The award I had ended up receiving was for perseverance. I had thought that the awards were only for excelling in a class. But I was wrong. There were awards also for character traits showed a lot by a person. And I got perseverance. Really I didn't really see it, but at the same time I did. Through all my university years, I had made it through all the obstacles of giving up, and kept myself determined. I don't really know how teachers saw this, but I was pleased.

There was much still to go through as my years in life would go on and then there would be no award to get for that. I just had to remember to keep on going no matter what. That was most important.

When I walked off stage, my heart was bursting with different emotions. This was a day to never forget.

xxx

Whatever was coming up ahead, I had no clue about. Whatever came tomorrow, I had no clue about either. Each day would now become a surprise and I'd just have to experience it like the rest. But when I walked into the kitchen the next morning, dad was frying something on the frying pan over the stove.

"Dad what are you making?" I asked and sniffed the air and entered the kitchen. Today would be a good day. I wanted it to be a good one. I had put on my favorite orange t-shirt and my washed lab coat. My pants were ironed and my shoes… well they will always stay like that.

"Sit down! You'll see in a minute!" dad waved me away, before I could peek at what he was making. Sighing, I sat down and grabbed dad's morning newspaper. The front page showed a picture of Mayor Shelbourne waving excitedly into the camera. The article was even smaller than the picture. I sighed again and began to read.

Swallow Falls will be experiencing something new and bold tomorrow at noon. Our own Mayor has been working on it for almost a week already and says it will really bring Swallow Falls to life again. "I really don't know why I hadn't come up with the idea earlier." Mayor Shelbourne told us last night. No one knows what it is and the Mayor simply refuses to give out any hints.

I slammed the newspaper on the table and glared at the picture of the Mayor. Something new? What could he possibly be thinking of? I couldn't think of anything that could really bring Swallow Falls 'back to life', except that we get full shipments of normal food. Oh, and that reminded me!

"I have to get started on my food machine." I muttered to myself. Dad came up to me holding a plate and placed it in front of me. I glanced at it and blinked. It was a bunch of fried sardines. Slowly, I grabbed my fork and stabbed one. Then I brought it to my mouth and took a bite. The outside was crunchy and so was most of the inside. But when I felt something squishy in my mouth, I hurled to the bathroom.

"Dad! I don't think you fully cooked it!" I called from the bathroom and then re-entered the kitchen. Dad blinked at me and then took a bite of it. He swallowed and shrugged.

"It tastes fine to me," he ate another one and I sat down at the table.

"Dad, I can't be drinking coffee for breakfast for the rest of my life." I sighed when dad placed a cup of coffee in front of me. Dad slowly nodded. This is why I have to get started on the food machine! Then we won't have to be worried about breakfast anymore. I thought to myself and went over to our kitchen cupboards. The only good thing to eat there was a box of stale sardine crackers.

"I'm going to my lab." I told dad and grabbed the box of crackers. He nodded and began to read the newspaper. When I exited from the back door, I heard Steve shouting something to me from my lab window.

"I'M COMING! CALM DOWN!" I shouted and was about to open the front door to my lab elevator entrance, when I felt like I was being watched. I spun around to find Cal and his friends watching me over the fence. Cal was Earl's son and was already teasing me about being weird and having a lab. I ignored him and opened the elevator door.

Up in my lab, Steve was jumping around hungrily. Groaning, I realized I forgot to buy more of Steve's food. Instead I ate three crackers from the box I brought and gave the rest of the box to Steve.

"Steve!" he grinned and dived into the box. Smiling, I patted him on the head and then went to search for a piece of paper. I was time I drew a sketch for the food machine I had in mind. But I had no paper anywhere. Not in my printer, not in any of my notebooks (all were used and filled up) and not in my emergency stack.

"Steve, did I really use up all the paper, or did you steal it?" I asked the monkey. He climbed out of box and widened his eyes innocently at me. Then he smiled and ran across the room. I watched him jump onto my desktop and rummage through my pencil case. He immerged with a stack of yellow post-it notes.

"Paper!" Steve handed me the small stack. Laughing, I took it and went over to my desk. I found a pencil and quickly began my image of the machine. What about the name? Food Machine? That sounded so boring and not catchy. All my inventions were named after what they really were.

"Steve what's a good name for a food machine?" I asked him. He looked up from his box of crackers.

"Gummybears!" Steve grinned wildly.

"I have no gummybears!" I chuckled and wondered if maybe the word 'food' made him think of gummybears. And it had been a long time since he last tried them.

"No?" Steve blinked his innocent orange eyes at me. I shook my head and he dived back into the box. I thought harder. I wanted it to be an awesome name. First I had figure out how the machine would work. I couldn't just press some button and POOF! I had food. There had to be a way. Then I thought about how astronauts always took those small tablets with them to space. If you dripped some water on the tablet, it would turn into a type of food. Different tablets for different types of food choices. That was using water to make food.

"But I could use microwave radiation along with the water…" I thought for a second. My brain was slowly bringing a cloud full of ideas and everything was now making sense. The food would be easy. The machine would be hard to build, but I had to try.

"I have a name! Steve, I have a name for it!" I grinned and quickly began to draw the machine on the post-it.

"I will call it the Flint Lockwood Diatonic Super Mutating Dynamic Food Replicator!" I grinned and Steve poked his head out of the box again when he heard the long name. His eyebrows furrowed and he tried to say the name. I laughed and then grabbed the post-it note and went to tack it onto my wall along with all my other posters.

I'll build it later today. Just not now. I skipped out of my lab and left Steve eating the crackers. I was in the best mood ever. By tomorrow my invention will ready and Swallow Falls will have become alive once again. I bet my invention will be better than whatever the Mayor had in mind.

Forget about that! I ran into the garage and grabbed my bike, which I hardly ever rode. I had to start on my invention now, but I still needed some more power cords, for when I had to connect it. So I pedaled as fast as I could to Main Street.

"FLINT LOCKWOOD!" I heard Earl yell out behind me. But I didn't stop. I kept on riding my bike on. Even when I heard the sirens of Earl's police cruiser behind me, I didn't stop. I kept on going until I reached the hardware store. Believe or not, but the hardware store had more power cords. I paid for them and raced out of the store.

Earl waited outside store with his hands on his hips.

"Flint Lockwood! I yelled out to you! I even chased you in my cruiser!" he shouted at me.

"What for?" I demanded and he glared at me.

"Speeding!" he yelled and waved a speeding ticket at me. I gasped and my eyes widened.

"SPEEDING? ON A BIKE? Earl, I wasn't driving a car!" I cried out and he just laughed.

"Ha! Just teasing you!" he cracked up laughing and slapped my hard on the back. I almost fell over. Geez, I actually thought the ticket was for real. Nodding, I climbed back onto my bike and raced home. Earl didn't even get to say another word to me. I was already gone.

I knew that I still had the whole day to build the food machine, but I didn't know how long it'll take me! It might take the whole day! I wanted to start now and make sure it was finished for tomorrow. When I got home, I threw my bike onto our lawn and ran around the house to the backyard. As I ran to my lab, I pushed the elevator door open and climbed into the elevator. For some reason the elevator seemed to be going slower than usual. Or maybe I was imaging it, since I was in such a hurry.

I made it to lab main floor and taking a deep breath walked toward the wall with my post-it. I was ready to begin. Yes, I was even ready to fail. But I didn't want to fail. I passed Steve; who had abandoned the box of crackers and was now trying to pry open a can of sardines. I turned to the wall and grabbed the post-it. Heroically, I held it up. Then I shook it out of me and pointed at Steve.

"Steve! My best friend and trusted colleague. Can I count on your help?" I looked at him. Steve looked up at me and blinked. Then he held up the sardine can he was holding.

"Can!" he replied.

"I knew I could!" I grinned and instantly turned into the miniature inventing tornado I always turned into whenever inventing something. I didn't know what I would accomplish with this invention. I didn't know what dad would think of it. I didn't know what the town would think of it, but I hoped they liked it.

Well, I fulfilled your request and had finished telling my childhood story. It was hard at some parts to tell it, but easier at some. I had experienced the good and the bad in my childhood. Both had taught me lessons. I had gone through two tragic deaths, two graduations and many mistakes. But all had passed and now none of it mattered.

Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go work on my next invention. Let's hope that one's not an epic fail like the FLDSMDFR.

Author's Note: Ah… All done. That was a fun fanfic to write, but it had to come to an end. I hope everyone reading it enjoyed it. Now I'm off to write my last CWACOM fanfic. I've already started…