6 Vicki and Gwen Somehow Save the World

Vicki and Gwen Somehow Save the World

By Ella Howard

“Hurry Vicky!” Gwen shouted. “The magic can’t hold up for much longer!”

I lightly kicked the flying pig so it would go faster. The Pegmoosecorn was trying to aim its magic at me but instead hit the same tree frequently and was trying to fly (but couldn’t because of the spell). I needed to get close so I could stab the Pegmoosecorn. If I did this Stuff Animal Land would go back to normal and I would get my life back. But I am getting ahead of myself. Let’s start at the beginning……

It was already two in the morning; Gwen and I were still up. We had just finished our movie marathon for our sleepover. I cuddled my stuffed blue jay, Scruffy. I’ve had Scruffy since I was five when my mom gave it to me. She told me it was her old stuffed blue jay and she told me to take care of it. I have never let go of him since that moment.

“What now?” Gwen asked.

Gwen stared at me with her bright green eyes and her short black hair. She is wearing an anime T-Shirt and sweatpants. Meanwhile, I was wearing a light blue T-Shirt and light purple sweatpants with pink hearts.

“I don’t know,” I whispered. “Do you have an idea, Scruffy?”

“I do,” Scruffy said as he turned into a living blue jay.

“Ahhhhhhhhhhhhh” Gwen and I screamed.

“Gwen, this isn’t funny,” I whispered.

“I’m not playing a prank,” Gwen said.

“My idea,” Scruffy ignored us, “my idea is that I will take you to my home. Where all birds live in peace.”

“First of all,” Gwen exclaimed, “how did you turn into a blue jay? Why are you here? Do you have anything to do with Vicky’s Mom?”

Gwen is that person that always has a lot of questions. It can get annoying sometimes, like right now.

“Gwen, shush! You’ll wake up Dad.” I shushed.

“Well,” Scruffy continued, “for starters, everything you’ve been told is a lie and all will be explained in Bird Land!”

“Excuse me?” Gwen was outraged. “How about no? If that doesn’t sound good, I have rights.”

“Yes! If I get home before Dad wakes up!” I screamed.

“Sure, we can do that,” Scruffy said.

Gwen gives me the “you are insane” look.

“What? I love a little spice occasionally.” I spoke.

“Well thank you for joining the adventure, Vicky,” Scruffy said. “Alright Gwen, make the portal!”

“What are you talking about?!” Gwen yelled. “I don’t know how to use magic! I never have. Never will! Why can’t you do it? I didn’t agree to go with Vicky so why am I involved in this? And why haven’t I stabbed you with my pencil yet?”

Gwen headed to her backpack to get a pencil; I tried to hold her back which failed. I threw a pillow at her, so she wouldn’t stab Scruffy. Doing so started a pillow fight. The pillow fight went on for a minute and Gwen and I laughed like crazy but then, Scruffy ruined it.

“Ladies!” Scruffy cries. “This is important business.”

“And you’re a talking blue jay!” Gwen exclaimed.

“Shush, you’ll wake up Dad!” I shushed Gwen again.

Scruffy continued. “First, I can’t make the portal to travel to the Bird Land because I never learned how. Second, Gwen, I’m forcing you to go.”

 “But I have rights!” Gwen yells.

Scruffy rolls his eyes.

“Listen,” said Scruffy. “If you don’t go with Vicky, she will never see her mom again.”

“Oh Gwen,” I cried. “I haven’t seen Mom since I was seven when she left me and Dad! What Scruffy says might be a lie, but I will do anything to see Mom again! Please, Gwen! Please!”

“Fine,” Gwen groaned, “but you owe me ten bucks.”

“Deal,” I said.

“Great!” Scruffy said. “Now, Gwen cast the portal!”

“Dude, I don’t know how!” Gwen shouted.

“Well, it’s a good time for you to learn,” added Scruffy.

“But you can’t teach me. No one can teach me. It’s two in the morning! How am I supposed to learn ‘magic’?” exclaimed Gwen.

“Read this book, Gwen,” Scruffy explained.

“It’s thousands of pages long!” Gwen shouted.

“So?” Scruffy questioned.

“I’m never going to be able to read it before dawn!” Gwen yelled.

“Just read the first page,” Scruffy said.

“Fine!” Gwen groaned.

I looked at the page. It was in an odd magic language. Gwen could read it just fine. She was zooming through the pages and was halfway through the book in 30 seconds. She was hooked. When she gets hooked you can’t get her away from a book. Every time I try to get her to stop reading, she just completely ignores me and the world. She gets sucked up in her book’s little fantasy world.

Gwen takes a deep breath. Did she accidentally slow down time for herself? She acted like she had been reading for 8 hours when she spoke.

“Sorry! I can never get unhooked from a book once I start reading!” Gwen apologized.

“That’s fine,” Scruffy said. “You use your first spell!”

“Oh,” Gwen said.

Suddenly a portal appeared.

“How did you do that?” I complained. “Why can’t I do that!”

Scruffy then said creepily, “All will be explained in Bird Land!”

“Why can’t you tell me now?” I asked.

“All will be explained in Bird Land!” Scruffy said creepily.

“Groan, let’s go!” I moaned.

I expected Bird Land to be a perfect world with tall buildings with gardens growing on them. With birds flying everywhere. Where everyone’s humming the same tune while smiling. But Bird Land was a complete disaster. It was in the sky. White smoke was everywhere. Giant factories poured white everywhere.

“What are these factories producing?” Gwen asked as we walked toward more white.

“Birds,” Scruffy said.

“Oh, why can’t Vicky do magic?” Gwen questioned.

“She can’t read magic,” Scruffy confirmed.

“Why can I read magic?” Gwen asked.

“Reasons,” Scruffy said.

“How did you know I could read magic before I did?” Gwen wondered.

“I could feel it.” Scruffy said.

Gwen gave me a skeptical look.

“We’re here!” Scruffy said.

“It’s just a picnic bench,” I explained.

“No,” Scruffy said. “It’s Bird Land’s HQ.”

“Oh,” I said.

“Scruffy!” a voice said.

“Who said that?” I thought.

“Wendy, my wife!” yelled Scruffy.

A chicken named Wendy embraced Scruffy.

“Never thought I’d see that.” whispered Gwen.

“Oh, Scruffy!” cried Wendy, “you bought wonderful people to save Bird Land!”

“What!?!” Gwen and I exclaimed.

“You want us,” screamed Gwen, “to save this dump I have no attachment to what-so-ever? Why do you need Vicky?”

“Hey!” I shouted. “I have stuff to offer. Somewhere. Either way, I want to save this dump. I have an attachment to it because…”

I started to cry. “Because my mom, when she went crazy, said she would come here. Maybe, just maybe, I’ll find her again.”

“Or,” Gwen said. “You could never find your mom again.”

I gave her a dark glare.

“Hey! It’s a possibility.” Gwen cried.

“Where is my Mom?” I questioned.

“Likely being eaten by a Pegmoosecorn,” Wendy said. “A giant moose with wings and a unicorn horn.”

“Harsh!” Gwen yelled.

“You were being harsh a minute ago!” I cried.

“Shut up,” Gwen muttered.

“How do we save my Mom?” I screamed.

I want my Mom back now! Life would go back to a happier time like when we used to live in a two-story house with beautiful flowers. Mom always gave me new toys because she was a toy designer. She would read me books in funny little voices. It was me and Mom, Mom, and me. Then, she left. Dad and I don’t know why but she picked ‘Bird Land’ over us. Dad and I moved to an apartment for financial reasons. We also got Penny, our little Yorkshire Terrier, because I’ve always wanted a puppy, but Mom never wanted one. Dad tried hard to make me happier in these dark times and at some point, I did start to feel joy again, but it wasn’t the same amount I had when Mom was around. The chance to see her one final time would make the world a much better place for me.

“Well,” Wendy said. “Your momma…”

“Are you about to make a ‘your momma’ joke?” Gwen asked.

I laughed. Gwen can change the mood.

“No!” Wendy explained. “Anyway, back to what I was going to say before I was rudely interrupted, Vicky’s mom is an extraordinary swordswoman and Vicky will hopefully be one too. Scruffy is going to teach Vicky how to use a sword so she can defeat the Pegmoosecorn and save Bird Land from the Pegmoosecorn.”

“And I’ll see Mom again?” I asked.

“Yeah, you’ll see her again,” Wendy muttered. “Let’s start sword training!”

“Ha!” I snorted. “Using a sword is easy! Killing Pegmoosecorn won’t be hard at all!”

“Well,” Wendy assured. “We don’t want you to mess up and accidentally behead Gwen.”

“Fair point,” I said.

“Hey,” Gwen said. “How is the Pegmoosecorn a threat to Bird Land? How did Vicky’s mom get involved in this mess? And how was the Pegmoosecorn created?”

“Because” Scruffy cried. “A: Vicky’s Mom is our kingdom’s greatest soldier! B: the same thing happened to Vicky’s Mom as a kid that is happening to you right now C: We don’t know how it was created; we just know we want to go to a ‘special place’.”

“Cool!” Gwen yelled.

And so, the training began. Gwen practiced her magical aim with Wendy while I practiced swordsmanship with Scruffy. It was so hard! I should be good like Mom, right? Why was it hard? I screamed after Scruffy gave me advice.

“You okay, Vicky?” Scruffy said.

“No,” I cried. “I can’t do anything right!”

“Well, that’s not true,” Scruffy assured.

“It is! I can’t use a sword like Mom and it’s so unfair! Aside from abandoning her family part, I want to be just like Mom. I screamed.

“Do you know why your mom abandoned you and your dad?” Scruffy asked.

“No.” I said.

“She did it to protect you. The Pegmoosecorn has been a threat since I was given to you, and it is the embodiment of darkness. It can destroy Bird Land and then your realm in a snap.” Scruffy said.

“Oh.” I realized.

“Your mom has weakened it enough so that a child can kill it with one swing.” Scruffy said.

“Why can only a child kill it with one swing? Why can’t magic kill it?” I questioned.

“Because the Pegmoosecorn is afraid of children, so it is weaker to children. Duh. And because Pegmoosecorn can only be stunted by magic, not hurt.” Scruffy explained.

“Why?” I asked.

“Reasons,” Scruffy confirmed.

“Oh. Anyway, does my mom love me?” I questioned.

“Yes,” Scruffy confirmed.

“Finally, I’ve wanted to hear that for a long five years. We must go and save Mom! I can’t give up on her now!” I cried,

“You know what I always say?” Scruffy said.

“No,” I said.

“Love is stronger than hate. This is a fact. There is sadly more hate in this world than love because hate grows faster but, no matter what you will always find love. Love will always, always, defeat hate.” Scruffy said.

“That’s the best and most cringe-worthy quote I’ve ever heard,” I yelled.

“There are many more cringe-worthy quotes than that” Scruffy cried.

“No, there are not.” I teased.

“Sure, but let’s get back to practice.” Scruffy shouted.

We practiced sword fighting for another hour until Scruffy said ‘You’re ready’. Gwen was ready too. Gwen blushed as Wendy talked about how amazing of a sorcerer Gwen was. Wendy and Scruffy tell us the plan.

“You will ride on flying pigs to the Pegmoosecorn cave,” explained Scruffy.

“Of course, flying pigs make sense in this world,” Gwen whispered to me.

“Gwen,” Wendy continued. “You will stun the Pegmoosecorn with your magic while Vicky swings her sword at its black, dark heart.”

“Any questions?” Scruffy asked.

“One,” Gwen questioned. “When will we get into our hero costumes?”

“What?” Scruffy and Wendy yelled.

At least me and Gwen aren’t the ones yelling ‘what’ this time.

“You know,” Gwen explained. “When the hero gets into their costumes for the first time, for the final battle. It looks cool! Plus, how else are we going to make money from saving the day?”

“Excused me?” Scruffy and Wendy cried.

Gwen is a comedic genius (even if she doesn’t always do it on purpose).

“Oh my,” Gwen said. “Why not make a little cash from this? We can sell merchandise, make movies, books, etc.”

“That’s not a bad idea,” Scruffy said. “Wendy, can you please go get some cool-looking clothes?”

“Sure,” Wendy muttered. “As if we cool-looking clothes around this dump.”

We ended up wearing cool-looking clothes for the final battle because Gwen used her magic to make clothes appear. Gwen had a purple sorcerer robe and a purple dress, and I had jeans with a light blue shirt and a green cape.

“Let’s do this”! Gwen and I cried. “Bye Scruffy and Wendy, see you later!”

“Bye!” Scruffy and Wendy exclaimed.

We rode on our flying pigs towards the cave of the Pegmoosecorn. The giant Pegmoosecorn was outraged throwing its arms and acting like a preschooler. This furry brown monster with huge antlers was about to be slain! Then, I realize Gwen is having trouble casting the spell. Oh no!

“I think this is a no-magic zone!” Gwen yelled. “We need to find a lever to get rid of the no-magic zone!”

“How do you know this?” I exclaimed.

“My magic books!” Gwen shouted.

I steer my flying pig all over the place to find one. Suddenly, the Pegmoosecorn grabbed me and my flying pig. I panicked! I shrieked. What am was going to do? Then, I saw two red things on his disgusting hooves’ fingernails (those existed!?). Ew. But they’re levers! But there are two, which one do I pull? The first lever I pull summons crazy red octopus aliens. Oops. I pull the first lever back, but Gwen tries to injure them with her magic and fails because of the no-magic zone. I pulled the second one. Gwen uses her magic to get me out of the Pegmoosecorn’s hooves. Then, we injure the remaining octopus aliens with our magic and swordsmanship. I made sure Gwen was okay because I’m a good friend and not an evil dude.

“Gwen,” I apologize. “I’m sorry about these octopus aliens.”

“Girl,” Gwen yelled. “You had a 50/50 chance these guys would appear. Plus, it’s better for merch!”

I laughed. People will love Gwen in our movies.

All the octopus aliens were injured, and it was time to stunt the Pegmoosecorn. Gwen and I flew closer on our flying pig. Gwen cast the spell. She should have waited when we were closer!

“Oops,” Gwen screamed. “It doesn’t matter. Get close to the Pegmoosecorn now!”

I tried to get closer to it, but my flying pig wouldn’t move! I gave him a treat so he would go. Then, he started to move again.

“Hurry Vicky!” Gwen shouted. “The magic can’t hold up for much longer!”

I took a deep breath. It was time to see Mom again. I lightly kicked the flying pig so it would go faster. The Pegmoosecorn was aiming its magic at me and was trying to fly (but couldn’t because of the spell). I was preparing to take a swing. If I hit his dark heart, Bird Land would go back to normal, and I would get my life back. My life with Mom.

I took the swing and… I did it. I saved the world with Gwen somehow. My life will finally go back to normal. Gwen and I landed our flying pigs.

“We did! We did! We just save the world somehow!” Gwen and I chanted.

We searched the Pegmoosecorn cave for Mom and we found her tied up, unconscious.

“Gwen,” I asked. “Are we too late?”

I started to cry in Gwen’s arms. This is the whole reason I came here, and my Mom is dead? She can’t be! Right? Sigh, I guess I will never get my Mom back or my old life back.

“No,” Gwen whispered. “We’re not too late. Your Mom was just sleeping or pranking us.”

I look up and wipe my tears.

“Mom?” I said as I untied her.

“Vicky?” Mom questioned.

“Yes Mom, it’s Vicky.” I cried.

“You have grown so much! How much of your childhood have I missed?” Mom questioned.

“Five long years,” I spoke.

“I’m so sorry sweetheart but I had to…” Mom cried.

“Mom, I know why you left me. It’s not okay but I forgive nonetheless.” I forgive.

Finally, we hugged. Not caring what the world thought of us. Not caring who we were. It was a hug uniting us again. I started to cry but they were happy tears this time.  Finally, these five long years are over and the next five years will be something beautiful. A time when it would be Mom, Dad, and me again. It’s not going to be the same as before, but it will be a time Mom and I are happier with, compared to these long five years. Then, I realized something, this hug feels like the embodiment of hearts, rainbow, candy, and kittens. Was this hug pure love? How often does pure love occur? Mom and I (and maybe Gwen) could change the world with our love!

“Since when was Bird Land so pretty?” Gwen shrieked.

Or maybe we already did somehow. I guess maybe love is one of our talents along with swordsmanship.

So, what is the lesson here? Love is stronger than hate even if love is harder to find.
Here’s your homework kids, created more love because love is very beautiful. Or as Gwen would say: love keeps us from burning down the planet.


Anoka County Library Write On! 2023 Short Story Contest Winners Copyright © 2023 by Avrie Siedschlag; Ella Howard; Greta Graham; Renad Taher; Rachel Mueller; Daniel Gbati; Julia McBride; Audrey High; Lucia Floan; Rhett LeBeau; Anna Moline; Hannah Jemming; Valomi Lewis; Fen Hendren; Kathryn Downs; Megan Nguyen; Lizzie Elsenpeter; Sophia Accord; and Sophia Acord. All Rights Reserved.

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