Mr. Kent’s Wall of Wonders

By D.D. Roy

Each year, Mr. Kent dreaded this day most of all.

It wasn’t really the report that was due. The forms were easy to fill in now that headquarters had sent him the ScanBot 5000, which made categorizing all his magical items quite simple.

His problem waited in Cabinet 11. He faced the wall of doors, each a different color. They varied from the largest, which held a flying bicycle (the girl who eventually wrote the movie E.T. had lived near him as a boy and caught Mr. Kent riding it one night in front of the full moon), to the smallest, barely the size of a ring box, which held a small rock from Mars.

The bell rang, and he stood near the window watching the students of Trinity hurry by. He spotted Jinnie first, jostled among the faster students, lost in thought. No doubt she was hearing or sensing a dozen colliding wishes among the middle schoolers, all ringing inside her head for attention. She’d described it as a buzzing feeling, like when you rode in a car that vibrated really hard, making your stomach quiver. She’d gotten used to it, and now it didn’t make her feel sick, but the sensation still made it hard for her to focus on anything else.

Soon he saw Maddy and her twin sister Grace. Maddy stomped down the sidewalk, shoving people out of the way. She wore her crazy striped tights as usual. No doubt some teacher would be sending her to the office at some point during the day.

Grace stepped daintily through the crowd, hugging other girls and smiling at everyone. Mr. Kent chuckled to himself. Grace glanced at the window and waved. She pointed at her wrist. He had loaned her a bright red bangle bracelet with a smiley face painted on it. She nodded and gave him a thumbs up. Good, that meant it was working.

Grace had a tendency to cry too much, and sometimes her bright smile was really hiding a deep and powerful sorrow. The enchanted bangle had the ability to cheer up anyone who wore it. You just had to tap the smiley face twice and think of one good thing that had happened to you. The happiness of that moment would then spread to your whole body, and any temporary sadness faded away.

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