My name is Terra. And this is how I met the idea that changed the world.
A lot of people don’t know this, but ideas are alive. They fly from house to house, school to school, and country to country, looking for artists and thinkers who will take them in. Most people never notice them, either because they’re so distracted by their problems, themselves or just life in general. A few people are open enough to notice ideas and even fewer are willing to say yes and actually work with them. And I can’t blame them—ideas can sometimes be really, really—how do I say this without being mean? Annoying.
Remember Isaac Newton? And gravity? That idea threw an apple at him. Newton said yes, but gee whiz, what a jerk. And Einstein? Relativity wanted so much attention that it never even gave him time to comb his hair. Poor guy. It was no wonder he couldn’t get a girl.
Ideas are really persistent too. They’ll do anything to get you to notice them. Harry Potter stopped a whole train to introduce himself to J.K. Rowling. Twilight came in a dream to Stephanie Meyer and wouldn’t leave her alone all day until she finally wrote it down.
But one thing you need to know about ideas is that they can be really sensitive. And that leads us to the idea that this story is about. Her name was Celeste. And she knew deep in the bottom of her magical, fairy-dust-filled belly that she could change the world. So she flew from house to house, school to school, and country to country, looking for someone who would work with her. But no matter how far she flew and how many doors she knocked, no one answered her. It was like no one could even see her.
Until one day, she met a boy named Mark.
“You can see me?!” Celeste shouted in surprise.
“Of course I can see you!” Mark replied, jumping up and down. “This is so cool!”
“I wasn’t sure you could see me,” Celeste started. “Because I’ve been from Tokyo to Tasmania, and universities and preschools, to janitors and presidents, and even a black-headed spider monkey and now you can see me!” She went on rambling uncontrollably because she couldn’t hold in her excitement. But then she realized that even though Mark could see her, he hadn’t said that he would work with her.
So she paused, covered her mouth, and lowered her head. Then she put her hands behind her back and crossed her ankles shyly as she floated above the floor of his room. “Will you…will you work with me?”
“Of course!” Mark shouted.
“Really?!” Celeste cried, covering her mouth again. “You really will?”
“Of course I will! I work with ideas all the time.” And he grabbed her hand and pulled her through his house and into his room where he showed her all the stories he had written with other ideas before her. There were dozens of them. Stories about dragons and princes, and vampires and werewolves, and even some about ideas themselves. And when Celeste saw them and how excited he was to talk about them, she knew she’d found the one.
So she let out a shout of joy then grabbed his collar and shook him. “We have to get to work as soon as possible! There’s a really bad idea named Control and he’s trying to make the world a place where no ideas can ever be seen again. But I have a way to stop him. If you work with me, I promise to protect you, inspire you, and give you everything in my power to help you. But you have to promise me one thing.”
“What’s that?” Mark asked.
“That you’ll never abandon me.”
Mark nodded. “I promise.”
And they shook hands and made a deal.
“We’re gonna change the world,” they said together.
But what Mark didn’t know, was how seriously ideas take their promises.