The challenge was to write a story about a pair of glasses. Special glasses, whether through science or magic. I missed my deadline by a week (!) so I will backdate the entry. 975 words.
Danny missed his big brother—except for the teasing. Peter had moved out last week, after finishing high school. It was quieter around the house now, but at least Danny didn't get any more, ″How′s my wittle baby brother?″ and ″You can′t do that, you′re too small″. Maybe Peter′s attitude would change, now that Danny was entering Grade 9.
Peter left a few boxes behind, up in the attic, with a warning to Danny to not look into them. So of course, the first chance he got, Danny snuck up into the attic. He assumed today's heavy rainstorm would keep Peter at his place, down the street.
As he reached for the first box, there was a bright flash and a loud crack that left his ears ringing and his fingers tingling. "Woah, that was cool." Aside from a smell of ozone and a dark line zigzagging down the chimney, he felt okay, so reached for the box again. He folded back the top flap and peered inside at the treasures. Old comic books, small boxes, yellowed plastic bags filled with dinosaurs and marbles and – he peered at a label--"Sea Monkeys″, and even a wand of some sort. Right on the top, sat a pair of glasses, with the tag attached, ″X-Ray Glasses. See the Secrets of the World!″ The glasses had cardboard lenses, with a small hole in the middle, and were printed with a swirling pattern. Danny put them on and peered around the attic. Things did look a bit different, even in the dim lighting, but it was hard to tell. He′d try them out downstairs.
When he looked around the bright kitchen, it was definitely different. He could actually see inside the fridge and the cupboards. It was dizzying at first, but he soon learned how to zoom in and out, just by sort of squinting.
″Wow, this is amazing,″ he said.
″What′s that dear?″ He turned his head as his mom walked in.
Oh no, naked! Gross! Danny snatched the glasses off and shoved them in a pocket.
″Those look weird″, she said. ″Let me guess, one of Peter′s treasures. He used to send away for them all the time. Don′t worry, I won′t snitch. But speaking of Peter, I saw a lot of flashing lights down the street toward his place. Maybe the storm took down a tree or something. It′s clearing up – why don′t you walk down and check it out?″
Danny nodded. He had to get out of the house.
As he approached all the lights, he didn′t see any trees down or power lines snapped. Just a lot of fire trucks and city workers. And Peter.
″Hey squirt, ready for high school yet?″
Danny twisted away as Peter tried to ruffle his hair. ″What happened here, Peter?″
″The Smith′s kid, Timmy, has fallen down a storm drain. Squeezed through the opening while chasing a kitten, I heard. They looked down the hole, but he′s not there anymore. The city maps show the drain starts here and runs away from us, to the east. It′s a long block before the next opening, but no sign of him yet. Maybe he′s gone farther. They're still trying to open the jammed cover so they can climb down.″
Danny took a step closer, but Peter grabbed his shoulder. ″Stay here squirt, you′d only get in the way. I′ll check it out and let you know what′s happening.″
Once Peter had left, Danny put the glasses back on. Cool. He could see all the parts inside the trucks and fire engines. He was careful to not look at any city workers—them naked would be worse than his mom. He looked down at the pavement at his feet and probed carefully. Gravel, then wires, rocks, some small pipes, more gravel, then a darker shadow, like a bigger pipe. Big enough for a small kid, maybe. Heading the other way.
He carefully followed the image along the side of the road, until he came to a drain cover. He took off the glasses, bent down and called through the grating. ″Hello? Any one there?″
There was a faint meow.
″Help me! I fell down and can′t get out. I was chasing Mittens.″ There was a pause. ″I found her, but she′s all wet. So am I, and I′m cold.″
Danny stood up and yelled for his brother. ″Peter! Over here, quick.″
Peter walked over, a frown on his face. ″What is it, did you get water in your shoe? And where did you get those glasses? I told you to leave my stuff alone, you′re too little.″
Danny stomped his foot. ″I am not little anymore. Stop calling me that. I think I found him."
"Don't be silly," said Peter. "The pipes go the other way. Stop playing games."
"It's not a game," said Danny. "Now be quiet for once and just listen."
He bent down and called again. ″Timmy?″
Peter opened his mouth, then closed it, then bent down. When he heard the answer from below he smiled. ″Well, look at that, you found him. Good thinking. Way to go, my big little brother.″ He stood and called down the street. ″Hey guys, come here, my brother found him.″
Within a few minutes the crew had Timmy and Mittens both out and bundled in warm blankets His tearful mother praised Danny over and over as did the workers. Danny decided to not mention the glasses.
″Come on,″ said Peter. ″I′ll walk you home. And you can keep the glasses, and whatever other junk was in that box. Consider it a reward.″ He reached out and, instead of ruffling his hair, he gave Danny a punch in the shoulder.
Danny tried not to wince as he smiled back. Maybe some of the other things in the box were changed too.