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The Death LabelI need help. That is exactly why I’m sending you this letter. My name is James Mable, I am fourteen years old, and I think I’m going to die. I know it sounds far-fetched, but just keep reading. My story begins when I was in kindergarten and noticed that above each person’s head is a little bubble with numbers in it. At this time, I couldn’t comprehend what they meant, so I asked my mother. “Mommy, what do those numbers mean above everyone’s head?” Her usually kind and warm smile quickly switched to a serious and sturdy expression. “James, listen to me.” Her dark brown eyes stared deep into mine. “I’m about to tell you something, and you must listen to me very carefully and do exactly as I say. Do you understand, James?” I nodded, a bit frightened, but didn’t dare say a word. She did a quick sideways glance and then returned eye contact. “Everybody has a date above their head. This date represents the day of their death, and-” My little five year old lip began to quiver and warm tears started to roll down my cheek. I stood up quickly and looked at the date on my mom’s head. “Mommy! Yours says seven, twen-“Her hand clamped over my mouth before I could finish. “James, you mustn’t tell anyone the date over their head. No matter how much you want to. It will only cause more harm.” “What happens?” I asked as I snuffled and wiped my eyes. “Well, if you tell anyone the day above their head, they will die within twenty-four hours… and so will you.” Ever since that day, I have been very careful of not telling anyone their date. My mom’s is in around fifty years, so she is going to live a long life. I wish I could tell her, but I know that silence is best.  Every once and awhile, I will be walking around town with my friends and see and old man or lady with a date that is coming up soon, which always brings the mood down. Anyways, onto my problem. Summer break ended two days ago. I have been in school since Monday. But when I awoke on Monday, things seemed off. People had been acting strangely nice to me, but today they were a little too nice. The smell of bacon and eggs drifted into my room, my favorite.  I went into the kitchen, to see my mom setting the table. As soon as she saw me, she ran over to me and wrapped me in a tight hug.”Uh, thanks, mom. Is today a special day or something?” She smiled at me and said, “No, honey. I just wanted to say I love you.” She gazed into my eyes lovingly. After 30 seconds, I awkwardly break the silence by going and sitting next to my younger sister at the table. As we ate our eggs and bacon, my mom, dad and sister were talking about how much they love and appreciate me. “Are you sure something isn’t wrong? You guys are acting really weird.” They all glanced at each other and I thought I saw a tear glistening in my mom’s eye. They all continued to eat without answering me. But when I arrive at school, things only get weirder. As I walked in the door of the gray prison building we call a school,  I noticed the unusual amount of smiles and sympathetic looks I was getting from the kids around me.

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