked up my book.

 

My mother was going to be home soon I remembered. I really didn’t feel like interacting with anybody else tonight, so I shut my drapes and turned off my big light and used my reading light instead. She won’t come into my room if she thinks I am asleep. I am a really light sleeper and even the smallest noises wake me up.  After about fifteen minutes of reading, I saw the headlights of our car turn into the driveway. I was feeling tired anyway so I turned off my light and began to fall asleep.

 

I woke up to the sound of a large crash.  My bed gently quivered under me.  I went to the drapes and saw that the garbage bin had been knocked over by the collection truck. “No problem here”, I thought to myself. I decided to get some water. I groggily stumbled to the bathroom and filled my glass to the top. I listened to the silence around me then headed back to bed and fell asleep.

 

In the morning, I  groggily opened my eyes. Glancing at my alarm clock, I was shocked to see that it was 9:09 am! School starts at 8:00 am! Why hadn’t my mom woken me up? I pulled on my clothes as I ran down the stairs. I grabbed my apple and backpack and rushed out the door. I went to the city bus stop and waited. The bus comes to this stop every 5 mins. I glanced at my watch. It read 9:20 am.  I craned my head over the street to see if I saw anything coming. When I didn’t I stood straight up and tapped my foot anxiously. I quickly glanced up and down at my watch. It was 9:27 and the bus still wasn’t here. I ran down the street, practically flying down the street towards my school.

 

Panting, I stopped to take a breath. I noticed that it was unusually quiet. Not a person walking to work and not a whiff of diesel. There was no movement around me. I fished in my pocket for my phone and called my mother. No answer. I called again. Nothing. I called one last time for good measure. Nada. My mother always answers her phone, something must be wrong. I was still out of breath so I urgently walked back towards my house.

 

I swung open the door and flew up to my mother's room. I trudged in and saw her sprawled across her bed doing something I had only read about in our history books, coughing. And out of nowhere, air shot out of her nose with a loud “Huhchoo”! “What was that” I exclaimed! She rolled over and moaned.  I cringed back at seeing her red, puffy, snotty face. She looked horrible. She weakly stated, “check your sister”. I stared at her for one more moment with worried eyes then ran out.

 

I peaked around the door preparing myself for the horrors that await me inside. When I entered I saw her peacefully dosing away in a mound of fluffy blankets. Her head lay softly on her pillow. I padded up to her bed to get a closer look. No coughs, no puffy eyes or red faces here. I shook her awake. When she saw me she groaned and threw her pillow over her face. I pulled it from her and told her she had already missed school, but she needed to get up now. “Why” she mumbled. “You need to see mom” I whispered. She rolled out of bed and followed me down the hall into the ripe-smelling room.

 

“Whoa, what the heck is wrong with her?”, she said. “I don’t know, you’re older shouldn’t you know!” I uttered. Mom just stared at us with half open eyes and exclaimed, “My babies are okay, they’re fine” and went back to sleep.

 

Scherri yanked me out of the room and back into the hall. She quickly pulled the door shut. “What are we going to do” she cried! Seeing that she wasn’t going to take charge I decided that I was. “I’ll go search the net to see if I can find anything helpful, while you go check on the neighbors and keep mom happy,” I instructed. Before I could get in another word, she was off. I went to my computer and plopped down in the spinny chair. I pressed the power button once and nothing happened, not even a flicker. I waited to hear the reassuring sound of the login sequence but, no. I remembered back to last night and how it crashed when I was trying to print. “MIERDA!”, I cursed, slamming my forehead on the keys. I gave up on the computer and decided to comb through my textbooks instead. Where had I read about coughing? I opened the book to the page about thermometers. That means I am on the right track. I skimmed through the pages until I came across one titled “The flu illness” This is the section where we learned about coughing. One of the pictures was an old add for flu illness medicine. There was a little medicine capsule with an overly happy face saying, “ Are you COUGHING and SNEEZING? Do you have RED PUFFY EYES? Do you have A FEVER? Well, then I have the thing for you! Rytinian is the most efficient drug to aid you AND cure you of your symptoms.” My mother must have the flu! I needed to get her some of this magic medicine. The only problem was no one had any medical supplies because it just wasn’t needed, because our bubble was completely germ and bacteria free, so no one ever got sick. If we had a problem we should just go to a place with people who are allowed to practice hospital skills.

 

Just then my sister burst in and told me that all of the neighbors were also sick with the same symptoms. “How did you get into their houses?” I inquired. “When they didn’t answer their doors, I broke in through the ground window” she replied breathlessly. I nodded and showed her the book. She quickly scanned the page and burst out, “Where are we going to find this Rytinian?”. I don’t think we can. What was I was thinking! But I wasn’t going to give up that easily. “ Maybe we can check the artifact section in the museum,” I said.  “ Let’s go!” she said quickly while pulling on her fluffy, red coat. I grabbed my pink rain slicker and followed on her heels.

 

After about a half an hour of fast walking we reached the hub of our city, where almost every important thing is located. We passed deserted grocery stores and office buildings as we got nearer and nearer to the museum. Our city only had one large museum with every typical exhibit in it. My personal favorite happens to be the technologies section. In that section was all the stuff that we had made prototypes for but never fully developed because of lacks of resources in our bubble.

 

As we entered the museum, which was always left open, we headed straight up to the second floor and all the way to the back. They kept that display in the back because no one was particularly interested in it. We walked past displays of life-sized animals. I have never seen a live animal, we don’t have them here. Too much of a risk and a waste of resources to take care of them. I spotted the entrance to the technology section. We walked past glowing green sign I nudged Scherri to go into the velvety entrance. We walked into the dimly lit artifact section, we saw lots of random objects in the front room. We went deeper into the exhibit and into the hospital tools room. “I think this is our best chance in this room” I stuttered.

 

We looked around for a good fifteen minutes but with no luck. I looked at my sister and sighed. “We better go”, she muttered. We walked through the long corridor draped in red velvet curtains. As we headed back to the exit I noticed the green technology sign again. “Maybe something in there could help...!” I wondered. Before my sister could answer I was already combing through the glass boxes hold all sorts of wonderful tech. I stopped at a particularly small box that held a machine called CRISPR, the prototype of a legend. This machine was designed originally to only knock out bad genes but instead ended up being able to strengthen genes. Now is there anything that could be strengthened to help mother? I thought back to my fifth-grade health class. We had learned about systems, the respiratory system, the nervous system, the digestive system, the immune system, THE IMMUNE SYSTEM! That’s it! We need to alter her genetic code to strengthen her immune system. Doctors had always told dad that he had an extraordinarily strong immune system, but he brushed it off as nothing because we had no use for the immune system. He must have passed that trait down to me and my sister! “Scherri” I called, “I found it! The answer to our problem!”

 

We looked around for something to break the glass with. I spotted a fire extinguisher which we promptly grabbed and smashed away. Each thing in this department always had instruction for use printed on the sign as an interesting fact. I slid the paper out of its holder and shoved it in my coat pocket. My sister had CRISPR and we began the trek back to our home.

 

We burst in and ran upstairs. My mom was still laying in her bed, she hadn’t moved all day. She gurgled a few words that were incomprehensible. I pulled out the instructions from my pocket, “CRISPR”, it read, “is used by placing on the site in need of strengthening, then just press the green button”. I placed the CRISPR over the left side of her body where the spleen is located and clicked the button. It started glowing and getting really hot. All of a sudden, it stopped.

 

Mother gave another weak cough. “Would you get me something to eat” asked mother. I nodded and walked downstairs. What if it didn’t work what if it was all a waste. Doesn't matter now. I grabbed a slice of spinach quiche handed it to my sick mother and went to sleep.

 

The next morning I went in to check on mother. Scherri was already there. Mom looked better. Still some lingering sniffles but overall much better. It worked. CRISPR was still laying on the floor next to the bed. Mom who was still peacefully sleeping, turned over in her bed.

 

THE END

 

We never figured out what broke the bubble in the first place.

 

State
MI
Zip Code
48105