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They are the ones who really let my creativity shoot out and release every one of my ideas. The two are some of my best friends and we worked together all the time to make small movies, games, and books. It was those experiences that I learned to dream big and make them happen, whether in real life, text, or camera. It's that endless sandbox that those family members opened that made me realize how open the world could be for creation. When I'm with them, I know that anything is possible. Through thick and thin, they befriend me anytime and ready to explore the world with me. Everyone who knows them has the ability to break out the barriers separating their mind from others' and live for the moment. They'll forever be my greatest companions and the heart of my imagination. “Imagination is more important than knowledge.” Albert Einstein once said. What a goofball. Everyone knows that numbers and facts are the real things that take you off in life, except for my little brother Jerry. I'm pretty sure kids in his first grade class call him the fanatic fantasizer or the daft daydreamer. His head is in his own world away from everything. Playing preternatural, going past the limits, it's pointless, it's not going to help you do anything, because you'll always end up working yourself up over something that isn't possible. It took me about one hour with Jerry to regret that last statement. This is my story about how I learned that a big imagination is the greatest trait of all. You won't believe it though, unless you have it. Just remember the one thing I learned in this journey, the little lesson all children know and their parents have forgotten ; anything is possible with imagination. It's just a matter of making it real. So come on with me and explore my own Maze of the Mind. It all started on the average Saturday morning right after breakfast. My annoying little brother Jerry was doing the norm, screaming, watching television, eating candy, and drawing, while I was trying to rest for once after such a tiring week. Mom and Dad were both gone doing the regular thing, buying groceries, so it was my job to take care of that tiny slobbering beast – Again. I had to feed him, stop him from waking up the neighbors, and relieve him from his “pain”. It was like compressing an entire year full of doing push ups and waiting in traffic in two hours. For some reason, I was used to this weekly touch of torture, but as soon as I saw that sheet of paper come out of Jerry's hand, however, I was driven wild – Again. “That makes no sense!” I yelled out sitting next to the dining table in my kitchen. I scrolled my eyes through a windy, sloppy maze. Who could make such a thing? That's right, my little brother Jerry. Jerry always gives me these things because it's the only thing he can do to stump me. Now I know what you're thinking, How can a six-year-old be able to outsmart me? Well you don't know Jerry's mazes. They aren't the usual “find your path and don't hit the lines” style, they're loaded with these pointless traps and mini games that take out the fun. One route could lead you into a sign saying “Play go fish with Jerry to move on”, and I'd have to play. Another could drive you straight into a dinosaur's mouth, and you would have to get eaten. “It doesn't have to!” Jerry explained. “Then how does it work?” I pointed to a huge circle in the maze. “When you move to that spot,” Jerry said and pointed at it, “it teleports you there.” he moved his finger halfway across the sheet of paper to another section. Another one of his useless gadgets in these things, to him it's spicing up his creation, but to me it's ruining it. “So now I'm stuck in this corner, and I have to pass through, that?” The path I took led me to this scaly dragon that looked like it was breathing out candy with spikes attached to it. “Yup. That's the monster I had in my dreams a few weeks ago.” I felt like punching out my ear drums. This thing again. Jerry's always talking to me about this huge reptile that chases him in his dreams. For some reason, he told me that when he jumped through the trash can in our kitchen, he was sucked right into the ground and escaped just on time. Then he went to the land of worker ants who were making life-sized buildings and towers. Now he's saying it's magic. The magic trash can. Yeah, right. I finally snapped. I snatched the paper out of his hand, crumpled it up, and hurled it straight to the trash can. “You ruined it! I spent my whole day working on that, and now it's gone!” Jerry cried out. “It's not gone, you can just fish it out of that waste basket and uncoil it. Just don't give it back to me or any other of those things ever again.” I explained annoyingly. My little brother's eyes lit up with hope, and ran towards the trash can. I watched him as he rummaged frantically through it. I started smiling. What a fool. My lovely day dreams of what I thought what future Jerry could look like were interrupted by a Plop! sound. The noise rang through both our ears. “It's gone for real now Jerrod! It got sucked down into the trash can! Now the worker ants will use it as blueprints to make it real!” The kid suddenly started jumping up and down frantically. I was concerned too, so to investigate, I peaked in the waste basket. The paper was still there! “Things must have been crazy in Jerry's head”, I thought. I reached in to grab it, and I couldn't really describe much after that. I didn't hear the plopping noise like before, but more of a Bang. All I could see was black, the kind of black that the trash can was painted. It was the last thing I saw before it happened. I woke up dazed. Still, everything was dark. My brother came up to me and started squeaking about if I was alright and if he needed to use one of his magic potions to heal me. I told him nothing since he wouldn't be able to help me anyway, so I just got up and tried to go back to my room. A barrage of spikes entered my sight, the same spikes Jerry put in his maze. I looked to my right. There was a crowd of patrolling skeleton warriors there holding pencils as swords. Oh no, it was real. Jerry's insanity had finally reached reality. I looked around and started touching the walls that surrounded us. Things somehow felt pretty familiar, but the floor was colorful and the walls were grayed. “Didn't I tell you? The worker ants built the maze!” Jerry explained. “I think I can help us get out of here though.” He crouched to the crowd and scanned the area. “This is the start of the maze, so we should probably go there.” He didn't point out where it was, he just ran. I was too confused to argue. If this was Jerry's mad creation then he should know his way in and out.
We started passing by some of the weirdest things I've ever seen. A gigantic kitten with cannons instead of eyes fired me with projectiles. I started dodging them because Jerry told me these things were dangerous. An enormous candy cane crashed into the ground. Another plummeted the ceiling. I was filled with amusement, until I realized that they were inflating, growing bigger and bigger by the second. I dove out of the way and hid behind the cats paw. It started going nuts, but I held on until the dozens of treats exploded into smaller chocolate bars. So this was what planet Jerry was like. “Come on Jerrod. Don't be scared of a kitty!” He mocked. We ran through another generic hallway when both of us were stricken by a rumbling noise. “The dragon is coming!” Jerry screamed in his kind of shrieking voice when I took away his crayon sets. “To the teleportation machine!” Jerry shouted. He grabbed my hand and sprinted once more. “Teleportation machi-NO!” I cried. The insane child dragged me in to a vibrant multi-colored portal. White light surrounded us. I thought we both died. I could hear a humming noise getting louder and loud and felt my legs trembling. We were moving forward somehow, power surging in the air. Boom! I was propelled through the air, landing flat with my body almost collapsed against the wall. “Couldn't you have made a protection suit or something for that?” I asked Jerry. “Well I didn't know it would hurt!” I exchanged glances with him, then we laughed. It was actually pretty fun. My brother sprinted to the left to a passage way and drifted to another one which was full of laser beams, the ones used for security purpose. I took a mental note to tell mom not take him to watch spy movies anymore. He gave me these special rubbery shoes with the name called the Jerry Jobs Super Jump and Flip Shoe. I tied in its enormous laces leaped into action. I had never felt more alive. Jumping and diving past the crimson streaks seemed so vigorous but exciting. Things seemed like they were going in slow motion, like the speed my pencil was while I drove it past this area before this even happened. It was a section of care but adventure. “Why can't life be like this?” I thought in my head. Speeding past enormous kitten machines and skeleton warriors, a teleporting across lands, and dodging laser beams. Jerry was way ahead of me already and was running to the next pathway. It was a pain to catch up with him, and a tragedy to realize he led me into a dead end. I finally remembered, this was a maze. We might never get out. It was easy to tell the two of us were scared now. Jerry started looking around. Even though it was dark, it was easy to see his sweat trickling down his neck. “Um...Jerrod?” He asked. “Yeah,” I answered nervously. “The rest of this maze, isn't that fun.” “What do you mean?” “It's dangerous. VERY dangerous. Be careful. We're not playing anymore. Now my brother walked steadily, slower than I was. “Look out!” He yelled. I turned around to look at him. A trap door was triggered, sliding out and causing both of us to fall deeper into the labyrinth. A secret passage was revealed. I didn't feel so lucky though. “Oh no.” Jerry said, slowly backing up. the road. “NO! It's the dragon! Jerrod we have to escape!” “Well do we have any secret gadgets you drew in the maze?” I demanded. If we had gone this far, we could make this extra step. Jerry shook his head. No teleportation machine now. “All we can do is...run.” Roar! The beast had come. The dragon in Jerry's dreams. “We gotta get out of here!” Jerry screamed. Both of us turned around and moved swiftly down the path. The echo of our footsteps felt like torture. It was the fact that Jerry's wild creations could bring me death that frightened me to my limits. It forced me to run faster and faster. Thoom Thoom..The flapping of wings. It was coming closer. I closed my eyes and pushed further. I didn't know if Jerry was with me or if had been eaten already. I smashed into a wall. Dead end. I had to face the facts, a dragon was coming after me and I couldn't do anything about it. Clang Clang Clang! Spiked gumballs plummeted the floor with dents. I looked up to see the green scaly creature above me, dark eyes full of rage and a body the size of a whale's. It opened it's mouth up to reveal dozens of jagged teeth, and out the projectiles came. Clang. Just missing me. Clang. It ricocheted off the wall, almost cutting my face. Clang. This one hit the ceiling, causing the wall above us to crumble down, making a barrier between it and me. Beside me, I finally heard the yelp of Jerry. This could be the end. “You know what, Jerry?” I said. If we were going to get stuck here forever, get ripped apart by a bunch of spiked snacks, or be consumed by a dragon, I knew I had to tell him it. “What?”. He was in feeble position, shivering. Silence entered the room, except for the Thoom and Clang sounds the dragon was making to destroy the barrier little by little. “I...um...I always sorta, ....um,” I looked away. “Liked your mazes.” I think even that noise stopped. “You won. You got the bonus prize. We won.” “What bonus prize? You never told me!” “I wanted it to be a surprise! Even in a place like this.” I felt like punching him, but I knew that it was all over. Nothing mattered anymore, but one thing. “So how did I win it?” I asked. Jerry looked up, smiling. “By liking me. That's how you earn it. And you finally did!” He started jumping up and down. “Now let's get out of here.” I was ready to leave this place forever, to go back to the home I loved. Plop! The sound emitted again. But I saw something this time, it was my brother putting his finger in his mouth and shooting it out to make a popping sound, the same sound that I heard when the paper “disappeared”. I kept looking around until a bright screen caught my eye. It was a television, the one in our kitchen, playing a cartoon Jerry loved watching. I started rubbing my eyes.
Slowly the dark and shadowy walls turned back into my house, and I finally came to realize what happened. We were in the dining room the whole time. This was all make believe. Jerry probably got the idea from his dreams and made the plopping noise to start one of his psychotic games. I had tripped and hit my head when bending over it, and all the stress the mazes brought forward to my mind caused me to have this weird vision so the things we played looked so real to me. The things I thought were familiar, like the walls, were really just the lamps and desks I sensed every day. The barrier of concrete I thought that was created was really a pile of pillows Jerry put together. The dragon was a remote controlled flying toy. The teleport machine was just us next to the washing machine and my brother pushing both of us forward really fast. It was all pretend, but for me, this hallucination was very much reality. “We won!” Jerry yelled out one more time. I was speechless, consumed with question. That day, I learned that Jerry believed and I didn't. All I did was look through it, all Jerry had to do was imagine it. I thought a little bit about what could have been going on in his brain. Maybe there was something waiting to sprout. “Hey Jerry, do you like making things other than mazes?” I asked. He was holding another piece of paper in his hand. “Well, why don't you check my latest creation!” He exclaimed. It was some car shaped like a peanut. I think it was using a gigantic soda bottle as fuel. “You have a science fair coming up, right?” I asked. Maybe this plan could work. “Yeah. I don't know what to do.” Jerry swung his head up and down. “It's too hard! How do I know if my projects will work or not? And how do I get the idea? It's not like I can make a teleport machine or something like that.” “Well, that peanut and soda car? Let's use that as your experiment.” I suggested. “We can build it together. A tiny one. Then we can test it. If it can run or not. And how fast. And if we can make it go up a slope. And if it can drive on water. Stuff like that.” Jerry nodded. “Let's get to work then!” I cheered.
Many years have past since that one victorious day, but both of us think of it as the cornerstone of our careers. Yes, careers. It inspired us to make our dreams reality. I created a new toy, the Laser-candy cane-cat 3200 and an automated flying dragon model. They're the two most popular toys ever created. Jerry created the official Jerry Jobs Jump and Flip shoe, discovered two new elements in the periodic table, made a teleportation machine (Yes, with built in safety gear), and founded the world wide “Imagine” charity. They supply kids all over the world with art supplies, books, education, and everything they could need to make their creativity blossom into the real world. He helped serve a billion kids, I think that's the best part about his career, not the fancy gadgets. The big thing is that a billion minds were fertilized to grow like Jerry's did. A billion mazes drawn. A billion productive futures created. A billion dreams come true. A billion imaginations unleashed. Jerry's one intuitive seed grew a tree. Then two. Then a billion. A forest that would thrive forever, a new society wanting to go beyond borders and do things no one has done before.
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