Exotic Flavor

Ali Lejeune, Grade 7

The drink had a metallic strawberry taste. I set the fancy glass down and swallowed, savoring the exotic flavor as it went down. I closed my eyes savoring the last remnants of the drink. And when I opened them, it seemed I was suddenly the height of a nickel. A shrill gasp escaped my lips as I looked up and down all around the room. The room seemed utterly terrifying from this height. I looked down at my feet, took a few steps, and decided to take refuge under the kitchen table. I could still see my brother making his lunch at the countertop. What would’ve been mere feet away from him seemed like miles from me. 

“Huh?” he asked. His voice was slower and deeper. “Where’d Ali go?”

“I’m down here, Blaise! Down! Here!” I yelled. 

 “I swear I could’ve just heard her voice.” He did hear my voice. Bozo. “She probably just went upstairs or something.” He pulled his air pods out of his pocket poured a cup of tea and began to walk towards the stairs. I decided I wanted to jump in front of him and scream his name repeatedly until he saw me, so that’s what I did. 

“BLAISE, I SWEAR IF YOU DON’T LOOK DOWN AND SEE ME RIGHT NOW, I WILL PUT SALT IN YOUR TEA!” he didn’t hear a thing. Stupid apple making their stupid air pods making me essentially nonexistent to my stupid brother. Oh, how I hate life. And apples. I sighed deeply again and started to walk back over to my original spot under the table. I made it over, and I plopped down on the ground to take a rest. My legs hurt so bad. I hadn’t walked that far – had I? I leaned against the table leg, and the fatigue set in sending me off into a peaceful dreamless sleep. 

Until I heard the stomping. The obnoxious, aggressive, annoying stomping. What happens in all those movies where the main characters turn tiny? Of course, their pet comes and eats them alive. So of course, it had to happen to me to. The moment I came to the realization that that’s what would probably happen a hug funny orange thing came into my view.

I’m not dead… yet.

“Norm, buddy, hey so, like, I know you probably want to eat me alive and all, but you know murder isn’t nice, right?” He cocked his head and looked at me confused. “Right,” I sighed, seeing how short sighted that statement was, “you don’t get English.” In the world people tend to make bad decisions, and this happens to be one of my worst. I sprinted. I sprinted so hard to get as far away from him as I could. Of course, as a puppy, he took the whole thing as a big game of chase. I sprinted hard but he sprinted faster, probably not even breaking a sweat. I got close the sofa closest to the table and did one of those fancy slides baseball players do to get under without him eating me. I got a bad case of rug burn all up and down the side of my right leg, but I mean hey, I’m not dead. Yet.

  I heard Norm retreat to his crate. I looked out from under the skirt of the sofa. “Coast is clear,” I said to myself, laughing a little bit over my circumstances. “Mission: get up the stairs without killing myself who knows how is a go” I slid out from under the couch, humming the James Bond theme song as I went. I made it to the stairs. “don’t get overconfident agent – what would my code name be? Ah – agent Pringles.” I looked the stairs up and down. Sure, it would probably take some major core strength, and spy skills, but I could probably make my way up, assuming nothing gets in my way. I jumped up and over the first half of the flight of stairs, easily reaching the bend where the landing was. It had been easy enough, but I knew I had begun to tire. I paused for a quick break. I began to hurdle the stairs again, going a little bit faster but caring to reserve my energy for the actual walk to my room. I had had no food for probably over 12 hours. The last step was easy, but I knew it wouldn’t feel that way for long. Yes, I had summited the grand LeJeune house peak, but it was less of a mountain and more of a plateau.  I was surprised I hadn’t run into any problems on the way. I looked out over the huge blank area. I started the walk.

I arrived in my room after a long trek over the vast desert of the second floor. The rug felt soft under my feet as I took my shoes off. I ran to hug the foot of my bed. it was super soft. I looked around. 

Safety is top priority.

“Nothing to climb up on I see. Safety is top priority.” I hummed and looked around again. I caught sight of a string hanging off my bookshelf. I needed some nice refreshing indie music to go on behind the sounds of my struggling. “ALEXA,” I screamed. I saw the blue light flick on. “PLAY ‘CLOUD 9’ BY BEACH BUNNY”

“ ‘Cloud 9’ by Beach Bunny, on Amazon Music,” she chimed. I started the tedious process of building a grappling hook out of some string and sewing needles I found. I finished about an hour later and looked upon my work with pride. 

“So, this is why blacksmiths enjoy their line of work so much,” I said, huffing from the effort of making my own tool. “Always a physical trophy of your struggles.” 

I practiced throwing the hook upwards and aiming it. After a couple minutes of practice, I threw it up as high as I could, grabbed as many resources from the floor as I could and climbed up the string rope. As soon as I arrived on top, I collapsed on my bed. slowly drifting further and further into sleep.

When I woke up, I looked at myself preparing myself to be tiny. I looked around and I was normal sized again. “Haha, bet! Take that you little idiot fairies or whatever who put that drink on my kitchen counter!” I sighed in relief, putting my hands over my eyes. “Now,” I said quietly, “time to go add some salt to Blaise’s tea.”


1 ~Editor's Note~2The Dragon's Toe3George's 4Exotic Flavor5Paper Cutter 6Masked , Big Fish , A Plant , and Pass, Hit, Set 7The Stories of Colors 8The Lightning Monster9The Rainy Life of the Weather Named Stormy 10Tables, Reflection , Arachnid , and Distant Forest 11Discovery 12Etched Blossoms , Owl, City Scape , and Puppy 13Superior Species 14Those Butterfly Wings , Converse , Tunnel Vison, and A Cloud 15A Sea of Red 16Nebula Metro17Life of a Diary 18Flowers , Swan , Waves , and Grass 19The Dragon's Tooth 20The Girl in a Dress 21Burning Out , Blue Dot , A Southern Feminist's Manifesto , and Silhouette 22The Fire Kindling: Chapter 1 23The Perfect Student , Social Pressures , and The Perfect Student 2 24Patina Nightmare25Eventide26Creative Shutdown, Eye's Through A Looking Glass , Head on Collision , and Writer's Block 27The Road to the Championship 28Reconnecting With Nature , Eos , you were a summer thunderstorm , and Reconnecting With Self 29Senior Spotlight: Ava Muller, Photography, The Landing , Tranquil , One-eyed Flyer , Grief , Dreamer , Fractured , Breakin', Lost Lives , and Lilypads 30Senior Spotlight: Maggie Huffman, Digital Illustration , Nice to Meet You!, Exploration of "Circe", Surfs Up! , The Return of Morales , Companionship , Mandalorian , Ambush , Just Hangin', and The High Priestess 31Senior Spotlight: Jolie Stumpff, Poetry , Don't, Muse, Being a Boy , In Search of a Cosmos, Overstimulation , Wheels , and Final Moments32Playing Time Struggles, Head in the Game , Sky High , and Moment of Glory 33Pollination , Azure Afternoon , Creator of Color, and Elegant Emu 34One , Fido , Heart Handles , and Early Birds35Dedication: Katherine Berdy