My Move

   

*Diary! Secret! Mia’s diary!*

Chapter 1: We are Packing

I was sewing in my room. My walls were pink with black and white polka-dots. The curtains in my room were pink with black and white polka-dots too. The covers of my bed were green with orange polka-dots. I was sewing a scarf. I stopped sewing and went to check what Lexi was doing. Lexi was sewing mittens.

“For whom are these mittens?” I asked.

“For me,” Lexi said. “Who did you think I was sewing it for?”

“Don’t know,” I replied.

“Anyway, what were you doing?”

“I was sewing a scarf,” I told Lexi.

“For who?

“For Kira,” I answered.

“Well, okay, get out of my room,” Lexi said. “I’m not mad, but I want my privacy!”

“Don’t be so mean,” I said jokingly as I was going out of Lexi’s room.

I went back to sewing my scarf. My scarf was blue, pink, and yellow. I kept on sewing for half an hour, and finally I was done with the scarf. I went out of the house to give the scarf to Kira. Just then, I remembered that I wanted to wrap it in wrapping paper.

When I went to get wrapping paper, Mom said, “Slow down, girl, where are you going?”

“To get wrapping paper,” I replied.

“For what?” my mom asked.

“For a scarf,” I replied.

“Where did you get a scarf, and who is that scarf for?”

“I sewed a scarf, and the scarf is for Kira.”

“Wait, I want to tell you some news,” my mom said with a smile on her face. “And also call Lexi and Dad to the living room.”

“Fine,” I said.

I was really happy we’d have family news again. Family news was always something good. Like, for example, one time, it was that Grandma Emma was in town, or that we were invited to a birthday party. I skipped happily to Lexi’s room, and told her to go to the living room. Lexi went straight to the living room. I skipped to my dad’s room, and told Dad to go to the living room. Soon, my family was all settled in the living room.

“Lexi and Mia, Dad and I have some news for you,” Mom said.

“What news? What news?” Lexi asked, really happy.

“We… we are going to move!”

“Move? Move… where?” said Lexi. Her voice wasn’t as happy as it had been.

“To New Jersey,” Mom replied.

“Is Kira going to move?” I wondered out loud.

“No, she’s not.”

“Then I’m not going to move!” I yelled.

“Is my best friend going to move?” asked Lexi.

“Did you forget your best friend’s name?”

“No,” Lexi answered. “Her name is Lily. And if Lily’s not going to move, then I’m not going to move.”

“Yes, you are going to move,” said Dad calmly.

“Are we just going to move for fun, or is it because Mom is gonna open a store?” I said.

“Not exactly. Mom’s going to open a new store and my work has a new location,” Dad explained to Lexi and me.

“BUT WE CAN’T MOVE! I’M NOT GOING TO LEAVE KIRA!” I cried.

“Yeah, we can’t move,” Lexi said. I was sure Lexi was on my side.

“But we are going to move,” Mom and Dad said at the same time.

“So I have to give the scarf to Kira right now, right?” I asked Mom.

“Right,” Mom said. “Well, wrong,” Mom corrected herself. “She can visit you and — ”

I interrupted my mom. “It’s a long ride to New Jersey, right?”

“Yes,” my dad answered.

“So, we’re going to end up not visiting each other, right?” I asked.

“We are going to visit Kira, just not so much,” Dad said.

“Is not so much once a week?”
“No,” Dad said. “Not so much means once every two months.”

“No! I have to see her at least once every two weeks!”

“You can use Facetime,” Dad suggested.

“Does she have Facetime?” I asked.

“Yes,” Dad answered.

“Yes,” Mom said, “we Facetimed Kira’s mom.”

“You sure?” I asked.

“I’m sure,” Mom and Dad said at the same time.

“Well, anyway, I got some boxes. Go pack your things,” Mom said. “We leave in two days.”

“Can we leave in three days?” I asked.

“Well… I’ll think about that,” Mom answered, giving Dad a look. “But let me get the boxes first.”

I whispered something to Lexi.

“Lexi, on one two three, let’s chant ‘we’re not moving!’”

Lexi nodded her head.

“One, two, three!”

Lexi and I began chanting, “We’re not moving! We’re not moving! We’re not moving!”

“Yes we are! Yes we are!” Mom began chanting. She motioned for dad to chant with her.

Mom and Dad began to chant, “We are moving! We are moving! We are moving!” Soon the whole family was chanting. Lexi and I were chanting, “We’re not moving! We’re not moving! We’re not moving!” and Mom and Dad were chanting, “We are moving! We are moving! We are moving!”

Soon Mom started chanting:

“Let’s be quiet! Let’s be quiet!”

The Kitaigorodsky family quieted down.

“Start packing already,” Mom suggested to Lexi and me.

“But we don’t have any of the boxes,” Lexi and I complained.

“Oh, I forgot about them. Let me go get some,” Mom said with a sigh. Then she added, “It’s hard to live here with you and Mia screaming that you’re not going to move. We’ll just move, and everything is going to be okay.”

 

Chapter 2: Moving Party

I forgot all about my scarf! I had to tell Kira that I was moving, and I could not move because I could not leave Kira at New York when I’m in New Jersey. I had to think of a way, and fast, to convince my mother and father that we could not move to New Jersey. I had to think fast, but I couldn’t make up at least one lame idea. I went over to Lexi’s room. Maybe she’d have an idea. I asked Lexi, “What are you doing?”

“What do you think?” Lexi answered.

“Doing nothing,” I answered.

“Well, what are you doing?”

“I was thinking of an idea to convince mom that we could not move,” I said.

“That’s exactly what I was doing!” Lexi seemed surprised.

“Have you thought of anything?” I asked Lexi. “Do you even have one lame idea? Why are you so quiet?”

“Nope, nope, and I’m not quiet.”

“Well, now you’re not, but you were.”

“Can we change the subject?” Lexi asked.

“To what?”

“To getting out of my room.”

“Don’t be so mad at me, girl!”

“I’m not mad! I just need my privacy.”

“Girls, are you packing?” Mom called from the kitchen.

“Um, we’re starting to pack,” I said as I was running into my room. But then I added, “I HAVE NO BOXES!”

“Go get some in the kitchen, Mia,” Mom yelled.

“Okay, okay,” I said as I as was rushing from my room to the kitchen to get some boxes. “You think I can pack all my stuff by myself?”

“Yes,” Mom said.

“Well, I need your help.”

“Okay, okay. Just put your boxes in your room, and I’ll pack them when you’re sleeping or tomorrow morning.”

I ran back to my room with boxes and put them right next to my bed.

“Now what should I do?” I called from my room.

“Now you should get your pajamas, brush your teeth and go to sleep,” Mom said.

“What time is it?” I called.

“8:30.”

“But my bedtime is at 10:00.”

“You know how long you brush your teeth.

“Oh fine.” I quickly changed into pajamas and rushed to the bathroom. There was a clock in the bathroom. I looked at it. It was already 8:45. I started brushing my teeth. Brush brush brush. I thought this was the shortest time I had brushed my teeth! But when I was done, I looked at the clock and it was 9:45. I had taken a whole hour to brush my teeth. Usually, I only took half a hour. This was a record for me! Actually, two records. One record was that I brushed my teeth one hour, not half an hour. And I never make such a big mistake like this. That was already two records! I rushed to the bedroom and plopped on my bed. Then I looked at the clock. it was still 9:45. I had a lot, well, not a lot, of time to read in my bed.

When it was 10:00, my mom called from the kitchen, “Turn the light off!”

“Okay, Mom.” I quickly looked at what page I was on, put my bookmark in, put my book away, and turned off the light.

The next morning, when I woke up, I looked at my bedroom. It was empty, except for boxes. I looked in drawers, but in only one of my drawers, I found some clothes. I quickly put the clothes on, and looked around. Boxes, boxes, and boxes. Boxes, boxes, and boxes. It was like I was a robber, and lots of police officers were surrounding me. I quickly stepped over all of the boxes (a.k.a. police officers). I looked in the boxes, and the boxes were actually, well, huge! Bigger than they were yesterday.

Suddenly the phone rang. I dashed to the kitchen with all my might, and right in time I got the phone. It was from Kira. She had already found out that I was moving from her parents. I didn’t know how they found out, so I asked my parents. You know what they answered? They answered that when they were Facetiming Kira’s mom, they told her. And Kira’s mom told Kira. And then Kira suggested a moving party! I was going to a moving party at Kira’s house! It was just going to be, me, Kira, and her mom. And it was going to start now. I went to Kira’s house and knocked on the door. Kira answered it.

“Welcome to your moving party!” she said.

I looked around her house. It was all decorated with pink, with black and white polka dots, just like my room is! I hugged Kira and said, “I DON’T WANT TO MOVE!”

“If I were you, I wouldn’t want to move either,” Kira said, and then added, “and I mean it.”

“Tell that to my parents,” I suggested to Kira.

“What’s your parents phone number?” Kira asked.

“Why are you asking?” I asked Kira.

“‘Cause then I can call them now,” explained Kira.

“Can’t you just walk to my house?” I asked Kira.

“Fine, I’ll tell your parents after your moving party!”

“Oh yeah, let’s start the moving party!”

I walked into Kira’s house and saw all my friends from school. I was surprised that all of them were here! Rachel, Pamela, Mallory, Areile, Kelly, Talia, Tara, and Nancy. I ran to Rachel, Pamela, Mallory, Areile, Kelly, Talia, Tara, and Nancy to hug all of them. After all, they were all my friends. Kira ran to get something. She came back with a blindfold. She tied it around my eyes. She led me into the dining room and then she took my blindfold off. On the dining room table was a big chocolate cake and in the middle it said with icing: We’ll miss you, Mia! All around the cake were ten cupcakes. One for each of us. Also in the middle of the cake it said:

Mia is nice

Inspiring

Amazing

“Thank you so much!” I yelled with all my might.

We all sat down and I found nine presents under the table. The first one I picked up was from Pamela. I unwrapped it, and inside was six sets of nail polish. There were the colors of the rainbow in each set. “Thank you so much!” I said to Pamela. “My nails will always be painted no matter what.” Next I grabbed Kelly’s present. I unwrapped it. Inside were two twin dolls! “I love them. They’re so cute!” I told Kelly. Next, I grabbed Mallory’s present. It was a picture of Rachel, Pamela, Mallory, Ariele, Talia, Nancy, Kira, Tara, Kelly, and a picture of just me. Next, I grabbed Ariele’s present. It was a gift card to Toys R Us. Ariele told me that inside there was $150. “Oh my gosh! That’s a lot of money! Thank you so much,” I told Ariele. “Now my parents won’t have to spend money. Next I took out Nancy’s present. It was a book and a diary with a pen. I tried to open the diary. I could not. “How do you open this diary?” I asked.

“There’s a password,” Nancy answered.

“What’s the password?” I asked.

“Mia,” Nancy answered. I typed the password Mia, and then I tried to open the diary. It opened! And then I could change the password to whatever I wanted. This was amazing! No one could look in my diary. Also, there was a book. it was Wonder by R.J. Palacio. Next, I opened Tara’s present. It was a cookbook, and things for me to sew. The cookbook was called Cookbook of the Year. I looked at  all the recipes. Amazing! There were recipes for cupcakes and cakes and cookies. Suddenly I got an idea! I could start a cupcake club in New Jersey with my new friends. If I got any friends, that is. We could bake cupcakes for people and get paid for that. They could be $5 a cupcake. So if someone wanted five cupcakes from us, they would pay $25.

Next, I saw two presents left. I picked them up at the same time. I unwrapped them at the same time. One of them was from Rachel, and it was a laptop. One of them was from Talia, and it was earrings, necklaces, and bracelets. I ran to Kira’s room to put on the earrings, necklaces, and bracelets. I came back with the earrings on my ears, the necklaces on my neck, and the bracelets on my wrists. Everyone stared at me with OMG eyes. I stared at them.

“What?” I asked them.Their mouths just dropped open. No one said a word.

”What?” I repeated.No one said a word. I ran into Kira’s room and looked at myself. Oh! I laughed. I was just so, so pretty!!! Then I came back and quickly logged into my laptop. I quickly downloaded things on my laptop. We started playing games on my laptop. Then it was time to eat. Kira’s mom came into the room, and sliced the cake into ten parts. She gave a piece to each of us. The cake was awesome. It was chocolate and vanilla cake, and the icing was half chocolate and half vanilla too. It was yummy! Delicious! I could eat this cake forever. I told Kira’s mom that. And then in my new cookbook, she found the recipe for that cake. it was called “Chocolate Vanilla Cake.” That was even better! I could eat that anywhere. Mom could just bake it, and then tada! We could have it. And I could have this cake for my birthday party. Awesome and amazing!

Then parents started to come to pick their children up. Before they even came into the house, I motioned for all of my friends, including Kira, to come into Kira’s room with me. I wanted to tell them something, and that had to be private without anyone sticking their nose into my business. When we were all in the room with the door closed, and I told them all how I felt.

“I feel very sad that I have to leave you, and I feel nervous that I have to go to a new school, and that I won’t get any new friends,” I said. “I don’t want to move. And I want you all to know that –– I will miss you all the same amount.” I motioned to all of them that I was done talking. We all went out of the room.

While we were going out of the room, Tara said, “Everything will be okay and we can Facetime each other, and I’m sure you’ll find new friends because this is your second time moving.”

“But this is different. The first time I moved, it was from Queens to Staten Island. That was just different boroughs. But I’m going to move to a different state. That’s way farther. And we’re gonna end up never ever visiting each other.”

Suddenly Tara’s mom told her that she had to leave this second because her sister had a ballet lesson. Tara hugged me and said, “Don’t worry. We’ll at least Facetime each other, and I think we’re going to visit each other.”

Tara hugged me, and I hugged her again. Then Tara and her mom left. In five minutes, Mallory’s parents appeared. We hugged each other, and Mallory said, “Don’t worry, I’m sure you’ll find friends, and even if you don’t, we can Facetime each other and visit.”

“I don’t know about that visiting part,” I said to Mallory. “It’s a long way from New York to New Jersey, or New Jersey to New York.”

“But anyway we will get to Facetime each other.”

“Are you sure you have Facetime?” I asked Mallory.

“I’m sure.”

“You sure?” I asked Mallory, because maybe she made a mistake.

“I’m sure,” Mallory said to me once again.

“Triple sure?” I asked Mallory.

“Triple sure,” Mallory said.

“Then, bye,” I said and then added, “I’ll miss you sooo much!”

“i’ll miss you even more than you’ll miss me,” Mallory said.

“Nuh-uh. I’ll miss you more, and it’ll be more harder for me because I have to go to a new school find new friends, and I have to leave. You just have to let me leave, and you can just keep playing with our other friends. You don’t have to do anything! You don’t have to worry, there’s no nerves for you!”

“Do we have Facetime, mom?” Mallory asked her mom.

“Of course,” Mallory’s mom answered Mallory.

“Gygygaga” Mallory’s little sister said.

“So cute,” I said to Mallory.

“You think so?” Mallory said. “Spend a week with her. Then you’ll find out.”

“I’m not going for that,” I said.

“There you go. You proved my point,” Mallory said. “You don’t want to live with her.”

“We have to go!” Mallory’s mom said.

“Gygygaga,” Mallory’s little sister said.

“Goodbye,” I said to Mallory. Mallory and I hugged again. Then she left. Everyone but Rachel and Talia left because their parents had the wrong time so we played some games until they left. Then it was just me and Kira. Me and Kira talked a little bit and played some games. Then, I left.

I looked at the time when I came home. It was 3:30 p.m. When I came home, I told Mom that my moving party wasn’t a moving party. it was a amazing moving party. And that was true.

 

Chapter 3: Texting in the Car to New Jersey

I was riding in the car to New Jersey. I didn’t know what to do. I’d already been in the car a half an hour, and the ride to New Jersey was two hours. A whole two hours and I couldn’t do anything! I took out my phone and started texting Kira.

MK: Riding in the car to New Jersey.

KM: What do u see around u?

MK: Nothing. 🙁

KM: What r u doing?

MK: Riding in the car to NJ.

MK: What r u doing?

KM:Texting u.

MK: What were u doing b4 u started texting me?

KM: Homework.

“Uhhh! This so boring! Am going to ride in the car for two hours doing nothing?” Lexi yelled. I ignored her. I kept on texting Kira.

MK: :p  

KM: For what are u sticking out ur tongue?

MK: U still have to do HW, and I’m riding in a car.

KM: I’m giving u a look through the phone. :/

MK: Well I’m giving u a look through the phone!

KM: I see u have less nerves about the move now. 🙂  

MK: No I don’t!

MK: I feel WAY more nervous because I know there’s no chance I’m NOT moving now.

KM: Look I know u’ll find a new friend.

KM: U’ll be happy with ur new school, and it’ll be like u never moved.

KM: U’ll just have no me, and new friends!

KM: The first time u moved here, u told us how nervous u were to move.

KM: But u found us! it’ll be the same adventure like last time.

MK: But this is different!

MK: I was moving from a different borough.

MK: Now I’m moving to a different STATE.

KM: Wait, what’s a borough???

MK: it’s like Manhattan, Queens, Bronx, Brooklyn, and Staten island.

KM: Oh. Wait, then what’s a state??

MK: A state is NY, NJ, illinois, MA, and so on.

KM: Oh. Kk.

MK: So continuing.

MK: I’m moving further than I was this is totally different and it’s a two hour ride and we’re never EVER going to see each other again.

KM: I think we should end texting.

KM: I see ur getting upset, and I have to finish my HW

MK: Maybe we can text again soon? 🙂

“We’re here!” Dad said.

 

Chapter 4: The House

Mom had told me that she was going to unpack for me while I was sleeping. I had agreed, because it was good that I didn’t have to unpack. That would be hard. I wouldn’t had known what to put where, and it would take forever. But Mom seems to take only a minute or five when unpacking the family stuff. I looked in all my new drawers and everything. The room was completely empty. It was kind of like I was in jail, because in jail the person gets barely any stuff, and that’s it. There was nothing on the walls, just plain white. I had to remember to paint my room. Suddenly, I felt so sleepy. I lay on the bed.

That was a good nap. I looked all around my room.The walls were pink with black polka-dots. Everything was like my old room! Just my covers weren’t green and orange with green polka-dots. Wait a sec. This wasn’t my room. This was… Mom and Dad’s room. I went into my room. The walls were pink with white and black polka-dots and so were my curtains! Just like my old room! The covers of my bed were green with orange polka-dots. Mom and Dad and maybe Lexi had carried me from my room to Mom and Dad’s room! I took out my phone. I started texting Kira.This is how it went:

MK: at New Jersey

KM: When did u arrive?

MK: 10 minutes ago.                  

KM: exactly 10 minutes ago?

MK: About 10 minutes ago.

KM: U r a weirdo

MK: meanie!

KM: excuse me

MK: just joking

KM: I knew that

KM: u think that I didn’t know that

MK: I knew u knew that

MK: Whatever

MK: C u soon

KM: I want to keep on texting!

MK: fine we’ll say some more words and then we’re done talking

KM: do u not want to be my best friend anymore?

KM: we used to be twinsies.

MK: I want to be your best friend. Wait. let me correct that. I NEED to be your best friend. NEED.NEED.NEED.NEED.NEED.

KM: doesn’t look like it

MK: looks like it and I know it’s true

KM: o well. having fun in New Jersey?

MK: BORiNG

KM: what’s so boring

MK: well I don’t know a lot about this place. By the way, this looks basically like my old home

KM: o well.doing anything

MK: No

KM: I think it’s time that we should stop texting

MK: I think so to.

 

Hmmm. I think I should probably go out and try to make a new friend.

To be continued…

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

a second chance 3

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

a second chance 4

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. 

second chance 5

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

 

The End
second chance 6
This is when she is at the play date. The other picture is when Addie asks her mom to go to Chelsea’s house.

Atlas

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.

“Always!”

“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?”

“Fine.”

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

laughing

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.

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.

Waaah!

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!

It was REALLY CREEPY. He was also was holding a MASSIVE club. He was saying “HAHA, YOU HAVE COME TO FIGHT ME AND GET YOUR HEAD RIPPED OFF AND CHOPPED INTO TWO PIECES! I ALSO TOOK YOUR PARENTS!” in a really metallic voice.

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.

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.”

“What?”

“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.

“HOW DARE YOU COME IN HERE INSULTING MY FAMILY?”
“HOW DARE YOU NOT TELL ME YOU WERE MOVING TO MEXICO?”
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.

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.”

“WHAT??

 

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~

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

Superstar

Superhero

Superlove.

 

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 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.

 

CHAPTER 2

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!

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?”

“Sure.”

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.

“Agreed.”

To Be Continued.

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.

Signed,

Gosef

 

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.

“Yes.”

“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.

THE END

 

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 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!

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?”

“Yeah.”

“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.

 

SO REMEMBER, NEVER EVER EVER EAT A TURKEY EVER AGAIN BECAUSE NOW YOU KNOW HOW US TURKEYS FEEL ABOUT IT.

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.

“Yes?”

“We all have white teeth.”

“No.”

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!

loser.com

“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.

Untitled

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.

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.

 

SCENE 1

ALAN

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

 

ALAN’S MOM

Too bad, so sad. You. GO.

 

ALAN

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

 

ALAN’S MOM

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

 

ALAN

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

 

ALAN’S MOM

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

 

ALAN

No, I didn’t, I actually lied to you.

 

MOM

I’ll call your teacher and ask.

 

ALAN

Fine, go ahead.

 

MOM

        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.

 

ALAN

Ugh. Fine.

 

Lights out.

SCENE 2

        In reading class (ELA).

 

TEACHER

Write a whole paragraph on what we just learned.

        The TEACHER turns to write on the board.

 

ALAN

(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.

 

TEACHER

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.

 

SCENE 3

        ALAN sits on the bench crying at recess.

JACK

Are you okay?

 

ALAN

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

 

JACK

You don’t understand what?

 

ALAN

Don’t tell anybody, okay?

 

JACK

Okay, I promise.

 

ALAN

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

 

JACK

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

 

ALAN

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

 

JACK

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

 

ALAN

That is a great idea!

 

JACK

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

 

ALAN

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

 

JACK

Oh whatever, forget about it.

 

ALAN

Where should we go?

 

JACK

       He writes down “Bahamas” and shows ALAN.

 

ALAN

What’s Bamahams?

 

JACK

(gently) It’s called the Bahamas.

 

ALAN

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

 

JACK

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

 

ALAN

Are you scared of something?

 

JACK

(lying) No, not at all.

 

ALAN

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

 

SCENE 4

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

JACK

Oh. T-t-trees!

 

ALAN

Okay? Dude, are you scared of something?

 

JACK

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

 

ALAN

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.

 

JACK

I’ll be honest next time.

 

ALAN

Okay.

 

JACK

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

 

ALAN

(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.

 

JACK

Oh well.

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

 Ahhh!

 

ALAN

Jeez, Jack! Calm down!

 

The boys see something on the tree.

 

JACK

Oh my gosh! The t-tree said something.

 

ALAN

Let me read it. Hmmm… Pelh pere.

 

JACK

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.

 

ALAN

Who wants to help us?

 

JACK

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

 

ALAN

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.

 

JACK

O-o-okay. How can we help?

 

ALAN

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.

 

JACK

Should we follow them?

 

ALAN

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

 

JACK

Wait, what do you mean a dangerous place?

 

ALAN

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

 

JACK

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.

 

ALAN

Are you alright, man? But…

        JACK starts crying.

 

ALAN

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

 

JACK

Let’s go back.

 

ALAN

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.

 

JACK

How do we get out?

 

ALAN

The same way we came in.

 

JACK

Which is…?

 

ALAN

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

 

JACK

I don’t know about that.

 

ALAN

Jack… man up you have to face your fears.

 

JACK

I guess.

 

The boys walk more into the forest.

 

ALAN

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

 

JACK shivers.

 

ALAN

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

 

JACK

But…

 

Trees make sounds.

 

JACK

Ahhh. T-trees.

       JACK runs straight into the cave.

Uhhh, Alan you here, bro?

 

ALAN

JACK!!! Where are you???

 

JACK

I’m in a cave without t-trees.

 

ALAN

Ummm, is this the cave?

 

JACK

Hurry up! I am suffering in here!

 

JACK

Oh Alan, I see you!

 

ALAN

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

 

JACK

Wait… WHAT?! Oh, this isn’t that bad.

 

ALAN

Oh look, there are more footsteps.

 

JACK

Let’s follow them.

 

ALAN

Okay.

 

ALAN and JACK follow the footsteps.

 

JACK

Oh look, there is our school.

 

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

 

JACK’S MOM

Jack, where were you? I was worried sick.

 

JACK

Well, we just couldn’t do it anymore.

 

JACK’S MOM

Couldn’t do what?

                

JACK

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.

 

ALAN

Dude, you agreed to it!

 

ALAN’S MOM

Agreed to what?

 

ALAN

Never mind.

 

JACK

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

 

ALAN

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

 

JACK

Fine.

 

ALAN

Good.

 

JACK

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

 

ALAN ignores JACK.

 

ALAN

Why are you bringing that up now? Bye.

 

ALAN goes home with his mom.

 

SCENE 5

        The next day.

 

JACK

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.

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.

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

Characters:

CAT

SOPHIE

MYRTLE

JAKE

BAKER 1

BAKER 2

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.

JAKE

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.

SOPHIE

The bakers are here. We have to hide!

CAT

Well, maybe you have to, because you stole that magic cinnamon from the spice stand.

SOPHIE

Well, you helped!

CAT

No, I did not!

SOPHIE

The bakers might come in.

CAT

I’m scared.

SOPHIE

I’ll be on the lookout.

SOPHIE looks out the window again.

SOPHIE 

The bakers are probably looking for that creme brulee recipe.

CAT 

Cool.

BAKER 1 is standing outside the window.

BAKER 1

Let us in, farm boy!

JAKE

I’m not a farm boy! Also, I don’t even know how to make toast!

 

BAKER 2

Let’s go. He’s innocent.

BAKER 1

Copy.

In the dark room.

SOPHIE

The bakers are gone.

CAT

I’m going to work.

SOPHIE

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.

SOPHIE

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

Hello!

CAT tips her hat.

CAT

Have a very nice day!

Scene 3

A dusty shop with many old things in it. MS. MYRTLE is standing behind a desk.

 

CAT

Hello, Ms. Myrtle. How are you?

MYRTLE

I am very good, Cat. How are you?

CAT

I’m good.

MYRTLE

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

Okay.

CAT walks through the piles of junk.

Scene 4

A dusty room with bags of things.

CAT

Where is the new delivery?

Shows a bag that says “New Delivery.”

CAT

Oh. There it is.

CAT opens the bag.

CAT

Whoa! That’s the recipe!

A picture of a creme brulee is on a scrap of paper.

CAT

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.)

MYRTLE

(distant sounding) What are you doing back there?

CAT

Just being a good assistant! Hehehe.

MYRTLE

Okay.

CAT

This is gonna rock!

Scene 5

The Bakery. Many sweets are being eaten at pink tables. Happy music is playing through hidden speakers.

COOK

That recipe is mine. Well, I hope it is.

COOK stops waiter.

COOK

I’ll be right back, I just forgot something.

WAITER

Okay.

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

COOK

I want the recipe right now!

MYRTLE

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!

COOK

It is a matter of life and death. It’s magic. According to legend, it can bring people back to life.

MYRTLE

Why are you relying on a legend?

COOK

Well, legends are sometimes real.

MYRTLE

Okay, but don’t blame me if you go through this entire pursuit of trying to find something that isn’t real.

COOK

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.

CAT

(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.

COOK

Are you sure that Ms. Myrtle doesn’t have the recipe?

CAT

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.

CAT

Come on, Sophie. Let’s try the batter.

SOPHIE

Okay!

They try the batter.

SOPHIE and CAT

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.

CAT

Whoa….

SOPHIE

Let’s try it!

They both take a bite.

COOK opens up the kitchen door and slams it shut.

COOK

I know you have the recipe! Now give it to me!

SOPHIE and CAT are bouncing around, giggling.

SOPHIE and CAT

I think this made me really happy!

COOK

You are stealing something really powerful!

The girls continue to bounce and laugh.

CAT

(to COOK) Really?

SOPHIE shoves a mouthful of creme brulee into COOK’s mouth. COOK starts bouncing around and smiling.

COOK

This is magic!

SOPHIE

Why?

COOK

Because it’s so good! Let’s open a new bakery together and live eating creme brulee forever!

SOPHIE and CAT

Yay!

THE END

Trees

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.

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.

The One and the Best Girl: Book III

Chapter One: Shopkins

Hi, my name is Daisy and I am ten years old. I have one Shopkins toy. My sister is only a year old and has twenty eight Shopkins. This is not fair – I hate that my sister has twenty eight. I like Shopkins because they’re little, and my dog doesn’t eat little things. I like playing with them with my mom and sister. For Easter or Valentine’s Day I can get more. Valentine’s day is next week!

 

Chapter Two: Valentine’s Day

I woke up with a basket on my bed! Inside the basket were shopkins! I opened them… I got the worst one! I looked at its name without noticing that it was a limited edition. It was called Roxie Ring. My sister came in and screamed, “Ahhh, you have a limited edition?”

That’s when I realized I got a limited edition Shopkins!

I opened the other one that was in the same basket. It was Sally Scent. My sister screamed again, “Ahhh! Sally Scent! That’s not fair!” (That time she knew from the beginning that it was a limited edition. Now, whenever she screams, it means that I have a limited edition.)

I opened the other one, which was –

“Ahhh!” My sister screamed again. “Sunny Screen! That is not fair!”

Before I could stop her, she opened the other one. It Papa Tomato. She hesitated before moaning again.

I went downstairs and found the pups still sleeping. Me and my sis found another present with both of our names on it, so we opened it together. It was from Mom and Dad, and it said that we were going to move to a bigger house because we were going to have four new siblings!

My mom was pregnant with quadruplets!

Crying, I went to my room. I was shocked. I called my best friend, The Hair.

“I am moving to NYC,” I said.

“What? That was what I was going to tell you! I’m actually moving to New Jersey,” he said, “but I’ll be right across the George Washington Bridge!”

 

Chapter Three: Moving Day

I woke to a moving truck outside of my window. I did not know that we were moving today (I thought that we were moving this weekend), but whatever!

We drove to the apartment. My sister had a blue and pink bedroom, and I had a hanging bed. There was even a playroom with a whole collection of Shopkins! I found seventy seven Shopkins outside of the box and forty four inside of another box, and I opened them all. They were limited edition! And, I got all the Shopkins from seasons one and two!

After, we went to the Empire State Building. It was so cool! The Hair came with us!

 

Chapter Four: School

The next day, I discovered that The Hair went to the same school as me. I could not find him, so I went to the principal’s office to see if he knew where he was. The one problem was that the principal was not in his office at the moment. I looked on each floor.

The principal was still not there when I went back to class, so I asked my teacher if he knew where he was. It turns out that the principal was in the classroom the whole time! I asked him if I could transfer to The Hair’s class. He looked scary, but luckily he said, “Yes, of course! Are you new?’’

I told him I was, and then I looked for The Hair next door.

That night I learned that my mom had had her babies when I was at school. Their names were Hayden, Molly, Hudson, and Sarah!

We lived happily in New York.

The One and the Best Girl: Book II

Chapter One

Hi, my name is Daisy. My sister’s name is Chloe. My dog’s name is Olivia. We have a playhouse that we like to hang out in. You need to put a cover on it overnight, or else it will get wet. Last night, I forgot to put the cover on the playset, and it got soggy and wet and nearly fell over. Now we’re going to get a new piece of cardboard to start off our new playhouse. But, I’m torn because I don’t know what color cardboard I should get! I’m thinking of getting blue, but I don’t know… I’m also thinking about getting yellow because that’s my favorite color, and whenever I think of the color yellow I want a banana. I started to get stressed out because I didn’t know what color to get.

I asked my dad, “Surprise me: yellow or blue?” So he ordered the cardboard, and we went home and waited for it to come in the mail. When it arrived, I opened up the package and saw the cardboard – it was awesome. We set up the new playhouse and my sister went in first. It was her first time walking. She walked because she was so excited. And the color was… dun-dun-dun… BLUE!

Meanwhile, it was time for Halloween. We had to get our Halloween costumes, so we went to the Halloween store. I didn’t know if I wanted to be a journal, a pencil, or a playhouse, so, as usual, I asked my dad to surprise me. And, as usual, to get the costume in the mail.

After, we went home, waited for it for ten days, and by then it was already the day before Halloween. We got it, and it was a… dun-dun-dun… a pencil! I tried it on, and it fit me perfectly, so now I had to go and find something for Chloe.

So, we went to the Halloween store again. She seemed to like Elmo but I said, “Nah, not for you!”

I asked if she wanted to be a matching pencil but my dad said, “No, too cute,” but then I had an idea.

“Even better! You can be a piece of paper!” I told my dad, as usual, to mail it to me. We got it that day. We opened it up and it was a piece of paper. Then it was time to find a costume for Olivia. She’s a mini-Golden doodle. We went to the store and looked for different stuff, like Cotton Candy, Robots, People… but nothing seemed to work! Then, me and my dad ran to a different Halloween costume store, and it was the best one ever. It was ice cream with a dog cone!

 

The next day…

 

It’s Halloween! We got all dressed up and started with a nice, simple halloween set-up for the party. Then, at around – hmmm –  two o’clock, we started the party. At around five o’clock we had dinner. Then we went out, all dressed up.

I carried my sister, and we went to one house that had a sign that said “We have a sale!” There was something for Nick Jeff that I wanted to get. If you all don’t know, Nick Jeff is the Hair’s brother. I got it and, as usual, I said, “Ship it to Nick Jeff.” I gave his address and after that I was pretty tired. I went home and went to bed.

While I was lying in bed, I couldn’t stop thinking about how badly I wanted a phone. I’m going to ask her for one for my birthday. If I haven’t told you yet, my mom said that for my birthday – which is around the corner – I can be on the cover a magazine!

The next day, I went to the playhouse with my sister and my dog. My sister helped me with my homework. My mom told us that we could play after I finished my homework, so my sister helped me with it, and soon it was time to play!

 

Chapter Two

It was the morning of my birthday and my sister was awake. She woke me up. She says “Happy Birthday!” in her baby voice, and then she brought me downstairs. There were so many balloons and presents. My mom said I could open up one, so I did. I opened the smallest one, and it was a ring! It had a golden diamond shaped like a heart and a golden band. I was psyched! I ate cake for breakfast. It was my favorite kind of cake: ice cream cake. My sister got it all over her face and her nose. She had ice cream snot all day.

Guests started to come, and I got more and more excited. I like to start opening my gifts before we do all the other fun stuff, so I opened them. I got lots of stuff, but my favorite two were a phone and an interview at an agency to see if I could get on a magazine cover.

Once everybody left, I opened up a small gift. It was a card that said Olivia was pregnant. There were going to be puppies in the house.

 

A few months later…

 

Soon enough the puppies were here! We went back to the old list of names, and decided that the names would be Liz, Hayden, Emi, and Rose.

The pups got big, but not too big! I wanted to get an interview for the puppies for Weekly Magazine because they were so cute, but I couldn’t because it was too much money. The interview cost $15 per hour.

When I finally saved up enough money, I told my parents, “I think today will be the day I go to the interview.”

They said, “No, because you have to practice for next week’s skiing race.”

So I went to the mountain to practice, but the next morning I went to the interview. It was a small room that felt like a lobby. The butler offered me water, and then I went into the room, which smelled like puppies.

The butler hadn’t told me that this week was puppy week, which I discovered when I sat down (in this beautiful hard wood chair) and one of the thirteen writers told me. He also told me that on January 20th next year they are going to feature my pups in the magazine! By the time I left it was dark outside, but I was so excited!

When I got home, I ate dinner and went to bed.

 

The next day…

 

Emi was not in bed with Olivia.

Olivia came in and told me she was missing. We looked and looked but could not find him. It felt like we’d looked all over the world. But then, I remembered that there was one place left to look: the interview room.

The next day we went to the interview room. He was there! I said to him, “Emi, you cannot do that ever again!”

On the way out, I learned that we were to come here next month.

 

Next month…

 

Me and my mom went to the agency, and Olivia and Chloe came a bit later with Dad. They did it – we saw all the magazines the puppies were in!

The One and the Best Girl: Book I

 Chapter One

This is Daisy. She is the best student in the whole class – she wants to go to school every day.

It was the first day in 3rd grade, the best grade, and Daisy was jumping up and down (Daisy loved school). She told her mom that she did not need lunch because she could get it at school.

‘’Ok,” said Mom, “let’s go!”

“Yay!’’ exclaimed Daisy.

 

12 hours later…

 

“I’m performing my first science experiment!” Daisy told her mom. “I’m gonna go upstairs and start.” She worked and worked, and then she worked some more. She skipped dinner and she went to bed at 10 p.m. – which was late for her. She fell asleep on the table while working on her project.

When she woke up, the table, which used to be blue, was gluey and full of red feathers. She cried and cried because she hadn’t finished her project, but then her mom said, “Believe in yourself, you can do it.”

Daisy tried and tried and tried. She went to school with a frown on her face.

“Why are you so sad, Daisy?” asked her friend Sofia.

“Because I didn’t finish my science project,” she moaned. “I’m so disappointed with myself.” Daisy’s stomach hurt.

“Why don’t you just go into the science room? You have half an hour to work, which means that you could probably finish it.”

So Daisy did, and half an hour later she was done with her project.

The next day, she went to get the table. She put it in the van and drove off, and told her mom that she hadn’t been able to finish her project.

Her mom said, “It is what it is,” and dropped her off at school.

Then, the school bell rang, but it turned out that someone was messing around and had rung it accidentally. Daisy was glad it was a joke, because she was counting on getting to school a few minutes early so that she could retrieve her finished project.

Daisy jumped up and down until her stomach didn’t hurt anymore.

“Wow!” exclaimed her teacher.

“I can’t believe I did it!” she said with a big smile on her face.

The first class was science. Daisy went to the science room and shared her project, which was a feather table on which she would see if sugar would dissolve in gatorade. She did it, but the feathers that were going to go on the gatorade to make it look pretty had just been glued. The jar of feathers fell over and stuck to the table. Finally, she put her project on the table and it became fixed to the surface, making her experiment easier to perform (and prettier).  

The next subject was writing. Daisy wrote about her science project.

Five hours later, she came home through the back door and saw a puppy! “Why is there a dog in the back of our house?” she asked her mom.

“Because you did it! You did it – you finished your project! The puppy is my reward to you.”

“Mom, I have something to tell you.” Daisy hesitated. “I wrote it all down and asked my teacher if I could bring it home, and she said yes, so I brought the note home so that I wouldn’t have to explain it to you. Anyway, I’ll be up doing my math homework.”

One hour later, her mom came up, and she didn’t look that mad. “That was the best story ever! I’m not mad that you glued the table, but I didn’t like that table anyway, because your dad picked it out. Now, let’s go out with your puppy, and while I’m looking for a new table, you can think of a name for him.

Daisy made a list of possible names for the puppy:

Rose

Kate

Hudson

Olivia

Jessie

Jess

Hayden

Emmy

Chloe

Liz

Elizabeth

“That’s enough, that’s enough…” her mom said. “Let’s think of less serious names, cuter names, like Dandelion, or Cloudy, or Bubbles, or something like that.”
“Let’s name him Olivia! I love it, I love it! Please, please, please?” Daisy pleaded.

“Okay, fine. Let’s go to the pet store and get a collar for him. What’s his middle name going to be?”

“Let’s make it… Cloudy!”

They went and got him a sparkly pink collar. Then they went to the furniture store and ordered a new table. It would come that afternoon.   

Later that day, the table arrived!!! Daisy and her mom opened the package… and it turned out to be a bed!

“What?” cried her mom. “This is not a table. This is a bed!‘’ Her mom shouted.

 

Chapter Two

The next day was Saturday. They sent back the bed and ordered the right piece of furniture this time. When it got to their house, they opened it up and discovered it was… a… nothing.

’What?’’ exclaimed Daisy.

They gave up on looking for a table. Her mom asked her, “Did you love that table?”

“Yes, I loved that table! But it’s okay if I don’t get it back.”

“You can get it back your own way! What do you want?”

“Let me think about it… let me go to the Hair’s house.”
When Daisy got to the Hair’s house, he said, “You should get a brand new rainbow TV!”

Daisy was about to walk out the door. She had been thinking for a while and did not have the patience for the Hair.

“Wait, what do you want?” the Hair chased after her.

“I want something, but I don’t need it… ” Daisy sighed. “Actually, for a long time I’ve wanted a rainbow shelf that gives me everything I want while lying in bed. But Nick Jeff never gave it to me. My mom says that Christmas is around the corner and I might get one for Christmas, but who knows? I might not.”

She ran back home and asked her mom to buy her a rainbow shelf that would give her anything she wanted while in bed. “And the Hair also said I should get a rainbow TV!”

 

Chapter Three

The next day, a big, big box was delivered to Daisy’s house. The box was almost as big as the house! She opened the package and found the biggest, most ginormous rainbow TV she’d ever seen! That was only the outside. In another box, she found a tiny rainbow TV, which was awesome. Opening the third box, she discovered the rainbow shelf.

Forty six hours later, it was Christmas. Daisy marched downstairs. The Hair came over. They started opening presents. The sad thing was, he wanted to open the rainbow shelf last. Nick Jeff got a new wand, Daisy got clothes for her dog, and then she found a note saying “Go to Mom.”

Daisy went to Mom. Mom said, “Go to Dad.”

Dad said, “Go to Grandma.”

Grandma said, “Go to Grandpa.”

Grandpa said, “Go to Mom.”

So, she went to Mom, who said, “Go get everyone who was in the circle.” When everyone came, she said, “We’re going to have a baby!”

All of them had the best day, and celebrated the coming of a new family member. Daisy’s mom had been hiding this for two weeks!

 

Two Months Later…

 

Daisy went to school, and she told her class that she would have to miss some class in nine months, because of the new baby. She didn’t tell her class that she was going to have a new sibling, but she went to the Hair the next day, who was very excited for her. Two months after that, the Hair began to visit every day to see if the baby had arrived yet. One day, when he asked if the baby had come, Daisy’s family, sick of his questions, groaned, “Nooo.”

 

Chapter Four

Daisy and her mom started thinking of names. They went back to the list of dog names. Then, they went to the doctor to find out if the baby was a boy or a girl, and they found out it was a girl. Her name would be… Chloe! The idea came to Daisy, and her parents loved it. Two months after that, her mom’s belly was as big as two watermelons. It felt like just yesterday Daisy learned that she was pregnant!

Two weeks after that, her mom went to her seven month check-up. The doctor wasn’t sure if it was a girl anymore. Daisy and her mom would find out for sure when the baby was born. Two weeks after that, she went back to school, and finally told her class that she was going to have a sibling.

 

Chapter Five

Two months later, it was time! It was 9:45 A.M. Daisy didn’t go to school – instead, at 10:30, she went to the hospital to visit her new baby sister.

“Hi, Chloe!” she cried. It was a girl. Daisy was so excited.

Chloe’s first birthday was September 12th, 2239. It was the best day ever. Her first word was “Daisy.”

 

Pure Blonde

“TESS! TESS, GET DOWN HERE! SET THE TABLE!” Mother yelled from downstairs.

I groaned. I brushed my long brown hair off my shoulders and face. I sat up on the hardwood floor and pushed my only blanket off. It was the middle of winter, and this was Angelica’s first baby blanket. By now it was worn and faded, torn at all four edges. It didn’t even cover my legs anymore, and came down to about my waist.

If there was one more snowstorm this season, I would most likely get frostbite or even hypothermia.

I climbed out of my faded red nightgown and put on an ugly dark dress the color of a half rotten orange. Then I put a gray apron over it. The apron had been originally white but Mother refused to wash it because it was mine. I now looked like a pilgrim.

I guess this is what you get if you are born a Moreno. A Moreno is someone born with brown hair to a pure blonde family.

A pure blonde family is extremely rare and extremely cherished. If you are pure blonde, you are very rich and every relative in your family is blonde.

I “ruined” our family. Our family wasn’t pure anymore because of me, the Moreno. At first, when I came to understand what I was, I was ashamed and never showed my face to anyone. But now, I was changed. I didn’t really care anymore because I’d adjusted to their cruelty. I was used to it by now.

I rushed down the stairs from the attic. The small, cramped, slanted attic was the room where I slept. I wouldn’t even consider it mine because Annie shared it with me. Annie, the terribly annoying, noisy, clumsy cat.

I kept on going down flights and flights of stairs of our huge house, zigzagging past maids and butlers, who served my family members but did nothing for me, the Moreno.

I sighed. I ran into the dining room to face Mother.

“TESS! You took longer than you should’ve. Now set the table for me and your two sisters,” Mother scolded, and shoved me into the kitchen. Mother and my sisters had never stepped one foot into the kitchen –– they’d never even breathed near the door of it. Only maids and butlers went in there. And me, the Moreno.

I grabbed the fancy and expensive white lace tablecloth and spread it across the table. I started to walk back into the kitchen but Mother stopped me.

“Tess! You know that there aren’t supposed to be wrinkles in the tablecloth!” Mother shouted. So I fixed all the little tiny wrinkles, even the smallest ones that weren’t noticeable at first. Then, I finally set up all the plates, utensils, cups, napkins, food, and drinks. I waited for my sisters to file in.

“Good morning Mother. I thought you were going to get rid of the little Moreno?” my oldest sister, Angelica, said. She was wearing her flowing white dress, and her luxurious, silky hair was tied back in a french braid three-quarters of the way down her back. She scowled at me.

“Mother! I am terribly hungry. May we have breakfast now?” my other older sister, Evangeline, asked.

“Yes, darlings, sit around the table,” Mother said, and they all sat down. I started to sit in a chair but Evangeline stopped me.

“Tess, you have to sit on the ground over there. You don’t deserve to sit with us.” Evangeline gestured to the corner where the kitchen wall meets the dining room.

Angelica handed me a plastic plate with a plastic fork, two strawberries, and a mini waffle. They get more food than I do because they are blonde.

I took the plastic plate. They didn’t want me to make their fine utensils and plates as impure as I am, the Moreno.

I sat down in the corner where Evangeline told me to sit. I looked down at my food. I shoved the two strawberries into my mouth because I was beyond starving. I quickly ate the mini waffle and then threw out the plastic plate, which was now pink from strawberry juice, and took the garbage outside and left it in the bin for the garbage men to collect.

“TESS! GO TO TOWN AND BUY SOME MILK AND EGGS!” Mother yelled, and I made my way through the rocky path without shoes. Mother never bothered to get me shoes; she thinks I’m not worth it.

I saw the town coming closer and closer. My feet hurt. All the little pebbles, sharp stones, and tiny pieces of broken glass were unavoidable and dug into the soles of my feet.

Then the town came full into my sight and was right in front of me.

I ran to the paved road. I sat down and started picking all the sharp things out of my feet because I couldn’t stand it any longer.

I stood up and was relieved. There was no pain at all anymore.

I walked down the road to the farmer, Farmer Greene. He always sells milk and eggs.

“Hello, Mr. Greene. May I please have some milk and eggs for Mother?” I asked.

“How many, Tess?” Farmer Greene asked.

“Five milk cartons and five boxes of eggs,” I responded. If I got fewer than five, Mother would kill me and send me out on that horrible road, and if I got more than that Mother would send me back to return it. Either would involve going back on that horrible, sharp, painful road.

“Here you go, Tess, have a nice day. My wife noticed that whenever you come to town you never have shoes, so she decided to go out and buy you some,” Farmer Greene said thoughtfully.

“Oh, I am sorry, but I can’t accept that. You see, I am a Moreno, and Mother would kill me if I did. I truly appreciate it, but you see, Mother… ” I started to say, but Farmer Greene interrupted.

“It’s okay, take them –– I will escort you home. When you are done shopping, come here when you are done, Tess,” Farmer Greene said. I walked down the street into the heart of town.

I continued walking down the side of the street and came face to face with Mr. Warner.

“Good morning, Mr. Warner,” I greeted him. Mr. Warner was in his 70s and was the sort of man who was very prejudiced against anyone who wasn’t blonde, especially Morenos.

“Shut up, you foolish child! Your mother should have sent you away, little Moreno. She is stupid enough to keep you! You are a disgrace to the Faircastle family name! You are as impure as ever! Get out of my sight!” Mr. Warner screamed, and everyone in town stared. He threw me to the ground and all my groceries flew everywhere around me.

I recovered and knelt down to pick them all up. Then a boy kneeled down and started to help me.

“It’s not fair for Morenos to be treated like this,” the boy said.

“Are you a Moreno?” I asked, and then I looked up to see his perfectly blonde hair with not even one hint of brown in it. He was very tall and had small freckles covering his nose. He was wearing the most expensive pixelgram t-shirt you could get and fancy jeans.

“No, I’m pure, but that shouldn’t make a difference. It is just hair color, people, come on! This is like 20th century discrimination all over again,” the boy said.

“I know!” I agreed, and stuck the last of the groceries back in the bag.

“I am trying to stop all this stuff. It isn’t really working. My father won’t change the law. He just won’t do it. He likes people to be separated,” the boy said.

“Wait, you mean your father is the king?!” I was surprised. I mean, really surprised.

“Yeah. By the way, I’m Brad,” he said. He looked sort of embarrassed at my reaction to him being the prince.

“ I’m Tess. Just Tess. Mother won’t even let me use my last name,” I sighed.

“Oh, I am so sorry. Maybe I can convince my father to change the law and make everyone equal. It’ll be hard but I’ll try. Meet me by that rock tomorrow, same time,” Brad called and turned to go.

I stood up and walked back to Farmer Greene.

“Here you go, Tessie,” Farmer Greene said kindly, as he helped me slip on my new shoes. They were the softest, best-fitting, most soothing things I had ever put on. I had never really felt comfortable being a Moreno and all, but this was great. I guessed this was what normal feels like.

We walked back home together.

“TESS! WHY ARE YOU WEARING SHOES?” Mother yelled furiously. She was like a lion and I was a defenseless lamb.

I quickly ran into the kitchen and put away the groceries. I left Mother to talk this through with Farmer Greene.

I finished up my daily duties. I am never allowed to have lunch.  At most I have two meals a day, if I am lucky.

I did the rest of my chores and was sent up to bed.

I sat down on the creaky floor of the attic and crawled under the blanket. Actually, I couldn’t crawl under it –– it was way too small for that.

I lay down. Annie jumped on the floor from the top of the ancient bedside table Grandma Bessie so “thoughtfully” gave to me (she just wanted to get rid of it), and an antique vase from 2017 was sent into the air and came down with a smash.

“Oh, you clumsy little cat. Annie! Look what you’ve done! I am going to get in trouble with Mother now. Annie, I wish you weren’t so clumsy… move into Angelica’s room and annoy her! I’d like to see that,” I said and shooed Annie away from the mess.

“TESS! You darn Moreno, stop being so clumsy and clean this mess up. When you are done, get into bed,” Mother scolded, and went back down stairs. I swept up the mess and fell asleep.

The next day I was sent to town. I walked there happily in my extremely comfortable shoes.

I met Brad at the rock. He seemed excited.

“TESS! Guess what! Look at this!” Brad squealed happily and showed me a hologram of the show News On The Go.

“Hello, citizens of Carolina! Today the King has changed a law. The law has been changed so Morenos will have equal rights and will be treated the same as Pures. If you are not treating Morenos the same, you will go to prison,” the hologram said.

I was beyond excited. Mother would finally treat me the same as Evangeline and Angelica. I would get new blankets, and I would actually get a bedroom and I wouldn’t have to share with Annie anymore. The best part was that I wouldn’t be a servant or slave anymore.

“That is amazing! Thanks so much, Brad! But, I guess that means I won’t come here much anymore,” I said sadly while looking at the ground. I couldn’t bring myself to look at him.

“You don’t have to be sent here –– you can just come here on your own and sit at the rock, and I’ll be there,” Brad suggested, and that brought my spirits back up.

And that is what I did. I was still despised by my family, who held onto the old prejudices, but outside I was treated as an equal. Life was great. Every morning I would head into town, but instead of looking like a pilgrim, I looked like a normal girl.

That was all I had wished for, and it came true.

I was free.

Song of the Wolves

Tala

I trekked through the damp forest, which had been washed recently from the rain during day. The night air felt damp against my skin. My moccasins made no sound as I walked on the soggy grass. I was quiet, trying not to disturb the newborn fawns and the deer who were sleeping. The wind brushed lightly against the trees, making them move and rock like a crib. The sound of water became louder, which made me know I was going in the right direction.

I finally made it to the clearing of my favorite spot. I sat down on a log as I watched the waterfall blend in with the moon, making the water look like stars coming out of the moon. The creek rushed the stars to a place I don’t know. I sighed, looking at the marvelous picture that was set before me. I love it here. Peace and quiet. It was a full moon, and the moon seemed bigger and brighter here than any other part of the land. It made me feel like I could touch it, even though it was impossible. The rushing of the water soothed my troubles and the view erased all of my thoughts. I sighed as I listened to the water splashing and closed my eyes. I knew that someday I wouldn’t be able to listen to this sound anymore. Something told me that there would be a time when I wouldn’t be able to sing in harmony with the water and the wolves at this place.

The wolves where our tribe is are named the Wolf Clan. I opened my mouth and let out a still note that echoed across the valley. I stopped and heard a wolf let out the same note. I started to sing the stories our ancestral people told us about the wolves, as the elders said. I sang songs of wishing for peace and forever bonding with the magnificent creatures. The wolf accompanied me as we sang a duet that no other Cherokee people can sing. A song so full of harmony that it seemed to be a single language. When we ended, I heard something run on the soggy grass. I turned around and saw a wolf, a young pup. Its eyes were like the moon, glistening and shining. It came close to me and sniffed my hand when I reached out. I walked in circles and it followed me.

“You should be my pet wolf. I will name you Usgiyi, which means ‘Snow Moon.’ You like the ancient songs, and while it is the snow moon, the elders tell stories in the village,” I said.  Usgiyi gave a playful yip and I rubbed its silver fur.

“My name is Tala, and you will be my companion forever,” I whispered. Usgiyi rubbed its face in my arm.  

**********************************

Ama

I was lying in my teepee, listening to the breathing of my sister, who was asleep next to me. I crept from the blanket and pulled on my moccasins. I opened the flap of the teepee slowly, and then crept outside. I almost tripped over my grandmother Tala’s old moccasins. I put them back where they were supposed to be and continued to go out. My moccasins thumped loudly against the dry dirt ground. I ran around the neighbors’ gardens and their huge wagons that they used from the marching, and bumped into a few rocks. I reached the huge lake a little bit away from the camp. I was sweating from the run and the warm, humid air stuck to my arm like flies. I breathed in the freshness of the lake and saw the moon’s reflection on the lake along with the stars, even though there was no waterfall like great-grandmother Tala had described to my mother. She had told me the stars shone brightly around the moon, like it was saying that the moon was special and important.

The mysterious owls hooted around and fluttered here and there, their feathers falling like the moon’s light dropping to the ground. I heard footsteps and turned around. I saw one of the wolves from our tribe. I sighed in relief and reached my hand out. I rubbed the silver coat and hummed the song my mother always sang, saying that Tala started the song with the wolves. The wolf caught on and we sang quietly, the song of the ancestors. The song that brought peace to the clan and helped us be at peace with the wolves who help us when we are in trouble. I knew it wasn’t as good as Tala’s, but I finally knew what it felt like to bond with a wolf like Tala. A bond I knew would last forever.

“I will name you… Svnoyi. I am Ama. I want you to be my partner forever,” I said, like Tala had said to her wolf. It liked that name. I smiled as I rubbed its soft, warm head against my cold arm. I remembered the stories of the old tribal camp and the march that the whites’ government made us march. I was angry at them. Because of them we had to move to new, filthy land with not many trees. A lot of our tribe, the Cherokee, died from the journey. I remembered the stories the elders told, the stories that Tala knew and  named her wolf after. I also remembered what Tala did for the tribe, and I wanted to be like her. To be brave and carry on the tradition of the wolves and our forever bond with them. I gave Svnoyi a necklace I was wearing.

“Here is a necklace I made. I have another one. I will wear it and you will wear yours.  This will show our bond. We will work together to save our people, like what Tala did,” I said.  Svnoyi nodded and jumped up and down, determined to do that.

 

****************************************

Immokalee

I was walking on a frozen path, huddled in a worn, faded jacket, my bracelet jingling from my shivers. I kept scolding myself that I was crazy, being outside in the middle of the night in winter in Alaska, the coldest state, but I kept going. Tonight was a full moon, and I wasn’t going to miss it. It was going to be a beautiful night. The coldness touched my arm, and making it ice cold and giving me goosebumps. The wind flew through the icy bare trees and made a howl against the icicles. Ice crunched under my tight leather shoes, sort of like a moccasin that was way too small for me. I wished that it was warmer, like in Oklahoma where great-grandmother Ama was. I hiked through the woods and finally reached my destination.

I swept away the snow on a stump with my hand, covered by a part of the jacket, before sitting down. I was staring at a river, which froze a few weeks ago. The moon reflected onto the ice, like it was stuck frozen in the river. The stars were twinkling, like they was trying to get out and help the moon to break free from the ice. I breathed, and my breath hung in the air like father’s tobacco smoke. I couldn’t stop myself from going open-eyed at the sight.

I was happy we didn’t have to pay to watch this scene, because our family didn’t have money since the Great Depression. I knew that looking at the moon angled on top of water was a family tradition in my Wolf’s Clan. I remembered stories that my mother used to tell me before she passed away from a disease that my father never told me about. Stories like what my ancestor Tala did when she hiked to Oklahoma on the Trail of Tears and what my great-great grandmother Ama did to save the tribe. I remembered that they all had wolves, and they bonded with them. I also remembered that it was Tala who first sang a song full of peace and forever bonding with the wolves who helped us when we were in trouble.

I sang the song, my voice echoing through the icicles. I sang the stories that were passed down by mouth and of the forgotten people who died while protecting our tribe and those who died while we were forcibly moved to Oklahoma. A howl accompanied me and I stopped, surprised. I looked around and saw a wolf. I sang, looking at the wolf. It sang with me and we continued to sing to the end of the song. I felt a huge bond between me and the wolf. It was a warm feeling, a feeling that someone loved and trusted me. It walked up to me and nuzzled its muzzle onto my leg.

“Hey, I am Imookalee,” I whispered.

It yapped.

“I think I will name you Nvda,” I said.

It nodded.  

“I want you to be my partner forever,” I said.

Nvda nodded.

I took off my cold bracelet and motioned Nvda to lift it’s paw. I put the bracelet on it’s leg. “This will represent our bond,” I said.

It nodded and I wondered how I was going to feed it. Father didn’t have a job and there are no animals in the winter time. But, I figured that Nvda would figure out on its own.

“I will make one like it and we will wear it always,” I concluded. I touched the glossy silver fur and Nvda gave a happy yap.

*****************************************

Amadahy

I stayed still in my bed. I made sure no one was awake when I crept out of my bed. My ancestor Tala’s moccasins, my other ancestor (a few generations younger) Ama’s necklace, and my great-great-grandmother Immokalee’s bracelet were in their special spot on my desk, glimmering from the moon’s light.

I slowly opened my door, little groans coming from the hinges, and crept down the stairs. I tiptoed across the living room and into the kitchen. I made sure not to rattle the pots and pans  on the drying rack. I shoved on my worn-out blue Nike sneakers and opened the back door slowly. I went outside, closed it, and walked to the woods in my backyard. I walked on the trail we made, but swerved to the left around a fourth of it and walked straight ahead. The trees swayed a little from the breeze and the leaves rustled. Fireflies blinked everywhere, making little lights to guide my way through the forest. The wind tickled my arm and my pajama shirt fluttered a little. I finally came upon a waterfall and a creek rushed the water to somewhere else. The moon blended in with the moon in the water, and the water was like stars coming out of the moon and rushing along the creek, like what Tala saw a few centuries ago. I am in the exact place where Tala saw her waterfall and met Usgiyi.

Here is my brief description of my family, Tala, Ama, and Immookalee, and me. I am currently in Tennessee, where the Wolf’s Clan was before. The Wolf Clan was part of a Native American tribe called the Cherokee. Tala lived near the end of the 1700s, around when the European settlers moved west in the United States. A few decades later, in about 1835, they were forced to move to Oklahoma. Ama’s story takes place in Oklahoma, about 20 or more years after the move. Then, Immokalee’s parents moved to Alaska when the Great Depression hit, which was about 1929, by horse and wagon, which took a really long time. All of them were pretty well known in the Cherokee history for their bonding with wolves and what they did with them. Tala and Usgiyi were the most well known out of the three of them, and were very well known for saving the tribe a lot of times. She sang about the stories when the tribe was fighting against the wolves when the wolves were too close to the clan. She sang that it was no use to fight them and that the wolves would help the tribe later. The wolves stayed and they helped the tribe when the ‘evil’ Beaver Clan went into the tribe to take over the land.

The wolves helped and they won the battle by taking the weapons and biting them. Tala also brought the idea of helping animals, which helped the tribe a lot. She gave hope to the Cherokees when they were marching to Oklahoma. She sang the stories and helped the others continue to remember the stories of their ancestors and the myths. Usgiyi had pups, which stayed with the tribe forever. She got the title “Singer of Hope and Peace,” and continued to help the tribe. She had a daughter later on, who later had Ama.  Ama loved Tala and she helped the tribe by also bonding with a wolf.

When the white people came, Tala and Ama stood up for the tribe and helped fight, and later they died together. Ama saved the tribe and the wolf helped too, which gave her the title “Warrior of the Wolves.” She had a girl before she died, who had the grandmother of Immokalee. Immokalee’s father moved to Alaska with her mother because he wanted to see the world, but was at the wrong time. He moved to Alaska, hoping to find leftover gold, which he never found.

After bonding, Immokalee stayed in Alaska, had a few kids, and lived with the wolves. She protected them from harm and poachers. She later moved back to the clan, who were still living in the same spot in Oklaholma. She lived there and inspired a few people to protect the land of the Cherokee. She got the title “The Bringer of Justice and Truth.” One of her kids had my great-grandmother. I came later on and here I am, in the 21st century. I feel proud of them, each facing a difficult time with a fellow wolf, who they trusted and stayed loyal to.

I closed my eyes and breathed in the air. I was sad that I couldn’t sing the song. It had gotten lost someplace in history after Immookalee sang the song with her wolf. Someone didn’t sing the song or didn’t pass it down, so no one knows what the exact words were. Not many people remember the stories the ancestors told of the wolves and the tribe, or even knew there was a song about it at all.

Not many people even know the Wolf Clan; only the people whose ancestors were in our tribe. Most are still in the same spot where Ama was about two centuries ago. I was sort of envious of my ancestors. They got to sing the song, but here I am, a descendent of some of the greatest people in Cherokee history, and I don’t even know half the lyrics of the song my ancestors sang.  

I opened my eyes and sighed. I knew I had to enjoy the view. There isn’t much chance to see it, since there is school on most of the nights there is a full moon.

I sang the beginning unknowingly, singing the first few lines. Then I forgot the rest, like I usually did when I tried to sing the song. I sighed, annoyed at myself. Then, I heard a faint howling in the rhythm of the song. I followed its lead and we sang, without words, of the song that my ancestors sang. I sang the parts I knew, but sang the notes for the places I didn’t. I heard the song echoing in the woods when we finished our duet. I heard something come behind me and I whirled around, my body in defensive mode. You never can be sure if a person might kidnap you, which is sort of common in the 21st century, but not really in Tennessee.

I relaxed my pose when I saw a wolf pup. It whined and put his head onto my lap. I awkwardly pet its head. I don’t have a pet. Its blue, beady eyes looked at me and it started to howl the song. I realized this was the wolf who sang the song with me.

“You are the one who sang it with me?” I asked the wolf, hoping it knew some English.  It nodded and yapped a few times.

“I am Amadahy. Nice to meet you, uh… wolf,” I said.  It sighed at the word “wolf.”

“I guess I will have to name you. I will name you Waya,” I said, thinking of my limited Cherokee language. Waya is basically “wolf” in Cherokee, one of the words my mother told me to memorize. It yapped (I am pretty sure it doesn’t know the meaning) happily. I remembered a story of the bonding, and I held out my bandana I was wearing.

“I want you to be my partner forever,” I said.

It nodded and lifted its paw, like it knew what to do. I wrapped the bandana around the leg and knotted it twice, making sure it couldn’t fall off. When I finished, it jumped into my lap and slept soundly. I smiled as I brushed its fur. I knew that I would pass on the rhythm of the song forever and ever and not make a mistake. I also knew that it was my turn to continue the tradition of the ancient song that brought peace and forever bonding to my clan.

Pete the Pirate Cat and Charlotte

Once upon a time, there was a pirate cat named Pete. Pete had always wanted to marry a cat that wore the most beautiful shoes ever. One day, he decided to go on his ship and search the mysterious islands of Hawaii. The first island he was going to search was Kauai. He held a ball to see who would wear the fanciest shoes. He met at least one thousand cats before a sleek black and white feline walked proudly to him.

“Hello, my name is Charlotte,” she purred.

“Hello,” he replied.

Charlotte was pretty, but Pete couldn’t help noticing her purple shoes decorated with sparkly diamonds. They were so magnificent that he knew that she was the one he should marry.

Pete asked Charlotte if she wanted to dance to the slow song and she said, “Okay.”

After the song Pete asked, “Will you marry me?”

When she first saw Pete, she immediately knew she wanted to marry him. She was very nervous because no one had ever seemed interested enough to ask for her hand, let alone even ask her out on a date. Charlotte was about to say yes, when suddenly a giant bear came out of nowhere.

The bear said to Pete, “I am going to get you, because you sprayed me with green spray paint, and I hate the color green.”

Pete knew exactly what he was talking about. Two years ago, he sprayed the giant bear with green spray paint because the giant bear was trying to steal Pete’s pirate ship.

Then Charlotte said, “Mom, I thought you said you were going to stop stealing boats!”    

“That’s your mom?!” exclaimed Pete.

By then, everybody at the party was staring at them. Shyly, Charlotte nodded. Charlotte’s mom was a bear, but her dad was a cat. They met when Charlotte’s mom was stealing a boat and the owner said, “Stop stealing my boat.” Charlotte’s mother liked that he stood up to her, so she married the cat who owned the boat.

Pete then said, “Why don’t you want your daughter to be happy?”

“I do,” said the giant bear.

“Well, if you want her to be happy, you will let me marry her,” said Pete.  

“I don’t think you deserve my daughter.”

“I do, and I’ll prove it to you by telling you why and spray-painting you blue,” said Pete. “I deserve your daughter because It was always my dream to marry some cat with the most beautiful shoes.”

“Oooh, I like blue, and that story makes sense so I guess you do deserve my daughter,” said the giant bear.

So he sprayed the giant bear with blue spray paint.

Then Charlotte and Pete got married. Their ceremony was amazing. Charlotte wore her shoes that she wore at the party. She also wore a sparkly purple dress with a real diamond on it. There were flowers, a huge cake with Pete and Charlotte on top, and there was also a turquoise arch with white flowers on it.

They lived happily ever after.

 

The End

Sucked In

Chapter 1

I slam the back door of the farmhouse and run over to the barn. I have just gotten home from the last day of school and am ready for a nap (a.k.a. watch a movie on my computer and eat popcorn). My mom is out and my dad is still at work, so I have the house to myself. But I love the barn almost as much as Biscuit (my dog).

A couple years ago, my dad cleaned out the hayloft and said I could have it. It’s now my favorite place in the whole world. I climb up the shaky ladder and plop down in a pile of hay. Woof woof!  My dog comes running over to me.

“Hey, Biscuit!” I yell and he jumps onto my lap, licking my face. “You wanna see a movie?” I ask him, and he licks my face again. I assume that means yes.

I grab my computer from the floor where I keep it and flip it open. A picture of my horse, Dusty, appears on the screen. My parents got him for me for my fifth birthday and now I’m 12, so we’ve been together for a while.

“Sandra! Where are you? I’m home!” my sister’s voice rings out.

I didn’t know she was coming home! I think.

Her name is Arra and she’s perfect, with her straight blond hair and blue eyes. Also, she has pink lips and rosy cheeks. My parents say I’m pretty, and I think so too, but my sister is beautiful. The hard thing to believe is that we’re twins. She takes after my gorgeous mother and I take after my father, with my straight black hair and not-so-pink lips.

“I’m in here!” I yell.

“Be more specific!” My sister likes to correct me at any time possible.

“The barn!” Soon I hear Arra climbing up the ladder. The first thing I can see is the top of her head before the rest of her body climbs up onto the hay loft. I groan. She eyes the movie that’s on the counter.

“Is that really Snow White? Is that what we’re watching?” she asks.

What we’re watching? I think. Oh no, no, no!

Instead, I say, “If it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it probably is a duck.”

When she looks puzzled I say, “In other words, yes, that’s Snow White. And yes, that’s what I’m watching.”

She plops down next to me, seemingly not taking the hint. I sigh and put in the disk. There’s a buzzing noise and it gets louder by the minute. Soon, my sister and I are covering our ears. Then everything is silent and I’m falling through darkness.

 

Chapter 2

There’s a zap, then a world forms around me.

“Where are we?” my sister asks.

I look around me and see a cottage. It looks so familiar.

But where have I seen it? I think. Then it hits me. There is only one place I’ve seen a cottage like this. And that’s ––

“I think we’re in the movie!” I yell. “But in the end of it, where I left off.”

“But that means Snow White’s inside the cottage choking!” she says.

“So you have seen the movie!” I tease and her face turns red. My sister and I run toward the cottage.

“Hello!” my sister yells as we enter the small house. I pause in the doorway.

“He –– ” and then there is a strangled scream. We race into a yellow room and find a girl with hair as black as coal and lips as red as blood lying on the floor. It can only be one person. Snow White.

“Ah!” we scream, and race to her aid.

“Quick!” I yell, “I’ll pick her up and you pat her back!” I grab Snow White and Arra grabs a broom. She starts to whack the her back. A apple falls out of her mouth and Snow White opens her eyes.

“Gasp! Wha- what happened?” she asks, touching her forehead.

“You were choking on that apple,” my sister says, sitting down on a chair nearby. I help Snow White onto a sofa and then sit down next to her.

“Oh my! Thank you!” she whispers covering her mouth. My sister yawns.

“You must be exhausted,” Snow White says. “Why don’t you stay with me? We almost never have visitors, let alone girls.”

“We’d love to, but what do you mean by we?” my sister asks.

“The dwarves,” says Snow White standing up.

“Oh right,” my sister mutters.

“What was that? Oh never mind. Follow me, please.” Snow White herds us out of the room and up some wide stairs. At the top she leads us down a long hall and stops beside a oak wood door. “The dwarves are out so there is plenty of room,” she says and opens the door.

I gasp. I can’t help myself. The room is beautiful. The fire place at the end of the room is polished, and there was a large bed with a pink canopy pushed up against the blue wall. My sister smirks and I turn away.

“Hey,” I say. “There’s only one bed. We’ll have to share.” My sister’s smile fades. Now it’s my turn to smirk. I think she’s going to say something, but she doesn’t. I guess she’s too polite.

That night, I can’t sleep. I can’t stop wondering about my parents. I wonder if they’re worried. I lay awake thinking. “Sandra? Are you awake?” my sister’s voice asks from the dark.

“Sandra? Are you awake?” my sister’s voice asks from the dark.

“Yeah.”

“Um, I’ve been thinking –– ”

“Yeah.”

She sighs. “You know how at the end of the movie the prince sees Snow White in the coffin and decides to marry her?”

I’m silent.

She continues, “Well, what happens if he doesn’t see her in the coffin?”

I think. Then I gasp.

“He will never see her or know her, let alone marry her!” I yell, jerking myself upright. “Arra, we might have just made a humongous mistake!”

 

Chapter 3

In the morning Snow White makes us a good breakfast of eggs and bacon. We laugh and talk but then it’s time for Arra and me to get going. We say our goodbyes, get directions for the capital (we stayed up late last night making a plan to visit the prince, you see), she gives us some money, and we head out.

We walk a while then reach a small village. We find an inn with a love bird on its sign and get a small lunch with the little money we have. Then we set out again. By around sunset, we come upon the capital. “Now what?” my sister asks as we enter the large town.

“Now what?” my sister asks as we enter the large town.

“We find an inn,” I say, confidently taking the lead.

“How do we pay?” she asks.

“We have some money left –– ah! Here it is!” We walk up to an oak wood building labeled the Just Right Inn. I open the door and we troop in. Right when we slam the door, it starts raining.

“We’re going to sleep in the inn, right?” Arra stares out the window wearily. I don’t respond. Don’t want to get her hopes up.

We trudge wearily out of the inn and into the pouring rain fifteen minutes later. There are no rooms left thanks to the annoyingly cold rain. A man dressed in royal clothing comes up to us and bows to Arra. “Your Highness,” he says, kissing her hand. “Into the carriage, the prince is worried sick!” He shoos us into a carriage despite our complaints and reasoning. Soon, we’re sitting across from each other on velvet cushioned benches. Then I get an idea.

“Arra!” I exclaim.

“Mmm?” she asks.

“This guy, and the prince too, they think you’re the prince’s bride-to-be. We could use you –– or whoever you’re playing as –– to our advantage.” I lean over and whisper the plan in her ear.

We finally reach the castle at around midnight. The steward rushes us down dank corridors and past suits of armor. We stop at a wooden door and he knocks. Another man in the same clothing answers and lets us in. He leads us into a waiting room and disappears into the room beyond. A second later he appears and beckons to us. By now the first steward had disappeared so we walk through the doors alone. The doors bang behind me and I wince slightly.

“My love,” the prince says standing up and smiling. He stops smiling as soon as he sees me. His brow furrows. “And who’s this?” he asks.

“She’s my cousin. She –– ” I stammer.

“You sure you’re related? You’re beautiful and she’s, well, not,” he interrupts. I jerk back in surprise, but before I can answer, my sister butts in.

“Anyway, she’s been reminding me of our childhood friend, Snow White, and I want you to meet her.”

Wow, Arra’s got this in the bag! I think to myself.

“Anything for you, my love. Tomorrow we will meet her! Now to bed, my beauty!”

He waves us out of the room. So far so good, I think smugly. Now for the hard part.

 

Chapter 4

The next morning the prince, Arra (also known as Lady Sabrina), and I get in a carriage, and are whisked away to Snow White’s.

When we get there, Snow White answers the door. She looks flustered. “Your Highness,” she says and bows deeply. The prince looks dazzled.

“Milady,” he says, and kisses her hand. She looks utterly surprised. “I hear you are friends with my bride-to-be.” Snow White definitely looks disappointed at the mention of the words bride-to-be.

“Please, um, come in,” she says, motioning for us to enter. But Arra holds the prince back.

“I need to talk to you.” The prince’s brow furrows and he resists, but finally gives in.

“Of course.” The “couple” walk around to the back of the house.

“Um, I’m going to pick some berries.” I bluff, then before she can object, I race around to the back of the house and duck behind some bushes just as the “couple” come into view.

“Um, listen,” says Arra. “I asked you to come here for two reasons.”

“And what would those be?”

“One, to see my friend. And two, I needed to talk to you in private.”

“Why?”

“Well, I don’t know if you’re the right person for me, or if I’m the right person for you –– ”

“You mean you do –– ”

“But I do know someone who would be good for you.” The prince was silent. “Snow White.” Arra slips the ring she found in her room last night off her hand and hands it to the prince.

“Well, she is nice, and pretty so I gue –– ”

“Great! I’ll go get her so you can ask her to marry you!” Arra dashes off around the house and I follow her. Snow White is waiting in front of the house for us. “The prince would like to talk to you,” Arra says as we approach Snow White. She turns beet red.

“Um, okay,” she says and runs around to the back of the house.

A few minutes later, (a few minutes that felt like a few hours) the two come back. I notice that Snow White is wearing a ring she wasn’t wearing before. I smile.

I’ve never been more relieved to hear a piece of news as I was to hear this news. “We’re getting married!” she said.

Then there is a loud zap and I’m laying next to Arra on the hayloft like nothing had ever happened.

“What just happened?” I ask, standing up and brushing the hay off my lap.

“All I know is that there’s hay all over me, and I need to take a shower,” she says, standing up.

Some things just never change, I think. Then she does something she hasn’t done since we were five. She hugs me.

Then again, some things do change, I think to myself and smile.

The Secret Case File of Donald Trump

Case file noted by Guy T. Bloom of the paranormal branch of the FBI.

Prologue

Donald Drumpf was an ordinary man… NOT! He is by far, the best candidate that you can vote for…. but there is a dark secret about him that nobody knows…. and this secret is about to destroy the world.

Chapter One: What happened?

Donald Drumpf was sleeping in bed. And he woke straight up. He was having a nightmare about his science test at school tomorrow.

“At least I don’t have the pressure of running for president,” he said to himself, and went back to sleep.

“Yeah, I don’t think so,” said the ghost of a rogue wizard, before using his magic teleportation powers to go into Drumpf’s room. He started chanting a Darke spell while waving his hands over Donald Drumpf. There was a flash of light, and Drumpf woke up to a man in black wizard robes from the fifteen hundreds waving his hands over Drumpf.

“It’s already over,” he said. “YOU WILL AVENGE MY FRIEND!” There was a flash of light, and the wizard disappeared.

“Ah, whatever,” Drumpf said to himself. “I’ll just go back to sleep.”

Chapter Two: The Unknown Effects

That morning, when he woke up, he was worried about his test again. What are all the parts of the Bohr diagram again? he thought to himself. He went to the kitchen and poured himself some milk for his Captain Crunch cereal. When his parents got up and went near their son, strange effects started happening in their head. They wanted their son… to win some sort of election. They weren’t sure that he was going to, yet at the same time they were.

“Hey, son?” Mr. Drumpf asked. “Is there a class president election in your class going on?”

“Yes,” he answered. “But I didn’t tell you…. How did you know?” Now there was even more pressure on him. His parents wanted him to be class president? There were 43 kids in his class… that meant he had a  3.333…  percent chance of winning, because only 30 kids were running. At least he was good at math…

“Well, son, I expect you to win this,” Drumpf’s dad said.

“Look, Dad,” Drumpf started. “I already have a test today, and winning the election is even more pressure.”

“You will be grounded if you don’t get at least second place.”

“GROUNDED?! THAT’S INSANE! THERE ARE 30 KIDS RUNNING!”

“No arguing, Donald,” Mr. Drumpf started. ‘’You will win!” There was now a faint red glow from his father’s eyes.

“Dad? Are you oka –– ?”

“SHUT IT SON! YOU MUST WIN THE ELECTION!” his father said angrily, his eyes glowing a very bright red. Donald looked at his mother, because she would obviously be on his side. To Donald’s surprise, his mother had the same red eyes as his father, and she was pretty much just glaring at Donald for a few seconds.

She broke the silence by saying, “Must have son election win,” in a deep zombie like groan.

“What’s going on?!” Donald screamed, before running out of the house to his schoolbus. On the schoolbus, he met his friend Harry.

“Dude, my parents are going ins –– ” Donald started, before screaming. He saw the same red eyes he saw on his parents.

“Win election Donald must,” his friend groaned like a zombie, no… like his parents.

“Oh, shoot,” Donald said.

Chapter Three: The Deal

When Donald got to school, there was a crowd following him, all groaning like zombies.

“UURGGGH!” the kids repeated. From an aerial view, it looked like Donald was a powerful magnet, while the other students were magnetic sand.

“Win election Donald must,” they all chanted. Donald noticed that they all had red eyes.

“Um…” Donald started. “I gotta use the bathroom.” He dashed to the bathroom, and locked the door. He could still hear their constant groaning.

What is going on!? he asked himself. The ghost of the rogue wizard was right in front of him, yet Donald didn’t see him. The ghost then appeared to Donald. Donald flinched.

“Whoa!” Donald screamed. “Who are you?”

“I am the ghost responsible for everything happening to you.”

“Why did you do this?”

“Donald J. Drumpf,” The ghost started. “Be my apprentice.”

“Okay, rewind,” Drumpf said, confused. “WHY DID YOU NEED TO PUT THIS DUMB CURSE ON ME!?”

The wizard smirked. He then snapped his fingers. The constant groaning stopped. “You see, that’s what you can do to people if you get trained as my apprentice.”

“Why me?”

“Because I saw what a Darke heart you have.”

“Okay, you know what?” Donald started in a ‘smart alec-y’ voice. “I would have been your apprentice, but I was seriously going insane after you put that spell on me. If that was you, because I mean –– ” He was cut off.

“I was the person who put that spell on you, and you didn’t really freak out that much.”

“Well, give me some proof that I didn’t fre –– ” He was cut off by the wizard snapping his fingers. A misty projection of the scene popped up- He started chanting a Darke spell while waving his hands over Donald Drumpf. There was a flash of light, and Drumpf woke up to a man in wizard robes from the fifteen-hundreds waving his hands over Drumpf.

“It’s already over,” he said. “YOU WILL AVENGE MY SON!” There was a flash of light, and the wizard disappeared.

“Ah, whatever,” Drumpf said to himself. “I’ll just go back to sleep.” The projection turned into golden dust and fell to the ground before disappearing.

“Okay, maybe I didn’t freak out that much,” Drumpf said. “But I was really freaked out when the effects started happening.”

“I can’t disprove you that time.” The wizard said. “But will you be my apprentice?”

“Um, I don’t know. Let me think about –– NO,” Drumpf said. “You put my through the most dramatic night and day of my life.” Drumpf started walking toward the bathroom door.

“You know you haven’t suffered all the effects of the spell, right?” the ghost smirked. Donald stopped walking.

“What’s next, you make it so I actually fail everything that I do?”

“No, I made it so every single election you run, you win.” Drumpf thought he saw him mutter something under his breath, but disregarded it.

“And that’s a curse because?” Donald said. He could win EVERYTHING. This was insane.

“If you ever lose an election, the world will come to an end and everyone will be alerted it was you.”

“I mean, that’s kinda –– whatever.” Drumpf walked out of the room. What Drumpf didn’t hear in that conversation were the most important parts.

“No, I made it so every single election you run, you win. But the flaw is, you lose the power for your biggest election,” was what the wizard actually said. His next line? Here’s all the secrets: “If you ever lose an election, the world will come to an end and everyone will be alerted it was you. So be warned about your biggest election.” He was just following the code of conduct: You must state all of the effects of your spell. He started chanting a Darke chant to summon his master. A ghost of an old frail man appeared. He was also wearing robes.

“The deed is done, my master. But Drumpf didn’t accept the offer,” the Rogue Wizard said, bowing down to his master.

“The offer is meaningless now. So you did the deed, huh. Good,” the Wizard’s master began. “Very good.” The master then snapped his fingers. His apprentice began to shrink.

“What… WHAT IS GOING ON?!” the apprentice screamed with a feeling of betrayal, but he was more surprised than anything. “STOP THIS RIGHT nooow!” His voice was drowned out while he shrunk. His master created a bubble with his hands, and pointed his finger at his apprentice. The bubble traveled in the direction of his apprentice. When the bubble got to his mini-apprentice, he was encased in the bubble. The master then used telekinetic Darke powers to lift his apprentice bubble into the air, to eventually land in his hands. The apprentice  repeatedly smacked and punched the inside of the bubble. The master held the bubble in his hands as if it was a valuable vase…. then he crushed it with his bare hands.

“I didn’t need him,” he said to himself. “I looked into his mind… he was going to betray me… side with Drumpf. It’s over now. The world will fall to ashes. And all of it will be Donald Drumpf’s fault.”

Chapter Four: The Meeting

When Drumpf went out of the bathroom, he didn’t have a mob following him. He didn’t have zombies groaning “Election Win Donald Must” with red eyes. All the kids were back to normal. He wasn’t sure he could trust that wizard.

After school, when he got home, he did his homework in his room. Little did he know, the ghost master of the other Rogue Wizard was floating right beside him. He chose to appear to Donald. Donald flinched.

“Why do people keep –– ” Donald began, but was cut off by the Wizard.

“I hear that my apprentice has given you the offer of being his apprentice. Well, he said his apprentice, like he was supposed to.”

“What do you mean?” Drumpf asked.

“I mean you really would have been my apprentice.”

“Okay… you came here just to tell me that? I declined.”

“Well, he told you about the other effects, right?”

“Yes, he did.”

“Well in order for those effects to work, you need to shake my hand. I made a change to the effects.”

“What?”

“They won’t be zombies anymore.”

“Who?”

“The people who are around you, idiot. Everything else he said is still intact.”

“Okay, do I need to sign a paper or anything?”

“Nope, you just need to shake my hand.” He took out his hand for a handshake. Donald took out his. Then he made the biggest mistake of his life: He shook the hand.

Chapter Five: Cause & Effect

Donald then got used to winning everything –– he didn’t have to fit any requirements. He got cocky. He started going under those requirements on purpose. He started having bad debates for the debate club, he brought a stuffed animal for a dog contest, he didn’t even try. And he is being faced with the biggest challenge of his life right now –– becoming president of the United States. Little did he know that the wizard was rubbing his hands together, laughing so hard he fell to the ground. He had almost succeeded in avenging his son who tried to destroy the world himself, DomDaniel. The effects of the spell were going away. In only a few months, the world will be ashes. If only he had accepted the offer as his apprentice. Then they would stay together on the planet Dorghast, the planet of Darke ghosts. You could come in if you are not a ghost, but you needed a Supreme Darke Ghost to escort you. You get there via Darke flying, or using the NoAir spell in space, what he was planning to do after the world explodes, maybe after using a Shield spell for the explosion. The presidential campaign is still going on, so if you don’t want the world to explode, VOTE FOR DONALD DRUMPF!

The Terrrerian

Once upon a time, there was a terrrerian that consumed stars. The terrrerian consumed stars by piling dirt up until he was at the stars. Then, he ate the stars after they fell from the sky. To get down from the dirt mountain, he flew from tree to tree until he found maple syrup. Then, he boiled the maple syrup to make sand. He used the sand in a mixifier with stone, and he got sandstone. He ate the sandstone, and then jumped from the mountain and landed safely.

He used the extra sandstone to greenify the hooligans that were smashing the buzzlight bottles, that were made by the magical buzzlight fairy, who made the buzzlight company. When the terrrerian greenified the hooligans, they turned green and stopped moving. The buzzlight fairy was very happy, so the terrrerian got a bunch of green bobbleheads that yelled at greenery. The bobbleheads were magical, so they could grant wishes. But, when the bobbleheads granted wishes, the bobbleheads yelled even more at the greenery, which would make the greenery sad. The greenery would cry, which made the greenery grow. When the greenery grew the bobbleheads evaporated slowly till there were no bobbleheads left. The greenery somehow had magic powers because the greenery absorbed the bobbleheads.The bobbleheads reproduced because one bobblehead refused to grant wishes, and then there were 100 bobbleheads again.The terrrerian accidentally wished that he had an obsidian skull, and then he got his face stuck in a skull made of sponge marshmallows. The terrrerian wished the skull off his face and wished for a walnut salad, but when he ate the walnut salad he turned blue. Luckily, he had one wish left, so he wished that he was back to normal again.

But then there were no bobbleheads left. He still had some walnut salad left, so he fed it to the stars, and the stars fell all the way down to earth. Then the earth dissolved and became a star planet. He jumped off the star planet and turned it into a huge sponge marshmallow that broke gravity. He made three-dimensional televisions, took them to the sponge marshmallow planet, and ate them.

When he ate the three-dimensional TVs he could travel into the three dimensions. Then he traveled into the world of Potonia and bought a reversal potion. Then he travelled back into his own dimension. He threw the reversal potion at the sponge marshmallow planet, and it turned into a regular planet. He jumped back down to his planet and realized that the hooligans that were smashing the buzzlight bottles. They were still smashing them because they were ungreenified.

The buzzlight fairy was really angry, so she tried to destroy Jupiter, but instead she turned Jupiter into a firecracker. The firecracker exploded into the sun, which sent the whole galaxy hurtling into space.The galaxy crashed into a humongous spiderweb and there was a galaxy-wide spider apocalypse. But the spiders were peace loving creatures, and said that they would forgive the humans if they made it illegal to hurt a spider. Then the humans outlawed hurting a spider and outlawed spider farming. The humans were happy living in a world with spiders. Everyone had no fear because the spiders would protect them.

 

SADLY, TH
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MESSAGE

People, and he subliminally messaged everyone to eat carrots. When everyone ate the carrots, they had super eyesight. The terrrerian still needed to remove the hooligans that kept smashing the buzzlight bottles, so he ran around the earth really fast, and that turned the earth into a super-friction planet, which only a few creatures would not survive. One of those creatures were the buzzlight-bottle-smashing-hooligans. After that, the buzzlight fairy was happy, so she gave the terrrerian time in a can. When the terrrerian opened the time in a can, there was a potent poultry powered popcorn machine that exploded exactly every elephant Ecuador ever executed. Then there was a worldwide Ecuador-executed elephant deficiency, which started a nuclear fallout. Because of the fallout, the spiders started spewing superheated spasm gas. The gas disabled the nuclear fallout by personifying it and sending it on a trip in its favorite rocket ship.The only side effects of the superheated spasm gas is that baby chickens turned green, and all the spiders shrunk again.

When the terrrerian saw the green chickens he thought he had greenified them by accident. So he fed all the baby chickens his spare walnut salad, and the baby chickens turned yellow again. The unbalance of color was balanced, so everything that was green turned yellow. The terrrerian realized that he didn’t greenify the baby chickens, and they were green before. Then, thanks to the transdimensional televisions, the terrrerian totally consumed, he transported himself into the rainbowredorangeyellowgreenblueindigoviolet dimension.

In the rainbowredorangeyellowgreenblueindigoviolet dimension, everything was rainbowredorangeyellowgreenblueindigoviolet. In the dimension, the terrrerian went into the color utility store and was going to buy a color unbalancer, but when the terrrerian walked in, he saw that a thief stole all the color unbalancers. Then everything in the rainbowredorangeyellowgreenblueindigoviolet dimention turned green because color spectrum looked like this: rainbowredorangeyellowgreenblueindigoviolet instead of this: rainbowredorangeyellowgreenblueindigoviolet. Because green was the same in both spectrums, the rainbowredorangeyellowgreenblueindigoviolet dimension turned green. Then the terrrerian bought a cannon and it hit the thief.

The terrrerian then put the color unbalancers back, and then got one for free because he got the color unbalancers back. Then the terrrerian went back home and used the color unbalancer. Then the color was unbalanced again. One side effect of the color unbalancer was that the hooligans were ungreenified, so they were yelllowified. Yellowifing something made it faster, stronger, and greenify resistant. When the terrrerian tried to greenify the hooligans they just smashed the buzzlight bottles faster. So, the terrrerian used a purplify potion to normalify the hooligans, and then the terrrerian greenified the hooligans using a green explosion.Then the terrrerian was hungry again. The terrrerian destroyed all of the stars near earth and destroyed Jupiter, so he visited buyyourownstar.com and bought a star,but the shipping was  $100,000,000,000,000,000. The terrrerian called Subway Steve and asked him to come to the terrrerian. Then Subway Steve came and the terrrerian rode him to planet with a realy confusing name: hfdjmzcnjnbvmcfk,l.kjhnmlkdfgjfkvlijbnndmgjbrn gnkhb5rilkfnghnktuhbnjhutjhutktjnbjknufmjrknvbtmbnhjkvthukbtnjkukidvmnkbktjhbvgrjnvnjxjkrmthn, AKA Planet 9.

The terrrerian went to planet 9 to get the star, but they ran out of stars, so the terrrerian used a crazily confuddled corn cob powered cod liver oil cannon to shoot cod liver oil at a star. Then the star was supercharged and spun to Earth. The terrrerian walked to earth and saw that the hooligans were ungreenified. The terrrerian realized that greenifying the hooligans wouldn’t do anything, so the terrrerian created a giant Buzzlight bottle and sent the hooligans to it. The hooligans stayed there and never bothered the buzzlight fairy again.

 

Or did they…?

The Buzzlight Fairy was just minding her own business, drinking a cup of tea and  watching buzzlight-bottles network. Suddenly she felt a massive pain in her side. She dropped her tea on the floor and the china shattered. This was no ordinary pain. It was as if a thousand knives appeared in her side. Suddenly the pain stopped. The Buzzlight Fairy then envisioned a being with immense capabilities, known as “the terrrerian”, creating a massive buzzlight bottle in place of Jupiter, which had been destroyed. She then saw the being place four hooligans on the planet who started smashing it immediately. The Buzzlight fairy became frustrated. Why would one make such a beautiful thing only to have it destroyed? It was then when the Buzzlight fairy swore she would get revenge against this being.

The terrrerian smiled gleefully as he saw the hooligans smashing the buzzlight bottle,without paying the slightest bit of attention to the buzzlight bottle that the terrrerian was holding. Then the ground started to shake as bits of the buzzlight bottle rose into the air. A blinding ball of light appeared. As the light faded,the terrrerian saw a fairy whose eyes were flaming. The buzzlight fairy.

“The buzzlight bottles you’ve destroyed. That you’ve sacrificed to the void. You must stop destroying them tonight or else your soul will take flight,” the buzzlight fairy said cryptically before disappearing in a ball of light.

The terrrerian then took the hooligans in a net and moved them to MarZ. On MarZ, there was zombies everywhere.When the terrrerian dropped off the hooligans off on MarZ, he expected the hooligans to get zombified, but they turned the zombies into Buzzlight Bottles! It turns out that the hooligans absorbed the magical powers from the bobbleheads, like the greenery, in The Terrrerian. Now the hooligans could turn anything they wanted into buzzlight bottles and smash them! The terrrerian tried to talk to the hooligans and asked them to stop smashing buzzlight bottles. All the hooligans said was “rfgfhtvfdzycuy,” and they walked away. Then the terrrerian felt a pulling force, like a vortex. A ball of light flickered to life and started to expand.Then it faded away and the buzzlight fairy hovered in its place.

“Hello, terrrerian. Now before you say anything, I must ask you; why did you make a giant buzzlight bottle just to have it destroyed?”

“I didn’t know that you existed before. If I knew, I never would have made it. I tried to stop the hooligans, but apparently they can turn anything they want into buzzlight bottles,” the terrrerian telecommunicated

“Can they turn each other into buzzlight bottles?” inquired the buzzlight fairy.

“I don’t know.”

The terrrerian then flew to MarZ. He took the hooligans to the nearest planet that didn’t turn into a firecracker and explode, SaTURN. On SaTURN everyone fell sideways.The terrrerian placed the hooligans in a small room and hoped the hooligans would turn each other into buzzlight bottles. What the terrrerian didn’t know, is that they placed the hooligans above the six percent helium that was on Jupiter. The hooligans turned the room into a buzzlight bottle and escaped. Before the terrrerian could react, the hooligans turned the helium into buzzlight bottles.Then SaTURN, with all the hooligans on it, started falling sideways. The terrrerian and the buzzlight fairy, who was with him, chased SaTURN. Because SaTURN was falling sideways, it crashed into Uranus, Neptune and Pluto. Out of the disproportionate mush of planets the terrrerian and the buzzlight fairy saw the trapped hooligans.

“I got it!” said the buzzlight fairy, racing towards the hooligans.

No, I’ll do it, telecommunicated the terrrerian, speeding up. The terrrerian raced the buzzlight fairy to the hooligans but the terrrerian took them out of the planets first with a net.

I told you I could do it, the terrrerian thought.

“This time, my attempt will work,” said the buzzlight fairy.

The terrrerian and the buzzlight fairy went to MarZ next. There, the buzzlight fairy tried to put a zombie mask on a hooligan, but the hooligan kept resisting. Finally, when the buzzlight fairy was able to put the mask on the hooligan, the other hooligans turned the mask into buzzlight bottles.

See? I told you it wouldn’t work, the terrrerian communicated telepathically.

“Why don’t we work together? It might work, ”said the buzzlight fairy defeatedly.

Fine, the terrrerian transmitted.

The buzzlight fairy and the terrrerian then created a plan. They were going to summon a magical warlock called Asmoth. To summon Asmoth, you place candles around an altar made of stone, place an axe on top of it and chant “htomnomsamusyberehi” three times. The thing about the axe is that it has a buzzlight bottle hidden inside it. When Asmoth is summoned, he will grab the axe and yell, “WHO SUMMONED ME?” When the hooligans see Asmoth pick up the axe, they will start attacking him. Then Asmoth will get angry at the hooligans and destroy them.

It was time to put their plan into action.The terrrerian and the buzzlight fairy set up the altar and brought all the hooligans to it.Then they put the axe on the altar and chanted the word three times. Then they flew away to a safe distance.They saw a tornado of axes which then disappeared, with Asmoth the warlock in its place.

“WHO SUMMONED ME?!” inquired Asmoth. He then picked up the axe. The hooligans attacked him. From the distance that the terrrerian and the buzzlight fairy could only see explosions of dust and massive mushroom clouds. Then they heard Asmoth say “I AM ASMOTH THE WARLOCK,YAS YAS YAS!” before his shape blurred, and disappeared. When they inspected MarZ they saw that the whole planet was no longer there. Another planet had been destroyed. Now the only planets left were Earth,Venus,and MerCUREy.

“Guess my job’s done here,” said the buzzlight fairy.

“See you around,” thought the terrrerian.

“Bye,” said the buzzlight fairy.

Then the buzzlight fairy disappeared in a puff of smoke. The hooligans were gone forever.

Or were they…?

One month after the disintegration of the hooligans, the terrrerian was on a beach walking past a tree. He kicked a rock at it. The rock hit the tree. Unluckily for the terrrerian, that tree was a palm tree. Palm trees have leaves filled with greenify potion, which is what makes them green. Normally, this wouldn’t have any effect on anything, but because of the Earth’s brief moment as a sponge marshmallow planet, the palm trees, which become super absorbent around sponge marshmallows, retain their sponge-marshmallow-like insides. The combination of the vibration of the rock hitting the tree, the sponge marshmallow minerals, and the greenify potion create a silent propulsion system for the palm tree. The palm tree then silently rocketed into the atmosphere, without the terrrerian noticing a thing.

As the tree zoomed past Earth, it passed the previous location of MarZ. The sponge marshmallow, which is a superabsorbent material, absorbed the disintegrated hooligans. The palm tree rocket would have crashed into Venus, but because Venus is made of iron and rock, which boost the effects of greenify potion, the palm tree rocket blasted straight through the center of Venus, leaving a cylindrical hole in the middle of it. Then the rocket, burning through the last of its greenify potion fuel, crashed into MerCUREy. The minerals on MerCUREy started to cure the hooligans of their death, reviving them.The hooligans combined with the palm tree, the sponge marshmallows, and the last of the greenify potion. The hooligans combined into one hooligan who could jump higher, was immune to greenify potion, and was extremely smart. The hooligan didn’t want to smash buzzlight or buzzlight bottles anymore.

The terrrerian, oblivious to the fact that he caused the resurrection of the hooligans, turned around towards the glimmering ocean and saw out of the corner of his eye the empty place where the palm tree should be. Then the terrrerian thought Wasn’t there a tree there? Then the terrrerian kept on walking.                                                                                                    

 

Two days later…

 

For the past two days, the hooligan had been working on a way to escape the nonexistent atmosphere of MerCUREy. The hooligan cooled the small amounts of hydrogen, helium, and oxygen in the air until they became a liquid. Then the hooligan put the liquids in a bowl and mixed it with the merCUREic sand. This created a gigantifier. The hooligan consumed part of the mixture and grew to the size of ten giraffes. Then he jumped to earth (with his super jump ability) and started to smash everything. The hooligan left smashed trees and upturned grass in his wake. Then the hooligan did something terrible. The hooligan combined the nitrogen in earth’s atmosphere with the merCUREic mixture he had, and threw the mixture to the moon. This caused the moon to enter a sped up orbit, making the moon go into a solar eclipse. Because the moon used all of its orbital energy in those five seconds, the moon couldn’t move for the next 100 years. That meant there was a solar eclipse for the next 100 years. MWAHAHAHA!!!

The eclipse was the first thing the terrrerian noticed. Then the terrrerian heard the smashing of trees and grass.

“TERRRERIAN,” said a voice.”I’M COMING FOR YOU!”

The terrrerian saw a massive figure stomping toward him. Then, he saw the figure was a hooligan, combined with greenify potion and palm tree wood. Then the terrrerian realized what he had done. The terrrerian realized that kicking the rock against the palm tree caused it to rocket into space and collect the hooligan dust. The terrrerian realized that the palm tree rocket landed on MerCUREy and revived the hooligans. The terrrerian realized that this was all his fault.

The terrrerian needed to defeat this monstrosity. He teleported to Potiona and back and threw a greenify potion at it, but the hooligan absorbed it and only seemed to grow more powerful. Then the hooligan picked up a star from earth’s sky and smushed it in his hand. He poured the starjuice on another star that he picked up. This made a starbomb that would explode and suck all the air out of earth’s atmosphere.

“I HAVE A STARBOMB,WHICH WILL SUCK OUT ALL THE AIR OF EARTH’S ATMOSPHERE,” the hooligan said. “IT WILL EXPLODE IN three… two… one.”

The bomb exploded and there was a blinding flash of light.Then all the air was sucked out of earth’s atmosphere.The terrrerian saw the plants withering, and turning brown.

Somewhere, somewhen, there was a Star-god. Star-god envisioned the hooligan exploding a starbomb, with the terrrerian standing frightened in the background. I must help this being, the Star-god thought before he teleported to the terrrerian.

The terrrerian turned around and saw a blinding flash of yellow light.

“I am Star-god. I am here to help you,” said the Star-god.

Then the terrrerian and the Star-god started fighting the hooligan. First, the terrrerian built a missile made of maple syrup and shot it at the hooligan, but the hooligan grew stronger and absorbed the maple syrup. Then the sun god tried to ignite a mini star and throw it at the hooligan,but the star couldn’t ignite because there was no oxygen. Then the terrrerian used a return-oxygenizer 5,000 to return the oxygen to earth, but he accidentally returned 5,000 times as much as there was before. Because there was 5,000 times as much oxygen, all the spiders became huge. Then the terrrerian saw his best spider friend Aragag.

“Aragag!” the terrrerian called. ”It’s been so long.”

“Terrrerian!” Aragag greeted. ”How are… BLEEEH!”Aragag said as he barfed on the hooligan’s shoes.

“HEY!” the hooligan said. “THOSE WERE MY NEW SHOES!”

The hooligan, in a fit of rage, lifted his foot to stomp on Aragag, but Aragag was quick. Aragag shot a web at him, but the web wasn’t strong enough. Then the Star-god extracted hydrogen from a star and coated the web with it. Then the Star-god lit the rope on fire, so if the hooligan struggled, he would get burnt. Then Aragag shot the hooligan at the moon. The hooligan flew into the moon, Venus and MurCUREy, sending all three planets hurtling into the sun with the hooligan. When the moon went into the sun, the sun absorbed the moon which caused the sun to send out a radioactive shrinkamatronization asteroid that fell on earth, which caused all the spiders to shrink and caused the oxygen level to return to normal.

The hooligan was never seen again.

Unikitty in Big Letters

   

This line I must rhyme

Unikitties are awesome

They can be good or commit crimes

They smell better than possums

Unikitties are awesome

Meow can be their battle cry

They smell better than possums

Unikitties can also fly

Meow can be their battle cry

They can hide in human form

Unikitties can also fly

You’ll never see one in a storm

 

They can hide in human form

Unikitties can eat robots

You’ll never see one in a storm

They can also eat astronauts

Unikitties can eat robots

They can battle with Batman

They can also eat astronauts

They are mean and tease fat-man

They can battle with Batman

They can be good or commit crimes

They are mean and tease fat-man

This line I must rhyme

 

 

Through the Woods (Excerpt)

Chapter One:  The Encounter of Sorts

Pat stared out of the thickly layered window pane at the flurry of small white flakes of snow that were quickly piling up upon the rough ground. He turned to look at the clock that he had nailed to the wall.  Its thin hands read 4:35. He knew he should be asleep, but something about the snow fascinated him. He thought of what Sam would’ve said. “Not surprised. You’re probably the strangest boy in Arkansas.” He would’ve chortled absent-mindedly in his thick Irish accent while cleaning his bowie knife that everyone in the whole town recognized. That’s what he would’ve said. But Sam was taken by a bear while hiking in Blackwood forest two months ago. Everyone assumed he was dead. Pat had gotten an entire lecture from his father about being safe when hiking alone in the wilderness, but Pat didn’t care. He loved Blackwood forest, and nothing would stop him from hiking there.  

Suddenly, Pat straightened his back. He thought that he must be seeing things because he had been awake for half the night. This species was rare around these regions and should be hibernating, but no. A black bear was trudging through the snow, its thick fur flecked with white.

Pat slung his satchel, with its fat four-hole button he’d found on the wooden table in the tailor shop, over his scrawny shoulder and rushed outside.  The cold immediately shot through his small stature and overcame his body. Still, Pat fought on and pulled forward toward the corner of the town with the big hill.

Once he had gotten there, Pat pulled his binoculars from the bag and raised them to his squinting eyes. The bear wasn’t very far off.  A mere twenty minutes north east. Pat’s hands were shaking.

Suddenly, his bony arms lost grip of the heavy binoculars, which swung down to his chest.  They knocked him backwards and the satchel flew to the bottom of the hill, making a loud clunking sound. He climbed back to the top of the hill and raised the device to his eyes. The gear that focused the vision of the lenses had been pulled far right. Pat saw a blurry black shape rushing toward him. Lowering the lenses, he saw the bear galloping towards him. A bolt of fright shot through Pat’s entire body and, in a wild state of mind, he dropped everything and sprinted toward Blackwood forest. The binoculars bounced against his chest and he turned to see the Bear gaining on him.

Pat caught a glimpse of the treehouse he had made thick in the trees of Blackwood forest one summer. It was constructed from the strong oak in one of it’s famous dark-wooded trees. Pat dashed through the thistles and brambles as they cut against his arms and legs. Finally, the treehouse was straight ahead of him. He struggled and climbed up the thick rope leading to the small cabin. Pat made it and felt the tree shake as the bear clawed against the bark. He sat on the wooden floor and panted breathlessly. He glanced to the corner of the room to see his BB-gun with it’s wooden frame and black markings smudged onto the end of the steel barrel as it glistened in the sunrise. He scooted over to it and reached for it, then propped it up against the balcony overlooking his small town and the barren wasteland of snow riddled with foot prints.

Pat peered down the end of the barrel and at the black bear who was retreating back north. He pulled the trigger and a brief burst of flame and sparks spurted from the gun. This was followed by a sluggish trail of smoke and a whistling sound. The small pellet flew through the air and easily punctured the bear’s thin flesh. It fell on its side, but Pat knew a single BB couldn’t’ve killed a bear of such power as a black bear. He pulled the binoculars to his eyes and squinted to see the bear up close.  It was a female, her thin flesh was dark in places, and her ribs were visible. Now Pat understood. The bear had been hunting for food because it was starved. Even though it had attacked him, Pat felt bad for the animal. He cared for and loved all nature.  

Pat lowered himself down from the tree on the knotted rope, dug into the emergency knapsack he had sewn himself, which was safely nestled in a secret compartment in the wall of the treehouse, to find a small jar full of salted pork. He dropped a juicy piece of the pork in front of the bear.

Afterwards, Pat decided to stay in the forest one night until the snow storm let up. He wasn’t worried about his parents. They were probably relieved he was finally out of their hair. Pat was content as he drifted to sleep on the floor of the cabin suspended in the tree.  

He awoke at sunrise to a horrible sight.

The ground was damp and littered with pine needles. Pat stopped to see it. A Blackwood was on it’s side. The lower half had been splintered by lighting, Pat gathered from the blackened ash-stained wood.  He counted the seemingly endless rings in the tree to see that this “Blackie,” as old countrymen say, was about 27 years old. A tree of that age could be the strongest wood in any market. This tree had fallen and covered hundreds of feet of land –– including Pat’s escape route. Pat muttered a curse, but he knew that he had always been preparing for a situation like this.

He climbed up to the treehouse and reviewed his inventory. He dumped the backpack onto the floor to examine his belongings. A six-inch Kings matchbox with 46 matches. A roll of thread with a pin jabbed into it. A thick hunting knife with a leather cloth wrapped around the blade, and a week’s worth of salted meat and a few onions that had grown deep underground while Pat was treasure hunting. In the treehouse itself, Pat had a 6-48 mosquito BB-gun with it’s signature long and thin barrel. There was also a small shelf with a jam jar of pellets, and 3 books: The Hardy Boys: murder in an alleyway, The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King, and Robinson Crusoe.

By mid-afternoon, Pat was bored and scared. Powerful winds made him shiver and dig his feet deeper into the mossy ground. He was sculpting a rock with his hunting knife. The rock was thin and had a needle-sharp tip. Many curves bore through it because it had been sitting at the bottom of Ratchet creek,  a playful brook that flowed through most of Blackwood. Pat suddenly dropped the rock as he heard a faint growl. He turned to see the black bear awakening, it’s eyelids slowly reaching toward the thick, dirty fur of the forehead.  Pat knew he was supposed to be frightened, but somehow he wasn’t. He edged closer to the bear and picked up the dew-stained piece of pork, then threw it closer to the bear’s mouth. She immediately gobbled it down and slowly pulled herself from the dirt, a swarm of fleas quickly succeeding from her thick fur. For the next few days, the bear would lumber alongside Pat, not making any sort of violent movements, not really interacting with Pat at all. Pat was a bit jittery about the presence of the bear, but thought about all of the incorrect things his father had said to him, and that this was fully indulging in nature. However, he lied awake at night wondering, what his friends would say. Bear boy! You love animals so much you’re practically becoming one! He drifted into an uneven sleep.

Pat sat on a small boulder, motionless.  He didn’t talk much and barely ever tried to socialize with others at school.  At his small school house, there were eleven boys and ten girls.  The two genders broke into separate groups and nobody in the boys group really had specific friends.  To Pat, all of the boys were pretty much the same.  But he was different.  

The bear scratched her paw against her flank to rid herself of what seemed to be a very annoying parasite. Pat found his eyes drooping and climbed to the treehouse to take a nap. Suddenly, his eyes were open again, and the blurred tint of his small wooden life force faded into focus. He peered out the frame of open air to see the sun glint through clumps of leaves. It was about 3:17 in the afternoon, according to his calculations from examining the sun.  

“You drool in your sleep,” said a voice suddenly from behind him. It made the hair on the back of Pat’s neck stand up straight. He immediately jerked his head around to see a girl. She was tall, with brown hair, and was staring at him with penetrating eyes.

Pat ignored any sort of salutations required for a situation like this, and blurted, “Who are you? What the hell are you doing here!?”

She tilted her head to the left and looked at him, unfazed. “Well, you seem very polite. I was out exploring here in Blackwood, when I noticed a Blackie on it’s side. I climbed over it, because I’m not a midget, and saw your treehouse.” She paused for a reaction and then pointed to the corner of  the treehouse. “Nice mosquito, by the way.”  

Pat stared at her in disbelief. “First of all,” he began, “people who can’t climb over 6 ½  feet tall trees aren’t midgets. Second of all, you just barge into someone’s home?  You’re the one who should be working on politeness.”  

She brushed her hair out of her eyes and said matter-of-factly, “I thought you would be an interesting person to meet.” 

Pat rubbed his eyes.  

“My name is Aliza, by the way,” Aliza said, sticking her hand out toward him.  

“Pat,” he said, simply swinging his hand out to join hers.  They sat there together on the wooden plank floor for a few empty minutes before Pat broke the silence by saying, “Well, time for you to go back to your jerk parents. I’m not going to be able to use you for anything.”   

“Excuse me?” Aliza said, raising her eyebrows. “What do you expect?”

Pat almost yelled, “You’re a girl. I’d like to see a girl hunt.”

Aliza huffed with anger and slapped Pat across the face. He was stunned as his cheek stung with pain. Aliza picked up his gun from the corner of the treehouse and said soberly, “Well, then, try and stop me.”

Pat walked behind Aliza uneasily as they stepped along the wet grass and dirt. Aliza raised a finger to her lips and rushed quickly to another, much younger, fallen Blackwood. She stabilized the gun in a ridge of cracked wood. She squinted one eye and steadied the barrel. Pat walked up next to her to see she was aiming at a rabbit, which was nibbling on some beige fungi.  She fired the gun briefly and it released the same flurry of sparks as before. Pat heard the whizzing sound once more, but the rabbits ears perked up and it ran stubbornly into a nearby patch of bushes.  Aliza cursed and Pat laughed, “You’re a good shot, but you don’t know anything about nature. Rabbits have some of the best hearing in the entire animal kingdom. They would be able to hear a BB coming easily.”  

Aliza jerked to attention before letting out a response probably littered with swears. She moved back into her hunting position, but angled the gun upwards and fired it a second time. An ear piercing squawk was heard and a small bird dropped from a branch above to the soft soil below. Aliza turned to face Pat and smirked. She jumped over the tree trunk and snatched the small bird from the ground, then walked back to the treehouse. Pat followed her reluctantly and grabbed some of the few dry sticks lying on the ground near him to start a fire.

“So, sure, you can hunt, but that is my treehouse that I assembled myself. I am not letting you sleep there,” Pat remarked by the fire late at night.

“Fine,”  Aliza responded soberly, “I’ll sleep on the ground.” Pat stomped his foot onto the dying fire, which made a slow hissing noise as it was quenched.  

“I’m turning in,” he said, lowering his voice unnecessarily and then marched off to the treehouse. Aliza patted the sleeping bear besides her whom she had been introduced to by Pat, and it growled in its sleep. She turned to a nearby patch of moss and lay onto it.  

That morning the sun shot through the old wood of the treehouse, spreading slats of masked light across the small room. Pat’s eyes adjusted to the smaller flurries of snow floating lazily down from the sky. He snatched his cracked glasses, which were sprawled on the ground, and fitted them onto his face. Suddenly, as Pat’s foggy vision subsided, he noticed his gun abandoned from the usual spot. Groaning, he looked out the window to see Aliza tanning a deer hide with the rock he had been sharpening the day before.

“Good morning!” she yelled up to him, her voice echoing across the sleepy forest.

“What have you been doing?” bellowed Pat.

“I woke up early, grabbed your rifle, and went out hunting,” she smirked. “The deer like eating the frozen dew. Then I cooked the meat and gave it to your bear.”  

“It’s not my bear,” Pat retorted.  

“Well, she basically lives with you,” countered Aliza.  And, how long have you been here? Who would want to live like this?”  

Pat scampered down the ladder.  “About 2 days, and I’m the one who would want to live here,” he paused. “My parents give me these boundaries –– I feel like I’m just an obstacle to them.”  

Aliza frowned. “Sorry about that.”  

“Well, that’s the real reason I’m out here. I could’ve climbed that tree, but I want to prove to them that I could survive by myself.”

“You can’t just stay out in this forest forever,” she looked Pat in the eyes. “You’re eventually going to have to go back.”

Pat turned away from her and looked up to a tree. “Well, I’m going to stay out here as long as possible. If my father was out here, he wouldn’t survive a month.” Pat chuckled, “He only hunts for sport and doesn’t care at all about the effects it has on this forest. We’re lucky that no one has tried using this forest for lumber.”  

Aliza tilted her head, “But you hunt too!”  

“I only hunt for survival,” Pat responded condescendingly.

“Thanks for telling me, that explains your attitude,” she said.  

Pat should’ve been offended by this, but he ignored the comment.

Aliza looked down and began, “Well, I have the opposite situation. My parents, they don’t care about me. I barely ever go to Blackwood, all I’ve heard about was when Sam went missing. Ever since, I have wanted to go out here and see if they would care. Seems as though they don’t.”

Pat glanced at her and smiled grimly. Suddenly, a noise in the bushes startled the both of them. They swung around to see a swaying light emerging from the clearing. Pat quickly grabbed his gun from the mossy earth and aimed it toward the noise. A figure came into view. He was bulky, had a crippled and grizzled face slashed with a long scar, and had short, darkened hair. It was Pat’s father.  

“What are you doing here, Pat?!”

“Father, I ––”

“You left me in the middle of the night to go to Blackwood?  You’ve been living out here for three days!” Pat opened his mouth to speak, but his father interrupted him, “We are going, right now,” his father gestured to Pat.  

“No,” Pat responded stubbornly.

His father stopped abruptly and turned to face Pat. “What did you just say to me?”  

Gaining confidence, Pat stood and rooted his feet into the ground, “I said no.” He paused. “You have been giving me obstacles and rules for my entire life! Will you for once just leave me alone!?”  The father looked disgruntled, as if this had never occurred.  

“Fine,” Pat’s father said, containing a bloody outburst of anger.  “Do you really want me to just let you die alone in this forest? Fine, then I will.” He looked livid.  “Sooner or later, you’ll come from this retched place and you’ll be begging me for a real home and food.”

A tear trickled down Pats face as he held an indescribable expression of sadness, anger, and hatred.  

The father trekked off into the darkness of the night and soon vanished. Pat sat back down as Aliza stared at him, dumbstruck with her mouth gaping, “What in the world just happened?”  

Pat leaned down towards the ground and said, “That was my father.”

Aliza responded candidly, “Well, yeah, I got that from context, but there is a girl and a sleeping bear right next to you, and he didn’t notice?”  

Pat looked up and said, “That’s because he’s a self-centered ––”  A gust of wind made the trees creak and sway, shielding Aliza from the curse Pat emitted. “He gets very unreceptive of thing that are going on around him when he is involved in certain exchanges.”  

“Okay… ” said Aliza, tilting her head, “but that doesn’t explain why he didn’t notice the bea ––”  

“Listen, Aliza,” Pat snapped, “My father’s an idiot.” Aliza raised her eyebrows and frowned.  “Now, it’s been a long day, so good night.” Pat croaked. Aliza scratched the bear once more in it’s favorite place, behind the ear, and went to sleep.  

To be continued…

Birds

Bluejays chirping at my window,

Waking me up from sleep,

I stay awake because I want to hear them.

 

The sound of their wings fluttering

makes me want to come out,

They turn to stare at me,

Making me feel like I did something wrong.

 

Then I stare back into their beady brown eyes,

And remember that they love their food,

 

So I go back inside,

Finding breadcrumbs from my toast to give them.

 

I sprinkle crumbs all over the yard.

They dive for their food,

Pecking towards those that had bread with their pure black beaks,

I laugh merrily.

 

Their eyes seem to say that they want me to stay,

I say goodbye,

And they seem to do the same,

 

I walk to my mom’s car where she is waiting to drive me to school,

 

And when I come out to see the birds after school I jump and laugh,

I came back through the garden where I found a big worm,

It was as long as my arm!

I picked it up and went back to them,

Where they fought for their food,

I began peeling two birds off of one that were attacking for the bread,

 

I laughed for what seemed the hundredth time,

And I ran towards them for a game of tag,

Where they took off.

 

And I don’t notice that there are houses around me,

I don’t realize where I am,

I just feel like I want to play,

And you know what?

No matter how many times they beg me for food,

Or how many times they woke me up,

I love them.

Haunted House

Once upon a time, there was a haunted house. Inside, there were a lot of monsters. A little girl went inside the house. Then she saw a skeleton, and then the skeleton put a knife in her. She died. The little girl turned into a ghost. Now she was a monster! She had sharp teeth, eight legs, and was purple.

She called all of the monsters. The monsters came, and then they left the haunted house with their powers. They destroyed the EARTH. Then they made a huge time machine!

They all went inside of the time machine. They went to a nice world in the future! It had palm trees, flowers, trees, and bees.

The monsters said, “Ew, I don’t like this world, it’s too nice!”

They went in the time machine again. They went to Evil Place. There was goo and webs and slime everywhere. The monsters loved it. There was a lot of evil, and there was an evil guy who had sharp teeth and a knife! His name was Mr. Killer.

They were all evil too. They all worked together to make the biggest evil potion. Then they ran around in a circle and made a huge EVIL TORNADO!!!

In the evil tornado, they went back into the time machine and took their evilness into the human world. Then the tornado turned the humans into evil humans. They formed an army!

The army took over the world. After that, there were webs, trees were broken, and there were bats and skeletons.

They lived evilly ever after.

Battle of Revenge II: Traitors

Prologue

In the last story, Max, Finton, and Freddy had defeated Lord Robbers and were free of his threat… for a while. They were trying to figure out the medical potion to heal all of the men lost in the last battle. Their fleet needed to be repaired too, so there were lots of repairs that needed to be fulfilled. Meanwhile, Lord Robbers was also preparing his little surprise….

 

Chapter 1: Evil Meeting

Zilbon, Lord Robbers, Quantuo, Xanga, Jumba, Kaka, and Strangehead (members of the Red Strikers) were sitting down on a table back at Larbazako. Lord Robbers was showing them secret plans for some strange secret weapon that they were going to use to crush the Blue Lions and the Squag, which now was named the Blue Squags. The strange secret weapon was a laser, a very powerful laser that could destroy a whole base with one blast. They were going to go to Slankamos to destroy the Squags’ main building. The Squag’s main building was guarded by the Blue Lions’ troopers.

The 105th Legion was very powerful. It was the highest ranking troop squad of the whole Blue Lion space. The 301st Legion was the second highest ranking squad. They were planning to send thousands of Quinns, evil henchmen of Lord Robbers, to attack the place, but Lord Robbers knew that wouldn’t work. He needed more. He told all of his people that they had to lead the Quinns into battle. They all agreed to do it. At the mention of this, every person at the meeting turned on their superswords and stabbed them into their slots, making a blue hologram of their grand master appear in the center with all of the secret information. The only thing that could power this strange source of different blueprints was the super swords from every Red Striker. The master was very happy, but also extremely mad because they hadn’t killed the person the master had said to kill. The master’s name was Extreme.

“You have done well, my apprentices. But that battle we could not afford to lose.”

“Sir, they were outnumbering us,” said Xanga.

“I do not care,” screamed Extreme.

“Many of our troops died out there, master,” said Zilbon.

“We shall win our next battle,” said Jumba.

“Why don’t we discuss our next battle plans?” asked Extreme.

 

Chapter 2: Squad Healing Center

Max was very worried about all the injured soldiers because there were so many of them. Fortunately, a recipe could stop death, but it was far away in another land, guarded by many enemy soldiers. That was their next mission. They needed to pack up for it. Finton and Freddy were also coming. Trevor wanted to help, so he came too. Erin decided to drop them off at the spaceport. This is what Max packed: a gun, extra ammunition, lunch, a lot of food (food from different planets like Sakalato and Yfdghh,kb c), an extra bottle of hydrating juice, and a bottle of lava in which he would cook the actual food. In addition to providing a place to prepare his meals, the bottle of lava would keep the food from cooling, thus preventing rock from forming on it.                                      

Trevor also packed a super sword, a charge plug, two extra charging stations, food that Lulu had cooked for him, a training droid, and an extra robe.

Finton packed a rifle, extra ammunition (like Max had), frozen food, a blender to liquefy it, a bottle to drink to drink it from, some roots from trees you could eat, and vegetables.

Freddy, of course, packed five boxes of trick stuff, a mobile toilet, toilet paper, and a baby seat for the toilet. He liked copying other people, so he bought two packs of frozen food, sixty-five miniature trees, a giant lava bottle, and a twisted gun, bubble gum instead of ammunition packs, an extra pair of dirty socks, two extra underwears, a giant piece of metal, a soldering kit, and a second twisted gun.

Suddenly, Erin came into the room. “What’s going on? Time to leave, people. Rise and shine. We’re leaving,” he said. “The crawler’s here. Hello!?”

Suddenly everyone grabbed their packs and hurried out the door.

“Move it, move it, move it! This no drill!” Erin was obviously not happy.

Trevor followed his mentor out the door. When they got downstairs, the guards opened the door. Like Erin had said, the crawler was waiting outside, along with other Squags, who said said “Good luck“ and “Be safe.” Max and Trevor said goodbye to Lulu and Lucy. When they got on board the crawler, the driver helped them with their luggage.

“To the nearest spaceport,” said Erin. The driver turned the crawler onto the road as fast as it could go and zoomed away.

On the way there, Freddy took out one of his miniature trees and asked Finton, “¿Para qué se usan esos árboles?”

“You use the roots to make smoothies, dummy!”

Freddy suddenly had an idea to lift the humor. “So, waz sup, dude?”

Trevor and Max burst out laughing.

“It’s pronounced What’s up,” Trevor said.

Finton whacked Freddy.

“Waz dat for?”

“Stop fooling around, Freddy! This is real stuff, bud! We’re going all the way to the center of the whole enemy core,” said Finton. “And in your language, daz foi yo foolin’ around.”

 

Chapter 3: Second New Planet

When they arrived, they got a cart and put their luggage inside. Since Freddy was a weakling, Finton had to help him. Max was nervous. Trevor wanted everything he saw.

“Hey, look at that! That’s the new kind of bubble gum that came out precisely three seconds ago,” shouted Trevor.

“We have to walk three platforms,” said Erin. “No fooling around here.”

The stairs were as high as skyscrapers. Max and Freddy had never been to a spaceport, except for the one back at the base.

Suddenly, the stairs started moving. “Look at that! We don’t need to climb it!” said Max. The elevator ride was awesome. You got to see the whole spaceport from up there. There were thousands and thousands of platforms. There were starships floating in midair anchored with chain to keep it on the platform. There were millions of people and different aliens. There were guards keeping order. The restaurants served exotic foods of other planets. There was even a pilot diner.

Unfortunately, the gum Trevor wanted was sold out. There was a giant starship in front of them with big letters on it that said: Destination to Main Government Planet. Thousands of guards were guarding the top level. Erin ignited his super sword and the guards stepped away.

On the side of the platform, a little sign said: “Rating: ★★★★★ Food Served: Every Planet Known to The Government Space Possible: ∞.”

The doors to the ship opened. Trevor, Max, Finton, and Freddy walked through them. Erin said goodbye and the doors closed. The ride was on!

 

Chapter 4: Battle at Fortress Destroy

The juice was delicious, and the space cruise was going smoothly. The ride to the capital of the Government was nearly over, and Finton, Max and Freddy were at the diner eating, while Trevor was discussing how he loved to train. He said the battle was gonna be hard, so they all had to train their best.

“Hey, Finton! Mind passing me the — ”

BOOM!! Erh, erh, erh. The alarm had gone off. The space cruiser was under attack… Outside, thousands of enemy cruisers had just come out of the turbo engine, which was going at the speed of light. They were firing at the cruiser at full blast. Aboard the cruiser was Freddy’s greatest enemy, the dreaded Trick Destroyer — a gun that turned off every trick onboard the spaceship. Two soldiers came out of the hallway.

“Please report to the main deck,” said the soldiers. Trevor, Max, and Freddy rushed up to the top deck. Finton was commanding a huge army of soldiers. Every enemy cruiser was shooting at our cruiser.

“Fire at sector ten!” BABOOM!!! Smoke was coming out of the hole where Finton used to be standing. “Darn, that cannon!” Finton came out of a smoking hole. Two enemy cruisers were on fire. The cruiser had fire all over. Every battle station was smoking. The laser fire rained through the sky like flies at a garbage dump.  As the cruiser returned fire, Max, Finton, and Freddy went under the deck to ignite the turbo engine. Trevor tried to deflect the laser fire with his swinging super sword.

“Hit the turbo engine button, Freddy!”

“¿Cuál es eso?”

BEEP!

“Self destruct engaged.”

“Freddy!!!”

“Incorrecto.”

“Run to the escape pods!” said Max. Everyone was running to their escape pods.

“Where’s Trevor?” asked Finton. Trevor appeared right next to them. Smoke was all around him. His face was black.

“Stupid cruisers,” Trevor muttered. Two guards were standing around the last escape pod available.

“Run for it!” said Trevor. Beep. The escape pod was launched. Chances were lost.

“No!”

“Self destruct in ten… nine… eight, seven, six, five, four, three, two — ”

Finton pushed Max outside. Freddy and Trevor fell into space. Finton jumped out. The explosion pushed them forward, and a great big ball of fire behind them that used to be their cruiser was now debris fluttering around them. Now they were lost in space.

 

Chapter 5: Evil Knows How to Plan

“Success achieved! The boss will be extremely happy!” The members of the Red Strikers were having a giant party.

“They died! Three cheers for the trick destroyer!” There were all types of food at the evil feast.

BAM!

The door burst open. Jumba came in.

“We’re under attack.” Rocks started falling from the ceiling.

“The feast is ruined!” cried Lord Robbers.

“Send all units!” cried Xanga.

Diong, diong, diong.

The battle outside was tremendous. Thousands of wounded Quinns were lying on the ground. Few were left. The other side was looking much better than its evil match — only a few soldiers were down.

“Send more troops!” ordered Kaka. More came rushing out, only to be killed.

Suddenly, sides changed: the Quinns had taken control of the battle. They were forcing the 105th legion back to their ships.

“Retreat!” ordered the 105th general. The troops rushed back, and the Quinns fired the cannons while the 105th legion tried to escape. Many ships fell from the sky.

Despite their heavy losses, the Quinns had won.

“Now we can’t have a feast about anything! We didn’t win or lose!” Strangehead said.

“I wanted more of that candy bread!” cried Lord Robbers.

As they went back inside, a war drum sounded in the distance.

“What the heck was that?” said Zilbon.

“Quinns into battle positions!”

Ten rows of Quinns stood strong. Twenty spearmen were in the front guarding for any close combat intents. Out of nowhere came a band of aliens with swords, guns, and spears. They were green and had eyes like those of a fly, a green snout in the middle of their head, and brown robes.

AAAheee!!! Chang! Blahg, wago dapo boom! Chang wayyyaaagggooo! Tambow!!! Mwakamaka! Dwaga! Traga! Die!!! BOOM! Weheee!!!

“Now we have something to celebrate about,” said Lord Robbers, “I get my candy bread!”

“No, I get it,” said Xanga.

“Don’t fight, guys!” said Jumba

 

Chapter 6: The Continuation of Chapter 4

“Now what?” said Max. The space around them was peaceful. They had been floating for hours.

“¿No crees que va a venir una nave para salvarnos?” asked Freddy. Suddenly, a bright light interrupted their conversation, and Trevor turned on his super sword. A ginormous space cruiser appeared out of nowhere. Its shiny decks looked as beautiful as gold, and its twenty-six engines looked super shiny with flaming blue jets shooting out.  

“It’s a Model 58.73 Code 97597.725.7000. I used to have a bunch of those in my room,” said Max.

“Uh, looks like we’re boarding, people.”

Trevor was right. The airlock on the 27,000 foot-tall, 123,000 foot long, and 29,000 foot wide spaceship was opening, letting out seventy-five spaceships that were ten feet tall and twenty feet long.  

“Now that’s an airlock,” said Finton.

“I guess we board one of these ships!” said Trevor.

Max, Finton, Freddy, and Trevor boarded the nearest ship. There were fifty-seven Quinns  on board. “Ahh! Battle positions!” yelled Finton. He loaded his gun and aimed at the Quinns. That was when they realized the Quinns were all tied up.

¨Greetings, noble Squag Trevor!¨ said the mysterious, double-mysterious, even more mysterious, superbly mysterious, totally mysterious, amazingly mysterious, terribly weird, with a terrible face, weird, antennae-headed weirdo named Wamakazamotamotamotadomanota Zambagotamezinitabedagota. “Welcome aboard my spaceship. We shall take you to meet my master.  Meet my loyal assistant, Wombazengasambataheenga Zambeegotosanjamotameta.¨

When they arrived at the spaceport, the first guy they had met led them up the stairs to a door.  And when the door opened, what they saw was unimaginable.

 

Chapter 7: Normal Day for Erin

Erin was pacing through when he bumped into Simon.

¨Want to duel?” said Simon.

“Pleasure,” said Erin.

Erin pulled off his glasses. Simon did, too. They extended their glasses. Then, they burst out laughing!

“Hwahwahwahwa… dueling with glasses! Blahaha,” laughed Erin.

“So funny! So funny!” said Simon.

“This is serious,” said Erin. He turned on his super sword and slashed at Simon’s legs. Simon flipped backwards and extended his super sword in 0.3 seconds. Erin attacked. Simon counterattacked. Erin flipped backwards and lashed the air with his extreme super duo combo, stabbing into the middle of the air where Simon was supposed to be. Simon was actually behind him and Erin sensed him. He arched his blade backward, deflecting the jab. Then Simon and Erin burst into a two-hour laugh. Hahaha! They laughed hard because their swords were only styrofoam training superswords.

Erin waved goodbye to Simon and walked into the library. He loved to study, and he also loved to read. Erin had a lot of favorite series. He remembered that he needed to see how the mission was going. When he turned on his mission tracking computer, the screen turned blurry and his mission tracking computer exploded!

“Something must be going wrong!” thought Erin. He went to the main communications system to speak with Eramag, Sofia, Mateo and Aaron.

“Eramag,” Erin said. “I have lost communication with mission 5.0.2600261000.”

“Find communication with mission 5.0.2600261000 and increase to maximum capacity to see if there is any sign of this mission,” Eramag yelled at nearby communications officers.

“We’ll find ‘em,” said Sofia.

 

Chapter 8: Getting to Zanklazumos

Inside the doors were hundreds of troops of the 576th legion troopers.

“What the…?” said Finton.

“I didn’t know this!” said Trevor.

“Cool!” said Max. “I thought all of you guys perished!”

“Esto es assustador,” said Freddy.

“Welcome to the 576th legion troopers headquarters!” said Wamakazamotamotamotadomanota Zambagotamezinitabedagota.

“Let us show you around!” Wombazengasambataheenga Zambeegotosanjamotameta said.

Around them was a large room full of computers. There were three floors to it and probably more because of the elevator. Lots of different troopers were working around the computers. Different things kept on popping up on the screens that they couldn’t even read. The computers were flat touchscreen pieces of transparent glass that showed what you were working on in the center. There was a lot of talking. It sounded like they were on a completely different planet… but they knew they weren’t.

Freddy secretly reached into his pack and pulled out a canister. The canister read “Super Stinky Fart Gas.”

“Esto va a ser bueno,” whispered Freddy.

There was a hissing sound in the air.

“What’s that sound?” said Wamakazamotamotamotadomanota Zambagotamezinitabedagota.

“I don’t know, sir,” said a nearby trooper.

Suddenly, the air smelled bad. Freddy pulled a whoopie cushion out of his backpack. Wombazengasambataheenga Zambeegotosanjamotameta said, “Sorry for the stinky smell.”

Freddy placed the whoopie cushion under Wombazengasambataheenga Zambeegotosanjamotameta’s behind. When Wombazengasambataheenga Zambeegotosanjamotameta sat down a loud fart filled the air. Suddenly, another fresh coat of stinky air flew out. Wamakazamotamotamotadomanota Zambagotamezinitabedagota says “Wombazengasambataheenga Zambeegotosanjamotameta, how dare you fart in front of our visitors?”

Freddy couldn’t help but laugh.

“Freddy!” yelled Finton, Trevor, and Max.

“How dare you do that in front of our hosts! I am so ashamed of you!” yelled Finton.

Then they turn toward Wamakazamotamotamotadomanota Zambagotamezinitabedagota. “Sorry for this misunderstanding. My friend is a joker,” said Max.

“And he won’t do it again,” added Finton, clenching his teeth and staring so hard at Freddy that Freddy started to sweat.

“Quieren prender el aire acondicionado,” said Freddy.

After a bunch of sorrys, the ship started to move.

 

Chapter 9: Mass Invasion

The fleet contained fourteen starships. Each one had one hundred billion troops, small blockade runners, blockade ships, troop deployers, troop transports, crew transfer shuttles, supply carriers, and X-class escorts to make a billionaire die of the zeroes. The fleet was an exquisite combination of different capital ships, frigates, and flagships, and all of them were prepared for a mass invasion of the planet Zanklazumos, one of the outer rim planets of the Red Strikers’ force. It contained the recipe to heal the lives of dead troops. It was guarded, but with strategy you could break in. They were going to use the plan below.Copy of Battle of Revenge II- Traitors (by Diego Gonzalez)

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

“We’re going to have so much fun invading them!” said Max.

“Esto va a ser excelente!” said Freddy.

“What ship are we boarding?” asked Finton.

“You will be on board the troop transporter,” said Wamakazamotamotamotadomanota Zambagotamezinitabedagota. The troop transport descended. It was a steady, low descent. Freddy, Max, and Finton were aboard the troop deployer. There was very little light. The ambience was silent. Everyone was ready to deploy. The suspense was unbearable.

“Suddenly, the troop deployer blew up and everyone died. Even our main characters. Yes, I know you people say we can’t kill our main characters, but this story says otherwise. Yes, people, we killed them, get over it,” read the crew report aboard the troop deployer, named ALADA (which stands for Air Land Action Depositor A-transport).

“Ha, what story? And how could the main characters die?” asked Finton.

“Ja, eso fue lo mas chistoso, no se pueden morir los personajes principales,” said Freddy. The troop deployer safely landed on the planet and deployed the troopers. The air was smoky. Suddenly two Red Strike guards walked up.

“Identify yourselves!” they said. Suddenly, a crew transfer shuttle zoomed into its landing site. A figure dropped right in the middle of the two guards. A super sword extended from its hands and the two guards dropped dead beside him. Max and Finton drew out their blasters and aimed at the unknown figure. Suddenly, the blasters flew out of their hands and the ground erupted in front of them. Dirt flew and then it was all silent. The figure turned around and took off its hood.

“Seriously? You were trying to kill me?” said Trevor. “Not nice!” Trevor’s hand stretched out to reveal the electromagnet. He moved his hand up and Max and Finton instantly rose. He moved his hand to the side and back in the direction of Max and Finton. The blasters dropped into their hands.

“Sorry, Trevor,” said Finton.

“How could you scare us like that?” Max asked.

“It seemed like the right thing to do to save you lives,” said Trevor. They walked a long time til they reached the evil fortress. The door was bolted shut. Trevor placed some detonators and got out of there real quick. The door blew open.

“Aren’t you scared that they’ll find out we’re here?” asked Max.

“It’s not a stealth mission,” said Trevor. “They told us to get in there, get the recipe, and get out.”

“Yeah, but we shouldn’t warn them of our presence,” said Max.

“Of course we should! That way they’ll all come out and get their butts kicked,” said Trevor.

The massive capital ship landed, two turrets dropped out of the front. Trevor screamed at the camera that had also dropped down. “What! I thought you had enough arsenal to blow this planet to shreds!”

“That is understood,” replied the robotic voice. 4,000 other turrets came out of the bottom.

“Fire!” yelled Trevor. The turrets released so much laser fire that all three walls surrounding the base were smashed to splinters — or, more accurately, goo — because they were metal. And then, they walked in.

 

Chapter 10: Kill Them Now!

Wamakazamotamotamotadomanota Zambagotamezinitabedagota clicked the walkie-talkie.

“Prepare to destroy those crazy heroes!” said a creepy voice.

 

Chapter 11: Destroy Them

Back at the Red Strikers’ evil base, Lord Robbers was preparing the super weapon for transportation to Slankamos, and the massive weapon looked like a giant needle. It was seventy feet long, forty feet wide, and twenty feet tall. The big needle was being carried by a huge robotic arm into a spaceship that was going to carry it to Slankamos. Then, Lord Robber would look through the little screen, move his little joystick until the little mark was over the right place, and click the button that said FIRE. And then the giant laser beam would melt his enemies and he would defeat them once and for all.

Lord Robbers cackled, “HA HA HA!” before getting his little pad that fired it and testing the weapon by firing randomly into space. Lord Robbers clicked the big button that said fire. Suddenly, the hangar around them exploded in flames.

FIRE, FIRE, FIRE, the alarms blurted.

Lord Robbers cleaned up the mess and tried again, clicking the FIRE button a bunch of times. Water came down from the ceiling and a bunch of fire bots came out looking for the fire. He cleaned up the mess again and tried once more. He clicked the BIG red fire button and the giant green laser beam cut through the sky and KABLAMO — they heard an explosion.

“Was that supposed to happen, Commander?” Lord Robbers asked.

“No. It was not,” said the commander. Suddenly, a little screen popped out of the ceiling. There was a scared Quinn commander on it.

“OUR BRAND NEW SHIP WAS JUST BLOWN UP!” yelled the Quinn commander.

“Wait! Was it that one that I just wasted all my money on?” asked Lord Robbers.

“I think so!” said the Quinn commander.

“No! No! No! How could this happen?!?” said Lord Robbers. Lord Robbers accidentally stepped on the self destruct button and his brand new weapon blew up.

 

Chapter 12: Funny Does Not Mean Good

Every single computer screen on every Government-controlled planet showed a message:

“Haha! I am Lord Robbers and I will eat all your food by using this teleporting device! HAHAHA! I will also blow up your planet for the sheer fun of it! I will also achieve universal domination, and if you astrophysicists down there say that it is impossible because the universe goes on forever, and you quantum physicists thinking about the Schrodinger’s cat say that I have a 50 percent chance of world domination and a 50 percent chance of getting my butt kicked, let us change that principal to having 100 percent of world domination. Shaboom, suckers! So for the big shazam, I will blow up your planet!”

When the Government planet saw what was happening, they immediately reacted by calling forth an entire fleet and prepared to destroy Lord Robbers once and for all.

 

Chapter 13: The Preparation of the Super Weapon

Lord Robbers had decided to demonstrate his super weapon to the rest of the Red Striker leaders, by destroying a random civilian planet. He walked to his live feed media room in his ship, hovering above the main base (the cannon was actually on the planet below him and not on the ship.) He went to his console room and clicked the big red firing button (this was the right button). The green laser bolt flew toward the planet and detonated a whole entire city. The Red Strikers clapped and Lord Robbers said, “This laser is the emblem of our destructive name. We are called the Red Strikers. We strike and destroy! Clunk clunk clunk!” (He is a cyborg, so that is how he laughs.)

 

Chapter 14: The Deep Dark Hallways

Trevor, Max, Finton, and Freddy walked into the base. There was no one. It seemed abandoned. There was no light; the electricity was cut off. You couldn’t even see your hand in front of you. Trevor turned on his supersword. The sword extended from its hilt and started buzzing, glowing green in the darkness. They walked down the steel hallways, their footsteps resonating on the ground. There was a red light glowing in front of them in a circular chamber and a dark figure hovering over a panel. Max, Finton, and Freddy silently drew their guns. They were all holding Maf 2345’s (Maf is short for MFLP, which stands for Multi-Function Laser Pistol). The Maf had a tiny viewscreen in which you could select the good guy or the bad guy. If you accidentally pointed the gun at the good guy, it would lock the trigger and not allow the laser to pass. If you did, for some reason, sweep the gun over the bad guy and not pull the trigger, it would automatically do it for you. It also had a stun mode, a knockout mode, a kill mode, and a melt mode. They selected the dark figure in the chamber on their Mafs as a bad guy, and put it on knockout.

The man turned around and they finally realized who it was. It was Wamakazamotamotamotadomanota Zambagotamezinitabedagota.

“Oh, I see you have come to my greetings party. Or garage sale, since I’m selling proton grenades! MWAHAHA.”

“You’re actually evil?” Finton said. “I didn’t know that!”

“No, but I have just told the secret location of your base to Lord Robbers! HAHAHAHAHA! And now that I am done with you guys, I will kill you all with a single proton grenade while I escape, smooching my crazy girlfriend who is dressed in a sports bra, even though it is extremely cold in here and she will probably freeze to death… which is sad. Now you will play your part. Please stand right where you are while I go click the button to deploy my hovercraft.”

Meanwhile, Freddy had gotten distracted. He had gone to the basement and captured the healing potion, which was why they were there in the first place. He went upstairs again and appeared behind Trevor.

“Ya tengo la poción!” said Freddy.

Wamakazamotamotamotadomanota Zambagotamezinitabedagota said, “How did you get that? It was covered by the maximum security fence.”

“Creo que fumigue” said Freddy.

“You farted, Freddy?” said Finton.

“Whoa, I didn’t know your farts were so powerful,” said Max.

“Well, it doesn’t matter,” said Wamakazamotamotamotadomanota Zambagotamezinitabedagota. “You just stay where you are and let me click the button.”

“Hello, honey pie,” said Yamakazamotamotamotadomanota Xambagotamezinitabedagota, Wamakazamotamotamotadomanota Zambagotamezinitabedagota’s girlfriend.

“Ah, hello, sweet pea. I was just about to assassinate these evil people,” Wamakazamotamotamotadomanota Zambagotamezinitabedagota said.

“Aw, but that guy looks really cute!” said Yamakazamotamotamotadomanota Xambagotamezinitabedagota.

Wamakazamotamotamotadomanota Zambagotamezinitabedagota set the proton grenade to fifteen seconds. He then clicked the button for the escape craft. Fortunately, Max and Finton weren’t stupid. They still had the Mafs, so they pulled the trigger. Wamakazamotamotamotadomanota Zambagotamezinitabedagota and Yamakazamotamotamotadomanota Xambagotamezinitabedagota fell to the ground, stunned.

Trevor, Max, Freddy, and Finton ran to the hovercraft and clicked the escape button. The explosion of the proton grenade resonated behind them. Unfortunately, they had to get out of there quickly, and since Yamakazamotamotamotadomanota Xambagotamezinitabedagota, Wamakazamotamotamotadomanota Zambagotamezinitabedagota, and his assistant Wombazengasambataheenga Zambeegotosanjamotameta were traitors, and so was the whole fleet. So they decided to escape in the stealthy way, a way which I will not explain right now. They hijacked a capital ship, went out into space, proton torpedoed all the other ships, and hit the megadrive button.

 

Epilogue

Lulu and Lucy were sitting at home for a girls night in when Lord Robbers snuck in. He grabbed them both by the neck and smashed them into his craft. Both of them were knocked unconscious, and Lord Robbers put them into his craft. The iron bars lit up and you could see Lord Robbers creepy cyborg face.

“Clunk clunk clunk!”

The cyborg’s laugh faded into the cool night air.

 

I Can’t Remember the Last Time I Used a Tissue

I can’t remember my college address. I’m 365,422 years old, and I went to college when I was 19. It was 365,403 years ago when I started. It’s been a while now. I live in an apartment above the clouds, in HEAVEN. It’s weirder in Heaven now. I have to remember my college address because I want to go to a movie with my girlfriend, and I have to give my college address to buy the ticket.

I will tell you how I died: All I wanted was a tissue. I had a cold. I was walking to the market to get medicine and a box of tissues, when I saw my neighbor in her yard. She was watering a Venus fly trap. It leapt out, and its head grabbed mine and swallowed me whole.

In my grave last night, I saw a blood curdling, rabbit toothed, polka dotted tissue box boasting pictures of llamas with hats.

“Finally!!!” I shouted. I peeked in.

The tissue box was infested with pencils and beetles. The beetles had already eaten half of the pencils, and it smelled of musty old cheese. My heart split in two. There were no tissues. I died for the second time.     

My Home

What does it mean when you move from one house to another?

For me, it means sadness and a feeling that I will miss my home.

It makes me upset because

 

My home is where I belong,

It is the place where I live,

And where I store everything.

I love my house.

 

My room is there to greet me every morning when I wake up,

The light shining through the windows,

Everything just so…

It makes me feel cozy.

 

My kitchen has my knives and dishes and pots for cooking and eating,

I can cook for hours,

I hear the wind and I bake.

 

My dining room is where I eat,

spend time with my family,

And talk all day with them.

I can play and have fun at the table too.

 

My living room is there to meet me when I want to relax,

The couch is cozy,

The chairs are soft.

 

When it comes time to leave the house to find a new one,

I always feel sad to leave.

Camp River

I could feel the motorboat all throughout me. The vibrations circulated throughout my chest and arms. It was actually kind of uncomfortable, frankly, but the feelings were scaled down from the experience of the motor boat gliding along the black, shining water of the lake. Slight sprinkles of water tread from the back of the boat sprinkled on my back, causing me to get wet. They say you’re supposed to stay two motorboats behind the driver in front of you, but sadly the ocean has the same deal as the Los Angeles freeways-some people just stop in the middle of a ride.

“Move up! Move up!” I scream every time someone stops dead in the middle of the ride. I use the wheel, which really isn’t that sturdy or accurate, to turn left and go around. When I looked around to the driver, it was a teenager with chocolate brown skin whose legs had given up on him, leaving him dead in the middle of the water.

“Goddamn,” I said, and drove right in front of him and kept on going. The time: 5:00 PM. And it was already pitch black outside. But I had multiple things to do. Get back to the cabin, get dressed, get to dinner on time, which was at 6:30, and then try to make an impression on Sophie, the girl I liked at the camp who was going to be dancing at 7:45. But I put all those worries aside and focused on the cool breeze. The air slapping my cheeks as I drove the motorboat.

Josie, a good friend of mine who also goes to this camp, was sleeping right next to me. She was all about this activity. She first drove the boat before we switched in mid-ocean, but the peaceful driving and the serenity of the black sky made her fall right asleep. She didn’t notice how much water was on her, on her brown hair and freckled face. She was also drooling, which added to the stream. But I just let her sleep and kept on driving the motor boat. Looking back behind me, I couldn’t really tell what was back and was ahead. Everything was as black as a dark pearl.

It was that minute later when two unexpected things happened.. The clouds in the sky, black but puffy and thick like cream for Belgian waffles at breakfast, started to rain. I just imagined water flowing from the cream on those waffles as the water poured onto my hair and Josie’s cheek. Thankfully, Josie and I brought hooded sweatshirts on the hike here. The hike to the boat station was intense, and painful. We were both barefoot and the ground was covered in rocks, so it was very painful to walk. And when we got to the station, the wind started to pick up, so we had these sweatshirts. So, I lifted my back off the seat and raised the hood above my head and started to feel splotches of rain clash with the fabric.

Then, I lifted Josie’s back off the seat and lifted the hood over her head. She woke up and screamed, which completely startled me.

“What the hell’s going on?” she asked, and her head turned towards me. “Alex?” Oh, that’s my name.

“I’m just lifting your hood over your head,” I said. “It just started raining. Chill out.” The boat kept gliding along until we heard the boat bump against a sunken buoy in the water.

“Aaah!” Josie exclaimed, but I tried to stay as calm as possible, but I still wondered what the hell just happened.

“Calm down.” I said. But then the boats ahead of us started to speed up, so I put more gas in the tank and the levels on the tiny speedometer started to increase and kept increasing until I was going maximum speed. I didn’t pick up that the boats ahead had turned left, so when I saw the buoy, I actually became a bit scared that we were going to crash into the object and the steel chains holding it across and have a part of the boat damaged. So, I made a sharp left and the boat tipped. None of us were prepared for it. The motor stopped and we both fell into the black, cold water. The taste of the water was disgusting in my mouth and I could feel the koi fish that swam beneath me glide gently against my stomach, but I made my way up into the water and Josie did as well.

“Are you okay?” I asked, still bewildered.

“I’m fine,” she replied. “It just scares the you-know-what out of me.” I couldn’t help but agree. With all our strength, we pushed the boat back up on the surface and made sure the motor was running. Thankfully, no water got in the sensitive parts. We tried activating the flashlight so we could make an effort of trying to find out where we were on the lake. Dammit, out of batteries. And we left our flashlights, which were pretty good, back at the boat station. There was nothing left we could do, so we figured we just drive the boat forward without any way of knowing if we were supposed to go that way, or turn back and head to the station, which seemed impossible because of the blackness. So, we progressed. When we started, the motorboat was a bit bumpy when trying to spew out the gasoline, which worried me every single time. Thankfully, the engine got all the water out and we were back on the water again. Even though I couldn’t see behind me, I kept on looking back if there were any signs of light.

It was 5:30 at this point and my body was just ready to give up and leave me and Josie stranded in the middle of a lake for the night. We had been driving the boat for an hour and it only took us half the time to get lost on a wrong turn. I mean, we could manage to drink some of the lake’s water, even though it was probably infested with marine feces, cuddle up with each other, and use our hooded sweatshirts for warmth. We could wait until the morning when there was light and have a better chance of navigating where we were and how to get back. The thing is, we didn’t have a compass, or even a phone’s compass for God’s sake, and if we slept overnight, the motorboat might float and we would end up in an entirely different location.

But at that very moment, the boat bumped over another sunken buoy, startling me, which seriously had the slimmest chances of happening again. I was afraid we were going to tip over and Josie, who had been trying to stay as calm as possible, let out a small shriek. I was even worried that we were going to tip over again. I pulled to an abrupt stop, just trying to process what had just happened. Then I heard a sound.

A loud scream seeped into my ear, and I thought the voice was screaming hey.

I shuffle Josie. “Did you hear that?” I ask. “Is it them?”

“Let’s find out.” Josie said. So, I put all the gas on the motorboat until it was speeding across the water. And it was them. When we got there, there was a small group of motorboats in a circle. We stopped just near them.

“Camp River?” I asked.

“Camp River,” someone said, but it was too dark to recognize them by face. “One of the kids here went a bit too fast, fast enough that you two were blown off track. And, on top of that, it was pitch black. Give me your names so I know who you are.”

“Alex and Josie.” I confirmed.

“Aaah, it’s Raymond,” he said. The instructor. “You wanna start heading back.”

“Yeah, but I got somewhere to be, so can we go as fast and as spread out as we need?”

“Sure thing,” Raymond said.

“By the way, do you have four nine-volt batteries on you?”

“Why?”

“Our boat’s flashlight rain out of power, and that was the one thing we needed to try and find our way back to you guys.”

“Sure.” Raymond took out a little bag he had kept stored near the gas pedal and pulled out four backup batteries. We pulled our boat a bit closer to him and he opened up the flashlight compartment, which was located in the front of the boat, and replaced the batteries with the new ones. The flashlight worked, and Raymond closed the compartment tight. So, I left the flashlight on and we were off once again into the black of night.

 

 * * *

 

To get to the start of the hike which leads to the motorboat station, you have to get through a forest. This forest takes one hour to walk through and 25 minutes to a half-hour by running. So after I leave Josie, I take off at maximum speed through the forest, trying to avoid as many rocks and bumps as I can, even though it is still pitch black. So, I use my flashlight. I just can’t sacrifice being late to this dinner party and not making an impression while dancing with Sophie.

I don’t care about bumps. Getting up after getting hurt and continuing along is a piece of my psyche. So, after the first two trips, I still keep running, even with the cuts, and start to see faint light coming from a distance, but I still am perplexed that I am not anywhere near this light. That doesn’t mean my feet have stopped, though. Pacing from left to right at an incredible but almost impossible tempo for an ectomorph. Trying to avoid any obstacles nature gives. Rocks and whatnot. This forest, unfortunately, has tons of narrow turns up every way, and with only a teensy bit of clear vision, it is a mind game getting through the trail.

The running becomes painful on my feet after twenty minutes. Josie is screaming now, at me, even though she is probably a mile behind me, and I can’t understand what’s she saying. But I assume she’s lost.

Girls’ camp was a ways away from boys’ camp. The directors didn’t want any hanky-panky. But soon, about after five minutes, I see that my watch says the horrific time of 6:15. Trees leaves sway from left to right in synchrony but frantically. My flashlight is dimming, and my vision is scaled down at night by the need of prescription glasses, which don’t really work at night, but I don’t give a damn. I don’t seem to trip over as many rocks because the rocks that are falling are little pebbles and are tumbling towards me. I don’t care. The wind blows in my face and blows my hair backwards, and my breathing increases.

I’m stressed but brisk, though my arms are going to give out. I feel the tension all throughout. I’m racing and pacing and my mind is going out of the place. Like an Ozzy Osbourne song. I instantly feel like I’m going to lose consciousness, like my mind is going to collapse all over the place and I’m going to fall out dead. Dead. With no sign of rescue for months. That can’t happen, but I’m going completely insane!

 

* * *

 

But I soon exclaim,“Thank God!” because my feet land on the familiar surface of the rocky path the boy cabins are located on. And when I find my cabin, I use the fifteen minutes to quickly take a hot shower and get dressed into nicer clothes. My clothes are wet, dirty, and scrappy. It’s still raining, and my shoes got covered in mud on the run in the forest. And this time around, since there are tons of boys in the cabin, I don’t feel weird being naked around them like I usually do, because I’m that guy.

Their questions protrude my brain and I’m probably not conscious enough to answer them. They’re asking where I’ve been, and what happened? But I don’t have time to answer their questions. In a snap, my dirty clothes are thrown in my over-stuffed dirty laundry bag. And I’m in a black T-shirt with a padded leather jacket and black jeans, and running the same running shoes I was wearing before, no matter the dirtiness. And then it’s all me.

 

  * * *

 

I’m famished from all the previous events, and it’s nice to be in the environment of the crowded tables, water jugs, and overhead music, and the lighting is just the icing on the cake. I’m still flabbergasted that I made it here on time. My watch is 6:32 PM, so I got swiftly on time. It was just a matter of time before the future events of my evening were determined just by probability. I know Sophie’s the girl of my dreams, and I just can’t stand not to be with her, and this is basically the only opportunity. She’s smart, she’s intelligent, she looks hella good, and she loves writing. I need to love somebody that has the same interests and career I mean, if there was any alternative option to spending time with her, it would have to be doing girly activities with the rest of her friends. But she wouldn’t pay any attention to me –– I would just be a third wheel. She’s going to be dancing… I’m going to be dancing. She’s going to be dancing. It would make sense that we dance together. I’ve met her before, and we’re friends. I’ve seen her signals before.

For dinner there are calzones, an option of either beef and cheese or just cheese. I get two, one of both option, and I’m so filled I can’t have dessert, which is the camp’s signature apple pie. I’m digging into my food like a barbarian, so hungry, until I feel a forceful pull on the back of my shirt. I turn around to see Josie, scraped up and arms crossed.

“What’s up?” I ask. “What happened?”

“You’re just really an asshole, Alex,” she said. “I was screaming your name a mile back in that forest. A tick bit me and left a sting that left me in agony. Oh, the human ––”

“You don’t need to be overdramatic,” I reply. “And your scream sounded distorted from where I was. How could I tell? I was running non-stop with nothing else in my mind deserving attention!”

“You hear my voice, you run to help me. Isn’t every guy supposed to do that with every chick?”

“If every guy was supposed to do that with every chick, you’d have a flock of guys around you. Maybe like two billion.” I said.

“You’re such a class act jerk,” Josie said. “Screw you.” And she stomped off into the depths of the dining hall. But I didn’t feel ashamed of myself. She wasn’t really my friend, anyway. Maybe she was my “friend.” Should I feel ashamed? I go back to eating dinner until one of the other boys, Lukas, taps my shoulder.

“What happened back there?” he asked, puzzled.

“Nothing you need to be involved with,” I said. “Just a situation with a friend of mine.”

“A girl?” he asks.

“Yeah. So?” I sassily reply.

“Treating girls like crap won’t get you anywhere here.” he said. Why should I listen to Lukas though? Sure, this isn’t his first year here, but what would he know about my particular situation?

“You’re right, but what does it matter here?” I ask. “This is summer camp, not behavioral school.”

“Well, why won’t you treat people with respect?” he asked. “You’re kind of being a jerk… you don’t want to respect people.”

“Who are you to call me a jerk?” I ask, angrily. “Shut up!” And he turns away and continues to eat, and when I turn to my right to see him, I can see some small tears swelling inside his eyes. He is probably known for being the most sensitive in the bunch, anyway. He has a tendency to get really emotional. What a wimp.

 

  * * *

At 7:30, the dining hall was dramatically different than what it was earlier. A silver, glittery disco ball was hanging from the middle of the ceiling, and there were tons of tables spread all across the room. There was another table with food and soda and a big dance floor in the smack center. In fact, there were already even people on it! And to the corner was a DJ spinning some music on an old-school turn-table, which was pretty cool, I have to admit. The music got louder and more people started to crowd onto the dance floor. There were so many people, in fact, mostly nobody could find their way around.

Luckily, I could see Sophie, in a pink dress, alone in the corner of the dance floor, dancing by herself. Now was the perfect opportunity. I dropped everything and walk to her, weaving in and out of the crowd. I finally made my way over to her. My heart started rapidly thumping, and sweat starts to pump. When I reached her, I held out my hand.

“Would you like to dance?” I said, not sure if I would regret it.

“No” she said, her face turning angry and disappointed, which definitely caused my heart to drop and made me regret the effort I put into running through the forest.

“But why?” I asked, with expectation for a good reason.

“My best friend told me that you weren’t being that nice,” she said, her face angry. “That’s not acceptable. Not in a million years I would dance with you.”

“Who is your friend?”

“Josie.” Shit.

“Oh…” I said, then when she turned her head, I turned off and ran, weaving in and out of the crowd, but then made my way out of the dining hall. When I was far in a corner behind the hall, where nobody could see me, and started to cry. Crying in disbelief, regret, and overall sadness. Why did this happen? Was it me? Why am I asking, of course it was. Girls don’t want to hang out with jerks. It’s all logic. It turns out that my actions really do affect the outcomes of situations. What have I done?

 

 * * *

Later that cold night, I hear a few footsteps and turn to see a kid of no recognition to me but older than me, walking towards me. The cold air brushes against my face. He told me that he had been informed of the situation, but what he said to me that night changed the rest of my life and the rest of the decisions I would make for the rest of my session. “Disrespect does not find you well at Camp River.”

Kitty Ranchero’s Adventures

Part 1

There lived a kitten named Kitty Ranchero. He had gray fur, black stripes, and dark gray spots on his belly. He lived in a duplex near a rain forest with a nice man and woman. They didn’t have any children, but they did have a dog named Emma and another kitten named Perry, who was Kitty Ranchero’s sister.

 

Part 2

He wanted to find his sister, Perry. He wanted to find her because she ran away. She ran away because a guy named Todd saw Perry outside, thought she was a stray cat, and tried to capture and keep her as a pet.

There was a forest by their house so he thought she would run that way. He started to sneak out of his house and find Perry. When he walked into the forest, he realized that it was a rain forest. As soon as he got there, he realized that he forgot to pack up some stuff. So he ran back and packed up some green gum, tooth paste, some bug spray, and some magazines just in case.

When he finally got back to the rain forest, he started his search for Perry. It was cold and windy in the rain forest.

Part 3

The next day he started looking for Perry. Shortly into his journey — ROAR! Tigers jumped out from behind a bunch of bushes and wouldn’t let Kitty Ranchero go through. He was terrified but managed to pull green gum out of his backpack.

“This green gum is delicious. Would you like a piece?”

While the tigers were chewing Kitty Ranchero ran around them as fast as he could go. When he was safe he stopped to catch his breath at a river. But then he remembered that he hated water, and he couldn’t swim. He saw lily pads and walked across them.

He started to get very concerned about his sister. He was worried that she was alone and scared in the cold. He worried that she didn’t have any food or someplace warm and dry to sleep. It was later and darker. So he curled up in a pile of leaves under a plum tree. He dreamed of finding Perry, and going back home, and living happily ever after. But then he woke up and realized that he was still in the rain forest. He felt sad and cried for a while.

But then he heard a monkey in the distance. He heard the monkey say, “Hello. Are you lost?”

“I’m trying to find my sister, Perry. Have you seen her?” Kitty Ranchero asked.

“Wait. I think I saw a kitty. Is she light grey with blue eyes?”

Kitty Ranchero got excited and said, “You saw her? Can you please take me to her?”

“Okay. Climb up this tree and I’ll take you right to her.”

“But I can’t climb up trees,” he said sadly. “I’m a kitten.”

“How about you stay down there, and I’ll jump from tree to tree, and you can follow me from the ground.”

“Okay. Sounds good,” Kitty replied.

Kitty Ranchero started to follow the monkey through the rain forest. The monkey led him to a pond.

“Wait,” said the monkey. “I thought I saw Perry. Where is she?”

Kitty Ranchero felt angry and said, “Thanks for nothing! I’m just gonna go find Perry myself.”

“Okay,” the monkey said. “I like your snaggletooth.”

“Thank you. Sorry I got frustrated. I know you were just trying to help but I’m so worried about my sister. How about both of us keep trying to find her.”

“Okay. Let’s go.”

After a long day of searching they finally went to sleep on top of a tree. Unfortunately, there were mosquitoes everywhere and they couldn’t sleep. Kitty Ranchero asked the mosquitoes, “Hey, you guys want a bath?”

And the mosquitoes replied, “Sure! We’re pretty stinky!”

“Let’s climb down the tree and I’ll give you a bath in the pond.”

Once they get to the pond Kitty Ranchero pulled the bug spray from his backpack, aimed it at the mosquitoes and said, “You wanna a piece of this?”

And then he sprayed them in the face. The mosquitoes immediately started coughing and they flew away.

“Let’s never come back here again!” the mosquito leader said. 

Then, Kitty Ranchero climbed back up the tree.

“That was a great idea!” the monkey said. “Where’d you get that bug spray?”

“My teacher gave it to me at Kitty-garden,” said Kitty Ranchero.             

“Cool,’’ replied the monkey. Then, they both fell asleep on top of the tree.

The next morning they continued looking for Perry. Then they saw a dark and scary house in the middle of the jungle.

“I see Perry,” said Kitty Ranchero excitedly. There were vines and ripped curtains. Kitty Ranchero saw Perry in a cage with people guarding her.

“Wow, what’s going on?” said the monkey. Then a guy started chasing Kitty Ranchero and the monkey away. While they were running, Kitty Ranchero said, “By the way, I didn’t catch your name.”

“My name is Tails,’’ replied the monkey.

“I like that name,” said Kitty Ranchero. The guy, who had black ripped clothes, stopped chasing them because he was tired.

The people who were guarding Perry took her into the scary house. Before the door closed Kitty Ranchero and Tails ran inside quickly. When he got inside they saw that it was dark. They could barely see a thing. But then they saw a shadow of a man holding a lantern so they hid behind a box that said, “OPEN.” As the man passed by the box he smelled Tails and he almost got close to finding them but luckily, they ran through the hallway where the man came from. In the hallway they saw an open door leading into a room. And to their shock, Perry was locked in a cage right inside the room!

Kitty Ranchero’s eyes popped wide open.

“This is easy. Let’s just walk inside,” Tails said.

“But we don’t have the key to unlock the cage,” Kitty Ranchero said, “And there might be booby-traps!”

“Just come on, Kitty Ranchero.”

As they walked in the room, Kitty Ranchero stepped on a button on the floor and a cage with a gorilla in it dropped down from the ceiling and landed right in front of Kitty Ranchero. He screamed like a little girl.

“Whoa, whoa, whoa. What was that?”

“That was me,” Kitty Ranchero said, embarrassed. But then he remembered that gorillas loved magazines. So he took a magazine from his backpack and handed it to the gorilla through the bars.

“Here. You will love this magazine about a girl gorilla that you might want to go out on a date with.”

“Thanks!” the gorilla replied.

While they were talking, Tails found the key to Perry’s cage in a little box that was sitting on a table. Kitty Ranchero was so happy. Tails opened the cage and then Kitty Ranchero hugged Perry. But then Kitty Ranchero realized… it was a fake Perry! It was a robot!

Fake-Perry said, “Intruder!”

Kitty Ranchero and Tails ran out screaming like women. They were sad when they left, but then, one of the guards saw them. He said, “What are you doing in here?”

They ran out of the scary house. Outside they saw an evil king, who looked really ugly with a weird, small, stinky palm tree growing on his head. He was hovering over Perry, who laid in the grass. The evil king had big muscles and he was holding a knife to Perry’s throat.

Kitty Ranchero saw this and ran over to the evil king. He slapped his butt! The evil king turned around and got really mad.

Kitty Ranchero said, “Who are you looking at?”

“Did you spank my butt?” the evil king said. He was about to cut Kitty Ranchero with the knife, but Kitty Ranchero was so fast, he grabbed Perry and ran away with her.

Tails yelled behind them, “Hey! Wait up!”

They hid behind a tree and Kitty Ranchero said, “Are you okay, Perry?”

Perry started laughing and said, “I can’t believe you didn’t find me!”

Kitty Ranchero was confused. “How could we have found you?” he said. “You were so far away!”

Perry said, “That’s not a king, and those are not guards! Those are just friends, and they’re pulling a prank on you.” She told Kitty Ranchero that they set up all those obstacles themselves.

Kitty Ranchero was so surprised. “What?” he said. “I came all this way for nothing?”

“What’s going on?” Tails said.

“Never mind,” Kitty Ranchero said.

Tails said, “I’m getting out of here.”

Kitty Ranchero and Perry walked back home laughing. Kitty Ranchero felt both mad and happy at the same time.

When they got home, their master asked, “Where were you, dude?”

Kitty Ranchero cocked his head to the side. Emma, the dog, started to laugh and said, “I know all about this.” And the whole family, including the owners, posed for a picture.

Diary of a Rebel

Chapter One

New Year’s Day

January 1st, 2016

 

Dear diary,

I’m pooped. Pooped, as in tired. Very tired. Last night, I got to stay up until 12:00, (because last night was New Year’s Eve), in Times Square, watching the ball drop. I’m Nola H. Anderson, citizen of Manhattan, New York. The troublemaker of the family. I’m twelve going on thirteen. I have a twin sister. An honest truth about her is that even though I was born after her, she got a bigger name: Grace Isabella Bella Hinder Anderson. She also has sweeping blond hair, perfect teeth, and the softest baby blue eyes I have ever seen. Someone once called her the class model. Me, no way. I have braces, frizzy brown hair, and murky green colored eyes. Someone in third grade called me an elephant mixed with a chicken.

In life, all I want is for people to treat me equally. That will be hard because I’m in middle school, specifically seventh grade. And I’m a trouble maker. Well, my best friends are basically the only friends I have at Homer Middle School: the one and only Ella, a girl I met in the second grade, Kone, a dude on my block, and Mia, my mom’s best friend’s daughter. Those guys stick by my side, although I’m sort of worried about our relationship. Maybe it’s just because we’re getting older, and people change. I’m going camping with them tomorrow night in a suburb of New York. I feel like I’ve known them forever, although it’s only been eight years. Gotta go, I have to pack. Wait, where are my boots?!

 

Chapter Two

The annual camping trip

January 2nd, 2016

 

Dear awesome diary,

 

I’m so excited! Ella, Kone, Mia, Ella’s parents, and I will be at the campgrounds in fifteen minutes! I have out my camera, my card deck, and my travel puzzles to use on the ride there. I can’t believe that today is only the second day of 2016! I’m on winter break, so it makes sense. Ella is making earrings in the way back of the Jeep, Mia and Kone are giving each other massages, and I’m playing solitaire in the way back. My sister had to go to this Girl Scout Camp thingy (with all of her besties) that is supposedly a lot of fun. I’m in Girl Scouts too, but I didn’t want to go. I had plans. Take that, Girl Scout Camp! Anyway, the ride to the campgrounds is two hours, so we spent a third of the time playing “Create a Sentence,” a third of it looking out of the windows and telling jokes, and a third of the time doing what we’re doing now. We are already having tons of fun, and we’re not even there yet!

I had this really weird dream last night that really worried me. It was of a girl who got stuck in a convenience store. It scared me. A figure had just appeared when Mom woke me up. I hope that dream didn’t mean anything.

 

Dear diary,

We get to the campground at 5:00. We unload all of the bags from the trunk. It’s beautiful here! There are grassy hills (perfect for rolling on), a lake, and snow everywhere! There is even a mini stove on the rocky ground where we’ll probably cook!

We pop open our big fold out tents (woof, it’s hard), and I have to bunk with Mia. Ella is bunking with her mom, and Kone is bunking with Ella’s dad. I love all the bugs here (they’re fun to play with), except for the mosquitos. I’m pretty sure I have sweet blood. Every time I go camping, or try to go camping, I get mosquito bites all over my body.

At night, we watch a basketball game. I sit next to Mia and she huddles under the blanket that we share. The Golden State Warriors crush the Houston Rockets. I wear my Stephen Curry jersey and sparkly black leggings. I don’t really care who wins, but I’m cheering for them because I’ve always wanted to tour California. Also, my family cheers for the Rockets, majorly, but I don’t want to be teased if I wear my jersey. Anyway, the game is fantabulous. Everyone is cheering for the Golden State Warriors, because one of the players on the team is Mia’s uncle. The game ends with a whopping score of 121 to 94. We all screamed and yelled when the Warriors won, but I secretly feel weird because my parents will think that I would be cheering for the other team.

We have a glow stick party in the dark while listening to music. We listen to dancing and neon stripes were flying around the grounds, people thinking that we were crazy, but do we care? NO. We fall fast asleep at ten o’clock, after brushing our teeth and putting on our pajamas, and a good pillow fight. My pillow bursts open and the feathers flew everywhere. They cover Ella’s parents, and I have to admit, it is funny. Thank goodness I have an extra pillow.

 

Chapter Three

The next day

January 3rd, 2016

 

Patient diary,

 

I’m tired! This morning, I wake up at 11:00. (I checked my watch.) Mia wakes me up by splashing freezing cold lake water on my face. Rude!

Anyway, the others are already making breakfast, which is pancakes, and they all say “Good morning, konnichiwa,” and Ella calls me bedhead.

We eat breakfast, play lots of board games, swing in the hammock that the McDonald’s has hung up in between two trees, and braided lots of hair. I’m a hair fanatic, so I end up braiding all the hair. As for Kone and Mr. McDonald, they play Uno. Kone wins. After that, we listen to Gwen Stefani and Bruno Mars.

My iPhone rings. Doo-woop! Doo-woop! I pick the phone up and looked at the number: (323) 921-1008. My sister! Doesn’t she know I’m camping?!! I pick it up anyway.

“Hello?” I ask. “I’m camping.”

“I know … ” she says. “I was just wondering how’re you doing. Cut me some slack. At camp, we have been doing crafts. I slept in ‘till 6 a.m. What time did you wake up?”

“Eleven. Oh. We’re making friendship bracelets. Gotta go. Bye.”

“Bye, oh, by the way, a girl secretly said she doesn’t like you. Toodle-oo,” she says, and hangs up disappointedly.

I frown and roll my eyes. I run to the friendship bracelet circle. Mia has saved me a spot behind her. As I’m making my bracelet, I totally forgot that I was still doing half of the stitches wrong. My design is the Chinese staircase, which is purple and blue, and the one Ella is making me a “friendship” special, which was the crow formation, which looks like a V, in red, white, and blue.

I end up getting pushed in the deep end of the lake after lunch. SO cold. I’m even shivering as I write this. Here’s how it happened, we were eating ham and cheese sandwiches, Kool Aid, and popsicles. The afternoon sun was shining on our sunburnt faces as we laughed and talked. I had mentioned that I was really warm, and that the Kool Aid was refreshing. That’s when Ella got the idea. Mia, Ella, and Kone started whispering. Then they laughed. When everyone finished lunch, they lured me to the deep end of the lake. I didn’t know what I was in for. Mia told me a fascinating story about a fish, I got distracted, and they pushed me in. When the cold water hit my face, I stopped daydreaming and screamed. I fell into the water and rushed back up for air. How could they do this to me?! I was so angry I felt like I could rip my head off. My clothes were soggy. I decided to get them back.

That night, at one in the morning, I ruffle through my duffle bag to get whipped cream, syrup, and crushed up toilet paper. (You never know what is in my bag.) I sneak up to Mia and swirl the whipped cream on her face as she slept, hoping that she doesn’t notice. I creep into Ella’s tent and secure a bucket of syrup to the zipper on the door of Ella’s tent. Then, stealthily, I tiptoe into Kone’s tent. He is fast asleep. I sprinkle the toilet paper into the mobile heater and aim the heater toward Kone’s face. I unzip the tent and fly back to my own tent, lay down, and fall straight asleep. I fall asleep knowing that the kids are the first people to get up, and to do the morning routines that my pranks were set up for. Told you I was a troublemaker.

 

Chapter Four

The day when leaving the campgrounds

January 4th, 2016

 

Dear delightful diary,

 

I wake up at 6:00 (not normal for me), and I sit outside of the tents, on the benches next to the unlit fire. Mia is the first to come out of her tent, face splattered in whipped cream. She is cursing under her breath so that I won’t hear her. She is mad, but I don’t care. She knew she would get it anyway. Then Kone comes. His bedhead hair is in knots, with teeny-tiny bits of toilet paper in his hair. He is as mad as he will get, arms crossed and scowling at me. In his ducky pajamas. I laugh. Hysterically. Ella comes out, drenched in syrup, hair soaking and clothes stuck to her sticky body. Ella’s hair is dark, dark, brown, and it has little glittering spots on the tips. Her tiny bunny slippers have been syruped, and her stuffed bear, is mounted on her jutted-out hip, frowning.

“We get it, you got us back. I’m sorry. We didn’t mean to poke fun at you,” Kone said.

All of them frown. They go to the campground’s walk-in closet to get their stuff. Then they go to the restrooms to change. They all come out fresh and new. Ella appears. Ella’s beady brown eyes glitter in the morning sunlight like dew on a freshly mowed field. I am flipping through a Teen 13 magazine while waiting for the people to finish. When Kone comes out, his mohawk is perfectly gelled in place as is if the wave of his hair had never parted. When Mia comes out, she looks so pretty. She has a white dress with pink little flowers and sparkling show-toe sandals. She has on her little silver earring studs and a silver chain that has her initials on it.

We eat breakfast next to the lake, promising not to push each other in. We laugh like normal, not planning to gang up on each other any more. Then the McDonalds get up, tired and stretching from their sleep. They have sleep in their eyes, and are yawning like crazy. I think they don’t have an alarm clock. We check the time, and start to pack.

I load my light, purple duffle bag into the van. I climb into the way back of the blue van, buckle my seatbelt, and flopped back onto my blue pillow that I fluffed up seconds before. I start to doze off when Ella and Mia get into the car. They are talking loudly, but I can barely hear what they were saying. I open my eyes and yawned. That’s when they notice that I am trying to sleep. They quiet down, and I fall right back asleep. Until the motor starts. But after that, I am asleep for the rest of the ride.

When we get home, it’s starting to get dark out. It is dim and gloomy. I am the first to get dropped off. I look at my green one-story house, and to my bedroom window. It is shaded off with my pink curtains. Ella is walking me down my stone path and to my red front door. My mom opens the door and, with her curly brown hair on my shoulders, hugged me with all of her might. I gently pushed her off of me and she grabbed my bags.

I step into my house, in front of the cushioned couch and as soon as I peer into the kitchen, my dad yells, “Nola?!”

My sister hears this and she steps out of her neat, clean, room, and screams the same thing. She runs into my arms like I’m her long-lost twin. But only part of that is true. The twin part. Not the long-lost part. But she still runs into my arms. I push her off too, because she was just mean to me over the phone. I jog into my room hoping not to get hugged by my little brother, but it was hopeless.

He runs out of his room, and he screamed in his four-year-old high-pitched voice, “Nooolllaaa.”

He jumps on my back like he always does, because, in his own mind, he is a monster. I walk into my room and hold my pillow tight. I flop down on my twin-sized bed.

“Freedom. Please. Help me. I just need a little freedom for a day. I know I have already got a lot of it, but that’s not the same. Just a little, by myself. In the big world.”

My sister peeks her head into my room. “Whaddya say?”

“Nothing. Go away.”

“Okay. Sorry.”

She nods and went out. She shuts my door and goes out. I look at my pendant collection and cry. For no stupid reason. I look at the photos of me and her and cry some more. I fall asleep without dinner. I know right then that something creepy is going on.

 

Chapter Five

The convenience store

January 5th, 2016

 

Dear diary,

 

I wake up with a weird feeling in my stomach. It feels something like a stomachache. I eat breakfast slowly. Oatmeal and orange juice. My father is reading the newspaper when he tells me to go to a stupid mall for a few hours to pick out whatever I want. Weird. He gives me some money and off I go. The mall is right down the street from our house, so I take the sidewalks. 

I get to the big mall with its enormous glass doors and its brick building. When I get there I close my eyes and pray that I won’t go crazy. But I do. I go into absolutely every store in the mall until I come up with a list of what I want to buy. And I buy all of the stuff on the list. After I spent hours in there, and when I have a little money left, I come across an old convenience store that is still in shape.

I don’t hear the warning over the loudspeaker that said, “Two minutes till closing. Two minutes till closing.”

I step into the old convenience store and the shopkeeper is nowhere to be found. He probably went to the restroom or is on break. The walls of the store are brick, like in many movies. On the walls there are pictures of comics. All of the stuff from movies. The store is filled with costumes and fantasy outfits that glamour queens like my sister would flip over.

I run through the aisles of costumes, slowly ruffling them. There are hats on top of the costumes, and stilettos, vans, converse, and different types of shoes, of all colors, shapes and sizes are piled under each costume neatly.

Nor do I hear the announcement that says “Closing. We are now closing.”

Busy going through the silver tiaras. Quiet footsteps tiptoe into the room. The shopkeeper’s quiet ding-a-ling of his keys was too quiet for me to hear, but I hear a faint ring. His keys are sticking out of his pocket, I can see it out of the corner of my eye. The footsteps stop and I hear a little slam of a metal door and a turning of keys in a lock.

Five minutes later I jump up from daydreaming and walk out to the front of the tiled shop. I try to open the door, but they look like they are super-glued together! But they aren’t. They were locked! I bang with all of my might but I can’t get out. I bang for five minutes and by the end my hands are throbbing and my ears are ringing. I walk into an aisle and sink down to the hard, concrete floor. I guess I am in here for now. I look at the friendship bracelet Ella made me and sigh. My friends pop into my head and I close my eyes. I think about the fun camping trip we had (other than the pranking part), and I smile.

“Hello.” A voice was heard that sounded like Ella’s. “I suppose you need help.”

I turn around and stare. There is a masked person in black staring at me. I know that Ella can scheme, but I can’t believe that this is happening. She can prank and everything. Planning too. She tricked me.

The Facts I Learned About Jupiter

Hi! My name is Malia de Pario. I am twelve years old. I have blue eyes and strawberry blond hair because I used to dye my hair, because I thought it was ugly. But it was washed off, and I got tired of dying my hair. A long time ago I thought my hair was ugly, so I dyed it red. One day I went to the beach and while I was surfing I fell in the water and the dye washed out. That is why it is strawberry blond, and not red.

I have a Saturn report I need to accomplish before I go to my gymnastic competition in fifty-five minutes, so I guess I should get to it. I have been doing gymnastics since age three. I love it! It makes me feel all grown up. I am so nervous because anything can go wrong, any second of the competition. I look up facts about Saturn and things popped up about Jupiter! I feel so annoyed and irritated! Anyways, I’m so tired and dizzy (because my practices for gymnastics are so hard) but I decide to read one link anyway, and this is what it says:

Calling All Kids! Here Are Some Facts About Jupiter You Need To Read!

Jupiter is the biggest planet in the Milky Way. Jupiter is the fifth planet from the sun. Jupiter was named after the king of the Roman gods.

 I read on and it’s the best nonfiction story I have ever read. I love it because it is so interesting! And it relates to my life so much because I am a nerd (I love school). Suddenly my mom calls and says I have a gymnastic competition in a few minutes, so we have to go in one minute. I feel so irritated and mad with myself! Argh!  I totally forgot about my Saturn report for school! Help me! OMG!

Trent Pearson: The Lightning Man

“Wake up!” my ten-year-old brother, Sean, squawked as he banged two pans together manically.

You see, my brother can be pretty freakishly annoying. Like when he wakes me up at five o’clock in the morning. My name is Trent Pearson, and I am twelve years old. I want to scream my head off and jump off a building for living in the same room as my brother. Everyday he does the same thing: drive me crazy. Every time he has a nightmare, he gets up off his bed screaming and crying and then he crawls onto my stomach, creaming me.

Well, he’s not too bad – at least he keeps me company when we both get in the school’s idiotic detention.

I looked out the window; it was a very cold day, and a lot darker than usual. But I just assumed it was normal for a New York day. Then I remembered something: the first day of school was today! I sighed and almost walked out the door.

Until a fat bloated man stood in front of me.

“Guys, are you kidding me?” yelled my dad, who was still in his boxers with, thankfully, a shirt on. “Waking me up at four o’clock! You know I need to at least sleep until two o’clock in the afterno-”

He tumbled to the floor, snoring

That was another reason I hate my life. My dad literally hollered at me every day. In fact, he screamed at me so much I’m actually kind of used to it. My mom then came in the room with her hair all messed up and all over her face.

She mumbled, “Go play something for 2 hours, and then get ready for school. When you two get home from school, I’ll make you your favorite cupcakes.”

She fell onto Sean’s bed. My mom had always been my favorite. She was the nicest mom anyone could have. I never realized, but Sean had been silent the whole time – he must’ve been scared of dad. He was hugging (more like squeezing) one of my pillows so tightly that I actually felt bad for it.

***

Two hours passed by and I have done absolutely nothing. I had actually felt relaxed until my brother came screaming out of our room.

“HAVE YOU FORGOTTEN ABOUT SCHOOL!” my brother complained. I was surprised that my brother had actually cared about school today since we had been sent to detention about every day last year.

When we got to school, the teachers gave us morning detention for three hours for being late. I didn’t really care but my brother was scared to death. When we got to the detention room, there was a man who looked like a hobo sitting at a table. He was wearing shaggy tan pants, and a torn blue shirt. Why was he in a detention room? I sat down and looked at my brother.

“I’m gonna go to the bathroom, I’ve been holding it in for the whole day.”

And yet, he was stupid enough to not go during the whole day.

He rushed out the door and so did the hobo. Why did the hobo follow him? I didn’t care.

It had been 20 minutes, and my brother still did not come out of the bathroom.

What’s taking him so long? Is he stuck in the girl’s bathroom again? I thought.

I dashed out of the detention room, ran into a teacher eating a hamburger, took the hamburger, threw it into the detention room, and went into the boy’s bathroom eagerly.

He was gone, and so was the hobo.

The window was open, which meant the hobo had escaped with my brother.

“Wait, why did they add windows in the bathroom?” I asked, shocked.

I panicked and dashed out the door; the hobo was getting away fast, carrying my brother.

“Help! This guy’s armpit smells like when my dad farts, which means it’s really stinky!” Sean bellowed as he kept waving away the armpit stink.

I kept chasing the hobo until something happened that didn’t happen very often. The man lifted his hand up for no reason, and the whole world turned dark. The hobo and Sean disappeared.  I knelt to the ground, crying that I lost my brother. What did this man want, and why did he kidnap Sean? That’s when it happened. A piece of a roof landed next to me.

“Gah! What the?” I questioned and looked up.

There was a fifty-foot dark figure, literally made out of dark stuff, heading towards me.

I gasped and made the mistake of running. Did the hobo send this? The dark figure put his arm out, and a piece of concrete formed in his hands. He threw it and it hit my mom’s apartment.

“Mom! No! Dad! I don’t care about him.” Tears came out of my eyes. Suddenly, I felt anger.

Then the monster put its other arm out. I was floating towards it. No matter what I tried, I kept coming closer and closer to it. It looked like an ordinary man, except for the fact that he was made out of dark clouds and was the biggest thing ever. He opened his palms and grabbed me! Being high in the air had never scared me, but the smell of the monster did. It smelled like a billion skunks had farted directly in my face. I had never known that the monster was solid. Then, something no one could expect happened. A lightning bolt struck the dark evil cloud guy in the chest. The monster was going crazy with electricity emerging out of his body. I fell to the floor, wondering what had just occurred. Then I felt victory – the monster exploded into soft dark clouds in the sky.

“Take that, dark poopy guy,” I said, and I wish I hadn’t, because it reminded me of Sean. We used to prank teachers and feel victorious, just like right now, but a maniac just kidnapped my brother, and he will pay for the destruction of my family.

***

I wandered miserably to, well, nowhere. My mom’s apartment got mashed to smithereens, and I doubted my parents survived that piece of concrete…not that I cared about my dad. But I still had a question: what the heck happened back there and why did a lightning bolt strike the monster out of nowhere on a (kind of) sunny day? Now I was going to rot and die next to the trash can (my new home) like a hobo.

“Hey, you okay?” a voice appeared next to me.

I looked up and saw my old friend Max. He was standing with his jaw open, and with a man that I didn’t recognize. The mysterious new man was wearing an expensive tux with dark glasses that covered his eyes. Under there, I felt like there was darkness.

“What is the meaning of this?” the man barked. “I am the new principal, Mr. Momo, and  because you ran out of school for no reason, you will have a month’s worth of detention!”

I made a choice and I will never regret it.

I ran.

As I ran, I heard footsteps behind me,  I looked back and saw that Mr. Momo and Max were chasing after me. To lose them, I cut around the school corner and grabbed a trash can lid.

As soon as I grabbed the lid, I realized that it was a dead end. Mr. Momo had already caught up to me, but he was breathing like a demented person. Now was my chance.

“Hey, why ya holding a trash can lid?” he asked.

“Uhhh, I’m a trash guy,” I lied.

He charged at me, and there was only one thing to do.

I hit him directly on the head, and then he tumbled to the ground, lying very still. Fear flowed through me – I had just killed a man. Max came running down, gasping for air. When he saw Mr. Momo on the floor, and me holding a trash can lid, I was sure he was going to run. He was wearing a ducky shirt, like he always had, with words that read: Duckies Rock!!!

“Uhhhh, why is Mr. Momo sleeping on the floor,” he said with a stunned expression. He looked up from Mr. Momo, still looking at me still with shock.

“I can explai-”

Kaboom! Blocks of brick from the school flew right next to me and hit Mr. Momo on the head.

“Ughhh oww-”

“Ah!”

“Ah! What, hey, you magical talking lollipops should be in my mouth, come here-” Mr. Momo yelled as he woke up. He wasn’t dead after all.

We were gone in a flash. We ran away and left Mr. Momo yelling like a confused baby. Max and I regretted going in the direction we ran because that was where the blast came from. A forty-foot robot hovered over us, and as we tried to run away screaming like little girls, the robot grabbed us both just like the dark poopy guy did to me. This might’ve been another thing the hobo sent after me!

Max had the good luck of not hanging upside down. Sadly, I was hanging uncomfortably.

“Hey, giant robot dude! Fight me like a man, or man robot, whatever you call a grownup robot,” Max shouted.

He shouldn’t have said that.

The robot let go of us and we were falling out of the sky. I had an urge to strangle him, but something told me that strangling a kid who was also falling out of the sky was useless. That’s it, I was going to die falling out of the sky.

***

Am I dead? I thought.

Everything was black, so I couldn’t see a thing. But something did make me freeze, the groaning of a kid.

Max was alive, and so was I.

He ignorantly struggled to get out of the pile of cement.

“How did we survive? he asked. “And where did that robot thingy majiggy go?”

He was right, that robot was going to regret dropping us like a toy, but where were we and how did we survive? I guess Max read my expression because we both sprinted outside curiously. The mysterious robot left a big trail of footprints to an odd building with all the lights on.

“There must be someone in there, let’s go!” I suggested.

As we approached the bizarre and huge looking building with flags and skulls at the top, guards with spears across their chest randomly appeared. Max’s response was a shriek. They stayed absolutely silent and paid no attention to us as if we weren’t there.

I wonder if they’ll stop me from getting in…. nah. I thought. When I moved just an inch towards the door, the first guard pointed his sword at me. I spoke too soon. My response to that was punching him in the face, kicking the other guard, and moving on. Max looked at me in complete shock.

“Are you going to knock out every person you meet?” he questioned.

When Max put his hand up to knock on the door, I just kicked the door open impolitely, no problem.

“All right, who sent a demented robot out to drop me out of the air a million feet from the ground?!” I said.

No one but one hairy man raised his hand. He was wearing a striped colored turtleneck and striped socks. This guy sure liked stripe stuff.

“That would be me, and no one calls Patty ‘demented!’” he finally answered. “The guards you knocked out there are in fact one of you, and, by the way, my name is Bob!”

We looked at him suspiciously. What did he mean by one of us? I took out the trash can lid I used to knock Mr. Momo out back at the school. Max had just ran outside like a coward to hide from this deadly (not) fight. The hairy man took out a curved stick with a string attached to it, a bow, and an arrow. When I flung my weapon at him, he pulled out a shiny weapon and cut the lid in complete half. When he took his turn, his first arrow nearly hit me in the skull and landed right between cowardly Max and me.

“Wow, you really think––”

KaPooo!

Air ran through my hair, and explosions made my ears ring as I flew into the air. The arrow was explosive, and I probably died.

***

Five hours later, I was laying in a bed that was as hard as steel. Seriously, you could at least give me a comfy place before I die. The room was somber and mysterious, with pictures of people fighting things like the dark poopy guy! As I looked to my right, Max was lying unconscious on the bed with a scar on his head. Quickly, I got up and  slapped him in the face, no biggy.

“Owee!” he said.

“Get up!”

“Okay, jeez louise.”

We dashed silently out the door, when two arms, as fast as cheetahs, grabbed our shoulders. As I was struggling, I heard footsteps behind me. Could that be…

“Well, well, well, I see you guys woke up!” Bob said.

Duh, why do you think we’re standing? I thought.

“Do you know why you’re here?” he asked. “That robot brought you here to be safe, not to be killed. That hobo, well, he’s Mr. Momo. He kidnapped Sean to destroy humanity. This place is called Base Flash. Oh yeah, you are a mon-fighter, a warrior who kills monsters.”

“Wait, how do you know about Sean?” I asked cautiously. “I don’t believe that the hobo is Mr. Momo.”

“I want you to go get Sean and save the – wait, what is it called again? – oh yeah, the world!” he said as he ignored my question.

He took something from behind him. It was a red dagger. I thought he was going to kill us with it since we had tried to run out of the room. Man, he must have been really mad. That doltish man, he lied to us!

“Here, this dagger is from me and your father; he just made it,” he offered.

I was mistaken that he was stupid, but how did my dad just make this? He’s supposed to be dead, unless…

Quick footsteps interrupted me, and I was very surprised to see my dad running down the hall. He was skinnier! He was wearing overalls, with mysterious stains, marked, “Jack Pearson.”

“I’m guessing you’re wondering why I’m not fat…well, that was a disguise so the other side couldn’t kidnap me,” he said. “And that lightning bolt, well, you did that, and that dark stuff the hobo did – that was his potential. I saw through the window.”

“What happened to MOM!” I yelled.

“I tried to warn Mom, but she just slapped me as if I was lying, and she kept slapping me until I was outside. Then, she locked me outside. The apartment blew up as I sat on a bench and thought about my life.”

“Why are you here?” I asked.

“I work as a blacksmith here, so I make weapons.”

He told me that I had used my true potential, which was lightning. My response was a wide open mouth. Max fainted.

“Yeah, all that is great, but Trent and I need to go to save Sean!” Max demanded as he got up.

Bob took out what looked like a stained old paper and showed it to us. A bunch of squiggly lines roamed the page. I realized it was a map.

“Walk down the Trail of Darkness, and you will find your brother,” he said.

***

As we walked down the road, uncanny things stalked us behind tree leaves and branches. I got a feeling we were definitely on the Trail of Darkness. The eyes made me shiver and made my hand tremble. The ground was very moist, and crows kept flying around us, almost like they were tracking me.

“We’ve been expecting you,” a very familiar-looking kid said as he alighted from a tree.

“Sean!” Max yelled, astounded.

As I turned my head to see my brother, a loud blast emerged right next to me.

Oh, shoot! Max!

White smoke emitted from the middle of Max’s shirt. His chest was caked with black stuff I didn’t recognize.

“S-Sean! Why did you do that!” I said.

He just smirked evilly. Had he joined the hobo?

“Ha! I’ve turned your dopey brother against you,” said the hobo, as he came into view.

“Hey! You’re the hobo!”

“You may call me Mr. Momo.”

I had a very confused expression on my face. If he was the hobo who kidnapped Sean, who was the lunatic who pretended to be the new principal?

“Oh! That principal was a robot. We had the old principal kidnapped and sent to the Himalayas for vacation. The robot was meant to kidnap you too,” he said annoyingly as if he read my thoughts. “Now, Sean, your brother has annoyed me – kill him, please.”

His face darkened, so I was pretty sure that he wasn’t kidding about that. I knew I would have to fight my brother unless I could persuade him not to listen to Mr. Momo. So I took out the only  thing I had for defense, my red dagger. He snickered, and before I knew it, he had a pure white sword in his hands. I was doomed for sure.

“Time to end this,” he thundered.

***

He made the first move. I should’ve done some training before I came here because as I tried to block his attack, I missed and the blade of Sean’s sword sliced through my skin. After it slashed, it emitted fire from the tip and sent me forty feet behind. It felt like I had fallen from the Empire State Building, and that’s saying a lot.

“Come on, attack me, even though you suck at combat,” he commented.

I couldn’t attack my brother. He could get hurt, and plus, like he said, I suck at combat. I just needed to convince him, but I’d probably die in the process.

“Dude, why did you join his side? He’s evil, cruel, and selfish. He’ll probably eliminate you after he takes over the world. I think you’re under a spell. He killed mom…think of the happy days we spent together, and when we pranked the lunch aid!” I screeched.

That got him thinking, I slowly marched towards Sean, and the last thing I saw before I blacked out was my brother floating in the air with fire circling him.

That was his true potential.

Fire.

Maybe I’m dead now, finally, some peace, I thought.

Or maybe not. The air smelled of dirt, and my vision blurred. I saw a figure with its hand out.

Dang it, Sean is going to kill me.

Not this time.

I kicked him hard in the chest, and I hit his sword hard with my dagger. The weapon clattered to the floor, leaving Sean rolling across the pavement.

“Hey, I’m on your side now!” he protested.

Part of me didn’t trust him, but I might as well have agreed because Mr. Momo was going to kill both of us anyway. When I looked over his shoulder, Max was (stupidly) sneaking up to Mr. Momo for the kill, but the insane kid got intercepted by a kick in the stomach by the ex-principal. “Stop trying to be the hero!” My brother and I looked at each other. We both had the same thought about what to do.

“Hey, Principal, what time is it?” Sean asked.

“Uhh, it about-”

“It’s kabob time!”

Our two powers collided, and we threw the massive ball of lightning and fire at the hobo. A yellow dome emerged, but after, nothing was left but a hole in the ground. We had finally killed Mr. Momo.

“Listen, Trent, I’m sorry for knocking you out, even though it was funny and I kind of liked it,” my brother apologized. “But is there a way to get Mom back?”

He was right; there had to be a way to get Mom! But I doubted anyone knew how. We picked up poor Max and headed back to the building. On the way, I ran into a pole, but my two friends picked me up.

When we walked in the house, I was sure my dad was going to kill Sean. But as we entered the blacksmith’s area, he was still wearing his overalls and was hammering an ax. I never knew I would see my dad be hardworking.

“Oh. My. God! I’m so glad you’re safe. I’m sorry for being mean…you know I’m grumpy when I’m tired. But Sean, you didn’t do anything stupid, right? Even if you did, I forgive you. Come here, you guys,” my father said as he put his arms out to hug us.

I guess he really did change. We went to the game room and played on the Pac-Man machine.

For once, I felt happy to be with Sean and my dad, but what about Mom?

The End!

Be sure to read Part II in the adventure with Trent, Sean, Max, Bob, and Mr. Pearson.

Immigration

My family is almost all made up of immigrants. My mom is an immigrant, and my dad’s grandma is too. Everyone in my family came here to find a better life. Some people are against immigration and think that immigrants are drug dealers or terrorists, but this is not true. Every family has an ancestor who was once an immigrant, so everyone should respect immigration and realize that immigrants help build community in a positive way.

It started when my great-great-great-great-grandma came from Spain to Colombia. She married a Native American, and they created a home in Colombia. Generations later, my grandma was born and had my mom, who immigrated from Colombia to the United States. My mom went to college in Bogota and got her degree in engineering. After college, my mom was going to move to Germany in order to be an engineer, but my grandma said that Germany was too far from home. So my mom moved to the U.S. instead, in order to be an electrical engineer and get a better job. Her arrival the U.S. was a step toward building our family.

My dad’s great-grandma came from Italy to Ellis Island and then moved to Oregon. For college, my dad moved to New York. He met my mom in New York, but then left for Paris. He came back from Paris to be with my mom in New York. Eventually, I was born in New York with dual citizenship in Colombia and the United States.

My mom and dad are only two of millions of immigrants in the world. Many immigrants come from Mexico to the U.S through the border into El Paso. Some immigrants go through illegally and others legally. The legal immigrants get through the border with a passport.

Illegal immigrants who escape from Mexico to find a better life in the U.S. shouldn’t be kicked out of the country just for crossing the border. The majority of illegal immigrants are not harmful to society; rather, they get jobs and work hard. Some illegal immigrants commit crimes, but so do some citizens of the U.S.

A lot of people are against immigrants coming from Mexico and the Middle East, like Donald Drumpf. Drumpf insults Mexicans and Muslims. However, most Mexicans and Muslims really help the U.S.; some help by working at restaurants, others are painters, doctors, construction workers, etc. Furthermore, a big percentage of the U.S. population is Mexican and Muslim.

All in all, we should think about immigration optimistically, because everyone’s family is made of at least some immigrants. Without immigration, most of our families wouldn’t exist. At their core, everyone is an immigrant –– including myself.

Hummingbird

I look outside my kitchen window,

hoping to see the sun.

The day is beautiful,

kids play tag across the street.

 

The neighbors’ wind chime whistles,

singing melodies.

The breeze is delightful,

swaying all the trees.

 

I look at my garden,

at the hummingbird feeder.

A little hummingbird whizzes past,

seeming to say hi.

 

I watch it fly up,

then fly down.

It sips the sparkling red juice

from the feeder.

 

It shakes its head

from the sweetness,

then comes over to my window,

and gives me a small kiss.

 

It sways,

flies back to the feeder.

It feeds,

and flutters away.

The Town of Randomness

Chapter 1: The Alliance

I crouched under a stone table as a laptop hit the ground. On the back, it had the emblem of my sworn enemy. The Swastika of Hitler and his reckless Nazi party. Then I realized Hitler and all the other terrorists that have ever lived were alive currently, right now. I told you this town was random. Suddenly, my back throbbed and I looked behind me. There he was. I knew what was to be done, and I did it. I jumped on top of the table, and my heart stopped beating. I fell off the table, my head splitting on a rock. I woke up. “It was just a dream.” I thought. But I was wrong. My nightmare had found its way out of my head, and it possessed my world. My roof was on fire. There were holes in my skin with splintered bone sticking out, and I shivered. I looked outside and saw the reason I fell off the table. Mahatma Gandhi was Hitler’s ally.

Chapter 2: The Liquid

Out of the blue, an enormous, blue-green, earsplitting UFO crashed into my house sending metal and Astro-Glass, which is a combination of glass and iron, everywhere. All that was left of it was one wall and a few windows. It turned into the Western Wall like in Jerusalem when Judah and his Maccabee gang ran out from behind it.

I felt a flush of warmth as they attacked with fierce, hostile strikes from their swords and staffs. They did a great job of preventing Hitler and Gandhi from reaching their destination, or point of interest, which was my house. But soon, my warmth turned to stone cold fear as Hitler tied my brother and sister to dynamite, which was tied to a chain, which was being lowered into an unidentified liquid, as the scientists said later on.

I threw a handcrafted diamond tipped drill bit at the iron chain, jumped up, caught my brother, and missed my sister as she was absorbed into a murky, brownish-green liquid that looked as if it were venom. A few chunks of happiness went in and out of my heart because I didn’t like her, but I also lost her. My brother, whom I caught for two reasons. One was because he is three and I wanted to stop his awful wailing. Two was because he is a little kid and I didn’t want him to get hurt.

I plunged into the poison after my sister was sucked into it, and my life changed, starting that day, that minute, that second, that nano-second.

Chapter 3: Arcade Machine

It was dark, with dim pixel-like chandeliers. There were video game machines. One screamed in enormous green letters: DIMENSION TRAVELER.

I bet I came out of that one because this does not look anything like ‘Random Earth.’” I thought.

Then there was a flash of purple light, and my sister was launched out of the DIMENSION TRAVELER game. But before I could say hi, a tremendous force charged me into the wall, and my world went blank. I was sitting on a hospital bed, and a sort of energy was pulsing in my fingertips; a bolt of lightning shot out of them.

“Wow, I did not know you could do that.”

“Neither did I,’’ I replied to my sister, in a panicked way.

All of a sudden, an abominable snowman burst through the wall and tossed a sack over me, and another sack over my sister. I felt a forceful jolt as the “Yeti” threw us over his shoulder and stormed out of the hospital. I felt the pulse again, aimed my fingernails at the side of the bag, and squeezed my eyes shut. I opened them and it looked as though Saint Elmo’s Fire had been launched out of a cannon and shredded the fabric. For a split second, I saw the concrete groundbut it wasn’t concrete. It was some sort of portal, the color of a setting sun in the sky. Just as I went through the portal, I saw my sister fall through another portal the color of a wave collapsing on the ocean floor. My mind was empty, and my body was the only thing that seemed to race with thoughts.

Chapter 4: The Chocolate Dog

I came to my senses and felt my ribs throbbing, and knew that I fell on them after I fell in the portal. I got up and felt in my pocket. Phew! I was so glad I had my cell phone. I called my sister immediately but stopped in my tracks before I dialed her number as I saw that I was in a forest. I was shocked that I was in a forest after I had just been in a hospital, and I wanted to know more about where I was. I climbed up a nearby mountain and at the top, I saw nothing but emerald-green treetops. I pulled a bar of chocolate out of my other pocket. I heard something and listened, straining my ears so hard I thought they would dissolve, and found a dog, thumping its tail on the ground, sitting patiently. It was staring at my hand.

“What do you want?” I asked.

I looked at my hand and saw my Hershey bar, half-eaten. I ripped off a piece, and hesitated, but made my decision quickly. I tossed it to the dog, but it bounced off his nose and tumbled down the cliff.

“YOU WASTED THE LAST PIECE OF MY CHOCOLATE!!! But you would make a gr … ”

Then, the dog was pulled into a bush by a pair of silvery-white gloved hands, and the branches smacked my face. I sputtered dry leaves out of my mouth and pushed them aside.

There, I saw a knife in each eyeball, and half of the dog’s leg was cut off and it sent a fountain of gooey yellow liquid all over the rich dirt, the color of gold.

“Random Earth,” I said disappointedly.

I bent down to touch the dog, and once again, the pulsing energy in my fingertips. ZAPPP!!! The dog turned to ashes and the knives launched into the air. I tried to grab the handles but instead, it ripped my hand off and had a play-date with it above the clouds. I was too busy sobbing over my hand to notice the other knife falling from a hole in the clouds. Luckily, I looked up to the heavens so I could pray for a new hand and moved out of the when I saw the blood-stained blade glistening in the sunlight, spiraling downward. It came down hard on a moss-covered rock and slid into a big hole. Then, the other knife was coming down. It landed (blade down) straight through my neck and out my nose.

Chapter 4 ½: The Castle

As if they read my mind, the angels of God sent me a new head and a new hand. I just had an instinct and threw one on top of the other. They combined and turned into a robot suit the size of Canada. My test subject was a sheep. Apparently, his name was “Creep Sheep the Third,” according to the nametag saying “Hello! My Name Is Creep Sheep The Third, But Call Me Bob.” My new body parts snaked around my legs and my torso, creating the suit that had a built-in pancake-and-coffee breakfast machine in the living room, which was in the brain. I readied the plasma-cannon in the shoulders with 170,000,000 bullet capacity, while picking up the best-selling novel LOL. I shot Creep Sheep and left a crater with burnt wool in it. I walked around the forest for a while when I found a path. It could be dangerous! I thought. I stomped 70 feet per second because of my Israel-sized legs and saw a tower on a mountain far away. I went to the Siri-Bot and asked it what in the name of Baloney and Cheese Sandwiches from Jupiter a castle was doing there and Siri-Bot said it was called Hell’s Elf Nightmare, a castle ruled by the Elven King Mr. Sunshine.

I got out of my suit and walked up the almost infinite stairway to heaven. I opened the surprisingly mouse-hole-shaped door that I crawled through. I was thrown into the jail cell across from my sister for “intruding.”

The next morning I told my sister we had to escape. We escaped by hiding in barrels on the lunch break. Those were from the winery in the hall across from our cell and my sister fell down the waterfall on the opposite side of the mountain, and I was close behind as the elves lobbed us down. As the barrels landed with a psha-splash-boom I heard a curse word from my sister as she landed upside down.

“Hahaha!!!” I yelled at her.

I landed right-side up, crouching on my new converse, which were unreleased, model 27px 2018. Then, my fingertips.  

“Okay,” I sighed and tore open the reinforced wood-and-metal barrel, but the lasers were green and purple this time.

“Huh?” I said, breaking my sister’s barrel too.

But unfortunately, it replaced her shoulder with a pile of ashes, doing the same with three-quarters of her head. All that was left was the corner of her mouth and the right side of her chin. Before I could react to the fact that I cut off my sister’s head, I heard a scream come from nowhere. A button fell from the sky. Without thinking, I pressed it.

A robotic and deep voice said, “You now have a new power to reverse anything you do with your lasers.”

“Okay?” I pointed my hand at her head and shoulder.

Her face was instantly revived. I walked with my sister in the direction of the scream. We found a bloody, dead body in a prairie, and an assassin standing next to it holding a DuMbLeDoRf bow with a CoreVein arrow. The DuMbLeDoRf bow was made of stone instead of wood, so it is more durable. I had read about it in my school library. The CoreVein arrow had human veins in it.                              

Chapter 5: Back Home

The assassin’s name was Rikki Doucornet Sheppard Josh Max DuPeublo Ancadar Sedaka Neandorie Goyashu Monet Edgar Shushan Huluco Czynok Abar Nomwaque Eehopratt Lopandez Jalepeno Fillifar Boqua Twitter Snapchat Facebook  Flickr Vimeo Instagram Youtube Xander Lopez Bryant Triupoa Noijus Dodperea DaVinci Sealone Eedraz Gomez Golem Wockeel Udoe Sushi Burger Fatboy Momma Jin John Jones Bones Smith Jefferson Washington Lincoln Roosevelt Wasabi. Call him Rick Wasabi for short. My sister kicked him in the face and he stumbled. I shot him with his bow and he died. A green glow appeared in front of me. I was sucked in, and I saw my ceiling. It was all a dream. Thank you for letting me tell you my dream. My name is George Melez and I will tell you a story about a boy named Hugo Cabret and a drawing that changed his life.

The End (P.S. if you want to hear the rest, read the book The Invention of Hugo Cabret!)

The Big Crystal

One day there lived a puppy who was three weeks old. Her name was Sugar and she lived on a corner block in the city. She was a black dog with straight, shiny fur. Her tail was long and her ears flopped down. There were six dogs in Sugar’s family. There was her mother and father who also had black, shiny fur, her sister, Chewy, and two brothers. She was the baby of the family and the smallest, and she felt very nervous when her brothers chased her. Sugar always wanted to play with Chewy, but Chewy liked to play at the dog park with her friends, and never invited Sugar to come along. This made Sugar sad. Her mom and dad were always so busy with her brothers and sister that they couldn’t spend much time with Sugar.

What Sugar wanted most in the world was someone to show her attention. She thought and thought about how she could get an owner. It took her a week to come up with a plan, but she needed more information. So one day when Chewy went to the dog park, Sugar snuck out behind her and followed her.

The dog park was a large area of dusty dirt. There were a lot of trees scattered around the park, but strangely, there were more people than dogs. It was a cool day. Sugar didn’t think it was actually a dog park, but Chewy had told her it was. Sugar tried to hide from Chewy by hiding in a bush. She listened to the kids walking by and talking to try and find out where she could get a crystal. She overheard a kid say that there was a very big crystal at the end of the woods. At this, Sugar wagged her tail, and stayed around to see if she could find out more. When she heard nothing else, she went home to prepare to find the crystal.

Sugar packed in a big backpack a pillow, her favorite dog toy (a chewy squirrel that squeaked!), some food (nobody paid attention to her, so this was quite easy), and her food and water bowls. She planned to leave the next morning after Chewy went out to the dog park again. Unfortunately around her there were a lot of woods, so she wasn’t sure which one she had to go in. Despite this, she felt happy because she really wanted someone else to take care of her besides her parents. She was ready for the challenge. The backpack was big enough for her to curl up inside, so she slept on the pillow, excited for the morning.

But Chewy didn’t go to the dog park the next day.

Sugar asked Chewy, “Are you going to go to the dog park later tonight, or are you never going again?”

Chewy said she never planned to go to the dog park again.

Sugar felt sad, but didn’t say anything to Chewy. She just walked away, and came up with plan B: to jump out of the window that night.

Sugar went into the living room while the other dogs received their treats. Out the window there was a rose bush. She knew the rose bush had thorns so she went into the kitchen and opened a window. Outside that window there was nothing but grass. She jumped outside, but she forgot to put her backpack on! She remembered there was a doggy door, so she went back inside. She ran to get her backpack and slipped it on her back. Sugar returned to the kitchen. Chewy was waiting by the entrance of the kitchen.

“What are you doing?” she asked Sugar.

“Going to the dog park,” Sugar said. She felt nervous because she realized that Chewy didn’t know she’d been to the dog park. She thought she might get caught.

“Do you want me to come?” Chewy asked.

“Tomorrow,” Sugar said. With that, she jumped out the already open window.

She worried that when she returned she wouldn’t get any treats because her parents would be so mad at her. She didn’t want her parents to find out she was gone. The night was cold, and she realized she hadn’t packed a blanket. She thought about the blanket that her parents kept outside, but she didn’t know where it was stored. She sniffed around the backyard and found the blanket underneath her favorite tree. She felt sad to leave that tree because she always lay under it no matter the weather. But she had to find that crystal, so she went to the gate. It was locked, and she couldn’t jump over it, so she had to get the key that was placed in a box by the door. There were twenty-three keys on the key-ring, and Sugar tried every single one, until finally the twenty-third key worked! She opened the gate and went on her way.

There were three different ways to get into the woods, but she didn’t know which way to take. There was a piece of paper that told her which path to take, but the paper got ripped, so she didn’t know which path to take. She remembered that she’d been given a sign, so she took it out and read it, and that told her which way to go. She took the middle path.

There was a big, big bridge. The bridge was very low, and mice walked underneath it. Sugar looked around for a rope so that she could climb the bridge and get on top of it, but she couldn’t find one. Sugar barked and howled for someone to help. There was a car on top of the bridge. A person in the car was talking to another. “Are we going to be here for a long time?” said one person.

“Yes,” said the other.

Sugar tried to get their attention but couldn’t, so Sugar decided to wait. The people on the bridge left their car there, and didn’t come back until the next day. Sugar opened her backpack, got out her pillow, and went to sleep for the night.

Sugar woke to the sound of the two people’s voices, and this time got the attention of one of them. The person said, “I think that dog needs help!” But the other person ignored her needs to get up onto the bridge. The two people got back into their car and drove away.

This made Sugar feel frustrated and upset. She thought and thought about how this could’ve happened and then she remembered that the day she got the sign that told her to take the middle path was the day that the signs had changed, and she wasn’t given the right one. But this still didn’t solve her problem. She decided that she had to take the left path instead. It took her a long time to get back to the start of the path, and she was exhausted when she got there, but she knew she had to keep going.

Along the left path she encountered a gigantic bear with three bear cubs. She felt very nervous that the bear was going to eat her alive, but it turned out that all the bear wanted was water to give to her cubs. Sugar took a bottle of water out of her backpack and offered it to the mother bear, who was very grateful to Sugar for helping her babies.

Sugar said goodbye to the bear, and continued on her way down the path. As she walked, Sugar thought about what else she might encounter. Would she run into another bear? Or an owl? Or maybe a less friendly animal, like a fox? For a while, there were no other animals. She was alone and the path began getting darker, and she saw dying trees. She was nervous now. But she continued walking, because she wanted that crystal. And suddenly, she heard a loud thump right behind her. When she turned around, she quickly realized it was a giant tree that had fallen and had barely missed her by three inches. At that moment, she wished she had asked someone to come with her. But she kept moving. Then she got thirsty, so she checked her backpack for a bottle of water. She didn’t have any water, but noticed a cabin nearby. She headed to the cabin and reached the door. Thankfully, the doorbell wasn’t too high up, because she was able to hop and ring it with her nose.

And owl with sharp, sharp claws opened the door and said, “Hello?” But Sugar had run away and hid behind a tree. She was scared of owls, because she knew they were birds of prey. “Hello… anyone out here?” the owl said in a friendly voice.

Sugar began to shiver. Finally, she peeked her head a little, and the owl spotted her.

“Hey there, I see you. It’s okay, I’m not gonna hurt you,” the owl said.

Sugar didn’t respond; she kept shivering.

The owl walked outside. She had a wide wingspan, but her claws were hidden now. She had white feathers and black stripes.

Sugar stepped out and showed herself.

“Want me to bring you inside?” said the owl. “You look scared.”

“I’m a little thirsty.”

“I can get you some water. I’ll be right back.”

When the owl came back with a glass of water, she said to Sugar, “Do you want to come inside and spend the night?”

“No, thank you. I’m just going to drink my water and then I have to continue on my journey.”

“Can I join you on your journey?”

“Sure.”

“Great! I’m Owlette by the way. What’s your name?”

“Sugar.”

“Let me just pack a few things and I’ll be all ready to go.”

“Okay. Don’t take too long.”

So Sugar and Owlette set off to find the big crystal. While Sugar was glad to have the company she was also worried. She didn’t know if she could trust Owlette, because she’d never met an owl before.

It started to get dark so they stopped to have dinner. Fortunately, they found an abandoned tent so they went in it and ate. The next morning, after they woke up, Owlette folded up the tent and realized that she could fit it inside her backpack. Sugar felt happy that they would always have a dry and cozy place to sleep. And after that Sugar started to trust Owlette a little more.

As they headed down the path Sugar started thinking about her parents back home.

“I’m worried that my parents are going to be mad at me for leaving home. I don’t want to get in trouble.”

“Oh well,” Owlette said, thinking that she didn’t want Sugar to be worried, so she was going to change the subject to get Sugar’s parents off her mind. “Are we almost there?” Owlette asked. “I’m getting tired’’

“Yes,” replied Sugar.

“How much further?” Owlette asked.

“Just past that pond over there. Can you see it?”

Owlette squinted and looked into the distance. “Yes, Sugar, I can see it. But just barely.”

“It looks further than it is. We will be there soon.”

Sugar and Owlette set off to the pond. It didn’t take them long to get there; however, they soon realized that they had no way to cross it. Neither of them knew how to swim and it was too deep to walk across.

“Oh, no problem. I can fly across the pond.”

“But I can’t fly,” Sugar said sadly.

“I have an idea. Why don’t I carry you on my back while I fly across?”

“Okay! Let’s try it.”

Owlette ducked down and Sugar jumped on her back, but once Owlette started to take off Sugar got scared.

“I’ve never flown before,” she explained, “I think I’m too scared to do this.”

“I understand. I have an idea. I see that there are big lily pads leading across the pond. Why don’t you hop on each one while I fly across?”

“Okay. I’ll try.”

When Sugar got to the other side of the pond, she said to Owlette, “I’m so glad I made it. I nearly drowned hopping on one of the smaller lilly pads, but I was able to get across.”

“How much further now?” Owlette asked.

“It is behind that tree in the ground.”

Then Owlette said, “But what are we going to use to get in the ground?”

“I can dig really well,” Sugar responded.

Then Owlette said, “But I can’t dig. I don’t have paws like you.”

Sugar looked then in her backpack to see if there were any tools in there that Owlette could use. But there were no tools that Sugar could find for Owlette to use.

Sugar said, “It’s okay. I can dig and you can watch me.” Owlette sat and watched Sugar dig, but it was taking a while. Owlette told Sugar she was going to go back to where she lived because there wasn’t anything for her to do there. Just then, Sugar saw something in a bush and said, “Before you go I want to see if there is something in the bush that you could use.”

When she looked in the bush she found a shovel that was easier to hold. Owlette decided to stay and use that tool. They dug and dug and dug, until finally, they reached the crystal! When they reached the crystal, they figured out it was not that big. It was only the size of Owlette. They were expecting it to be as big as an ostrich. They were happy that they found the crystal, and that there was enough room in the backpack for it to fit. But Owlette and Sugar were sad because they wanted it to be bigger.

“What are we going to use to split up the crystal?” Owlette asked.

“We never planned that we would split it up,” said Sugar.

“I came on this journey because I thought I would get some of the crystal.”

“But you never told me that you would.”

Just then Sugar saw more of the crystal.

“You can get all of the crystal that we found, and I can get all of the one in the ground.” Sugar said.

Owlette agreed. When they got the crystal out of the ground it was much bigger — it was the size of an ostrich!

Owlette said, “Why do you get the bigger crystal and I get the smaller crystal?”

“Because I was the one that was going to get all of the crystal, but I let you have some.” Owlette seemed disappointed, but eventually said it was okay.

They walked back to Owlette’s house and said goodbye. Sugar asked for more water and food for the way. And then, Sugar was alone. When she got back she told her family about her journey. They used the crystal for what they wanted and lived happily ever after.

The Subway Tragedy

CHAPTER 1

I was walking toward the subway station with earbuds ringing with the sound of 50 Cent in my ears to help me walk on. When my tired legs got to sit down on the subway seat…

“Kasye,” Mom said.

I looked up to see Grace (my sister) holding her hand out. I rolled my eyes to Mom. Her green eyes pointed at my hand. I knew what my sister wanted. I stopped the music on my phone, pulled out my earbuds from my ear, and handed everything to Grace. Grace played a game while listening to Justin Bieber. Grace says she’s a “Belieber” (she’s obsessed with Justin Bieber). Then, all of a sudden, the subway lights went out. I heard someone scream, then the subway car stopped. I heard a huge CREAK and then the subway car fell sideways.

 

CHAPTER 2

My head throbbed. I heard my sister cry. People were holding up their phone flashlights for light.

“Listen up!” a man’s voice said, “Point your flashlights at the subway door. We’ll try to open the doors.”

“What will happen after that?” a voice said.

Everybody was silent, shining their flashlights on the door.

“We walk,” he said.

“One… two… three… push!” Creeeak went the door.

“Oh –– ” I covered Grace’s ears.

“It’s open,” the guy said.

The silence broke and everybody started toward the door. I went out into the track and saw more closely the guy who opened the door. He had light, straight, gold hair, sky-colored eyes with a hint of jade. Tall and strong. Right when I walked out of the car, he started to walk with me.

“Hi,” he finally said.

“Hi,” I said back.

“What’s your name?” he asked.

“Should I tell you my name?” I asked.

“I’m Carter,” Carter smiled.

“I’m Kasye.” I said.

“Cute name,” he said.

“I look like a poppy,” I blushed.

“No, you look more like a rose.”

I blushed more.

 

CHAPTER 3

I was scared. It was cold. I squeezed my sister’s hand.

“It’s okay,” Carter said, rubbing my back.

People tried to call 911, family, police, but there was no wifi. The driver was dead and his walkie-talkie was broken.

We were stuck.

We had to walk.

And I wanted to survive.

I put Grace on my shoulders to try to call 911. I shivered. Walked to the right of the tracks where there was a hill in the middle of the tracks going down, so we didn’t get electrified. Mom was helping an old woman whose leg was broken. 

“I’m scared too,” Carter said.

“Can I trust you?” I asked in my serious voice.

“Yes,” he said, not smiling but looking me in the eye.

I put Grace down. Then I hugged Carter and cried on his shoulder. He hugged back. And in that moment I felt safe.

 

CHAPTER 4

Dead mice and trash covered the area, sewage and mud pooled into my shoes, and the worst part, I was in love.

Yes. Carter. My heart thumped in me as he came closer.

“It’s so hot in here!” Grace complained.

“Go ask Mom for water,” I said.

Grace was right. People had bare skin showing right now. Even Carter had his sweater off.

“STOP! Don’t drink that, honey!” a woman’s voice shouted.

I turned to look as a kid found a puddle of swampy, muddy, sandy sewage water. The worst part was the kid put a scoop in his hand and gulped it down. The mom ran over as the kid threw up on the track. This was getting bad. Luckily, there was a doctor with his tools in his bag. The doctor made the kid throw up again. And the problem was that more people got sick. Even Mom did, and Carter said he would wait with us until she got better.

You might think I was crazy, but I met a stranger who was crazy cute and I now was crazy in love with. That’s a lot of crazy.

“Over the past hours,” Carter said, “I feel the need to admit something… I…” he blushed, “lo –– ”

“Love you,” I finished.

“I love you too,” Carter said.

Then I learned up and looked him in the eye and we kissed.

 

Chapter 5

We walked and walked.

And when we saw a bright light behind us, I thought it was heaven. There was screaming. I heard Carter yell, “TRAIN!”

He pushed me right as the train flew over him.

At first, I was confused. But then I saw red. A puddle of red. And then I saw legs, feet, arms, more red.

“NO!” I said as I realized it was Carter’s body.

He was dead.

Mom put her hand on my shoulder. “Let’s keep going,” she tried to sooth my wrinkling heart but like a sharpie it stayed.

We walked three more hours. I was devastated the whole way, crying and barely able to keep my balance. But then we saw another bright light, this time not coming toward us.

 

Chapter 6

“Yes!” people yelled, rushing toward the light. I did too.

Finally, we jumped off the tracks and on the platform.

“Ahh!” people yelled. And then everything went blank.

I woke up to beige walls and curtains. Hospital. I felt rested, calm, but I remembered Carter and his body sucked in a red bloodbath. Mom and Grace walked in and gave me a kiss on the head and a heart-warming hug. I got out of the hospital and looked up at the frostbite sky and thought, Peace, finally, peace.

I walked home, my feet crunching in the snow. Although Grace had crutches, we were fine. And although Mom was in a wheelchair, we were fine. And although my heart had one huge piece missing, we were fine. Fine, or good, or okay, or not too bad. Like a bird flying and soaring… and then falling in an ocean, drowning, and dying, never to see the light again. That’s fine to me.

That night, I met Grace in Mom’s room for nightmares haunting me, reseeing the horrors I saw. And then we all woke up and played Sorry the game.

 

Chapter 7

Three Days Later…

I woke up to the chirping of birds. I put on my robe and grabbed a mug and made coffee. Mom was in the kitchen making blueberry pancakes. I grabbed some and sat on the couch. I watched the news and finally something caught my attention.

The headline: “One More Boy Walks Out From Subway… A Boy Named Carter.”

“Carter!?” I yelled. I ran to the hospital, only to see Carter outside in the snow staring at me.

I ran and threw myself into his arms. We fell in a pile of snow and rolled around, hugging.

“How?! What?” I said.

“You left me there!”

“What? I thought you were dead!”

“Didn’t you want a funeral with MY BODY?”

“We were scared! You would’ve held us behind!” I said, crying. Carter looked at me with a bitter face. The tears burned with flames and then froze in the cold.

“Do you love me?” I asked with the bitter face mask still on.

He didn’t seem to know how to answer.

“I….” But I knew his answer. “Don’t,” he said.

My face softened and turned from surprise to pity.

“What did I do!?” I yelled.

“You left me. I’ll never be able to play football again!”

He walked away.

“Do you… hate me?” I said out of breath.

At first, I thought he didn’t hear me, but he stopped. He turned and he was crying too. Then he walked away.

 

Chapter 8

My legs ached, my head ached, and my heart ached. I went to the hospital and I waited for my appointment. Outside, in the silent waiting room, I heard, “… you know you’ll die soon.”

“I… know,” said a voice I knew was Carter.

Then crying. His mom. And I was tearing up the memories of Carter.

One Week Later…

Carter was dead. Gone. And I was at his funeral.

“We will remember Carter…” I was sick in the belly. Hurt, and dissolved. My life, my heart, gone.

A Day at Work

A Day at Work

8:00 p.m. I just found out tomorrow I’m going to my mom’s job! This is great news because she works as an editor. Her office is a newsroom with people from all over the world and there is a vending machine and free hot chocolate. It sounds so exciting! Tomorrow’s gonna be my lucky day.

10:00 a.m. the following day: I’m here at my mom’s office. The ride was like a roller coaster. I got really sick in the car and almost threw up over my clothes. Now I have some hot chocolate, a bag of Cheetos, a good chair, and I have your company, my ever so precious diary. So everything is great. I’m loving it!

10:05 a.m. I was wrong. Oh my God, I was so wrong. Work is boring. It’s the most boring thing in the universe. Now I’m so glad that I’m still in fourth grade and won’t need to get a job like this for while.

10:10 a.m. Just imagine if I had to come here five days a week. This is eight hours per day, from Monday to Friday. 40 hours per week. Okay, you got it — I’ll just stop making this situation a math problem. The boringness would make me all wrinkly. Look at my hand… it’s getting wrinkly so fast!

10:20 a.m. I’m thinking about good jobs I could get. I’ll definitely never be a website editor. I’d like to have one of the super awesome top ten funnest jobs in the world. I think I’d be a great waterslide tester, or maybe even a professional sleeper. I’m just certain I WON’T TRY THIS JOB HERE, EVER.

10:30 a.m. I have finished the hot chocolate and the Cheetos. I asked my mom how much longer we’re gonna have to stay here. She didn’t say anything, just looked to me. You should have seen her face. I can only say one word: WRINKLED.

10:31 a.m. Okay, you know what? I’m done. It’s not even 10:40, and I can’t do this any more. So BYE!    

I Never Wanted a Coffee Shop

“I never wanted a coffee shop, Dad! Why do I have to work here? It’s not fair. This coffee shop doesn’t even look good, or have my favorite color, pink. Plus, it has weird drawings of coffee, and the tables are made of coffee beans. And I don’t want to work in a weird place without the color pink. Everything is brown! The walls, the cups! I just want to play outside with my friends. Look, they’re all playing out there,” I said with my arms crossed, standing beside the line. We had just opened the coffee shop and there was a huge line outside. We only had three employees and I had to be the fourth. It wasn’t fair.

My dad yelled back, “Well, you have to work here. Plus, you’re embarrassing me in front of the customers. Go to the counter. Look, there’s a HUGE line. And you’ve got to buy everything and make the recipes. And it’s not a joke. So have fun, goodbye.”

Some people in the line were staring at us. Other people were covering their children’s ears and eyes. And other people were just trying to not look, and looking at the walls. I couldn’t believe they were looking at the walls and not at us – the walls were really ugly. I went to the counter and started taking orders. There were a lot of orders.

The only employee who helped me learn all about the coffee making was Serina. I was in charge of buying everything at the supermarket and taking the orders, and she was in charge of making the coffee. She would always make hearts and pretty things on the surface of the coffee if it had milk, like lattes, frappuccinos, cafe con leche, and things like that. She told me that she wanted to be an architect or a painter when she grew up. She had always painted at her home. Now she was painting at the coffee shop. She painted the entire coffee shop and the tables (more like bought them, but don’t tell her I told you that).

At the end of the month, it was payday. We had enough money to pay everyone, but we didn’t win a lot for ourselves –– each one of us had earned only $10. This time, we bought new ingredients, and we knew exactly how our customers liked it. The first time I made a coffee, the customer asked for half the amount of sugar. I put way more than half the amount, and he spit it out and said he thought it was disgusting. But then, when I made the same coffee for another customer, she loved it and said she would come every day. The line eventually got bigger.

Now we had planned out each recipe and made a new menu, with new employees whom we had hired. Their names were Emily and Joey. They were our coffee servers. By the end of that month, each one of us had made at least $40.

Finally, the two months were over, but I had had a lot of fun. I kind of did want to stay in the coffee shop with all my friends; the friends that were always playing outside had all gone to New Jersey. I hate New Jersey. Don’t tell them I told you that. Basically, I hate everything. Don’t tell me secrets –– I’ll spit them out easily, just like I did to you.

So, I decided to stay in the coffee shop. My friends were so happy that they made me a special coffee which, instead of a heart, said “Best Friends Forever.”

The day after, I told them my plan: we could make little cupcakes that said “Best Friends Forever,” and each would come with a note that said: “Give this to your best friend: the person who never treats you badly and whom you also treat nicely.” When we made those cupcakes, everyone was so impressed that about ten people bought them after school. We made a special offer that said if you bought a “Best Friends Forever” cupcake, you would get a “Best Friends Forever” coffee.

Finally, we all got tired of the coffee shop. It showed: when the month ended, we got just $20 each. We had done something wrong, but I didn’t care. I liked the coffee shop a lot more because I had new friends, who all moved closer to the coffee shop.

Every morning we would go get a coffee. We thought about it and, entering as employees, we made friends and got a “Best Friends Forever” cupcake and coffee. We worked in the coffee shop until we were old enough to get another job.

Omar’s Great Adventure

There once was a seven-year-old boy named Omar Winerib. He lived in Lebanon with his dad, his mom, his teenager sister, and his two adult brothers. He went to a school called Barnesjan, which is a special school that teaches students how to not fight and live peacefully. He loved science and sports but most of all he loved to invent things. His goal was to one day invent a machine that made virtual reality real. Omar was a hard worker and he always thought about science and his inventions, even when he was walking home from school late at night in the dark by himself.

One night Omar was at his computer doing research and he came across a website that said, “Syria is dying! Syria is dying!” It made him feel very sad. Many of his friends and his dad’s friends were in Syria and he was very concerned for their safety. He did some more research about what was going on in Syria and he learned that there was a group called Fikke (which meant “powerful” in Arabic) who were killing the Syrian people.

This made him really really upset so he went to his father and said, “Dad! Dad, can we take your plane and go to Syria to try to save the people from Fikke?”  

“Okay,” his dad said. “But just this once.”

“Thank you so much!” Omar said. “Let’s go!”

They went to bed early that night because the plan was to wake up at three in the morning to leave for Syria. Omar’s dad’s plane was named The Cross of the Swords. It was parked in a gigantic garage behind their house. Omar’s dad climbed into the cockpit and Omar strapped himself into the co-pilot’s seat.

Then Omar’s dad said, “Syria, here we go!”

They left Lebanon and went to Syria. The plane ride was very, very, very scary because people tried to shoot them and the engine almost got shot, but they had a safe landing.

“Let’s go see why Fikke is bad,” said Omar’s dad.

Omar said, “How do you know where they are?”

“I went to school with many of them. Most times when I hear about Syria, Fikke is shooting at the president of Syria’s home and trying to kill the president,” Omar’s dad said.

“Where is the president?” Omar asked.

“It’s two miles away from here, so we better take a break.” Omar’s dad said.

So Omar and Omar’s dad stopped to eat two bananas, one jar of cookies, milk, and sausages. Then they walked and finally they found the leader of Fikke. His name was Patrick. He had brown eyes and black hair. He wore army clothes and a machine gun across his chest. He had three small bombs in his pocket.

Omar felt scared but he spoke to Patrick anyway, “Why are you bombing all the buildings and killing the people?”

“They have too much money and they aren’t sharing it with anyone,” Patrick said in a grumpy voice.

“Ask them and maybe they’ll share. If they say no, go to the bank,” Omar said.

“Why should I? What if the banks say ‘no’?” Patrick yelled. “I’ll make you a deal. If the person at the bank says I can have money, I will fix all the buildings with my team. If he says ‘no’ I will kill you, too.”

Omar felt so scared. In his head, he thought, What if the guy at the bank says no? Then he’d die for nothing. He agreed to the deal because he didn’t think he had a choice. Then, Omar ran away.

Omar told his dad: “What if the person at the bank says no?” But his dad reassured him the person at the bank wouldn’t say no.

“I know this place,” his dad said. “I lived here until I was 11, and the people at the bank are very nice.”

“Okay, okay, I get it,” Omar said.

The next day Omar went to the bank and saw Patrick walk in.

He heard the person at the bank say, “Of course you can have money. You can have all the money here! People save their money here for people who don’t have money.”

Patrick took his money and found Omar. He told him he wouldn’t kill him. “I’m going to help rebuild all the buildings,” he said. “I’m going to throw my guns away and throw my bombs away and never do this again. I’ll tell the rest of my team to do that, too.”

With Patrick’s help, Fikke helped to rebuild all of the walls and buildings. They put their weapons in a big chest underground and buried it. Omar and his dad jumped back on their plane and flew home safely. He was happy to be home and back with his family

Moon Shadows

We amble on the sidewalks,

The crevices connecting our hearts.

The brilliant glow of the moon

Lighting our path to destiny.

We think we have it figured out,

Old and polished.

But we realize that we’re wrong

As we stumble blindly through the shadows of the moon

Submerged in blue.

Sometimes we fall asleep under the stars,

Because we are not ready to be ordinary.

We’re extraordinary.

As for the moment, at least.

Darling, we’re adventurers

And there’s definitely not anything wrong with that.

We’re ready to see the world,

So bring it on Planet Earth.

How Burritos Came To Be

My name is Jerry and I’m a giant. I live in The Forests, which is  a group of (try and guess!) forests that protect different species of fairy. One day, I was visiting my friend Luna in The Pixie Forests, when suddenly I came upon a very interesting cottage that was big enough for me to fit. The door was open and there was smoke coming from the chimney. I decided to have a look. I went inside and found something beautiful! It looked as though it was made of gold and had tiny black speckles on it. I wanted to touch it! I needed to have it! I bent down to touch it, and alarms started to go off! A head with a crown fell from the chimney.

I know, you’re thinking, “ Eww, a head with no body!” But it wasn’t gross. It was the king of the Pixies, King Headless, which is kind of ironic. He had once been a Pixie but lost his body in a battle. He rolled on to his round chin and looked at me with red eyes. (He was a Pixie. They do these things.)

“How dare you try and disturb my marvelous taco shells! You may not touch my taco shells! You may not eat my taco shells! You may not even look at them! Now, shoo! Begone with you!”

I bowed down to the king and got out of there as quickly as I could. When I got to Luna’s yard (I couldn’t fit in her house) I sat down and told her the story.

When I was finished, Luna said, “We can make our own taco shells! We just need to find out what ingredients we need.”

“That’s a bit of a problem since the King won’t let me go back to the cottage.”

“Well, everything we make is made with flour, so there must be some in these.”

I nodded. Luna was smart in these ways.

“What color were the shells?”

“They were a golden shade.”

“Well, I’ll bring all of the yellow plants I grow in my garden, and we’ll see what I can ground into powder.” She came back with a banana, corn, and a pear. “I’ll make six of each using these.”

An hour later, the batch made with banana was ready. It looked flat, nothing like the shells I saw at the cottage. When I sampled it, boy, was it awful! It was as though a unicorn had pooped on them. Believe me, that stuff is memorable, in all the wrong ways! After gargling for five minutes or so, we waited for the next group. Frankly, that wasn’t any better!

“What am I going to do?” I moaned.

“Quit worrying. It’s just food! Geez!”

Easy for her to say! Did she see them? No. Was she attacked by a weird headless dude in a cape and crown? No. Did she feel pulled into the smell of the shells? I rest my case!

“Well, little miss —” I didn’t get the chance to finish my insult because the final six shells were ready. We took them out and were going to sample it, but it was already 20 o’clock, so we decided to save them for (a disgusting) breakfast. Luna invited me to sleep in the backyard, which was the most comfortable yard I had slept in. Grass cutting season must have been moved back a few months! While I was sleeping, I had a dream about the marvelous tacos. They were dancing around me and singing elvish songs.

I was reaching toward one, when they started to bang on each other and shout, “Jerry! Jerry, wake up!”

I did their bidding and woke up to the sound of Luna banging on a frying pan and shouting my name.

“Rise and shine, Sleeping Beauty! We have an emergency here!”

“Ah, Eho, what?”

“My cousin, Francesco Ferdinando is coming, and we have nothing to serve him!”

“You want us to cook something? You saw how badly those tacos worked out!”

“Well, if we serve those to him, he could fix them. He is a farmer, food-seller, and sampler by trade! He’ll have something to fix them.”

Just then, the braying of a donkey interrupted my thoughts drifting back to dancing tacos. Near the horizon, a man was riding a donkey. He was wearing a sombrero and had a mustache even I was jealous of! He shouted something in what sounded like gibberish, with a bunch of “r’s”. To my surprise, Luna answered back.

“You speak Gibberish? I have got to introduce you to the Fuzzball colony elders!”

“It’s Spanish, idiot!” answered an angry Luna with a fake smile.  

Must be some alien language. I ran behind the house, stuck my finger in the window, and was just about to say, “Hi!” when the donkey kicked its legs backward. Apparently, Francesco was carrying his food in baskets attached to his saddle. Everything was flying up!

MI ALIMENTO!!” Francesco shouted in Gibberish.

Luna got so nervous that she cast a slo-mo spell! I dived to save the food, but then realized I forgot to put the tray down! Too late now. I was already diving head first to the ground. Luna snapped her fingers and everything went back to normal time. I fell to the ground and so did the food, causing a five-second earthquake. I’ve got to cut back on weight! Luckily, when the food fell, it fell into the taco shells.

“Here, have your things back!” I said, holding out the tray.

He shook his head and muttered something to Luna.

She told me, “He wants to try his food with the taco shells.”

Francesco formed the taco to hold in the ingredients. He took one bite and instantly smiled, danced around, and sang Gibberish songs!

“He likes it!” laughed Luna.

“That is the one thing you don’t need to translate for me.”  I smiled. “Why don’t we make this official? Like, think of a name for this treat?!” I thought aloud.

Luna liked the idea, and asked Francesco if he agreed.“He likes the idea but wants to name it after his donkey. After all, he was the one that caused the food to fly!” translated Luna.

“What’s the mule’s name?”

“Burrito.”

And that’s how burritos came to be!

Prince Almando

When he reached sixteen, Prince Almando refused to be treated like a child, unlike his siblings, Williant, Sarafina, and Gretona.

The day after his birthday, instead of leaving his pajamas on, he put on his royal robe of red silk. He sat down straight like a king. My, he thought, my sisters and brother look so young compared to me in their silk pajamas.

Gretona sat on Father’s lap. Williant was eleven, and allowed Mother’s arm to be around him. And Serafina was almost ten and still cuddled with her china doll. Almando was so deep in thought that he spilled his porridge on his lap, leaving a gray, gooey stain.

“Almando, my dear, dear boy,” Maid Sylvia cried. “How many times do we have to talk about table manners!?”

“I am not a child,” Almando declared. “I would like to no longer be called ‘my dear boy.’”

“Almando,” his father said sternly, adjusting Gretona on his knee. “Please go change.”

Almando stood up politely and took steps one at a time like a gentlemen. In his room he slid on his horseback riding uniform, blue with gold trimming. Then, he quietly walked down the stairs.

“There’s a nice mud pit outside from that rain,” the children’s ‘playmate’ said, “you just yank on those ol’ mud bathin’ suits and you’ be ready to go.”

“I will not be prancing around with that diaper on!” Almando declared.

“Almando,” Lilika, the Queen, said. “They are not diapers. And I think it was very generous of Harry to offer to take you out. If you continue to have this behavior you will go upstairs.

Almando scowled at his mother. “Ma’am…”

“Almando!” the King thundered, “She is your mother! I appreciate your politeness but it is not needed!”

Angrily, Almando got up. “I’m going horseback riding.”

Two hours later, Almando’s uniform was torn and he was bleeding. The royal horse was running around in circles trying to get the too-small bridle out of his mouth. Almando pulled himself to his feet and stumbled to the castle.

After escaping his father’s scolding, Almando went up to the boys’ room, which used to be a nursery before he was sixteen. Williant sat on his bed, smushing the blue comforter.

“Still trying to be a man?” he asked, sounding almost pitiful. “You’re brave, Almando.”

Pondering the meaning of his little brother’s words, Almando strolled to the bathroom in a would-be casual way, as if he hadn’t been bleeding. Hoping not be caught by a maid, he crept into the crystal bathroom. Finding it empty of people, he wrapped bandages around his bleeding fingers.

He walked back downstairs, wanting to read one of his father’s books just to prove that he could. Almando read quickly, mostly to get to the good part: the end. It was some book about rules and courtesies, and it was very boring. Almando’s father walked in and sat down on the couch next to him. Almando’s father pointed to rule number two hundred and one.

“What does this mean?” his father asked.

“When one reaches the age of eighteen years he will be considered a grown man and shall be treated like one,” Almando read aloud. He frowned. The king smiled wisely.

“Almando, I’ve been meaning to talk to you. You are sixteen. I know this will ruffle your feathers, but you are still a child. Manhood will come, Almando, manhood will come.”

He wrapped his arm around Almando’s shoulders, and, Almando, even though he was sixteen, leaned his head on his father’s shoulder.

The Life Cycle

Chapter  1 : Sisters

Mia was brushing her hair and she just remembered that her friend Matilda was coming over for a playdate. They were best friends. When Matilda arrived, they took turns braiding eachother’s hair. Since they both had the same length hair, they saw what their hair could do, like make scarves out of their hair, and they saw how many times they could wrap their hair around their arm, which was about a thousand.

Matilda had blonde hair and Mia had long dark brown hair. They both had long straight hair to their knees, which was about five feet. They both loved their hair because they didn’t want real scarves, but the only thing that drove them nuts was their mother telling them, “Cut your hair! Cut your hair!” She wanted them to cut it because it was really hard to wash.

They were like, “No! Imagine you don’t need to buy me a scarf! And I’ll brush it more often!”

Since they went to the same school, they spoke about what they should play the next day at school. They thought about maybe playing hide and seek, or tag or, as Mia suggested, “Maybe let’s play cops and robbers!”

Matilda also suggested, “We could also play hide and seek after cops and robbers!” Normally, nobody really asked if they could play with them. Once a month, someone would ask. They actually liked it, just the two of them.

They talked about doing the butterfly one because she thought that they would fight a lot, like very often.

“That’s very sad. I wish we could get a way to get your mom to agree,”  Matilda hoped. “After that we will.”

“Oh, yeah. I think so too. Let’s think of a way to convince my mom to get me a younger sister.”

They started a whole other conversation on how they could get Mia’s mom, named Lauren, to get Mia to have another sister. Mia convinced her why she wanted another sister. Mia told her that why she wanted another sister was because she was a little lonely in playing and her mother used to get very annoyed, because she didn’t have any company.

Matilda explained that she knew how Mia felt. “I know because I’m an only child, and I also want a little sister.”

“We have a mission!”  Mia and Matilda said.

“First, let’s convince your mom,” explained Matilda.

“After that, the next time we have a playdate, I’ll come to your house and we’ll convince your mom!” said Mia. After that they started a whole new conversation, again, on how they were going to conquer their moms. They were sitting on the couch in Mia’s room.

They started their mission that day. They said, “Maybe we could convince my mom by saying, if you get me a little sister, I could start a job and earn a thousand dollars for you.” So they tried that.

So when Mia’s mom was working, they snuck up on her and scared her by saying, “Mom!” in a funky kind of voice tone.

And after that their mom was like, “Hey, you guys! You scared the bejeezus out of me!” She was texting Mia’s dad.

After that, Mia asked, “If you let me have a little sister, I’ll get a job and you could have a thousand dollars!”

And after that Mia’s mom was like, “I don’t need that much money. I’m sorry. And why do you even need someone to fight with?”

Mia thought, Well, that didn’t work. She felt disappointed that it didn’t work, because they weren’t very rich anyway. It was the first time she’d asked her mom for a sister. She felt disappointed and she stomped back to her room with Matilda and started thinking of another plan. She looked in one of her books of the chronicles of How To Convince Your Mom To Get A Little Sister. She did that because she had a lot of books and she knew she could find one book like that. Mia loved the color purple, so her bed was purple. Her walls were purple. The ceiling was purple. The floor color was purple. Everything was purple. Her two bookshelves were also purple.

Mia and Matilda sat on Mia’s bed to think of another little idea to convince Mia’s mom to get Mia a little sister.

“What about if we sneak up on my mom again but only this time, a little less money,” Mia suggested.

Matilda said, “That’s a great idea! Let’s try it.”

So they snuck up on Mia’s mom who was doing work; she worked from home but she used to work at work. Mia’s mom was a doctor.

After that when they snuck up on her they told her, “Mom,” in a friendly tone of voice but Mia’s mom didn’t get startled like last time.

“Oh hi guys, what do you want?” Mia’s mom asked.

“We just want to ask you a question. If you give me a little sister, after that I could get a job and earn you forty dollars.”

And after that Mia’s mom told them, “Yes, but I’m not going to give you a younger sister.”

After that Mia felt the same way as before, and told Matilda, “After this I’m not going to get a job!”

They went back to their bed. “Maybe we could talk to her about how we’re feeling!”

Matilda suggested, “I really think we should tell her because she does not know why we keep asking her and she is probably getting really annoyed because we’ve been doing this for quite a while now.” She was feeling a little nervous.

After that Mia and Matilda walked over to Mia’s mom in her chair near her desk. Mia said, “Mom, the reason why I really want a sister is because I don’t really have any company. You sometimes have work when I want to play, and I don’t like doing homework. And I just feel a little lonely. So can you please get me a little sister as soon as it’s possible?”

Mia’s mom said, “But I thought you guys would fight!”

“Maybe once in awhile, but not often,” said Mia.

After that Mia’s mom told them, “Okay. As soon as possible, I’ll get you one. As long as you don’t ask me so often.”

Nine months later, she got the sister from her mother! Mia’s little sister was named Monsoon. She had frizzy curly hair, it was dark brown to her neck. And now Mia felt so special to have a younger sister.

Mia said, “Yay!”

Later in the afternoon, Mia started playing with Monsoon. Mia taught Monsoon to play chess at such a young age. Monsoon became very good at it by the age of one. Monsoon was learning how to talk from Mia. Mia and Monsoon never fought. Mia’s mom was impressed by how much Mia taught Monsoon.

After that Mia left for a playdate with Matilda, but only this time, it was at Matilda’s house. Matilda was excited to try and get herself a younger sister as well. When Mia got there, Mia was like, “Are you ready to get a younger sister?”

After that Matilda said, “Yeah, I’m very ready! I’ve been waiting for it all week long! And three days more!” in an excited tone. So after that, Matilda said that she loved the color orange. The walls were orange, the ceiling was orange, the floor was orange and her bookshelves were orange. And her bed was orange.

Matilda told Mia why her mom didn’t want her to have a little sister. It was because Matilda’s mom, named Isabella, thought it would be too hard to brush both of their long hair. Both Mia’s and Matilda’s moms had long hair and younger sisters and their mom used to go bonkers brushing their hair.

Mia and Matilda sat on Matilda’s orange bed. It was very smooth, silky and soft.

“If you give me a sister, after that I can make extra special stuff for Thanksgiving, mother’s day, and father’s day for you and Dad and all family members, like presents, pop-up cards, and food, and awesome drinks.”

Matilda’s mom said, “Only if you do all of that every holiday, I’ll get you a sister.”

“I promise I will,” said Matilda. She was excited to have a new sister.

Ten days later, Matilda got her sister. Her name was Malla. Both Matilda and Malla had blue eyes and both of them had blonde hair. Malla had hair to the neck. Matilda felt very joyful that she had a younger sister. Matilda taught Malla how to play checkers at such a young age, at the age of one.

After that Mia came to Matilda’s house and asked how the baby was going. Mia asked, “What did you teach your little sister?”

Mia and Matilda sat on Matilda’s orange bed. And Matilda said, “While I was teaching Malla how to play checkers, she wouldn’t listen. I need her to listen to learn. The reason why I want her to listen is because she might feel more special next year at school.”

“Same with me,” Mia said.

“I feel kind of disappointed in her when she doesn’t listen,” said Matilda.

Since Mia and Matilda’s little sisters knew how to talk, they could talk to them and whenever it came to conversation, they would definitely listen. So they walked over to Malla and said, “If you will listen, maybe I could make you something yummy once a week, like a salad with grapes, tomatoes, cucumbers, and lettuce.”

Malla was like, “Okay. As long as you do that.” She just stopped playing checkers because of the yummy food.

It was Tuesday and the next day was Wednesday. Matilda said just for a test, “If you stand up on your feet for a minute, after that I could give you one of my yummy cookies.”

Malla said,“Ooh! Okay, I’ll stand up on my two feet for a minute. Okay?”

“Well, you better promise!”

So she stood up on her two feet for a minute.

The next day, the first thing in the morning, Matilda made a salad for Malla. After that Matilda said to Malla, “You’ve got to listen to me, and Mom, and Dad when we tell you to do things or stuff. Because it makes us feel disappointed and upset when you don’t listen to us. I want you to listen because if  you work hard you could feel special next year in school if you listen to us. You might even get the highest grades.”

Malla said, “I will listen to you, Mom, and Dad from now on.” After the conversation, she hugged her older sister.

Ten days later, Matilda had another playdate with Mia again. And they sat on Mia’s purple bed and Matilda asked, “How’s your younger sister doing?”

“Again, she’s not listening to me when I teach her how to play chess or other things,” Mia said to Matilda, “I feel upset.”

Matilda said, “That’s terrible! In what way do you think I could help you?”

Mia said, “If you could find a way how to help me in getting my little sister to listen, would be a great help. I don’t want to talk to her because she won’t listen, because she is not listening.”

“That’s a good reason,” said Matilda.

“Thanks,” said Mia.

“What else can we do?” said Matilda.

Since Mia’s cousin was also there, they asked, “How do you think we could get Monsoon to listen?” Mia’s cousin was a girl and her name was Jessica.

Jessica said, “Maybe you should just talk to her!”

Mia said, “But I don’t want to, because she won’t listen!”

“After that maybe you could draw her a picture and maybe she could figure out what it meant, or write her a message or you could write her a story on how to listen to your family,” said Jessica.

“Maybe I’ll go with the book on how to listen to your family members,” said Mia and Matilda. Mia felt very joyful.

So after that Mia and Matilda wrote a story on how to listen to your family members. Matilda was the illustrator; Mia was the writer. Mia wrote first. After that, depending on what Mia wrote, Matilda read Mia’s writing. After that depending on what she wrote, she drew the pictures. The story told little kids how to behave themselves and listen to their older siblings. It said, if your family members told you something, you should respond to them, you shouldn’t just ignore them.

So they gave the story to Monsoon and Monsoon read it. Before Monsoon read it, they said it was by the best writer in the world. They were trying to trick her. Since they didn’t know who that was, they just said that.

After that Monsoon said, “I thought this was going to be by you!” And they were like, “Oh, no no no! It’s by the best writer in the world. But you better take notes.”

She read it and she was like, “Why do I have to take notes?”

“Because this is an important book. We read it before you and we know the truth,” said Mia.

Monsoon was like, “All right. I’ll read it with notes. But do I need to?”

Mia was like, “Yes, you need to. Now just sit on the couch and read it. Bye bye.”

So they went upstairs to Mia’s room and they waited there for five minutes. After that, they peeked and they were like, “She’s not done? It was a very short book!” After that they went upstairs again and waited for five minutes and peeked and said, “She’s not done?” After that they went upstairs for another five minutes and said, “Oh, finally, she’s done!” And after that Mia and Matilda went downstairs and asked, “Can we see your notes?”

“I have the notes in my head, since I don’t know how to write,” said Monsoon.

“Can you explain them to us?” asked Mia and Matilda at the same time.

After that Monsoon was like, “Alright!” Monsoon said that it was all about listening to your family members or whoever, except for strangers. Of course. She was feeling kind of weird because she didn’t realize that she was not listening and stuff. “But I am already listening,” said Monsoon.  

“You think you are, but you’re not,” said Mia.

“Remember chess?” said Mia.

“When did we play chess?” asked Monsoon.

“Well, you were to busy playing with new toy Mom got you,” said Mia.             

“Well I didn’t know you were teaching me how to play chess,” said Monsoon.

“Oh!” said Mia, “I thought you were paying attention and weren’t really doing it.”

Matilda said, “But why? You should listen to people when they’re telling you to do something, even though you’re paying so much attention to your little opening-up dollhouse.”

“That is the truth,” said Mia, feeling kind of disappointed and depressed.

“Well, I was kind of paying attention but when you told me to do something, I think I was looking at something else, so…” said Monsoon.

“But still, you weren’t listening,” said Mia and Matilda at the same time again.

“Now I understand,” said Monsoon. “I will listen.”

“You better,” said Mia.

“I will,” said Monsoon.

The next day at school, somebody asked if they could play with them. But normally that happened only once a month. They were in the same class as her. It was her birthday so she really wanted to play with them. Her name was Andrea.

Andrea asked if she could play with Mia and Matilda because it was her birthday.

“How old are you turning?” asked Matilda.

“Well, I’m turning eight,” said Andrea.

“All right, you can play with us,” they said, because they were also turning eight. Mia was turning eight five days later and Matilda was turning eight ten days later.

They played hide and seek. After that they played tag, and after that they tried playing both of them combined, and after that they played charades. And after that, one wanted to play charades again, another wanted to play hide and seek, and another wanted to play tag. So what they did was they said, “Eenie meenie miney moe,” and it landed on Andrea. And Andrea was voting for hide and seek, but Mia wanted to play charades. So they played hide and seek first, charades second, and tag last.

Andrea was really funny and pretty nice. She normally played with somebody else named Sophia. And whenever Sophia didn’t play with Andrea, she played with Elizabeth. And whenever Elizabeth didn’t play with Sophia, she played with Andrea. And whenever Andrea didn’t play with Sophia, she played with Elizabeth.

When Andrea wasn’t playing with Sophia, Sophia didn’t want to play with Elizabeth because she got bored just playing with her when Andrea wasn’t there. Anyway, Elizabeth wasn’t as very funny as Andrea. Sophia wanted another friend to play with.

But she was always very quiet. She never used to talk. She wanted to get over her shyness, but normally her mother wasn’t there and normally her mother used to introduce her to friends.

So she made a cardboard picture of one of the girls that she saw in her school and she tried talking and saying her name, but she couldn’t, even to the cardboard. She was like, “Oh, man!” She felt kind of weird, because she can’t even talk to a cardboard person that she made!

After that she tried doing it with her cousin, named Kira. Kira was 17. She loved beanie boos. She was very smart and pretty and she liked helping people and she had a beanie boo of happiness.

Sophia told her what had been happening in school and what she needed help with and asked if she could practice on her. Kira said, “Of course you could practice on me! I just have to think of a new name.”

Kira and Sophia went into Sophia’s room. Sophia loved the color blue, light blue. The ceiling was light blue, the walls were light blue, the door was light blue, the floor was light blue, her bed was light blue. Everything was light blue.

So after that Kira stood up and said, “Hello, my name is Melissa.” And after that Kira said, “What’s your name?”

“Hi Melissa, my name is Sophia.” She felt pretty excited that she did it.

Kira said, “What’s your favorite thing to do?”

“My favorite thing to do is… to just sit on the couch and pretend to be bold,” said Sophia. “What’s your favorite thing to do?”

“My favorite thing to do is draw,” said Kira, who was pretending to be Melissa.

Sophia was a little bit shy to start the conversation. She wouldn’t say her name first.

The next day, Sophia went to school and asked two girls named Melissa and another girl named Sophia as well, so there were two Sophia’s and one Melissa.

“Can I play with you?” asked Sophia number 1.

Sophia and Melissa said, “All right!”

“What’s your name?” asked Sophia and Melissa.

“My name is Sophia. What’s your name?” asked Sophia to Sophia.

“My name is Sophia,” said Sophia.

“What’s your name?

“My name is Melissa!” said Melissa.

Five days later, Mia and Matilda saw Sophia playing with Melissa and Sophia number 2. Sophia #1 was Sophia S. and Sophia #2 was Sophia B.

Mia and Matilda walked over to them and asked if they could play. They were playing a game of hide and seek, so after that they asked someone who was seeking so they wouldn’t give it away.

Melissa was the one who was seeking so Melissa shouted, “Pause game!” and everybody ran to Melissa, who was playing hide and seek with them. And Melissa said, “Mia and Matilda and Andrea want to play with us.”

“All right,” said Sophia B.

“What do you want to do? asked Melissa and Sophia S. and Sophia B.

Mia said, “I want to play hide and seek because we were going to play Andrea’s idea, because she’s also the birthday girl.”

They played hide and seek for another five minutes. But right after they were done with hide and seek, recess was over. Andrea really also wanted to play dodgeball. But they didn’t have the money to buy the net.

 

Chapter 2 : Lemonade

The next day at school, they talked about how to get a net, but after that Mia said, “Why don’t we make a lemonade stand?” The net cost 50 dollars.

Andrea got the lemonade, since Mia had a little table she brought her table, Sophia S. brought the lime, Sophia B. brought the lemon, and Melissa brought the sugar and water to make it. Matilda knew how to cook, so she made chocolate chip cookies for whoever had lemonade.

It was Sunday afternoon when they all met at Central Park to serve the lemonade and cookies. Mia and Matilda’s sisters were there. Sophia B.’s cousin was there. The lemonade cost one dollar and the cookies also cost a dollar, so whoever bought any of those would pay one dollar or two.

Before they started, they had to set up everything. So they had the table and they put chairs around it for the kids to sit in. And they put the lemonade bottle onto the right and the lime next to it, the lemon next to the lime, the sugar next to the lemon and in front of the lemon the cookies. And next to the cookies, the water. And next to the water, the cups. It was quite sunny, a little bit breezy, 82 degrees and they were at the edge of Central Park. And whenever people came by, they said, “Lemonade! And cookies! One dollar each!”

Everybody who passed by got lemonade. And before anybody got some, they drank some. And after they got to their third customer, they checked on their sisters and they weren’t there. So everyone went on a sister hunt for the sisters, Malla and Monsoon.

Mia and Matilda felt weird because their sisters never really went anywhere. They felt very scared. And they had to tell their parents, since they knew they had their own phones, they called their mothers and fathers.

“Our sisters are gone!” said Mia and Matilda in a very scared tone of voice.

Everybody helped to find them. They looked for an hour, and after that for another hour inside Central Park, outside Central Park, and in New York City, but they weren’t there! They felt super duper nervous that somebody took them, because they didn’t look in houses.

They didn’t look in any houses because if somebody was doing something, they would have disturbed them. They alerted the police. Somebody must have taken their little sisters!

Mia and Matilda and Sophia B. and Sophia S. and Melissa and Andrea took a plane to South America to go and see if their little sisters were there. They looked in Brazil and then, they looked all over South America. After that they went back to North America, after that they looked all around North America. After that they went to Africa and looked all around Africa, in Uganda they found their little sisters!

A robber named Uganda went to Uganda for the little sisters. He thought they were dolls, and he was on a trip, so he took them home. He was pretending that he thought that.

The police were like, “Why did you steal their little sisters?”

“Because I thought they were dolls!” said the robber named Uganda. Malla and Monsoon said to their older sisters, “If that ever happens again, I will definitely shout help!”

Uganda ran away for the rest of his life and never robbed anybody ever again because he knew what would happen if he did, go to jail. But he anyway went to jail for two years before he ran away.

They went back home to finish their lemonade stand. The search had taken two weeks because they had to search everywhere. They left their sisters home, just in case anything happened. And while they were gone, people gave them money and took the lemonade and cookies. They did all the stuff by themselves. For two weeks! And after that once they got back from Uganda, they saw how much money they got. They got $172! So they spent 50 dollars on the net, and Isabelle, Matilda’s mom, got the net for Andrea. And she also spent two dollars for the ball. After that they shared the money and gave $20 to each of them.

Next year, in seventh grade, they played dodgeball at recess with the net and the ball. Mia, Matilda, Sophia S., Sophia B., Andrea, and Melissa had played dodgeball finally in seventh grade. After that, Melissa wanted a sleepover with all her friends at her house. So, once she got home, she sat on the bed and called each one of her friends that she wanted to have over. She asked them to come over for a desperate, important meeting. So after that, in five minutes they were all there, and Melissa said, “How am I going to convince my mom to let me have a sleepover?”

“How?” Mia asked.

“Maybe if we do all her chores she may let us have a sleepover.”

“That’s a great idea,” said Nicola. That was Melissa’s new friend. She met her last month. Melissa also wanted to have a sleepover with her.

So, they tried doing the chore idea. They finished all of Melissa’s mom’s chores. They had to clean the bathtub, set the table for dinner, and if their mom agreed, put out beds.

“Well… we’ve done all our chores!” said Melissa and her friends, adding Nicola. They checked all the chores. It was all done.

They had so much time left that they thought they’d watch a movie. They all had a vote: Inside Out and Descendants.

“I hate Descendants! I want to watch the great and awesome Inside Out,” said everyone. So they watched Inside Out. So they watched, watched, watched until it was eight p.m. Thankfully, Melissa’s mom came back at nine p.m.

So they watched and watched and watched until Melissa’s mom got back from work. So after that Melissa’s mom said, “Was this what you were doing?”

“No no, Mom. We want a sleepover.”

“Well, what have you done to earn it?”

“Well, I’ll weird. Oooh, I get it. Five hours of TV. Yay! Let’s go.”

They went to watch TV for five hours in Melissa’s mom’s room. They watched it silently other than once in awhile, they would pause and retell an entire movie. They were feeling quite happy because they knew how Melissa’s mom was. She would say “okay” to almost anything. For three hours they watched Inside Out and after that the rest of the two hours they watched Descendants even though they all hated it.

“Okay, it’s time to go to Mom,” said Melissa.

Melissa’s mom was in the kitchen cooking dinner. Everyone was surprised because they thought Melissa’s mom would be on the couch thinking. So after that Melissa and her friends walked up to Melissa’s mom and asked her, “So what is your answer?”

“Okay, as long as you go to bed on time.”

“Okay, I will, I will, Mom.”

“Now come on. Eat your dinner.”

“But what is for dinner?” asked Melissa.

“Your favorite. Pesto pasta,” said Melissa’s mom.

“YAY,” cried Melissa.

After five minutes, everyone was ready to eat dinner.

Everyone liked it so much that they took around two or three helpings.

After that everyone but Melissa ran back home because they needed to get their pajamas and toothbrush and five minutes later they were all ready for the sleepover with all their stuff.

But Mia was really scared to sleep the night because it was so hard for her to wake up the next day because she always gets the worst nightmares. But that’s why she brought her teddy bear and all her other stuffed animals to protect her and took off her prettiest earrings that she wore and let out her hair and puffed her cushion up with it when it was time for the sleepover. But that was like three hours away. So, all she did was watch TV for three hours with the girls. And after that that’s when the terror of the sleepover happened. And also when Mia started getting terrified by the sleepover and sleeping. But she did her normal routine, which was take her fanciest earrings off, let out her hair from her braid, and puff up the pillow with it and go to sleep with a terrible nightmare and thought it would come alive!!! But this time she thought of a plan to not think about it. YAY! But it was good that she had THREE hours until the sleepover started.  

“PHEW!” Mia said in a relieved tone of voice.

She hoped no one heard her. Meanwhile, at Mia’s house, everyone, literally everyone, was so worried that she was gonna get the creeps. “She’s gonna get a nightmare. She’s not gonna wake up! Noooo!!!” they all shouted.

“But if we get there early we could wake her up!” said Simona, Mia’s favorite cousin.

“Ohhh,” everyone said with a grin.

Meanwhile at Melissa’s house, after the last three hours, everyone went to sleep and still Mia did her normal routine and went to sleep.

Unfortunately, she was at the top bunk and whenever she was at the top bunk at a sleepover, more of those bad dreams came to her head. But anyway, she had her big plan, which turned out to be a little plan. And now she went to sleep with all her bad dreams.

 

To be continued…

Mom’s Story Book

Hampton the Hamster

Once there was a hamster named Hampton. He wanted to leave home to go to the fair. He went to the fair, where he saw a movie theater and decided to watch a Star Wars movie. Then he saw an ice cream machine and felt tired. He went home on a magical pony that farted rainbows and feel asleep on his magic carpet. The end.

 

The Gnome.

The gnome was a happy fellow guarding gardens and watering plants. He wore red pants and a navy blue shirt. His eyes changed color and he had a long red hat that was shaped like a street cone. The gnome was short, about the size of a pen, and was a medium weight. He laughed and cried until the day he died. The gnome had a magical life in the garden of heaven’s light.

 

I Need to Go to the Bathroom!

I was in class and I needed to go to the bathroom. So I went to the bathroom and I turned on the light but then… There, standing in the dim light of the light bulb was the Ultimate Toilet Plunger, dun dun dun! The toilet plunger splashed dirty water and wiped toilet paper at me, but I outsmarted the plunger by bribing him to follow the toilet paper. Finally, I went to the bathroom. THE END.

 

Yoda Goes Rocker Mode

A Long Time Ago In A Galaxy Far Far Away… One day, when Yoda was in the temple meditating, he heard a voice say, “Yoda.”  

“Wha…” said Yoda. “Dreaming I must be.”

“Yoda,” the voice said again.

“Dreaming I am not,” said Yoda.

“Yoda, be a rocker.”

“Be a rocker I will,” said Yoda. So he got up from his chakra chair and set out on his journey. Finally, Yoda found a poster that said “Green Tall Guys,” but he thought he was too short. He tried to get in anyway, and said “Join I must,” in rocker mode.

The guys said, “You are too short.”

Then Yoda went ninja Jedi style on the dudes and they said, “Fine, you can join. But first I need to put some stuff on you.” So, till this day, Yoda looks like a green monster with headphones and sunglasses. His hair is the same and he plays drums on his high chair. The end, or, as Yoda would say, the end is now.

 

John Cena Prank Call

One day, John Cena wanted to do a prank call, but he couldn’t decide who to call. He made a list:

  • Luke Skywalker
  • Marine supporter

Two hours later after deciding, John Cena called Luke Skywalker. Beep beep beep.

“Hello, who is this?” Luke said.

“No, Luke, you should know,” said John Cena.

“Are you my mom?” said Luke.

“No, Luke, I am JOHN CENA,” said John Cena.

“NOOO!!!” moaned Luke, for about three hours.

“Well, time for my next prank,” said John Cena. So he called a marine supporter. BEEP BEEP BEEP.

“Hello, who is this?” said the supporter.

“Is this a marine supporter?” said John Cena.

“Yes, who is this?” said the supporter.

“A former marine needs your help and his name is JOHN CENA,” said John Cena.

“What the @#$^?” said the supporter. After the prank calls, John Cena felt good and fell asleep, but not before thinking about what he did. The end.

 

Baby Karate

Once upon a time, there was a child named Jeff, who was two years old and lived in Arizona in a mansion with his mom and dad. His dad and mom went out for dinner and they put an untrained babysitter with him. This babysitter was named Alison. She forgot to bring diapers, so she put little Jeff to sleep and plopped onto  the couch to watch TV. She saw Jeff on a little router. Jeff really, really needed to go to the bathroom, but he didn’t have a diaper.

There is one thing you didn’t know about Jeff: he had ninja moves. So, he flipped out of his bed, but on his way out he saw Mr. Teddy. Mr. Teddy was his very, very freaky teddy bear that was like the Five Nights at Freddy’s guy. He had to go through a lot of fighting, backflips, and rattle-throwing until, finally, to finish Mr. Teddy off, he took the block of wisdom from the mixed block box and struck him down right in the button.

Then, Jeff backflipped into the bathroom, closed the door, and went potty. The journey back to the crib was harsh. It was filled with Mr. Teddy’s babies. They had metal teeth and sharp claws. So, same thing all over again: backflips, hi-ya! Karate chops, hi-ya! Rattle-throwing, and finally, the Block of Building Steps. So, he took out every single one, until there were none left, and once he did that, he realized that he had one extra rattle. He knew what that meant – he had a magical wish from his rattle. He wished to be back in his crib. Then, finally, he got in his crib, but Alison called, “Jeff! Come down!”

Jeff was like, “NOOO!”

The same thing happened. Little Teddy’s babies turned into more Little Teddy’s babies, which meant that he had to make a new block to defeat the little teddies. After he did so, Alison said, “Jeff, I actually don’t need you go to bed.”

“Are you kidding me??” said Jeff.

THE END.

The Fire Prince

“Ohh no you don’t,” Kai argued. “I’m not doing that! You know that Elder John told us to only go in in case of an emergency.”

I gave him the Look. “This is an emergency! The Black Knights are attacking!!!” I whisper-yelled, “Go, go, go, hurry they’re coming, go!!”

“Okay, okay!” he said he climbed up the side of the rock wall and jumped down.

I followed. We ran as fast as we could through all of the shrubbery and trees; we had to get the the other side of the forest as fast as we could. We’re the king’s messengers; that means that when something bad happens, we have to get to the king’s castle as fast as possible to tell the king that his kingdom is under attack. Each village has a boy and a girl messenger. They have to be fast, and they have to be orphans, so they have to be from an orphanage. They have to have a good sense of direction, they need to be smart, athletic, sensible, and have to be a good team.

We had been running through the forest for almost ten minutes and I was starting to get cramps so we came to a stop at a small spring. We put down our stuff. We decided to make camp there, it was about two miles from the village where we lived. It’s called the village of Dragon Burrow. It got its name for all of its dragon nests.

I have an all-elemental dragon that was just born a couple months ago. Kai has a fire-water type dragon that is just a year old. It has already been trained by Elder John. The only reason why his is trained and mine is not is because dragons don’t open their eyes until they are exactly one year old and they won’t be able to understand you if they can’t even see you.

We started a fire and put some stones around it. We got out the food, only enough food for tonight, the breakfast, the next night, and the next breakfast. Well, we ate dinner that night and it was dumplings.

“Ew,” we both said at once. They were all soggy and uncooked dumplings with wet meat inside. Yuck.

Well, we had to make a fire with the help of the few remaining dry sticks left from Kai’s dragon. After we ate dinner, we put out the fire also. Using Pine’s help, we told the story about the Fire Prince. It’s a good story, about a boy who found that he had the power to control the flames and was able to use them to…

After that we went to bed in our tents we set up and fell asleep.

•••

We awoke to the sweltering heat. “Wake up!!! Wake up!!!” I shouted while shaking Kai’s tent.

“What’s going on? Why’s it so hot out there?”

“There’s a fire come on get out of there!!!” Suddenly, the back of Kai’s tent burst into flames.

“Get out of there NOW!!!” I screamed at the top of my lungs. I pulled him out.

“Where are Pine and Evie?” Kai shouted over the the burning trees falling to the ground. My heart literally skipped a beat. Pine, one year old, and Evie, five months, were lost in a monstrous fire. Kai’s eyes nearly bulged out of its sockets, that’s how shocked he was. If he bent over, they would probably fall out. Then we heard the most high-pitched scream ever combined with the average puberty scream of a teenaged boy.

My dragon screaming in the fire sounded like: “AHHH!!!” And then plus the high pitched scream: “EEE!!!”

Suddenly there was a hand on Kai’s foot and a hand on my foot then there were four little stubs on the sides of my head. It also felt like there was a balloon sleeping on my head. Anyway, when I felt the hand on my foot, I screamed, then Kai screamed, then the hand screamed. Then we all stopped, including the fire. Which is weird because it’s a fire. Meh…  so the hand that was on my foot got up and so it was then that I realized that it was a human. Boy. Teenager. Looks. Like. King’s. Lost son. Whoa.

Good hair. Black armour? Bad person. Good hair. Questions go bop.

Bop. Bop. BOP!

“Uh, hi!” he said. He seriously looked like the lost prince, right down to the perfect teeth. Kai looked at him and made a face. “My name’s Ivan.” He held out his armored hand and put the other hand on his sword.

We backed away from him. Pine let out little rings of steam around his body. I felt Evie sink onto my head. I picked her up and held her up to my chest. She nestled in toward me.

“Why are you wearing the Black Knight armor?” I asked the boy. “You’re the lost prince!”

“Says who?” he asked, clearly confused.

“Who are your parents then?” asked Kai

“You mean my dad? Oh, he’s the king of the Black Knights,” the boy said, sounding rather casual.

“Then why aren’t you trying to kill us?” I asked. This was confusing enough with just waking up in a fire that suddenly stops right before your eyes. Then you meet the Lost Prince but he says that he’s not him, and that his dad is the king of the Black Knights.

“Well, I don’t really want to because it’s the world law that you are not allowed to kill any children or women, only men. And since you are both children, I can’t kill you,” he said with an uncertain glance every which way.

“Well, we’re going to the kingdom to see your dad. Do you want to come with us?” Kai asked.

“Sure!” said Ivan. We made our way through the forest to Fairy Way, which is a small city infested with man-sized fairies with giant wings. Next we had to go undercover through the City of Barbarians, which was followed by the Nice City of Everyone. Then on our ninth day, we entered the kingdom of King Edmund the II. We entered the kingdom with tons of guards. We entered the castle, and there were tons of other messengers. Some of which I had never seen, but some we had seen passing by our village for parades. One of the messengers had no shoes, but instead had bandages around blistered feet. Fire blisters. All of the other messengers had some sort of  sign that they had been in some sort of fire… even us. All of our clothes had been singed from the fire that had happened more than a week ago.

Suddenly King Edmund came bursting out of the hall doors muttering something about his evil brother. Two other messengers came out following him with troubled looks on their faces. The king stopped short once he opened the door. There, standing at the door, grinning the evilest, wickedest, grin ever. His dark hair was matted by sweat and revenge, his beard half shaved, and a giant scar running straight down his face. “Nice to see you again… brother!”

At that the wicked man jabbed his “brother” in the jaw, sending him flying back and landing his head on the step up to his office. The man (although he was more of a monster) walked straight up to the king and stomped on his stomach. At that horrid sight everyone in the room cringed and winced as we all grabbed a heavy object from behind us.

This is not going to work out the way we planned, I thought. This is NOT going to work out the way we planned. Now of course, you may be wondering about all this planning. Well, we kids just are special. We are all the same person, just in different bodies. We all have the same minds. It’s fun being a kid for many reasons, one of which I will tell and show you about very soon.

Finally, the horrid thing that called itself the king’s brother bent over the king’s half alive body. “Well, I’m going to take over your kingdom. How about that?” it muttered under its breath. That was when our child anger took over. We charged at the wicked thing, we had our chairs, poles, and parts of the crumbling pillars. In mid-charge, the master of evil made the loudest whistle but we kept running. Suddenly, an army of weirdos busted in to the room. That was when things got real. And I don’t mean like real, I mean like real real, like, real. People started hitting each other on the head! It was every man for himself. By that I mean everyone for themselves. I looked for Kai. When I couldn’t find him standing up I got a pit in my stomach and looked down. There he was, lying unconscious with blood spilling out from his leg. I checked for a pulse. His heart was barely beating.

I ran over to find someone Jack!! His name ran through my mind. Finally, I found him whacking some ugly guy with a chair. I smacked the guy in the head with a piece of wood lying on the ground. He fell flat on his face. He, he. “Kai’s out and we have to get the king to safety. C’mon!” I shouted over the roaring of the war.

We ran over to Kai and I dragged him by his armpits. We dropped him off in the king’s office. Then we went to get the king. I took his upper body and Jack took his lower. We dragged him into the office with Kai. “Jack, grab me that pitcher!” I took the pitcher from Jack and poured the cold water onto Kai’s face. He woke up spewing a fountain of water everywhere!

“What happened?” Kai asked. I passed the pitcher back to Jack and told Kai what happened.

“What happened to your leg?” I asked him, eyeing the gash on his left leg.

“You know, they say that if you don’t look at your own cut then it won’t hurt as much. So now that you reminded me that I will now scream in pain.” And with that he let out an extremely loud roar of pain that made the battle outside sound like a cool breeze.

But something else happened besides everyone in the room losing their hearing, the king woke up. But when I said everyone in the room losing their hearing, I meant everyone in the room. “WHAT IS IT, YAPPERS!!??” the king yelled. He sat straight up with his eyes peeled wide open. I do not know who Yappers is, so I guess that was just a side effect for being nearly killed: going mad. He stood up and with one long stride he reached out to Kai and said, “Take my hand, Marida. And we can ride away to freedom!!” Then he pretended to be a singer. Not good. He took one step forward in slow-mo while pulling up a fist, and then made a face like he had just bit his lip but tried to make it look good. It did not look good. Then he pretended to be a rabid cat. “Heaaasss!!” Then he tried being an evil witch stirring a cauldron but he got it all wrong: “Toilet, toilet, boil and trouble.” Then he was a soldier. “RUN! RUN! RUN! SHE’S GONNA BLOW!! TAKE COVER!!!”

After this went on for a little while more, I realized that the fighting seemed to have stopped. I opened the door to see a giant heap of hideous people and a group of kids brushing themselves off from the previous battle. Although the people in the heap were pretty unconscious the thing that called itself the king’s brother was still get kicked in the gut by some of the other kids. Suddenly, a fire flew up around the people lying on the floor, and a deafening screech filled the room. One moment there were a pile of weirdos. The next, they were gone. Strange. Evie came down from her hiding place and landed on my shoulder while Pine landed on Kai’s.

Now of course you may be wondering about Ivan: well, we hadn’t seen him all day. Oh and here’s the weird part: standing where the heap used to be was… Ivan. This was strange. The fire only appeared when when Ivan came! Like when we were in the woods, the fire came and when it stopped Ivan had appeared! Something rung in the back of my head: the Fire Prince!

The tale of the Fire Prince was a story about a boy who was able to make himself disappear into fire and was able to make others do the same. He could also appear in fire. He never learned how to control his powers until he was in a war and killed everyone in it on both sides. That’s what Elder John told us. But he also said that if the Fire Prince would be able to learn to control his power, no one would get hurt and he would banish the bad to the Horrid Lands. If he really was the Fire Prince, then we needed to teach him how to use his powers the right way. Every day he would become more powerful until the day the war was meant to come.

“Ivan? Is that you? Is it really you?” the king whispered. “After all these years, is it really you?”

“Dad?” Ivan said, getting just a bit teary. Okay, fine, very teary.

After that we all left. It was father-son business, not ours, and anyway, it would have been a bit awkward if we had stayed.

We all huddled out the room and into another room, almost as big as the one before. It was the king’s study. All of his notes were packed into hundreds of notebooks and papers. There was a desk at one end and the big oak door that we had come through. We all looked around in awe. There was a ginormous chandelier hanging by a small chain on the ceiling. After another hour or so, we had found many things such as old maps and other stuff like that. The servants came looking for us and ushered us out the big oak door and up to our rooms. We fell fast asleep, finally being able to feel comfort at last.

The next morning we awoke to the smell of scones and rolls. We went downstairs after getting changed into our new clothes, only to find the king and Ivan laughing and telling each other jokes and Ivan showing off his fire powers. We sat down and had the best meal of our lives: the food was delicious and perfectly cooked over Ivan’s fire that he summoned into the stove. It was a cold morning and no one really wanted be awake. Kai’s leg had been bandaged up but you could still see where it was. The blood had leaked through the cloth.

One of other messengers named Murie had walked over to the big glass window and peered through to reveal about forty giant troops of men lined up about a mile from the castle. It was a terrifying sight to see. “Uh, Your Majesty, th-there seems to  be someone outside,” Murie stuttered. She pointed out to the crowd while the king and Ivan looked out. Ivan looked fine, as he never knew the Black Knights to be evil, while the King looked about as worried as a turkey during hunting season.

“What?! I thought we got rid of him yesterday! When you made him switch places with you! How is he back so soon?” The king groaned. “What does he want now? George! Would you do me the favor of getting me my horse? Oh, and Flynn, go tell the men to get their gear on, and tell the people to go to William’s Church on the countryside. Go! Go! Go! Hurry!!!” he shouted without looking away from the window as the men marched toward the castle.

This wasn’t going to end well. They had obviously way more men than we did. This, we could tell, was not going to be an easy battle against the evilest (by far) person on Earth.

Suddenly, as the king rode out on his horse, five monstrous dragons galloped forward, about the height of the gallows on the other side of the field that were now being trampled by the dragons.

I grabbed Kai and led him outside and onto the steps out front, As soon as the dragons came close enough, Kai muttered, “The Titans.” He stared out onto the field as the king’s horse galloped towards them. Titans. Of course they would be the first choice of the evilest man on Earth. Of course. Why hadn’t we known that he would do this. Kai went back and came back with his sword in his hand. I turned towards Kai only to see him sprinting down the field, chasing after the King, chasing after death itself.

Suddenly, one of the Titans fired a massive fireball the size of a cannonball, and going as fast as one too. Kai took out the sword from the sheath he had been carrying it in and used it to block the fireball. He had already run about a mile from the castle when he jumped up the side of one of the Titans and dragged himself up the beast, it was about forty feet high and wide. It wasn’t long before he reached the top, barely even a minute. The Titan started to buck and kick and finally stood on its two hind legs, forcing Kai to hang on its head armour. The beast stood like that for a long time. Soon Kai began to slip, and he let go.

An amazing thing happened: the Titan caught Kai with one giant palm. The Titan brought Kai up to his face and breathed out, knocking Kai on to his back. The dragon placed Kai on the back of his neck and kept on walking forward. No one dared to move, not even the other Titans. Kai’s Titan walked the rest of the way, and pretty slowly too, until he reached the king. The Titan bent down slowly and plucked Kai from the back of his neck and gently placed him on the ground. The massive beast turned around just as Flynn’s men came onto the battlefield.

Kai had always had a way with dragons. He was always so good with the dragon babies back at home. Elder John used to call him the dragon master, and everyone in the village of Dragon Burrow knew that if anyone would be able to tame a Titan, it would be Kai. So to be honest, it wasn’t much of a surprise to me that he had tamed the Titan.

What did amaze me was how he could have done that with a badly bruised and scraped leg that had a cut about an inch deep. Kai was able to talk to the beast, and it seemed that the Titan could understand him. He directed the beast toward the opposing side, and the beast blew a massive hole in the ground. It sent the front half of the troops flying backward toward the end of the field. That was when the war started, and the remaining soldiers charged forward.

To be honest, it was a pretty hilarious sight because all you saw was a group of five enormous dragons chasing a little person on a gray horse riding as fast as it could with an even smaller boy running next to it while a sixth dragon was trying to bomb about a million people behind the dragons. The dragons stopped when ordered, and the men advanced charging at the opposing side. They fought for fifteen hours, timed until half the men on each side were dead and the other half wounded.

The only ones that remained were the two brothers. They walked toward each other. Once they were close enough, they each picked up a bow from their sides and took their stances. They pulled the arrows back as far as they could, aimed, and the Dark King fired first, shooting a black-silver arrow into King Edward’s chest. It sent him staggering backwards until he finally fell to his knees and fell flat on his chest. A puff of smoke rose from where the arrow had hit him. It was black magic.

From where he stood, Ivan raced about 30 yards before kneeling next to the dead king. The Dark King turned away and walked back to his side. He was halfway there when Ivan stood up and yelled at him, “YOU MONSTER!!!” He ran after him and tackled him to the ground. We were all too stunned to move. We stood there on the steps of the king’s castle. What used to be King Edmund II’s. It wasn’t a good feeling to know that your king gave his life to save the entire kingdom.

No one wanted to do anything. We all stared at our feet, not wanting any part in this madness. Our king was dead, there was nothing good we could do or say. All we could think about was how we failed. We were sent by our village to come to warn the king that the Black Knights were coming so that he could be ready to protect his kingdom and all that surrounded it. Now he was dead, a quarter of the other people with him. It shouldn’t have ended in a battle of the brothers. After all, they were brothers. They suffered through their mother’s death when they were born and had to live alone with their father who later died in a battle when they were five. It was Edmund’s shoulder that his brother cried on. It wasn’t just a sin that the king’s brother, Rith, had made, it was a betrayal, a deception. Broke a brotherly bond between the two.

Suddenly, a beam of light shot up from the middle of King Edmund’s chest. The very top of it turned into an eagle. For ten seconds, it stood there beaming a blue-ish light into the blood-soaked sky. Then, as soon as it came, it vanished, taking his body with it. In its place laid a thin crown made of a worn silver, no longer shiny of the new creation, but dull and scratched from life’s hard work and pain. From a lost mother, a lost mather. And a lost brother. Rith shook the crying Ivan off of him and gently picked up the small crown.

As soon as he touched it, it seemed as if he had been relieved of a pain or a curse. The expression on his face turned from a hard, stern, frightening look, to a gentle, warm, soft look as he held the crown. Then a sudden look of realization and worry come to his face as he whispered, “The old witch at the end of the woods.” He dropped the crown and jumped back. The whole evil king thing was just some weird witch’s fault. It was only a curse. Only a curse. Just a simple spell on a poor man’s mind to make him do evil things for an evil one’s liking. It wasn’t right. But it was over now that the curse was gone. The king was gone too. Rith was left in a haze and we all went to the center of the field where Rith stood staring at the crown.

His eyes weren’t dull like they seemed before. In fact, now they were shining. They were gray with small flecks of gold, like the king’s except his were green. Now Rith only looked like a scared young man, no longer the vengeful demon that had killed his own brother. We walked over to him and we crowded around in a circle around him. We stood there for a long time.

Soon, Rith broke the silence. “Did I kill him?”

I nodded. He turned and cried. He later disappeared with Ivan. Ivan wanted to be with his newfound and good uncle. After all, he had no one else to live with.

We decided to leave. It took almost two weeks to get back and what we saw was amazing, though burnt. The people had begun to rebuild, though it seemed impossible. Evie and Pine had beat us home and left when the war started. It was amazing to get back to help the other people. When they heard the news about the king, we celebrated all through the night. Little pockets of bright green grass came out of ash. Right by the entrance to the village, there was a rose.

The Video Game

Characters:

Adam, Grandpa, Grandma, Mom, Dad, Brother, Viegas 

One day, there was a kid named Adam. Adam was very smart and he loved to do technology and he also loved science. Adam was in fifth grade. One day, Adam wanted to play a video game, so he went to the app Minecraft, and then he saw that someone had hacked into his account. He went to see the village and the village was on fire!

Then he shouted, “Darn!” But, he said, “Oh right, I know how to go back to what I’ve played so far or what happened in Minecraft.” He rewound the game. He sighed and said, “Phew.” But he thought, “Oh, I really want to go into the game and see the experience.”

He knew that he had blueprints that he could use, so he took out a piece of blueprint and started to plan out how to go into a video game. The plan looked like a door with wires connected to it and said “Computer must be needed.” So he biked to the recycling center and got all of his pieces. But, Adam forgot to bring the box with him. But, he found that there was a string on his bike and he thought, Huh, I see some trucks that load things and wrap them with strings. I should try that. That was close, he thought.

He was biking home, but then he found that his grandparents were there. Adam loved his grandparents, but he also wanted to go into a video game. He had to choose one. Since he loved his grandparents he decided to make the videogame teleporter a little later. He found out that his grandpa was a technologist so he whispered in his ear, “Grandpa, come to my room.”  

Since his grandpa couldn’t hear that well, he said, “What?”

So then Adam slowly repeated the sentence loudly, “Grandpa, can you please come to my room?”

Since his grandpa heard the question this time, he stood up, took his cane, and started to slowly walk to Adam’s room.

When his grandpa got to his room, Adam asked, “Grandpa, can you help me make a portal to go into a video game?”

His grandpa asked, “Which video game?”  

Adam replied, “Minecraft! We also need to let our whole family know, because there’s the video gamegoing to be an ice age in a week!”

“Hmm… It appears that our whole family has to go into Minecraft.”

“But why, Grandpa?”

“Because, if we leave the whole family, they’re going to die and not gonna survive,” said Grandpa.

“Then first we need to tell my mom, my dad, my brother, and Grandma, okay?” Adam said.

“Okay,” answered Adam’s grandpa.

They started to build the teleporter. Adam went down to tell his whole family that the ice age was coming in a week. They all got confused.

“Honey,” said Adam’s mom. “It’s the middle of summer.”

“It’s 2032, we need to go.  The ice age is coming in a week, and I know it’s crazy, but we need to go into my favorite video game, Minecraft. I know it seems crazy, but it’s the only way we can survive even though there’s an ice age there. We just get covered in snow and all we need to do is make a house quickly.”

They took all the pieces that Adam got from the junkyard. His grandpa went to the backyard and dragged the pieces to the backyard in a wagon. They got a screwdriver and a drill and a hammer and a lot of nails, and they started to build the machine. They started off with the door and then pieces of metal, and it took them about five days. Max mentioned that there was only one day left until the ice age happened. 

Everybody said, “What?” They all were confused, but they still followed Adam’s lead and they went to the backyard. They found a weird looking door. They shouted, “Woah!” So they quickly ran into the door and opened the door and saw a whole new Minecraft universe.

So they all started to mine wood and get some wood. After a few days, they all got a lot of wood and they built a mansion made out of wood. Since his grandma didn’t know how to build so well, his grandma just made blueprints. Once they finished the mansion completely, they started placing items in their mansion, for example: beds, shelves, crafting tables, chairs, tables, etc. Max’s favorite part about the house was the attic, because the attic was big enough to play football in it.

Then, a few days later, someone hacked into their world and took flint and steel and touched a block of wood on their mansion. The fire spread and the whole mansion was on fire. Adam’s grandpa took a bucket of water and went to the top of the mansion and poured the water on the mansion and the fire vanished immediately. Max crafted a force field on the enchanted crafting table and his grandpa said, “Good job!” The whole family found a big chunk of iron and re-made the mansion. When they made the iron mansion it took about six weeks to make the mansion. But they made the mansion bigger and better. Adam also upgraded the force field he had made before.

A few weeks later his grandma went to the woods with the whole family to to get some fresh air. His grandma opened an unexpected door to see what it was. The whole family shouted “NO!!!” But it was too late. His grandma already opened the door and when the snow came through, it turned into snow blocks. The wind was very strong, and his grandma wasn’t very strong, so she accidentally slipped into the ice age universe.  Two glaciers were quickly coming toward his grandma. They all shouted “RUN!” but the ice was too slippery.  She couldn’t stand up, and the glaciers were going faster each second and unfortunately squashed his grandma.

That day it was the darkest day ever in their life in Minecraft. The family made a graveyard for Adam’s grandma in Minecraft. Suddenly, a shiny colored looking Steve came to his room at night. Adam realized that it was his grandma’s spirit. That night, Adam had a conversation. At the end of the talk, Adam’s grandma told him not to tell his family. Adam didn’t ask why. Instead he asked, “Where are you going to live in the day?” She said that she would hide in his Minecraft picture in his room.

The next day came and the whole family woke up saying, “Oh! It’s a new day!” They were acting as if they didn’t remember that Grandma had died!!! Then Adam’s dad mentioned, “We don’t have food, so why don’t we go out and get some food?”

Adam wondered, Why is everyone acting so happy? The whole family went out to kill a wolf and Adam’s brother suffered, suffered, screamed in pain because the wolf bit his leg off. Blood was all over the place. They had to take his organs and stuff them in his leg. Then they dragged his brother back to the mansion and went to the emergency room. They got stitches and a metal wire. They connected their wire with the blood vein on his thigh and the blood vein on his leg. They sewed the leg to the thigh. Adam’s brother tried to move his leg and … he moved it! He tried to walk on his leg, but he had to learn how to walk for about two weeks. SUCCESSFUL SURGERY!!!

Once Adam got home, he went to his room. He locked the door of his room. He talked to the picture and said, “Grandma, you can come out. I locked the door.” Suddenly his picture began to shine and spin and his grandma’s spirit came out of the picture. She said, “Ahhhh, that was a long sleep. Thanks for waking me up, Adam.”

Adam replied, “It’s nice to see you too. I have to tell you that my brother has to learn how to walk because his leg got chopped off by a wolf.”

His grandma said, “Oh, there’s a knock on your door! I’ll hide back in the picture!”

Adam replied, “Okay.” He opened his door.

His mom said, “There’s a guest who wants to see you. His name is Viegas. He is waiting in the living room. He wants to show something to you.”

Adam said, “Sure, he can come up to my room.”

Five minutes later, Viegas came to Adam’s room and said, “Quickly, lock the doors and pull down the shades.”

Adam said, “Okay, but why?”

“Just quickly do it!” said Viegas.

“Okay, okay, jeez,” replied Adam. So Adam did as Viegas said.

Then Viegas pulled out a paper. He said, “This is a map, a very ancient map. I asked your mom if I could go out with you into the woods. Your mom said it’s fine, but to come back by dinner time. She said that the dinner is wolf stew.”

Adam said, “Okay. Where does this map lead to?”

Viegas replied, “It leads to an ancient castle with treasures.” So they went downstairs and Adam told his mom that he was going out into the woods. So they opened the door and they started to walk into the woods. They ran in the direction of the map and Adam and Viegas had a compass and a clock in their chest just to check the time. So they started running.

They came up into the middle of the woods until Viegas tripped on an old gray brick. Viegas said, “This is the castle! I know that it’s a castle because I’ve been here, but be careful because there are monsters such as creepers, endermen, zombies, and skeletons. But the most dangerous thing of all that we need to kill is Mobzilla. Dun dun dun!”

Adam asked, “Why do we have to kill Mobzilla?”

Viegas replied, “To get the armor and the treasure.”

So they started to head into the castle. Once they got to the castle they found two zombies. Viegas said, “Quickly! Go to the furnace and try to melt the compass and the clock to make a time sword.” They pressed a button on the time sword and went to the time after they killed the zombies and had zombie disguise suits.

Both of them fell silent and started to make zombie sounds. Both of them ended up in a narrow pathway and started to come up to a tunnel where they had to crawl. Then they came to the part of the tunnel where there was a fork in the road. Then Vegas said “We have to split up. We’re close to Mobzilla’s throne.”

“Okay.” said Adam. So they split up.

They ended up right in front of Mobzilla, gladly still in disguise.

Mobzilla was a big and tough guy. He was strong enough to kill one hundred mutant zombies in one punch. He had poisonous spikes and magma hot leather. Just then, he started to moan out something that Adam didn’t understand. Then, Adam and Viegas, out of nowhere, took out a enchanted king-scale battle axe and duplicated the king-scale battle axe. Both of them started hitting Mobzilla. Mobzilla tried to dodge the hits, but he was too big to dodge the hits. Mobzilla eventually died and both of them got the Mobzilla armor. Suddenly, out of nowhere, there was a portal to the Ender World!

Before the two jumped in, they decided to visit their families. Viegas had lost his family because Endermen took his family, so he was kind of glad that the portal was an Enderportal. Anyway, they arrived at Adam’s home and told them that they had defeated Mobzilla. But of course they didn’t believe that they defeated Mobzilla until Viegas took out his Mobzilla helmet.

They talked for a while and decided that Adam and Viegas could go to the Ender World, so Adam’s mom packed their inventory full of food. Then they ran back to the portal and got their armor on and counted down: Three, two, one! They jumped inside the portal with their eyes closed…

The Lonely Glimmer of the Moon

The stars on navy black nights

wink at humans who stare up at the lonely glimmer of the moon.

The mystery girl sits on the dusty pewter gray surface

her lanky legs hanging down, dangling above the world she knew so well.

She hums a lullaby for the people to drift off to sleep,

into the world of dreams.

Where the world’s sins and rainy days are forgotten,

where there is a new glimmer of hope for each and every one of us.

The map in the center sets us on our path to destiny,

and at the end of the day,

the mystery girl dances among the stars.

The Night of the Pug Banshee

Ahhh! Pug banshee. That is what was in the letter, thought Detective Frank. Now he had to figure out who was the pug banshee.

Meanwhile, across town, a pug was right in front of a computer ordering a black hoodie and a new scythe because his old one had blood on it.

After interviewing every human in town, Frank fell onto his couch. It broke. I will order a new one on Amazon, he thought. Then he realized that the murderer must have ordered something on Amazon Prime. The signal led him to a warehouse. He stepped inside the warehouse. All of a sudden he heard a scream so loud he died. A Pug banshee was standing over him.

“Nice work,” Barney said as he stepped out of the shadows.

 

Leela Levine was crawling down the street at midnight, eating a box of cookies. Sure, she was not allowed to leave the house past her bedtime, or eat too many cookies, but hey, she could just blame the chauffeur. Then she crawled right into a cave in Hastings. The cave of the Pug banshee. He attacked her with his scream. Then she got upset and attacked him with a bazooka. Then they fell in love. All of a sudden they had a baby who they named Petruska.

“Awww, she is so cute,” Barney said. Little did Barney, Barney, and Barney know that she would start a war.

 

Blinky was bored. Sure, he had 765 marriages planned, but still, just because he’d called dibs on 764 pretty singers, and one dib on Heidi Klum, did not mean he wouldn’t be bored sometimes. Plus, he was a three year old, so he was not allowed to marry yet. He missed his adopted sister Leela Levine. It all began when he was walking to preschool on his first day. When he saw a box with a baby inside it, he thought the baby didn’t have such a bad idea and jumped in the box with her. Then a limo pulled up at the sidewalk and a chauffeur stepped out. He picked up the box and put it in the backseat. There sat Adam Levine.

“Hi, Leela, do not ever run away like that again.”

“Sorry, Daddy, but the chauffeur made me do that.”

“I did not.”

“Never mind,” said Adam. “Who is your friend?”

“Blinky! His name is Blinky,” Leela said.

From then on, Blinky had been at Leela’s side, when they destroyed the grand canyon, and when she kidnapped Blake Shelton, and that one time when they were lawyers defending a client and accidentally revealed that they killed Katy Perry. That time, the judge revealed that he was a murderer and the jury were his helpers. It was the first time that everyone in court was sent to jail. They were in jail for 2 months. The point is that he was at Leela’s side all the time, so where was she?

 

“Barney, you are under arrest,” yelled Frederick angrily.

“Never!” Barney yelled.

Just seconds later, Frederick and Tommy had flown into the cave and tried to arrest Barney for murdering detective Frank.

“Feel the pain!” yelled Frederick, as he shot fire at Barney. Just in time Leela jumped right in front of the fire, but the fire hit her and she died. The Pug banshee’s eyes filled with tears.

Petruska crawled up to the Pug banshee and said, “You need a hug,” and hugged him. Blinky and Tommy’s sister, Ms. Mati, ran into the cave.

“Where is Tommy?” asked Ms. Mati.

“Where is Leela?” asked Blinky.

“Tommy?” said Ms. Mati.

“No!!!” said Blinky.

Leela was dead and it was all Frederick’s fault.

 

One hour later:

The world was in mass destruction. All of them were fighting like crazy. Then Leela came out of nowhere except this time she was a ghost.

“What are you guys doing? You should be destroying Blake’s house,” the ghost of Leela said.

Everyone agreed that was a good idea. They destroyed Blake’s house, then went out for ice cream and vowed never to ALMOST destroy the world again.*

 

THE END.

 

*The Pug banshee lived happily ever after.

Becky’s Diary

Chapter 1: A Bad Start

Becky got ready to go home from her frustrating day at school. Her fist was soaked from all the sweat dripping between her fingers. She grabbed her backpack. She was still sad that her friend deserted her. She’d been excited to go to Sarah’s party, but suddenly she was uninvited. Becky was Sarah’s friend since kindergarten, but when Sarah met other people she forgot about Becky. When Becky got home, she grabbed the peanut butter and jelly sandwich her mom made for her. The jelly was squished out of the side of the bread, but Becky didn’t mind the mess. She licked her fingers as she climbed the stairs and closed herself inside her bedroom. Even from inside, she smelled the moist air from the rainy day.

The front door swung open, and her mom shouted up the stairs. “I’m home! Where are you?”

Becky felt dreadful now. She couldn’t have a nice, peaceful day with Mom’s endless questions. She tiptoed to her little brother’s room to retrieve the telephone charger he’d swiped from her. She plugged it in and belly flopped onto her bed. Starring up at the ceiling, kicking her legs in the air, Becky typed in Sarah’s phone number. She pressed “send” and waited a long time for Sarah to respond, but after what seemed like a hundred rings, she gave up hoping Sarah would answer the phone.

Becky wasn’t surprised. It had been a long time since Sarah was a real friend to Becky –– at least eight years. Becky was eleven now, and she wished Sarah would be her friend again.

She jumped out of bed when her mom called her for dinner: grilled brussel sprouts with mashed potatoes. Afterward, she brushed her teeth with super bubble gum pop ice cream flavored toothpaste, and then crept into the family room without her mother hearing her. She sunk into the soft purple velvet couch and started watching The Big Bang Theory, one of her favorite shows. After her eyelids started drooping, she returned to her room and fell asleep in her cozy pink bed, dreamily clutching her kitten-patterned comforter.

The next morning, Becky slipped out of bed and changed into the flowered dress her Aunt Nelson had given her for her birthday. Becky pranced to the door and down the stairs. It was Book Fair day, and she was so excited. She’d been waiting so long to get more books and participate in the drawing contest. Too bad she had to suffer through the boring parts of school first.

In homeroom, number 234, she tried to pay attention to her teacher.

”Okay, students, open your math notebooks to page 225,” he said. “We will be reading page 225-230, and also, do not forget to answer all of the problems. Remember, there are 24 problems on one page.”

Becky didn’t want to answer any amount of problems. She sneakily removed her diary from her bookbag, opened it on her desk, and wrote:

 

Dear Diary,

Ahh man, I wish I could make the teacher disappear, and then he could be a torturer for my little brother, but not me. But Torture Class is almost over and it’ll be time for social studies with… Oh, I can’t remember all my teachers’ names because I have seven teachers. That’s way too many teachers. Yesterday in social studies we learned how much trash has been dumped on earth, so we talked about how we can stop having so much trash. My idea was to get a machine that helps cancer but eats trash so then kids will be helped and there will be less trash. But the teacher said  impossible things can not be included, but then I told her it’s not impossible. Then the teacher gave us worksheets, but I just ripped it slowly and then started to cut it into tiny squares that were nicely ripped.

 

Becky went into the cafeteria and had her favorite lunch: a salad from the salad bar and fried chicken. The salad bar had almost all the toppings you could want: tomatoes, croutons, olives, and lots more. Becky chose tomato salad with olives. After lunch Becky went to recess. It was indoors because it was lightly raining outside. She picked up her diary.

 

I really hate this school. It’s really boring. If somebody talks, the whole class has to put their heads down for the whole recess. Another really bad thing is that whenever a teacher needs a substitute, it’s my mom. One time a teacher here needed a sub and my mom came it. She told other kids really embarrassing things about me!

 

Sarah went over. “What’s this?” she shrieked. She bent over and threw Becky’s diary across the room; it almost went into the trash can. Behind Sarah, Becky could hear Sarah’s friends. The boys roared. They were weird, and Becky rushed over to get her diary, but then one of the friends came and ripped the page out.

“Here’s your stupid diary,” he said.

Sarah and her friends walked away.

When recess was over the teacher came in and said, ”We’re going to do a pop quiz.”

Everyone moaned, “NOOO!”

 

Dear Diary,

Everyone in our classroom hates test and work. I’m stuck on the question 32 x 5. Ooh! I’ll pull out my calculator!

 

The teacher saw Becky reach for her calculator and glared across the room. “Becky, please sit at the back table. I’ll see you after class.”

Becky grumbled as she walked through the rows to the back of the classroom. As she stomped, she saw Sarah was halfway through her test already. That was when she saw Sarah’s arm covered with the answers for the test. Becky was about to tell on Sarah, but the teacher called her name. Becky walked to the front of the classroom.

“Tell everyone what you were doing.”

Becky hesitated, and then she told everyone. “I was getting a calculator.”

“I will give you a reflection. Tell your parents to sign it and bring it in,” the teacher said.

 

Dear Diary,

I got in big trouble from my parents today. At dinner, they called me down to ask what happened. I told them I needed the calculator. I told them I was stuck on the question. I told them about Sarah being mean and how she had the answers written on her arms. And Mom and Dad said they didn’t care about Sarah. They only cared about me. They told me if Sarah’s doing that, that’s her problem, not ours. That I should focus on my own business. But Sarah is my business, because I want to be friends with her.

 

For dinner, Becky had salmon and mushrooms. Becky quickly ate the salmon, but she didn’t like the mushrooms, so she made a big pile.  

“Becky, eat those mushrooms, or you won’t get ice cream for dessert,” her mom said.

But Becky knew they didn’t have ice cream, so she knew her mom was lying. Becky ate it anyway, though, because she didn’t want to get in more trouble.  She went to bed and put on her favorite fluffy pajamas with pictures of hamsters from head to toe. She went to the bathroom and started brushing her teeth with blueberry mint toothpaste and her puppy-patterned toothbrush. She yawned and her eyelids drooped. She was ready for bed! She slipped under her covers and fell into a dream.  

She dreamed about her friends. She dreamed about the girl in her class, Olivia, and dreamed about how she could be her friend. But then Sarah entered the dream and was really mean to her.

Why would she want to be Sarah’s friend? Becky thought. She abandoned her, she took her diary, she made fun of her, and in the last few years, she mocked Becky’s last name with her gang of meanies. Olivia was there again, happy and sweet and welcoming. Maybe Becky should be friends with Olivia instead. But, despite how nice she was, no one wanted to be Olivia’s friend, and Becky wondered why. Then she remembered that Sarah had told everybody not to be Olivia’s friend because if you played with her she’d steal all of your stuff.

Becky woke up, confused. The next day, she quickly ate her banana chocolate cereal with fresh milk from the cows in her dad’s farm for breakfast and went to school. During attendance, Sarah went over to Olivia and pushed her out of her chair.

“Oopsie,” Sarah said insincerely, and the class laughed at Olivia.

Becky stood, her hands on her hips and said, “Stop. I’m tired of people saying and doing mean things to Olivia.”

Olivia eyes welled with tears as she stood and approached Becky. “Wow. You’re so brave. Do you want to sit together at lunch?”

“Yes!”

So they sat together at lunch. Olivia had a salami sandwich her mom made, and Becky bought a Philly cheesesteak from the cafeteria. They shared bites with each other, just like best friends, but they were so distracted that Becky didn’t notice Sarah creep up and grab her backpack.

“Ha! Look what I’ve got!” Sarah said. “After I got it the last time, I thought you would’ve stopped carrying around your dumb diary.”

Sarah opened the diary again and began reading aloud:

 

Dear Diary,

What’s wrong with Sarah?

 

The girl stopped and looked at Becky with wide eyes. She cleared her throat and continued reading, but it wasn’t what Becky had actually written!

 

I hate Sarah. She is so mean, and nobody likes her. I bet she’s bad at school, too.

 

“Hey!” Becky exclaimed. “I didn’t write that!”

“So you just talk about people behind their backs. You’re the real mean one, Becky.”

The cafeteria buzzed with conversations, and several kids fired mean looks at Becky. Even Olivia looked concerned. Sarah looked like Queen of the World as she shook Becky’s diary in the air. She pouted her bottom lip like her heart had been broken, but Becky knew the truth. She hadn’t written those things about Sarah. She’d written nice things.

At recess, everyone in the class appeared to hate Becky. No one would talk to her or play with her. She had to get her diary back. She had to show them the truth.

Sarah was on the playground, flipping through the diary pages, when Becky stomped up to her.

“Can I please have my diary back?”

“So you can write more lies about me?” Sarah asked. Her voice boomed across the playground, and kids gathered around them.

“You’re the liar!” Becky said. “I didn’t write those things, and I can prove it.”

Becky ripped the diary out of Sarah’s hands and flipped it open to the page Sarah had lied about.

 

Dear Diary,

I think Sarah and I could be really good friends. The only thing is that Sarah is mean to me sometimes. She says we can hang out, but then she deserts me. She even invited me to a party, but then said I couldn’t come because it’s only for “cool girls.” I think I’m pretty cool. I wonder why Sarah doesn’t think so. I wish Sarah would be my friend and be at least a little nicer to me. Then she’d have a lot more friends, and I think people would like her instead of being scared of her. Sometimes I think that’s the only reason people hang out with her. She’s popular and everyone says she’s the best person, but I think that’s because she’d be mean to them if they don’t say they like her.

I could like her. I could be her real friend. We could all be her real friends.

 

Becky showed the kids the diary, and they gasped.

“She was telling the truth!” Olivia said. “And Sarah was lying.”

Sarah’s cheeks turned bright red, and her face crumpled in sorrow. She looked like she wanted to crawl into a hole and hide forever like a meerkat.

“Why did you lie to us?” a girl asked Sarah.

“And why did you trip me the other day?” a boy added.

“And why do you keep stealing Becky’s diary?” Olivia asked.

Sarah lowered her head. “I don’t know. I guess I just thought being tough would make me more popular and cooler. I thought people would like me more.”

“People like other people when they’re nice,” Becky said. “When they share and are fair and have fun jokes. You should treat people they way you want to be treated. Like your favorite pet, or your family, or ––”

“Like a best friend!” Olivia interjected. She wrapped her arm around Becky and smiled.  

Sarah stood there, mouth hanging open in shock. But Olivia and Becky reached out to her and smiled as they said, “Join us, Sarah. You can be our friend.”

Sarah was hesitant. No one had offered her kindness and friendship like this before, and she didn’t know if she could trust it.

But the girls and the other kids on the playground encouraged her to take their hands, to stop being mean, and to be friends with Becky.

Becky was so happy. She was still a little mad at Sarah for being mean to her, but now that Sarah was going to change her ways and be a good person, Becky could overlook her remaining anger.

She threw one arm around Sarah, one arm around Olivia, and as the bell rang to signal the end of recess, Becky wasn’t upset about having to go back inside.

At her locker, she pulled out her diary and pressed it against the locker to write.

 

Dear Diary,

This was a really hard year. But Sarah has finally become my friend and will stop bullying everybody. Olivia and I are best friends now. Even Mom has stopped asking me so many questions, and I can finally have a peaceful day.

 

The Turning Point

It was one of those days when Cameron woke up and was all alone. A few days ago, there was a person coming to babysit Cameron’s little sister and when Cameron came back home, she was gone.

The first few days, Cameron’s family had no idea who took her, but the day after, they saw a video of their babysitter putting a fist at his five-year-old sister.

Today Cameron was going to get her back. He still had no idea where she was, but he had a clue. In the video, he saw she was in a little cottage deep inside the woods. So that’s where he was headed.

After he finished gathering the stuff he needed, he set out into the woods. When he got into the woods, he couldn’t see any cottages in plain view, but he knew it was further into the woods.

* * *

“Please don’t hurt me,” Cameron’s younger sister, Emma, pleaded to her babysitter.

“I will, you moron,” the babysitter said with a malicious grin.

BANG!

They heard a noise outside. After that, the babysitter took out his machete and headed for the door.

Two minutes later the babysitter hadn’t come back, but her brother did. “Cameron! You came to save me,” Emma whispered.

“Or try,” the babysitter said as he entered the room.

The babysitter took out two little daggers.

“I will kill you!” Cameron yelled at the babysitter.

“But you won’t.”

Then Cameron took out two katanas. Then they started to duel.

Cameron then lunged at the babysitter and tried to get a good shot at the arm. But the babysitter used the daggers and pushed both katanas to the side and badly hurt Cameron’s arms, which led to death.

“NOOO!” Emma yelled at the top of her lungs. Then the babysitter took both daggers and chopped off the ropes. “I’ll let you live, on one condition. You kill your dad.”

Emma nodded glumly. She stared at the babysitter and asked, “Why do you want me to do that?”

“I want you to hurt and/or kill your parents.”

“But why do you want to do that.”

“Let me tell you a story. When I was in high school, I had a huge crush on your mom, but your mom married some other kid. So I’m getting revenge for her marrying the kid which was Joe right, yeah. So you are going to get your dad to divorce your mom.”

“Why would you want to do such horrible things. And I wouldn’t do such a thing.”

“Because I just do. Now go do what I said.”

Emma didn’t have a choice and walked right out of the cabin. But instead of doing what the babysitter said, whose name Emma found out was was Mike, she ran to her house and told her mom as fast as she could, but while Emma was talking, her mom was crying from joy.

“So that’s where you were all this time,” Emma’s mom said with more tears in her eyes. “But where’s Cameron?” Emma’s mom asked worriedly.

“Um, let’s just say he’s not alive,” Emma said hesitantly.

Emma’s mom picked up the phone with a face like she has seen a ghost and rapidly dialed 911. After she finished talking to the police she ran upstairs and started to cry hysterically for hours.

Emma then started to run to the cottage to find Mike and lie to him. She said, “I did it.” She entered and called for Mike but there was no answer.

* * *

After Mike heard the police sirens outside of his “secret” hideout, he ran out of his emergency door and ran to his parents’ house for the first time in his whole life. When he was right at the door, he hesitantly knocked.

The door opened and a middle-aged woman appeared. “Is that you, Mike?” the middle-aged woman asked.

“Yes, it’s me,” Mike replied childishly and sheepishly. Then then middle-aged woman grabbed Mike and pulled him inside her house. “Mike, you came back, but why?”

Mike knew the middle-aged woman was his mom, Margaret. At first, Mike had no clue who this woman was because he thought he could ask one of his neighbors where his family moved. But apparently they just moved to a different town two minutes away from the their old one. Now he found his parents and had a happy, sad, angry feeling inside him. His mom hugged him and let him stay for the night. But Mike didn’t feel like he deserved that, and a sliver of guilt ran down his back. Then his old childhood memories came flooding back

* * *

I was sitting in the living room watching TV (as usual) on a Saturday, and then out of the blue, my mom came in and said,” Pack up your things! We’re moving out of here.” That sentence turned my brain into mush. “No, NO! Dad, you can’t do that to me. We’ve lived in this town for 12 years and I have made a bunch of new friends and I won’t abandon them and go somewhere else,” I yelled with tears on the verge. “I’m sorry, but we can’t afford to live here anymore.”

“But I’m not going anywhere.”

“Excuse me, young man, you are my son and you do as I say.”

“Make me.”

“Mike, I won’t take any of this foolishness. Go and pack up.”

“I said I’m not going anywhere, you hear that?”

“MIKE HAMILTON, YOU GO UPSTAIRS AND PACK YOUR THINGS UP! YOU HEAR THAT? OR ELSE YOU ARE GROUNDED FOREVER,” boomed my father.

“No, I won’t leave.”

Then my dad took me by the ear and dragged me to my room. He yelled at me to start  packing. So I did, but when they were busy talking, I slipped out the door with my belongings and ran away from my home. When I got far enough, I chopped down some wood and  built a little cottage that I learned in Boy Scouts. After that, I went to get more wood and made a little fire in the house. Unfortunately, I had no furniture at all so I had to sit on the hard wooden floor. I decided to carve some furniture out of the spare wood. Now I have completed my mission. But 5 years later I saw a newspaper that said that the search for me was “over.” I was half happy and half sad. My parents don’t care about me now. Seriously they stopped caring for me? So I decided to get revenge later on in their life to pay back for canceling the search for me.

* * *

“So… can I stay for a while? Five days max.”

“Sure, anything for my son. But why?”

“Oh, because I haven’t seen you in 12 years.”

“O-kay…”

Mike felt very guilty because of how his mother was acting to him. Part of him was very happy because now he could finally get revenge. However, at this point, his guilt was taking control over his other feelings, so he couldn’t get revenge, not yet.

It was 10:00 o’clock already, so everyone was getting ready for bed. Mike already had the best dinner in his life and watched TV shows he wasn’t allowed to before. After what just happened, Mike couldn’t get any revenge again.

CREAK, CREAK!

Mike was walking very slowly down the stairs of his parents house because he didn’t want to stay another night, otherwise all his secrets would spill out and his parents would hate him for life. When he got down to the stairs, he secretly installed a little camera in all the rooms that can go 360 degrees around so he could see his parents. He still didn’t want to abandon them, at least not yet.

* * *

Go to mom and dad and tell them about everything and then you throw yourself into a cell. No, just leave and forget about everything. Yes, because they have been too nice to me. Okay, if I just forget about this and go they’re going to think somethings up. And if I throw myself into jail by confessing the things to my mom, she would be unpredictable.

* * *

Not wanting to disappoint his mom by lying, he put his hand on the doorknob, but his mind was processing totally different. His mind was taking him back up to his mom and dad’s room and confessing. And that’s what he did. “Mom, Dad, wake up. I need to tell you something very important.”

His mom shot up first and then a few seconds later his dad shot up later very groggily. “What do you want to tell us?”

“You know how I used to be a babysitter?”

“Yeah, you were babysitting, ummm… a girl named Emma, right?”

“Yeah, I killed her brother.”

Mike’s dad fainted.

“YOU WHAT?”

“I wasn’t in the right mind, Mom.”

Now her face was the color of a fresh tomato and her eyes were giving Mike an angry regretful expression, wishing she had a different son. And her hands were clenched into a strong hardy fist.

“No, excuses! I am ashamed to be your mom!”

“Mom, I’m really, really sorry. And I’ll show you by turning myself in.”

After that he ran downstairs, threw open the door and ran outside towards the police station.

When Mike got to the police station, he ran up to the counter and said, “I found the suspect to the murder of Cameron.”

“Yes, yes, who was it?”

“You might find this hard to believe…” I can’t believe that I’m doing this. But I shouldn’t do this. No, just do it  for mom. No, I would never do this. No, but I have to. “It was… me.”

The police’s face was very angry and shocked at the same time.

“Sir, you are going to go into one of those cells right now!!”

And after the police yelled that, another officer came running out of nowhere and threw handcuffs over his hands. He didn’t fight against it. He learned that paying his wrongdoings by throwing himself into jail was the least he could do. But he knew one thing, he would never be able to get his mom’s trust back. But he thought it was the right result to his actions.

 

Five Years Later

 

Now Mike and his parents, were at a facility in Trenton, New Jersey. Ready for Mike’s execution.

“Mike you know I always love you, but you must pay for your wrongdoings,” Mike’s mom said, holding back dramatic tears. “And I would always regret this, but the government has asked to do this.”

“Yes, I know and I always wanted to say that.”

After that, the police put the gun up to Mike’s face, but then Emma burst through the room and said, “Wait, he deserves to live because everyone needs another chance to change. He can’t die. Mike deserves to have another chance to have a new improved family and have a fresh start to a new improved life. And he’s already paid for five years.”

“Ma’am do you know who this man is?”

“Yes I do. He was my babysitter, so he’s not that evil.”

Mike and his mom were in shock. A little girl about ten years old just burst into the room and stopped an execution. Mike was in so much shock that you could blow a bull horn at his face and he wouldn’t notice at all.

“I’m sorry, but we already signed the papers.”

Then the other two police held him up by the arms. And then there was the sound of a gun fire.

 

Epilogue: Mom

 

At that time when my son was about to get executed I was so, so sad. I thought about the time when I yelled at him harshly and said those things I never should have said. And now I never got to apologize to him. I also had wished we had given him more love and appreciation. After he got executed, I cried so hard and my face was so hot you can cook an egg on it. My husband, he cried with me. That little girl, Emma, came to my house and told me the times where Mike babysat her. Those stories reminded me of him. But his debt to society was paid off.

 

The end

Rose Red

The rain compacts with the light,

the colors shine in my face.

Rose red,

ripe peach orange.

Sunset yellow,

mint leaf green.

Ocean blue,

and plump grape purple.

 

The window shades are pulled back,

and all eyes are staring out.

Rose red,

ripe peach orange.

Sunset yellow,

mint leaf green.

Ocean blue,

and plump grape purple.

 

And as soon as it arrives,

it disappears just like that.

Rose red…

is the last to leave.

 

A Rough Current

“We’re going that way.”

My friend, Billy, sounded so sure of himself when he announced the route we would take across the river. Our kayak was bobbing in the current, and we were running out of time to decide which way to take. “But that direction is the one with the stronger rapids,” I told Billy impatiently. “We’re just beginners. Do you really think you can go that way?”

Billy snickered and leaned into my face. “You scared?” he taunted.

I shook my head. “Come on, Billy, let’s just go that way, okay?” I begged.

“Okay, scaredy,” Billy sneered. “We’ll go the baby path.”

I felt both offended, but relieved. I never really expected for this trip to turn out well, but I didn’t think that I would have to go through such a rough current, either. None of the trips that my mom planned really worked out well. I was not exactly eager when she told me about her idea for me to go kayaking with Billy, especially after seeing him act slightly strange for a few days.

“Why don’t you go kayaking with Billy?” she had asked me. “He hasn’t hung out with you for a while. It’ll help your relationship.”

We kayaked over to the right just as we reached the area where the river split into two. The left path had a very rapid current, and the other way was way more appropriate for beginner kayakers. At least, I thought so. We paddled silently for a while. Then, the rapids started to get rougher. We bumped up and down quickly along the river.

“Um, Billy?” I asked nervously. “Uh, why is this so… rough?”

Billy did not respond. The farther we went, the stronger the rapids grew. Soon, when I felt like I was about to fall right out of the kayak, I saw a very frightening sight right ahead of my eyes.

It was a waterfall.

I panicked, and I started kayaking away from it.

“Billy! It’s a waterfall!” I shrieked to him. He glared at me without a word. We were both wearing life jackets, but the water was freezing cold. Billy, however, had an idea. He began steering towards a log floating in the river. Once we were close enough, he pushed me off the boat and onto the log. He climbed on after me, and grabbed the boat out of the water. We walked across the log and onto land, Billy still carrying the boat. He had just saved our lives.  

I had to thank him. “Billy?” I began. He turned to me and glared. A lump formed in my throat. “Um, never mind,” I told him nervously. I decided not to thank him. If he was going to treat me that way, he did not deserve to be thanked.

We walked back in silence. Billy had been my friend since I was 4 years old. Now, were we just going to break that friendship because of an accident? Of course not! He’s still my friend! I thought. But as we walked in silence, I didn’t feel so sure.

Soon, we reached the area where our parents were waiting for our return.

“Back already?” my mom asked when she saw us.

I nodded.

“What happened?” she urged. I shook my head. I was not in the mood to explain, and she didn’t make me, either. “I want to go home,” I told her. She didn’t object so I waved good-bye to Billy, and I headed home.

The entire car ride home was silent, but once we got home, my mom asked the question.

“Bob,” she asked me. “What happened at the river? You don’t have to tell me if you don’t want to, but I would appreciate it if you did.”

I sighed as I shook my head. Somehow, I found myself spilling the whole story to my mother. She deserves the truth, I thought. But that was my biggest mistake. I guess I should have told her that this story was personal, because in less than 3 minutes, the story of my relationship with Billy was posted all over Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.

The next morning was Monday, which meant going to school–with Billy. I hoped that Billy didn’t have an Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook account. That would be a nightmare, I thought. But it was nothing compared to what actually happened.

At lunchtime, Billy, who had always sat at the “losers’” table with me, didn’t make it over without a bunch of popular kids crowding in his face.

“Yo, Billy!” one of the kids called out. “You going around kayaking waterfalls?”

Billy looked shocked. “What are you talking about?” he asked.

The kid stared. “My friend told me everything that happened in the river. He told me that you kayaked down a waterfall! At least, that’s what I heard. He told me that his friend’s father saw something about that on Instagram,” he explained.

The other kids nodded. “Well, hey, that’s cool! Wanna join us here?” another kid asked.

I was so shocked. I had no idea about all these rumors going on about the river incident.  

“Billy, no! Don’t go with them! You’re my friend…. right?” I pleaded. But Billy didn’t hear me. He smiled, nodded, and sat down at the popular kids’ table, deserting me.

I couldn’t believe what I just saw. Billy… a popular kid?! I thought. No way! He’ll be a friend of mine again in no time. But still, I was desperate to prove to myself that Billy was still my friend. It was hard to believe, though, seeing Billy hang around and talking with the popular kids, as if they were old friends. I felt left out and alone.

By the time school ended, I had a plan. If the plan succeeded, then Billy was truly my friend. However, if the plan failed, Billy was so totally over me.

On the bus, I sat at the seat reserved for the popular kids. I knew that when they came over and found out that I had taken one of the reserved seats, they would be angry. Then, what happened next would decide if Billy was still my friend.

I had to wait a while for the kids to come. When they finally arrived, I could see that Billy was among them. “Get out of my seat, loser,” one of the popular kids sneered. I looked over at Billy, waiting to see his reaction. He remained emotionless, just standing there.

“I said, GET OUT!” the kid shouted once again. I held my breath, waiting.

“Whatever, let him stay,” I heard Billy say. Relief flowed through me. He was my friend! “We can choose some other seats.”

As they walked away, Billy leaned over and whispered, “You owe me one, remember that.”

When he rejoined the popular kids, I heard one of them whisper to him with a frown, “Meet me this afternoon at the schoolyard. We need to talk.”

When I got home, I immediately went on to Twitter. I wanted to see what my mom posted about me, and I really wanted to see where the popular kids had gotten the information. What I saw completely shocked me. In front of my eyes was an article, an article so fake that I just couldn’t believe that my own mother had written it:

My poor son, Bob! His mean friend, Billy, went kayaking with him, and he didn’t know that Bob was only a beginner! He chose to kayak the route down the waterfall! Poor Bob was scared to death, and I felt so bad for my son. He could have died from that kayaking trip! What was Billy thinking?

At first I did not know how to react. Then, the reality began to sink in.

“Mom!” I shouted. “What have you been posting on Twitter?!” I ran out into the kitchen, holding the laptop.

My mom was busy making dinner. “What is it, honey?” she asked, surprised.

I held the laptop up for her to see. “What – why -” I was so mad, that if I had been in one of those cartoons, smoke would be coming out of my ears.

“How could you have posted something like this about me on Twitter, where everyone could see it?” I demanded.

She looked shocked for a moment. “Relax! Calm down, and show me.” She sat down on one of the dining room chairs, and I handed her the laptop. Slowly, she read the article.

“I… I’m not sure what’s wrong with what I posted,” she told me finally when she was finished. I glared at her.

“How can you not see?! Don’t you know that people at my school can read this stuff?!” I yelled in response. “Besides, this information isn’t even accurate! You just assumed most of this stuff!” I stomped off to my room and slammed the door.

“Young man!” my mom shouted. “Come back here, right now!” I stayed where I was, but I heard her footsteps coming towards my room. The door opened, and my mom was standing in my doorway. From the look on her face, I knew that I was about to get busted.

“Come over here,” she told me, beckoning me towards her. I stood up and followed her into the living room.

We sat down on the couch, and she calmed down immediately. “Go ride your bike,” she instructed me. “Ride a few laps around the schoolyard. When you feel calmed down, come back home, and we’ll talk.”

I followed her instructions and rode my bike out of the garage. Suddenly, I remembered what the popular kids had told Billy.

Meet me this afternoon on the schoolyard. We need to talk.

Something important was going to happen. I couldn’t miss it. I peddled as fast as I could, and when I reached the schoolyard, I could see figures standing on the basketball court. One of them was unmistakably Billy. I parked my bike and ran over, anxious to see what was happening.

Billy was standing on one side of the court, and all the popular kids were on the other side. I could hear them arguing. It didn’t sound so good.

“I take back what I said at lunchtime. You aren’t loyal to us. Why did you defend that loser when we were on the bus? If you want to be one of us, you can’t be loyal to anyone else.”

Billy looked scared, but I couldn’t blame him. The kid was taller than him, and looked very tough. I recognized him–John, a kid in my English class. He could be so intimidating that even the teachers didn’t dare to mess with him.

Billy sighed, and didn’t say anything. Then, he looked up and saw me, standing there. His eyes suddenly grew hopeful. None of the popular kids noticed.

“Just a few minutes ago, when we were pushing the little kids, what were you doing? You just stood there, watching. You can’t be one of us. You’re… a loser.”

John nodded to his gang, and they charged at him. They lifted him up, and threw him onto the ground. I couldn’t watch. I ran towards them, even though they were all taller and heavier than me, and I had no chance of beating them in a fight. Even so, I tried to push them off Billy, but they were too heavy. Now, the entire gang was focused on me, so Billy stood up. I wasn’t so fortunate, though. They pushed me down to the ground, and I couldn’t get up. Just as I felt as if I was suffocating, Billy came to the rescue. He grabbed one of the kids off of me and pulled me out of the human pile. Then, he pulled me up, helping me to my feet. I stood up and ran off.

I thought I was safe as I ran towards the edge of the basketball court. However, I didn’t expect that one of the kids–Ben–was standing there at the edge. He tripped me over as I ran, and I struggled to get up. Then Ben leaped on top of me.

“Help!” I yelled. Billy, however, was running over to save me.

It was just that look in his eye, that look of concern, that told me that he was my friend again. It all seemed to happen in slow motion, the way he took each long stride over, coming to save me. He was no longer mad at me, and now, he was going to save me. I couldn’t thank him enough.

Billy shoved Ben off of me from behind, and grabbed my arm. He pulled me towards the edge of the schoolyard. “Run!” he shouted to me.

I began to run out of the schoolyard, with Billy following me. I looked back, expecting to see Ben following us. I saw him sitting on the basketball court, looking surprised and shocked. He won’t be chasing us anytime soon, I thought. As I ran out of the schoolyard, I grabbed my bike and began riding with Billy running after me. I didn’t know where we were going, but it felt good to be going somewhere with Billy again. I realized that I was heading home, and I looked back at Billy. He nodded, telling me to keep going. So I biked on.

Once I was at my house, I hopped off my bike and turned to Billy. “You were quite impressive,” he told me with a smile. “That was really cool, the way you took them out.” I nodded. Did this mean he was my friend again? I decided to find out.

“Hey, Billy, wanna come inside my house and hang out?” I asked. To my relief, he nodded. When we headed inside, I found my mom hanging out on the laptop. Uh oh, I thought. My mom doesn’t mix well with computers. I walked over to her.

“Uh, mom?” I asked nervously. Billy, seeing that this was between me and my mom, took a step back. “Have you been posting… other stuff?” I walked over and looked at the screen of my mom’s laptop. Twitter. That wasn’t a good sign.

My mom smiled at me. “Bob, I’m really sorry if I had been posting offensive things about you and Billy. I promise that I’ll try to control myself better on social media.” She turned the laptop over to me. “Here, I wrote an article to make it up to you.”

Nervously, I read the article.

I’m sorry about the article that I last posted. Turns out, it isn’t so true, and Bob’s friend Billy is far from mean. And Bob is way more capable than I thought. He survived the trip down the waterfall, and that was way more than I expected. So, Bob, please understand that I am sorry for what I posted.  You are braver than I thought you would be, and I am proud of you.

For a moment, I was silent. Well, close enough. I sat up and embraced my mom, not at all embarrassed. “Thanks, Mom,” I said. “Thanks for posting this.” My mom smiled back, hugging me tighter.

“I’m very proud of you, Bob. You acted very wisely, and I am glad that you survived, and I’m sorry for posting the offensive material. Now, why don’t you go hang out with Billy for a while? I don’t want to distract you guys,” she told me, letting me go. I nodded to her, and walked over to where Billy was standing. Suddenly, an idea popped into my mind.

“Hey, Billy, I just wanted to ask you something,” I told him. He turned to me, and nodded. I felt so happy that we were speaking to each other again now. I couldn’t resist smiling.

“Yeah?”

“Well, I wanted to ask… would you like to go on another kayaking trip with me?”

Slowly, a smile formed across Billy’s face. “Yeah, sure… I guess so.” He was practically grinning by now. “Hey, by the way, I wanted to tell you… I’m really sorry about the whole kayaking thing in the first place. I shouldn’t have called you a scaredy, and I’ll admit that I had a really bad temper.” He sighed. “I guess you deserve to know what happened.”

I nodded. Billy went on.

“Well, the popular kids–they wanted to be my friends, and I wanted to have them as friends, too. I cared so much about popularity at that time. But then, when they found out that I often hung out with you, they rejected me. They told me you were a dork, and that you weren’t “cool” enough. So for me, the only clear solution at that time was to get rid of you. Of course, that wasn’t the right solution. You may be a dork, but you are a loyal friend, unlike the popular kids. When I found out the truth about the popular kids, I couldn’t believe it. They weren’t my friends. You are, and you always will be.”

It was hard to believe that Billy could be so foolish, or that he thought I was dorky, but I didn’t mention that. I nodded, and smiled. “Hey, it’s fine,” I told him. “Wanna go find the kayak in the garage? Maybe we can go tomorrow.”

He nodded, and we walked side by side into the garage, the way we had since we were 4 years old. Because we were friends, and we always will be.

And, like Billy said, nothing could ever change that.

The End

 

The Ultimate Paintball Match

Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews need to beat Roman Reigns, Brock Lesnar, and Roman Atwood in a paintball match to win one billion dollars. Let me tell you how this started.

Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews were at a WWE match and Brock missed a punch and hit Kane in the face. Without missing a beat, John Cena, Randy Orton, and Sting came up to beat up Brock Lesnar. Then Roman Reigns came out and tried to get everyone off of Brock, but he failed and he got hurt. Then Patrick Kane made a bet for 1 billion dollars on a paintball match. He had beat Brock Lesnar, Reigns, and Atwood. However, although Atwood said he was on one team, he was actually on the other: the team with Kane and Toews.

Why did he do that? Because Lesnar used to be Atwood’s best friend, but when he let Lesnar borrow his car, Lesnar blew it up accidentally.

They were playing at the Richmond Hunt Club Paintball fields. They started at 9 a.m., and the referee was to be MATT SAMPSON. The name of the game was Team Death Match.

 

It was 9 a.m… 5-4-3-2-1… go, go, go!

Right off the bat, Toews was shot. Then Atwood shot Raines.  

“Oh, I knew you didn’t like me,” Lesnar said angrily to Atwood.

It was just down to three. Then, Kane was shot. Lesnar took a shot, and it hit Atwood.

“You are out!” said Lesnar.

But the referee yelled, “No good, no good! Play on.”

Atwood got on top of a barrier, jumped, did a 360, shot, and hit Lesnar.

“You are out, that’s game,” said the ref as he pointed to the winners.

“Why did you change teams?” asked Lesner.

Boom!

A mushroom cloud came from the parking lot where only Lesnar had parked his car.

“That’s my new car!” said Lesnar. “Did you blow up my car because I blew up yours?” he asked.

All of the people on the winning team got one billion dollars and split the cost to buy the Willis Tower, which they made into a ski mountain so that they could play paintball. Lesnar tried to steal the money back, but Atwood caught him.

Now Lesnar is facing life in prison.

Star Gazer (Excerpt)

  

Chapter Two

“Day One, complete. Over,” I said into the radio. I was about to lay down in bed when Ainsley came over. I bet it wasn’t to wish me goodnight.

“You’re looking… lovely,” she said with distaste.

I was looking terrible, my eyes tired and my usually stick-straight auburn hair jutting up in odd places.

Of course she, the queen of beauty, was looking as magnificent as ever. Her silky hair was combed to perfection and her face was bright, despite the hour and condition of the living space in the ship.

“I just wanted you to know that just because your daddy is a great astronaut, does not mean you are too. So stop trying to pretend you know everything,” Ainsley snapped.

I expected this from a brat like her, so I had something to say back.

“Well, I just want you to know, that I have no intention of being like my ‘daddy’ at all, but I’m sure that you’ll turn out to be the exact same jerk he was.”

I was very proud with my response; I had always planned to say something like that in case someone insulted me. I lay down and turned to the other side of the bed, hiding my smirk from her boiling face. When I heard the sound of her retreating footsteps, I turned back to watch her hobbling body strained with muscle pains.

I groaned. She even managed to make that look graceful.

. . .

In my dreams, I saw my father. He was living another life, with his new wife and kids. I already knew this, but for some reason, I felt like I was seeing it for the first time. I was feeling the weight of his betrayal all over again.

When I was little, I was my father’s favorite. He was convinced that I would turn out just like him. I guess he didn’t know how he would turn out.

He faced me, unsurprised, almost as if he was the one who summoned me in the first place.

“I-”

“Don’t start, Alex,” my father said.

His voice had gotten lighter since the last time I saw him, like he didn’t have the burden he had when he was with our family.

I don’t know why I listened to him. I shouldn’t have listened to him, but something made me stop myself from grabbing him and screaming in his face.

His face had also changed since the last time. He had lines near his eyes, not worry lines, but lines you get when you smile a lot.

I knew that this was what he looked like. One summer, I did an internship at NASA, and they had a reunion with all their former astronauts. My dad was there. I saw him. But before he could see me, I ran and hid in the bathroom until the party was over. I wasn’t brave enough to face him yet.

He took a deep breath and started to talk. “I-I can’t think of any way to say this but, I’m leaving.”

This was his confrontation to me all over again. This was the exact same way he told me that he was leaving my mother. That he was leaving our family.

Of course this wasn’t what had really happened. He didn’t have his new wife and kids by then.

“I know,” I said solemnly. “I know.” This wasn’t even that emotional for me because I had experienced this before, and I didn’t care much for my father now.

I finally decided to ask him why he left, even though he wasn’t real.

“Why?”

He opened his mouth to answer, but before he could make a sound, I was shaken awake.

Guess who it was. Ainsley.

“It’s your turn to man the controls, and you might want to brush your teeth while you’re at it,” she said curtly.

I moaned. “Can’t we just put it on autopilot?”

“It is, but we need to keep watch so everything goes smoothly. I thought you knew everything.”

I got up so she could sleep and asked, “Butch is going after me, right?”

”Yeah,” she answered through a yawn.

I wobbled to the main area of the ship and sat at the main control desk watching the autopilot steer us on course.

It would take another two hundred and ninety-nine days to reach our Martian destination. After spending four hundred Earth-days there, we would go back to Earth within three hundred days.

Again.

The only thing besides Ainsley I wasn’t compatible with on this journey was being away from my family for so long. With what little money we had left, they could easily starve or go bankrupt while I was in space. But when SCAT told me they would pay my family monthly during my mission, I decided that no harm could be done.

The autopilot showed no signs of malfunction, so I decided to doze off a little. After all, we had the most advanced technology for this trip than any other organization on Earth.

A beeping alarm informed me that the gas pipe down in the engines was loose. Apparently the engineers didn’t connect it tight enough to the boiler in all their rush to finish the ship.

I went down to the chilly engine room after grabbing a hoodie from my living space.

I took a gas mask from a  hook on the wall and strung it over my head while floating (due to the zero gravity below the main spaces in the ship) to the leaking gas pipe.

I took a look at the cracked metal of the pipe and turned away from the spraying fuel. There had to be a toolbox somewhere. Searching, I found it under a table in the middle of the maze-like engine room with a half-finished project on top.

When I found my way back to the leaking pipe (after getting lost) I managed to make a somewhat convincing plaster to patch the pipe until I could get Butch to look at it.

On my way back up I noticed that a few drops of gasoline had managed to get on my hoodie before I had patched up the crack in the pipe, but I ignored it as I made my way to the library of the ship, which was by far, the warmest room, thanks to the fireplace.

While the fire dried the gasoline off my sweatshirt, I decided to take a book or two back to the controls with me in case I got bored.

After roaming the endless shelves I went back to the controls with two of my favorite novels in hand. Before I knew it, Butch was coming to take his turn on watch. He was always prepared.

“You might want to take those back to your room,” he said as he swaggered over to the control panel and sat down at the other seat.

“Oh, I was, umm… just about to leave,” I explained. I dog-eared my page, closed my novel, and hurriedly got up from the seat.

“Knowing you, I bet you were planning to stay in that book world of yours,” he said jokingly.

The Boy, the Woman, and the Forest

Today was an average spring day. Even though (here in Alabama) spring days like those happen to pop up a lot here, it was still brilliant. The sky was more than blue. It was full of shadows and highlights and so many hues. The air out here in the country filled my lungs, heart, and soul. It was that fresh. And out there in the wilderness, there was the constant circulation of life. And that life was as much in the air, as the oxygen and carbon dioxide.

Today, however, I heard something other than the slow breeze. In the brush, there was a small boy. He had short hair that was so blond it was almost white. The poor boy had a mixture of dirt and tears on his face, with puffy eyes, that under normal circumstances, would be a brilliant blue. But today, his eyes were red, with small amounts of blue shining through. He had a torn red shirt with splotches of red and brown. His tearstreaked face screamed “innocence,” so I guessed that he might be from 10 to 11 years old. It pained me to imagine what or who would do this to this poor boy.

I watched the boy tear through the trees, like he was being chased by death itself. In his insane and desperate panic, he didn’t notice me. The boy started to slow. Now that his face wasn’t as blurred, I could clearly see how afraid he was. I wanted to call out to him. So I did.

“Hello?” I cried.

The boy jumped a foot off the ground at hearing my call. He looked around wildly for the source of the sound, and soon found me. I can’t say he grinned at the sight of my face, but he did seem to be a tiny bit relieved to find that I was not his pursuer.

“Hey. Are you okay?” I said. I knew it was a stupid question, it was important to know if he trusted me. I hoped he did.

He sniffed, “No.”

In an instant, feelings for this boy exploded in my soul. All in one moment, I wanted to track down whoever hurt this boy, hurt them, kill them maybe, all while being the mother of this boy, and giving him everything I have. I don’t know where this sympathy came from, but I wasn’t quick to stop thinking these thoughts. I inched toward the boy. I could protect him, and he could be the son I never could have. On a day like this, in a time like this, a miracle like this needs to be accepted.

Somewhere in my desperate brain, someone said, He still has family. And besides, he doesn’t even know you. For all you know, he still has love for his home and would be heartbroken to be torn away from his normal life. Or not. Or yes. It’s worth my time to see if this isn’t or is the case.

“Come here,” I said softly. I was not sure how I will come across as. Supportive? Nosy? Motherly even?

The boy walked towards me slowly, cracking and disrupting the silence.

“Where do you you come from?” I asked

“What do you mean?” He whispered, his voice barely audible.

“Where’s your family? What happened to you?” I asked.

The boy burst into tears, and collapsed on the ground, defeat weighing down on his shoulders. I rushed to his side, and wrapped my arms around him, feining sorrow. But inside, I was really rejoicing! This boy, this child, his suffering was caused by his family, and I doubt he’ll want to go back to that! This boy can be mine! I can protect him, and he will be my son. The son I could never have.

Far Past Is An Unknown Thing

An experience is either forgotten immediately, or never forgotten. Even when there are years between it, there is always something brought with you, and sometimes, even you don’t notice it. It’s always there, haunting you to your core, and you don’t notice until you break. Then nobody knows what will happen. You decide between the two choices, the two changes and chances to survive. You change your way of life. You change yourself. You discover things nobody has seen before.

That’s what happened to me. I stare into the distance not knowing what I’m looking at and not caring. The only thing that matters is that I escape. It’s getting to me. It’s the future. I can’t stop it. I don’t try, knowing that it’s no use. There was change again. I stopped running through the woods and sat down to write something. In case my village survives. In case someone, as curious as I am, reads it, so they know what I know. I hid the letter, and it told of all I knew, all I discovered. I hid it. I hid it somewhere only the curious ones can find it. This will be gone from eyes until that one person finds it. I know they are going to keep it a secret. That nothing goes wrong. I know of things nobody else does. I’ve seen things that others will gape at. I never dared to tell a soul, and I hope that the chosen one who finds it will not. There is something among us, good and bad, just like us humans, but so unlike all the same. I’ll leave the letter and run into the flames, the light of hope reflecting in my eyes. I looked back to the stream, and the fallen tree. I hope someone finds it far into the future. I hope that it won’t fall into the wrong hands. I took a deep breath and said a silent goodbye.

As soon as I turned around, I see them surrounding me. I was thrown into the flames with everyone else. I didn’t care that I was dying. I had hope. Someone will find it.

I will probably be just the far past to them.

Odysseus and the Cyclops

  

NARRATOR

For many days Odysseus and his ships wandered the empty seas for sanctuary. The Trojan war had ended and Odysseus and his men were returning home to the island of Ithaca. There his wife Penelope and his son Telemachus were waiting for him. Ten years had passed since he had laid eyes on them. Finally, they washed up on the shore of a mysterious island.

 

ODYSSEUS

Men, the gods have blessed us with refuge from the vigorous sea. (Stands tall, looks at men proudly.) Let’s explore the island.

(MEN nod in agreement.)

 

NARRATOR

As the men wander the island, they come across something unexpected.

MAN 3

Um, you might want to see this. (Looks at cave in astonishment.)

MAN 1

It looks like a giant cave!

MAN 2

Let’s explore it!

(MEN walk into cave.)

(Gasp in astonishment.)

NARRATOR

The walls were lined with jugs of milk and cheese as tall as a man. The men ate and ate until they couldn’t eat anymore.

(MEN slouch moan and hold stomachs.)

MAN 4

(Groans.) I’m so full.

MAN 1

So am I. I’ve never been any fuller in my entire life!

NARRATOR

Suddenly the cave shook.

MAN 3

Ahhh! Is this an earthquake?!

(MEN lie down, scared.)

NARRATOR

No. It wasn’t an earthquake, but a gigantic, hairy, one-eyed freak of nature, the Cyclops!

(Leads sheep into cave, sheep bleat, CYCLOPS looks at men with anger.)

CYCLOPS

You ate my food! You will be punished!

[Picks up two MEN (2&3) eats them, burps loudly. MEN look at CYCLOPS terrified.]

ODYSSEUS

Now that you have eaten, you must drink.

(Hands CYCLOPS giant wine jug.)

CYCLOPS

(Drinks wine, wipes mouth.) (Contented sigh.) Thank you for the Trojan wine. What is your name?

ODYSSEUS

My name is Nobody.

CYCLOPS

Nice name. My gift for you is that you will be eaten last. (Falls asleep, snores loudly)

MAN 4

Stab him with your sword, Odysseus!

ODYSSEUS

My sword is useless. He is huge. Instead, we can sharpen that log into a spear and set it on fire!  We can poke the Cyclops’s eye out with it.

(Men start working on spear.)

NARRATOR

The Cyclops started to stir.

(CYCLOPS stretches, yawns.)

ODYSSEUS

Set the log on fire!

(MEN charge into CYCLOPS’s eye.)

CYCLOPS

Aaargh! What have you done?!

OTHER CYCLOPS

(Walks over.) What happened?!

CYCLOPS

Nobody has blinded me!

OTHER CYCLOPS

You must have been dreaming. (Walks away.)

CYCLOPS

Nobody, you will pay for this!

(He lets sheep out.)

ODYSSEUS

Tie two sheep together then tie yourself to the sheep.

(Men tie themselves to sheep. Sheep walk out with men tied to them.)

CYCLOPS

I won’t let you escape! (Touches the tops of sheep looking for men.)

NARRATOR

Odysseus and his men were free! They rejoiced for having escaped the Cyclops, but mourned for their friends that had been eaten. They continued on their voyage back to Ithaca.

Fawn

Chapter One: Humans

 

It was a late summer evening in the forest. The sun was shining through the leaves of the birch trees, the ones near Fawn’s home. The early autumn leaves were just beginning to change colors, a sort of disco lighting of red, orange, and yellow. The streak of colors across the sky matched the leaves. Fawn, a young deer, was playing with his deer friend Abigail.

“Fawn, I ever tell you of humans?” she said sweetly.

“No,” said Fawn. “But my mom has.”

Abigail’s head tilted slightly to the right. She looked up at the sky as if she was looking for something… no not something, some story!

“Here we go again!” Fawn mumbled. Just then, the ground began to tremble. I guess the ground is shaking because it is trying to plug its ears, he thought.

“Well I know a story that I bet your mo — ”

But as Abigail said that there was a faint rumble and the ground shook more.

“Abigail, did you hear that?” Fawn interrupted.

“No,” Abigail said, frustrated that Fawn was interrupting her. “So one day my mom was wal

“Listen! There it is again!” Fawn said.

In the distance, Abigail and Fawn heard a loud rumble. It sounded dangerously close and the sky turned dark gray as a huge gust of wind blew in their direction, scattering leaves on the forest floor.

“I do hear it!” Abigail agreed. “And it’s getting louder!”

“The louder, the closer!” Fawn warned. “Let’s get out of here. It’s too dangerous! You can tell me the story when we’re safe in our den.”

“Come on, it’s not too loud. Now, let me tell the story!”

But before Abigail could say anything, a huge, tall, green monster-looking thing was tearing down the beautiful birch trees and charging straight towards them. All the bushes that formed a barrier around them were being uprooted; Abigail’s and Fawn’s hideout was destroyed. Mulch, bark, and twigs flew everywhere and smoke that made Fawn and Abigail cough filled the air. Fawn looked to see where it was coming from: out of the back of the monster. He felt an anger smolder inside of him. His face scrunched up in frustration and his big, soft, brown eyes became watery. This was his home! As much as he wanted to fight the monster, he needed to get Abigail to safety first. She was staring at the monster in awe, and looked as if she were paralyzed.

“AAAHHH!” Abigail screamed when she finally came back up to life.

“Hurry, Abigail. Follow me!” Fawn hastily instructed.

Fawn started dashing towards the other side of the woods where his home was, but when looked back he saw the monster right behind Abigail.

“HELP!” Abigail said frantically.

“I’m coming!” Fawn yelled, charging towards the monster, but he was not in time. The monster trampled over her back leg.

“Owww,” Abigail screeched in pain.

Without thinking, Fawn rammed into Abigail, knocking her into a bush out of the monster’s path. After that, he sprinted towards the bush to help Abigail.

 

Chapter 2: What is Going On?

 

“Ow, it hurts!” Abigail cried.

“Don’t worry, it will be over soon,” Fawn’s mother, Rebecca, said, while tending to Abigail’s wounds.

“Fawn, dear, since you are not hurt, can you go get Abigail’s mother and bring her to our den?” Rebecca said.

“Sure,” Fawn said reluctantly, for he didn’t want to leave Abigail’s side. But before Fawn could step out of the den, Lemo, Fawn’s family friend, rushed to the den, his front leg limping.

“Humans, smoke, death!” he panted.

“Lemo, calm down, and where is Juniper?” Rebecca was suddenly worried about her husband. She paused to look at Lemo’s leg. It was bleeding from a huge gash.

“Fawn, continue with what I asked you to do,” she said with urgency.

Fawn dashed with his remaining strength to fetch Abigail’s mom. He came back to the den with Abigail’s mom. When he got there, many animals, excluding their enemies, had arrived. Most were wounded and some couldn’t even budge. Abigail’s mom looked at Abigail. Her eyes started to water, but she wiped away her tears and she agreed to help the other animals.

“My daughter, Abigail,” she said. “That must’ve been very scary for you. And Fawn, thank you for saving her. That was so brave! I didn’t know you had that in you!”

Fawn blushed.

It really wasn’t much. I wasn’t even able to save her from getting hurt! he thought.

More animals arrived. There was still no sign of Fawn’s father, and it began to get very crowded. Thankfully, Abigail’s mother had gone out for more help and come back with several animals who wanted to help.

 

Chapter 3: Sad Times

 

Lemo lifted up his head and opened his mouth to say something, but he had no strength. He laid his head back down to rest. Many deaths had occurred in those last two hours. Some of Fawn’s other friend’s parents, brothers, aunts, uncles and cousins had died. No animal in the forest had escaped losing someone. But some of the other animals had gotten better. They still couldn’t speak, but they sat up and looked around, including Lemo, who started looking around wide-eyed. Some of the younger ones even started getting up and playing. It would have been a happy place, if it weren’t for the deaths. More volunteers came to help. Most of them had just been informed about a loved one’s death.

Lemo started limping towards Fawn and his mother. Once Rebecca had made him comfy, he explain what happened.

“Your father and I were on our way home when we saw a human. He was holding a sort of stick, a cane-looking shape,” Lemo paused. “Then before we knew it, the man was holding up that stick to your father. The next thing we saw was smoke everywhere.”

Fawn opened his mouth in fascination, for he didn’t know what Lemo was about to tell him. Rebecca looked very scared. Lemo looked down ashamed.