A "Short" Cut
Anna Hardiman, Grade 9, St Thomas Aquinas College
In the picturesque village of Hazy Ambers, a Heliotrope boy was running up the earthen path through the flower fields to the school. Running for him was a rare occurrence, but then again, so was being late. And again again so was sleeping in. But all three were happening today and there was nothing he could do to help it, except…
The Heliotrope boy paused. In the distance he could see the tall belltower, only separated from him by a vast rainbow of flowers. Then it came to him. His only excuse for being late, and yet the only way of being early. It had been one of those prophetical dreams again… He landed catlike on the other side of the wire fence.
He was running… running. The flowers were getting taller… taller.. and wider… wider…
With a jolt the Heliotrope boy came to his senses as he ran through the undergrowth. Wait, the undergrowth? He was in a field of flowers, not a… a forest. He was running through a forest. A forest full of trees with green bark? And multicoloured leaves? No way.
A figure stepped out from behind a stem, and the Heliotrope boy jumped a metre into the air. At least, his version of a metre. He didn’t make it past the petals.
“Dude!” boomed a deep and enthusiastic voice. It had come from the dark man with the afro who was standing in front of him. “My man!” He strode over and gave the Heliotrope boy a meaty slap on the back. He was dressed in purple with – what were those? Purple flowers in his afro? No way.
“My – name – is He-li – O. – Trope -but – you – can – call – me – He-li,” he scatted. “I called ya here to save you some ti-ime.”
“Oh was that you?” asked the Heliotrope boy. This guy was starting to feel familiar.
“O’ course it was me. I been savin’ your skin since you was a little baby.”
The Heliotrope boy stared at him. “Sure,” he nodded. “That makes complete sense.”
“All we gotta do,” said Heli, “is snap our pretty little fingers, travel some through space and time, and arrive at your school… two minutes afore you woke up?”
“Yeah, cool,” the Heliotrope boy replied. He was really starting to roll with this. But then, he realised, he had been all his life.
“Ya ready?” Heli asked him. He nodded. “Aright then, 3, 2, 1…” SNAP (x2)
They were standing on the other side of the field, still as small as the pencil-sharpener in his backpack. The Heliotrope boy could see the Hazy Amber wall of the schoolhouse.
“Arighty, just keep walkin’ and you’ll be back an’ normal again,” Heli told him.
“Heli, can I ask you a question?” asked the Heliotrope boy.
“Shoot, little bro.”
“If that really was you who called me, then why did you make me late?”
“Uh…” Heli was suddenly uncomfortable. “Well, the thing is… I just really wanted to meet ya – in short person.”