Short Story: Beyond the Wall, Part 1

by Thiago Rego

Check back next time for Part II!


“Cereal Day!” screamed Zack while running through the hallway. He jumped in happiness and sat really fast and loudly in his red chair that was located in the dining room. The room had a white-cream paper wall, two gray chairs and two red chairs, a rounded brown table, which was the perfect combination for a dinner set for a family of four.

Zack took a plate and a spoon from the kitchen, placing it in front of him. He stared at the hallway which connected the bedrooms with the kitchen and the dining room. His fingers couldn’t stop moving from anxiety. For an instant, the whole house was quiet again.

However, a tall teenage girl with a messy blond hair came from the hallway and walked into the kitchen.

“Anna!” screamed Zack jumping from his seat and running in his sister’s direction to get a hug.

Anna was using yellow pajamas of baby chicks and a white flip-flops.

“It’s ok Zack, I’m not going anywhere, you don’t need to hug me like that” Said the girl, arguing about the strong and painful hug that her brother was giving on her.

She was still very tired from last night, so the girl dragged her feet to one of the gray chairs and sat down, resting her head on the table and closing her eyes trying to go back to sleep.

“It’s cereal day, Anna! You should be happier than that,” said Zack who was standing right next to her.

“Yay cereal day!” said Anna pretending to be enthusiastic about it, while her head was still resting on the table and her eyes were still closed. She was trying to be nice with her brother and not let him be upset, but the truth was that she didn’t really care about Cereal Day, it doesn’t really matter to her because sugar was starting to give her nausea every time she would even think about it.

The Cereal Day was basically the only day of the week in which SpantVille’s civilians could eat sugar and unhealthy stuff. And Zack loves this day.

“Let’s just wait for Toro,” Anna said lifting her head up to look at the hallway in which Toro would pass through on his way to the kitchen.

(…)

The house was silent. Both of them were staring and waiting…

The silence was broken after the sound of steps. After seconds that last an eternity, an enormous man crossed the hallway.

“Uncle To!” screamed Zack laughing and running in Toro’s direction.

The man had wrinkles through some part of his face. He had a small gray beard and giant gray eyebrows. He was wearing a red t-shirt and he was also wearing dark blue relaxed fit pants. He had a serious face. A face of a person that has passed through a lot of bad stuff over the years, however, the mood in which his expression passed changed completely when looking at his feet, which were covered by a pair of pink slippers with faces of cuddly rabbits.

“Good Morning birthday girl” he gently said as he tried to balance Zack’s weight on his back.

“Not until tomorrow sir,” said Anna with a smile in the corner of her mouth. For a brief second, she got herself thinking about what she wants as her birthday present. Not a toy, maybe some books, or maybe food, vanilla ice cream would be perfect for her.

Toro took Zack on his back before putting the boy in his red chair. He walked into the kitchen’s wardrobe and took two cereal boxes with him.

“Now who wants some cereal?!” He asked screaming at the two blond brothers.

They both laugh and raised their hands in the air.

Toro smiled and took a mini radio that was located on the kitchen balcony and placed in the middle of the table. He turned it on and tuned in a local radio station.

“Goooooood Morning SpantVille!” said Robin, the host of the local station. “We are having a beautiful morning outside, with no rain nor clouds, definitely a great day to get an ice cream!”.

“What a coincidence,” thought Anna to herself. “Maybe I should get an ice cream today, I’m really lucky that today is sugar day”.

“Hey Mini, can you pass me the milk?” asked Anna for her little brother Zack.

“No I’m going to use it,” said Zack to her

“But you already filled your bowl!” said the messy blond girl.

“ I wanna fill more,” he said, grabbing the milk and slowly opening the bottle.

“Give it to ME,” she said grabbing the bottom of the bottle. They both grabbed one side of the bottle and started pulling to see which one of them would get to fill the bowl first.

Toro was too busy cooking his bacon to pay attention to his nephews.

Anna finally got stressed, she strongly pulled the bottle away from Zack. During the action her elbow hit the radio making it fall from the table.

Weird and loud noises came from the radio, the impact made the station change.

The painful loud noises started to become constant and understandable.

Anna and Zack were shocked and they couldn’t stop looking at the object.

Finally, the noises became words. Words coming from a person, a desperate person.

“ 50.6751° North, 17.9213° East, please help us.”

It was a man’s voice, probably around 60 years old, he sounded scared. A feeling that Anna and Zack had never experienced.

The radio stopped working.

The room was quiet, Toro was looking directly to the radio. Waiting to see if it would start doing more noises and weird messages. He looked nervous and surprised.

Nothing happened.

“Well that was weird right?” asked Toro looking at Anna and Zack

“They asked for help, we should tell someone” commented Anna

“Who are they?” asked Zack

“Don’t you worry kids, I will talk to Stuart,” he answers it. “This is an adult’s information that should not be shared with youngers. Do you understand me?”

The blond teenager girl started eating her cereal again, when she heard someone knocking on the door.

She got up from the chair and walked to the main door. It was obvious who it was. Anna already knew it. And the answer made a smile on her face.

With the eyes closed the door was opened by the blond girl.

“Good Morning Miss Anna Banchell,” said Stuart with a yellow smile on his face.

Her happy face turned into a serious face. She thought it would be somebody else.

“Can I come in?” asked the tall skinny slender men.

Stuart was their supervisor. Each supervisor had to take care of three kids. The young man around his 20s called Stuart was skinny and tall. He used a black suit. His pink necktie took Anna’s attention away.

“Who is at the door?” Screamed Zack trying to make his sister hear him.

“Slender Man,” she said rolling her eyes.

“Oh noooooo,” Zack said making a sad face for Toro.

The little blond boy didn’t like their supervisor, the black suit and his size always make Zack uncomfortable.

“Guys rule number 8028, you can’t make jokes about others and neither talk about bad aspects of others, that’s a violation,” said Stuart.

“I’m sorry sir,” said Anna lowering her head. She knew that violations were taken very seriously around SpantVille especially when it comes from kids.

“Excuse me Stu, but I think you just broke rule number 8029, don’t make people be ashamed of themselves,” said a 16 years old boy who appeared from behind him.

Anna smiled. That’s the person she was waiting for. Martin Dockree. Her best friend. A 16 years old boy with red hair and light red eyebrows. He had freckles all over his face and looked younger than his age.

Stuart turned his head in Martin’s direction, his face was red, he looked angry but the rules say that no one can show that feeling to others.

“Good Morning Mr. Dockree,” said Stuart with a subtle voice.

“Good Morning Sir,” responded Martin after making a reverence.

Toro stepped in front of the Zack and Anna. he was holding the radio in his hands.

“They called for help,” said uncle To. “I think you are in charge of solving this problem”.

Stuart stared at the three kids, his expression showed that the conversation between their uncle and him was supposed to be in private and that they shouldn’t be listening.

“I would take care of it,” said Slenderman getting the small radio from Toro’s hands.

Anna now knew it that someone was asking for help and from looking at both adult’s expressions it seemed that they wouldn’t. But if they weren’t going to help the old man, then she will, with Zack and Martin help.

“I thought today would be a great day to get an ice cream,” said Anna looking at Martin to see his reaction and trying to change the conversation.

“Great idea! We should definitely do that” he responded.

Both of them heard Zack running through the kitchen to get at the main door.

“Did someone said ice cream?” he screamed.

“Yes, the four of us are going to get an ice cream” responded Stuart smiling.

And that’s what happened, them four went to the ice cream shop that was in Spantville after having said goodbye to Toro. They happily walked through the village trying to find their way to Asteroid Bites ice cream store, walking peacefully, and trying to live their lives, but especially…trying to not break any rules of SpantVille.

Anna and Zack knew something weird was going on, the radio was the key to their answers or maybe the creations of new questions. She needed Martin. She needed to help the old man in the radio…at any costs.

End of Part 1