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5/29/2017 3:42:16 AM

Leonard Lucas: A True Story

RIIINNNNGGGGG!!!! Leonard Lucas yawned and sat up. He rubbed his eyes. RIIINNNNGGG!! Stupid alarm clock. Leonard slapped it and it stayed quiet. He yawned again. My shift, he thought. Leonard got out of bed and pulled on some clothes. He put on his work boots and those weird rubber covered gloves that were still wool on the inside. The Tire Factory. What a place to work. You don’t have to be in there for long to smell like rubber. Yep. And the smoke. There was smoke everywhere. Smoke in your eyes, smoke in your lungs, smoke in your mouth. Smoke was, in general, everywhere. Leonard and the other boys trudged toward the Tire Factory, the big gray brick on the horizon, with the neon sign that said “We Don’t Tire!” Leonard hated that sign. Quick before he got to the door, Leonard glanced at the picture of his mom, the picture that he always carried with him. His mom was sick. With a disease no one knew how to cure. He stuffed the picture away when he got to the door. A man in a blue bellhop suit with a yellow fez stood at the door. “Name.” The yellow fez man said. “Leonard Lucas Lynch.” Leonard replied. He had to say his full name. “Ok Leo, you’re on the gripping station for first period, then molding for second.” The yellow fez man nodded at Leonard. That meant get to work. Leonard hated when people called him Leo. Or Luke. His middle name was alright. Leonard shrugged and walked down with some other boys to the treacherous gripping station. The gripping station was where the various kinds of tires that came through the tire factory got their grips. Traction. It is called treacherous because you stick a hot iron mold of the grip into an even hotter rubber tire. Next, you hold the tire to the grip for 10 seconds while the machine cools down the tire. Finally, you use a crowbar to get the metal mold off. Leonard would be the boy who put the mold on. Of course, the worst job. A kid who was about 15 handed a smoking hot tire to Leonard. “Do the mold, Lucas.” said the kid. Leonard didn’t reply. He just grabbed the steaming tire with his special gloved and pressed the mold into it. He set it down. And waited. You had to wait for 3 minutes for the mold to get settled. Three minutes was up. Leonard handed the hot tire to the boy nearby. Pain flashed and roared in Leonard’s foot. His vision went blurry, and spots speckled his eyesight. He looked down to see his empty hands, and a smoking tire and iron mold on his foot. He could smell a weird, smoky and charred smell. Maybe it was burnt clothes. Or flesh. He looked away, and suddenly, the ground rushed up to meet him. As you can tell, the Tire Factory is a very unsafe place. Especially the nurse’s office. Because most of the boys who have been to the nurse suspect that she is not really a nurse. Why do they say this? First, the room its self. There were lots of shelves, with weird curvy jars with yellow goo in them. Some were green stained glass. There weird lamps and pots and censers, and altars. There were mysterious books on the shelves that one boy said were Arabic and another said were hieroglyphics. This is where Leonard was now. His eyes opened, and he tried to sit up. A roaring headache made known it’s presence, and Leonard winced and laid back down. His foot was wrapped in so many bandages he couldn’t see it at all. It throbbed, though. “Easy there,” a voice said from behind him. Leonard looked around. He laid eyes on the nurse. She was very dark skinned. Her thick hair was braided into one big rope of hair at the back of her head. The necklace she wore resembled a plate of gold. She wore a shawl of green wool with several animal skins on top of it. Her arms were bare except for lots of bracelets and armbands with dangly bells on them. She was generally creepy. Leonard though she resembled something called a witch doctor that he read about in a book. “Make yourself at home while I go brew you some medicine.” She said, seeing his wide eyes. Leonard nodded shyly. She walked into what he thought was a kitchen. The door was a bear hide hung from a few rings. Leonard sat up. The headache wasn’t horrible now. He looked around. So many weird trinkets. Where to start? Several things caught Leonard’s eye. There was a lantern that was made out of gold and the handle was made of snakes that intertwined and bit each other’s tails. There was a candle inside it, but it was not lit. The next object was a tail, and it was scaled and had a scorpion stinger at the end. There was a censer overflowing with a purple smoke, and a candelabra that was made out of a dark, black rock. Leonard decided to go for the strange lamp, because it was closest. He picked it up and took it back to his bed, hobbling and wincing all the way. “Be careful with that one, Lucas.” Leonard started. The nurse was standing in the doorway, holding a wooden bowl full of something. Whatever it was, it was steaming. Leonard thought it strange that she called him by his middle name. “What is it? Why is it important?” Leonard asked. The woman chuckled. “That, my dear Lucas, is the Pharaoh Khufu’s Lamp of Snakes. Myth has it, he used the djinni inside to build the great pyramid. It was a djinni of great power. The old texts say that if you hold the lamp in the right way and the candle lights, you can summon the djinni of the Lamp.” She replied. Questions flooded Leonard’s mind. What was a djinni? Do you know how to use it? Is it dangerous? Can I keep it? “Ok, ok, ok. First, what’s a djinni? Do you know how to use it?” “Hold on, son,” the nurse said. “One question at a time. A djinni is a powerful spirit from the nether realm, the dwelling place of all djinni. And no, I don’t know how to use it. But you can tinker with it if you want. While you do that, drink this.” She put the wooden bowl on an altar near the bed, and went back into the kitchen. Leonard took a sip of the weird elixir. It tasted good! It tasted like honey and apples on a frosty winter morning, or mint and a sunny field. He took another gulp and picked up the lantern. He held it up and in front of him with his arm extended. Leonard squinted. He though he saw the candle flicker. He held it up again and tried something different. “Ignite.” The room started shaking. It was a column of sand with 2 brightly glowing orbs inside that peered at Leonard in a slightly disdainful way. “My name Is Oquarus. What is your wish, O angelic, becoming, and incredible master?” The djinni said a bit to eloquently. Leonard just stared. “What do you want me to do for you?” The djinni said in a less formal voice. Again, Leonard was speechless. Soon, Leonard stuttered out a few words. “Y-you will do m-m-my will and not h-hurt me.” He said. Leonard was very afraid of the djinni named Oquarus. “And I was hoping you would forget to say that so I could devour you. Happened a few times with my masters over the centuries. You’re kinda small for a wizard, aren’t you?” Oquarus asked. Leonard stood as tall as he could. “Um, I’m not a wizard.” Leonard said as bravely as possible. “So you’re gonna let me go.” Oquarus stated. “No! Are you serious? I just found you! How long have you been sleeping in that lantern?” Leonard shouted back. The pillar of sand sighed and changed shape into a buffalo. “Never seen anything shape-shift before? Well, we djinni can shape shift. We also can’t stay on the human earth for too long, or it corrupts our ether and makes us weak. Just letting you know the rules. And I was in the lantern for who knows how long. You broke the spell of Indefinite Confinement.” Oquarus said. “Here are the rules for your three wishes. I can’t give you 3 more wishes, I can’t save people from terminal disease, and— no, do you think I’m a god? And third, I can’t kill anyone on my own free will, sadly. Unless they mess up on their own, during, say, an incantation, or they order me to kill them.” Oquarus stated. Leonard’s face fell at the second rule. “Can you find a cure for a terminal disease?” Leonard asked. “Possibly, depending on what disease it is and if there is a magical artifact powerful enough to cure it.” Oquarus replied. “Is there one in this room? My mom has a disease the doctors coined Screaming Sleep Fever, because the sores she gets make her yell when she sleeps.” Leonard said glumly. Oquarus glanced around the room. “Boy, there is some powerful stuff in here. You have the chimera tail? That there is Yoash’s Censer, and the black thing over there is the Candlestand of dusk. Yoash’s trinket may be able to cure your mother, but I don’t know the rite to activate it.” Oquarus said. Leonard looked downcast. “Can you try? Are you sure there is absolutely nothing else in here that has healing powers?” He asked. The nurse to a long time to reply, starting into the distance. She turned away, not able to face him. Then, she suddenly turned around and said “Never gonna give you up, never gonna let you down Never gonna run around and desert you Never gonna make you cry, never gonna say goodbye Never gonna tell a lie and hurt you We've known each other for so long Your heart's been aching but you're too shy to say it Inside we both know what's been going on We know the game and we're gonna play it And if you ask me how I'm feeling Don't tell me you're too blind to see Never gonna give you up, never gonna let you down Never gonna run around and desert you Never gonna make you cry, never gonna say goodbye Never gonna tell a lie and hurt you Never gonna give you up, never gonna let you down Never gonna run around and desert you Never gonna make you cry, never gonna say goodbye Never gonna tell a lie and hurt you We've known each other for so long Your heart's been aching but you're too shy to say it Inside we both know what's been going on We know the game and we're gonna play it I just want to tell you how I'm feeling

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