The next day at school, one of Mr. Cody’s students, Nova, had been refusing to do any work. Mr. Cody’s room, room 122, was at the very end of the hall by a seldom-used exit which housed the corner where Nova stood. She did not want to enter the class. After speaking with her a bit, Nova explained that she missed her toy penguin. After confessing, It turned out that her dad had impetuously discarded her best buddy after it was neglectfully masticated by their dog. “That’s funny, I just saw a toy penguin somewhere,” Mr. Cody said. “Wait, that was an alternative reality game at the arcade. Nevermind. I’ll tell you what. I have an idea. What is your penguin’s name?” Nova replied solemnly yet pleased that a pair of ears gave her consideration, “I call him ‘Popsicle’.”
“Okay, so why don’t you draw a picture of Popsicle for me. Then, tomorrow, I can help you write a letter to him.” Nova was content with this idea and agreed to enter the classroom. She took out a piece of paper from the paper dispenser. Mr. Cody was content with Nova’s current state and walked to the corner of the classroom where a small group of students waited for him situated at a group table. Not long before beginning his lesson with the small group, Nova raised her hand while simultaneously saying she was done.
“You have my permission to take out your rainbo-wax,” Mr. Cody added.
“It’s already colored. It’s all done,” Nova said as she walked to Mr. Cody. He took a look at it and was immediately drawn to the pear-colored tie that the penguin was wearing. “This guy looks familiar. Is he like a cartoon character or a character in... a video game?”
“No. He’s not a character .”
Mr. Cody then noticed that the penguin’s feet weren’t colored, “Do you plan to color his feet or will you leave them white?”
“I’m leaving it white because I can’t really remember how the color goes.”
“Are they yellow?”
“I know it’s a bunch of different colors and there’s a pattern but I can’t remember the pattern. It has to be the right pattern.”
That night Mr. Cody went to the movie theater again but this time he had a pocket full of nickels and he did not go to see a movie. He went straight to the arcade.
Mr. Cody opened his eyes to the new world after putting on the cyber visor and he reached for his satchel looking for the penguin statue. He took a closer look at the penguin’s feet. He repeated the colors in his head to remember the pattern. The color started with orange on the ankles, yellow, red and then blue on the tip of its toes. Better yet, he thought the colors O.Y.R.B could stand for, “Over yonder rivers bubble” as a way of remembering. How interesting that there is this pattern on the penguins feet he thought. There is a pattern just like Nova was suggesting. All of a sudden the ground beneath him shook. His initial reaction was that there was an earthquake inside the arcade. It felt so real he then realized that the world he was in was shaking. Beyond the horizon he can make out a shaggy dog of dinosaur-like proportions trampling the ground towards him. Mr. Cody stuck the Penguin back in his satchel as he looked for a place to take cover. He found an area to take cover behind trees but the dog was sniffing him out. He looked inside his satchel for any other items and his inventory that can help him overcome this situation but there was nothing but the pear-colored tie penguin. He exited the world and was out of breath. He drove home and kept thinking about Nova and her penguin problems.