Genre: MG Light SciFi
Logline: Ten children in Johnson Bays have gone missing, only to turn up inside the online social media site FacePlace. Something went wrong, and the child responsible for using the top-secret government machine, the Polerizeroid, is inside with them. What they don’t know is they have less than 24 hours to escape. Before they disintegrate into the stratosphere.
The heat of summer rolled into the small community of Johnson Bays. The time of year when the children roamed barefoot, playing tag until well after sunset, and the evenings filled with the hum of crickets and gentle breezes.
Kalliope’s shadow loomed over her nine-year-old brother. “You aren’t pulling the wings off that dragonfly? Are you?”
Theo dropped the open jar, along with the tweezers, splattering iridescent bugs over the ground, creating a carpet of blinking lights before they lifted off and flew away. “They’re fireflies! And you ruined it!”
“You dropped them.”
Kali’s voice had its way of startling Theodore, making him nervous, making him think he did something wrong. Did she always have to be so bossy? Theo wouldn’t actually be hurting the insects, but sometimes his experiments didn’t appear cruelty-free.
“I’m telling Mom! And Dad. And Grandpa—can’t tell Grandma--but she already saw you, ‘cause she can see ALL now.” Kali imitated an evil eye.
Theo scrambled to collect the items from the street before darkness fell completely, so he didn’t leave anything behind: saucers, cups, and water bottles with mosquito larva, assorted-size jars, and Lego links. Everything on display went into the plastic milk crate on the curb. Kali continued her inspection up close, and zeroed in.
“Um, what’s in there?” She pointed.
Theo looked around, and pretended not to know what she was talking about. He thought if he ignored her she might just go away. No chance.
“You gotta set those free, too. You can’t keep ‘em.”