Here it is. Go to Facebook to vote by donating to the appropriate charity. I hope you all enjoy this choose-your-own-adventure project:
Cassie had actually been trying to mind her own business when she’d found it. Her dad had told her plenty of times that curiosity and trouble were rowdy cousins, and comfort and respect for privacy were pleasant neighbors. She didn’t totally understand the second part, but the first part was pretty clear. So Cassie had been working on avoiding a steady stream of people on her way to the park. Instead of ending up at the swings, where she’d wanted to be, she ended up by some bushes. She decided to just stand there and wait a minute while people went back and forth across the sidewalk just outside the park. There wasn’t a lot that was interesting to look at there.
Still, Cassie needed to keep her mind occupied, and she didn’t much feel like talking to anyone, so she kicked around at the ground a bit. A few kicks in, a little blue gem seemed to pop up from the dirt. Cassie took a quick look around. She was fairly sure that neither of her parents would want her taking strange things from the park, but the gem was very pretty. When Cassie finished her look around, she realized that she wasn’t really sure what she was expecting, but nobody seemed to notice that she’d found anything.
She knelt down and brushed some of the dirt away from the gem. It was shiny, and its edges were smooth. Cassie ran a finger along one of the sides. She felt a deep sense of calm as she did so. The gem felt warm, though that didn’t make any sense to her. If it was stuck in the ground, then the gem should be cold. She kept running her finger along its side. As she did so, she realized that the sensation that she felt might not have been centered in her finger. It wasn’t something that started in her touch of the gem and traveling up her arm to her heart. Instead, the warmth seemed to start from inside of her, from her heart and tummy, even though it was triggered by her touching the gem.
Cassie picked up the gem, and she pressed it to her chest. As she did so, she almost fell over. Her head felt light, like a balloon at the end of a string. But not just an empty balloon. She felt like it was filled with helium. For just a minute, Cassie felt like anything was possible. She closed her eyes and felt warm and light. But it was interrupted when she heard some shouting in the park. Cassie opened her eyes and looked around. There were two guys yelling at each other. Cassie had no idea what they were yelling about, but she decided not to hang around long enough to find out.
As Cassie walked away, she kept a careful lookout, though she wasn’t entirely sure what for. There wasn’t anyone that looked particularly threatening. Still, it seemed like there were a lot of people angry with each other. There was a family near the ice cream truck, all yelling at each other about who was ordering what. Just a little ways further, there was a whole group of kids fighting over one of those big, red balls that Cassie had been hit in the head with a number of times during dodgeball games. When one of the kids got it away, he turned and whipped it into the face of the closest kid. Cassie picked up her pace.
She started to worry that maybe the gem triggered all this fighting. She didn’t think that anybody had been fighting before she found it. Cassie liked the feeling that the gem gave her, but she didn’t want to be responsible for anyone getting hurt. She sighed. Cassie held up the gem to take one last look. It was so beautiful. She whispered, “I’m sorry,” and held her hand back, ready to throw it away. Before she could throw it, though, she felt faint. She felt like she did when she stood up to fast. Cassie closed her eyes, hoping to regain her balance. Instead, she lost touch with the world.
It was hard for Cassie to tell how long she’d been out when she opened her eyes again. It was still daytime, so that was something. She touched her head. There wasn’t a bruise or real pain, it seemed. Suddenly, she remembered the gem. She looked around. If she’d dropped it, then it couldn’t be that far away, but she didn’t see it. Cassie got on all fours and looked around. It seemed to have just disappeared. She stood up and brushed herself off. After a few deep breaths, Cassie realized that she felt different. Even better than when she’d first picked up the gem. But before she had a chance to really get a sense of why she felt so good, something happened. Cassie heard some noise, and she looked towards it.
If you want Cassie to see zombies, give to CISHA
If you want the disturbance to be aliens landing, give to Illinois Voices
If you want Cassie to see robots, give to SPICE