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Alexander and the Cure
Alexander pulled a granola bar out of his pocket, and was about to take a bite, when a net fell on him. He was dragged across the rocky ground. He heard the creak of a door being opened. As he was freed from the net, someone handcuffed him to a table leg. Then, the same person flipped the light switch.
Alexander screamed when he saw her, because she was totally gross. She was four feet tall, and had bright white hair in a scraggly afro. Her fingernails were completely black and curled out two inches from her fingers. Her skin was chocolate brown, and she had so many wrinkles, Alexander couldn’t see her eyes,
She cackled, in a weird, cackly way you only read about I books. “Here’s the deal,” she said, as she stroked a jar full of fireflies. “I like having human pets. They keep me entertained. But if you don’t keep me entertained… then you don’t get to stay human,” Her fingernails clinked against the glass. Her voice was surprisingly high-pitched and childlike.
“All right,” Alexander said, pushing his dark brown hair out of his eyes. “I’ll entertain you with the story of my life,”
“I live in a pretty small kingdom. Usually, nothing exciting happens. The only part of the year that’s fun is the Fall Contest. All of the people in our kingdom gather and we have contests. In the fall. We run, we jump, we throw, we wrestle. Not to brag, but I win everything. I have for the past four years.
But this year, something weird happened. A disease infected our town. We call it blue pox. The infected person gets tiny bruises. Maybe just one or two at first, but they get bigger and bigger and they spread. And eventually, a person’s whole body is a giant bruise. And then they die.
All of a sudden, our kingdom’s population dropped. We lost a third of our people. And we weren’t exactly a huge city in the first place. People started freaking out. Because there’s no cure. If you get blue pox, you’re dead within a week.
Then Fall Contest rolled around, and King Ronald made an announcement. He said that the winner of Fall Contest would go on a quest to find the cure.
I always win. I guess I could have lost on purpose, but I wasn’t scared. See, the night before, I had a dream. I was on a cloud, floating, when this woman appeared beside me. She had on a gold flowy dress, and a tiara made out of leaves. When she spoke, her eyes kind of shifted color: from green to blue to grey to brown. I asked her who she was, and she said ‘The answer to the blue problem is in Emerald Forest,’ in a musical voice.
I had no idea what she was talking about, until the King made his announcement. I knew I had to look in Emerald Forest, so I came here when I won. But… now I’m a prisoner,”
“That was a very nice story,” said the witch. “You can tell me some more tomorrow. And then the next day. And the next day. Forever! Until you die! Oh, what’s that?” she asked, noticing scrapes on Alexander’s legs from when he had been dragged into her house. “I can’t have my pet be injured. Well, I can fix that,”
She trotted over to a bookshelf and pulled out a huge binder. She flipped through some of the pages, and as she did, Alexander caught a glimpse of the cover, which said Phosphora’s Healing Potions. “Are you a witch-doctor?” Alexander asked.
“I prefer the term ‘Healer’. I invented all of these cures, you know. My name is Phosphora. I have a cure for every illness in the world. Now let’s see, Q, R, S for scrapes,” She grabbed ingredients from shelves all over the room, and mixed them enthusiastically. She dabbed the resulting cream on Alexander’s leg, and in a couple of minutes the scrapes were gone.
“Good night!” Phosphora called, as she left the room, her jar of fireflies under her arm. They blinked and winked like a jar of stars. The second Phosphora left, Alexander tried to reach the binder full of cures, but the handcuffs caught his arm, holding him back. He was attached to a marble table, too heavy to move. Head had about five yards of chain to move, but not enough to reach the bookshelf. Alexander couldn’t believe it. The cure for blue pox was inches away from his grasp. He closed his eyes, and tossed and turned all night.
His dreams shifted back and forth, but they all involved the same golden-clad woman. She followed him wherever he went, smiling at him, but she didn’t offer any clue as to how to escape his shackles. At one point, she picked up a large glass jar, and threw it on the ground shattering it into pieces. Alexander started awake. It was still night. He needed to escape. He pictured the woman in the golden dress and leaf tiara, and begged her for help. And just like that, his handcuffs melted away.
Alexander sprinted to the book case, grabbed the binder, and looked under B. there it was. The cure for blue pox. He ripped the page out of the book, and was about to race out the door, when Phosphora walked into the room. “You can’t leave me,” she said, creepy as ever. “You have to stay with me. Forever. Just like everyone else,” She kissed her jar of fireflies.
Suddenly, Alexander knew what he needed to do. He grabbed a stone pestle, and threw it at Phosphora’s arm. She squealed, and dropped the jar, where it shattered into hundreds of pieces. All of the fireflies escaped the jar and morphed into men… except for one.
One firefly turned into a woman with a tiara of leaves, and a metallic dress. Before she ran out of the door, she winked at Alexander, and as she did, her eyes changed color. All of the other men attacked Phosphora, like vultures attacking a carcass. They clawed at her skin, and cawed in delight at her shrieks of pain. “I spend ten years in that jar!” Alexander heard someone yell, and he ran out of the house.
He ran faster and faster, more quickly than he had ever ran at Fall Contest. He ran into his Kingdom, straight to the palace. Panting, he asked to see King Ronald. The guards stepped aside. Alexander was famous for being incredibly smart, as well as incredibly athletic.
Alexander thrust the page with the cure for blue pox into King Ronald’s hand. The King scanned it, his mouth becoming an O as he realized what it was. He stood up and bowed to Alexander. “I will make sure that you will become famous for finding this cure,” he said. “Our kingdom is indebted to you,” Alexander smiled, and then saw the woman from his dreams appear on the King’s empty throne. She mouthed ‘thank you’ and then vanished