Looking For Joy

Chapter One: A Book

One night, one cursed night, the boy Jack was reading in his room when the smell of his grandma’s brownies replaced the plain old airy smell. Just a month before, his pops died. Later on, feelings still carried through the tragedy. One day, the day this all triggered, his mom came up to him, tears came dripping down her face. “Son,” she took a heavy sigh, “Pops died.” That was it. Those were the only three words she said before walking out the door. In memory of him. He was buried in the graveyard across the street from Jack’s house. Every night, Jack would view the picture of Pops that he placed under his pillow. Tears would roll down his cheeks just like his mother when she told him about Pops’ death. But this night, this night felt different for him. Winds howled at the milky white moon and blew through the dark, lonely streets in a hurry. Clouds started to group together. The sky grew darker as he kept reading.

He thought and thought. There were some hmms and ahhs then an aha! He discovered the thing behind all this. Jack thought about this for a long time. The winds continued to howl, followed by the lightning striking out of anger. Jack yawned, and as he did that he put his book away and into bed he went. He tucked the covers on in one swift move and fell dead.

The bell struck, twelve o’clock. In one shake, Jack woke up. In a panic, he got out of his bed and took a look around. Winds still blew and howled but not as much as before. The book, that was what was on Jack’s mind right now. Slowly and carefully, he took the handles on the window and nudged it, aware to not make a single sound. A small mouse squeaked as he pulled the window. He kept doing this motion despite it made a little noise. Now the window was big enough to fit an entire human, enough to fit Jack. Thinking, Jack leaned towards the window and took a look down. Not too deep. His body trembled and shook, thinking and wondering. He started back to his bed, then turned around making his final decision. He ran the edge of the room, were there were closets, posters, and down to the left corner, a door. He took two big steps toward the window in a fast pace and one giant leap flying out the window. Kicking his legs, Jack managed to have a decent landing right in front of the rose bush at the time that a car hustled by. Jack ducked in the sharp rose bush, making sure not to be seen.

The lights lit up the sidewalk, shining almost as much as the full white moon that stood out in the pitch black sky. Jack, who was very scared, made a sprint staying very low across the street and climbed over the low graveyard fence. He checked his watch, twelve ten. He still had time but not a lot. He crawled across the graveyard. Jack had memorized where his grandpa was buried to rest. One left, two rights, another left, then the final right turn. He kept repeating this to himself over and over again until he felt confident. He kept going through the graveyard, passing stones carved with letters. The bitter cold air pinched on Jack’s tongue. Though Jack was used to the graveyard, as if it were a normal thing, and it never really scared him, now was when he was really tested. Shaking and shivering, from not just the cold but the intensity and how freaked out he was, Jack continued step by step on the clumpy dirt through the graveyard. He took his final turn as a light shone on him. Jack froze. I’m dead. The light though continued to shine throughout the graveyard and left him frozen in his tracks. Jack, now with more caution, took his last steps to get to Pops grave. He took his frozen bare hands and started to dig on the hard dirt ground. Jack’s hands started to bleed with pain, but the boy Jack didn’t stop shoveling the dirt. With exhaust, he took a breath. The boy Jack studied the headstone, reading everything, then fixes his head down staring at the dirt. Though, not just dirt was in his sight, but a golden thick book stuffed with pages you could see sticking out.

Now, the boy Jack was not just any boy. He was a smart boy. And with that, what he was searching for, was positively lying right in front of him. Any other kid wouldn’t know that his or her desire lied right in front of them.

Jack immediately identified this book, unlike others could have done. He snatched the book and made a run for it. Jack traced his steps back, following them back home. He looked up at the sky and couldn’t help it but stop and stare. The stars were twinkling in the pitch black sky and the moon shown the path for the lost aliens who were probably trying to find their way home.

Jack suddenly realized what he was doing and went back to running, clutching the book so tight that his palms were starting to turn a bright pink just like his face from the cold, intense weather. Jack climbed over the fence and froze in his tracks. How do I get back up there? Jack clutched the book even tighter and then jumped on the tree, hugging it. He climbed the tree, grasping every part he can. Jack then switched over to climbing the nearest branch to the window. Though there was quite a big gap between. Jack was up for anything, my reader. You should know that. Jack gripped the book one more time and then risked himself, then made the jump.

At first, Jack just closed his eyes as he was flying through the air, then opened them, then hit the floor followed by a thud that could have woken everyone up. Jack threw his clothes off, closed the window, ran to bed, and then placed the book under the pillow where Pops’ picture was.

“I cracked the code, Pops. I did it.”

The next day was Saturday. It was seven o’clock when Jack’s alarm clock went off. No one was up yet, but Jack felt something peculiar. He dug under his pillow and found the dusty golden book. He opened the book and blew off the dust. It flew in his face. Jack started to read. It was hard, but he put his all into it. In big, bold, handwritten letters the book said:

One left two rights, another left, then a final right turn. This is how you found this book.

Jack found this odd, because it was right. He peeled through the pages.

There are three steps to joy. One: find it. Two: use it. Three: share it.

Step number three was scribbled out.

Jack also found this odd. What could this mean? Jack closed the book and thought. Now was when his brain was really working.

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