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Orson Scott Card's trip to Jakarta, Indonesia

Stories from students at Jakarta International School

You Win Some, You Lose Some

by Miguel Cabalag

In a world not so far away, where magic existed, there was a lonely crippled boy named Prometheus. However, he didn't stay like this forever, because he soon learned and gained massive amounts of wisdom. Although his wish was fulfilled, his own magic took out the better of him.

It all started when his mother gave birth. He was so ugly and crippled, his mother rejected him and left him to die in a mysterious forest. The mother didn't know at that time, strange creatures called Sarnas inhabited the forest. They were known as mystical and legendary creatures. They were also known for giving magic to men for a price. So, one hot gleaming day, Prometheus, who was still a baby, started crawling in hunger to search for some food or milk. He trespassed the Sarna border and was immediately caught by the Sarnas to be eaten. However, they took a long look at this child.

"Humans, sheesh, trespassing our borders again. He must be eaten," the Sarna leader grunted.

Then suddenly the baby cried, "Waaaa!" This surprised the Sarnas for the phrases the baby just said meant no. They realized that this was a special baby and decided to train it to become one of them. And so that was what they did. Years passed by and the baby reached the age of when he could start magic training. That afternoon he was told to go to the elder's chamber to have his first training lessons. The Sarna was a lush green and full of exotic creatures. It consisted of many huts and underground caves. Bridges made out of vines were used to connect the huge kingdom together. In the center of the kingdom, was a large old Magicet Tree. It was the source of all magic, and when you were allowed to use magic, you had to be brought there to receive your price of using magic. He limped down into the elder's chamber annoyed in having to do it. There, he received his first training.

Years passed by and he was finally ready to use his magic on his own. However, before he could use his magic, he had to go to the Magicet tree and ask his price to use magic. He is a very unlucky guy so his price of magic was to lose a body part.

"This is really unfair! I demand a change!" shouted Prometheus stamping his foot.

There was a lot of conversation going on between the elders. However they finally concluded, "Very well, your lost body part shall be replaced by the animals you have seen so far in your life by chronological order."

"That is still unfair though!"

"Take it or leave it boy!" the elders exclaimed.

"I'll take it," Prometheus answered gloomily. He figured out it was better than nothing but one thing worried him. Which animal will he turn to? He decided it was too early to think about it. After graduation day, he was sent back to the human world.

In the human world women disliked him because he was so ugly and was also crippled. One day he strolled along in the park when a woman glared at him in disgust.

"That's it, I will use my magic to turn me into a handsome normal human!" Prometheus cried. And so that's what he did. He sat down in the park and started to lose all ideas and including his conscience and began to think only about his wish. Timeless hours passed by and finally a flash filled the air and when Prometheus woke up, he turned into a normal handsome human. He looked at his body parts one by one.

"Head, fine. Body, yes! It's fine. Arms, please be there! Yes it is!" He started to do a little dance but he noticed that one of his legs was unbalanced. He looked at it and screamed in horror. It was a Crane's leg. He was so panicked he started running. However, he suddenly tripped. He ran for cover but then tripped again. He stayed still and the leg moved by itself. He realized that the Crane was catching fish. It was trying to stand in one foot to fool the fish. Prometheus soon figured out that his new Crane leg would do whatever the original owner is doing. He had to get his rightful human leg back.

First of all, he was going back to the Sarna kingdom to complain and protest. After three days he finally reached there to receive no action from the others. He decided to find the animal himself and try to get his arm back someway. In a minute, he rushed to the nearest zoo looking for Cranes. It must have been his lucky day because there was a whole section in the zoo just for Cranes. He looked and stared for hours but never found one Crane that had a human leg. He wasn't going to give up though. He went to every zoo in the city but never found anything. He decided there was only one thing to do left was to do was to reverse the magic. That's what he did for hours and hours but nothing happened. He was so desperate that he used his magic to change his Crane leg and make into a normal human leg. Hours passed by and ZAAP! It changed back to a normal humans leg.

"Head? Check. Body? Check. Arms? Arms? NO! Where are my arms?" Prometheus cried out loud. He glanced to where his arm was to see a bird's head there. He was totally freaked out. Then he wished that his arms were normal again. But now, his head became a gorilla's head. He figured out it wasn't so bad and tried walking outside. No one really cared because they thought it was a costume. He tried asking a girl out for a date.

After minutes of conversation, he finally got one. He started a new relationship and he never wanted it to end. However, his girlfriend was using him for her own benefits and asked him to use his magic to get her thousands of diamond rings. That's what he did and soon, after his four times of using his magic, his body was morphed and he became a gorilla. His girlfriend, shocked, sent him to live in the zoo. That was the end for his human life. He was still wondering though, which gorilla wore all his flesh? It must have been lucky.


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