The Monster in the Hero

The following story is the 5th/6th grade winner of the Solana Santa Fe Elementary School Science Fiction Writing Contest.The judging criteria included creativity, originality, scientific accuracy and writing mechanics.Twenty-five students submitted stories and they were all fantastic!

Next week will include the winner of the 2nd/3rd/4th grade contest. Coastal Cosmos columnist Kyle Stock is a teacher at Solana Santa Fe Elementary School.

By Cooper Mortimer

My name’s Shizumi Izuru. I was born in Tokyo, Japan. When I turned 10, my ordinary life was twisted into a miraculous adventure. I love sushi, so for my birthday dinner my family took me to Hiriko’s Sushi, the most famous sushi restaurant in Tokyo. Another added treat was the fact that Hiriko’s was right next to nuclear power plant and I loved learning about nuclear physics.

Halfway through my birthday meal I needed a nature break. Someone had left a comic in the bathroom and I started reading “The X-Men.” I hadn’t realized how long I had been in there until I finished the comic. As I washed my hands, I noticed the water had an eerie green tint. I ignored it and dried my hands. Once I came out, I discovered Hiriko’s abandoned. Sirens were blaring ear-screeching warnings, but the area was deserted.

When I reached home, my two sisters and brother where screaming “Nuclear reactor leak!” My parents were frantically packing their bags. I asked my mom what was happening. Without looking up she says, “The nuclear plant had a leak!” My mom turned and looked at me, screamed and passed out.

I looked in the mirror and screamed myself. I looked like I was dipped in a vat of green paint. Then the doorbell rang. A man in a Hazmat suit, holding a Geiger counter madly beeping, stepped in. In a stern tone he announced, “Your son is radioactive.”

I was isolated, stuck in a room with only a bed, a toilet, a sink, and a TV. After a month of being in the room, I realized my radiation poisoning had given me the power to release radiation, but I couldn’t control it. I felt like a monster. I’d have no human contact ever again.

One day an announcement came on the TV. A meteor was headed for Tokyo, guaranteeing certain destruction for all. I had an idea of how to stop it — if I could get to the core, I could maximize my radiation powers and explode the meteorite. But I was scared. I’d probably die. I thought about my two sisters and brother and my parents and something inside of me made an automatic decision. Saving my family and friends was more important than my life.

The day after the news report, I escaped isolation. I raced to the Tokyo Space center where I hijacked a rocket. I blasted myself straight into the meteor. I meditated, spreading the burning sensation from my head into my stomach. I thought of all the memories I had of my friends and family and said good-bye to them in my mind and let out all the radiation I could.

I awoke in a hospital bed. I couldn’t believe I had lived. After vaporizing the meteor, a protective shell cooled around me as I hit the earth. Even better, my body had blown out all the radiation. It’s funny how being a monster helped me be a better human.


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