Available at:



Shirley Hailstock

Earth - 2098

Darwin L. Caldwell, III was a big name for a little boy. When Darwin went to nursery school, his name was too hard for the other toddlers to pronounce. The kids picked up the nickname Dancey and since then everyone, even his mother, call him that. Dancey was twelve now and he'd lived in the same house and gone to the same school ever since he could remember.

Dancey didn't much like school. He'd rather play football or basketball instead of learn why the Pilgrims came to America and what the first Thanksgiving was like. He liked his friends and one other thing Dancey liked was peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Since his mom packed his first Spiderman lunch box when he was in nursery school, Dancey had eaten a peanut butter and jelly sandwich for lunch every day. It was his favorite food other than pizza, but even Dancey knew you couldn't eat pizza everyday.

He'd learned that one Christmas when his cousins, Frank and Marvin, came home from Germany. Their mom and dad were both in the Army and they'd been in a foreign country for three years. When they arrived a week before the holiday, they couldn't wait to have a real pizza. Dancey didn't know what they meant. He was only seven then and pizza had always been real. Dancey's dad, Darwin L. Caldwell, II, for whom Dancey took his name, called the pizza store and ran out to get the food. Dancey was glad his cousins were there. They were bigger than he was, seventeen or twenty-eight, he didn't know which. One of them could even drive. He thought it was the bigger one. He must have been seventeen years old.

Dancey's dad came back with two large pizza's. "Wow!" Dancey said. They never got more than one and a medium one at that. Dancey's mom didn't like pizza. He thought she must be the only person in America who didn't eat pizza. She did eat peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and she was his mom so he forgave her and he could always eat her share of the pizza.

The next day they went Christmas shopping, just his cousins and him. Dancey felt grown up. They wanted him to come with them, not like his older sister, Andrea, who was always on the phone and always closing her door in his face. After they had spent time in the Arcade, where his mom only let him go for half an hour, they bought some Christmas presents and went to eat again.

"Why don't we have pizza," Dancey suggested.

"I think I'd like some pizza," Frank, the older one, said.

They went to the food court and ate pizza until Dancey's stomach was so full he had to hold it to get back to the car.

Frank and Dancey and Marvin, spent part of their days together each day and they always had pizza. By the day before Christmas, when the crush of people in the mall was so close they had to hold on to each other, Dancey couldn't eat another slice.


Click to subscribe to Shirley Hailstock's Newsletter

Copyright ©2014 - No part of this site may be copied, published or redistributed in any form without written permission from