A Second Chance


a second chance pic1
Chapter 1: First Day

On her first day of tryouts, she got her gymnastics suit and her backpack and went on a plane. The plane was two hours. She was at the very back and there wasn’t anyone else next to her. She was feeling shy because it was her first day of gymnastics tryouts. She was wondering if she would get into the Olympics.

The teacher had said to them, “If you guys aren’t friends, I’ll kick you off the team.” Since it was a long time after the teacher said that, Maddie was thinking of Chelsea and maybe her other friends when Chelsea took the bus. Chelsea lived in Florida and Maddie lived in New York. When Maddie got out of the plane she took the bus. When she went to gymnastics, she saw Chelsea. She was shocked because Maddie and Chelsea actually weren’t friends, so she was extra shocked. Then they got teams, and Maddie and Chelsea didn’t have a team to go in, so they had to make their own group. But they barely got along. They kept saying mean things about each other’s ideas for the competition and they both wanted to win for the competition. So, they said sorry for real this time, because the wanted to win to go to the competition.

Then the coach came over and said, “Ready to start?” They both said yes and began. They worked on the floor and did the hardest stuff, because they wanted to go to the hard squad. They were glad that they were friends; it was better than just complaining. The only problem was that the other team was better than their group. They would never ever win, so they were really sad. They wished they would win but that would never happen. Well, maybe, but that would just be a dream.

Chelsea said, “What should we do about it?”

Maddie said, “Let’s both come up with an idea.”

The teacher said, “Come up with an idea, girls, quick! Before time is up and we practice.”

Chelsea said, “Quick, come up with an idea!”

Maddie said, “No, you are the one who comes up ideas. And I do it and you see if it’s right.”

Then Chelsea said, “Okay, I don’t want us to argue again. So, we should do what you say. You should do a handstand and a forward roll.”

Maddie tried to do it, but she kept on falling. They decided to switch places and Maddie had a good idea. She did a cartwheel, two back handsprings, and a fold-twist in the air. Chelsea did it and they both thought that they were going to get into the Olympics, and that they were better than the other teams. So, they kept on doing it over and over again until it was time for them to come up with a new idea and add it together.

Chelsea decided to do her routine from the last time she did gymnastics. They put it together and it worked out really well. Then, it was time for them to go home. Maddie called her mom and said, “Can we please have a sleepover with Chelsea? We need to practice our routine.”

He mom said, “Sure, just meet you tomorrow night.”
a second chance 2
Chelsea and Maddie went to the backyard of Chelsea’s home and practiced. Then they found out that the Olympics were in four days and they wanted to practice; but first they thought about each other and they thought it was nice to be friends. Then they hugged each other and then they went to work. They were really rushed so they both did the routine and they were so happy that they forgot when they were mean to each other. Then it was time for them to go to gymnastics and then they went and kept on practicing. Then it was time to go home and Maddie went home. Then four days later it was the Olympics day and they had to do the routine, and after the teams did theirs they found out that they won. Yay! Then the next day they went and the team was much harder so they worked their butts off. The teacher named Ella was so nice. Then they just found out that Chelsea’s mom is having a baby, so Chelsea had to sleep with the group and Maddie wanted to join. So the next night they went to the cabin and went to sleep. Then in the morning the teacher woke them up, except Chelsea and Maddie, because they were from her group and they needed sleep.

Then the teacher woke them up and they got dressed up and they went to work. Then they did hard things (well, kind of). Then they found out that the country they were in would have the Olympics in five days. So they really needed to get to work.

Then they picked a song called “Shake it Off” for the tryouts .

Chapter 2: Getting Ready for the Olympics

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Then they had lunch and they ate an apple and other great foods. Then it was time to do their gymnastics work. They had a hard time because they got it done and they were bored while they were waiting for others to finish their routines. Then it was time to do gymnastics. They did easy things like cartwheels. Then, it was time for lunch and they forgot their lunch boxes, so the teacher gave them lunch from the restaurant the teacher went to last night. They had pasta but it wasn’t as good as their mom’s. Then they went to sleep.The next morning, they practiced a lot.

Chelsea said, “Let’s do new things!”

Maddie said, “Okay.”

Then it was the day of the Olympics and they were doing the first competition. If Chelsea and Maddie won the competition they would win $1,000 and they would split it, $500 and $500. But, they wouldn’t be in the real Olympics — that happens once in awhile in that country. The next year, the Olympics would come. They almost didn’t win when Maddie was about to fall. Maddie felt disappointed for herself and for Chelsea. She was feeling that no one else would want to be her partner for the next competition. Her knees were shaking, but she didn’t fall and she was imagining her knees were shaking. Then, she hears Chelsea’s baby sister yelling and it wakes up her brain and she’s able to finish her routine. And they did their thing and they were on tv and they won. Yay! Then they got on the final team their moms and dads were watching. Then Chelsea saw her old friend.

Chelsea said, “Hi.”

Her old friend Zoe said, “I thought you did not like Maddie.”

Chelsea said, “Now I am her friend.”

Zoe said, “Well, now I am not your friend anymore.”

Chelsea said, “Why?”

Zoe said, “Well, I hate Maddie.”

But Chelsea did not care because she liked Maddie better than Zoe. The very next day, Chelsea went to Maddie’s house for a sleepover and they were doing their routine. They were doing a back handspring into a split and then a cartwheel. They wanted to go to sleep because it was getting late. The very next day they took a cab to the gymnastics place. They did their routine. Maddie said, “We should add more things to our routine.”

Chelsea said, “Good idea, but what should we add to our routine?”

Maddie said, “We should do bars.”

Chelsea said, “Good idea.”

“Thanks,” said Maddie. And then they tried it out and did a flip on to the bars and swung. But they didn’t like it: it was too short. Instead, they used the beam and did a dismount.

Chapter 3: Working on New Things

It was easy so they did it just fine. Then Chelsea went to Maddie’s house.  And they wanted to practice so they did it and they did it over and over again. Then it was time to go to bed but they could not go to sleep.

The very next day the teacher said, “We will be moving to a new class for the tryout team,” and they did. They got coach Mia. She is so nice; everybody likes her so she must be good.

The coach said to Chelsea and Maddie, “You are on the tryout Olympics.” Then it was time to practice, but they were bored.

They came up with a new idea. They were doing handstands into a roll. It was really fun, so they did that. Then it was time to have lunch, so they had a sandwich and an apple.

They had to eat healthy things because it makes you stronger. Then it was time for them to go home. So they went home together and they worked on a dance that was good. Then they had sweet potatoes for dinner. It was so yummy that they even had seconds. Then they went to bed and they fell right asleep. They were so sleepy. The next day was the competition, so they hurried to the gymnastics place and they hurried to change. They went to their teacher and they practiced. It was related to the Olympics. They forgot the competition was on Sunday and it was Monday, so they had to wait another week. Then they went to practice. And they added more to their routine.

Maddie said, “We should do a back handspring into a flip into a split.” That was the best idea she ever had.

Chelsea said, “Sure.” And they did the whole thing. Then they went home and they did their best to do well in the competition. Then they ate dinner. They had soup; it was yummy (Maddie’s mom is a great cook).

Before they went to bed, Zoe came in and said, “Sorry.”

Chelsea said, “It is okay.”

And then Zoe said, “Sorry,” to Maddie.

She said, “It is okay,” and they all hugged. Then they all practiced and they all went to sleep the very next day.

They all went to the gymnastics place and they said hi to the teacher and they went to work. They had to practice for the show but first they ate some cereal and then they went to work. After they were done they all chatted.

Maddie said, “I’m glad we’re friends,” to Zoe.

Zoe said, “Me too. I was wrong about you; you are nice.”

Chapter 4: Shopping

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Then they went to a shop to buy new phones. Maddie got a blue one, Zoe got a yellow one, and Chelsea had a red one. Then they went to buy some new clothes. They got the same things: green shorts and a black tank top. It looked great! Then they all went to Maddie’s house and they had a chance to go to the Olympics.

In the morning they went in the car and they drove to the gymnastics place: it was the day of the competition.

Then they changed and they did their dance and they went to do the best dance ever. When they were done, they won! They were the best ever. Then they all had treats: they had cupcakes and cookies and other treats.

Then they all did a high five. And they all were the best gymnasts ever. 

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The next day they all got their picture taken and they were famous.


The End
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This is when she is at the play date. The other picture is when Addie asks her mom to go to Chelsea’s house.


The storm was raging. My mother and father ran to the lifeboats but they realized something was wrong –– my sister and I weren’t there.

“The children!’ my mother yelled at my father, and he quickly ran below the decks to find us. But we weren’t anywhere near the ship. We were far, far away from the boat, in the ship’s safest lifeboat. A while later my mother had no choice but to leave my father below the decks. But when the ship’s crew was lowering the lifeboat into the water, the ropes snapped in mid air and my mother’s lifeboat hurtled downwards towards the water.

“Mom!” yelled my sister. As the lifeboat went on its journey to find another ship that could bring us to New York my sister and I were crying over the deaths of our parents. A few hours later we safely boarded the Mississippi and heading toward Albany, New York.

Once we landed in New York, the Mississippi’s crew sent my sister and me to the nearest orphanage, but almost everything in it was so so old and dusty –– even the food! The only good part was the kids who lived in the orphanage they were all very very nice. But a few months later my sister and I could not stand the bad conditions of the orphanage so we packed all of our stuff, said goodbye to our friends, and left.

But that was about two years ago. Now we are working as doctors and scientists for the Atlas corporation. When we came to New York, we were wandering around the city until an undercover Atlas spy found us and took us to the main headquarters of Atlas. So far we have made dozens of grenades that unleash a deadly type of poison when they explode. We have also cured thousands of soldiers from wounds, poisons, and a deadly type of illness that will burn you alive. Ten years later, Atlas asked me to join the spies that go around bustling cities trying to find homeless children about at least ten years old, and I said yes. So my sister became a doctor, and I became a spy.

I still remember the first kid that I found on the streets. His name was Edward and he was fourteen years old. He started to live on the streets when he was ten years old because his parents died from a fire. It had started because their neighbor was cooking and he “accidently” lit a napkin on fire and dropped it into the pan that he was cooking with. It just so happened that there was oil in the pan. So yeah, his whole apartment exploded. So I brought Edward back to Atlas headquarters and the commanders trained him to be a soldier.

A few months later, I became a soldier and so did Edward. Now Edward and I are storming into battle at the Vespers main headquarters.

“Charge!” my general yelled at us. So we all charged into battle, thirsty for blood. In the next hour, bullets flew, men fell, and machinery exploded.

When we got back to base, my general quickly changed into his kitty pajamas and went to sleep. A few minutes later a group of Atlas soldiers snuck into the general’s bedroom. Inside the room, there were lots and lots of generals but their general was very conspicuous because of his pink kitty pajamas.

Suddenly all the generals inside the room woke up and started to yell, “!@#$%^&*”

Finally, when the founder of the Atlas calmed all the generals down, he told the soldiers very sternly that they should never ever sneak into the general’s room. Their punishment was to bathe in hot oil every day for every week of every month of every year for the rest of their lives. Edward and I both think the punishment was unfair but the general refused to release them.

A few days later my unit rolled into action at Bunker Hill. The first tent that my unit set up was the arsenal. Inside there were hundreds and hundreds of firearms. The next day, Edward, some of our fellow soldiers, and I boarded a battleship that took off towards the Atlas fleet. When we finally got onto the ship, we all took our positions. I probably got the most exciting job on the boat. I got to fire the gun! When we lost sight of Bunker Hill, we turned on the radar and the navigation device so we could see if any enemy ships were coming and where we were going.

A few hours later, our captain told us some big news. There was a whole fleet of enemy ships headed towards us. He told us to be ready if they suddenly attacked. When we could actually see the enemy fleet, we all opened fire. A few minutes later, we were surrounded by enemy ships and they blew us up. Edward and I were the only two crew members that survived.

By the time we spotted the island we were dead from thirst and water. We boarded the island and right away felt like it was better to die than to live. So right away we got out our army knives and tried to build a shelter so we could a least have a place to live in. By the end of the day, Edward and I had built the most magnificent shelter ever! (It was probably a lot better than Brian Robinson’s shelter.)

I told Edward to go and try to find some food, so he did. When Edward came back, I had already made the fire and was ready to cook the food. But when he came back he had some new cuts and also a huge claw mark on the side of his head. I asked him what happened, and he told me he had angered a huge chicken and it tried to kill him. Edward used his years of military training to kill the huge chicken. So after he told me the whole story he asked me to go with him to where he had killed the chicken so I could help him drag the chicken back to the shelter so we would have something to eat that night.

When we finally got back to the camp, the fire had already gone out so I had to make another fire which was pretty easy to make since I got first place in survival camp when I was fifteen years old. After we finished our magnificent meal, I told Edward to go to sleep while I tried to fix the radio transmitter and tried to call for help.

A few hours later, Edward woke and told me to go to sleep for a while. When I said no, he took the transmitter and started to do what I had done a few hours ago when he went to sleep. After a few minutes, I was so tired, I fell off the rock, hit my head on another rock, and blacked out. When I woke up, it was already morning and Edward was already back from the morning hunt with a bunch of wolves following him. Wait, what? A bunch of wolves!?

I asked Edward why he had adopted a bunch of wolves. Do you guys know what he said? He told me that when he was hunting, he heard the growls of the wolves and he seemed to understand what they were talking about.

In the morning, Edward confessed that the day before he had lied to me about the wolves. (Like I didn’t know that already.) He told me that the wolves had followed him back to camp because he had a hole in his bag of meat and the meat had dropped onto the ground. And then the wolves ate it and they followed him back to camp thinking they would get more food. But they didn’t, so they walked away.

In the morning, Edward’s loud cry woke me from my deep slumber. “Yay, yay, we’re saved, yay!!!”

I sat up and said, “Yo, keep it down, man.”

And he said, “But I need to signal that ship!!!” I took one look at the ship and wondered how Edward could be so stupid.

“It’s one of the Vespers’ ships!!!” I yelled at him. And then I saw her. Grandmama. “Stop it, Edward!!! That’s Grandmama’s ship!!!” I yelled at him. Then Grandmama turned her ship’s cannon toward our island and fired.

“Duck!” I screamed at Edward. He ducked and quickly fired back with one of the many coconut cannons that Edward and I had built. After a few seconds, I recovered from my shock and also started to fire back at Grandmama. Then I told Edward to stop firing because there was so much smoke we couldn’t aim correctly.

Five hours later, I said, “Hey yo, Edward, what do you want for dinner?”

And he said, “I’ll take some coconut water and that’s it.”

“Okay,” I replied.

In the morning old Grandmama ran out of ammo and ran to ask her fat son Samuel to deliver some ammo to her. While she was trying to radio Samuel, Edward and I took advantage of that and started to fire some coconuts at her ship, The Death Bed.

After a few minutes, Edward and I were looking at the ruins of old Grandmama’s ship The Death Bed, but I didn’t see that. With the last bits of her strength, she turned one of the ship’s last working cannons and fired at the island.

The next day, one of the Atlas ships found me and picked me up. When I got back to base, I learned that my sister had died of grief. Grandmama killed Edward when she fired the cannon in the last few moments in her life. My legs had been blown off in the explosion, so I couldn’t walk for the rest of my life. I hope I’ll be able to go for at least one more mission, but until then, Shadow Killer Out.

The Necklace Chase

It was eight o’clock at night when I realized that the necklace was missing, but nobody knew who could have taken it. Then I asked Sadie if she could help me find my necklace. Sadie told me to retrace my steps. That was when I realized a girl was looking at my necklace, so I took it off and gave it to her. I told Aliza that she could hold it but to give it back as soon as I was finished.

Sadie was watching this whole entire thing. Sadie saw Aliza running away with my necklace. In the bathroom, I could hear Sadie telling Aliza to stop running away with my necklace.

When I was finished with my business Sadie said, “Hurry Claire, we have to catch her!” Sadie and I started running after her.

Now we had to find Aliza!

“Where do we start, Claire?” Sadie asked me.

I said, “I was in the bathroom, how should I know?”

I said, “It’s raining. Maybe we can track her with her footsteps in the mud.”

“Good idea,” Sadie said.

“Hurry,” I said, “before her footprints wash away too.”

We were running in the rain hoping that the footprints will not wash away anytime soon.

Five minutes later…

“Sadie, do you see her footsteps?”

“No, I think we lost her!”

Now Sadie and I had to track her a different way. Sadie and I were looking for clues when suddenly we discovered that Aliza was a litterbug (yuck). Now that we knew Aliza was a litterbug, we were going track her with candy wrappers.

30 minutes later…

“Claire, I see Aliza. We’d better stay quiet so we can get her by surprise.” Sadie said.

“Okay, but how are you going to get your necklace back?”

The necklace was in Aliza’s pocket. Sadie’s idea was to throw a piece of candy so Aliza would bend down to pick it up and then the necklace would fall out of her pocket.

“Claire, do you have a piece of candy?” Sadie asked.


“Great can I have it … now?”

“Sadie right now is not a great time to eat candy!”

“It’s not for me. Just trust me, okay?”


After Sadie threw the piece of candy, everything went as planned. I got my necklace back and found another one on the ground. I decided to keep it.                                                                                                                              

That was the biggest surprise of all. I would never have figured it out without Sadie’s help.

Ice Cream Is Great


with milk inside, and the 14 grams of sugar, and the variety of flavors, strawberry, vanilla, mint chocolate chip, chocolate, and superman, plus the taste in your mouth, and how your tongue turns into a glacier when you eat too much at once, also how sometimes the cone is edible, so your parents can’t scold you for wasting anything, and how the edible cones are sometimes made of waffles which are also great and add to the sweet taste of ice cream, and how, with sundaes, there are a bunch of different flavors plus the literal meaning of the phrase “with a cherry on top,” and how you can choose your own toppings like rainbow sprinkles or chocolate sprinkles or pretty-much-whatever, and that is why I love ice cream, what do you think?

sundaes with the fancy glass and how you can combine different flavors and how at some places you get a fancy spoon and you can stuff your face and how you would have a fudge mustache and then your parents get mad but it is still worth it because you have five scoops of ice cream and it’s way better than normal ice cream because it lasts way longer and you get a brain freeze but your tongue is still like antarctica.

at 7g of fat, 29 mg of cholesterol, 53 mg of sodium, 131 mg of potassium, carbohydrates, 16g protein, 2.3g vitamin A, 5% Ben and Jerry’s

And don’t forget Peachwave!

going to Ben and Jerry’s

with my dad

me and him


marshmallow sauce mustache

strawberry ice cream dribbling down my chin

laughing while licking

with everything everywhere

people looking at us like we’re crazy

I can’t imagine

anything better than that.

Tim and Spud

When Tim looked back on it, he didn’t know when it started. Was it when Spud did the unspeakable, or was it when when his mother Leanne died seven years ago? No, he thought. It had started on his 12th birthday.

Sarah was in for the day. Sarah was his older sister, who was 18 and in college. Even Dad was in a good mood. Sarah had given him a scrapbook, and Dad was just cutting his cake (which was lemon, his favorite), when he paused.

“Dad, what’s wrong?” Tim asked.

“Sarah will you get the present.”


“Oh, wait.”

Just then, Sarah walked out with the strangest dog Tim had ever seen. It was brown and gold-specked with a long pink tongue hanging out of its mouth.

“He’s all yours,” Tim’s dad said. Tim looked at the dog and it pounced on him.



Down, Spud!” Tim tried to pull his dog down. He sighed and gave up. Then, the ice cream came. Maggie O’Connor, the kid of the rich couple next door, was nice, but her parents spoiled her. She wasn’t that bratty, but her parents would do anything for her.  

Maggie taunted Spud with her ice cream. Then, he broke free of his leash and jumped on her. Now, Spud was a pouncy dog, but this was too much.

“The blood!” Tim’s dad yelled.

The hospital monitor bleeped. Tim stepped into the room. Maggie was lying on the bed, her blonde curls spread out. Tim wished that she would be okay and that her green eyes would open again.  

Her mother sat with her head in her hands while her father sat reading the Bible. No one looked up.

“Um… ” Tim began. “I’m sorry about Maggie.”

Mr. O’Connor looked up. “That is enough, Timothy,” he said.

“Okay, well, bye,” Tim said awkwardly. He went home.

“Oh no, oh no, oh no,” Dad said.

“What?” asked Tim.

“The O’Connors are filing a lawsuit against us. I don’t want to have to pay for this. We have to get out of the country, Tim.”


Chapter 2


Dad’s plan:

  • Cross the border to Mexico
  • If anyone finds out, go to Cuba
  • If anyone finds out, go south


Tim packed some clothes, a picture of his family, some school supplies, a flashlight, and three tubes of toothpaste.

Then they left with Spud, of course. They climbed into Dad’s gray Porsche, and Tim smelled his old home one last time. Tim clutched the photo and the car drove off.

They drove on into the sunset, never stopping. Dad drove all night, or at least Tim thought he did. He fell asleep against his best efforts at 9:45. When he woke up, the sky was brightening again. It was almost as if the sunset was sinking again. His dad threw something in the backseat.

“Um, what is this?” asked Tim. He read the label:

SUPA-Cinnamon! Cinnamon rolls: three per pack. Microwavable. SUPA_YUMMY!

EW! Tim thought. He tore it open and ate it because he was hungry. It did not taste good — at all. It probably would have tasted even worse when it was heated. He saved one for Dad and gave the other to Spud, who ate it hungrily. He stared ahead and took out his math book. He made a solemn promise in his head to do three hours of schoolwork every day, except for weekends, and got to work on fractions.

A few hours later, Tim said, “Dad, I’m hungry.”

“Wait until dinner. No lunch on the road. We’ve only got 13,489 more miles to go.”

Tim wasn’t very good at math, but he knew this would take a while.


The road was dull. It was hot, and Tim was bored. Three weeks had passed, Dad stopping at delis at 6:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. Tim had been the proud digger of seven holes because of some bad sandwiches from delis.

Just then, they came to a big gate. A man was standing in front of it, looking bored. Dad drove up to him. To Tim, he hissed, “Say ‘YES!’” Tim had no idea what he was talking about. Dad handed the man two passports.

“Liam McKinley, history professor doing research on the social aspects on Mexicans?” he asked.

“Yes,” said Dad.

“Your son Adam McKinley is coming with you because his mother lives there?”

“Yes… ?” said Tim.

They passed.

“Could you have been more obvious?” Dad asked.

“Dad, what was that all about?”

“We did it. We’re in Mexico!”

They still had a while to go, and Dad stopped in a pub, promising he’d bring Tim back something.

Tim waited. At 1:55 a.m., Dad came.

“Dad!” said Tim, but stopped when he saw his dad. He was as drunk, but Tim did not know.

“Gotta go. Gave it away, stupid,” he slurred.

“Dad, you can’t drive.” Tim grabbed the keys, but his father grabbed them back. He looked at Tim with a fire in his eyes Tim had never seen before.

“GIVE THEM TO ME, YOU USELESS #%$@!” Tim leaned back, tears pricking his eyes.

He doesn’t mean it, Tim thought. But he wasn’t sure.

Dad drove a lurching five miles before he hit a sign and the car flipped over. Dad passed out, so drunk he didn’t even know what was going on. Tim helped flip back the car. No one was hurt. No one saw; no one was around for miles. Spud was in the grass. Tim knew what he had to do. He grabbed his dad’s phone out of his pocket. He went into contacts and saw the name Leanne next to a heart. Leanne was his mother’s name. Tim pressed Sarah, which was next to it. The phone rung. Please pick up, Tim thought. It rung again. Please, Sarah.

She picked it up and said, “Hello?”

“Sarah, it’s Tim. Dad is drunk, we’re in Mexico illegally, and the car is messed up. Come, Sarah, PLEASE come.”

“OH MY GOD, Tim, I had no idea. What town are you in?” Tim looked at the sign.

“El Diablo.”

“Ironic,” she said.

“I love you. Mom would never have wanted this.” The phone went dead. Tim slipped it back into his dad’s pocket and tried to think of a plan.

He didn’t need to. Dad was so hungover, they stayed in the car for two days, and then a taxi drove up. Sarah came out, Tim came out, and they hugged.

“Whassat? Dad said.

“Dad, we need to talk,” said Sarah.

“Tim, get in the car,” said Sarah. Tim got in the car and plugged in his iPod. He could still hear Dad and Sarah shouting at each other.

And on and on, just like that. Dad stomped off to the pub, and Sarah climbed into the car with Tim. Sarah took Tim’s hand.

“Timmy, how would you like to live with me?”

“You know, Tim, maybe you should, while I… get back on my feet,” TIm’s dad said.

They took a plane to Sarah’s house in California. Tim had convinced Sarah to let Spud come too.

“Well, we’re home,” said Sarah. “Here’s your room.”

Tim loved the blue room, which was perfect for a 12-year-old boy.

The school was also great. The kids were nice and they accepted him and Spud, who had mellowed down after seeing the neighbors’ dog, Felicia.

Maggie was fine, and so was her family. But one night, Tim couldn’t sleep. He went downstairs.

“Sarah,” he said.

She looked up. Her wispy blonde hair was in her face and her glasses were on the end of her nose. “Tim?”

“Is Dad okay?”

The words came tumbling out. It was not what Tim was going to say, but somehow he knew it was right.

“Oh, Tim,” said Sarah, hugging him. He hadn’t realized how stiff his body had been. “Dad is okay, he just needs to get a better life. He’s going somewhere where people will help him. I think he misses Mom.”

“I miss her too,” said Tim, “and I don’t even remember her.”

“I was only 11, but I miss her every day. But I see her in you, Tim, in your smile, in your laugh. Tim, Dad misses her, but it’s going to be ok. For all of us.” The siblings cried together until Sarah said, “I’m going to medical school to cure people with the disease Mom had.

Tim didn’t say anything, for he was asleep, and then Sarah lay down her head and slept with him.

The Banana’s Life Change

Hello, my name is Banana, and this evening I was browsing the web on a website about trains. It is an amazing video game web. After that, I went into the bathroom to brush my banana peels. This was how I looked: I had really fluffy hair.

It was great to be a banana. I looked so beautiful… So I went to bed, and then I woke up. It was a really fast sleep. Bananas sleep really well. I looked in the kitchen to say “Good Banana Day’’ to my parents, but they were GONE!

This is how my parents usually looked:

They were two long bananas with furry lips and long hair they were hugging.

This was how they looked when they were gone:

They looked like NOTHING or ______. I was really sad.


But then a minute later the whole story zoomed right on my HEAD. I said, “Story, don’t zoom on my head!” And then I suddenly thought, I can go on a quest to find my parents.

I was going to have a super powerful spear and hair… hehe, AWESOME! So I took a stick from the garden and started training right away. I was swinging my stick at a wall, but then suddenly a massive lightning beam shot out of my body and vaporized the wall.

“WOW, that was new!” I shouted and vaporized another wall. “I am ready to fight anyone who stole my parents! They will get CHIP-CHOPPED TO A MILLION TINY LITTLE BABY PIECES BY MY SUPA BABY STICK!” I screamed extremely loudly. There was a strange creepy echo.

OH! I forgot to show you my stick. Here it is: it’s tiny and brown and little, and it looks like a baby little tree without the creepy eyes that glare at you and eat your soul. It destroys you and makes you die in less than two tiny little milliseconds. It makes you barf out yesterday’s breakfast (which was really yummy). Isn’t it AMAZING?! A second later I found out that the power wasn’t coming from the stick. It was coming from ME! That’s the last thing I remember before I fell asleep.

I woke up to the sound of grunting outside. It was like “GRAAA, GRAAA, GRAAA.” It was really annoying, ugh. Then I thought, All of that was a dream? But then I quickly flicked my arm, and a bunch of lightning flew right out. “YES, it isn’t a dream,” I said. Then I made my breakfast and ate it. This is how it looked: it had A LOT of amazing eggs and muscular pieces of bacon. Ooh, pretty good. My mom made it better. I was starting to miss her.

Then I went outside to check out the grunting noises. There was a massive donut eating my stick and saying, “BANANA WILL DIE! BANANA WILL DIE!” This is how it looked: it was really hairy and had FANGS!


I was OUTRAGED! I closed my eyes and then suddenly a plane just flew two meters by me. I looked down, and I noticed that I turned GIANT! And the donut still was pretty big. Then suddenly, the story zoomed right on my head. (Again, ugh.) So I thought, I am UNSTOPPABLE and I am going to get that evil, stupid, big, horrible, terrible, donut brat.

So I swung my big hand, and out flew twelve unstoppable blue lightning bolts. But the monster donut was quicker than he looked! He dodged the bolts and spat out fifty donut holes. I dodged and stepped on the donut monster. I squashed him, and then he turned into a thousand tiny donuts. The donuts jumped on me and bit me!  “MEAN TINY DONUTS!”

I summoned some lightning to take care of them (not in a good way), and they all got vaporized and turned to pink powder. And then I shrunk, and I was small again. “WEEE.” My parents were tied up to a tree. I went to them and broke the ropes. They hugged me, and we lived happily ever after.

Just a Girl, Part 1

Chapter 1: The Mechanic

Creak went the bulky android arm as I screwed it on.

“Here you go,” I said, handing an astounded old man back his newly-fixed android.

“Wow,” he said. “When old Darla broke, I never thought that she’d run again. Really,” he said, looking up at me with true happiness in his eyes. “Thank you, Julia”  

“No problem” I said, smiling.  The old man handed me 50 shonis, highly  overpaying me; but as I looked at him walking away with a bounce in his step, I thought I understood why.  Father had always told me, ever since I was a little girl, that being a mechanic is the best job you could ever have. You get to fix broken things and make people happy. Plus, it pays well. Father always got more than other mechanics even, because he was known throughout Newistonia  as being one of the best mechanics around. Back when Queen Maria still ruled, Dad would apparently sometimes go to the palace. But now that Queen Zarfina is in charge, everything’s different.

I straighten my long brown ponytail and put the CLOSED sign on the door of my small mechanic shop. I catch a glimpse of my bright green eyes in the glass and smile. According to Papa, my eyes are my best feature. I clamber into my hover. I turn it on and hear the familiar creak of the engine starting up. I pull back on the steer lever and slowly rise into the air. I love the feeling of flying above all the passersby without a care in the world. As I’m cruising along a memory floats back to me….

There you go,” Mom says. “Now, just put your arm on the lever.” I try, but let go of the startup drive in the process. The hover drops two feet in the air, but Mom swoops her strong arms behind me.

“You’re doing excellent,” she says, laughing. I smile as she carefully maneuvered our way down.

I frown and shake off the memory. Just after that fine spring day nine years ago when I was just nine, Mom had left to, “pursue her acting career.” Two weeks after that we received a sid link from the Speshona City Hospital, saying that Camilla Roberts had died of mental illness. We didn’t get any further information.

To get my mind off things I decide to send a sid link to Papa telling him I’m almost home. I’d already turned on my edonscreen when a maniac driver cuts me off. “$%&@#” I say and slam on the horn.

“Command unclear, Julia,” my edon, Ida, says.

“It wasn’t a command,” I say, rolling my eyes.

“Okay Julia” she says as I pull into the spot outside of our small town house.

I get out of my hover and lock the door. I walk up the front steps and open the front door.  “I’m home, Papa” I call out.


Chapter 2: Home Again

I walk in and go to Papa on the couch. He greets me with his usual “There’s nothing on T.V.”

“I love you too, Dad.” I say, and kiss him on the cheek. Suddenly he starts coughing. I frown. This hacking cough is one of his many ailments. He used to be a fine, healthy, middle-aged man; but when he hit 50 he started, as he put it, “getting old.” I made him stop working. What he mainly does now is watch football on T.V. and go for walks in the park. He doesn’t need to do that, but I want him to. It must seem like I’m being overprotective, but I just want to keep him as healthy as possible. I couldn’t bear to lose him, too.

I’m about to go to the cupboard and grab his medicine, but he says, “I’m fine honey.” I smile weakly. I put my arm down and open the fridge. “Anything good?” he asks.

“If half a slice of pizza and two chicken wings counts as good,” I reply.

“Can we order Italian?” he asks, as if I’m the parent here.

“Sure,” I say and send a sid-link to Bonnie’s Italian for three plates of their delicious steaming hot spaghetti. Our family loves Bonnie’s. My great-great-great grandparents went there all the way back in 5050. Now, 200 years later, Bonnie’s is still our family hangout. I sit on the couch next to dad and smile.

20 minutes later, I hear the buzz meaning weight has been detected near our front door. Our creaky old android Annie rushes to the door. She opens it to reveal the delivery android, Frank. We see a lot of him here.

“That will be 30 shonis,” he says, handing over our spaghetti. I put the money in his built-in cash register and close the door as he’s rolling away. I turn around to face Dad.

“Spaghetti time” I say.

Half an hour later, full with spaghetti we plop down on the couch. We turn on the news. What I see nearly makes me jump out of my skin. BREAKING NEWS: QUEEN ZARFINA, DEAD.

Queen Zarfina, dead??? It can’t be. I pinch myself on the arm and blink. Nope, the headline’s the same. It was no secret that she had killed her sister Maria to be queen. Everybody thought that she would do whatever it takes to stay queen. She has dozens of the best doctors in the world working tirelessly in her research labs. But I guess karma has caught up to her.

I turn to Papa and see he is wearing the same shocked expression as me. “Wow,” we say in unison.


Chapter 3: The Surprise

As I climb into my hover the next morning I still can’t believe that Zarfina is actually dead. It seems like she’s still here. Now I wonder who is going to be queen. She never had any kids, but no one ever worried about it, because like I said, we all assumed that she was going to live forever. Curious, I say to Ida, “Turn on newsfeed.”

“All right, Master Julia” she says. I look at the screen and the hover almost skids out of the lane. HONK. An old man glares at me as he passes me.

“Sorry!” I say. But honestly, anyone in my position would have done the same thing. Usually, handsome newscaster Tristan Cooper would cheer me up, but today, I want to punch him on the nose.

“WAR,” he says. Apparently everyone wants to be ruler. The first battle was only 2 miles from here in the rural Commentoy. “It could be coming to Speshona next.” Tristan says, before it cuts to ads.

I curse under my breath. “Ida, send a sid-link to Papa saying that there is a war.”

“I can’t do that, Master.”

“Why not?”

“Adam Roberts’ edonscreen has been disabled due to the fact that he is now a patient at the Speshona City Hospital.”



Chapter 4: At the Hospital

I shriek so loud the old man driving next to me says, “Watch it, kid.” I’m so confused. Papa, in the hospital? He was fine this morning… Or was he? I don’t know.

“Ida, I need the directions to Speshona City Hospital. Now.”

“Turn left on Bridge street….”

“Papa!!” I call out down the long sterile hallway of the hospital.

I see a kiosk on the wall and type in Adam Roberts. Hall 6, Room 4, it says. I rush there and bang open the door. I see Papa lying unconscious on a white hospital bed. It’s my worst nightmare. I see a doctor taking notes in a corner and say, “What-what happened sir?”

“Are you family?”

I nod frantically.

“Adam suffered from an unexpected heart attack. He might not make a full recovery.”

“Not a full recovery?”

“He had been unconscious for 30 minutes before our sensor picked up on his body. Because of that, he was getting sicker and sicker before he received help. But we will try our best. And what is your relation to him?”

“He’s my Dad,” I say weakly.

“We will keep you updated, Miss Roberts,” the doctor who I now see has a name tag saying Dr. Roth says. He briskly walks out of the room.

I collapse into a chair next to Papa’s bed and squeeze his hand tightly. “Please be alright,” I whisper. “Please.”

When I wake up the next morning I’m blinded by the bright white lights of the hospital. At first I’m confused and expect to see my pale blue wallpaper, but then I realize where I actually am. I quickly open my eyes and see Papa on the bed.

“Jules,” I hear him whisper.

“Yes???” I say and jump up out of my seat.

“If I…”

“Don’t say it, Papa, don’t.”

“Well, keep running the shop for me. The month’s rent for the house is 400 shonis. You must have that.” Then he breaks into a hacking cough and I rush to get him a glass of water, tears pouring down my face. I try to hand it to him but he’s too weak to accept it. I anxiously pour it into his mouth.

“Papa…” Than he squeezes my hand. But soon, I no longer feel the pressure of his hand. Tears slosh down my face like big, heavy raindrops as a beeping sound fills the room.

A white medical android rolls into the room. It says, “Mr. Adam Roberts of Speshona, Newistonia has, as of 10:32 a.m., died. I will now take his body to the research labs.”

I stand there, helplessly, as the android takes away Papa, my papa, to some foreign research lab. I rush to the bathroom, sobbing,


Chapter 5: Hank’s Message

An hour later, all cried out, I sit in the clean white bathroom stall and think about how alone I really am now. No parents, or even annoying little siblings. I start sobbing again, but pull myself together.

“What should I do?” I mutter. I take a deep breath and take out my edon from my back pocket. In a shaky voice, I say, “Ida, locate my hover.” My voice breaks and tears start flowing again. I wipe them away and follow Ida’s directions to Lot 12, Row 49. I climb into the hover and rise into the air. The wind hits my wet face, making it red and raw. I try to ignore it and think, Just wait until you get home, Julia.

Just then, Ida says, “Incoming sid-video from Hank Brennan.” This lifts my hopes a little bit. I’ve had a crush on Hank since elementary school. Now he’s moved to Acconio, the capital, to work at the palace. But I still get to sometimes talk to him, even if it’s not often. His face appears on the screen and I quickly wipe my tears away.

“Hey Jules,” he says.

“Hey,” I reply.

“Listen, I don’t have much time to talk, but I just wanted to tell you something.” I nod. “So, the other day I heard some royal advisors talking about you in the conference room. They said that ‘Julia should be notified soon, it’s getting late. She needs to be here, now.’ So I just wanted to let you know that you should come here, to the palace, ASAP.” Then the screen goes blank. Hank has hung up.

Great, I think. Just what I need, a 200 kilometer trip to the capital. Although, it does seem like I should be there, but…

I frown and pull into the parking space outside of the townhouse I now live in, alone. I slam the door of the hover and run to the family room, where I fall down onto the couch, hug my knees together and start to cry, my back shaking with sobs.


Chapter 6: Getting Ready

I walk to the small chest where we keep the blankets and pull out an old, ragged brown one. It was Papa’s favorite. Wrapping it around me, I walk back to the couch and curl up in a ball, inhaling his scent of the mint gum he’s always chewing mixed with a tinge of Bonnie’s spaghetti sauce, and I am filled with nostalgia for my pop. What do I do, what do I do? I think, rocking back and forth. Well, I’ll pack for Acconio.

I smile shakily, grateful for something to do. I slowly walk to the room I’ve had my whole life, and go to the brown dresser in the corner. I pull out ten t-shirts, one (shudder) skirt, and eight pairs of pants. I go to my closet and take out my blue suitcase. I throw the clothes, as well as sneakers, sandals, a toothbrush, toothpaste, and five big shirts for pajamas into it. I grab an orange waterproof sleeping bag and a small travel pillow and throw that in there too. Then I get the brown blanket from the living room. Satisfied, I zip up the suitcase and call for Annie. “I’m going on a trip,” I tell her. “And I’m bringing you with me.”

20 minutes later, I have put Annie in the seat next to me in the hover, thrown my suitcase in the trunk and given Ida the directions to Acconio palace. I pull into the air and have Annie turn on music. Suddenly I wonder how long it will take to get there. I ask Ida this who replies, “17 hours.”

Not too bad, I think. If I spread that over the course of two days, I could get there by Tuesday. Then I remember when Papa and I used to go on road trips to the ruins of the American cities each year for years. Tears well up in my eyes, sloshing onto the leather seat in big heavy drops. I try not to think about how I’m going somewhere far away solely based on something someone overheard but about Ally Clarkson’s new song, “Rainbows!!” I laugh, and am slightly cheered up.

Later in the day, I’m bored out of my mind. Even though auto-drive has caused many hover crashes, I still set the hover to it. As the wheel turns, I turn on Ida and begin playing Candy Crush. I twirl the candies together and my thoughts begin to drift. To Mama, Papa… I begin to wonder about my mother’s death. When she died, I was too little to really understand. But now I wonder, why didn’t they give us further information. Mental illness??? Sorry, hospital, but that’s not much to go on. But maybe Pop got more information and just didn’t tell me. Poor, fragile nine-year-old me. Now I think I know what happened. Had Papa been hiding something from me? As I pull into a motel that looks like it’s from 2050, I begin to feel upset. My father’s perfect untarnished memory is now being ruined. I settle into a restless sleep in my room with a twin bed that barely fits into the room.


Chapter 7: The Storm

I wake up at around six the next morning, used to getting up to go to the shop. I grab my suitcase and walk out of the room. Instead of the transporter usually installed at hotels, there’s just an ugly, hot pink, tiny elevator. Well, this looks like it’s the best I’m gonna get, I think, looking down the empty hallway.

I shove myself in, barely fitting with my suitcase and press LOBBY. When I get there, I see the concierge asleep at the front desk. I slip a 20 shonis bill onto the desk and hurry out. I clamber into the hover and rise into the air. I see some storm clouds ahead and steer away, thinking once again about Mom. Hadn’t I seen the sid-link from the hospital saying Ma was dead? I think. But maybe the hospital was lying to Papa as well. I sigh. Maybe she really did just die of mental illness.

An hour later, I see a storm about  20 feet away. I press the WEATHER PROTECTION button on the front panel as Ida says, “Incoming sid-video from Hank Brennan.” Hank’s face pops up.

“I know why they want you here!” he says in an urgent whisper. I gasp, but then the screen is filled with static. I look out the window and curse when I see that we’ve hit the storm.

“Annie, can you try and fix the receptor?” Although Annie is an old android, she’s still equipped with weather protection. Or so I thought….

As Annie climbs up the side of the hover, a particularly ferocious wind hits it. The water gets in her head cables and I gasp as Annie’s dark brown eyes turn black. She falls down the side of the hover. “No!” I cry out as Annie tumbles down into the raging storm. I yank out the brown blanket and collapse under it, mourning dear old Annie. I peer out of the sides of the blanket and begin to steer. Annie….


Chapter 8: Newsfeed, Water, Getting There

Annie. How could she be gone? She’s always been there. The comforting, ever-present friend. She had been Papa’s android ever since he fixed her up when he was a little boy. Even though Papa’s gone, I thought that I’d always have Annie. She was the only connection I had with Papa left. Now….. I cry and wrap the blanket around me. About half an hour later I begin to wonder why they want me at the palace. Wrapped up in grief, I hadn’t had time to really think about that until now. I try to send a sid-video to Hank, but then realize that the internet receptor is now permanently damaged. I could fix it, if only I had the tools. I never had the best forward thinking abilities. Well, I guess I’ll just have to make do with what I have. Which is… nothing.

An hour later, I turn on newsfeed, thinking about the war going on. It seems like ages ago that I was driving to work and my life changed forever. “Now we are deep into war,” Tristan Cooper says. “It is spreading, and the palace guards have yet to do anything about it.”

I think about poor Hank, who is a palace guard. Newistonians are very strong-willed, so he and his co-workers must be getting tons of angry letters this very moment. I tune back in to hear Tristan say, “And the battles are getting closer and closer to our capital each day. In fact, channel nine has exclusive information on the recent battle in our own Speshona.” I gasp and think about all my friends that might have been harmed. As Tristan goes over the list of casualties, I cling to my seat and am relieved when I don’t see Big Joe, who has been like a grandfather to me, or any of my other childhood friends.

When the show ends, I realize that although I changed into a new t-shirt at the hotel, it’s sticking to my chest. I feel like a little kid again as I say “Ewww,” and pull over the hover. I go to the back of the hover and put up the wash partition. I undress and press the WATER button. “Aah,” I say as the warm water pours into my dirty hair. I’m so glad that I installed the shower update two years ago. At the time, I found it unnecessary, but now, I’m so grateful that I did. Thank goodness for dear old Papa, who said, “You never know when you’ll need a shower.” I laugh at the memory. 20 minutes later I’ve wasted hot water and gotten back into the driver’s seat. Then, towering in the distance I see the tall spikes of the Acconio palace.


Chapter 9: Arrival at the Palace

When I reach the palace gates, a guard brusquely says, “Identification.”

“Julia Roberts.” I pull out my identification tag, which the guard harshly scans. I remember going with Papa when I turned ten to get registered and be given an I.D tag. By the age of 11, all Newistonians are required to be registered with an I.D tag.

I sigh as the guard opens the gate and I drive through. Unsure of where to park, I pull the hover down on the side of the parking lot and climb out. I take Ida and shove her into my pocket. Sadly, there’s no Annie any more, so I just take my suitcase and walk to the front door. I spot a familiar face and wave at Hank, who smiles and opens the door. Looking left and right, he deserts his post and ushers me inside.

“I’m glad you came,” Hank says. “Where’s your dad? And… where’s Annie?” Right. He doesn’t know. This is going to be hard. I shakily take a deep breath and begin to tell him everything. About Papa’s death, and the storm. In a way, saying it makes me feel better, but it also brings back memories I’ve been trying hard to forget. Hank looks at me, his bright green eyes filled with sympathy.
“I’m so sorry, Jules,” he says, his voice barely more than a whisper. I smile weakly. Just then, his edon, which is clipped to his belt, buzzes.

Startled, I say, “Who’s that?”

He plasters a grin onto his face and says, “My boss, Royal Adviser Evan Patterson. He says to escort Ms. Roberts to her chambers.”

“How does he know I’m here?” I ask, clueless.

He points to the walls and I see that security cameras are on almost every single wall. “Well then, ‘Ms Roberts’ let me bring you to your chambers.”

I laugh, and hold out my hand regally. “Why certainly, Monsieur Brennan.”

He takes my hand and brings me down a long, carpeted (I would say hallway, but that seems too drab, sooo) corridor. He stops at a large, wooden double door. He pushes it open to reveal the most lavish room I’ve ever seen. Shocked, I stare at the queen size bed, large wardrobe and plush white carpet. I walk in, stunned, and plop myself onto the teal comforter. I’m ready to fall asleep, when Hank pulls me up and says, ”You havent even see the bathroom yet.”

“I have my own bathroom?!” I squeal like a kindergartener. Hank laughs at me, and I playfully punch him on the arm. “In my defense, I’ve never had my own bathroom before,” I say. He just keeps laughing, and leads me to the bathroom. A grin breaks across my face. There’s a separate bathtub! This bathroom is as big as my room back home in Speshona. I twirl around, taking in the shower with a thousand different settings on the shower head, the double sink…. I smile and walk back to the main room, noticing a door I hadn’t seen before. I push it open and see a humongous walk in closet, filled with ugly frilly dresses, but also, and I’m shocked to see this, a few plain cargo pants and about ten t-shirts. I happily pull them out. I only packed a few t-shirts, and have been running low on clothes.

Then I hear a buzz behind me. I turn around and hear Hank mumble something into his edon. I turn around and he says, “They want you in the conference room.”

Chapter 10: New Job, New Life

20 minutes later, I’m seated in at a long table with about 15 stern-faced men. They introduce themselves as royal advisers. The one name that I remember is Evan Patterson, Hank’s boss. “Julia,“ he says seriously.

“Hey,” I reply, unsure of how to address a royal adviser.

“We have some very serious matters to attend to….” It seems like he’s about to say something, but refrains. “Well, let’s just say that Zarfina never really was the true queen of Newistonia.”

My eyes widen. I mean, I knew she was never the best queen, but taking over someone’s throne… well that’s just pure evil.

“We unearthed some shocking information that some extremely upset palace doctors gave. We also found some files in her private quarters,” he continues. “We found out not only that she was never really the true queen, but also something more about her past. She was a poor orphan girl who Queen Amanda and King Andrew adopted. They took her in as their own,and raised her along with their daughter Maria.”
“Wait, so Zarfina was adopted?!”

Patterson nods angrily and I can tell he wants to get back to the story.  

“As time passed, most people grew to forget that Zarfina wasn’t their true child. When Amanda and Andrew died, the crown passed to their first-born, Maria. Zarfina became extremely angry at Maria because in her opinion the crown should have been passed to her.”

“Why? Maria was their first-born.”

“Zarfina was a mere month older than Maria, but the royal advisors of that time decided that the royal bloodline must prevail. As you may know, after just five months into her reign as queen, Maria mysteriously died. People have long suspected that Zarfina killed her, but there was never any proof. You probably don’t know that Andrew and Amanda did have another girl, Camilla.”

I gasp. “Like my mom Camilla?” He nods solemnly. “How do I know that you’re not lying? Besides, if that was true, everyone would know about this. Zarfina wouldn’t have become queen.” I say frantically, biting my nails.

Patterson smooths down his bright red and gold robes and sighs, “Alas, there is more to tell.”

I wrap my arms tightly around myself, worried about what Patterson is going to say. I take a deep breath as he continues with his story.

“Zarfina, that clever mastermind, blackmailed the palace doctors into inventing the most powerful brainwashing device that ever existed. She then used it on all of the citizens through parties and meetings. She made everyone believe that she was her parents’ only child, and that Camilla didn’t exist at all. Camilla herself is brainwashed. She now believes that she was the late queen Maria’s hand maiden. Now that Maria is dead, Camilla moves to Speshona and begins a new life.”  Shocked, I sit in the comfortable brown leather chair and begin biting my nails.

I think I know what’s coming.

“15 years later, she called Camilla back into the city. Camilla, having no idea about her true past, thinks that she is being called by the queen for some important business. She unknowingly lies to her family and travels to Acconio. Zarfina then –– ” he stops and says quietly, “I think you know what happens next.” I nod and tears begin to leak out of my eyes. All this time, my mother was the true queen. Which means… Patterson nods.

“You are the true queen of Newistonia.”

~ End of Part 1~

The Titanic

One day Bob woke up. He remembered he was going to go on the Titanic. He was rushing because he was late. He got all of his stuff, grabbed his ticket, and he got some food and materials. He was going to play jacks and some cards with people on the Titanic.

Then he got in a taxi, and he told the driver to go to the Titanic. He got on the Titanic.

He was in room 100. He wanted to look outside to see a nice view. He met somebody outside on the deck. Her name was Scream. So he asked her, “Do you want to play jacks?”

She said, “Yes!” Ten minutes later, the ship crashed into an iceberg, and it was sinking.  They tried to get in a lifeboat, but it was too late. They tried to get in another lifeboat, but it was full. There were no more lifeboats. They were all full except the captain’s, but it was too far away. It had sunk already. It was near the end of the ship, but half of it was already sunken.

It became really cold. They had to get in a lifeboat! They tried to make a lifeboat, but it didn’t work! Bob took his axe and chopped some wood off the Titanic, so they could make a lifeboat. They quickly made it. They got some paddles, and they lifted it off. Then they jumped in it.

They got back to England and went to their houses. Then Bob said, “Do you want to go on another boat, the Titan?”

Scream said, “Sure! What day are you free?”

“Saturdays and Sundays.”

“How about Sunday?” Scream said.

“Sure,” Bob said. So they went back to their houses and they rested. They lived happily ever after!

Star, My Doll

Star is nice.

She looks like and feels like rose petals.  

She makes me feel home.

When I go to sleep I go to sleep

with my little Star

that cuddles me tight with love and joy.  

Sometimes I feel like I’m alone and I remember

she is there.

You might think this is crazy but

I think Star is my Sister and she is my





If people say she looks crazy

I don’t care,

I love her because of the way she is.


If I know I’m in danger

I run back to her

and she makes me calm.

If you think she’s just a doll

you should get to know her.


You’ll see, she feels like a human.

The Wedding

It all started with my parents’ umpteenth wedding. Yup. My parents have been divorced more times than I can count. They do all of the divorce papers and everything, and then, about two weeks later, they both feel lonely and get back together again.

At first, I got sad when they get divorced. But now it’s just normal. Yesterday, they got divorced. I happened to have my best friend over, Jonny. So when he heard them saying they were getting a divorce, he looked at me with that I’m-so-sorry face. But I said I didn’t care and it was totally fine.  

Back to the wedding. I think this is their 100th wedding, so they made a big deal about it and invited everybody they knew. My mom started to get really anxious, as if she had never been married before, and started ordering me around.

We live in the suburbs of Chicago. I think it’s really boring, but my parents love it. My name is Jones. My mom, Josephine, got divorced with my father for the first time when she went into labor with me. I have brown hair, some freckles, and am five feet tall. I am 11 years old. My dad, Jack, looks exactly like me, except he’s six foot eight.

“Help Aunt Jo Jo in, okay, Jones?” my mom asked me.

Right then my world started ending. Let me tell you that she is not old, and that I don’t need to help her because she is frail. I have to help her by moving things away from the entrance, because she is too fat to fit in. So when I got down, things got embarrassing. It started like this.

“Aw, look at my baby boy! For some reason, you seem smaller!” she bellowed.

Actually, she probably just got bigger.

She then ran to me to hug me. I swear, I could see my life flash before my eyes. She basically tackled me. I fell to the ground.

I stood up, and asked, “Can you maybe be a little less rough?”

“Oh, of course, baby boy!”

So then it was sort of a real hug. It must have looked pretty weird because I was about as big as her finger, and I’m tall for my age.

“Now, be a good boy and remove all the flower pots and anything in my way so I can budge through the door.”

“Yes, Aunt Jo Jo.”

Well, it took, like, 20 minutes to get her in. But besides that, the wedding was good. People were a little cramped, because Aunt Jo Jo took up about twenty seats, but it was mostly okay. Until the vows. Here’s what happened:

The minister said, “Now it’s time for the vows.”

My father said,“Oh, we can skip that. We have done this tons of times, and it doesn’t really matter anymore.”

My mom said, “What do you mean? Is this just an excuse, because you forgot to write yours?!”

My dad said, “It doesn’t matter, Josephine! We have done this millions of times!”

My mom said,“You are always like this! Why would I even think of marrying you?”

I’m just gonna skip a lot of the conversation, because it got pretty ugly.

So ten minutes later, my mom and my dad said:

“We’re getting a divorce!!!”

They both stormed off. Wow. They have been divorced many times, but they have never gotten divorced at their wedding! That’s a new record for them.

Nobody in the audience was surprised. They just left. I left too. I wasn’t gonna help Aunt Jo Jo out. Not again.


My parents were divorced for about a week, and I thought it ended when I heard flirting coming from the backyard of my mom’s house. There are around ten houses on my block, and all of the backyards are attached. My dad’s house is actually right next to my mom’s house, so they were probably the ones flirting.

But when I went outside, my dad wasn’t there. My mom was flirting with the village drunk, Joseph. It was pretty hard to believe. Joseph is a heavy drinker, has a beer belly, and owns five mean pitbulls. And his house is the one that my mom says to always keep my distance from. He’s been married, like, five times before, and every one of the girls that he has married were huge and fat. And he is VERY conservative. My mom is a proud liberal. And guess what. My mom seriously just asked him out. Maybe this divorce is serious.

Apparently, the date went well. Joseph drank five beers, and got really drunk. He was polite and let my mom pay for it, and then they both came to my house. I finally got to meet him.

“So, this is the Jones I’ve heard all about, eh?” he said, not soberly. He then said, “You seem like a pretty good guy!”

I got a closer look at him. He looked like he hadn’t shaved in about six years, and there were tons of food scraps in his beard. I did not like him. Not at all.

He helped himself to a beer in the fridge, and then lay down on the couch with his shoes still on.

“I’m gonna teach you a life lesson,” he said. ”Education doesn’t matter. Just play football and get paid millions of dollars, and that’s all you need.”

My mom would usually be super against that, but she tried to ignore it. I saw her face turn red though, like she wanted to punch Joseph.  

So this was not good. I need to get him out.


I woke up and went to my secret stash of candy and sweets for breakfast. Without sugar, I cannot stay awake, so I always need sugar at every meal. So, I opened the cabinet, unscrewed the loose screw, and opened the secret door.

But here’s the problem: all of the cakes and candy and food were gone. I glanced over at the couch, where Joseph was sleeping. On his shirt were cake crumbs, and by the side of the couch were candy wrappers.

I started to freak out. I would fall asleep in school, even during gym class, without sugar, I thought. I went to the fridge, and looked for some orange juice. At least that had some sugar in it. But when I looked in the fridge, instead of orange juice, there was a note. Here’s what it said:


Dear Kid,

Here’s a life lesson. Don’t eat too much sugar. That’s my job. If you are looking for the orange juice, it’s in my stomach and it’s not available. That’s all I have to say.




Wow. He was too drunk to even remember how to write his name.

I searched the whole house, and everything with sugar was gone. I was desperate.

I ran out to the deli, but it was closed, so I was forced to go to school without my morning dose of sugar.

First period, I have gym. We were doing the pacer test, which is basically running from one wall to another, but I was too tired to listen and did the endurance, which is just running. So while everybody was running from one side of the gym to the other side of the gym, I was running in a circle around the gym. The gym teacher shouted at me, and I didn’t hear a word he said.

I finally realized that I was running wrong, so I started the pacer. I ran back and forth about four times, and then I collapsed.

I was fast asleep, so the gym teacher had to carry me to my next class. I slept all the way to the end of lunch. But here’s the worst part. If I had been awake for lunch, I could’ve gotten candy. I missed my chance to not only have sugar, but my chance to eat too! So now, I was an incredibly tired boy, who was also incredibly hungry! I was even more screwed. It was all Joseph’s fault. I need to get him out.

I slept through science, and my classmates were tired of carrying me, so they just left me there. And I slept there until 5:30 p.m. Apparently the teachers had tried, and failed, to wake me up. They were getting pretty desperate, so the custodian punched me really hard in the arm, and I finally woke up. That custodian really can punch! I went home rubbing my arm.

When I got home, my mom was really mad at me for coming home late. I explained everything that had happened that day, and I asked her why Joseph was here and that I hated him. It took her a long time to say something good about him so she could prove me wrong. She ended up saying, “You just have to accept the way he is.”

Wow. We all know that she was dating him to get back at my dad and make him jealous. I went up to my room and went to sleep.


That morning, I got up early. I was ready to fight back. I knew the minute Joseph wakes up, he heads straight to a fridge to help himself to a beer. So I decided to pour oil right in front of the fridge. This was an easy, good solid prank – he would slip and fall on his back.

I waited for him to get up. Sure enough, he went straight to the fridge. But it didn’t work. He walked straight over it. He didn’t slip one bit. That was weird.

I tried again the next day, but with a different prank. I replaced one of the beers with maple syrup and cough medicine. But when he opened the fridge, he accidentally dropped that beer, and he just chose another one. Was he prank resistant?

Another day without sugar –– it didn’t go so well. At least I was going to live in my dad’s house for a week. He’s pro-sugar.

When I got home, something wasn’t right. He’s usually chipper.

“Dad?” I called out.

I heard a groan from his room. I ran up. He was lying in bed, miserable.

“Whats wrong?” I asked

He answered with some more groaning. I saw that the pillow was tear stained. Then I figured out why. He was sad because my mom and Joseph were together. He still loved my mom!

“Is it because of Joseph?” I asked.


“Well, I hate him too. He took all of my sugar!”

My dad sat straight up. He knew that I had to have sugar. He was the same way. “He couldn’t have!”

“He did. You know what, Dad?” I asked him, “We should get him out. Together.”

“How?” he asked.

“I think I have an idea,” I told him


Joseph came home from a long day at the bar. He had to leave because the barkeeper kicked him out for starting a bar fight. He opened the door of his girlfriend’s house and was ready to pass out on the couch. He sat down on the comfy couch and was happy until…

“YAAA!” The couch popped up!

“AHH,” Joseph screamed.

He ran out of the house and sprinted to the bar to get away from the haunted couch.


My dad and I high-fived. He had dressed up in a couch suit, and we waited for Joseph to sit down, after which my dad popped up. We scared the crap out of him!

One of the few things Joseph loved in life (his couch) was taken away from him –– at this house, at least. Maybe he would leave now! He did not really love my mom, I don’t think, he just loved our couch and our food. He didn’t like our couch anymore but maybe he would love….


Joseph finally built up the courage to go back into his girlfriend’s house. He opened the door and found someone sitting on the couch. She took up the whole couch. Her waist was the size of the couch. Trust me, it was an extra large couch too. Her finger was as big as his arm. There were crumbs all over her face and shirt. To Joseph, she was beautiful.

“Hello,” she bellowed. “My name is Jo Jo.”

“Do you like beer?” he asked her.

“Yes,” she answered

“Do you like food?” he asked.

“Hell yeah!” she said.

“Take me with you!” Joseph pleaded. “You’re perfect for me!”

“Okay, honey bun!” she said. She picked him up and squeezed through the door. They ran away together.

And those two lived happily ever after. They were almost the same people! As for Jones….

Both my dad and my mom watched the whole thing. When Jo Jo and Joseph left, both of my parents started kissing.

“That was horrible, Jack! I hated Joseph so much! All he loved me for was my fridge, my couch, and my food!” my mom said between kisses.

“I missed you so much!” my dad said.

“I never want another situation like this again! Let’s never get divorced again!” my mom said.


After that, my parents didn’t get divorced any more. They didn’t want to have such a bad situation again.

We all lived happily ever after. As for Jo Jo and Joseph, they were happy too. Everybody was happier.

I was happier to not be around Joseph. My dad was not miserable anymore. My mom didn’t have to deal with Joseph anymore. We were all happier.



Epilogue –– Ten years later


We were all sad yesterday. We had to attend the funeral of Joseph John.

Yup. Joseph died. At the age of 73. He was drunk and climbed on Jo Jo’s back. She lost balance and fell out the window. Joseph died, but Aunt Jo Jo was saved by her fat belly. She started bouncing when she fell, but she didn’t get hurt. Aunt Jo Jo was very sad that day. They had been perfect together.


The author that inspired me to write this genre was Jeff Kinney, the author of the “Diary of a Wimpy Kid” series. The Genre is Realistic Fiction, but with Comedy in it too. In both my story and his book, Something bad happens to the main character, and they plot many schemes to stop it. None of the schemes work, but in the end, the bad thing goes away and they live happily ever after. Although it is a serious topic, I made it funny, because I like comedy.

The Revolution

“Your home planet, Planet X, was a very peaceful planet until it was invaded by aliens. You were just a baby and you were separated from your birth parents. You cautiously wandered into the town hall. You looked around and slowly started to walk forward, except after two steps you heard a crunch under your feet and you looked down. You saw that you stepped on the broken transporter tile, well, at least you thought it was broken. Slowly, you were enveloped in golden light, and then darkness. Suddenly, you appeared in the middle of a foster home on Earth. That’s when we found you. Being fellow aliens from Planet Y, we immediately understood your predicament and took you in. We brought you home and taught you how to improvise and how to survive. We taught you those things because when you are a survivor of a supposedly destroyed planet, and all of your family, relatives, and friends are dead, you have a target on your back. A big red one. Many monsters out there, or aliens, as you call them, would be rewarded by the Kraken, the one who destroyed your planet and many others, like ours. So we started to train you. We gave you lifelike illusions to teach you how to think on your feet. Then, in the middle of a practice session, when you were a little over thirteen years old, our little TV switched on and reported supernatural behavior and aliens being sighted on Earth. We were worried that they had come to get you, so we went outside to prepare. But we realized that preparing would do nothing when we saw what lurked in the shadows. And there he was. The Kraken. Waiting for us so he could kill us the second we stepped outside. As he crushed our puny little bodies, we shouted out to you, ‘Run, Warren! You don’t deserve the same fate as us!’ Remember, there can always be peace, you just need to find it. And remember Warren, wear your name proud, just as a true Peace would. To remind your enemies that they can never win, tell them your name, Warren Peace.”

Warren wanted revenge. His anger at the Kraken awakened his power to create things with his mind. He was thinking about his parents and what they said when he heard a voice in his head.

“Don’t worry Warren! We will always be in your head.”

Warren recognized that voice. It was the voice of his mother. Then Warren thought, “Is that a good thing or a bad thing?”

Then he heard his father’s voice respond, “You know we can hear you, son.”

“Sorry, but sometimes you can be a bit annoying.”

“Well, I guess every parent has their quirk. Well, back to the point. We believe in you. Now that you’ve discovered your newly-awakened powers, you should be able to build The Destroyer. But, it will take a year of work even with your powers. Once you’re done, you will have to shrink it to the size of a cup so you can put it in your pockets. Otherwise, you wouldn’t be able to move it because it will be the size of this whole house.”

“Ok, bye.”

The vision of them in his head flashed out of view. Warren mumbled to himself, “Ok, now I need to get to work.”

Two months later…

“Finally, I have all the equipment to build it,” he said as he’s walking into his house with the last of his supplies. Then he walked face first into a note that he wrote two months ago.

Remember, you don’t have to get supplies, you can just use your powers.

Then he remembered right after his vision, he had thought, “Wow, I need to take a nap.” But then he remembered that he always forgets things after naps. Therefore, he wrote a note so that he wouldn’t forget about his powers. But then when he woke up, he forgot all about the note. He should have put it in a better spot. And then a phrase that he heard on T.V. flashed through his mind: “Shoulda woulda coulda.” He slapped himself in the face and imagined that there were two hundred million dollars on his credit card. All the money that he just wasted back in an instant. He started feeling woozy and his knees gave way. He face-planted onto the cold wooden floor. It happened in a split second, but for him, it felt like it took an hour. Everything went black.

He woke up to the feeling of a cold washcloth on his head. He saw a kid about his age. He had the picture of Planet X and it’s many stars on his shirt (even though he had been a baby, he could still remember every single moment of terror that he went through on that day). He suddenly jumped up.

He screamed, “Who are you?”

The boy said, “How about a ‘thank you’? I just saved you from The Kraken.”

“Ok, thank you. I guess I was a little rude there. But seriously, who are you?”

“My name is Gagaroth. And I’m also from Planet X. It was very unfortunate what happened there. Now may I know your name?”

“My name is Warren. But how did you find me? And how did you even know that I’m here?”

“Well, our kind has a very special tracking system. All we have to do is envision the type of person, or even better, if that person has a name, and boom! We know the location of that person. You see, I’m looking for other survivors, and just happened to find you. I suppose you’re a little different from the rest of us. I walked in just as you conjured up the money out of thin air, and then you fainted. You realize there has only been one other that possessed the power that you behold.”

“So, what happened? Why did I black out?”

“You know, you need to be more careful. you should start with smaller things, if you use your power too much, then you start to get really sick. And it may cause death. But, with proper training, and it’s not that I’m recommending any specific trainers,” he gestured to himself.

Warren rolled his eyes.

“You can use more of your powers at any time without any consequences. I can help you with your problem if you help me with mine. Unfortunately, I haven’t found out a way to live life on Earth. You see, I just got here. Sometimes teleporting is a bit tricky, I suppose. Well, back to the point, I can’t seem to make a living, and since I don’t have your powers I can’t just make the money. Finding food, water, and housing has been a bit tricky. So the deal I’m offering you is for me to help you learn how to control your powers if I can live in your guest room. And you can spare a little food.”

“Ok. Seems like a good deal to me. But first, can I have some aspirin? I still have a bit of a headache.”

“Sure,” he pulled a bottle of Aspirin out of his supposedly empty pocket and held it out. “Here you go.”

Warren stared in wonder. “How did you do that? I thought you said you didn’t have the power to create?”

“Well, I don’t. But as my parents put me into the teleporter, they gave me this pair of pants. It allows me to pull small items, that would fit into a pocket, out of them. Conveniently everything except for money. Sense the sarcasm? Huh? Huh?”

“Calm down, man. I’ll get you some money. Except first you need to teach me how to do that without half killing myself.”

“Sure I’ll teach you. But I’m pretty sure you have 200 million leftover dollar bills from that incident from before. Doncha?” He held out his hand.

Warren looked around. He realized what Gagaroth was talking about. He saw piles of money everywhere. And when he said everywhere, he meant he couldn’t see the shining floor anymore. “Take what you want.”

“Really?” he responded into his pockets.

“Not a wise move, trust me.”

“Ok, b-”

“Nope, can’t take it back anymore,” he said as he rushed around the room, piling endless amounts of money into his pockets. Clearly, the effect was double sided, if you can pull anything out, then why not put anything in?

“Okay, now can you teach me how to use my powers?”

“Sure, let’s start next morning, 6 a.m. .

“Next morning?” Warren responded, annoyed for having to wait.

“Yes, next morning. Well, whatever and good night.”

He went downstairs to the guest room. Once he was gone, Warren felt a chill go up his spine. His head spun around and he saw what looked like a mix between a shark, octopus, hyena, panther, black mamba and cyborg. Suddenly, he heard a loud booming voice that echoed through his head. It said in a metallic voice, “I will do to you what I did to your planet, and your so-called puny ‘parents.’”

Warren said, “What the—”

The one thing he could see was a giant fist coming at him, and the next thing, darkness. When he woke up, the first thing that he did was rub the grogginess out of his eyes. It was a little blurry, but he could still make out that he was in a dark room with a giant figure looming over him. He heard the same voice that he heard before he was knocked unconscious.

“Good, you’re awake. You see, the reason that I brought you here is because you have something that I need. And if you don’t give it to me willingly, I’ll use force.”

He managed to mumble, “What do you want?”

The monstrous figure chuckled, “Huh. It’s not one thing that I want, it’s many things. The first thing that I’ll need from you is your employment.  And then I’ll tell you more about my plans.”

“What if I refuse?”

“Funny you should ask that. For your answer, why don’t you just look across from you.”

Warren looked to his right, he saw nothing. Then he looked to his left and he saw Gagaroth. He had wide eyes and a frantic expression on his face. There was one problem. He had a gag and his arms and legs were chained to a hospital bed. Just as he saw the chained up legs and arms, he realized that he couldn’t move any of his limbs either. When he looked down, all he saw were ropes and chains and a few red splotches here and there that he assumed were blood. The Kraken roared in rage and shouted, “Well, make up your mind! Are you going to work for me or not?”

The Kraken roared in rage and shouted, “Well, make up your mind! Are you going to work for me or not?”

“And if I don’t work for you?”

“I thought you would have guessed that by now, but I guess you’re even dumber than you look. But, I guess you do have the right to know. You see, if you refuse my offer, then I’ll torture your friend here. And don’t try to use your powers to stop me. I have an electromagnetic field that has momentarily made you helpless.”

Warren stared at him with his mouth hung so wide it looked as though he could swallow the Internet. He finally replied, “Ok. I’ll work for you. What is my first task, ‘Master’?”

“Hey. I’m not deaf. I can hear the sarcasm clearly. Keep it up, if you want your friend to die in front of your eyes.” He stood up and walked away, knowing that he had clearly won.

Now Warren wondered what to do. He was restrained and he couldn’t use his powers. Suddenly he heard, “Warren!”

He looked to his left and he saw that somehow Gagaroth must have gotten the gag off because it was now laying on the floor beside him. Warren said, “What happened? All I remember was his fist and then I was out.”

“Well, once he knocked you out, he came for me downstairs. He was so loud that I could hear your conversation all the way downstairs. But thankfully since I got that head start, I built myself a clone. And all offense to him, he’s stupid. He went after the clone even though it doesn’t look remotely like me.”

Warren suddenly felt embarrassed that he hadn’t realized that it was a clone. Gagaroth continued, “Then he walked into the room just as I put the microphone inside the clones mouth. And then he took the clone and I was just left by myself in the house.”

“So you’re really safe? You’re back at home? Where am I? Can you come get me? How are you able to make the clone so fast? Is this really all true?” He blurted out.

“Whoa there, one question at a time. So for the first question, if that was a clone, of course, I’m safe and at home. Also, you are currently a mile beneath your house. And, or course this is true. Also, I’m right behind you.”

“What! Free me!”

“Hold on, hold on, I’m not finished. I’m not literally behind you, but the little drone carrying an Ipad on Facetime is right behind you, so turn around and say ‘Hi!’”

Warren said, “I understand that you have a clone in here, but the drone…isn’t that a little much?”

“Well you see, I kept the drone in my pocket, well, my clone’s pocket, I mean. So when I noticed that we were clear I just sent it out so you could actually see what happened up here.”

“Well I’ll do that but first you kinda, you know, need to free me from my chains. How bout it, huh?”


Suddenly the clone of Gagaroth broke free of his chains, took out an Adamant Knife and slashed the chains away from Warren’s body.

“There. Good now?”

“Yes,” Warren said as he hopped off the bed and spun around. He had a picture of what the drone would look like in his mind, but he never expected it would look like a cupcake with frosting.

Gagaroth noticed Warren’s confused look and said, “Well I didn’t really have much time, I only had a few times to pull it out of my pocket. You see sometimes I don’t control what the thing looks like, all I control is what it is.”

“Wow.” That was all he could say. His home looked like a construction crew teamed up with a bombing squad and his house was the target. The furniture was ripped to shreds, and all of his food was on the floor with bites bit into it. There were claw marks on the floor. Warren thought he might be able to fix things, but he would need some serious coaching from Gagaroth first. He wouldn’t want to faint again.

Gagaroth looked at Warren and said in a disappointed voice, “Yeah, I know, it’s bad. But it could be worse, at least we didn’t die.”

“Well, I guess you’re right, it could’ve been much worse. Wait a second! Did he steal the project that I was working on?”

“Yeah, why would you ask?”

“I need an advil,” he mumbled to himself. “Well, you see, that project I was working on? It was a thing that might be able to save our planet and bring it back to the way it used to be. And it would have been able to kill the Kraken.”

Gagaroth screamed, “DUCK!”

“Why is there a duck in my house? And if there is, why are you screaming at the top of your lungs?”

“No! I mean DUCK!”

“Seriously, what are you-” Warren suddenly caught his drift. He ducked his head a second before a boulder the size of his head slammed into the wall behind him. If that boulder hit him, he would be dead by now. It would’ve cracked his skull right open.

He muttered “thanks” to Gagaroth. Then he turned to his attacker. He expected to see the Kraken, but instead he saw a cute little butterfly…that was arming a catapult.

On the catapult, there was a sign that said: Oh you like my new little plaything?

Seriously, I hope you enjoy it.

Sincerely, THE KRAKEN.


Warren thought “How is he controlling that butterfly?” As soon as he thought that in his head, the old sign vanished and a new sign appeared.

This one said: So, you’re wondering how I controlled the little butterfly’s mind?

Well, here’s the simple answer. I got pro skillz yo.

Suddenly an image popped up in Warren’s mind. It was the Kraken stomping on this planet and saying “If you don’t become my servant, I will do to this planet what I did to yours.” Suddenly, someone said, “Drumroll, please! The mighty man himself: THE KRA-”

“Edward!” The Kraken roared. “It’s a little late for that.”

Warren said to the vision of the Kraken in his mind, “I’ll leave you two to discuss this. I’ll just go. So yeah, bye!”

He snapped his eyes open only to find another boulder flying at his face. He thought “It was a distraction!” but he didn’t have time to worry about the Kraken’s cleverness. He dodged out of the way and lunged for the catapult. He grabbed the butterfly in his hands, and he was sad to admit, he squashed it. He wiped away the guts and blood on Gagaroth’s clone’s shirt and then walked back to the catapult. He imagined he was holding a sledgehammer and then smashed it to bits.

Suddenly he heard Gagaroth’s voice saying, “Wow. You just imagined a giant sledgehammer the size of your body, and you didn’t even break a sweat. Seriously man, good job.”

Warren realized that for the first time, “Wow, that’s right!” Just as he finished celebrating, he took a step forward and fell on his face. Then everything was black.

When I woke up, I was in a hospital bed. I did not recognize my surroundings, but I did recognize the face that was hovering a few inches from mine. It was the face of Gagaroth, my best friend, and my only friend. He spoke, “Yeah, as you were saying, you didn’t faint at all that time.”

“Quit it with the sarcasm, okay? But really, what happened? I don’t really remember much, you know with the whole being unconscious thing.”

“So once you fainted, I walked towards you, and me and my clone brought you up to the house. Once we got there, we realized we couldn’t leave you there because the house was a wreck. So instead, we brought you to the local hospital.”

“What? How could you? We need to be off the grid! It’s enough that we’re running from monsters, but we can’t have the police knowing who we are! I mean, come on man! We’re probably going to cause some destruction if we destroy the Kraken. And we can’t be arrested after all of that. That would ruin everything.”

“You mean WHEN we defeat the Kraken. When. Have faith my brother, we can do this. We just have to bide our time. Also, you need to rest, you hit your head pretty hard when you collapsed. It was a big bump, and it needs time to heal.”

Warren lifted up his arms and felt his forehead. Instead of feeling his usually smooth skin, he felt a lump the size a tennis ball and instantly starting to panic. But then he remembered about his powers and summoned a Med Kit out of thin air. But this wasn’t just any normal first aid kit. I was the special first aid kit from his planet. He faintly remembered what it looked like so he summoned it from his memory. When he opened it, memories rushed back to him. Learning how to ride a bike, when his father patched up his knee when he scraped it on the sidewalk. And how his mother gave him some medicine when he got sick. No, he couldn’t worry about them now. He had work to do to avenge his parents.

He went back to the present, took out some Grocklack, and applied some to his forehead. In moments, the throbbing stopped and the bump decreased to the size of a little teeny pebble.

“Wow,” Gagaroth said. “Kinda forgot you could do that. But that reminds me. I haven’t fulfilled my promise yet. I have to show you how to use your powers with all your possible energy, without collapsing from the exhaustion of it. Because it would kinda suck if you defeated the Kraken, and then fell off the George Washington Bridge and into the water. You know what I mean? So first thing tomorrow morning, 10 a.m. , you’re going to the training room so I can get you back on your feet and teach you how to use your powers with maximum power.”

“Wow, that was a mouthful. But okay, I guess so. Let’s find a table so I can summon us some food for lunch. I assume it’s time for lunch, right?”

“Actually, it’s time for brunch, so even better. I saw some tables on my way here, let’s go over there.”

“Okay, let’s go.”

They walked over to the seating area and while the employees weren’t looking, Warren summoned some club sandwiches and some Coke. They ate in silence. Once they finished their meal, they went their separate ways to do some daily activities and just have some fun. You know, if you’re going to live on Earth as a teen, you should have some fun doing it. They said goodbye and the first very, very fun activity Warren was going to do was to clean up his house. When he walked in, he officially decided the world was against him, so he blew up the rest of the house with explosives. It was beyond repair. All the furniture was shredded, there were dirt marks and claw marks every few feet. So instead, he just decided to get a new house. He decided the perfect one for him and Gagaroth was a 37 room mansion on a cliff in Florida overlooking the ocean. So he summoned up some money (this time only a little at a time) and bought the house. After he furnished it, he summoned some blank pieces of paper and some pens, and started to draw up a battle plan.

The first step was to map out the Kraken’s hideout so that they didn’t get lost, because that would kind of suck. Once he mapped out the lair, he started thinking of ways to take down the Kraken. So far, the best one was to torture him for ten years and then slaughter him. I know that might sound gross, but trust me, he deserved it. But then he had to figure out how he was going to get the Kraken in a defenseless position. So far, his best idea was this: Gagroth would make some clones of himself and Warren, and then while they were distracted, Warren would slowly be building up weapons and ammunition. And explosives. Finally, once they realized the clones were, well, clones, they would come in and blow the whole thing up, leaving the Kraken and his crew exposed. While they stood there in shock (assuming that the explosion didn’t kill them) Warren and Gagaroth would come in for the kill with the new and improved DESTROYER 2.0.

It was going to be like the rocket slash missile he built before, except Gagaroth would build a smart computer inside of it, and add arms and legs. The missile would launch itself at the Kraken, hopefully killing him, or at least weakening him. If he wasn’t dead by then, a metal shell from the robots midsection would rise and the robot would become a killing machine with two energy chainsaws, the sacred sword, and 37 machine guns and bazookas.

So now that that was over, he summoned himself some early dinner and went to sleep. Later that morning, both Warren and Gagaroth went inside of the local gym. They had talked to the manager, and I’m not saying they bribed the manager to let them have the whole gym to themselves for the day, but they basically bribed the manager. Once they were all ready and warmed up, Gagaroth said, “The first step: always be calm and patient no matter what. Second: always have your goal in mind, and never change want you want to happen halfway through. There will be consequences. Third: never, EVER use your powers for evil. Only for good. Fourth, you have to have complete concentration. Fifth, when you become super famous, always remember how ‘Uncle Gagaroth’ helped you all that time. Ok?”

“Har, har, so funny. And when you said there will be consequences, what did you mean by that?”

“Well, first of all, have you ever wondered how the Kraken became so powerful?”

“Well actually, I never really thought of it. How did he become so powerful?”

“I’m going to tell you a story. It’s a long one but I think that you have the time to hear it. Ok, it all started when the Kraken was born. He was born on a planet like ours except it was all different. You may have heard of it, the legendary planet A. It was like ours in the sense that everyone was trying to make peace, except that it was also different in the sense that they expected so highly of everyone that when the Kraken, aka ‘Johnny’, was playing around with his friends and having some fun, he accidently cracked the portal and it sent a beacon out into space. It attracted all the monsters in that galaxy to the planet, they banished him to the planet of Askard.

At the planet of Askard, he was mutated, turned into a monster. He was stranded there until he came. He taught the Kraken how to have a thirst for revenge, and taught him how to live the life of a criminal. That was when he started his journey. Your planet was the 13th planet that he conquered. If you can’t stop him, then Earth will be the 15th.”

“That just means that we have to take him out soon,” Warren said.


To Be Continued.

The Drum Set

Chapter 1

On a nice and sunny day, Stewart, the hero of the book, went to his uncle’s drum store called “Get Your Percussion Here!” So he went in, said hi to his uncle, then saw a drum he really liked. He looked at it every day.  And then finally, it was ten days until his birthday. Ten days later, he came back to the shop.

He asked his uncle, “Can I get a present here for my tenth birthday?”

His uncle said, “Sure, why not?” Then he went with his uncle to the drum he looked at every day. That drum didn’t only have the bass drum and the snare drum and the high-hat, and the low drum and the high drum, it also had the medium drum, cymbal one, two, and three, and the cowbell, and the main cymbal. He went to test the main cymbal. Once he hit it every thing that he saw stopped. Time stopped. Everyone around him stopped, even his uncle. The drums stopped. Something weird happened to his mind. It started to hurt. And he saw a picture.

Then he thought, maybe it could be the future.

He was like, “Why is everything frozen? Wait a second. Everything’s frozen! That’s awesome!”

Then he went outside his shop. Since the boy’s favorite food was candy, he went to Dylan’s Candy Bar and he looked at his watch to see what time it was. All he saw was 12:57 p.m. The seconds were 53 and they didn’t move one inch. Then he took some of his favorite candy bars, finished them, and threw them in the garbage. He went back to his uncle’s shop, went in and said these words: “Abra cadabra. I demand the world to unfreeze!” Then he looked at his watch. It was still 12:57 p.m. and fifty three seconds. Then he got a little bored. So then he wanted to go play the drums. After a while, he hit the main cymbal and then everything as he knew it started to go as if nothing had stopped.

His watch started to go, his uncle said, “Yeah sure,” and he didn’t know about Stewart stealing the candy bars.

Then Stewart said, “Wow!” with excitement. “Uncle,” said Stewart. “Can you please help me carry the drumset home?”

His uncle said, “Yeah sure, why not?” So they moved the drum to his house, said hi to his mom and dad, read a book, and went to bed.

The next morning he went to school. He had the worst day of his life. All his friends weren’t there and there was nothing to do, just him and all the girls in his class. He wondered where all of his friends went. When he came back home he rang the cymbal again. Everything as he knew it stopped. Time stopped. His parents stopped. And when he threw a book it didn’t go down, it just stayed in mid air. He went to his friend’s house and looked to see if they were home. Guess what he saw? He saw all his friends with chicken pox watching a movie, eating popcorn at Neymar’s house. That makes him feel he was just left out and they were not friends with him anymore.

He went back home. On the way, he went to the supermarket and took a snack or two. Then at home, he took his book, moved it back where it was supposed to be, and then rang the cymbal again. He thought, Should I keep this cymbal a secret, should I give to anyone, or should I just throw it away? You know what, I’ll just throw it away. And then he threw it out the window into the trash, read a book for a minute and went to bed.



The next morning the first thing he did was look at his drumset outside. Then he was like, What the heck? Where is it? It was in the garbage. Where could it have gone? Then he looked at his room and right in front of him was his drumset.

Stewart said, “What in the world? How is my drumset still here? Didn’t I throw it out last night? This is so confusing. I wonder what happens when I hit them bottom of the main cymbal. I’m gonna do it now.”

Then Stewart hit the bottom of the main cymbal. A giant sized computer came out of the bass drum on the right side.

It said, “Hello Stewart, when would you like to go today?”

Then Stewart said, “I think you mean ‘where’ not ‘when.’ But anyway, how can you talk, Computer?”

The computer answered, “Oh, you programmed me ten years in the future.”

“Future? How do you know all this?” Stewart said.

The computer answered, “Because you made me. Ten years from now.”

“B-b-b-but how did you come from the future? This is just a normal drum set. I think…”

“But Stewart, it’s not. You made this drum set ten years in the future and then you came back here fifteen years ago and put it in your uncle’s drum shop.”

“Computer,” Stewart said in a confident voice, “why did I program you to come here?”

“Because five years from now there will be an alien invasion, and it’s going to destroy all of humanity and all of the world. You’re our only hope.”

“M-m-me? Why me?”

“Five years from now you’re going to survive the invasion, and in the future three years from now you are going to be super smart, but only if I tell you this. And Stewart, the next two years after those three years, you build something that can take you to space. You go there and look for aliens, ‘cause then they will still just be planning to take over Earth. You’re going to need to go to an alien, try to be friends with him and not say anything mean, and ask if you can take one of his hairs on his body. That will be some alien DNA. Go back home and make a machine that can make a forcefield around the earth to stop the aliens and in the next couple of months they can’t invade our planet and we can live our lives in peace. But don’t forget to test it in a little size on your alien friend.”

“But I’m not going to be smart enough to do that!”

“Remember what I said. Study hard for the next three years in school. Raise your hand as much as you want in class, and after school go home and do your homework and research on any device how to be smart. For the next three years. And also if you want to stop time with this drum set, just tap the main symbol and you can study for the next five hours of the day. And don’t forget, if you want to speed up time, which I don’t recommend to do, play the snare drum.”

“Okay, thanks, Computer.”

Now I will go and destroy the aliens that are trying to invade Earth! In the next book called The Drum Set: Alien Invasion!

Alexander Percy Lawrence Peter Henry Winkharp’s Cellar Peddlers (Excerpt)

The girl holding a basket on the street.

Filled with neatly rolled newspapers, plain white rags, and red apples without so much as a speck of yellow or green on them, the woven container is in almost perfect condition, as if someone has worked hard every night to repair its every scuff and scratch. All strange things, considering the fact that she is obviously homeless and extremely poor. There are many other girls much the same as her in looks, except of course for their patched-up baskets filled with newspapers, green apples, or white rags with remains of old stains showing through, but never more than one of these options lies in their contraptions. These children are scattered around quite a lot, almost hiding this strange girl if it were not for the calls advertising her goods. It is also evident that she is better-dressed than all of these forlorn-looking creatures, who are letting their last morsels of hope shine through small cracks in iron barred windows, hoping that the bits of golden warmth will be enough to attract customers on the crisp day. It is not. But she, just this one girl alone, with the blue-gray rag around her head and the simple sweater and skirt that must have once have been red, does not seem to be having any trouble attracting the busy passerby crossing the narrow street to her small walled in corner, surrounded on two sides by solid brick, drenched in a stench of rotten fish and murky fog from the old days. Yet the girl always seems to be standing on, or perhaps next to, a clean sheet something like a welcome mat that she invites her customers to wipe their feet on, perhaps to increase her chances of customers. But is this really the cause of the steady stream of pedestrians hurrying over from the street, not a rushing river, not any real type of river, but a forest stream, a stream just the same? I think not. Perhaps it has something to do with the extra coins dropped at her feet with a quiet whisper, “For your master, dear, blessings to him for all he’s done for our world.” the girl’s quick nod is a gesture of thanks, almost a “The same to you, for all your generosity.” Perhaps this has something to do with the words embroidered, neatly enough, on one of her sweaters:

Alexander Winkharp’s Cellar Peddlers

Chapter  1

It was quite a while ago when the first of what came to be the cellar peddlers sprung up, scattered through the narrowest streets of London, of which there remain many. It was the revolutionary idea of the great Alexander Percy Lawrence Peter Henry Winkharp, though few knew of his middle names. As one of the most generous of his time, Alexander had felt compelled to help those whom he saw every day standing in rags on the street. For a while, he did what one would expect from someone with these motivations: daily he would go out, delivering food and blankets to the poor. But Alexander did not feel satisfied. He wondered, rightly, why, if he happened to spill a bottle of shoe polish at the shoe polish factory where he worked, and had to pay for it out of his salary, and if he couldn’t afford extra food for the day, why should someone else suffer? For days and nights, Alexander wracked his brain for a solution. What he came up with was what would grow to become the Cellar Peddlers.

Alexander saved up enough to buy a few small cots at a junkyard sale. After fixing them up quite a lot, he sold them off again, making a reasonably sized profit; then again, these were cots. This simple process of buying, fixing, and selling once more to make a profit has been titled over our many years of existence as “Flipping,” and is indeed considered a distinguished profession in its own right. Alexander, though he would die before sinking to the level of his day’s low down “Flippers,” discovered that the art came quite naturally to him and made a mental note of doing it some more, secretly, of course, in the future. Now, enough on the subject of flipping, as this is not a matter that should venture to the center of your attention.

With a fraction of his small wages and the profit from the cots, Alexander did the most surprising thing you could imagine: he bought another four tiny, dirt-strewn cots that reeked with a vigorous stench of garbage. Alexander hurried to clean them up as fast as he could, for winter was approaching, and the extreme generosity of this person who challenges that of any other could not possibly permit his less fortunate friends to be forced to bear the harsh conditions of the winter, entirely out of doors and in the snow and slush – especially, with his plan in the workings, they might possibly, for perhaps just a couple of days, have a warm place to sleep and food for a day or two.

This done, on the very next Saturday when Alexander left his respectable shelter for his usual route – on which he often brought food to and dropped coins around the small community of beggar families where that rumor of his kindness had assembled – he stood atop the low rickety stoop of his building, scrutinizing the dusty, rat-ridden landscape beside the Thames, searching for just the right subjects on whom to test out his new plan, namely any groups containing children. He took a deep breath before taking a single step, remembering the long hours he had been up the night before, and thinking of the perfect way to do this. An announcement would not work. The ragamuffin families were not acquainted with him enough, and speaking to them as if he were their king would no doubt be dangerous. Nor would flyers, he knew, as many of the destitute population could not write their own names.

At last, though, in the darkest hours of night, Alexander knew that what he must do was speak to the groups he chose individually, to decipher the slang that made up their distinct tongue, and to convince them that he could indeed brighten their family’s’ futures. That he, though he lived in a tenement, lived throughout the entirety of its three low-ceilinged floors as its owner and was more than willing to share, if it were for the better.

So out and onto the roughly paved streets went he, out went the man with a heart as soft as silk and as big as an elephant. Out as a hero he would go when he was set to save the world, a feat which there is little doubt that Alexander achieved throughout his life. Out with long strides toward the first group he had set his sights on, whilst laying out the usual things he laid out on these trips: piles of food wrapped in thin blankets, dumpster clothes fixed up good as new, rusted trays nobody wanted except those who were sensible enough to know how to fix such a simple thing. But oh, save the sensible, for by the time any one of those poor souls who live in a world that seems so cold and far away from them got ahold of one of those trays, the once fine and shining metal under the rust was scratched and scored, and the crevices that lined the surface were filled with dirt. It was in this sort of moment that Alexander wished dearly that he had prepared much more. Through his head that seemed to be turning on and off repeatedly, he searched for the words he had planned so carefully in the night that seemed to have disappeared, calling to them and begging them to stay.

In vain Alexander tried to delay each placement of a gift, in vain he tried to ignore the ever-nearing lamp post, under which lay a few ratty blankets and tin cans, a home not fit for a hog, nor any living being. But a home it was, for a poor threesome of the human race itself: a man, a woman, and one small girl who had barely a scrap of cloth in her possession. They had lived in the shadow of the same post since before Alexander moved into the neighborhood, and the two groups were something close to friendly neighbors, but never daring to admit it and make the friendship official. However, it was truly because of them that any of the new arrivals had any trust for Alexander whatsoever, and they, of all people, he thought, as the lamp post grew nearer, would help him with his plan even if no one else did. Slowly, Alexander walked closer, comforting himself with the fact that he often stopped to talk with little Nellie and her family, and they would most definitely not be curious if he did so once more.

So Alexander took one last package from the sack he was carrying, and he knelt down to place it down. He recalled wrapping a thick shawl around a stack of warm cakes, then enclosing the package in old rags. Knelt in the same way as all those around him, the most generous man in the entire city lowered his head to exchange a few murmurs with the lamp post family. Nellie tugged at her mother’s dress and the two engaged in even quieter conversation before Mrs. Ledwell raised her head.

“It is true. You do seem to have something on your mind.” Then little Nellie raised her eyes and whispered in her own small voice, light as a feather.

“Relieve us of our curiosity, oh, if you could!” Nellie’s voice had always been subdued, her face always lowered, causing many to believe that her time of dreams and fantasies were over. But day by day, Alexander saw a glint in her eye, and knowing that the flame would hurt its master if extinguished, he liked to replenish it by slipping her a package of her own – a coin wrapped in a rag – which she would slip into the small brown box that the first coin had come in. Alexander often wondered how much she had saved up, for that was the only way a poor child knew how to use money. He believed she must be fit to be rich now, with all the little copper pieces filling her box. Then Alexander saw the faces of Nellie and her mother, and remembered their question. He recalled his thoughts and the plans he had made, just for this moment.

And Alexander spoke.

Ogre and Sophie and Most of All Sophia

Once upon a time… wait! I forgot to introduce myself. My name is Sophocles –– Sophie for short. I love the cool colors; blue, purple, and green. I am a boy. I am a leprechaun who is kind, and NOT full of mischief. I want to make the world better.

All the people in my village were scared of the ogre, but I thought that the ogre was probably actually kind. The ogre was just misunderstood.

One day, I was playing with my best friend Sophia, and we started talking about the ogre.

“Why are they scared of the ogre? I think he’s just nice. What has he done?” I asked.

“I agree with you,” Sophia said.

“Let’s find out, and let’s talk to her.”

“Sophie, why? I’m really glad you want to go see the ogre, but we need to do it in secret.  We can’t tell our parents. They’d be worried. Do you agree?”


“But I hate lying to our parents. What should we do?” Sophia was worried.

“Maybe just say ‘Hi’ to the ogre and run away?”

“That’s a good idea. Maybe we should tell them after. Then it’s not really lying.”

“That’s a good idea.”

They walk through the forest.  

“It’s so dark in this wood. Hold my hand, Sophie! I’m scared,” Sophia said.

An owl hooted.

“What’s that?” Sophia screamed.

“It’s just an owl.”

“Oh! Look!” Sophia pointed. “It’s her.”  

The ogre was singing a song about loneliness and love and how she wanted to have friends. She was playing the cello.

“Oh, how I wish I had friends, but I’m so ugly to the end. Oh, how I wish I had love, but I sigh and eat a dove.” She was holding a dove and apologizing for using the rhyme.

“Hello!” The ogre said, noticing us. “Who are you? You’re so cute!”

“I’m Sophie, and this is my friend Sophia! Who are you?”

“Why, I’m Pip Bounce.”

“I just wanted to know why the villagers are afraid of you.”

“I don’t know, maybe because I’m ugly. I was a princess, but a witch turned me into an ugly ogre! The only way to break the curse is if I become friends with the people of the village!”  

“M-maybe you could help the villagers. We’re having a harvest and we could use your height!” Sophia suggested.

“Good idea,” Pip Bounce said.

“Sophie!” My mom entered the clearing. “Where have you been?” She saw the ogre and screamed while running away, “AHH!”  

We all ran after her, and Pip Bounce followed us all the way into town, filling a large basket with apples.

“They’re friends with the ogre!” someone cried. Pip Bounce leaned down and handed apples to the people. With a flash, she transformed back into the princess she was. Everyone now knew she was a trustworthy princess who was actually kind.

Thanksgiving Turkey

This is what I look like. I have big feathers on my back, a big stomach, a red neck, a beak, two legs, and toes on each foot.

I am a turkey living on Farmer Brown’s turkey farm. It is November. So you know what that means, don’t you? I will be roasted and barbecued on the grill the day of Thanksgiving! Then you will see the fat part which is our breast. Then you see two legs. We are usually surrounded by gravy and cranberries.                  

I have to come up with a plan to get out of the farm before the horrible day, Thanksgiving. I spent all night thinking of a plan to get out of the farm. Finally, after a long time I come up with an amazing plan. I will disguise myself as an animal. I will wake up my friends and my mom, but not my dad because he was already roasted last year.

So I wake them up to tell them my plan. They are all really mad that I woke them up, but they agree with me and say that they will escape the farm with me. The only problem is that I don’t know which animal to disguise myself as. Also, Thanksgiving is only two days away. I hear a coyote howl and I know it is midnight.

Suddenly I remember Farmer Brown always shoos away the coyotes. I think that if I became a coyote Farmer Brown would shoo me away and never let me in again. I wake the other turkeys up again but they won’t let me talk, they just yell at me. I go back to bed frustrated.

Finally it is morning and all the turkeys are awake but not because of me. I tell them my disguise and we immediately get to work on finding materials for the disguise. I really hope this works. Nothing can stop us from not escaping. That is, unless we fail, which is probably 50 percent.We also have a 50 percent chance of succeeding.


(Only one day until Thanksgiving)


We find hay in the shed, for the fur. For the ears we use two feathers that we plucked from our body. The tail will be yarn from our name tags which are wrapped around our necks. Finally, since coyotes walk on all four legs we will need to make fake legs. My mom says that we can use sticks. I think it’s a clever idea. So we find sticks and practice walking with four legs. However, when we finish practicing it is already dinner time.

Farmer Brown comes out of the barn and says, “Eat up because you better be plump so we can roast you and eat you up.

I look at my friends and smile. We won’t be roasted.

Exactly at midnight we put on our costumes and howl. I am so nervous that my plan will work. So I tell the other turkeys, “I am sorry if this doesn’t work but you would’ve been roasted anyway. I enjoyed my time living with you. I was really sad that this might be the last time I ever see them again.”

Farmer Brown runs outside and yells, “Don’t go in my turkey farm.”

We run away and don’t stop until we were off the turkey premises.


(The day of Thanksgiving)


In the morning I hear Farmer Brown yell to his wife, Mrs. Brown, “The turkeys are gone!”

Mrs. Brown yelled at the top of her lungs, “Thanksgiving without turkey? NOOO!” Her voice echoed throughout the city.



Tornado Boy

Hello, I am Emy, the main character of this story. My grandfather died reading a book (I do not know the title) because a tornado came out of the book. Now, let me tell you the story.

So, it was a regular day at school (Friday, if you want to know) and my friend Elvis kept reading this weird book. Because my name is Emy, he calls me Emmanuel.

Back to the book: it was all ripped up, and the title was Bressling. The pages were dark, the words were light. You could tell it was a very old book. One day, during recess, Elvis was reading this book. He said that he liked this book. I sat next to him, reading my own book. Suddenly, a tornado came out of the book and sucked Elvis in. I got so scared that I ran home.

I asked my dad, “What was the name of the book that Grandpa was reading when he got sucked in?”

“Oh, I don’t know… Bressling, I think. Why do you want to know?” asked my Dad.

Without answering my Dad, I ran to school terrified and breathing heavily. When I finally got to school, I took the book from Elvis’s desk. I looked. The title was “Bressling.”

“I knew it!” I said. I looked at the page where Elvis stopped because the book was still open to that page. I knew it was the correct page. Then, I looked at the sentence where he had gotten sucked in: “Then the book took in a man and a boy, Albert Senstein and Elvis Toddler.”

Albert Senstein was my grandfather. Elvis Toddler was my friend. “This book’s haunted!” said my friend, Nate. He was sitting in the room the whole time paying attention to his work until I ran to Elvis’s desk. Then I thought, The only way I get to Elvis is to read the book until a tornado sucks me in.

I started reading the book from the beginning. Then, a tornado came out of the book and sucked me in. The last thing I saw was Nate running out of the room. Next, I was falling from the sky and landed on the floor of a desert. Next to me was Elvis. He pulled me up and started talking.

“Hey! Emmanuel! Look at this old man. This is a character from the book.” He pointed at a white-bearded man. “His name is Zalen.”

“Hi, Zalen, I’m –– ”

“Emmanuel, I know. Hello, Emmanuel,” said Zalen, in an old, old voice that reminded me of my friend’s grandpa. That’s when I realized there was another man who looked about 72 years old.

I didn’t even know him, but he must’ve known me because he came up and hugged me and said, “Emy, I only saw you as a little baby. I always wanted to see you when you were nine years old. Now look at you –– you have grown. I am your grandfather who was sucked in by a tornado from a book.”

Then Nate came plopping on my head and said, “I started reading the book and then a tornado came out and I ended up here!”

I was annoyed. “So not only did I come here, but you did too. Now I have to get all of you out!”

Then my grandfather Albert looked at me. “Hey. Who put you in charge? I’m the oldest… I’m supposed to be in charge.”

Zalen looked at him as if he were blind and said, “I’m the oldest. Look at you. You’re 72. I’m 137!”

Then Albert said, “You’re in the book! You’re supposed to be inside the tornado!”

Zalen said, “Right, yeah. I wish the author of this book had never written it. Now I’m stuck here for the rest of my life!”

“It’s fine,” I said, “but how are we going to get out?”

Then Zalen said, “I know this witch that lives in the north. All we have to do is walk 100 miles to the north and then we’ll find her. She is the author of this book. She’ll know how to get us out.”

“Okay, not helping. 100 miles?!”

Zalen said, “Okay, fine, fine. But it’s better than nothing. What other choice do we have?”

“Good point. Isn’t there any faster way to get there?”

“No, sorry. We could camp. I have tents and food –– a whole lot of food!”

“Ok,” said five-year-old Nate, who did not know what was going on. He was only pretending to know what was going on.

Then, we heard a strange noise. The next thing we knew, Nate was gone.

We looked around for Nate, until Zalen said, “Where could he be? In this desert, there’s nothing but sand. There’s no hiding places.”

Albert said, “I disagree. There are cactuses all over this place.”

He was right: the desert was full of cactuses. I got an idea.

“How about the four of us split around and look for him? He always plays around with jokes,” I said. Then we heard the same noise again.

“It doesn’t sound anything like Nate,” Elvis said. “I think he is making one of his stupid noises.”

Suddenly, a little dwarf came out holding Nate.

Elvis said, “How much do you want for that stupid little boy?”

“Five hundred bucks,” said the dwarf in the same voice they heard earlier.

Zalen said, “You came to exactly the right person! I’m a billionaire!” Then he held up a wallet, which was not exactly a wallet. It was a big bag of money and gold. “I got it from my father!” he exclaimed, pulling out five $100 bills and giving them to the dwarf.

The dwarf said, “Give me another $500, or I’ll kill the boy.”

Then Elvis said, “Oh, whatever… Hey, dwarf, I know dwarves like big hats. Do you want this hat?” He took off his own hat.

The dwarf said, “No!” and pulled out a knife.

Then Elvis said, “I go to karate!” He wrestled the dwarf to the ground, took the knife, and threw it into one of the cactuses.

“I knew it would become useful someday!” said Elvis. He got off the dwarf and grabbed Nate. Then he said, “Don’t mess with me again!” The dwarf ran away.

Zalen took out a compass and said, “Go that way. Let’s go!” He pointed North, and we started walking. After 50 miles (we walked really fast) Zalen said, “Okay. My feet can’t walk anymore. Let’s rest.”

“Okay,” said Albert. “Do you boys agree?”

“Yes!” said Elvis and I.

“What about you, Emmanuel?” asked Elvis.

“I said yes!”

“Oh,” said Elvis.

Zalen pulled out a big tent and sticks from his backpack and started unfolding it. Then he put the sticks up and put up the tent and it was standing.

Zalen said, “Get inside the tent unless you want to stay outside. It’s getting dark.” Albert tried to go inside the tent but Nate pushed him aside and went in first.

Then Albert went in and said, “Nate! That was rude.”

Elvis got in next and asked, “Emmanuel, are you coming in?”

“Yeah,” I said, climbing in.

When I woke up, I was not in the tent….


I was not in my tent, and I was not even lying down –– I was in a chair. I looked around. There were other chairs, and Zalin, Elvis, Nate, and Albert were sitting in them. I tried to stand but could not because I was in front of a desk. So were my friends.

A man came into the room. He had dirty blonde hair, brown eyes, yellow teeth, black skin, black glasses, black pants, white t-shirt, and white sneakers.

He said, “Why don’t we take a test? Why are all of you the same? I’m not included.”

Then Nate raised his hand.

“Yes?” said the man. “Oh, by the way, if you cheat on this test, you will be eliminated. Oh, sorry –– did I say eliminated? I meant executed. Now that will calm you down.”

Nate said, “We all have to answer your stupid questions?”

“Um, no,” said the man.

Albert raised his hand.


“We all have white teeth.”


Then I raised my hand. “Yes, we are all captured, but we don’t care.”

“What do you mean?”

“You captured us, but none of us seem to care.”

“OH, now I get it. No. Now I will kill you…. Actually, no. I will spare you and give you one more chance. When I say ‘hey,’ you will race to the end of the room. I will kill the loser.”

We lined against the wall.

Then Albert said, “Hey!” and ran. When he got to the other side of the room, everybody looked at him, surprised.

Then the man said, “Look dude. I didn’t say ‘hey.’ You did. Get back to the other side of the wall. And when I say hey, you run. Is that understood?”

“Yes,” we all said.

Then the man said, “Hey!” and we all ran.

To Elvis’s luck, he got to the wall first. Then I got there and then Albert and then the limping old Zalin. We all looked at Nate, but he wasn’t running –– he was looking at the man.

The man said, “Okay. The little boy in the pajamas will be killed.”

Elvis wrestled the man to the floor and took the man’s gun and pointed at his face.

Then the man said, “Shoot, you stupid idiot.” He smiled a creepy smile that showed his yellow teeth.

Elvis shot. There was a great big sound that sounded like a bomb exploded. We all looked at the man, but the man was laughing. The gun was blank.

So, Elvis punched the man in the face, and the man fainted. Then, we found a bucket of bullets in one of the corners of the room. We loaded the gun and Elvis shot the wall. The gun worked because there was a hole.

“Let’s go,” he said.

We all stepped out and Zalin said, “What? This was the desert we were walking through until we woke up in that stinking room that smelled of rotten poop.” Then, we saw the tent. We all turned around and saw the room. But it wasn’t really a room –– it was a few cactuses built up into a room. We saw the hole we had gone through and then we understood everything: the man had taken cactuses, built up the room, and dragged us in there.

“I am keeping this weapon,” said Elvis.

“Listen, you kept the knife. Now you’re keeping the gun? You gotta be kidding me,” I said.

“Okay, fine, fine. You get the knife. I get to keep the gun.”

“No, I want the gun. You get to keep the knife.”

“No, I do.”

“No, I do.”

“Nope, I do.”

“No, I do.”

“No –– ”

“OK, can I say something?” asked Zalen.

“No!” Elvis and I said in unison.

“Okay,” said Zalen, and he walked away.

“Fine –– you get to keep the gun. I keep the knife,” said Elvis. He put the knife in his belt and handed over the gun. I put the gun in my belt (we both had belts because they were part of the school uniform).

Then we started walking. Soon, we had walked another 50 miles, and Zalen said, “Stop!” If we’d walked one more step, we would’ve crashed into a big hut with a roof that looked like a witch’s hat.

“This is it!” said Zalen. We knocked, and a very old woman opened the door.

She had a hat that looked exactly like the roof.

“Come in, dears,” she said in a very kind voice. Inside the hut there were many pictures. In the middle of the room there was a small black table, with pot of some green liquid on top.

“Can I drink that?” asked Nate.

“If you want to explode, yes,” she said, pausing. “Ah, yes, you don’t know my name and I don’t know yours. I’ll go first: my name is Minerva. What’s yours?”

“Zalen,” said Zalen.

“Albert,” said Albert.

“Emy,” I said.

“Elvis,” said Elvis.

“Poopy Pants!” said Nate.

“His name is Nate,” said Elvis.

“No, my name is Poopy Pants!” cried Nate.

“Alright,” said Minerva. “I believe that your name is Nate… but I am going to call you Poopy Pants.” Then she asked, “Why did you come?”

“We want to get out into the outer world,” I said.

“Who? All of you? And what do you mean by the outer world?”

“The answer to the first question: Nate –– well, Poopy Pants –– me, Elvis, and Albert want to get out. To the second question, we were trapped in a book called Bressling…” And I told the story about Bressling but kept forgetting to say Poopy Pants instead of Nate.

“Ah, yes, Bressling. I wrote it, and I cast a spell on it. And I read it and I got sucked in because I wanted to. And then I forgot something, so I cast a spell to write in the names that got sucked in. Now, all you need to do is drink this little potion that I am going to make right now… Here it is. Hokatee pokatee lokatee pookatee shokatee nokatee sokatee… ah, where was I…?” she interrupted herself. “Oh, right, yes. Noopatee kloopatee crumpatootatee, and, last of all… compoopatee! Oh, how dumb am I? I forgot the bowl, the water, and my wand.” Minerva got the bowl and the wand, and pointed at the bowl and said, “Shoompatee, gloompatee.” And then some water burst out of the wand and flew into the bowl. “Enough! Enough, you stupid spray!” The wand stopped the water and she said, “Now, what was the spell? Hokatee pokatee lokatee pookatee shokatee nokatee sokatee noopatee kloopatee crumpatootatee!” Then the water turned red, then orange, then yellow, then light green, then dark green, then light blue, then dark blue, then pink, and finally purple. And then it turned every color, in a mix. She took four cups and put them on the table. She took the bowl and poured equally into each cup.

“Alright. All of you who want to go back to the outer world, please drink this.” We all drank it except for Zalen. Then Minerva said, “Alright. Now, in ten minutes, you will go back into the outer world, in front of the book in the place where you were reading when you got sucked in. Why don’t you find something that’ll entertain you for the time being?”

Then, she pointed her wand at the table and said, “Shoompatee, loompatee, gloompatee, foompatee!”

A chessboard with chess pieces appeared on the table, and Elvis and I sat down at the table and started playing. “Thanks for the chess board,” I said.

She conjured a magic carpet using some other words I couldn’t hear correctly.

“Here you go, Poopy Pants,” said Minerva. Nate jumped onto the magic carpet and started flying around, and he went out the window and flew around the yard. Nine minutes later, the magic carpet landed. Nate got off. Elvis and I finished the chess game with a stalemate. Elvis was so close to winning –– he had a queen up –– but I drew into a stalemate.

Minerva shouted, “One minute to go!”

Sixty seconds later, we appeared in the classroom where we’d started.

“I miss Minerva and Zalen,” I said.

“I miss them too…. If we want to see them, we have the book.” Elvis pointed at Bressling. Then Nate started crying. We looked at him.

“What’s wrong now?” we asked him.

“I miss my flying carpet!” he cried.

I slapped my head. “He’s so stupid!”

Elvis and I ran home with Albert. We came home (by the way, I forgot to tell you, Elvis was my neighbor. I lived in apartment 5D and He lived in 6D).

My father sat up and said, “I do recognize you, Daddy. How the heck did you get here from that book?” He pointed at Bressling, which I was holding in my armpit.

Then Albert said, “You should’ve met Minerva.” And the three of us laughed.


The Adventures of Digger and Scrappy

Chapter 1

“Hi, my name is Scrappy, and this is Digger. We’re in the shelter with all the other dogs. WOOF WOOF,” Scrappy said.

The shelter door opened, and two girls came in with their dad.

“Their dad looks like the president!” said Scrappy.

“He is!” said Digger.

“Wow!” said Scrappy.

The two girls came over to their pen and said, “I want those two!” Digger and Scrappy were so happy. The girls took them out of the pen and picked them up. Then their dad paid for the dogs, and they went to the car. Scrappy wondered if they lived in a house, so he asked Digger. Digger thought that Scrappy had lost his mind.

“Scrappy, they live in a mansion!”

“Oh, yeah,” said Scrappy.

Then they tried to guess the girls’ names.


Chapter 2

“Maybe Fuzzy!” said Digger.

“Or maybe Coco!” said Scrappy.

“Wait!” said Digger, “What about human names? We’re saying dog names.”

“Maybe Megan!” said Scrappy.

“Hey, Megan, are you excited that we’re going to Hawaii for Christmas?” said the dad.

“Yeah!” said Megan in an excited voice.

“Score!” said Digger. “Bridget, are you going to go in the pool in Hawaii?”

“Yes!” said Bridget.

“This is going to be great!” said Digger.


Chapter 3

They were in the park when Scrappy saw another dog. He wanted to play with the dog. The dog was a golden retriever like Digger. Digger was right next to Scrappy, so Scrappy started to walk over to the other golden retriever. Digger followed. Scrappy asked if they could play with the golden retriever.

The golden retriever said nothing. He couldn’t hear Scrappy because Scrappy was so small. Scrappy felt sad and began to walk away.

Digger asked, “Why are you sad?”

Scrappy said, “I feel tiny… That dog couldn’t hear me, and I wanted to play with him.”

“That’s sad,” said Digger. “I’m going to go talk to the dog and tell him that you want to play with him.”

Digger started to walk over to the big dog. He asked, “Can Scrappy play with you? By the way, my name is Digger, and this is my best friend Scrappy.”

“Hi!” said the big dog.

“Oh, I forgot, what is your name?” Digger asked.

“My name is Whiskers,” the big dog said.

“Good name!” said Digger.

He whispered to Scrappy, “Funny name.”

“Yeah,” said Scrappy, giggling.

A few minutes later the girls called them to leave, so they ran and jumped on them, knocking them down. They started to lick their faces. Then their dad called them from the front porch of the house. The girls stood up, with Scrappy still holding on to Bridget’s leg. Digger told him to get off Bridget’s leg, so he did. They started to run up to the house, and they went through the doggy door upstairs to their room.

Chapter 4

When Digger got up the stairs, he and Scrappy talked about what they were going to do the next day.

The next day, when Digger woke up, he looked around, but Scrappy wasn’t in his bed. He washed his paws in the little doggy sink and went down to have breakfast. When he got down the stairs, Scrappy was there waiting for him.

“Did you hear the news, Digger? They’re going to Hawaii!”

“Who’s going to what the what?” asked Digger

“They’re going to Hawaii!” said Scrappy.

“Who is going to Hawaii?” said Digger.

“Bridget is going and Megan is going and the president is going,” said Scrappy.

“Ohh!” said Digger. “Are we going?”

“No! Of course not. I wouldn’t even want to go. Get stuck in the airplane for, like, 100 hours? I wouldn’t even be able to stay alive for two minutes!”

“What did you say?” said Digger.

“Oh, whatever,” muttered Scrappy.

That night, Digger and Scrappy helped the girls pack their bags. The next day, Digger and Scrappy said goodbye to the girls. They felt sad and confident at the same time because they were going to be left alone.


Chapter 5: The Robbers

For the next few hours, Digger and Scrappy slept. The doorbell rang. They started to bark – a package for the president! Digger opened the door. The delivery man ran in, stole everything, (chairs, tables, and the medal that Megan had won) and tried to get out. But, before the robber got out, the dogs already had a plan. They got the rope from the basement, tied it to the staircase, ran across the room, out the door, put the doorstop in, and waited. Then, they took the table and chairs and smashed them into the door. A few minutes later the dogs were fast asleep again while the robbers were taking all the stuff, but they were faking it. The robbers got out the back door by cutting a hole in it with their knife. Digger and Scrappy woke up, and they climbed up the wall and wrapped the rope around the door. As soon as the robbers opened the door, a big punching jack-in-the-box punched them in the face. They fell down and landed on the table.

Digger and Scrappy called the other dogs from the neighborhood. They ran through the door and started licking the robbers’ faces. Finally, Scrappy came out and gave the robbers a supergalactic lick. The robbers got up as soon as they could and left.


Chapter 6: The Return of the President

Twenty minutes later, the president parked the car in the driveway. Digger and Scrappy climbed on the heater and started to bark. Bridget and Megan ran to the door, swung it open, and picked Scrappy and Digger up and twirled around.

“My little fluffies!” said Bridget.

They squirmed like worms until they finally put them on the sofa. Digger and Scrappy rolled around amd couldn’t see anything. Then, Digger bumped into Scrappy and he almost fell off, but he caught him with his paws. They ran up the stairs and jumped onto the girls’ bed. They ran after the puppies but went to the wrong room. Then Digger and Scrappy went to another room because they were coming to their room. Eventually, when they found them, the puppies jumped on their legs.

“Arf, arf, arf-dee-arf,” said Digger.

“We can talk, Digger!” said Scrappy.

“Oh yeah!” said Digger.

From that day on, Digger and Scrappy had the best life any dog could wish for.

The Ice Cream Monster

Jack was at the park eating ice cream. He was alone. He was sitting on a bench. He finished his ice cream and decided to play on the swings. He was feeling good. He was joyful. When it was night, he started to become worried because a big ice cream monster tried to attack him. The ice cream monster had a big mouth with goopy ice cream in his mouth. He had an ice cream ninja sword, and threw it at Jack.

Jack ran away. He ran to Manhattan, but the monster followed him. Jack stood up in a big tower, and he told the people, “Help! A monster is coming!”

They said, “We’re going to attack the ice cream monster!” They were getting ready to attack the monster. They used a lot of ice cream with a big pile of ice.

Jack was doing something different. He was trying to get an ice cream shooter. He got it from the ice cream material store. It was near the ice cream shop on Sesame Street.

He went back to the group. He said, “We’re going on the train to find the ice cream monster. He is always in the ice cream store next to Toys R Us.”

All of the police were blocking Jack when he went to the ice cream shop because the store was closed. One of the teammates distracted the police. Jack was distracting the police too. All of the teammates went inside the shop and the ice cream monster was inside. The teammate shoot the ice cream monster with a lot of ice cream and ice. It caused him to vomit ice cream. It caused him to have a broken eye and slime was going over him.

He fought back with a ninja star and one of the teammates fell down. Jack had sleeping potion and put it on the police. The police fell asleep. Jack came in in slow motion. His body is like he’s actually cool. His arms and his legs are moving slow and his arms are in his pockets. The ice cream monster had melted. And all of the teammates were happy and they went back home. Jack went to his mom and he told his mom that a big monster came, but Jack attacked the monster. All of the teammates said bye to Jack and Jack went back to sleep. And the teammates went back to sleep. And it was the next morning, and another monster came. They cooked up a plan. They smashed the monster with a big giant hammer and he was dead. THE END!


Chapter 1

I admired the little brown houses as I walked through the quaint village. I stopped at the end of the road and saw a beautiful valley in front of me with a tiny stream. I could smell the jasmine and honeysuckle in the air.

Then a stranger with silvery blond hair approached me and with a welcoming smile. She said, “Welcome to the City of ––

Suddenly, she got shot in the back with an arrow. Slowly her eyes turned black, her skin turned grey, she looked at me with a disturbing smile and ––

I jolted up, banging my head on the wooden headboard of my bed. When, I wondered as I rubbed my throbbing head, are these visions going to stop? Although the beginning of the vision felt safe and slightly familiar, I did not like the end when the lady transformed into a creepy creature. Out of all the visions that I’d had, I felt that this one was the worst. Many questions started popping into my mind. How come these visions only started two months ago? Where was the beautiful valley that I saw? And most importantly, what do the visions mean?

“Kayla, the school bus is here!” yelled my mother.

I groaned. Those six words were the words that I dreaded the most every morning. The thought of walking into a seventh grade classroom full of judgmental kids and strict teachers made me shiver, especially when I could have a vision at any time. I grabbed my schoolbag and headed downstairs. Of course my brother was already waiting for me, tapping his foot impatiently when I walked into the tiny kitchen. Why was he so excited about school? I guess because he still was in first grade, and in first grade all you do is play games and read books. Sometimes I wished I was still a little kid: oblivious, carefree, and vision-free.

“Hurry up, Kayla!” My mother snapped me out of my thoughts.

“Yeah, Kayla, hurry up!” Henry (my brother) mimicked. Rushed, I shoved

a muffin in my mouth, grabbed Henry’s small pudgy hand, and hurried toward the dreaded school bus.

I dragged him into the seats in the front row as fast as I could. The kids in the back could be dangerous. They had bullied Henry before (he is very gullible) and I wanted to keep him as safe as possible. The ride to school seemed to go on for a long time, even though it was actually quite short. As we passed the fountain near the park, I thought about the memories of my father there when I was just a little bit younger than Henry.

In books where the protagonist’s mother or father dies, the character always remembers only a snippet or two about their parents. But I could remember every little detail about my dad. Weirdly, my mother never appeared in these memories, it was just me and my dad. Me and Dad racing down the streets of New York. Me and Dad sliding down the slides in the park. Me and Dad reading a book together. I also remembered the night he left. Before he drove off into the foggy night and left me with my mother he said, Reach deep down into your heart and remember.

Before I knew it, hundreds of children were rushing out of the bus. Grabbing my brother’s hand we pushed our way to the exit.

“Bye Kayla!!! See you after school!” Henry bounced away into the small building on the left side of the field of grass. Sighing, I waved goodbye to him and walked to the huge building on the right side. After putting all my books away, I found the English classroom. It was covered with school projects and decorations that brought back bad memories of the past years: Ms. Gutter’s attempt to make the classroom seem like a ‘happy environment.’ Ms. Gutter finally walked in, wearing her long weird robes (where did she buy those from?) and lipstick. Even though she was very cheerful, she always gave us a quiz every three days.

“Oh no! I forgot the classical music today! Why didn’t you kids remind me?”

… No response.

“I see, aren’t we all tired today!”

… No response. That’s basically how the whole class went.  

The morning flew by and soon it was time for history class. History class was the most boring class ever!! Ms. Rath drones on and on during the whole class, so you would understand my ‘excitement’ for history class. I walked into class and took my usual seat in the middle. Ms. Rath started her lecture about World War II (or something). She started talking about the book we were going to read when I felt a nauseous feeling in my stomach and the desks in front of me started fading to white. The whole world around me changed into diluted colors. I always felt this familiar feeling in my stomach when I was about to have a vision. Panicked, I stumbled out of my seat and trudged to the corner of the faded room, attempting to hide from the other people in the room. I looked out the window and saw…

the same breathtaking valley. But this time a dark, curly-haired little girl pranced through the green grass and spun in circles. Then another figure appeared beside her and lifted her up on his broad shoulders, let out a deep rumbling laugh that vibrated through my chest. I then felt a pang of familiarity that disappeared as fast as it came. When the little girl ran into the small cabin the whole vision flickered into a dark, cloudy scene with demon-like arrows flying into people’s hearts, but then the beautiful landscape came back.

A moment later, the desks materialized again and then the shocked faces of my peers popped out from the fog, and lamely I replied, “I have a stomach ache.”

… Silence.

“Of course you do!” Ms. Rath cut in, “Let’s get you to the nurse. Don’t worry, Kayla!”

Ms. Rath dragged me into the enclosed hallways and once we got to a small corner she stopped and faced me, her cheerful and serene smile twisted into a dark frown. “What were you thinking, going to school without consuming the right medication this morning? You never had a vision before during school, are you running out of the pills?” She scolds, looking down at me. I was shocked.

“Uh, I, um, what?” Ms. Rath’s anger bubbled down to confusion.

“Your medications, the one you take to prevent the visions. Your father gave them to you! You will obviously be getting visions when you are this far away from the City.”

I paused for a second, the shock of finding out that Ms. Rath knew about my visions faded away and was replaced by the realization that the question that had clouded my mind for almost a month had been answered.

“You know why I’m getting these visions? You know?”

“Of course I know! I was assigned as your father’s advisor when he took you and left the City. You grew up there, that’s why you’re getting visions. Why didn’t your father tell you all of this?”

“My father left me and my mom, and from what I remember, he never told me anything about this ‘City’!” After saying this, it felt like ten weights were dropped on my heart; I couldn’t take all this information. “Okay, I think I feel a little — ” I searched for the right words to say to Ms. Rath’s impatient face, “overwhelmed.”

Without saying anything else, I pushed past her to get inside the classroom to grab my stuff, ignoring the weird looks with confidence. Then I called my mom, saying that I had a headache and I wanted to walk home.

I finally took my first full breath of air walking outside onto the bumpy sidewalk; watching the big puff of air dissolve into the cold winter sky. This was how I escaped: I had to be by myself, outside with no walls surrounding me. I started to think about what Ms. Rath had said. She used to be my father’s advisor in this whole different city (that I didn’t remember), why would my father need an advisor? She had also mentioned that I grew up there.

That was why these visions seemed so familiar! There was also a medication I could take to prevent the visions? How come I didn’t remember all of this? By the time I passed the Choo Choo Train Park, where I had fallen and broken my knee a while back (I never played in there ever again), I figured out the answers to my questions, I needed to see my father.

I climbed up the stairs two steps at a time up to my room and flopped face down onto my old worn quilt. My aura of peace quickly faded away once I was inside my room. After a few minutes of silence, I heard the steps of my mother’s soft slippers climbing up the stairs. I sighed ready for her to interrogate me. She walked in and looked at me for a good ten seconds and then walked over to sit beside me. Her blond hair tickled my cheek.

“How was your walk?” She looked at me with kind eyes. I laughed. My mother always asked the smart and unexpected questions, I loved her personality.

“It was relaxing and it cleared my mind,” I told her, smiling. My mom nodded with an understanding face and we just sat there quietly. I then thought about my idea to find my dad. Should I tell her? No, then I’ll have to tell her about my visions and I can’t do that, there must be a reason for why my dad left. I then crawled into my bed to lay down and calm my pounding head. Soon after that, I felt the weight of my mom leaving the bed and walking out of my room.


Chapter 2

I loved little children. They were so innocent. Henry was innocent but he was also very smart and educated about the world. Kids were not judgmental at all. That was why I was excited when my mom told me that my baby cousin Maureen was coming over to barbeque with us. Finally, I had somebody to spill my problems to! I felt like telling Henry about our dad might be too overwhelming. I didn’t want him to feel the same way I felt and I didn’t want to frighten him.

After hearing the shrieking of my two little cousins entering our quiet house, I rushed downstairs. Immediately guilt crept over me when I saw Henry realize that he had gotten home on the bus by himself.

“Oh Henry, I’m so sorry I didn’t come down earlier when you came home!” I reached over to ruffle his fluffy blonde hair.

“That’s okay, I know you have a bad headache,” he replied. I felt lonely realizing that he and my mom didn’t know about about the visions, or about this whole other life in this crazy demonized city that our dad potentially lives in. A high-pitched squeal broke mye away from my thoughts ––

“Maureen!” I looked to the doorway and saw my tired but bright-looking Aunt Pearl (I had always loved that name) and Uncle Thomas carrying little two year old Maureen and her brother, Peter, who was two years older than her.

My mother shrieked as she ushered the small group of people into the living room.

“Hi! Come in, come in! I missed you so much.” That was probably true, my mother’s whole family lived in Brighton so having them come to visit us in New York state was only a once-in-awhile type of thing. Aunt Pearl nodded and followed my mom into the cheerful room chattering excitedly and admiring Henry’s artwork from school hanging on the walls. Henry makes a beeline to Peter soon after the family settles down. I think Henry liked to boss him around after being bossed around by me (I tried my best to not tell him what to do, but sometimes the orders just slipped out!) so he chosed to play with Peter. I brought Maureen to the small playroom filled with random toy trucks and cars that Henry played with. I watched her grab and whack a small purple car. I sighed remembering the happy carefree times before I got my visions, two months ago, I didn’t have to take some medication to be able to go to school and there were no gaping holes in my life.

“Maureen, do you know who my father is?” I asked her.  Her little blonde head perked up after hearing her name and she stared at me blankly. “That’s okay, I don’t know who he is myself. I don’t even know where he lives. I mean, is he still alive?” I rambled on and on about my dad not caring about what the little girl next to me was thinking. Suddenly, Maureen pointed at the window behind me, her face pale. Whimpers started to come out of her tiny mouth. I stopped, my mouth seeming to zip up like the jacket hanging on the wooden rack. I turned around slowly, this was probably how the characters in horror movies felt; that rush of panic in your stomach.

The person standing –– no, floating –– was smiling at Maureen with black, empty eyes. His skin was grey, and there was a black arrow that seemed to vibrate stuck in his back. A picture flashed through my mind: the woman who approached me in my vision. I shrieked when I made eye contact with his ghostly eyes. Weirdly, fear appeared in his eyes and the man started to disappear, limb by limb. I looked at Maureen, she stared back at me, and screamed.

My mother rushed into the room. She stopped when she saw my eyes. I looked at her, scared and confused. After she grabbed Maureen she walked toward me slowly and almost cautiously. I followed her gaze to the antique mirror that hung above the small table on the wall. I rushed to it and stared at myself. Frizzy brown hair, pale skin, orange eyes –– WAIT! I do not have orange eyes! I started to panic, I looked down at the scratched wooden floor and then stared at the mirror again. The fiery orange faded into its usual, normal, dull brown color that I saw every time I looked at myself in the mirror. I heard Aunt Pearl and Uncle Tom walk over and turn silent in the back of my mind. I looked to the left and saw Henry staring at me, his mouth wide open. I just stared at the mirror in horror, what am I? What thing did I become?


The night went by in a blur, and all I saw was the fear in my mother’s eyes, imprinted in my mutant eyes. Never in my life, had I felt so terrified and uncomfortable. My visions started to come into the world; they were actually real. So that meant that this city was actually real, this whole mess was real. There was a hole in my chest –– you know, that sour feeling that you get when you drown in panic and confusion. The feeling that I got when I was lost in the new gigantic building in the beginning of middle school? That feeling was taking over my heart.

My mother stopped talking to me altogether. I think she was still trying to wrap her head around the idea that I’m a creepy mutant person with wonky eyes. I’m also trying.

I realized that I was the only person in this realistic world who knew about these visions. Except… except for Ms. Rath. Ms. Rath knows about the City. She was my father’s advisor. It seemed like my teacher had more to tell me before I ran away.


During the evening, we went out to our well kept lawn to stargaze. I tried to make out each constellation but failed. How are you able to organize so many stars into one constellation?

I sighed when I went under the covers. Another day of potential visions. Another day of fear. Another day of confusion.


Chapter 3

My next mission was to find Ms. Rath and make sure that she told me everything she knew about my dad and my eyes. Without going to school. Do you really expect me to be able to go to school the day after having a frightening (and embarrassing) ‘stomach ache’? No you don’t. That was why I was never going back to that history classroom. Fortunately, I didn’t have a vision last night, and I was granted permission miss school. That means I had a whole day to think about my eyes. My weird eyes.

My mom and I were both a little bit rattled after the incident last night and I got a refreshing vision-free night to let the idea of my mutant facial body part sink in. I hoped my mom was as understanding as she always was. I sighed as I walked down the hall to the bathroom. It seemed like I’d been sighing a lot lately. I wondered why. I was stopped by Henry.

“I have been having dreams.” That sentence that came out of my brother’s mouth stopped me on my tracks. “Weird dreams. Weird dreams with big orange eyes staring at me, with Dad telling me to ‘remember’ or something like that.” Henry seemed to get more frightened with each word.
You have been having dreams about my eyes? Since when?” My brother may know more about me than I do.

“The first dream started two months ago, but I have only gotten three in total.” Henry paused, it seemed like he wanted to tell me more, but his emotions were holding him back. A few seconds later Henry whispered in a timid voice “I’m worried, Kayla.” My insides crushed. I was able to deal with my visions but the thought of Henry having to go through them too made me feel horrible.

“It’s ok to be afraid, Henry. I’ve been having visions too. They’re about our dad and a city where demons are invading. I’m trying to find out more about this mess and I think I know someone who might know more about our dad and my abilities,” I told him, trying to help Henry understand.  His eyes lit up, he probably saw this as some sort of adventure in the comic books… Kayla and Henry’s Adventure to Find Their History Teacher to Find Out More About Their Father!!!

I want to read that comic.

“Kayla, you may not think so, but I think your powers are really cool. In my dreams, your eyes have saved lives, actually, they called it Kratos?” Henry said thoughtfully. I saved lives? Me?

“You know what? We are going to find out more about this whole situation. My history teacher, Ms. Rath, knows about our father and ––

“Wait, your history teacher, the one who is friends with Mom? She babysits me while you’re gone!” Henry interrupted me. Ms. Rath babysits Henry? Knowing that she has been inside my home for something not related to school creeped me out. A lot. But that also meant that I could talk to her about everything. Finally, I felt so relieved to talk to someone about my visions.


Chapter 4

I stared at the demon towering over me, trying to get into its ugly mind. I snapped my fingers and the demon, with the five demons behind it, disappeared into ashes. I felt a fraction of my energy fade away as I stumbled to the safe house nearest to me. My energy seemed to be dissolving more and more every time I destroyed demons. I moved around the many injured people and went to go find my sister who told me specifically to meet her in the safe house near the Lily River after three in the afternoon. I heard shouts from out of the window and the whistle of an arrow. I wanted to scream in frustration. Why wasn’t General Lucien sending in the city’s powerful troops? Was he only relying on the talents of the Mutatia? The General’s intelligence seemed to be dimming after his advisor left. Our proud and beautiful city cannot be turned into a wasteland of demons.

“ Clairementine! Over here!” I turn my head to my sister sitting on the bench, finishing up wrapping a big bandage around a wounded Mutatia. I sighed at the sound of her childhood nickname for me. “Finally, I was so worried after the General sent the alarm to the Mutatia and you didn’t come back!” Her gentle face was eerily calm as she stared me down. I avoided her look by looking at my small signal panel on my wrist that was buzzing with an alert –– ALL MUTATIA MUST RETURN TO THE SAFEHOUSES BY THE FOURTH HOUR.  –– General Lucien. Oops. That’s why I did not recognize anyone on the battlefield.

“How did you even know about the alert, Grace?” I interrogated my sister. She sheepishly pointed at the wrist of her old Mutatia patient. I sighed and slumped into the dated, out-of-place, armchair. The springs squeaked under the new weight. I ripped of the silver mask that proved my status.

“Claire!” I just closed my eyes, not wanting to deal with anyone at this moment. “Claire! Wake up!” I inwardly groaned and opened my eyes. I see Brendan’s concerned face staring down at me. “Oh, good you’re awake.” I really wanted to laugh but I knew it would be unseemly for this situation.

“The General wanted all the captains to repower in the safehouses.” I nodded and dismissed my messenger. He still lingered. I turned my head and was about to question it when he said, “Most of your Saplings died overusing their power and the general was very angry.”

WHAT!!! Okay, calm down. I’m the leader I have to stay calm. “Oh! That’s awful! I will have to speak to him later to get some advice. Thank you so much for the information.” I said through gritted teeth. Brendan seemed to be disgusted at my lack of sympathy for the young Mutatia who died, but still understood my cue to leave. Even though he was almost a year older than me, it didn’t matter, he would still take my orders –– I was his captain. All of us trained and fought together equally. Anyone could also be your group’s captain, if you worked hard and wanted the responsibility. The responsibility. That was probably the worst part of my job. I was good at battle plans and organizing everyone and I loved being a leader; someone people could respect and look up to you, but I disliked having to always be bothered, always having to discuss things with other leaders, saying the right thing to be a good role model for my Saplings and, of course, making sure that they were trained the right way and using their privileged powers correctly. The young fighters were always so passionate about defending their city, they overused their talents, some were more powerful than others, and didn’t get to recharge in the madness of battle, therefore, they died.

I was used to all these tragedies –– people dying, turning into demons, etc.

I followed the signs of the safehouse to the repowering station, slipping my mask back on, and feeling a bit self conscious, as I do each time I put it on. Once I saw the small enclosed room, I waited on the line of Mutatia. Energy was extremely important to us. No energy? No powers, and no defending our city. Some Mutatia used different types of energy, but most used electricity. The general tried to experiment with other types of energy; water,  fire, wind, and solar. Different Mutatia reacted to different types, so the General decided to just use all of them. I was assigned to do tests on the energies for my project as captain last year. It took maybe about ten million years and ten million pounds of hard work to complete it. But the outcome was useful for my group and my battle friends. I figured out that the most powerful type of energy is electricity, and the least powerful was solar power. The line shuffled forward.

When I finished charging up I set off to find the General to talk about the situation. I tapped my wristband on my arm to to turn on the green light in the corner of the screen, to turn on my tracking device so my leader can know where I am. (You have to turn it off while in the power station). Every time I saw the lime green light flash on, I  felt a vibration between the vertebra of my neck which sent shudders down my spine. I seemed to be the only captain who has not adapted to this feeling, the feeling of people watching you and your every move. Maybe if they had chosen somewhere else to place the device, like my arm, I would not feel the vibrations.

Even though the battles outside my window are ruthless and bloody, the enemies do have some sort of organized plan that we have learned to live around. It goes mostly by hours. Because I have gotten used to the war scene after many years, I had learned the “schedule” and memorized it. I had to, all captains had to. Out of all the inhabitants of this city, the ones I pitied the most were the newborns, the toddlers. They have to grow up and figure out who they were while this war was raging outside their windows. While they took their first steps, and babbled their first words, there would be sounds of battle and demons in the background. Their first memories would be of having to hide in their shelters, and they would not be able to enjoy the amazing landscape of the city. While my childhood was full of oblivious, carefree, and battle-free memories: bounding down the valleys with Grace and spending time with my mother baking goods for our neighbors, (our city prides ourselves on the value of community that all children are being taught in their daily lives). There were little of these precious memories but I kept them close to my heart.

Sometimes I wondered if inhabitants of this city were actually going to experience that kind of life now that it has changed so much. Instead of superiors being the mayor, politicians, educators, the most important leader of our society was the General and people here looked up to the military: the fighters and their captains, and at the moment it was the Mutatia.

I wondered what the change “back to normal” will be like. Hard? Quick? Or will things slowly start to change. How will we ever forget the hours of when the demons will strike or when they rest and we can finally run back home that are lodged into our brain? I would never be able to stroll across town in the middle of the fifth hour (when the demons fight their second to last attack) calmly, weaponless.

Getting rid of these thoughts that came across my mind daily, I readjusted my mask that never seemed to form comfortably over my skin like it did for my fellow leaders. I then took a sharp turn left in a small alley way, ducking my head to avoid eye contact with anyone else.


Chapter 5

The General’s office was right in the middle of the city, for easy access. Usually he had many visitors, but at that hour, most inhabitants were “enjoying” their time in their homes. As I walked up the steps, a figure came into view. She had a silver mask on, covering her face the same way mine covers my face. The long dark braid that tumbled gracefully down her back was the only way I recognized the captain. Rayna. Funny how it took so long for me to determine who someone, that I have worked with for many years, was. She rudely bumped into me to acknowledge me.

“Oh, Claire, I did not see you in any of the safehouses. I was worried,” she said in a polite manner (but fake), even though she was obviously trying to embarrass me for not paying attention to the alert. She had always been like this, since we were younger and we just started learning how to be captains. Once, I smuggled in a bag of chips during a training to eat during break and, of course, Rayna was there and saw me take a bite out of a crunchy, greasy potato chip. She immediately told our trainer and he has hated me ever since. I have hated her ever since.

“I did not notice the message,” I replied stiffly. I did not want to give her any satisfaction with my tone.

“I heard what happened to your group,” she smiled. Wow, she just went straight into it. She didn’t even try to be polite this time. She was with me during the lecture about how keeping the fighters in your group safe and by saying that, she reminded me of why I should be ashamed. For once I was glad my mask was over my head because I am not good at hiding the emotions on my face. I roughly shoved past her, and strode up the rest of the stairs.


“Donald Trump is a big fat loser because his facial expressions are not good,” said Peaches.

“Well, you need to pee every second,” said Donald Trump.

“Well, actually,” Peaches said, “I only pee every sixty-one seconds.” Peaches hated Donald Trump, because once, Peaches was on loser.com. He loved being on it because he wanted all the media, but Donald Trump took his place. They were enemies.

“You are a peach. You should be ashamed of yourself. And I am a real person.” Donald Trump made fun of Peaches.

“Excuse me? Hold up here. Your face is so ugly that when you wanted to join the ugly contest, they said no pros allowed.” Peaches stood up for himself.

“Donald Trump! Can I take a selfie with you?” a fan of his said.                                                              

“See, Peaches? People love my face so much that they want to take pictures with me,” Donald Trump said.

Peaches grunted, and Donald Trump went to take a selfie with one of his fans.

Donald Trump said, “You’re so fat that when you got locked in Sleepy’s, you had to sleep on the floor.”

Peaches said, “Shut up. Bye.”

Donald Trump said, “I have to go to a party with all of my fans.” Donald Trump threw Peaches in the garbage.

There was a homeless person named Calvin Klein. He was in the military, and he had no legs. He decided to help Peaches, not because he wanted to eat him, but because he wanted to help people who are hurt like him.

Calvin Klein took Peaches out of the garbage can and threw him at Donald Trump. Calvin put padding under Donald Trump just in case Peaches fell. Peaches and Calvin Klein high-fived each other.

Peaches started to have a population of fans walk toward him. The people were making a heart shape.

“Boo, Donald Dump.”

After, Donald Trump said, “I am walking towards my fans’ party anyway, so bye.”

A minute later, Donald Trump saw all of his fans coming toward the heart shape.

Donald Trump and Peaches started a debate.

Donald Trump said, “If anybody wants to marry me, I’m rich.”

And everybody except the man with no legs went to go from a heart shape in front of Donald Trump.

Obama came in, and since he was president, he had the right to put Peaches on loser.com. Now all of Donald Trump’s fans became Peaches fans. Peaches was so happy that he gave each homeless person $500 for food.

“My plan for 2020 is to get every homeless person a home and food.” One thousand people clapped and two people booed. Since the clapping was so loud, no one heard the boos.

So now, it was time to vote, and 90 percent of the whole world voted for Peaches except for Donald Trump’s wives and daughters. (The reason it was 10 percent was because Donald Trump married so many people.)

My Life

Chapter 1

I hear my mother making breakfast. The sun’s warmth is on my face, opening the morning to another wonderful day. I walk out of my room down to the kitchen to get breakfast. I eat my breakfast, nice warm pancakes topped with strawberries.

“Ellie, wake up!” I wake up to my friend Claire lightly shaking me to get me up. All the wishes I’ve ever had were in my dream, disappointing me, waking me up to a day trapped in a building I don’t like. I am in an orphanage with other people, people who wish their lives were better. I get out of bed get dressed in the ragged clothes that the orphanage provided for me. I walk out my room, go downstairs to another disgusting breakfast of cold eggs that haven’t been cooked fully. Staring at the eggs, I get the feeling that I should eat them. I have gotten used to it. I’ve been here since I was five. I am fourteen`now, and still stuck in the orphanage.

I remember the day when I was five, waiting for my parents to pick me up at school. It was rainy and foggy. The only person who picked me up was this creepy woman, named Ms. Kunzier. She told me to come with her. She brought me to my house and told me to pack my bags. Then she drove me to this building covered with vines. “You’re staying here now,” she told me. A burst of pain shot up my back; a tear rolled down from my eyes, making its way down to my cheek. She opened the door and walked me to where I was staying. I remember thinking that I would be home soon. But I never went home. An hour later she came back to my room and told me that my parents had been in a car accident.         


I used to play outside in my backyard all the time. Now, I cannot go outside whenever I want. The only outside I have is my imagination. I imagine being outside, running free. No one to tell me what to do and what not to do. A big field of grass, trees swaying, the smell of fresh grass. The wind blowing on me. Running away so that no one can find me. Growing up on my own.

No one ever visits this orphanage. I guess it’s because of how creepy it looks. Only once a while someone comes around and takes a tour. I’m probably going to be in here until I’m 18, and then I’ll start a life of my own.

In the orphanage, my life feels a video game, with someone outside the machine controlling every move I make. When the video game gets too old or out of order, I will get out. The video game of life. Obstacles here and there popping up in my face. I wish I was like someone not in an orphanage, someone who has a perfect life.


I go back to my room, get into my bed and lay my head on the pillow. My eyes slowly close into a nice soft sleep. I slowly drift off into a weird dream, where Ms. Kunzier is pulling my arm and taking me to a tiny walk in closet. She ties me up in a chair. I jerk my body away from the chair to brake the rope. but the chair gets up with me and follows me wherever I go. I go to the door of the closet and try to get out, but Ms. Kunzier locked the door to keep me in. My eyes slowly open. It’s just a dream, it’s just a dream, I keep telling myself.


Chapter 2

“Hey, people!” Claire says.

“Hey!” Molly, my other friend, replies.

“What’s up?” I say.

“You know, the usual, nothing much,” Claire replies.

“Wait!” Molly shouts.

“Shhh,” Claire and I whisper.

“Sorry, but wait — I have an idea!” Molly says.

“Then what is it?” Claire replies impatiently.

“Um… I forgot,” Molly says.

“Ugh” Claire sighs.

“No, really… what were you going to say?” I ask.

“Well, it was probably a really stupid thought,” Molly hesitated.

“Just tell us,” I reply, ignoring Molly. “We’re your friends.”

“Okay, fine,” Claire says.

“It’s impossible, but it’s sort of about how we can escape from here. I mean, I never wanted to be here in the first place,” Molly blurts out.

“Same,” Claire and I say in unison.

“I’ve just always felt blocked up in a jail cell here.”

“Let’s think about a plan. Meet me in Secret Headquarters after lunch,” I say.

Secret Headquarters is a secret place that no one has discovered yet except for us. There is a little door in the bottom of the wall… actually, it’s not really a door, but a little square shaped hole in the wall that functions like a door. When you go inside, there is a little space where you can sit. When Claire and I met, we found a hiding place, and our friendship began. Six months later Molly came along and joined our little friendship. Claire and I showed her Secret Headquarters, and that is how we all became close friends.

When I get to Secret Headquarters, I find Molly quietly reading. “BOO!” I scream.

“Ahhh!” she screams, but then she sees me and starts laughing.

Shortly after, Claire barges into the room. “The worst thing almost happened… well, one of the worst things.”

“What?” I ask.

“Well, Ms. Kunzier stopped me and asked me where I was going, but I said I was going to the bathroom and she let me go,” Claire explains.

“Good thing she didn’t find out about Secret Headquarters,” I say. “Okay, anyway, let’s get started. First, let’s think of a plan.”

“The only way for us to get out of here is to get the key to unlock the main door,” says Claire.

“Well, I know where the key is kept,” replies Molly.  

“Where? How do you know?” I question.  

“Let’s just say that I went into her room once,” Claire answers.

“Was there actually blood and spider webs in her room?” I ask. Everybody says that Ms. Kunzier’s room is filled with blood marks and spider webs.

“Not at all, surprisingly,” Claire replies.

“That’s good to know,” I mutter. “So, back to the planning… How does tomorrow night sound to you guys for the first attempt of the escape?” I ask.

“Sure, I’m fine with that,” says Claire.

“What do you think, Molly?”

“I’m also fine with that,” says Molly.

“Okay, maybe at 1 in the morning, since Ms. Kunzier is probably going to be asleep… even though people say she sleeps with one eye open,” I add. “So, when she is about to close her door to go to sleep, let’s run up to it and push it a crack open. About one hour later we can get the key to open the front door. Sound good?”

“Yes!” says Molly.

“Sure!” says Claire.

“Okay, remember… tomorrow,” I confirm.

We walk out of secret headquarters, quietly chanting, “Escape attempt number one!”

I go to bed thinking that finally I will get out of here.


Chapter 3

The next day, Molly, Claire, and I try to get as much sleep as we can so that we’ll be ready for our big night. We pack what is really special to us. I get an old sack and put my stuffed bunny in it. My stuffed bunny’s name is Bun-Bun. I have had Bun-Bun since I was born. In the sack I also pack a bottle of water and some clothes.

At midnight, Molly, Claire, and I sneak to Secret Headquarters. We discuss what we are going to do, and prepare ourselves for the things coming ahead. At 1:30 in the morning, we hear Ms. Kunzier walking down the hall and going to her room.

”Oh my gosh, she is coming!” Molly blurts out. Luckily, in this case, Secret Headquarters is about a meter away from Ms. Kunzier’s bedroom. We hear Ms. Kunzier approach her bedroom door. We rush out to near the entrance of Secret Headquarters. When she opens the door, we quietly run out and slowly close her door until it is open just a crack. Exactly 45 minutes later we take a peek through Ms. Kunzier’s room and see that she’s snoring.

“Okay, Molly, since you are the quietest and you know where the key is, you are going to get the key,” I whisper. Molly tiptoes down to where the key is. Molly sneezes and Ms. Kunzier turns and moans a bit. Molly runs out of the room.

“That was close!” She whispers, relieved. When we get downstairs to the main door, Molly places the key into the key slot.

“Who is that?” a voice says. Molly, Claire, and I jump up in unison. Ms. Saltine, the orphanage maid, comes into the same room as us. “Found you! Girls, you know you should not be down here at this time of night,” she says.

“Sorry, we didn’t mean to–”

Ms. Kunzier cuts me off by coming into the room. “Girls! Go to your room. All of you will have to wake up extra early tomorrow and help make breakfast. We will be having fresh pancakes, and you girls will have fresh leftovers. And bonus! You will clean up all the dirty dishes!” She walks away and cackles her very annoying cackle. She never gives us orphans fresh food – we always have leftovers.

“Ugh…” We all walk back to our bedrooms.     


“Try again on your adventure,” Ms. Saltine says to us the next morning. We are all shocked. We do not understand what just happened. It takes us time to understand what she meant. Even though we just did a lot of work by cooking a meal for 25 orphans and are now eating food scraps, we feel like we just accomplished something. Ms. Saltine is on our side.

Never Betray Someone

Yesterday, my friend betrayed me. The teacher asked her if I was talking. I don’t know why. He must have thought I was talking because my hand was placed over my mouth. I was really uncomfortable in my chair. I didn’t want to get in trouble. I had already had a bad recess, and now I had a headache because my friend was really inappropriate at lunch. I don’t want to say what happened, because it was too gross.

Mr. Monserati asked my friend, “Is Matthew talking?”

My friend hesitated. She laughed and said, “YES.”

I really wasn’t talking. She betrayed me. She was no longer my friend.

Because I am not God, I did not forgive her for getting me in trouble. I felt mad at my friend. God would have felt sad for her because she committed a sin by betraying someone. Judas turned his master in for thirty pieces of gold. Judas saw his sin and hung himself. My friend did not do that – all she did was hang out with other people. Judas had also betrayed him. It is bad to betray. I hope she will apologize. If she does, I will forgive her. Amen.

Lost Kids

Once upon a time, there were two boys who hated school. They went to recess and decided they wanted to run away, so they ran off into the forest and got lost.




I don’t want to go to school! I don’t want to go to school!



Too bad, so sad. You. GO.



I left my homework at school and I don’t want my teacher to be mad at me.



Tell me the truth, I saw your homework at home.



Fine. The teacher said I have… (takes a deep breath) D-Y-S-L-E-X-I-A.



No, you don’t! When you were three you told me you read the whole series of Harry Potter.



No, I didn’t, I actually lied to you.



I’ll call your teacher and ask.



Fine, go ahead.



        She picks up the phone to call, but then puts it down. 

Actually, I believe you. Maybe you do have dyslexia. But you still have to go to school.



Ugh. Fine.


Lights out.


        In reading class (ELA).



Write a whole paragraph on what we just learned.

        The TEACHER turns to write on the board.



(To himself) Should I try or should I sleep? I’ll just sleep, I don’t need this rubbish.


He falls asleep. The TEACHER comes to him and pokes him on the shoulder. Then the recess bell rings. ALAN wakes up.



Just keep trying! It’s okay to mess up, just keep trying!


Everyone else has gotten up to get their coats and walks out of the classroom, JACK looks at ALAN with understanding and pity. ALAN rolls his eyes at the teacher and leaves, with JACK following behind him.



        ALAN sits on the bench crying at recess.


Are you okay?



No. I just went to sleep because I didn’t understand.



You don’t understand what?



Don’t tell anybody, okay?



Okay, I promise.



(whispers) I. Have. D-Y-S-L-E-X-I-A.



Let me tell you a secret. I have dyslexia too.



       ALAN looks at JACK in awe, and then gives him a big hug.



I have always thought of getting lost and not going to school.



That is a great idea!



Since we’re at recess, let’s do it now!



Wait, but the teacher wants to talk to me after school.



Oh whatever, forget about it.



Where should we go?



       He writes down “Bahamas” and shows ALAN.



What’s Bamahams?



(gently) It’s called the Bahamas.



That would be too hard, let’s go somewhere else. Oh, I know! The forest!



Uhh, I’m a little scared of bears, and like cats, and like bunnies, and like trees.  But… okay.



Are you scared of something?



(lying) No, not at all.



Whatever. Let’s get the heckster out of here.



        In the forest, the sounds of birds and animals can be heard. They’ve just arrived.


Oh. T-t-trees!



Okay? Dude, are you scared of something?



Fine, yes. I’m scared of the things I mentioned before we left to go to the forest.



Dude, why didn’t you tell me this? Before, you said that you were not scared of those things. We could have gone somewhere where you wouldn’t be scared.



I’ll be honest next time.






(looking up at the sky looking at the birds) I wish I was a bird and I could be free and not have dyslexia.



(standing there in silence with his arms crossed looking up at the sky, talking to himself) That was my dream when I was little, to be a bird.



Oh well.

       JACK walks with his head down, sad. JACK bumps into a tree.




Jeez, Jack! Calm down!


The boys see something on the tree.



Oh my gosh! The t-tree said something.



Let me read it. Hmmm… Pelh pere.



I don’t think that is was it says. Our teacher told me a trick. Let me try it. Hmmm. I think it says, “Help here.” Yes, that must be it.



Who wants to help us?



Alan, I have one question. Why does it say it on the t-tree and not the mud or something?



Well, maybe somebody was scared of the trees and they needed to escape very fast because they just can’t handle trees and they said “help’’ because they just can’t find the way out of here.



O-o-okay. How can we help?



Oh my gosh. Look at the footsteps on the floor that are right next to the tree. Maybe that’s where the man tried to escape.



Should we follow them?



Okay. I hope these footsteps don’t lead to a dangerous place.



Wait, what do you mean a dangerous place?



Listen, dude. We are in the middle of a forest. Anything can happen.



I’m starting to think that what we are doing is very bad. I mean, we’ve been in the forest for two days now. Don’t you think our parents will worry? Our parent sent us to school to learn right? If we are struggling we should tell the teacher and learn together. We can learn to read with dyslexia.



Are you alright, man? But…

        JACK starts crying.



I forgot about going back home and being in my mom’s arms. And her kissing me good night.



Let’s go back.



Go back were? We are in the middle of the forest and it’s 3:00. By the time we get to school, it will be tomorrow at 1:00 in the morning.



How do we get out?



The same way we came in.



Which is…?



Man. We’ve got to be brave and follow the footsteps.



I don’t know about that.



Jack… man up you have to face your fears.



I guess.


The boys walk more into the forest.



Looks like the footsteps we saw earlier lead into a cave.


JACK shivers.



Dude, this is the last time I’m telling you to man up and face your fears.





Trees make sounds.



Ahhh. T-trees.

       JACK runs straight into the cave.

Uhhh, Alan you here, bro?



JACK!!! Where are you???



I’m in a cave without t-trees.



Ummm, is this the cave?



Hurry up! I am suffering in here!



Oh Alan, I see you!



I see you too! But why are you holding a leaf in your hand from a tree?



Wait… WHAT?! Oh, this isn’t that bad.



Oh look, there are more footsteps.



Let’s follow them.





ALAN and JACK follow the footsteps.



Oh look, there is our school.


ALAN’S MOM and JACK’S MOM are looking for them and crying.



Jack, where were you? I was worried sick.



Well, we just couldn’t do it anymore.



Couldn’t do what?



Well, long story. Well, actually, first thing’s first… I have dyslexia. Let’s talk about what happened at home. Just one thing…. All Alan’s fault.



Dude, you agreed to it!



Agreed to what?



Never mind.



Just saying, it’s you who should be blamed.



Jack, I’m not talking to you anymore if you are going to blame me for it.









And one more thing: it’s Bahamas, you idiot.


ALAN ignores JACK.



Why are you bringing that up now? Bye.


ALAN goes home with his mom.



        The next day.



You know what? I was a huge idiot yesterday for blaming you.


JACK looks into ALAN’s eyes and cries and gives him a huge hug.

A Vehicle That Can Fly: The War Against Syria

Chapter 1

We were in a big fight with Syria. One day, when I was flying to Syria to defeat them, I was talking to my pilot, Matthew. Matthew was my first friend.

“Take a left turn and shoot a missile,” said Matthew.

“Roger that,” I said.

Sometimes I would just get bored and talk to my pilot Matthew. We had nothing in common because I am a vehicle and so is he…

Matthew wanted a special army helmet. I wanted to help him by forcing the U.S. Army to give every soldier a helmet. It could save him from dying. It was bulletproof, and when he put it on, it would make the whole suit bulletproof and create a facemask.

I looked down, then up. I saw a whole group of Syrian army planes. They were green with army waves. So I talked to the captain, but he didn’t really agree with me. I said that it would be very good –– we could win everything. He still didn’t believe me. Finally, I convinced him, and he believed me. So he gave me and my pilot a helmet, but not anybody else. I didn’t really care. Everybody else cared. They said, “That’s not fair at all!”

They said, “That’s not fair at all!”

I felt sad. But the captain said, “Hurry up, get in the sky!”

I was too busy daydreaming, so he hit me. I finally stopped daydreaming and took flight. Maybe you don’t understand what that means … neither do I. But what I mean is that I took off. Now, let’s get back to the story.


Chapter 2

After that, there were a whole bunch of army planes pointing at me because they thought that I would start daydreaming again. I got mad and told everybody that I would stay focused. Finally, they left.

It was daytime and kind of windy. I started to run low on gas. There was still one plane next to me who didn’t believe that I had stopped daydreaming, so it passed over a tiny bit of its gas to me. I went as high as I could. I became frozen and I couldn’t control what I was doing. I was a little bit curious, especially about how to control myself again. I turned my jets on and was finally able to control myself again. We were all so happy!


Chapter 3

Then I started going so high, I almost touched space. I couldn’t go down. I tried and tried.

I asked Matthew to help me, but he was too busy watching TV on his phone. (He thought that I was controlling myself). He was watching CNN news.

I yelled, “Matthew!!!”

I realized that he was asleep and felt disappointed.

He eventually woke up.

“Where am I? Is it already night?” asked Matthew.

“Now we’re in space,” I said.

“What?? Why did we go into space? I thought you would be controlling!” he said.

“No! You never said that.”

“I did, but you were just daydreaming.”

I really was daydreaming. I was in big trouble. I just knew we weren’t going to win the war with Syria.

There were 300 stars all over the place! “Wow! I never thought that was actually true!” I said.

As I got back from space, I heard a reporter say that we had won! I got back and landed. I got pushed back by an airplane.

“Wow,” I thought. “I never knew that would happen.”

“Well, you know, it wasn’t really as bad as I thought it was,” I said to Matthew.

Matthew said, “Seriously, I don’t care.”

He was still watching CNN.

Masters of the Universe (Excerpt)


Book 1: The Monsters Army

Chapter 1

A group of three kids named, John, George, and Steve seemed like normal average middle schoolers, but even though they didn’t know it, they would soon become great heroes. One day, they were having a math test that would be fifty percent of their grade. Normally, people would be really freaked out about stuff like that, but these kids were calm; they didn’t really care about tests. After the test was over, they talked in the hall while going over to Reading.

After that, Mr. Goodman, the math teacher, walked over to them, mumbling, “…have to escort them to town, but the army of Cyclop Giants is coming to the school…”

Once the math teacher left, George said, “Well, that was weird.”

Steve and John agreed. They looked out the window, and all three of them jumped back in shock.

“Is it just me, or is there a giant army of Cyclop Giants charging towards the school?” Steve exclaimed.

“No, it’s not just you. This is pretty freaky now. I guess what Mr. Goodman mumbled was right,” George said.

“Does that mean we have to be escorted to some kind of town?” John asked,  startled.

“Yes, it does,” Mr. Goodman said loudly. He suddenly picked up the boys, flew out the window, and into the sky. Of course, the three kids were screaming. Mr. Goodman flew them to a giant city with massive skyscrapers, but it didn’t look like any city the boys had seen before, and since they traveled a lot, they’d seen every single city in the U.S. They highly doubted they had gone out of the U.S. in the last thirty seconds.

When they landed, they were greeted by a bunch of other high schoolers that seemed about fourteen years old. All of them seemed pretty weird. Some had big wings and sick jetpacks, as well as big machine guns and  awesome bazookas.

George was really into those weapons because he was really good with technology. He made a working jetpack when he was five!

John, on the other hand, did very strange things when he was little. He weirdly talked to a wolf when he was seven, and he saw a Giant jump off a building.

Steve seemed to like the fighting aspect of things, considering he was always getting into fights. If it weren’t for John and George, he would’ve broken at least five people’s arms by now.

The trio was pretty freaked out about what just happened and how they just flew to a giant city. Everyone was talking about cabins and who would be in which cabin, when John’s head suddenly started to flicker between a wolf and a human. When it finally stopped, a group of people ran over to him and guided him to a small house that looked like a wolf.

Everyone claimed John was the son of a guy named Hoxarth, the master of wolves and bravery. Right after that, George’s hands were flickering back and forth from sword to normal hands. Just like John, after his flickering finished, another group of people came over to him to bring him to a small place that looked that a workshop. Everyone said he was the son of Foldis, master of Technology and explosives. Finally, armor started flickering around Steve, and a group of people brought him to a house that looked like a battlefield. He was apparently the son of Battlemark, the master of war and strategy.

They were all freaked out, but they agreed that this was pretty epic. Steve’s cabin was filled with armor and weapons just like an armory. George’s cabin was like a workshop with everybody building crazy axes and epic battle ships. John’s cabin was a lot less active than George’s and Steve’s, but it was also interesting because some random people were turning to wolves, and some people were talking about going on adventures.

Adventure sounded great to John since he loved action and traveling. After the trio got a tour of the city and their cabins, they went to a group meeting at 8 p.m.

Godigon, the leader, asked John, George, and Steve to approach the front of the room since they were the newcomers. He also mentioned that the Cyclop Giant’s army was attacking nearby and mentioned if anyone was willing to stand up to an adventure that may cause death. The mission was to scout their base and maybe even stop the army from reaching the city. He also said if they succeeded, they would be rewarded greatly.

John, George, and Steve had the urge to stand up for the city they’d only known about for four hours and help the almost four hundred people, even if they had to risk their lives. This left everyone else whispering about how they were the first newcomers to go on a quest in a century.

Godigon stood up tall and said “It’s settled. These three newcomers will be the ones to go to California, scout the Cyclop Giant’s base, and stop the army from attacking the city by February 1st, six days from now. All I can say is good luck, great heroes.”

The discussion was over. Everyone had dinner and went to sleep. John, George, and Steve were going to have a long day ahead of them when they left for California. All three had very strange dreams. John dreamt about the army of Cyclop Giants sitting by lots of fires in a large military site, which could possibly be their base. George’s dream was less about the quest and more about Happy Party where the show went on fire. And Steve dreamed of the same, but with Wheel of Bad Luck. They were all going to have exciting days tomorrow.

Creme Brulee








Scene 1

In a dark room with trash all over the floor.

JAKE is right outside the window of the dark room. He’s standing protectively outside of the house, so the BAKERS don’t enter.


Nothing here, you Bakers. Now get a move on!

The BAKERS don’t move.

Sophie is standing in the dark room. She sneakily looks out the window, so they don’t see.


The bakers are here. We have to hide!


Well, maybe you have to, because you stole that magic cinnamon from the spice stand.


Well, you helped!


No, I did not!


The bakers might come in.


I’m scared.


I’ll be on the lookout.

SOPHIE looks out the window again.


The bakers are probably looking for that creme brulee recipe.



BAKER 1 is standing outside the window.


Let us in, farm boy!


I’m not a farm boy! Also, I don’t even know how to make toast!



Let’s go. He’s innocent.



In the dark room.


The bakers are gone.


I’m going to work.


Work? I thought there weren’t any jobs to go to. I thought you could only –

CAT walks out of the room with some pep in her steps.


I need to get to Kimmy’s house.

Scene 2

A cobblestone street. The very few people that are there are looking very scared. CAT is walking down the street.



CAT tips her hat.


Have a very nice day!

Scene 3

A dusty shop with many old things in it. MS. MYRTLE is standing behind a desk.



Hello, Ms. Myrtle. How are you?


I am very good, Cat. How are you?


I’m good.


There are some new things in the back. Can you please unpack them for me? Take the creme brulee recipe from the pile. Also, can you give a message to the cook and say that I don’t have the recipe?



CAT walks through the piles of junk.

Scene 4

A dusty room with bags of things.


Where is the new delivery?

Shows a bag that says “New Delivery.”


Oh. There it is.

CAT opens the bag.


Whoa! That’s the recipe!

A picture of a creme brulee is on a scrap of paper.


Whoa! I understand why the cook wants this so much!

One cup of sugar

Four egg whites

One teaspoon of flour

One half cup of cream

Cook for as long as pleases you.

(It will come out perfect only if you cook it as long as your favorite number.)


(distant sounding) What are you doing back there?


Just being a good assistant! Hehehe.




This is gonna rock!

Scene 5

The Bakery. Many sweets are being eaten at pink tables. Happy music is playing through hidden speakers.


That recipe is mine. Well, I hope it is.

COOK stops waiter.


I’ll be right back, I just forgot something.



Scene 6

The street. Same as before. Because of COOK’S huge ego and her huge mansion, people on the street are staring in awe at her.

COOK goes into the old shop


I want the recipe right now!


Why would I have it? I’m an innocent old woman! You are acting like some stupid recipe is a matter of life and death!


It is a matter of life and death. It’s magic. According to legend, it can bring people back to life.


Why are you relying on a legend?


Well, legends are sometimes real.


Okay, but don’t blame me if you go through this entire pursuit of trying to find something that isn’t real.


It probably is real, but don’t blame me if I become richer from this recipe.

CAT and COOK walk out of the shop at the same time.

Scene 7

CAT and COOK are on the street outside of MS. MYRTLE’S. CAT is standing a few feet away from COOK and muttering to herself.


(whispering to herself) I can’t let the Cook have the recipe. She already has too much money as it is.

COOK walks up to CAT.


Are you sure that Ms. Myrtle doesn’t have the recipe?


Yes, I’m very sure. Hehehe.

Scene 8

SOPHIE and CAT are in their dusty kitchen. On the table, are the special ingredients for the magic creme brulee.

CAT is stirring all of the ingredients in a mixing bowl.


Come on, Sophie. Let’s try the batter.



They try the batter.


It’s so good!

They put in the oven to bake.  

Scene 9

SOPHIE and CAT’s dusty kitchen –– fifteen minutes later.

CAT pulls the creme brulee out of the oven.




Let’s try it!

They both take a bite.

COOK opens up the kitchen door and slams it shut.


I know you have the recipe! Now give it to me!

SOPHIE and CAT are bouncing around, giggling.


I think this made me really happy!


You are stealing something really powerful!

The girls continue to bounce and laugh.


(to COOK) Really?

SOPHIE shoves a mouthful of creme brulee into COOK’s mouth. COOK starts bouncing around and smiling.


This is magic!




Because it’s so good! Let’s open a new bakery together and live eating creme brulee forever!




Riding A Pug


A bat came flying in the room!

(I shouldn’t have lived so close to the dugout.)

The flower was in bloom.

My sister kicked the pug out.

I shouldn’t have lived so close to the dugout

old ruins (that were falling in the sea).

My sister kicked the pug out:

The pug, of course, is me

Old ruins that were falling, don’t you see,

are a good place to ride a horse.

The pug was coarse as me.

The pug named Thor was Norse.


Our good place to ride (I’m hoarse —

I swallowed a bug and screamed)

the thug outdoors was north

of here. For days I dreamed


I followed a bug and screamed

at the bug, he was so dear,

you hear? For days I dreamed

of standing on the pier.

Bah humbug, he was a deer.

The flour was in the room,

you hear? For days I dreamed

a bat came flying in the room.


When I think of trees

I think of leaves, bright green.

When I think of the leaves

I think of the branches that hold the leaves

Steady and strong.

When I think of the branches,

I think of the trunk

That holds the tree up

Straight and true.

When I think of the trunk

I think of the tree.

When I think of the tree

I think of the air it gives

Us to breathe.