OSN SHORT STORY PART 2: Inside The Mason Jar
Note to reader: I included part 1 in case you didn’t get a chance to read it. Thank you for reading this story.
By Hilde Kate Lysiak
I looked into the old brown mason jar.
Inside the jar their could be another world and we would never know anything about it ever.
Or we could actually be in the jar that was our world, but smaller.
I felt a quick tap on my shoulder. I looked behind me. It was Mom.
“Come on we have to go, Mel, we don’t want you to be late now do we?” she said frowning.
“Of course I would not want to be late,” I responded.
Mom smiled back.
I hoped off a bar stool that was sitting up against the island counter top where the jar stood and grabbed by teal and pink back pack.
My blue flip flops, flopped on to the hard wood floor. I walked down the floor towards the light gray front door and stopped at the mirror full size mirror that clung to the white wall of the entryway to the front door. I looked at her blue and black striped uniform.
That was when another thought hit me.
We have to wear these stupid uniforms but yet we can where whatever shoes we want, even shoes as dumb as my flip flops, in the middle of Fall.
I laughed out loud.
“Mel, what are you doing sitting there laughing to yourself, we have to go now!” said Mom.
Now Mom looked angry,
I walked out of the door and hopped into the back of my mom’s gray truck.
I sat in the back of the truck, When the vehicle started moving the wind pushed my bleach blond hair in front of my face.
We were driving. I looked down. To my left a giant ant hill passed by me. On that small pile of dirt were thousands of ants. Thousands, each with their own life, and their own purpose.
My head jarred forward as the truck came to a stop.
I looked up to see I was at my school.
I got out and then waved to my mom good bye.
I didn’t say anything. A wave was enough.
I sighed and walked over to the large stone stairs.
I was approached by a tall red haired girl with freckles.
“Hi,” she said.
She was hopping in front of me.
“Umm…, hi,” I said.
I was awkward. I’m always so awkward. Why am I always so awkward.
“I’m new here,” she said.
“Oh…cool,” I said.
I walked around her, trying to move on. Trying to get out of the conversation.
She hopped in front of me again.
“My names Elsie,” she said cheerfully.
“Cool,” I said, looking down.
I walked away.
“Wow,” Elsie said changing her voice to annoyed.
I turned around.
“What!” I said trying not to show the annoyance in my voice.
“People here are NOT very nice!” Elsie.
“Sorry,” I said.
I rolled my eyes. Its a bad habit. Almost involuntary. Almost like a twitch.
I turned back around and walked away. People are annoying.
After school my mom was waiting for me in her truck. I walked down the stone steps and through my bag in the back of the truck, I got in the front seat of my moms truck.
“Guess what!” My mom said.
I looked at her and smiled. Did she get me a present or something?
“What!” I said.
“A new family just moved in, across the street from us, and there is a girl your age… and… I thought maybe you guys could be best friends!” she said.
“Oh,” I said disappointedly.
“No, really I think that you guys could be great, friends. Her name is Elsie and I talked to her briefly, and she seems really cool. At least meet her,” she said.
“Oh.. her. I think I already have met her. She is super annoying. She just was being annoying and like she was blocking my path…” I said.
Mom gave me the Mom look.
“Were you making her feel left out,” my mom interrupted me with a stiff voice.
“NO!” I snapped.
“Are you sure about that cause I know how you can be rude and not even know it,” she said.
Burn my-eyes-with-a-fire-stick anger.
“Stop!! I wasn’t rude…she was rude… she lives near us, that’s bad,” I yelled.
My mom shook her head slowly looking down. After a while she looked back up at me.
“Well I want you to be nice to her. I invited her and her family over for dinner tonight,” she said.
“What! Why?” I yelled.
“She just moved in and I want to make her and her family feel as welcome as possible. Also you and her could be really good friends. Just try to be friendly towards her…ok?” she said.
Play the game..
“I guess…” I said.
I dropped my head down towards the floor of the car.
Pieces of grass.
A gum wrapper.
“If you don’t like her I won’t make you hang out with her. Ever again. Just be nice and open. This one time,” she said.
I sat on my couch and starred down at the floor. They would be here any minute. The door bell rang.
“Honey, would you get that,” said Mom.
She was carrying a large bowl of salad from the kitchen to the dining room.
“Ok,” I said blankly.
Blank Empty. Numb. Nothing.
I walked over to the front door and opened it slowly.
Please be the mailman.
It was not the mailman.
It was a short brown haired woman with green eyes. Her arms opened. She hugged me.
“Hiiiii,” she said “I am Minnie, you must be Mel.”
I stepped back quickly.
“That’s me.” I said sarcastic…almost.
“Ohhhh. You look so young. How ole are you,” she said.
I waited. Comfort in the uncomfortable silence.
“I will be thirteen in October, how old are you?” I asked.
“I am fifty four,” she said stiffly.
My mom then rushed to the door.
“Hello, hello!” She said happily as she wiped her hands against her dark orange apron.
“Hi,” Minnie said and smiled.
“Come in,” my mom said, “You met Mel I see.”
“Yes, I did. She is a very lovely girl,” Minnie said.
Mom put her hand to her heart.
“I, am so, so glad you think so,” Mom said.
I rolled my eyes. Its more than a habit. Its involuntary.
“Well, you know I am a,” I stopped for a second and put my hand to my heart, “Very lovely girl.”
Mom lead them into the dining room. We all sat down. I was next to Elsie.
I quickly ate my dinner as Mom and all of them rambled on about something.
The sooner I eat the sooner I can leave.
“Mel, Mel,” yelled Mom.
I turned my head.
“What?” I responded.
“Minnie asked if you like sports.”
“Oh… no not really.”
“You know both you and Elsie are done eating, why don’t you take Elsie upstairs and show her your room,” my mom insisted.
“I think that is a great idea,” Elsie said, talking for the first time in the hour she had been there.
“I don’t know… I mean my room is really messy… and I don’t really have any cool stuff… and I think you would not find it very interesting… my rooms really boring,” I said.
“Oh nonsense,” Minnie said.
I turned to her.
“She would love to see your room. I am sure it is not as boring as you say it is. Wouldn’t you just love to see her room, Elsie,” Minnie said.
“Of course I would,” Elsie responded with a wide grin across her face.
“What,” Mom asked.
She has a pulse!
“No,” I repeated.
“What do you mean?” Minnie asked.
“I mean no. No you can not see my room.”
“STOP BEING RUDE,” Minnie screamed.
Blank. Fog. Dark.
“MEL,” yelled Mom.
My head jolted up.
“It is very rude to fall asleep at dinner,” said Mom stiffly.
“Sorry,” I said.
“Wait!!! I am still a lovely girl right!” I yelled.
“Enough!” My mom snapped.
I tilted my head down.
“Sorry,” I whispered.
“Would you like to take Elsie up stairs to show her your room, I sure you have some cool stuff up there you could show her,” my mom suggested.
“Sure!” I said.
Immediate. Involuntary.. almost.
“I would like that very much,” Elsie said, actually speaking for the first time.
I raised my eyes a little.
“Oh.. cool!” I said.
My mom looked over at me and smiled.
“Let’s go!” Elise said smiling getting up out of her chair.
Elsie weirdly got up and lead me to my room. She walked the up the stairs as if she was giving me a tour of my own house.
“How do you know where my room is,” I asked.
“I know every house in this town, I mean I have spent a long time in this town,” Elsie responded.
“I thought you just moved in and you are new here,” I replied.
Elsie walked into my room and sat on my bed. She spread her legs out on my bed leaving no room me to sit. I sat on the floor.
“So… what day did you move here,” I said.
“I have lived in this town my whole life but I moved into this house a few days ago,” Elsie said.
“Oh… what house did you live in before,” I said.
“This house,” Elsie said casually.
“What!” I said thinking I misheard her.
“I used to live in your house,” she said.
I didn’t like the look in Elsie’s eyes. They were empty. It made me uncomfortable.
“When?” I said.
“A week ago,” she said.
“What do you mean you lived here a week ago,” I said.
“I mean exactly what I said,” she said.
We both started laughing.
“You have no idea!” She said laughing.
“Oh yeah, you just live in my walls,” I said laughing more.
Maybe I didn’t understand her but I was starting to like her. Most people I met were full of nothing. Phonies. At least this was something.
“What house did you live in, for real,” I said.
“Oh… you would not know the house. It is on the other side,” she said.
“What other side, like of town?” I asked.
“No, the flip side, you know what I mean,” she said.
“I do not think I do,” I said, then laughed.
Amusement was turning into annoyance.
“Sure you don’t,” she said.
I looked at her confused for a minute. I had no idea what that was.
Suddenly, Emma started scratching her face, slowly, it became more and more violent.
“Are you okay,” I said slowly.
She slammed her head down on the bed.
“Are you okay,” I asked again.
“Yes,” she said, keeping her face buried into my bed.
“Then why were you itching like that,” I slowly said.
“It is just the face I have on. It is so, so itchy,” she said, still not lifting her head.
“What do you mean,” I said.
Red. Panic. Hot.
“I mean what I said,” she repeated.
Her voice was calm.
“Oh, ok,” I said slowly.
Suddenly, in a half a second, Emma lifted her head up, revealing tan rubber dripping down her face.
I gasped. I backed up a little bit until my back hit the wall behind me.
“What happened?” I screamed.
“What do you mean?” she asked.
Her voice was calm.
Grey. Void. Nothing.
“I mean like… whats on your face?!” I yelled.
“Nothing,” she responded calmly, “Wait… what do you see?”
“Your face its all… messed up!” I yelled.
“Oh no,” she said.
Grey. Void. Nothing.
“W-what?” I asked.
“I think your infected,” she said.
“Me?” I said.
She didn’t respond.
“With what?” I asked.
“A virus,” Emma put her palm of her hand to her head, “I knew these VR robots were no good!”
“WHAT!” I yelled.
Emma ran out of the room and down stairs. I followed her. She went down to the dinning room where everyone was still sitting.
“Everyone, I think she,” she held my hand up, “has a virus.”
“I knew I should only play with live players!” my own mom said before disappearing in to thin air.
“MOM!” I yelled.
In the blink of an eye they were all gone. They all exited this world and moved on into reality.
This was mine.