Winner, September 2012 KidPub Writing Contest
“Jeffery! You there?” I heard the voice coming from the back window, the owner popping his head through the broken glass to take a peek inside. It was Lance, his brown eyes wide as he stood on his toes to see if I was home.
“Yeah, I’m here. What do you want?’ I called back quietly, both of us whisper-shouting, even though the house I lived in had been abandoned by its real owners for at least a decade, and the street it occupied only bared two more houses of equal abandonment.
“I’ve got some more stuff for the hole.” The younger boy grunted out as he carefully made his way through the broken window, landing silently on the other side. His brown hair was damp with sweat, so I could tell he had run here in a hurry.
Lance dropped an old sack in my lap, its belly only filled about a quarter of the way up. It never was full, there was no point in working yourself to death to find that many items, you never needed much.
“Alright, lets see what you found.” I said quietly, opening the sack to pull out an old cell phone, two silver coins that only dated back a year, and an ipod. It was good grabs, anyone could tell you that.
I grinned at the other boy, he was one of the youngest of us, but he was turning out to be one of the best.
“Good job, Lance.” I told him in a cheerful whisper, standing up with the sack in my hands. Walking over to an old nightstand, I quickly found myself a piece of paper and a pencil, scribbling a quick note before I walked over to my closet.
I suppose I should explain something a bit important to you, now. Seeing as you might be a bit confused otherwise.
Well, most kids dream about having monsters in their closets, right? At least, that’s what I’ve been told they did in your time. You see, I have something real in my closet, though it might not be a monster of that kind of sort. More of a portal, really.
My name is Jeffery Kid, and what I’m trying to tell you, is that my closet takes things back in time. Believe me or not, it doesn’t matter, I won’t have even been born yet when you read this.
“Stand back some.” I reminded Lance, though he didn’t need it, the other boy had already crossed over to the other side of the room. A small smile came to my face when I saw that, great at finding or not, he was still a kid.
I made sure the area closest to my closet was clear before moving on, just to make sure nothing went back that didn’t need to. Then I placed the piece of paper on floor that I had just cleared off, stepping back so I could open the door in a way that made sure I was behind it at all times.
As I did so, a blue glow started to come from the enlarging crack I was making in the door’s opening, wind starting to come into the old room. Of course, this wind was a bit different than the gusty stuff you could find outside. Instead of blowing, this wind sucked in whatever it could reach.
Fortunately, it only went a couple of feet from the door’s entrance, so the only thing that got sucked in was the piece of paper I had placed there. I watched as it flew in through the door, traveling farther than you would think possible.
The note read what we had found, and when we would be sending it. On the other side of the hole, a two-sided thing as it was, stood people who took shifts looking out for these kind of signs.
I kept the door open, waiting for the response that I knew would be coming soon. It only took a minute for another note to fly into the room, I shut the door quickly, before the paper got sucked back in.
Picking up the response, I scanned over the words to find out what they were giving us back in return. Eight loaves of fresh bread, four jars of jelly preserves, and two boxes of assorted candies. They were also sending us more juice, water, and since it was such a good bounty, milk.
“Yes! I told you that you had done good.” I shout-whispered at Lance, reading out loud to him what we had won.
This is how we survived, we searched the ruins of our city, sent back anything we knew people from the eighteen-hundreds would kill for, and got paid in food for return. It was the way most of us had grown up living, aside from the few older kids who remembered back when there had been adults, back before the ‘Wipeout’, as we called it.
That was a long time ago, though. I’m fifteen and I don’t remember anything about the adults, or the great illness that at least took out all the ones in this city. We took care of each other, we made our way, that was all that mattered.
“There.” I grunted. Wiping my blond hair out of grey eyes, after getting the sack through the hole and shutting the closet door after receiving our feast, which would last us a couple of days. “Lets call the others.”