0. This is "The Junior Chronicles," and don't you
name is Chronicles. Johnny Chronicles. But you can
call me Junior, like my family and friends do.
This is my story. My Chronciles Chronicle. Not the
infamous George Chronicles. That's my Dad's story…it
caused quite a commotion, they say, but since it's
not G or even PG rated, I wasn't allowed to read
it, so I have no idea what all the fuss is about...
Yeah. That's right. My Dad's name is George.
Don't get me started on why I'm called Junior when
my name is Johnny and my Dad's is George. That's
the way things go in my family. Everything's a little
… well … bizzaro.
Yep. This is my story. Let's just call it "The Junior
And why shouldn't I have my own chronicle. All the
other Chronicles have been chronicled. Why shouldn't
I be, too?!!!
Actually, they haven't done Mom's Chronicle yet,
have they … hmmm… perhaps another sequel?
Possibly. You know how Hollywood loves sequels…
But then would Mom even want her own Chronicles
Chronicle? Mom's never exactly gotten used to the
Chronicles life, now has she? She never exactly
says it, but you can't help get the feeling that
she thinks the Chronicles are a little too… well
… like I said before … and I hate to use the word
most used in both the best and worst editorial reviews
of our Family Chronicles, but I guess it best fits
our family saga … bizarro!
The shoe fits and I'm not afraid to wear it. And
fortunately (or unfortunately, depending on your
shoe size) this story is bound to be pretty much
Poor Mom. But maybe she's never gotten used to the
Chronicles life because she never gets a chance
to really be someone in these chronicles… I mean,
other than a devoted wife and mother and occasional
lost pumpkin … (if you don't already know about
that one, believe me, don't ask!)
Mom's Chronicles Chronicle. Full of poignant bittersweet
tales of longing and sacrifice. Of heroic deeds
and other slices of motherhood pie…
Hey, what's going on … Mom … you'll get your chronicle
one of these days! Do you have to get your Narrator
editing here in mine? This is my Chronicle!!! So,
it's supposed to be about me … and the things I
want to chronicle... wizards and dragons and super-fast
flying spaceships. You know, Fantasy-Sci-Fi-stuff.
Right. So let's go. On with MY story.
Okay, let's start…
In the beginning and all that…
Hello? What's the hold up?
Hey, why isn't this Chronicle chronicling?
Excuse me a moment …There's an annoying snail whispering
in my ear. He's claiming to be "My Editor." Looks
like a snail, but I'm 11, what do I know?
Apparently my "Editor" doesn't think I should be
playing with my new wii and my old Game Cube and
my Nintedo 2 and watching Sponge Bob on my ipod
WHILE I'm telling this story …
AND this so-called editor (who REALLY looks exactly
like a snail! Maybe that is what editors are supposed
to look like?), is insisting that I have "a bit
too many plot lines running through my rough draft."
Apparently (or a-childly as I like to say) this
story SHOULD NOT be about a 'dream academy' AND
a 'peace wizard' AND the fabled "Peacetopia' --
land of peace and harmony -- AND a hit TV series
called 'The BetterWorld Show' AND the 'The BetterWorld
Kids meet the Chronicles' all in one book. (Yeah,
I know, all that 'better world'-stuff for a kid
my age seems a bit strange! I admit I'm a bit of
a PeaceNik, but you'd be one too if you'd spent
as much time with Peace Dude, the awesomely green
alien foreign exchange student who stayed with us
for the first half of this term, before he went
back to his own universe. Gosh I miss him! Sounds
a bit out of this world, I know, but you'll have
to take my word for it until you get a chance to
read about our totally radical adventures. But not
here, of course - that's definitely another story
-- it's called Peace Dude, available at a fine bookstore
near you or online at PeaceDude.com!)
Apparently, I'm supposed to "increase sales" by
turning this story into a whole series of tales,
and only pick one plot line to start (and preferably
one without 'peace' in the title - apparently peace
is a hard sell, according to this annoying snail
who keeps whispering in my ear while he makes red
notations all over this manuscript that has my name
written all over it).
Dude, I'm in the Fifth Grade. I have the attention
span of a Mario Game-Cube warrior who can battle
ten foes at once WHILE brushing my teeth, farting
the National Anthem, and cutting my toe nails. Of
course I can fit all those plot lines into one Chronicle
(not to mention make 'peace' as exciting and nail-biting
as any action-adventure movie out there!).
It would be nice to have a whole series of Junior
Hey … what's that you're wheeling in here. Looks
like the set for "The Mom Chronicles."
Wait … hang on, okay, you win.
No really … I'm putting down these controllers,
and I'm picking just one plot line … honest …
Okay, let's go with the daydream one. I love daydreaming.
It's my lifestory. May as well start there!
Chapter 1. Daydreaming…
I always wondered why teachers got so upset when
I daydreamed in class. I found out on Tuesday!
It was in Social Studies 5A. Mrs. Clementine was
telling the class something about ancient Egypt...
(By the way, that's not my Social Studies teacher's
real name. I'm just barely getting a C in Social
Studies, and I'm hoping Mrs. Fra..., I mean, Mrs.
'Clementine' won't realize this story has her in
it, so she won't give me a worse grade than I'm
already going to be getting. So the names have been
changed to protect the innocent, and all that.
((The innocent being me, of course. But I haven't
changed my name, in case you're wondering.))
(((And while we're telling the truth, in real life,
this story actually took place in Algebra class.
But it made no sense to me then that we'd be talking
about Ancient Egypt because of a word problem in
Algebra class, and so I'm sure it wouldn't make
any sense in this Chronicle either, so I changed
it to Social Studies class so you wouldn't get confused.
I'm like that, as you'll see.)))
((((But then again, I was daydreaming at the time,
so it could have been Social Studies class after
all, now that I think about it...))))
(((((Anyway, back to the story -- just go back to
the part before all these parentheses- thingys and
start the chapter over and then skip all this parentheses-stuff
-- and do yourself a favor and skip all the parenthetical
stuff you find throughout the rest of the story,
too ... you'll thank me later!)))))
I'm not exactly sure what boring details Mrs. Clementine
was going over, because I was daydreaming a way
cool archaeological trip back to ancient Egypt,
I was riding on the Sphinx over to check out some
pyramid or other one of the locals had told me I
just had to see. I'm pretty sure it was King Tut's
pyramid, but I'm not exactly sure because the guy
had a turban or whatever that thing is called over
his head, and he was mumbling through it, and probably
speaking ancient Egyptian, now that I think about
it, which would definitely explain a lot of things,
like why I had no idea what he was saying.
It was a long gallop through the desert, but fortunately,
that Sphinx has long legs, and I had a six-pack
of ice cold sodas for the journey that a street
vendor had sold me real cheap. Unfortunately, the
sodas caused me to have to make several brief sidetrips
to find a bathroom every can or two, and of course
a recycling container to drop off the cans when
they were empty. I don't think I have to point out
that bathrooms and recycling containers are not
that easy to find in a desert. Even in a daydream
We finally arrived and I decided to scale Tut's
pyramid, pulling myself up on this snake who'd graciously
turned himself into a rope for me, after I hummed
a tune or two for him and coaxed him out of his
When I reached the top, my grumbling stomach reminded
me it was getting close to lunch time, so I stopped
for a sandwich. (I'm pretty sure my mom packed peanut
butter and jelly Tuesday morning, but when I pulled
lunch out of my backpack up there on top of Tut's
pyramid, it was definitely falafel!)
I didn't get to finish my lunch because just then
a genie flew in from Arabia on his flying carpet,
and of course I couldn't pass up a magic carpet
ride, even if it had nothing to do with ancient
As you can well imagine, the carpet ride was AMAZING,
and the best way to sightsee in a daydream through
ancient Egypt. (They should think about incorporating
magic flying carpets into ancient Egyptian history
books, so daydreamers like me won't have to stretch
their daydreams this far to work them in.)
The genie was totally awesome as a tour guide, I
must admit. The way he pointed out and described
all the sights we were seeing … he made it pretty
At least for a while. Truth is, it wasn't that long
before I started daydreaming on my daydream.
Want to hear something funny? I was daydreaming
about Social Studies 5A! I chuckled at the irony
as we hovered on the magic carpet outside the school
while I peeked in through the classroom window,
eager to see Mrs. Fra... I mean Mrs. Clementine's
reaction to my daydreaming absence.
Chronicles you open your eyes and pay attention!"
she was screaming. I should point out that she was
yelling it at the top of her lungs with her face
an inch away from mine. Well, not mine, but the
me who was sitting there in the third row in Social
Studies 5A, who just happened to look a lot like
That me was sitting up straight in his chair with
his eyes closed with a silly grin on his face (and
I hate to admit it, but a little drool was oozing
down his lower lip onto his chin).
the real me (the me out on the flying carpet outside
the window) gasped. "Why do they hate it so much
when I daydream?" I muttered to no one in particular.
The genie sitting beside me (with his arms folded
and his face pouting because he was still mad at
me that I was daydreaming while he had been delivering
his best sightseeing guide schpeel) muttered a reply.
"Because no one wants you to realize that your daydreams
can become just as real as their reality."
I and the other drooling me in the classroom said
at the same time. That didn't make much sense in
a daydream or in the cold fluorescent light of a
boring classroom on a typical Tuesday, either.
But I didn't have much time to think about it, because
Mrs. Clementine was yelling even louder than before,
if that's possible. "John Chronicles, go to the
Principal's office this minute!"
She had yelled so loud, the flying-carpet-riding-daydreaming-me's
ears were ringing, and the poor drooling me in the
classroom was being jolted out of his reveries.
I gasped as I could feel myself slipping back into
reality-consciousness. "I wish there was a place
I could go where people would let me daydream in
The genie started bouncing excitedly. "A wish, a
wish! And the perfect one for a daydreaming fool
such as you!"
My tour-guide genie blinked his eyes and bowed his
head, and all this magic dust burst all over me,
making me feel all magically tingly.
But the next thing I knew, I was smelling Mrs. Clementine's
breath (and it definitely did not smell very good)
as she was leaning over my desk screaming, "Go to
the Principal's office, NOW!"
(Now you see why I had to change Mrs. Fra... I mean
Mrs. Clementine's name. Her breath really was so
awful, and rather than have to lie about it to you,
it's much safer just to change her name to protect
me, the innocent one in all this.)
I swallowed, disappointed that even though that
magic dust had sure felt real, it definitely didn't
look like the genie had granted my wish. My daydreams
never included breath that smelled that bad!
Kids giggled as I grabbed my books and walked somberly
past their desks, trudging off to Principal Quigley's
office. But they didn't really pay too much attention.
This wasn't my first banishment to Dr. Quigley's,
and they and I were quite sure it wouldn't be my
Little did we know.
(Spoiler alert ... You probably figured my Princiapal's
name is not really Dr. Quigley, either. Wrong! The
truth is, there's nothing I can do to fix things
with The Quigmeister anyway, and I have a strict
one small fib per Chronicle policy, so, as I've
fulfilled my quota already in the First Chapter,
you can rest assured that everything from here on
in is EXACTLY true to life! Honest!)
Chapter 2. Busted Again…
Or Am I?
Secretary I'm-not-sure-what-her-name-is (Honest,
I'm not saying that just to get out of any trouble
in real life, it's just that even though I'd been
to Quigley's at least a thousand times over the
past 4 and a half-years at Clairmont Elementary
school, for some reason my mind always wanders before
I remember to look at her name-thingy on her desk)
rolled her eyes when I turned the knob, and slowly,
sadly, entered through the door marked "Principal
Secretary-What's-Her-Name used to give me a pleasant
smile when I went through this routine. But now
she just rolled her eyes and went back to what she
was doing on her computer screen.
Which was daydreaming as she did some online window
shopping. Unfortunately, I think I'd pushed the
envelope a little too far, even for a fellow daydreamer
like Mrs. … um … you know, Something-or-other.
Quigley will be with you in a moment… Johnny…" she
sighed, not bothering to look up.
That's the same routine I received from Principal
morning, Mr. Chronicles," he said and sighed as
he continued to stare at his computer screen after
Secretary… um…. Uh… you know, Whatever, eventually
buzzed me in.
He had my 15-inch wide folder-slash-dossier in front
of him, and he reluctantly tore his eyes away from
his computer screen and nonchalantly flipped my
folder open with a sigh, while he clicked his ballpoint
and got ready to write yet another notation.
But then his face got all perplexed-looking as he
peered at the page inside and he looked up at me
with a very odd expression, and looked down at the
page, and back up at me as if he were trying to
figure out how to stick a square peg into a round
black hole, refusing to believe that I was the subject
of the page before him.
he said, still befuddled, as he stared yet again
and again back and forth at me and then the page
and then back at me and then at the page.
well… Mr. Chronicles … it looks like you've won
the prestigious and coveted Blah… Blah… Academy
I have to point out in all honesty, that it sounded
like Dr. Quigley had said 'Daydream Academy Scholarship'
but there was a mosquito buzzing around my head
just as he was speaking, so of course, that couldn't
be what he said, which is why my brain registered
"Blah, Blah Academy Scholarship', and that's why
that's what I'm relating to you, even though it
turns out 'Daydream Academy Scholarship' is EXACTLY
what he said.
Chapter 3. Bon Voyage. Ariverderci
Dude. And Sweet Dreams
I don't have to tell you that the bus-ride home
was the wildest Daydream Express I'd ever been on.
As I sat there clutching the sealed-manila envelope
addressed with my name, filled with The Daydream
Academy Scholarship details, my mind raced with
a hundred different excited daydream adventures.
Each one was more exciting but stranger than the
I was sailing across the ocean on a luxury yacht,
and drag racing across the country, and rocketing
to the outer reaches of the galaxy, all to get to
the strange, mysterious Daydream Academy.
The Quigmeister was no help when I had asked him
for any details at all to help guide my daydream
wanderings along the right track.
all in the envelope, Chronicles!"
But he wouldn't let me open it. He flipped the envelope
and showed me this really fancy gold seal on the
back. The Official Daydream Academy Seal, and it
could only be opened at Midnight on the full moon.
Fortunately, that evening there would be a full
My best friends Artie and Merle kept interrupting
my daydreaming on the bus, annoyingly asking me
one question after the next, like "When do you go?"
and "Can we come, too?" and "Can I have your wii
controllers and Brawl cartridge while you're gone?"
don't know," was all I could say, and although I
felt pretty proud because I could see how jealous
they were (they like daydreaming, too, but of course,
they'd long ago accepted that my daydreaming abilities
are bigger than life, and we always figured, well
deserving of an Award...Lo and behold...), I was
starting to realize I was really going to miss everyone,
although you can rest assured that my peeps are
almost always featured cast-members in my daydreams.
In supporting roles, of course.
I also couldn't help wondering how my folks would
take the news. Dad's a world-class daydreamer himself;
Mom, not so much, but then she did marry Dad, so
I know she has an appreciation for all-things daydreaming.
Or at least a strong tolerance. Or, maybe just a
high pain tolerance? Anyway, would they be proud?
You bet they would!
But, maybe they'd think that they'd miss me so much,
they wouldn't want me to go? I honestly wasn't sure
what I expected, but I didn't expect what happened,
that's for sure.
Mom was out in the garden when the bus pulled up
across the street from our house. She glanced up
smiling as I got off the bus, but when she saw the
manila envelope clutched under my arm, her mouth
fell open, and her hair burst out of its braids
and stood up in the air. She dropped her gardening
shovel and leaped over the hedges and grabbed my
arm, dragging me towards the house.
At the same time she grabbed her cell phone out
of her pocket and dialed crazily.
she gasped into the phone. "CODE GOLD!"
Hi, Mrs. C" Artie and Merle said together as they
stood mystified in the middle of the street watching
my Mom drag me away.
Boys, can't talk right now...but tell your parents
we have a gold code, would you please…" she gasped
and practically carried me into the house. She slammed
the door closed behind us, pulled the curtains down
tight on the foyer window, and stood without the
lights on in the darkness, against the wall, her
eyes staring wildly at the envelope.
Her eyes got wider, like she was trying to disintegrate
the envelope with them. "Junior, don't move and
don't say a word until your father gets here!"
Just then my sister Ellie came bouncing down the
stairs with her ipod blaring.
Gold, Ellie!" Mom gasped, but Ellie didn't hear
over the ipod's roar.
Mom, Wassup?" Ellie hummed to the beat on her ipod
as she saw Mom.
GOLD!" Mom screeched.
Ellie's eyes widened, her ipod headphones popped
out of her ears, and her face turned pale as a ghost.
"Really ... it came for me ... again?"
Mom shook her head and Ellie followed her gaze to
the envelope I was clutching. Suddenly she looked
a little relieved. "Oh, Junior got it this time..."
going on?" I wanted to say, but before I could,
I heard an awful screeching car-brake sound outside.
Sounded like Dad. Then I heard the car careening
into the porch. Yep, definitely Dad.
I didn't flinch at first though, even though I was
standing at the front door, directly in line with
the driveway and the porch. You see, long ago Mom
installed a heavy-duty rubber bumper all around
the front porch. Dad's one of the worst drivers
on the planet, and she was getting tired of the
daily dents in the porch he created every night
when he came home from work.
I did jump a few seconds later, after the familiar
sounding 'boing' of the car bouncing off the bumper.
Dad must have really plowed into the porch, because
then there was an unmistakeable sound of his back-end
smashing into the street light clear across the
Forget Mom's 'don't move' command. I rocketed into
the living room.
Mom and Ellie followed me, but both dashed around
pulling down the shades, as Dad rushed through the
door and slammed it behind him.
is it?" he screeched. "I can't believe it came for
me ... again!" he croaked and he was shaking like
crazy, and beads of sweat were dripping down his
He followed Mom's burning gaze and saw me clutching
... Junior's got it ..." he swallowed, and I couldn't
help seeing a sense of relief wash over him as it
had for Ellie.
what's going on?" I whispered, looking down at what
I though was a perfectly harmless-feeling manila
envelope under my arms. While I spoke, I unconsciously
tried to throw it to the ground, definitely starting
to see it as the hottest potato ever.
I had to use every ounce of strength to yank it
out from under my arm. And then when I did manage
to toss it, it only made it halfway to the ground
before it flew back up at me and wedged itself back
under my arm.
got to tell him ...." Ellie whispered as no one
spoke, and no one's gaze wavered from the envelope.
right, Honey," Mom whispered. "Junior, you know
all those crazy tall tales your Dad's always telling
(Dad's been telling us the strangest stories since
we were little kids about the bizarre adventures
he and Mom had before we were born. Until that moment,
of course I'd attributed them all to his overactive
daydreaming imagination. But in that moment, I suddenly
KNEW every word had been true!)
Mom nodded, reading my thoughts. "Yeah, it's all
true, and all his crazy adventures happened after
your Dad got that very same manila envelope... and
then went and destroyed it..."
I was only 12 at the time, and it's not my fault
that creepy snail had delivered it. You know I hate
snails…and the envelope had snail slime all over
when he destroyed it," Mom sighed in exasperation,
"it set off a chain reaction, altering the course
of time, space and every dimensional universe! Your
Dad spontaneously yodeled into the void of forever
and ... well ... like I said started a series of
events that ended up causing him to lose his memory
and set off on the craziest adventures ever, eventually
causing reality to completely fall apart, and sending
us on the run, hiding in obscurity ever since."
You would think this would all sound like nonsense
to me, as I'm sure it does to you, particularly
if you've never read any of the original Chronicles
Chronicles. But for some strange reason, it didn't
sound strange at all. In fact, the wierdest 'memories'
starting creeping into the corners of my mind.
Everyone saw what was happening. "Don't Junior ..."
Mom gasped. "You're not supposed to remember...it's
our only protection."
But of course, then she realized we were all remembering,
and suddenly I REMEMBERED everything. How we all
lost our memory each time we had to 'relocate' to
another reality, so that the Time Catcher and his
hired mercenaries wouldn't be able to locate us.
do we do?" I gasped as our predicament was suddenly
all too apparent.
No one had a clue, but then that very second, we
all reflexively ducked for cover as something crashed
through the roof and then through the second floor,
landing squarely in the middle of the living room.
Nervously I and the rest of my family opened our
eyes. "FLORA!" we all happily exclaimed at once
as our beloved fortune-telling housekeeper, fully
attired in her jujitsu robe, crouched in the striking
position, shook wood shards, plaster and roof shingles
off her body, and scanned the room.
were is it ..." she whispered slowly and carefully
before she saw the cursed envelope under my arm.
"Junior..." she said softly. "I knew it'd be coming
for you soon ..." she sighed. "But I didn't think
it would be this soon ... sorry it took me so long
to get here, but the line at the supermarket was
She looked down at our cat, Muffy, who'd wandered
into the room and was rubbing against her leg.
better call Sly and the others..." she said, to
I did," Muffy said, plain as day.
By the time I realized that I wasn't shocked that
our cat had spoken, our attention was diverted by
the blaring sound of something crashing through
the front door. We all jumped to the side as a big
van screeched to a halt in the middle of the room.
© 2000-2011 Robert Alan
The People For Peace Project