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Chapter 1

Timothy J. Bradley Argosy Press PDF

his mom without getting killed—or worse, grounded with no intermaze access.

A brisk knock at the door startled him. The door opened, and his mom stuck her head in. “Sidney, why are you still in your pajamas? We have to get moving, or—”

She saw the half‑assembled device on his desk. “Is that my new voxpod?!?!”

The doorbell rang and Sidney jumped up, relieved for the escape. “I’ll get it!” He squeezed past his mom and ran for the front door.

“I don’t understand why you can’t just take apart your own things….” his mom sputtered as she collected the voxpod pieces and strode into the bathroom to get ready for work. As he ran for the door, Sid could hear Housemate giving his mom the daily data download as the house’s digital brain set the shower temperature to her liking.

Sidney knew the punishment about to be dropped square on his head was only being postponed for lack of time.

He had a long history of dismantling household appliances, from his nanobot to the autopilot on the hoverboard that was his ninth birthday present. His track record of successfully reassembling these objects was less impressive. But when he saw his mom’s brand‑new voxpod, the idea of cracking open the deep red shell to see how it worked was irresistible.

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8. The Plan

Elsa Marston Indiana University Press ePub

A STORY FROM A PALESTINIAN REFUGEE CAMP IN LEBANON

 

The moment the new art teacher walked into Rami’s classroom, he and every other boy bounced up straight in their seats. With her cheerful smile and green eyes, her shiny brown hair and pink smock that said “You Gotta Have Art,” she looked like all the flowers of springtime.

“We are very fortunate, boys,” announced the principal in his best speech-making Arabic, “to have Miss Nuha Trabulsi to teach you art for the rest of the term. Of course, she has to go to other schools in the camp as well, and therefore she can come here only one day a week, on Thursday. But she will make you learn many things about art—how to draw and how to paint, and maybe other things.” He glanced at Miss Trabulsi for confirmation.

She smiled. “Definitely,” she said.

Rami thought, only one hour a week? And he’d have to share Miss Trabulsi with more than a thousand other boys?

Others might have been discouraged by such odds, but not Rami. After one good look at Miss Trabulsi, he decided on his life’s mission—for the next three months, at least.

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Chapter 6

Timothy J. Bradley Argosy Press PDF

CHAPTER 6

With the sun up, it was time to start exploring their first live hive. A small electric vehicle towed a portable miniaturizer from the flying lab out to the hive. Dr. Sharp and Verge, one of his assistants, went first. The students followed. Sid watched as the beam projector was fired and a cloud of mist enfolded Hari and Penny. He could just make out the shrinking forms of his two friends for a moment before they seemed to disappear. The mist cleared, and then he was next on the platform.

Sid barely had time to worry if he was ready when the technician fired up the miniaturizer. When the mist cleared, he was looking at the tech’s shoes, which were now the size of houses.

“Come along! Quickly! The miniaturizer platform must be cleared before the next students can be reduced.”

Dr. Sharp was waving them toward the microshelter. Once all the students were inside, the professor made sure everyone was strapped to the padded floor. He then signaled they were ready to be moved by flashing a series of lights. At their tiny

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1. Santa Claus in Baghdad

Elsa Marston Indiana University Press ePub

A STORY FROM IRAQ (2000)

 

Amal listened gloomily to the little speech that Mr. Kareem had prepared. He spoke in a halting fashion, almost as though he were making an apology, but clearly he was as happy as a bird.

“And I know,” he concluded, “that my students will greet their new teacher with respect and helpfulness, and will show how well Mr. Kareem has taught them about our glorious literary heritage.” He laughed awkwardly at his little joke, and some of the girls responded with polite smiles.

A shy bachelor, Mr. Kareem inspired more respect than affection among his students. Many complained of his tough assignments and rigorous grading, although Amal thought he was quite fair. In any case, no one could deny that Mr. Kareem taught with competence and, in his stammering way, enthusiasm. He loved the works of the old poets and tried valiantly to convey to his students the richness of Arabic literature.

Another teacher leaving us, thought Amal. How many—four this fall?

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Chapter 7

Timothy J. Bradley Argosy Press PDF

CHAPTER 7

The next morning, Penny, Hari, and Sidney returned to the microshelter for breakfast. The other students lined the long tables set up for them, eating and chatting about the exciting day to come. Sid wolfed down another protein bar.

Even in his micro state, his appetite was as big as ever. As he ate, he inspected one of the shock prods used to electrocute any bees that got too curious. The mental itch of his curiosity was focused on how the shock prods worked. And the only way to scratch that itch was to take something apart. He cracked open the titanium casing and stared at the inside.

“What’s up?” Hari asked, sitting down with a tray of food.

“Nothing!” Sid replied guiltily, but when he saw the grin on Hari’s face he relaxed. “Habit, I guess. You know, I think I could make these things deliver a really big shock if

I reversed the polarity of these two modules.”

“I hope you disconnected the battery before you started poking around in that thing,” Hari said. “Otherwise, you’ ll be the one getting the really big shock.”

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