“Sucked In” is one of the outstanding stories of the first biannual International Short Story Contest 2018 written by Shiri Issakov, Valley Forge Elementary School, USA.

Sucked In

“Yoohoo!” my phone rang.

“Oh, come on!” I exclaimed as I walked home from school. My older sister texted me that the puppy we wanted to adopt would be delayed by a week and two days – again. I sent back a sad emoji face with tears, and a purple devil for that shelter that kept delaying our golden puppy. I think that words can’t explain feelings as much as emojis and that is why I love every emoji – shapes, colors, faces, food, plants, animals, and so much more! Before I found out about the delay, I remembered that today I was going to send myself a text of every single emoji! My phone had all of the emojis you could ever want!

I put my phone in my pocket and ran for home. Huh! Huh! Huh! Huh! I panted as I got to the house. I flung open the front door and ran upstairs to my room. I closed the door behind me and threw my backpack on the floor. My sister came in. “What’s wrong? You’re panting like crazy!”

“Ummm…I ran home from school for fun,” I replied. She shook her head and left.

I started typing on the first page of the face emojis. I was close to the second page, then the third, then the fifth. I was zooming along, viewing countless emojis: house, city, statue…wait, what? “Ahhh! They have a new emoji!” I yelled. I was so excited to press it. I couldn’t see it clearly so I wanted to know what it was! My finger waited above the button. Finally, I pressed it.

I blinked, and when I opened my eyes there was a bright white that enveloped me. Quickly, I closed my eyes because it hurt to look at it. When I opened them again, I was astonished at what I saw. There were shelves and shelves, and boxes, all in white, and there was an emoji in each box. I walked to the second page of emojis and suddenly heard, “What are you, a girl who is confused?”

“Who said that?” I replied.

“Me, Question Mark,” the question mark said.

I looked up and saw a question mark. “Can you all talk?” I asked.

“Hello, hello! Welcome to Emoji World!” they all sang.

“WOW!” I said. I was shocked! I need a phone.”

“So go to Phone. He will be happy to share with you. Then you can find your shelf and your box using the GPS and make new friends,” said Question Mark. “If you need something, always remember to go to him. They’ll be willing to help you. Deal?”

“Deal,” I replied. And then I went to find the phone.

I found the phone, and on the way to my box, I texted my mom that I was having a sleepover at my friend Lizzy’s house. Finally, I found my box. It was empty. I got in. My neighbors were Angry Face on one side, and Face with Tears on the other. I didn’t want to just sit there, so I got out and went to Bed. He gave me a bed to sleep in. Then I checked the time on my new phone – 10:00 PM – bed time! I got into the warm, cozy, light pink bed, and fell asleep.

The next morning, I woke up to see Angry Face already awake. I stretched my arms and legs and got out of bed. Today I was going to try and get myself out of here. First, I went to Peach, Orange Juice, and Pancakes. I ate breakfast, which was extremely good, and went on to Owl. “He must be wise,” I thought. When I got to the animal page, I searched in the bird section. I found Owl, and asked where he thought the books might be. “Ah, I wise question,” he answered. “If you go back to the second page, you will find it at the bottom.” I headed off. “Good luck!” he called behind my shoulder.

“Thank you!” I called back.

I had found the books, specifically Encyclopedia, and looked for stretchy things. Finally, I found some. Rubber bands, slime, melted cheese, elastic, and gum. Those were all the stretchy things I could find. I scanned over the list again. Wait…that was it! Elastic! Where was I going to find him? I figured I’d ask Question Mark.

After asking Question Mark where to find Elastic, I was on my way to page five. When I got to page four, I saw strong Arm Muscles. I asked to have three of them, and, of course, I got three. I arrived at page five and found Rope, a different Rope, and Elastic. I found him! I asked for two of them to come with me.

When I got back to my box, after using the GPS again because I had forgotten where it was, I tied both Elastics together to make one long one. Then I took two Arm Muscles and put them on either side of Elastic. “Do not move. Just keep you place,” I commanded.

“Okay,” they replied.

“Last of all, I need the third Arm Muscles. You are going to pull back as far as you can, and when I say to, you will let go. Now stay there while I say good-bye to everyone.” I walked up to Microphone and made my speech. “Everyone, I might be gone when I try to slingshot myself out of this phone. Good-bye!” I called.

Since I didn’t have time to go to each emoji, I decided to only go to the emojis I knew. First, I went to Microphone, Peach, Orange Juice, and Pancakes, and said good-bye. Then I went to Encyclopedia, Elastic, and Bed. Next, I went to Phone, Arm Muscles, and Owl. I saved the best for last – Question Mark. I said the longest good-bye and thank you from all the other emojis, because he had helped me the most. When I was finished, I ran back to where my “slingshot” was, and told Arm Muscles to let go. “GO!” I yelled with all my might.

Once again the flashing white came around me. “It worked!” I thought in surprise. When I opened my eyes again, I was back in my room, my hand hovering over the magnificent button.

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