“Lively Minded” — a story by Zachary J. Kriebs

One City One Story 2016 Writing Contest: “A Vivid Memory”

Honorable mention

Category 1: Grades 3-5


“Lively Minded”

by Zachary J. Kriebs

Grade 5

Sierra Madre Elementary School


“Papa”, William said hopefully. “Do you mind telling me the story about you as a kid?”

“Why, yes of course, but aren’t you getting tired of the same old story every time?” asked William’s father, Lee.

“No Papa, of course not, it gets better every time you tell it!” William says enthusiastically.

“Well then, let the story begin,” Lee says with a sigh.

“Forty-three years ago, I was born on the Delta 5571 space station orbiting Mars on May 22, 2128. Three days after I was born, I was diagnosed with a disease called Genisisium. The disease is when you can’t remember experiences a few minutes after they have just occurred. I was given surgery immediately after they found out about the disease. The surgeons had to give me a new brain because of the immense size of the infection.

“The new brain was mechanical but miraculously—as the surgeon had not expected this to work—my body accepted the new brain as if the old brain was never taken out in the first place. The downside of a mechanical brain is that it must be serviced every 7-8 months.

“The brain records and documents every memory I experience and then saves it in a memory drive. Any memory could be accessed at any time. The first year or two of my life was spent in the hospital so the doctors could regularly check on the brain and its behavior towards the body, and to make sure the brain stayed functional. Then, when I was released at the age of three, I was taken to the preschool where all the children from the ages 3-4 would go to on the space station.

“My teacher Mrs. Bellitranceic was very impressed with my knowledge with mathematics and speech, that is, I wasn’t acting as a college student. I was advanced for my level. During the time of my grade school, grades 1-6, I wasn’t made fun of as I had expected. The children were bewildered at the knowledge I had, depending on the subject. Around fourth grade, I had about seven different close friends and many other less close friends.

“When I graduated fourth grade and was moving into fifth, I found out what I could do with my brain; I could make holographic images of my memories. It was cool to see the reactions on my friends’ faces as I showed them each a holographic image of the first time we met. When I went into middle and high school, people wanted to use me. People would use me to show bad things about others that I witnessed. My closest friend from grade school Timothy found out what they were doing and put a stop to it.

“After high school, I went to the Masses University, where I studied biochemistry and computer science and found the love of my life, Balathia Koldstein. We both agreed on what and how the Mars colony could be improved, and after two years of dating, I proposed on January 9th, 2149 when the park’s view of space faced the Milky Way. After a year of fussing over wedding plans, we were wed on May 7, 2150. Nine months later, we had a baby girl and named her Sam. After four years, we decided to have another child. Another nine months later we had a baby boy and named him William II after his grandfather William I.

“So, how was that, was it as good as it could be?” Lee asked.

“It was as good as ever Papa,” William said beaming. “I hope that I can have such a good life story as you do.”

“Most likely you will,” Lee says as he starts to walk into the kitchen to make some dinner.

View: One City One Story Contest 2016 Winners


Jane Gov

Jane is a Youth Services Librarian at Pasadena Central Library. She purchases YA books for the library system and maintains the teen booklist, online resources, and webpages. She oversees Teen & YA programs including Summer Reading, Advisory Board, Zine, book reviewers, Teen Mental Health Initiative, and volunteers. She also coordinates the library's Innovation Lab, STEAM Kits project, and Young Readers League. She also conducts a few kids events and storytimes. Jane is a contributor to VOYA Magazine and a YALSA Board member.  A majority of her free time is spent with her two corgis Tyrion and Gimli. She tweets as @missjanegov.

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