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“The Chronicle of Wadsworth and Bartholomew” by Alina Liu: June 2024 3rd Place

“Bartholomew!” Wadsworth whispered urgently, beckoning to his friend from the bedroom doorway. The clock on the bedside table read “12:52 AM”.

 “Why are we doing this again?” Bartholomew asked groggily, sitting up and rubbing his eyes. 

“For the greater good,” Wadsworth responded seriously. “We must commence our quest post-haste.” 

Bartholomew immediately pulled on his crocs and put them in sports mode before sneaking out of the front door. The streets were quiet, everyone asleep as the boys mounted their tricycles and began pedaling. 

“We’re here,” Wadsworth said after a few minutes. 

They halted, gazing through the wrought-iron gates at the enormous manor that loomed over them. Made of old, weathered brick and covered head to toe in ivy, it had been abandoned for at least a decade. With a creak that pierced the quiet night, Wadsworth pushed open the gate and the two boys walked down a moss-covered, beaten cobblestone path towards rickety steps that led to a set of double doors.

Without hesitation, they entered through the doors and into a grand foyer, a broken chandelier hanging from the ceiling and shards of glass strewn across the carpeted floor. There was a shuffling as some small animal darted into the shadows. Bartholomew pulled out a flashlight and turned it on. 

“Look! What’s that?” Bartholomew directed his flashlight beam to a massive object that lay in a cobwebbed corner of the room. 

Wadsworth carefully made his way towards it, and upon further inspection, found it was a thick leather-bound book. 

“No title,” Wadsworth murmured, crouching down. As he thumbed through the dusty, yellowing pages, his eyes began to widen.

“What does it say?” Bartholomew asked. 

Wadsworth stood up gleefully and hugged the tome to his chest. “Bartholomew, this is our calling. Within this book lies the sacred, ancient and unfounded art of perfecting the croissant. It’s all we could possibly dream of, Bartholomew! Our quest is over.” 

From then on, having unlocked true and life changing enlightenment, Wadsworth and Bartholomew wholly devoted themselves to croissants. They ultimately became world-famous, billionaire croissant connoisseurs––but they never did tell anyone their secrets.


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