Life as a Gymnast


One day when I was two years old, I was on my couch watching the Summer Olympics with my mom. That’s when I knew I wanted to be a gymnast. I started just a few weeks after the fact, and only progressed. In beginner’s class, I met my best friend, Cammie. We go to the same gymnasium now, and have been besties ever since.


Chapter One: Spotted

“I don’t know if this is such a great idea…” I said.

“Come on, it’ll be fine!” Cammie said, trying to reassure me.

Sorry, I’m Katherine Fisher. I have dark brown hair with crystal blue eyes and I’m about four and a half feet tall. My birthday is on March 17th–Saint Patrick’s Day! I was practicing routines at our gym with my best friend, Cammie. I’m ten years old and in level seven, the seventh highest competitive level at our gymnasium. Each level gets more challenging than the one before, and each level has different/harder routines and skills. I have a 12-year-old swimmer sister and a 14-year-old baseball/tennis brother. I also have a mom and a dad, and a medium chocolate labradoodle named Mak. My family’s talking about fostering another puppy, but our parents say that’s a long process. Anyway, my team shares a gym with the Golden Girls, our rival team, and they completely wrecked our supplies! Cammie and I were trying to think of a way to get back at the Golden Girls, but I wasn’t so sure about it…

* * *

I had to get home to finish my homework, so as soon as the Golden Girls walked into the gym I left for home. When I got there, I started my homework quickly so I wouldn’t get into trouble with my parents — I wasn’t even supposed to be at the gym! Cammie was still at the gym, doing whatever she was doing. I kept thinking about her because Cammie (alone) plus the Golden Girls equals…uh-oh! I just couldn’t help myself! Finally, I couldn’t take it anymore. I raced out the front door, leaving everything behind.

* * *

Of course, I was going to the gym. I had to find out what Cammie was doing. I had entered through the front door and was peeking through a window. When I got there, Cammie was trash talking to the Golden Girls.

I couldn’t let her do this! The Golden Girls had taken it way too far, but Cammie knew Coach Jasmine had told her if she did this to the Golden Girls again, she wouldn’t be able to compete in the next meet! Our team, Shooting Stars, needed Cammie! But then, I noticed Raven, a Golden Girl, was cursing back.

Instantly, they saw me. I tried to hide, but it was too late. I was dead meat. I’d been spotted.


Chapter Two: The Conversation

When Raven noticed me, that’s when I really started to freak out. She’s the “head” of the team at age eleven. Coach Jasmine believes everyone is the best on our team. I knew I’d have to come over sooner or later, so I chose sooner.

Raven smirked. “You brought your only friend — sorry, idiot — with you?!?! Such a baby!” she proclaimed.

“Excuse me?!?!” asked Cammie.

“Yeah, like, that’s right. I don’t care about, like, your stupid team. Like you’ll ever get sixth place in, like, our next meet, the Spring Classic. You do know the judges, like, give you tips, right? You might want to go practice to try to get, like, 80th in all around!” retorted Raven.

“You do know we got first place at the last meet that somebody forfeited? In fact, I’ve actually practiced, unlike someone I know. To be clear, there are only 78 people at the next meet! And there only are six teams, so technically what you’re saying is that we won’t get last place,” I told her.

“Oh, I know there aren’t even 80 people at the meet. That was my point. And, like, I meant you wouldn’t even place since, like, they might only give out five places,” Raven said, trying to give me a good comeback.

“How dare you,” I said and gasped, flabbergasted at her cruelness.

“You’ll get it this time,” Raven responded.

And with that, she grabbed me by the arm and pulled me away. I tried to fight her off, but Raven sure had a good grip. My parents would know I was missing.


Chapter Three: Missing

Raven was running off so quickly, I didn’t even realize what was going on! Then I realized, I was locked in Raven’s closet! At least she had lots of popular clothes and was rich, so to me, Raven’s closet was like a room. At least I had breathing space. Also, this is the only time I’m actually glad that Raven’s apartment is on the same floor as mine so I could hear my parents talking through the vent!

I could hear my parents saying, “Where’s Katherine? She’s not in her room! I better call Cammie’s mom. I bet Katherine’s with Cammie,” said my mom, trying to stay relaxed.

“Ok. I’ll try to reach KK on her cell,” replied my dad, worried as ever. I felt really worried for my parents too since they didn’t know where I was. And unfortunately, I left my phone on my desk so it wouldn’t interrupt me during routines. Suddenly, I could hear my phone ring from my room.

“She’s missing!” wailed my mom, after she and Dad had called everyone and looked everywhere.

“No, she’s not. We will find her,” promised my dad. “She’s old enough to take care of herself.”

* * *

Since I could hear my parents, they would be able to hear me, right? You might think I’m stupid, but I’m just not the kind of ten year old girl that causes all that commotion. I just stay calm and think of all the ways to get out. Thankfully, I’m a stickler for when my bangs come out of my ponytail in gymnastics, so I always keep a bobby-pin in my gymnastics pants, which luckily I was wearing coming back from the gym. It was my favorite one, but it would get me out so I bent my bobby-pin back and clicked it into the lock to push the lock back out.

As soon as I heard the click, I sprinted out to the window and looked down. Oh, great. There was a ladder, but it was about eight feet from the window. As brave as I could be, I pushed out Raven’s window screen and climbed onto the windowsill. I had to leave before Raven’s family finished dinner, so I stepped out over the front door, and slipped!

Swiftly, I gripped the sill just in time without being seen. Luckily, I’m a very strong gymnast, so I pulled myself back up into front support and then stood back up, horrified. So close, I thought. I took about five more steps, and had reached the ladder. I quickly climbed down, jumping onto a snowbank, and ran home to my parents, as proud as ever. After I had told them everything, my parents told Raven’s gymnastics coach, Casey, and Raven was disqualified from the Spring Classic.


Chapter Four: Another Side-Mate

I could tell that when Raven got back to her room, she must’ve checked on me but was horrified that I was missing. Suddenly, Raven’s parents received a phone call from Coach Casey, explaining everything. The next day at the gym, I could overhear Raven telling a teammate that she was grounded.

*       *       *

The next day at practice, Raven’s “sidekick” Amelia walked over to me! I was worried she’d come to strangle me or something. But she actually apologized!

“For what?” I asked, literally puzzled.

“For Raven. Listen, I heard what happened, and I don’t want to be her little ‘robot’ anymore, but I’m way too scared to admit it to her. Imagine what would happen! It’s bad enough that I’ll have to train with her, but I’m on your side now, and it’s not a trick. I did bring a copy of the blueprint of her next comeback, to make you scratch yourself from the meet by calling in using a voice modifier that she has copied your voice on. Would it be okay if I helped you prevent that from happening? I mean, if you think it’s totally dumb, that’s fine, I understand. But just to let you know, I deleted your voice and ripped up Raven’s copy of the plan,” Amelia proclaimed quickly.

“Of course!” I replied, overjoyed. “Under one condition–Cammie can help. No offense, but you guys kinda sorta really ruined our event stations. We were already trying to think of a comeback. You purposely raised the parallel bars to a height that not even Sara, the five feet and three inch tall girl on our team, could reach! You also lowered our vault to rec level, removed the screws from the best beam, and took out the springs on floor! And guess who had to fix it; us! Listen, I’m really sorry. I’m sure it was probably Raven’s idea, and I shouldn’t even be yelling at anyone. Please forgive me,” I begged.

“First of all, what are you talking about? We didn’t wreck…RAVEN!!!” Amelia yelled, angrily. “Sorry, I’m just mad. Raven must’ve done this without us knowing and was secretly practicing in her private gymnasium at her house so she could win first in all-around in the Spring Classic and get that middle school scholarship! I’m really sorry about everything. Of course Cammie can help, and I forgive you,” she proceeded. I thought about Raven for a moment. I realized right then, that her name fit her perfectly. She was cruel. She was horrible.

“Thanks so much!” I said, hugging Amelia. I felt so relieved that that moment was over. I’d been dreading the asking for help part for days.


Chapter Five: “Katherine!”

“I can do this, I can do this, I can do this…” I managed to utter.

“Don’t worry. You’ll do great!” replied my dad.

“That’s just what parents are supposed to say. Listen, I’m just really nervous because this is a really important meet, and I’ve never had a meet since I learned my new routine with a back layout in it,” I proclaimed.

I was at the Spring Classic and it was right after bars. I had already done beam. After floor, I only had vault left, a full on. That’s where you sprint down the vaulting runway and when you get to the table you jump off the springboard, push off your hands at the end and twist off. Even though Raven was DQ’d, she didn’t even come to cheer her team on!

“KATHERINE FISHER; FLOOR; LEVEL SEVEN,” I heard over the loudspeaker. Oh, great. My turn.

As I stepped onto the floor and presented to the judges, terrified, I could feel Amelia watching me. She wasn’t Raven, but I still felt nervous. I guess I didn’t feel horrible that Raven was disqualified.  All of a sudden, my music started to play. I felt really good until my back layout. I had very angry butterflies in my stomach that were eager to escape into puke!

Everything seemed to slow down, but I stopped. I knew I was off-beat and I couldn’t afford to lose any more points, but since it’s my tumbling pass (one of the major tumbles in a routine, but you must run) I counted to three: 1…2…3! I hadn’t yet completed my back layout at a meet yet. Jasmine had spotted me and I had only completed it at practice three times alone, but she said I was ready. I started to sprint down the floor into my front handspring front tuck. After I presented, I started to lean forward and flipped back, keeping my knees straight and together. As I landed, I heard a loud snap and felt a fiery pain in my ankle! The music stopped and Jasmine, my parents and the nurse ran out onto the floor, while I had tears in my eyes.

“Katherine!” Jasmine yelled.

“Ow…” I managed to get out between gasps.

“Let’s get you to the ER, quick!” said my mom, horrified. But I was a little embarrassed for interrupting the whole competition.

I started to cry. In fact, I cried a whole downpour of tears! My brother, Matthew, broke his ankle once, and had a cast for a month. My sister, Alice, broke her wrist once, and had a cast for one month. There were two more meets until Nationals, and we had a meet every weekend. It hurt so much, I knew it was broken, and the doctor agreed. I would miss Nationals.


Chapter Six: The Plan

When I had finally come back from the ER, I was resting in bed with my leg up on my chair, reading. All of a sudden, the doorbell rang. Ding-dong! Dang it! I thought. I had lost my spot in my book. By the time I had found it, Cammie and Amelia were up in my room. If you hadn’t already figured it out, they were the ones that rang the doorbell.

After we had talked and I had answered many questions about my leg and the whole experience, Amelia handed me flowers-made of chocolate! The card tied to the bouquet read:

“Dear Katherine,

Feel better soon!

Cammie and Amelia”

“Aaawww! You sure know the way to my heart,” I said, sweetly. “CHOCOLATE!!!”

It turns out, Cammie got first place for all around in the Spring Classic and Amelia got second! They didn’t give out scholarships because of “the incident.”

“Amelia and I were thinking we totes need a good plan to get back at Raven. We need your help!” Cammie explained, implying they needed time with me to think of one.

“Of course,” I replied, willingly.

After about ten minutes of contemplating, we finally thought of a plan: to sneak into Raven’s house before the next meet that I can compete in and pour flour down Raven’s leotard. Then when she put it on, she’d have to leave for the meet and wouldn’t have time to change, since she always procrastinates and she wouldn’t have any extra time. She’s always first at every meet because her last name is Arango (the only person on our team with a last name that starts with an “A”). Our teams always competes in this order: beam, bars, floor and vault, so Raven would be on beam first. We compete in the same division every time because we practice at the same gym. Then, the flour would be so itchy Raven wouldn’t be able to resist scratching. You get points off for itching/scratching and touching your leotard during a meet so Raven would get her score lowered and maybe (if we’re lucky) she’d be so itchy, she’d fall off and get even more points deducted!

“We can’t let anyone find out, though,” I proclaimed.

“Duh,” replied Cammie.


Chapter Seven: Removed


“Honey, I think we’re better off waiting until tomorrow to get your cast off because it’s supposed to be warmer and some of the snow should be melted by tomorrow,” Mom explained to me.

“But, Mom! The sooner, the better. Also, I want to actually be able to practice some simple skills. Please, can we do it today! If we want to do it today, we have to leave now!” I replied, trying to reassure my mom.

“Fine,” she answered.

We had just driven to the doctor to see if I was ready to get my cast off. I was in the waiting room at the doctor’s office. When the secretary called my name, then my doctor, Dr. Blart, would check my ankle to see if my cast was ready to be taken off! I mean, it’s been on for a month and I’m pretty sure it’s ready because I’ve been resting it a lot.

“Katherine Fisher; ankle injury; Dr. Blart; room 117,” I heard the secretary, Rachel, call out.

Yes, yes, yes, I thought.


“Congratulations, Katherine. You’ve been caring for your ankle so well and now you’ve been rewarded with the joy of no cast! I’ve officially taken it off,” said Dr. Blart.

“Thank you!” I replied, joyfully. All of a sudden, I sounded a little too happy.

“Oh, don’t thank me. You’ve taken terrific care of it!” Dr. Blart answered.

After Dad drove me home I three-way called Amelia and Cammie.

“How’d you guys do at Nationals? I just got my cast off!” I told them.

“We have something to tell you,” Cammie said joyfully. “Nationals were postponed because of the snow and now you can compete!”

“Really!?!?” I asked.

“Yup,” answered Amelia. “We think it’s time to put our plan into action,” Amelia informed me.

“Let’s do it at the meet in two days!” I suggested.

“Perfect,” both Cammie and Amelia answered at the same time. We all started to crack up.


Chapter Eight: (The Not So Sweet) Sweet Revenge


I was at the meet and had all the ingredients in my drawstring backpack. Cammie, Amelia, and I were ready to put our plan into action.

Finally, after stretching, it was time to go to beam. We were all very nervous, and I was almost starting to regret it. But if we were going to do it, now was our chance. We had all snuck over to Raven’s house before leaving for the meet and luckily she had her team leotard laid out. I had been the only one that dared to pour the flour in, but whatevs.

After the judges had set up, they called her name. I could tell by the flabbergasted look on her face that she had definitely noticed the flour. Well, she couldn’t quit now. Raven had to compete.

In her back-walkover, Raven’s foot slipped and landed just off of beam. Yes, I thought. Unfortunately, she was fine for the rest of her routine. As a result, she got 9.27.

Then she asked Coach Casey if she could go to the bathroom, with her sweet face. Of course Casey said yes and obviously (to Cammie, Amelia and I) Raven was actually changing into her other leotard, the one that’s an exact replica of her other one. The rest of the meet went went by so swiftly, I honestly didn’t even know what was happening.

On the floor I fell on my butt during my back layout but at least I didn’t die.

When we got home, my mom had a very stern look on her face. I wondered why — actually, no I didn’t. I knew why. Raven had told her parents, and now my parents knew. I’m sure they told Jasmine.

“What happened?” my mom demanded, sternly.

“I’m sorry. I couldn’t help it! You just don’t understand,” I replied, sobbing.

“Yes, I d-” mom was cut off.

“No, you don’t!” I assured her, sniffling. “You don’t know what she does to us. I know it was wrong of me, and I really regret doing it now, but I’ve tried ignoring Raven, trying to teach her that it’s wrong, everything! It was my only choice.”

All of a sudden, Mom held up her phone. “I do know,” she said, softly. On the screen, I saw our gym. It was a video camera! “I haven’t told you this, but Jasmine installed video cameras in the gym and sent us the link of footage. I’ve seen what you did to help, and what she did to hurt you. I understand. I’m glad that you realized what you did was wrong — because it was wrong — but I’ve seen it all, and I apologize to you. Just ‘cause I feel so bad that you have to handle this alone.”

“But I had Amelia and Cammie by my side!” I said.

“Yes, but next time you’re bullied, you need to tell me! Parents are here to help,” she told me.

“Okay,” I promised.

The next day at practice, Jasmine called Cammie, Amelia and I into her office. We all knew we were in trouble.

“I can’t believe you guys! You’re the best behaved kids on the team. Why did you sabotage Raven? Listen, I’ve seen what she did from the video cameras, but I heard about the meet. I need you for nationals, but if this happens again, you are benched from meets for one month! Do you understand?!?!” Jasmine scolded.

“Yes,” the three of us mumbled.

“Alright. Go warm-up. I’ll keep an eye on you guys,” Jasmine replied with a face as hard as rock.


Chapter Nine: Nationals

“I’m really nervous,” I told Cammie on the phone. “I don’t know if I can get my back layout.”

“Don’t worry. You’ll do great. You’ve done it at practice a few times, you just need to concentrate.”

“Thanks. I guess you’re right. Why do you always have to be so logical!” I said, sarcastically angry.

“Bye,” Cammie said.

“See you in three hours,” I replied.

Then Cammie hung up. Nationals were in three hours, and I was freaking out about my back layout. Now that my foot was better, I was physically able to do it, and I needed to prove I could move up to level eight!

* * *

When Cammie and I were at Nationals, it was already time to stretch! But, Raven wasn’t there, and she’s always first! Since my last name starts with an “F”, I always compete second, right after Raven. If she’s not here, I’d be first on floor! I’d completely screw up. All of a sudden, she walked in the door of Galaxy Gymnastics’ gym. Pheeeww! I thought.

Time flew by so fast (only like a half hour) so we were already on our second event-floor. There Raven was, doing her “little perfect routine,” with her “little perfect moves.” Then it was my turn. There I went, away with my dance. When I got to my first tumble pass (front handspring front tuck), I was glad I would get it over with soon, but then as I presented to the judges I realized it was now or never. I sprinted across the floor as fast as I could, thinking about what I had to do for my back layout. As of now I was on my roundoff double back handspring back tuck (a new skill in my routine even though I’d been doing them since level three). Here goes nothing, I thought in my head. I bent my arms and legs, and swooped my body backwards, keeping my legs straight in the air. I felt nothing as I landed, and had no idea what was going on. Suddenly I realized I HAD JUST COMPLETED MY BACK LAYOUT!!! As I finished my routine (with the biggest smile ever), Raven’s score was displayed. 9.55. Oh great, I thought. How am I ever supposed to beat that score? Then I presented to the judges for the last time and walked off the floor as my score appeared. 9.85!!! OMG!!! I couldn’t believe my eyes as I practically exploded. I couldn’t stop smiling, even during awards.

* * *


On and on she went. I got fourth on beam, second on bars, sixth on vault, and first AA (all around)!

All of a sudden, I heard the speaker say, “RAVEN ARANGO, YOU HAVE WON A MIDDLE SCHOOL SCHOLARSHIP!!!!!”

Then my heart sunk.


There was something about how she said “woo-hoo” that made me feel the best. I wasn’t trying to boast, but it felt like magic as I walked up onto the podium.

And the happiness continues! As soon as I walked into the front door of my house with all five medals, there was a giant banner and balloons everywhere! Someone must have told my parents about the surprise. All of a sudden, Amelia and Cammie slowly peeked out from behind a wall. I knew what they had done. Then I saw a tiny goldendoodle walk out of the bathroom behind Cammie and Amelia!

“We’re fostering a puppy!” my mom said, holding out a ‘Congrats!’ cake.

My phone started to ring upstairs in my room. I ran upstairs and picked it up on the fourth ring.

“Uh, I’m so sorry; please forgive me!” someone stammered on the other end.

“Excuse me, who is–Raven, is that you?!?!” I asked, stunned.

“Yeah, it’s me. Listen, I’m really sorry about what I’ve been doing all this time!”

“Oh, and you just realized that now?” I asked, upset.

“Well, after Nationals, Jasmine had a talk with me, and I guess she’s made me rethink my actions. Please forgive me,” Raven begged.

“You’re lucky I’m–never mind. Okay, I forgive you. But don’t you dare think we’re friends after what you’ve done to me! Listen, I’m sorry I’m yelling, but you need to prove to everyone that you are nice inside,” I commanded. “Why did you go through all that trouble anyway?”

“I was just…jealous. I mean, you have such a nice family. You’re so good at gymnastics, and you have friends! And, uh, you did an amazing job at the meet,” Raven complimented me.

“Uh, thanks. I’m sorry if I’ve been bragging about stuff that I have and you don’t. But if you didn’t act so jealous, you’d have way more friends than anyone else in the world. You’re really nice inside, you just need to show it on the outside, too. Don’t worry, I go through the same family problems as you, but with my siblings,” I replied with a laugh. I’d never really gotten a compliment from Raven before.

I hung up the phone as I ran back downstairs and gobbled up the last of the vanilla/chocolate swirl cake with mocha frosting.

Amy and the Mystery of the Gold Vault

Once there was a girl named Amy. She hated it when people called her by her real name, which was Amelia. She was a curious 7-year-old girl, and loved to explore the streets of Paris. Everyone knew her — everyone knew the girl who had short, tangled red hair, and big blue eyes. Everyone knew the girl who always wore a long plaid skirt and a ruffled shirt.

It was June 5th, 1957, and Amy was causing trouble again. She lived in a large, fancy apartment building/hotel with a large ballroom, a banquet room, restaurants, and lots of room to cause trouble.

“Amy!” The cry could be heard all over the building whenever Amy was around. On this particular day, she was in the lobby staring at a tall, very fancy woman with ostrich feathers in her hat and all over her long gown. The woman was startled when she saw Amy, looking at her down through her spectacles. (She was visiting from New York and thought that a little pest like Amy should not be tolerated in this very fancy hotel/apartment building.) Amy didn’t care, she curtsied and pulled on the feathers. Hmm, this person’s feathers are VERY suspicious! She thought. She took the woman’s hand and pulled her into the broom closet. She took an electric torch and turned it on in the woman’s face.

“Where were you on the night of the…um, yesterday!?”

“Little girl, you must be joking! I have places to go!” she said.

Amy let her go after five more minutes of interrogation. The woman walked off, muttering things to herself. Amy was seven, so she wanted some adventure. She asked her mother if she could go onto the streets and look around.

“Yes, yes, but make sure Cecily comes with you.” Amy’s mother was always busy with work, so she usually made Amy’s annoying older sister babysit her.

As soon as they stepped out onto the street Amy took off, leaving Cecily in the dust. She knew her way around Paris. She decided to stop at the bank and chat with the people who were there. When she got there with Cecily far behind, panting and yelling, she overheard two people talking. “Jo, I don’t care. I won’t believe it. There is no gold vault behind that door!” one person said.

“I think that there is, Bill. I heard the bank people talking about it!” Jo wouldn’t budge, neither would Bill. Amy knew that she just HAD to interrogate Jo. She grabbed his hand, and dragged him into the alley next to the bank.

“What vault? Tell me tell me tell me! Ahem, I mean what do you know about said vault?” said Amy.

“Kid, leave me alone!” said Jo.

“Hmm, I wish that I had an electric torch…” said Amy.

“Alright, fine. We heard that there was a gigantic vault of gold behind the employees only door,” said Jo.

“Hmm, I suspected as much,” said Amy. She let go of his arm, and he ran off.

Amy was excited. She had a mystery! When she knew that there was no one passing by, she did her victory dance. She skipped back to the bank, where Cecily was waiting to give her a stern lecture. “I am going to tell mom that you ran off and that you were interrogating agai-” Amy passed her a One Direction t-shirt. “Squee! This will complete my collection of fan merchandise!” Aw, that was the last of my merchandise!

(Amy used One Direction when she was in trouble with Cecily. One time she put salt in Cecily’s tea, and when Cecily got mad at her she said that One Direction would hate her if she was mean.)

Cecily ran off to her One Direction temple in her bedroom and worshipped for half an hour, which gave Amy time to escape. Amy ran home — it was almost time for supper. When she got into bed, she told her puppy, Bartholomew, everything about the vault, and how she had tactfully interrogated Jo. Bartholomew told her about how he ate her toy bear by going into Cecily’s room and throwing up. That night Amy dreamed of golden chewed up toy bears.

In the morning she went with her mother to the bank. Her plan was to slip in the door and open the vault with her high tech “open sesames.” But she saw that someone already had that plan. A person in a trench coat had slipped into the employee’s only room. Amy decided to follow him. She turned the knob, and…

“Hey! Hey you! You’re not allowed to go in there!” an employee said. “That’s highly confidential!” Amelia was so disappointed. But she knew that if it was highly confidential (whatever that meant) it probably wasn’t a broom closet! Now she had a clue! She wasn’t exactly sure if it was gold, but it was something! The disappointment started to go away as her mother took her hand and dragged her out of the bank, muttering things that Amy could barely hear.

“You can read, Amelia! I don’t know why you would ever break the rules and go through that door!”

“Sorry. Please call me Amy, mother.”

“You are in so much trouble! And Cecily asked me to tell you that you have to clean up the vomit in her room! It’s your dog!”

“It’s her room.”

“You ruined her One Direction T-shirt!”

“Bartholomew ruined her One Direction T-shirt!”

“Why did you ever choose that silly name!”

“I like it. And why are you being so nice to Cecily! It was my bear that Bartholomew ate!”

“I thought that you outgrew that bear!”


“What do you mean, ‘bye’?”

Amy took off. She ran all the way back to their apartment/hotel building. “Top floor, please.”

“Yes, ma’m.”

“Guess what, Bob! I found out that there is something amazing behind the employee’s only door at the bank!”

“What, a golden mop?” Bob joked. His name was not Bob, but Amy liked that name ever since she visited America and saw “Bob the Builder” on television. When she came back to Paris she said to Bob (Pierre) that she just had to know someone named Bob. So of course she chose her third best friend. (She wasn’t allowed to name her second best friend because it was a girl and she met Bartholomew before she saw Bob the Builder.) “Thank you, Bob.”

“Anytime, Amy.”

She hopped out of the elevator and into her apartment. Her family was very rich, so they owned the whole floor. She wanted the penthouse, but her father said that they shouldn’t spend their money on some foofy penthouse.

“I hope that you are here to clean my room,” warned Cecily.

“Nope. I want to speak with father,” said Amy, annoying Cecily. Amy ran to her father’s study. “Father! Can we go get bagels? I have a mission!”

“Did evil Mr. Squid come back?”

“No silly, this is real! I need as many danger sesames as possible!”

“Wait, I never heard the whole story of Mr. Squid!”

“Oh of course, you must hear! It was quite a battle. It was last month. I was sitting on my chair, and suddenly, Mr. Squid was in battle armor. I thought that he might have been playing dress up with Mr. Octopus, but I was wrong. He was getting ready to attack! I got ready. I ran to you, and asked for a dozen sesames. We bought them, because when I was little I had tons of charm.”

“I thought that this was last month!”

“Oh, but that is so long, cherie! Do not interrupt! Now where was I…ah, yes. I came back to my bedroom. Mr. Squid was in battle stance. I got into battle stance. I uttered the command. ‘CHARGE SESAME!’ I threw the bagels swiftly. They flew like bullets toward Mr. Squid. They hit him. Mother charged in. ‘Young lady, Mr. Squid is not a bowling pin,’ she said. I knocked her out of the way just in time for Mr. Squid’s ketchup packet bullets to whiz by. Mr. Squid was rushed to the infirmary by Mrs. Octopus, Mr. Octopus’ mother, who was a nurse. I defeated him in triumph. That is how the story goes.”

“You are very brave!” said father, laughing and clapping. “Yes, we will get the bagels.” Amy and her father walked down to the American shop, where they sold great bagels. They ordered a dozen sesame bagels.

“I’ll take it from here,” said Amy.

“Alright.” Amy’s father trusted her. “Now I must get back to work, dear.”

Amy went to the bank. The person in the trench coat was not there, but the employees only door was open, and in the progress of swinging shut! She made sure nobody saw her, and slipped in. What she saw did not amaze her. Aw, It’s just a dumb vault. She thought. But she slowly realized that the gold must be in the vault! The door was slightly open. The person in the trench coat had forgotten to shut it completely. It wasn’t enough to see inside, but it was open. Amy pushed as hard as she could on the gigantic door, and finally opened it enough to slip inside. There was one piece of gold.

“The person in the funny coat!” she said.

The next day Amy went to the bank early, before anyone was awake. She had her bagels ready. No one was in the bank except for the woman behind the counter, but she was in the back. But the employees only door was open again. Amy slowly walked in. The man in the trench coat was in the vault, just making sure that he didn’t forget anything. Amy fingered the piece of gold in her skirt pocket. She threw a bagel at him.

“Hey!” For a second he just stood there in surprise. “Ah! I’ve been shot! I’m getting weaker and weaker…hey…a 6-year-old angel…”

“I’m seven! And you just got bagelpulted!”

“Wait, what?” He bent down and picked the bagel up. “Hey kid! What’s the big idea?”

“You’re a thief! I’m telling!”

“If you tell,” he whispered threateningly, “I will shoot your brains out.” He pulled out a gun.

“A bagel gun?” Amy said.

“No, ya stupid kid, a lead gun.”

“Is that a kind of bagel? I only use sesame as a weapon.”

He pointed the gun at Amy. She screamed and ran out. He ran out the door into the streets of Paris. Amy followed. He ran to a sewer. He climbed in. Amy followed. There were thirty-nine other bandits. The sewer was overflowing with gold.

One of the bandits said, “Hey! There’s a little girl! Look!” Everyone looked at Amy.

“Hey kid! You’d better get out!” said the trench coat person.

I know a song that gets on everybody’s nerves, everybody’s nerves, everybody’s nerves I know a song that gets on everybody’s nerves, here is how it goes, I know a song…” Amy sang.

“Kid get out and if you tell anybody I’ll shoot you!” said funny coat Bob, as Amy called him.

“Funny coat Bob, please don’t shoot me with your lead bagel gun! I’ll leave!”

“H-how did you know my name was trench coat Bob?”

“Oh, I thought it was funny coat. But anyway I’m psychic, so bye.” Amy left.

At dinner, Amy’s mother asked, “What did you do earlier, Amy? I haven’t seen you all day!”

“I solved a crime! I am going to go see the police and tell them.”

“What crime?”

“Trench coat Bob says that if I tell he’ll shoot me with his lead gun which he told me is not a bagel gun.”

“T-trench coat Bob? Oh my, I’m so glad that you’re okay! People have been trying to catch him for months! He is from Venice, and — oh! Tell me everything!”

“What about his not bagel gun?”

“He won’t shoot you behind bars, honey.”

“Okay, so there’s a gold vault behind the employees only door and he stole the gold and he put it in a sewer with other bandits, I think that there were a lot, and I guessed his name.”

The next day Amy and her family went to the police office. They told the whole story, and Amy showed them the sewer where the gold was. She showed the the piece of gold that she found. “You’ll be sorry, little girl!” trench coat Bob screamed as he and the other bandits were dragged along to prison.


The End

Read the next one!


Saving Grace

Chapter One


Grace Cook and her sisters, Sadie and Ellie Cook had been best friends since the day that Grace had been born. They didn’t really fight. Even though Ellie was ten years older than Grace and Sadie was five years older, the trio acted in unison. But all of that was about to change on October 1st, 2010.


Grace left for school at 6:30 to catch the bus. She ran across the street with her long red pigtails whipping in the wind. She got on the bus and her friend Alyssa called out from the backseat: “Gracie, Happy Birthday!!! You’re finally ten!!”

“Thanks! And you know that you only turned ten, 21 days, 3 hours and 2 minutes ago, Alyssa.” Grace slid into the seat next to Alyssa, next to the window.

“That’s still 21 days, 3 hours, and 2 minutes ago!” Alyssa bragged.

Grace sat the rest of the bus ride listening to Alyssa talk excitedly about the six-person sleepover Grace managed to talk her mom into doing. Grace sat very quietly and stiller than a trash can when no one is in the room. She looked out the window and wished that Ellie and Sadie were here. Her favorite part of her birthday was going to be the secret feast that she was going to have with Ellie and Sadie at midnight. They had done this when Sadie turned ten. Grace couldn’t remember what they had done when Ellie had turned ten because she had just been born two months ago. The sleepover wasn’t it. It hadn’t been hard to get. She had just asked for The Feast. Ellie, Sadie, and Grace would be breaking a couple of rules.  a) They weren’t supposed to be up at 12:00 b) No food was allowed in Grace’s room and c) There was no c.

“Grace!!! We’re at school!” Alyssa shouted, shaking Grace’s arm.

They got off the bus and Alyssa skipped off to find their friends, Ela and Chloë Ledger, her strawberry blond hair bouncing back off her shoulders each time she took a skip. Grace ran after her, flying like the wind. She had been told that she was as graceful as wind when she ran. She flew to the school steps and sat down. She was feeling really lonely and wished that she could go to middle school with Sadie. Even if she still had few friends, at least she would be with her loving and kind older sister.

“I hope that the birthday girl doesn’t plan on sitting on the steps for the whole day,” a voice said over Grace. Grace looked up into the smiling face of Chloë Ledger, “Mind if I sit with you?” Grace shook her head. Chloë sat down and looked straight into Grace’s purplish-blue eyes and Grace stared right back into Chloë’s sea-blue eyes.

“What’s wrong?” Chloë asked.

“Oh, nothing.” Grace sighed and dropped her gaze from Chloë. “Where’s Ela?”

Ela was Grace’s best friend from first grade. That was when she had also became good friends with Matilda. Even though Chloë was Ela’s twin, she had only became good friends with her in 3rd grade, same with Alyssa.

“Ela’s inside. It’s almost 8:15. We should get inside as well.”

Chloë stood up. Grace got up too and as they walked in their school doors, Chloë took Grace’s hand.

“lt will be okay,” Chloë whispered into her ear.

They ran to the door and were sitting down at their wooden desks when the morning bell rang and their teacher, Ms. Kate walked in with a clip clack of her gold high heel shoes. She walked to the front of the room, sat down at her polished white desk, and turned to face the class.

“Good morning, ladies,” Ms. Kate said, and started the longgggest school day of school in Grace’s life.

Seven hours later (only it felt like seven hundred hours to Grace) Grace walked out of Elm Elementary and searched for their car that was going to pick Grace up.

“Over here, Gracie!!”

Grace whirled around and saw her sister Ellie standing by their Green Subaru.

“Ellie!!” Grace shouted, and ran into Ellie’s arms. Ellie laughed and ran a hand over Grace’s red pigtails. Grace looked up into Ellie’s warm brown eyes, and the loneliness melted away inside of her.

“How are you, Ellie?” Grace asked.

“How am I? How is the Birthday girl?” Ellie asked.

“She’s fine.”

“Hop, in the car, kiddo.” Grace got in the car and buckled herself into the seat. Ellie put the key in the keyhole, pressed the pedal, and the sisters set of home.


Chapter Two


At 7:30 in Grace’s apartment, Grace and her Family were eating 3-Cheese Mac-and-Cheese (Grace’s all-time favorite meal) and were having a nice conversation when Grace’s Mom, Sara, asked the question that would change Grace’s life forever.

“Did you get a letter yet, Ellie?” Sara asked Ellie. Grace looked at Ellie for an answer.

“What letter? Tell me, Ellie!” Grace demanded, looking Ellie straight in the eye. Ellie wouldn’t meet Grace’s eyes.

“Um, well, Gracie, I have to go to college and, well, I applied to Harvard, and umm, err, I got accepted there,” Ellie mumbled, looking down at the marble table. Grace stared at her sister in horror.

“You got accepted at Harvard!” Sara and Grace’s Father, Leo exclaimed, “That’s great news, Ellie!”

“No it ISN’T!!” Grace screamed, “How will I SURVIVE without my older sister???!!”

“I think you’ll manage,” Leo said. Leo didn’t understand Grace’s friendship with her oldest sister.

“Well, I just got an email from Boston School of Arts,” Sara said, “And they want to take you in. It would mean that you would move to Boston with Ellie.”

“Oh, Yes!” Grace cried out, “Thank you-”

Grace stopped and saw that Sara had been looking at Sadie. The email had been about Sadie not Grace. Sadie looked at her sister. She really wanted to take the spot but she knew that Grace would never be able to handle it. She would fall apart. She felt like she should be there for Grace. But on the other hand, not everything could revolve around her little sister. And being an artist was Sadie’s dream.

“I don’t know,” Sadie said.

“Come on, Sadie,” Ellie pleaded, “We would have so much fun! Boston wouldn’t be the same without you.”

“Maybe…” Sadie shrugged.

“My WHOLE world is about to FALL APART!!! And on my BIRTHDAY!” Grace screamed, got up from the table, stormed down the hallway and into her bedroom.

She got onto her warm bed and began to cry. Grace lay down on her back and looked up at her ceiling which was black had all of the constellations painted on it in gold. The rest of walls were royal blue. Grace got out her pillowcase (where she hid her diary), pulled out her diary, turned to a page, pulled out her favorite flow pen (red), and begin to write.

Dear diary,

My world may be about to end.

The next thing Grace knew, she was being shaken awake.

“Gracie Bear, get up!” Leo started to tickle Grace and her eyes flew open.

“Dad!” Grace groaned.

“Kiddo, you got to run! The bus comes in 20 minutes!” Leo said, pushing Grace around. Grace jumped up, very awake, and ran down to breakfast. 20 minutes later, Grace was once again running to meet the bus. She got on and thanked the bus driver for waiting for her (again).

“No problem, kid,” the bus driver said.

“Grace! Over here!” Alyssa shouted from the middle of the bus. Grace made her way towards her.

“Slept in?” Alyssa ask, “For the first time in forever?”

Grace grinned and said, “Yep. For the first time in forever.” Grace sat down next to Alyssa and said “Ready for school?”

“Ready to Fly.” Alyssa and Grace shared a secret smile.

They were doing their secret pumper-upper. Grace looked away from Alyssa, out the window. She then remembered what she had been thinking the morning before. The secret Feast! They had never done it last night. Grace felt hurt. They had done something for Sadie but not for her? Of course, Grace had noticed how close Ellie and Sadie were. They shared a room. They most likely had billions of whispered talks after they turned out the light and Grace could never know what they were about. They had forgotten. That was it. It was the most that they had ever hurt Grace. She felt like crying.  Soon they might be living in Boston together for 4 years. Grace knew that Sadie wanted to take the spot at Boston School of Art. What if their friendship fell apart? Grace thought it might. Sadie and Ellie had been distant for a while. Suddenly, the bus jerked to to a stop in front of Grace’s school. Grace got off and found herself head to head with Chloë Ledger.

“Chloë,” Grace said, looking into Chloë’s trusting eyes, “I’m about to be an only child. My world is about to end.”


Chapter Three


One month later Grace and her family were at Elm Tree Airport, so they could tell Ellie and Sadie (who had decided to take the spot) goodbye before they flew to Boston for 4 years. They had rented a little house near Harvard and was also close to the Boston School of Arts. Grace was heartbroken but she tried to put on a brave face as she hugged Ellie and Sadie goodbye. She was going to miss them more than they could imagine.

“Plane 3444 Boarding now. Please report to gate 5 if you are on plane 3444,” said a woman’s voice over the speakers. She sounded bored like she couldn’t believe that all she had to do was say the number of the planes and their gates all day.

“That’s our plane, Sadie,” Ellie said. “It’s showtime.” Sadie and Ellie gave everyone one more big last hug and took off running towards gate 5. Grace kept her eyes on them until they were out of sight.

“Gracie Bear,” Leo said, “We need to go back home.” Leo gently stirred Grace back to the car and drove home. When Grace got home her mom said:

“Grace, would you like me to make you some cookies?” Grace knew that cookies wouldn’t help the space left by Ellie and Sadie but cookies are never something that you want to miss on.

“Sure,” Grace said sadly. She ate the cookies wishing that she had been eating them with Ellie and Sadie at the Feast they had promised but had never happened

The next day at school, Grace felt even more lost than before. The gap left by her sisters was bigger than before. She spotted her friend Ela standing by the biggest elm tree in the schoolyard. She walked up to her, planning on telling her how she was feeling and hoping that Ela could help her.

“Hey Ela,” Grace said.

“Grace!” Ela cried and threw her arms around her.

Grace pushed Ela’s arms away and said, “I have a problem.”

“What is it?” Ela asked. “You know you can always tell me everything.”

“Well, it’s about my sisters,” Grace muttered looking down.

“Oh no! Not about them again! You know you’re supposed to fight with them sometimes in your life, Grace. You’re like the perfect family on a reality show!” Ela practically shouted.

Grace looked hurt and walked away. She thought that she could tell Ela anything, but that was obviously not the case. She knew that her friends thought that she and her family were perfect because they didn’t fight. Obviously, they didn’t know that Ellie and Sadie had completely ditched her.

“Hey girl,” Matilda said, walking up to Grace. Grace jumped in surprise. She hadn’t seen Matilda lurking right nearby.

“I hate to tell you this, but it’s true. You are like the perfect family on a reality show, Grace,” Matilda said sadly.

Grace shouted, “Oh no, not you too! I am not the perfect family! You don’t know the half of it! Ellie and Sadie just completely ditched me! They left for Boston for the next four years to have tons of fun without me!” Matilda looked doubtful. “It’s true!” Grace screamed and stomped away.

She stomped off to the school steps where she had sat just one month and a day ago. She couldn’t believe that one month ago she was worried about missing Sadie and Ellie for an entire day. Now she was worried about missing them for four entire years!

Just then, the bell rang. Grace ignored it, though. She put her head in her hands and started to cry into them. Her sisters had only been gone for a full day, and already she was missing them like they’d been gone for five years.

The school door opened and Ms. Kate came clickity-clacking out. “Grace,” she said. “Where have you been?”

Grace fiddled with her hands and nervously looked up at her teacher. “Okay, I’m coming inside, I’m coming inside.”

Grace had many days like that. She got through a month of school with her grades keeping up and keeping herself together. But one day, Grace completely fell apart. Her grades started to go down. First Bs, than Cs, then Ds. She couldn’t take her report cards home. She threw them out in the trash. She cried herself to sleep every night. And worst of all, her parents barely paid any attention to her. They didn’t do anything to make it better or worse. One day before school, Grace completely fell apart. She sat down with her back against a tree. She put her head in her hands. She felt someone slide down next to her. She looked beside her. It was Chloë.

“Grace,” she said sternly. “I know nothing’s okay right now.”

“Well, I miss my sisters,” Grace sighed.

“I know,” Chloë said gently. Grace looked up in surprise. Whenever she tried to talk to someone, they shouted at her, screamed, or said she wasn’t even trying to get through it. But Chloë’s behavior was different.

“What if I become your replacement sister?” Chloë asked. “It might help you get through your situation.”

Grace brightened immediately. “You would do that for me?”

“Of course I would!” Chloë said, smiling as bright as the moon.

From then on, Chloë and Grace became best friends. They had sleepovers every weekend. Chloë stuck with Grace whatever Grace was going though and Grace did the same for Chloë. The two acted like sisters. Grace’s world was put together again. Chloë helped Grace get though missing her sister and little by little Grace got used to Ellie and Sadie not being at her house. Chloë saved Grace from falling apart. She stitched Grace’s world back together. Chloë was Grace’s Saving Grace.


4 years later


“See you later!” Grace called over to Chloë.

“The sleepover still on?’ Chloë asked.

“You bet!” Grace said, looking over her shoulder as she got on her bus, M 91910. She sat down on a seat and pulled out her copy of the Iliad. She had just started to love poetry when she turned 14. Her mother had given her Homer’s poems and she loved them.

She thought back to four years ago when Ellie and Sadie had first left. She had been a wreck. She couldn’t handle not having them around. Now? It was better. She still saw them over summer break and spring break but their relationship was strained. They also seemed to be giggling to each other or they seemed to know something about Grace that she didn’t know. They texted their friends in Boston a lot. They stilled played with Grace but she knew that they were growing up and didn’t really want to play anymore. But they still had fun. They would talk and have fun hanging out with Grace. Once they left; it was always hard for Grace. But then she would get over it. All because of Chloë. They were still best friends today. Grace was still friends with Ela and Matilda but she thought they were shallow and silly. Alyssa had moved to India to help her mom and aunts out with their grandpa, who was king of India.

She even now had a little sister, Maddy Cook! Maddy had brown hair and brown eyes. She was the light of Grace’s past 2 years. Grace made a friendship with Maddy, just like her one with Ellie and Sadie.

Grace realized that it was her stop and got of the bus. Two people were waiting there for her. One was taller and the one next to her was smaller. They both had fire red hair and kind, warm brown eyes. They looked familiar.

“Hey, Gracie,” one said.

“Ellie!” Grace exclaimed and flew into her arms.

“We’re home.”


Horse Academy

Horse Academy


Chapter One


My name is Scarlet Brook. I have been waiting all school year for this day. Summer! All school year, it’s all about work, work, work! But in summer, just do whatever you want! Well, at least that’s what I thought. The first day of summer, I thought I would be going to hang out with my friends or something, but instead my mom forced me to babysit my annoying little sister, Sydney. Sydney wasn’t too happy herself.

“But, Chelsea! I want Chelsea to babysit me! She’s better!!” she whined.

“I told you! Chelsea is going on her honeymoon!” mom said.

“Can I at least hang out once today?” I said.

“Of course! The whole summer will be fun. Remember? I signed you up for riding camp!”

Oh, I forgot to tell you. I live in a magic land: a place where there are unicorns, wizards, and dragons. Usually normal people don’t have flying piglets as pets. Well, those normal people don’t live here.


Chapter Two


The next morning, I woke up still exhausted from what happened last night. First Sydney wanted water, then milk, then orange juice, then candy, and finally she wanted to watch a movie. But she wasn’t finished yet, then she wanted popcorn, and to go with popcorn she wanted soda. How does Gabriela do it? Well, she had ruined the first day of summer but not all the days! Then I just remembered. I had riding camp today! I hopped out of bed and into my riding gear. I brushed my teeth and brushed my hair. Then I ran out of my room and I thought, Wow! Am I doing well today!


Just then, I spotted Pip, my flying piglet’s mud footprints splattered across the floor. Uh oh, I thought. Then mom came out and screamed.

“Take Pip into the bath tub! Stat!!!” I slipped on the mud and grabbed Pip. I put Pip into the bathtub and ran out. I grabbed paper towels and slid them across the floor. When I saw mom slip, I couldn’t help but laugh. With her hair all tangled, her body all muddy, and veins popping out of her forehead, she looked just like an angry witch! Mom glared at me and made herself calm down. She sighed. “Wow, what a great start of a day!” she said sarcastically.

“Umm…mom?” I said, “Don’t I have riding camp today?”

My mom nearly fainted. “Go! Go! Go!” she screamed.

I ran out the door. “Wait!” she ran after me. She handed me my lunch and gave me a map to the camp. I ran all the way. On my way there, I thought to myself, Wow, I’m late on my first day of camp!

When I got there, I saw a bunch of riders on their horses. I ran to the coach and explained what happened. I could hear people whispering about me. The coach told me to take a seat on the line. I sat down.

“Listen up, kids! my name is Betty. Get a partner, we will be practicing jumps on our horses,” said Betty. Betty paired me up with a boy named Henry.

“Hi,” I said. He didn’t say anything to me. He just hopped on his horse. I looked at him.

“Well?” he said. “Don’t just stand there! Get on your horse!” he yelled. I jumped. I don’t know why, but I felt mad. “I don’t have a horse!” I screamed. Henry must have been frightened because he started backing away from me. Betty came over to see what all the commotion was about.

“What’s going on here?” she asked.

“That girl’s crazy and she doesn’t even have a horse!” Henry cried. He bumped into a girl that had dirty blonde hair worn in a low ponytail.

“Ow!” she said, turning around, “What was that for?”

“She made me!” wailed Henry.

“Calm down, riders!” Betty yelled.

“She’s not even a rider!”

“Quit screaming!” yelled a girl with brownish hair held in a tight ponytail. I had a feeling today was going to be a long day.



Chapter Three


When I came back to riding camp the next day, the girl who had screamed “quit screaming!” came over to me.

“Henry’s such a jerk,” she said to me.

“Tell me about it,” I said.

“I’m Bryn,” she said. I smiled.

“Thanks for being the first one to tell me their name. Well, besides Betty.”

Bryn laughed.

“Emily!” she called. The girl who Henry bumped into ran over.

“Hey, aren’t the one who got into the fight with Henry yesterday?” she asked. I shrugged.

“Nicely done!” she said, smiling.

“Huh?” I said. Emily and Bryn started laughing.

“Henry’s a pain,” said Emily. I joined in the laugh too, even though I didn’t know why we were laughing. When I got home I told mom all about it. Mom said she was happy I made friends. But I left out the part with Henry in it because I knew mom would ask all about it, or she would get mad at me for getting into a fight or call Henry’s mom telling her what happened.

Mom told me someone moved in next door. I was so excited! Maybe she would become my best friend! We could send flashlight notes to each other at night. And we could have sleepovers whenever we wanted! Oh. What if it was a boy? My heart dropped. I crossed both of my fingers.

“Mom,” I asked, “is it a girl or a boy?”

“A 13-year-old boy.” I felt like someone had dropped a heavy ball on me.

“And a 12-year-old girl named Jane.”

Yesss!!! I thought.

“They also have a 3-year-old named Taylor.”

“When are they coming?” I asked excitedly.

“Oh look! There they are right now!” she said, while pointing out the window.

“Moooom!” I moaned. “I wanted to greet her when she came!”

“Oh, doesn’t matter! Go!” she said. “I wanted to make her cookies!”

My mom sighed. After we made cookies, I fixed my hair and put on a blue blouse and a white frilly skirt. I walked out of my house to their house they had a porch that had white paint that was peeling off. I rang their doorbell and a big jolly lady opened the door.

“Hello,” she said.

“Hi!” I almost screamed. “I live next door. I came here to give these cookies to your children.” Hey, I know it was cheesy, but I was trying to be friendly!

“Oh, my!” she said.  “That would be lovely!”

Score! I thought. Just the response I was looking for.

“Right this way,” she said. “Jane! Someone’s here to see you!” she yelled.

“Really?” I heard a girl’s voice yell from upstairs. Then I heard footsteps coming from the stairs. Then I saw a girl with brown hair held in a braid on her shoulder.

“Hi,” she said.

“Hi, I’m Scarlet. I brought cookies,” I said, feeling kind of stupid wearing my Hello Kitty bag.

Jane’s eyes lightened up when I said cookies. “Cookies!” she repeated. She grabbed my arm and brought me to the kitchen. There I saw a little girl with light brown hair with a butterfly clip in her hair, smashing a toy against the table.

“Taylor, stop smashing your toy against the table!” Jane looked at me. “Little sisters are so annoying,” she said, glaring at Molly. “Oh, and that’s not all. My older brother Henry is such a pain. He just started riding camp.” Just then a boy came out of a room. My jaw dropped. It was Henry.


Chapter Four


Jane showed me her room with her adorable little sparkle bunny. Sparkle bunnies are bunnies that can jump super-high and sparkle when they are happy. It started shooting sparkles everywhere. My mom said I couldn’t get one because they are too messy. But I love Pip. She’s the perfect pet for me. Okay, well, you didn’t get a good experience of Pip on my first day of camp, but she is a wonder to have around.

Her sparkle bunny was named Fiona and was light brown. Whenever I looked into Fiona’s eyes, she was squinting. Then she would bend down and put her paws on her head like she was trying to scratch her eyes. “Why is she doing that?” I asked after the third time she did it.

“I think there’s something wrong with her eyes,” answered Jane, while planting a kiss on top of Fiona’s head. Fiona looked at me with her sparkling deep-hazel eyes. But when I looked at her, she did it again: squinted and then rubbed her eyes.

But then I noticed another cage next to Fiona’s. Jane must have saw my reaction because she said, “That’s Millie’s cage.” She put her hand on top of the cage.

“You have another bunny?” I asked. She opened the cage and pulled out a white bunny with it’s eyes closed. Fiona jumped on Jane’s shoulder and looked at Millie. Both of them sparkled.


Chapter Five


Henry came into Jane’s room. “What are you doing with that, crazy girl!” he asked. Jane looked hurt. “What do you mean?” she asked, signaling for him to go away. Then a tiny spike dragon came out behind Henry. Spike dragons are dragons that can protect you by shooting fire spikes from their mouths. They never turn against their masters. They can also fly. They are awesome! But they are also very rare. “You have a spike dragon!” I exclaimed without thinking.

“You mean Rex? Nah, he’s a thorn dragon.”

“Oh,” I said. Thorn dragons can turn invisible. They turn into a thorn when they sleep.

“Anyway, what are you doing here?”

“I live next door,” I said. His face got big.

“What?!” he asked like the world was ending.

“Umm…” I said. “I should go home.”

“Yeah, you should,” said Henry, kind of doing a sideways smirk.


Chapter Six


The next day at riding camp, I finally got a horse! It was light brown and had a beautiful brown mane. It had strong silver wings. I named it Miracle because it was a miracle that I got such a beautiful horse. Henry had a black horse with a black mane and black wings. It was ugly. He named it Spike. Bryn had a white horse with silver wings and had a beautiful brown mane. She named it Lucky. Emily had a brown horse with a brown mane and big silver wings. She named it Beauty. She was a beauty. The first time I got on Miracle, I felt like I was flying. I felt like Miracle was talking to me. Like she was telling me I was going to be okay. A couple times I got nauseous but when Miracle looked at me with her beautiful brown eyes, I felt like everything was going to be fine.


Chapter Seven


I didn’t even know we were going to have a competition! But I was totally surprised we had a competition in three days! I mean, who would do that? Just put a competition six days after the camp even started! We practiced what we were going to do in the competition. Betty said we were competing against other riders too. We were going to race. I had to memorize the obstacle course. I thought I thought I was going to win.

When I got home I thought I was home alone because it was so quiet. It is usually very loud. Since I thought I was home alone, I started freaking out.

“Momm!!!” I screamed. “Where are you?!”

“Booo!” someone cried behind me. I felt like I had a heart attack. I turned around and saw…

“Aunt Audrey!” I screamed. I hugged her.

“Hey Scarlet! I’m taking you out for dinner today!”

I squealed.

“With Sydney!”

I stopped freaking out. “Awww…” I said.

“Hi auntie Adwey!” Sydney said. Aunt Audrey took us out to my favorite Japanese restaurant, “Tatany.” I ordered my usual (udong, dumplings, and miso soup). Sydney ordered her usual  (miso soup, and tofu teriyaki).


Chapter Eight


The day of the competition, I had my riding gear on and we were playing in a stadium. I couldn’t believe we were going to be on TV! My family was here. So was my aunt Audrey, in her “I love NYC” shirt, my uncle Tim, my other aunt Mary, and my uncle Jeremy. I was surprised to see my cousins, Salina, Curtis, Alex, and my baby cousin, Molly.

We took our places in the stadium. I looked at the guy with the gun. I held Miracle’s mane tightly and she looked at me. I looked over at Bryn and she winked at me. I looked at Henry, and for the first time ever, he smiled.

“Ready, set, boom!” went the gun. Everyone went, including Miracle. I think Miracle was startled because she almost tripped when the man shot the gun. We flew up a hill. I passed a rider on a brown horse, then a black horse. I could see Bryn and Emily behind me. Then came the big hill. Miracle tried going up the hill but when a couple horses passed us, Miracle fell down the hill. “Miracle!” I yelled. Then Henry stopped near us. “Wow,” he said. He helped up Miracle.

“Thanks,” I said. I kept going. “Come on, Miracle, we can do this,” I said. Miracle flew up the hill. “Come on,” I said, “We’re almost there. I could see the finish line from here. Miracle went super fast and we saw a black horse that was about to cross the finish line and… zoom! Miracle passed the finish line! After the finish line, Miracle slipped and I fell off Miracle. Everything went pitch black.


Chapter Nine


I woke up in the hospital. Mom was kneeling next to me. “You won,” she said quietly.

“I won,” I repeated.

“Look,” she said pointing out the window. I looked out the window and saw Miracle! She had a gold medal around her neck. Then I saw Betty holding another medal. Then I saw Henry. I remembered how he stopped to help up Miracle. Maybe he wasn’t so bad after all. I smiled. It felt good to be a rider. I felt like it was going to be a long, great, awesome summer.


The End

Adventures of Emily

“Go outside, Emily. Go outside.”


Emily heard the voice in her dream. Emily was a girl that was blonde and had bright blue eyes. Emily went to a regular school, had a regular family, had a regular dog, and had a regular house. “Go outside Emily. Go outside.” Emily was hearing this for the fifth time so she decided to go outside. When she was outside in her yard, she saw a statue that she had never seen before. It looked like a statue of her grandfather that she never met, it told her, “Tomorrow, go to the graveyard at noon…”


The Next Day…


As the statue told her, she was there at noon. She saw the statue on top of her grandfather’s grave open and she saw a staircase leading downwards. She decided to follow it. It was a very twisty and slippery staircase. Once she reached the bottom, there was a big room covered in moss. She saw a shadow that looked a little bit like a ghost. She saw something glow and she decided to clear away the moss. After a little while, she saw a plaque that said…


“The 25th daughter of Quadricles will discover that her power is stronger than the power of Varniduca.”


Emily got scared when she saw that, and she thought, Who is Varniduca, and what powers is the plaque talking about, and who was Quadricles? Then she heard that same voice that was in her dream say, “Varniduca is an evil witch, Quadricles was a wizard, you are the 25th daughter and you must discover your powers on your own.”

Who is that? Emily wondered as she looked around, and suddenly she saw a shadow walking towards her.


“Hello, I am your grandfather, Anderson. I will help you learn to use your powers.” Then the shadow took off a cloak and Emily saw an elderly man.


“You will be able to walk through walls, turn invisible, read people’s minds, see the future, fly, and you will have laserbeam eyes.”


I have powers!? thought Emily.

“How did you talk to me in my dream?¨

“I have magical powers.¨

Emily asked, “How come everyone thought you were dead?”

“I hid down here to make a plan.”

He showed her a piece of paper that had a picture of the witch’s house and a bunch of lines and x’s.

“What’s this?” asked Emily.

“This is our plan,” he said, and then he explained that Emily would go inside the witch’s house and hide until the witch fell asleep, and then Emily would get the gems. She would have to get the two gems that control time. She stole the one that controls the sky and the one that controls the sun.


The next day…


“We have to work on the plan.”

“Why right now?” Emily said.

“Because we have to get ready for the big day.”

After working on the plan for three hours, they were finally ready.


The next day…


After walking for two hours, they finally made it to the darkest part of the forest where all the evil creatures lived.

“Where’s her house?” asked Emily

“Just a little bit farther forward.”

“Why do we have to hide?”

“Because if she doesn’t know we’re here, we’ll have a better chance of capturing her.”

“What’d she steal?” whispered Emily.

“She stole two of the five jewels that control time in the magical world.”

“Is that her house?” asked Emily pointing to a big purple and black mansion.

“Yes, be very quiet.”

“Is that her?” asked Emily, pointing to a lady looking out the window.


“Should we go now?” asked Emily.


Emily ran towards the house and knocked the door open.

“WHO DARES TO ENTER MY HOUSE!!” shrieked the witch.

Emily hid behind the bench as the witch started to search. Emily turned invisible and read the witch’s mind.

She was thinking, “Is it Tommy’s cat again?”

Emily thought, “Phew, she doesn’t know I’m here.”

Emily silently walked forward.

Emily went behind the witch.

Emily tripped over the back of the witch’s dress and made a loud sound.


Emily hid behind a closet while the witch put a forcefield around the house so that nobody could get out once they were inside and the power of invisibility didn’t work.

“I seee you,” said the witch.

As the witch started to look for Emily, Emily quickly searched the house for all the hiding spots possible. Emily hid under the witch’s bed and hoped that she wouldn’t look for her there. After searching for three hours, the witch said, “Whoever was in here must have left. They couldn’t have stayed in here without food or water. I will take off the barrier.”


After waiting for three hours, Emily heard the witch start to snore. Emily decided to take a chance and come out of her hiding spot. Emily silently tip-toed away from the bed and searched the house for something that might look like a magical gem. After searching every room in the house, she found a pattern of stones on the floor of an empty, very small, dusty room. After thinking for a little while, Emily thought it was a code. She recognized this type of code from books, I have to step on the correct stones for something to happen. Emily also noticed that there were clues for which stone to step on. They were: Blue is the fifth color of the arc of seven colors.

The bright yellow sun is the closest star to the earth. The midnight sky seems far, far away. White is the center of all the colors. Grass is the middle of the sun and the water. The bright color of royalty belongs in second place. The color of ever-lasting fire belongs on the third mark of seven. Emily thought and wrote in her notebook and came up with the answer. Purple, gold, red, white, blue, green, yellow. Emily stepped on the stones in that order, and she found herself inside a huge room. I have to get the stones. But then she thought, What if she catches me? Emily chose to search for the gems. After searching everywhere, she found the gems in a big box. Emily was about to grab the box and run, when the witch said, “I found you.”

“I see you too,” said Emily.

“I know you see me,” the witch said. The witch made a bubble around her and Emily so that they had to move in that small space. Emily made a laser net around the witch and after a little while, the witch gave up and said, “I give up, you can have the gems.” So Emily took the gems and with some help from her grandfather, the forest animals, and the birds, they brought the witch to the magical prison, where she would stay for one hundred years. Emily also returned the gems to their spots in the magical rainbow castle where they belonged, and everything was normal again.


The End

Route 66

Chapter One


My headphones were in while I stepped out of the car. I flipped my hair, then put my black sunglasses on. I didn’t realize how sunny it was here. I grabbed my suitcase and rolled it inside the hotel. I heard my mom calling my name in the distance, but I ignored it. I was too into my music to turn around and talk to her. I was listening to Calvin Harris, his new single, “Outside” feat. Ellie Goulding. I walked into the hotel and waited in the lobby for my mom. I sat down and took out my headphones. My mom came in carrying a bunch of my bags. I wanted to help her, but the hotel guy seemed to have it under control. When she came over she put down the bags and got a cart.

“You know, Hallie, it wouldn’t hurt if you helped a little,” she said to me.

I stood up and started helping her. If you don’t understand what’s going on right now, I’ll tell you.

Me and my family lived in Nashville for 16 years, but my parents got divorced last month, so my dad stayed in Nashville with my older sister, Emily, who is 18, and me and my mom packed our bags and moved to Los Angeles, California. I didn’t choose to move, it actually wasn’t my choice at all. I didn’t have a say in it. I didn’t mind leaving my dad, he was always kind of mean to me and my mom. He hit me sometimes. It was Emily that I had trouble leaving. She was not only my sister, but she was my best friend. We did everything together and we told each other all of our secrets. We had a really hard time saying goodbye. But enough about that, it’s going to make me cry. My name is Hallie. I’m 16 years old and I love producing music. My hobby’s are making music and DJing. when I left Nashville I brought all my equipment with me, oh, and my cat, Dibbles. Dibbles and Emily were the only things I really had in Nashville, I didn’t have a lot of friends, I was very independent. I spent most of my time locked in my room making Music. So in a way moving to LA wouldn’t be such a bad thing, new friends, a new start. It would also be a good break from everything. I love Emily, but she was such a goody-two-shoes. That’s why my dad never hit her, because she was perfect. Every little thing about her. I have light brown hair with blonde highlights, it’s up to my shoulders, I have side bangs, they don’t really show, but it’s okay. I like it.


Me and my mom went up the elevator to our room, we would be staying here a while until we can afford a real place. When we got to our room, I started unpacking. My mom came up to me, “Hey, sweetie, I know this is tough for you but I’m really proud of you for pulling through.”

“No problem mom, anything for you.” I said.

“Oh, sweetie, you’re the best.”

I smiled and put Dibbles on the floor so he could stretch. I put my clothes into drawers and put my DJ equipment on my bed. I went into the bathroom to check on my mom, and she was fixing her hair.

“Sweetie, remember tomorrow is your first day of Brookstone,” she said to me. Brookstone was the new school I would be going to. I nodded and hugged my mom. She really was the best.

“I love you, mom” I said.

“Aw, sweetie, I love you too. So, so, much.”


My mom was my hero. She was always there for me. I loved her so much, when I was younger we had our occasional fights, but they usually only lasted for five minutes, then we would hug it out and say we loved each other, we don’t have a bad relationship, and we don’t have a perfect one either, we have one that would last through the good and the bad times, and I loved that about us. Her name is Julia, she’s 38-years-old, I know, pretty young, her and my dad had kids early.


Chapter Two


The next morning I had to wake up at 6:50 a.m., because Brookstone was very far from the hotel. My mom wasn’t up yet so I decided I would surprise her with some breakfast in bed, she was going through a really hard month and I knew she was stressed out, so I went into the lobby in my PJs with Dibbles in my arm. I went inside the coffee shop and bought two Caramel Lattes (her favorite) and two Scones (also her favorite). I saw people staring at me- they thought I was some kind of freak because I was in Pajamas and holding a cat in my arms. I didn’t care, though, I was used to it. In Nashville people would make fun of me all the time for the way I looked. You should’ve seen me, I looked like a freak, seriously though, when I was 12 I dyed my hair pink and chopped most of it off. I know. Freak.

I went back to the room and woke my mom up, it was now 7:15. She woke up and smiled when she saw the Caramel Lattes, I told you those were her favorites. My mom is very pretty, she has dark curly brown hair that goes all the way to her ribcage. She sat up and grabbed the Latte out of my hand. We both laughed. I put Dibbles on her lap and grabbed clothes from the drawer, I changed into my outfit. I was wearing a plain white crop top and long black overalls, my signature black sunglasses, and my beige suede wedges. I walked out of the bathroom. My mom saw me and was paralyzed.

“Is something wrong?” I asked.

“Not at all, you just look so beautiful,” she answered. I smiled at her. I checked my phone, it was now 7:27, I had 3 minutes before I had to go. I grabbed my backpack and hugged Dibbles goodbye, I didn’t want to leave her. I haven’t left her alone in 3 months.

“Don’t give mama so much trouble, be good, Dibbs.” I kissed her forehead. then I hugged my mom so tight I could hear her heart beating.

“I’m gonna miss you, mama” I said.

“Oh, honey, I’m gonna miss you too. But trust me, you are going to kick Brookstone’s butt.”

I laughed. I let go of her and took a deep breath. I stood up from the bed and said goodbye one last time, then I walked out the door, (not) ready to start a new school.


Chapter Three


I needed to take the bus to school. It was a 30 minute ride. School started at 8:30. and it was 7:38 now. I put my headphones in and walked to the bus stop. While walking, I looked around noticing everybody, they all looked so different then the people from Nashville, they went from cowboy boots to five-inch-high heels, from old-fashioned jeeps to bright red Maseratis, big country hats to bandanas, leather backpacks to leather jackets. I started missing Emily, so I called her. The phone rang and rang. No reply. Dang, Em. I left a message.


“Hey, Em, it’s Hallie, just wanted to say I miss you. You’re probably at school right now, I’m on my way to Brookstone now. I really don’t know how I’m going to survive without you.”


I started tearing up. No. No. Not now. No. But it was too late, by the time I reached the bus stop I was sobbing.


“Well, now I’m crying. I love you, Em. please call me soon. Bye.”


I hung up and wiped the tears from my face. It was 7:49. The bus came at around 7:51.


On the bus I sat alone. Everyone was playing on their phones, or throwing spit balls at one another, I was sitting by the window in silence, I wasn’t in the mood for anything. I felt so different, I was actually, for the first time in my life, nervous about something. This was not me. I did not get nervous. I was tough. Wasn’t I? Well, apparently not.


I got off the bus at 8:27, 3 minutes early. When I got off the bus I was completely starstruck. The school was 10 times bigger than the one I went to in Nashville. My heart began racing. I wasn’t ready for this. This wasn’t me. I’m not a california girl. I’m a nashville girl with a heck of an accent. Would people make fun of me? Would they think I’m weird? god, I still own my cowgirl boots from 5th grade. Snap out of it, Hallie. you don’t get scared, you don’t get nervous. You are strong. But the truth was, I wasn’t at all.

I walked inside the school, and there were people everywhere. I basically fell over. I didn’t know where I was going. I wanted to ask, but everyone seemed busy doing their own thing. This is so weird, I thought, I mean, it’s January 25th, and I’m starting school. It’s the middle of the year. What the heck am I doing here? I reached the principal’s office at around 8:34, and knocked on the door.

“Come in!” he said.

“Hi, I’m Hallie Steinfeld, I’m enrolling here.”

“Hallie! so nice to meet you! Please, take a seat,” he said to me.

I sat down and took my sunglasses off. The principal started talking to me about a bunch of school stuff, but I wasn’t paying attention. Behind the principal was a big glass window where I could see everything going on. It was a regular school, I guess. It had all the labels, the jocks, the nerds, the popular click, the rockers, the goths, and the loners. That was me. When the principal finished talking he stood me up and took me to my first class. English. I walked in and took a deep breath. I was ready. The teacher introduced me to everybody and then gave me a seat. Right in the middle.

“This is it, Hallie” I thought. “This is it.”


Chapter Four


English was interesting. but mostly the same as my old school. I guess it was better. I saw some boys staring at me, that was a good sign. Hopefully. Classes went by pretty quickly. I found my locker, I was next to a jock and a popular girl which kind of sucked because they were just talking really loudly about this sick party that I wasn’t invited to. But it was okay because I didn’t expect to be invited to anything yet. I had five minutes left of Math before I went to lunch. I was actually pretty excited to meet new people. Too excited. I dropped my text book and it made a huge bang on the ground. Dang it. Everyone stared at me, and I even heard some laughs from the people in the back row. I leaned down to go pick it up, but somebody got it before I had the chance. I looked up. right there was the most beautiful boy I have ever seen in my whole life. He had green eyes and blonde hair. He was obviously a jock because he was wearing a varsity jacket that said “BROOK 4 LYFEEEEEEE.” Then I realized who he was, he was the jock next to my locker, he was the one, he was- ring.

I snapped out of my daydream, I guess I just spent five minutes looking into the eyes of that handsome hunk. And… and… he stared back! When I got to my locker to put my stuff away, I felt someone tap my shoulder. It wasn’t my- I mean- the handsome hunk, it was lady hands. I shut my locker and turned around. right there was “the” clique, the one that every single school has. the popular ones, the pretty ones, the only ones that everyone looks up to.

“Hi, is it.. Bayley?” the blonde one said.

“Hallie,” I replied.

“Whatever your name is, you better stay away from Jared,” she said with sass.

I was confused. who was Jared? Wait a minute, the blonde, she was in my math class, Jared must be… the handsome hunk. Even his name is hunky …

“Listen, blonde, you can’t control me. You might be physically flawless, but it doesn’t mean I like you.” What. Was. That. I’m such an idiot. The clique walked away laughing at me. I leaned back on my locker and sighed. Then somebody came over next to me.

“Hey,” the voice said, “I’m Jared”

Ah Oh my God what is life. I acted cool.

“Hi, I’m Hallie,” I replied. I turned around to face him. He was sooo tall. He must have been 6’4.

“Can I take you to lunch?” he asked.

Ahhh, I’m going to die in this dream.

“You may.” I replied, acting casual. We started walking. Then he looked at me and said, “Your hand looks heavy, let me hold it for you.” Then he grabbed my hand.

I seriously almost passed out. I laughed a little. Oh my god Hallie, what was that? But it was okay because he smiled.

“so, what do you like to do?” he asked me.

“I produce music.” I said.

“No way! My dad works for a record label!” he said.

“Awesome.” I replied. I started to get used to this. I wasn’t shy anymore. We were laughing in the lunch line talking about our lives. I pulled out my phone and showed him Dibbles. That was a big hit. He loved cats! Yay! I feel like I could tell him anything: I told him about my parents and how they got divorced, about how I live in a hotel with my mom, how I have a sister, and how I lived in Nashville. Everything. Now I know we’ve only known each other for a day. But I felt like I’ve known him all my life. It was so easy to talk to him. The words flew right out of my mouth, and the best part was, he didn’t think of me any differently knowing about my past.

“Hey, Hallie, I’m having this party tomorrow at my house, do you wanna come?” he asked.

“I would love to!” I replied. I was so happy. I knew I was going to like this school. but it gets better.

“Hallie, do you mind if I have your number?”

I was done. Completely done. What is this I can’t even. I gave him my number and he texted me right away. I’m pretty sure I passed out.


Chapter Five


When I got out of school that day I was so happy I skipped all the way home. When I got to the room, my mom wasn’t there, but had left a note.



I will not be home until late tonight. I am going on a job hunt. Be safe and take care of Dibbles. Text me if you need anything. Love you.


Mama <3


I smiled and jumped on to my bed. Dibbles was sleeping. I opened my phone. 3 messages.



Hi, Hallie, I’m sorry I missed your message. I love you so much and I know you’ll get through this. You are so strong and brave. I miss you too but I know that you are going to do just fine in LA. Always text me, Hall. <3


I replied:


Thx so much Em, you’re the best, I met someone today and I think I really like him. 🙂


There were 2 more messages.



hey, hall. it’s Jared  😉


hehe… he called me Hall…

hey Jared, I had a lot of fun getting 2 know you today  😉


I sent it. Ah!!! Be calm, Hallie, be calm.



hey, sweetie. how’s LA?


I didn’t feel like talking to him. so I just deleted the text.

Then I got 2 more messages.



already?? omg, girl. you cray-cray.


I laughed.



me 2. so r u going 2 the party? it starts at 8:00.


Duh! Of course I was going!


i’ll be there.



great, I will pick u up at 6:50


i think ur really pretty and cool. just wanted u 2 know.


Oh my god! This is unreal.


thx. you’re also really cool. and really handsome….


Uh oh. I think that was too much. Oh, well!



lol thanks. ur the best. ik we just met. but I think ur the most beautiful girl in the world.


I’m dead. R.i.p me. I died. Dead.


omg thanks you’re so sweet.



maybe we could get dinner together sometime?


Ahhh! I stayed calm. Pf, No I didn’t!






Chapter Six


The next day went by fast. Jared and I talked a lot at our lockers. He was my first friend at this school, and I think I really liked him. I didn’t have any other friends. I mean, there were these two girls that I talked to sometimes in Social Studies, Gabby and Mia. But they weren’t really like me. They weren’t mean or anything, they just weren’t relatable to me. After school I ran into them, and they asked me if they could come over to my house. Okay, so I didn’t tell them that I lived in a hotel. They couldn’t be expecting a mansion. I said yes and they cheered the “EEK!” cheer. They linked my arms and we walked home together.


“So, Hallie, what do you like?” Gabby asked.

I could tell she was the chatty one. Mia was like her sidekick.

“Well, I like cats” I said.

“NO WAY! My uncle has a cat!” Gabby said.

“Wow!” I said sarcastically, I told you I was more independent, I didn’t like talking! When we got to the hotel they looked shocked. I just ignored them because I don’t even care if someone makes fun of me. This was my life, I couldn’t change it. They looked disappointed, so I turned and looked at them. “You think I want my life to be like this? You think I chose this path? Wow. You guys are super selfish to think that everyone just has a perfect life. Because not everyone lives in a huge mansion like you guys.”

I was going to keep talking but Gabby’s nails were so long they were sticking into my skin.

“Are you going to Jared’s party tonight?” She completely ignored what I’d just said. Wow.  I nodded.

“Maybe we could get manicures together!!!” Gabby screamed.

Done. I was done. I just can’t.

“Yeah, but, um… listen… I… can’t because I need to… um….. visit my uncle! At the… police… station.” That was the worst lie in the world.

“Oh, okay! We’ll see you at the party!” Gabby said.

God, she was so cheery! I opened the door to the room. I didn’t see my mom.

“mom? mom?” I saw Dibbles hiding in the corner.

“Dibbs, where’s mama?” He started shivering. Huh. Then I heard something. it was coming from the bathroom. I opened the door, and there was my mom. Lying on the floor, sweating, most of her hair chopped off, wearing dad’s old shirt.


Chapter Seven


I started freaking out. I started sobbing. I grabbed the phone and called 911. It was ringing.

“Hello, this is Hallie Steinfeld. I just came home from school and my mom is lying on the floor sweating and looks like she passed out. I really need an ambulance.”

“Okay. We’ll be right there, what is your address?” the policeman said.

I told him everything he needed to know. I was freaking out. I went to the bathroom and leaned down near my mom.

“Mom. mom, answer me mom. I know you’re there mom. mom, please.” I starting crying like crazy. The ambulance came 10 minutes later. They rang the door and I answered. They ran into the bathroom and took my mom on the stretcher. They carried her away and I followed. In the car, they were feeling her heartbeat and saying a bunch of medical stuff. I pulled out my phone to call Emily.


Ring. Ring.


She answered.


“Hi, Hall! What’s up?


“It’s mom, she passed out today and I found her in the bathroom. She was sweating and most of her hair was chopped off. She was wearing dad’s shirt. I called the ambulance and we are in the car right now. God, Em. I’m freaking out.”


Tears kept running down my face. I couldn’t survive without my mom. She was my hero. What would I do without her?


“Oh my god, Hall. I’m so sorry.”


“I don’t know what to do, Em.”


“She’s going to be fine Hallie, she is strong and she will pull through.”


“I don’t even know what happened, or how it happened.”


“You never know, but she’ll be fine, Hall. I really wanna be there for you but I’m in the middle of finals. I’m so sorry.”


“It’s fine. I guess I just really needed my older sister to come here and tell me everything’s alright instead of hearing her voice on a freakin’ phone.”


“Hall, don’t be like that.”


“No, Emily. When I need you the most, you aren’t there. Silly of me to even think that you would fly to LA to see your mom who might die. because we both know that you don’t even care.”




I hung up the phone, then the tears came out, they came out and never stopped. I knew my life sucked, but I thought my sister didn’t. We used to be best friends. Now we felt like strangers.


Chapter Eight


I was in the hospital waiting room for about three hours. They wouldn’t tell me anything. I just kept pacing back and fourth. I texted Jared.


jared im so sorry I have to miss your party. family emergency, im at the hospital r n. long story, I am so sorry I really wish I could be there but I just cant.


I sent it, and leaned my head back against the wall. Why did this have to happen? Why does my life have to suck, why is my family a freak show? Why is my “sort of” boyfriend popular, why did I have to move, why did my parents get divorced. Why did my dad hit me? Why isn’t Emily here. Why? Why? Why?



party cancelled. coming 4 u, hall. ill be there in 10.


No, he was not really coming. He did not just cancel his party to see me. A girl that he’s known for 2 days. I couldn’t believe it. I never thought I would say this, but I was in the hospital, with my mom who was passed out, not knowing if I could be happy again, and a guy that I’ve known for 2 days, who is hot, and popular, made me … smile. Made me smile at one of the hardest times in my life. He was the one that brought me up when I was down, and to think … that used to be Emily. But now, it’s him. It’s him.


Jared did come. He ran in and threw his arms around me, I hugged him so tight that I could feel his manly arms come out of his shirt. He sat me down and held my hand. He made me so happy. The doctor came in about 15 minutes after.

“Hallie?” he called.

I stood up with Jared, whose hands were in mine.


I saw my mom in the hospital bed. She looked horrible. So sick and red. I started crying again.

“So what happened?” I asked holding my tears back.

“Well, it’s hard to tell, we found her on the ground holding scissors in her hands, so it must’ve been suicide, and that also explains the cut hair. Suicidal thoughts happen all the time. Apparently she’s had a mental disorder since she was 34, but nobody knew so it couldn’t be treated. She’s also suffered from very serious depression. She is going to have to stay here for a while if she wants a chance to survive, I am very sorry to say this, Hallie, but it is a very easy situation for her to die.”

When those words came out of the doctor’s mouth I stopped breathing. I stopped moving. The earth stopped spinning, everything just stopped, well, at least for me. I ran out of the room. I heard Jared call my name but I ignored him, I was so depressed. I am nothing. Literally, nothing. Silly of me to think there was such a thing as happily ever after.


Chapter Nine


The next week went by so slow. I was spending it in the hotel with Dibbles. I know I was supposed to go to school, but I couldn’t, it was to hard for me. I texted Jared for most of the day, and called the hospital to check in. I wasn’t allowed to stay at the hospital because they were doing surgery. I got a text from Jared.


Still on for tonight? xoxo


Oh my god, I totally forgot, I had a date with Jared tonight. I had to go, I needed to get my mind off of mom.


of course. pick me up at 7? xoxo.


I changed. I was wearing my white crop top with a high-waisted plaid skirt, I wore my old-fashioned high heels and my black purse to match. I wore my mom’s gold necklace for good luck. Then the door rang. I opened it.

“Wow,” he said, “You look amazing.” I blushed.

“Thank you. and you as well,” I replied.

He took my hand and we walked to his car. He had a big,black van, you know, the one’s that rich people with drivers have. It was amazing.

“Wow,” I said. He laughed and opened the door for me. What a gentleman. We drove to a sushi place near his house. It was so fancy. We sat at a booth in the back, and it was so nice. We started talking about his life and what he does and his family. I found out his mom had died. When he was three, she got into a car accident. He had a sister named Gigi, who was 18. He had such an interesting life. We got our sushi 30 minutes later; I got an avocado roll and he got a california roll. We laughed so much that night. When we were done I leaned my head against him. He smiled.

“I really like you, Hall. I know we just met but I think you’re the one for me.”

I smiled and stood up.

“Me too.”

He leaned in, I leaned in, and the next thing you know we were kissing, and I never felt so happy.


It was 1:00 when I got home. But I didn’t even try to fall asleep, I just texted Jared all night.


tonight was amazing. thx for the sushi. <3


No problem, hall. 😉


What is this, some kind of sick joke?


so are we dating now? <3 I sent.

Was that too much? Nahhhh, it’s okay.


I felt mean, I know I should’ve been paying all of my attention to mom, but I couldn’t help it. He was the only one that made me happy and I needed to be happy more than anything right now.


if thats okay with you…. <3


Ahhh! We’re dating. Ahhh!

it’s totally okay with me. ily.. <3


Before he could respond I got a call. It was from the hospital. I answered it. The words they said on the phone call were the two words I would never forget.

She. Died.


Chapter Ten


How could they do that? Just say it like that. “She died” not even a “She passed away, i’m so sorry” type of thing. I was over it. Over life, over everything. I didn’t care anymore, all I had left was a crappy hotel room, and my cat that sounded like a rooster. I was completely done. So I went away, I packed my bags and started the car. I drove through the city with the roof down and my hair blowing in the wind, I didn’t tell anyone, not even Jared. I just abandoned my life because it was pointless. My phone kept buzzing with texts from Emily, dad, and Jared. But I ignored them. They weren’t important anymore, nothing was.

I drove all the way to, you guessed it,

Route 66.






When I went to Route 66 I found a small shack near the water. I ended up telling Jared where I was, and being the gentlemen he was, he came to get me. I wouldn’t go, though. I didn’t want to live in that sick town. So he bought me a house, about 15 acres across from his house. He visited once in a while, but me, I lived with Dibbles for five years, until one day Jared came over and bent down on one knee, and you know where this is going. We got married and lived, I guess you could say, happily ever after.

Emily and dad came to the wedding, and me and Emily were friends again. Not as close as we were before, but we were sisters, and some things would never change between us. But dad was gone. He wasn’t dead, but I never talked to him again. It was so wrong it almost felt right. So Jared, Dibbles and I, along with our one kid, Julia, yep, named after my mom, ended up living on Route 66.


The Night Before School in Texas

Once there was a family, the McKnight family. They moved from Utah to Texas during the summer. Here are the people in the family. Mindy is the mom of the family who has her own youtube channel called The Mom’s View. Shawn is the cameraman for the youtube channel. He’s also the Daddy’o. Brooklyn is the popular girl, was head of the cheerleading squad(in Utah), who makes friends very easily and is super nice. She is 14 years old. Bailey is Brooklyn’s identical twin who is 2 minutes younger and is super shy and funny. Obviously, you know how old she is. Tyler is very cute and is going into his sophomore year. He is 15. Kayla is the little daredevil of the family and is going into 4th grade. She is 9. And Riley is a very quiet soon-to-be-kindergartener, age 5.

So here’s the story. They were all eating dinner at the dinner table and talking about the first day of school tomorrow.

“Is everybody ready for their first day of school tomorrow?” said Mindy.

“I am!” said Brooklyn. “I’m ready for new friends and I hope to be the head of the cheerleading squad at Presner School.”

“I’m not,” said Bailey, looking annoyed and folding her arms.

“Why?” said Riley with her quiet, tiny, five-year-old voice.

“Because I’m not going to make any friends and I’m going to be a solid-D student and have the worst time ever!”

“I bet you’re not!” said Kayla.

“Bailey isn’t that nice that Kayla thinks you’re gonna have the best day tomorrow as a freshman.”said Mom

“I care,” said Riley”.

“Uhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh I do too?” Tyler said, obviously confused.

“But, I care the most,” said Brooklyn.

“No you don’t!” said Bailey. “You always take all the attention away, you entered to be class president because you knew that you would get more votes. When I’m trying to make a friend you takeover, YOU RUIN MY LIFE! I’m done with dinner, Mom.”

“Me too,” said Brooklyn.

Brooklyn went up to her room and saw that Bailey was on the right side of the bed. So Brooklyn was about to get on the left side of the bed when Bailey flipped over on the left side.”I think you’re having trouble getting comfortable,” Brooklyn said .

“Yeah, Well it’s kinda hard to sleep when there’s a knife in your back,” Bailey said. She used her body to try and cover the entire bed so Brooklyn didn’t have any room.

“I think I’ll just sleep on this chair,” Brooklyn said as she sat on the armchair next to the AC.

”But if I get up to get a glass of water, you’ll steal the bed! LIKE YOU STEAL EVERYTHING ELSE!” Bailey said.

“Bailey I didn’t know I was hurting your feelings, and I am so sorry,” Brooklyn said.

“I thought you were my friend,” Bailey said.

“I AM your friend!” said Brooklyn.

“Well, I hate to see what you do to your enemies!” Bailey said.

“I don’t have any enemies!” Brooklyn said.

“You do now,” Bailey said.

“Ladies, ladies,” said a voice. It was Lucas. Lucas had a  crush on both Brooklyn and Bailey but, Brooklyn and Bailey didn’t have a crush on him.

“How long have you been here?” Brooklyn said.

“The whole time,” Lucas said. “I hate to see you two fighting! I want my future first and second wives to get along,” Lucas said.

“Get out!” both girls said.


September 4 ,2015 10:20


I’m trying to fall asleep but I can’t!




So Bailey hopped out of bed, went down the hall and to the left, into Riley’s room. She slowly opened the door and pinched Riley to wake her up.

“AH!” Riley said. “What are you doing here?”

“Riley, I’m nervous about my first day of school tomorrow. Do you have any advice for me?”

“I’m only five! Go to sleep!” Riley said as she got under the covers, hiding her entire body.

“Fail number one,” Bailey said as she closed the door slowly and headed into Kayla’s room. Bailey opened the door slowly and pinched Kayla to wake her up, same as she did to wake up Riley.

“Hey!” Kayla said. “Shouldn’t you be in bed? With Brooklyn?”

“I need some advice for school tomorrow because I’m nervous. Do you think you know anything about a freshman year?”

“I’m nine, I’m not an idiot,” Kayla said.

“I never said you were nine, or an idiot,” Bailey said.

“Just go to sleep,” Kayla said.

“Fail number two,” Bailey said. She closed Kayla’s door slowly and headed in Tyler’s room, thinking that he wouldn’t be such a big help. But she went in Tyler’s room anyways. She pinched Tyler to wake him up.

“Huh what huh?” Tyler said. “You’re so annoying ,” Tyler said. “Why can’t you just chill out for one minute? You’re exhausting,” Tyler said. He pulled the covers over his head and went back to sleep. Bailey didn’t even say Fail number three, because that was barely a try. So Bailey went into her parents’ room and opened the door. They were watching Odd Mom Out in their bed.

“Mom? Dad?”

“What are you doing awake?” Mom said.

“Shouldn’t you be in bed with Brooklyn?” Dad said.

“I can’t sleep. I’m nervous about my first day of school tomorrow!”

“You have nothing to worry about!” Mom said.

“You’re going to be just fine,” Dad said. Just then, the three of them heard footsteps. It was Brooklyn.

“Mom, I need my nighttime pills. I forgot I left them in your bathroom.”

“You didn’t take your nighttime pills tonight?” Mom said.

“No, I didn’t,” Brooklyn said. “And Bailey, what are you doing awake?”

“I feel like you guys should have a little talk,” Dad said.

“About what?” Bailey said.

“You know what, honey,” said Mom. “

Fine,” Bailey said.

“Brooklyn, you get your nighttime pills. Bailey, hop into bed,” Mom said.

“I’ll be waiting,” Bailey said to Brooklyn.

When Brooklyn came into the room, she said, “I don’t know what’s up with you, usually at the dinner table you’re telling jokes or listening to stories others are telling.”

“I’m just nervous I’m not gonna make any friends, I’m gonna get bad grades and I’m gonna be lonely and scared. I’m gonna have no one to hang out with.”

“You can hang out with me!” Brooklyn said.

“Wouldn’t you rather hang out with your friends that you’re gonna make at school?” Bailey said.

“The only reason I make friends easily is because those people are nice to me. I don’t know if the people in the new school will like me,” Brooklyn said.

“The truth is, I’m kind of a little shy. Not that many people like me.”

“But how did you get to be so popular? And how did you get to make so many friends at our old school?” Bailey said.

“The only reason I got so popular was because I was head of the cheerleading squad, and I was class president last year. The only reason I had so many friends is because a lot of people liked me.”

“Oh” Bailey said.

“I’m sorry about our fight earlier. I shouldn’t have told you that you ruined my life. Cause you really didn’t. Now I understand. I’m sorry for taking all the attention away,” Brooklyn said.

“You didn’t,” Bailey said. “I was just jealous.” They hugged each other.

“Let’s rest up for our big day tomorrow,” Brooklyn said.

“I’ll be right there,” Bailey said. “There’s just something I have to do.”


September 4, 2015 10:35 PM


Dear Diary,


Everything worked out just fine. Everythings ok, for now…


XO, Bailey

Dragons vs. Dracula: Book 5

The dragon brothers carefully entered the cave full of bats. They found out about the cave from Fred the Dwarf, a friend of the dragon brothers. They were exploring the cave, searching for the crystal of death. The Crystal of Death would give them the power to revive dead things, so they could revive friends and use it for good. When they entered the cave, bats charged at both of the dragon brothers, but the two dragons burned the bats by breathing fire.

“What just happened?” said the older brother.

“Don’t blame me, I didn’t do it!” said the younger brother.

Suddenly, a pack of robotic bats with lasers came charging at them. They shot at the dragons. But then, one of the dragons created a burning shield that bounced the lasers off and reflected them towards the bats and destroyed them. The dragons together kept walking in the cave until they fell into an electrified cage. They quickly flew out before the cage closed shut.

The dragons kept exploring the cave looking for the Crystal of Death. After several days, they finally came to a dead end, and Dracula flew down from a hole on the ceiling with an army of indestructible bats.

Dracula commanded the bats to hold him up in midair so that Dracula could turn the dragons into vampires. After the bats held him up, Dracula tried to bite them. He opened his mouth, showing his teeth. They burned his teeth by breathing fire, so then Dracula changed his mind about turning them into vampires. He wanted to destroy them.

Dracula wanted to make the fight harder in order to impress the bats, so he let down the dragons and fought them fist to fist. First Dracula grabbed a rock shield and a metal sword and swung it at the dragon. The older brother dragon flew up then dived down while breathing fire, but Dracula dodged him. But the younger brother flew under and punched Dracula, knocking him down.

But then the older brother said that Dracula isn’t powered by life, he’s powered by death. After thinking about that, the brothers figured out that the Crystal actually powers Dracula and they would have to destroy him in order to get it. And so they hid behind the rock and created a plan. The plan was: the younger dragon would go to to Dracula as bait and while he did that, the older would create a formula out of the materials that they had. So after the plan was formed, they tried it. The younger dragon went in as bait and started to fight Dracula, and meanwhile the older dragon brother was making the potion. They kept on fighting until the potion was done and Dracula made the younger brother fall to the ground. Just as Dracula was about to destroy him, the older brother threw the potion and destroyed Dracula. The brothers found the Crystal, but they tested it first and threw a rock at the it. And the rock dissolved into ashes. So they had to wear a thousand rocks on their hands so their hands wouldn’t dissolve, and they put it in a container at their home in space. They decide that they will use their undissolvable tweezers to touch it.

They touch a button that points it towards what they want to heal. And that heals their friends.

Guardians Part 1

Chapter One


He walked back to the clinic. “How’s life?” Jason asked.

“Fine, for someone with cancer,” Jack responded, who was in his hospital bed.

“Well, if there’s anything I can do, tell me.” Jason paced around the room.

“Ugh, I hate this waiting. I wish you would either get better or… or something would happen!” Jason exclaimed. Jack had been diagnosed with cancer when he was 12.

“Well, it’s not like I can do anything!” Jack yelled.

Jason fixed his shaggy hair and left the room. He was 19, and had to get back home to study. He was on the basketball team, but not considered buff. He had a short temper and always needed something to do. He was diagnosed with ADHD when he was 14. He was walking back to his dormitory on 118th street when his friend walked up to him.

“Hey, how’s Jack?” asked Brian, the star of the basketball team.

“In his words, ‘fine for someone with cancer,’” Jason replied.

“Well, that’s not that great of an answer,” Brian responded.

“What do you want me to say?” Jason said.

Jason walked onto the college campus. He went to Columbia University. He was in his second year of college and was hoping to graduate with a master’s degree in engineering. People were all over the campus. He walked to his dorm building and sat on the steps, contemplating all that had happened that day. He needed to calm down. He had almost lost his temper on the basketball coach during a game, but Brian had gotten him out of the jam. The coach said Jason had a real problem and that he might need to see a therapist.


Chapter 2 (2 Weeks Later)


Jason knocked on the door. “Who is it?” the person behind it answered.

“It’s Jason, for the 7:15 appointment.”

“Ok, come in.”

He opened the door and laid on the couch. The therapist was sitting behind a desk with bookshelves to his left and right. He was wearing a sweater and a button down shirt with yellow jeans.

“Ok, Jason. Tell me, what angers you?”

“Well, a lot of things, but mainly, my friend Jack has cancer and I can’t deal with the waiting and not knowing what’s going to happen. It’s just scary, I don’t want to lose him, but I can’t wait much longer.”

“It seems you need to get your mind off of Jack and try to understand what’s happening to him.”

“Well, Jack isn’t having any surgeries and besides basketball, I do nothing else. What do you suggest?”

“Maybe try and get more involved in your school work.”

“Well, I’ll try that, but I’m not so sure it will work.”

Jason left the room, took the C train to 110th street and walked over to campus. “So, what did the therapist say?” his dorm mate asked.

“He says to get my mind of Jack by becoming more invested in my schoolwork.”

“That’s not the worst thing recommended by a therapist.”

Jason put down his school bag, pulled out his homework and laid down on his bed. Today had been good for Jason, something new happened. He tried to focus more on his schoolwork but he would always lose focus, even when he tried to work on the tiniest of things. He blamed it on his ADHD.


One day, he looked outside to the lion statues on campus. He looked back at his schoolwork and five minutes later when he looked outside, the statues were right outside his dorm! He was surprised and scared but also wanted to go outside and prove they had really moved. Finally, his curious got the best of him and he walked outside. When he opened the door, the lions spoke to him. “You are the only one who can see us. We can show you magical things but you cannot tell anyone. If you do, you will never see us again. Do you promise to never tell anyone?”

“Yes, I promise,” Jason said.

“Good. We will contact you when we need to.”

Jason walked away. He was puzzled by their words, “When we need to.” What did that mean? He turned back to them but saw the usual college students, chatting away. He resumed school as normal, but always had the lions on his mind. He wondered if what they had said was true, if no one else could see them but him. There had to be someone else.


Three Months Later…


It was a late Tuesday night, about 10:30 p.m. and Jason was studying. Then, the lions appeared. They seemed to pull him outside. It was like the lions could control his curiosity. “We need you now. Come with us.” The lions were being very conspicuous. A black sedan appeared out of the ground directly in front of him. “Get in,” the lions said. He got in the car.

I have to say, for a car that just came out of the ground, this is pretty comfortable,” Jason thought.

“Wow, really, Jason, you’re thinking about that. Why did we recruit you?”

“Wait, what? How do you know that?”

“Put two and two together, Jason. Figure it out.”

“Oh, ok, so you can read my mind now? Can I read minds now, too?”

“In time, Jason, you will learn. But for now, you need to learn the basics.”

“Basics of what?”

“The basics of controlling people.”

“Controlling people?”

“Yes, manipulating people to get exactly what you want.”

“Oh.” Jason was quiet for the rest of the car ride. He thought about what the lions had said. Did he really want to do this? Yes. He had to. It was the only way to stop thinking about Jack. The car ride finally ended. He got out of the car. “Where are we?” Jason asked.

“You don’t need to know that, so we won’t tell you.”

“Why not?”

“Our people do not like to waste time, so when we do not need to tell someone something, we do not.”

“That is a weird reason,” Jason thought.

“We can still read your thoughts.”

“Oh sorry, I forgot.”

They walked inside the building. It looked like a miniature castle with its and stone structure and towers. They walked four flights up a spiral staircase made of stone, with creaky wooden railings.

“Here is your partner, Jason.” A girl about 5’8” with long flowy blonde hair walked in with her own set of lions. “She will guide you through the basic training.”

“Nice to meet you, I’m… “

“I know who you are, Jason.”

“And who are you, then?”

“I’m Lara Walker. That’s all you need to know. Let me show you around the building.”

They entered the first door on their left. “What’s this?” Jason asked.

“This is the sleeping quarters.”

“Will I stay here?”

“While you participate in your training, you will stay here. After you complete your training, you will have the option to stay and be a mentor or work with the lions.”

“So, how many others are there?”

“We don’t know. The lions search around the world at campuses and school buildings for kids who can see them.”

“So how many are here?”

“Three others, making five altogether. I’ll introduce you to them when I’m done showing you around.”

They walked over to a set of white double doors.

“Is this the cafeteria?”

“We call it the mess hall, or the mess for short.”

“Ok, cool. Are there preset eating times or can you just walk in?”

“Well, both. From 8:30 a.m. to 10:00 a.m., you can get breakfast. From 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., you can get lunch, and from 6:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. you can get dinner. These times work in with your practice schedule but if you have time for any reason, you can stop by and grab a snack.”

They came to a long narrow hallway.

“What’s this?” Jason asked.

“These are the training facilities and classrooms.”

“Is that all?”

“…All of the building, yes.”

“I thought it would be bigger, for a secret hideout.”

“It’s not really a hideout, more like a training ground. Follow me.”


“To the others, remember?”

“Oh yeah, sorry,” Jason apologized. “They’re in class?”

“Yes. Good improvement on self-learning, Jason,” Lara remarked.


They walked into classroom number 504. “Who’s this?” asked the class in unison.

“Class, this is a new recruit, Jason.”

“Nice to meet you, Jason,” greeted some of the class. “Hi, Jason,” greeted the rest of the class.

“So, what’s this class working on?” Jason asked.

“We’re studying how to figure out what a person wants so you can manipulate them.”

“Oh.” Jason sat through the rest of the class.

“Did you like the class?” asked one of his classmates.

“Yeah, but I thought it was a bit weird.”

“We all do. But it’s better than where we came from so we’ll take it.”


Four Months Later…


While everyone was eating, the lions walked into the cafeteria and asked everyone to silence themselves. “Students, we, the lions, have an announcement to make. The training you have gone through was not actually to learn how to manipulate. It was to learn offense and defense against…The Hidden. The Hidden are an elitist group who believe if you are inferior in one thing, you are inferior in everything. Our ancestors tried to show them otherwise. They were assassinated. The Hidden are extremely good at what they do, which is killing people. We have been training your type of people because you are open to magic. The average person will write off magic as a ‘weird phenomenon’ or will not believe it happened in the first place. Open people accept magic, which is why you can see us. All we are made of and anything we own is magic, which makes you the only people who can see it. You five were chosen to defeat The Hidden, and that is what you will do. Sometimes you will work as a team but sometimes you will have to work on your own. Even though The Hidden aren’t much stronger than you, they have the power to break you. We will keep you updated as you work. Also, you will now work with the other lions. Tomorrow, we will have a meeting ceremony.”

The five kids were slightly shocked but one or two said, ”I knew it!” What was even stranger was that the day carried on as normal. But over the weeks, their training got harder. Soon they had personalized sessions and were working and learning for 8 to 11 hours a day. They had tight schedules and barely ever had free time. Then, one day, the lions had another announcement.

“Students, you have trained around the clock. Now your time has come to see what it is like in real battle. You will all graduate by the end of the week and will be doing field missions around the world. Do not worry about your other life. When you entered this building your outside life paused. When we are done with your services, or you wish to permanently leave, your life will resume as normal and you have the option of you memory being wiped as well. Understood?”

“Yes,” responded the five students.

Graduation was ten times more intense than the previous training. They fought battles against each other, cast spells they had been learning and worked in teams. They were split in half and faced the instructors in duos. Jason worked with Laura in duels and 1v1’s. These were the hardest because they faced the lions as well.

Finally, Jason and the group went on their first mission. Apparently, one of the scouts for the lions had found a fallen member in one of the college campuses.

“That’s strange.”

“What is?” Jason asked.

“We didn’t expect them this far up,” the lions explained.

“What do you mean?”

“They’re usually not as aggressive as going to a campus to hunt for us.”

They took the appearing car (the same one Jason took when he arrived at the castle) to the campus. “What do we do when we find The Hidden member?” Jason asked.

“Do what you were taught,” said the lion.

“You mean, attack him or her?”

“Thats what you learned, correct?”

“If they are The Hidden, what are we?”

“Everyone used to be human. Then came The Hidden. The attack was called the Fall. We are the Survivors. You are the Guardians.”

“The Guardians of what?”

“The last remaining of my species. Only special humans that can see us are The Guardians.”

“Well, do you have the same technology as humans? Are you an advanced race or…?”

“Can you ask us the questions later, like after we take care of this Hidden?”

“You sound like a mafia mobster.”



They approached the Hidden member. “What are you doing!?”

“Umm, stopping you?”

“You want me to battle you ruffians? I am Canakis The Great! Only kings challenge me!”

“Well, we’re gonna do something to you.”

The battle commenced, exhausting everyone to the max. Jason and Lara were very helpful, as they had been partners in the graduation duet battles. Before the group finished him off or before he retreated, the lions came over to extract some information. This gave the group of guardians some time to relax. They were all around the age of 18, the oldest being 21. They sat down on park benches.

“That was new.”

“Yeah, definitely.”

“Don’t know if I could have killed him though.”

“He deserved it. He was snobbish.”

“He wasn’t that bad.”

“Yeah right.”

“Not the rudest person I’ve met,” Lara said.

“Really?” Jason asked.

“Oh. Trust me, I’ve had some super snobs as friends.”

“Oh, sure.”

“You sure are acting snobbish.”

“Be quiet!” They both laughed.

“Today was fun. We work well together.”

She smiled at him. The rest of the group had broken up into their partnerships they had used at graduation. As the months passed, the group became more accustomed to fighting The Hidden and altogether became more friendly with each other. Partnerships were formed and bonds were made. Jason was having a lot of fun. Then came his next big problem.

“We have scouted a new power that is threatening to overcome The Hidden, The Survivors, The Guardians and possibly humanity. It is called The Monstrosity. They are a group of aliens connected to one source, one body of plasma, which is The Monstrosity. You will have two months of extra training based on what we have recovered from our scouts about The Monstrosity,” the Lions announced. “You will also have a two month break to visit people before we start the training. Colleges around the world have teachers and students that are recruiting Guardians like we are. You may know some.”

Jason was happy but surprised at the break the lions had given everyone one. Was it a sign? Could Jack be a recruiter? Jason felt confused.

Jason finally left with one of the lions to go to his campus in the strange appearing car. He said hello to everyone: Brian, the therapist, his roommates. Then, he went to visit Jack.

“Jack, I know…”

“I know what you’re about to say, Jason. Yes, I am a recruiter, yes, I did try to push you to the lions, and yes, the therapist is also a recruiter.”

“Whoa, how did you…?”

“I was trained too, Jason.”

“Oh. Well, that was all I was going to say, so, bye? I guess…”

“We can talk about normal things, if you want to.”

“Ok. How’s cancer life going?”

“Fairly horrible with a hint of…” Jack sighed.

“Well, this is awkward.”

“No. This is fine. I haven’t talked to anyone besides doctors in weeks. No one visits me besides the lions and they are boring too. Please talk to me. I won’t see you for months, maybe years. Please.”

“Well, if you put it that way, then I guess…” Jason trailed off. “Are you seeing anyone?”

“What do you mean?” Jack asked.

“Are you…dating someone? Like actually,” Jason said.

“No, boys in hospitals with cancer aren’t exactly popular.” Jack laughed.

“Nice to see your sense of humor. Always reassuring,” Jason said. “Anything else you wanna talk about?”

“Not really, but…”

“If you want to stop talking, that’s fine,” Jason said. “I know you can’t always talk and…”

“Jason, it’s fine. Go ahead. Leave if you want to, I don’t want to hold you back.”

Jason left and met back up with the lions. He asked the lions to go back to the facility.

“As you wish, but you don’t get to change your mind,” the lions said.

“Whatever,” Jason said.

He hopped in the car. The scenery around Jason drastically changed as they approached the facility. “Lions, do you know who trained Jack?”

“Yeah, only the best teacher. You should know who he is.”

“That’s cryptic,” Jason said.

The Lions ignored him for the rest of the ride. At the facility, he asked around to find Jack’s instructor, but couldn’t find him anywhere. He started get random headaches every now and then. They wouldn’t hurt that much but he would see flashes. Later those flashes got clearer. They were showing him something. But he didn’t know what it was. He told the lions about this. They seemed concerned.

“Can you see what the flashes depict?” they asked.

“Not clearly.”

“How long have you been getting them?”

“Maybe two to three weeks.”

“Okay. Keep in touch. If you can ever see what the flashes are depicting, tell us.”

“Why?” Jason wanted to know.

“We think The Monstrosity may be trying to contact you. It’s been happening to Lara, too.”

“Is she ok?”

“She’s as good as you are.”

Jason left the lions and went back to his room. He traveled through the white hallways and contemplated on his talk with the lions.


Two Months Later…


Jason rushed to the lions. He had a flash of a pulsing piece of plasma and a fairly small circle was highlighted in red. As he started to talk, he saw Lara was saying the same things.

“I saw something in the flash!” Lara and Jason said together.

“What did you see?” the lion asked.

“I saw the location of The Monstrosity,” Lara said.

“I saw its weakness…the brain,” Jason said.

“So if we can get to the brain with Lara’s help, we can exploit its weakness thanks to Jason,” said one of the lions.

“Students, we have an announcement. Your fellow classmates Jason and Lara have had visions that tell us where The Monstrosity is and how to kill it. We have already made a pact with The Hidden, so The Monstrosity is our main target. You know how to kill it and you know why to kill it, so let’s destroy our last enemy. That is all.”

Everyone was a little shaken up by the last talk, so they all took a nap. Jason kept having the flashes about The Monstrosity. People asked him and Lara, “What does it look like?” and “Where does it live?” or “How do we kill it?” It got a little annoying. Eventually, everyone stopped asking. They went through different stages. At first, they wanted to do the mission, then they got scared, then they just didn’t care. Finally, they went on the mission.

“According to Lara’s flashes, we will find The Monstrosity’s core in Hamburg, Germania. We will go there and kill it!” said one of the lions.

They arrived at a huge volcano and started to climb it. It was very rough ground. Once they reached the top, they saw The Monstrosity. It was a colorful mix of blue and purple, uglier than a face that had been shot. It had veins on it and spanned the whole gap of the volcano. In its center was a red and greenish dot-like mark that looked like a target. Some of the kids asked Lara, “Is that what we’re supposed attack?” At first she was a little confused, because it didn’t look as clear as it had in her flashes, but then she said yes. They asked the lions what to do next but their answer was cryptic: “You should know what to do already.”

They decided the best idea was to head down the volcano so they could attack the dot-thing in the middle. Using some cables and black harnesses, The Guardians began to descend down the bottom of the volcano’s cavern. It was very dark. Someone lit a lantern so they could see. Finally, they reached the bottom of the volcano.

“Do we have to step on the plasma thingy?” asked one of The Guardians.

“I think so,” Lara said.

“I’m washing my shoes after this,” Jason said.

They walked over to the dot-thing and started attacking it. They even stomped on it. But nothing happened. Next, The Guardians started falling down. Jason walked over to one of them. He had tranquilizer darts in the back of his neck. Then, suddenly, black, white and sunlight. Jason woke up in a white room with two people in lab coats staring at him.

“What happened?” he asked.

“This might hurt a little.”

“What will?”

Suddenly, a needle injected him. As he screamed, the light fades. Jason woke up looking out of his dorm window. His roommates were staring at him. He didn’t care. He could see everything but the lions.

Last Stand

Chapter 1: End of The World

Agent 37 patrolled the streets of New Nerf City. Agent 1 defended the city’s banks. Agent 99 scouted for Agent 37 and Agent 10 was the head of a Nerf army!!!

“Move it troopers, move it troopers,” said Agent 10.


Chapter 2: Reinforcements

“No!!” said Agent 1. “A grenade landed in a bank! Agent 1 was mortally wounded because he was next to the explosion.”


Chapter 3: Streak

Clash cing xing stab slash boom kick bam ka bam hi yah!

“Ouch, that hurt,” said Agent 45.

Agent 12 defeated Agent 67, Agent 75, Agent 56 and Agent 45 with fists guns and swords!


Chapter 4: Snipers

Pew pew pew pew! Ah! Unh! Nooo! Oof! Ahhhh.

Snipers picked off a lot of the insurrectionists.


Chapter 5: Recruits

A hobo finally found a cheap apartment room and was shown into his first personal room for years. The room was very nice. There was already a bed there, a lamp, and there was a table with a TV. The bed had pillows already, and some covers already. He also had a washing machine in there. So when his clothes were dirty he could just wash them right away while sitting in his pajamas reading a book. The first few days, he could sleep by himself. He was very happy because he could get a job, and he could stop panhandling. But there was a problem. Soon he couldn’t sleep by himself. He saw a Chinese movie that scared him so much that he couldn’t fall asleep. So he slept in the living room. Everybody else teased him, because he couldn’t sleep by himself. For example, like, “Oooh, this guy can’t sleep by himself!” or “Nerd!” or “Stop getting scared!” He went back to his apartment feeling humiliated, sleepy, and finally, upset. People called him names so much, he decided to lock his door and stay in there forever, and called it home.

The hobo was reading the news when he saw an advertisement for a new agent replacing Agent 1. He didn’t want to at first, but he thought Agent 1, if he retires, he could get a lot of money. Then he decided to join the agents. He walked right towards the headquarters. The headquarters is so high-tech, one button could already shoot ten thousands lasers out of it. It looks platinum and can transform into anything. There’s a secret hatch underground, and the hobo went through it. The secret hatch is for when you can’t enter the main entrance because people are attacking. The hobo asked about three million questions at headquarters, so he knew where the hatch was. The main entrance is only for high level clearance.

He found himself in the toilet. They had changed the pipes so he would end up in the toilet instead of the command center. He was so wet, he couldn’t go into the command center, because they restricted any wet people. But he found a small agent training center three hundred miles away right next to his house. He went there and signed himself in, and now he’s Agent Infinity.

Then he went through hard training courses. He had to lift three million pounds, run a twenty-five-mile lap, swim three hundred miles, and finally, jump rope right into some water and swim back up, but you can’t get your jump rope wet. He failed everything except for the twenty-five-mile-lap and a jump rope, and the swimming. He failed to lift three million pounds; he got crushed. He got promoted to Agent 2.

He thought that the people who called him nerd would pay, because now he would be in the news and they would read the news. And he was in the news. The article was, “Fat Hobo

Promoted to Agent 2 After Completing Three of the Training Courses.”


Chapter 6: Badge

When the hobo got sent to fight Zelltrax, he got defeated and the monster took his badge. Hobo passed out and he woke up in an emergency center. He got wounded so much that they had to amputate his arm. Hobo was asleep and didn’t feel the pain at all.


Chapter 7: Lose Your Rank

Hobo got demoted to Agent 27, which is pretty bad.


Chapter 8: Losing

1234567890-0987654321234567890p987654321234567890p9876543 was the password to blow up the world.The insurrectionists blew up the world.

The Importance of Space Exploration

Space exploration, just flashy photos and flags? If you look closer than your or your parents’ black and white autographed photo, you will see that it has a much more purposeful purpose. Space exploration actually benefits the environment and the population, and it allows important new scientific discoveries to be made.

Space exploration would benefit the environment. If we moved our dirty factories to another planet, this would reduce Earth pollution and provide a lower-cost alternative to building completely non-polluting factories. Also, space exploration may allow for better sites for greener living. For example, we could find a planet with more direct sunlight and a heat-only ozone layer. Or we could find a planet with natural cave tunnels for transit systems and cities so that no machinery would have to be brought to delve the cities. Space exploration might allow for environmental supplements to be pumped through to Earth so that we could still enjoy the environment but with less maintenance.

Space exploration could help the population. Space exploration could do this by finding new planets for the world to go to in an emergency or if the population gets too large for Earth to handle. There are probably dozens of planets with all the essentials of what we need — water, air, sunlight, and oxygen. In this way, space exploration could help the population. Finally, if you’re just ever yearning to go on a vacation, space exploration is very important to find new vacay destinations to get to if ever they are needed.

Space exploration could lead to important new scientific discoveries. For example, it could lead to the discovery of a new alien nation to be represented in the United Nations, or another tribe/nation of humans for us to connect with on a new Earth, or maybe one that is in need of our aid for creating a better government with freer rights. This would create the “United Intersolar Nations (UIN)” or, with the proper advancements the “United Republic Of Galactic Nations (URGN). Also, we could find planets that are empty, on which we could perform potentially harmful new science experiments with no casualties. This is how space exploration could lead to critical scientific discoveries.

Overall, space exploration is one of those things that just popped up, took hold and led the way to new greatness – the greatness of better science, more sustainable living, and happier lives. That’s why we should all promote space exploration. All of us should be those annoying salesmen we shoo from our doors in the morning. A number of people have come to agree with this fact, and in 2013 applications to live on Mars began. Even now we are developing those ships, for in all of our hearts there lies a simple yearning for the stars. So take action! Move! And send in your application today!

The Ghost in the Haunted Mansion

One evening, the haunted mansion had just risen from the ground. Werewolves were guarding it, and if they bit you, you’d turn into one. Zombies were guarding it too, and if they bit you, you also turned into one — unless they devoured you. The zombies and werewolves were all people who used to work in the house. There was a ghost who was the king of the house because he had once owned the house until it sank into the ground. He was the man that had run the house. This house was not just your ordinary house. It had gone down in 1849. It had fancy golden arches all over it, and it was covered in vines. There was a second ghost who was not king of the house, but he was the king’s servant. He would look around for something to eat. Sometimes he found ghost nibblets and sometimes he found seeds and berries. For dessert he’d have a cookie pie.

One night he was looking around for something to eat when he bumped into one of the werewolves and said, “Are you a ghost nibblet or a berry?”

The werewolf said, “Get out of the house if you’re not a ghost!”

The ghost said, “I am a ghost, you rotten berry!”

The werewolf replied angrily at the ghost, “I am not a rotten berry! I am a werewolf!” The werewolf was huffing and puffing and had jagged teeth.

“Try and eat me!” yelled the ghost. “Oh wait, you can’t, because you’re a werewolf, not a ghost. I could actually be inside you if I wanted to.”

“Oh yeah? Try it!”

So the ghost went inside of the werewolf. Once he got out of the werewolf he said, “Oh, you’re never going to be my dinner…” So he went back into the mansion. He realized that he wouldn’t find dinner inside because he had eaten all that was left, so he ventured out into the woods surrounding the house. He had seen the trees but he’d never gone in one.

“What’s this?” he said. “Is it called a hardly bargly? Or is it called a tree? I’ll go with tree! Yeah, tree would be the good name.” He went out and he saw something. It was a panther, but the ghost did not know that. “Oh, you must be one of the werewolves that I’ve heard so much about!” But the panther didn’t say anything because he wasn’t dead yet. So he couldn’t see the ghost, but he could hear him.

The panther thought, What’s that sound? That must be my head talking to myself…

He walked on to ghost’s property and was killed in seconds by the werewolves. The ghost of the panther ran into the forest, saw the ghost and said, “You mangy little thing! You made me go to the werewolf place!” He was running around, but the ghost just floated on.

The ghost kept going until he saw some quicksand. He thought the quicksand was ghost pellets and he tried to pick it up, but he couldn’t because it was just regular quicksand. “Bah! Not ghost pellets.” He moved on until he found an old wood shack. He went through the walls and he saw a little boat. “What is this thing?” It was a canoe made of three logs that were all put together to make a little…it wasn’t really even a boat – it was more like a raft. He moved it without anyone seeing, put it in the water and started paddling. “This is so cool!” he said. He rode it down the river until he reached a waterfall. “Why doesn’t this thing fly?” The raft went over the waterfall while the ghost was still flying. “I guess I’ll just have to keep flying and follow the river,” thought the ghost. He decided to follow the river because he thought it would lead him to food.

He got to the end of the river and walked right into a trap. It was just a table of ghost pellets with a cage on top. The ghost said, “Finally! Ghost pellets!” He went to the table and ate all the ghost pellets, but then the cage dropped and he found the King Ghost standing outside.

“You’re coming back with me,” said the King Ghost. He took him back to the haunted mansion, threw him in a cage, and said, “You will be punished for going outside of the property!” The servant ghost knew he wasn’t supposed to leave the property, but he hadn’t known that the King Ghost would find him.

After the King Ghost left, the servant ghost bent the bars of the cage and went outside. The servant started dragging his rags home, but he accidentally went to mansion of silly stuff, not the haunted mansion! The mansion of silly stuff was next to the haunted mansion, and it was where all the bad ghosts went.

The mansion of silly stuff looked exactly the same as the haunted mansion — it even had the same address. When the servant went inside, he saw a clown that popped out with two kitchen knives in his hands! The clown had a creepy smile painted on his face with sharp teeth, and the little ghost walked through him. He saw that there were ghost crocodiles, ghost sharks, and ghost orcas! He tried to fly up, but then he saw that he couldn’t fly — he had to surf across the water in the mansion. This place was very cold and he rode all around it. Then he found the worst thing of all. It was the ghost trap that held every single ghost that had died there. Then he saw a ghost that he recognized in the trap — it was his father hanging upside down. He had blood all over his face and he was hanging from a rope.

“Ahh! What is that thing?” said the servant ghost. Then he saw another trap that had ghosts parts in it. “I could’ve gotten my father out of the trap if I was the strongest ghost on Earth, but I see that little trap and I’m not falling for it,” he said.

He moved on and then he saw something…it really was the worst thing in the world. He saw a beheaded monster! The monster was squiggling around with arms like an octopus and had fifteen heads that had all been popped off. This monster was black with wings and breathed fire. It was 30,000 feet high and it was all bloody. The monster was so big it barely fit in the house, and it was trying to eat the ghost for a snack. It was drooling blood and was soaking wet with blood. It had orcas that could eat you as a tail. It was screaming like crazy, “Rawr!”

The servant hid behind a rock and said, “That’s gonna take awhile for me to defeat…so I’m just going to sneak around it if I can.” The monster had heads all over its back so it could see everything around it. The ghost tried to sneak around it, but one of the heads saw him. The head breathed fire at him and just barely missed him.

“Well, that was an unexpected party favor,” said the servant ghost. He snuck away and then he saw that there were lots of dead ghosts on the floor. He saw a sword, picked it up, and chopped off one of the heads. Blood and organs exploded from the neck. The monster screeched and the ghost had to cover his ears.

“I’ll just kill the main head,” said the servant ghost. He chopped off the main head with a sword and the monster fell down to the ground. “Well, at least that’s over.” He flew all the way out of the house. “Hey, I’m out in the forest again…oh boy. Now I just have to run away from the King Ghost.” He didn’t know that outside there was a trick. The King Ghost had made the bars of the first cage out of ghost gold, but this time, he made them out of diamonds and iron so that the servant ghost couldn’t bend the bars. The servant ghost stepped on the trap, but he got out of the way of the cage at the last minute. And then, there was more blood! The King Ghost had brought a dragon that ate everything that he saw, including plastic. The dragon’s tail was made of blood, and its face was made of blood — the whole dragon was made of blood — nothing but blood! The blood was red and so fresh that it was streaming. He was making an ocean of blood that nobody wanted to cross because it had orcas in it. The blood dragon was made out of magic blood and had sharp blood teeth.

The servant ghost said, “Blood! Yay! I love eating blood with my noodles…but I still like tacos better.”

The King Ghost yelled, “What? You crazy ghost! I will kill you!” Then he took out his humongous carving knife and threw it at the servant.

The servant caught the knife. “Oh? Was that your best throw?” He threw the knife back at the King Ghost and hit him in the heart. The King Ghost died. But the servant ghost became King because once the King Ghost dies, the servant becomes King. Once the servant became King, he said his first word as the King: “This was the worst day ever! But now that I’m King, I will search for all the old King’s secrets. I will search for the secret lever…”

He found the lever on top of a painting. He pulled the lever, and it opened up a passageway that led all the way to the basement. When he reached the basement, he walked down a hall full of spiderwebs, and there was a very faint light that only bats could see in. Only the old King Ghost had ever been to the basement. It was very creepy with a lot of blood on the pictures and walls. Once the new King Ghost made it down in the basement, he saw there was another lever! On the lever it said, “If you pull this lever down, this mansion will sink down to the ground.”

“Hmm, that’s probably how this mansion sank the first time!” said the new King Ghost. Then he saw the old King Ghost’s bones lying where he had died for the first time. They were in the shape of a human and had goosebumps all over them. Then the bones came alive.

The bones said in a dark, low voice, “Who has made me alive? Whoever has made me alive must be the King!”

The new King Ghost said, “It is I, the servant ghost.”

“What the heck!” said the bones. The bones were so surprised that they almost broke into a million pieces. “What happened to the original King Ghost?”

“Oh yeah, yeah,” said the new King. “Well, there was a knife in his heart…and now he’s dead…and I don’t have a heart, so you can’t kill me. Yeah.”

“Why! What! You killed me? Well, you killed my ghost, not me, because I’m bones…but you killed the GHOST OF ME!”

The new King went back towards the lever. He thought that if he pulled the lever, then it would take him to an Evil Land of Evil, where he belonged. So he went back to the lever and pulled it. The house shook like there was an earthquake. It was like a tornado sucked it underground. It got darker, and darker, and darker, until it was so dark that he realized he was in Ghost Land. All the zombies and werewolves had disappeared. The King wasn’t in the Evil Land of Evil. He was in Ghost Land, where he would sleep forever.

The Battle

I pulled and thrashed and tried my best to heave him off me. He was an evil piece of work. I socked him directly in his stomach, and he looked green, as if he was about to hurl. He donned patterns of wicked grins. Then, for a moment, he goggled at me, looking sheepish as if he might let me toss him across the room. But he stuck to me as firmly as a tree’s roots were planted into the ground. I swore.

“You, come right here!” my teacher screeched at her usual high pitch.

“Coming!” I gasped for air.

My arch-nemesis just would not let go without ending the fight.

“Stay and fight, you coward!” my sworn enemy screamed.

A voice in my head spurred me on, and I continued the war. I bit him, I punched him, and I swore that if I ever got him off me, I would murder him. “Ouch! Curses!” I had stubbed my puffy toe. I was getting beaten up and making a huge fool of myself in front of my whole class. My face burned red from embarrassment as my classmates sniggered and giggled. My head was stuck under his arm!

“Would one of you be kind enough to help him?” my twin sister said, with a pang of annoyance in her voice.

My best friend volunteered. Ha! I thought, you’re no match for two kids! But I had underestimated the power of my evil foe. One was defeating two of us! The teacher called up another one of my classmates to join the battle! But my crooked fiend was invincible. My twin just kept on calling up one student at a time to try and help me overcome my opponent. But nothing stood in his way. He was indestructible! At last, all of my classmates joined the fight!

We strategized. One person would try and pull him off me from his thick left shoulder, the other would try from the other shoulder. Everyone else would try pulling him off the top. The name of our battle plan? B.U.A.S.O!. Everyone got to their stations. We counted: 1, 2, 3, GO! They all tugged and pulled. Beads of sweat trickled down my neck. But our adversary retaliated with his own wicked plan: hang on tight and don’t let the stupid kids take over! Oh, yeah, and strangle the innocent victim (me) while you’re at it!

The irritating thing was that the teacher did absolutely nothing to help us. She just sat there, and occasionally took a sip of cool pink lemonade. After a few futile attempts to yank the enemy off me, the headmistress walked into the classroom to carry out her weekly ‘class supervision.’ My guess is that she scribbled something like, ‘class 567 is acting like a band of uncivilized monkeys’. Which is really offensive to monkeys!

At that moment, my friend grabbed a pair of scissors and tried to pierce the rival’s invulnerable and hairy skin. I spun around, with the enemy on me, trying not to get cut by the scissor. Then, disaster struck. I whipped around, smashed into the headmistress and knocked her over! She screeched in frustration, her puny spectacles dangling of her long, bony nose with steam escaping her ears. Her face was red as a tomato.

“YOU!” she yelled in a fury.

She blindly lunged at me, and in her rage, seized my arm (with the enemy still hanging onto me) and dragged me to her eerie office (dun dun dun!)!

Many strange artifacts hung here and there in her domain. A clock hung upside-down on a peg, and broomsticks lay still on the floor. She slumped onto a chair and donned an amused grin.

“Need help with that rival of yours, don’t you?” my principal said.

“Yes, miss!” I squeaked.

“Well, he can just stay on top of you and tackle you for eternity, I don’t care! That will be your punishment for knocking me over!” I swear that I heard my foe cackle with glee.

My enemy had blue spots all over his body from all the punches I had thrown at him. When I trudged out of the room, I accidently pushed a china pot over. It tumbled off the desk and shattered on the floor.

“AGAIN!?” my principal screamed.

This time, she charged at me and tried to pull me. Fortunately, she missed, and got the enemy instead. He landed on the floor, his stringy and woolly hair in a mess. I was free!

After a long lecture (with an occasional yell) the school bell finally rang. Students trampled each other, eager to get out of the prison. “FREEDOM!” they all yelled in unison.

When I got home, my mother asked the usual question, “What did you do at school today?”

I answered, “Today, I beat up my arch-enemy with B.U.A.S.O!” I puffed out my chest and flexed my muscles like Superman.

“What’s that?” my mom asked, while doing the dishes.

“It’s a battle strategy!”

“And who was your arch-enemy?” my mother asked, now very interested in the matter.

“My polka dotted sweater! B.U.A.S.O. stood for Beat Up A Sweater Operation!”

The Lightning Conspiracy

Peter rushed down the stairs. 10 minutes. He took out the guard near the door. 9 minutes. He heard the boosters starting. 8 minutes. He started to lockpick the door. 2 minutes. The door was unlocked. 0 minutes. The rocket took off. Peter’s heart sank. He had failed his mission.

Peter grabbed his coffee and put on his coat. “Another tiring day at work,” he mumbled to no one in particular. That is when the most unexpected thing happened. Two NSA agents appeared at the door of his apartment.

“Peter F. John, we need you,” the agent named Albert said.

“To do what? Make a cup of coffee?” Peter joked.

“Sir, this is serious matter. The NSA needs you to take down Lightning Industries. You did well stopping a nuclear war between the United States and Russia.”

“Do you mean the Lightning Industries that can blow up the moon with a touch of a computer? Oh yeah, by the way, you didn’t give me the 100,000 dollars like you promised.”

“Sir, are there any other Lightning Industries? And the President cheated you, not the NSA,” the agent said.

“Can’t your NSA goons take the company down?”

“The NSA does not have the right to take action. We can’t interrogate people, send people on suicide missions, etc.”

“So, what’s going to happen?”

“They are going to turn America to civil war.”

Peter was stunned. He always thought Lightning Industries was the greatest company in the world. How could Lightning Industries start a civil war in America?

“Sir? Are you there?” the NSA agent asked.

“How are they going to send America into civil war?”

“By crashing a rocket into Los Angeles. The rocket will have the U.S.A flag. People will blame the government. The second stage will involve a nuclear attack on the west coast. The attacks push America onto the edge of civil war. Finally, Lightning Industries will send in their troops and overthrow the government. Peter, the CIA and the FBI are made up of spies for Lightning Industries. The NSA intercepted a message about this.”

“What do I get for saving the world?”

“3,000,000 dollars, and we will buy you a nice estate just outside of New York City.”

“Okay. I’ll do it. Just make sure I get the reward.”

“Start Project: Civil War now.”

“Yes Mr. Lightning.”

“Oh yeah, and one more thing. Kill that highly skilled agent Peter John while you’re at it.”

Peter was finally there. The tallest building in the world. Lightning Tower. 520 floors and headquarters of the first multi-trillion dollar company. Armed with a pistol and a lock-picking kit, he knew he would never pass through security. His mission was to make sure the rocket never launched. “Freeze!” the armed guards shouted. Peter kicked the first guard and sent him crashing into the guard behind him. The four remaining guards started to fire away with their rifles. Peter took cover behind a truck. He loaded his pistol and fired at the guards. All the guards dropped to the floor and were saying their last prayers, and soon they all fell and lay motionless in a pool of blood. Peter slowly lock-picked the back door and went inside. He got in the service elevator and went to the control room.

He was surprised to see the control room empty. He looked at the enormous screen. He saw the target. Los Angeles. “What!! Only 10 more minutes till the rocket is launched!” Peter yelled.

The elevator down from the control room seemed like the slowest elevator that he’d ever been on. The elevator went above the 519th and a half floor, so he had to take the stairs down.

Peter rushed down the stairs. 10 minutes. He took out the guard near the door. 9 minutes. He heard the boosters starting. 8 minutes. He started to lockpick the door. 2 minutes. The door was unlocked. 0 minutes. The rocket took off.  Peter’s heart sank. He had failed his mission.

“Breaking News. A U.S. rocket crashed into the heart of Los Angeles, California, leaving 2,000 dead and many more injured. Revolts in San Francisco, San Diego, Sacramento, and Oakland have led California to the brink of civil war,” the reporter announced. Peter’s heart sank. If he had just been a little earlier, the U.S. would have nothing to worry about. Then he remembered something. The nuclear attack.


The Story of Lightning Industries

Lightning Industries was originally a weapons company that was founded in 1971 by 56- year-old Mark Lightning. He provided weapons to the government during the Iraq War and other various wars fought by the U.S. Mark bought tons of companies, and Lighting Industries’ yearly profit jumped to $12,234,109,459,017 in 2013, making it the first company worth a trillion dollars. Mark died on August 23, 2014, at the age of 93, after helping to fight Ebola in Africa. James Lightning took over the multi-trillion dollar company. Unlike his father, he was corrupted by evil and didn’t think about the middle and lower classes. His company became a monopoly in every department, and other companies fell like helpless chickens. His ultimate goal is to take over America. He gained control of the CIA, FBI, Army, Air Force, and the U.S National Guard by persuading (and bribing) them to take down the U.S government.


“I’m never going to get another job again,” Peter mumbled to himself.

That’s when two Lightning Industries troopers smashed through the door. “We have been ordered to put you in The United States Penitentiary Administrative Maximum Facility in Fremont County, Colorado until you have to present your case at court,” one yelled.

“What the !@#$!! What the !@#$ did I do? And did you really have to crash into my door? Have you guys heard something called a !@#$ing DOORBELL!!”

“Mr. John, you have been charged with assault and murder,” the buff guard said.

“Who did I murder?”

“You killed 5 Lighting Industries guards and injured 7 guards, 3 of whom are in critical condition.”

“You’re not the police though. You can’t arrest me!”

“Refuse to come with us, and we will shoot.” The guards then pulled out their pistols. “Last chance,” they warned Peter.

“NEVER!!!” Peter shouted.

There were gunshots and screams from the apartment. Then, everything went silent.

Peter woke up with his eyes bloodshot and his chest throbbing with pain. He slowly got up from his bed. He looked across the room. He saw Albert sleeping on a chair.

“Albert?” Peter moaned.

Albert’s eyes fluttered open.

“My God, Peter, you’re awake!” Albert rushed toward him.

“Yeah, I think I realized that I’m awake. What am I doing here?”

“Those Lightning Industries guards shot shrapnel into your chest. Our NSA agent on the street heard those gunshots and called the nearby hospital. Fortunately you live on the first floor so the medics could find you quickly. Right now you’re at a classified location.”

“How long have I been out?”

“2 weeks in a coma.”

“What has happened in the last 2 weeks?”

“America’s military forces have taken sides. The states of California, Washington, Oregon, Arizona, Nevada, and every state west of Louisiana have seceded and and declared themselves the Consolidated States of America. Lightning Industries, the Army, and Coast Guard have sided with the CSA. The Air Force went against Lightning Industries for framing them for the nuclear attacks on Portland, Oregon and the rocket crash on Los Angeles. So the Air Force, Marines, and Navy remain with the U.S government.”

“Wait. Are you telling me that they nuked Portland?”

“I’m afraid so.”


“Pete, don’t you realize what the biggest part is?”

“This might be World War III.”

Peter stared a long time at the building. The White House. The Fountain was gushing up water and the Columns towered high. He was going to meet the President to plan a strategy to combat the CSA.

“Good morning Mr. President, Christopher Beck.”

“This isn’t a good morning, but I’ll take the greeting,” said the stressed president.

“So, what is our strategy?”

“We surround the CSA. The Navy and Coast Guard will take the seas. The Marines are already securing the Mississippi River, and will join the 64th Tank Division en route to Topeka, Kansas.”

“Well, Mr. President, what do I do?”

“You’re going with the Navy SEALS and Albert to Boise, Idaho, to take down Lightning Industries’s main headquarters.”

“But isn’t Lightning Tower in San Diego the headquarters?”

“That’s what we thought, until the NSA figured out that the broadcasts Lightning Industries were sending to the CSA government were coming from Boise, Idaho. If you take Lightning Industries down, the CSA will lack weapons, supplies, and other troops.”

“What do I get?”

“The same reward you were supposed to get for stopping this civil war.”

Peter, Albert, and ten other Navy SEALS parachuted down from the plane. The wind blew against Peter’s cheeks as he floated down from the high altitude. The team met up in town, not wearing their uniforms of course. “Alright guys,” Peter whispered through the the comlinks in their ears. “Our operation will consist of two teams, with six people in each group. The first team will secure the perimeter. The U.S hacked their security system, so it should be easy to get in. The second group will make its way inside, and the first group will follow. Then, we plant the bomb inside the command center, and we get out. Understood?”

“Yes sir,” the soldiers said in unision.

Peter, Albert, and four Navy SEALS made their way through the dark building. It took them 30 minutes to find the building that was underground in the sewers.

“Hawk-1, this is Easy-4. We’ve secured the perimeter and took out some guards. We’ll be joining you soon,” the commander of the first group said.

“Roger that, Easy-4. We haven’t encountered any hostiles yet.”

Peter took out the map of the headquarters. He saw that the control room was the first door to the right. The team walked down the hall. That’s when about 50 CSA Army Special Ops surrounded the team, blocking their path to the control room where the self-button was. They had no chance of getting in.

“Hey Pete,” Albert whispered. “I’ll take on these guards, and you make a beeline for the control room.”

“But you’ll surely die,” Peter responded.

“There are more important things at stake the my life, Peter.”

Peter whispered Albert’s plan to the other Navy SEALS. First, Albert started to fire at the guards and threw a smoke grenade. The guards couldn’t see Peter and the rest of the troops making their way to the control room in the smoke and the confusion. Peter pushed the door open and found hundreds of workers inside.

“Everyone evacuate this building immediately!!!” Peter shouted to the workers. The workers didn’t leave at first, but after they saw the guns, they rushed out the exit.

“It’s going to take some time for me to hack this main control panel and blow this place up,” the technician said.

“How long is it going to take?” Peter asked.

“Five minutes.”

Albert was having trouble fending off the troops. He already had wounds in his foot, arm, and leg. He was getting drowsy. He knew he was losing blood. He started to collapse. His eyelids closed, and he thought about home. He then lost consciousness.

“Vulcan-5, this is Hawk-1. Easy-4 and Hawk-1 need extraction,” Peter shouted into his comlink.

“Roger that, Hawk-1. ETA 2 minutes,” the Vulcan-5 commander shouted.

Soon, Easy-4 and Vulcan-5 arrived to remove Peter and the rest of Hawk-1. Except for Albert. Peter flew away in the helicopter, and all the troops shouted with joy as they watched the factory blow up. Shrapnel flew in all different directions. A mushroom cloud hovered over Boise. All the troops strapped their gas masks on. It was the second atomic bomb used in war. Peter knew that they had probably now won. But not without a cost.



On January 14, 2017, the CSA merged back with the USA. James Lightning was reluctant to sell the company to another big company, Energy Enterprises, but advisors convinced him it was for the best. The Lighting Conspiracy was released by the government and James Lightning was put on trial for treason and sure enough, he was found guilty and sentenced to life in prison. Energy Enterprises helped America rebuild after the second American Civil War. Albert Goodman and Peter John were awarded the Medal of Honor for their bravery in combat. Peter retired to his new house near the Hudson River in New York. He does not want to be disturbed, but that time will have to wait.

Peter was reading his morning newspaper when the NSA showed up at his door. The NSA agent started to walk forward and began to talk to Peter.

“Peter, we have orders from the president to extract you and bring you to Washington D.C.”

“To do what?”

“We have another mission for you.”


The Lonely Woman in the Kitchen

Once upon a time, a woman closed the door with a smack. She took some flour, milk, and butter out of the closet door. There was no one else in the room. She felt kind of sad. She started to mix the flour, milk, and butter. Once she mixed it, it made a really yellow gooey mix. She just wanted a friend. She put the mixture in the oven and set the timer to 40 minutes. Then she sang:

I don’t have a friend

I want a friend

whaa whaa

I’m feeling blue


When the timer rang, she took out the cake and let it cool by the window. When it was cool she ate it all up.


The Sweet Family

There was a dog named Boa-Boa that lived with an owner named Alexandra. Alexandra had a baby named Margot. The baby was two years old. Boa-Boa wanted her owner to stay at home. Alexandra was always going to work. Boa-Boa was sad, because she didn’t have anyone to stay home with. She would go in her bed and sleep until Alexandra came back home. She woke up and jumped up and down when Alexandra came back. They played with each other. They played fetch outside and they did some tricks. Boa-Boa’s favorite trick was jumping to get a treat. When Boa-Boa was done with her treat, she went in her room. Alexandra went into Boa-Boa’s room.

The next day when Alexandra went to work, Boa-Boa went to get a sheet of paper and a pencil. She wrote down what she was going to do to stop Alexandra from going to work. Her plan was to tell Alexandra why she didn’t want her to go after she came home. When she came home, Boa-Boa gave Alexandra the paper.

Alexandra asked Boa-Boa, “What does this letter say?”

Boa-Boa said, “Arf arf arf arf arf!”

But Alexandra still didn’t understand. Then Alexandra turned Boa-Boa to speaking the English language, and Boa-Boa said, “This letter says that you cannot go to work anymore, because I love you. I mean, I mean you love me.”

Then Alexandra tried to turn Boa-Boa back into a regular dog because Boa-Boa sounded really silly. But Alexandra couldn’t turn Boa-Boa back into a regular dog, and Boa-Boa started to say crazy things, like: “***-a-doodle-doo, I love you, Alexandra and her dad loving and peeing, they’re walking together and says they’re ugly, but then they trip and pees on their head…” Boa-Boa kept on saying the same thing again and again. Alexandra kept shooting Boa-Boa with the laser, but Boa-Boa kept saying this:

“I love chickens, but chickens pee…”

Alexandra made Boa-Boa back into a dog, but there was a mysterious mouth on the back of her head, and the mouth started to say, “You are a poo. What a poo you are!”

And then Boa-Boa came up with a different strategy and started to walk like a human and acted so sassy. “I’m going outside and playing fetch — oops, I mean, I’m playing ball — oops, I mean I’m playing with my friend — oops! I mean I’m drinking coffee — oops, I mean I’m eating a cupcake, too!”

Alexandra was laughing so hard at what Boa-Boa was doing that her pants fell off outside. Alexandra said, “Oops!” and pulled back up her pants, but her pants broke open. When she went back home she tried to look for her pants, but she had no more pants because all of her pants were broken. Then her shirt and her underwear fell off and she was naked. And she was also bald because her hair fell off. She was naked and she needed to go outside, because she had to go to work, and she dared herself to do it, and she did.

She went outside and there was no one outside, and she went on the sidewalk, and then a million people came running toward her, and brought her back to her home. They cut her fingers off to make chicken fingers. Boa-Boa was crying and making a flood in the town.

Then Alexandra grew back her fingers, and her hair, and her shirt, and her underwear, and her pants really fast.

Then, Alexandra ran all the way home. On the way, she saw her dog Boa-Boa on the street. She picked her dog up. Alexandra took her dog Boa-Boa back home. When they got home, Boa-Boa started to act like she had been before. So Alexandra asked Boa-Boa why she was acting very strange.

Boa-Boa answered in a funny way, like: “fgfgfgfgharuiopoooppptaywgdsjjkcdiXCFHBFFGHhhhJJJAKE!”

Since Alexandra was annoyed by her dog, she gave it away to the best owner named Kuipi Lam. Alexandra walked to Kuipi Lam’s house on Tuesday. She opened Kuipi’s front door and saw Boa-Boa. “I will miss you,” Boa-Boa said in a funny way.

“I don’t care,” screamed Alexandra. Then she walked away.

“It will be okay,” Kuipi said in her house, and she petted Boa-Boa on the back. She let Boa-Boa go in her house and gave him some bones to chew on. Then Boa-Boa started to like Kuipi as her owner because Kuipi did not have to go to work because she had been fired, and she had lots of money so she was rich. She was very nice. Boa-Boa kept on chewing her bones when Kuipi was talking. Boa-Boa didn’t hear what Kuipi was saying. Kuipi was saying that it was time for dinner, but Boa-Boa didn’t go, so she didn’t eat dinner. Kuipi kept on telling her to eat dinner, but she didn’t go cause she was too busy chewing on her bones.

After Kuipi ate dinner, she called Boa-Boa to dinner again, but Boa-Boa still didn’t go. Then, Boa-Boa tried to find Kuipi, but she couldn’t find her. So Boa-Boa just went to bed.

The next day, Kuipi saw Boa-Boa not alive. She was so sad. She kept on crying and crying. Now that’s what I call a sad story. But now Kuipi can buy another dog that she will always take care of.


P.S. I love Boa-Boa!