Traveling Annie

June 6, 2012
By NicoleMcAwesome BRONZE, Marysville, Washington
NicoleMcAwesome BRONZE, Marysville, Washington
2 articles 0 photos 0 comments

“Annie, don’t move, okay? If it hurts you say stop, okay?” With this, my dad used his strong hands and wrapped something around my arm. Being a scientist, he loved to create. I am very excited today because my dad is using me in an experiment.

“Stop…Stop!” I screamed.

“Annie, what’s wrong?” Pain traveled throughout my once normal six-year-old body. My life would never be the same again.

I went to retrieve my ruby red flying boots off the shelf in my closet. Every time I looked at them, I was reminded that being nine feet and six inches tall, I was not able to fit into a hovercraft like everyone else. It all started the day when dad’s experiment went horribly wrong. The invention was supposed to be a mobile teleporter that could transport you to more than one place. Dad had done many trials with it, using our robotic maid as the test subject. When he showed the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Planetorial Technology Administration (PTA), of our planet Z052, how good his invention worked on robots, the man gave the okay to proceed with humans. I had always wanted to be the first one to test dad’s invention. Knowing this, dad readily agreed and attached the device to my arm. When he hit the button, I instantly felt a severe zap throughout my entire body. About six months later we noticed rapid growth, much like gigantism and my hair became translucent. My dad figured that my DNA molecules were altered by an over-ionizing of the malfunctioning transporter from a nuclear power source.

I shook myself out of the distant past. I laced up my boots and flew to the “Galaxy Grocery.” I passed countless hovercrafts and spaceships. I tried not to think about all of the eyes piercing into my flesh. Soon I was at the landing for the store. I hit the off button on my flying boots and walked in.

“Welcome to Galaxy Groceries. Choose a computer and select the items you wish,” said a robot greeter (who was an old model, and covered in rust). I chose a computer in the far corner, bending down to use it. I selected the groceries needed and pushed the red checkout button. Shortly after, a robot came and gave them to me. I thanked it and darted for the door. In my haste to leave, I bumped into someone, scattering all my items onto the floor.

“Annie! Is that really you?” said Betty, with surprise written all over her face. She finished helping me put all of my groceries back into the bag.

“Yeah, it really is me.”

“I almost didn’t recognize you! You’ve changed a lot since first grade. Like a ton. I had heard you came back, and I was hoping to see you. I really miss you, you know. You were, like, my best friend. Hey! Maybe we can, like, have lunch sometime.”

“Yeah, maybe,” I said, “Uhm, can we talk later? I have to go.”

“Like, sure thing Annie. Bye!” I thought I would never get out of that one. So people still thought that I had moved. Actually, we never did move, but I was isolated. I had only recently started going outside again. I am now seventeen and starting to accept being different. I had missed out on everything while being secluded, including friends.

I took the teleporter to dad’s lab. I was relieved to see that he was upstairs. I needed some alone time right now. I ran to the door that had brightly painted stars on it. Inside, the room looked like a space shuttle. The sink, toilet and shower were all incorporated into the design. I shut the door and sat down on the toilet (lid closed of course) and cried. When no more tears came, I took a small crinkled washcloth, soaked with warm water, and ran it down my face. In the mirror, I saw a teary-eyed, blue-haired girl who had to crouch low to use the sink. This made me cry even more. “Oh, what I would give to be like everyone else,” I thought. I would no longer have to dye my translucent hair, make my own clothes, or crouch down to use things!

“Annie! Are you down here?”

Before dad could turn the corner, I jumped up and locked the bathroom door. I didn’t really want dad to know I had been crying.

“Yeah dad, I’m down here,” I yelled back.

“Oh, good,” he said through the door, “so, how was your day today?”

“Fine dad, just fine.” I wish he would get a job. The accident in 2386 made him feel like a failure. He hasn’t invented (or tried to invent) anything except the flying boots. He quit being a scientist and now stays home doing nothing all day long. “Dad…have you thought about going back to being a scientist anytime soon?” I asked.

“Well Annie, that is not my concern right now, I want you to be…”

“Dad! I’m seventeen! I can take care of myself!” I ran to the bathroom door, opened it and pushed my way past him. I kept running until I reached the teleporter and hit the button. Before dad could follow me up, I sprinted down the hall to my bedroom.

“Knock, knock, knock…knock, knock, knock.”

“Come in!” I shouted. Dad walked in, a small bottle in hand, and sat at the foot of my bed.

“There is something you need to know. I have taken full responsibility of this situation.” He paused for a moment and then continued, “And I think I have created an anti-dote for your DNA mutation.” He held up a small glass bottle, which contained a pink and blue swirly liquid. “Annie, I am going to set it on your night stand. You can decide if you want to drink it.” Then dad got up and headed for the door.

“Dad, wait!” When he turned around I said, “I’m sorry.”

“Don’t be. What you said opened my eyes to reality.” Then he shut the door behind him, leaving me alone again.

For a while, I sat on my bed thinking about the past years. So all this time I had thought dad had been doing nothing. I felt terrible now, but how was I supposed to know he had been making a concoction all along? I stood up and stretched. I ran my hand down the smooth surface of the bottle. I walked over to my wooden dresser and looked at the seventeen pictures lined up neatly in a row. I watched as I grew from a little girl wrapped in her mother’s arms to a towering teenager. Tears welled up in my eyes. “Would things be different if mom were still alive?” I wondered. Before the tears could run down my face like a stream, I gulped the anti-dote.

“I think she is starting to awaken,” said a familiar low voice.

“She is probably sore. Please don’t wake her if she is still sleeping, sir,” said a mechanical voice.

“She looks, like, way different from the last time I saw her,” came a girl’s voice. After awhile I slowly opened my eyes. Dad and Betty were standing at the foot of my bed. The robot nurse had left.

“Annie, how do you feel?” asked dad excitedly.

“I ache a bit, but not too bad.”

“Annie, you should, like, look in a mirror!” squealed Betty. She handed me a small, hand held mirror to gaze into. I almost dropped it on the ground.

“What do you think?” asked dad.

“I-I-I look normal!” I gasped in disbelief. It was true. My hair had returned to a rich strawberry blonde (much like dad’s) and stick-straight like my mother’s had been. I once again had real hair to compliment my hazel eyes. “Thank you.” I said as tears welled up in my eyes again.

“Annie,” said Betty. I quickly wiped my tears away. “How about lunch on Wednesday?”

“That would be perfect!” I exclaimed, “And I don’t have to wear flying boots anymore!” We all laughed, as old friends do.

* * *

“Pass me the screwdriver, please,” said dad. I walked over and grabbed it off the table. Being five feet and eight inches, I no longer had to crouch down to pick things up. “Thank you. That was the last screw Annie, are you ready to try it?”

“Yes, but I have a question first.”

“Okay, ask away.”

“What happened to mom?” Dad was silent for a moment.

“Well it is hard to say. Doctors thought heart complications, but nobody knows for sure.”

“Do you miss her?” I asked.

“Of course, Annie. But she gave me you and that is more than I could ask for.” I gave dad a hug and slipped on the mobile teleporter. Then I picked my destination and pushed transport.

The mobile teleporter became the most successful transportation device of the century. Being the first person to be transported by mobile unit made Annie famous. Now people weren’t staring at her because she was different, but because the “Traveling Annie” teleporter featured her picture. Annie was invited to speak to young groups for years to come about finding hope through hard times. She also became the spokesperson for the PTA, while her father became its CEO.

The End

The author's comments:
I am a big fan of Sci-Fi fiction writer H.G. Wells, which inspired me to write this short story. H.G. Wells said it best when he said "Beauty is in the heart of the beholder." I hope other teens are inspired to write their own stories after reading "Traveling Annie," because everyone has their own talent.

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