A reply to: A letter from Dusk
Hi, Dusk! How are you?
Has it been a long time since I wrote?
It feels to me like I wrote yesterday, but at breakfast this morning, my dad said, “When are you writing your pen pal, Squirt?”
I said, “I don’t have a pen pal named Squirt.”
And we all laughed.
Then he said, “It’s time to write,” and I said, “I wrote yesterday,” and he said, “No, that was a few weeks ago,” and I said, “Huh?”
Then my brother said, “You’ve been fishing in the swishy time-stream, Squirt!”
And I think he’s right.
I got a stomach ache from my mom’s fruit salad. She still hasn’t learned how to cook. She says it’s the fridge. But I think it’s because she buys her fruit at Fruit Mart, and she should buy from my best friend Veer the Vendor, because Veer’s fruit is best!
I went out to get a different snack because yucky fruit salad, and guess what I saw?
Billie’s dad was yelling through a big megaphone!
“Peace now! Stop the Idiocy! Stop the bureaucracy! Power to the People!”
At first I laughed because it reminded me of “Stop Bullying, Stupid!” And I thought how funny that even grown-ups will get mad and yell for peace and kindness.
But then this guy came up to me and said, “Hey, dude. Millions of people are dying every day.”
And then I felt bad.
I took my snack to where Fatima was sitting.
“Did you know millions of people die every day?” I asked her.
She said, “That’s not true. I looked it up for social studies and maybe 153,424 people die each day. That’s only part of a part of a million.”
“That’s still a lot,” I said.
“Did you ever see a dead person?” she asked.
Yeah. I did. Once I was in the alley, and I was bringing muffins to my friends that live there, and one guy was under a bunch of cardboard, and my friend said, “Stay away from him. He died last night.” I got shivers.
Fatima said that where she came from there were lots of dead people.
“It’s like no problem,” she said. “It’s like, you got life. You got death. One for one.”
But I don’t know. It makes me sad.
How is Ruby? I hope she lets you give her a rub on her belly from me.
I think that’s neat that you have a brilliant friend. Who is he or she? Maybe if your friend is really brilliant, he or she will help you get home!
I have a brilliant friend. He is my tutor Jasper.
He took me to the Reading Room at the park.
We were looking for information on this thing I’ve got to do for one of my other pen pals. It’s a secret, so I can’t really tell you the details. I didn’t even tell Jasper. I just said, “Jasper, how do I find rocks? How do I find metal?”
And because it’s Jasper’s job to help me find out stuff, he didn’t even ask, “Why do you want to know?”, like grown-ups always do. He just said, “Let’s do some research, Giuliana.”
So we looked in old musty books.
Then I found a book on magic. I looked up “Time” in the index. And then I looked up “Wishes” in the index. They didn’t have an entry about wishes.
But under time, I found some spells for speeding up time and slowing down time.
I tried the one for slowing down, and then it felt like I was in the Reading Room forever.
It was neat because the Reading Room is my favorite place and Jasper is one of my favorite people, and I thought I wanted that moment to be forever.
But then I remembered that I wanted to write to you, so I did the speed-up spell and now here I am! Do you think if I cast a spell on the letter, you’ll get it yesterday?
Oh, yeah. Mom says, “Remember my pen pal manners.”
So, OK. How are you? How is Olive? How is Ophelia? Did you eat Mac-n-Cheese today?
I hope that you are filled with as much happy thoughts as the sky is filled with as much happy stars!
Do you think people would stop dying if we filled all of the universe with happiness? Or is it like Fatima says, “One for one”?