To Save the World
by Cora Haefner, age 10
Lucy shut the door and ran up the stairs to her room. She took off her backpack and kicked off her shoes. It had been a long day at school, but it was the last day. Lucy sighed. Summer! Two months of swimming at the pool, playing with her friends, tons of other fun things, and best of all, NO HOMEWORK!
Just then, Lucy’s thoughts were interrupted when she saw a beautiful lady appear right in front of her! Lucy gasped. She had never seen anything so beautiful.
The lady said, “My name is Lathaniel. Do not be afraid. I come for your good and the good of all mankind. The world is being destructed day by day by evil. Only one person can accomplish the duty of restoring virtues to the world. You are patient and industrious. You are the right person for the task. This is for you. I will say no more.”
The lady gave Lucy a black marble box with intricate gold floral inlays and a letter and disappeared. Lucy, still struck with awe, fell back on her bed and stifled a cry.
“I’d b-better open the l-letter before the b-box, in c-c-case,” Lucy said aloud. Then, she broke the envelope’s seal and unfolded the letter. Suddenly, all the objects in her room started whirling around her faster and faster. She heard a roll of thunder in the distance and a Voice said, “When you see this, you will change forever.”
Suddenly, she was in a big city. The buildings and skyscrapers shrouded the clouds and even the sun could not be seen. It was very dark and raining heavily. There were neon lights and bright, gigantic advertisements everywhere in sight. People sat around eating junk food, “Or worse,” Lucy thought. A beautiful basilica was being knocked down and shot at by crazy, drunken people who were kicking and punching each other. Another fast food restaurant was being constructed in its place. Parents tortured their children and babies cried. Teenagers walked around, bumping into lampposts because they were listening to music, talking on their cell phones, biting their nails, texting and doing at least ten other things in their own little worlds. Nobody was listening to anybody else and everybody was wearing ripped jeans, low shirts and weird shoes. Girls wore too much makeup. Everything cost so much. “It was terrible,” Lucy thought.
In an instant, everything and everybody vanished.
The Voice sounded in her head again: “This is what should happen if all virtues are lost. It has already begun. You saw it yourself.”
Suddenly, all lights went off and Lucy felt herself falling fast in a deep, dark pit. As soon as the vision appeared, it was gone. Things spun again, but slower and slower. Her room was there again.
Dizzy and shaking, Lucy remembered the vision. The voice spoke in her head. Tears streamed down her cheeks. Then she remembered the box and the letter. The letter was gone, but the box was right where she had put it before the vision. She closed her eyes, thinking about what she should do with the box. What could she do without the letter?
The Voice resounded in her head again. It said: “Open the box. In it, you will find the virtues that can restore the world. Only you can fulfill this task.”
Lucy sat up, wondering. What had happened? Had she fallen asleep? She remembered the Voice. “I’ll open the box right now!” she said aloud and hopped out of her bed.
Just then, a familiar voice called her name. “Lucy! Lucy! Dinner time!” It was her mom.
“I’d better hide the box,” Lucy thought, “Where would someone least suspect it?”
The Voice spoke again.“Do not hide it. It will make itself invisible when someone other than yourself draws near.”
So, Lucy left her room and ran downstairs to dinner. Her mom, dad, brother and sister were there. Even her dog, Sammy, was curious.
“Where have you been, Lucy? Cleaning your room?” her dad asked.
“I-I did that yesterday,” Lucy replied.
“What were you doing, honey? You always come to dinner on time,” Lucy’s mom said.
“Oh, just resting. It was a very long day,” Lucy answered, trying not to sound as shaky and scared as she felt.
“It’s Friday, sweetie,” her mom said. “I hope you didn’t eat meat at lunch today.”
“Oh, don’t worry, mom, I ate veggie pizza instead,” Lucy answered.
“Good,” came the reply.
After dinner, Lucy lay awake in her bed, recollecting her thoughts. She looked around and, as she was doing so, she saw a light and the box suddenly reappeared on her lap.
“Open the box,” the Voice said.
“How?” Lucy wondered.
The Voice answered her,”Tap with your finger the box three times. Then you will have the virtues in short time.”
Lucy tapped and the box opened. She looked inside. The interior of the box was made of a rich black marble. There were engravings on all sides. As she leaned further in, the carvings started to glow. She could see the lady smiling at her. Just when she was about to smile back, the image faded and Lucy saw another vision. It was much different from the first one she had seen, back when she had opened the letter. In fact, it was quite beautiful, Lucy thought. The basilica that had been knocked down was being rebuilt. Everyone seemed virtuous and happy.
The Voice said, “This is the virtuous world that will be formed if you fulfill the task. Perform all the virtues tomorrow and you shall restore them to the world. If you fail, the virtues will be lost. Remember: only you can do this task.”
Lucy fell asleep.
Beep! Beep! Beep!
Lucy yawned and rolled over, then quickly stopped herself. She turned off her alarm clock and hopped out of bed. She remembered the virtues and laughed, trying to take the matter lightly.
“If I had stayed in that bed for two more seconds, my willpower would have been done for!” Lucy got dressed and skipped downstairs. Should she tell her mother about the task?
“Good morning, Lucy! Are you hungry?” Lucy’s mom asked.
“Not this morning, mom. I’m still full from last night,” Lucy replied, satisfied at exercising the virtue of self-control by not eating when she wasn’t hungry.
“Suit yourself, then,” answered her mom, good-naturedly.
Just then, Lucy had an idea. “May I go across the street to the candy store, mom?”
“Yes, Lucy. It opens in five minutes.”
Lucy grabbed her wallet, put on her shoes, closed the door and ran down the street. When she was inside the shop, she chose a bag of Skittles for her brother, a lollipop for her little sister, a chocolate bar for her dad, a box of peppermints for her mom and even a biscuit for her dog. Then she paid for the candy and ran back home.
She dropped the candy in everyone’s shoes and she gave the biscuit to Sammy, her dog. Then she secretly did some chores for her mom, talked and prayed to God for ten minutes and sang a hymn to Sammy. She visited the neighbors and raked the leaves. Then she quickly ate lunch and made dinner for an old lady next door. She found a prayer book and did all the possible virtues that she could imagine.
Then she sat down and heard the Voice. It said, “Your task is finished, Lucy. You did well.”
Lucy sighed with joy. She ran up the stairs to her room. The box was gone, along with the letter. Her task was finished and the age of a new and virtuous world was about to come.