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My name is Phillip Harper. I live in a small town called Greenville. I am your average 14-year-old boy; my body feels weird, I’m afraid of girls and am terrified of school…mostly because of Billy Lawton, but that’s another story. But you’ll never even guess what happened to my friend and me this summer. It’s the most amazing story and I’ll tell you all about it, if you want me to.

We saved the world…well not our world, but Mistasia. “Mistasia?” you ask…never heard of it? Well neither had my friend, Whizzy, and me, but it exists. Really…I swear.

It all started at the end of last school year…



It was the last day of 8th grade and my mom was driving me to school. I only lived a block away on Violet Lane, but it was raining out and my mom didn’t want me getting wet.

So I jumped into the back of our dirty, black car, set my worn out backpack in the seat beside me and buckled up.

“All buckled up, Phillip?” My mom still treated me like I was in Kindergarten sometimes. I think it’s because I’m an only child…so to her I will forever be her little baby boy. The one problem with that was now I was nearly six feet tall and closer to driving the family car to school myself than learning how to walk or go potty. Most of the time I just let it go. She didn’t mean any harm.

“Yes, mom.” I replied trying not to sound too annoyed.

She started up the engine, which sounded a little rough. This car was nearly as old as me, but we couldn’t afford a new one. We weren’t very wealthy…that was why I had also been using the same backpack all through middle school and most of my clothes were too short. I had gone through another growth spurt this school year and now most of my shirts looked like I had no sleeves and my pants showed my ankles.

The school bully, Billy Lawton, always teased me. “You expectin’ a flood, Harper? Looks like you’re worried about getting’ your pants wet.”  I hated Billy! He picked on me everyday, but today would be his last shot until high school. We were about to start summer vacation and it couldn’t come soon enough.

It didn’t take very long for us to arrive, only a minute or two. My mom turned right onto Orange Avenue…the one main road directly through Greenville. All the schools for our town sit next to each other on Green Circle. The high school, where I will go next year is in the middle with the elementary on the left and the middle school on the right. These buildings were pretty old. My mom and dad both went to school here too.

As we pulled up in front of Greenville Middle School the sun tried to peek out from the massive dark gray clouds that had consumed the sky. For a slight instant a sliver of sunlight dashed toward the ground like a spotlight on a stage. It only lasted for a few seconds and then the sun was swallowed up by another uniquely shaped cloud. It looked like a taco, which reminded me that I had forgotten to eat breakfast this morning and was hungry.

I always had a hard time eating breakfast because my stomach was turning in knots.

“Bye, Mom!” I yelled as I started to open the door. The car door bumped the car next to ours. My stomach flipped. I hurried out to check the beautiful, expensive, white car for damage. Somehow there was no mark, just some dirt. “Thank God!” I was relieved.

“Everything alright, Phillip?” My mom questioned through the passenger window. She had a worried look on her face.

“Fine. Everything’s fine.”

“Please, be careful.” She always worried about me. Especially since I was quite clumsy. “Sometimes I pray that you will just come home in one piece, honey.” She smiled at me and waved goodbye.

I stood on the sidewalk as she drove away. Then I remembered that there was some crackers in my backpack; I was hoping food would cure my stomach pains. I rummaged around inside my bag as it started to rain harder. Fumbling around, I dropped my notebook on the wet sidewalk. A gust of wind began blowing the pages open. “Darn It.” Quickly. I gathered my notebook and backpack and ran towards the school. Running was a problem for me. My big feet and general lack of coordination seemed to end any attempt at speed or grace. Today was no different. A long strap from my backpack dragged on the ground, and of course…I stepped on it. I tumbled like a twisted ballerina, which for a 14-year-old-boy isn’t the way to go. I landed very ungracefully on my belly. I could hear laughter rise out of the entryway. I looked up to see three 7th grade girls who had just witnessed my non-athletic moment. My stomach turned like someone was ringing out water from a sponge. “This day can’t end soon enough.”

A loud voice from behind barked at the giggling girls, “What are you geeks laughing at? Huh? Oh, thanks for the help!” I didn’t need to turn around to recognize his sarcastic voice. It was my best friend, Michael Whizzenmog the third, but I called him “Whizzy”. “You alright, Phillip?” He asked while helping me get back to my feet. He shot another evil look at the girls who now moved inside.

“Thanks, Whizzy.” I moaned.

“Man, you are all wet. Did you bring another shirt?”

“No,” I replied. “Don’t worry about it. I’m fine.”

We walked inside Greenville Middle School for the last time. It would have probably been a good feeling had I not looked like I showered in my clothes. Everyone stared even more than normal as I walked down the hall toward my locker. You see I’m the tallest kid in our school…that is why I can’t wait to go to the high school next year. I stick out like a tree in a field of shrubs. It doesn’t help that my best friend is on the shorter side.

Whizzy has always been rather small. He only comes to my chest. Even his twin sister, Rachel is taller than him. That hasn’t helped his demeanor either. You know how the smallest dog barks the loudest? That’s Whizzy. You would think that I would be the one protecting him, but it’s always been the other way around.

After collecting my stuff, Whizzy and I went to his locker. While he cleared out junk from the past school year, I watched the usual daily gatherings in the hallway. It was the same everyday.

A group of 6th grade girls stood together in a huddle, yet no one talked. Laughter would erupt periodically as they texted one another on their cell phones. The blonde-haired girl with braces held her hand over her mouth so no one would notice her smile, but everyone knew she had braces. Her friend wore the same ponytail. It never changed. I wondered if it was real hair or just a wig that she put on every morning.

“Did you study for the math exam?” Whizzy asked.

“Yeah. It should be pretty easy.”

“I don’t know. I just don’t get it.”

“Whizzy, we have been studying this all year.  How can you still not get it?” I didn’t believe that Whizzy had even attempted to look at the study guide for this exam. He hated math…well mainly our teacher Mr. Quinch. “You should have asked me for help.”

“I know.”

I laid my head back against the lockers waiting for Whizzy to gather his book when I saw his sister, Rachel Whizzenmog, walking toward us with a group of her friends.

She was beautiful. Her reddish-brown hair came down to her shoulders. She had emerald green eyes and had developed a young woman’s figure over the past year. The whole school had noticed that. Unlike Whizzy and I, Rachel was very popular. The funny thing was that Rachel and Whizzy almost didn’t even talk. They ignored each other most of the time, and when they did talk it was more like arguing. I never understood them. How could twins dislike each other so much?

I watched her almost glide up to the locker beside her brother’s. As she walked past, I pulled my head forward to watch not knowing my hair was caught in the locker hinge. I pulled a tuft of hair out. It hurt.

“What are you doing? Are you checking out my sister?” He slapped me in the chest. “You traitor.” Whizzy walked away quickly leaving me at the lockers with Rachel and her entourage.

“Hi.” I said to Rachel with a smile.

She laughed. She had always considered me a dork, partly because I was an awkward klutz and partly guilt by association. Being Whizzy’s best friend hadn’t endeared me to Rachel.

My stomach flipped again. Luckily, I hadn’t eaten my crackers because I probably would have thrown up. I dashed off behind Whizzy.

We sat in our 1st hour math class awaiting the bell to ring. It hadn’t been the worst start to a day this year, but it hopefully wouldn’t get worse.

“Only seven hours left. Summer couldn’t come soon enough!”

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