The Idiom Wizard: Chapter 5

The Book that Shouldn't be Read

We probably should have followed the only adult, but when Principle Purple turned left, me, James, Hannah and Donald all turned right.

Bad idea.

I slipped first. “Whoa!” I said, as I struggled to keep my balance. James slipped behind me, and Hannah slipped behind him. Finally, Donald, as big as an Ogre, slipped and crashed into us, sending us all sprawling across the wet floor until we banged against the lockers.

“Ouch,” I said, rubbing my head. I was lying on my back and staring at the ceiling… Only, the ceiling wasn’t there. Instead, I saw a great big hole with rain pouring in. I sat up and looked at everyone. “Are you guys okay?”

“Yeah. I think,” James said. “My clothes are soaked and my butt is numb, but my head’s just fine.” He patted his poofy Afro and grinned. “It’s like my very own helmet.”

The hallway lights flickered off for a second, then came back on.

Hannah groaned. “Oh, no! My dress.” Then she put her hands to her mouth when she saw her books lying in a puddle soaking up water. “They’re ruined!”

“Geesh. Girls,” I whispered to James as I helped him to his feet. “If my homework got ruined, I’d be happy.”

“Yeah. If mine got ruined, then I’d finally be able to tell the truth about why I didn’t finish it.”

Donald stepped up beside us. He pointed to the hole in the ceiling where rain continued to fall through. “What caused that?”

I said, “I don’t know, but I saw something fly across the sky right before we heard that crash.”

“Maybe it was a meatball,” he said.

“What?”

“A meatball. Like in that cartoon movie Cloudy with a Chance of—”

“No,” I said. “Just no. What I saw had to be a—

“Meteor,” said Hannah. “It had to be a meteor.”

Donald snorted. “Well I don’t see no meteor, Ms. Smarty Pants.”

She put her hands on her hips. “Well, I don’t see a meatball, Mr. Meathead.”

“You guys are making me hungry,” James said.

Just then, something slammed against the other side of the wall. “Book?” Mr. Green shouted. “Where is me book?”

Donald chuckled. “He sounds like a pirate.”

I said, “He sounds mad.”

“I just hope he finds it,” Hannah said. “He’s creeping me out.”

Donald grinned. “I seriously doubt he’ll find it in there.”

The three of us groaned.

I said, “What did you do, Donald?”

He pulled out Mr. Green’s book and held it up for us to see. Up close, it looked older than any other book in the world. Like it would need a walking cane just to stay on the bookshelf.

“Ah, man. I can’t believe you stole that,” I said.

“I ain’t steal it. I borrowed it. Like, from a library.” When he added, “What’s the harm, let’s just peek inside?” I should have stopped him, but I was too curious.

“Well,” Hannah said, grabbing the book from Donald, “let’s see. Hmm. Mr. Green wasn’t kidding. It says here that it’s about a powerful wizard who could control idioms.”

“Whoa,” Donald said. “A wizard who could control dummies. The three of you would be, like, in serious trouble.”

Hannah rolled her eyes. When she turned the page, a piece of paper fell out. Even lying on the floor, we could read the big message written on it.

It said:

WARNING!!! Don’t read these magic spells out loud!

That was more than enough of a warning for me, James, and Hannah.

But apparently not for Donald…

He snatched the book back from Hannah. “That means we definitely gotta read them out loud!”

“No, don’t!” we said, but he didn’t listen. Of course he didn’t. He’s Donald. I haven’t known him for long, but it’s clear that he never does.

“Coooool,” he said, flipping to another page. “This spell is called ‘Key to His Prison Cell’.”

I gulped. “Who’s prison cell?”

“Dunno,” he answered. “So let’s find out.”

I don’t think I believed the spell would really work, but I didn’t want to risk it. I tried to grab the book, but Donald held me back with one arm and continued to read:

“In a cage,

locked away,

is the Idiom Wizard of old.

Free him ye shall,

by reading this spell,

and bringing in the cold…”

“Umm,” James said. “Maybe you should stop reading now?”

Hannah said, “Yeah, I agree.”

“Sissies,” Donald said, and kept reading:

“Call a truce,

and set it loose,

enough time has passed.

So Freeze, breeze, freeze,

freeze Hell over at last!

We held our breath and waited a second, but nothing happened.

“See?” Donald said, closing the book. “These spells ain’t real and neither is the Idiom Wizard. This is just a dumb book of Friction.”

“It’s fiction,” Hannah corrected. “No ‘R’.”

“Whatever. Either way, it ain’t none of it real.”

Suddenly, the lights above stopped flickering and shut off completely. All we saw was a bit of daylight through the hole in the ceiling. Rain still fell through, splattering against the pile of debris on the floor of our school hallway.

But then even it stopped.

I might have sighed in relief, but that’s when snow started to drift in instead.

My mouth dropped to the floor.

Well, not really, but it did open up a little and leave me looking a bit coo-coo.

“Sooo, I think I’m going to get going now,” Hannah said, picking up her wet books.

“Yeah, me, too,” James said. “I, uh, think I hear my mom calling for dinner.”

Donald was the only one who didn’t have anything to say. Well, until Mr. Green shouted, “Where’s me book??!!” again. Then he said, “Um, here you go, lil’ Red,” and tossed the book into my hands.

I probably should have left it right there in the hallway for Mr. Green to find, but I was scared. And everything happened so fast.

Before I knew it, we bolted out of the school, shivering in our wet clothes as we headed out into a blizzard…

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