DR!: Dynamite Radical: This Is Where You Start #1 (of 3)

Andrew Perron pwerdna at gmail.com
Fri Sep 19 17:57:24 PDT 2014

Sure I remember how it started! It fell out of the sky!

Actually lemme back up. My name's Jacqueline Masuyo Preponderation. Hi!
I'm ten, and I go to school at Fred Rogers Elementary School. My mom's
from Japan, I've got a notebook with ideas for seven different video
games, and I can pop my shoulder but you probably don't want to see

On a very important sunny day, I was walking home from school with
everybody. Who's everybody? My best friends! Yes all of them. You can
have more than one best friend, okay? Okay cool. There was:

Maya Yazzie! The tallest! Native American! Gets pumped up about JUSTICE!
She was talking about Pokemon!

Colin Volta: Anti-drama! Black guy! Kind of bony! He was drawing
"magical runes" on his hand!

Destiny Dawson! Will hug you! Hispanic! Blue eyes! She was also talking
about Pokemon!

Elijah Nabiyev: Middle Eastern maybe? No, wait, I remember - Kazakh!
Anyway really smart and always tries really hard, and has a bunch of
plants that he waters every day, and today he was wearing shiny shorts.
Like basketball shorts? He was trying to show off his juggling!

And I wasn't paying attention to any of them, because my head was filled

Science class was right in the middle of the unit lesson thingy about
them, and oh my god. Styracosaurus dromiceiomimus parasaurolophus
troodon microraptor xenoceratops DINOSAURS DINOSAURS DI NO SAURS.

Yeah I think they're pretty awesome!

Anyway I was thinking about dinosaurs so hard that I didn't think about
turning around to see the thing that was flying out of the sky towards
me and therefore I was very surprised when it bounced off the back of
my head.

(Later on, I thought about the fact that this didn't make any sense. If
I had been hit by something that size that fell all the way down through
the atmosphere, I should've been a crater! It didn't even *hurt*! I
wrote this down in my Notebook of Weird Things.)

"Owww..." I got up off the sidewalk and turned around. Everyone had
taken several steps back, and was staring at the thing. It was a white
box that looked shiny, like it was made of plastic, and clean like it
had never touched the ground. There was a red button on the side (though
I was pretty sure it was supposed to be the top), with a clear plastic
hatch over it to keep anyone from pressing it by accident.

I walked over and sort of... poked it with my foot. My friends jumped,
but nothing happened. I leaned down and picked it up. "Huh!" I said,
turning it up and down, left and right, and shaking it like it was a
Christmas present hidden in my parents' closet. "Weeeeeird."

"Uh, are you okay?" said Elijah, leaning over and looking at the back of
my head. "That thing came out of nowhere!"

I put my hand back there and felt around. No bumps, no blood, but it was
kinda sore. "I think so! Super weeeeeird."

Maya came up and poked at the box too. "Looks like a toy."

"Guys! What if it's a bomb?" Destiny shouted. I froze up and almost
dropped the box, but I managed to catch it and hug it to my body.

"Destiny!" I said. "It's... It can't be a bomb, it's not *ticking*."

"It could be a *digital* bomb, though," said Elijah, taking two or three
steps back.

"What if it's TERRORISTS!?" Destiny looked like she was trying to escape
from the terrorists by curling herself into as small a space as
possible, fists up against her chest, one leg half-curled around the
other, staring at the box, and twitching.

"Hang on, hang on," said Colin. He pointed at the box. "Terrorists don't
care about making stuff look pretty. If terrorists wanna make a bomb,
they'll, like, put dynamite in a sock and stick it to the explosives
with old gum. Like Maya said, that looks like a toy."

Elijah rubbed his chin. "...what if it's, like, terrorists who make
bombs that look like toys so children pick them up and play with them
and then KAPOW!"

"ENOUGH WITH THE TERRORISTS YOU GUYS," said I, using my Outdoor Voice.
"Look, if this was a bomb they didn't need to THROW IT AT MY HEAD. And
it would've gone off anyway! It's probably just some dumb kid's toy, and
I'm keeping it, because a dumb kid who throws their toy at someone's
head doesn't deserve it!" I huffed.

Destiny uncurled. "...oh. Sorry, Jackie." (That's my name. Sorry, I
should've said that before!)

I huffed one more time, to let out the angry, then gave Destiny a big
smile and a one-armed hug (because I was still holding the box). "That's
okay! I mean, it might've been."

"Yeah, don't worry about it," said Colin, waving one hand back and forth
in the 'don't worry about it!' gesture. "The question is, what'cha gonna
do with it, Jackie?"

"Hmmmm!" I hmmmm'd. "I should probably take it home and push the button
there. I mean, I don't want that dumb kid to know I've got it."

"Yeah," said Elijah. "I gotta get home and go to karate! Hoo-hah!" He
made some goofy poses. Don't worry, I didn't tell him they were goofy.

"Yeah, me too!" "Yep!" "Yeah." Everybody took off for their own house.

I raced home, taking a shortcut, but halfway through climbing over the
fence that separated the sidewalk from the woods I realized I was still
holding the box. I dropped to the other side and tucked it in my
backpack. "The perfect crime!" I said, because I am silly.

Then I felt it. A creepy sensation, like someone was watching me. Creepy
like a good horror movie, and creepy like a *very bad thing* if you're
ten and you just realized there are zero adults around.

I looked left. Looked right. Nothing. But...

I thought about just taking off and trying to run through the woods.
Instead, I turned around, climbed back over the fence, and very loudly
started singing as I walked home along the sidewalks that were lined
with the houses of people who would probably call the police if they saw
an adorable young girl get attacked, right?

My 'hey everybody look at me' strategy worked really well, actually. In
fact I felt kind of... silly! Like there hadn't been danger at all! But.
Better safe than sorry, right?


So anyway, I tossed the door open and skipped inside. "Otou-san!
Okaa-san! Imouto-chan! I'm hooooome!" I tried to use at least a little
bit of Japanese at home to keep my skills sharp.

There was a scoot-scoot-scooting noise, and my dad rolled his wheely
chair out of his office door. "Hey, sport!" he said. "Your mom's out in
her workshop, and your sister's at Jessica's."

"That's cool!" I said, kicking my shoes off. "I had a good day! We
learned about dinosaurs! I'm-a be upstairs for a bit!"

He chuckled, a sound that smelled like aftershave and comfort. "Okay,
Jackie. Just make sure you're done with your homework by dinner."

"Will do, pops!" I saluted and ran upstairs. Closing my door, I
'accidentally' blocked it with the two-by-four signed by all the members
of my soapbox racing car team. Then I flopped on the bed and unzipped my

There it was. Still blank and white and shiny. I turned it over,
squinted at it, examined its faces and edges in detail. There weren't
any marks or labels that would tell me what it was or what it would do
when I pushed the button.

Which meant that the only way to find out was to push it! I put it in
my lap. There was a little flippy bit that released the hatch. My
finger hovered over the button. "Three!" I said, psyching myself up.
"Two!" I took a deep breath. "One!"

Suddenly, just before I could push it, a breeze rushed around my room,
blowing school papers into the air, making dolls and action figures
fall over, poofing my curtains out in an ominous way. The sun was in my
eyes - no, not the sun. A bright blue light, like a TV at two in the
morning, was shining in the middle of my room. It exploded into super-
intensity, then disappeared all at once.

I blinked five or six times, trying to clear out the spots in front of
my eyes. Then I saw him. A man wearing a shiny silver suit like some
kind of astronaut. "Girl," he said, in a voice that told you that
whatever he was saying was super serious business. "Jackie. Don't push
that button."

I pulled the box closer, but my finger stayed right above the button.
"...why not?"

"I've come from the future." He was shifting - I think he was trying to
figure out how to grab the box. "If you push it, everything will

I looked at him weird. "...like, change in a good way, or...?"

"Everything will become wilder and stranger," he said, staring me in the
eyes. "Great beasts will walk the earth. The world will be left open and

I stared him right back, and took a deep breath through my nose. "You're
not lying... but you're not telling me everything!" I jumped up on the
bed in a single bounce, standing with the box in my hand. He flinched.

"Thank you for giving me the choice," I said, posing dramatically with
my finger above the button. "But if I have to choose if the world is
open or closed... then *I choose open*!" I pushed the button with all my
might, and everything EXPLODED INTO LIGHT!

Andrew "NO .SIG MAN" "Juan" Perron, in medias res

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