The first time it happened, it was like a dream.  I did not think of anything else but what my eyes and ears were processing to my brain: nothing.  Well, it was black.  Black, empty, desolate, but it seemed to go for infinity.  The first thing that popped into my head was: blackhole.  But that was too crazy because I had just sat on my bed and grabbed a book to read.  There was no possible way I was in a black hole.

   I don’t exactly remember how long I was in there.  I think I just sat there floating in the airy blackness and then I saw it.  The book.  I air-swam my way to it and saw the page I had previously flipped to when I decided to finally research about the solar system theories.  I had apparently, as I found out later, had opened the library book to the page about black holes.  But back in the black empty world I had soon found myself in, I grabbed the open book and slammed it shut.  The black world vanished and I was back in my room.

   After that it kept happening.  Jumping to the pages of a book and living inside of it.  You know, something like that of what happens to Jack and Annie in the Magic Tree House books?  Or like being in a dream but it feels really life like?  Every night when I would sit to read a book or study for a science, or history test it would happen – flumping.  Yes, I know it is a real word, but seriously it actually feels like I am falling into an unknown world – fast and heavily.  I came up with the word, I thought at first.  It is a mix of jumping and flipping.

  When I flump, my eyes close of their own accord every time.  I then feel like I am being squeezed as if someone grabbed me, thinking I was a ketchup bottle and tried to squeeze the ketchup/life right out of me.  It’s painful, but as soon as it came, it’s gone.  The pain stays but I find myself, with my eyes open and in a different era, time, event, room, etc.  It’s weird.

   Even weirder that time actually goes by.  But yet when I arrive back in my room, I feel like I slept.

   After flumping through the different ages of the 1900s, B.C., etc., and the science fiction novels, autobiographies, short kids’ stories, I never expected another could flump with me.  It must have been a few months after the discovery of flumping when one of my best friends, Kalista, had hidden under my bed as a prank.  It was April Fools.  She took that day of all days overly serious; maybe because it was my birthday.

  Throughout the day, I found her in different areas of my house, pulling pranks on me.  I expected them.  After knowing her for two of my birthdays, I always expected something having do with silly string, cakes thrown in my face, huge empty birthday presents, and stuff like that.

  But I totally did not expect what would happen that night.  I swear I saw Kalista leave my house that Saturday night.  After she had gone, I went upstairs to take a shower and rid myself of the silly string, glitter, goo, dirt, sand, and stickers in my hair.  I was walking back into my room as I yelled down to Mom and Dad a good night, when I heard their snickering.  I entered my room like a ninja.

    I was prepared for anything, so I thought.  I searched my entire room, nothing.  I didn’t bother to check underneath my bed.  Mom and Dad wouldn’t hide anything there. They were always getting on to me shoving things under my bed frame.

  Thinking they snickered to put me in an uncomfortable ninja mode, I plopped on my soft-cloud covers and reached for the book Kalista had given me as a present, the supposed prank out of my mind.  She had covered the book cover in chewed up bubble-gum so I couldn’t tell what the title was.  I was about to peel the gum off with some paper towels when I freaked out.

   “BOO! There’s a monster underneath your bed!” yelled a-too-well familiar voice.

   The book flew out of my hands when Kalista popped her head out from underneath the mattress, catching my facial reaction.  “Kallie! No! What have you done?” I screamed in a heart-racing gasp.

   She just laughed at my face saying, “April Fools!”

   I peeked over my bedside, and saw the book not open on the floor.  It lied just behind Kalista’s smirking face.  I moved off and attempted to step on my friend’s fingers.  Instead those fingers reached my book first.

  “Oh! You’re reading the book I gave you.  Prepare for it sister, it’s dangerous.”  She had no idea that I took that on a whole different level.

  “Dangerous?” I asked, my heart beating at its normal pace now.  I tried to snatch the book from Kallie, but she placed it in her bag hanging around her shoulder.

  “Yeah, bunch of war and romance.  It plays tricks on you.  Plays with your heart, girlfriend.  Trust me. Dangerous stuff in there.”

  Yeah, it could be more dangerous than just reading it.

   “But, no reading for you tonight,” she continued still smirking, “You wanna go to a real party, birthday girl?”

   I didn’t really, but Kallie had been trying to make me go to teenager parties for so long.  “How will you ever become more social?” was her comeback after I’d say no every time.  But this time was different.

   I looked at her in the eyes, “No.  Because this is a prank isn’t?”

   She shook her head quickly, “No, I swear, Lizzy.  Look we’ll even stay here until midnight, if you so wish.”

   It was only 8:43 pm.  I shrugged and said, “But how do I know this isn’t a joke?  And what about my parents?  You know how they don’t like me going out late.”  I crossed my arms.

  “Your ps are cool with it.  You’re seventeen now.  It’s at some place your parents are really agreeable with.  A few friends from my class are coming and some people from that groupie thing you go to….Oh I wasn’t supposed to say that.”  Kalista had her hand on her mouth.

  I gasped, “No…you didn’t!”

  She hid a smile.  “I was just told to pick you up and tell you to prepare yourself for some fun!”

   I raised my eyebrows and glared at her.

  “What? It’s a surprise!  So yeah…Surprise!!” she laughed, grabbing my hand and making me follow her out my door and down the stairs.  She told my parents she was kidnapping me and with that whisked me out the front door into the cool night air.

   “How are we getting there, Kal?” I asked, squeezing my hand out of hers.

   As if to answer me, headlights appeared in the driveway with a honk.

   We drove the two minutes to our church where a few cars were parked.  “Church?” I gasped in a whisper.  Rylie, our driver and really good friend, nodded, “Hey, look, I didn’t form this group, okay?  It’s as much as a surprise to you as it is to me.  By the way, happy birthday, Liz.”

   Rylie’s birthday was the day right after mine.  Then there was Joe’s right after that.  Crazy week.

   I went to get out of the car, but Kalista grabbed my arm and swiftly blocked my vision with her hands.  We got out of the parked car and walked to and in the entrance of the building.  The lights were out, I could tell.  There was quiet whispering.  I laughed to myself; my youth group couldn’t stay quiet to save themselves.

   For a moment I felt Kalista leave my side.  Her hands uncovered my eyes, but even if I tried to see something, I could not.  It was just too dark.

   “No…over here.  No. Here.  Gosh, stop moving,” I heard Kalista say in her best attempt of whispering.

   “Kalista, I can hear what you are saying,” I told her with a smirk.

   I heard a laugh that brought goosebumps.  “Kalista?” I whispered to my left, hoping she was there.  She laughed very quietly, “Chill, Liz, it’s fine.  You’re fine.  Here take this.”

   I held my hands out but felt nothing but air.  I guess she was talking to the person obviously standing a few feet in front of me.  I gulped.  “Give it to her,” Kalista said, her footsteps getting closer along with someone else’s.

   I took a deep breath as I felt something my fingers were more than used to – a book.  “Um…hi,” I said to the guy in front of me.  It couldn’t be him.  Kallie wouldn’t.  My face was red.

   Kalista grabbed my shoulder.  Yep, she would, because she was weird and liked putting me in embarrassing moments, but I wasn’t sure who it was…yet.  I opened my eyes.  The guy on the other end of the book hadn’t let go.  I couldn’t see him that well.

   “Hey, Elizabeth,” the mystery guy said.

   I froze up, but only after the book left my hands…and fell towards the floor.  Everything went slow motion.  The lights came on as everyone who had hidden , I gasped as I was for sure that Steve was the one that handed me the book, the book’s pages flew like the wind as the cover (which was no longer covered in gum) opened, and it hit the ground.  Then it happened to land open to the content of characters.  Finally, ghostly bluish-silver bright mist came from the book, encircling us all, and it began to begin.

   “Oh darnz,” I said as time went fast and before a big blur collided into me and the blue mist covered four bodies.  We were sucked into the book.  I finally saw it, my eyes open this flump and all that was in my ears was,

  “Heya, Blue!!”

   And then it hit me….My birthday just got worse and better at the same time.

~Perrissa

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