Literally | Teen Ink


October 24, 2013
By FinnWinterfall GOLD, Rochester, Massachusetts
FinnWinterfall GOLD, Rochester, Massachusetts
10 articles 0 photos 9 comments

Favorite Quote:
"There, there."

No one knows how it happened, and no one really knows when. One day, every use of creativity and imagination became literal.

No one knew this better than Benjamin Rodgerstein. When Benjamin turned twelve years old, his whole world changed. Everything that was fact became questioned, and everything that was questioned became fact.

For his twelfth birthday, Benjamin’s parents bought him a journal. They wanted him to become an author, as he had already demonstrated great skills in writing. They told him to write anything he wanted to in it, and that it was all for his marvelous creativity. Creativity would soon become a bittersweet term for the poor boy.

It all started on the night of his birthday. Benjamin’s brother had scared him into thinking that somewhere between your twelfth and thirteenth birthday, all the things you love are taken away from you. Benjamin looked up to his older brother, who was already a junior in high school, and therefore believed every word he said. He then went up to his room, and hid his most favorite belongings under his bed, vowing not to take them out until the year was over. He then fetched his journal from his mountain of birthday presents and began to write:

Today marks my twelfth birthday and I am not happy. My brother gave me some sad news that wiped the joyous smirk of birthday happiness off my face. He told me that all my belongings will be taken from me this year. I can only assume that growing up is tough, and it doesn’t sound fun. I wish I could stay twelve forever.

Right there it was said and done; the thing that started it all. That short journal entry changed Benjamin Rodgerstein’s life for the worst. Nothing strange happened however, until his thirteenth birthday. It was on this date, June 4th 2014, that something impossibly strange happened.

Benjamin had recently been to the doctor’s for a yearly checkup. Surprisingly, he hadn’t grown even a fraction of an inch. The doctor found this odd, and he put Benjamin on a special diet that would hopefully help with his growth. Benjamin didn’t want to be put on any special diet; he just wanted to be normal. However with each year – each day, as a matter of fact – Benjamin got increasingly stranger.

Benjamin eventually came to realize that his brother was nothing but a jerk, and that whole thing about him losing all of his favorite things was a lie. At the end of his birthday, he took out his journal, covered in dust because of its lack of use, and wrote this:

What a horrible year. I’m smaller than all the other kids and they make fun of me for it. I wish I could be taller so I could laugh at them, and see how they like it. I realized that my stupid brother had been lying to me about my thing being taken away from me. He’s such a jerk. Sometimes I wish he would just go to Hell.

The next morning, Benjamin’s brother was found dead in his bed.

This went on for the rest of his life. Because of it, his school blew up, his parents were paralyzed because of a car accident, and he indeed grew five feet taller, without getting any older. Instead of learning that the journal only brought evil occurrences, Benjamin continued to write in it, and continued to wreak havoc. He denied the fact that all this was his fault.

On the year which would have been his 67th birthday, Benjamin Rodgerstein wrote one last journal entry:

I have lived a life of shame and terror, and I have been corrupted by my terrible thoughts and this terrible journal. Nothing is there to save me now; there is nothing to live for. I have but two wishes this time. My first is that you end my life and let me rot in hell like my brother. I deserve it. My second is that you make everyone feel the same pain that I was forced to go through. Bye for now and bye forever.
–Benjamin Rodgerstein

That night, Benjamin died. The next morning, everything became literal.

The author's comments:
My friends and I got to thinking about how messed up the world would be if everything thought or said came true.

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