12 Young –

Mrs. Smith clapped her hands twice and her group of 12 putus scrambled to find their places on the carpet before her. “Who can tell me where to find a Buzgable?” Mrs. Smith asked the group. The sound of whispers erupted from the floor of youngsters. “Shhhhh” Mrs. Smith commanded. Timothy timidly raised his hand.
“Yes, Timothy?”
“In the cave in the Pollex.” Timothy spoke.
“You mean to say I could find a Buzgable ‘in the cave in the Pollex’?” Mrs. Smith asked with a sound of patronization in her voice.
“Yeah.”
“What makes you say that, Timothy?”
“It’s like that song” Timothy said, ‘The Buzgable flies. And the Buzgable lies. And the Buzgable dies in the cave in the Pollex.'”
Mrs. Smith smiled at Timothy’s reasoning. “No, Timothy. That’s not correct.”
Amber raised her hand.
“Yes, Amber.”
With a knowing tone, Amber spoke, “It’s ‘And THEY CAVE in the Pollex.'”
Dismissing Amber’s correction of Timothy, Mrs. Smith asked, “Can anyone else tell me where to find a Buzgable?”
“At a rations station.” Amber said.
“No, Amber. That’s not correct. Buzgable parts are often found at rations stations. But no live Buzgables are ever found there.”
Administrator Bernard walked into the room, “Actually Mrs. Smith, you did not ask where one could find live Buzgables. Amber would be correct in saying one could find Buzgables at a rations station, even if only in parts. Further, the main thorax of a Buzgable is the most recognizable part of the Buzgable and is, in some kitchens, referred to as a ‘Buzgable’.”
“Oh Administrator Bernard, you’re going to confuse them.” Turning back to face the children on the floor of her room, “Children, it is very important you understand where to find food in the wild. Buzgables are almost exclusively found in dark, damp areas like caves. They live in large family units called clusters. If you do not know how to properly attain a live Buzgable, you may starve to death on your first Mother quest outside the city. This is why it is so important to receive your DCPO chip. But agreeing to have the chip implanted too late might do more harm than good. You see children…” Administrator Bernard left the room.
Mrs. Smith continued, “attempting to implant a DCPO chip when one’s brain is not malleable enough to fuse properly with it, may result in violent hemorrhaging. Have you ever had a headache?”
Charles said, “I did once.”
“Good Charles. Did you cry?”
Charles confirmed he did, “uh huh”.
“But I’ll bet you started to feel better after a while.”
“My Mommy gave me Drez eggs.” Charles said with joy in his voice as he remembered.
Mrs. Smith smiled with Charles. “That’s nice, Charles. But do you think Drez eggs could make you feel better if your brain attempted to violently reject the DCPO chip?”
“No.” Charles said quietly.
“This is why it is so important to accept your chip before you are too old for your brain to properly fuse with it. Everyone has to have a DCPO chip.”
“Why?!” Rene asked.
“So you can survive in the wild.”
“That’s stupid!” Rene exclaimed hesitantly.
“Would you rather starve to death when you are unable to hunt a live Buzgable or die as a result of severe hemorrhaging when you try to have the chip installed when you are older?”
The room was silent.
“Has anyone here ever been so hungry it hurt? Raise your hand.”
A few hands flew up around the sitting area of Mrs. Smith’s room.
“Now imagine what it would be like to be so hungry you died. You’d be hungry for a long time, slowly becoming more and more hungry until you died.”
Rene began to cry quietly to herself.
“If you don’t accept your DCPO chip now, that is what is going to happen.”
“But my cousin doesn’t have one and she’s 8.” Emily said.
“It sounds like your cousin is not going to live past her first Mother quest, Emily.”
Emily began to wale in anguish.
Administrator Bernard came back into the room. “Is everything alright in here?”
Emily’s crying was quickly overtaken by her fear of punishment.
“We are fine, Administrator Bernard. We are just talking about the importance of accepting our DCPO chips while we are still young enough to do so.”
“Oh that is important.” Administrator Bernard said, “We all must accept our DCPO chips so we don’t die of starvation on our first Mother quests.”
“But why do we have to go on Mother quests?” Amber asked.
“Every Aliusteran goes on a Mother quest when he or she is old enough.” Administrator Bernard replied.
“But why do we have to go?”
“One’s first Mother quest makes him or her a true Aliusteran.”
“But why do we have to eat Buzgables?” Emily asked.
“Buzgables are very nutritious and vital to survival in the wild.”
“But can’t we catch them without a DCPO chip?”
“If you try to take a single Buzgable without the assistance of your DCPO chip, the entire cluster might attack.”
“But why?!” Emily shouted with anger.
“There’s no need to be upset, Emily.” Administrator Bernard said softly, “We are special, because we have the technology to hunt Buzgables. This technology enables us to survive outside the city. All others will die if they attempt leaving the city. But our ancestors sacrificed much to ensure we could survive on our Mother quests.”
“Why?!”
“Because putus like you are not full Aliusterans.” Administrator Bernard said with a tone of slight frustration.
“But I don’t want to be a putus.” Emily whined.
“The only way to not be a putus is to go on your first Mother quest.”
The room was again silent.
Administrator Bernard retired to his office, knowing he had just saved the lives of 12 young putts.

Mrs. Smith clapped her hands twice and her Sunday school class of 12 kindergarten aged children scrambled to find their places on the carpet before her. “Who can tell me God’s first name?” Mrs. Smith asked the group. The sound of whispers erupted from the floor of youngsters. “Shhhhh” Mrs. Smith commanded. Timothy timidly raised his hand.
“Yes, Timothy?”
“It’s Andy.” Timothy spoke.
“You mean God’s name is ‘Andy’?” Mrs. Smith asked with a sound of puzzlement in her voice.
“Yeah.”
“What makes you say that, Timothy?”
“It’s like that song” Timothy said, ‘Andy walks with me. Andy talks with me. Andy tells me I am his own.'”
Mrs. Smith smiled at Timothy’s reasoning; “No, Timothy. That’s not correct.”
Amber raised her hand.
“Yes, Amber.”
With a knowing tone, Amber spoke, “It’s ‘AND HE walks with me. AND HE talks with me.”
Dismissing Amber’s correction of Timothy, Mrs. Smith asked, “Can anyone else tell me God’s first name?”
“It’s Jesus,” Amber said.
“No, Amber. That’s not correct. Jesus is the name of God’s son.”
Pastor Bernard walked into the room, “Actually Mrs. Smith, Jesus was God in human form. Amber would be correct in saying this is one name of God. Further, Jesus is a part of the Holy Trinity which is all three parts of God.”
“Oh Pastor Bernard, you’re going to confuse them.” Turning back to face the children on the floor of her Sunday school room, “Children, it is very important you call God by the right name. Jehovah is the name of the one true God. All other gods are not real. They are made up by people who do not know the truth of God’s love. If you do not know Jehovah and that he sent his son to die for you, you will not go to Heaven with everyone else. Instead, you will go to Hell where you will be punished forever. Those who call God ‘Allah’ will go to Hell when they die. But even calling him ‘Jehovah’ is not enough. You see, children…” Pastor Bernard left the room.
Mrs. Smith continued, “Jesus went through incredible pain because we are all sinners. He was whipped and nailed to a cross. A roman soldier stabbed him with a spear. Have you ever accidentally cut yourself so you bled?”
Charles said, “I stapled my finger.”
“Good Charles. Did you cry?”
Charles confirmed he did, “uh huh”.
“Well Jesus cried too. But I’ll bet you started to feel better after a while.”
“My Mommy gave me ice cream.” Charles said with joy in his voice as he remembered.
Mrs. Smith smiled with Charles. “That’s nice, Charles. But do you think ice cream could make Jesus feel better?”
“No.” Charles said quietly.
“And Jesus suffered so much all so you wouldn’t have to.”
“Why?!” Rene asked.
“So you wouldn’t have to go to Hell.”
“That’s stupid!” Rene exclaimed brazenly.
“Would you rather he didn’t and you burn forever in Hell?”
The room was silent.
“Has anyone here ever been burned? Raise your hand.”
A few hands flew up around the sitting area of Mrs. Smith’s Sunday school room.
“Now imagine what it would be like to be burned all over your body. but not just once – real fast, for a long time, forever, and it never stops.”
Rene began to cry quietly to herself.
“If you don’t accept Jesus into your hearts and come to church every Sunday, that is what is going to happen.”
“But my cousin goes to ‘Tem-pul’ on Friday.” Emily said.
“It sounds like your cousin is Jewish, Emily. Jews don’t believe in Jesus like we do. If your cousin doesn’t accept Jesus, they will go to Hell.”
Emily began to wale in anguish.
Pastor Bernard came back into the room. “Is everything alright in here?”
Emily’s crying was quickly overtaken by her fear of punishment.
“We are fine, Pastor Bernard. We are just talking about the importance of accepting Jesus into our hearts.”
“Oh that is important.” Pastor Bernard said, “We are sinners and God sent Jesus to die for us so we don’t go to Hell.”
“But why did God make Hell?” Amber asked.
“God made Hell to punish Satan.” Pastor Bernard replied.
“Then why do we have to go?”
“You don’t if you ask for forgiveness.”
“But why does my cousin have to go to Hell?” Emily asked.
“Your cousin doesn’t have to go to Hell if they ask for forgiveness.”
“But her mommy won’t let her come to church.”
“If her mommy doesn’t accept Jesus and ask for forgiveness, she will go to Hell too.”
“But why?!” Emily shouted with anger.
“There’s no need to be upset, Emily.” Pastor Bernard said softly, “We are special, because we are right. We will be rewarded for our faith. Everyone else will be punished for not believing the truth. But God sent his son to experience horrible agony on Earth so that we wouldn’t have to.”
“Why?!”
“Because we are sinners.” Pastor Bernard said with a tone of slight frustration.
“But I don’t want to be a sinner.” Emily whined.
“The only way to not be a sinner is to accept Jesus into your heart.”
The room was again silent.
Pastor Bernard retired to his office, knowing he had just saved 12 souls from eternal damnation.

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