Hebron Academy Middle School Writing Contest Winner
By Jenni Flynn ’25
Footsteps. Dry, clicking footsteps and a rough voice. Sweat clung to me like a second skin, fear spiked through my body. The closet reeked of cleaning chemicals and wet mops. Who am I? I am Samantha Stone. Why am I hiding in a janitor’s closet? Well, let’s just say I messed up the plan of an evil mastermind. They didn’t think a teenager would interfere. Where am I? Mercury Headquarters. East Wing. I stole back the largest diamond from under Mercury Headquarters security guards’ noses. Scarlett Mercury is the brains behind this place. It was named after her because of how sneaky and deceiving she is. She has pulled off so many bank robberies, it is rumored she’s been thieving her whole life. She is the number one most wanted, and most dangerous mastermind you will ever find. I slowly opened the plaster white door. It made a soft creek. I tensed immediately, one foot hovering out the door. After holding my breath for a count of ten seconds I gingerly continued to open the door. Suddenly I found myself falling. I misjudged the step! Down I fell, my only thought was ‘this is over, this is over, over this is.’ I hit the ground with a loud thud, the sound echoing through the narrow hallway. The diamond fell out of my bag with a soft tinkle, stopping a foot away. Pain bolted through my body, I might as well have been hit by lightning. Groaning, I pulled myself up, wincing as daggers of pain prickled through my body. I looked up, into the face of one of Mercury’s guards. Bob, I had named him, looked furious! I’m surprised he still managed to keep up with me. Bob had a very round face and black beady eyes. Bald he was, I could clearly see the sweat that was pouring off him in waves of stench. He loomed over me, heavily panting. Well, I can’t wait for him! “ Bye Bob” With that, I grabbed the sparkling diamond and started sprinting down the dark hallway towards the only door left. I crashed into it, fumbling with the handle. Glancing behind me, I saw Bob catching up, lumbering pretty fast, pretty fast for a person of his size. Finally, the frustratingly resilient door popped open with a soft click. I rushed into the room, stumbling over my feet in the rush. White steam poured out of the room in a soft whoosh. I squinted, this fog wasn’t helping. Beeps, whirls and cracks could be heard. This seriously reminds me of Darth Vader when he is about to make an entrance and seemingly kill everybody, the dark smoke, how it clears as a black robotic figure emerges out of the clouds…, STOP Bob is coming! Spotting a door in the far corner of the of the mistly room, I bolted towards it but screeched to a stop as I say the label of the door; TIME MACHINE. ONE WAY ONLY. POSSIBILITY OF COMING BACK VARIES. Ohh, I could go one way, to the past or the future. No, no, no! I began to panic, tears blurring my vision. I can’t do this, what about mom, little Johnny, my family?! My friends, my life!? I possibly could never come back to this year. How co- “ Crash!” The defending sound forced me to cover my ears. I whipped around, dread filling my body. Bob glared back at me. Abruptly, he started running for me, his thick hands out, his face cherry red. I don’t have a choice anymore. Frantically I ran to the door. There were two glowing buttons: PAST and FUTURE. Taking a deep, shaky breath, I pushed the future button. Instantly, the door yielded to my pull. Glancing back, I saw Bob still chasing me, he was close. There was no backing out of this now, With that, I jumped through the pearly white mist. It was like trying to walk on air, feeling your stomach drop on a huge ride. I squeezed my eyes tighter than they already were, hoping, praying it will end. Then, thankfully, it did. I fell, hard, on a smooth tile surface. Opening my eyes, I glanced around. This place was familiar. Glass walls that shone with red lights from within tall arching ceilings. This is like Mercury Headquarters! Then it hit me. Mercury Headquarters. The time machine. Me hitting the future button. Mercury Headquarters still existed in the future! Oh my gosh, I need to get out of here! Spinning around, I quickly looked for the nearest exit. If they caught me here, I may be dead. I would be giving Mercury Headquarters the diamond I worked so hard to steal back. Yes!, east wing exist. Snatching my bag off the floor, I ran down the dim hallway, my light footsteps the only sounds I could hear I was so close, so close, I was almost there. YES! I swirled into the exit, only to run into something. No, someone.I looked up, once again, to see the pudgy face of Bob again. Oh no, no no NO! I turned around, there must be another way! There must be! But, before I could bolt, a voice filled the the air. “ You thought you could run from me? The voice inquired. I froze. Nobody had to turn round to know who the voice belonged to. My blood turned to ice. Scarlett Mercury. I finally forced myself to turn around; and there she was. Scarlett Mercury herself. She was a tall, thin figure with cascading, glossy hair. She was wearing a red, silk cocktail dress with a silver belt around her waist, and silver Angel wings heels. She looked stunning. Scarlett smirked softly at me. “ When you are done staring at me, I would like the diamond” she said slyly. I froze. Fear immobilized me, I don’t know what to do. I could make a run for it though… As if sensing my thoughts, Scarlett snapped her fingers and Bob roughly grabbed me, twisting my arms behind my back. I kicked him frantically, struggling to break out of his grip. He had gotten stronger since the year 2018. Scarlet smiled at my efforts to escape. She leaned over and plucked the diamond from my bag. She stood there, admiring it with a triumphant smile on her face. “ How did I get here?” I asked. Scarlett looked up. “ Oh sweetie, you took a time machine. One that Ibuilt.” she said “ You know, when you go into time machines I, Scarlett Mercury make, there is always a hook, a snag, a catch.” Scarlett said dramatically, twirling her hair on a long, thin finger. “I sent you into a time loop.” Slick is seriously an understatement. If I live through this, I am so going to write a book about her. Scarlett glared at me menacingly. “I knew you would find my trap. I knew you would fall for it. And I knew I would get my diamond” She finished, looking very bored. “ Now, I don’t have time to waste. I need to steal Cleopatra’s crown. I have a deadline! Hit it Bob!” She snapped her fingers and Cardi B’s song ‘Money’ rang through invisible speakers. Scarlett twirled around, dancing to the music. “Come along now.” she said gesturing to Bob. Bob shoved me forwards, forcing me to walk behind Scarlett her. Tears welled up in my eyes. No, I’m not gonna cry. I’m not gonna cry. “ Why are you doing this and who are you?” I asked. Though I willed my voice to be strong, it broke at the very end. Scarlett twirled around. “ Who am I?” she asked, green eyes boring into me. “ I am Scarlet Mercury.” “ You won’t get away with this Scarlet Red Mercury!” I yelled after her. “ Ooh, not the full name, it’s momfor you. Yes, I like that muchbetter.” Scarlett haughtily tossed her hair over her shoulder. With that, she spun back around, regal authority in the air around her. Scarlet Mercury. My mom?!