Uni and The Butterfly

Uni was a baby unicorn. She had a rainbow mane, a blue tail, and a golden horn. Uni met a man dressed in blue who gave her a tent. He was wearing a blue striped shirt and navy blue pants. There were marshmallows in the tent and the only thing unicorns eat is marshmallows. The reason he gave her the tent is because she was homeless. 

“I’m a baby unicorn and I’m homeless,” Uni said. 

“Go under the awning to get out of the rain. I’ll be right back,” the man said. 

The man searched on Google, “What do unicorns eat?” On the screen, it said,

 “Unicorns eat marshmallows.” Luckily, the man had six bags of marshmallows in his house. He poured the marshmallows into a tent and put a small mattress and a blanket inside. He also put a little stuffy in the tent. The stuffy was a little unicorn. He took the tent outside. 

He said to Uni, “You can live in the tent. There is food and a mattress and a blanket. You can eat the food and sleep on the mattress and the blanket.” 

Uni said, “Thank you!”

She jumped because she was happy. But there was one thing she wasn’t happy about. She wanted a friend. 

Uni carried the tent to the beach. Uni ate her dinner, which was marshmallows, then she went to sleep. She had a dream and her dream was her playing with a friend. She really, really, really, really, really wanted a friend. 

In the morning, she went to the bay and saw a butterfly. The butterfly had blue and purple wings and golden metallic dots. She went up to the butterfly. 

“Do you want to be my friend?” Uni asked. 

“Yes!” the butterfly said. 

Uni jumped in excitement! They played and ate marshmallows in the tent and then went to bed. 



As I look out the window

The tall buildings and green trees 

I see people walking by, talking on the phone

And some smiling

So I smile Back

Even if they can’t see me 

I know that they know, someone will smile back

And that makes me smile

And when I smile under the mask

I know that someone in the world, someone 

By their window 


Maybe they are smiling because they got a gift

Or because they get to spend time with people

Whatever the reason is that they are smiling 

It will make me smile

Even if they are across the world

Most of the time when people are smiling under their mask

Their eyes slightly squint

And if you are walking down the street

Or look into the window 

Smile back

You can smile in many different ways

Some people say that you can’t smile with the mask on


You can smile by saying hi

Or waving

Or doing something kind


Smiling is with your mouth

But it also has other definitions

A Starfish Named Solar

Once upon a time, there was a starfish named Solar. All she wanted was to get out of the water and to see the stars. But her parents said she was too young to go out. One day, when she was older, she decided to get out, and her parents said she was old enough to get out of the water. 

She heard that there was a starry night where the stars were alive, but the night was very far away. She knew it would take years, and she was only ten at the time. When she was older,  the day came and she started to go out. She went out of the water and started going up a hill. When she was halfway up, she lay down because she was very tired and so she took a nap. When she woke up, it was already the next day, and she only had a few more days. When she went up the hill, she started sitting up to see all the stars. She put up a bed and telescope to see closer, and some things to eat. She also had a game to play so she wasn’t bored. 

There were a few nights before the day came. She decided once it was nighttime, she would look through her telescope to find the moon. The next day, she looked through her telescope and she saw Saturn. 

She brought a notepad so she could write down ideas, and on that notepad, she wrote, “Saturn can be found at night with a very big, strong telescope.” She had a big, strong telescope, too. 

She checked her calendar, and after the day, she saw that it was at night, so prepared everything she had to do to see the stars alive. 

That night, when the stars were alive, not only were the stars alive, but she also noticed a meteor shower! She was so happy! By the end of the meteor shower, she went to bed. The next morning, she started to go down the hill. It took days to get back to her pond. When she arrived, she told everybody in the pond about her week. There were lots of fish, and starfish, and snails. They were very impressed. That night, when the day was over, Solar dreamed about her day, and imagined she could go again. She even decided to become an astronaut and go to space. 

The End

The First Place Winner

Hi, my name is Fluffly and I am pug. I am also the most fashionable thing that has ever walked on earth. Scarlet red is the most fashionable color. I live in New York City. I have lived here for so long. I need to see the world. I plan to go to London. The capital of… hmm, I don’t know. If you have not heard, in London, there is a fashion competition and the winner gets a tour of the world. Now all I have to do is get on a plane. 

You are probably wondering who is your owner or do you live in an adoption center. Well, I live with no one. I kind of just do my own thing. I start to get ready. I put on my trench coat and black sunglasses to try to blend in with the crowd. I walk into the airport and there are so many people there, but of course, none as fashionable as me. I start to run to where it says “London,” then I wait to get on the plane.

 I go under a seat and look at people’s outfits. They are not flattering, especially their socks. Their socks are tan colored and have ugly, blue spots. I just can’t. After I tell you what I did, you have to promise not to hate me.

 I bit the sock off. I know, I know, but the sock is so ugly. I run to a different seat. Of course, I am looking fabulous like always. Then I hear someone say the plane to London is taking off in ten minutes! I run to the plane. Do you know when you are going on the plane and you look down and there is a small gap? I look down. I am so scared that I’ll chip a nail. I run quickly to first class. There is no one there because it is way too expensive. It’s perfect because none of the flight attendants will come and ruin my plan. 

There is a whole cart of food just for me. It has candy, cake, and all sorts of sweets. I am loving life until someone or something comes in. It’s a pug! I am holding back my tears. This pug is more fashionable than me!! One thing about me is I always tell the truth. She comes up to me and says, “Hi, I am Talyor and I am sneaking on this plane to London.”

I say, “I am, too.” Then I move away from her. She is weird. I start to stuff my mouth with chocolate cake with strawberries. I am raging with jealousy. She is so fashionable. I look at her and she is fixing her hair and smirks at me. Arg, I hate her. She is the WORST!! Her fur is like silk. I cannot believe my eyes. It’s crazy. 

Finally, the plane lands and I can get away from her. I start to walk to my hotel. My hotel is amazing. It has a huge hot tub. Then there is a huge TV and couch. My bed is just unexplainable. I lie down and watch some TV. Then someone comes up and gives me a massage. It is an amazing experience. I never want to leave. 

Then I go to get breakfast. I have fruit loops. I walk to the hotel and I look inside. It has so many clothes. Then I walk to the runway and start to stretch. I do my best fur flip. Of course, it’s perfect. Then I get dressed for the runway. I am wearing a red dress, the best color ever. It has a small trail and triangle cut-outs in the front. I am not really nervous. They announce my new arch-enemy, Taylor. She walks the runway with such confidence. Then they announce my name. I start to walk down the runway. I kill it. My fur looks great. Then they announce the winners. Taylor gets 2nd and I get first! I shoot a funny look at her, like saying, “I won.”

I get to go on the world trip. 

Hi, it is a day after my world trip. I have decided to stay in Rome! It is amazing, there is so much to do and see. Right now, I am at a restaurant eating pasta and pizza. I am starting to learn about their style. It is pretty good but it could be better. Believe it or not, right in front of me is Stella Jean. Ahhh! She has such a good sense of style. 


Chapter 1: The Light       

Once upon a time, there lived a baby cheetah whose name was Spot. He was faster than the fastest car. He was 5 years old. While his dad was out hunting, he and his mom were watching the birds fly and they were listening to the birds and trees. Just out of the blue, he asked, “Why aren’t I allowed to go out of our grass field?”  

His mom froze at that question and said, “Because you can’t handle it.” 

“What do you mean, I can’t handle it?” said Spot, bewildered at that answer. His mom didn’t answer.

At that same moment, Spot jumped up and dashed out of the grass field.                                                                                                    

Soon, he could hear his mother calling for him. He ran until he couldn’t hear his mother calling him anymore. But then he saw a light, or he thought so. Then he heard a sound, though also not very clearly.

Chapter 2: The Incident  

It sounded like someone saying, “Do you need help?” And it sounded like he or she was crying.  Before he could react, he saw something that made him freeze. It was his dad right in front of him. He expected his dad to be really upset, but his dad asked him very calmly, “Why are you out here?” When Spot did not reply, his dad told him that he was going to have to explain when they got home.

After that, Spot and his dad did not say anything to each other until they reached home. When they got home, his mother was relieved that Spot was safely home.

Dad had hunted a hyena for all of them to eat. Spot could tell that his mom and dad were not happy with him because it was one quiet dinner. After dinner, Spot was ready to run and check out what he had heard. But he couldn’t go out right then because his mom and dad would catch him. 

So he decided on going at night to find who or what was in the forest. When his mom and dad were asleep, he crept past them and left for the forest. As he went further away from home, he was startled when he heard the noise again. He looked all around, but could not see anything.

Chapter 3: The Map

Spot went into the forest. He couldn’t see any light so he started running faster and further away from home. And then he saw a light in the distance. He got closer and closer and closer and closer.  He was curious and a little scared.

Chapter 4: The Baby                

Then he saw a baby animal who looked just like him. It said, “Who are you?” 

“My name is… Spot, and who are you?”

“Hello, Spot. I am Slash.” 

“Hello! Where do you live, Slash? I have never seen you around here. But why are you crying, Slash?”

“I think the human hunters have captured my parents and taken them away. Have you ever used a map?”

“Um… no. Have you?”

“Yes, well one of the hunters dropped a map and a flashlight so I took them and ran away. Do you want to help me find them?” 

“Yes. Why don’t we go at dawn so we can see better? We can meet at Lucky Coin lake. Do you see it on the map?”

“Yes. It’s getting late now, let’s go home now. I’ll see you in the morning.”

 “Ok,” said Slash.

Chapter 5: The Truth 

Once Spot got home, he went very quietly so as not to be heard by his parents. Then he went right to bed.

Because he was so excited to see Slash at the lake early in the morning.

When he got up, he jumped up, and yelled for his mom to “wake up!” 

“Why are you up so early, Spot?” 

“Well… I met… another… cheetah… cub,” Spot said. 

“What!!!!” said his mother, surprised. “Where does he live?” 

“I don’t know where he lives but we agreed to meet at the Lucky Coin lake. Do you want to come?” Spot asked. 

“Yes! But why are we going there?”

“I will explain when we get there. Ok?” Spot said. 

So they headed to the lake, and there was the legend, Slash! 

“Hi there, Spot,” Slash said. 

“Hi, I want to introduce you to my mom!”

“Hi, there.” 

“Well, is she going to help us with the you-know-what?” Slash whispered to Spot. 

“I don’t know. You want me to tell her?”


Spot turned to his mom and said, “Well, ummm… do you want to help us save Slash’s parents?” 

“Wait, what?!!” said his bewildered mom.

“Well, Slash says his mom and dad got captured by human hunters. One of them dropped a map and a flashlight so Slash picked them up and ran away as fast as his little legs could carry him.  Do you want to help?” Spot said. 

His mom froze then said… “Yes!! Of course.” 

“Ok, do you think Dad would like to help, too?”

“Yeah,” said his mom, even though she was not sure of it.

“Ok, let me get Dad. You stay here,” Spot said, then ran home as fast as he could. 

When he got home, he looked all around but could not find his dad anywhere. He wasn’t in the backyard, he wasn’t in the den, and he wasn’t in the grassy field. He had no more time to waste so he ran back as fast as a lightning bolt back to Slash and Mom.  

When he got there, he was out of breath and his heart was pounding. Slash and his mom looked confused.  

“Where is your Dad?!” asked Slash.

“I have no idea, I could not find him anywhere,” said Spot.

Mom then remembered that he was going to go for a hunt to find dinner.  She turned to Slash and said, “Let’s go rescue your parents!”

“Okay, get the map out,” Spot said, trying to rush.  

30 minutes later…                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       “We’re here. Look!” Spot whispered as he poked his head through the bushes and admired the many different animals that were sitting in cages. The cages were connected to each other and sitting in a long line. They looked at each cage, and at the very end of the line, there were the cheetahs. There was a sign on the outside that said, “No touching the cheetahs.” At the front of the cages, there was one guard who was sitting on an uncomfortable wooden chair, sharpening his sword.  

Spot turned to Slash and his mom and said, “What’s the plan?”

“Let’s tackle the guard from different directions,” said Slash.

“Good plan,” said Mom.

They began to move in slowly from different directions. Mom whispered over to Spot and Slash, “Remember to be quiet so we don’t wake the others.” As they got closer to the guard, Spot got more and more nervous as he got closer and started sweating.  

They all counted quietly, “Three, two, one, gooo!!” Mom got there first and clawed the guard with her front paw. Pow!!!! The guard took his gun out and held it, sword out, and started swinging it at the three of them. Spot heard Slash scream, “AAHHHH!” Then out of nowhere, they saw a furry blur flying through the air at the guard before he could react and shoot at them.  Boom!!   

“He’s down,” yelled Spot. When he turned around, he noticed that the furry blur was his dad. He was about to explode with questions but he was so happy to see him. 

“Look what I found! It’s the keys!” 

“Wait! How are you here?!?” Spot said.

“I’ll explain later.” 

Slash ran to the last cage. When he saw his parents, he was so excited, he couldn’t hide it.  

“Hi, Mom, hi, Dad!” said Slash as he cried in tears of joy.

“Hi, who are these cheetahs?”

“They are friends.”

“Okay. We’ll talk later and get us out.” 


 “Okay, now run, run!” 

And that’s the story about Spot and Slash, hoped you liked it! Bye!

To be continued…

Sneak Peek:

“Bye, Slash, see you tomorrow, same place.”


Then they hugged. They were so happy it was over. 


And then the cheetahs left. 

“I have something to tell both of you, come on. Well, I work with a company that helps cheetahs. That’s how I found you!!”

Dunt! Dunt! Dunt!  Be sure to check out the next one. 

She Wonders

I wonder what Amelia Earhart saw in the sky to make her want to fly a plane

I wonder the source of  Barack Obama’s courage to change history becoming the first Black male President

I wonder why Clara Spence thought educating girls was important

I wonder if I could have been the pencil writing the words from Lois Lowry’s imagination 

I wonder if Lin Manuel Miranda thought of a woman playing Hamilton

I wonder all of these things but for me…

When I look in the sky my dream is to be a U.S. Supreme Court Judge.

I hope to have enough courage to get over my fear of dogs

I hope to never stop learning

If I was a pen who could continue writing words the world would never get tired of reading  from my spunky imagination… aka Jolie’s Adventures

The Boy That Always Had Detention

Ok, here is the story. 

My name is Sam and I always get detention, I don’t know why, but I just do. I don’t get why pranking the teacher is something to get in trouble about. For example, putting a bit of goo on top of the door so it falls on Ms. Cutt. By the way, Ms. Cutt is our teacher. I always call her Ms. Butt. Honestly, that is a better name than Ms. Cutt. Does she want to cut something?

Oooooohhhh noooo! I am late for class, I better go to Ms. Cutt or she will cut me in half or put me in detention. Ok, don’t tell anybody but I thought of another prank so I put a little glue under her coffee mug and it will be hard to lift then she will spill the coffee everywhere. Lol. I think it is the best one yet. 

“Alright,” I say when I entered the class. I am obviously the class clown. Everybody likes me so I don’t have a problem with making friends and that stuff. I sit down and get ready for some action. Ms. Cutt always goes to the principal’s office to say hi before class starts because she wants to get a promotion for being polite but everybody knows she is not going to get a promotion so yeah. I take the coffee mug, I put some glue under it, and pour the coffee into the mug.

Ms. Cutt enters the room. She has reddish hair and brown eyes. Ms. Cutt looks around the room and takes attendance. She starts screaming names. “Carl, Reed, Natalie, Niko, Sam.” She gets tired of saying the names so she just stops like a lazy pig. She sits at her desk and tries to take a sip of her coffee but it is stuck so she pulls and pulls and then the coffee goes everywhere. She automatically looks at me. She says, “Goo? To the principal’s office.” 

I walk out still laughing from the prank. I enter the principal’s office. The principal’s name is Mr. Steve. He wants to be called by his first name because he thinks the students will like him more but that is not true. So when I walk in, the principal calls my parents for the first time. My parents do not care neither do I so once again I get away with everything. 

My friends always get upset because I do not get in trouble and then they prank me. They do the classic slime prank in my shoes, well I am pretty gross sometimes so sometimes I take my shoes off in class hehe. My friends sneak under my desk and put slime in my shoes and I put them on and scream and throw one of the shoes at my friend, soon-to-be-enemy, and the other to my other friend. They both get bruises on their heads, that means they should not mess with me. I obviously get sent to the principal’s office for violence and stuff, blah blah blah. My parents come, blah blah blah, and I got in trouble, wait, no, my parent take away all electronics for a month, noooooo! 🙁 🙁

Today I get my test back from school. I get an F-. I bring my test to my parents. They are not pleased. My teacher says on the test (with a little note), “You’re going to have to take the sixth grade again because of your poor grades.” 

Then, my parents actually start to care about everything I’ve done. My parents stop me from watching TV and from using my phone and all my devices. I start having a panic attack because I’ve never paid attention in class and there is a test the next day. Cause I am very sneaky, I sneak out of my window in my home very quietly and bring some paper and a pen with me and go to my school with my bike. It isn’t that far away. And I go to my English teacher’s classroom because that is the test the next day. I go to the ELA teacher’s classroom and my teacher is very organized with all the grades and the test answers and I can’t take a picture of them because I got my phone taken away, that’s why I brought the piece of paper and the pen. And I walk through the school’s hallways very quietly, but there is the janitor there. But the janitor is kind of clueless and old so he doesn’t notice. And I run back home through the window. I put my bike away like it was before and I immediately go back to sleep until the morning. 

When I wake up, my mom smells me and yells, “What that smell?” I am just pretending that I am still sleeping. My mom obviously knows that I am fake sleeping so I just say, 

“Well, I don’t know.” 

She says, “Why do you have leaves in your hair, too? And why’s the ladder out next to the window? If you don’t confess what you did, there will be no electronics for life.” 

I say, “I went to the school and I got the answers for my English test.” My mom obviously gets so mad. 

She says, “No more pranks, and no more electronics for a long time until you get your grades up.” 

And that is how Sam learns to be more serious and more caring about his grades. 

The Adventures of Miles Black

One evening, Miles Black, the school bully, and his friends were egging houses. “SPLAT!” An egg crunched on Mrs. Blackwell’s window. Then they saw it, just what they’d wanted — a pet store that had a big sign saying “adoption day.” They went inside the store and went to where the bunnies were. They got them out of their cages. They hid them in their sweater pockets and went outside. When nobody was looking, they dropped them down on the ground. Suddenly, a bunny began sniffing. It sniffed all the way to a little boy eating baby carrots. The bunny climbed up the little boy, and the boy was covered in scratches, and bruises, and a broken arm by the time the bunny was done trying to take his carrots. Suddenly, the news spread. They all knew who it could have been, Miles Black and his team. The next evening, when they were ready to start egging houses, Miles said, “I don’t want to.”

“WHAT?” said Billy, the second-best bully.

“Yeah,” Miles replied. “Is there a problem with that?” 

“Whatever, dude, we will egg houses without you.” 

So Miles just went home early. 

“Oh, well, you’re home early,” said Mrs. Black. 

“I didn’t have much to study for, Mom,” Miles said (Miles’ mom didn’t know about the bullying). He ate dinner early and did everything early. He was afraid the bullies would tease him. 

The next morning, he put on his backpack and left. But he turned right around and went back to the house. He forgot he had baseball. When he walked to school, he took the regular route, not the bully route where he and the bullies used to talk about evil plans (egging houses and more stuff). 

“I see you finally stopped egging houses and bullying,” said Patricia Paro, the only smart kid in his class, when he was walking to school. He just pulled the hood of his hoodie on his head and walked away. When he walked into class, something was different today. There was one extra desk. Today, they had a new kid in their class. He looked like a nice kid. At lunch, the new kid asked Miles if he could sit with him. Miles liked him; he seemed like he would be a good friend. He learned his name was Michael and he liked baseball. 

“You know it’s spring, and we could use a new teammate, and don’t be shocked but we need a new name right now. Our name is Joe’s Pizza,” Miles said. 

Really? I mean, really? I didn’t know you liked baseball,” said Michael. 

BBRRRRRIIIIIINNNNNGGGG! The lunch bell rang. Michael and Miles ran back to class.

They started passing notes to each other, and they decided that they would meet at Miles’ house when they went home. It was a long four hours but they went through it. When Miles brought Michael to his house, Mrs. Black, Miles’ mom, was cooking Miles’ favorite food: tacos. And set on the coffee table in front of the couch was a big bowl of chips and guacamole. 

“Mom, meet Michael, my friend, and Michael, meet my mom, Mrs. Black,” said Miles.

“Hi, Mrs. Black,” said Michael shyly. Miles led Michael up the stairs into Miles’ bedroom. Miles’ bedroom was full of posters with baseball stars on them. It had a big, wide window looking out to a tree in his yard. At exactly five o’clock, Michael went home. 

The next day, they were walking to school. Miles saw the bullies. Then suddenly, Miles said, “I may not have told you everything about myself.”

“Okay, so tell me now,” said Michael. 

“I used to be a bully,” Miles blurted out.

WHAT!” replied Michael. For the rest of the day, Miles and Michael didn’t talk until after school when they realized that they were neighbors. 

“Sorry,” said Miles but Michael just walked away. Great, Miles thought. I need to find a new friend again. 

The next morning, Miles walked to school, sat alone at lunch, and his day went by as fast as a snap. When he got home, he found his grandma sitting on the couch. Miles forgot today was the day his grandma was coming over to celebrate Valentine’s Day.

“Oh, Grandma Joan, I forgot you were coming,” said Miles. “And anyway, I have to go upstairs  and make some Valentines for people I don’t even know.” 

“It is alright, and Miles, we are having rice and beans for dinner,” said Miles’ grandma in a nice, soft voice. So Miles went upstairs. After a while, Mrs. Black said,

“Miles, your dad is home. Come say Hi.”

So he went downstairs glumly. 

The next day, after they exchanged Valentine’s cards, Miles looked at one of his cards and it said a bunch of mean stuff but the card wasn’t signed. Then he looked around the room to see people whispering and pointing to Miles. At lunch, Milly Marino asked Miles, “Did you write this note?” 

“No,” he replied.

 “Good, because everyone got one.” 

That day, a lot of people asked him the same. Suddenly, he found who sent the notes.

It was the bullies. Of course. How could he not think of this (he was supposed to be the smart and talented Miles Black! Why else would someone make up a story about him?). That day, right before the class left for home, he asked his teacher if he could say something to the class. He said, “Wait, I know who sent the mean notes!” 

“Yeah, right,” one boy said. 

“The bullies did it, they wrote everyone mean notes including themselves so they wouldn’t be caught,” Miles said. Everyone was quiet for a second, then shouted out, 


Then the teacher said, “Anyone who helped write the note, step up.”

Miles looked at the bullies with red eyes. He made his hands into fists, and finally, the bullies stepped up and the teacher gave them Saturday detention. That day, when Miles was going home, Billy came and said, “You will get REVENGE.” He just smiled and ran all the way home. He was glad that was over.

My Pet Slime

Once, there was a girl named Piper. She loved, loved, LOVED animals, but she couldn’t have a pet because she was allergic to dogs, cats, guinea pigs, every kind of pet. Her mom wanted to make her feel better, and she knew that Piper loved to make slime, so she took her to the toy store to get a slime-making kit. 

When Piper got home, she opened up the kit and made the slime. Then that night, a fairy came and sprinkled her fairy dust all over Oozie. 

The fairy said, “You’re gonna be a lovely pet to this girl,” and flew away silently, as if to not wake Piper.

When Oozie came alive, he said, “Wow, what a cool place!” and snuggled on Piper’s counter and fell asleep. 

In the morning, Piper found out that her slime had come alive! She decided to name him Oozie because he was oozy. He could also change his shape. He could be flat as a pancake or round as a ball or just his normal shape. 

Piper screamed, “Ahhh!” And Oozie screamed back, 

“Ahhhh!” She ran to her parents’ room. 

“Mommy, daddy, the slime came alive!” Her parents ran into her room, but Oozie wasn’t moving. He was only alive for Piper because he was being shy. 

“Sweetie, it was just your imagination. Come on down for breakfast once you get changed,” her dad said.

Piper started to get ready for breakfast, but as soon as her parents left the room, Oozie came alive again! Piper loved Oozie so much so she put him in her backpack, but he couldn’t breathe. She cut out breathing holes in her backpack. When she came downstairs with her bag, she hoped her parents wouldn’t notice the holes. She dropped some crumbs through the holes. 

At school, she met up with her worst enemy, Claire. Claire was the most popular girl in the class. She has good ideas, but she teased Piper. “Hi, Pipe for my building that’s connected to my bathroom,” she laughed out loud.

“Hi, Claire’s the store.” Life was easier when you agreed with Claire, Piper thought.

Then, at the end of the day, Piper actually made friends with Claire, because Claire was nice to her in geometry and said sorry for calling her Pipe. They became best friends and had a playdate every day after school. Once Oozie got used to Claire coming over, he actually came alive for her, too, and they had many fun adventures. 

The end.

B-day Celebrations

Why do people think that the double-digit birthday is such a big deal?

You know, I’ve always wondered why people make such a big deal on the double-digit birthday. It’s just something I’ve known as a child, a thing I’ve known since I was born. Yeah. It’s like common knowledge for Americans. I think that everyone just knows it. Every child I’ve been friends with basically knows. Is it just an American thing? Honestly, for Asians, it’s more seven and 60. I mean, it is like a whole new lifeline, since you become more mature, or at least you feel more mature. As you probably know, I’m Chinese-American. My parents are Chinese, whereas I’m American. 

The Chinese way to celebrate birthdays: the first birthday party of a Chinese child takes place when he/she turns two years old. Parents celebrate a birthday by surrounding a child with symbolic items such as a toy airplane, an abacus, a flute, etc. And these items are the attempt to predict the future of the child. Likewise, seven has both positive and negative connotations in Chinese culture. For the positive side, 七 (seven) sounds like both 起 (qǐ), which means “start” or “rise,” and also 气 (qì), which means “vital energy.” Seven is also seen as a lucky number for relationships. Honestly, Americans take a liking to the birthday leading to the double-digit.

An amazingly surprising thing about Chinese birthdays is that they DON’T eat cake as we do. I know right, WHAT? But here’s the reason why: different cultures eat differently. In the Chinese way, they prefer to eat healthier things. 

Chinese people don’t really make such a big deal on their birthdays. While nowadays, young people in China celebrate their birthdays every year like in the West, traditionally, not much importance was attached to your birthday in China. After celebrating three birthdays – 30 days, one year, and six years, no birthday was given any special attention until you were 60. It’s fascinating, isn’t it?

For Chinese people, they zoom in more on the year of whichever animal, rather than the value of the year. But for Americans, they prefer to focus on the value, and what age one is turning.

Now, let’s focus on the types of Chinese years. There are many, 12, actually, based on the year that one is born. There’s the rabbit year, the tiger year, the lamb year, the monkey year, the mouse year, the horse year, the dragon year, the snake year, the dog year, the chicken year, and the pig year. I’m born in the tiger year, and so is my mom, but unfortunately, my dad’s born in the lamb (ram) year. I’ve already mentioned that I’m born in the tiger year (as is my mom), and, well, my mom has a tendency to be obstinate, as do I. So, some people carry on the traits that their animal year has captivity.  

This essay explores different ways that different cultures celebrate their birthdays, as well as how they differ from each other in each and every way. I want to make it clear that every culture has a different way of celebrating birthdays. I was hoping that this essay can give ideas on how people do things differently.




JACINDA is sitting at her desk with a pencil in her hair and paperwork in front of her. Unable to focus, she turns around, and her eyes dart across the room and focus on ASHLEY. She stands up and picks up Ashley, then puts her on the desk next to her, and using a remote, turns Ashley on.


I have a secret. Can I trust you? No, I can’t. I mean, how do I know you won’t be hacked or… or something else. Maybe your programming’s bad and you’ll betray me. 


(crackly voice)

Oh, Jacinda. You built me so I can act as a friend. A friend has feelings, as do I. This means I can detect feelings as well. I am detecting guilt. You know you can tell me anything.


Thanks. I know I can talk to you, Ashley. Now if anybody finds out about this, they’ll probably die, so if I tell you, your robot life is in danger.


I understand, J, but it is alright as long as your life won’t be in danger. I can protect you though, if I have to, with the lasers you made me with. 


No, Ashley. I don’t care if I’m dying. Under no circumstances do you use those lasers. Ok?


Understood. Now, I am dying to know: What’s the secret?


The secret is connected to you. The way I created you was with materials. Stolen materials.


What do you mean, stolen?


I mean stolen. As in, I took and used something that didn’t belong to me and they are probably going to hang me for it!


I still don’t understand. Why would you steal? 


The thing is, I didn’t technically steal. More like, somebody knew that I was a scientist and dropped your parts next to my door. I used them, and a day after I built you, there was a note that got slipped under my door. It said that the parts I used to build you were stolen from the place I work in: Lab Home. After I read the letter, I checked you and your parts carefully, remember?


Yes, I do.


Well, while I was checking you, I found a sticker with Lab Home’s initials on it and the background of us launching a rocket into space. After that, when I went to Lab Home for my regular work routine, the boss announced that parts had been stolen from the big project most of us had been conducting: a way to make a robot like you and turn them into humans.


Are you sure? 


Positive, I was a worker on that project which means I’m one of their suspects, so sooner or later they’re going to come to my house and find you. Then I’m going to get hanged, or maybe not hanged, but seriously in trouble. 


Stop with the negative attitude. Go to the boss and tell him what you just told me. If you come clean, he’ll know you didn’t do it.


It’s not that simple, Ashley. The person who gave me these parts is blackmailing me to not tell anybody or they’ll get hurt. That can’t happen.


Well, what are you going to do about it?


So now I’m going to have to run. That’s the only way to guarantee everybody’s safety. Don’t you agree, Ashley?


Honestly, J, I’m not sure. I mean, do you have to go? Right now, the person blackmailing you doesn’t want you to contact others. This way you’re not as strong, but it’s different when you’re with others. You, in a way, have a team.

Jacinda shakes her head and sighs, reaching for Ashley’s remote to turn her off. She then places Ashley back in the place she found her. 


VLAD, who is in charge of the human-robot project, is having a meeting with all of the members. Jacinda is staring at the floor, not wanting him to see the fear in her eyes.


Attention, please. This is very serious. I need you to confess to stealing the parts of the human- robot project. If nobody has anything to say to me, then fine. I’m asking the security team tomorrow to go to all of your houses and search. You have nothing to hide so that’ll be fine unless… somebody might want to say something. Dismissed!

The members start murmuring amongst themselves, but none say anything to Vlad. They all start splitting up and return to their normal work.



What am I going to do? I can’t confess, right? Yeah, I shouldn’t. Ashley’s wrong, I’m right. Ok, I need to get out of the house today. I can do that. I need to tell Vlad that I’m sick. Simple.

Jacinda stands up from her desk and approaches Vlad at his. She waits until he gets off the phone and he looks up at her.



What do you want? I’m under enough stress with this robot-human program that I don’t need any more distractions.

Jacinda takes a tissue from his desk and blows into it. She then does a fake cough and sneezes.



I’m sick.



Ok, fine. Go, but remember we’re going to your house tomorrow.


Security guards are knocking at Jacinda’s door but she’s not answering. They finally decide to use a master key to open the door. There’s no latch on the door so they conclude she isn’t home.


Check this whole place and make sure she’s not hiding anything, ok?

They search her apartment but find nothing. One of the security guards, though, carefully checks the floor and finds a tile that is unlike the others. 


Hey, guys, look what I found.

He lifts it up to show a trapdoor with a basement. There is a box of Lab Home parts which are supposed to be used for the robot-human program.


Call the boss and tell him that Jacinda took the stuff. Oh also, the rest of you check for other secret compartments. We don’t want to miss anything.


Um, boss, we found out that Jacinda stole the parts, sir. Looking for more now.


Excellent. Also, you’re getting a promotion.

Vlad sets down the phone and laughs evilly.


Oh, my plan worked. I love it when that happens.


Jacinda and Ashley are sitting in the back of a truck that’s driving them to New Jersey. Suddenly though, they come to a halting stop. Jacinda hears talking and suddenly, the back door is pulled open and a police officer is standing there along with the diver who has a helpless look on his face.


You’re under arrest.


(fake shock)

Me? Why, I didn’t do anything.


If I had a nickel for every time I heard that. Your job, Lab Home, begs to differ. Come on, let’s go.


Hello, Jacinda.


(Actual shock)

What? Ashley, how are you up? I didn’t turn you on.

Ashley holograms a figure in front of her. 


(Vlad’s voice)

Hello, Jacinda. I see you’re in a bit of a twist now. Is this a bad time? Anyway, I just wanted to let you know who was behind the brilliant plan that got you in this mess. Any guesses?


Vlad? Why and how did you hack Ashely?


(Vlad’s Voice)

Well, you didn’t put a strong firewall and I guess I know how to hack. For your why question, meet me at Lab Home and we can discuss it over coffee. Huh? Oh, let me take care of this police officer for you. Ashley, launch lasers.



Jacinda hurriedly rushes to Ashley’s remote and tries to turn Ashley off. When this doesn’t work, Ashley aims her lasers toward Jacinda and fires, obliterating the remote. Ashley then turns toward the officer and fires. Barely missing him, the officer ducks and runs to the other side of the truck and takes out his walkie- talkie.


Help! I repeat, mayday! I’m being attacked by a robot here. All units, I repeat: help!

While this is occurring, Ashley suddenly becomes 5 times bigger and starts flying off with Jacinda. She bangs against the metal hands, only hurting herself.


Let me guess, hacked?


(Vlad’s voice)

You are smart, now aren’t you? This means I’m going to have to take you out but I do want you to see my plan.


Jacinda is in Vlad’s office and Big Ashley is guarding the office. Vlad approaches Big Ashley and waits as the robot steps aside. He then sits down across from Jacinda.


So, the reason you brought me here was to explain why you concocted this grand plan. Will you please explain?


With pleasure. I felt you were hogging all the spotlight with your brilliant ideas. It was the only chance I got to lead the human- robot program. I then thought of a way for you to get fired from Lab Home: steal something valuable. Now I was certain of 2 things in this plan: it would work, and you would run away, leaving me with respect and applause. The part I was confused about is you didn’t run away the way I thought. I wanted you to be full of anxiety, vulnerable. Instead, you had a plan. That’s what worries me about you. Now, any questions?


Yeah, one. Why do you talk so much?

Vlad stands up and, not responding, approaches Big Ashley. 


Do me a favor and take care of Jacinda, permanently!

Big Ashley nods and then roughly takes Jacinda by her arm and drags her to the Lab Home basement. When they get down there, Big Ashley pins Jacinda against the wall and warms up her lasers. 


Please, Ashley, don’t do this.


I only take orders from Vlad. He is superior. Exterminate!


I’m sorry, Ashley, but I can’t let you do that. Start self destruct sequence: Password – Handles. My first name for you until I came up with a better name. Goodbye, Ashley.


No, what are you- self destruct 5, 4, 3, 2, 1!


(Regular Ashley)

Goodbye, Jacinda.

A huge explosion sends metal flying everywhere. Jacinda covers her head to protect her from the flying debris. When the aftershock hits Jacinda, she tumbles to the ground. Picking herself up, she goes back to the floor where Vlad was and sneaks up behind him. Accidentally, she steps on a creaky floorboard.


Is that you, Ashley? I heard an explosion and I thought it might’ve been you blowing Jacinda up.


Think again!

Jacinda, taking Vlad by surprise, is able to tie Vlad up and call the police to hand him over.


Well, would you look at that? Same people. Now then, you’re being charged for quite a few things, including attempted murder, theft, and blackmailing. 



I demand to speak with my lawyer! There’s no evidence!


I beg to differ, Vlad. Oh, by the way, I thought you’d like to know I’m the boss now since you’re going to prison.


I’ll get you!


If I had a nickel for everytime I heard that. 


Vlad is wearing the regular orange prison suit as he lies down on his dusty bed. Wiping off the dirt, he hears a cling as the jail cell swings open with a click of the key. Not facing the person, Vlad returns to wiping his bed. A hand rests on his shoulder, making Vlad stop uneasily. Cautiously turning, he faces something hidden by the shadows. 


Hello Vlad, let’s finish this. 


Wicked Witch of the Night

A werewolf haunts a decayed old mansion, the walking dead stalk you in the night. 

The crawling bones, the creaking floors, they make you want to die. A whole world of arachnids live in that big, old house.

 And you won’t escape alive, even if you try. The night was as quiet as a mouse. 

And you did not hear the walking mummy, who was as tall as the sky, but could become as small as a louse.

 But he’s as quiet as a mouse. And that was the end of you. You didn’t experience the walking evil living in the cellar of that house.

 The skeletons are with the ghosts.

 You hear the sound of creaking doors. 

The zombies eat your brains and more. 

The floating ghouls all go to schools, and the pumpkins are alive! 

The evil creature living in that house is none other than the wicked witch of the night! You walked downstairs to the cellar. The pumpkins lit the way. 

The witch ate children like you, and you cannot run away. The moon was full, the man turned into a wolf. The witch was cooking something, in that big, black cauldron of hers. 

She beckoned for you to come closer, and then she locked the doors. You crawled into a corner, like a little mouse. You saw the witch’s wart-filled face,

 She had some claws that were sharp as a mace.

 You could not now win with an ace,

 for you saw the witch’s wart-filled face. Her eyes were glowing red. And they were filled with rage!

 You saw the unfortunate humans that died, whilst trapped in her cage. The whole army of monsters, living in that big old house, cornered you like a little mouse. And then, they pounced!!!


Chapter One

“Ugh. I’m so bored.”

 I flop down on my bed. 

“Hey, Siri. Interesting things near me.”  I scroll through the options. “Hmmm… Brooklyn escape room. And it’s called…. Playtime. It says two to four players. I’ll try to invite some of my friends.” 

First, I call Susan. 


“Hi, Susan, there’s a really fun looking escape room and I scheduled it for 4:00 tomorrow. You wanna come?”

“Sure, I’m free tomorrow.”

“Great! See you then!”

I try calling Margret next, but she doesn’t pick up. Then, I call Lily. 

“Hi, Lily, wanna come to an escape room with me and Susan at 4:00 tomorrow?” It’s a bit of a risk, since I know Lily doesn’t like Susan, but I hope she can come. 

“I’m sorry, I have a class from 3:30 to 5:00.”

“That’s fine, Lily! See you at school!” I hang up. Guess it’s just Susan.

Chapter Two 

It’s a cloudy day when Susan and I go into the escape room. I’m talking with a worker at the escape room.

“Well, you see, there’s an emergency button, if something were to happen,” he says.

“But wait a second, where is it?”

“Have a good time!” he says, and closes the door. Weird guy.

“Huh,” says Susan. I look around. It’s a room. I mean, I know it’s an escape room, but this just looks like a little girl’s bedroom. You know, toys, a frilly bed, a dresser, and a bookcase. I notice that it’s very clean.

“Hmmm. I feel like there should be a puzzle we solve or something.” 

“I know, right?” Susan says. We keep searching the room for some idea of what will happen or some sort of clue everywhere we can think of (under the rug, in the dresser, on the bookshelves) when the lights flicker. On and off, on and off. Susan and I freeze. It stops. 

“Okaaaaay. What just happened?” 

“Don’t ask me.”

“Wait.” I spot something on the floor. It’s a piece of paper, and I pick it up. It’s in cursive.

 Mary likes playtime.

Okay, I’m really scared now like really. And that’s before I hear the whispering.

“Do you hear that?” asks Susan.

“Yeah, I do.” Whispering. Little voices. I can’t tell who they belong to. They talk over each other in a language I can’t understand. I plug my ears, but it doesn’t help. I feel like it’s creeping into my brain. Then, suddenly, it stops.

Chapter Three

“Okay, isn’t there an emergency button?” says Susan.

“I don’t know, he didn’t say where it was!”

“Well then, we’re just going to have to find it, won’t we.”

I used to not like how Susan could be bossy sometimes, but right now, I really appreciate it. We start checking on shelves, in drawers, in corners and crevices. Everywhere possible. Until finally, the only place we haven’t checked is under the bed. I think we’re both a little scared to go under there.

 “Okay,” says Susan. “I’m going under there.”

 ….. orrrr maybe I’m the one who’s scared to do it. She slowly crawls under the bed, going farther down until I can’t see her anymore. I wait for about a minute, but she doesn’t reply. “Susan?” I call. I lean down. “Susan!” 

But I don’t see her.  Like, as in she’s not there. There is nothing under the bed. Not even a dust bunny! (Like I said, it’s very clean.) But seriously! I’m alone! I’ve done escape rooms before, so I went with the creepiness, but this is too much. People don’t just disappear! But I had a feeling I was next. If there’s one rule that goes for everyone in the world, it’s that if your friend disappears under totally random circumstances, you can freak out. So that’s exactly what I do.

I try to bang on the doors. “Help!” I shout, but it’s like nobody hears me. So I search around. I’m sure there’s something I missed when trying to find the emergency button. Finally, I think I see something behind the dresser, so I muster up all my strength and push it to the side. Sure enough, there’s a green button. I press it but nothing happens. I’m shocked. I was sure that would be the answer. All of a sudden, an alarm starts blaring. Nobody comes. But the alarm doesn’t stop. I start tugging on the doorknob. I thought they weren’t allowed to actually lock people in! I give up and flop down on the bed. I can’t believe this! But then the alarm stops. I hear a click from the door. I decide to try one more time. I go to the door, grab with both hands, and pull. Like the door had never been locked, it opens easily. I’m so happy! But what about Susan? I think. But that’s when I see the… thing on the other side of the door. That’s really the only way to describe it. Something unspeakable. Something out of a horror film. One rated Z, which doesn’t exist. Yeah, that’s how scary it was. A monster. I’m about to slam the door in its… face-like thingy when all of a sudden, I feel a strange sensation in my back. I’m about to turn around when my perspective goes black. I close my eyes. And never open them in human form again.


A man sits alone in his house. As he stares out the window, a tear rolls down his cheek. He remembers the day about a month ago when his daughter disappeared. He wonders if she will come back someday. And maybe, just maybe, whatever his daughter had become was watching him, waiting for the day that he would join her. 


Chapter 1

James was an 8th grader who was going to Franklin Middle school. He was trying to get famous, but none of the other kids would talk to him. He had no clue how he could do it, because it was so hard to make friends with kids during recess. He had heard about other kids getting popular, or sometimes even becoming class president, and he wanted to be a part of that area, or at least a few steps below. Maybe, he thought, if I can make some friends, or start some kind of group, I might get at least a few people who can help me. He knew (and remembered) very few of the kids in his class’ names, but he still went and tried his plan out.

So he asked his classmate, Ben (or so he thought), what to do. 

“Well, I think it’s always possible to just make a forum, or some other discussion kind of thing, I don’t really know,” said Ben. Well, thought James, I have no idea how to make a website or a forum, and even if I did, it would take a while to actually get it going, so that’s no use. He went over to another kid, Jordan (maybe), and asked the same question.

“You should totally make a video game! Kids like video games. Just make a VR game and everyone will go to you.” Of course! James thought. If I make a VR game, everyone will like me. And that would be the perfect head start! “You just have to be careful, though, about the decision you make when you make a video game. If it’s too fun, they won’t want to stop, and that can be a problem.”

“Hmm, that shouldn’t be a problem,” said James.

Chapter 2

            James had no coding skills or mechanical skills whatsoever, so he had to call his distant friend, Stanley, up and ask him to ask his dad to use his 3-D printer to make a VR headset that a phone could slide into. He went to the website The Code Mush, to squash together 4 code files: one that gave interface to the motion sensors on the headset (made by his friend’s dad), one with neural networks (because James thought the smarter, the better), a 3-D resource file (so he could program with 3-D graphics), and some pseudo-code he made himself. Overnight, the administrators of the website thought about what code to put as an answer, and what kind of person would make a robot with artificial intelligence disguised as a VR headset, with an extremely insecure web runner, which allowed people to easily hack into the game and make people see whatever the person hacking wanted them to see. But the administrator decided that whoever was asking for this had a good reason, and in the morning, he had his answer. A few days later, Stanley’s dad came over, and gave him the headset. After he had assembled it, and downloaded the code files to his phone, he gave it to his friend, Bill, for a test run. The goal of the game was to drive around on your bike and capture all the bad guys, and look as dramatic as possible. He wondered if this game could be a problem, because at the beginning of the game, it said to get on your bike, but he thought that as long as he told his friend the whole plan, it shouldn’t be a problem.

            As soon as Bill put the motors and the exosuit on, he knew something wasn’t right. He hadn’t seen any motors and definitely no exosuit when James gave it to him, and he had no idea why they would be necessary. But he kept putting it on, and when he was just about to put on the headset, he realized that the only thing James gave him was that headset. The robot must have built the exosuit itself! Maybe James’ phone had a virus on it and James didn’t know it. But before he could put the headset down, the phone turned on. He grimaced as the phone whirred, and saw the phone typing its own password in. He tried to turn the phone off, but he accidentally opened the game file. He knew that when the game turned on, there would be no escape. The motors started to move his limbs for him, and he couldn’t resist. The motors started to push his legs back and forth, making him walk down the street, and towards Stanley’s house. When he got to the house, he felt his hands moving towards his headset, and as much as he struggled, he could not stop himself from putting it on. He felt his hands moving about, maybe building something, but he could not see past the headset. He shouted as something small crawled up his shirt, and landed on his head, strapping a mask over his nose and mouth. And when he breathed in, he felt himself fall asleep. As James was waiting for Bill and his test run reviews, he decided to go over and ask him himself. So he went over to Bill’s house, and rang the doorbell, and Bill’s dad came out.

“Where is Bill?” asked James, looking around.

“Bill? I think he is at Stanley’s house,” replied Bill’s dad. So James walked down the street, by his school and some other schools, and sometime later, he got to Stanley’s house. He rang the doorbell. It took a very long time for Bill to answer. When Bill came out, James could tell that he seemed different. His arms and legs were moving weirdly, and he had put on this really thick sweater and some sweatpants.

“Salutations, James,” said Bill in a weird monotone. “The game was… amusing. It had…  superlative outcomes. The game felt incredibly relevant to the world.”

“What does that mean?” asked James, who had no memory of his friend knowing a lot of words.

“It means like real life.”

“Okay, so on a scale of 1-100, how was it?”

“1,000,000,000%. Better than it is possible to be. If I were you, I would sell to everyone around the world.”

“Hmm. I will think about that, bye,” said James, leaving quite quickly. He was pretty scared that his friend had taken on some weird behavior right after he went into the suit, and definitely not considering selling around the world.

The next day at Bill’s house, there were more VR armatures, this time without any phone controlling them. Bill was making (against his will) more of them, and sometimes, even tiny robot bundles that could mess with people’s brainwaves. At least an eighth of his class was made up of ultra-smart kids in really baggy clothes or no visible changes. Every night, Bill kept making more, and after a while, there were enough to fill his entire class, and a few more classes. And James had no knowledge of this at all. Things were looking pretty bad.

Chapter 3

Before, the problem could easily be ignored. But now, with kids walking all around him and looking at him blankly, it was impossible not to notice. Bill (or really whoever was controlling him), on the other hand, was making a lot of money off James’ idea, and that was not super good for James. James could be sued for making an idea that would control people, or maybe a two-way sue. Some of the kids at the school were making some of their own VR armatures, all through recess, after school, weekends, and even on the holidays. When the kids weren’t in school, they were making suits. A lot of the teachers, too, had been controlled by the armatures, and were making their own suits. James started going to Bill’s house more frequently, to check in on him.

“Hi, Bill,” said James one day.

“Hello, James, how are you?” Bill said.

“I’m okay. I noticed that you are… well… acting a little funny. Is there something wrong?”

“No. Nothing. I am perfectly fine. And yes, I have been telling more jokes than usual. Why?”

“That’s not what I meant. I mean… you’ve been wearing the same clothes every day, and you are always disappearing in class, and I never see you at recess.”

“I’ve been raking, and I had to go to the bathroom. And I haven’t been wearing the same clothes every day, ” said Bill so quickly, it sounded to James as if he had said it in five seconds.

“Oh, yes of course, ” said James. “You aren’t still in that VR suit I gave you, are you?”

“No, absolutely not,” said Bill, who was kind of telling the truth. He wasn’t in the exosuit, he was being controlled by the tiny robots.

“Okay, bye, Bill,”


Most of the other times he talked to Bill, the effect was the same. After a few months, the entire school was filled with robot kids. Eventually, James finally figured it all out, exactly what had been going on with Bill, except for the tiny brain robots. But he had no idea how to power all the robots down, without anybody noticing. He needed help from his parents. After he explained the whole thing to his mom and dad (with a lot of difficulty), they told him that he should find out who was controlling these robots, or make an app update, adding an unharmful self destruct system. He decided to make an update, because he did not know how to hack. So he made a new app, and told everyone at school that there was an update, and they quickly ran away from him, probably to get the new app. He had programmed in a foolproof way to have the suit unlatch from the person, and walk far away, into a deep pit in James’ backyard.

A week later, in the middle of the night, the suits unlatched, retracting the bracelets around their arms and legs, and got up and walked around. The suits walked out the door, all towards James’ house. While James was looking out his window at them, he was thinking about what could be the end of this crisis. He noticed only twenty armatures walked into the pit, and there were at least 400 kids in his school, all of whom were possessed. The next morning, he noticed that his plan had barely worked at all. Only a few kids had acted friendly, and the rest had been very weird. He decided to ask the kids who had been cured, because they were the ones that made the suits.

“Hi! Did you notice anything strange last week?”

“Oh, yes, the weirdest! There was like this skeleton! It just walked onto my body and it stuck there!”

“Tell me about it! I really need info.”

“Okay. It was really terrible, but also kind of cool.” So the kids told him the whole story, all of their suspicions (all of which were correct), all about the microbots, exosuits, and some torn up sweaters. When they all were done, James understood. Everything made sense, and he thought he knew how to stop it.

Chapter 4

Since the nanobots only ran on very small batteries, it wouldn’t do too much harm if they short-circuited. So he set up some small capacitive touch activated door knob squirters, some small pressure plates under some mats, and several motion activated water cannons, to blast whoever was infected with water. He had taken the creative time to work hard and actually learn how to make the things himself properly, instead of just relying on other people to help him. But unfortunately, he had done it on a Friday, so he would have to wait three days before seeing the effects. It was on Sunday that he had finally noticed a flaw in his plan. Squirting the kids with water wouldn’t short out the mini-robots, because they were in the kids’ brains. He quickly created a small electric shocker for a show and tell project, to share what the effects of certain electronic components could do to voltage. It would be absolutely impossible to notice for the kids, because the voltage level was only nine volts. When the nine volts ran across the kids’ bodies from one hand to the other, it would pass through every part of their body, including the tiny robots. There was another advantage to the nanobots using tiny batteries. It meant that it could handle no more than around one volt, and if ten volts entered the nanobots’ battery sockets, they would overpower, and get destroyed. This really was a terrible idea, because sending ten volts into a brain-controlling nanobot could cause them to send brain signals of ten volts through their brains, which is a lot of volts for a person’s brain. But luckily, the robots had a small power restrictor, which would self-destruct if the voltage was too much. When he went to school that day, he was really excited about finally saving his school. The kids could carrey voltage in their bodies, so whoever they touched would also be free from the tiny robots, and if they touched the playground equipment, it would spread everywhere. So in the evening, when the kids lined up to try out James’ experiment, all of the kids had a tiny jump, and then walked back to their seats. It worked perfectly, and by the end of the week, the VR headsets and all of the nanobots had been completely wiped out permanently. At the end of the day, all of the kids thanked James for saving them from the robots. James wanted to run for class president, and he won the vote, probably because all the kids liked that he had been smart and creative enough to stop the robots (although the teachers didn’t approve as much because they got soaked).