Abby opened the refrigerator and searched each shelf. “We’re out of pickles,” she told her best friend, Jenna. Hummus and pickles on pita bread was their favorite after-school snack. She double-checked behind the mayonnaise, just to make sure. “Nope, no pickles.”
“Got any cucumbers?” asked Jenna.
Abby opened the vegetable drawer. “Nope.”
“We can just have peanut butter and crackers instead,” said Jenna.
Abby grabbed the snacks and brought everything over to the kitchen table. Jenna spread the peanut butter over the crackers and put them on a plate. “What do you want to do?” she asked.
“I don’t know. What do you want to do,” Abby said.
“I don’t know. What do you want to do?”
Abby didn’t answer. There was nothing to do. There was never anything to do in this boring, old town. Abby had lived in Centerville all her life and nothing exciting ever happened.
Abby’s little brother, Brian, zoomed into the kitchen making engine noises. Arms stretched out like wings he flew over to the table and grabbed a cracker.
“Hey, Crud Muffin, that’s our snack!” Abby said.
“It’s mine, now,” said Brian, stuffing it into his mouth. Luckily he flew out of the kitchen and back to whatever slimy swamp he had crawled out of. Brothers!
“So, what do you want to do?” Jenna asked again.
Abby rolled her eyes and opened her mouth to say that there was absolutely-nothing-what-so-ever going on in this tiny little town when the door bell rang.
“I’ll get it!” yelled Brian.
The door creaked open and a deep voice said, “Special delivery for Miss Abigail Burns.”
“That’s me!” Abby cried, running to the front door. A man in a purple cap, purple shirt and purple pants was holding a cardboard box – with Abby’s name on it!
“Sign right here,” the man said.
Abby signed the slip and took the package. The delivery man tipped his cap and said, “Good luck.”
Good luck? What was that supposed to mean?
“Uh…thanks,” Abby said, closing the door. The package was so light, Abby wondered if there was anything in it. She shook the box – not a sound.
“Who’s it from?” asked Brian.
“I don’t know,” Abby said. “There’s no return address.”
“Open it up!” Jenna said with a squeal.
Using the extra house key, Abby broke the tape and opened the box. She pushed aside the Styrofoam peanuts and revealed a plain, smooth cylinder. It looked like it was carved out of ivory or bone. There were no markings except for a thin line a few inches down from one end where the top and bottom met. She gently lifted the cylinder and turned it around and around, looking for a clue to its contents.
“Well?” Jenna said, her eyes practically popping out of their sockets. “Let’s see what’s inside!”
Abby pulled off the top. A puff of smoke escaped followed by a light so bright they all had to close their eyes. Abby, Jenna and Brian opened their eyes and blinked.
“What is it?” asked Jenna.
“Where’d it come from?” asked Brian.
“I don’t know,” Abby said, glaring at the thing that had suddenly appeared in her living room.