The Magic Pencil

by Michele Nosbisch -

Red was Zoe’s least favorite color. Especially when Mrs. Flanagan handed back her spelling test from last week with a zillion red marks on it. Meredith’s spelling test didn’t have any red marks, except the perfect “100” written across the top.

Meredith peeked over at Zoe’s paper. “You didn’t do very good,” she said. “You need to study your spelling words.”

Zoe scrunched up her nose and drummed her pencil on the desk. “I do study my words,” she grumbled. “You must use some special trick.”

Meredith shrugged and turned to her spelling worksheet.

Shoving the sleeves of her favorite blue hoodie up to her elbows, Zoe stood on one leg and leaned heavily on the desk. She twisted to sneak a look at Meredith’s paper.

“What did you get for this one?” she asked, pointing to the first question.

“Do your own work, Zoe,” Meredith said, scooting far away.

Zoe slumped over in her chair and rested her chin on her hand. How did Meredith always get the right answers?

Ben walked by and saw the “100” at the top of Meredith’s spelling paper. “Geez, Meredith, your pencil is like a magic wand. Are you a spelling wizard or something?”

“What is he talking about, Meredith?” Zoe asked. “Why does he think you have a magic pencil?”

Meredith blushed. “He’s nuts. Just ignore him.”

The purple pencil in Meredith’s hand gleamed and sparkled in the light while she wrote. Zoe couldn’t focus. Of course! That’s how she always got the right answers! Her pencil really was magic. Zoe needed that pencil.

Mrs. Flanagan handed out the math papers. Meredith wrote her name at the top of her paper, then dropped the pencil on her desk, raced out of her chair, and grabbed the bathroom pass.

Zoe grinned. Now she could grab the pencil and get all the right answers too. Zoe leaned over and cautiously reached for it. She gripped the magic pencil tightly in her fingers. A vibration started at the eraser and shook the pencil all the way to the tip.

No one was looking, so Zoe pulled out her math worksheet and started to write her name at the top. Before it touched the paper, the pencil magically started floating above the problems. The magic pencil took over, and Zoe’s hand zoomed from one problem to the next one. She wrote down answers without even working the problems. All ten problems were done in a flash.

Zoe glanced around the classroom. The other kids were still on the first or second problem. This pencil was amazing!

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