• Once a time, not so long ago, there was a family. This was no ordinary family. No, this family was anything but ordinary. The daughter, for example, was very, very unique. Her name was Cassandra, and she had a very stand-out style. Few could compare when she wore her favorite black top with the rainbow jeans that she made herself. Then, there was her little brother, Andrew. If you asked anyone who knew him, any one at all, they would describe him as smart. However, this was an understatement. Andrew was much, much more than just “smart”. If you took the time to talk to him you would realize that he knew just about everything! He was a brilliant kid. Their parents, Justin and Anna-Clarisse, have a very interesting story too. However, unlike their children, there was nothing special about them at all. They were very average with light brown hair, the color of sand. Like I said, there was nothing special about them at all. What was special was what they did.
    It all started one cloudy morning, in the middle of July. This was very unusual. In Phoenix, Arizona, there were never any cloudy days, let alone in the middle of July. Cassandra knew right away that something was different. She couldn’t place her finger on it. She just pondered. This was alright with Andrew. He never liked to talk anyways. He enjoyed the silence very much as he walked with Cassandra. It was very unusual, and in some ways, a gift. Cassandra was never quiet. Never. Especially after her lacrosse matches. She loved to talk about them with anyone. That is why it was so strange that she was quiet as they walked home. She had just played a tough match. She was easily the best on the field when she scored 3 of her teams 5 points. Andrew, however, thought nothing of as he was preoccupied with thoughts about the science fair.
    He had taken first place with an experiment about dimensions. You know, first dimension is a line, the second dimension is a square, and the third: a cube. He understood all of this and he often wondered what life would be like in the first or second dimension. He thought that perhaps everything would be different. Not only sight and touch, but smell, hearing, and taste as well. This got him thinking about other dimensions too. What would the fourth dimension be like? The fifth? The sixth? That was what his whole experiment was based on. What these unknown dimensions would look like to the human brain, and also if we would be able to process it. He discovered what the fourth dimension would look like, but that is as far as he got. It did get him first place, but, naturally, Andrew was still curious. He wanted to know what it would be like to live in the fourth dimension. The first three are considered space (length, width, and height).The fourth dimension is usually accepted as time. Time and time again, you could find him thinking about the fourth dimension, and those beyond it.
    Cassandra and Andrew were now home. They walked inside, and each grabbed an orange from their fridge. Still thinking about the fourth dimension, Andrew did not realize it when his parents walked in. Cassandra, however, did. As soon as she saw them, she started to question them about the weather. They could give her no answers. They just said that the brainless meteorologists probably forgot to mention one of the few cloudy days of the year. Cassandra accepted this and disappeared into her room.
    Having finished his snack, Andrew too, disappeared into his room. Justin started to grill hamburgers and Anna-Clarisse started to make the pasta. While this was going on, Cassandra had started to give herself, yet another, haircut. She took a shower, and then combed her waist long hair until it was straight and easy to work with. She took a nice chunk of her electric blue hair, at the very front of her head, and snipped. Cassandra now had side bangs.
    Andrew meanwhile, was working on his fourth dimension theory. After doing some research, he found that the fourth dimension was called a tesseract. He then got bored doing research and started to construct, what he thought, a tesseract looked like. It took him no time at all and soon he was looking at his very own model. It looked something like this…
    However, as soon as he finished it, Justin called him to dinner. Andrew quickly stashed the model into the stomach of his favorite teddy bear (there was a zipper along the bear’s back) and went to dinner. He planned to show the tesseract off after dinner.
    Cassandra was the last one to sit down, now sporting a stylish hair style, and dinner began. Seeing that the rare clouds in the sky provided shade, the family had decided to eat outside. They were just beginning the corn when everything went wrong. All at once there was a loud clap of thunder and a flash in the sky. Before anyone had time to think, the lightning struck the table with a bang.
    Then, everything was fire. Everything was blazing hot. Nothing was real. No one could feel their bodies except for the rare flashes of intense pain. It could have been 2 seconds. It could have been 20 days. They could not tell. The pain was unbearable. No one understood what was going on. Until... it stopped.
    Andrew was the first one to speak. He knew as soon as he opened his eyes exactly what was going on. It was amazing. It was exactly as Andrew had imagined it. Cassandra, Andrew, Anna-Clarisse, and Justin were in the fourth dimension. “Wow…” Andrew was at a loss for words. He only knew that his dream had become reality. Nothing could have broken him out of his trance at that moment. That is, nothing except his family.
    Cassandra looked dazed. Justin was looking around with a worried expression. Anna-Clarisse was studying Andrew’s face, trying to make sense of why her son was so ecstatically happy. Then, all four of them noticed it at the same time. When they looked at each other, everything looked the same. The cool part was when they thought about each other though. When Andrew thought about Cassandra, he could see something more. What he saw was inside her. It was her soul. He claims that he remembered what it looked like even in the last days of his life. Cassandra’s soul was as colorful and loud as she was. It was vibrant. It was unique. It was Cassandra. Then, Andrew thought of his parents. He wondered if they too, could see Cassandra’s soul. It was at that moment that he saw theirs.
    Anna-Clarisse’s soul was every bit as beautiful as he would have imagined. It burned with the intensity of her love for him, Cassandra, and Justin. Her soul mirrored the way that she cared for people. It showed how impossibly large her store of compassion was. In that moment, Andrew saw his mother as a whole new being.
    Justin’s soul was totally different and in every way amazing. It bulged, about ready to overflow with the bravery and courage that Justin held on to. It appeared to be the very center of a very powerful star. Shining as brightly and as intense as one would. Justin suddenly looked like the marine that he was and not just Andrew’s dad any more. In those few brief moments, Andrew saw clearly what his family was like and why his mom, dad, and even his sister were special. He also knew that he had only skimmed the surface of their souls. He knew that if he tried hard enough, really reached out with his mind, he could know everything about them in a few brief seconds. He was about to explore each soul more, when Anna-Clarisse gasped.
    Andrew knew what she had seen and decided that he had to come out of his trance to explain all of this to his clueless family. Very straight forward, he began… “We are in the fourth dimension,” he said, “I know that this shouldn’t be possible, but it is. Believe me.” He then turned to his mom and said, “Mom, what did you just see that made you gasp?”
    After a few seconds she answered. “I think that I was seeing inside of you…” She trailed off. “It was so clear. For the briefest time, I saw an amazingly beautiful light that seemed to come from you. I have no idea what it was or what it meant.” After a another few seconds she added, “Do you?”
    “Mom, I think what you saw was my fourth dimension. Most commonly, the fourth dimension is accepted as time but I think that it is something more. I think that the fourth dimension is our souls, not time. Here,” he said, “I have a model in my bear…” Unnoticed until then, Andrew picked up the bear and unzipped its back. He gasped. The model was gone! Only then, when he thought of the model, did the bear start to glow. He thought of the bear. Nothing happened. He thought of the model. The bear started to glow as if it had its own soul.
    “I think,” he started, “that the bear has become the tesseract.” He tried his experiment again. Nothing changed. Then he thought of the danger they were in. He looked around himself for the first time. There was nothing other than each other and the bear. In that instant, he knew that his family and he were trapped in the fourth dimension.
    His father thought of it at the same time. “How do we get back?” He said.
    Andrew had no answer. He only wished that this had never happened. As amazing as it was, as much as he wanted to explore his family’s souls, Andrew just wanted his family to be safe at home. He also knew what would get them back home. He knew it the whole time but did not think of it. To get to the fourth dimension, the tesseract needed power. A lot of power. That power was the lightning bolt that struck the table, and at the same time, the bear holding the tesseract. He knew that to get home, the tesseract would need just as much power. In this barren dimension, he only saw one choice. He had to sacrifice himself. He took a deep breath, and with all of his might, Andrew thought of the bear and the tesseract. He imagined himself becoming the bear. He knew that if that happened, he would have the ability to take his family home. It took a matter of seconds. That was enough.
    All at once there was a flash. Brighter than the lightning. It was also warm. It was not burning like the lightning had been, but comforting. It surrounded Cassandra, Anna-Clarisse, and Justin. Andrew was nowhere to be seen. Only the bear traveled with Andrew’s family as they spun through time and space.
    Then, they were home. Cassandra, Anna-Clarisse, and Justin had landed in the middle of the street. The bear waited on the trunk of their car. Cassandra discovered that she could still see the souls of her parents and they could see hers. Then she thought of Andrew. At that moment, the bear blazed so bright with a light that could only belong to one person. Cassandra ran to the car and picked her brother up. She hugged him and started to weep.