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“Travis, get up! We’re going to be late!” shouted my mom from the front door of our Miami ranch house. I sat upright in my bed, and hit my head on the low ceiling. The 4’ high ceiling in my bedroom was the “best” that my parents could afford. I don’t care. At least I have a ceiling.
Today, we were taking a skiing vacation to Alaska for my 16 birthday. I’m the best skier on the National Miami Ski team (I know, skiing in Miami?), but it seems that skiing doesn’t equal money. Same with being the smartest in your grade. I run into the bathroom, brush my teeth, and zoom out the door and into the car.
While on the plane, during the 9 hour flight, I held my ski suit in my hands. Given to me when i joined the Miami Ski team, it was silver with gold flecks, and was a whole suit, with gloves and pants and socks attached. It uses the most advanced aerogel technology, and is only ½ inches thick. I saved up my money for six years for the half of it I would pay for. It was $1,499.99.
When we land, we go to the hotel, and leave everything there except for my ski suit. I’m not trusting that with anyone but myself. Then we go to the mall. The awesomest mall in the word.
As I walk out of my 50-by-50 foot room with a 40 foot tall ceiling, I think of how this may be the first time in my life that I’m actually happy. Father (I can’t call him Dad), Mother (I can’t call her Mom), 3 servants and, of course, me. Or maybe it’s “I”. I guess the 10+ (I lost count) tutors that Father hired - and then fired - to keep up with my, as he put it, “exponentially amplifying acumen.” Apparently an acumen is the “ability to understand and reason”. Anyway, I have to go. I’m going to miss my flight to Alaska!
P.S. To those reading: Father gave me this journal to record what happens on this trip.
First off, let me say this. The words I am writing in this notebook cannot convey the coolness of this mall, but here goes nothing. The mall is circular. That’s right, circular. In the center of the mall is a sort of spring looking elevator. It was shaped in a spiral, and the elevator boxes - which are what you go in - travel on the spiral. There are two of them, and they look sort of intertwined. You go into an elevator, and then you press which floor you want to go to. There are 59 floors. You also press if you want to go to the west or east side of the mall, because the mall is really big and it takes a really long time to get from one side to the other. On one wall is one of those”**YOU ARE HERE**” maps, and it showed my location as Attu (Google it if you don't know where that is).
Well, my location was a surprise, but that means that I’ll meet really exotic Eskimo people here. Anyway, I’m hungry, so I’m going to go get a pizza. There’s this Italian place on floor 17W (17 West) called Pizza Lords, and I’m looking forward to Alaskan pizza.
Hello reader person (I hope you are a person, because if your not, another sentient race that might attack the humans exist)! Welcome to Alaska. I hope you realize that you are not actually in Alaska, but if you don’t, then here it is. You are not in Alaska (GASP!). You are just reading about being in Alaska. But I hope that you are smart enough to understand that this is just a book. Well, I have a few hours until my schedule, otherwise known as the Holy Covenant, begins. I was surfing the web, and I found this really cool restaurant. I don’t remember the name right now, but I’m going there. Bye!
Ok. I finally got to the restaurant, and as soon as my taco arrived, the extremely loud alarm started going off. If 140 decibels of sound cause deafness, then this alarm was 200+ decibels. Apparently, a huge storm was coming, and the mall had to be evacuated. Well, I’m not going. This is Alaska! Aren’t big storms supposed to happen? I’m just going to stay inside the mall and enjoy a nice, juicy taco. Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm... spicy ground tofu. Wait a minute... why’s that kid in that pizza shop still there?
Curious about (the other) kid not following the alarm's instructions, I got in the elevator and went to 17W, which was 4 floors above me.
When I stepped into the pizza place, the boy didn’t even look up from his pizza, but (I guess he was one of those creepy mind-reading people who can “sense” your presence) he said, “You didn’t listen either. Don’t you agree that it’s stupid to have drills like that.” He looked up. “My name’s Travis. Nice to meet you.”
“Sam,” I answered, holding out my hand. Travis looked at it like you might look at a large cockroach on your pillow.
“Oh,” he said. “You’re one of them.”
“Who are they?” I asked.
“You know, the rich, snobby kids,” he answered. At this point, I was a little annoyed.
“I may be rich, but I’m not snobby. I actually wish my dad wasn’t so rich,” I said. “Besides, how long until the drill is over and everyone can come back in.”
“Well,” Travis said, “since this is a drill--” He was cut short by a loud THUMP! that seemed to emanate from all around us. He and I both looked around wildly. The window was all fogged up, but I could see huge objects falling from the sky.
“Come on,” Travis said. “Lets go find out what that noise was.”
Whoever this kid - Sam - was, we both ran for the elevator. “Where will you be going today, Sir?” I said, mimicking an elevator operator.
“Top floor,” Sam gasped, having ran in the wrong direction and then sprinting back.
“East or West?” I said.
“JUST THE TOP FLOOR!!!!!” Sam shouted.
“Ok, ok. Don’t get your $1,000 underwear in a bunch,” I defended, pressing the button for 59EW(I pressed East and West at once). For some reason, the elevator began going down, not up.
“WHY ARE WE GOING DOWN!!!!!” Sam demanded as if our lives depended on it (which, looking back on it, they probably did).
“I don’t know, I don’t know!” I barely ever lose control of my voice, so this was a surprise.
As the elevator neared the bottom of the mall, it didn’t stop. “Oh great, now we’re going to crash and die,” Sam remarked, viewing the glass as half-empty (did you expect otherwise?). Then, the floor opened up, and we descended into an underground room. The elevator door opened and I stepped out. “Whoa.”
It seemed that we were in the security room. After Travis let out his dramatic “Wwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhooooooooooooooooooooooooaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa.........................”, I started looking around. It seemed that we were in some sort of security room. There were video screens everywhere, showing every point of the mall, from the inside and the outside. There was even a camera showing the security room. “We’re the only one’s here,” Travis muttered. He had recovered from his amazement, and was now looking over my shoulder.
“Yeah, I know,” I said. “But what’s that outside?” According to the video screens, large, white objects were falling and wreaking havoc.
“It seems like hail,” Travis answered. It was hail, and the parking lot was getting wrecked. Cars were punctured (I hope no one was in them) and the pavement had hundreds of holes in it, ranging from a few inches deep to about 10 feet deep, if the scale was correct. Suddenly all of the screens flashed, showing one message. And trust me, that was not a good message.
Just like Sam: leave the reader on the edge of a cliff with me to explain how they got there. Anyway, here it is. The message read:
EXTREME BATTERMENT DETECTED
RIOT GATES CLOSING
STORES ARE NO LONGER ACCESSIBLE
That is obviously not good. “HOW ARE WE GOING TO GET FOOD! HOW ARE WE GOING TO GET WATER! HOW ARE WE GOING TO GET AN AIR MASK TO STOP ME FROM HYPERVENTILATING ONCE I FINISH SCREAMING!” Sam shouted.
“Sam,” I said, as calm as ever. “The first-aid kit is about two feet and 3 inches away from you. You can get the air mask yourself.” Sam got the air mask. It didn’t help.
The air mask did help me... help me suffocate, that is. I put the air mask on, but I hadn’t read the instructions, and I put it on wrong. I couldn’t get air through the mask, and I ran out of air. I tried to read the instructions, but I was losing focus. I read the same sentence three times. I read the same sentence three times. I read the same sentence three times. Then, finally, as soon as my vision started to fade, Travis finally realized something was wrong. Maybe it was me clawing at my throat. Maybe it was me screaming. Or maybe it was that in huge letters on the air mask instructions it said:
“Do not put on the mask with the strings pressed against the neck of victim. Will cause suffocation (which is not good and means that you cannot breath). To ensure continued life protection products, please donate any amount of money of your choice, as long as it is above $1 million dollars, to the below address. Checks are accepted.”
I don’t really know why they put that last part in. If they really wanted to make money, they would make you pay one million dollars to use the air mask, but then they would get sued so they would lose money instead of making it.
Well, now I guess we have to find a way into the stores. Oh well.
The good news: Sam is OK. The bad news: Sam is OK. The two of us have been at odds ever since we met, and we’re going to have to put that behind us.
“I have an idea for how we are going to open the stores,” I told Sam a few minutes after his near-death experience. “I did some reading on the security display, and, apparently, the riot gates have an emergency unlock, incase someone was inside the store and the security was incapacitated. However, that can only be unlocked from in the store itself, so--” Sam cut me off.
“So, Mr. Lecture Man who seems to be explaining how to break into a store, I see what you are trying to say. You’re telling me that we can’t get into the stores. I mean, come on, we only have a broken ski, a stick, some string, and whatever weapons the security department has. Face it Travis. We are doomed.”
WARNING: DO NOT READ ON IF YOU WISH TO GUESS TRAVIS’ PLAN
Travis’ plan actually worked pretty well. I know that you think that we used a bazooka to blow the riot gates to smithereens, but it wasn’t that. We actually used a crowbar (I know, a crowbar?) from the security weapons cabinet to punch a hole in the broken end of the ski. Then we tied one end of the string to the ski, and the other end to the stick, which was more of a skewer. Then, we headed up.
And by up, I mean out of the security room, not to heaven - we are (still) alive.
Back to me ( (:I know you all prefer me over Sam, that’s why I was in this chapter twice:) ). Anyway, we went to the first store we saw, which happened to be Burger King.
We first shoved the ski through the gate on one side. I chose left because it wasn’t “right” (get it?), but I knew that the buttons were on both sides. Using the stick, I swung the ski from side to side, waiting for it to hit the wall. After about two minutes of Sam moaning about how it wasn’t going to work, the ski finally hit the wall. Nothing happened. At this point, Sam was rolling on the floor crying, so could you do me a favor. Retroactively shout at him to SHUT UP!!!!! Thank you. Then, thank you reader for doing your voodoo magic to make the story go on, with a shuddering rumble, the gate started rising. I walked in, thinking about what would happen if the recipe for the WHOPPER® got out to the public. I turned around and saw a different button next to the ERGBE: the Emergency Riot Gate Button for Emergencies (I’m not kidding, that’s the official name). It read, “Insert DNA sample here.”
“I’m not a security guard,” I muttered. Then, I gasped.
The screen now read, “Do it now, even if you are not a security guard.” So, I placed a strand of my hair on the button, and then the screen said, “DNA accepted. All riot gates open.”
After a few minutes, Sam and I went down to the security room. The entire mall was covered in 590 feet of snow. Somehow the roof only had 3 feet of snow - something to do with heated plating - but for now we’re all ok. And that’s all we can ask for.
Well reader, goodbye. We are going to keep writing, but now that we’re settled, there’s really not that much left. So, goodbye.
Skipping four thousand three hundred and fifteen chapters and/or 400,003 pages and/or 7 months and 13 days...
It has been 400,033 pages, or 4315 chapters or 7 months and about 14 days since there has been anything exciting, other that the power failure. Travis and I are now friends, but like my Dad used to say: Don’t bring it up if it’s not your fault. In case you fell asleep while listening to your computer read the last few chapters to you because you are to lazy to actually do anything, here’s is what has happened since we opened the riot gates.
We started exploring - Travis to West, me to East, always meeting back at the security room (or home base, as we like to call it) at night for sleeping. Eventually, the mall ran out of electricity, but we had a lifetime support of AA batteries so we were ok. Then, we started taking things, small at first, but by the end, we each had the top cell phone and laptop as of the closing of the mall. But don’t worry, we paid for them... eventually. And now, drumroll please, we are in the present!!! Yay!!!
So here is how freedom day, which I now know was the day report cards around the world went out, began:
I woke to a loud combination of banging, smashing and rumbling. Eventually, a huge cloud of dust appeared next to the wall. There was a gaping hole, and a bulldozer was in its entrance. A large number of people crowded around it. Travis and I poked our heads out, and everybody stared at us. Then, they started applauding. I saw my Mom and Dad in the crowd, and Travis evidently saw his. Our parents an over and hugged and kissed us. I was confused, because my parents usually don’t do that, but then I saw the flash of a camera, and then I knew. This was all just an act; they were doing for publicity. So I turned over to Travis and asked him the words that changed my life. “Can I live with you?”
Travis looked confused for a moment, but then he saw my parents and nodded. “Of course,” he replied.
So, then, I crossed the line, did the irreversible act. I asked my parents to put me down, and they did. Then, making sure that I was in full sight of the cameras and microphones, I told them, “Mom, Dad... It’s really nice that you bought the plane ticket for me with you, but I won’t be needing it. I’m not coming home with you.” The crowd gasped, but they haven’t seen the best part yet. “I’m going to live with Travis, because I’m sure that his parents can take better care of me than you did. I denounce you as my parents.” Everyone was silent. I could literally hear a fly land on a leaf in Madagascar. Then, just like that, all the noise just started.
“Did he just deny his heritage?”
“Did you get that on tape. That’s CNN gold.”
“What happened to him?”
“Gold I tell you, GOLD”
Then, Travis’ dad walked up to me and said, “That was very brave, what you did there. Very brave indeed. Welcome to the Nefantee’s.”
Well, I have the honor of ending the story. That was basically what happened. We had to adopt Sam and that was a nightmare, but other than that, everything turned out pretty much fine. We got sued by Sam’s old family, but thanks to the money from sympathetic viewers, we could pay it off with at least a billion to spare. So Sam and I, we both got our wishes. I got to be rich (with Sam making sure that I don’t become a snob) and Sam got a good family (courtesy of mwah). So everyone’s happy, well, everyone except for Sam’s old family, that is. I had a brilliant idea. As we were walking into my house for the first time, I turned and asked Sam, “Hey Sam, do you still have that journal from Alaska?”
“Yeah,” he answered. “Why?”
My answer to that? “I thought that it would be pretty fun to make a story out of it, you know, with a dramatic one word title, like ‘Snowstorm’, or something like that.”
“Yes.” Sam said. “Something like that would be perfect.”