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The Day I Became A Lamp
I pushed open the heavy door, happy to finally be home. It had been a stressful school day...SAT preparation was extremely tiring, and my backpack could have been an elephant slung over my back considering its weight. I glanced at the refrigerator to see a note from my Mother.
'Dear Sweetie Sarah, (I hated my nickname. Sweetie Sarah, really, Mom, really?! I was almost sixteen!)
Dad and I have gone out to dinner with the Janksons, I'm sorry I didn't tell you. You are babysitting Ryan tonight. Meatloaf in the microwave. Have fun!
I groaned. Ryan was the neighbor’s obnoxious 9-year-old boy, whom I had to watch every Tuesday. This just about put the cherry on top of a perfect day. Ha-ha. I grabbed a slice of bread and shoved it into my mouth as I popped the meatloaf into the oven. How long was it supposed to go in for? Hmmmm...
As I was waiting for the meatloaf to cook, I flipped on the news. Immediately my eyes were drawn to the News Headlines:
LAMPINITIS DISEASE ON THE RISE IN NEW YORK CITY!
Lampinitis was probably one of the worst long-term diseases out there. First, your skin turns all metallic, like a shiny new silver Porsche 911 Turbo. Then, your arms start to weld onto your torso, and your legs weld together, like a pole. The last part depends on your personality. You see, your head starts to mold into a new shape. Some people got straight squares; others got stringed circles that glisten in the sun. (Where do you think all your house lamps come from? Yup, that little desk lamp you have sitting next to you, that was probably a 3-year-old child. Sad, isn't it?) Hey, your day could have been worse, I thought to myself. You could have gotten Laminitis. I shuddered at the thought...
The ovens demanding beeping broke my train of thought as I jumped up to grab the meatloaf out of the oven, burning my hand in the process. I put it in a brown paper bag with my Chemistry book and copy of Twilight, and made my way over to Ryan's house.
He was sprawled out on the couch, bag of Doritos in hand, watching Wrestle Mania Smack down mindlessly. I went to the refrigerator and grabbed a bag of carrots. Trying to be inconspicuous, I snuck behind the couch and quickly snatched his bag of Doritos and replaced them with the carrots.
"Hey!" he screamed.
"Hi to you too, flea brain."
"Metal Face." Hmm, that was a new one. Normally I got the unimaginative 'poop-face' or 'weirdo'. He had outdone himself by thinking up a new insulting name for me. I was touched.
I got down some plates and cut the meatloaf.
"Come eat!" I shouted.
He plopped down at the small table and made a disgusted face that said "You’re kidding´ me, right?” I ignored him and lifted my hand to grab a fork. Or attempted to lift my hand. MOVE, HAND! I thought to myself. It didn’t budge. I looked down to see the tabletop reflected on my arm. Weird. I got up and ran to the bathroom.
When I got to the mirror I screamed. My face had become a reflective surface, along with my arms and legs. My arms had just finished welding to my sides, and my legs were about to start welding together, I could feel the pull. I tried to lift my arms to my face but I couldn’t. I screamed again. That was the last sound I ever made, because right then, my mouth molded shut. I watched with horror as my head began to change shape, forming into a rhombus, sharp edged yet innovative and creative to a certain extent. Perfect for my personality. That was the last thing I ever saw. My eyes rolled back into my head, molding together to create a light bulb. I heard feet coming through the hallway, followed by a gasp and the dialing of three numbers.
I felt my body being loaded onto a stretcher, already covered with a blanket; (you can only get Lampinitis by seeing another infected person five minutes after their transformation. That’s how it spreads. Poor Ryan.) And I could hear my parents crying. They knew there was no cure for Lampinitis. I wasn’t going to the hospital, and they knew that very well. I was going to the Lamp Outlet, where all the Lampinitis victims go. I prayed that my parents would buy me instead of some creepy couple, although I didn’t match the antique décor of our apartment.
As I was being whisked to the Lamp Outlet, I wondered, why? None of my friends, or anyone I knew, for that matter, had become lamps lately, and if they had, I certainly hadn’t been there. That’s when it hit me. When I had been watching the News earlier, the Lampinitis story was Breaking News. The lamps they showed must have just transformed! No wonder Lampintis was on the rise! Now everyone who had watched that television cast would get it, there would be another news story, and the string would continue!!! I couldn’t believe this. I had to tell someone! And that’s when I realized something very, very important: I didn’t have a mouth.