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Projects > Story-of-the-Day > sphere

February 18th, 2017

Mom had sent us out to collect some field pennycress from the forest behind our house when we saw a large sphere in a clearing ahead. I looked over at my sister, "Hey, Penny. Look at that. We should go tell mom about it. I don't think that's supposed to be there."

Penny is about 10 meters away from me and running full speed at the sphere before I even turn towards her. "Come on Abe, Let's go check it out."

I'm pretty sure this is a bad idea, but I don't want to leave her alone.

Penny had already circled around the sphere once by the time I catch up. I see her looking carefully at her feet as she steps. She looks up at me, "It's about 95 feet all around it. That would make it..." She looks up and closes her eyes. She's only seven, but she's been doing that since she started doing math in her head at three, "...about 30 feet across. What do you think it is?"

I kneel down, "None of it is touching the ground. It's floating." I eye the sphere carefully, "Come on, let's go and tell mom." I turned to walk back, pretending that I was convincing.

Penny completely ignored my suggestion. "I didn't see any openings or cracks all around. Maybe we can break through?" She moved her hand up towards the sphere but yelped out, "Oh, it's cold!" just as she touched it.

For some reason, seeing her response made me feel like reaching out and touching the object to figure it out for myself. I did and it felt cool, maybe ten degrees Celsius. She always overreacts to temperature. A light appeared in the area that I touched. I pulled my hand back and took a few steps back. Suddenly a circular crack appeared, centered where I had touched the sphere. Instead of opening, all the stuff inside the circle just faded away. It was pitch black inside. I looked at Penny, "Okay, we definitely have to get mom."

She looked at me like I was talking some foreign language. "Hooey!" She then started running and jumping to get into the hole. I grabbed her leg in mid-air. "Hey! Let me go. I need to know what's in there."

I push Penny's foot into the ground, pretending to attach her there, then get up and look at her. "Penny, we came over here and looked at the sphere. We even touched the sphere and made an opening appear. But going inside is too much. We need to go and get mom."

I could see anger growing in Penny's eyes as she prepared to fight me on this. But it quickly faded as she realized I wasn't going to budge. "Fine, let's go back and get mom. But we're bringing her here to figure out what's inside."

"If mom agrees, then I'm okay with that."

Penny is uncharacteristically silent as we start walking back. Suddenly she stops, and looks at me. "I bet I'll have the controls worked out by the time you guys get back." She's already secured a large head start by the time I figure out what's happened. I'm not even close when I see her jump into the opening. The surface rematerializes, and closes the hole the instant that Penny is back in. I move to the spot where she went in and start hitting my hands against it: No lights, no opening, no Penny.

I make the fifteen minute walk home in about six minutes. I grab open the kitchen door and run inside. As I'm trying to catch my breath so I can tell mom what happened, I see that Penny is standing next to her. I point to her, "What? How did you get back here? You were trapped in the sphere."

Mom looks at Penny and then me, "Don't be silly, Abe. Penny's been reading upstairs. She just came down a few minutes ago and is helping me bake some cookies. Penny looks at me and smiles. The whites of her eyes turn black and she winks at me.