A long time ago, there was a boy named Peter. He lived in a field, and all his friends made fun of him because he was so small. He couldn’t play sports, or lift heavy things, and wasn’t even tall enough to drive. His friends weren’t even really his friends because they weren’t very nice to him. 

                Peter was really liked superheroes. Everybody liked superheroes, and they were all strong and powerful. No one would mess with a superhero. Some of the hero’s started out small, like him, and got powerful. So Peter decided he needed to get powers of his own so that everyone would know how strong he was and no one would laugh at him for being small anymore.

                Peter’s dad was a little bit crazy. He thought he could use the energy of the sun to create a teleportation machine, something that could send him anywhere in the world in an instant since the sun could see all of the world at a time. So, one day after he was working on the machine in the garden, Pete decided to go look at it too see if it could give him some kind of powers, too. He found a strange vial in the machine that looked almost like liquid fire, and it amazed him. Was this a piece of the sun? The sun was the most powerful thing in the solar system. Would it make him strong too? He heard his dad coming back, so he tried to put it back, but in his rush it slipped from his hand and broke on the ground, seeping into the soil.

               Peter’s dad was very angry that he dropped the bottle. He wasn’t allowed to go to school for a long time after that. One day, while he was pulling out the weeds, Peter came across the spot where he’d dropped the vial from the machine. Everything around it looked dead and burned, except for one plant. But this plant in particular, surrounded by burned soil, looked healthy. It was bright green with purple tips on the leaves and nearly up to Peter’s waist. Why does this plant get to do so well? Pete wondered. Why is this small, rare plant growing so well when everything around it burns? When am I ever going to get to be that strong? Pete got angry with the plant, and kicked it out of his way. But as soon as his foot touched the leaves, the entire plant shrank away. Peter jumped back and watched. After a minute or so, it came back, standing tall as ever. Suddenly Pete wanted to be like that plant. He ripped it out by the roots and put it in a pot, and put the pot by his bed and went to sleep.

Peter Protactinium

Camille Kaufman

                 When he woke up, he got out of bed and everything around him seemed smaller. When his dad called him to breakfast, Peter was eye-to-eye with him when usualy he was shorter. That day was strange. He felt stronger. A bee whizzed by him and he swatted it away. It flew back to sting him and he crushed it in his hand.

                Every night after that that he went to bed near the plant, he grew just a little bit bigger. One day his dad said he could go back to school the next day, but Peter wasn’t big enough yet. He didn’t want to be scared of anyone when he went back to school. He wanted them to be scared of him. But he was tired of waiting, of only growing a little bit every night. Peter went to his room, tore the plant out of the pot, and crushed it with a stone. A strange, orange liquid came out of the stem that Peter had never seen before. This must be what is making me grow, he thought, and drank it, but nothing happened. Disappointed, Peter went to bed, wishing he didn’t have to wake up the next day.

                When he opened his eyes, he saw that he was taller than the door frame to his room. He was taller than the ceiling- he had to duck down when he stood up! The plant had made him bigger and stronger! But just like the plant was very reactive to touch, Peter became reactive to EVERYTHING. He touched a grasshopper on his windowsill, and it fell over and stopped moving. His hands were glowing a weird orange glow.  He went to school, and he touched one of the kids that used to be mean to him. He fell over and got really sick. Everyone else backed away. They were afraid of him. Peter liked that. He didn’t have to follow the rules anymore. He touched the teacher, and they got so sick their face turned red. No one else messed with him after that, so he left the school. He decided to go for a walk, swatting at bees and watching them fall.

                Soon, some people got angry with him. They did not like that he was making people sick and hurt, but they didn’t know how to make him stop because he was so big now. They decided to trap him in a cage, where he couldn’t hurt anyone.

                Now, you don’t see Peter around very much. He is very reactive- anything that flies into his cage, he touches and watches it fall. He is still big and strong, but it doesn’t help him in his cage. No one is afraid of him anymore because they know to be careful around him. 



                                          The End

Peter Protactinium