A short, aged wizard sat in a tiny attic room of a Victorian house. His white beard and silver hair reflected in the moonlight. Several creases lined his benign face. His purple cloak swept the ground as he stood up and scanned the room around him. Panels of all shapes and sizes flashed at him, as the lights blinked on and off. As he awaited the time to blast off, he surveyed the controls with keen eyes. This mission had been planned with care, and it needed to succeed. As he sat down on the captain’s seat, he solemnly grasped the control wheel. He could feel the house-spaceship rumbling softly under his feet.
* * *
Inside my home across the street, I tossed and turned on my soft bed late Sunday night, unable to fall asleep. I needed to craft a news article for the Maplewood Times, but it had been an uneventful week in town, and I couldn’t conceive a story to write. What would I do? My editor won’t be happy, I thought. I sighed as I drew back my curtains and peered out the window. Unbeknownst to me, the next few seconds would change my whole life.
* * *
“All clear; we are ready for take-off,” the wizard radioed to the other houses in the neighborhood. He closed his eyes momentarily as if bracing himself. Then he reached over to the brightest red button flashing on the control panel. He hesitated, his fingers hovering with anticipation. He sighed and pressed it down firmly.
The spaceship suddenly shot into the dark night sky as it gathered speed.
Only, something unforeseen had taken place. There had been a person watching him through a small window. And the person was a reporter.
* * *
Suddenly, I stared into the blinding, white light. Only one attic window was lit; the rest of the light blazed from the bottom of the house as it lifted in the air. I watched, mesmerized, as the house that had stood so silently seconds ago suddenly blasted into space. I quickly swung my camera from the pouch. I knew I only had a few precious seconds to focus my lens.
I reviewed the picture in my camera. The dust that billowed slowly dispersed onto the ground as the house shot up into the sky. It slowly became smaller; soon, all that remained was a twinkling dot of brightness. It could have been one of the faraway stars.
Then all was still and quiet. The earth held its breath as the stars dimmed. It seemed as though the house had never even been there; only dust remained.
I was stunned. There were so many questions rushing through my mind. Who was in the house? Was it a magical being? Why had it taken off so suddenly, and where was it headed? I had never witnessed people in my neighborhood outside. I had thought that my neighbors were unfriendly, but this created a new mystery.
* * *
The wizard’s luminous green eyes reflected the shining stars as he gazed out of the window. The night was clear and calm. He glanced at his watch, which had many planets floating around peacefully instead of hands. He seemed to understand it, because he nodded slowly and looked outside at the stars and planets whirling past. He glimpsed the bright red planet not far ahead. He would be landing soon…
* * *
I furiously jotted down notes for the Monday paper. They are never going to believe this, I thought. I sent it to my editor with lightning speed. He responded to the urgent message.
“Are you kidding me? Do you think I will believe this?”
I sighed, having foreseen this; “Can we meet? I’ll show you the evidence.”
He responded, “It’s late right now. I need to get sleep soon.”
“I know, but this is important. We could make national news with this picture. Just trust me.”
“Ok fine, I’ll be there in 5 minutes.” I heard him grumbling as he hung up.
* * *
If the wizard had been concentrating before, he was even more focused now. He maneuvered the controls even more skillfully as he lined up the spaceship. Scouting out the area, he slowed the aircraft down. This was the moment he had been practicing for months.
Poof! The house spaceship landed softly on the planet. The red-orange sand blew in all directions. “Successful landing. We have made it,” the wizard calmly radioed back to Earth. Celebrations echoed through the radio. The wizard smiled.
* * *
The Ford Crestliner pulled up in my driveway with a screech, as my editor stepped out.
“Good evening Jason.” He ran a hand through his hair as he studied me.
I smiled, knowing he thought I was crazy; “Good evening, Mark!”
Mark glanced around curiously.
“Come check this out!” I led the way across the street to the lot where the house used to be.
My editor stared at the bare ground with wide eyes. The fence and yard were still there, but the house was not. There was no construction equipment around or any evidence of demolition. It was like the house had simply vanished.
He seemed to believe me.
* * *
The Monday paper came out with the headline bolded:
Reporter Witnesses House Take Off!
ON Sunday night at 12:00 am, reporter Jason witnessed an amazing sight of a magical house taking off into a starry night. “Never in my whole life have I seen anything like this,” Jason said. He also commented that he had never seen any of his neighbors outside of their houses. We were unable to reach any of his neighbors as they did not respond to our phone calls and emails. Police have analyzed the case, and their search for ownership records for the entire neighborhood have returned empty handed. They also reported that these neighbors are not absent since the lights in the houses still flicker on and off during the late hours of the night. The sheriff officials are still looking into this unexpected occurrence. If you have any information, please contact the police immediately at this toll free number: (555)- 123 – 1234
Stay tuned for our next issue!
* * *
The wizard pulled a heavy, black coat over his shoulders as he stepped out and observed his surroundings. An eerie silence permeated the planet. Dozens of craters dented into the hard surface which was covered in sand. A few sand dunes were visible far off in the distance. He measured the temperature (40°) and wind velocity (28 miles per hour). From his pocket, he extracted a few instruments and gently placed some rocks inside them to measure their sizes and shapes. He examined their textures before settling them into a special compartment inside the house spaceship. After rummaging around for a moment, he dug out a large drill from the compartment, and pressed it to the ground. The sand was hard at first but soon gave way. He dug until he hit bedrock and then took a sample of the sand. After returning to the spaceship, he typed a few commands on the device.
He would have to study the special rocks and their unique qualities of healing back on Earth. If he is successful and these rocks are what he hopes them to be, there would not be any more sickness in the world.
* * *
Many years have passed since I saw the house on my street take off into the sky. Today, I am the chief editor for the newspaper company and an author, and I have long since moved away from my old house. I would never have dreamed that I could become chief editor back then.
Occasionally, I still visit my old neighborhood, and see the empty patch of earth where the house took off. I have never seen anything out of the ordinary since then. At times, I wonder whether I had been dreaming.
I take out my photograph and examine it. A few wrinkles line the otherwise perfect old picture. The picture has given me my great imagination, and helped me write many stories. It always reminds me that everything is possible, from flying houses to becoming a chief editor.
As I lie down to sleep tonight, I look out the window of my house, just like I did in a different house on a different night so many years ago. Imagination can be sparked by anything. Things can come when you least expect it, and some mysteries are meant to never be solved.
Jason C. is in 8th grade. He enjoys music, playing guitar, sports, hanging out with friends and writing fun stories.