• Sunayna Prasad

The Ball with a Twist

“Let’s have some fun in a cartoon world,” said Dylan, my nine-year-old brother.

“Are you crazy?” I asked.

“I found a special ball that claims it can take you into your favorite cartoon.” Dylan held the glass ball in his hand.

I made a facepalm.

“Come on, Elise, please?” Dylan made a sad puppy face.

“No!” I said.

Dylan groaned and walked away.

I was fifteen, and had no time for that nonsense. Plus, Dylan should have known better than to claim that an object could transport him into a cartoon.

I didn’t know how he’d come up with it, or if he had read it somewhere. If the latter, then that person needed to be penalized.

I went up to my room and sat on my bed. Perhaps, chatting with friends could take that ridiculous statement off my mind.

I picked up my phone—only for Dylan to scream.

“Dylan!” I bolted up and rushed out of my room. “Dylan?! Are you all right?!” I opened his bedroom door. He wasn’t there. My parents were out of town this weekend, so they couldn’t help.

Inhaling and exhaling, I hurried down the stairs and checked every room. I finalized with the family room—only to find steam arising from Dylan’s ball. I gasped and knelt. “Oh, no,” I moaned.

My knee pressed on something, which happened to be the remote. The TV turned on, but it played a commercial. The cartoon, “Tyndale and Tina”, about two talking-dogs, came on. The episode started as always—yet a familiar voice sounded, shouting, “Help, help, somebody help me!” A cartoon boy burst into the room with Tyndale and Tina. The kid had pale-blonde hair, and wore the same clothes Dylan wore. Either this was a new episode or…Dylan had ended up in the cartoon.

“Who are you and what are you doing here?” asked Tyndale.

“I got sucked into this world!” exclaimed the kid.

I inhaled. “Dylan!” I knocked on the monitor. “Dylan!”

None of the characters responded.

“Dylan, can you hear me?!” I asked. “It’s me, Elise, your sister!”

Still nothing.

“Oh, shoot.” I stood and my breathing quickened. If my mom and dad found out about this, they’d ground me, especially since they’d left me in charge.

My eyes drifted to Dylan’s ball. I stared at it. It could be the only way for me to save my brother. But how would I—or we—get out? There had to be something.

I crept to the object and picked it up. It had a couple buttons. I would not press any of them, though. One was green and the other was red.

I carried the sphere and thought about where the instructions could be. Maybe in Dylan’s room?

I walked upstairs and entered his bedroom. Toys, clothes, and games covered the floor. I picked up each item, but found nothing that could be a manual.

Then I searched under Dylan’s bed. Still no sign of paper. I returned downstairs and looked everywhere in the family room. Nothing.

What am I going to do? I asked myself. There’s got to be something.

I stared into the ball’s buttons and gulped. Perhaps, I should take my chances and press one. Hands trembling, I aimed for the red button. I breathed and touched it. Then I pushed it. Nothing happened.

I sighed and sat on a couch. But the thing lit from the inside and projected a ray. The noise of Dylan yelping occurred. His colors came out and formed his figure. He landed on the carpet and the beam reversed back into the sphere.

“Dylan!” I stood and crouched by him. “Are you okay?”

“I’m fine.” He lifted himself.

“I’m sorry I didn’t believe you,” I said.

“I shouldn’t have used that stupid ball,” said Dylan. “We’ve got to get rid of it.”

“We will,” I said.

“Can you not tell mom and dad about this, either?” asked Dylan.

“I won’t tell them.” I hugged him. “I’m glad to have you back.”

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