THE RESCUE

I woke up to a beautiful morning. I walked over to the bathroom and I saw all the trophies with my name, Robert Foxtin, on them. Once I finished brushing my teeth, I called my two-year-old sister’s name, but no response. I looked for my sister in the house, but she was nowhere to be found! I was so scared all my hair turned into red fur. I grew a red tail, and my eyes turned orange. I noticed I did not have much control over shifting so I kept on shifting into a fox and back into human until it was  easy. This is what happens when I turn back into a human from a fox: My eyes become green again. Next my tail vanishes. Finally my fur turns back into hair. And then I decided to start to track my sister’s scent.

The scent stopped in the middle of the forest. I turned back into a human and started prowling around looking for my sister. Suddenly I saw a staff swinging at me a mile a minute! I dodged it by a hair. Then I looked around, trying to find my attacker. I saw him. He had bushy black hair, black beard, black eyes, black eyebrows, and a black staff, which he was swinging at me, trying to knock me out. But I quickly drew my staff and blocked his blow. We continued to fight, but every one of his blows seemed stronger than the last. And each of my blows was weaker than the last. Finally the fight ended when my attacker hit me in the stomach, which forced me to turn into a fox and run away. And suddenly I realized my attacker had my sister and was not going to give her back!

 2 DAYS LATER

I did some research on my laptop about the person who had my sister. And the results were crazy. I figured out the person who had my sister was none other then the dead Blackbeard.  Why would Blackbeard want my sister? What would Blackbeard do to her? Suddenly I shivered. Blackbeard may be the most fearsome pirate ever, but I’ll still get my sister back, right? Suddenly it hit me Blackbeard wanted to train my sister to be a pirate.

1 DAY LATER

I’ve decided to look for my sister again. I turn into a fox and then set out, again! This time I’ll find her. I start to track her scent. The scent leads me to a mountain where I see Blackbeard. Then he sees me, and says, “I’ll give you your sister back if you go to a restaurant with me.” 

I thought, why would Blackbeard give me my sister for free after working hard to kidnap her?

Blackbeard, perhaps sensing my suspicions, said, “and give me 20 bucks.”

Soon, I was at the restaurant with Blackbeard. I saw Blackbeard pour something into my water. The next time Blackbeard looked out the window I switched the water glasses. Blackbeard drank his water and died. I was so happy Blackbeard was dead. Now I could track my sisters scent without further interruptions. First his eyes rolled back into his head and then he fell. I pretended the restaurant food was poisoned. I also pretended that I was horrified. I left the restaurant. And started to track my sister scent. The scent led me to the same mountains were I had seen Blackbeard. I saw my sister tied up I quickly untied her. 

She said, “ wobert?”

The Blue Eye

I contemplate as I walk down the hard metal street. The cold, grey sky senses my disdain and reflects it upon the city like a great mirror. As I force my legs to pump up, down, up, down propelling my body like pistons across the torrid street, I think, Why do we live, why are we unhappy when we have everything we desire? But we don’t. I realize that there are many obstacles in the way to true clarity.

A strange urge has come over me as I start digging with the same passion I possess when I am preaching the ways of glob and holy might. Over and over, my hands claw the ground. One, two, one, two—the rhythm of my heart beating in sync with my hands as I work through the darkened hours, neither sleep nor refreshment is wanted or needed.

The light has started to slowly spread as I hit metal. An echoing sound issues from it, lighting every inch of my tangled mind. I pull out a frosted glass orb filled with a see-through liquid suspending a small blue pebble-sized stone. There is a large, wicked looking metal spike on the end that makes me shudder to think of its intention.

I am at home with the eye. I have put it in a glass of water; it has been bobbing up and down like the lungs of some great lumbering beast. The eye has turned to me and is looking at me. No, it can’t. It is a mere eye and nothing more. It SEEMS like it is looking me up and down like a lion looking at a helpless deer. Please no! I think as my hands reach down and grasp the slimy eye from the cup, not even bothering to dry it. Please, please, no! I think once more. Spare me from this pain! I am begging you! I jam the glass eye into my dark socket where my real one was. A wave of pain rushes over me as inhumane screams and shouts fill my head. Then, the shouts fade as I clamber into my bed.

I vaguely know what happened next, but I remember myself digging in an abandoned landfill. Whatever happened, there is an ornate steel eye on my counter with a steel spike identical to the one I have.

I have just finished preaching when my associate and love of my life stops me in the doorway. “Owen! Wait!” calls Jane, rushing toward the door. “I wanted to invite you over to my house for coffee.”

“Sure!” I reply. “That would be lovely.” This is the first time Jane has ever invited me over to her house.

The next day, I walk over to Jane’s house. Inside, Jane offers me a steaming cup of coffee, and then we launch into a discussion of politics, our job, and the stock market. Suddenly, Jane asks, “What is with your eye? It seems unusual.”

“Oh this? I just need this for medical purposes.”

“Really?” exclaims Jane. “It doesn’t look like you need it.”

No, don’t. I think as my hand reaches into my pocket and grasps the metal eye. Not her! I move forward so quickly that you would think it wasn’t me, and you would probably be right. In seconds, I take the metal eye and jam it into her socket.

She lets out a shriek of pain and screams at the top of her lungs. “What did I ever do to you Owen! I was probably the only person that ever loved you!” She gives an alien like gargle and for a moment stands tall, like a great monument, as her one eye fixes itself on me, filled with sadness and compassion. 

For a moment I gain control, and I realize what I have done. Then, she crashes to the ground. Her brown eye starts to blink as she seems to pick herself up. I feel strangely warm inside and think, Now I will have her, and she will love me forever. 

She looks at me, waiting for me to speak, to give her instructions. She senses what I’m thinking and hugs me, saying in a voice filled with artificial love, “You are the most talented, smartest, and kindest person I know. I love you with all my heart.” Tears of pure joy glisten down my cheeks as I hear her loving words.

I have worked up a schedule to keep our marriage hidden. In the morning, Jane says, “Bye honey” and goes to work. After she gets home, she says, “I’m home!” and makes dinner. After dinner, we do the dishes and get into bed. At that time, Jane says, “Good night sweetie pie.” We have already prepared the body, which we dug up from a grave, along with a story of me dying in a car crash. In addition, there is a will, stating that the money should be given to the local church and my belongings and property to my good, good friend Jane White.

2063

Two middle-aged people ran down a camp, optimistic to reach the big metal gate that is the only exit or entrance to, or from, the camp. Their names were Jem and Billy. Pursuing them were a set of men dressed in blue futuristic armor. As Jem and Billy reached the gate, Billy said:

“Climb, I’ll run around the camp to stop them from following you!” 

Jem began to climb and bounce around on her back. In a baby cradle was baby Peter. 

One of the blue, armored men followed Billy and the other aimed its guns at Jem’s head. 

A loud bang echoed through the camp followed by the scream of Jem. Then the sound of a lifeless body hitting the ground. 

“Jem!” Billy’s voice could be heard from camp 29. Billy sprinted at the body of his once beautiful wife. 

“Billy,” Jem’s hand trembled as it clasped his. “Take care of Peter for me, for us.”

“I will,” Billy said, tears streaming down his face. “Don’t leave me, please!”

Jem’s arm went limp as the last of her life was drained from her. Billy stooped down in a puddle of blood and picked up baby Peter. Even Peter could sense the sorrow in his father’s face for he began to cry.

The two men shot Billy from behind and tried to tug the baby cradle from his weak hands. He clutched with all the strength left in him, for he did not want to lose another person he loved. As he finally died and they managed to tug the cradle away, the baby began a chorus of crying and wailing at the men. Nevertheless, they held the baby cradle and walked into the dark night.

Peter snapped awake, he was tired of reliving his parents’ deaths the night they had tried to escape the misery of the camp in hopes of raising him in a new life. Unfortunately, that plan didn’t quite work, for both his parents were shot and killed before they could get over the wall. Somehow, the enforcers had known they were going to attempt their escape that night. Who told them, not even the oldest people in the camp know. If Peter were to find out though, he would kill the person who snitched on his parents even if he had to take the death penalty. 

Lucy was Peter’s adopted younger sister. They had adopted her from the orphanage when Peter had his 13th birthday because her parents had been killed by the enforcers. Even though she was adopted, Peter loved her as much as he would’ve loved his parents. He sacrificed his rations that they gave them when she was five and still growing. Now she was nine, and he was 15, and they were both living with Peter’s aunt.

Long ago, in the country once known as the US, a violent dictator built an army of enforcers, soldiers to do his bidding, and built 60 camps and a shining capitol. He had views that only “certain individuals” were worthy to live in the capitol. The rest were forced into camps where they would have to harvest resources used to build and power the capitol. And to remind the camps they were an inferior force compared to the capitol, they set up the Reamble.

Peter walked out of their small hut and ran down to the old abandoned warehouse where he and his friends used to meet. Now it was used as a meeting place for the gang of thieves that Peter was part of, the deadlock. When Peter was seven, and him and his family were starving, they had offered him a place in the gang, and from then on that’s how he fed his family. Today when he walked in, they were already crowded around a small map on table.

“Where are we robbing today?” Peter asked them.

“The barracks,” one of them responded, uninterested in his appearance.

Whoa, thought Peter. This is where the soldiers kept their guns, armor and belongings. They also slept there so this would be super dangerous.

“Are you insane?!” Peter said.

“It’s final. We’ve agreed on it,” the same man said.

That night, Peter prepared for the robbery. He ran down to the barracks but no one was there. Suddenly, a spotlight shone down on him and two men tackled and cuffed him from behind. He saw the boss of the gang getting paid by a policeman then he ran off into the darkness. The two men brought him onto a hovercraft that in the direction of the capital of Eros. 

“Where are you taking me?” he asked the enforcers.

“To the arena,” they responded in an unsympathetic tone.

They arrived at a big arena, and the guard said, “You have one day of training to prepare for the Reamble.”

Peter knew well that the Reamble is the way the capitalists built their elite army.  One hundred criminals are put in a ring with knives and weapons hidden around the map. They have to kill each other until there is only one left. Then the wall opens and you can run at the small pile of weapons and supplies. The winner gets a million dollars and a lifetime supply of food. 

 Peter went straight to knife throwing in the arena until his arm couldn’t throw anymore. Luckily, he had used a knife in his lifetime of robbery. By then, he had mastered it and was prepared for the next day.

Peter went back to his room looking at the capitol on the way. There were huge glinting buildings. Food would never be scarce here. The room he was given was huge with a diamond table and glass chairs. A large TV sat on a wall across from a large fluffy beige sofa. A bowl of fruit sat on the diamond table. Peter walked over to the bowl and picked up a plum. As his teeth punctured the smooth sweet surface of the plum, the sweet juice exploded in his mouth. He turned around and saw a white marble counter with three chairs hovering above the ground.

He walked into his bedroom and saw a large king’s bed with fluffed up pillows placed along the bed back. There were two closets on either side of the doorway filled with clothes that you could choose. He went over and collapsed on the bed. Thoughts of tomorrow swirled around his head.

Peter woke up and got dressed in a black shirt and jeans and took another plum as he walked down to the arena. He entered to a roar of fans and people watching the fight. He got into position and waited for the door to open.

Part Two: The Reamble

The doors swung open and Peter sprinted toward the pile of weapons and supplies. He grabbed a dozen knives and spun around. A large man swung a big iron spiked mace. It landed right to the left of Peter. Peter stabbed him and blood began to flow from his chest. He crumpled to the ground holding his hand to the wound to attempt to stop the blood flow. Peter felt terrible. Then there was a sharp pain in his left shoulder. Blood soaked his shirt where the arrow had hit. He snapped the shaft and threw a knife at the man dressed in the same outfit as him. It hit the man in the leg as he tried to run away from the pile and he started to limp away from the pile as the blood stained the grass he walked on. Peter picked up a large rock and hit the man on the head. His eyes closed as the puddle of blood around his head began to form. He looked down and crumpled by the side of the man and tears began to stream down his face, the bloody body reminded him of his parents. He would have to push through it so he could get back home to Lucy. 

He looked around and saw people hacking away at each other with knives and swords. Now he faced the choice, should he stay and help continue the blood bath. Well, he thought, the less opponents the better. He picked up a mace and ran back into the slaughter. 

He swung the mace at a small boy’s head and heard the crack as the mace hit his skull. By now Peter’s shirt was covered in blood. He gasped as he saw there were only 5 people left at the pile. About 60 had run at the pile and there were now 6 left counting himself.

“Stop!” Peter yelled.

“Why?!”  one girl with a spear asked.

“We could alliance!” Peter yelled.

Peter knew he couldn’t win all on his own. Plus these were the strongest players so they would be good allies. Also when there were very few people left he could kill them. 

“Okay!” they all said. 

They gathered all the weapons and supplies that were in the pile and set up a camp by the pile. Off in the distance he saw smoke coming from what he assumed was someone’s campfire. 

“What’s your name?” Peter asked a girl with blond hair, blue eyes, ripped jeans and a black leather jacket.

“Heather.” She responded in a high voice.

“Guys do you see that?” Peter asked seeing the smoke drifting up about 60 yards away from the entrance of the woods.

“Let’s go kill that idiot who started the fire.” A boy in a leather jacket named John said.

Peter noticed he was holding a knife behind his back as he said it.

They tread off through the forest toward the smoke coming from the campfire of a competitor. As they were about to reach the camp John tried to stab them in the back. He only was able to stab a boy from camp 4. I spun around and impaled him with a knife. He collapsed on the forest floor and another boy from camp 3 tried to stab Heather but she was to quick for him. She grabbed his arm and impaled it with her knife. He screamed as the blood ran down his arm and stained the grass below him. A big boy from camp 2 grabbed his head in his arms and violently jerked them in different directions. There was a loud crack and the boys body fell to the grass.

John turned to the others,

“Why are we even keeping Peter alive what use is he to us?” he asked

They all turned on him and started stabbing him and punching him. 

He tumbled down a hill into the woods and blacked out. 

Peter woke up and noticed there was no one left. He was getting up off of the forest floor when a voice said “Final 2, fight!” So Peter ran through the woods and found John. I threw a knife at him and it hit him in the arm. John shot an arrow at Peter and it hit him in the leg. Peter charged John and stabbed him in the chest. He fell bleeding to death at Peter’s feet. Then a voice came on, 

“Congratulations Peter from camp 25!”

The End


Dude the Cat

Dude the Cat has tattoos and rainbow fur. He has a mean dad who won’t give Dude the Cat a basketball for Christmas. His mom wants to get him a basketball for Christmas, but there has to be a special occasion for him to get the basketball. 

=====

Dude the Cat was at basketball camp, which was called Basketball Dudes. He plays basketball. 

He said, “Can I get a basketball?” 

His dad said no, but his mom said, “For a special occasion, yes.” Dude was sad. He went to his room crying. His mom came and said, “I’m sorry, but we can’t just give you one for no occasion.”

Dude the Cat said, “I’m not mad at you, I’m mad at Dad.”

The mom said, “Well, it doesn’t matter about Dad. Just listen to your mom, and your mom says for a special occasion, and that’s that.”

Dude went back to camp and he talked to his friend Joe that he’s going to try to ask his mom to get it from his money. 

Joe said, “Great idea!” 

First, Dude went back home. It was nighttime. He ate dinner and he went straight to bed. The next morning, when he woke up, he ran to his mom and he said, “Is it camp?! Is it camp?!” 

His mom said yes, but his dad said, “I wish it was cancelled.”

Dude said, “Well, I’m going to solve the problem.” 

Chapter 2

Dude went to his camp running. He didn’t even greet the teacher. He went straight to his friend to say, “I have an idea! I have an idea!” The idea was smart. He told his friend, “I’m going to ask my mom to get a basketball from my money.” 

Joe said, “That’s the most amazing idea in the history of the world!” 

Dude got in trouble because he didn’t greet the teacher. At the principal’s office, he got in trouble because the teacher was so strict. They weren’t going to call his parents, he just had to talk to the principal. The principal said, “If you do that one more time, we will call your parents.” Dude was too excited to concentrate. So he got in more trouble. They had to call his parents. 

When his dad got there, his dad said, “I hate you.” 

Mom said, “We’re getting divorced.”

Dude the Cat smiled at the dad. 

Then, when it was bedtime, Mom went to give him a kiss and a hug. 

And then, the next morning, he remembered he needed to tell his mom his idea. He told his mom about the teacher first, and then he told his amazing idea. And the mom said, “On the weekend, you can do that.” 

At camp, he was running to his friend, but this time he remembered to greet the teacher. He went off to his friend and said, “My idea worked!” 

Today was Friday. He was so excited for tomorrow, so he went rushing to camp and he was the first one there. Dude found out he got there at 7. Camp was supposed to start at 10. For the three hours, he ate breakfast while he was playing with the basketball. But every time he looked at the basketballs, Dude got so excited for tomorrow when he would be practicing with his own basketball. When everybody came, he was playing basketball so well, he got an A+. 

When he went back home, he ate dinner, and he couldn’t even fall asleep with how excited he was. 

The next day, he was so excited. He asked his mom, “At what time can we get my basketball?!” 

She said, “After lunch.” 

Dude said, “Awww.” 

At lunch, he only ate half of his sandwich because he was so excited. His mom said, “You can only get the basketball if you eat all of your sandwich.”

After lunch, he said, “You don’t have any more excuses. Let’s go get the basketball.” 

She said, “All right.”

He got a rainbow basketball because it was his favorite color. 

Chapter 3

Dude asked, “Where does Dad live?”

Mom said, “He lives with his sister.”

“Can we have an interview with his sister?” he said. 

Mom said they could have one tomorrow. 

It was the next day. She came over and for some reason, she really looked like his teacher. She was strict, she looked like it, and she was acting like his teacher. She was very weird. But she seemed to be like his dad. That’s when Dude had the greatest idea in the history of the world. Their teacher had a tattoo. That’s not the amazing part. The amazing part was that he could check if Dad’s sister had a tattoo. And she sure did have a tattoo. He was going like crazy. This could not be his teacher. But Dude’s dad was mean so that made sense. He went to school, and Dude ran to his friend. And Dude yelled at him. 

“Our teacher is my aunt!” Dude went crazy. Joe went crazy too. He told Joe this was very bad. But his aunt didn’t know that he knew she was their teacher. 

Joe said,“I dare you to tell her that you know she’s your aunt.” 

Dude said, “Fine.” 

The teacher came to the camp and Dude said, “I know you’re my aunt.” 

She said, “No I’m not!” 

He said, “You have to be honest, everybody knows you’re my aunt because of the tattoo, I saw it then and you have it now.” The tattoo was a rainbow unicorn climbing a rock on her belly.  

“You just have to release the secret. Everybody knows,” Dude said one more time. He felt so, so glad that he found out who the teacher was and why she was so strict. She had to admit it. 

“I am your aunt.”

“I wish I could put an army on you, but you’re not just my teacher, you’re my aunt.” It made sense that she was strict because his dad was strict too. 

Dude told her, “I hate you. You are the worst teacher in the history of the world.” 

She started to cry. 

He was like, “That’s so fake.”  

“Alright. I was faking it. But you gotta admit that you cannot say those bad words.”

“Well, it’s actually true. I do hate you,” Dude said. 

She kicked him. They started fighting. And guess what? Dude won. Everybody cheered

for him. He was smiling at her because he won. She was bleeding. 

He said to her, “You suck.”

“YOU suck,” she said back. 

So Dude said, “You’re looking in the mirror,” 

“Fine, you won. But don’t forget you have to play basketball in the lower level because you suck.”

“Don’t forget you’re looking in the mirror!” he said. Dude went bump, bump, bump, all the way to the highest level easily. 

When he went home, he told his dad, “Your sister is the meanest teacher in the history of the world.” 

Dad said, “You figured it out?” 

“I got the basketball,” Dude told him.

“I wish I could kill you,” replied Dad. 

“I wish I could kill YOU!” 

“I wish I could get a dog. I got one,” Dude’s dad said. He didn’t. He just wanted to make 

Dude jealous. 

Dude went home to hug his mom. And he said, “I hate basketball camp because my aunt is the teacher. But I still love basketball.” 

Mom said, “I know. Your aunt is strict.” 

Dude told her, “You are the best mom in the history of the world.” 

She hugged Dude very tight and said, “You are a very good son.”

               Mom:

Crowned for Nature


Adele

One summer evening when my family had rented a cottage, my sister Juliet and I decided to take a stroll in the gardens that were far away on the edge of the property. As I walked to the back doorstep and over to the top of the hill, I heard Juliet calling for me to wait for her. I slowly turned around to see her rushing out the door with her sweater.

Juliet

I panted as I yanked the rest of my sweater on and called, “Wait,” to Adele. As I ran to the top of the hill, I found Adele staring at the beautiful bridge that was covered with flowers down the big hill. We carefully crept down the hill. The bridge looked like it would break at any second. I looked at Adele, and she looked back at me. Hand in hand, we slowly walked down the bridge. Once we got to the end, we stepped on the soft grass, and I spotted Adele leaning over to a bird as if she were talking to it. I climbed up some rocks nearby, where I saw birds circling above. I creeped toward Adele as the birds fluttered toward her and me. Half of them were bluebirds and the other half were cardinals. The two groups of birds chirped at each other. The bluebirds flew away and circled Adele’s head. Then the cardinals fluttered their way over to me and circled around my head.

Adele

More and more birds flew out from the trees and from under the bridge, some of which possessed long white sheets for me and Juliet each. They were wrapped around me and Juliet. The sheets wrapped around us like cloaks. It was 8:00, way past dinner, and my sister and I both hadn’t eaten. I took off the sheet and the birds cawed in my ear. It was so annoying. Juliet laughed a bit, then stopped when I glared at her but still thought it was funny. I ignored her, but it was really hard. Besides that, she was a really fun sister I guess. 

Juliet had now gone off into the woods. Uh oh. I thought we hadn’t rented that part. I called out for her, but that just woke up my parents. Aaaaauuuggghhh. There was nowhere to go but the woods. I shot toward the woods without thinking. Once I realized what I had done, I heard my parents calling for me and Juliet in the distance. But I couldn’t turn back. I wandered further into the woods and started searching for my sister. I heard the birds, the same ones that were on the bridge before. 

After days of looking, I finally found a bracelet belonging to my sister. 

Juliet

Once I realized my bracelet was missing, I was able to find a log that had been chopped down by a storm, with the inside cleaned out by a beaver. I found some moss and made myself a small home. It took such a long time for me to get to sleep. 

Finally, I heard the birds chirp as I awoke from my sleep. I turned out to really be a sound sleeper. Ow. I moaned when I sat up and bonked my head. I crawled out and dragged it over to a bench, stopped, then continued. At least it’s light, but tiring.  


Candy Sushi Fun

Once upon a time, there was a Candy Sushi girl. Her name was Lucy, and she was 12 years old. She lived in Hawaii (Maui), and she had three sisters named Aryana, Louisa, and Hilary. She and her family were very happy in Hawaii, but one day, Lucy realized that she really wanted to do something. That something was that she and her family had always wanted to go to Florida. So one day, she told her parents that, and they said, “Oh that’s a great idea, maybe we should go to Florida!” 

So one day, the Candy Sushi people had a meeting, and Lucy’s parents told her and her sisters that they would be going to Florida the next day. Her parents told them that they had to pack quickly because they were going on a boat to Florida. So Lucy went up to her room, and she packed all her stuff. She went to sleep, and soon it was the next morning. She woke up, she went downstairs, and she saw that her Candy Sushi mom had made her pancakes. That was her favorite dish, so she had ten of them. Soon it was time to go, and she got on the boat with her family. 

The boat was a three-day boat ride, so she had a room that she was going to sleep in. She went into the room, and she saw that she was sleeping with her sister Louisa. She saw that the boat was a cruise ship, and it had lots and lots of entertainment. So first, she, Louisa, and her sisters went on the water slide. It was super fun and so they went on it ten times! Soon it was the afternoon, so she had tea with her family on the boat. She had a delicious cake with cookie dough pieces on top. 

After that, she went to sleep, and in the morning, she woke up. She had breakfast in the dining hall, which was waffles. After that, she went swimming, and she went in the hot tub, which was very fun. After that, she took a shower, and she played Sorry! with her sisters, which was also really fun. Soon it was lunchtime, and she had a grilled cheese sandwich for lunch. That night, there were going to be s’mores so she had a fun time with her sisters. And she had ten s’mores! After that, there were fireworks. 

They next day, she woke up, and there was going to be a scuba diving tour underwater. She and her family were going to do it, so soon they put on the scuba diving gear (including a wetsuit so their Sushi bodies would not break), and they jumped into the water. On the scuba diving tour, they saw wonderful sites, like the glaciers and lots of fish. And they even saw starfish, which were amazing to see. When they got back on the ship, they had lunch, and after that, they went swimming again. Soon it was time to go to sleep, so they went to sleep. 

That next morning, it was almost time to leave the ship, so they got off the ship, and they landed in Florida (Miami). Soon they went to their hotel, which was a very nice hotel. It was almost nighttime, so they went to sleep. 

The next day, they woke up, and they went to the beach. On the beach, they played games, and went in the ocean, and they swam a little. After that they went into a cave, which was really cool, and they explored the cave and found treasure! They found ten pieces of gold, and someone had left a note with it. The note said: If you want to find more gold, go to the hot water beach and dig a hole in the hot water beach, and you shall find the next note. 

In the afternoon, they went to the hot water beach and they dug a hole (surprisingly, the water was very hot), and they dug and dug and dug. Soon they found the note, which said: If you want to find all the gold, dig a little to the right and a little deeper. So that was what they did. Soon they found a very beautiful pirate chest, and they opened it, and they found hundreds and hundreds of pieces of gold. The Candy Sushi people had a meeting that night, and they were trying to decide what to do with the gold, and finally they decided to donate it to a health place back in Hawaii, where they had a friend. 

Soon they wanted to go back to Hawaii because they were missing all of their family and their land. So, they went back on the plane to Hawaii, which was much faster and only took five hours. They played a few board games on the plane, and soon they were back in Hawaii. So they got back to their house, and they went to sleep because it was now nighttime. 

The next morning, they used their allowance to buy stuff, because on their last trip they lost their Kindles, so they went to the Kindle store, and bought a Kindle with their allowance. Their Kindles were very nice, and one day Lucy was reading her Kindle, and she realized that the Kindle had magic, because she went on the app and saw a little note that said, You can do magic on this Kindle. Lucy wondered what kind of magic she could do. The app answered: You can use this on your enemies or your friends to feel better if they’re sick, and you can use it for anything that you want.

Soon it was time to go to school, and Lucy had been in this school for her whole life so she knew everything about the school. This year, she would be in fifth grade, and she had Mr. Clemens, who was a very fun teacher. She knew that because her older sister Aryana had had Mr. Clemens two years ago as a teacher and she had said that he was very nice and really really fun, so she was super excited to start school. 

The next day, Lucy woke up, and she realized that it was the first day of school. When she went to school in the morning, she was really excited because when you start the fifth grade in school, you get a new binder. When she got to school, Mr. Clemens was waiting at the door to welcome his students. When she went inside the classroom, she saw that Mr. Clemens had set up a lot of desks, and soon it was first period, homeroom. First, they played a game called introducing yourself. 

After Lucy introduced herself, she saw a girl named Madeline. Madeline was very nice, and she said that she was from Texas and that she had come to Hawaii to visit her cousins. Her parents had decided to live there because they really liked Hawaii. After that, they had a computer class with their teacher Ms. Jackson. Ms. Jackson taught them how to type really fast. Lucy and Madeline were really good at typing and they were assigned a project for the Brearley school news. Lucy and Madeline were really excited because they had become best friends. Next period was math! 

Math was fun, but a little boring for the both of them. After that, they had lunch together in the cafeteria. Soon, it was the end of the day, and Lucy went home. When she got home, her mom asked her, “How was the first day of school?” Lucy replied saying that it was great, and that she made a new best friend, and her name was Madeline.

After a few weeks of school, Madeline asked Lucy to come to her house. Lucy replied, “Sure!” Lucy went to Madeline’s house and as soon as she got there, Madeline offered her a popsicle and together they watched TV. After that, it was time for Lucy to go home, and she was very upset because she enjoyed her time there. When she got back home, she went to sleep because she had dinner at Madeline’s house. 

The next day, Mr. Clemens said that they were going to go on a field trip. They were going to a horse stable. There, they were going to ride lots of different horses and clean the stables. Lucy discovered her talent for riding horses. She started with a brown horse named Chestnut. When she got on the horse, they taught her how to ride the horse and make it run. The horse manager said, “Wow, you’re very good at riding horses. Maybe you should come to us on Saturday to take classes.” 

That evening, Lucy asked her mom if she could take classes there because she had really liked riding Chestnut. Her mom said yes. The next Saturday, Lucy returned to the horse stables and she saw Chestnut again. She learned how to do jumps over a few classes, and soon, she became a champion kid horse rider. She entered many competitions, and her whole family was very proud of her. 

Soon, she went to the Olympics. Madeline was also very good, but not nearly as good as Lucy. Madeline also entered competitions with Lucy. Sometimes they tied, but she didn’t make it into the Olympics. When Lucy was in the Olympics, her whole family was there cheering her on and she won first place!! 

Soon it was her 13th birthday, and to celebrate, they got her a cookie dough cake, and they went to a movie theater to watch The Grinch Who Robbed Christmas. Lucy, Madeline, and the rest of their friends went to her house to play a few games. They played Sorry!, UNO, and Monopoly. Lucy won UNO, but she didn’t win the rest of the games. Soon it was time for all the girls to go except for Madeline, because Madeline was staying for a sleepover!! Lucy was really excited!

Madeline and Lucy had pizza for dinner. After that, Madeline and Lucy watched movies until midnight, and at midnight, they made smores. It was time to go to sleep, but Madeline and Lucy didn’t go to sleep. Instead, they stayed up until morning and only got two hours of sleep. And when they woke up, they were really tired. Lucy’s mom woke them up for breakfast, and they had frozen waffles. After that, they went to a trampoline park called Rush. There, they bounced on the trampolines, and they jousted with foam blocks. They also played dodgeball. Soon it was time for Madeline to go. When Madeline left, Lucy realized that she still had her magic Kindle. So she went home and decided to explore with it.

 She used it on one of her enemies: a freshman named Eric Sandies. That day, Eric was being very annoying, and was bragging about his new computer. He was telling everyone about how he got the newest computer and newest iPad at the Apple store. Lucy went up to Eric, and she pressed the Kindle button. Eric was ZAPPED into the air, and his head hit the ceiling. He was blasted into the air. He was never seen again.

The next day, Madeline was sick, so Lucy used her Kindle to make her feel better. That was when she realized that her Kindle was actually magic. The next day, Lucy asked her mom for an ice cream, but her mom said no. So she went up to her room, pressed the button, and asked for a cookie dough ice cream sandwich. She discovered that the Kindle was kind of amazing, and she had to savor it. 

Then she went through another year of school (7th grade). Soon it was her fourteenth birthday! She was going to have a sleepover birthday party in her grandma’s house, which was in Kauai. They all traveled to Kauai to visit her grandmother. The house was really big, so all of her friends could fit in. First, they watched Inside Out, and then they watched Super Human (the TV show). While they were watching these movies, they were eating a candy set that Lucy had prepared for them. After that, they made s’mores, which was super fun!! Then, Lucy’s mom said it was time to go to bed, but they stayed up talking about a lot of different stuff. 

In the morning, they made shaped pancakes that were really cool, and Lucy made an Eiffel Tower-shaped one. Her friends made even different shaped ones, which were really good too. After that it was time for her friends to go home. After a month or so, it was time for Christmas. Christmas was her favorite time because they got to decorate the Christmas tree, and it was super fun because she and her sisters always had fun decorating it. And then Lucy said, “I got the angel that goes on the top of the tree!” 

And then Hilary said, “I got the photos of us!” 

And then Aryana exclaimed, “I got the crafts that we made!” 

And then Lousisa said, “I got the letters!” 

Soon, they were finished decorating the tree. After that, they left out the milk and cookies for Santa Claus. 

The next morning, Lucy woke up first. And she said, “Wake up Aryana! Wake up Hilary! Wake up Lousia!” After that they woke up their parents, who were very sleepy but happy. Soon it was time to have Christmas breakfast, which was pancakes. Soon after that, it was time to open presents with their grandma, who was coming over to celebrate Christmas. First, Lucy went and opened the present first. Her first present was a magic kit. She was really excited because that year, she had really gotten into magic. It was Aryana’s turn after that. She got a playdough set because she really liked squishing things. After that, Hillary went. She got Squishies because she really adored animals.  Finally, Louisa went. She got a swimsuit because she really liked swimming. After that, all of them opened their stockings at the exact same time and got the exact same things. They all got a peppermint bark bar, some really cool pens, and some really cool origami paper. 

Next, their parents opened their presents. They had all gotten together and got their mom a new set of really nice black pens she really loved and always wanted. They got their dad a purple and pink shirt. After, they talked to the grandma and played board games. Then, they sat by the fire, gave hugs, and got hugs. After that, they had eggnog, which was really delicious becuase their mom had made it, and she was really good at making eggnog. Lucy got a new horse riding jacket, and her sister got a few board games. Then, they all sat together and played Hillary’s new board games. They were really fun, but challenging. 

Then, they went to this thing they always went to where they made a gingerbread house, which was super fun, and decorated it with candy. This year, Lucy wanted to do something really exciting, so she put a peppermint stick as the chimney and gummy bears on the roof. Then, she decorated the doors with M&Ms and Skittles to make it look really nice. Then, she decorated her gingerbread man with icing. She decorated the roof part with icing. She covered it all with the icing until there wasn’t a single brown spot. Then she smoothed it out and put Sour Patches on both sides. Soon, she was done with her gingerbread house. So she helped her sister Louisa, because Louisa was having trouble shooting out the icing. Soon it was time to leave, so they packed up their gingerbread houses and brought them home. They’d eat some but not all of it, and save the rest for another time. 

Next day, they went to school. At school, Mr. Clemens said that he was going to give a special social studies class. They were going to learn about humans. That day, Mr. Clemens told them all about humans and what they ate, all the places they lived, and what they looked like. Lucy soon became really interested in humans. She would ask Mr. Clemens lots and lots of questions about humans. She really wanted to go into the human world, but knew it was a little impossible. 

One day, she saw her magic Kindle, and thought, “Maybe I can use this to get the human world.”

 She asked it, “How can I get to the human world?” 

The Kindle told her, “You must go to the land of Sour Patches and ask the Queen how to get to the human world. If you’re nice, she might lend you the magic carpet she doesn’t let anyone use unless they’re very nice.” 

So Lucy asked the Kindle, “How do I get to the Sour Patch world?” 

The Kindle said, “That’s easy! You find a hole, dig deeper, and follow the path. After walking for a few minutes, you see a mat, and tell the mat to go to the Sour Patch world. Sit down, and the mat will fly you to the Sour Patch Queen.”

 So Lucy did exactly as the Kindle said, so she dug a hole, followed the path for a few minutes, and found the mat. But she couldn’t remember what the Kindle had said after that. She thought he said sit on the mat, but that was a little strange, so Lucy didn’t think that was right. So she followed the path for a few more minutes, and she found a goblin. 

The goblin asked, “Where are you trying to go, Ms. Lucy?” 

Lucy gasped and said, “How do you know my name?”

And the goblin said, “That’s easy! I am the know-it-all goblin. I know what you’re trying to do, you’re trying to get to the Queen of Sour Patches because you want to get to the world of humans.” 

Lucy was stunned, but decided she was going to go along with the goblin. She asked, “How am I supposed to get there?” 

The goblin said, “Just sit on the mat and tell it to take you.” 

Lucy realized that what the Kindle had said was true. So she went back to the mat, but it had disappeared! She waited, and then said, “Mat, come back!” She thought that might be a way to get the mat back, and she was right. The mat came back immediately. 

So she got on the mat and said “Mat, take me to the Queen of Sour Patches.” The mat took her up, up in the air. Lucy was stunned, she never thought she would be flying, and here she was! She sat back down and enjoyed the ride. Soon the mat was up in the clouds, they floated for a few minutes, but soon the mat started floating down, down, down. They landed in the Sour Patch world. Right outside the Queen’s door. So Lucy bravely went to the door. And went knock, knock, knock. 

A Sour Patch man come out. He looked like a servant but she wasn’t sure. “Who are you? Why aren’t you a Sour Patch person? Get out of our world!” 

Lucy was really afraid, so she went down the hill and saw a Grandma Sour Patch. She went to her and asked, “Please help me, I am a Candy Sushi girl and I need to get into the Sour Patch Queen’s castle.”

The Sour Patch Grandma looked up and said, “Very well. I will take you. You seem kind.” So she told Lucy to hide behind a bush. She went up to the door and bravely knocked. Sour Patch guard greeted Sour Patch Grandma Amy. “Hello, I am here to bring in the Candy Sushi girl!” 

The guard said, “Okay, if you know her.” 

Lucy emerged from behind the bush and walked in with Grandma Amy, whose name she just learned. Then, she saw a beautiful place with stained glass everywhere. She saw a tiny, tiny Sour Patch on the throne. She knew that wasn’t the Queen. So they moved on, and then, they came to a bigger throne with a bigger Sour Patch. Lucy thought that was the Queen, and she was correct. 

The Grandma approached and said, “Miss Queen, I have a visitor for you.” 

The Queen said, “Who’s that? She isn’t a Sour Patch.”

Lucy said, “Miss Queen, I am a Candy Sushi girl, and I really need to know how to get to the human world.”

 The Queen said, “Very well, I can see you are kind and brave. I will show you how to get to the human world.” So she motioned for Grandma Amy to leave. 

Lucy thanked Amy for her kindness, and she replied, “You’re welcome, Lucy. You deserve it.” Then, she whispered, “Go on the magic carpet, and I will say a few magic words. The carpet shall take you to the human world.”

Lucy got on the magic carpet, and whispered a few words. It sounded like the Queen was saying, “Go Lucy, go. Go to the human world.”

Suddenly, Lucy shot up into the air. She was flying! The view was amazing. Then, the magic carpet said, “Lucy! We’re flying! This is an overnight trip. You should click your phone and your room will appear.”

 Lucy did, and a room did appear. She went in, and there was a dining hall and everything. She also saw a bed. She was amazed. Realizing she was really tired from her trip, she went to bed. When she awoke, she was amazed at the beautiful bed. 

The carpet said, “Good morning Lucy, I hope you had a wonderful sleep. Go have breakfast in the dining hall now and we’ll probably land in the human world in 30 minutes.”

 Lucy changed and waited in the dining hall, where fresh donuts appeared. She had them with hot chocolate. The magic carpet called her out. 

She asked, “Are we gonna land soon?”

And the magic carpet said, “Sure! In about one minute.” 

Lucy went to the edge of the magic carpet. She saw tall skyscrapers. Lucy asked, “Where are we?” 

The carpet said, “New York! This is where I’m from.” After, they landed. It was not very bumpy. They landed on a soft patch of grass, which Lucy recognized as Central Park. “We landed in Central Park! That’s amazing!” Lucy looked at a mirror someone was carrying and realized she didn’t look like a Candy Sushi girl. She realized the Queen had also changed what Lucy looked like. 

And the magic carpet said, “I turned into a human too!” Lucy thought the carpet looked like her sister. They both looked about 18. Lucy said, “Let’s go and explore!” 

They saw other humans. 

“Hello, my name is Lucy. And I’m not sure exactly where in Central Park we are.”

And the woman said to Lucy, “Hello, dear. Here’s a map. Are you from here? You don’t look like you are. You look like you’re maybe from India.”

Lucy said, “Oh, yes, I am. Of course.” She chuckled. 

The woman said, “Okay, have a good time in the park.”

Lucy went to the playground, played on the swings, and thought, “If the woman thought I was from India, maybe I should go there!” So Lucy bought a plane ticket for herself and the magic carpet. It was at 6 AM the next day. They booked a hotel, and they slept. 

Next morning, they went to the airport. After checking in, they boarded the flight to India. They were in business class, so they went to sleep for eight hours of the flight. But the flight was 14 hours, so they watched some movies and played games, and talked. They were the first to get off because they were in the front of the plane. Then, they got off, and saw a beautiful sight of India. There was traffic, kind of like New York, but they thought it was much better. They checked into the hotel. They wanted to spend their only day in India to visit the Taj Mahal. They were amazed. It was a beautiful sight. They wanted to see inside, so they asked the security, “Can we go inside?” 

The security guard replied, “Yes, if you buy tickets.” 

They had. So they endured and saw it was beautiful inside. They took their long flight back. They slept and played games. When they got back to New York, Lucy realized she really missed her family and friends. Lucy told the carpet she wanted to go back. The carpet transformed and took her back to the Queen. The Queen welcomed her back. 

Lucy asked, “Where’s Grandma Amy?” Lucy gave her a gift: a picture of the Taj Mahal. 

Lucy got on the mat, waved to the goblin, and arrived home. She said, “Mom! Dad! Hi! Hilary, Aryana, Hi!’ When they asked where she was, she told them she had been at school because to them, she had only been gone for 10 minutes. She wrote a postcard to Grandma Amy. She thanked Grandma Amy.  

Grandma replied a few weeks later. The card said, “Hi Lucy, so nice to talk to you again. Thank you so much for the picture. It’s beautiful.” 

Lucy replied, “Thanks, Grandma Amy!” 

A few weeks later, Madeline was over at Lucy’s house hanging out. She asked Lucy if she could touch her Kindle. Lucy said, “H-How do you know about it?”

“I figured it out,” Madeline responded.

Lucy said, “Okay, I guess you can use it once.”

Madeline used it to make ice cream appear. She ate it, and told Lucy how lucky she was. “You have to savor it!”

Lucy said, “I know, I just don’t know what to use it for except for making sweets appear. 

After some thinking, Lucy said, “I know, I’ll use it to grant people wishes. If someone wants a baby sister, I can grant them that wish!”

Madeline said, “That’s a great idea, then you will be like a superhero, and everyone will like you, and you will be so popular.”

So the next day, when she was in school, she used the Kindle because her best friend Emma wanted a dog. Then she said, “Emma’s mom, get Emma a dog and be pleasant about it.” 

The next day, Emma came back and said, “Lucy thank you so much, my mom got me a dog last night and the dog’s name is Happy.”

 And the next day, one of her friends named Julie told her she forgot her science paper at home, and she really needed it, so Lucy used her Kindle to get Julie’s science paper. Everyone loved Lucy now because she was helping them get stuff like ice cream, science papers, and pets. And then one day a girl named Ruby, who was really popular, asked Lucy “Can I have your Kindle?” 

Lucy said, “I’m sorry, Ruby, but this Kindle is mine.”         

Ruby muttered, “Whatever,” and she walked away.

Lucy called after Ruby, “I’m really really sorry, but this Kindle is mine!”

When she got home, Lucy was reading a really good book called The Thea Sisters about five girls named Paulina, Pam, Collete, Violet and Nicky. She realized she really wanted to become Violet from the book. She turned to her Kindle and said, “I really want to become Violet.” 

The Kindle said, “Sure, I’ll transport you there”

Lucy said, “Thanks!”

The Kindle then said, “Wait, you need to hold on to the desk.”

The desk then flew and flew, and suddenly, Lucy was up in the air. She wasn’t holding on to the desk anymore. When she landed, she saw four other girls and she recognized them as Pam, Paulina, Collete and Nicky. She could tell Nicky was Nicky because she always wore a dark green shirt and red pants. She knew Collete was Collete because she was the most fashionable in all the stories. She knew Pam because Pam always looked relaxed. She knew Paulina was Paulina because she was the only one left. 

Soon she started her adventure! Paulina, Pam, Collete and Nicky didn’t know she wasn’t Violet. They all thought she was. Of course, Lucy wasn’t acting as Violet. She was just there, but the inner Violet spirit was guiding her.  So she was basically just following along looking. They encountered a mystery, worked together fabulously, and solved the mystery.

Soon it was time for Lucy to go home.  She held onto a desk nearby and said, “I would like to go home.” She then flew and flew and flew and flew, and soon landed in the house. When she landed after a few minutes, Louisa, her sister, knocked on her door.  

Louisa said, “Hiiii Lucy, want to do something together?” 

And Lucy said, “Sure.”

Louisa asked, “What do you want to do?”

Lucy said, “How about we play Clue?”

Louisa said, “That’s perfect, I’ll call Aryana and Hilary.” So she called their sisters, and they came into Lucy’s room. They were playing Clue, and Lucy thought it would be Peacock in the garage with the dagger. So she made an accusation and said, “I think it is Peacock in the garage with the dagger.” And she was right.  

The next day, Aryana won. But while they were playing Clue, Lucy didn’t feel very into the game like she normally was. She was feeling spacey, like she was thinking about something else. But she didn’t know what she was thinking about, and then she realized was that she was thinking about her old best friend, a Swedish Fish girl. Her name was Freddie, she was super nice and fun. They had met when Lucy was in kindergarten, and Freddie had come from Swedish Fish world because she had a grandma here. She and her family really liked it here, so they decided to stay. A few months later, Freddie got very sick and was in the hospital and had pneumonia. So Freddie’s family decided to move back to Swedish Fish world for her health, and Lucy never saw her best friend again. For the last three years, Lucy had been missing her best friend a lot, and today she was especially thinking about her because Clue was her favorite thing to do with Freddie. 

Before Freddie left, she said to Lucy, “Bye Lucy! I hope I see you again soon.” But they never saw each other again. Lucy really wanted to see her best friend again though. So one day, she went down to her mom and said, “Mom, did the doctors in Swedish Fish world cure her?” 

Mom said, “They’re still working on her. She hasn’t improved or gotten worse.” 

Lucy said to her mom, “Can we go to Sweedish Fish world and visit Freddie?”

 But later, she heard her mom saying to her dad, “I’ve always wanted to go to Swedish Fish world because it seems so awesome. And because Lucy misses Freddie so much, and Freddie’s older sister Sophie misses Aryana so much, maybe we should go!” 

The next day, Lucy’s mom announced that they were going to Swedish Fish world to visit Freddie’s family. 

Lucy said, “Mom, how are we going to get there?” 

And her mom said, “Well Lucy, I haven’t figured that out yet. I’m going to have to email Freddie’s mom about that. I’m really wondering how she got back to her house.” 

Lucy said, “Okay!” As she went up to her room with Louisa, she was thinking about Freddie, and if they weren’t going to go to Swedish fish world, what would they do?

Lucy realized that she could sit by Freddie’s bed and make her feel better, and maybe even use her Kindle to help her feel better. She went up to her room, and she went to her Kindle and said, “Kindle, can you make Freddie feel better?”

 And the Kindle said, “I’m sorry Lucy, but I can’t help with health problems because it’s not fair to other people.” 

She responded, “Okay, Kindle. I understand.” Lucy went downstairs, and she realized that her mom was talking on the phone. Then, she realized that it was Freddie’s mom. She went up to the door of the room that her mom was in, and she eavesdropped. She heard her mom saying, “I’m so worried about Freddie. Will Lucy be able to go into the hospital to see her?”

 But she could not hear Freddie’s mom answer, so she was really disappointed. She went into the kitchen and asked Mom when she was done with her phone call, “Hey Mom, how are we going to get to Freddie’s house?” 

Her mom said, “We’re going to go there next month!”

TO READ MORE, WAIT FOR PART TWO CANDY SUSHI FUN!

Lost in Time

Once upon a time, there was a genius inventor named Steve who created a time machine that could go backwards and forwards in time. He would use this time machine to improve his research and hopefully bring back an extinct creature.

When he invited a few friends to see the machine, they were fascinated. They were also inventors and scientists, so they studied the machine so much that they were there for hours. Unfortunately, one of them accidentally activated the time machine and zapped them all back in time into the Paleozoic Era. 

When they landed, the time machine had gone with them, but the power was drained, so they had to find a new power source. The problem was that they were at the age before dinosaurs! 

The scientists were panicking and didn’t know what to do. When Steve studied the time machine and found out that the energy was completely drained, he told the others that they needed to find a new power source. Since the scientists were in the middle of nowhere, they didn’t know where they could find a new source to power up the time machine so they could go back to their time.

As the scientists were searching, the time machine glitched and teleported them to the Ice Age. It was freezing cold, so the scientists found a cave to shelter from the snow. Steve knew that he would have to get back to the present, so the scientists started to search again, and they found a metal that could be melted into a power source for the time machine. The only problem was that they couldn’t melt it because they were in the Ice Age. Then, Steve had an idea of making a fire to melt the metal. 

He started to search for stuff that could ignite, and instead he discovered a frozen woolly mammoth in the snow. Steve got really excited and took it back to the cave to show the other scientists. He told them to keep it safe while he went to find something that would burn. When Steve came back empty-handed, he took some fur from the frozen specimen to study, if they could ever get back to the lab.

Suddenly, the time machine glitched again, and they were thrown back into the start of humanity. Steve didn’t panic — he figured that the early humans could lend them materials to create fire to melt the metal so they could get back home.

At the same time, Steve and the scientists were really starting to get hungry. They would have to share food with the early humans. The scientists and the early humans worked together. The scientists would make a fire to cook meat, and the early humans would hunt for food. The early humans hadn’t invented fire yet, so the scientists taught them how to make a fire and how to use it. 

Once the scientists were full, they found out that they had forgotten to take the metal that could get the time machine to work properly and running again. Now Steve and the scientists needed to find a new power source, but had no idea where to start. 

While Steve and the others were scattered all over the place trying to find a power source, the time machine glitched again, and now they were in the Jurassic time period. Steve and the scientists didn’t hesitate to keep searching for a power source to bring them back to their time, but because they were in the Jurassic time period, they had to be on the lookout for carnivorous dinosaurs such as the famous Tyrannosaurus Rex and the Velociraptor. 

When Steve and the scientists were searching for an energy source for the time machine to work, they were greeted by a pack of Utahraptors that were looking for a nice little appetizer. The scientists froze trying, just as they were attacked the time machine glitched yet again because of the heat, and teleported them just in time. Steve and the others found themselves back in the Ice Age again.

This is great! Steve thought. Now he could find the metal that he lost here. He also needed to bury the time machine in the snow to protect it from being trampled. Unfortunately, it got too cold and glitched again before they found the metal that could get them back. Once the scientists found the metal, they were ready to go back to the early humans to melt the metal so they could then go back to the present. However, they now needed to force the time machine to glitch again so they could get back to the early humans. 

Steve guessed that a dramatic and quick change in temperature would trigger it. He dug the time machine out from the snow, and it worked; the time machine glitched again. Once they were back in the time of the early humans, they melted the metal and headed home.

Upon their return, they were going to celebrate by eating ice cream, and Steve was going to present the time machine to the government. He and the scientists walked outside the minute they got back to the present, but they were shocked to see that the world was so much more advanced than it was when they left. To their surprise, time machines had already been invented! They eventually realized that the present time got altered because they changed the past — they introduced fire to the Neanderthals too early, and everything changed slightly after that. 

Steve got really angry, so he started to think of a solution that would make him famous anyway. Steve thought, What if I made a forgetting machine to wipe the memory of fire from the Neaderthals… That was a story for another day.


Do You Want Me

CHAPTER 1: Sophie?

“Mom!’’ Angela yelled. “Sophie’s here!” Sophie! Sophie as in the girl who slides me bacon under the table when she sleeps over? 

“How long will Angela’s stupid friend be staying?” groaned Alex, my other owner. 

“One month, and Sophie’s not stupid!”  Mom said. 

Alex rubbed me behind the ears (my favorite spot to rubbed) and said: “I guess it’s just you and me Randy!” I barked in approval. Ding dong.  That means doorbell! I ran towards the door to say hi to Sophie. 

“Traitor.” Alex laughed under his breath, walking towards the door. 

When Sophie opened the door, she screamed really loud and ran back to her car, buckled her seatbelt and closed the door. 

Oh! I get it now! Sophie wants to play chase! 

I barked in agreement, gave a big yawn and ran. Sophie screeched. Angela caught my collar right before I reached the car. If I had 2 legs instead of 4 and had gotten a headstart like Sophie, I would have totally beat her. 

Angela walked me back into the house and got in the car with Sophie. It sounded like something serious was going on in there. Even Sophie’s dad joined the conversation. At the end of their “small talk,” Sophie and Angela hugged. Angela beckened mom come in the car with them and told Alex to hold me while she climbed into the back of the car. When she heard the news she looked very surprised, but then put a hand Sophie’s shoulder. 

When they opened the car door, Sophie stayed in while mom and Angela told Alex to put me in our parents’ room. 

Oh! They probably want to play hide and seek! I ran up the stairs, onto the bed and flipped covers on my head. 

“Randy!’’ Alex muttered, roughly pulling the sheets from over my head. 

I jumped off the bed and onto my dog bed near the “pond window” and watched Alex leave the room, closing the door firmly. Wait, did I just let him lock me here?! What now? Will I ever see Angela graduate? Will I ever play football with Alex and his team again? Will I ever stuff bacon into my mouth when Know ones looking? Will I—Oh never mind! My bacon brain is too tired to think anymore about this situation. I’m just going to do my favorite thing besides stuff my mouth with bacon, which you all do just not as much as me probably and which I will do on the count of three. 1…2…3!…ZZZZZZZZZ!

***

The sounds of footsteps woke me up. I yawned widely. My paws quietly scampered across the rug, my feet making little marks on the rug floor. I walked over to the door, my eyes still closed, and hit something hard. Ruff! Ruff! Ruff! Owwoo! Well, don’t wanna do that again. Oh look Bacon, Bacon 2, Bacon 3 and Bacon 4 are here. The Bacons are my chew toys. Okay, here’s the plan boys. I’m gonna knock on the door on the count of three. You ready? 1…2…3! 

I run towards the door and… BANG! The pain learches at my body again. Owweee that hurts! But, I am Randy. And Randy is known for trying again! So this Randy is trying again and again!

I again run towards the door and the pain learches. Oh! I get it now, they probably don’t know that I’m up here! Alex, Angela! Mom, Dad! I start jumping up and down so they can feel the vibrations in the house. Come on, Angela! Alex, you know I’m up here- car! Car means Dad, and Dad means freedom! Bacon 3, you’re the heaviest, so jump with me! Dad! Dad! Dad! Dad! Dad! Dad! Dad! Dad! Dad! I’m up here! 

“Eeeeeek!”  

That was Sophie! She must be in trouble! I have to see what’s going on! Why is Sophie screaming so much? Why have they locked me in here? And, most of all, why does Bacon 4 smell like baby powder? 

“Uh Randy?” Angela? Angela! Angela sat down beside me. She rubbed me behind the ears and said: “Randy Sophie has gotten a fear. A fear we cannot control.  Now, and for a little while, you will not be in the same room as Sophie. Sophie has gotten cynophobia.”

What does that mean? Is she scared of bacon? I can help her overcome that fear! 

“Cynophobia does not mean that Sophie’s scared of bacon,” said Angela, reading my mind again. 

Okay, then what does it mean? 

“Cynophobia means that Sophie is scared of dogs.” 

My heart dropped. Sophie was scared of me? But why? Was it my fault she’s scared of dogs? And why don’t pancakes have bacon instead of chocolate chips? All these thoughts started swishing around in my brain like Cheerios in a cereal bowl (especially the one about pancakes) until all that was left was mush and questions floating in my peanut-sized dog brain. 

“It’s not your fault Randy,” Angela said, smiling as if she was reading my mind. “She’s afraid for reasons like getting tackled by a life size dog and her Aunt got bit by a dog and had to go to the hospital.” 

“Angela?” Sophie asked nervously. 

Sophie? I barked really loud so she could hear me, but then I sensed Sophie was scared as she jumped back and ran to Angela’s room. I remembered what Angela had just told me. The shivering sensation started to rumble around in my stomach like it did when I hit the door. Right, Sophie is scared of me. I slowly walked back to my dog bed and, with every step, my tail felt heavier and heavier. I sadly snuggled onto my bed and faced the window, chewing on Bacon 2. Angela patted me on the head and left the room, closing the door very quietly because I didn’t hear it, or care. All I could sense right now was my own sadness swallowing me up. 

I stared out the window at Mom leaving the driveway and the pizza man arriving on his bike. His dark red suit with a slice of cheesy pizza on the back of his yellow coat hanging lightly in the sunset- wait, pizza man! Everyone knows that pizza man means pizza. 

I ran out of my bed, but stopped in my tracks. Angela had left the door open! I ran past the door and quietly walked past Angela and Sophie, but dance partied down the stairs shaking what my momma gave me!

CHAPTER 2: A Pizza man in disguise!

When I got downstairs, the pizza man was already at the door and took a leap in the door, making Dad abruptly step back. 

“Hello! And who is this?” The pizza man asked, slyly pointing at me. I sat up straight, looked the pizza man in the eye, and barked.  

“This is Randy,” replied Dad, patting me on the head. 

“Yes, of course! I mean, nice to meet you Randy!”
“Well how much is it? I’m sure the girls are getting hungry,” said Dad. 

“That will be $18.99.” Dad paid the pizza man and went into the kitchen to set the table and put out the pizza. 

I nodded towards the pizza man as in goodbye, and I was about to turn around when I smelled something delicious. It was a white ball. I licked it. It tasted so good! I ate the whole thing. Sugar coated my whole face. Ooh! Another delicious ball. I ate it all up. The ball trail went through the door, followed by many more balls. Until I reached the pizza man. 

“I’ve been waiting for you.” The pizza man smiled. 

My eyes started getting heavy; my brain started filling with bacon. 

“Randy no! Don’t do it!” yelled a familiar voice.  

“Shut up fur bag!” yelled the pizza  man. 

How rude! I thought. That was the last thing I said before I blacked out. The last thing I remembered was climbing into that pizza man’s bag (what a dumb dog I am!) because I was tired. The pizza man whisked me away.

***

“Shut up you dumb dog!” yelled the pizza man, whipping Randy’s dad with his own leash. “Tell me what I want to know and no one gets hurt!”

Yawn. I try to get up out of this dog bed, but it’s zippered! Who zippers a dog- oooohhhh, right. This isn’t a dog bed, it’s a pizza box bag! 

“Help! Help me voices I heard before Iblacked out! It’s hard to breathe in here! Help me! Please.’’ My voice got more and more hoarse every time I spoke. 

That’s it, I knew nothing good came from pizza men. I was gonna die here. I felt myself leaving as my breath started slowing and my heart started slowing down. Falling onto the bag, letting myself fall didn’t matter anymore. I was LEAVING! 

“Randy!” 

The zipper opened and I immediately jumped out and smelled the fresh air. I coughed up a fit, leading myself out of the bag. A face I’ll never forget jumped out at me. It was the face a crying baby couldn’t forget, it was my…

……Mother. I started to cry. All these thoughts and emotions whirled around in my head. “Mom… Mother?” I sobbed all over her. What was I to do? I was just a puppy all alone in this big big world. I was a small puppy, a helpless puppy. No, I wasn’t, I wasn’t. I wasn’t completely confident in myself, but all I could do was cry. My thoughts were all fused together. I didn’t know which ones to believe in, which ones to turn away, or which ones would just make me cry all over again, so I just believed in all of them. What was happening to me? Where was I? Who was the pizza man really? Do they serve bacon when you’re kidnapped? And, most of all, would I ever see my human family again? Angela? 

“Hey look!” said a dog who looked exactly like me. It was my twin brother, Charlie! 

“Charlie!” Charlie looked EXACTLY like me except I have a black spot under my left ear and Charlie has one under his right, but we still look like the same Irish Setter as our loving dad, who I noticed wasn’t here. All eight sisters were here (What? I had a big family!) who looked like my mother. She was a golden retriever, but not a golden retriever more like a white retriever. 

When I was a newborn, I remember we wouldn’t be able to find either my mom or the sisters when it snowed and my dad would take us on days out. We would go to a nearby deli and the manager would always give us fresh bacon and other meats for breakfast and in the afternoon we would go to the Houston, Texas dog park, but the old days weren’t always good. We were street dogs, but lived on grass (it’s complicated) in Houston, Texas. There weren’t pounds nearby, so we were safe for now, but one day things got a little shaky.

A truck rolled forward and the gravel on the road shook as it passed. There was a peculiar feeling as the truck stopped in front of my family and me. And then we noticed the big sign. In big, blue inky letters the sign spelled out

ROB’S POUND

For all your furry friends in need!

FOR HELP CALL 555-555-5555

We do:

Rabies checks/antibiotics 

Euthanization (put your dog to sleep) 

Pet capture

And many more!

Mom tried to hide us, but it was too late. The man grabbed me and Charlie. Dad jumped in front of us, but the man kicked Dad out of the way. 

“Help! Help!” I called, but no one could save me. 

The man who took us looked a lot like the pizza man. He had dirty brown hair that messed around on his forehead. He had an uneven beard and dark brown eyes and his millions of tattoos over his tan skin would haunt me forever. Oooooohhhhh. When I said the pizza man looked like the pound dude now I realized…THE PIZZA MAN WAS THE POUND DUDE! 

AND THE CROWD GOES WILD! AAAAAAAAAHHHHHHH! AAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHGH! Okay enough small talk. THE CROWD GOES WILD! AAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHH! AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHH! Okay really. THE CROWD GOES WILD! AAAAAAAAHHHHHH- COULD YOU SHUT UP QUARTER OF BRAIN THAT ISN’T BACON?!  

Now this all makes sense now! In Texas, the pound dude took us and was whipping us for weeks! Those were dark days. I didn’t get to see Charlie very much. The only times I got to see him was when Charlie was in pain and then I wouldn’t be able to see because I was crying too hard. The most important question in my mind right now was if they served duck bacon in puppy prison. Don’t tell my mom I said this but the… pound. YYEEEEEEEOOOOOOPPPPEEEEERRRRRSSSSSSS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

HERE COMES HOME! NNNNNNNOOOOOO!   

The pound dude made a really bad decision one night when he was out late and drank too much. He drove the pups outside into a really crowded park (like I said a really bad decision) and started whipping us out on the grass. It just so happened to be that one year old Angela and four year old Alex and their parents were there. When they saw Charlie and me getting whipped, they demanded all the dogs in Rob’s pound for all your furry friends in need! They found them nice homes all around the world and things have been like that for a long time.

“YOU STUPID, STUPID FUR BAG!!!!!” screamed a voice from down the hall. 

My family and I huddled close. 

“TELL MEEEEE!!!!” yelled the voice. 

My family jumped out of the door that the pound dude had left open when he left. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing.  

We stepped into a murky room with a big ol’ chandelier hanging from above. Charlie and I peeked into a doorway and beckoned the ladies to come over. There was another door, and inside there was a pitch black room with a flamey fire pit and the last person I wanted to see was there: the pizza man. 

He was holding some sort of rope thing and a lantern was set at the table nearby. We all leaned in and saw something so painful to watch that we wished we never saw it. It was my dad. And the pizza man was holding his leash, one he used on special occasions with the metal part on the end. He was getting hit with it. More like getting whipped. And if that wasn’t enough, he was locked in metal chains.

CHAPTER 3:

My dad’s last chapter

“TELL ME WHAT I WANT TO KNOW YOU F***N DOG! WHERE’S YOUR FORTUNE  AND THE CROWN? THAT HEIR WILL BELONG TO ME!” screamed the pizza man, whipping my dad again. 

“I will,” my dad breathed calmly, “never tell you where our fortune is. The heir belongs to my sons, Charlie and Randy, and even if it didn’t I would never give the heir to a human.” 

I’m puppy royalty? (drool, drool, drool, drool) 

“IF YOU DON’T TELL ME WHAT I WANT TO KNOW, YOU AND YOUR FAMILY’S FLUFFY TAILS WILL BE GONE!” yelled the pizza man. 

The pizza man was getting more violent by the second. He was hitting my dad harder now and had locked him in metal chains that jingled when he struggled to get out. I couldn’t bear it. I started to silent cry. My dad. My loving father. The one who always had my back even when no one else had. He had sacrificed so much for me and the rest of my family and I had to find a way to help him! 

“If you would like to cut off my family’s fluffy tails, you may, but you will have to go through me first,” said my dad, resisting. 

“YOU MUTT-”  

“I’m an Irish Setter.” 

“JUST SHUT UP! YOU JUST TELL ME WHERE THE F***’N FORTUNE IS AND NO ONE GETS HURT!” 

I really couldn’t help it. I ran out into the room and yelled: “YO! You want my old man? Well den you ‘ave to go through me first!” 

“AHA!” the pizza man yelled. 

My heart started beating. Had I made matters worse? The next thing that happened scared me and it also scared my dad. The pizza man pulled out a knife and grabbed me by the scruff of my neck. He held the knife up to my neck. 

“TELL ME OR THIS GUY, THE HEIR TO THE STUPID PUPPY THRONE, WILL DIE!” yelled the pizza man, his yellow teeth shining. 

“Alright, alright! I’ll tell you! Just don’t hurt my son,” said my dad softly. 

“No, Dad, no! Don’t! Don’t do it! Daddy?” I couldn’t do it. Who knew what would happen to me and the rest of my family after the pizza man took our fortune? Would I ever see Angela again? Would I ever eat Pancetta bacon again? 

“Listen to me and bend down so you can hear me,” said my dad. 

The pizza man bent down with the knife in my dad’s face and was still clutching me in the other. 

“Dad, no. Don’t do it!” I yelled, but I couldn’t convince him. 

My dad leaned in and pulled the knife up to his face and… pushed it slowly through his neck. 

I couldn’t watch. 

“WHAT!” screamed the pizza man. He stomped out of the room and started whipping the rest of my family. 

I was a little shocked myself. I didn’t know my dad would do such a thing. I started to walk out when I heard my name being called by a familiar voice. 

“Randy.” 

“Dad?” I heard the voice again and walked over to where my dad was lying. I couldn’t figure out what he was saying, but he was talking and I could see his lips moving. 

“Randy,” my dad started. 

I didn’t want to interrupt him because this would probably be the last thing he said to me. 

“There is a map. A very old map. It has the way to the fortune. The map’s at… at.” My dad had ended. All his hard work had been sacrificed to the underworld. 

I started to cry. I felt so alone in the world. One of my most trusted dogs was gone. The world was too big for me, and I couldn’t do anything about it. The thing I most loved was gone. 

I dragged my dad back to where the rest of my family was being whipped and an idea sparked into my head. I got in line and started getting whipped. I whispered something to Charlie who whispered something to my sister and so on. I barked and we attacked. 

The family bit into the pizza man’s leg. I took the first bite and Charlie took the second. We ran over to my dad’s dead body and brought him over to the pizza man. We had 2 more to go. My sisters, Abby and Shyla, and the rest of us helped put my dad around the pizza man’s ankle (he had his eyes closed because of the pain; that’s what you get for messing with my family) and Charlie, who had the best impression of my dad, said: “I will haunt you in your dreams!” 

The pizza man ran out of the room like we planned, his squeaky shoes made high pitched squeaks as he left. I didn’t know it, but I was going to have a topsy turvy life from then on out. The room looked murkier than before.

“So…” started my sister Anna. 

“Do you think…” added my other sister Shannon. 

“We should…’’ ended my other, other sister Jordan. 

“Eat bacon?” I suggested. 

“NO!” yelled all three. 

“I think we should…” began my sister Hannah.  

“Bury him.” My mom sniffled. 

That wasn’t the worst thing. It started raining outside. Not only the skies were pouring, but so were we. Now only eleven of our living, breathing, souls dragged ourselves outside into the dark, gray rain. The twelfth was dead, being dragged  by his loved ones. 

As the rain poured, we were all lost in thought. I couldn’t figure out where to go, what to do, and who needed me most. Should I go back to Angela or stick with Charlie? My mother was pretty sad too and she was getting old, maybe I could take care of her. 

“You two are now the men of the family now,” said a voice in my ear. 

I knew she was talking to me and Charlie and that the voice was my mother’s. Her cold wet fur rubbed against mine for a second; it felt like the world had stopped and kept fast forwarding. The moment when I was a carefree newborn on the streets of Houston, Texas. And fast forward to all those good times with Angela and Alex and Sophie before she got Cnya- whatever you call it. All those football games with Alex, dog courses with Angela, even the movie nights with the whole family. 

I dragged my dad’s feet to help with my mom, who was now a couple steps in front of me and my thoughts dragged off. 

I wonder how Pancetta would taste with duck bacon at breakfast? If ham was smoked bacon then why is it called smoked bacon? As my thoughts started to buzz, my surroundings started to seep in. We were passing houses and nothing really caught my eye except for when a woman said that it was August 16th and time to take the trash out. Was it already August? How long had it been? 

As the woman dumped her trash out, she missed the garbage can, but didn’t care. How rude! She just slapped Mother Nature in the face! Now, I realized why these people didn’t care that a bunch of dogs walked by. There were dogs everywhere. There was a particular group of dogs that had a white retriever like the girls, a tiny goldendoodle, a HUMONGOUS Berger Picard, and and an Alaskan Malamute all eating from the trash can the woman dumped outside. They waved and we sadly waved back. The dogs shrugged and went back to eating.

CHAPTER 4: THE END

We walked a little farther and got to a sandy beach and sat down for rest. We were all starving and almost dead, so we decided after the funeral we would part ways. I didn’t know where to go. 

“Now,” muttered my mom almost crying, “we can’t make this a proper funeral, but right now I want you to pray to your father and then we’ll share.” 

I had to just close my eyes and think. I was remembering all the great times I had with my father and all the laughs we had together, when I heard a voice that sounded quite like my dad’s. 

“Randy. Listen to me and don’t talk. I’m not allowed to tell you where the map is or anything about it, but I can give you a piece of advice. When the world lets you down and you can’t get back up, all you need to do is try, try, try again and you will never fail.” The voice died down and I just stood there with my eyes closed, staring into the darkness of my grief. 

Who was that voice? Was he telling me something important? 

“Does anyone feel like sharing?” sniffled my mom.

No one raised a paw. We all just stood there with our heads lowered down.

“I guess it’s time,” I muttered. 

We all walked our different ways. My mother stayed at the beach, lying with my father. Some of my sisters went right and some went left, but we all left. Charlie shook his head at me, walked past the beach shed and hung his head low. I couldn’t believe it. Did Charlie think that it was my fault that Daddy died? Well, maybe it was. If I didn’t go out through the door, the pizza man wouldn’t have been able to rebel against him. Is that why everyone was mad? 

I walked a little farther to the right when I heard a high pitched scream. Where was the scream coming from? I heard it again. It was coming from the way Charlie went. I ran towards the shed and peeked around it. There were three men and one woman. 

“So, what do you want fur ball?” said one of the men. He had a thick body and dark black hair and I guess he was the leader of the group. He had two colleagues with the same red hair and buff chests. 

“Stop, just stop!” said the woman, but the man ignored her. 

Then, I thought: If I don’t go out there then things won’t go as they did before. 

I was wrong. The gangsters apparently were drunk and killed my brother. I was the only man of the family now. 

Running towards the sea of unknown and landing on the road, I took a couple steps forward and got used to the rocks under my feet. I kept walking. The steps felt unworthy and despicable, like I didn’t deserve to take them. I just kept walking and walking, and kept thinking to myself thoughts that, for once, I didn’t want to think about. 

I saw a familiar car and went closer. The car belonged to Angela and Alex’s parents! But then I got scared. They were parked outside a hospital. Was everyone okay? I was scared to go inside. I had faced way too many deaths for a lifetime, but I stepped inside anyway. 

The thing that surprised me most was being able to find them so easily. They were sitting on the first bench. Mom’s head was on Dad’s shoulder and Dad’s was on top of hers; both were crying. I came up and sat on Mom’s lap. He looked as I did seeing them crying. 

“Oh Randy,” Mom started, “they’re gone.” 

Oh no, who was gone? 

“Randy, Alex, Angela, and Sophie have all died in a car crash,” said Mom. 

I didn’t know what to say. So I didn’t. But I had to close this story with a word so I said…. 

BACON.


Cookie the Bear

Hi I’m Cookie the bear or you can just call me Cookie. I live in a cave and I’m 3 years old. My mom and dad left me in this dark cave when I was really young… I was alone in this cave for the next 3 years of my life. But I made some friends. I have Rocky (he’s a rock) and I have Sophia the squirrel. I think she’s alive. She doesn’t like to move around much. For food, I eat these berries in a bush around my cave. Sometimes these moving objects come toward my cave and a living thing comes out and starts staring at me. It’s creepy. At night I look up at the shiny things in the sky and count how many there are, but there’s just way to many… Then I just go to sleep. I wake up and I go to the lake and get some fish for breakfast, then I go back to my cave. That’s my daily routine until one afternoon… I woke up from my nap and I see a piece of fish on the ground. “Oh free fish! At least I don’t have to go all the way to the lake for lunch.’’ I reach for the fish but it moves back. I reach again but it goes back. Then I started chasing after the fish until a tall living thing put me in a net! I tried getting out but I was stuck! Don’t forget me, Rocky And Sophia! I’ll come back I promise!” Then they shot something at me and I fell asleep.

***

*Yawwwnnnn* I opened my eyes and saw a cave, trees and bushes. “The living things (humans) probably felt bad and let me go back to my home!’’ I ran to my cave until I hit my head when I tried to go in it. “What!? I can’t go into my own cave?”  It was a flat surface, no place for a home. It was like a wall. I started scratching it until little pieces of paper fell off. “This isn’t my cave! It’s not even a cave!” Something wasn’t right.

 “Well if my cave isn’t a cave, then that must mean the trees are fake and the bushes are fake!” “Dun Dun Dun!”(Dramatic effect) “I have to get out of here! I need to survive! How am I gonna eat or sleep or most importantly PLAY!!!” * Ting ting ting* “What’s that noise?” Then when I turned around I saw a round flat thing (a plate) that had berries on it. “Food!” I was sooo hungry. I ran to the berries and ate all of them in three seconds. “Yumm that was good. But I have to focus on getting out of here. Hmmmmm let’s see, there are 3 see through squares (windows), a tall wooden rectangular board (a door), and a hole where they drop off the food…. Wait! A hole! I can go through the hole where they drop off the food so I can escape! Wow I’m so smart.” So I made my way into the hole and I actually got through! “Wow I never knew it would be this easy!” Then as soon as I stepped out of that hole, there was this noise that went sort of like *beep beep beep beep BEEP!* It was so loud! I turned to make a run for it while the living creatures (humans) were making it out of a rectangular opening (a door) So I was running and running until I looked back and saw 2 living creatures (humans) catching up to my speed with huge nets. I knew that if I didn’t try hard to make it out I would be stuck here, in this place, alone, forever. So I ran and ran and ran and “FREEDOM” I was so happy I made it out. But I had to hide so I made a quick turn to a dark narrow space (alleyway) filled with metal cylinders with stinky food in it (garbage cans). “Ok at least the living things are not chasing me anymore.” I was walking toward the end of the narrow space (alleyway)  until a small round animal with pink long tail (rat) jumped in front of me. 

“AH! Who are you!?” 

“Oh the name’s Ruby and I’m a rat! Tada!” said Ruby.    

“Ummmmm okay, well are the tall living things (humans) chasing you too?” 

“ What tall living things? You mean humans?”  

“Humans, what are those?” I asked.  

“The tall living things!” Ruby told me. 

“Ohhhhhhh that makes sense.” I said. 

“So what is a bear like you doing in the big city?” Ruby asked. 

“Well you see I live in the woods and I’ve been bearnapped by humans and I need to get back home so I can be with my friends Rocky and Sophia. Without them I’m just a bear with no friends.”  

“Well I’ll help you find your home,” Ruby said.     

“Really? You would do that?” 

“Of course, everyone deserves to have friends.” Ruby said.  

“Yay thank you so much!”              

 ***

“Ughhhhh we’ve been walking for hours! Where are we?” 

“We are in the big city!” 

“Ummmmm reality check, but we’ve been in the big city the whole time! All this time we’ve been walking in circles!” “ 

“Oh uh whoops.”  

*sigh* “I’ll never get back home.” 

“Don’t think like that. I’ll get you home but which woods?” 

 “What do you mean?” 

 “There are many woods in the world but which one do you live in?” 

“Oh, I live in the Canadian woods.” 

“WHAT!!!??? Wow that’s very far, that’s like north. Well we’re going to have to take a little trip up north but we’re never gonna make it by foot. So we’re gonna have to get on a plane and go to Canada.” 

“How are we gonna have to get on a plane? I don’t think that they even allow animals on planes not even bears.”

 “Well they allow PETS like birds, cats and dogs. So all we have to do is dress up like one of them.” Ruby said enthusiastically..

“Yeah! They will never notice that its a bear or a rat!” I said happily.

“Okay here’s the plan. First, we go to a shop and steal some kitty ears and dog ears the whole animal fake stuff. Next, we run to the airport and make our way into one of those pet cages. Then, the people at the airport will assume that we’re just ordinary pets, so they’re going to put us in the plane where all the pets are. Lastly, when the plane lands we are gonna land in Canada and we’re going to get out of our cages and make a run to the woods and boom your home.” 

“Yay! But what about you where are you gonna live?” I asked.

“Umm save the questions for last let’s go buy some animal stuff. We have a plane to catch!” Ruby said happily.

“Hey what are those other animals behind the trees they kind of like you-”

“Ummm it’s probably nothing, maybe it’s from all that walking we did you must be very tired.” Ruby said suspiciously..

“Yeah you’re right” I said believing her.       

So we walked all the way to the closest store and bought-technically stole some kitty ears, dog ears and stuff like that.


***

“Wow you really look like a cat, a small one though.” I said.

“Yeah you look just like a dog we are gonna nail this” Ruby said.

“So now since we’re all ready we should be heading to that airport” I said.

“Yeah” Ruby said.


***

We were on our way to the airport but we were still kind of far so we were talking about our past and what we do.

“So where are your parents?” Ruby asked.

“Well they left me when I was very little so I can take care of myself in my cave. I was lonely at first but I met some friends I met Rocky and Sophia and they’re my best friends, like you, your my friend too because you helping me get home.” 

“Well you know what they say you gotta help a friend in need.” she said kind of guiltily.

“Well how big is your cave? You think it’s big enough to fill 100 rats.”

“Probably more it’s really big. Why?” I said.

“No just asking,” Ruby said.

“Okay. Look there is is the airport!” I pointed 

“We made it yay! So now all we have to do is sneak in through the door when someone’s coming out and not get caught. But when we get in we have to sneak in one of those pet cages.” Ruby said.

“But will we fit in the cage?’’ I asked.

“Yeah they’re big. But in order to get in the cage the owner must be distracted so we can open it and get in.” Ruby said confidently.

I turned around and saw the rats again.

“Ruby?” I asked.

“Yeah,” Ruby replied.

“I think those pack of rats behind the trash can are following us,” I said suspiciously.

“Ummmm probably from all that walking. Now come on no fooling around we have a plane to catch!”

***

Now we just have to wait until a person comes out of the door so we can sneak back in.

20 minutes later… 

“The perfect moment… And… 2 more minutes… ” Ruby said.

“By now we probably missed our plane. Why not we go through the back door when someone comes out, like now!”

We ran and ran and ran and we finally made it inside. We quickly found a cage to get into until Ruby had to go to the bathroom.

“I have to go to the bathroom ill be right back,” Ruby said in a hurry.

“You’re a rat! Just use it somewhere else!” I replied.

 But she already left.

10 minutes later…

“What took you so long! I’ve been waiting for ten minutes come on!” 

We quickly got into a cage and waited for the owner to drop us off we’re the suitcases go. Although it was kind of hard because Ruby and i got into two separate cages with some rude cats that tried to scratch us, we just dealt with it until they got tired out.

*Bang* The people that worked at the airport threw us inside the bottom part of the plane where all the pets go.

Ruby and I quickly got out of our cages so when we land we jump out of the plane and run to the woods. But we were gonna land in the next 5 hours.  So we decided to wait and talk it out. But then Ruby and I got really hungry and we didn’t have anything to eat before we got on the plane. So we tried looking in seperate directions of the plane for food. But the only place where they had food was where all the people where, and it would take a miracle for us to sneak up there.  

*grrbrrgle* “Soooo hungry yyy,” Ruby said.

“Me too but just 4 more hours,” I said sadly… 

“Ya know what I’m going up there, and I have a plan.” Ruby said. 

 ***

“ Okay, so now we have to sneak in the snack bar and bring down some food where the animals are so we don’t get caught!” Ruby said excitedly.

“Ok so let’s go now since no one’s looking.” I said.

We were going to get a little bit of the food and bring it down to eat but, I saw that Ruby was getting a lot of food for like an entire pack of animals but I just ignored it. She was hungry…  Right? But as soon as we were gonna turn around to go down, a flight attendant caught us and held us both from the tails. We were gonna run but she was just too fast.

 “Ah, AH let go of me!” Ruby and I said.

Then we struggled so much that we got loose and ran all the way to the bathroom and locked ourselves in until we had a plan. 

 “What are we gonna do?’’ I asked. 

“I don’t know” Ruby said worryful.

 We were so nervous that we thought this was the end of finding my home until the Pilot said, “Welcome to Canada!” We were so happy that we finally got to Canada but the flight attendants and co-pilots we’re trying to knock down the door so we thought fast and there was an emergency escape pod on the top of the bathroom with paraschoots hooked to it. So we put on the parachutes and jumped off the plane. We landed on a small building and slowly went down. 

“Okay well at least we made it out.” I said.

“Yeah but now we just need to look for the woods and then your home!” Ruby told me.

“Yes!” I said

 “Wait the woods!” I said enthusiastically.

“Yeah. What about it?” Ruby asked.

“The woods I can see it! We just got to run a couple more blocks and we’re there. But Ruby I think those pack of rats are following us! I see their tails behind those trees.” I told Ruby.

“Ummm your probably sick from all that running Cookie that’s why we should get you to your cave.” Ruby told me.

“But I don’t get sick,” I told Ruby.

“C’mon let’s get to your home, aren’t you excited?” Ruby asked me.

“Yeah I really am but where are you going to live?” I asked Ruby.

“Ummm i’ll tell you later okay?” Ruby said.

“Okay,” I replied.

***

*Pant, pant, pant, pant, pant* 

“We’re here! We’re finally here! My home!” I said happily.

“Yeah your home” Ruby said weirdly

Then I turned around to look at my cave and I saw the pack of rats that were following us and I think they knocked me out cause everything after was a blur.

 ***

I opened my eyes and I looked around. I was home. But when I wanted to move, I couldn’t. I looked at my paws and feet and they were tied with thorny flexible branches tied to a tree. I couldn’t move.

“Ruby help! Ruby help!” I yelled for help.

“Well, Well, Well,” Ruby said in an evil voice. Well not really she sounded like a baby hahah.

As she turned around sitting on a throne of rats in MY CAVE! Not even helping me!

  “Hey what are YOU doing in MY CAVE, and why’d you tie me up!? Are some kind of crazy psycho rat!?” I yelled at her.

    “*chuckle, chuckle, chuckle* You are so gullible and naive Cookie. I can’t believe you never noticed.” Ruby said.

“Notice what?” I asked.

“See what I mean? This is what i’ve been trying to do the entire time! I wanted to take your cave in the first place when you asked for help. You think you could actually trust a rat? Why live on the streets if I can just take your home all to myself and rats,” Ruby said. 

“Well I don’t know. I never knew a rat or saw one before. I don’t know most things because I’ve never went anywhere else except here. But what I do know is that you’re not my friend and you’re crazy!But why would you do this? To me?” I asked sadly.

“Because living on the streets is for other animals but not me. I always wanted a home so now since I have this cave I am never going to let it go, not even to a nice, gullible, nieve bear!” Ruby said.

“So this was the plan. The question of how big my cave is, the rats following us everywhere, the long bathroom break, and all the food you we’re taking to the animal section on the plane? Why not we share the cave?” I asked persuading.

“What?! Never this is my cave, my food, my home!” Ruby said angrily. 

“But you have a choice. You either become one of my slaves along with the rats, or you’re banned from this cave forever!”

“I’d rather live on the streets, because I never ever want to see you again in my life!” I yelled.

“Well then your loss. No wonder your parents left you. You don’t know anything. But thank you for giving me this cave.” Ruby said evilly.

“Hey it not your cave it’s my cave!” I yelled.

But it was too late. I had lost everything. They threw me on the side of the road, with no home. And I have no one not even my parents. But when I turn my head I see these two big bears. I feel like I’ve seen them before. Mom? Dad? I ran to them so happy.

“Mom, Dad, I missed you so much.” I said tearing up.

“Why did you leave me?” I asked.

“Well we were caught by zookeepers or the humans and we finally escaped looking for you. We missed you so much Cookie. Now let’s go to your cave.” My mom said.

“Well a mean rat took my cave and 100 of her rat friends and they banned me from my cave.” I said sadly.

“Well no one steals our cave!” My dad said.

So we all went in and kicked some Ruby—i mean rat, butt! Then I said to Ruby, “Who’s the gullible one now?”

“Rocky! Sophia!” I said.

“I would like to introduce you to my parents. Mom this is Rocky and Sophia and dad this is Rocky and Sophia. They’re my best friends.”

“Well it’s good to be home.” Dad said.

“Yeah I’m never being friends with a rat.”

Then after that we lived happily with no rats.

THE END


Agent Puppy

Hello, my name is Agent Puppy. I’m actually an agent. I am a puppy which explains my name.

I’m really small, which is why The Puppy Organization hired me. Tomorrow I will be given my first mission. I’m so excited. Usually I would be squealing with joy, but I am a very serious puppy in a very serious puppy organization. I am the most amazing… spy. Of course they choose small puppies because the smaller the puppies, the smaller places they can hide. On top of that, we are very light. Oh, and my breed of course is Chihuahuas, but we aren’t as fancy as a Poodle or as strong as a German Shepherd, but we all love our puppy powers! 

We have so many cool gadgets. Like the Puppy Puller, which is a grappling hook, and Puppy Levitation, which is my jetpack, and of course my favorite is… the almighty, all powerful puppytastic… Boneifide! It shoots bones from my front paws! So amazing, right? Of course the Slipified is chewed slippers being shot from your back paws, but they aren’t that bad. And making them is lit, mostly because we all love chewing slippers! It satisfies our teeth.

Well, enough about me. But I hear that my first mission is going to be… going and stealing the Kitty Organization of Advanced Kitties, but they call themselves BTD for Better Than Dogs. Frowny face! Cats are never better than dogs! But I am kind of just saying that because I am a dog. I have to defend my species! Well, I just received an email on my PC, Puppy Communicator. Well the plan is they are going to launch a spell on fireworks which will make everyone in love with kitties and hate puppies! That’s so low, kitties! Well, what I have to do is dress like a cat and go into the Le Cats Hotel, for cats only. That’s where the kitty boss is staying for the night and with him the secret code to all their security, the code to disable the fireworks, and the secret information to all their field kitty agents! We could win over the humans with all of this, and our field spies have learned that the kitties have been told that all the codes are one word! It could be anything! It could be kitties, or cake, or cats are better than dogs! Wait, that’s not one word… CABTD as in Cats Are Better Than Dogs. Not true! At least we don’t spit hairballs! Sure, we chew shoes and drink from the toilet and use the bathroom outside in public… Wow, dogs are strange. Well, anyway my flight leaves soon… 

In Las Vegas… 

Okay I’m in Las Vegas, and I am dressed like a cat. Luckily cats are pretty dumb, so they won’t notice if I still look a bit like a dog. Hey, they didn’t say what kind of cat! This was what I wore last Halloween for a cat party. I had to blend in! Otherwise how would I have been able to find out that Carl was a double agent! But luckily this time I’ll be able to save our entire organization! If the BTD launches that cat spell, then puppies are done for it! No chewing slippers! No drinking from toilets! Nobody scooping up what I did on the sidewalk and even worse, no one to love me! Pouty face. Anyway, back to the mission. I got them to think I’m a cat, and my room number is 864. Right next to the kitty boss’s room, 865. That’s great! That’s bad! If I’m next to him, who says once I get it he won’t disable a bomb through the wall and get into my hotel room! I know if he tries to do that, I can use my PG (Puppy Glider) to be able to fly off my porch with the important files on my PF  (Puptastic Flash Drive). Okay, I just saw the kitty boss leave his hotel room. I’m going in. Weird, he left his door open. Eh, easier for me. Wait, this could be a trap. I have to use my PP. I know it sounds silly, but it was either that or number two cause. Number one was puppy oil! PP stands for Puppy Powder. I was right! There are lasers spread out across the room. These are state of the art lasers! Yikes. I threw a pebble, and it got split in half. Then Marshmallow comes behind me. Oh, I forgot to tell you that I have a sister. Her name is Marshmallow. She is pretty young. She is two years old. 

“Go back, Marshmallow! I don’t want you to get hurt!” I say.

Fine! But I’m going because I want to not because you told me too!” She says with her baby voice, and she tries to storm away, but she falls a lot, so she hit the floor a couple times to be able to get to our hotel room right next door!

I go under the lasers and do a couple backflips, then I see Marshmallow at the other side of the room.

Woah, that was super cool. I’m going to try!” she said, trying to do a backflip. 

Marshmallow, if you go through the lasers, then no chocolate pudding for dessert! I’m warning you, Marshmallow Belle Summer!” I said with my I-am-in-control-voice, and boy, did she jump. 

No pudding!!! You monster!” she says astonished. “Oh, say bye bye to the puddin — ”

 “Okay okay okay, bye, I’ll go to the hotel room!” she interrupts. 

Finally, I can go and get the flash drive. I hope she doesn’t cause any problems. Okay, I’m typing and hacking all the documents into the flash drive, including their future plans. Oh, if this doesn’t get me a promotion, then I don’t know what will! Okay, it’s all in my flash drive. I’m ready to go. I am disabling… the lasers… okay done!

 “Marshmallow! Come on, we have to go!” I yell.

But Marshmallow isn’t coming. I know what will make her come. 

“Marshmallow, if you don’t come, then I won’t let you have chocolate pudding!” I yell at the top of my lungs. She isn’t coming. Okay if this doesn’t work, then I think something is seriously wrong. “I’ll give you ice cream!” I yell even louder!

But she isn’t coming. I go out of the room and find our hotel room open. I go in and find the most terrifying thing I could ever imagine. I find her collar, where I put a tracking device (because believe me, she can get lost) and I find it on the floor with a post it attached.

It read, If you want your little mutt back, then come to the pool in five minutes, and don’t bring any of your little *gadgets* or else you can forget about seeing your little dog ever again, and if you do find her, you’ll find her at the bottom of the pool. See you then, Agent Puppy.

Signed,

Kitty Boss. 

I grinned and put a straight face on. I left the flash drive in my pocket but first emailed everything to the Puppy Boss, in case I don’t make it out with Marshmallow or alive. Okay, I am at the pool. Maybe they hid her somewhere near the pool. I’m looking behind the vases. I don’t see her. Wait, yes I do, but I see her reflection. 

She’s right on top of — “Oh hi, Kitty Boss,” I say with distaste.

“Hello, Agent Mutt. I see you have come to find your little sister. Too bad you won’t be able to get her back! Unless you want a little negotiation,” said the Kitty Boss. 

“It’s actually Agent Puppy, and I will get her back. I will trade her for all the fish you want,” I say. 

“What I want Agent, is the flash drive. You think I’ll give my power up that quickly. I have the upperhand against you. I want your flash drive with my information on it. You can’t slip out of this dilemma, now can you?” said Kitty Boss. 

“How do I know this isn’t a set-up? Show me Marshmallow,” I say.

 I know what you’re thinking, But the flash drive! Well she is my sister, and I knew this was a set-up of course. So I took out the flash drive from out of my sleeve and showed him the flash drive. 

“There it is. I’ll bring down Marshmallow, after you give me the flash drive,” said Kitty Boss with a grin on his face.

I wasn’t going to give up that quickly. Marshmallow was tied to the bottom of the high diving board, with duct tape on her mouth. She was right on top of the pool. I had my plan already set out since I read that note. I wasn’t giving him his flash drive.

 “I’ll give you your flash drive, but first let Marshmallow go,” I say.

“Oh you want me to let her go. I hope she can swim!” He says as his kitty henchman unties the rope.

No!” I scream, and she goes falling.

Suddenly everything is in slow motion. I see Marshmallow’s tears dripping into the pool. I see her slowly falling, I throw the flash drive towards the pool and leap, I catch Marshmallow and we fall onto the side of the pool just making it as me, Marshmallow, Kitty Boss, and the kitty Boss’ henchman watch the flash drive fall into the pool and sink to the bottom of the pool. 

“You idiot!” he screams. “Not only do I not have my information, but neither do you! And your lives shall end!”

 “Ugh, cats. So dramatic. You definitely didn’t get it from dogs, I must say. But you are fierce. I’ll give you that, Well I’d love to chat, but S’more and I here have to leave! Adios, gatos!” I yell, and I hold Marshmallow tight and jump out the window.

Then I say, “Hold on tight, S’more!” and I equip my secret Puppy Puller and swing back to Puppy Org. Hey, if I told you guys that I had a secret Puppy Puller, then it wouldn’t be a secret now would it. 

“Woah! Never call me S’more ever again! And what about the flash drive? Aren’t you going to get fired???” asked Marshmallow.

“First of all okay, I’ll never call you S’more ever again, and I broke his flash drive, the one in my sleeve not the real important one in my pocket with cat pics on it, not the one with the information on it, and I saved you. I call it less of a negotiation and more of a win win for me,” I say.

And I got my promotion and became a field agent. But there have been some fishy things as in fish being found in the Puppy Boss’ desk. Everyone was happy and perfect, so it seemed, or was it?

The End, or is it

                 Clue #1 

                 T he

                 B oss

                 I s

                 A

                 C at


Sins and Crimes

Chapter I                      

As the mannequin holds me to the ground, blood pours out of my chest through my shirt. I never thought I’d be here.  As I lay helpless on the floor, I think about my life. My misery. My anger. 

I think back to the night my life changed forever. I was fourteen years old at the time. My mother left  me when I was four years old, so as long as I could remember it was just me and my dad. Ever since I was born, my dad strived to give me the best life possible. To him, this just meant getting rich. He thought the most logical way to do this would be to invent something. Every day I returned home from school, my father had decided that he was “onto something” but by the next day he had abandoned the idea. 

 Some of his ideas like a mechanical dish sponge were practical but other things like disposable rain boots were completely ridiculous and stupid. When I was fourteen years old, my dad came up with an idea that he thought he could actually sell. His idea was a self-charging cell phone and I personally thought anybody would benefit from that. He began pitching his idea to many companies. One of the employees named Daniel Ozark from a company called TechToday was developing a similar product and thought my father was trying to sabotage this.

Two nights after my father’s pitch, Ozark knocked on my father’s apartment door claiming  that he had a deal to propose about my father’s product and needed to talk to him about it in the hall. My father and I were overjoyed that TechToday was actually interested in my father’s product. I was about to go out into the hallway to see why the conversation was taking so long, but just as I approached the door I heard a gunshot and saw blood beginning to poor through the crack under the door. I instantly fell to the floor sobbing. Amidst sobbing I heard Ozark’s footsteps as he sprinted away from the scene of the crime. I couldn’t believe it. Daniel Ozark, a seemingly innocent man, had stolen my father’s entire fortune and killed him.  

It’s Ozark’s fault that I’m going to be killed by a mannequin. I never would’ve resorted to crime if it hadn’t been for my father’s death. But I don’t have time to think about this now.  I’m losing blood rapidly and I can feel the life draining out of me. The long elegant diamonds around the mannequin’s neck have punctured deep wounds in my skin allowing for blood to pour out. I try to wiggle my way out from under the mannequin but I feel more stabs from the diamonds pin me down to the ground so all I can do is lie helplessly and hope that I am taken out of my misery. 

I consider calling out for help but if I’m caught robbing the largest jeweler in New York City I’ll spend the rest of my life in prison and odds are it’s too late for me at this point. Then suddenly I feel I sharp stabbing in my chest. I gasp for air and then my vision goes black and I fall completely lifeless.  

Chapter II 

I groggily open my eyes to find myself lying in a warm, neatly made bed, in a small room that looks much like a hotel. I sit up to examine my wounds on my chest from the mannequin but find them to be completely healed. The skin is now shiny and smooth rather than rough and torn apart.  I sit up and examine my surroundings. There is a night table on either side of my bed and each of them are decorated with dazzling and elegant bouquets of flowers. On the walls there are gilded picture frames which have exquisite photos of underwater seascapes and of grand looking waterfalls. There is a large television on the wall directly across from the bed and underneath is a gorgeous honey colored bureau. On top of the bureau there is a wicker basket full of candies, fruits and are two leather backed books. I stand up and bring the basket to my bed. I flop down onto the bed and toss the books out of the basket and begin munching on the sweet delicacies. I may not know where I am but I would never turn down free food.

When my father was shot I was furious that he never gave me the life and the wealth he promised me and so I resorted to crime. It served me well. I had a few close calls but I was never caught and from every casino, bank and jeweler I ever robbed I finally had the life my father meant for me. 

All of a sudden I feel a surge of rage. Why didn’t my father give me a better life? Why did my mother leave me? Why at the age of 38 do I still live alone? I’m too angry to eat any more candies. I grab the first book that I had tossed aside and thrust myself into a pillow. I can feel my hands shaking. I don’t know where I am, or why I’m here.  How come I, Travis Hunter, a criminal, am being granted free food? If I don’t remember finishing the robbery I must have been caught! How did I not see this before? I’m trapped! In an attempt to calm myself, I once again pick up the book. I think the title The Afterlife for Dummies sounds like a great novel and so I open the book and continue reading. 

After flipping through introductions and copyrights I finally reach chapter one. I begin to read: If you are reading this you have reached the land of the dead. Welcome. Please report to the front desk immediately to discuss your housing-Thank You! Me? Dead? This can’t be! I am very much living and breathing. Or am I? Being in the land of the dead simultaneously makes all the sense in the world and no sense at all. 

Of course, just waking up in a completely new location with no wounds does partially justify the fact that I may be in the land of the dead. That being said, there’s no such thing as the afterlife- there just isn’t. If there really was an afterlife my father would’ve come back to Earth. To me. But he didn’t. This all could just be a big prank, so I decide against going down to the front desk. Instead, I turn on the TV, but the TV doesn’t work. I keep pressing buttons but the only thing that shows up is a flashing notification that says, “Please report to the front desk!” So I do. I stand up and walk downstairs to where I assume the desk is. I can’t believe that I had actually given in. I didn’t want to believe that I was in the afterlife. I couldn’t be dead. There was more I needed to do. I needed to finish robbing the jeweler, to find love.  But deep down inside it seemed to be the only logical explanation. 

Chapter III 

“Here you go. Fill these out and bring them back when you are down,” says the receptionist standing at the front desk as she slams a pile of forms as thick as a dictionary onto the desk. I look at her wide eyed. Does she really expect me to do all of this?! 

“Come on, it’s really not that much-now go!” I pick up the stack, using my forearms to support all of the weight. The receptionist was right. It’s really not that much. The first page looks like this: 

Welcome to the Afterlife! 

You, Travis Hunter, died of blood loss yesterday while robbing a jeweler. We want to make your stay in the afterlife, which will last for the rest of eternity, as comfortable as possible. Therefore, you may pick one of the following three choices for the rest of eternity: 

Choice Number One: 

Heaven or Hell

This is the standard choice. Good people will go to Heaven and not so good people will go to Hell. We will inform you if you belong in Heaven or Hell before you make your choice. Please understand that very few people actually go to Hell (criminals,serial killers, etc.) and even if you do we will still try to provide an experience appropriate to your behavior on Earth.

Choice Number Two: 

Community Service on Earth 

Since you are now dead you are technically a ghost and may return to Earth invisibly to help make a positive impact. This choice is our most advised. Here in the afterlife we like to do everything we can to help our neighbors on Earth. 

Choice Number Three: 

Haunting 

This is a very ill advised choice. Choosing to haunt humans can put you in immense danger and possibly throw off or ruin the rest of your time in the afterlife–which is eternity. 

Please contemplate your options and pick a path.

For Choice number 1, go to page 1; for choice number  2, go to page 47; and for choice number 3, go to page 113. 

I know what I’ll do. If I really am dead I’ll make the best of it, and that means making it worse for everyone else.  Choice number three had my name written all over it. I could destroy the life of Daniel Ozark and his family. I could finish robbing the jewelry store I died robbing. I will finish that robbery. I must–I will destroy the lives of everyone who destroyed mine. 

Chapter IV 

 “Sir–you did read this, choice three is a very ill advised choice,” says the receptionist after I turn in my forms. 

“I’ve made my decision, and it is final!” I shout, really losing my cool.

“All right sir,” says the receptionist, shaking her head. “Here are the rest of the forms and information you’ll need.” She says, placing a packet down on the desk. 

“Thanks,” I say sarcastically, and walk away with the forms. They read: 

If you are reading this you have chosen to go back to earth to haunt and complete your “unfinished business.” Please understand that this is a very dangerous choice and may result in many consequences. 

 You will be transported back to Earth 36 hours from now. Before you leave please fill out the following form: 

Name____________  Date of Death________________ 

Date of Transport____________ 

Where on Earth would you like to be transported?_____________

I understand that I will be invisible to all humans and that choice #3 is a very dangerous choice. 

_______________________(your signature) Thank you! Please enjoy your stay in the afterlife! 

After I finish the form I bring it to the receptionist’s desk. 

“New York City, huh?” says the receptionist, her eyebrows jumping up and down. 

“Oh, yeah,” I respond.

“Alright–we’ll call for you in 36 hours.” 

“Thanks,” I say and walk back up to my room. 

Chapter V 

I’m still asleep when I hear a booming voice in my room calling, “Travis Hunter! Our teleportation to Earth leaves in 35 minutes. Please report to the front desk immediately.” 

I look around, baffled, trying to see where the voice is coming from but I don’t see anyone so I decided there must be some hidden speaker. I hurriedly freshen up and head down to the desk for my transport. 

“Hello, Travis,” says a receptionist. 

“Please step into this capsule,” she says, motioning towards a small cabinet next to her desk. I raise my eyebrows at her questioningly. Does she really expect me to fit into that cabinet?                                                                                                                            

“Go on,” she says.

 So I do, and it really isn’t that small. Just as I’m about to open my mouth to ask what she’s going to do I begin to feel myself swirling around in all sorts of crazy loops like a sock in the washing machine. As I begin to feel nauseous, the swirling stops and the capsule opens. I step out to find myself on a dirty New York City amidst many tourists and vendors. I start pacing down the street, noticing how dirty the city has become–so crowded and full of shouting people. 

A large pack of students on a trip begin walking down the block straight towards me–their stares are dark and devious. They’re really out to get me. I run as fast as I can but they’re still tailing me. Just as they’re about to slam into me I shut my eyes, hoping it will somehow help reduce the pain I’ll feel–but then no pain comes. The pack of students seems to walk straight through me. 

Chapter VI 

 Before I knew what a terrible and vile man Daniel Ozark was I was so excited for my father’s pitch with TechToday. Before his pitch he told me all about the company and its employees–including Daniel Ozark. I was able to salvage very few of my father’s belongings but I was able to save an information packet from the convention where he pitched his cell phone to TechToday. The packet included the personal information of many participants in the convention. Including Ozark. In the years following my father’s death I constantly studied the packet, memorizing the addresses and phone numbers of Ozark and his family. This information was all I needed to begin my haunting.

I walk into the first apartment building on the street, bolt up to the front desk, pick up the phone and dial Ozark’s number. 

“Hello?” He answers in a hoarse voice. 

“Daniel Ozark!” I shout with rage. “I’m coming for you!” 

“Hello?” he says again with no emotion. I continue shouting but he can’t hear me and he hangs up. I pick up a pot of plants on the desk and smash it on the floor. I don’t understand–why can’t he hear me? And then it dawns on me: I was dead. I couldn’t be seen, heard, or felt. I felt so much animosity towards Ozark, towards the afterlife, but mostly myself. I felt so senseless and naive. And now I’m stuck attempting to haunt people for the rest of eternity!  If I can’t be seen, heard, or felt the only basic function I can perform and have it noticed is to pick up items, and give the illusion that they’re floating. I’m so angry. There’s only one thing left to do–so I walk up to Daniel Ozarks apartment. 

Chapter VII 

When I enter Ozark’s apartment he is sitting on his couch smoking a cigar and watching TV.  I slam the door and he looks up in alarm. 

“Who’s there?” He shouts with panic. “I know you’re in here! Show yourself!”

 While Daniel continues shouting into space, I creep into the kitchen and grab two butcher’s knives. I hold them up high to create the illusion that they are flying through the air. 

I slowly walk into the living room where Daniel is panicking and begin to approach him with the knives. He cries out so terrified I feel I have already succeeded. He pulls out his phone to call 911. His hands are so shaky he can hardly hold it. I knock the phone out of his hand and throw it out a window across the room and watch as it falls 13 stories and smashes on top of a garbage truck. I throw the first butcher knife across the room so it lands right in the middle of a photo of Daniel hanging on the wall. I expect him to scream out in terror, but rather he just stands in the middle of the room petrified. It’s the perfect opportunity for me–so I strike. I throw the second butcher knife straight into Ozark’s chest, piercing his heart. 

I watch in elation as Ozark begins losing blood. He breathes so heavily–gasping for all the air he can get, and then one second he’s done. He stops breathing. I did it. I killed Daniel Ozark. 

Chapter VIII 

I sit down on Ozark’s couch to review what I’ve just done. I’ve really done it. All for my father. I am so proud and I just sit back on the couch to relax. Just as I am dozing off to sleep I feel a strong burst of air come from above and begin sucking me up like a vacuum machine. I fight and flail to stay on the couch but I can’t control it. I am thrown in crazy loops and turns and when it stops I am back in the hotel where my afterlife experience began. I storm up to the desk–enraged. 

“Excuse me!” I shout. “Why on Earth am I here?” 

“Please follow me, sir,” the receptionist responds. 

“No! I will not follow you until you tell me why I am here!” I respond, still yelling. 

“Sir, your recent actions on Earth have resulted in a dangerous and severe phenomenon and we need you to help reverse your actions. Now please come with me.” 

“No!” I yell back. Before I can continue protesting two guards walk in and drag me away from the desk. They drag me down a long corridor that smells like mildew and into a small dark enclosed room with a table and chairs on each side. The men thrust me into a chair and chain me to it. The taller of the two men exits and the other stays with me. Before long, a tall, intense looking woman wearing a navy blue blazer enters and sits in the chair across from me and motions for the other guard to leave. The guard exits and now I am alone with this mysterious looking woman. 

Chapter IX 

“You, Travis Hunter, murdered a Mr. Daniel Ozark this morning on Earth,” says the woman. I nod and she continues talking. “Every time a dead person or ghost murders a living human, there is a different and dangerous outcome. And I fear that you have created something we may never be able to undo.” 

“What do you mean?” I respond, now very nervous. 

“Travis, when you died, you reached the afterlife and were given 3 choices–correct?” 

I nod. 

“It seems that when you killed Mr. Ozark you disturbed this balance. Ever since your murder, when people die they just rest silently in their coffins.” 

“So what?” I respond.

“So what?!” She exclaims, obviously beginning to lose patience. “Mr. Hunter, you do realize that you’ve just destroyed the afterlife forever!” 

“Well, why is this even a choice if it’s so dangerous?!” I respond. 

“You see, when setting up choices for the afterlife, an angel got to make two decisions and a demon got to make two decisions. The angel chose Heaven and community service and the demon chose Hell and haunting. Understand?” 

I nod. “But I still don’t understand why you need me! What am I supposed to do?” I shout. 

“We have two options as to how to approach this. We can (a) send you directly to sector 13 of Hell which is the most violent and tortuous sector and allow my team and I to try to figure this out. Or you may (b) go back to earth for community service, which may help balance out the bad and evil you recently put into the world and resolve this issue.  And if you do a good amount of community service we may be able to let you into Heaven. What is your pick?” 

I contemplate it for a minute and then respond. “B.” 

“That is your final decision?” asks the woman. I nod. 

“We’ll give you your community service assignment tomorrow morning at 7:00 am sharp and we will send you to Earth directly afterwards. Understand?” 

“Yes, ma’am.” 

“Please return to the room where you slept the day you died. I will see you at the desk tomorrow at 7. Goodbye, Mr. Hunter.” 

Chapter X 

I arrive back in New York at 7:45 with a community service assignment that reads: 

Travis Hunter

Temporary Community Service Assignment: 

You will be stationed in a NYC subway station and your job will be to (a) pick up any litter and throw it away and (b) help return and find stolen items. There will be serious consequences if you disobey this. Thank You for your service and devotion to the afterlife. 

~Marleen Murphy 

Head of Afterlife Operations

I can’t believe it. Community service in a subway! Not only is it boring, it’s vile. But I have to do it–to get into Heaven. I can’t be doomed in Hell forever! I can’t be tortured for the rest of eternity!

Instead of walking to the nearest subway station, I walk five blocks further in order to reach a cleaner one. I sit down on a bench and just watch as people walk by and talk and yell. I find it astounding how much trash people drop and how random the stuff is. One guy drops his license and now I have to chase him through the station to slip it back into his pocket. I pick up so much gross trash, from cigarette butts to food rinds and at the end of the day my hands are completely covered in dirt. I am not coming back to this station tomorrow. It is an absolute waste of time. Besides I bet I’ve already done enough community service to fit into Heaven. I’ll tend to some of my unfinished business instead. 

Chapter XI 

 At 11:30 pm I arrive at the jeweler. I pick the lock and sneak inside with a sack that I hope to fill with diamonds. When I enter, I walk on the opposite side of the store than I did on my first attempted robbery, just to ensure I don’t trip over the mannequin again.  I take out a mallet and begin smashing cases and pulling out pounds of jewelry and throwing it in my sack. I take a small elevator down to a large vault in the basement. The vault is beautiful–full of beautiful diamond sculptures. I pick one up to admire it. It’s carved in the shape of a heart and is absolutely stunning. 

I can’t believe it. I’ve actually done it. I’ve robbed the jeweler. I have my revenge! I start running on my way out, out of pure joy, but then I trip over a piece of shattered glass, fall backwards, and drop the diamond sculpture. It lands on my foot, holding it down to the ground–disabling me from standing up. 

I can’t believe myself. I’ve done it again. I’m stuck. I pull and yank my foot as much as I can but it’s just stuck. I’m not in pain; I just can’t move. But then it strikes me! If I’m a ghost, I can’t feel pain, I can’t die again–so I reach as far as I can and grab my mallet. I heave the mallet back and smash it against my ankle, watching as that gorgeous diamond sculpture shatters into tiny bits and pieces. But I’m free! I watch in awe as the scratches the glass had cut in my skin seal up. I jump up, run back to the vault, grab another sculpture, and race out of the jeweler as fast as I can with my sack of riches. I’m so proud! I’d done it! My father would be so proud. But then a scary thought hits my head. 

What will I do now? I’m dead, what’s the point of money anymore? Where will I keep the riches? I have nowhere to live. 

Chapter XII

I don’t know what I should do with all the riches. They’re worth so much but I have nowhere to hide them. For the moment I decide to take the riches back with me to my old apartment building and hide them in the secret cabinet where my father used to store his inventions. When I get back to my apartment, it’s still completely the same. I look back through old photos and my bedroom. Practically everything I own was stolen. I had never questioned this. Until now. I just completed a masterful heist and yet all the riches seem to be causing more trouble for me than helping me. Maybe if I hadn’t been a criminal I might’ve had a family or might’ve been able to lead a normal life. I probably wouldn’t even be dead. I can’t believe myself. I should’ve seen this before. I sit down on my couch and turn on the TV. Just then I once again feel the vacuum sensation. I restrain as much as I can but once again it just sucks me up and drops me back in the afterlife hotel. 

Chapter XIII 

“Travis Hunter!” I hear a voice scream as the woman in the blue blazer enters the lobby. I look up at her questioningly. 

“Why do you think you are here?” She asks with malice in her eyes. 

“I don’t know, ma’am,” I respond, my voice very nervous and unsteady. 

“Follow me, Travis,” she says in a suddenly calm voice. I begin following her and she leads me back to the room where she had explained the phenomenon I had created. 

“Sit down,” she says–in a very intense voice. I obey. She chains me to the chair and sits across from me on the other side of the table. 

“You, Travis Hunter, have directly disobeyed my instructions and you have jeopardized the function of the afterlife forever!” She shouts. She stands up and opens the door and a middle aged man being held by two guards staggers in. The man reaches towards me and I towards him. I know this man. I love this man. This man is my father. I hadn’t seen him in so long. I had forgotten what happiness felt like. The wonderful sensation of happiness makes me I feel like I’m flying. But then in a matter of seconds it’s taken away from me.  

“Not only did you disappoint me,” says the woman, “you let down your father. You really think your father, who gave everything for you, wanted you to become a criminal?” 

I don’t know what she’s talking about. My father didn’t give me anything. Everything he promised me he lost.  

“No. Your father didn’t want you to become a criminal,” she continues. “You robbed a jeweler when you were supposed to be doing community service! Your father belongs in Heaven where there is no place for you. We are moving you to sector 13 of Hell.” 

I can’t believe it. I let my head fall to the table in distress. I’d destroyed my life. Forever. 

“Effective immediately,” she says. She claps her hands twice and two guards enter. They each pick me up by one arm and begin dragging me away. I flail and fight but they’re too strong for me. I beg for mercy. I just want forgiveness, and my father. I’d waited so long to see him. But it’s too late. The guards drag me out of the room and just before I’m pushed through the dark portal to Hell I get one final glimpse of my father’s tears. 

The End


#13=

A girl named #13= lived in the Bronx, where people would talk as if everyone knew each other and as if everyone was family. She was always wanted because she had the ability to read minds. She was taken when she flew to another planet. This planet was called Dead Land. When you see Dead Land from outer space, you see all black. It takes normal kids and make them into weapons that they use for kill like a game. 

#13= was tested on and had to do things that she didn’t like. She had to kill, and if she didn’t do this, she was put in a small space with nothing in it. They erased her mind of her family and where she lived, but she knew that they would make her forget, so she kept a locket with a picture of her family in front of a church to remember where she lived and who she lived with. She made a friend because she needed someone that will make her hold on to hope. Her name was Sally and she also was taken but she escaped, and now they talk by mind reading. They are planning to get #13= out of Dead Land.                                          

Sally said ‘’l have a plan to get you out of here.’’ 

“What is it?’’ said #13=.

“I am going to help you leave this awful planet like l did.’’

“But how?’’

“I am going to get you out. You know how the workers have there lunch breaks?”  

“Yeah but you know that there is also a guard watching us.’’ 

“But the guard takes one person to get tested on then another person comes to watch us when they switch the guards. l will unlock you with my powers and save you.’’ 

“Okay.’’ 

When this was happening, Sally was trying to be as careful as she can be. But she tried and it was hard. Her powers weren’t working and the new guard came too soon. But using both of their powers, they killed the guard and were free. It was so scary for #13=. She thought the plan would not work out and they’ll be dead.

It was a long way home, but she and Sally were happy to be home. They went back home and everyone was so confused because they thought #13= was dead. But she did not care about that. She wanted to be home and she was. When she woke up, she was with her family and friends.

2 years later 

She is back in school and she is  living the normal life that she always wanted. #13= fell for this boy named Jason. They all were best friends and everything was good… but then there was news of the bad man coming to America from Dead Land.                 

Part 2 is coming later


The Worm Hole Book #1

Chapter 1

Tom was hiking with his family at the Grand Canyon. His sister was singing annoying songs, his brother was making loud sound effects, and his mom and dad were talking about the trip. It was scorching hot and water had to be drunk often.

They had finally reached the outlook and stared at the amazing view of the Colorado River down below. It seemed like it was a mile wide from one side to another, and one hundred thousand feet deep.     

Tom climbed on a rock to get a better view. 

Just then, his younger brother shouted, “Tom, look, there is a lizard!”

Tom got surprised.

“Be careful, Tom!” his mom said. But it was too late. He lost his balance and started plummeting toward the bottom of the Grand Canyon. 

“Bye, world!!” he cried. He covered his eyes tightly.

 He was about to dive into the Colorado River but suddenly, a huge gust of wind made Tom fly in circles. Tom felt like he was in the middle of a twister. Without warning, everything, including him, got sucked up into a huge, purpleish portal. Within seconds, he was traveling at the speed of light toward another world far, far away. 

He landed hard on a rocky surface which made him open his eyes. The sky was blue and the sun seemed to be purple. Little did he know that he was in the Andromeda Galaxy, where things are very different.

Chapter 2

In the distance, he could see some tall buildings and mountains. He decided to explore the city. After a few minutes walking toward the city, he saw a weird-looking, greenish-slimy kind of creature coming to his direction. He quickly hid behind a big rock before he could find him. 

The alien walked closer and closer and said, “I smell something fishy going on!” 

Tom quickly ran away as fast as his legs could carry him. 

The alien exclaimed, “There he is! Get him immediately!”

Tom ran faster than he ever did as the aliens chased him. After a few minutes of running all around the place, Tom was exhausted. He eventually slowed down and fell to the ground and fainted. When he opened his eyes, he was in a prison cell and there were lots of guards.

One of the guards said, “Look, he’s awake!” Immediately, the guards dragged him out toward the high court. The guards lined up in the side and the king of the aliens sat on the throne at the end of the room. 

Chapter 3

“What brings you to disturb this planet, Earthling!?” the king of the aliens shouted.

“Wait, you know about Earth?” Tom asked, surprised. 

“Of course! For years we had tried to communicate with your species, but you had not been able to understand us. No earthling has come here before.” 

“Excuse me,” Tom said. “But why would you want to communicate with us?” 

“That’s a great question. BECAUSE WE WILL SOON TAKE OVER THE EARTH AND THEN THE WHOLE UNIVERSE!!” 

“And how exactly are you going to do that?” Tom asked curiously. He really hoped this was just a weird old nightmare and that the aliens WOULDN’T take over the world. 

“Easy. You will tell me everything you know about the Earth, and I will use the knowledge to destroy the human race and conquer Earth.” 

“And what if I don’t?” Tom asked.

“I’m afraid I’ll have to hang you in the town square.”

Ouch, Tom thought. He didn’t want to die, or even worse, get hanged… I’m just in a dream, he told himself. A dream that is very, very scary. Just snap out of it!! But he couldn’t. Maybe this dream is real… he thought.

Chapter 4

“OK, so what’s the plan? Die or help?” The king of the aliens demanded. “If you don’t choose right now, I will use my sword to kill you here this very moment.”

Tom thought about the decisions. If he helped him, the whole human race would be dead, or he could choose to die… Without thinking, Tom punched the king in the face and grabbed his sword and stabbed him from the back.

“GET HIM!!” the king screamed. The guards rushed to attack with their spears. Tom ducked, rolled, stabbed, and took the stabbed guards’ spears.

“Archers, ATTACK!” the king yelled with anger. His back, gushing with blood, looked like red paint splatter all over the floor. Hundreds of archers fired arrows at Tom. He ducked and threw back spears at them.

He heard screams all over the place. How am I doing so good? He wondered. He felt like

he was in his favorite video game, ‘Alien Wars.’ Just then, an arrow flew into his right arm.

“Ouchhhhh!” he exclaimed. He took the arrow out and jumped back in action. He saw an exit to a space shuttle. He ran into a changing room and stole a guard’s armor (that was very slimy). He raced to the shuttle that was about to take off. 

When he was there, the guard asked, “Where are you heading, sir?” 

“To Earth. I’m going there to help his Majesty set up the laser beam,” Tom said in his best alien voice. 

“You may go in,” the guard said. After two days, they had reached the Earth. The shuttle had used the wormhole shortcut that brought spacecraft from one end to another end of the universe. 

Chapter 5

He never saw his home planet that beautiful from space. He almost forgot that he was supposed to save his home planet from destruction. He sneaked into the room where the ray was held and tried to defuse the bomb that was going to destroy the human race. There were only 10 minutes left before the bomb dropped down.

Tom saw two wires that lead to the bomb and didn’t know what to do. The digital timer on the bomb said ‘5:00,’ that meant that the bomb was exploding in five minutes. He couldn’t diffuse the bomb so he decided to do something else. He could make the humongous trap door where the bomb would drop get stuck so the bomb would explode the ship instead. But if that happened… he would get trapped and he would also get exploded with the aliens.

There were four minutes left before the bomb exploded the Earth. He quickly decided to jam the trap door. Then, he had an idea. Nearby, there was an emergency exit out of the spaceship and a spacesuit that had a parachute inside. He quickly buckled up the helmet, the spacesuit, the pants, and prepared the parachute following the instructions (although everything was way too big for him). He was going to freefall until he reached the earth’s atmosphere. There was only one minute left.

He opened the hatch and looked down. He took deep breaths. He thought about his family and all the people on the earth. There were thirty seconds left. He closed his eyes and jumped down.

Chapter 6

He flew toward the surface, screaming in his oversized helmet. Just then, the spaceship exploded into pieces. Tom was glad that the aliens wouldn’t destroy the human race, but the bad thing was that he didn’t know how to activate the parachute. He got closer and closer to the surface. Suddenly, the spacesuit slipped off and Tom was in his regular clothes. It seemed like it was magic.

“Ahhh!!!” he screamed louder than a screeching hyena. When he was about to fall head first into the ocean, the same mysterious wind that took Tom to another galaxy carried him and light disappeared.

When he opened his eyes, he was in a dark and damp place. That smelled like a sewer. In the distance, he could see a creature coming toward him.

Oh no… he thought. It’s not the aliens again. Then, the creature approached. It was not an alien, it was a human. Tom told himself.

“Well young man, I’ve seen you have saved our planet from those intergalactic aliens,” the woman said.

“Who are you?” Tom asked nervously.

“I’m the one and only president of the STEP as Save the Earth Project,” the woman said. “You deserve to be rewarded. What do you want?” she asked.

“First of all, I really want to go back to my family. Second of all, can you send me back in time so my family wouldn’t know what happened at all. Third of all, next time please don’t send me on a mission in such a dramatic way,” Tom said.

The woman replied, “For number one, I’ll teleport you back to the Grand Canyon where your family still is. For number two, I’ll try to make you go back in time… do you want to forget about this moment?” She asked.

“Better not,” Tom said. He didn’t want to lose this exciting adventure, and promised that he would never forget it. 

“And last but not least, for number three, I will try not to do something that dramatic to send you to another mission. Although I might need you back very often, because more and more aliens are targeting this planet.”

Tom’s jaw dropped open. Very often did not sound that good to him. 

“Well, I think it’s time for you to go,” she said. As she snapped her fingers, a round, purple portal appeared in front of him.

“Step in,” she said. So he did. The wind got stronger and stronger. Tom was flying in no time. Light disappeared.

Chapter 7 

The portal opened up again and he landed on his back.

“OUCHHHHHH!!!” Tom screeched. 

“What’s wrong, Tom?” his mom asked.

“I just landed. I mean, I just tripped on that rock,”  Tom mumbled.

Just then, his brother said, “Look, Tom, I see a lizard!”

Tom knew he was going to say that. After all, this was the past from where he came from.

He was glad that he had come back with his family and hoped he wouldn’t have to go back to another mission soon. He was also glad that he had officially saved the whole entire planet from major destruction.

Two Stories Combined

Going to Lawrence, Kansas was fun. We came at night, so we could make and watch fireworks. They were fun and colorful. Then, we went to bed. It was late in the night. Tomorrow we were going to a waterpark and to play soccer. It was going to be fun. It was fantastic! And then we were going to play soccer, but it was closed for the week, but the place was open now. Why is it open I ask? I think that they changed it.

The next day we went to watch Toy Story 4, and after that we played soccer. It was fun. I played against my mom and dad. After that, we went home, and we got into the car to go to the fireworks. After that we came home, and we went to bed. 

The next day, we went to the boardwalk. We did it, and we found a lot of birds and a rabbit at the end, and we saw a turtle. We also saw a turtle on the road, and my dad picked it up and put it on the grass. Then we went home and went to our neighbors’ pool. The pool was warm. After that, we went to the house, and we sprayed water on ourselves. It was fun. Next we played with the swings it was fun. 

Then we went to the soccer place, and we played soccer. Then we went home, and we did fireworks again. We went to bed, and then we went on a boardwalk again, and then we saw turtles. And then we went back home, and we went to bed, and then we would have to go to New York. But before that, we could play with our neighbors. After that, we would have to go to the airport, and then we had to go on a plane and get back home. But when we got there, we didn’t have enough space to get a car, so we had to wait half an hour. Finally, our car came and then we got home.

THE END

How to stop climate change: Stop driving cars when you don’t need to. It melts ice in the Arctic, which causes polar bears to drown in the water, and don’t throw trash into the water. Don’t let gasoline out when you’re refilling your car, and try to block it. Or wait until it needs gas because it makes the ice warmer, and you don’t have to always use fossil fuels to get places. 

And you don’t have to use a car to get around all the time. You can use a bike or walk. And you think that you have to use cars all the time, but you can use exercise instead of sitting in a car and waiting till you get there. You can use fossil fuel only in times that you are in an emergency.

THE END

Chocolate Dean

For Dean Kedem

One land was special because it was made out of chocolate, and the people who lived there and the all stuff there were chocolate, too. One person, who was the king named Dean, was made of chocolate, especially because he had gold and stuff like that. 

He had a castle made out of chocolate. He loved chocolate, so that’s why his land and him was made out of chocolate. They loved looking out the window and seeing the wonderful chocolate morning sunrise, before they were excited to go to the bakery to see what they made out of chocolate to put in the wonderful world that they had. 

They kept on saying they wanted a new queen who would have a little baby, and that day, it was going to happen. They had a queen and the name of the queen was Maya. The king was very happy, and the next day, they had a baby, and the name of the baby was Princess Tiffany. The town was very happy!

One day, the king passed away, so then the queen and the princess were rulers, but they were both very sad. They missed the king. And one day, Princess Tiffany met a prince named Peter. Everything was better because he was just like the king. 

They lived happily ever after in a little land made out of chocolate. 

The End!

The Story of Blub

There was a person had no brains at all, who was the dumbest person on earth, but good looking, or handsome as the ladies would say. This is the story of the dumb person with no name. And who grew up with dogs in Texas.

Chapter one: dumb no name

When he was a little toddler, he fell from a metal ball 45 feet up in the air, thinking it was a jolly rancher. He had to go into surgery and was never the same again. When he went to preschool, he was the class clown, but he never knew who he was so he cried and cried. He walked home and dumped his face in a Central Park toilet because he thought it was a water fountain. Also, when he was in 3rd grade, he was bombarded by girls and thought it was Christmas and that he was Santa Claus in the middle of april. The first time he said something smart was when he was in the baby bottle store and he said, “MIIIILKKK!!!” The doctors ran a test on him and he was in the guinness world record for, guess it… THE DUMBEST PERSON (kid) IN THE WORLD!

Chapter two: dumb feats

He thought he could climb Mountain Dew. When his mom said it was chilly, he went outside and grabbed a bowl. He thought Nutella was a phone company for peanuts. He thought Chips Ahoy was a pirate ship. When the wanted to go to a train ride, he stood in front of his Playstation. He thought social media was a social tweet for birds. He thought KFC was a UFC for chickens. He tried to ride a Red Bull. This is all the epic dumb stuff he did. He got a job. He hated his life and quit his job.

Chapter three: A stupid spy

He was sent to London for special reasons and thought he won the lottery, but he was actually going to be a U.K spy. (Reason why: He thought his apartment building was red velvet cake and he saw a secret spy talking to the captain.) He went to the secret place and banged on the door and said, “SECRET SERVICE HELLO!” They opened the door and pulled no name in.

They all said, “Who is he?”

The captain said, “you was going to be the bait.”

No name said, “well, call the exterminator if there’s a nasty rodent around!”

Then everyone laughed at him.

No name  turned and said, “ooh there’s a good comedy in america just like this one!”

Then they all pranced while almost laughing to death. They turned off the lights and no name said, “Now you need a Repairman.”

Epilogue

He went to Italy for his mission and he went down in history for diffusing the special bomb that would kill everyone. In the next three years, he would die of tripping off a cliff because these American soldiers were surrounding him. His last feelings were that he proved everyone that he wasn’t dumb.

Hello


I know this is in big font, but THERE IS DEATH AT MY DOOR, LITERA-LLYDeath, the person Death is here to take my soul into the underworld, and I WILL do anything to stop it. 

I open my door and try to kick him, but my foot goes through him and he pulls me toward the underworld. I thrash and scream and kick but there is no way that he will let go of me. I just relax, realizing there is no hope, and let him yank me to the underworld. I see his facial features: dark, cold, and mysterious. I feel his body, which feels icy. 

Suddenly, my vision goes dark. I see a stage, barely visible until the lights go on and I’m on stage! 

The host says, “Welcome to the underworld show! We have a new Death in training! Our new death of Hazel Lemonstein shall play on this video!”

How could he know how I died, I wonder, if I don’t even know my name? I must have forgotten everything about my life.

“Now Hazel, you may be wondering how I know how you died, and your name, but I keep records of EVERYONE ON EARTH! Now let’s PRESS PLAY.”

On screen shows a very accurate description of me drawing my sword, summoning fire, and hacking and slashing while throwing fireballs until I kill the dragon. Unfortunately, I was killed by the dragon’s last breath of poison.

While everyone ooh’s and aahh’s about my death, I study how powerful I was. I need to get back to life, no matter what.

“I, the Witherer, grant Hazel access to level 200 in the underworld! We have not seen this level for the past millennium!” Everyone cheers. “This means she only has 25 floors to complete to get back to life. Hazel, one last request though, would you please show us your skills by defeating this giant?”

“Yes!”

“Then begin!”

The ugly giant that smells terrible roars and corners me. I summon a firewall and a huge fireball. I look and see his deformed face, almost feeling sorry for him, but I continue. I go out of my firewall and burn the giant alive, no more, no less than 10 seconds. 

“Amazing! Go on to floor 200 now!”

I am transported to a solid brick room. Ugh, it smells terrible, like rotten eggs. All I have is a mirror and a table. 

A robot says, “Welcome to part 2, floor 200, how do you get out?” 

I look around. Nothing. I look in the mirror, thinking I would be here for the rest of my life. But in the mirror, I saw a saw! I reach in front of me, nothing. I look at the mirror, keep my eyes on the mirror, and reach in front of me. I am surprised when I feel a saw!

I grabbed the saw thinking, this place wants puns huh, well then they will get puns.

I remember this riddle: You look in the mirror, you see what you saw, you grab the saw and cut the table in half, put them together, two halves make a hole, you climb through the hole and you escape! So I do just that.

The same robotic voice says, “Floor 201.”

I look around. I’m in the desert, and to keep the puns up, “I scream until my voice is hoarse,” and I get on the horse and ride away to the next room.

The computer voice says, “Floor 20-”

“So, you already completed two floors, huh?” says the host, “in less than a minute? Amazing! You’ll be living in no time!”

“I have to get back to life! I must save my people from the monsters!”

“That’s why I must stop you by making it harder. The epic floor, if you lose, you go back to level one, if you win, you become alive again!”

“Ok,” I say. He teleports me to the room. I guess I have to kill the monster. Huh. I move up the monster and BOOM! I blank out and I wake up back at room 203, looking at Death and the giant signing to each other. The robot says roll. I tuck my knees into my chest, that’s just how I roll, so roll to the next room, but I see the beautiful host and Death still. I try to get it out of my head but I can’t. I feel like I’m confined. I clutch my head trying to get to the other room. I collapse. I forget what I came here for. It stopped. Man I feel so good. I see a light switch. I walk over to the light and turn it off and it is like magic! I run around and slam! I crash into the door an…

Chapter 2

I’m getting close to the saw now. I know that I will eventually die here, but I didn’t think it would be this soon. I don’t fight. I…

“Wake up Hazel!” Hazel’s replica says. I wake up and nearly bump into my replica. Wait, my rep-lic-a? No. No! No!! I calculate what would happen, fractions of my memories come back. I was the best protector, everyone loved me. Piece by piece, I realize that they are going to replace me and get myself a bad reputation. I summon small fireballs and throw them at my replica until it melts. I collect the metal with a bucket nearby.

“Let’s go now,” I say. 

“Who dares try to escape the epic room?” the host says.

“Me.” I say.

“Well then take these, brave one.” He produces a box of tubes, and I accept. I eat one and another and then I run out. My arms stiffen. My legs can’t move. I realize I took drugs that reduced my dopamine. I can’t escape… from drugs.

Chapter 3

12 years later

I shouldn’t have listened to the host…

He tricked me and now I’ll be stuck here forever. My arms feel like they aren’t attached to me, but I can still feel they are cold. It is dark. I can’t move. In the underworld, you can’t die. I am skinny and pale, and my stomach is groaning f-f-for fffooodd. Endless pain.I saw the door to floor 204, but I couldn’t move. I longed to move…

Chapter 4

                        1,000 years later

I can move smoothly now. I walk, step by step and it felt like heaven (noting that I’m in the underworld). I go to the next room, knowing that everyone forgot about me. They didn’t have anything set up in the other levels, so I walked through all of them. The door to life was blocked, so I gathered some wood, and worked my way through the soil until I got to the door. I opened the door, hoping to come to life, but instead I got to the host’s lab, and I took some things that may be useful, potions and such. Then I reached up, grabbing ahold to a trapdoor and ready to get out of the stinky room. I opened the latch and came alive to earth.

Epilogue

Now I am one of the immortal ones helping mortals and killing monsters. I have learned to never be too overconfident. 

THE END

Ever After

Walking through the forest

Is a very happy adventure.

I use a stick as my wand

To spell it: H – A – P – P – Y!

I finally find some weeds. 

They are soft as a pillow

When I go to bed. I see flowers

Pink and bright in the afternoon 

Sunshine. My paws feel warm

On the thin, tall, prickly grass. 

A ladybug lands on my nose.

I am frightened and forget

That ladybugs are good luck.

Starting with the flowers–

Lavender is first. It prickles

But smells like a sweet scent

In the night. The purple flowers

Look like a ball. It reminds me 

Of playing with my mom. 

The magnolia leaves look like my ears.

The bamboo forest is my fort.

It has leaves like a cat tongue.

I explore on a fallen tree.

I sniff a fly on a rock 

That looks like an island.

The fly is itching in my fur!

A cat tail tickles my nose.

I lap up clear, fresh water

From the brook.

An old spiderweb makes a bush

Look like a haunted house.

The bug trapped inside is super scary.

I run and let the bees and butterflies

Chase me. As the wind rushes through

My ears, I feel joyful.

I am an energetic ball

Tangling through pillows

And having a good day.

Color Blind

“Sophie..” I can hear Mom calling to me in my room. I wipe my tears away and look around my room. My black and white room. I see my gray bed. My white lamp. My nearly black rug.

“Yeah?” I ask. 

“Your friends are here.” She calls back. I stiffen, but get up and go downstairs, wearing my gray hoodie, black leggings, and white socks. Nervously, I play with my braided hair. I see Alex and Emily waiting for me downstairs and plaster a smile across my face. 

“Hey, guys! Come on up. Last playdate of the summer, I guess.” We go into my room and close the door behind us. I wonder what colors they’re seeing. I ask them. Alex points around my room. 

“It’s mostly yellow.” I relax at that. I am always unsure if they really are my friends, but most of the time Alex and Emily are nice to me. We watch a movie and eat lunch, and then they go. I ask Mom what color my room is. 

“Purple.” She responds.

The next day is Monday. I sketch on the bus like I do every day. I love art. A lot of people say I can’t because I don’t see color, but that’s not everything about art. Art is also drawing and painting, which I love. And I’ve seen some real black and white paintings before.


When we were at the art museum, Mom pointed out some of them, since I can’t see the difference between color and simply shades.  As I step off the bus, I muster some courage, suck in a breath and confront Alex and Emily. I’m nervous about their reaction. What are they going to think? Will they stop being my friends? 

“Umm.. You said my room was yellow.. It’s actually purple..” I duck my head and look at them through my long strands of hair. Emily laughs. 

“We were just joking with you. And how would you know that anyway?” Before I can say anything else, they walk away and I’m left standing there, wondering, not for the first time, if I actually have any real friends. 

We had math first thing this morning. I think I’m pretty smart. I get all the questions right. But then Mr. Hunt gives us an assignment to color code a bar graph. I open and close my mouth. Since our math teacher is new this year, I haven’t had the chance to tell him about how I see the world. 

“Which bar should be colored yellow, and why?” Mr. Hunt asks me. I desperately look around for backup, but everyone is silent until Sam, my partner, nudges me and whispers, 

“There’s the colors on the wall.” I flash him a grateful look and find the yellow color, matching it with the shade of gray on my paper. 

“Uh.. That one.” Mr. Hunt smiles. 

“Great. Now, can anyone tell me why?” He points to Heidi, but I’m too relieved to hear what she’s saying. I sink into my chair and stay quiet for the rest of class. The bell rings and he dismisses us. I make sure to be last to walk out, and place a note on Mr. Hunt’s desk. It says, I do not see color. From Sophie. I feel something heavy lifted off my shoulders a little.

Our next class is art. I’m really excited. The teacher, Mrs. Scanzera, is really nice to me, and always points out the colors and the names of them. I always pick two random colors from the wall of colors, and paint with them. I sometimes get green and brown, and paint a forest, or I’m sometimes in the mood for abstract. I can’t see the colors, but I always hope everyone else can see them and think it looks good. Today we’re starting a new project – comics, or, in my mind, graphic novels. In this class we are starting to design the character. I draw a girl was short, wavy hair and freckles. She also has a fringe, and a sweater and a skirt. I show Mrs. Scanzera, and she grins. 

“This is amazing, Sophie! Maybe you should start working on the shading, too.” I nod and sit back down at my desk. I feel more and more people crowd around me, and I start to get uncomfortable. Are they watching me because I’m doing something wrong? As I look up at them, then there’s a flash in front of me. I turn back, and feel tears starting to well in my eyes. Someone has drawn a mustache on my character in Sharpie. I can hear some people giggling, and a girl whispers to her friend, “Does she even know what color that is?” I get up and ask for a bathroom pass, then run down the hall, locking myself in a stall when I get there. I let the river of tears flow slowly down my face. I look at the walls of the bathroom. As usual, there’s writing. But this time there is a few new words. They say ‘Olivia + Lily’. I wish I had a best friend.

At the end of the day, I get off the bus and take my usual route home through the park. It usually cheers me up, seeing the varieties of flowers and animals, but today I arrive home still in a bad mood. Dad’s home from work early. 

“What’s wrong?” He asks me. I tell him about Art and Math, and how Alex and Emily teased me. 

“They’re probably just joking..” He murmured, but I could tell that neither of us believed that. 

“That’s what everyone always says,” I mutter. “No one believes me. It always feels like they’re joking at first, but now.. I don’t think they really are.”

Dad is silent at first. “..I’m sorry.” He says. I lean against him for awhile and he lets me. We stand there for a few minutes, and then I break away. I go to the fridge and grab some chicken. I put it in the microwave for a minute, then take it out and sit down at the table. About ten minutes later, my parents join me. Mom looks worried. 

“Is school really that bad?” She asks. I just nod, fiddling with my braids. A few minutes later, I ask my parents what colors I am like I always do. Today, my shirt is white with red stripes, and I have navy shorts. My is hair is brown and my eyes are gray. 

“Like our flag.” I whisper. When my parents don’t hear, I repeat it.

“Yes,” Mom says. “Like our flag.” We continue dinner in silence. After I get up and wash the plates, I sit down on the couch and watch TV. I smile suddenly. It’s like I’m in the olden days. Everything on TV was black and white then. That’s what everyone in my class says, at least. I hear Mom and Dad talking in the kitchen. Quietly, I sneak up to the doorway and listen.

“I was promoted today,” Mom says. “But it’s still not enough. We still need to pay the bills, and our rent. Sophie’s scholarship ends next year. We can’t afford any other schools. This is the cheapest one in the area, and yet it’s still expensive when you pay. And the color glasses – they’re a lot of money-” I stop listening and go back into the TV room. Color glasses? I think. What does that mean? For the rest of the evening up until my bedtime, I think about it.

I start saving up money. I search up the glasses on Mom’s computer and they’re supposed to make you see color. Color! Imagine what that would be like. Definitely a lot brighter than what I see now.I walk to the bus again this morning. I’m in a better mood than ever now. I stop by a nest and peer into it. There are three robin eggs, all perfectly round and egg-like(I know they’re from a robin because they’re pale and speckled). When I get to school, I notice that our desks are changed. I’m sitting next to Addie on one side, and Thomas on the other. Addie is a lot like me. She’s pretty quiet in class, but really smart, although her passion is writing, not drawing. She loves to quote things, too. Thomas is like a lot of boys I know; loud, boisterous, and a ‘true american’. I quickly get to know Addie pretty well. She’s nice to me, and she’s new this year, so she doesn’t know my secret. I guess I can’t really say it’s a secret. Everyone knows. As soon as we sit down together, I ask her, “Do you know that I can’t see color?” She looks surprised.

“Really? So you’re that girl?” I look down, a little annoyed. 

“Yes. I’m ‘that girl’.” Addie flinches a little, but gives me a weak smile. It looks real, so I smile back. Then I see she has her notebook out and is writing something. It looks like a story.

“What are you writing?” I ask. Addie looks up. 

“..Nothing.”

“I’ll let you see my sketchbook if I can see your stories.” She shakes her head, and I sigh. 

“Okay, then. What colors are you wearing?” It sounds like a weird question, but she would understand. 

“I have dark ginger hair, green eyes, a purple shirt, and a denim skirt.” I ask what color denim is, and she says it’s blue, sometimes with a little bit of gray. She says it’s not bright or anything, more of a subtle  color. I believe Addie. She sounded like she was telling the truth. And, plus, denim seem like a word that fits with the word blue. I hear some other kids snickering at us and glare at them.

I remember. I remember when I was a baby. I opened my eyes, and there was a flash of color, everything was bright, then it died down to the dull grays I’m used to seeing, leaving me reaching for that moment. Every year, I remember less and less of that moment, and I know one day I will completely forget what colors look like. I can barely remember what they look like. Mom says I have a photographic memory. That means I can remember things very well, especially pictures, even if I’ve only seen them once. That’s why I still remember the colors. The beautiful colors.

When Mom and Dad first found out I could only see certain shades, they were teaching me my colors.

“This one is red.” Dad said. We would sing the rainbow. When my parents taught me gray, black and white, I was confused. 

“But… those are the same ones as these!” Standing back from it all as a toddler, I realized something. 

“These are all the same color!”

The next day, Mom took me to the eye doctor. Dr. Watson did many tests. 

“Sophie… cannot see color.” She said. I remember her exact words. Mom and Dad didn’t make a huge deal of it, although they were a little worried. But me, I was upset. 

“W-What’s color?” I asked, my lip wobbling. “Why can’t I see it?”

Halloween is right around the corner, and I’m preparing my costume. I’m going to be a half zombie, with ragged clothes, and a scar across my face. Dad helps me with the colors, while Mom says she’ll help put on my facepaint and fake blood. She’s good with paints, like me. For my clothes, I’m going to take an old and dark shirt and pants, and cut up the edges. Now, my costume is ready. I leave it on my desk, along with all the supplies I need for it. I invite Addie to my birthday sleepover for November 1st. She says yes. It’ll be just her and I, but I don’t really mind. I guess I have found a friend after all.

It is October 30th, and everyone is excited to go trick-or-treating. Addie is dressing up as a skeleton, and Alex and Emily are going as matching warrior princesses. I think it’s sort of silly. We all dressed up cute when we were little, but now that we’re bigger, it makes more sense to have scarier costumes. Of course, everyone else simply loves their idea. Well, except for the boys, who don’t like princesses anyway. I haven’t officially ‘broken up’ with my old friends yet, but I don’t really hang out with them anymore. On my way to science, I bump into them. 

“Oh, sorry!”

“Watch out, I don’t want my new yellow sweater to get dirty.” Alex sneers. Emily laughs behind her. I get mad. I’m not one to raise my voice. Normally, I’d let it go, even, but not today. Today, they took it too far.

“I’ve had enough of you guys teasing me! Why won’t you just stop? It was funny at first, but now, it’s just mean!” I shout. My throat starts to hurt. Alex and Emily look a little caught off guard at first, but then they start to snicker it off, as usual. Alex starts to say  something, but then I cut her off. 

“No. I’m done.” I  can hear ‘oooo’s rising up around us, but I don’t really care. I take my seat just as  class starts. 

Mr. Powell, our teacher, is the best. He likes to wear patterned, and, as I’m told, bright clothes. He always gives us cool hands-on activities to do. Today we’re dissecting a frog. I’m partnered up with Matt. He’s pretty nice. We opened up it’s stomach and named the organs inside. It was pretty gross, but also kind of cool. We walk out to go to lunch. 

“Happy, Halloween, Mr. Powell!” I say. He smiles at me.

“The same to you, Sophie.”

I sit at my usual table with Addie. Today there is chicken and waffles, your typical pre-Halloween lunch at this school. Luckily, dessert was a monster cupcake. At least there’s something Halloween-y around here. Me and Addie talk about tomorrow night. I’m really excited to go trick-or-treating with her. Halloween is a lot more fun with a friend. A real friend.

Tonight is Halloween night. I put on my costume and head over to Addie’s house. Tomorrow is Saturday, the sleepover, and Sunday is my birthday. I still haven’t saved up enough for my color glasses. They’re around ninety dollars and I’ve only got thirty. My mind is taken completely off of them for the night when I get to Addie’s. Her house is completely covered in decorations. Addie’s front yard has fake graves with rotting hands reaching out of them. In the darkness, I see glowing eyes in each bush. They have fog machines and are playing spooky music. It’s starting to give me real creepy vibes. Suddenly I spin around. Is there something watching me? I turn around again and screech. Addie is right there, watching me. We both crack up.

“You almost gave me a heart attack!” I laugh. We go inside her house, each sneaking a piece of candy into our sacks. I get a Tootsie Roll, and she takes a mini Twix. I stand back and take a good look at her. Addie looks great. There is what I’m assuming is fake blood across her face, and she’s got a ripped skeleton shirt, with a cute black skirt and tights to go with it. It’s pretty cold tonight. We hang out in her room for a while, and then it’s time to trick or treat. We need to get back early, so we don’t get egged by the teenagers on this street. 

Addie and I go from house to house collecting candy and treats. Some of them are a lot like Addie’s, completely decked up in Halloween stuff, but others are more like mine, with a few decorations in the front yard but nothing else. When we get back, we count our candies. I got 62, and Addie got 65. I know we get back just in time. As we start closing Addie’s door, shapes emerge from around the corner and run straight towards our house, hurling white eggs that glow like stars in the night. We start laughing. 

“Too quick for them, I guess.” Addie grins. 

Today is Sunday, November 2nd. My birthday. Addie and I stayed up all night playing games and feasting on Halloween candy. We slept from 2 a.m. to 10 a.m. Someone shakes me awake, and I look up groggily. Black and white everywhere. I sigh. At least it’s my birthday. I turn to see Addie smiling at me and smile back. We get dressed, brush our teeth, and come downstairs. Mom and Dad are waiting for us with big grins on their faces. 

“What?” I ask. Mom and Dad exchange a knowing look. 

“We got a present for you,” Mom says. “Open the box.” With trembling hands, I lift the lid. It says EnChroma. I take out the case inside, afraid to look. Is this what I think it is? I open the case, and inside are glasses. I put them on, and… look around. Everything is bright, and full of.. Color! I can see color! I look at the counter. Color! My clothes. Color! My hair. Color! There is color everywhere, and now I can see it for myself. I run up to my parents and hug them. I think this gift of color is the best one yet. Addie grins at me, and I hug her too. Then she ducks her head and hands me her notebook.

“Y-You can read my book, if you like.” She smiles again. “I don’t mind.” I open it to the first page and read a quote.

‘Remember, you are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.’ ~  Christopher Robin

Lemon the Noodle

Hi. My name is Lemon, I am a human-sized noodle, and I live in the forest in a tent. It is very cozy here. The ticks only get to me at night, and in the morning, I bathe in the tub of horse poop to get the ticks off. It is beautiful here. Paradise. There are many animals here too. The leader of the animals, the doroo, is a cross between an alien dog and a kangaroo. There is a rumor, though, that the doroo is secretly controlled by a flattened person made greedy by human towns which has a magic dynamite stick that never runs out. Usually, I just stay in my tent and roast hotdogs over an indoor campfire. (Don’t ask me how that works.) Sometimes though, I do wish that I had better peace with the animals. Whatever.

I heard the animals partying tonight. I decided I was gonna sneak out and watch them. Totally not stalking them or anything. You know. Noodles can do whatever they want. Anyway, I flopped out to where the party was happening. Then I realized, it was a full out video game party with fortnite and Roblox hacking and arcade games. I was so jealous! Unfortunately, I forgot to bring my special gloves, which enable me to have hands. I snuck back out to my tent, but when I was doing the worm back home, a giraffe doing the OJ with a thanos suit turned around and screamed. Everyone looked. Then, all at once, the animals said, 

“awww…… it’s a noodle!”

Everyone thought my tiny eyes and face were so cute, and one was about to invite me to the party when the doroo came running forth! It pushed me back and said,

“Go away, you stupid nudle!” He shut the gates to me and drove 

all the animals away. The animals slowly walked away, grumbling, and looking back. I couldn’t believe it! I had almost made friends with the animals, but the doroo pushed me away. I had gotten so close, but all because of noodleism, I failed.  I decided once and for all that I was gonna convince that doroo that I was worthy!

I flopped back to my tent and started making plans about how I was either going to destroy the doroo or convince him. Then I remembered the rumor that I heard about the stickman. Maybe if I could either kill him or convince him, or either become friends with him, he could command the doroo to like me! I’m such a genius. I decided that becoming friends with him would be more comfortable. (Because I didn’t want to see guts.) I realized that he was greedy, too. I could go back to town, put on a human suit, and get a job. Then, I could make money, buy something he would like, and convince him to become friends. I smiled. I had a perfect plan. I wrote it all down, and went to sleep, dreaming of fortnite parties.

The next day, I woke up really early and crept over to the animal’s dens. I found the giraffe I saw the past day and woke him up. 

“HEY! YOU’RE THE-”

 I quickly shushed him. I asked him,

”Are the rumors true? Does the doroo really have an owner?”

 “Yup. I’ve seen him. He’s cruel and greedy, too. Pretty sure he was made greedy by his friends and family. The whole family is crazy. He’s also selfish and hates anything different then a male rich human. That’s why he has tortured the doroo.” Perfect! I asked, “What does the man like?” 

The giraffe sighed.

 “This is going to sound really weird… Ok… he really loves chili… with bits of gold in it.” 

The giraffe turned green. He turned to me and said, 

“Why do you want to know? You made me sick.”

 I grinned. 

“You’ll see!”

I snuck out a different way than I came and went back to my house. I equipped my special gloves and a human suit. A long time ago, I had found a resúme buried in the forest, so I grabbed that, too. I also had a business suit and a driver’s license lost in the woods, so I took it down to the river and washed it. Then, I set out for the nearest town. Since my resume’s previous owner was under baking, I found a tiny bakery that looked small enough to not get too complicated, but not to small that I would have to handle a lot. I walked in and requested a job, and a small, mustached stereotypical baker walked toward me. He didn’t even try to reschedule me. (I had no experience in this topic, and clearly the other didn’t either.) He didn’t even question me, for a job review, or anything. He simply said,

 “You’re hired!” 

Wow, I thought to myself. This guy knows nothing. I didn’t even have to show my resume!

I asked, smiling, “What do I have to do?” 

“You’re the cashier!” Then he ran to the back. I put down my stuff, grabbed a baker’s hat, (which made me look ridiculous) and sat down. Wait! I ran to the back and yelled,

“What’s my salary?”

He yelled back, “Oh, I don’t know, ten bucks an hour?”

 I almost jumped up and started dancing. Amazing! This guy knows nothing! Then I ran back to the cashier, found a book in the drawer, and started reading.

I couldn’t believe my luck. This guy, who knows nothing (but managed to run a small bakery), was giving me an unbelievable salary. No one came the whole day. I was happy as ever. I had earned eighty bucks by sitting and doing nothing for a day! I went home, awkwardly walking in my human suit, and had hotdogs for dinner and a few pieces of lettuce I had found. I went to sleep now dreaming of dancing with a polar bear. 

The next day, I happily skipped over to civilization.  It was a long walk of course, and it seemed that I had forgotten to bathe in horse poop, because everywhere I went, people were fainting at my sight. It seemed weird, though. Why would people be fainting at my sight? I’m not that ugly. At least, that’s what I thought.  One even tried to call the cops on me. I did a front flip and knocked the phone out of his hand. That’s when I realized, I forgot to put on my human suit. I was in noodle form, and everyone saw it!

I ran/flopped back to my tent and hid. Then, I put on my human suit and business suit and walked in town on a different pathway than I would usually take. I calmly walked to work, (not really, kinda awkwardly because it’s a suit.) I walked to work, settled down, and convinced myself I just had to bounce back. Then, my worst fear struck. Someone walked in! 

I awkwardly stood up and said, 

“H-h-hello. How may-y I help yo-u-u?” I stuttered.

 She looked at me awkwardly and said, “Uh… Can I have an 8 by 8 ice cream cake?”

I responded, “Sure!! Uh.. Yea… um… Coming right up?” 

I looked through the shelves with a ruler and found the one she was looking for. I carefully took it out, almost dropped it, and gave it to her. 

“Uh… can I… have a box?” Ugh! I’m so stupid. 

“Sure!” I responded nervously.

 I then decided this was going to be my last day. Forget about saving up. It’ll take too much time. I’ll steal the money I need from the bank!

I decided I would finish this week instead, quit, and then I would have enough money to buy a concentrated laser to break in. And maybe a tiny screwdriver. Just in case. No more customers came by. Lucky me. I just pulled out the book I had been reading and continued to suffer from boredom. Soon enough, I got bored with reading and thought about what I would do with the animals. I should help with the fortnite parties. I started to design my bedroom there. I’ll definitely have a comfy bed. And what should my blanket be made out of? Maybe some wolf skin. Oh, and also I would have a secret stash of food and hotdogs under my bed. 

The last days of work went by in a haze. I guess the baker only had enough money because the previous women bought a super expensive cake. He was still paying me, though. Finally, when the day came, Friday, no other customers had arrived. And I fatefully walked to the baker. The baker turned to me and frowned. “Mĺ amor,  Mĺ amor, 😑I have something to- “

I interrupted, “No. I have something to tell you. I’m ending my shift. I would like to have my money now?”

He sighed (Again) and turned around, grabbed something, and then turned around back to me and handed me the 400 bucks. Then he (started to) say, “I am so sorry, but-” I interrupted. Again.

“Nope. I’m quitting! Baiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii! Sucks to suck!”

The color drained from the poor baker’s face. I wanted to feel bad, but I didn’t. I smiled. “Thank you! Have a nice day.” I tried to skip out, but I fell. I quickly got up again, slowly walked out, not looking back. 

I walked home, took off my human & business suit, and put my money on my table. I decided that as a treat to myself for enduring those terrible five days, I would sneak up to the animal’s den, visit the giraffe, and steal his food. He would probably let me, anyway. I flopped out and crept over to the giraffe’s room. I let myself in, but he wasn’t there. I took some of his leaves to make myself a salad and flopped out. I was so tired from my day that I didn’t really have any more thoughts. I flopped out of the den, cut across the grounds, straight through the feeding grounds, where everybody was…

The giraffe was the first to spot me, but he quickly looked back so no one would see him. But then, a rhino spotted him looking back and screamed,

“LOOK! IT’S TH- ”

But she must’ve realized screaming that would alert the doroo, so she stopped. But it was too late. The doroo turned around, his face full of rage. He started galloping towards me, but I started running earlier. I ran half a mile farther than my tent, zig-zagging the whole way. Finally stopping for breath, I looked behind me, and realized I had lost him! I dragged myself back to my tent, and found my money, sitting safe and sound on my table. I dragged myself to sleep and decided I would buy the equipment tomorrow, and pull the heist in two days.

The next day, I woke up and flopped out. My whole body was hurting from the sprint yesterday, so I had to slowly drag myself out. My business suit was wrinkled, so I didn’t wear it today. I would just wear my human suit with leaves covering my thing. I dragged myself to the town (quite literally) and walked to where the rumors said there was a black market. The sign said it was a window store, so I walked in, and a man in a business suit was standing by another steel door. He looked me up and down, then asked me,

“What did you come here to buy?”

I answered truthfully. “I wanna buy a concentrated laser and a hammer, ok? Why are you questioning me in the first place?”

I tried to sound like a criminal, and apparently, it worked. He handed me a shirt and pants and opened the door.

He said, “Lasers in aisle 4. Hammers down aisle 5. Bathroom to the right. Please change.” I was a bit offended.

I answered scornfully, “Jeez, you didn’t have to be so rude.”

I walked in, went to the bathroom, tried to put on a shirt and pants for 45 minutes, then decided I was just going to take the human suit off, dress the human outfit, and then put the human suit back on. I took the human suit off and put on the shirt. As soon as I was about to put on the pants, a man walked in. I realized I had forgotten to lock the door!

The man looking at me was a scrawny, not-very-well-bathed, and freckled criminal. (At least, he looked like a criminal.) He had all red clothes and a ratty face. He smelled like a rat, too. Instead of freaking out, he smiled at me.

“Well, well, well. Look at what we have here. The famous living noodle! I didn’t know he was a criminal!” I nodded, afraid. “You know, I could turn you into the museum, and you would just be an exhibit. I’d get lots of money for turning you in. Would you like that?” I backed up, shaking my head.

 “How about this. You help me with a robbery, I get 8/10ths of the money, and you get 2/10ths. I provide you with all the materials you need, and I don’t turn you in. Deal?” I nodded.

I answered, “Um, it can actually be said by 4/5ths, a-and 1/5th?”

His face filled with rage and embarrassment. 

“sHuT uP. DEAL, or NO DEAL!”

 Honestly. Didn’t seem like I had another choice. The criminal asked me,

 “Can you make yourself small enough to fit inside my backpack?” 

Actually, I did have that talent when I was younger. I could curl myself up in a ball.

I answered, “A-a-actua-aly, I’m not sure.”

 He answered rudely,

“Well then, TRY IT!”

 He yelled at me. Ok. He’s rude. Right. Well, duh. He’s a criminal. He threw me his backpack, and I jumped in it. I starting to curl up. It worked! Here we go!

I curled up in his backpack, and he zippered it up, only leaving a little hole to breathe. I could only hear muffled talking, and then I felt movement. I believe we were moving towards the bank. Then, the backpack started moving upwards, then a little downwards. Very nauseating. I assumed we were going upstairs, and then we entered a little darker place and noisy place, (presumably the bank) because the light dimmed inside the backpack. I could feel us walking, then slipping through a doorway, then, out of nowhere, it becomes quiet. Then, light floods the bag, and I am lifted out. We are in a tunnel with a bunch of bank vaults on each side.

“This is a robbery, stupid. Not a sightseeing tour.”

I focused my attention back to the criminal, who was glaring at me. I answered, “Jeez, sorry! I’ve just never been here before.” He answered, “Well, now you have. C’mon, let’s start this thing.”

I followed him to the particular bank vault he was looking for. Then, he knelt and put something in my earhole. (I have holes for ears.) I thought he was going to kiss me for a second. He was so close. Then, he said,

“This is a Wi-Fi sound transmitter, meaning you’ll be able to talk to me wherever you are.”

I touched the thing in my ear. 

I responded, “Cool!”

The only thing that wasn’t cool was that the other man was so close to me, that the echo was so strong. 

He said to me, “Now. Go sneak in there and rob!” Actually, it was a lot easier then I had thought it was. The criminal had brought a portable gas burner, so he boiled me, so I became thin. I slipped into the vault-like nobody’s business- and opened the vault door from the inside. The criminal stepped in and smiled. “You’ve done well, noodle.” He said to me. I answered, 

“Of course I’ve done well.” He said, 

“Now, could you wait outside for me to finish and keep a lookout?” I answered cheerfully, 

“Of course!” I curled up outside, and the next thing I knew, I fell asleep. When I woke up, I was in a cage, in what looked like to be a museum. I had been tricked!

I slammed myself against the cage, but it didn’t budge, all while the criminal was looking at me, smiling devilishly. I couldn’t bear to look at him. He had tricked me! I trusted him, and he tricked me. I could see the museum staff putting up plaques all over my cage and brushing it up. Since I would be living here for the rest of my life. That night, I curled up at the edge of the cage and fell asleep. I had had no food that day. At least the cage was cozy. Not as intimate as my tent, though. I fell asleep, dreaming of nothingness. 

I woke up at 2:45 am. Some weird noise woke me up. I rose up and, to my surprise, I saw the flattened stickman, with the same concentrated laser I was going to buy at the so-called window store! He was making a hole in the glass, big enough for me to get out. I almost jumped up into the air and started dancing and singing, but then I remembered how the rhino blew my cover by being loud, so I shushed myself. By then, the stickman had finished making the hole. I hopped out and hugged him. He smiled and said, 

“I’m sorry I had to do this to you. You were a noodle, not an animal, and I am afraid of anything different than me except for animals. I wasn’t letting you in because I was scared that you would give away our secret. I wanted to let you in, but I was scared. We have been watching you the whole time. And now, you have proven your loyalty. You can join our band. Oh, and by the way, I told the giraffe to tell you those rumors, to see if you would still come. And I don’t torture my doroo.”

I was shocked by what he had said. I didn’t know what to say, so I told the one word to describe this whole thing…  I smiled at him and said: “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious!” 

The stickman smiled and responded, “The sound of it is something quite atrocious!”

We skipped back to the den, (He jumped, I walked). All the animals were happy to see that I had been allowed to join. We celebrated and danced until our legs gave out. (For me, it was just until I got tired, because I didn’t have legs). They gave me they a super comfy bed to sleep, and when I went to sleep, I didn’t have to dream of fortnite parties, because I knew they were going to happen.  
We skipped back to the den, (He jumped, I walked). All the animals were happy to see that I had been allowed to join. We celebrated and danced until our legs gave out. (For me, it was just until I got tired, because I didn’t have legs). They gave me they a super comfy bed to sleep, and when I went to sleep, I didn’t have to dream of fortnite parties, because I knew they were going to happen.  

The End.


Luca the Bear

Once upon a time there lived a bear named Luca. He was three years old and he wanted to go to school. But then, he realized that he didn’t have a parent because there was a robbery. His mom was running and she got shot and then the dad thought the mom had the baby, not realizing she passed away, leaving the baby still in the crib! Then, an inspection came and took Luca to an orphanage. He missed his parents a lot, but he thought if he went to school and made more friends, he wouldn’t miss his parents as much. So, he decided to pack up all of his things and run away from the orphanage to go to school. He walked along the road for a while and saw a school that was free. You could just walk in and sign up! And the best part was that it was especially for orphans. So he walked in and he signed up and the front desk told him what class he was in. He was in a class that was taught by his aunt, who was named Rosie! Luca walked into class and saw Rosie teaching. 

When Rosie saw Luca she said, “Luca! It’s so good for you to visit!”

“Well, I’m not visiting! This is my school now!” Luca replied.

“Wow! That is great! Take a seat.”

Luca took a seat in the back because he was feeling a little shy. Then, after reading, he had playtime. Playtime was in the classroom since it was raining outside. Luca played with blocks and drew on the white board. While he was drawing, Rosie came over to Luca.

“Where are your parents?” Rosie asked Luca.

“My parents are in heaven,” Luca said sadly.

“Why don’t you stay at my place?” Rosie offered to Luca.

He felt excited and joyful that he wasn’t the only person in his family that was alive.          

That night, Luca heard a noise. He went into his aunt’s bed to sleep with his aunt because he got scared. He couldn’t sleep because he thought that there were monsters under the bed. And in the morning, he was too scared to get out from under the bed because he was scared that the monsters were going to come out and grab his feet and drag him under the bed. 

The next morning, Luca was feeling a little bit hungry so he got out of bed and ran to the kitchen, and his aunt made him chocolate chip pancakes. He was too scared to go into his bedroom and get his clothes out of his closet so he made his aunt do it for him. After he got dressed, he went out to the park to play baseball with his friends. 

After he played baseball with his friends, he heard the noise again. 

He was like, “What is that noise?” Luca said to the darkness. And then Luca ran downstairs and told his aunt. He ran back home and got in his spy costume. So he searched around the house but the only place that he hadn’t searched was the attic. He was really scared to go in the attic, so he decided to grab his favorite stuffed animal—which was a teddy—and he stood up bravely and walked up the stairs to the attic.

Once he got up into the attic, he put his teddy down on a chair. And in the attic, he saw a cricket. He saw it move, and he got a bat from his baseball kit and started swatting the cricket and hit the cricket with his bat. But the cricket hopped right away.

And he was like, “Aunt Rosie, I saw something crazy in the attic—it was a little thing that kept hopping and hopping, and I had no idea what it was. Call an exterminator!” 

He thought a robot came and took his teddy. 

So Luca and his aunt went upstairs and then there was a cold draft through the room. Luca thought there was only one meaning for this: it was his mom.

Luca was like, “Is that you, Mommy?”

And his mom was like, “Yes. I have your teddy in a safe spot. Come with me, and I will show it, under one condition: give me food!” So Luca ran downstairs and gave his mom cocoa powder. And then his mom took him to a door Luca has never been to before. And then he opened the door, and teddy was there! 

His aunt saw the cricket. His aunt was like, “That’s just a cricket. This place is old so that’s why there are bugs.”
“Well, I heard this creepy noise in the night.” 

 The aunt started digging through all the piles, and in one pile, she found a head and a full body. And then the body walked out and Luca saw his dad.

Luca ran to his dad and said, “Why are you up here?” 

“Well, this used to be our old house. So when I was running, I ran right up to the attic. So when I went up there, I knew to hide. And when the robbers ran up to the attic, they didn’t see anything so I was safe. But then I fell asleep for a long time, and I didn’t have enough strength to get up because there was a big weight on my feet. So when you pulled me up, I could get out. And I’m very hungry so I need some food.”

So Luca’s aunt ran downstairs and got him some leftover chocolate chip pancakes. And then Luca’s dad said, “Where is your mom? Why are you living with your aunt?” 

“I don’t know. Mom passed away when she was trying to escape.” 

“But how did you get here?” 

“Well, when the inspection came, they took me to an orphanage, but I ran away, and I went to a school for orphans. And Aunt Rosie was my teacher, so Rosie adopted me. But then I heard a noise, and I just ignored it that time and then went to bed. Well, I’m not afraid anymore. Now that I’m with my dad and my aunt, I won’t ever be afraid again.”

The dad said “I love you too, Luca.” 

So they had such a fun time with Luca, and they all piled on the couch and watched a movie, and that’s the end.

The House

The house is haunted, and someone is there with you, looking at you right now. 

You hear a sorrow cry coming from downstairs, then you hear footsteps coming. 

It starts to get louder and louder, until you see a shadowy figure. You run, knowing you are being chased. As you run, you hear screaming, and it’s making you more desperate to leave. 

As soon as you run down the stairs, one zombie randomly starts to walk to you. When you look, you see there are people in the building and scream in horror. 

All the people in the building are zombies. 

When you run, one zombie blocks your path out. When you run the other way, you see the shadowy figure. You think this is all over so you start to sweat, but you have an idea. You run towards a zombie and knock it down and run to the door. 

The finger grabs you and chops your head off. 

 The end, literally 


Native Americans and Immigration

 A lot of people talk about immigration, but sometimes they don’t really know what they are talking about. The point of this essay is to help them understand that. An example of people who are under this definition in an unusual way are the Native Americans. 

The Native Americans are under this topic in an unusual way because not everyone considers them as immigrants because they were the first known humankind to migrate to America. In the Ice Age, when the first Native Americans came to America, it’s fiercely debated what actually happened. Scientists think that the first Americans started between northeast Asia and southern Siberia. Soon after that, about 25,000 to 20,000 years ago, the ancestors of the Native Americans split off from the East Asians. What happened next is not positive. It’s possible that the group immediately traveled across the now-submerged Bering Strait land bridge, or that they stayed in Beringia for a while. Another possibility is that the group stayed in northeast Asia, generally isolated from the other groups. Then they traveled across the land bridge to Alaska (Live Science). This shows us that the Native Americans really did immigrate to America, but they are not considered immigrants. 

From there, the population kept growing and the Europeans started to settle in America.  After America was established, Native Americans were not allowed to be citizens until June 2nd, 1924, when President Calvin Coolidge signed a bill granting full citizenship to them. Unfortunately, this only lasted for two more decades. In the 1950s, the federal government office, Bureau of Indian Affairs, that was supposed to take care of the Native Americans, stopped doing their job and put the responsibility in the hands of the states. Between 1952 and 1956, the Bureau of Indian Affairs also sold 1.6 million acres of Native American land for development (Library of Congress). This demonstrates that the English settlers said they would take care of the Native Americans, but just gave up as it was unimportant to them. They also sold the land that the Native Americans were living on for money, and made them move out. Clearly, here you can see that they are not taking care of the Native Americans, but doing the complete opposite. Even though the English are the immigrants here, they are acting like the Native Americans are the immigrants, and that they own the land.

As you can see, the Native Americans are under this topic in a in a very unusual way. This is an important topic because when people think of the word “immigration,” they usually think of the Europeans immigrating to America. Overall, Native Americans were not treated well at all by the English. If we understand this better in the future, maybe we can treat them better.

Works cited 

Geggel, Laura. “Here’s How People First Arrived in the New World … Maybe.” LiveScience, Purch, 9 Aug. 2018, www.livescience.com/63292-first-americans-route.html.

“Native American – Destroying Cultures – Immigration…- Classroom Presentation: Teacher Resources.” Library of Congress, www.loc.gov/teachers/classroommaterials/presentationsandactivities/presentations/immigration/native_american.html.

The School for the Talented and Gifted

“Shhh,” said Emily, “We need to be quiet, Master Ponset is right there.” She pointed across the hall where Master Ponset was walking to her office. The Secret Sleuths’ main meeting point was right next to the headmaster’s main office. Sometimes it was a little annoying because they felt like they were going to get caught.

Master Ponset was the headmaster of The School for the Talented and Gifted. The School for the Talented and Gifted was an all-girls school for those with special powers. Emily was an Empath and could sense people’s emotions, Finlia was a Telepath and could read people’s minds. Finlia loved being a Telepath, but there was a strict rule at her school that said that Telepaths could not read people’s minds without asking permission. Sill was a Vanisher and could turn invisible when she needed.

 “I think we should go back to our dorms, it’s way past our bedtime,” said Sill.

“No way,” said Finlia, “Guys, look, there’s Professor Nifter, I wonder if they’re going to start talking about that letter that we saw Professor Nifter handing Master Ponset.”

“I think you’re right,” replied Emily, “There’s the letter!”

“Sill, you need to turn invisible so that we can escape, and you can listen to them talk about the letter without them noticing.”

“No way, I am not going to do that. Besides, Professor Tinstin told me that my mental strength isn’t strong enough for me to do that.”

Everyone at the school took classes for their abilities, it was the only class where all the girls were separated. The girls finally decided to go to bed once the teachers had left.  

***

The next morning, when they woke up and went down to breakfast, they were tired from being up so late last night. Everyone was already getting dressed when they woke up. 

“Were you guys up late sneaking out like always?” asked Perry.

All three girls thought that Perry was the most annoying girl in their grade. They thought that everyone else thought that also, except for Perry’s royal sidekick, Helen. Helen was almost as annoying as Perry, besides the fact that she did whatever Perry did. The girls got dressed and headed down to the cafeteria. 

When they got down to the cafeteria, Master Ponset was sitting in her chair that looked more like a throne.

“Everyone, I have an announcement, go hurry up, you three, and sit down.”

The three girls ran as quickly as they could without their skirts flying up and sat down at their dorm’s table. 

“Yesterday, I got a letter about a goblin colony in the forest. Before, it was forbidden to go in the fatal forest unless you were with a Professor, but now no one, even with a professor, is allowed to go to the forest. Understood?” said Master Ponset sternly.

“Yes, Master Ponset,” rang the chorus of voices.

“Guys,” began Finlia, “we’re not going to listen to Master Ponset. We have to go out into the forest and find the goblin colony.”

“No way are we going to do that. At least I’m not going to do that. Mary’s cousin died in the forest,” said Emily.

Mary was in grade three and she was in their dorm. Mary was very kind and smart, but whenever someone brought up the topic of her cousin, she turned into a devil and started crying. Even though the three girls had never talked to Mary about her cousin, they had heard about her. Mary’s cousin was older and would have been in grade six if she were still alive. 

“I agree with Emily,” said Sill.

“Come on guys, it can’t be that bad.”

“I’m still not going out there, no matter what you say,” argued Emily.

“You heard Master Ponset, we can’t go out there even with a teacher,” said Sill.

Sill was known as the perfect one that always listened to teachers, Emily was known as the cautious one, and Finlia was known as the daring one that broke the rules.

“Think about this though, if we don’t find the goblins, then who will?” said Finlia.

“One of the teachers will,” argued Sill.

“I guess when you put it that way…”

Emily was caught off by Master Ponset’s loud, ringing bell.

“Attention everyone. I know this news was a shock to all of you. But I will warn you right here and right now. Do not start scheming to go off in the forest and find the goblin colony. There will be major repercussions if you try and do that.” 

She paused and took a long glance around at everyone. She paused for an extra long time while she was looking at the three girls. 

“I would also like to thank the one professor who found these goblins while he was searching for some skilbers to feed our animals. Meanwhile, you all should be studying for your tests and classes. You all may now continue your breakfasts, you have 30 minutes before your first class will start.”

“All right, I’m in,” said Emily.

“Great. Now we just need Sill to agree.”

“Come on, Sill.”

“Fine, I’m in,” Sill said.

 “Okay, great. I think it would be a great help if we asked Mary about how her cousin died. Also, we know that the goblins were near the skilbers, so we shouldn’t go near the skilbers until we know exactly what we’re going to do,” said Finlia.

“I’m not sure if we should ask Mary about her cousin, you know how she gets whenever someone talks about her cousin. But I do think that trying to avoid the skilbers until we know what to do is a good idea,” said Emily.

“Finlia does make a good point about Mary’s cousin though. How else are we going to figure out about the forest. We have to be in grade two to be able to go in the forest with a teacher. And now we can’t even go with a teacher. If we asked a grade two or grade three, we would sound way too suspicious. I think asking Mary about her cousin would definitely be the best way to find out about the forest. Also, we still have to eat breakfast and we only have 15 minutes until class starts,” remarked Sill.

The girls agreed that they would ask Mary about her cousin tonight after they had done all the research that they thought they could do on their own. They finished eating their breakfast, went back to their dorm to get their things that they needed for their classes, and headed off to their classes.

When they arrived at their first class, History, they sat down at their table spots, which were not next to each other. It was as annoying as a super long hangnail to not be next to each other. Their teacher, Professor 一一一一, was super strict and would not let them switch seats.

History was one of Emily and Finlia’s least favorite classes, but Sill didn’t mind it. In History, they continued reading the myth about how powers were created, and then they learned about all the different powers and what they did.

They continued through the rest of their day going through all their classes and learning all different kinds of things. Finally all their classes were done, and it was the end of the day.

***

When they got back to their dorm, they were ready to ask Mary about her cousin. They slowly approached her, and asked her their question.

“Hey Mary, we were wondering if we could ask you a question about your cousin,” said Finlia slowly.

“If you don’t want to talk about it that’s fine though,” said Emily.

“I’m not sure if I want to talk about it, but I’ll try.”

“We were wondering how your cousin died in the forest,” said Sill.

“So, my cousin was going out with Professor Nifter because she wanted to find out about some of the animals that lived in the forest. While they were walking through the forest, my cousin wanted to take a seat so she sat on what she thought was a log, but was actually a bear and then when the bear woke up, he got super mad and threw her into the lake. When he threw her into the lake, she was too far to swim to shore, and she drowned.”

“We’re so sorry for your cousin,” said Sill.

After Mary had told them all the details, they left and headed to Finlia’s bed, their normal talking spot. They discussed how they were going to find the goblin colony and decided that they were going to go tomorrow night.

***

The next night, Finlia woke Sill and Emily up at midnight. They all got ready to go outside and grabbed all their things, the list of things they needed to do, a flashlight, and some goblin food to lure the goblins across the lake.

They tiptoed across the room and left the dorm to go find the goblin colony.

 To Be Continued…

Escape from the Washing Machine

Once upon a time, Adele was going to brush her teeth. Then, toothpaste fell on Wellie, Adele’s stuffed animal!

“Daddy!” Adele yelled. “Wellie got toothpaste on him.”

“Okay.”

Adele walked out of the bathroom with Wellie and Ellie. Ellie was Adele’s other stuffed animal. “Will Wellie have to go in the washing machine?”

“Yes,” Adele’s dad replied.

“Can you put him in the washing machine now?” 

Adele’s dad was working on writing a book and did not respond. So Adele decided she might as well wash off as much of the toothpaste as possible. Adele went to the sink. She washed off the strawberry toothpaste, but Wellie smelled like strawberries. The bad yucky strawberry smell.

“Leave Wellie on the table,” Adele’s dad answered.

“Okay.”

***

The next day when Adele woke up, she found that Wellie had not gone in the washing machine overnight. “Why didn’t you put him in the washing machine?”

“I forgot to.”

***

The brave Wellie stepped into the washing machine. None of the other stuffed animals had volunteered to go with him. Wellie was shivering and was about to cry as the door of the washing machine closed.

Adele watched her father pour in the washing machine’s soap.

“Wait,” Adele said. “The setting for the washing machine is wrong. It is supposed to be on tap cold but it is only on cold.” Adele switched the setting from cotton to delicates. 

Wellie was quite annoyed about Adele getting toothpaste on him. But he had bravely let Adele leave him in the washing machine. He saw Adele press the start button, water and soap came streaming down from the top of the washing machine. The machine started to spin, Wellie thought he would throw up.

Ellie knew she would be very bored. She would have to wait for Wellie a whole 33 minutes according to the mister (Adele’s dad), who could apparently read washing machines.

“Bye Daddy,” Adele called after him as he left.

“Bye Adele,” he called back.

“Wait, Wellie is disintegrating!”

“Oh my god. He is not. Wellie looks perfectly happy.”

“How is he happy?” Adele questioned. 

“He looks so happy.”

“No! He’s dying, save him!” Adele knew he was not dying, but Wellie’s arms were flailing, and it looked like he was drowning. 

Wellie was sleepy. He felt like going to bed. He saw Ellie, and it looked like she was trying to tell him something. He couldn’t figure out what though. The washing machine noise was way too loud to hear anything.

Ellie was horrified. Plain horrified. She couldn’t bear watching Wellie die like this, so she tried to tell Wellie that his trip in the washing machine had almost ended.

 Only four minutes left. Adele looked back at the machine. The soap was going down, and Wellie couldn’t breathe. Then the washing machine started to speed up! It went so fast that Wellie was a great big spinning blur.

Adele paused the stop button, and took Wellie out early. She wouldn’t make him suffer any more.

Wellie was quite tired when Adele took him out, but he had survived!

Epilogue

Later that day, Wellie lay drying on the windowsill watching Ellie and Adele play. At least he hadn’t gone in the dryer. He would have shrunk.


Jonny and the Bozo Peacocks

Once there was a man called Jonny. He was young enough to be a footballer (soccer player), so that’s what he wanted to do. He wanted to be a good midfielder to defend and attack. But he felt like he was being watched and followed but not by just an over-supervised mum, they were something a lot more unusual (and eccentric), it was, wait for it… PEACOCKS!!! 

When he realized they were PEACOCKS, he asked one of the people at the bus stop to pinch him to make sure he wasn’t dreaming, but the guy just ran off trying not to make direct eye contact. But later, he thought what the heck would peacocks do to his dream football (soccer) career, but two days later, he would find out the hard way.

Two days later

After ages researching on his laptop he finally found a team, but it was Leicester City in the midlands and Jonny lived in Dorset. This meant he had to move away and drive halfway through England, but fortunately he had enough money because he achieved a promotion at work. For some reason his BOSS gave him a FORTUNE. So he moved to a house 10 minutes away from the stadium and drove there. 

First match – Disaster

He joined the fan coach and travelled all the way back to Dorset to play the Bournemouth Football Club. Well, that match didn’t even last a FULL MINUTE, because instantly a group of peacocks ran onto the pitch and pecked EVERYBODY, including Jonny. It went all over BBC news and FOOTBALL news. And finally it went on social media, and suddenly the incident was called the ‘Bozo Peacocks.’  

After that, peacocks went to their hide and said, “Time to sabotage Leicester City again, but this time they’re playing home, that means we don’t have to do backflips on to the fan coach! Peacocks GO!!!” they shouted.

Second match – Disaster

This time, Jonny didn’t need to catch the bus because he was playing home against newly-promoted Sheffield United. So the match went better than the one against Bournemouth, in fact he had already scored a goal, but something was about to ruin it because after 20 minutes of playing, the peacocks (THE SAME) ran onto the pitch and did something worse than pecking at somebody’s foot. They shoved their heads in the astroturf, which made decent sized holes to twist people’s ankles. Again, it went viral. You name it, BBC news, FOOTBALL news and social media, which was called a different name, ‘The Peacocks Return.’

Peacocks Go Crazy

Jonny caught the fan coach and travelled to Liverpool to play Everton. You may have thought the peacocks would’ve given up, right? But no, they went crazier than ever before. They hijacked a plane and dropped mini bombs all over the stadium, which meant the people there had to evacuate immediately. And dude, I’m not even gonna tell you what’s on the news, but I will tell you what’s on social media. The name is ‘The Peacocks Go Psycho’. 

Now after that incident, Jonny tried to investigate because this was really annoying him, so the next day, he went looking. Jonny knew that the peacocks wouldn’t be in the middle of the city since that would be too obvious, so he decided to search on the outskirts of the city. But no luck appeared, so he called his friend Jake to come as quick as possible. After that, they started to search, and after half an hour, they found the peacock hide and surely, they were there planning for more sabotages. They knew exactly what they were going to do. Jonny and Jake already had a dozen cages. It did take a long time, but it was worth it because when they handed it into the zoo, the photographers instantly gave cash for their paycheck.

The Twist

Now that incident shocked the whole WORLD. In fact, loads of people from all over came to Leicester, just to find the peacocks. People actually PROMISED that if they found them, the only option was to throw them into the zoo or ELSE. 

The next day Jonny went to Tesco’s and got the Guardian newspaper. He smiled because this is what it said: “2 Men Find Peacocks, returns to zoo. Peacocks actually say we just want worldwide football!” 

Now, Jonny had to tell his teammates about his relation with the peacocks because if he never let it out, this controversy would never end. So the next day, he came early for training and told them about it. At first they thought he was joking, but later on they started to believe them and they then showed a video of him being followed by the peacocks. He thought that he must’ve posted his video to them although he didn’t remember doing that, but his family had a history of bad memory so that probably explains why.

Construction Starts                                                                                                            

People had to build football (soccer) stadiums for the peacocks all over the world, otherwise the peacocks would attack the stadiums again. Anyways, the peacocks lived a happy football (soccer) life, and so did the humans. Jonny felt a LOT of glee, so that night (the only night because footballers have to keep well, but you could call this a one-off), he was a couch potato watching TV until 12 PM. But unfortunately, it looks like I’m out of paper so I suppose this is the…

END        

       

The Adventures of Fluffy the Cat

Once there was a fluffy, fat kitten named Fluffy. She didn’t like the pet store, so she ran away. She was a white kitten, so she got dirty. At the corner of the street where the pet store was, Fluffy saw a bunch of windows, so she went inside one and found a little, evil, fake chipmunk. The chipmunk had white around his face and on his belly. She stepped on him because he tried to pull her fur. She found out he was squishy, so she used him as a ball. She stuffed him in her rathole. 

In the morning, they met an evil boy. Fluffy thought the boy was stealing them, but he put money on a table, which meant he was buying them. Because of this, she liked him. The boy was very nice to them. He took them to his house, which was made out of red bricks and was very big. Fluffy thought the house looked very fancy. But, she was worried this was temporary. Inside, there were three other creatures just like the boy, but the evil chipmunk pulled Fluffy’s ear, and they got into a fight. The chipmunk’s squishy stuff fell out, and the boy’s mom had to fix it. 

The boy took them outside and threw balls for them to catch. The chipmunk saw a hornet and chased it, so he got stung. So they had to go inside, but Fluffy went outside again and got nuts and gave them to the chipmunk. He spit them out, and Fluffy said, “Why did you spit that out? Chipmunks are supposed to like nuts.”

“I’m not a chipmunk.”

“Of course you are a chipmunk, I am never wrong.” 

“Everyone is wrong sometimes, even cats,” said the boy’s mom. 

“Yeah,” said the chipmunk. 

“This is annoying,” said the boy. “Why can’t you get along?” 

“Okay,” said the chipmunk and the cat.

“Let’s go to the toy store and buy a lego set,” said the boy’s mom. 

“Yeah,” said the cat.

But instead of going to a toy store, they went to a museum and went to the gift shop and bought a Lego house set and a robot claw. Then they went home, built it, and played with them. 

“We should go on vacation,” said the boy’s mom. They packed and went to Disney World and rode an underground roller coaster and lots and lots of other rides. Harry the hamster ate too much cotton candy and got fat. 

On the underground roller coaster, they met a fat, mean lady. She said that Harry should not eat so much. Fluffy told her that she shouldn’t eat a lot either. So she called an exterminator to take Fluffy and Harry to a pound. They ran away and escaped with their lives (and everyone else). Once they were very far from the pound, they called the police on the fat, mean lady. There were a lot of witnesses, and other people had pressed other charges against her, so they were able to make a citizen’s arrest on her right away.       

The End


Song Analysis

Some songs have hidden meanings that don’t really go with the tune or style of the song. Listeners or fans have to look at the lyrics, or listen extremely closely to find the meaning. Sometimes, these hidden messages are a little dark and depressing, or they can be political, or even ask for help in little beeps in the background in morse code, telling a soldier help is on the way. Some songs even have hidden meanings or messages to their loved ones. If you really want to appreciate most music, you really have to understand their inspiration and message to their listeners. Musicians always have an inspiration to their songs and/or albums. The songs “99 Red Balloons,” “Copacabana,” and “Pumped Up Kicks” each have dark hidden meanings that aren’t apparent by their tune. 

“99 Red Balloons” tells a story of 99 red balloons floating in the sky, triggering an apocalyptic  overreaction by military forces. The song is also a Cold War-era protest by the German singer Nena. Another fact about this song is that it was originally in German. The music was composed by Uwe Fahrenkrog-Petersen, the keyboardist of Nena’s band, while Karges wrote the original  German lyrics. Uwe Fahrenkrog-Petersen does a great job of masking Karges’ lyrics with a peppy yet soft melody.

“Copacabana” is about a showgirl named Lola who worked at a lively bar. One day, a shooter named Rico shot up the bar, and killed her love named Tony. 30 years later, she was sitting at the same bar that was now a disco. She didn’t dance because it wasn’t her music. Instead, she sat at the bar with faded red feathers in her hair, still wearing her showgirl outfit. She was drinking to numb the pain of losing her lover 30 years ago. The message supports how bad addiction is and instead of numbing the pain with alcohol and other substances, you should get help. “Copacabana” is a song you would hear in the clubs because it’s dancy and upbeat, but the song is about a shooting at a club.

“Pumped Up Kicks” was an extremely popular pop song in the 2010s. It took a couple of years to realize that it was about a young man that had homicidal thoughts, as he was planning to shoot the school. The first verse says, “Robert’s got a quick hand, he’ll look around the room, he won’t tell you his plan. He’s got a rolled up cigarette, he’s a cowboy kid. Yeah a six shooter.’’ And in the chorus, if you read the lyrics, you can see he comes from a poor and broken home. It’s actually kind of a dangerous song, because it puts this idea in people’s minds, and can trigger traumatizing memories to victims of school shootings. The chorus is so peppy and easy to get stuck in your head. Everyone was dancing to this song when it came out. The song itself is teaching us a lesson about paying attention and being careful, because some of these things might happen to you. This suggests that fun, upbeat songs can have dark messages. 

Most songs lyrics go undetected. When you want to learn a song by heart and you look at it closely, it’s no longer a love song but a song about a stalker who, after stalking a girl for months, murders her. It’s no longer a dance song, but it’s actually about a school shooting. It’s no longer a roller skating rink song, but a protest song. Everyone listens to music, but no one looks deeper than the surface.

Short story made after a lot of begging

Once there was a billionaire named Billy Bob Bob Bob Joe and his last name was Joe Bob Bob Bob Billy. He could swallow anything and gain the properties of said material if wanted. If he swallowed a machine, then he could do what that machine could do. He had swallowed a jet so he could fly really fast. He flew over to Area 51 because he wanted to break in. The U.S. Air Force saw him coming and said, “No trespassing.”  

“Sure,” he replied

Then he swallowed the gate and the Air Force had no choice but to shoot him. He swallowed a stealth machine and turned it on and then he turned the top layer of his skin to be bulletproof Kevlar. Then he snuck into Area 51. He searched everywhere but he could only find a bunch of test tech like new stealth planes and he could not find a single alien.

He thought, Boring. I’m getting out of here. He went back to his company building in L.A.

“Mr Joe Bob Bob Bob Billy, where were you?” his manager asked.

“Nowhere you need to know and please call me Billy Bob Bob Bob Joe.”

“Of course,” the man replied.

“How is business going?”

“We are churning out more technology by the second. And our sales for our computers are doing especially well.”

     “Can you get my game designers for me?”

“Of course, sir.” The manager got them and they started designing games. After a month he left the rest of the games to his game designers.

I’m all set for life. That was my game plan, I always wanted to know what was in there, I guess. Break into Area 51 and then I’m all set. Area 51 was always so interesting. Government secrets are cool. I just wanna live peacefully. Oh and lemme tell everyone that in  area 51 there is probably nothing there except for a bunch of military test tech, he thought. I don’t want anyone on my back trying to kill me or nothing. And life won’t get boring, I guess. Everything will go downhill pretty fast for me because bad people won’t like me for sticking my nose into things and everyone will try to kill me. Because of this, I can’t focus on my work. A big bounty would be on my head. So no thanks for me. Uh uh. I’m good. Then he continued working because he realized he liked designing games and technology stuff and he didn’t want to coast on his billions. He had a decent life.


Mermaid…Unicorn…Cat

Once in a pretty blue ocean was a mermaid… unicorn… cat. Yes, a mermaid unicorn cat. With long pink, blue, and purple ears, a scaly mermaid tale, and a long unicorn horn.

“I love my life,” she told her friend, Maria, who has short black hair, and doesn’t have a unicorn horn or cat ears. She’s just a mermaid.

Maria said, “Unicaid, you never know what could happen. Your life could turn into cloudy dark skies here in the ocean.”

“But it’s so nice here! How could anything bad ever happen here?”

“You never know.”

Just then, skies did turn cloudy and dark. The water felt less welcoming and more closed. All the rainbows started to collapse and turn into Skittles. Towering over the water was a big fat man in a scientist coat, holding an open bottle, pouring it in the water.

“What- what is that?” asked Unicaid.

“Now that, my friend, is just what I was talking about what could happen.”

“Who- who are you?” asked Unicaid.

“I am the Toxicky Water Scientist named Doctor Unsmartypants.”

“What are you pouring in the water?” asked Maria.

“Toxicky water, because I’m the Toxicky Water Scientist! Duh!”

“We have to stop this!” said someone.

“I know!” said others.

Unicaid asked, “But how?”

“Oh, I know,” said Maria. “We can get a filter from the outside world with clean water and help our world!”

“I have some friends from the outside world,” said Unicaid, “and I know where they live! They all have filters! And I bet they could lend one to us.”

“Okay. It’s kind of creepy that you know where they live, but all right,” said Maria. “Good idea.”

They slipped out of the water and started slithering down the road.

“So… I know the street, but not exactly the house—”

“Wait, what?” asked Maria.

“I’m sorry! But don’t worry. We can knock on all the doors and ask what door Alena Smith is on!”

“Everyone will just scream!” exclaimed Maria.

“Why?” asked Unicaid.

“Ya know. We’re not the same species!”

“Oh… yeah. But I bet it will be alright.”

“Fine!!!” Maria seemed to be getting mad. “Let’s do this.”

They knocked on one door. No answer.

At the second door there was an answer! But it was: “Ahhhhhhhhhh!” The lady screamed.

“Told you!” Maria said selfishly.

“Ayayayay!” Unicaid exclaimed, “Braggy braggy!”

They slithered down to the next door and knocked on the third door. “Whoah!” was the reply, “Who are you?”

“I’m Unicaid! And this is my friend, Maria,” Unicaid said proudly.

“Ahh! Yes! Unicaid!” The lady said, “Alana has told me so much about you! I’m Lea. Nice to meet you!”

Lea had long, brown, curly hair, and skin the color of chocolate.

“You too!” Maria seemed relieved.

“So where does she live?”

“Oh, Alana? Why do you need to talk to her? Is anything wrong?”

“Well,” Maria started, “This toxicy water scientist came and—”

“Toxicated up the water?

“Umm, yeah, basically.”

“So why do you need Alana for that?”

“We wanted to get a filter from her house so we could help save our ocean,” said Unicaid.

“Oh, I have a filter,” Lea said. “You can use it if you want.”

“That would be great! Thank you!” Maria said, seeming even more relieved.

Lea went inside and gave them the filter. Then Unicaid and Maria thanked her as they slithered back into the ocean.

“We got a filter!” They said as they plopped it in the water. It sounded like when you put a penny into a fountain. Dr. Unsmartypants tried to stop them, but it was too late. It was already in. Everyone cheered for them, except for the scientist. 

“Why? Why? Why?” Dr. Unsmartypants said, seeming very, very, very frustrated. He towered over the water and walked away.

“Yay! Hooray for Unicaid and Maria!” And suddenly the water felt more welcoming, less closed, and the dark skies went away. All the Skittles turned back into rainbows, and everything was okay.

The End!


HE. MAY. GO. ALL. THE. WAY!

“Welcome to Super Bowl 100 The Seattle Seahawks vs. The New England Patriots,” said the commentator. “This is going to be a great match. At the half, it is 28 to 27 Seattle. At three quarters, it is tied at 35 with a safety given up by Seattle. Now there are five minutes left in the game, and we are tied at 49. Seattle has the ball on the 50-yard line. Wilson throws to Baldwin, and that’s a first down. Baldwin is still going! Touchdown! Seattle up by seven at 56. Seattle returned! He gets past the defence, touchdown! We are tied at 56 now. Patriots kickoff. Seahawks get five yards on the return. Wilson takes the snap. Fakes the run, Wilson runs past the linemen, he is in the clear. HE. MAY. GO. ALL. THE. WAY! Russel Wilson 80-yard touchdown run to put Seattle ahead by seven. With the touchdown, we are at the two-minute warning. Pats return the kickoff five yards. Brady hail mary to Edelman, he gets to the 20. Brady hands off to Michelle. He is taken down at the one. Brady gets a QB sneak past the line. Conflict on the Pats’ sideline. Brady decides that they will try for a two-point conversion. Brady snaps. Brady runs to the corner, Bobby Wagner chasing him. Wagner strip-sacks Brady. Wagner has the ball; he is running. Wagner goes all the way! Two points for Seattle! Pats try an onside kick. Seattle recovers. Pats use first time out. 30 seconds on the clock. Wilson takes the snap. He runs in the backfield and is just running around. 15 seconds left. Wilson being chased. 10 seconds. Wilson throws the ball as far as he can. Ball is in the air for five seconds. Pats time out. Five seconds left. Wilson takes the snap. He runs to the sideline. Time is up! Seattle wins the 100th Super Bowl. They have done it! No losses in the season and a Super Bowl title. Brady made the biggest mistake in the Super Bowl. Wilson has the longest QB run in Super Bowl history! Let’s hear what Wilson has to say.” 

Wilson says, “I cannot believe this. We played great. This is great.” ______________________________________________________________________________

After the game, the commentator got in his car and started to drive home. It was really late at night, so he was very tired. Then, all of a sudden, he couldn’t see any people or any cars and saw complete darkness. Then his mind blanked. CRASH! He found his car smashed into another car. He had dozed off and didn’t have control. The two cars he crashed into were the Seattle Seahawks’ car and the Patriots’ car. He was hurt, but he got out of the car immediately to see if the teams were hurt. The police were already at the site of the crash, and there was a huge fire. The police called the firefighters, and the firefighters put out the fire and took him to the hospital.  Nobody on the Seahawks or the Patriots got injured. The commentator just got really injured, but he got better really soon. He had broken his collarbone, his neck bone, his backbone, and his arm.  

The Patriots filed a lawsuit because they didn’t like his commentating, and he crashed into them. The Seahawks, though, were okay with it, and they were fine with it.  

His lawyer was really bad because no one wanted to be his lawyer in the case, because they’re afraid he’s going to lose. His lawyer was not that good, so the commentator had to try and deal with that and be his own lawyer.

His lawyer kept telling him, “It’s okay if we lose, it’s okay if we lose.” But the commentator kept a positive attitude the whole time.

The lawyer said, “Man, we’re gonna lose.  I can’t believe you’re even trying. You shouldn’t be trying against the Patriots. They’re gonna have the better lawyer. They’re gonna beat us. Even though I am a lawyer, I have to admit they’re gonna beat us. So it’s okay if we lose.”

The commentator replied, “It’s not okay if we lose because I didn’t do anything wrong in that scenario. They crashed into me. They shouldn’t file a lawsuit on me just because the car ended up in the crash.”

The commentator felt guilty because he knew he fell asleep in the car. The first person to find out he was sleeping was the lawyer, who kept it a secret until his death.

He made a statement where he accused the Patriots’ bus driver that he fell asleep, dozed off, and crashed. That was a lie, because the Patriots’ driver wasn’t sleeping; the commentator was sleeping himself. The Patriots argued that they saw the commentator not paying attention, and they saw him drift off into the lane, and then they saw the crash. The jury thought that the Patriots were wrong because the Patriots had lost the Super Bowl, and the commentator had been speaking about them for everyone in the audience to hear, so the judge had thought that the Patriots were just mad because they lost the Super Bowl and the commentator was saying bad things about them.  This could be revenge.

The commentator went to court the next year and they didn’t know what decision to give, so eventually they went to the Supreme Court.  He won in the Supreme Court with a new argument saying, “The Patriots aren’t admitting that their bus driver fell asleep, and I’m admitting that I wasn’t not paying attention, because I have all a perfect concentration, but you guys never said that you have anything that prevented you from having a doze-off.”

He also said, “They’re trying to get revenge on me, when all I did was comment on the Super Bowl.”    

The Patriots said, “We’re not trying to get any revenge. You almost killed us, and if anyone got harmed, you would have to say that you have to do something about it. If it’s just about the Super Bowl, it’s not gonna be this severe. If I just say something on Twitter, not in court, so basically if someone gets harmed, you should come to justice and say that you did it.”

The judges thought that the Patriots didn’t defend themselves, and just brought up new arguments, so the Patriots would lose.

He won in the court, and he filed a lawsuit on the Patriots for crashing into him, because the Seahawks showed him a camera where the Patriots changed lanes. The Seahawks had hated the Patriots for a really long time, so every time if something went wrong, they would have to get back at the Patriots for the last-second Patriots win during the Super Bowl before. The Seahawks always had a camera in their car, and they happened to be staying at the same hotel as the Patriots, so they were driving on the same road. The Seahawks had the video of the bus driver going into a different lane, which was true, but just because it was earlier in a crash, and they didn’t have film of the crashing, so they only showed him changing lanes. But he did change lanes, which was a factor of the crash. The Patriots lost in court and were fined 1,000,000 dollars. The Patriots were really mad about it, and the bus driver had to go to jail, because falling asleep in a car is illegal, so he went to jail really mad, knowing he didn’t fall asleep and remembering every detail of the crash.

The commentator was relieved that he got away with it, and surprised the Patriots with filing a lawsuit, but was happy that the Patriots’ bus driver had to go to jail. The commentator forever lived hidden because he knew that people didn’t like him because all the Patriots fans didn’t like him because making the Patriots lose in court is a big thing.

Ten years after his death, they found the camera showing that he actually was sleeping in the car, and shouldn’t have won in court because he actually fell asleep in the car. 

The end.


Life of a Boy with Powers

Part One: Ordinary to extraordinary

Place: Annapolis, Maryland

Dimension: Hearth-not-Earth

Once upon a time, there was a fourteen-year-old boy named Leo. He didn’t know it at the time, but he was about to become more than your average boy. On his way home from his best friend Misha’s house (who lived across the bridge), he was hit by lightning. He was walking on the bridge with an Anti-monopoly board game when a thick bolt of lightning struck him. He passed out and his mind went completely blank, and his eyes went white in an instant. Someone found him a couple of minutes later and took him to the hospital.

His parents, Mr. and Mrs. Parker, learned in the hospital that Leo’s eyeballs were great conductors of electricity so the lightning went straight for him while he was crossing the bridge. He was put into a deep sleep until he was sixteen years old without realizing it. He woke up in the hospital, and found out that he had lost his eye. So they left the hospital with an eye patch covering Leo’s eye.

What Leo didn’t know was that he could accidentally control electricity, or that he could do things related to electricity that no one else could do, without realizing it was himself doing it. One time, he was playing Temple Surfers (a combination of Temple Run and Subway Surfers) on his iPhone when suddenly it died. 

“Oh, come on!” He ran out of his room and shouted, “Mom! Can I borrow your charger?”  

“Sorry, but I’m using it because my phone is five plus,” his mom replied (plus is percent).

“Porca miseria!” Leo carelessly said in Italian as he stomped into his bedroom and plopped onto the bed. He was so furious that his bedroom light flickered off and his phone turned on. He looked at his phone screen to check the percentage, and guess what it was? Full charge, or 100%.

“What happened?” he said as he turned the light back on. But then, he remembered the lightning strike two years ago. “Wait, what?!” he exclaimed, and ran out of the house, but with superspeed, like Hercules.

Later on, after doing some thinking, Leo concluded that when he was so mad sparks of electricity probably went into the phone, charging it instantly, and more sparks turned off the light. He didn’t know how that happened, but he was excited because he never found out about it. So he tried testing it out by going home and trying to turn off and on the lights, and so that happened and worked. Then he tried to travel at the speed of light and so he ran as fast as he could, and he could actually see light by his side because, of course, he was running as fast as the speed of light.   

Next he tried flying, but he knew he was really short and the knowledge came to him suddenly that, since he was really short, he could not fly. You have to be really tall to fly. He didn’t know how. He went to Misha’s house and looked inside, and overheard him telling his little sister a story about this magic potion that can make you taller in less than 3 hours, and an evil scarecrow was guarding it.  It was actually a mixture of a robot and an actual scarecrow. You can’t see him because when you get really close, he’ll attack you. Leo knocked on the door and Misha answered it.

“Well you’re back, and that’s awesome!” said Misha, and they did their ‘secret handshake.’ 

“I need to find out where the magic potion is,” Leo said. They went in the house.

“Really? Ok. It’s somewhere in the middle of Romania, Europe,” Misha said. He knew this because he actually, once, tried to get the potion, and he was told that it was in Romania, but he never found it.

“Thanks!” Leo ran with the superspeed he was given.

“Good luck!” Misha yelled. “Man, how does he do that?”

Part Two: The Scarecrow

Place: Somewhere in Romania

Dimension: Hearth-not-Earth

Leo had already told and explained his plan to his parents, and surprisingly, they accepted it. Since he had powers, they knew that he could protect himself.

“Just make sure you don’t die, honey,” Mrs. Parker told him.

“I won’t,” Leo responded.

“Be careful,” she said.

“I will, I will.” And Leo ran to the Annapolis dock, and dove into the warm Chesapeake bay, for what was a long journey ahead of him.

On the way, he found a map to the potion in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. He found it because of a storm that drowned him. He floated up because there was a lot of air in his lungs already, and that’s how he found out he could breathe in water.

After finding the location on the map, Leo found that the place was surrounded by fire, and he figured out that the scarecrow might have fire powers. He found the magic potion on a tree stump, but when he was about to touch it, there was something that grabbed his shoulder. He looked around and there was the robot scarecrow, including at least one million other tiny robots.

“Do not touch my potion! I know why you have come for it, and I will put an end to your task!” the scarecrow bellowed in his robotic voice. 

Leo ran away from the scarecrow, surprisingly not touching him at all.  So he ran away from the robot with superspeed, but he didn’t have the potion. So Leon found this little pond and he heard a whisper that is saying, “Clone yourself to get it!”

Leo said, “How?”  But there was no reply.

He figured out that the lake was magic. And then there was some rumbling, and there was someone else that was standing there, and he took a closer look and saw it was himself, and so the clone multiplied and then multiplied again and again and again. Soon, there were at least ten thousand Leos surrounding the pond. It was the lake that had done this, he thought. And so he went back to the robot, his clones following him, but he couldn’t find him anywhere, and figured out that it could be a decoy, or they were hiding behind them. So he went the other way, and found the robot trying to attack them.

The million tiny robots were reduced to one robot, and it was so tall, as tall as Kevin Durant in the Golden State Warriors. 

“This robot used the potion, so if you fight me then you will fight him,” the scarecrow explained in monotone.

So the ten thousand Leos fought the robot first, but failed. 

Then came a thunderstorm, controlled by all of the Leos, and so it was pouring and it dried out all the fire, and a huge lightning bolt struck the tall robot and he was dead. 

“Curse you!” the scarecrow yelled. And then Leo himself jumped up and killed the cruel scarecrow by striking a sudden bolt of lightning, and he was dead too.

“I guess you didn’t put an end to my task.” Leo took the potion, drank a little bit, and he started feeling that the bushes were shrinking, and so when it stopped shrinking he looked down and it looked as though he was 7 feet tall. In fact, he was.

“Hey clones this is aweso—what happened?” All of the clones were gone. Disappeared. 

So Leo tested his flying and he flew all the way on top of Romania and then to Italy, and found out that he was able to fly since he was so tall. He was super happy. So he flew back across the Atlantic Ocean. He didn’t really feel bad about leaving them behind because he had himself.

Part Three: Fight in Dubai

Place: Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Dimension: Earth

Leo wanted to fly up Mount Everest on Earth, so he took the Dimension Teleporter to Earth, and flew to Asia and Nepal because he was already in China, to fly above the Great Wall. He was 20,000 feet above sea level when he felt that he couldn’t breathe. So he went back down 2,000 feet to get an oxygen mask, and then flew all the way up and saw the view.  It looked like he was in space, since he was so high up. He could see literally all of Nepal. It was snowing constantly, and everything looked snowy. He felt very satisfied. He wanted to fly up the tallest building in Dubai, called the Burj Khalifa.

Meanwhile, there was someone who liked to be called Nikyl to “seal his secret identity” as he said, who was pulled into a whirlpool, and got water powers, and could manipulate other people into giving him their powers.

Leo heard on TV that Nikyl wanted Leo to be Nikyl’s next target, so Leo decided to fight him. He thought about Dubai and closed his eyes, and after a moment he opened his eyes, but he wasn’t in Nepal. He was somewhere else.

“Where am I?” he asked someone who was passing by him.

“Dubai,” a man replied in a forgein language that Leo didn’t know.

“What?” Leo asked, but the man was already gone.

“He said you are in Dubai.” Leo turned around and there was a kid behind him. He was about Leo’s age, had brown hair, and his face reminded Leo of someone familiar.

“Misha! What are you doing here?”

It wasn’t long when Leo found out that he could teleport. He was thinking a lot about Dubai, so he teleported. This was too much for Leo already! Misha and Leo were at the entrance of the Burj Khalifa.

“You’re going to fly that high?” Misha looked at the top of the tower. 

“Yeah, I flew on top of Mount Everest, too. No biggie,” Leo said confidently.

Misha’s eyes almost popped out of his face. “Okkayyy…”

So Leo was halfway up the tower when he saw the water make bigger waves than before.  He stopped flying and there was someone that appeared from the water. He heard people screaming and saw people running. It was Nikyl. He had blue eyes and black hair. His face was blank. He had a poker face. And then there was this water strike coming from Nikyl, aiming at him. It was blue and foaming with bubbles. It was about to touch him when it immediately turned into ice and fell down.  Leo looked down and saw Misha, smiling.

“Did you do that?” Leo asked.

Misha nodded, still smiling.  

Leo looked up at Nikyl and saw that he was manipulating a water monster, so Leo flew to Nikyl, but stopped because he looked familiar, too, like when he met Misha.

“Sabino?” Leo asked, confused. Nikyl looked a lot like Sabino, who Leo was friends with also. In fact, Misha, Leo, and Sabino made up a trio.

“Who are you, how do you know me, and why are you here?” Nikyl or, as Leo suspected, Sabino asked.

“Oh, let me introduce myself.” Leo struck a huge bolt of lightning that pierced through the sky like Achilles’ sword, and Sabino stumbled, surprised.

“Convenient, Leo, that you’re back.” Leo and Sabino did the same ‘secret handshake’ that Misha and Leo did when Leo went to Misha’s house to ask where the potion is.

“Umm… guys?” Misha shouted from way below, “Could you come down here? I don’t think I can get up there.”

“Be proactive,” Sabino said.

“And you can easily build an ice staircase,” Leo added.

“Nah. I think it’s a little weird that we are up there. Just really, you know,” Misha pointed at the spectators who were mostly taking pictures with their phones, even a newscast.

So Sabino and Leo came down to meet Misha when about a thousand of people came to meet them to interview them. They reminded Leo of his clones. But worse.

A lot worse.

Part Four: Ending

Place: Annapolis, Maryland

Dimension: Hearth-not-Earth

Dum-tek-a-dum

Sabino’s drum gave a unique rhythm that banged through his house like the drum was summoning something. Everyone in the house was doing some movements, from nodding the head, to dancing. At least everyone was having a great time. Misha was playing the clarinet, and Leo, the trumpet. It was a year after the three had met in Dubai. All of them were very blown away that each of them had powers.

The song ended and everyone was cheering, “Happy birthday Sabino!”

It was Sabino’s eighteenth birthday.

They were done with higher school, (or high school) and since it was Sabino’s birthday on the last day of school, the moms of the trio decided to throw a party. A big one. All of the students were invited. 

Leo felt like the happiest person in the world. And so he knew, there were a lot more possibilities than a flash of lightning.

THE END

Or is it…

Yes it is…or maybe not…or maybe…you don’t know…only I do…dun dun dun!


The Amber Ring

Chapter 1

Sharpay

Right now, I am running for my life along with my faithful sibling who is holding the amber ring that we must hide, even though I am only 12.

“To the slope quickly!” Ben yelled. 

Though the villains chasing us had ideas of their own… You must be very confused, but I promise it will all be explained when I am not being chased by 2 people who can kill. 

Oh good, we’re here. The amber ring cave. Now that we’re safe, let’s begin. 

Recap: Ben and I were normal kids, or at least we thought we were. Our mom owned a ring that we always thought was beautiful, but now we know it was dangerous. Inside this ring was a very dangerous specimen, whatever that means. That’s all Mom ever said about it. Oh, I forgot. The people who were chasing us were the leaders of the other side of the fight.

 They wanted the ring because they wanted us dead. 


Chapter 2

Ben 

“Oh wow, that was fun,” I said sarcastically. 

“That wasn’t fun,” Sharpay said, clearly sarcasm was not in her vocabulary. Or readily understood. 

Tomorrow is my birthday, and the biggest gift I can get is being alive and safely having the ring. I remember when we used to throw a big party in the backyard with sprinklers, the yummy cake that Mom always made, and the bouncy house that Dad put together. I miss them. Even though they are just a few miles away, it feels like I will never see them again. 

“Ben, Ben, Ben! What are you writing?” 

“Nothing.” I quickly covered the book. My sister could be so annoying sometimes. Suddenly, we heard buzzing. 

“They’re back!” 

We climbed into the secret hole that was hidden at the base of the cave.

“Sharpay! Quickly!” 

We both jumped into the porthole towards the underground secret base. I quickly started to close the hatch.

“Wait!” Sharpay yelled, “My hair bow!”

Our mom gave each of us a present before we left for the secret mission. I got the journal (but I share it with Sharpay) and she got the hair bow. 

“Come on Sharpay!” 

She grabbed the bow and jumped into the hatch. I was waiting, ready to catch her. 

We ran, even though no one was chasing us. First mission complete. 

Chapter 3

Sharpay

We just arrived at the heart of the busy tunnels. There, our cousin, Will, was waiting for us. 

“Quickly!” he said.

“Why?” I asked.

“Because they tracked me down.”

My heart was racing. My brother was arguing with Will. All I heard were scraps of the ongoing conversation. 

“I told you to be careful.” 

“I tried.” 

“You’re so much smarter than them.” 

“But they have the amber ring.” 

“No, we have it!” 

“Okay, whatever.” 

I stayed silent. I didn’t want Ben yelling at me. But I knew I had to say something, so I did. 

“How did they track you down?” I said quietly. 

Maybe I shouldn’t have asked this question, I thought to myself. Will looked upset. Then he told us a story that I will never forget. 

He got captured, and the villains said they would track down everyone and release the amber ring once they had it. So he had no choice but to reveal his location. 

“It’s fine,” Ben said. “We have many other bases.” 

“Okay,” said Will, reassured. 

Meanwhile I keep thinking about the sparkle I saw when I left the cave. I screamed! 

“What was that about?” Ben asked. “You’re going to make my eardrums bleed.” 

“We lost the amber ring!” I said, trembling, 

“No, we didn’t, it is in my backpack. Look!” 

It wasn’t there. Without thinking, I ran back to the cave. I only stopped for as much as a breath of air. I didn’t look back. I tried to block the noises of Ben’s screaming. Finally, I made it to the amber ring cave. 

Suddenly, strong arms grabbed me, and then darkness. 

Chapter 4

Ben 

I couldn’t believe Sharpay. She made us go through so much trouble. Tracing and retracing my footsteps over and over again. We finally arrived at the palace that the villains lived in. Somehow, I thought that she would be here. I don’t know what brought me here, fate or coincidence, but out of some magic, I knew she was here. Thank god, the villains weren’t home. 

Plan: 

  1. Go to the back door, and then use rope to hoist ourselves onto the roof. 
  2. Pound a hole through the roof, tie the rope and lower ourselves down.
  3. Find a good hiding place. 
  4. Um, uh, think of a number 4. 
  5. Search the house for Sharpay and look for any breadcrumbs 
  6. Find Sharpay (hopefully) 
  7. Hoist ourselves back up through the roof and down to safety.

Easy. 

Not. 

I couldn’t let this happen to my little sister. She could be annoying at times, but I made a promise to keep her safe. 

“Don’t worry. Nothing will go wrong,” Will said.

“About a thousand things could go wrong.” 

“At least it’s not a thousand and one!” 

I rolled my eyes. “We don’t have much time, let’s go.”

Will and I crawled through the grass to the back of the house.

“Rope,” I said, holding my hand out.

“Check,” Will said.

They had a chimney, so step 2 wasn’t needed. I picked up all the rope and dropped it down the chimney. Then I tied the rope around my waist and jumped. Immediately, I saw that Sharpay untied her bow and placed it on the floor. 

“Why can’t I come?” Will called from above.

“You need to keep a lookout!” I yelled back.

I followed the bow, which had been unfurled, towards the bookshelf, where there was a 

poem:

You must go where the rare orchids grow

then go below where there is no foe                                    

then to the maze where the young does graze

You are in a daze to be amazed                                                                                 

And there you will find me – Sharpay

 Chapter 5

Sharpay

I untied my ribbon and led it to a certain bookshelf, then wrote a small note and placed it within a book. I moved quickly and secretly before the villains noticed. 

“Move on quickly, or else I’ll slap you.”

I moved at a fast pace, hoping to keep up with my captors. I heard them talking to one another. 

“We’re gonna have to leave to search for the ring. Hope the girl doesn’t escape.”

One of the men opened a secret passage. I knew about the secret passage, of course. That’s why I mentioned it in my poem. Mom had been in a similar situation as I was, and if she could escape, then I could too. Even though I knew Ben would come to rescue me, I still wanted to find a way to escape on my own. 

In the secret passage, orchids lined the walls, or at least I thought they did. I was pretty sure they were orchids. I brought my nose towards the bright purple flowers. 

“Get a move on, girl! Get in here and do not make a noise,” the villains said.

I did as I was told. I nodded silently as I was getting pushed and dragged into a cage. I looked out one of the small windows in the cage, I saw a bird and felt a ray of hope. But then, the door clanged shut behind me. I was trapped! At least I had the amber ring. But I hoped Ben would know where to go and would bring his lock picks.

I studied the cage to find a secret code, but instead of finding a code, I found a key! Hidden in the dirt was a silver, curved key. Suddenly, I had a thought. Maybe mom knew I might be captured one day and left a key for me! I smiled, thinking of my clever parents. I opened the door and ran outside. Only to bump into to a horrified Ben!                             

“Aaaaaaaahh!” 

“Aaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhh!”

Giggling, I fell to the floor.

“Guess I didn’t need to find you,” Ben said sheepishly.

“Guess not.” I smiled.

Chapter 6

Ben

I almost wanted to kill Sharpay, but she had been kidnapped, so I’d wait to yell.

“I miss Mom and Dad,” Sharpay said sadly.

I did too, but I didn’t dare tell Sharpay. 

“Come on, let’s go!” I said to Sharpay, 

I was not mad but I was scared because the villains could come back any second now. We ran, hopefully to never come back to this horrible place. Sharpay and I ran up the stairs to where we entered the fortress. 

“Will, come on!” I yelled up through the chimney. 

“I’ll meet you outside,” Will responded with a loud echo. 

What does he have, a microphone? I thought to myself. 

Sharpay and I ran outside through the main door. This was easier than the way we came in. Why didn’t we just do this?

 Will… When outside, we saw Will with an ice cream cone. 

“Where’d you get that?!” Sharpay yelled. 

“I got bored, then a little hungry, so I raided the kitchen for something sweet. Then I found this! I really hope it’s not poisoned.” 

“Why did you eat that!” I said.

“I was hungry! This flavor is worth getting poisoned for.” 

Sharpay rolled her eyes with a little smile. 

“Come on, let’s go to the stream. There’s a rowboat there. We can use it to escape,” I said. 

Little Tip from Will: 

If you are on a secret mission, going to a top-secret place, avoid the road and always take nature path. Be careful of poison ivy! 

P.S. always bring snacks. 

We walked towards an abandoned treehouse. We used it as our secret base. Sharpay went up to grab a map. She handed it to me and then we were off! Following Will’s long complaints about how we had no snacks besides peanut butter and apples. After a while, Will was satisfied. 

 

Chapter 7

Sharpay 

After we made it to the rowboat, Ben lifted it up and then dropped it again! 

“What’s wrong Ben?” I said.

“There’s writing on the bottom!” 

“What type of writing?” 

“It looks like mostly gibberish.” 

“Look again, maybe it’s a code!” Will said. 

“Will, can I use your notebook?” Ben asked. 

“It’s mostly just doodles of burgers and fries!” Will exclaimed. 

“Can you spare us one page?” 

“But, it’s my french fries and burger collection.” 

“Fine.” 

Ben flipped the boat over and examined the code. 

“Look at it,” he said.

“Sharpay, remember when Mom taught us to crack different codes?”

“Yeah. I remember my favourite one was to cross out all the even numbers,” I reply. 

“Okay, let’s try that.” 

T S U Y N L N Z E

M L H B F E L E S W

Q I U T H H O M

T O F M P A

N X D 3 D 3 A 3 D

TUNNEL BEE WITH MOM AND DAD 


Chapter 8

Ben

“Sharpay, do you still remember the way to Tunnel Bee?”

“Yes, we just have to go north for 16 miles, east for 7 miles, and then north for 2 more miles, then we go underground.” 

“Will, how long would it take to go 16 miles north?” 

“About an hour and a half.” 

“Only!?” Sharpay said. 

“Yup.” 

“It’ll take a lot longer than an hour and a half, if we don’t go,” I said.

We rowed for a while. I was glad Will doesn’t complain as much about food as before. Suddenly, Sharpay got quiet. 

“What is it?” I asked. 

“That,” Sharpay said, pointing into the distance. 

In the distance, there was a black sky with angry thunder and waves taller than our house. Which was pretty tall. 

“Sharpay! Find the nearest island or place to dock.” I yelled through the wind, but it was too late. Sharpay grabbed me as a massive wave went over the boat. I saw Sharpay drop the amber ring. 

“Thank you,” I mouthed through the wind.

Our boat split into two! I held onto the front of the boat with one hand. With the other, I grabbed Sharpay as tightly as I could. I wanted to say that everything was going to be alright, but I don’t like to lie. Black waves sloshed all around us. Finally, I couldn’t hold on any longer. I let go of the boat, and Sharpay and I were flooded by darkness. Even though I couldn’t see anything, I made sure that my grip on Sharpay remained strong. 


Chapter 9

Sharpay 

In the morning, I woke up on a sand dune. I reached into my pocket and took out the hair bow. I was glad it wasn’t lost in the storm. Just a few inches away, Ben was sitting down, writing in his journal. 

“Morning Ben.” 

“You’re already awake?”

“Where’s Will?”

“I don’t know where he is, maybe he’s—” 

“Look! I have a piña colada.” Will said, holding up a large coconut with a weed straw. Ben glared at Will. I tried to hold back a small giggle, but it still came out. I avoided looking at Ben, because he would probably glare at me too. 

“Where did you find the coconuts?” Ben asked. 

“You mean, piña colada.” 

“No trust me, I mean coconuts.” 

“No, I’m pretty sure you mean piña coladas.”

“Sharpay, what do you think?” 

“Sorry, Ben, but I’m going to say piña coladas.”

“Okay, fine. I’ll show you where the piña coladas are.”

“Since we’re gonna be stuck on this island, palm trees might make a good fort, and coconuts come from palm trees, so we can eat and sleep,” Ben stated, clearly annoyed by the piña colada incident. 

“I can build a fire,” I said.

“Fine with me,” Ben said.

“Will, come chop wood with me.” 

“Fiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiinnnnnnnnnnnneeeeeeeeeeeeeeee,” Will said. “Can I continue collecting more piña coladas?”

“No,” Ben said. “Now c’mon.” 

Will followed him, dragging his steps. 

“Phew,” I said. I hate chopping wood. 

Will tossed me his lighter. “Good luck,” he mouthed. This should be easy. How hard could it be? Soon, I had a fire burning brightly. A few minutes later, Ben came holding a mound of wood. Will came back holding a handful of berries. I rolled my eyes. We all helped Ben build the walls in the hut. 

Soon, I found that my stomach was rumbling. 

As if Ben read my mind. “There’s a lot of coconuts if anyone’s hungry.” 

“Piña coladas,” Will said. 

“Piña coladas,” Ben said, whispering to himself. 

Soon, my eyes started to close. “Goodnight,” I murmured, and fell into a dreary sleep. 


Chapter 10

Ben    

I shook Sharpay awake. A small boat was pulling up and inside was—

“Mom, Dad!”

Sharpay and I ran up to our parents, hugging them long and hard.

“I thought you would never come back,” Sharpay said, tears streaming down her eyes.

Dad turned to me as if I had something to say. I was speechless. I felt a tear well up my cheek. I ran into their arms.

“I missed you so much,” I said. 

I climbed into their small boat. 

“Will!” Mom said. “Your parents are waiting for you at your house. Come with us.”

“My parents?” Will said and happily climbed into the boat. 

We all sailed away happily.

Will tip:

Family is the best! 

Epilogue 

Ben and Sharpay

When Ben and Sharpay get home, they celebrate Ben’s birthday party. Their mom makes a yummy cake, and their dad puts together a bouncy castle. Soon, the family got used to being home again. 

I know that this is not a fairytale, but they did live happily ever after. 


A New Kind of Freedom

Hi. My name is Ellie-Mae. I am moving from freezing Minnesota to boiling Florida. I am not ready. The whole reason I have to move is because of my mom’s stupid new job. At the moment, I am throwing out out all my pants, long sleeved shirts, and coats. Now I have to buy a ton of shorts and sun hats and sunscreen and popsicles and flip flops and I think I’m losing my mind. I am putting everything into giant garbage bags and in half an hour, we’re taking it to goodwill.

“EM? Where are you?” yells my mom. Sometimes she calls me EM just to save time.

“Right here mom,” I yell back.

“Ellie, we’re leaving in half an hour!” she says, entering my room. “Ellie, stop dawdling, we have to leave!!”

“I know, Mom. You’ve only told me, like, a million times,” I say back. “Also, I’m not dawdling.” I can’t believe she is doing this. She is making me move away from everything I’ve ever known, and now, she is lecturing me for dawdling. Really, mom?

I hear a cry from the next room. “Momma, Holly took my toy again!!” Oh great. It’s the littlies. Holly and Joy are six year old twins, and they are identical in looks, but in nothing else. Joy is a spunky, adventurous daredevil, while Holly is forever cautious, except about stealing everything of Joy’s. They are so annoying. I however, am 12, nowhere near six. I just don’t get them. They act like everything is such a big deal.

Hey, wait a minute. I run into their room. “Aren’t you guys supposed to be packing up your toys?”

Joy puts on her cute face and cute voice. “I sowwy, Ewwie. I didn’t mean too. They just looked like,” she sniffs, “so much fun.”

“OK, fiiine,” I say. Even though the twins are annoying, they are still so cute. They both have streaky blonde hair, like I used to. (Now I have brown) They also have these beautiful blue eyes. Mine are just hazel.

A few hours later…

All my stuff is gone. Everything. Everything for weather under 50 degrees. No more hoodies, or sweatpants. No more winter boots, or winter hats. No more fuzzy fleeces, or heaters. We will need about a kajillion ACs and fans. I’m actually kind of sad. Before I know it, tears are streaming down my cheeks. I know it sounds silly, crying over giving away some old pants, but, for some reason, it’s making me really emotional. Oh well. I guess I’ll just try to get some sleep. After all, it is 11pm and I have to get up early to pack more.

“Ellie-Mae Rose Davis!!! Get up!!!” That’s what I woke up to this morning.

“Yeah, Mom, I overslept. What’s the big deal?!” I responded, because she oversleeps all the time.

“Ellie, it’s 1 o’clock!!!” she said. So now I am rushing to pack up all my books before the van comes at 1:45.

Finally, I’m done. Now I’m gonna go check on the twins juuuuust in case. I open up my door, and march into the twins room. Sure enough, they are sitting on their beds not packing at all. 

“Hey guys, come on, you know what—Joy?” Joy is crying. That’s not like her at all.

I sit on her bed. “Joy, what happened?” I say in my most gentle voice possible. It’s not gentle enough. She grouches.

“Why do you want to know?” Man. I thought I was being gentle.

“Hmmph,” I hmmph and walk away. I go over to Holly. “Holly, what happened to Joy?” I say to her.

“I don’t know!! She just started crying out of nowhere!!” Holly responds. Oh well, I think. I’ll get to this later. We’re moving tomorrow. That’s what I should worry about. I go back into my room, and keep packing up my books. 

OK, so it’s four am and moving day. The twenty six hour drive is straight ahead. Luckily, nobody in our family gets carsick, so we won’t have to do a barf stop an hour in. We are leaving at four so we can get as much driving time as possible. We get in the car. It’s a seven seater, even though we only have four people in our family. My mom in the front, me in the middle row, and the twins in the back. That means I get a big comfy seat to myself. That’s good because it’s such a long car ride. I have my snack bag, with cheetos, chex mix, string cheese, oreos, goldfish, bunny grahams, and more. I get hungry fast. That is why I have so much food. I also have my phone with Hamilton and Dear Evan Hansen on it. It’s really all I listen to. If you haven’t listened to those musicals, you really should. They are great for car rides. OK, onward. We buckle in, and zoom off. 

Not five minutes into the ride, Holly says, “Mommy?”

“Yes Holly?”

“Um, I forgot to use the bathroom,” she responds.

My mom pulls over into a gas station. “Go quickly,” she says.

And Holly does not. It’s been seven minutes now. My mom tells us to go in with her. We go in, and Holly is standing in front of the bathroom door.

She says, “I’ve been waiting for them to come out!!”

“Oh Holly!” my mom says. “You’re supposed to ask the employee for the key!! I thought you knew! Come on, let’s go.” My mom goes and asks the cashier for the key. He gives it to her and my mom unlocks the door. Holly goes and comes out.

“Okay, let’s go now,” I yell. We get back in the car and start driving again. I eat my cheez-its. I listen to Dear Evan Hansen. I listen to Hamilton. I listen to Dear Evan Hansen. It gets stuck in my head. Joy hits Holly. Holly hits Joy. Holly cries while Joy hits her again. Ugh. I turn my music up louder. I fall asleep. I wake up and it is 3pm. Wow, I slept a lot. Hamilton is still blasting in my ears. It’s hard to believe how I fell asleep listening to that. I look back and the twins are sleeping. Aww, how cute. Holly is sleeping on Joy’s shoulder. Ooh, Sincerely Me is coming on. (If you didn’t already know, it’s a song from Dear Evan Hansen that’s really funny.) 

One week later…

I am starting school tomorrow!!! Aah!! I have all my stuff. Composition notebooks. Graph paper. A calculator. I think I will be ready. The twins start school too. 1st grade. I know Joy is excited, but I’m not sure about Holly. She’s much more sensitive. I hope to make some friends. So, let’s go!!

Today’s the big day. School! I jump in the car, with my new striped backpack and buckle in. We’re off! It is a short drive, only about 10 minutes. I step out, and the new school is huge! Four stories, and a big grass lawn. It looks very modern, mostly made of blue glass. I cannot believe how big it is. Okay, breathe, Ellie, breathe. I walk in and the hallways are filled with people.

Someone pushes me from behind and says, “Newbie.”

I walk into my classroom and every single person is tan. Tan, tan, tan. Some may be spray tans, but for the most part, natural. While I look like an albino polar bear in the snow. The teacher takes attendance. Emma? Noah? Sophia? Ellie Mae?

“Here,” I say. Everyone starts looking at me.

“Thank you Ellie Mae,” the teacher says, “but next time, you can just raise your hand.” 

Oh no. I’ve already messed up, and it’s not even lunch yet. I hear snickering in the background. Oh, good. It’s time for lunch. No wait. Not good. Not good at all. I won’t have anyone to sit with. Shoot. Maybe I’ll eat in the bathroom like in movies. That’ll really boost my social confidence. The girl who eats in the bathroom. Great. Perfect for my resume. The bell rings. Everyone runs out of the room. Everyone but me. I walk slowly out of the room.

As I’m walking around the school, I see a poster for one free sailing class. Hm. That actually sounds really fun. In Minnesota, nobody sailed at all. I haven’t even seen an ocean yet.

I text my mom and say, “Free sailing class 2 go 2. Can I go? It’s on Sep 12.”

She almost immediately texts back, “Sure. Also numbers are not words.” Yes! I might find something I actually like here in muggy Florida. 

It’s time. September 12th. My first ever sailing class. I’m in my new glittery bikini that I bought just for this. I walk towards the boat dock and I see a girl in the exact same swimsuit!! We both laugh and point at each other. I can’t believe we bought the same thing!! This is hilarious. We start talking and I figured out that her name is Juniper, and she’s lived in Florida her entire life. She told me that she could show me around. Oh my god, this is great!! I think I made a friend. I’m not sure yet, but I think I did. There are three other girls there, all in matching swimsuits with polka dots. I decide to call them the polka dot girls. There are also two boys who are in swim trunks. The instructor comes out, and she looks like she is about eighteen. 

She says, “Okay guys, I am your instructor, Jaylee, and I will teach you the basics of sailing. The number one thing is don’t get hit with the boom! The boom is the bottom part of the sail and it is strong enough to knock you off the boat, which we don’t want happening. The water is cold. So, let’s get started, shall we? First up we have, uh, Nicholas.” One of the boys stands up and goes over to Jaylee. I can see that she is telling him how to control the boat, but I can’t hear what she is saying. He goes out on his own after about 15 minutes, and slowly navigates the boat in a small circle. 

“Umm, Kacy?” Jaylee says. One of the polka dots gets up. She falls in while trying to dance on the boat. “Maisie?” Another polka dot. Maisie doesn’t fall in, but she decides that she doesn’t want to go out alone and Jaylee basically does it for her. “John?” 

“Can you call me Jack?” he asks. 

“Ok, Jack, it’s your turn,” says Jaylee. He navigates the boat very well. It’s Juniper’s turn now. 

“Good luck,” I whisper. She does okay. Jaylee has to yell out a couple instructions. Now it’s Chelsea, the last polka dottie. She also falls in. Finally, it’s my turn.

Jaylee whispers, “I’ve got a good feeling about you.” She explains everything to me, and then, I do it. I turn the rudder, I avoid the boom. I think I did everything almost perfect. I steer the boat back to shore and Jaylee hugs me.

“You did so well!!” she cries, “I knew it.” I am just in awe. It was really fun. I can’t believe I had done so well. I now know what I want to do. I want to sail.


Daisies

Emily was a girl like any other. She lived in a modest good sized house with her mother, father, and older brother Sam. Remember this now you might need this later.

That Tuesday, Emily went and picked daisies from the meadow.

“Ooh, pink daisies,” Emily cried. She quickly scooped them up and scurried home.

As soon as she went home, her older brother Sam ran over to her. As soon as he saw the daisies, he locked eyes with his sister and shared a worried look. Emily was confused. Sam dragged her to the kitchen, grabbed the daisies, ripped them up, and poured them down the drain. 

“Hey!” Emily screamed. “Get back here!” She started chasing him all around the house. As they tore through the living room, their mother was reading a book on the couch. 

“What is the meaning of this?” their mother asked. Sam told her about the daisies while catching his breath. At each word he said, his mother’s face paled even more. Emily was fed up.
“Why are you acting like the daisies are something bad? They’re just flowers!” Her mother didn’t hear her as she was calling for their father. 

Her father raced into the room and their mother started launching into an explanation of the daisies. Like their mother, his face paled at each word she spoke.

And Emily repeated, “What is the deal with the daisies? They’re just a bunch of flowers.”

Her father told her that they would explain in the car as he told her to pack just the essentials. Her mother shoved her blue and pink striped travel bag at her and told her to pack a flashlight and some spare socks. Her mother grabbed her and Sam’s coats and shoved them through the door, and the second they stepped into the car, the door was closed. 

Her father was usually one to go by the rules and he was a slow driver, but Emily was surprised at how fast he was driving, making sharp turns and not stopping at stop signs. 

“Now can you tell me what the deal about the daisies are?” Emily asked. 

Her mother took a deep breath and sighed. 

“This started a long time ago, during which your great-great-great-great-great-great-great grandmother, Agnes, was alive. She was a duchess. In other words, an ambassador of England.”

“Wow,” Emily breathed, “so we’re royalty!”

“Not now, Emily. This is important,” her mother said. So she continued the story, “Agnes was an ambassador of England. Since she was an ambassador, she travelled everywhere. From France, to Spain, even all the way to Japan. One day after a long trip to Norway, she sat down in the meadow. Yes, Emily, the very meadow you picked your daisies from.”

While Agnes was sitting down, she had a question. She thought to herself, ‘Why are the daisies pink? And why do they only bloom at a certain time and at a certain date?’ So she decided to go and ask the landscaper and the gardener. They had no idea. They told her that the daisies were there when they came, so they never bothered with them. A few times they tried taking them out but they wouldn’t budge. 

“So she went to the King. He was a personal friend. She didn’t talk to him all that much because he was a king, but she wasn’t afraid to talk to him. The King didn’t know either. All he knew was that his father’s father met a merchant on the street, and the merchant sold the seeds to him. That day he planted the seeds, and when he woke up, the flowers were fully grown. That was impossible. Agnes knew something fishy was going on, so she headed to the council. The council knew nothing more than the gardener, landscaper, or the King. So Agnes decided to find some information for herself. 

“The next day she headed to the royal library. She knew she was in for a long day because the library was three stories high (that was very high back then because they didn’t have the technology we do).” 

“I’m hungry,” Sam moaned. 

“Shhh,” Emily whispered, “I want to listen to the story.” 

“Here,” Mom said, and she tossed Sam a granola bar and gave Emily a box of yogurt covered raisins. 

“Now back to the story,” Mom said, “as Agnes walked down the long, cavernous hall, she looked at all of the books. She grabbed a big pile of books and settled down into the big, comfy armchair. She read and read and never saw anything about pink daisies, let alone daisies that only show up once a month. All she found was a chapter about glowing pink fungus. When she was about to give up and head home, a book caught her eye. It was titled: Flowers of the Rainbow. 

‘I guess one more book couldn’t hurt,’ Agnes said to herself. So Agnes settled herself once again into the big, comfy chair.

“When she reached the last chapter, the chapter about pink flowers, she found what she was looking for. So she rushed home to the gardener, the landscaper, the King, and the council. They couldn’t believe their ears, but apparently a councilman was taken aback by Agnes’ determination (it wasn’t very common for women to be too determined on a single thing. Mostly they were just there for tea parties), so he asked her to marry him. Of course she said yes. So they lived a good life and had three children. One of them was your great-great-great-great-great-great grandmother Fiona.”

“How did Agnes meet the councilman?” Emily cried.

“How did he decide to marry her right there and then?” Sam asked. 

“Woah, woah,” their mom said. “One at a time, one at a time. But let me finish my story first!

“When she and the councilman were married, they decided to do research about the pink daisies together. They found that the pink daisies were planted by leprechauns. That was the reason the plants wouldn’t budge. They tried to make the petals green, but it was a miscalculation and  they made the petals pink! Leprechauns hate pink, so that’s why the daisies only show up once in a blue moon. So, on the next blue moon, (12 years later) they went to the flowers and met the leprechauns (they show up every blue moon to look at the daisies). So when she went to the leprechaun, Agnes apologized for disturbing the flowers, and that nobody in her family (the Bellinghangrhs) would ever bother the pink daisies again.”

“But why did we have to run away?” Emily asked, still confused. 

“Because Agnes struck a deal with the leprechauns that whoever picked the daisies would have to serve them for 100 years.”

“But I can’t live 100 years!” Emily cried.

“Don’t worry, Agnes made sure that if we had a good, valid reason, we would not have to serve 100 years of servitude. Instead, we would pick them red bell peppers for 2 years. I know you don’t like the sound of that, but Agnes saved you from 100 years of leprechaunian servitude, and that’s harsh!”

“But you still didn’t answer why we had to run away.” Emily said.

“Oh we aren’t running away, sweetheart. We just can’t be late to the place where we meet the leprechauns or else they will think it’s a sign that we think that we’re better than them.” 

3 Days later … 

“Wow, I’m glad we got that over with,” Emily said, slumping on the couch. “I’m pooped!” 

“Haha,” Sam said, “you said ‘pooped’.” 

“Oh shut up Sam!” Emily said.

“Now we don’t use that language,” their mom said. 

“Sorry mom,” Emily muttered. 

“What a day,” their father said. “At least we got out of 100 years of leprechaunian servitude! But your mom almost made it 6 years of picking red bell peppers.”

“But I didn’t!” Mom called from the kitchen. 

“But barely,” Dad whispered.

“I heard that,” Mom said, standing at the doorway with her hands on her hips.

“Ooh, hands on her hips is not a good sign,” Sam said. 

Mom cast a disapproving stare at the both of them. 

“Someone’s in trouble, someone’s in trouble,” Emily chanted, tauntingly.

“I’m gonna get you,” Sam said.

“Get back here you two!” their father said as he tackled them to the couch. Their mother gave them another disapproving glare, this time at Emily too. 

“Ha ha,” Sam said jumping to his feet, “you can’t punish me if you can’t catch me.”

Emily ran with him. Their mother chased after them, their father right behind her as he tried to reason with her.

“Margaret”—(Margaret was their mother’s name, Robert was their father’s)—“they’re just kids!” he tried to tell her, catching his breath at the same time.

As the family tore through the house, Emily thought, “I have the best family!”


World of Women

1/23/19

Running for Change

I was running. Who knew I would be running for my life while I was trying to change the world? My heart was pounding as an angry mob of kids chased me. They threw the flyers that I gave them at me. It was a terrible sight. This was not the day I was planning. I started walking home.

2/6/19

College

I found a place to hide as the mob rush past. I don’t have much time to explain, but I am Violet. I don’t know parents. When I was little, probably five, my parents died. I was left in my brother’s dorm room. Finally I ran away. College classes were so boring. They were not hard. They were just so boring. Even though I’m only eleven, I studied since I was five and a half. I got As on all my tests. I’m even better then my brother, Benjamin.

¨Mom and Dad would be proud,” Ben always said. I never believed him. He is seven years older than me, but I’m much smarter. This is why I ran away once I got better then my brother (that took a year and a half). But now I’́m changing the world, one girl at a time.

2/19/19 

Changing the World

I have a job, a house and a family. I have a job at the Women’s Rights Society. I change women’s lives across the globe. I have a small house in Cape Cod. I live with my cousins Lilian and Nicholas. Lilian works at the Women’s Rights Society with me. Nicholas is a soccer teacher. 

Our house has two bedrooms, a small kitchen, and two bathrooms. Lilian, Nicholas, and I all sleep in one room. Lilian and I sleep on the top bunk and Nicholas sleeps on the bottom bunk. The other bedroom they use for a reading room. 

In the Women’s Rights Society we get groups of people or schools to focus on human rights. People usually thought it was unfair we focus only on women’s rights. They think it’s a problem. They’re the problem! They are the ones who are being so unfair! Since I’m 12 now and already finished college my goal is to save 7,300 more lives in the next ten years.

That means I would save two to four people a day. That’s Lilian’s and my dream: change the world and save it. Lilian just got a new job at the Save The World Society. Her boss and the President of the society is her friend, Brigid. Lilian’s friend, Lily, is the vice president of the society. Brigid and Lily want to save the world, one plastic bag at a time.

3/2/19

Saving the World Society

Lilian works in two societies. Two days at The Women’s Rights Society and three days at Saving The World Society. On Lilian’s second week at her new job, Lilian takes me to her new job. Everyone is so nice. They are all women and they all love The Women’s Society. Today, Lilian has a test to make sure she can do the job. We always have to take a test because we’re kids. People! We graduated college already and we were eleven!! Give us a break!!!

3/12/19

Lilian

When Lilian comes home today, something happened. Lilian walked up to the door. Her brown hair was in a long braid. She walked to the door slowly. She opened the door.

“How did you do?” I asked. She looked so sad I shouldn’t have asked.

4/5/19

The Test

“I did it!!! I passed!!!” Lilian screamed. I was so happy for her. Now she can change the world and save it!

“Lily even said I did better than most of the adults!”

“That is so great!” I said. I was so happy for her.

5/27/19

The Women’s Rights Society

I walked to work the next day. Work was only 1 stop on the F train. I opened the door.

“Violet,” Rio said, “Sam would like to see you.” Rio works at the front desk. She tells people what the company is about. It’s been a few months since I started my goal. I saved 90 people each month. In other words I saved 270 people in three months that means I saved 2-3 people a day. I thought of all this as I walked to Sam’s office. I knock on her office door.

“Come in,” Sam said. It didn’t really think it sounded like Sam. I went in any way. I really regret that. It was dark in the room something jumped on me…

 6/9/19

The Evil President

When I woke up it was dark, but I sensed Sam. She always wore a lot of perfume. I snuck to the door. I opened it. I ran. I really wish I got just a promotion. I ran and ran down 8 flights of stairs. Everyone asked me what was going on. Sam had gone mad. I called the police.

“Hello,” the person on the other line said. 

“Yes,” I said. “Someone’s gone mad.” 

“We will be over in 10 minutes,” they said.

“Bye,” I said. I locked Sam in the worker’s lounge room.

“I guess we need a new president,” someone said.

“Let’s make Violet the President of the society,” another person said.

1/23/29

Women’s Rights Society President

After Sam was put in jail, I became president of the society. It’s been 10 years since I started my goal. I’ve done it! Saved 7,300 lives in ten years! I’m still changing the world, one girl at a time.


The Mermystery

There once was a mermaid named Laura and she was twenty one. Laura had two friends. The friends’ names were Anna and Sophie. Laura was still not married. Anna was getting married in twenty days and Sophie was getting married in thirty days. The next day, all three of them went for a swim in the prettiest reef in seven miles from Anna’s home. In about forty minutes later, they went to their hideout. Then they got there so they swam out and all went back to their home. The next day, while they were waiting, they saw a light, but they ignored it and swam away. They talked about both of the weddings for a while. Then, when they were swimming back before they split up, they saw the light again and were getting curious. They went closer and then Laura’s tail got stuck on a fishing hook. Someone tugged on the line and started to reel it up. Anna and Sophie started trying to get the hook off her tail, but it wouldn’t budge. It was getting really close to the surface and all three of them heard the fisherman saying that he saw something orange, which was Laura’s tail. And they all got very scared. 

Laura made herself invisible quick and the fisherman were surprised because he thought he saw something on the hook. And then Laura dropped on the boat and it made a sound. The fisherman got scared. He knew that he was just hallucinating. Then, she thought really hard to get legs, but that didn’t work. The fisherman started to drive his boat away with Laura. Sophie and Anna started to follow the boat and they rushed in front of it, trying to stop the boat. But they were not strong enough. Laura tried to wiggle off the boat, and her tail was halfway off, but it wouldn’t budge. She was getting too dry and she saw a water bottle on the boat. The fisherman turned around and Laura took the water bottle she saw and poured it all over herself. She was so close to getting off the boat and she flipped off, and it made a huge splash. The fisherman knew that he was not hallucinating, so he jumped in. Laura saw Anna and Sophie, and all three of them became invisible. And they swam off, putting bubbles in the fisherman’s face. The fisherman swam after them, but they were too fast. The fisherman had never been so curious in his life. The mermaids were out of sight to the fisherman, but they were really at their hideout. The fisherman was running out of air and he could not see them, so he gave up and swam up to his boat, jumped on his boat, dried himself with a spare towel he brought, and drove away in his boat, feeling very scared.

For a little bit the three mermaids stayed in their hideout, in case. Right before they were leaving, Laura said that no one should say anything to their parents because they would be furious. The next day, they went for their morning swim over the reef and swam to their hideout and Laura said that the light that they saw was not the boat because she’s seen a boat and that’s not what it looks like. So the next morning, they followed the light and they were seeing something very big after swimming many miles. When they got a bit closer, they saw it wasn’t blurry anymore. They saw a place with lots of guards, but they moved aside to let the light in. The three of them made themselves invisible so that they could go into the palace too.

They saw a big room with everything you could imagine. When they got closer to the light, still invisible, they saw that it was the Queen of Mermaids. She had a light face, and her name was Aquata. Close up, she looked very pretty with very long dark blue hair.

“What are you doing here?” she asked.

The three mermaids became visible and said, “How did you see us?”

“I am the Queen of Mermaids. Of course I can see you. I just didn’t tell the guards because they could destroy you,” Aquata said. The Queen says to Laura, “I know you are not married yet and your parents are not happy about that. So I have a great prince for you. I will throw the biggest wedding because he is my son.”

Laura screamed, “Yes!” And then, Aquata said to the three mermaids that she would lead them out so the guards wouldn’t do anything to them. She wanted Laura alive for the wedding. She escorted them out of the castle and swam home. When Laura went home, she told her parents about the Queen’s son and how they were getting married. Her parents had no choice but to say, “yay” because they needed Laura to get married and because she was now going to become the next queen once Aquata dies.

The next day, they tried to go back into the castle by being invisible, but the guards did not open the doors since they only opened for the queen. And then Laura pulled them aside and said that if they swam over them really high up to the sea level, they can get in. It was difficult to get in, but they did it. They walked into Aquata’s room and Aquata was so mad at them. Again, she held them by the tails and told the guards not to let them in again. The guards were surprised that they did not see them come in and were furious because they tricked them. They swam back eighty miles to the reef and talked there. And Anna wrote everything down with water pen. And then Anna gave the water paper to Sophie to take it to her home because it was the safest. 

The next day, Sophie brought the paper which had everything about the castle, guards, and Queen Aquata. Then, the Queen met them on the reef and behind her was her son. Sophie crumpled the paper in her hand. Aquata said in a serious voice that Laura and her friends had to come practice at her castle for the wedding. Sophie took a water pen and pencil to take notes. She and Anna had to come because they were the bridesmaids. They went to the castle and they had to catch up to the Queen and Prince because they were very fast. The three mermaids caught up to them right at the castle and they went to the royal wedding room. After the four hour practice, the three of them went back to their homes and the son stayed to measure his wedding gown. The next day, Aquata came to the reef with her son to practice again and this happened for another couple of months. 

Finally, it was the last practice and Aquata taught them so well that it could not be ruined. During the ceremony, as Laura was about to get married, Laura’s uncle Daileass barged in.

“Uncle Daileass, what are you doing here?! You were not invited,” Laura screamed.

“I want to be King!” Daileass said. Before the wedding, he took the crown that the son was gonna put on as a king, but he poisoned it. The prince looked at the crown and saw some green dots on it. He had experience with it and knew that Daileass did it because he wanted to be King.

The Prince yelled to his guards, “Get him!” The guards took Daileass out and they finished the wedding with the bridesmaids and they lived happily ever after with four merchildren.


Secrets in the Shadows

Carol

My name is Carol Mystic. I am twelve years old and I died. Dying is not that bad. It doesn’t hurt. It just feels like falling asleep. I don’t remember what happened. All I remember is that it happened at the playground and I don’t know who did it. I know what I have said so far doesn’t sound bad but I am so mad at whoever pulled me from my family forever. My story is trying to find life again. Everyone who dies wants something and I want to come back. 

Jase

I don’t feel dead, but I know I am. I am not some angel with feathery wings. I just wander around the site of my death. I don’t leave it and that’s because if I leave, a part of me will stay (it is hard to explain). This rule applies to all spirits.  I am fourteen and I died in my garden. My physical body stays, but my personality watches as my family holds a small ceremony in our yard and as my body is carried away forever.

Shy

My name is Shy Ash and I am still alive. I can see the two dead children. I am thirteen, but I am powerful. I can see the dead. Carol and Jase want to come back and I will try to help them, even if it kills me. After Carol died, the playground closed and Jase’s parents have high security now. But I will bring them back permanently.

Carol

My parents moved after I died, moved to New York from New Jersey. I was going to get to New York by boat. As I stepped outside the playground, I felt half of my personality torn from my body. As I walked, I saw my reflection in a window. My shoulder-length deep brown hair, my extremely rare deep red eyes, and my albino skin, just the way it had been when I face planted in the dirt when I died a year ago. And then I felt it. I crumpled in pain as the aftershock of leaving half of me behind came, but I kept going.

Jase 

“Oh dear,” I said when I realized my perfect brown hair was covered in dirt. At least my brown skin was okay.

“Okay,” I sighed, “here goes,” and I climbed over the garden wall. The pain hit me like a tidal wave and I shut my green eyes and fell to the ground.

“Time to go,” I said and ran looking for the other dead who might be able to help me. And that is when I met the beautiful Shy Ash.

Shy

The way he looked at me was amazing. It was the way my mom looked at me before she died. Too stunned to say much,, I managed to utter one word.

“Carol,” I said.

“You can see me?” he gasped.

“Yes,” I said, “and I bring you back so everyone can see you.”

“But who is carol?” he asked me.

“Another kid who died,” I said. I grabbed his hand and together walked.

“Where are we going?” he asked.

“To the harbour,” I said. “Carol will be there.”

We walked for a long time and then we found the boat and the gorgeous red-eyed spirit I was looking for.

Carol

One of the two figures was alive and she could see me, but the boy was dead.

“Listen,” said the girl, “I might be able to bring you back, but will have to listen to me.” I nodded. Any chance to be brought back is a blessing. The girl beckoned for me to follow her and I did. We end up stowing away on the boat. I am full of fear, not for myself because no one can see me, but I am scared for the girl who is visible to everyone.

Jase 

After we make proper introductions, Carol asks a question: “What will we say to our families if this works?”

Everyone is silent about this until I smartly say, “If you have magic to bring us back then can you just wipe everyone’s memories about our deaths?”

“No, you idiot!” says shy. “It’s called the spirit paradox and it is nearly impossible to use.”

Then we hear a stomping noise and the lid of the box we are hiding in is raised. A handsome blonde haired spirit is revealed.

“There are rules in death too,” he says but Shy leaps at him and drags him up to the deck. The rest is so awesome. 

Shy

I wrestled the blonde to the ground and held him there until he said, “Fine you can ride free,” but that did not satisfy me. I held him over the edge of the boat and dropped. He emerged, treading water and yelling at us. I giggled and we spent the rest of the rest of the ride in peace. We met more spirits, but I pretended she could not see them so they were all nice. When we reached the shore, Jase asked Carol a question: “Why were you trying to go to New York anyway?” 

Carol

“I just wanted to see my family one last time before they moved to Mexico. They were planning to stay in New York and move to Mexico,” I said.

Shy put her hand on my shoulder and said, “We need to go to find a spot to wait for the paradox to start.” We ended up staying at Shy’s aunt’s house. The building was a sweet pink color, unlike the woman inside.

“Shy. That’s you, I reckon, and I don’t reckon you’re wise to come back here,” she said. 

Jase

There are some things wrong with being a spirit: 1. You can’t fly. 2. You can’t see or walk through walls. 3. You can’t haunt dreams (well, not really). What I would want to do is haunt this woman’s dreams until she was nicer to shy. All through dinner she yelled at Shy about all the ways Shy’s mom’s (her sister’s) death was Shy’s fault.

Shy 

My name is Shy and I have a secret. I love Carol and I think she loves me back. But being in love with her would be weird. What I mean is that we can’t go of being girlfriend and girlfriend because she is dead. But I also have to tell Jase that I do not like him. In fact, I would have liked it better if we had needed a different spirit for the life ritual. I would have been a lot happier. Sometimes I will need to go up to Carol and say that I love her, but what if she doesn’t like me. What if she doesn’t like all the weird things about me, like how I could not bring my mom back or how I ran away and stole from people just so I would not have to stay with my dad or that I hate boys. I just hope she loves me.  

Carol

Once we leave the house I begin to worry. I want to ask where we are going and why we can’t do this at home. All these thoughts are starting to drive me crazy when I see Shy looking at a note:

“←↑→↓↤↔↕→→↓↔→↕↑↔↓→↔↑↓↓←→↕↔←↕↑↓↦↔↝↜↔↕↑←↖”

“These are the steps to use the paradox,” she says, “and I have to memorize them.” That night we stay at a crappy motel. Shy has the room above me and I can hear her thumping around doing the steps on the note.

Jase

I have to share a room with carol, the girl who says that she knows why Shy gets her own room, but won’t tell me why. The next morning we meet in the parking lot and Shy says “we meet at the graveyard at midnight,” and then she leaves to go get the ritual ready. We meet her at the graveyard. Carol holds my hand. Shy stands it front of an altar made of sticks and she has also drawn a circle with shapes inside of it. Shy looks at me and starts to chant.

Shy

Carol and Jase are standing back to back inside the circle (perfect). I begin to dance around the circle. The steps imprinted in my brain: ←↑→↓↤↔↕→→↓↔→↕↑↔↓→↔↑↓↓←→↕↔←↕↑↓↦↔↝↜↔↕↑←↖

“Come on, come on,” I mutter. I dance and dance until the circle starts to glow.

“Wait,” cries Carol, “I don’t want to go back.”

“But I do,” says Jase.

“Step out of the circle if you want to live,” I yell. Jase steps out, but for some reason I step in. Then a bright light comes and illuminates the sky.

“Goodbye, Jase,” I say and I take Carol’s hand and say, “sorry, Jase,” and together the two of us walk into the sky.

Sky (Epilogue)

Carol and I are happy as we are dead and we check on Jase once a month. I know he misses me but I would never be happy in the living world. Carol and I went to find the blonde I tossed off that boat twelve years ago. Carol and I have been married for two years and Jase has been doing fine. One day, Carol and I take a walk when I see a spirit that looks exactly like m, every feature pure white.

“Mom,” I say.

Two years later we adopt a child. We name her Angel and that is how we spend forever.


Hannah and Anabelle

Chapter 1 

W i t c h e s   a n d c u r s e s


Once there was a girl named anabelle who had a pointy nose and a sister that saw a farm. She was thirsty so she got a Gatorade. She drank it and felt weird. “Ohhh…” she neighed. She looked down to see… a HORSE body!!!

 She quickly looked up and saw the farm. She ran to it. She looked and saw hay blocks “Mmm, yummy” she neighed. She ran to the hay blocks. She stopped. She was shocked. There was a VERY BIG fence in front of her. On the other side was SO MUCH hay. She really wanted it. She stepped back and JUMPED over the wall. She walked up to the hay and one block of hay disappeared! 

“WOW” she neighed. She quickly gobbled the rest of the hay blocks up. The world turned purple and green in her eyes. She felt oozy. “Ooo…” she whined. Then she walked up to the fence and bit it. “Owww” she neighed. She fell down and fell asleep. 

Then she suddenly wanted to be rich as a queen, and then woke up. She snuck out of the farm to get a REGULAR Gatorade. She actually STOLE it because she lost her money. What? She’s a HORSE! She drank it all up. “Ahhhh,” she horse-sighed. “Better,” she neighed. 

“Hey, what’s that horse doing out of the farm, betty?” One horse neighed to another. 

“I dunno, crispy!” neighed the other horse. 

“Uhhh, hi?” she neighed 

“Uhh, hey betty?” crispy asked. 

“Yeah, crispy?” betty neighed. 

“WHO IS THAT?!?!?!” crispy screamed. 

“I’m, uhh,  p r i c k ?” she neighed. Her real name was anabelle, but she thought it was too fancy for a horse. It WAS!!! 

“Ok, im betty, and this is crispy,” neighed betty. 

Then prick ran off into the old town. She saw a stained glass window on a VERY old cobblestone tower. “Hmmm, sneaking isn’t illegal as a horse, since you can’t arrest a pony…” prick neighed. So she quietly galloped into the tower. She saw… A WITCH!!! 

“Oh no, it’s a… hey! I can turn into a human now! But how will I tell her if i’m a horse…?” prick whisper-neighed. “I’ll just, uhhh, try to talk i guess,” prick thought. 

The witch turned around just then. “A horse! Get her, enchantments! Get her, human who drank my magic Gatorade and turned into a horse!” the old, ugly witch ordered grumpily. 

“Sis?” prick asked. “SIS!!!!!!” 

The other horse screamed. The they horse-hugged each other. 

“Oh no, they are SISTERS!!! The Gatorade spell will go away then!” the witch thought. The horse sisters turned into… HUMANS!!! 

“Sis! We’re human again!” prick said excitedly. Just then, the witch turned into a… QUEEN?!?!?! “Okay, you caught me. I’m really a queen. I’m a nice one though! Come into my horse and buggy, and I’ll take you to my palace. You’ll get your own room too!” the queen said. She wasn’t nice. Not even mean. She wasn’t even evil. She was  P U R E E V I L . 

The sisters came into the horse and buggy. “Good thing we’re not horses anymore!” prick said. “He he he,” the girls giggled. 

“Be quiet!” the witch ordered. The girls stayed quiet for the rest of the ride to the palace. The palace was really big, and it had big turrets that looked like they would be as big as a dragon. There was a drawbridge, and the girls thought that it was over water but it was over LAVA! The queen got off and told the girls to do the same. Then the girls got off and walked into the palace. 

“Follow me” the queen said. She led the girls into the prison, but the girls thought that they were going to their room. 

“This doesn’t look like we should stay here,” prick whispered to her sister. 

“You’re right!” Her sister said. 

The queen opened a door to a jail cell. “Right through here, ladies,” The queen said mysteriously. 

“But that’s a jail cell, not a bedroom!” prick said to the queen. 

The queen said, “I know that!” as she pushed them into the cell and locked the door. 

“Noooooooooo!!!” The sisters screamed at the queen as she walked away. 

Chapter 2

T h e  d a r k  w o r l d


prick looked around the cell and saw a sink with brown, dirty water coming out of it, a toilet that’s broken and clogged, a bed that doesn’t have a blanket, and a pillow that is a diamond, the hardest mineral. “Hmm, that might be useful some time,” prick thought. 

Then, prick’s sister, hannah, had a wonderful idea! “If we work together, we can lift the heavy diamond and throw it at the bars! It might work!” hannah noticed. 

So the two sisters lifted the diamond and threw it at the bars. It made a hole just big enough to crawl through. They crawled through the hole and escaped jail. “Shouldn’t we take a bathroom break?” hannah asked. 

“Uhhhh, let’s just get out of here!” prick laughed. Then the two girls ran out of the prison and ran towards the door. The queen saw them leave. 

“Huh? GET THEM!!!!!!” the queen shrieked. 

But the girls took the only horse and buggy back home. “YAH!” Hannah yelled in the driver’s seat. They went home and parked the horse and buggy outside on the other horse post. 

They open the door of their cottage. “MOM? DAD? WE’RE HOME!!!” the girls yelled. Their home was empty, except for their pet goldfish, gilbert. “Blub, blub.” gilbert blubbed. 

“Not now, gilbs.” hannah said.“Uhhh, sis?” hannah asked. 

prick wasn’t there. “YAH!!!” prick screamed and jumped out from behind hannah. 

“AAHHHHHHH!!!!!” hannah screamed in fear. 

“Where’s mom and dad?” hannah asked. “They’re-they’re-they’re… GONE!!!” prick said, scared. Then they went outside and looked for someone to take care of them. All the townspeople were GONE!!! 

“WHERE IS EVERYBODY?!?!?!” they both screamed. The sisters were so scared. Then a PORTAL appeared. The sisters linked arms, looked at each other, and nodded. Then ran into the portal. Everything went black. They were in a white, tall, room. There wasn’t a way to escape, except for a large gap at the top. They hooked arms, pushed their backs against each other, and started to CLIMB!!! 

At the top, they were stuck. “How are we going to get apart from each other, anabelle?” hannah asked.

 “Uhh, i don’t know, but my nickname is prick now. Actually, it was my horse name. I’m keeping it. Actually, i know how to do this. Hang by your legs then get your hands up, put your legs down, and climb up,” prick said.

 They did that and prick jumped over to hannah’s side of the top. “Wow…” they said together.

 “A dark world” prick said. There was a nest of dragon eggs and they noticed; the portal back home was GONE! It had somehow glitched onto the other side of the dark world. 

“Oh, you’ve got to be KIDDING me! PLEASE tell me this is a dream! Just TELL ME! Someone PINCH me,” hannah screamed. 

prick pinched her. “Owww!!! What was that for!?!?!?” hannah asked. 

“You asked SOMEONE to!” prick said. 

“Ugh. can we just go home? To the portal?” hannah asked, getting mad. 

“Okay, OKAY!” prick said then a BIG BIG BIG dragon came and scooped them up. 

“AAAAAAAHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!” they screamed. “SHHH! YOU’RE NOT SAFE HERE! I’M A NICE DRAGON! MY NAME IS FLAME. DON’T WORRY! I’M NOT LIKE THE QUEEN!” the dragon said. “STAY HERE! MAKE SURE MY EGGS DON’T HATCH!” she said. 

Then she flew off. C r a c k ! 

“sis, what’s that…?” hannah asked. 

They turned around slowly. “THE EGGS!!!” they both yelled together. Then, out of three eggs, popped out… THREE DRAGON BABIES! prick hid behind the nest, hannah didn’t get there in time. One baby pecked at her leg. There was a flowing stream of blood. She tore the sleeve off of her leather jacket and tied it around the wound. The other two babies pecked and missed. 

“SIS! WHERE ARE YOU?!?!” hannah screamed wildly. 

“I’M RIGHT HERE!!!” prick yelled. 

Hannah got up and ran to prick. “FLAME! COME BACK NOW!” they screamed together. “ WHAT!?!? I TOLD YOU; D O N ‘ T  L E T M Y E G G S H A T C H !” she roared.

“I have an idea.” hannah whispered to prick.

“What?” prick whispered back.

“RUN!!!” hannah yelled. Then they ran all the way to the portal with flame chasing them in the sky, shooting fireballs. They leaped through the portal. 

Chapter 3

I ‘ m   f u l l   n o w

“Phew!” hannah said.

“Hello!” a small, cute voice said. “You look like you need help! Come to my hut, and I’ll show you my sisters! My name is coco!” the little girl said. 

So hannah and prick followed coco into her hut. “These are my sisters, clair, chloe, cindy, caroline, cassandra, catrina, cobra, cady, callie, and me, coco!” coco said. 

“Do you want some food, girls?” coco and her sisters said in unison. 

“Uhh, no tha—” hannah was going to say, but prick was already stuffing her face. hannah pulled prick out but she kept going back. 

“I guess i am pretty hungry” hannah thought. She took a pig in a blanket. “Mmm!” hannah mmm-ed. She took more and more. 

“Uurp. I’m full, hannah,” prick said. 

“Me too,” hannah said. 

“ATTACK!!!!!!” the little people said. “RUUNNNNNNNN!!!” hannah and prick yelled together. 

They saw coco and her sister’s car. They saw the key, got it, jumped in, started the car, and hit the road. 

“I don’t have a license, sis!” hannah said in the driver’s seat. Then a portal appeared. 

“Go to the portal! Quick! Quick!” prick said. They drove into the portal. 

Chapter 4

N o t   n e i g h s   a g a i n !

They were in a land full of… HORSES?!?! 

“I want to be a horse now.” prick neighed to hannah. 

“But you ARE!” hannah neighed. 

“YOU TOO!” prick neighed. 

“Hey! prick! It’s me! betty! Down here! I never knew you had a sister!” betty neighed. 

“Hi, betty! How’d you get here?” prick neighed. The sisters got out of the car. Then betty DISAPPEARED! 

“HUH?” the girls neighed. Then, ALL the horses disappeared, except them. 

“Wait, we can’t disappear since we’re actually humans.” prick said. “Hey! I’m a human now! Sorry, sis. Say something smart to show that you’re a smart human.” prick said. 

“Neigh+neigh=two,” hannah neigh-into-said. hannah was a human again! They both were humans again! Then a portal appeared! 

“I hope it’s home, i hope it’s home, i hope it’s HOME!” hannah wished. Then they leaped through the portal. 

Chapter 5

H o m e    a g a i n

Meanwhile, the queen thought, “Maybe, I can take a chance. Try to be nice. I can be a HERO! People will love me.” She went down to the prison, opened up the jail cells by the remote all at once. 

“I’M NICE NOW. :D” the queen announced. All the innocent prisoners ran out and hugged the queen and thanked her so much. 

Back to the girls! They were HOME! Then crispy, betty’s ‘friend’, SHOT hannah with a magic soul-stealer 2000 gun. “You never spoke to me or even told me you had a sister, PRICK!” crispy said. “Yes, i’m human now!” crispy said again. 

“Why, crispy, why?” prick asked with tears in her eyes streaming down her face. 

“You…” hannah said, softly. 

Then the queen came in. “I’m nice now, don’t worry!” the queen said, then splashed a potion into hannah’s dying mouth. “Don’t worry, it will make her stay ALIVE!” the queen said. Then hannah BURST back to life and knocked the soul-stealer 2000 gun and used it on CRISPY. 

“Burned to a crisp!” hannah said. 

“Hah!” prick said, still crying a little.

THE END


Lost in the Forest

One day, I started a backpacking trip with my sister and two of her friends. I was stuck with them for the rest of the week. I’m fine with my sister’s friends, but my sister? No thank you. She takes any chance she gets to insult my brown hair and tall appearance. The date was July 23, 2019. It was 7:15, and I could see only the last speck of sun. I found a perfect spot to set up the tent because it was already getting dark, but my sister wanted to keep hiking and find the site that we had planned to set camp at.

“You are so stupid!” I exclaimed, “I am not hiking in the dark, Allison!”

She snapped back. “It won’t be my fault if you die all alone, Amilia.” Although I was hoping it wouldn’t come to that.

I stayed where I was and set up my tent, but my sister and her friends kept going. I felt unsure about staying where I was alone, not knowing how far my sister would be, but I felt more unsure about hiking through the forest in the dark. All I needed to do was to wake up early and find my sister before she left the site, but what if she goes off trail or leaves before I get there? Or what if I’m farther than I thought? As you can tell, I tossed and turned the whole night. In fact, I could only sleep for about 3 hours. 

I woke up a couple minutes ago, and I was already regretting my sleep. It started raining just now, and if I woke up earlier, I would have probably gotten to the site before the rain. I am so stupid. Without another hesitation, I grabbed my poncho and started speed walking along the trail, soaking in my regret and self pity. 

All of a sudden, I stopped in my tracks. There was a fork in the trail. That’s when I realized I didn’t have the map. Though I had held it for the entirety of our first day on the trail, I didn’t remember which way to go. I went with my instinct and went to the path on the left. I was walking for what felt like hours, though it could have just been minutes since I chose the path. I just kept on walking until I was half starved, but I couldn’t stop there, I had to keep walking. I walked and walked until I reached an empty campground, and thought, I must have reached the campground. Allison must have left, but I can eat here!

 I knew which path to take from the campsite. I wasn’t that unfamiliar with the path. I sat down and took out a bar from my backpack and started eating. It tasted so good because I had been walking for 4 hours according to my watch, and I started at 9. After the bar, I took out my trail mix because Allison had all of our real food. After eating, I stood up and started to walk again, this time, faster, because I knew that I didn’t have much farther to walk. 

I walked with intensity, no matter how tired I felt for another two hours before another thought came into mind, what if that was the wrong campsite, and I had really gone the wrong way? I still walked for another three hours until the sun started to set. I had truly given up now. The rain was dripping off of every tree in sight. Everything was soaked. I was terrified, and I realized that I had gone the wrong way. I turned around and walked and walked. There was no space on the trail to set up a tent now, so I had to walk the dark with my flashlight in hand doing exactly what I told my sister I wouldn’t do.

“Hello?!” I screamed, “Anyone there!?”

I was only answered by the sound of rain hitting the leaves and insects living their lives. I walked for another four or so hours before realizing the sun was rising, and I still probably had a long walk to go before even reaching the campsite. My legs felt like if I took another step they would snap, my stomach felt emptier than Hawkins lab, and my giant purple water bottle was emptier that my stomach! Despite how I felt, I kept walking, 

“Allison?” I yelled, “Help me! Help!”

I walked for what felt like weeks before I reached the campsite. By then, my lightheadedness reached a maximum, so I got out my sleeping bag and went to sleep. When I woke up, my lightheadedness had gotten better, but I was dehydrated to a point when I thought my body couldn’t take it anymore. I had one day left before my body would die of dehydration. I needed water. I sat there feeling the rain on my head… the rain! 

It’s water, so I can drink it… Right? It was my only option, so I had to try it. I sat there watching the rain drizzling into the bottle. One fifth of the way full, one fourth, one half, my throat was hurting more and more to a point where I couldn’t take it. At one point, I gave up waiting, snatched up the water bottle and drank. I knew I couldn’t waste time anymore, so I stood up and kept walking.

My legs hurt at every step even though I had rested, but I needed to get home. I walked and walked for another 2 hours until I couldn’t take the pain anymore. I sat down on the trail, drinking the last bit of water out of my water bottle. My eyelids felt like they were 20 pounds, and I sat there for another five minutes going between being awake and asleep. All of a sudden, I couldn’t take it anymore and just took out my sleeping bag and fell asleep. 

I woke up in my bedroom feeling better than ever and I just stood up and went on with my normal life until I felt dripping on my forehead. 

“Mom, the roof is leaking!” I yelled

That’s when I really opened my eyes, and I was still stuck in the forest with water dripping down on me. I sat up and my back ached with pain, and I cried, I cried for hours. I then realized that I couldn’t just sit there. I had to go. My water bottle was still empty, but I kept walking and walking for hours and hours. It was six o’clock when I finally sat down to eat for the first time in two days. The food tasted better than heaven. I ate and I ate until the bag of beef jerky was all gone. After I had eaten the jerky, I was still not ready to walk, but I needed to. My pace going back to the fork in the road was way slower than my pace a few days ago. I was walking much slower than before. Despite everything, I kept walking. 

I walked until 4 in the morning, and I collapsed. I was next to a stream and filled my water bottle, made a fire, and boiled the water. I took out my sleeping bag and went to sleep. My brown hair looked like pom poms stuck on my head. I slept for hours and hours until I woke to the sound of chirping birds. When I opened my eyes, I was in a hospital bed and the birds chirping were actually the beeping of machines. I heard voices. It was the sound of my mother telling the doctors that Allison found me by a stream. What? 

“Oh you’re finally awake, I thought you wouldn’t…” She couldn’t say more.

This is a dream, this is a dream, “This is a dream, this is a dream, THIS IS A DREAM!”

I fought my mother as she tried to hold me on the hospital bed, so I couldn’t get up.

“NO! THIS ISN’T REAL!” I screamed. “WHERE AM I? HOW DID I GET HERE? WHERE IS ALLISON?”

“Wait a second, I’m going to call dad.”

“Hello?” says my dad’s voice, I can see him on my mom’s phone screen. I can also hear a noise in the background, a crying sound.

“She woke up, Burt.”

“Great! Alison and I were just having a chat.”

“What chat?” I asked, trying to sit up

“Lie down Teresa, it’s nothing,” replied my mom.

I watched her screen turn black as she hung up, then my eyes closed, and I fell into a deep sleep.


The Strange Computer & the Missing Parent

One Saturday night, a girl named Lucy Aqua Rose said to her mom, “Can I please use my computer?”

“Yes.” Her mom said, but Lucy said to herself, Why? She never lets me use my computer at night. She was confused. She heard evil laughs coming from her mom and dad’s bedroom. Her dad was in the air force right now, and Lucy felt like her mom was up to something no good. 

She thought to herself, My mom is probably working with The Evil B’s. Their names are Bianca, Ben, Beatrix and Lucy. Mom’s name is Mila. She looked at the news for clues, and she just remembered that a few days ago, she had read on the news that The Evil B’s were hiring new people. Suddenly Lucy got up and fell smack onto the floor! 

“MOM HELP! I CAN’T GET UP AND MY LEG HURTS SUPER BADLY!” she screamed. 

Her mom said, “I don’t care, get up!!”

As her mom said those words, Lucy felt like her mom didn’t care anymore, as if she didn’t belong. The 16 year-old Lucy Aqua Rose wanted to investigate!

She wanted to investigate because ever since the news article came out about the Evil B’s hiring new employees, she hoped that her mom hadn’t become an Evil B employee. It was getting late, so Lucy took a shower, got dried off, put her hair in a braid, brushed her teeth, put on lotion, got into her pj’s, got into her bed, and then fell asleep. Lucy’s 2 year-old brother Matt came in her room and said, “Lucy, mom is gone!”

But Lucy couldn’t hear Matt because she was fast asleep. She was dreaming about her dog and all the fun they had before he disappeared one hot summer day. The family dog who was black and a little brown, was named Oreo. One hot summer day three years ago, Lucy woke up and Oreo was gone. 

“Mom I’m gonna go for a walk,” she said.

Lucy looked all over the neighborhood. Once she reached the park, she sat on a bench, and then she cried and cried and cried. Finally she called her BFF Lulu for support, well Oreo was her best friend. After a year of searching, she gave up. 

Finally, she woke up. She checked her phone, and she had a million or even billions of texts from her dad! 

The text said: “Help I’ve been captured!” She asked for his location and he replied, “I cannot tell you but I will, I am still on the army premise in a fallout shelter. I am in the basement of the fallout shelter.” 

“But which army premise?” 

Her dad said he was in the army premise in London. She lived in London. 

She got dressed and then packed a backpack. She put on her backpack and called their family babysitter. She came in 2 minutes because she lived right across the street!

“I will be back in about 3 to 5 hours or more.” 

The babysitter said, “Okay, but who will pay me?”

“My dad!” 

So she ran off saying not another word. She called her dad once she started walking to the army premise. But he didn’t pick up! Once she got to the army premise, she looked all around, but couldn’t find her dad. So she called him one more time, still no answer.

She was starting to feel suspicious. She called her mom to see what was going on with her.

She said, “Hi Mom, I was wondering if you were working with the Evil B’s.” 

“No,” she said in a very sarcastic voice. 

“You are then, Mom.” 

“No, trust me.” 

Meanwhile back at home, the babysitter was playing peek-a-boo with Matt. Matt loves the babysitter and peek-a-boo. The babysitter said naptime, and so she picked up Matt and put him in his crib tucked him in and put him to bed. Then the babysitter made his bottle and got him a clean pacifier. She gave the stuff to Matt, then she closed the door. She went downstairs, turned on the TV, and went on Netflix. She got onto her Netflix profile and then watched Flinch, afterwards she watched Home Alone. She woke up Matt when he was waking up. She turned off the TV and went upstairs, and then Matt started whining and she asked what was wrong.

“I want sis,” he said in a very cute voice. 

Lucy couldn’t get into the fallout shelter, so she ran and hid behind a Camo porta potty, and then she took off her backpack, and then she took a special Amulet out of her backpack. She put it on, and then she started gaining the Amulet’s power. She was weak, but strong without it on and so, she zipped her backpack up quietly, and then she put her backpack on, got up, and then ran towards the guards who happened to be guarding the fallout shelter, and so she said, “Fire amulet, go,” and it automatically shot fire.  

“OMG WHAT,” the guards said. “LET’S GET THAT THING, YEAH!” 

Meanwhile in the Fallout shelter, Dad Ben was yelling, “LUCY HELP ME!” She ran back behind the camo porta potty, and she took out her computer to email her cousin who was in the same air force to see if he was okay. But when she opened it, it looked like it had been hacked. She actually happened to know how to unhack.

Lucy tried and tried and tried, but couldn’t. She gave up after 5 hours, sitting in the dirt behind the porta potty. She reached into her camo ripped jeans back pocket for her phone, but it wasn’t there, so she checked all of her other pockets. It was not there either. She started rummaging through her backpack, but once she had reached the bottom, it wasn’t there. Crying inside, she tried to hold her tears in, and she successfully did it, but she needed her phone to call her dad or text him and that phone cost $1,099. She zipped her backpack up. She looked around for her phone. She found it lying in the dirt. She got up. She walked towards her phone. She saw a masked figure take her phone and run. So, she chased the masked figure, and when he looked back, she used her amulet to camoflauge. She kept running and stopped when he stopped. She revealed herself and followed him into the lake. 

“Amulet, give me diving equipment.” 

Her clothes magically went into her backpack, and it transformed into an oxygen tank. She dove behind him, until he stopped. She followed him into an underwater cave. He pressed the wall and a magic door opened. She followed him inside, she could breathe now. Everything transformed back into her normal clothes. 

“Hey, crazy guy, give me back my phones, and tell me the truth. Are you the one who hacked my computer?” 

“Who are you? And what are you doing here!” The masked figure said. 

“My name is Lucy Aqua Rose.” She used the amulet to camouflage and crept up to the masked man to remove his mask. 

She revealed herself once again, she saw that he was her cousin! She started asking questions: “What are you doing here? What is this place? Why did you take my phone?” 

He answered, “I didn’t want to do this, some random person hypnotized me, but the water just unhypnotized me. Do you have your computer with you?” 

“Yes, I do. How did you know you were hypnotized?” 

“I had a GoPro on while the hypnosis was happening.”

Lucy unzipped her backpack and gave him her computer. Then, he took off his hoodie and sweatpants, underneath he had on an air force uniform. He pressed a badge that made the sleeves of his uniform fall off. Then, he started unhacking her computer. After it was done, she turned it on, went into her profile, put in her password and checked her email. All the emails had disappeared. She checked her Google Drive. Everything in there was gone too. So, when she checked for apps all of them were gone except one: ROBLOX. Her cousin returned her phone. 

She swam to the surface, and returned to the fallout shelter. She killed two guards, who apparently were not strong at all. She got her dad and returned home. They returned home to see Matt and the babysitter making cupcakes in the kitchen. Then, Dad went to Matt and gave him a hug. Matt turned around and yelled, “Daddy!” The babysitter said Mom was home. So then, Lucy said, “Dad, ask Mom if she’s working with the Evil B’s. If she says no, give her this truth gummy.” 

He went to their room, and gave Mom the truth gummy. While she had originally said no, she finally revealed she was working with the Evil B’s.

Dad told Lucy, “Your mom is an Evil B.”

And Lucy said, “I knew it all along.” Lucy was VERY MAD. She was as mad as a whale in a whirlpool. 

Dad called the police and Mom went to jail. When the police came, Mom yelled, “No! Don’t take me. This was all a huge mistake!” 

Lucy said, “Mom, I know you are lying.” 

The next day Lucy, Dad, and Matt went to the New York Aquarium. They saw sharks, octopus, and other invertebrates. Then they also saw turtles. They all missed Mom. But they are glad that she got turned in because she did some bad things. Lucy saw a baby turtle and a mommy turtle swimming in the big tank outside. Lucy wondered if her mommy taught her how to swim. 

The end


The TV

The person was bored, so he wanted to do something. He wanted to watch something, but he didn’t have a TV. He wanted to go get a TV. The person started walking down the street. He was bored and wanted to watch TV. He went to the store, so he could get the TV. There were no more TVs when he got there! He went somewhere else to find a TV! So he went somewhere far from his house to get one. Then he got the TV. When he was flying back, the TV fell out of the plane. So he jumped out of the plane. He was falling—he saw the TV! He grabbed the TV. He saw a car on top of a hill, and he fell into the car. As soon as he fell into the car, the car drove all the way back to his house. He fixed his TV, and then he started watching it. 

The end.


A Bad Month to be a Turkey

It is generally accepted, not as a problem, but as a fact, that mankind is willing to harm others, who are less powerful than they are for their own selfish desires. Hans the Turkey learned this the hard way when November rolled around. Hans was the son of Peter, a very old turkey who spent nearly all of his time hidden from the farmer, napping, and Barbara, an old, but feisty turkey. 

He and his friends had been living on Fred Ballnaz’s farm for several months before Thanksgiving preparation began.

The fat man must really love animals. After all, he lets us live on his farm without doing any work, Hans thought one day.

Just like the other turkeys, Hans had been feeling festive and truly thankful that he lived on Farmer Ballnaz’s farm, without a care in the world. Then, through the open window, he heard Farmer Ballnaz’s wife, Vivian, having a conversation with her friend Ethel on the telephone. She was sitting in her kitchen, chatting merrilly. The window was open, because Vivian wanted to get some fresh air, so Hans heard every word she said.

“Yes, Ethel, I have very little work to do for Thanksgiving dinner now. The mashed potatoes are all ready, and the stuffing is too. I have prepared the gravy and the corn and cranberry sauce and I’m sure it will all taste wonderful!”

A pause.

“Yes, Ethel, of course we’ll have turkey!” 

Hans gasped. Had he heard wrong? Surely he would not be eaten. He would not. He could not. He was not food, food that would be served on a plate, food that would be eaten. He ate food. How could you eat food, yet also be food?

“Fred will kill the turkeys tomorrow, and he must kill all of them, because we are having so many guests.”

All of them. All of his friends. His sister. His brothers. His parents. Everyone. Everyone he cared about, served on a plate.

Hans needed to hear no more. He silently walked back to a sunny area on the farm where lots of turkeys were talking about how thankful they were that Farmer Ballnaz was so generous.

Hans decided not to spoil their happiness. He sank to the ground and buried his face in his feathers. He could save them, he knew, if only he worked hard enough.

And suddenly, he got a brilliant idea.

***

When Farmer Ballnaz sat down for dinner that evening, he was very hungry, and very tired. It had been a long, hard day. He had chopped wood, milked the cow, picked apples, plowed the field, fed and watered all of the animals, and shoveled manure. The next day would not be any easier. He would have to milk the cow, kill the turkeys, feed and water the animals, pick beans, shovel manure, and help Vivian cook. He sank into his chair.

Hans had his plan ready. He would pull out the farmer’s chair just before he sat on it. Farmer Ballnaz would wind up on the floor. Hans would then call out, “This man is a fool. A fool. A foolish fool,” in human language. While doing this, he would be recording a video of what was happening to the farmer. He would release it to social media, and by morning, Farmer Ballnaz would be ashamed to step out of his house. Hans was all ready. He had even stolen the farmer’s camera.

This is what actually happened: 

Hans took out the camera and, not knowing how to operate a camera, or how to take a video, took a picture. He dropped the camera, smashing the lens, and, not knowing that the camera was broken, that he had taken a picture and not a video, and that Farmer Ballnaz had already sat down, he pulled on the chair. Of course, a turkey is not strong enough to move a large chair with the weight of a human on it, so Hans was groaning and wheezing as he tried to pull the chair. As he did this, Hans tried to cry, “This man is a fool. A fool! A foolish fool!” But Hans had forgotten something very important while making his plan: He could not speak human language. So it sounded more like this: “Bok bok bok bok! Bok bok bok! Bok bok bok bok!”

Farmer Ballnaz looked down at Hans. Hans was large for a turkey, and Farmer Ballnaz was short and fat, but his eyes made Hans feel like he was steadily shrinking. 

“Damn turkey!” bellowed Farmer Ballnaz. He took off his belt. Before Hans knew what was happening, the harsh leather of the belt was cutting through his feathers and stinging his skin.  Hans’s squawk of agony never left his body. He was too shocked. He knew that Farmer Ballnaz was going to kill him, but he had never been hurt like this. He limped out of the house and out to the field. It was already dark out, but some turkeys were still there. Turkeys who would not survive a holiday that was meant for giving thanks. 

Hans lay down and wept.

                                                                            ***

Farmer Ballnaz could not believe what had just happened. Never before in the farm’s 54 – year history had one of his turkeys gotten a whipping from him. His turkeys had never gone in his house, handled (or broken) his camera, or attempted to drag a chair. Could he have imagined this? No, that was not possible. He was not wearing his belt. If he had imagined whipping Hans, he would still be wearing it. Farmer Ballnaz could not manage to feel remorse, though. For when he was just a little boy, he had been taught that animals were inferior to humans, and therefore still believed it. Eating was what the turkeys were for, wasn’t it? It wasn’t his fault that animals were for eating. He should eat them. If he didn’t, he would be ignoring the fact that humans should eat animals. He should do whatever was necessary in order to acknowledge that animals are for eating. Even it meant spanking a turkey.

Vivian sat on a comfortable armchair, reading a book. She couldn’t concentrate on the book, though, not after what had just happened. She didn’t know how to think about what just happened. A turkey being spanked by her husband was a lot to think about. She was slightly less dazed than her husband was, but what she really thinking about was that her husband had cursed. He hardly ever said God’s name in vain, and him swearing about a turkey’s bad behavior was so unlike him. She couldn’t imagine how he was feeling now, but she decided that she could ask him later.

Maybe never.

Hans himself was in misery too deep to describe. I certainly hope that you never feel as miserable as Hans was at that moment, but being a living creature, you probably will. (Unless, of course, you’re a vegetable or mineral, in which case you will probably never feel Hans’s misery. Of course, if you actually are a vegetable or mineral, you probably aren’t reading this story right now, but that’s beyond the point.) Hans needed to save the turkeys from a terrible fate. He needed to save his friends from being murdered when they were supposed to give thanks. He needed to. He needed to. 

And suddenly, Hans got another great idea.

***

It looked as if someone had painted the world black, but Hans the turkey just kept going. He couldn’t stop now; he couldn’t get scared. The farmer was asleep. It sounded as if the whole world was asleep, and Hans was very sleepy himself, but he did not want to sleep forever, and that is what would happen if his plan did not work.

He approached Farmer Ballnaz’s house. After taking a spanking from the farmer, the house seemed larger and more intimidating, but Hans could not stop now. Not if he didn’t want to spend Thanksgiving on a silver platter.

Hans looked at a window. Well, he didn’t really look at the window. He looked through the window. Turkeys cannot see glass, so he didn’t know that there even was a window.

I’ll just run through the hole in the house, he thought.

Hans gave a mighty leap and propelled himself towards the window. He crashed through the window. Shards of glass attached themselves to his body. Hans felt agony wrapping itself around his body, like a python suffocating its prey. His blood poured all over the violet carpet. He tried not to faint. His pain was so strong that he almost forgot why he had leaped through the window in the first place. Then he remembered: He needed to save himself and his fellow turkeys. He needed to execute his plan. 

Hans crept silently across the hall, opening and closing doors. He stomped out of each room, however, bitterly disappointed.  At last, he came to a room that he walked into, grinning despite his pain. 

At last, I have found it, he thought. The fat man’s gun rack.

The gun rack of Fred Ballnaz had very few residents. In fact, his gun rack had only one gun on it. Hans stared at it, smiling madly. Once he had the gun, he would destroy it. Then no turkeys would be killed just for dinner ever again.

Hans grabbed the gun and raced through the hallway. He decided to jump through the window that he had broken last ti-

Bang.

A bullet darted right past Hans and hit one of his feathers, which fell onto the floor. The bullet kept going and eventually hit a leg on a large oaken chair. Terrified, Hans turned around to see who had shot. He was amazed to see Vivian, standing several feet behind him, holding a gun.

“Oh,” she said when she saw Hans. “I thought a burglar had gotten in. I guess not. I won’t need this, then.” She threw her gun to the floor. 

“I really shouldn’t tell Fred. I don’t want to worry him. Of course, he’ll notice when his gun is gone.”

Vivian approached Hans, grabbed the gun, and walked off to put the farmer’s gun back in the gun rack.

Hans could not believe what had just happened. He had been horribly injured by destroying a glass window by jumping through it. He had a feather blasted off by a gun. He had almost been shot. He had been spanked with a belt. And why? Just so that he would be eaten on Thanksgiving day.

Depressed, Hans slunked back to the field and wept.

                                                                           ***

Hans awoke that morning before the last star had vanished and looked around. He had spent the night sleeping in the field while the other turkeys slept in a chicken coop that chickens had not lived in for years.

Just like they always had.

Always. Could anything always happen? He had always been treated kindly by Farmer Ballnaz, before Thanksgiving preparation began.

Always. His plans had always failed, but before they had failed, he had always thought that they wouldn’t.

Hans formed an idea in his mind that wasn’t too extravagant, but might, just might, work.

Hans dashed to the chicken (turkey) coop and awoke Peter from a deep sleep.

“Oh, father, I need something heavy, but not too heavy, not too big, and not noticeable.”

“Why, son, why?”

Hans did not want to tell his father that he was saving himself and everyone else from murder.

“I’ll tell you as soon as I can. First, I need a heavy thing.”

Peter flicked a ball of straw that had been in the chicken coop for no apparent reason since the farm had been owned by Farmer Ballnaz. Hans grabbed it and ran towards the house. This time he ran quickly, fearlessly, lest he be frightened away by the memories of pain and terror.

Hans jumped through the hole in the window, too quickly to consider what he was doing and be scared away.

He silently crept into Farmer Ballnaz’s bedroom and quietly pulled open the farmer’s dresser drawer and found where the shirts were kept. He put the straw ball in the right sleeve of one of the shirts. He then ran to the kitchen and hid in one of the cabinets, hardly daring to breathe.

Soon enough, Farmer Ballnaz came downstairs and poured a drink of whiskey. He poured more than he intended to, due to the weight on his sleeve, but he didn’t notice. He then turned on the TV to the sports channel and began to watch a soccer game. Whenever an athlete got close to scoring a goal, he would stare at the TV, seeming oblivious to anything else, Hans noticed. When one athlete grew very close to scoring, Hans crept out of the cabinet and, very silently, poured over the cup, spilling whiskey everywhere. The fat farmer did not notice until the goal had been scored. After that happened, he did notice, and without even cleaning up the alcohol, he poured more whiskey. But again, due to the fact that there was extra weight on his sleeve, he poured more than he intended to. 

And so it went. By the third glass or so, Farmer Ballnaz looked a bit odd.

By the fifth glass or so, Vivian came downstairs.

By the  seventh glass or so, Vivian noticed that Farmer Ballnaz looked a bit odd.

“Dear, I think you’re having a bit too much whiskey,’’ said Vivian.

“I guess… ” murmured Farmer Ballnaz. 

“I think you better go back to bed until you’re sober,” said Vivian.

“I guess… ” murmured Farmer Ballnaz.

As Farmer Ballnaz dragged himself to bed, Vivian left to shop for marinades.

Marinades that the turkeys would have been cooked with.

Marinades that they would have been cooked with if it wasn’t for Hans.

                                                                      ***

When Hans returned to the chicken (turkey) coop, he considered that he would not have gotten Farmer Ballnaz drunk if his father had not helped him. He had not received help from anyone in his failed attempts to save the turkeys. Maybe getting help once in a while was a good thing. As soon as he got back to the chicken (turkey) coop, He made an announcement. 

“Friends, turkeys, coop mates, lend me your ears.”

“Say what?” said one of the turkeys. Hans ignored him.

“We are not safe on this comfortable farm. Farmer Ballnaz has a desire to kill us for food.          We must flee.”

The turkeys squaked and flailed in surprise.

“He’s batty!” cried one.

“He’s wild!” cried another.

“He’s out of his mind!” cried a third.

“He is not!” cried Peter. “My son knows perfectly well what he’s talking about. Explain it to them, Hans.”

And Hans did. As he discussed what had he had heard through the window, the turkeys began to tremble with fear. When they heard of how Hans had been spanked with a belt, the little ones began to cry. And when they heard of the gun rack, the turkeys needed no more convincing.

“Let’s go!” cried one of the turkeys.

And so they left the horrible farm.

As Hans watched the farm seem smaller and smaller, he smiled. Maybe November was a bad month to be a turkey, but they had survived.

The end


The Legend of the Fortune Town

Once upon a time, there was a kind wizard named Confucuis. He and his wife, Liva, lived in a happy town. Confucuis had a wizard hat, a long beard, and a staff. He was as tall as a statue of a man. But earlier, a dark wizard named Lord Black had cast a spell throughout the town, and the town had lost all its fortune. The town was so happy that it didn’t notice Lord Black casting his spell. So Confucuis decided to set off into Lord Black’s dark castle, where he had kept all the town’s gold. Confucuis packed a candle, a cup of tea, and a staff. He set off far, far away from his town. Finally, he found the entrance to Lord Black’s castle. 

“I have found Lord Black’s castle, but how am I supposed to get pass those guards?” Confucuis said to himself.

Then, he came up with an idea. He would hide behind a tree and then whisper his spell at the guards. The entrance lit up and the guards fell into a deep sleep. Confucuis crept quietly into the castle. He hid behind a wall of steel poles. He put his ear into a tiny hole in the wall. He listened to what Lord Black was saying to his servants. 

“I can’t be sleeping when Confucuis is sneaking around the castle. Find him now!” Black yelled to his servants. 

The servants and Black walked away. 

INFORMATION BOX Confucuis teaches a school with his wife, Livia. They teach witchcraft and wizardry. Livia has braces and wears bracelets. Their school is called Boar. 

“Now’s my chance,” Confucuis whispered. He cast a spell against the steel wall and it fell over. Confucuis put on his invisibility cloak. He crept across the throne room and stopped at two temple doors with tiger faces on them. He opened the doors. He jumped through the trap door and ended up inside the dungeon. He saw the treasure chest where his country’s gold was. He suddenly grabbed the treasure chest and put all the gold into his pockets. He put his invisibility cloak back on. 

“Halt!” someone shouted. It was one of the knights. “You’re not going anywhere until you face me,” boomed the knight. 

“Fine,” said Confucuis, “then I will face you. I have a surprise for you while you are standing right there.” He cast a spell at the knight’s feet. The knight was thrown out of the castle and into the moat. Confucuis now put his invisibility cloak on. He walked all the way to the entrance. 

“Now my job is done,” he said, and he headed back to his country and returned all the gold to where it belonged. 

INFORMATION BOX Black has been taught in the dark wizard class in Wizard School. 

Lost

One time a family went to the Big Apple Circus. The oldest was a girl. She was thirteen. The youngest was a boy who was nine turning ten. It was the middle of January. And it was ten degrees outside. So the show started. There were a lot of “oh”s and “oo”s from the crowd. So then the show was over and everybody started to leave, but then the girl and boy had to go to the bathroom but they realized their parents weren’t there. But they were super calm. So they quickly went to the bathroom, then went outside to see if their parents were there. But they weren’t. So they went to see if there was a security guard or police officers and there were a few police officers.

So they went to one of them and asked the police, “Can you help us find our parents?”

And the Police said, “What are your parents’ phone numbers?” The kids told the police their parents’ phone numbers and the police called their parents’ phone numbers and they both answered, but they were talking oddly. So they finished talking and the kids told the police that their parents were talking very oddly. So the police said, “Did they tell you where they are?”

“They said something about the dump.”

They said, “Oh no.”

And the kids said, “What?”

And the police said, “Go home. If anything happens, call 911. We gotta go. Don’t talk to anyone even if it’s someone you know. Also, lock the doors, close the windows, and shut the shades. Don’t answer the door even if it’s us and we’ll tell you when. And don’t make any noise at all. And we will tell you when you can let us in and we will ring the doorbell four times and then you can let us in. We better get going, see you later.”

Their parents snuck up behind them and said, “Boo.”

Then they both woke up to the smell of pancakes.

The End


The Corrupted Candyland

Part One: Before

Chapter One                                            

“We must leave Candyport!” The president said on the TV. “The broccoli monsters have been roaming for almost a decade, and gummy bear dust has been blinding us for five months. We simply cannot survive these conditions, and if we do survive, a supernova will kill us instantly. If someone really wants to stay, then fine. However, I do not recommend staying.”

Basically all the citizens of Candyport agreed with the president, except for two people, who happened to be, unfortunately, my parents, Jane and Michael Buttercup. They were literally addicted to candy; they had to eat at least twelve packs of gummy bears or Skittles every week, or they would have diarrhea for the rest of their lives. Somehow I got lucky and I didn’t get addicted to candy. My mom and dad also wanted to stay because “we’ve never lived anywhere outside the planet,” or “I’ve never even been on an airplane. I could be nauseous and barf the rest of my life with diarrhea,” or “the President said it was our choice to go. We’re choosing not to go.”

So, in other words, my parents didn’t want to go, didn’t have to go, and didn’t go.

But it was also my choice if I would go or not. I wasn’t required to stay with my parents, since now that I was thirteen, I was no longer a minor. That’s how it worked in Candyport. Anyway, conditions were terrible on my home planet. Ninety-foot tall broccoli monsters were killing people with just swats of their deadly florettes, and they were stomping over our beautiful, scenic, prized candy mountains, creating candy dust storms that blocked out the sun, which made it even harder to predict when the sun would turn into a supernova! Ugh!

One day, I met up with my best friend Vera.

“My parents are so annoying,” I complained. “They refuse to leave. That’s fine with me, but I want to leave, and they want me to stay! They treat me like I’m still a baby.”

“Well, maybe my mom could talk with your mom. You could board the spaceship with us. Oh! Gummy bear incoming! Duck, Emily!” Vera says.

“Thank you so much!” I say, as the gummy bear lands harmlessly behind us.

Later at dinner I bring up our conversation with my mom. “Oh, yes. Vera’s mom called me. I’ll have to think it over. You know, I will worry about you. I can’t just leave you with someone.” 

“But Vera and her mom aren’t just someone! We know them!” I protest. My mother just stares at me with that penetrating glance that makes you shut up.

The next day, my mom tells me that yes, I can go with Vera and her mom.

“Thanks for letting me go, Mom. I know that was a hard decision for you and Dad to make.” I hug her.

“When are you leaving, sweetie?” she asks me.

“In three days. Thursday afternoon.”

The days flew by. I mostly spent them eating (considering that not a lot of good food would be available on the spaceship), reading, staying at home (since the candy storms were getting even worse, it was a good thing that I was leaving the planet soon), sleeping, and worrying that the flight would be delayed, or even canceled.

Well, the flight was delayed. Not even the President knows how long we will have to wait. I think that we should just go. Conditions are steadily getting worse and today’s part of the storm will be better than next week’s part of the storm. I sigh, and turn on the TV.

“Breaking news!” A news reporter appears on the screen. “President Gumstein has a message for us. This is him live!”

“I announce that the Escaper Express will start boarding at exactly 5:15 am tomorrow, and will take off at exactly 6:00 am tomorrow. The Escaper Express II will start boarding at exactly 6:15 AM tomorrow and will take off at exactly 7:00 AM tomorrow. This will go on and on until two weeks have passed. In total, there will be three hundred thirty-six Escaper Expresses, if the plan succeeds. Each Escaper Express will have enough room for eight thousand, nine hundred and thirty people, perfectly fitting Candyport’s population of approximately three million people. Each spaceship will be equipped with a high-tech machine that provides infinite food. It has not been 100% approved, more like 98% approved. Our time here is short, as we all know, so we must make do with what we have. That’s it. I know that was a lot of information coming at you, so I will repeat myself…”

I jump up. “Oh my molasses! Dad, did you hear that? I’m leaving in two weeks!”

“Yes, sweetie,” he says. “Stay strong, Emma. I love you.”

That night, I call Vera. “Which Escape Express are our tickets for?” I ask.

“One sec,” she says. I hear some rummaging. “Escape Express XXXVII. Next Monday, starts boarding at 6:15 PM, takes off at 7:00 PM,” Vera reports.

“Well, it could be worse,” I say. “See you Monday!”

I go to the living room. “Hey, Mom. I’m leaving tomorrow evening.”

“Okay, Emmie.” She hasn’t called me that since I was eight. But I have a feeling she just wants to spend time with me. So I let her be thirty-three, pretend I’m still six, and just spend time with her baby, taking in my smell, how I look, everything about me, for the last time.


Chapter Two

Monday afternoon comes all too soon. I hug my parents goodbye and head to the square with a single suitcase of clothes and books, Vera, and her mom. President Gumstein wasn’t kidding—there are probably almost nine thousand people here, and the Escaper Express XXXVII is huge, it barely fits in the main square. And our main square is gigantic, like, two square miles gigantic. I look at the spaceship in awe. The front has a huge, round window surrounded by smaller windows on the circumference of the round window, and the rest of the spaceship is covered in a thick layer of square glass panels that seem unbreakable; I sure hope they are! Suddenly I spot President Gumstein himself!

He shouts into his megaphone, “Okay, everyone! Quiet down!” A hush falls over the crowd. “This is the Escaper Express XXXVII! Not the Escaper Express XXXVI or the Escaper Express XXXVIII! Check your tickets. Okay, everyone’s good? Great. Now, divide yourself into twenty-six sections. Each of your tickets has a letter of the alphabet. Section A to my right, your left. Section B to my left; you’re right of Section A…”

“Looks like we’re Section H,” Vera’s mom says. We walk to Section H. There were still around three hundred fifty people in each group, now I understand why the spaceship had to be so big. It appears that there are twenty-six doors (one for each group, I presume). The president lets each group board the Escaper Express one by one. It’s a good thing that H is towards the beginning of the alphabet, because even just standing outside for fifteen minutes, plus waiting to board in the square, is grueling. One minute, it’s cold, another minute hot. One minute the air is clean, the next minute fruit tape starts to bounce off people’s heads.

Finally, President Gumstein calls Section H to board. I take my last look at the city where I was born, with its oceans of blue raspberry Airheads, its dark chocolate soil, and its trees of rainbow Fruit Roll-Up leaves. I take probably my last deep breath of fresh clean air with the scent of candy. There is no going back now. I step onto the spacecrafts. Yes, plural spacecrafts—one the physical, one the spacecraft of emotions I am feeling. And finally the spacecraft of possibilities that was awaiting me on the other side of the door.


Part Two: The First Weeks

Chapter Three

The first week is definitely rough. I’m not used to so many people living in one place and every day I think about the stuff I left at my former home. For me it’s my bed. Of course all the Escaper Expresses have real beds, but they are never exactly the most comfortable since the planet’s United Council had to manufacture three million of them, plus sheets, blankets, pillows, pillowcases, mattresses, etc. And don’t forget all three hundred thirty-six Escaper Expresses. Enough of that.

When I wake up, I listen for the alarm clock, but it isn’t an alarm clock waking me up. It’s the Breakfast Bell, which always rings at exactly 7:00 AM. All twenty-six sections go to the Main Dining Hall, in the center of the spaceship, where there’s a huge buffet. Well, very occasionally I wake up to an alarm clock, waking up at around 5:00 AM if it’s my turn to help cook food for the day. But this rarely happens to me, since there are almost nine thousand people on one ship, and only about one hundred people needed to cook food. That seems like a lot, but when you think about it, one hundred is tiny compared to nine thousand.

I miss a lot of stuff from Candyport, but there’s still a lot of unique things that you can only experience on a spaceship, like zero gravity. It takes some getting used to, but since I got used to it, I can float and fly around with just a kick of my feet. Plus, you know that huge window surrounded by smaller windows that I talked about earlier? It’s called the Rotunda, and the view from it is one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen. I can see the stars, and galaxies, and it feels like I am a mere grain of sand in the dense, endless ocean.

Once, I think I see a supernova in the distance, millions of light years away. It is shades of blue and violet and there are some splashes of yellow, and in the center there is a speck of white, but just for a second. I know it can’t be the supernova that will swallow up Candyport—it has been four days since we took off and Candyport is already fifty light years away—but for that short second, I feel a twinge of pain. I know my parents will be stranded, the only ones on my former home planet. Why didn’t I urge them to go with me? They were there when I was watching TV, and the president said there was an infinite food machine… they probably weren’t listening that closely, but still! They could have had infinite candy and not have diarrhea for the rest of their lives.

I forcefully push those thoughts out of my mind. If I think about my parents for too long, a balloon already inflated from living on a spacecraft (possibly eternally) will pop. And everything will come out.

The food is better than I expected. If you don’t think about the fact that it was made from a machine with who knows what, it tastes pretty decent. I guess in every hundred people, you’re bound to find a good cook. Every Friday, there is even pizza—but not like bad school lunch personal pizzas—real pizza. Sometimes for lunch there’s hamburgers with fries, or maybe a hot dog. For breakfast there is usually waffles or cereal. For some reason, 20% of the food produced by the machine is cereal. Lucky Charms, Froot Loops, every kind of sugary cereal you can think of. For dinner, it’s like lunch, but every once in a while the cooks throw in some pasta.


Chapter Four

Within a week I have mostly adjusted to living on a spaceship. And by mostly I mean, mostly. I still think about my parents every once in a while, but I’ve gotten better at ignoring my thoughts. A little part of me tells me that it’s wrong, but I ignore that too. Also, about every other day I just get a little nauseous. It isn’t too unpleasant—I don’t barf—but it’s just a little unexpected. Like, one moment, it’s been two days since the last time I got nauseous, and I think I’m no longer in the nausea phase. The next moment, I get dizzy.

One day I’m in the Rotunda, just looking out. And Vera comes. We silently talk to each other. And we just hug. I know it sounds kind of stupid, but we just know what each other is thinking. We stare at the stars. And we stay there for fifteen minutes, just thinking about everything, about our old life, and Vera’s dad (his brother murdered him, only three people know it), and my parents. And when our next cooking shift will be, and trying to picture Candyport when the Escaper Express XXXVII blasted off. Were Candyport’s rings turquoise or lavender? Oh, right, they were turquoise with indigo speckles. What color was the planet? Red or gold? Oh right, it was a rainbow…so pretty. My dad had glasses, wait no he had contacts. I can’t remember… isn’t living on a spaceship for a long time bad for your brain? And the radiation is ten times stronger than on Candyport, right? I should have stayed… no I shouldn’t have. I’ll live longer on the Escaper Express…or will I?

Every once in a while, someone gets called to the Candyport Connections Room. If you get called, it’s usually not a good thing. I’ve seen people come out of there, red faced, puffy eyed and teary. The CCR will probably only be in use until the Escaper Express CCCXXXVI blasts off, unless there’s an urgent message from someone staying on Candyport, like my parents. Then it will be converted to a museum dedicated to the future generations of Candyport, so they can learn about their ancestors’ home planet.


Chapter Five

When I was a kid, I thought Candyport was perfect. When a candy storm happened, I thought it was a blessing from the candy gods. When I played Candyland, I thought that it actually was just a small country in Candyport.

When I was a kid, more importantly, I heard fairy tales. I had no idea what a fairy was, or why people called these tales “fairy” tales. One fairy tale Vera and I heard was called “A Planet Called Earth.” It was about this fascinating planet with blue oceans, green and brown continents, flashing lights, and no rings! Plus, the humans of Earth didn’t have any natural candy landforms, and had to make candy in factories! Imagine that! Crazy stuff! There were strange creatures called “animals,” who were every other living thing besides the humans. Whoever came up with that fairy tale certainly had a crazy imagination. The humans of Earth were so big-headed, and all they were doing was just destroying their planet little by little. Amazing to think that the people of Candyport and the people of Earth were the same species. We were beyond being from different planets. It was like we were from different universes.


Part Three: Miracles

Chapter Six

It’s a typical day on the spaceship when I hear the announcement: “Emma Buttercup, Section H, please report to the Candyport Connections Room immediately.” What? Did they just say my name? Or did I hear that wrong? 

“I repeat, Emma Buttercup, from Section H, please report to the Candyport Connections Room. You have a message.” The announcer says calmly and clearly, as if I wasn’t just about to explode into sadness.

I take a deep breath, and walk to the Candyport Connections Room.

“Hello, Emma. I am Diana.” A middle-aged woman greets me as I enter the CCR. “I know you are very concerned, and you have reason to be. Here, listen to the message.” She hands me a phone, and I take it with trembling hands, and hold it up to my ear, terrified of what I’m about to hear. My chest gets tight.

“Emma Butterworth, I regret to say that your candy addicted parents almost escaped death; they boarded the Escaper Express CCCXXXVI, but there was a malfunction with the spacecraft during blastoff that we can’t fix ourselves. If it hadn’t been the last Escaper Express, then we could have gotten help. Unfortunately, the Escaper Express CCCXXXV was long gone. I’m sorry, Emily. I’m calling you as the ship commander of the Escaper Express CCCXXXVII. Goodbye.”

Static. 336 will forever be my unlucky number. A tear falls down my cheek and splatters on the checkered tile of the CCR. I sob. Why did I leave them behind? Why did I ignore the bad feeling in my gut? Why? I knew they were going to die soon. Why did this hit me so unexpectedly? I run back to Section H, back to my bunk, with my head in my hands, and just cry.

My balloon has popped.

I wake up the next day with a spongy pillow and a groggy head. How long did I sleep? I look at my watch. It says 8:47 AM, Monday, December 4th, 1173. I try to do the math. “So I fell asleep after lunch on Sunday, and slept through dinner. Breakfast is ending around now…wow.”

The first thing I need to do is get a new pillow and pillowcase. My current ones are tear soaked. I throw them into the huge hamper outside my dorm. Next, get some food. I’m starving! I go down to the Dining Hall and put a muffin and some eggs into a napkin.

When I come back to the dorm, everyone’s come back up from breakfast.

“You okay?” Vera says.

“Not really,” I admit.

“My parents boarded the last Escaper Express, but something went wrong with the spaceship and everyone died, including them.” 

Vera puts a hand on my shoulder. “You’re handling it better than I did when my dad died.” She gives me a knowing glance. I nod. 


Chapter Seven

I go to the Rotunda. I look at the stars and galaxies. Happiness used to be mine for over a decade. I thought it would stay mine. Now I’m not so sure.

But when I look through the Rotunda, see space, all my thoughts disappear. Even as my life changes, the view is always the same. It’s comforting knowing that even when major things happen, some things have to stay the same.

Life goes on. The spaceship goes on. The food machine goes on.

But I am starting to feel homesick. Not necessarily for Candyport, but just for a home somewhere, to stay in one place and just be there. But every single day is the same here. It should be comforting, but I seek variety in my days now. “I don’t want to live on a spaceship. I—”

Vera interrupts me. “I know it’s hard, Emma. But you have to push through. You can’t let the death of your parents eat you up. I hate to be so candid, but either way you probably wouldn’t have seen your parents for the rest of your life. So I know it’ll be hard, but once you’re done grieving, you have to move along. Or else you’ll feel like this for your entire life. Think about that.”

This is one of the reasons why I love and hate Vera. She sometimes has to be frank to get to me. I know I need it sometimes, but I hate that I’m not strong enough to push through, to banish the bad thoughts from my head.

Vera continues her speech. “I know what you’re thinking, Emma. But this is what friends are for. This is why destiny chose us to be friends. This is why. So don’t worry. We have each other.”


Ten years later…

Part Four: Blue Marble

Chapter Eight

The year is 1183. I turned twenty-three two months ago. I have finally gotten over the deaths of my parents. I am looking through the Rotunda with Vera, something we’ve done every Saturday since we boarded the Escaper Express. Suddenly, I see a cool-looking blue planet. It has little greenish brown patches, and a bunch of beautiful white swirls. It looks different than any other planet I’ve seen. It looks…habitable. Other people think that too, I believe.

Suddenly, the loudspeaker cracks to life. “We are now approaching planet… um, unnamed. It appears that people want us to land on this planet. My data claims that the temperature and oxygen level is suitable for us humans. This Planet X is mostly uninhabited, so yes! Everyone, I am giving you five minutes to get to the dorms. Prepare for turbulence. We are going to land!’’ Everyone on board cheers, then rushes to their dorms.

Once Vera and I are in our bunks, I say, “I never thought we’d make it this far.”

“Yeah. Same.”

“Well, let’s get ready for landing.”

After landing…


Chapter Nine

“Welcome to Planet X, everyone. Please put your oxygen masks on. Though there is a suitable amount in the air, we just want to be cautious. Now, if you can just listen to my instructions. When exiting, Section Z will go first, followed by Y, X and so on. I will notify you when your Section exits,” the ship commander says.

Finally, Section H is called. When we go outside from the spacecraft, I at first laugh. 0.3% of the population of my (former) planet is walking around, astounded by a crazy, new world (to be fair, I was one of them) wearing black gas masks, peering around Planet X.

When everyone is off the ship, the ship commander takes a very forward-thinking looking radio out of his pocket and broadcasts all the other spaceships that we’ve landed on Planet X. Fortunately, since we’re Escaper Express XXXVII, there are only thirty-six ships ahead. And all of them have landed on Planet X, too. The remaining spaceships will try to find Planet X and land. For now we will try to communicate with the passengers of Escaper Expresses I-XXXVI to see where they are on this planet.

“Now it seems like we’re in a corner of a landmass. Pretty hot here, there is a blue mass of liquid close to us, and across from the liquid is another land mass.” This place is the Great Rift Valley of what is now Africa, near what is now Somalia, Ethiopia, and Djibouti, according to Google Maps. It is supposedly the cradle of humanity. 

“I know it’s very vague but sorry,” the ship commander says. Then suddenly I see a bunch of people out in the distance. I report to the commander. And eventually we all start trekking toward the other people, toward life and a new home and hope, with our few belongings and food on our backs. At least we don’t have to wear our hot gas masks anymore.

For about five hours, we walk to the mass of people in the sweltering heat. It is now clear that we are among fellow Candyport citizens.

“Hello!!!” We yell.

“Hello!!!” They yell.

Once we are united, we take a food break, and then decide to find shelter. Unfortunately, this part of Planet X is very dry and barren, except for desert shrubs that appear here and there. We decide that for the first day we will all set up camp under the shrubs and try to get some sleep. But then something very strange to us happens.


Chapter Ten

The entire world goes dark. No, I am not kidding. It’s crazy! No one expects it, and you know that bright thing in the sky that you only notice if you look for it that’s so ordinary (the sun)? Well Planet X’s sun slowly falls down in the water like a ball. And it changes the color of the sky until everything goes black! And it gets really cold too! It’s crazy, we worry the light won’t ever come back. We decide to go to sleep, and then we will plan things.

The next morning…

I wake up to a bright blue sky. Where am I? What is this shrub-like thing hovering above me? Suddenly, I remember yesterday’s events. We finally got off the spaceship, and we met up with our fellow Candyport citizens. Now, we must find the others. Also, we have to somehow get to our infinite food machines so that we have enough to feed everyone. That’s going to be hard. If we get lucky, then maybe an Escaper Express will land close to here. You see, when an Escaper Express lands, it can’t take off again, unless the fuel is completely recharged. While we wait for an Escaper Express to land, we eat a breakfast of energy bars, candy of course, and instant oatmeal.

At about noon, we see a giant spaceship shadowing the land we are living on. We all cheer for life and hope and love in a new place, the song of humanity. The spaceship lands, and the mass of people slowly exits the ship that is now basically a large piece of junk machinery but an hour ago carried 0.3% of an entire planet’s population across our universe.

Isn’t that amazing? Anything is possible. Even us humans living on Planet X (you probably know it as our currently own—but perhaps not original—planet, Earth!) have lived here almost a whole millenium (recall that in this story, at least, we landed in the year 1183 AD) or more depending on when you read this! It could mean that we were once strangers to our own planet(s), and not just to Earth. It could be anywhere, with anyone, anytime.


Footnotes:                                                  

This story was translated from Tamic (first human language) to Modern English in 2019.

I am not requesting the reader to believe anything in this story, including what they just read. But you are allowed to, because that’s what stories are for. A little something to brighten up your day, even if it’s not needed. Even if the title is cheesy. If you are living in a prison cell, or a mansion, it doesn’t matter. Because books are, and should be, for everyone. Because everyone sometimes needs a little enjoyment in their life. That is why I wrote this.

The End


The Rocket Jet Car

Once there was a kid named Max who was 8 years old. He liked to read comics and liked to play baseball. One day he was walking and saw a car that looked like his parents’ and it was unlocked so he went inside. He thought it would be cool if he stepped on the gas, but he thought the car was not on so it would not move. He stepped on the gas and then he saw a rocket engine in the back.

All of a sudden the car was flying and he thought, “I hope I’m just flying and not going to outer space.” But the car went up and up and it broke through the atmosphere. Max started screaming because he thought he was not going to be able to breathe and die. He tried to breathe and… he actually could breathe. 

He said, “Yay, I’m not going to die.” He zoomed through space and then he saw that he was weaving through the Milky Way galaxy.

It was cool and Max wondered if maybe he made it back alive, he could share his findings with NASA.

He wondered what other galaxies were out there. Then he saw a planet that was red and green and blue and white. He decided to land on the planet. He looked at the car and realized it had changed and now had a bunch of buttons and levers. He pressed a button labeled autopilot and he told the car to land. Then he jumped out of the shift and amazingly, he could breathe. He found a planet with life on it. He started to explore by foot. He noticed that there were houses, but they were bigger than any house he’d ever seen. He wanted to go inside, but he was afraid that whoever was living there might not want him there. 

Max saw a store and decided to go inside. It had aliens in it. They were blue and red with one green eye. He remembered that he left his phone in the car. So he ran back inside to his car to take a picture of the aliens but he accidently left the flash on and the aliens saw him. They started chasing after him so he ran back into the car and saw a button that said “weapons” so he pressed it. A laser gun appeared. Max grabbed it, jumped out and ran at the aliens shooting it. But the aliens had laser guns too so Max ran back to the car and pressed the “weapons” button again. A grenade appeared this time. Max ran outside and threw it at the aliens and then he started running and the aliens ran after him. He detonated the grenade and all the aliens exploded. He decided to get off this crazy planet and he looked at the buttons and saw a button that said “home” and pressed it. The rocket zoomed and he was back in the Milky Way galaxy and it zoomed some more and then zoomed just a little more and in no time he was back to earth. 

He used the rocket car one more time and flew to NASA to share all of his crazy findings.

The End


The Brave Bunny Bunch

My name is Daisy, and I’m a bunny. My family lives in a pretty big hole underground. It’s actually one of the biggest holes in the area, but since we are such a big family it feels much smaller than it is. We are a total of 25 bunnies in our family, including our parents. When it comes to our relationships with one another, we are all pretty close with our litter, but not so much with other litters. I’m in the middle of my litter, and from the youngest litter. In my litter, in age order, is Sniffles, Carrots, me (Daisy), Snuggles, and Munchie. Me and Munchie are pretty close, and we hangout a lot. I’ve always had to look after him, because he’s a bit oblivious. Us bunnies have to be careful since there are a lot of predators in the woods, such as snakes, wolves, and hawks. But in our hole we will always be safe from anything that can hurt us. It’s usually the older bunnies’ job to collect berries and nuts, or any other kind of food, but sometimes me and Munchie get to do it. Most bunnies don’t like collecting food, but me and Munchie enjoy it. We can play games, and hide in the bushes to scare one another, so I have always been the first to say,

“We’ll do it!”

So when most of the bunnies in the oldest litter caught a cold, we were very excited. 

As we were leaving, Mama shouted,

“Don’t forget to bundle up!”

  So me and Munchie grabbed our coats and scarves, rubbed noses with Mama, and hopped up the stairs. The woods are gorgeous this time of year. The Autumn leaves on the ground, orange and red. But the colder it gets, the harder it is to find food. We met up with some of our friends, Rose and Lilac. Rose and Lilac are also from the same litter but Lilac is younger. Me and Rose rubbed noses. We looked for food for a while, but only found a couple of nuts and a few berries. 

“The food shortage came fast this year,” I said. 

“I heard that if you go across the river and pass the border of the two woods, they have lots of food and it’s like summer there. But of course that would be a very dangerous adventure,” said Rose. 

“Wow!” I said.

On our way back home Munchie seemed sad. 

“What’s the matter Munch?” I asked him.

“Mama and Papa will be disappointed that we didn’t collect a lot of food!” He said.

“We took what we could find. They have no reason to be mad at us,” I told him.

By the time we got home, it was already almost dark and we were shivering. When got to our hole Mama wrapped us up in blankets.

“My goodness! Where have you bunnies been!” She exclaimed.

“It got dark quick.” Munchie told her.

Then we went by the fire and toasted carrots and drank hot grass. We went to sleep early. When Mama came to say goodnight, she found that we were still shivering, so she sent Papa, and of course Snuggles, to come snuggle us. We all fell asleep in a bunny pile. We slept very well that night. 

Food started running out quick, and we were beginning to run low on our savings. I decided to ask Rose about the place with all the food, and that was still warm. We decided to go ice skating on the frozen pond. We took our skates and hopped to the pond. Rose told me that she had heard from a visiting friend from a different woods that there was lots of food where she was. That it was like summer all year in her woods. 

“How did she get here?” I asked.

“She said that her family found a big thing with wheels that moved so fast her ears felt like they were going to fall off, so they hopped on,” answered Rose.

“Holy Cooked Carrots!” I exclaimed. “What do you think it was?”

“I’m not sure. I think I’ve seen the thing with wheels that goes really fast a couple times before, but I’ve never really gotten a good look,” answered Rose.

We finished up and hopped home. By the time we got home and ate dinner, I had decided. I was going to find the place with all the food where it feels like summer all year long! First thing I had to do was get Munchie on board.

“Please?!” I begged Munchie.

“I’m not so sure about this,” he said. “I would miss Mama and Papa too much!”

“It would be fun!” I told him.

“Are Mama and Papa even going to let us?” He asked.

“Sure!” I answered. “They’ll just be happy we are doing something outside of our hole!”

“OK. I’ll do it. But only if I can bring LeeLee.” 

LeeLee had always been Munchie’s favorite stuffed person. He took it everywhere he went. 

“Alright. But LeeLee might get a little dirty.” I told him.

I had one down. Next I had to convince Rose. I knew that if Rose was coming, then automatically Lilac would be coming, but obviously they would both decide. Munchie and Lilac were playing in the leaves one day, so I decided to talk to her then. I knew she wouldn’t want me to go with just Munchie, but she would still be hesitant. I told her my plan. At first she didn’t say anything. I knew she was thinking, because when she was deep in thought her nose would twitch. 

“I’ll come with you. But we need to have a plan,” said Rose.

“I know,” I said. “Let’s go back to my hole, roast some carrots, drink some hot grass, and make a plan?” I suggested.

“Sounds like a plan!” said Rose, excitedly. “But on our hop back we have got to talk to Lilac about this.”

So we brushed the leaves and twigs out of Munchie and Lilac’s fur, and started hopping. We explained to Lilac our plan. Munchie hopped behind, collecting ‘valuables’ like he always did. 

Quietly, Lilac asked, “Are you going Rose?”

Rose nodded.

“It seems scary,” said Lilac.

“It’ll be fine. Me and Daisy will be there. So will Munchie. It will be fun!” said Rose, comfortingly.

Nervously, Lilac whispered, “I’ll come. But then we have to go by The Brave Bunny Bunch.”

“That’s fine.” Rose said.

I was very satisfied. I told Mama and Papa about our adventure the next day.

“Alright!” said Papa.

“I’m not so sure,” said Mama.

“They’ll be fine!” said Papa. “They’re adventure bunnies!”

And so it was official. We were going on an adventure. We had to pack smartly. We weren’t allowed to bring a lot of carrots, of course, because us bunnies cannot live off of carrots. They taste amazing, obviously, so sweet, such nice texture. But carrots are super sugary, and very bad for you. Plus we have been having a lot lately. So we decided to try and find a patch of good grass, some nuts, and berries. We ended up finding a couple of bushes that were still good, along with a few patches of grass, so we stocked up. We didn’t really have to worry about food though, because we were going to be in the woods anyway. We needed to bring our sleeping bags and some extra scarves or gloves. We also were going to need something to sleep in. I had the perfect thing! We had this big piece of fabric in our hole, and you can just prop it up with a few sticks, and you’ve got yourself a resting or sleeping spot! We also decided to bring some games to play while we rested. We packed up our stuff into bags. Me and Rose took the two bigger bags and Lilac and Munchie took the two slightly smaller bags, since they’re both a bit smaller than us. They aren’t very heavy, so I think we can do it. Lilac started to get nervous, and when she’s nervous, she eats a lot of carrots and hot grass. Then her face fur gets stained orange and she gets all embarrassed. We decided to go ice skating because that always calms Lilac down. The problem was that Lilac didn’t have any ice skates because hers had gotten ruined in a storm late last year, so we had to make her new ones. This is a difficult task because you have to find some sharp things for the bottom of the skates, and some socks that have wiggle room that you’re willing to give up. Munchie and Lilac looked for socks while me and Rose looked for sharp things. The good part is that we can find cool things while looking for sharp things. We found a weird bag that crinkled when you touched. In it were these weird things that were crunchy when you bit into it. We decided to take it with us. After we found the sharp things, we attached them to the socks and went skating. We decided that the next day we would leave for our journey. Lilac seemed to be feeling better, so we went back to our hole and watched the oldest litter’s ear show. Bunnies’ ears are great for putting on shows, since they are long and thin. For dinner we had roasted grass. After dinner, Rose and Lilac went home. We decided to wake up early to leave, so that meant going to sleep early. When we woke up, me and Munchie both took quick baths, and ate some breakfast. Then we snuggled in with Mama and Papa for a little bit. Before leaving we both rubbed noses with all twenty-one of our siblings. We said goodbye to Mama and Papa and met up with Rose and Lilac. We were ready. 

The first day we hopped a lot. We wanted to make progress so that we wouldn’t have to hop as much in the following days, because we knew we would get more tired. We have to sleep at least eight hours a night or we will get cranky, and by ‘we’ I mean Munchie. But still, we all need our sleep. We of course still are kittens. And by that I don’t mean that we are cats. Baby bunnies are also referred to as kittens. We left when the sun was just above the river. We stopped for a break and a snack when the sun was in the middle of the sky, and stopped to go to sleep when there was only half of the sun left. Lilac got tired pretty quick, so we had to stop for the day. The next day we woke up and instantly realized that weather wise, it was the perfect day. We ate some grass for breakfast and started hopping. Lots of animals come out when the weather is nice, so it was no surprise when we saw a wolf wandering around looking for food. We tried to move as quietly as possible, so the wolf must have smelled us. He turned towards us and growled, then started walking towards us.

“Oh no,” whimpered Lilac.

Quickly, Lilac hopped onto a low branch that was on the trunk of a tree. She grabbed a long vine of leaves hanging from the tree and climbed up. She then threw the bottom of the vine down to the ground for me, Munchie, and Rose to grab onto. We hopped on and climbed up. We climbed to a high point in the tree, and then carefully hopped from one tree to the next. Once we thought we were far enough away, we stopped. We hopped down from the tree, because us bunnies are of course amazing jumpers. Then we hoped a little more, and then stopped to set up our sleeping area. 

“Thanks for helping us Lilac!” said Munchie. “I had no idea how brave you were!”

“Yeah!” I said. “You were grass-tastic!”

“I knew you always had it in you!” said Rose. “I think that deserves a carrot!”

I took out a carrot from my bag and gave it to Lilac. Lilac’s cheeks got all rosy. Then she rubbed noses with Rose, and snuggled into her. We were all exhausted, so we went to sleep.

 On the third day, we made an amazing discovery! We found a big thing with wheels that moves really fast! We hopped on and waited. After a little bit, this huge person came on, and the big thing with wheels that moves really fast started to move! Even though the person was big, it didn’t stop us from wanting to pet it. It was so hard to resist! By the time the sun was in the middle of the sky we had moved about a day worth of hopping! The person stopped the thing with wheels that moves really fast and sat down on a rock and started to eat something. We decided to eat something too. For lunch was blueberry stuffed raspberries, which are my favorite. We figured that the person wasn’t finished with his ride since there was nowhere for him to stay here in the woods. A little later the person got back in the thing with wheels that moves really fast, so we quickly hopped on. When we started moving again, we decided to play one of the games that we brought. We played Hop Hop Hop Back Home and Make Your Own Ear Show and it was very fun. By the time the person stopped the thing that has wheels that moves really fast, it was almost night time. We had gone so far that I could almost see the river that we would cross the next day! We weren’t too tired since we hadn’t done much hopping, so we stayed up a little later than usual and played some games. We were very satisfied with our progress.

When we woke up the next morning, we all knew today would be a challenge. We had to cross a river which, for bunnies, is not very easy. It was making Lilac and Munchie very nervous.

“I don’t want to cross the river!” said Lilac.

“Yeah, we’re scared!” said Muchie.

“Don’t worry!” said Rose. “We are going to put rocks down for us to hop on. It isn’t that far to cross.”

This calmed Lilac and Munchie down a lot. Me and Rose went to the lake to put rocks down for us to hop on. Then we went back to pick up Lilac and Munchie. We crossed the lake with very little difficulty. In the next two days, little by little, it started getting warmer and warmer. We would also start to see bushes with berries, some nuts, and more and more nice grass. This was a relief, since it meant that we were very close. Rose knew some bunnies who lived in the area, so we would have a hole to stay at when we got there. Rose was excited since she hadn’t seen her friend in a long time. 

“I’m so excited to sleep in a hole after so long!” I told Rose one morning.

“They don’t live in a hole, Daisy!” Rose told me. “They live in something called a ‘house’. It’s above ground, and it’s supposed to be nice.”

“That sounds cool!” I said.

And so I was excited too now about seeing Rose’s friend and sleeping in a ‘house.’ The plan was that when we got there we would shoot this popping thing in the sky. Then Mama and Papa would know that we had gotten to the new place and that we were alright. We were hopping very cheerfully towards the end of our adventure. We were very excited to arrive at our destination. Lilac and Munchie, two very impatient bunnies, were beginning to become more cranky and bored every day. 

“How much longer?” whined Munchie one afternoon.

“We are close!” exclaimed Rose. “My friend, Snowball, set up signs to let us know that we are close and I think I see one!”

In front of us, being held to a tree, was a sign with an unmistakable bunny paw print. In the distance, we could see the silhouette of a pair of bunny ears! We hopped as quickly as we could. Through the trees and bushes came hopping out a completely white bunny.

“Snow!” yelled Rose, excitedly. 

Snow hopped quickly towards us .
“Welcome!” she said. “We were about to eat some berries and nuts. Would you guys like to join us, or would you like me to show you to your room first?” 

“I would like to see my room please,” said Lilac, quietly. 

So Snow showed us their ‘house’ and it was very cool! It had a pointy top, and was pretty big. We all shared a big room, and slept on bunk beds. We had lots of fun. There was tons to do! We could go kayaking in the pond, or go rolling down hills. One morning Snow’s mom woke us up, and told us that there was a surprise waiting for us. It was Mama and Papa and our whole family! Rose and Lilac’s parents were there too!

“How did you guys get here?” I asked.

“We got a ride on a big thing with wheels that went really fast!” said Papa. 

“We have decided that we are going to move holes. We are moving here!” exclaimed Mama. 

“They don’t have holes here Mama, they have houses!” I told her.

I then explained what a house was. I was very excited. Then I found out that Rose and Lilac were also moving here! My family had brought all of our things, so we were all ready to move. We got the biggest house in the area. WE never had any problems with food again. I loved life in the new place. And we all knew that we would always be The Brave Bunny Bunch.
I then explained what a house was. I was very excited. Then I found out that Rose and Lilac were also moving here! My family had brought all of our things, so we were all ready to move. We got the biggest house in the area. WE never had any problems with food again. I loved life in the new place. And we all knew that we would always be The Brave Bunny Bunch.

The Watch

Once there was a boy who was 15 years old. He wanted a phone, but his mom had no money for buying the phone. One day his mom wanted the boy to buy a phone, so she gave him a clock. The clock was big, red, and gold. The boy was out of the home. He was sitting in the street, waiting for someone to buy the clock, but no one bought the clock. Every day, he was waiting. Every day, no one bought either. He tried to lower the price, but still no person bought the clock. 

Four months later, he was still trying to sell the big, red, and gold clock.

After five hours, a man told him, “You can’t sell out here because there are many shops that are selling clocks.”

The boy thought and thought. He had a solution.

When he got home, he said to his mom, “We can let another one buy our house, and we will use the money and buy a lower-priced house, and the money that is leftover is for a phone.”

His mom said, “No, because this home is the lowest priced in this community. We would never find another home.”

His mom had an idea! 

She said, “I can have a job.”

So, in the next two weeks, his mom began looking for a job. After five weeks, his mom found a job with the police department. After a month, his mom got $2,454 dollars, but the phone was $1,000 dollars. So, there was money leftover.

One day, she gave him an iPhone X, and the boy was very happy.

He yelled, “I have a phone! I have a phone!”

Monster Madness

There was a monster named Shatter. She had ten eyes and five mouths. With her long fifteen tentacles and three feet, she really did look like a monster. She had lived on a planet named Galactic Glass Gorge. She was transferred to a planet called Earth when there was an explosion on Glass Gorge.

All Shatter wanted was a family: to have children and to live peacefully with all the other humans. The only problem was that Shatter never seemed to fit in with the humans. Shatter was always left out. She had come to Earth by herself, so she was all alone. She never made any friends. No birthdays, no parties, no house, no sleepovers. There was nothing and nobody in her life.

Poor Shatter was sitting on a bench all alone in the park. Shatter gazed ahead, heartbroken. She had just asked a girl if she could play soccer, but the girl screamed, “Get away you… you, monster!” 

As Shatter thought about the encounter with the child, strange red tears trickled down her cheeks. 

“Oh, I’m such a beast.” 

Shatter thought that she would never be able to find a friend. As she dragged herself to the dumpster, she felt lonely inside. As Shatter slept, she had thoughts. What if every day on Earth would be a horrible day for her because she had no friends?

As the sun rose, Shatter’s tummy rumbled in hunger. She found a nearby trash can and ate all she could. She found a cardboard box and a banana peel. She swallowed them whole. Then, as she was walking to the park she met somebody. It was a man. 

“Hello,” the man said. 

Shatter looked at the man. He was a human. 

“My name is Jaden. Do you want to hang out?” 

“Yes, of course.”

Shatter was thrilled that finally a human liked her. As she went to have an exciting actual breakfast with Jaden, there was a new feeling inside of her. Her cheeks glowed, and her eyes brightened. Shatter’s arms and legs tingled. She felt her heart beating faster every second. Shatter knew that she had found a friend. Maybe even a husband if this relationship kept on going. 

All Shatter wanted was a husband and some kids. Now, that dream could possibly come true. Maybe all Shatter needed was to believe. After living by herself for 50 years, Shatter wasn’t afraid to dive right in head first.

Now, Shatter would have to go get some food!

As Shatter went into a famous restaurant called Tony’s World, she gasped. She put one foot inside, and a magical wonder awaited. Sweet aromas of food carried themselves to Shatter’s nose. Her mouth started to water and drool. 

“Follow me,” Jaden called.

Shatter didn’t even notice all the hateful and disgusting looks she got from other people. Jaden led Shatter to a fancy booth in the back near the music. A fancy waiter came with sizzling food. Shatter bit into it. The meaty taste filled her mouth. Soon, more delicious foods were placed in front of her like salads, soups, rice, beans, fruits, and even seasoned chicken. 

Shatter and Jaden enjoyed the pleasant food.

“Thank you so much, Jaden.” Shatter felt bad that she had no money. 

“It’s my treat. So I’ll pay.”

Jaden and Shatter walked to the park together. 

As they sat down on a bench, Jaden started to speak, “Hey, Shatter.”

“Yeah, what is it Jaden?”

“I know that you’re a monster, but I like you.” 

Shatter’s heart skipped a beat. “Do you really like me… like love me?” 

“Y… Y… Yes!” Jaden kissed Shatter on the lips. “Shatter… will you marry me?” 

“Jaden… yes I will!” 

This time they kissed for a while.

***

Many years later… 

Shatter finally had a child. Two years later, Shatter had another child. Her first child was named Jesse, and she was a human child. Their next child, Mackenzie, was a monster child. Jaden and Shatter were thrilled that they had one monster child and one human child. Shatter now knew that all those restless days alone had paid off. Now, Shatter was in paradise, and she was sure that Jaden was too. Wait… that’s Jesse and Mackenzie crying. Oh well, Shatter’s off to do some mom stuff.

Bye!

Ghost Battle


“Eight, nine, ten… ready or not… here I come!” said Dad.

Everyone ran to hide.

“Ahh, help! I don’t know where I should hide,” I said into my walkie-talkie. 

Kaitlyn said into hers, “I already found a place.”

Will said, “I found one too!”

I ran as fast as I could until I found a trap door. But then, boom. Crash. Bam. I was in a trap door. I got trapped!

“Help! Help!”

But then, someone opened it. I thought it was a ghost, but it was my dad. But when my dad opened it, I quickly hid away.

Dad looked away and said, “Hmm, I thought someone was screaming help.”

All of a sudden, a ghost took me away. The ghost was spooky and confused me because at first I thought it was my dad, but it was actually a ghost.

I shouted into my walkie-talkie, “Help, I need help. I’m in a trap door!”

Everyone said, “Huh? There are no trap doors in this house.”

“But I found one! So, help! Get out of your hiding spots now. Let Dad find you so you can tell him what happened to me,” I said.

“Okay,” Will and Kaitlyn said together.

Will and Kaitlyn ran out of their hiding spots, and the dad found them.

They said, “Did you know there was a trap door?”

“Yes.”

“You never told us!” Will and Kaitlyn said, talking at the same time.

“Okay, let’s go to the trap door,” Dad said.

Noooooo!” Will and Kaitlyn said.

“Fine, I’ll go by myself,” Dad said.

Dad went to the trap door. He went down the stairs, and he fell and bumped his head, but then he found that someone was talking, so he finally hid, and he walked down because he heard voices. Because there were no guards, he heard what the ghosts were planning to do with me. Then guards came out! Dad didn’t know where to hide, so he grabbed an invisibility cape from his pocket, opened it, and put it on. He was completely invisible but could still see. Ghosts cannot see other ghosts. Dad quickly took me out, ran up, and locked the trap door. The ghosts floated right through the door! The ghosts may change the people to ghosts, but Dad put invisibility capes on Kaitlyn, Will, me, and himself. Now we went out to tell the cops, and when we got in the car, ghosts were in there. We drove, drove, drove until we got to the police station. Dad, Will, Kaitlyn, and I slid under the door and took off our capes. We saw a bunch of police officers.

“How did you get in?” they asked.

I said, “We had an invisibility cape so that we could slide under things. There is an emergency! Ghosts are all around the city!!”

“Of course not! How come we don’t see any ghosts?”
“But we saw them, because there is a trap door in our house, and I opened it, and I went in, and I hid from my dad during hide-and-seek, and a ghost took me, and my dad had to rescue me!” I shouted.

Dad said, “I saw a ghost, too!”

Will said, “Me too!”

Kaitlyn said, “Me three!”

I said, “Told you! Everyone saw it!”

“Fine, I’ll get some cops and check the house in the trap door. If we see ghosts, I’ll get a ghost trap net, and the ghosts won’t be able to escape!”

When we drove back, we saw ghosts. There were five ghosts guarding the house, so no one could go in. We had to go back to the police officers and tell them that there were ghosts. All of the police officers and all of the army people went all the way back to our house and catch some of the ghosts, but there were still more because they didn’t have enough ghost nets. So now, we had to go back to the police officers, get more ghost nets, drop all the ghost nets, and capture the rest of the ghosts, but one of the ghosts was a king ghost and we couldn’t capture it because he was too big. We had to get a big, big, big net that was super heavy. We had to launch it with a lot of police officers and army people. When we were done, we checked back in the house. There were still ghosts in the trap door. We had to go in, get more ghost nets, and catch the ghosts. But one of them was multiplying again, and again, and again and again! So then we had to capture all of them without letting them multiply again. We made a really small box and crammed all the ghosts inside, except one didn’t fit. We had to make a really, really small box for that ghost. We took the rest and put that one in after. We flew all the way to a far planet, dropped the ghosts there, flew all the way back, checked the house again, and celebrated! All the people that saved me, Dad, Kaitlyn, and Will were there. There were police officers, army people, balloons, fireworks, and pizza!

Colors of the Rainbow

Sherman Oaks Middle School is the demon of my past that will never be erased from my mind and will forever be engraved in my memory as the worst years of my life. 

One would think that if you’re a rich girl living in Calabasas you would have it easy, right? Well, my friend, then you are in for a shock. Not only is this lucky person you are reading about pretty comfortable, but she also has caramel skin and naturally thick jet black hair which is a real shock. The Regina George of California. I will start from the beginning of my terrible school years that I wish I could forget, but sadly they will never be erased. In middle school I had always had a few bullies but I had two times the amount of friends than I did bullies. Middle school had never been something I looked forward to spending 235 days at, but school was school, and you can’t escape it whether you like it or not. I never liked middle school even when I had friends, and most of them were fake anyways. They were money friends who leaped at the chance to go to my exclusive birthday bash or my fancy country clubs with other wealthy kids. 

As soon as your life turned upside down or problems occurred, these friends were nowhere to be seen. In middle school I had a lot of fake friends, and knowing that for a fact hurt my feelings. Another reason I always hated it is that I lack any physical strength and am the clumsiest kid on the planet earth. Middle school also brought the rise of pranks, so naturally I was the victim of most of them, and it was becoming pretty normal that I would walk into the bathroom and see straws in my hair because people wanted to see if they could stand up in the forest that is my head. With middle school wrapped up though, I thought that high school would be easier since everyone would grow to be more mature and girls would stop being petty so I could finally blend in with the crowd rather than being a target. Even with all of my optimistic beliefs, unfortunately nothing changed in high school. If I thought middle school was bad, I definitely was not prepared for the hurricane that is called 9th grade. 

I got bullied immensely, no exaggeration. Those fake friends ditched me for others that were as shallow as they were. I got clumsier and clumsier and became the laughing stock of school, if I wasn’t already. 

Although all of this was terrible, I still was probably the smartest kid in my grade, was on the honor roll, and excelled at swimming and won various awards. I never really cared what anyone thought of me. Although I had a hard time, I still had some friends. 

My only real goal in school was to get into Harvard since it was my parents’ alma mater. Fast-forwarding one year later, I’m in the 11th grade, spring is in full bloom. School is much better now that I decided to finally take matters into my own hands. By the end of the 10th grade I had decided that I was not putting up with people’s shenanigans and hatefulness anymore. Over the summer, I learned how to drive and got myself a nice Aston-Martin. I realized that my wardrobe was mostly from 8th grade since that’s when I stopped growing, so I bought some new clothes that made me feel good and look good as well. I also found ways to style my hair that made me happy. I still have people that are mean to me, but I have a lot more friends — real ones too. All the kids that bullied me in 9th grade and middle school, shout-out to them because they helped me realize that they were all just jealous of my money, beauty, and smarts. They helped me realize that I should own my unique look with pride. The clumsiness is better to, a few ballet classes will do you wonders. I have developed my own style and am now the trendsetter at school. 

I am at my prime, but like all things, good times never last. It was at this point in time that my life took a drastic turn. I was out in the yard with my golden retriever Toby. It was an early Saturday morning in May, and the dew was still settled on the plants. We were playing fetch in the pollinated garden of my house, and Toby was trampling the flowers with his over the top energy. I was about to throw the ball again when I heard my mother’s shrill scream. I rushed inside and saw my father’s limp body on the floor. The next few hours were 911 calls and paramedics rushing into the house, surgeries, crying — lots of it, and doctors kept repeating it was an undiagnosed organ failure. My mother was hysterical, screaming at them to do something, while me, I felt helpless and stuck in my own world. I distinctly heard words like undiagnosed, heart attack, unexpected, and coma. We stayed late into the night, and visiting hours were almost over. I gave dad a kiss on the cheek saying that I would see him tomorrow.

Except the next day, my dad passed away at 10:56 in his sleep. We were at church when he finally decided to leave this world without even saying goodbye to us.

When my mother got the text alert from the doctor that my dad wasn’t responding, she rushed out the church door in an instant. My mother told me to stay at church so that nothing looked suspicious.

When I got the text alert from mom to come to the hospital, my heart started racing. I got out of the pew as fast as I could, pushing past the elderly ladies dressed in bright rainbows and pastels who gave me looks of disgust. I got inside my Aston-Martin and broke numerous traffic laws, but all that mattered was getting to my dying father. I rushed inside the hospital, not bothering to check in with the front desk. When I saw my father on his deathbed, I began to sob. He looked different from when I last saw him in the house. He looked life less, and when I held his hand it was cold, not even a trace of warmth. He looked feeble and weak, unlike the man I remember who never hesitated when I wanted to go to an amusement park and was always there whenever I was injured.

My mother was bawling, and through her sobs, she said, “It’s time to say good-bye.” 

I approached my father and looked at him, not wanting my last memory of him to include tubes sticking out of his nose and a hospital gown instead of his regular dapper tuxedo.

I gave him a kiss on the cheek, whispering “I love you, Dad.”

After I said my goodbyes, no fewer than two minutes later, the lifeline went flat, and my mother’s sobs got louder. I don’t remember anything after that, only the sadness that filled my bones and the hole in my heart realizing that my father was gone. 

The ground got closer and closer and closer. My mind was on autopilot as I fell towards my father’s death bed.

Darkness.

The next few months were hazy. I finished junior year with sky high grades. All the parents were there to celebrate their children who made it on the honor roll except mine, because one was planning the other one’s funeral. I got support messages all over Instagram from people I didn’t even know because everyone knows when a wealthy person dies. 

My friends took me on a trip to Disney World to keep my mind off of things, but the only thing I could think of was when I was seven and my dad bought me another ice cream when I cried about how the first one fell and how we laughed when my mom was scared on Space Mountain. Finally the day arrived, July 1st, my dad’s birthday, the day he would be laid to rest in his hometown of Seattle. My mother and I walked side by side in our morbid black attire, trying not to cry. Throughout the whole funeral, I heard people claiming to know my father; but they’ll never know the real him.I looked at the church pews full of people dressed in the merciless, dull, depressing color black. I thought about the elderly ladies’ colorful church outfits and how the vibrant colors signified their joy and happiness. Sometimes I wish my life were like their outfits. Colorful, carefree, vivacious, vibrant, joyful. Instead of the black cloud that hovered over my life.

Family Mystery

It was Wednesday, December 1941 in London, England. The police and detectives were arriving to the Maplerose Mansion. Charlotte Maplerose had gone missing. But this wasn’t the main problem; this was the 5th Maplerose reported missing in the past months. This was on the headlines of newspapers. People were starting to think the Maplerose family was cursed or that their mansion was haunted. 

The Maplerose manson was a beautiful piece of architecture. So beautiful that it rivaled that of the royals. 

The Maplerose children were very, very spoiled, and very bratty. 

All the Mapleroses were obnoxious people, and not many people liked them in town. So that increased the chances of people wanting to kidnap them.

If you entered the mansion at this time, you would find all of the Maplerose family crowded around the yellow crime scene tape that was marking the possible areas of where the kidnapper was, all of the children either scared or trying to figure out the mystery themselves. The mother of Charlotte whose name was Lilly would likely be weeping in her chair with almost all the Maplerose women crowding around her trying to calm her down, while most of the men were trying to get their search teams to look for all 5 of the missing Maplerose children. The father of Charlotte was yelling at the detectives and telling them to find his daughter. The detectives and police were running around trying to find clues and trying to get a sense of the house. 

The Maplerose mansion at this time is complete chaos. After a while, the detectives had gathered some suspects in the Maplerose family. Before the detectives gathered their suspects, there were 3 Mapleroses who had excuses for not being there. Each of them were the outcasts of the family. The reason for the disappearances was not known. The detectives don’t know if someone kidnapped the kids or if the kids were running away and asking for money. 

The first kid who disappeared was Elliot Maplerose, and he was 3 years old. The second kid who disappeared was April Maplerose; she was 8. The third kid who disappeared was Eden Maplerose, and she was 10. The fourth kid was Tom Maplerose and he was 15, and the fifth one, Charlotte Maplerose, the oldest, was 17. 

All of these kids had disappeared with no notice at the dead of night and nobody knew how or why. 

Each of the suspects didn’t live in the family mansion and rarely showed up to family events. They are: Arnold Maplerose. This retired army veteran always stayed in his house and rarely made appearances during the day, but people have reported him creeping and sneaking around the Maplerose mansion though he did not live there. Next is Beatrice Maplerose. To some people who were not in the family, she was accused of being a witch and doing witchcraft. And the last suspect, Geronimo Maplerose. This man was a little more out of the shadows than the others. This creep of a man had a rat shop. A shop from which you could buy real dead rats. I know, disgusting. But this man never talked to the Mapleroses because he was delusional, thinking he did not know them even though he was one of the uncles. 

Once the police had interrogated each one, they rounded it up to one major family suspect: Arnold Maplerose. Why would he be in the dead of night circling the mansion? After all, the disappearances happened only at night. 

But now it’s time for suspects that are outside the family. The police had gathered 3 suspects, just like before. The first suspect is Kristi Elezabeth. This woman was Charlotte’s mother’s best friend. But she was always jealous of her. Jealous of her husband, her house, and her happiness. Next is Cady Johnson. This lady was Charlotte’s dads ex-wife. She hated the Mapleroses because they supported the fact that they got a divorce, since everyone thought she was crazy. Lastly, there’s Morgan Marshalls. She collected vintage dolls and lived in a small wooden cottage. She was known as creepy doll lady to everyone. Also whenever she saw the Maplerose children, she would always say “Oh, how I wish I could just kidnap them!” and then laugh. Out of process of elimination, it was down to Arnold Maplerose and Cady Johnson. So the police interviewed them again. First, Cady Johnson. 

“Where were you on the night of Wednesday, December 31st 1941?”

“Sir I was at home watching television in bed with my cats and eating dinner.” Cady replied. 

“Was anyone with you at home?” 

“Do cats count?’’  

“No ma’am.”  

“Ok, then no.”  

Now it was time for Arnold’s interview. 

“Where were you on the night of Wednesday 31st 1941?” 

“Sir, I was about to visit my family, but I had decided at the last moment that it was for the 

best if I didn’t show up with all the stress of the disappearances that I would just add on to their troubles.’’  

“Why were you trying to pull open the back door at 1 a.m. in the morning?”

“Sir I was making sure it was closed! I would never want to harm my family in any way 

even though I had rope in my hands.” 

From what the police heard, they charged Arnold guilty. Although they still hadn’t found the kids yet. They charged Arnold 20 years in prison for kidnapping. 

But after 4 months of Arnold being in jail, another disappearance had happened! Police were shocked. If Arnold was in jail, then how could there still be kids disappearing? Something was not right. If Arnold was not the kidnapper, then who was? They had to know the truth. So they handcuffed Arnold and asked questions. 

“What do you know?’’ they shouted at him like they were in despair. 

“Nothing,” said Arnold calmly. “All I know is that it was not me. They are my family; I 

would never.’’ 

“What do you know?’’ The police asked again, this time with more frustration. 

“Ok, if you really want to know I’m part of a secret agency who’s looking for these kids. 

We have been trying to track this person, but all the information we have is from the cameras we set up, so we can track them and one thing I’ll tell you is that it’s not one that you would suspect. Tomorrow at the break of dawn in the rottweiler cave. I’ll see you there, don’t be late. Oh, and get this rope off me.’’ 

The next morning, the police went to the cave 5 minutes before dawn. But where was Arnold? 

“Guys,” said a whispered voice. The police jumped back with their guns ready. 

“Arnold, don’t do that!” yelled the police officer. 

“Come with me,” said Arnold, leading them into the cave. He led them underground to the secret lair that he had. 

“This is my lair. My team and I work here.” 

They sat down and Arnold pulled out a VCR and played it. It was the security cameras for the Maplerose mansion. It was of a man carrying Charlotte outside, but something was not right. Charlotte was not doing anything. Not screaming, nothing. 

“We suspect that the Mapleroses are just trying to get publicity out of this, because a regular person would scream or at least fight back if they were being kidnapped. So this is very strange. Plus her eyes are open and there both talking to each other.”  

The police got up after watching about 5 camera videos. They were about to leave when Arnold screamed at the top of his lungs and yelled for the police to come see another video. It showed the kidnapper taking Charlotte just like in the video before, but this one was longer. After about 1 minute of the kidnapper and Charlotte disappearing out of the frame, the kidnapper came back with Charlotte. He opened the cellar door and threw her in there. 

“That means the kids are in the house, they’re in the cellar!” Arnold said, while coming to realization about what was happening. But the video continued. 

After it showed Charlotte going into the cellar, it showed the kidnapper locking the doors of the cellar and starting to walk away. Then he reached for his mask and pulled it off halfway, but then the camera froze.

“Nooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!” screeched Arnold and the police officers. 

“We were so close!” said Arnold. “But we do know where the kids are. Call all of your troops to come we are going to check if they truly are in the cellar.” Then Arnold shut of the lights in his cave and left. 

The police and Arnold met up once again but right in front of the cellar door.

“This is the moment of truth,” said Arnold. “In 3… 2…1!’’ 

The police broke the door open. When you think of a cellar you think a dark, dusty, gloomy and creepy place, but this one was different. It was a beautiful floor with tea sets, expensive beds, and rugs. It even had a bathroom and private bedrooms. And when they got in there, right in front of them were 5 wide-eyed children staring at them. “Listen, we are not here to hurt you but who is responsible for ‘kidnapping’ you because that’s what not what it seems?” 

Not one of the kids spoke except for the youngest one, Elliot. “It was Daddy. He said he wanted more money so when the detectives and police can’t find us, he will sue them for money.” 

The police were shocked. And all the other children were trying to tell Elliot to stop talking. The police told the children to come with them and then they busted the mansion’s front door open and arrested Liam Maplerose (the dad) for faking a kidnapping for money and fraud. Once Liam was arrested and fined, the whole Maplerose family got kicked out of London and had to live in a small apartment in Fiji and had to work day and night to make money. And as for Arnold, well he got to keep the mansion, and he got a job at the detective agency.        

Space Battle: The Complete Series

Chapter One

Once there was a space creature, Sammy, flying around when he saw a restaurant and said, “Boy, do I want a root beer.”

So he flew in and parked his spaceship. The space creature had three eyes and a spacesuit on. He was small, like half of the size of a human child. 

Then he sat down and ordered the root beer. He looked around at everyone. They were also space aliens. They all looked alike because this was their home planet. The home planet was called Borg, which is three million miles from Earth.

He was drinking his drink when a bad alien came in and kicked open the door. This alien was from a different planet. He looked even uglier than Sammy because he was from a different planet where they have three tentacles, one eye, and are very tall, as tall as a regular human. This other planet called Zorg is as big as Jupiter.

The alien from Zorg was Sammy’s enemy named Ryan. They were enemies because Zorg was trying to take over Borg because Zorg wanted more land. Borg was also very small, and they also wanted more land. They wanted to also take over Zorg. They were fighting over each other’s planets.

Then, Ryan dove for Sammy, and yet Sammy was small, so Ryan missed and hit his head on a restaurant chair. Sammy jumped on him and trapped Ryan in a headlock. Then Ryan elbowed him in the stomach. Sammy jumped up and punched him in the chin. And Ryan’s tooth came out of his mouth. And then he got mad because his tooth flew out of his mouth. He punched Sammy in the stomach. Sammy ran and grabbed his root beer and headed to his spaceship. Sammy quickly blew up his spaceship before Ryan got in. 

Ryan wasn’t yet inside, so he lived. He kept a mini-spaceship in his pocket just for this reason. So he pressed the button, and then the spaceship appeared. Then he drove it and took a shot on Sammy’s spaceship, but he missed. Then Sammy took a shot on Ryan’s ship, and it barely hit. Then Ryan flew his ship in the air and left his ship hovering and opened an exit door to jump on Sammy’s spaceship and started punching Sammy’s window. Then Sammy turned his ship over, and then Ryan fell off. Then Ryan’s spaceship came back and saved him.

Then Ryan yelled, “This is not over!!!”

Chapter Two

A couple days later, Sammy went back to the restaurant, and guess who was waiting there for him? It was Ryan!!! The fight continued.

  Ryan dove for the legs, and Sammy jumped up, and then Ryan hit his head again. Ryan ran to his ship, and Sammy followed him. Ryan took a shot at Sammy as he was running up, but he barely missed. Then Sammy flew up and got instant air and then rolled down his window the old-fashioned way. Then he pulled out a laser gun and started making the ship spin and started shooting his laser gun. The gun froze the person who was hit for all time. He got a couple hits in before he had to reload. By the time it had reloaded, Ryan’s ship was ready. He took a couple of shots. 

“Yahoo!” Ryan screamed.

Sammy turned his ship to max speed and then rammed into Ryan’s ship. Ryan’s lasers went off inside the ship, and Ryan was frozen in space forever.


Park Poems


Green Ribbon

The green strands

of pointy ribbon

tickle my feet

as me and my sister

run around 

playing tag.


Wooden Giants

Inspired by Isabella Ekstein

The wooden giants

with green hats

tower over me.

I grab an arm, 

and

pull myself up

slowly

arm to arm,

until I reach the very top

and I sit

on the giant’s arm

looking 

into the 

golden light

of 

early morning.

Seesaw

A Haiku

Seesaw, up and down.

Seesaw, slowly hits the ground.

Seesaw, lots of fun!


My Life in the Birchwood Forest

Prologue:

I don’t know why I was left here. All I know is that this is where my life began. Right here in Birchwood forest. I can remember how I woke up here, the sun shining down on my face when I was very small. I remember how I sat up and looked around, and it felt like everything around me was a fresh start. This was the only place I remembered. The only place I ever knew as home.


Chapter 1:

It all started the day I woke up in the Birchwood forest. I was all alone. At first I was scared. Scared of this strange new place. Scared of being alone. Scared of myself. But then I realized that if this is where Earth put me, where Earth wanted me to live a life like this one, then this is the life I have to live.

Ever since the day when I woke up here, I tell myself that this is home. I don’t have any other history behind that. Just that this is me, this is where I belong. I wasn’t living in luxury, alone in the forest. I couldn’t bring myself to eat anything other than leaves, which I carefully expected for any signs of insects. Eventually I thought I might starve. The only source of water I could reach was a stream, the tinkling sounds of rushing water musical relief to my ears. By my second year in the forest, I was only turning two, but, of course, I didn’t know that. I wouldn’t have learned how to tell time and the days and the weeks, and the months and the years, or if I would survive living here for as long as a decade or more. And I did. How? It’s all thanks to the deer.

Chapter 2:

If it hadn’t been the fate that the deer had found me, I probably wouldn’t have lasted another week. They had watched me for awhile and saw me abandoned. They came on my second birthday, and ever since then, they had been my family. They found me sobbing under one of the youngest birch trees, the leaves and twigs and grass not been a filling enough diet, and I didn’t think I would survive the next few days like this. I looked up and saw a deer standing over me, looking into my somber face. Then something strange happened. Something I thought no human would ever be able to do. The deer/. It spoke to me. Not the way animals do in fantasy stories-through my mind. It was like a voice was softly speaking to me through every cell in my body. I could feel it vibrating through my heart, my soul, my head, to the tips of my fingers and toes, and all throughout my body. I could make out what the voice was saying, now, as the deer drew closer. I know you’re afraid. I hiccuped a reply. I opened my mouth to speak, but I didn’t even have to. The words rushed out through my head, not through my mouth. Y-yes. I stuttered through my mind, my new way of speaking difficult at first. Yes I am.  

The vibrations bounced back to me with the deer’s response. You don’t have to be. And ever since that day, I was one of them. I was one of the deer. Raised by them and lived like them, and learned the ways of the deer. I later found out the name of the deer that found me alone. Sage. I loved that name. Just like the plant my mother used to cook with before she abandoned me. I miss the smell of that beautiful plant. And from that day forward, my name–was Twig. 

In this instance, I am reminded that I am loved and probably was, even before I was found by the deer. Maybe Poppa and Momma didn’t want to abandon me, all alone, in the forest years ago. Maybe it was for my own sake, I thought, chewing on my thumbnail, maybe I was in danger, or, someone was coming to take me away! No loving family could let that happen, that’s for sure.

 I resumed positive and tried to focus on learning how to crack open a charcoal nut, a special type of vegetation that grows in the forest. I dropped the nut down on the rocks by the stream and waited for it to hopefully split open and the creamy inside would pour out. Unfortunately, this didn’t work the first time.

 “Really?!” 

Sage gave me a look that clearly meant, “Be patient.”

 I had to try it five more times until I got it right. Learning in the forest was harder than I expected. Grass, bark, twigs, and berries were all a part of a deer’s diet. I had to learn to live like them, so that was what I had to eat, too. I delved into studying the ways of survival. Now knew what was edible and what wasn’t. Now that I knew how to survive here, I wasn’t afraid anymore.  However, I had always been afraid of what I am once I found out exactly what powers I have, but the deer helped me. This is what I mean: At the age of five, I discovered that I was a deer shapeshifter.

Chapter 3:

One day, when I was down at the stream washing my face, I spotted a fox den and noticed three pups. Where had their mother gone? (It had been obvious that their mother had gone in search of food.) I crawled carefully over to the den and peered inside. I gasped as I noticed that one of the pups wasn’t breathing and leaned in closer. The two other pups growled at me and slowly backed away. I hesitated to do so, but I scooped up the pup in my arms and pulled it closer to me to see what was wrong. There was blood everywhere.

  It had seemed that something had attacked the fox pup and somehow had gotten into the den. The pup was dead. I had heard a sound from somewhere in the distance. The trotting of paws. The mother fox was close by. I carefully set down the pup’s limp body. I quickly ducked out of the den, and prepared to run.  But, it had been too late. The fox was getting closer and closer, and broke into a run. I ran for my life, but I had never been that great at running. 

Suddenly, I felt a tingling sensation come over my body. I kept running and running, as the fox picked up speed. The more space I put between the fox and me, the better. But the tingling sensation reached the top of my head to the tips of my toes and all throughout my body. Then, I felt something on my skin, like snowflakes were landing on my arms and legs. My feet turned icy cold, and my hands, too. I looked back and saw the fox racing after me. I looked down at my feet and saw that they had been replaced with gleaming black hooves. I shrieked and looked at my hands to make sure nothing was going on there, but it wasn’t like anything else was going to make hooves on a human any less surprising. There were hooves on both my hands instead of human fingers. Then, I felt my body arch forward until I was running in the position of a dog (now that I think about it, like a deer). I felt big furry ears and antlers sprout up upon my head. This is where I had realized what was going on. I–was shapeshifting into the form of a deer. 

The fox really seemed to have a death wish for me! I thought, as the sweat dripped down my face.  Still in deer form, I was trotting away at such a speed that I felt as if I was flying. It was wonderful to be in deer form! A thought struck me then. I couldn’t let the fox chase me back to the herd! I would put all their lives in danger, and they won’t ever deserve that, not after saving my life. I flew myself around a turn and crouched low behind a huge rock. I thought I would surely be dead deer meat, and I really would be if I died as one. My heart had been pounding in my chest, and my legs shook as the fox drew nearer. I watched from the huge boulder as it sniffed the ground, trying to track my scent. Sweat dripped down my forehead, and the nerve racking thought of dying as something I only was once in my life and having my deer bones being crushed to bits kept floating back to mind. Eventually the fox gave up and stalked away, not happy with its loss of prey.

Well I certainly was. I let out the breath I was holding, which I didn’t realize I was, as I was hiding from the fox, worrying about whether or not I would be torn apart by fox jaws.

I walked back to the young birches that the herd lived in. What had just happened to me? I had thought.

  Later on I realized that maybe if I ripen this raw power, I’ll be able to shapeshift when I want, not only in a scary situation. I had thought. As I carved my skill for shapeshifting, I realized that if I practiced hard enough, I would be able to shift whenever I wanted to. I realized that when I was in danger with the fox that day, my shifting powers came because I needed saving. So, I practiced hard enough, every day, and soon was able to master the skill of shifting by the time I was nine years old.


Chapter 4:

Two years later…

 One night, on my eleventh birthday, I was up in one of the birch trees that I had carved my initials on, which meant “Twig has climbed this tree” and spotted a light– shining– from a little ways outside of the forest. Then, I spotted something miraculous. There was a garden in the front of the house with lettuce and tomatoes and all sorts of delicious foods for the deer and I thought that if I could reach the garden, I could bring back food for the herd and me to have. I jumped out of the tree and quietly crept over to where the garden was, and sneaked closer to the beautiful garden.  I thought I would be able to reach in and grab as many vegetables as I wanted to without being caught, but it was harder than it looked. As I drew nearer, I could see that there was a fence surrounding the garden. It was tall and spiky and it looked like it would be impossible for me to climb over it.

“Oh, honestly, this is to easy!” I smugly said to absolutely no one around me. I stood on my tiptoes and extended my fingers and arms in front of me. I thought about what a deer looks like, the tall white antlers and the slender hind legs. I pictured the whole body of a deer, every single descriptive part about one. This is the way the deer trained me up. Now I do it as if it’s as simple as plucking a flower from the soil. It’s a sweet sadness, happy you have a pretty flower to stick in a vase and stare at it just to admire its beauty. But then again, you miss how you saw the flower, innocent and sweet-smelling, and you know that it will eventually wilt, and you will want to return to what it was before, sorry for taking a life and want to plant another. That’s how it is with me. I can’t bear myself to stay in this form too long, for I know that this isn’t really who I am, I’m the girl who lives with a deer herd, not a deer who has found other deer to live with.

That’s Sage’s title.

With my human form swept away like the tide, I take passion in carefully making sure I use my deer form wisely, only to collect food in a simpler way, so that in case I’m ever near civilization, people won’t send me away!

Well, this time I won’t be in deer form for any of that. I’ll have to be in form just so I can’t tear open a space in the gate wide enough for me to climb through! Then I’ll change myself back and carry as many vegetables as I can back to the herd. Good plan! I thought, as I slowly and silently began to tear open a whole in the gate, carefully not to wake the possessor of the house. Once I had clambered through the tear in the gate (They really could have put better security on it, any animal would be smart enough to find a way to get through to the garden). I shifted back into my normal self and knelt down to reach for the lettuce and tomatoes and any other delicious vegetables I could find. Once I had enough to feed the whole herd, I took my loaded arms to the gate and tossed everything over. Then, I climbed back through the hole in the gate and grabbed everything up from the ground and with my arms full, I hurried back to the herd.


Chapter 5:

Sage had warned me not to go out again for if I was found I would be taken away and never able to see the deer again. Of course, I didn’t want that to happen at all, so I went back to feeding on the things we had before I traveled to the garden. One night, I became restless though, knowing that we had too many mouths to feed and I thought the herd needed more food because one morning the deer and awoke to a loud noise in the distance. It sounded like the calling of a stag but at a thousand times louder. Then, a few bushes collapsed ahead of us. Our berry grove! That meant that there would be less food for us all. That couldn’t happen! I wouldn’t let the herd starve. That night, Sage told me that the world was changing and the humans didn’t always care for the forests. They wanted their own ways and didn’t think ahead of time how nature could be affected. Then, I knew that if the world was changing, and if groves were being cut down as Sage tells me, then I needed to do what I had to do.  

Later that night, I waited until the herd was asleep and slowly crept past the snoozing deer. As I tiptoed past Sage, I stopped in front of her and whispered,

“I’m sorry, but this will do us all good.”

Then I quietly crept out through the tall bushes, separating me from the tall trees that would lead to the clearing where the house was and where the garden was planted. I crept closer to the garden and, planning to climb back through my hole that I made last week, I noticed that it was boarded up. I only had one other option, to dig under the gate and come out the other side. Sighing reluctantly, I quickly changed form in a flash. I began (I would say clawing, but I have hooves) digging in the ground until I had built a deep enough trench to wiggle my body through. 

As soon as I felt fresh air again, I held still and kept my body tucked away in the soil, only exhibiting my ears above ground. I heard a gunshot somewhere in the distance. I gulped. Sage’s warned me about human weapons.

“They could kill a deer in an instant.” She had told me. With my rattling nerves, I crept silently out of my trench, and stalked towards the garden. I changed back into my original form and filled my basket I had weaved from tiger grass a few days after my trip to the garden. I was about to return to the herd when I heard whispering voices coming from the house. As I crept near, I could make out what they were saying. I crouched low under the window and pressed my ear up against the wall. I heard a man’s voice, high-pitched and stupied:  “Yes, we must cut down the trees around this house if we aspire to build the town’s shopping mall here.” 

My eyes widened as I listened for more. 

Another voice, low and demanding, responded, “Certainly. And these trees will make fine 

lumber for materials to sell in the main mall.”  My heart was racing in my chest. Sweat dripped down my forehead. What would I tell Sage? I wasn’t supposed to be out.

“Shall we have a deadline for when we begin building?”

“In a week we may begin construction,” the demanding voice said.  “We have a deal then.” My heart was pounding now and I heard the front door unlocked and click open. I gasped and quickly ran around the corner of the house and pressed myself up against the wall. A skinny man walked down the front steps and out of the cottage. 

“Selfish man.” I heard him mutter.

He put his bowling hat over his head and stalked away, his black jacket billowing out behind him.

 Chapter 6:

My breath was coming out in short gasps, and my lungs burned. I was running as fast as I could, but I had to face it. I sucked at running. I was still in shock from what I had just heard from the two men’s conversation. My bare feet burned and my knees ached horribly. I skidded around a corner as the dirt flew up behind me and I coughed as in inhaled the musty air. I reached the bushes were we all lived and gasped in relief. Regret filled my body, but I dropped to my knees and shook Sage awake. 

“Sage!! Sage!!” I whisper-yelled, careful not to wake the other deer. Sage blinked open her sleepy eyes, and sat back on her hind legs. 

“What is it, my fawn?” (That was Sage’s nickname for me). I clutched at my side, a stitch digging into my skin. I panted, and a sob escaped. I covered my face with my hands as so Sage couldn’t see me crying. Sobs racked my body. I always thought I was brave…

“It’s alright to cry, little one, Sage said as if she read my mind. “Now where were you that you’ve gotten so upset?” I sniffed and didn’t look at Sage as I spoke.

“I…I went back to the garden,” I said with a sigh. Her hazelnut eyes widened. I knew that look. To encourage me to go on. I looked up, finally, and told her about what I had overheard from the two men. “What are we going to do?” I said softly, watching as Sage stares wistfully into the distance. 

“We must move the herd to another forest,” she said, determined.

“No!” I shrieked, the word echoing off the tall trees.

“Twig, there’s no other way to be safe. We can’t stay here and hope our home doesn’t fall on our heads. We will have no sources of food and nowhere to live.”

“That’s exactly why we need to stop this!” I yelled. The other deer arose to the sounds of yelling. “No, we can’t leave!” I exclaimed. Some of the young deer came over to me and nudged me with their small snouts, as if to say, “It’s going to be alright.” I gave them a sympathetic smile and looked up, ready for a fight. “I’m sorry. But Sage, you saved my life. This– this is how I can repay you. And It’s about time, too,” I said, a sensation of melancholy overcoming me. “Twelve years later.” I stood up, my hands balling into fists. “I won’t let this go on. It has to go down.” Then I turned on my heel, deaf to Sage’s “Wait!”


Chapter 7:

 I knew what I was doing. I was going to go up to that horrible man and tell him that there is a herd of deer living in the forest, there are foxes and woodpeckers, there are chipmunks and woodchucks, there is life itself and he just wants to cut it all down. I will not let that happen. As I grew nearer to the house, I noticed how nervous I was. I took a deep breath and knocked. I looked down at my rags. I look like I’m not even taken care of! Of course I am though! By the deer! 

Before I could make another remark on my clothes, the front door swung open and a man with greasy black hair and a lopsided tie approached me. 

“What do you want?” He growled. It was the man with the low and demanding voice! 

I gulped. “I was wondering if I could have a quick chat with you about the current events?” I asked in a weak voice. This guy was scarier than I expected! 

“Do you mean the new mall? Are you here to…complain?” He demanded. 

“Actually, yes!” I said with as much positivity as I could muster. “Do you realize that you are building insanity smack in the face of nature?!” 

He had no answer for this demanding question, except for a forced, “Come inside and explain yourself.” The man dragged me by the front of my shirt forward into a musty room, where three things startled me. One: a mean-looking dog with fangs that formed an underbite. He growled at me, must have been smelling the deer. I slowly inched away from him. Two: the skinny man with the high-pitched voice was cowering in the corner! I gave him a questioning look which he returned. Three: A girl, about my age, sitting on a ripped up couch, looking reluctant as she held a cup of tea which smelled as the fumes of rotting eggs. She smiled at me, a smile which I did not return. I turned to the low voiced man. 

“What is your name?” I demanded of him. “And why should I have trust in telling you any personal information?” 

He growled. “It’s Barney.” The skinny man said, smirking at him. ‘Barney’ glared at him and turned a bright shade of pink. The girl on the couch let a laugh escape, and I almost laughed with her when Barney rounded on her. “You may address me by Mr. Barns!” He yelled, wheeling on me. 

“Seeing as I have no respect for you-,” the girl shoved her fist in her mouth to force back a giggle, “–I will address you as Barney. Do you realize that you’re planning to build buildings and malls smack in the face of this forest? There are herds of deer living here, foxes in their dens, and all sorts of animals that rely on living and surviving here in this forest.”

“She’s right,” said the man with the high-pitched voice. “If there’s so much life here, then we must find a better place to build our houses and malls, or not build them at all.”

“Yes, I agree with that,” said the girl on the couch. This time I returned her smile. I smiled at the man in the corner, too. 

Barney turned pink and exploded at all of us. “Fools!” he yelled. “Who cares about what lies in the forest? We planned all this work out and now we will finish it!”

“No you will not!” I protested. “A great herd of deer live there! I live there!” Everyone stared at me. 


“You live there?” the girl asked. I flushed red and had to say something, so I admitted how I lived in the forest ever since I was a baby. After I finished the story of how the deer found me and took care of me, everyone was shocked at my tale.

“No children should be living in the forest!” Barney exclaimed. “We’ll send you off to a proper school and a proper home.”

“No!” I yelled. “I have to live with the deer! They saved my life, I have to protect them!”

“Now don’t fuss, you’ll be happy there,” said the man in the corner. 

“No, papa, I think she’s happy here. But I also think that you shouldn’t be planning with this terrible man-,” she gestures to Barney. “-to chop down the Birchwood Forest.” It was pure relief to hear her say that. “I mean, if you think about it, you just destroy a chain of life! How would you feel if someone came into town, kicked us out, and replaced it with skyscrapers and tall buildings, and we had to make a long journey to find a better life, and be scared all the while and anxious you wouldn’t be able to find a perfect way to be at ease again? You can’t do that to the animals living in the forest! I agree with–what’s your name?” She asked me. I blushed at the fact that she even wanted to name and, as a matter of fact, my name is Twig, and she probably has a name that has nothing to do with nature or anything strange, probably a really pretty name.

 “I’m Brooke. Named after that stream in the forest you live in! And that’s my father, he goes by Mr. Dave.” She gave me an ear to ear grin. This time, I returned it. “I’m Twig,” I said shyly. 

“That’s a great name!” She examined. 

“Thanks.” I muttered. “Now who’s with me? Are we going to stop this insanity or what?!” I felt like I was rousing a bunch of protesters. I felt so positive I thought I was going to burst. Barney, through all of this, was standing, his mouth hanging open, shocked. He shook his head.

“I will not stand for this. I am heading into town now to borrow a trencher. These trees will be gone by thursday.” At that point, I couldn’t stand it anymore.

 

Chapter 8:

“I’ll be right back.” I whispered to Brooke. She nodded and gave me a promising look. As Mr. Dave and Barney argued, I tiptoed back and out of the house. I turned on my heel and ran. I had to get Sage! I shouldn’t have left her all alone with the others! They need to be safe! And they can’t be when Barney is planning to rip apart our home! I headed for the the grove were we slept, racing along in the deer form (I had shifted as soon as I left), and was now racing along a dry path, my hooves clicking in the dirt. I almost collided with Sage, who seemed to have the intention of racing after me. “Sage!” I exclaimed. I tried to convince them, “I met a girl named Brooke who wants to help me save the forest, along with her father and one other man who completely disagrees with us and still won’t let us keep the forest the way it is.”    

“For the first time I’m going to try to fight back with you. We will make sure our home isn’t destroyed. Change back into your human form, so they won’t suspect anything.”

I heard a voice in the distance. “Twig!” It called out. I spun around and saw Brooke and her father racing after me. Sage backed a few steps away.

“You told them your name?” she whispered. 

“It’s okay, those people don’t want the forest to be teared down. They want to help us.”

Then Barney emerged from the cottage and came running after us. “He–doesn’t want to help. He just wants to be selfish and unfeeling.” I glared at the long shadow of Barney striding across the clearing of trees drawing nearer to us.

“What is this vermin you are standing by?” He questioned, looking up and down Sage. I could see in Sage’s face the terror of standing in the presence of a human as horrible as this. I, for one, was shocked at these words. 

“Excuse you? How heartless can man get if they haven’t grown up knowing the importance of nature in this world? The very deer who saved my life, who, if it wasn’t for her, I wouldn’t be here, wouldn’t be speaking to you in this moment, the mere presence of me but a faded existence. I bet you want that, don’t you, me to be a dead goner. Than take me, take me instead of them, instead of the forest. I reached my hands out wide. I’m all yours. Just let them be.” 

Sage stepped in front of me, nudging me back. 

“No,” she whispered. “I’m so sorry I got you into this mess. And I’ll get you out, I promise.” I said. 

“I can’t do that!” Barney exclaimed, taken aback. “I can’t kill a human child instead of chopping down a random forest to make way for the new! Those options do not go together.” 

“In my world, they do. But, then, if you are too nervous to take my life instead of theirs because you think society will rat you out for murder, then leave us all. Build your malls, your homes, your tall–rectangular things–somewhere else, in a clearing where you don’t have to chop down my world.” A few minutes ticked by. 

“Please,” a tear ran down my cheek. “You don’t know how much this means to me.” Finally, the words came out that would change my life forever. Barney put his head in his hands. 

“Fine. Go live whatever life you want to.”

 Chapter 9:

Five Years Later…

Brooke

It was my last day to deliver food to Twig before I moved away. After today she would go into town when she needed to. I took the small satchel of food I tied it up to all tall tree, throwing the rope around it. As I pulled the rope up so no animals would eat it, I remembered the girl I met five years ago, and heard her tinkling laugh somewhere in the distance. She must be riding Sage. Or living in the tree house I helped her build last year. I will miss her so, so much.

“Goodbye, Twig.” I whispered into the forest.                  

Death Escape

Chapter 1

The outbreak starts

“Hey Matt! Let’s drive to the outskirts mall! We can go to the arcade,” I said. 

“But I don’t have money for those games!” said my friend Matt. 

“I got enough money to get all four of us covered! Go grab Gary and Al and lets get going!” I said. 

“No problem and thanks Kevin!” With that, we left our house and got into the car since I was the only one with a driver’s license, I drove.

  After a short drive with the guys chatting away about Fortnite because season 60 had flying cars, we finally pulled up to the mall. So we parked and entered the mall. The mall had so many stores with all sorts of fast food places along with other food stores. The mall was almost like a giant food store even though it had a bunch of other toy stores and clothing stores. I looked around and saw that today there weren’t many people there so it was more like a small crowd there. 

We entered the arcade with so many new games.

“Guys! Let’s play the new four-player walking dead!” I say. We run over to the new game and start. After we play for 5 minutes, we get death penalties. 

“Oh my goodness!” cried Gary. 

“Poor guy!” We had failed to save one of the guys which gave us a death penalty. “I sure hope this doesn’t happen to us Kevin,” said Al.

 We kept running around playing all sorts of arcade games. But after 30 minutes, I didn’t want to spend anymore money. So we set off toward the parking lot. We were going to enter the car and we all had received a message that tons of deer were gonna be on the road today.

“Ok Kevin, we should. Just drive carefully just to make sure we don’t kill anything,” said Matt. We then just jumped into the car and zoomed away.

Meanwhile……

“Sir! We have a small nuclear leak in the tank and it’s seeped into the water supply!” said a scientist to the manager who wasn’t very friendly at all.

“If you useless creeps don’t fix the problem or block more from coming out or I’ll go mad!” screamed the manager. Nearby, car washers didn’t seem to realize that their water supply had been a little bit contaminated by nuclear waste. They sprayed a person’s car and the person who had not paid attention to the deer message had already driven away at high speed. He then drove on the road and BANG accidentally hit a deer with his window open. “Ugh dumb animals…” he growled.

At that exact moment…

“Guys did you hear that?” asked Matt. “It sounded like some sort of bang!”

“Yeah I heard it too!” said Al.

“Do you think that’s the bang?” I asked pointing to a dead deer on the sidewalk. “Yeah.. maybe so,” said Gary. We walked out of the car and inspected the deer.

“Who would have done this?” asked Matt sadly.

“I bet it was him!” I said pointing to a person. I took a picture of the license plate and sent it to the police.

***

Later we had arrived home and turned on the Xbox and played Minecraft until 3:00 at noon. Until then we decided to watch some TV. We turned it on. It started with saying,

“A man drove by a deer corpse today and appeared to see it moving!”

That made us all jump out of our seats. “Could it be our deer?” cried Al seeming crazy nervous.

“Here we are with our witness! John! Would you please come up here?” said the reporter.

“Yes sir!” said the man named John. “I was just driving across the road until this seemingly dead deer just came to life!” He cried. “I even saw him get up and pound at a car! I then just drove away with that in film!” The man then said even more. “I then kept driving on the road until I saw some kind of man that looked deranged burst out of his window! Then he started chasing a car!”

“Well folks! That is our scoop for today! A mysterious deer coming to life what do you think? Leave a message on our website news channel 3.org!” he said.

We then were trying to change channels until channel 12 came in and said,

”Everyone listen up! We are here to show you a film of a clip shown from our newscopter! We are taking you there live! Subject! Massive violence and many casualties in the city of US! Here we are! Miles?”

“Yes sir, I can hear you! Now we are right now seeing in this city in Kansas where as far as I can see something wrong with some people! It’s as if they are killing others! I’ll try and go for a zoom in!” As the copter lowered, the camera zoomed in and we saw people with faces that had cracks and blood on them. It was not a pretty sight. But then something happened and the heli exploded on the ground.

“I think we better take a train somewhere else.” I said. Everyone took to that idea right away. So we booked train tickets to leave to Boston.

Chapter 2

Train of the dead


The next day, we were going to the train station. We then had checked in tickets and everything. We got to the tracks and went inside. We just viewed outside the window at the person letting people in. All of a sudden something pounced on him. And we had no idea what had happened. We were totally clueless. But it almost seemed like it was exactly like the people we saw in the news last night.

We knew that the train ride was supposed to be almost a day. But it was worth it to run away from total carnage.

“Guys, do you think it’s gonna be safe in Boston?” asked Gary worried.

“Yeah I’m sure we will,” I said. 

After an hour and a half, we were just sitting there until we saw something strange.

“Guys,” said Gary. “Does anything about this person look wrong to you?”

He said pointing to a woman who was limping our way and looking as if she would tumble down in a few seconds.

“She’s walking weird…” I said. “Do you think she’s sick?”

“Yeah I think so…” said Al. “Do you think she’s…. One of them?”

“What do you mean?” asked Matt.

“One of the creatures.” I told him. We saw her run into one of the train stewardesses.

“Ma’am are you okay?” asked the stewardess, bringing the woman into the back of the train. She laid the person on the ground.

“Conductor, we have a situation. There’s somebody here who seems in need of medical attention,” she said. The woman then got up. She got up and grabbed the stewardess and bit her in the neck. The stewardess fell in front of some passengers including us.

“What the hell??” murmured the passengers.

“Guys… we should run.” I said. We all got out of our chairs. “Hurry people!! Run!” I cried. The passengers didn’t all buy it.

“We aren’t going to listen to no pranks, sonny,” said an old man. A few passengers had already gotten up and were warning others to get up and run away.

“Fine! Just don’t get killed.” I said running off. “Everyone who saw the news last night?!” I said to passengers in car 5 out of 16 so I could get everyone to safety. So as we kept warning people to go to the front cars, we got most of the passengers in. I was getting a few more people out of car 7 where there were some other people. I ran to someone on the ground who was just lying there. As soon as I saw that person only had eye whites, I shoved them across from me and ran into car 6 where all the other people were. I shut the door before the crazy humans were in car 12 just in case something else happened. Two more people had then come, they banged on the door to get us to let them in. I did that and the couple got in.

One minute later, the zombies were in car 7 which is where we were behind them. They groped at the door and banged on it. One man was pressing against the door and said, “Anyone know how to lock these?” he said.

“Yeah I’d try twisting the orange thing on your left,” said somebody. The man did that.

“But what are those people doing with all that blood on them?” said one person. “It’s like a virus or something!”

“That’s it! It’s like a zombie outbreak or something!” I said. 

“Wait a minute, are we stopping somewhere?” I said. We saw a bunch of people approaching the window which made us all back up a little.

“Let us in! Please!” They cried. It took us all a minute to realize the train station had been overrun by zombies.

“Conductor! Open the door!” said a person. The conductor did so which also let the zombies on the train out. A couple survivors got in and slammed the door. Right before zombies started pounding the windows.

We slowly creaked open the door that led us to the train. We opened another door where there was still one or three zombies still hanging there. The few survivors including Gary and Al ran back. We slammed the door and saw someone slowly get killed by the zombie.

“Hey guys we can’t just stay on this train!” I said. “It’s going to reach Boston at one point where the virus might have already reached! We should all stick together.” Everyone was then talking about whether we should ditch the train and go to a stop with no zombies or go straight to Boston.

Everybody had mixed opinions and tried to argue with each other.

“We should stop the train at a stop,” said one man.

“But then we could end up getting ambushed by tons of zombies!” said another. “We should stay on the train.”

“But if we do that, it could get us trapped on a train or something. Besides, those zombies could break through that glass after a few hours!” said a third.

While everyone argued, me, Matt, Gary, and Al looked for something to help us. We all looked around until we could find something. Then we overheard the people deciding that we get off at the next stop. The conductor also agreed.

Once we got to the next stop, we realized nobody was here. We looked around hoping that there were no zombies. We looked around until somebody saw a R.I.O.T shield. We hoped that meant there were more survivors. We kept looking around together to see if there  were were survivors nearby until Al pointed at a baton. Gary had picked up both the shield and a baton which made him look more like the survivor kind. To be honest, he looked like a character from the Walking Dead series. So after he had that stuff, we kept searching for stuff to defend ourselves.

At one point, everybody was snooping around for weapons and shields. What I found was a wooden bat. But I was hoping I’d get a baton. But the thing is, there were hardly any weapons at all. Only three people had shields and about five people had bats or batons.

I was thinking about getting out of the train station until I realized that if there were a few police weapons, there could be police force nearby. Maybe even a military. I decided to look around downstairs for more weapons in the station and that when I saw that there was a broken gun a few feet away from me. At first I thought I was safe and had found a gun. But then I found out that it had blood all over it. That’s when I realized it meant that there could be a military force nearby that was infected.

I went back up to talk to Gary, Al, and Matt and explained what I had thought. They also thought about it and agreed with me.

“But where do you think the infected military can be?” asked Al. “Most likely at the train exit since that’s where nobody has gone.” I said. That’s when we heard a scream and saw a person run out the exit and into the station.

“Run!” he cried. “Run!!!” That’s when we realized that my theory of zombies was correct.


Chapter 3

Military chaos


Suddenly the whole train station had been completely overrun by infected soldiers. Gary grabbed his baton and bashed a zombie onto the floor.

“Let’s get the hell outta here!” he said. We then opened a door with nobody in it.

“Hurry! Get in here!” I cried to the panicking survivors. One by one, people noticed me calling them and ran through the door. After a few people entered, we noticed nobody else was alive. So we locked the door and saw that the zombies were already attacking.

“There’s too many of them! They’ll break the glass! Run!” I scream.

We all run and see that there’s still one train that was almost gonna leave. We kept running and making sure the infected didn’t catch up to us. We got onto the train.

“There’s still more people coming!” I said. “Get them in here!” But it was too late. Zombies broke through a window up top and started falling onto the ground. The passengers had mostly got into the train. So with that, the final person got in and closed the door. We figured we were safe but I had no idea what was gonna happen.

We quickly figured out that the people who were still alive had went into the incorrect train car and they got infected so it was no surprise to me that they were continuing to bang the windows. But me and my friends along with two other people got back into car 1 where nobody else was. We had blocked the glass doors to be sure they didn’t know we were there. Hopefully they had no sense of smell. But at one point we heard that somebody had opened the door for some completely stupid reason.

We soon heard the shrieks of zombies and survivors screaming. But no zombies banged on our door. That meant as long as the zombies couldn’t see us, we wouldn’t get chased. We then went to the conductor. “Hi guys,” he said. “This has been the worst day I have ever lived out of my whole life!” “We should get to Boston soon though,” he added.

Gary was worried. “Do you think that we could make it?” He asked.

“It’s possible, but let’s not lose hope yet.” said the conductor.

After we were 18 hours away from Boston, we looked and saw that zombies had overrun another train station. We were just about to pull away and after we were 11 minutes away from the station, we heard the conductor shout. 

“God dangit!” he screamed. “The engine’s broken!” 

I went over to him.

“We have to exit the train!” I said. “Guys, we have to get off.” I said to my friends. The two other survivors I first thought were still with us, but it turned out that their instincts made them go onto the train station first thing.


Chapter 4

Alone


“We are on our own,” said Gary shaking his head sadly. 

“We can’t stay on this train.

We have to actually survive until we reach Boston,” said Matt. We soon were walking off the train hoping not to get noticed by any really dangerous things. We all ran into the woods. But once we were walking, there were some zombies on the tracks. We were about to assault them until a zombie was right behind us and jumped on the conductor.

“ACK!” He cried, throwing the zombie to the ground. Thankfully he, the conductor, hadn’t been bitten.

“Gary! Hit the shield!” I said. Gary smashed his R.I.O.T shield directly into the zombie’s neck. It was a one shot kill, but this wasn’t a video game and we needed to actually fight those zombies on the tracks if we wanted to live.

We walked over to the zombies. They looked at us and lunged at us. My bat actually came in handy for the first time the apocalypse even happened. I struck at the zombie knocking it to the ground. Gary smacked a zombie’s head with his metal bat and got him killed. I kept continuously hitting a zombie until its blood oozed out.

“Matt! Here!” I said tossing my bat to Matt who was being attacked by a zombie. Matt first took out the zombie’s legs and then shoved the bat at its mouth.

“DIE!” cried Matt, smacking the zombie even after it was already completely dead. That was until there was a zombie right behind him. Gary whacked the zombie aside and shielded himself from getting bitten. Matt then finished the zombie off by punching him and smashing him.

After we had taken care of the zombies, we kept walking until we got to another area with zombies. But we kept either sneaking past or killing the zombies. At one point, we came to an area where there was a whole horde of them. So the idea was that we had to clear them out one by one which would be impossible unless somebody sacrificed themselves. I then noticed a person who had gotten eaten. I looked in his bag. Once I saw what was inside, I couldn’t believe my eyes.

There was actually 1 or 2 guns in there! I could not even believe my luck. At first I thought the gun was broken, but as soon as a zombie ran at me from out of nowhere, I did the first thing I thought of doing which was to grab a gun. But as soon as I pulled the trigger, blood went on the zombie’s head. I grabbed the shotgun for myself and passed the pistol to Al. Then we were ready. Matt and Gary took down those zombies as I took down the small crowd of undead humans. Gary kept giving the zombies a good clock on the head and wiped them out while Matt kept hitting at the guys so hard. He killed a row of three zombies in one hit. After defeating a somewhat endless wave of zombies, we actually managed to keep walking. But then, Al turned around and said, “Kevin, where did you get that gun?” He asked.

“In a pack.” I replied.

“Let’s see if it has food!” He said. “I’m hungry!” So that’s what we did. We finally got to that pack and opened it up.

“A banana, half a bag of chips, bottled water, and six cheese sticks,” said Gary.

“Let’s eat!” said Al. We all split the food.

We soon slept and waited in bushes where we hoped nobody could see us. We had to keep going early in the night so the zombies couldn’t see us. Thankfully we had survived the first day of the outbreak. We later kept going.


Chapter 5

Safe at last


We had a few encounters with zombies. I smashed some zombies to death that day until we finally had gotten to some kind of place where it looked like there had been a train accident. We all ran trying to make sure we didn’t run into a zombie horde. Soon, we saw a whole group of zombies all lying on the ground. But in front of us, there was a ton of zombies all grouped together on a bridge which we for sure had to take down.

We charged at the horde and were smacking them across the ground. I grabbed a zombie by the back of the shirt and broke its head by twisting it. Gary smacked zombies off into the lake which while Al shot his pistol making sure every bullet counted. We all ran toward other zombies knocking them into the river and shooting them all down.

Later, we had already found a tunnel which we thought would make a good base to be for surviving. We were alarmed by the sound of walkie talkies that made us think we were gonna be facing some kind of ultra smart zombies. That’s when we saw some people in army suits. We worried and walked over to get a closer look to see if they were human or zombie. But they then noticed us and said,

“Survivors approaching!” said some men. “Bring them over! Quick!”

Me, Gary, Al, Matt, and the conductor all approached the army men.

“We’re safe.” I said. “We survived the Zombie apocalypse!” We all cheered. Then we heard a noise in the air. “Scientists in the world have developed a cure for this disease! Medical units will now be dropping! Everybody now be calm! You are now safe!” The army men and my friends and me all cheered.

“We are survivors!” I said.

The end


Fend For Yourself

Nora lived right next to the waterfall Forest. The sky around the forest was always in perpetual sunset, so the ways the light hit the waterfall looked as if it was on fire. Nora never really noticed, but a water source kept her alive so she gave it some respect. Actually it was the only water source in the vicinity of fifty miles.  She lived on her own in the forest in a little grass hut. She got her water from the waterfall and salt from the ocean. She gathered roots and berries and set snares to catch the strange skinny birds. She was pretty self-dependent. She never noticed the beautiful setting or the pretty food that she gathered. The only thing about the nature that she really noticed was the crickets chirping that kept her from sleeping as early as she would like. Nora lived alone in her hut, but five miles away lived an old lady that seemed to know everything.

Every night when the crickets started to chirp, Nora started the long walk to the old lady’s grass hut and she learned about the possible plants and roots and edible birds that won’t give you bird fever. In return for the old lady’s knowledge, Nora fed her and shared her own knowledge , but since most of the useful things she knew were taught to her by the old lady, she mostly just told her stories of ancient gods and heroes. 

  One day when she was walking through the forest checking and resetting snares, she was unhappy to find that there were no edible birds, just the bright pink ones that were deadly poison. They were still alive so she let them go and walked over to the ocean to see if there was any fish to spear. None. She walked back into the forest and looked around for some roots and berries. She went to her favorite blackberry bush and found it untouched. She ran back to her hut, found a large basket, and stripped the berry bush clean of any fruit. 

She hauled the heavy basket inside and started eating. “Oh well,” she said to herself. “So much for a large lunch.” She sat down the half eaten blackberry basket and looked into the corner of the grass hut. There was an incredibly cute, little rabbit. Since Nora hardly noticed anything cute or pretty or nice she kicked it out of the hut and continued eating her berries. She set down the few remaining blackberries and wandered outside for a little afternoon stroll.

  After a mile or two, she noticed one of the strange skinny birds lying flat on its face. “Finally!” She said. “A real meal.” She kneeled down to pluck the bird when she noticed the the usually reddish brown skin of the strange skinny birds was paper white. Nora frowned and picked up the bird. Her stomach growled. She decided to consult the old lady. She took the long five mile hike up to the old lady’s house. She came running to the little grass hut. She walked into the hut.

Nora called the old lady Granny. Granny’s hut was strewn with thick, wooly rugs and sheepskin blankets from the real world.  Nora lived in the real world until she turned five. That was eight years ago. Bundles of good-smelling herbs hung from the ceiling.  Granny was sitting in a bundle of blankets cutting up meat Nora brought a few days ago on a large slab of wood that took up half the hut. Nora unclipped the bird from her belt. “Is that for me?” asked Granny. Nora’s cheeks turned red. She hadn’t anticipated this. “Sorry I will bring you your meat at the usual time but some weird things are happening.” Nora explained the vanished meat except for the paper white bird. “First you must not call it a bird. From now on you will call it a Apalaishan forest foul, and second give me the bird.” Granny said all in a hurry. “But you just said—” “No buts. Give me the bird.” Nora reluctantly gave Granny the bird.

Granny examined it for a solid five minutes. When she finally looked up from the Apalaishan forest foul she beckoned Nora to sit next to her. Nora sat down. Granny said, “Look at the slit in the side of your bird’s stomach.” She lifted the feathers that concealed the ugly gash. “The bird is completely sucked dry. There is not a trace of any blood. That explained why it is paper white. Your bird over here looked like he had an encounter with one of those giant leeches,” Granny paused and started plucking of the feathers.

 “You can have your dinner here. My cooking always tastes better than yours anyway.” Nora scowled at the floor, even though it was true. Granny always made good use of her herb bundles. It was starting to get dark. Nora walked over to close the grass curtain over the small hole in the hut and went around lighting candles with the fire that Granny had started to cook the food. Granny had three hundred and ninety-seven candles all stored away in a sheet of plastic to keep dry. It was unfortunate that she only had twenty candle holders. Granny had loads of stuff from the real world. That was the only thing that Nora did not like about Granny. 

After a long time of waiting for the stew to get ready, adding spices and unfamiliar herbs, supper was finally done. Granny spooned the stew into two wooden bowls and ate in silence. Nora was very hungry from her diminished lunch. She secretly thought that it was a bad idea that she showed Granny the bird. She wished she had eaten it all by herself. Even though the bird might have been poison, Nora had herbal remedies that Granny had taught her. 

Twenty minutes later, Nora got up and clipped the rest of the bird to her belt to be salted in her hut. A few years ago, she made a little trough out of sticks that she collected in the woods she filled it with salt. Now she had salted meat hanging from the roof of her hut as well as herbs and remedies. She salted the rest of the bird, hung it up, and crawled under a bear skin and went to sleep.   

The next day was a little more strange. Nora got up and pulled on a t-shirt and jeans that she brought to the from the real world, and went outside to check her snares all she found was paper white Apalashian forest foul. They were strewn across the forest floor. There were ten of them. She gathered them and took them to her hut. She plucked them and skinned them and did all sorts of things that you did to a piece of bird when you were hungry. She salted five and carried them over to Granny’s hut she dropped them off at the “Meat deposit” that Granny had installed for her. Since she already did the hunting and yesterday’s berries were still ripe, she decided to take a swim in the ocean.

 She walked to her hut, put on a bathing suit that used to fit Granny when she was thirteen, and headed to the ocean. Nora happened to be quite an accomplished swimmer, even when she was five and in the real world winning prizes for her back float and such. She went up to a cliff that looked down at the sea around forty feet down or so. She took a deep breath and dived into the blue-green waters once she touched the bottom she swam around face-down with her eyes open and she noticed something very strange. She got to her feet and swam deeper into the ocean and noticed fish lying on their backs. They were already dead. She looked up toward the cliff. There was a white flash of a tail disappearing into the woods. It looked like the rabbit she kicked out of her hut yesterday. 

She swam to the shore and ran to her hut and changed into her clothing. She got the long knife that she used for preparing meat and occasionally throwing a knife at a bird that wandered outside her hut. She silently slipped into her boots knife in hand and proceeded outside the hut. She was going to hunt down whoever was killing the animals. First she decided to tell Granny about her plan. She might give her something to help her. Last time something happened like this turned out to be a poacher. Nora had hit his head hard with a rock. He got amnesia, so instead of getting a buddy for Granny she led him over to the edge of the woods and pushed him out. He was probably now in some weird real world hospital.

Nora arrived at Granny’s hut and noticed that the meat was gone. She stepped into the hut and looked for some possible signs of life in the piles of blankets. “Granny! I need to tell you something,” Nora said loudly. No answer.  She looked and checked a couple of blanket piles. She checked the one nearest to the table. There she was! “Come here,” she croaked. Granny was very pale. As pale as the dead birds. Oh no. Nora hoped she was wrong about what she was thinking… Cause if she was right… “It the rabbit,” said Granny shakily. “The one who is killing the birds.” Her voice was barely a whisper. Granny collapsed. Nora’s eyes widened. She bit her lip. She felt Granny’s heart. Nothing. Nora made a small strangled sound. She carried Granny outside. 

  This could not be happening. Granny said that she wanted to have a proper, real-world burial. Hunting the rabbit could wait. She ran inside to fetch a shovel. She dug and dug and dug. Her hands were dotted with blisters. She set Granny down into the large hole and filled it in with dirt.  She went out to the meadow and picked Granny’s favorite purple flowers. She laid them around the grave. She went into Granny’s hut and collected all the herbs and meat. No use letting it go to waste. She carried them out to her own hut and hung them on the ceiling. 

‘Why did I like Granny so much? I guess she reminded me of my family in the real world. My dad my mom my sister. All of them. Even my infuriating cousins. I guess even Granny had a sassy side. I never actually knew my real grandmas. They died before I was born.  My grandma on my mom’s side died when my grandfather passed away due to a terrible sickness after the bombing of California. No one can even see the ruins because they are still toxic. My family lived In Nevada right near the border of California. Right near the bomb site. It wasn’t  even a normal bomb. It was the one that America swore to never use again. The Atom Bomb. Soon the sickness took hold of my whole family. My mother told me to flee to the Appalachian Trail. I did. I felt safe. But now no one is safe. I will avenge my adopted grandmother.’ Nora’s thinking time was over.

She picked up her knife filled with a new determination. She suddenly realized how ridiculous the whole situation was. A bloodsucking rabbit with a knife or an axe was out to get her. And Nora thought she had seen it all. Oh well. At least she had experience with killing animals. She might even enjoy rabbit stew. 

Nora trekked deeper into the woods. There was still no sign of the demon rabbit. At least he would stick out. There was no white rabbits in these woods. She decided to go in the direction of the cliff. The dead leaves crunched beneath her feet even though it was midsummer. She would scare of an elephant at this rate. Not that there were any elephants. She thought. Well with a demon rabbit who knew what was going to happen. She stepped onto the rocks. There wasn’t a sound. And suddenly behind a rock was the telltale flash of a white tail. She chased after it she threw her knife at it but missed. Appalashian forest foul were much slower. She yanked her knife out of the ground and threw again. This time the knife pinned the rabbit to the ground by its tail. Nora smiled. But something strange seemed to be happening. 

The rabbit’s tail looked like it was spinning. The tail lengthened and changed shape. Longer and longer and a strange square shape on top of the tail. The tail stopped spinning. The knife clattered to the ground. The tail had transformed into a large axe. The rabbit hopped around swinging the axe around and taunting Nora. The rabbit bared his teeth and jumped onto Nora swinging the axe like a madman. Nora did not know what to do. Her knife was still on the ground. All she had to do was get the knife. If that demon rabbit let her live long enough.  The rabbit started to shout meaningless things at her. The axe did not seem to ever get tired of flailing around. The rabbit’s pointy teeth were stained reddish brown from the fish and the birds. And Granny. Granny! She was the one who made Nora hunt the rabbit down not only because the birds were rotting but because the rabbit was the one who killed the only one who Nora liked anymore. Nora was so angry she could not see. She tore the rabbit off of her and lunged to get the fallen knife. She stomped down on the axe-tail an stabbed the rabbit. The rabbit still did not stop screaming. She stabbed it again and again but the rabbit did not cease to chatter. She held the rabbit by its neck and went to Granny ́s abandoned hut and got the big cooking pot. 

She started dumping herbal remedies into the pot that she brought with her everywhere. The water started to boil. She kept dumping random herbs into the pot until the water turned into a murky brown thick paste. Without thinking she dumped the rabbit into the pot and closed the lid on tightly this left her time to inspect her wounds. She had several deep gashes near her ankles and the rabbit left several puncture marks. She applied some dried seeds to her wounds and they immediately felt better. She checked on her rabbit stew. She knew that nothing could kill the rabbit. But she might put him in a state that will prevent them from ever doing harm to her and the forest. 

Nora reluctantly opened the pot lid. The murky brown had boiled down to a liquid that looked like the real world drink called coffee, only Nora’s concoction had brown mush floating around. The smell was overpowering. A tuft of brown sticky fur floated to the top. 

She went to Granny’s cabinet and retrieved a pair of tongs. She went back to the pot and fished around for awhile until she fished around for a while. She hit something. She pulled it out of the murky water and the rabbit was silent and sticky its eyes were closed and it mouth was only opened slightly as if it were asleep. Nora exhaled. She had avenged her Granny. She looked at the rabbit one last time to make sure it was dead. 

The rabbit opened its eyes and gave her a great big smile. “Peekaboo!” it said. The tail started to spin…

THE END   



Abandon School

PART l

Ch1: A bad day.

I feel as if the clouds departed for me today, for the sun is shining all over Akron even though I don’t like the sun. I think today is going to be the perfect day, mostly because tonight is going to be a full moon.

It’s my favorite subject in school, social studies. We are learning about wildlife. I am doing wolves.

“LISA! Are you paying attention?” My teacher Mrs. Moogs says pretty loud.

“I am, I am,” I reply even though I wasn’t.

”Well show us what your speech is about,” Mrs. Moogs says sounding annoyed.

 “Wolves, that’s what I am writing about,” I mumble walking up to the front of my classroom. 

“Well are you going to start?” Mrs. Moogs asks rudely. 

“I am, I am,“ I mumble once again. “I am writing about wolves. Wolves hunt mice, bunnies…”

”Wolves are DUMB,” a student yells out. I look down and see Bratt smirking at me. Bratt is the biggest and meanest bully in my school, P.S.37. He is so mean that he scares his own mom and dad. He is “like” a legend in school. Once Bratt was sent to the principal’s office when he came back the principal was following him, the principal had a black eye on his left eye. “Wolves are high predators and are related to dogs and coyotes,” I say raising my voice a little.

 “Still boring and BOO,” Bratt yells out again in mean voice.

Soon everyone starts yelling BOO at the top of their lungs. 

“SHUSH UP!” Mrs. Moogs screams at all the kids but that just made them louder.

 Mrs. Moogs looks at the kid that was yelling BOO the loudest. “Jack go to the office.” Everyone becomes silent watching Jack leave. “Anyone else that wants to join Jack?” Mrs. Moogs asks everyone in the classroom waiting for an answer. “Good. You may start over Lisa.”

”Most wolves hunt in packs. A pack means -” 

“I can’t hear you all, I can hear is your sassy, little voice,” he tells me.

This time I am so mad at Bratt for interrupting me again. I stare Bratt right across his face making him smile his horrible smile. Bratt stands up staring into my eyes as if he is winning a staring contest. Seeing that he stood up I do the same. Now I am standing up I am five inches taller than Bratt. This makes Bratt mad. He always brags about how he is the tallest in the whole school.

”Oh wow,” Nelson whispers even though I hear him. I look a little past Bratt, looking at my classmates which are Nelson, Max, and Ryla. 

“Hey guys stop starin’ and fight,” says Max with his English accent. Bratt looks at me devilishly as if he is agreeing with Max. But before I can do anything Mrs. Moogs calls me.

 “Lisa go to the principal.”

 I go downstairs without putting up a fight with Mrs. Moogs. 

When I get to Principal Cunningham’s office, he’s on the ground shivering to death. In front of him are two vikings that are arguing about whether they should take the principal first, and not take the students, or take the kids first and not take the principal. After a few minutes, they walk out of the room and decide to take the kids. I try to be silent as possible but they spot me and say,

“Why not start with this one?”

The viking with a red beard tries to hold me still but I bite him and run away to warn my best friends Kayla and Shawn. They are both in the same classroom, which is 3-208. I run upstairs. They can see me through the crack of the door. They both ask the teacher, which is their English teacher Mrs. Tiffany, if they can go to the bathroom, which she replies yes. They run out the door as fast as they can. They know all my secrets. 

“What’s the problem?” They ask at the same time.

“There are these viking dudes that are planning to capture all the students here,” I say in an excited voice. 

“Let’s go and beat them up!” says Shawn. “Give them a lesson.” We swiftly run down the stairs to see that there are seven hundred vikings with axes and spears caging kids. Shawn slows down and says, “I’m not sure I want to beat them up anymore.” 

Kayla bravely walks outside and says, “I demand you to stop!” To which they surprisingly do stop, and they all bow down to her. She thinks it’s a trick, so she takes one of their axes and starts hacking all the cages trying to get the kids out. Shawn takes a spear and starts swiftly cutting a viking’s helmet and starts attacking everybody he can see. After one hour of battling the vikings, we all huddle up together, knowing that there is no hope in defeating them, and we say that we will go home and hide. The vikings keep capturing the kids, but don’t hurt any of them. Kayla swiftly says that she is going to stay here and follow them to wherever they go. 

Shawn says that he is going to go and spend some time making a machine to defeat them. 

I now know that I’m going to be alone in hiding.

In the meanwhile, I keep trying to bite as many hairy arms and hairy legs as I can. We all agree that in two weeks from now, we will do what we need to do. When the two weeks are up, we will meet by the heart-tree. This time, Shawn like he always does, asks, “Why is it called the heart tree?” just to annoy us.

But I should say so anyway. The heart-tree is a tree, a normal tree, but it is shaved into a heart. A cat once got stuck in there when it was a normal tree and it was so scared that it kept going up the tree and down the tree, making it into a heart shape because the cat, everywhere it went, brushed off some leaves. It’s not a very exciting story. But that is the story. Soon all the vikings leave, with Kayla following them and Shawn running as fast as he can to go home and build a machine to destroy them. I look around and make sure nobody’s looking, and then I turn around. And when I’m right about to take my step, Mrs. Tiffany goes up to me and says, “Where are you going?” 

I reply and say, “I am going home.”

“I should call your parents before you go home,” she says.

“They’re probably sleeping,” I quickly say. 

“Then I shall walk you home, for you are only in first grade.”

“No thank you,” I say as politely and calmly as I can. But she insists. So I walk with her until we reach the forest. 

“You live here?” She asks me a little weirdly. 

“Yeah, I do.”

So we walk inside the forest. We walk for five hours until we come upon a cave. I tell her that we should rest there, for it is almost sundown. I don’t tell her this is my home.

Too tired to talk, she nods in agreement. She brings out two blankets and a pillow, as if she needs that in every situation, from her bag, and lays it down inside the misty cave. We both fall asleep very quickly. 

I wake up because I realize that it is a full moon and I’ve turned into a wolf. 

It all happened seven years ago when I was born. I remembered it all too well because I have a wolf’s memory. My mom was there in the hospital with me. It was midnight when I was born, and there was a full moon out. So I was a wolf at that time. My mom, who was also a wolf at that time, for some reason thought I was in danger. A few days later another female wolf, Guard came and brought me to her den with her four pups. Their names are Fluff, Ruff, and the twins, Sapphire and Chocolate.

Mrs. Tiffany wakes up in the middle of the night and looks at my bed and sees that I’m not there anymore. She turns to see me in wolf form gently lapping water in the nearby river. 

“Ahhhhhhhhh!” She screams and faints. When she faints, I put my paw on her to make sure that she’s not faking it. When she doesn’t get up, I curl up into a ball and fall asleep. When I wake up again, I wake up Mrs. Tiffany, who screams again when she wakes up and then thinks that it is all just a bad dream. And then, she looks at me and I realize that I still have my black fluffy wolf tail and my fluffy ears. And then I tell her that it’s not a dream.


Ch2: the explanation

She looks at me in shock and pinches herself to make sure that it isn’t a dream. I tell her that on full moons, when it is night, I turn into a wolf, that explains why I still have a wolf tail and wolf ears. She pinches herself again on the leg and tells herself it isn’t real. But I respond and say,

“It is real.”

She faints again and I dig in her bag and find a bucket and fill it up with water and pour it on her face. When she wakes up again, I tell her that we have to start leaving because I smell poachers, their miles away. The poachers are the worst, they once came into spot’s den. Spot growled as loud as he could. The poachers didn’t go away. They stayed and took a knife and cut off Spot’s leg. Guard rushed over to Spot and put him in his bed made out of wolf hair that they shed in the winter. Spot slept for a week. In the middle of the week, Spot got up, and was whimpering so loudly that Fluff and Ruff, who were in Guard’s stomach, kicked Guard’s stomach really hard.

She complains, “We haven’t even eaten breakfast yet.” 

“Well I’ve made it,” I tell her.

 She looks at me and asks, “What is it?”

“Chicken.”

“Where’d you get this?” Mrs. Tiffany questions me.

“I ran over to a farm and kinda stole a chicken and killed it.”

“We’ll get sued!” 

“Well, probably not, nobody knows where I live.”

“That makes sense.” 

“Well, let’s start eating.” 

“We have to cook it first!”

“Oh, right. I usually eat it raw.” 

Mrs. Tiffany starts pulling out footlong sticks and a packet of matches and lights the fire. I take two sticks and plant one on each side and plant one on top. She takes some string for her bag and ties the chicken to the top stick. I cut off the chicken breast and two chicken legs. She takes the chicken breast and wolfs it down. I take two chicken legs and wolf down all of them and spit out the bones. Mrs. Tiffany looks at me curiously and then remembers that I am a wolf, after all.

She asks, “Why do we have to leave?”

Ch3: run away with me.

“We have to leave because of poachers. They’ll probably kill me and then arrest you.”

“Kill you?” Mrs. Tiffany shouts. 

“And arrest you,” I add.

“Well, shouldn’t we pack some food?”

“Great idea. There are some walnuts that should be ripe by now and some shoots.”

“Walnuts and shoots?” Mrs. Tiffany exclaims. 

“Well, yeah. They’re mostly the only thing that won’t get rotten on our way there.” I should go warn Guard about the poachers, I think. We go over to the walnut tree. She picks some nuts and I pick some shoots. Mrs. Tiffany shoves them in her bag and I tell her to follow me. 

We run together over to Guard’s den. I tell her to wait outside because Guard doesn’t like strangers.

“Who’s Guard?” Mrs. Tiffany asks me. 

But I’ve already run inside. I go over to Guard and tell her in wolf language, “New poachers are in the area and we’re going to have to move until they leave.”

“Okay,” she says calmly. “I’ll go gather everyone up.”

I run back outside. Mrs. Tiffany asks me, “What happened in there?” She claims that she heard a lot of growling. 

“Oh, we were just speaking in wolf language,” I say while turning into a wolf from the moonlight I have been storing inside my body. It used to hurt me, it felt like sticks and stones breaking my bones but now I feel nothing. We run back inside the den and pick up Fluff and Ruff by the scruff of their necks. I set them down and tell them to get on my back.

“Yes, sissy,” they say at the same time. They jump on my back swiftly and I tell Sapphire to follow me and grab Chocolate by the scruff of his neck. I run outside and I see the whole pack of Sage and Stalk and their three pups, Rose, Cinnamon, and Grassy, also Splashy and Firy and their two pups, Rocky and Obsidian, and last but not least, Alpha’s husband, Spot.  It’s a big pack of fifteen, including the Alpha’s kids. 

It doesn’t take long to get to the other den. The whole time I walk next to Mrs. Tiffany for I think she was scared to be next to all the wolves. Most of the time Fluff and Ruff were yipping and yapping. Chocolate and Sapphire were arguing about whose eyes look better. We arrive at the tiny den, by then it is almost sundown. Sage and Stalk fall asleep first because they were carrying Rose, Cinnamon, and Grassy on their back the whole time. Then, Chocolate and Sapphire fall asleep next to Rocky and Obsidian. Splashy and Firy fall asleep next to Mrs. Tiffany. Guard and Spot fall asleep next to the single wolf that had been living there alone. His name was Spice. He is Sage’s dad. I fell asleep on top of Fluff and Ruff. 

I wake up to the sound of a gunshot. The poachers are only one foot away from the cave. I keep trying to wake up Spice, for he can howl the best and make everyone wake up. I realize the only way to wake everybody up was to wake Fluff and Ruff. So I jumped on Fluff and Ruff and they woke up. Immediately, they ran all the way over to Spice and started jumping on his stomach saying, “Wake up! Wake up!” very loudly in his ears. Finally, he is awake, and I tell him that the poachers are here and he is going to have to howl to wake everyone up. He nods in agreement and howls really loudly. Everybody wakes up, but now the poacher is right outside the cave. He comes in with a pistol. Everybody is awake, ready to attack. He blows the whistle and three more poachers come. Fluff and Ruff run to the back of the cave and start digging a little hole. Spice runs over to the hole and sat right on top of it. Guard and Spot jump on the first poacher and steal his pistol and start trying to break it. The second poacher shoots Spot on the stump of the leg that he doesn’t have, which doesn’t hurt at all because every morning he takes a pill to make his leg numb, that Stalk made so he doesn’t feel anything. Chocolate runs over to the second poacher and starts running circles around his leg as fast as he can, which was the whole circle around in five seconds. He is making the poacher dizzy, so dizzy the poacher just sees a flying chocolate bar around his legs. When he tries to grab Chocolate, Chocolate is on the other side of his legs. Soon, the poacher falls down in dizziness and Sapphire comes and started punching him in the face with her paws. Now his nose is bleeding. I jump on the second poacher’s stomach, who is now laying down. I grab his pistol and I throw it over to Mrs. Tiffany, who somehow catches it and starts shooting it at the first poacher’s toes. Sage and Stalk and Rose and Grassy and Cinnamon and Obsidian go over, run outside of the cave when nobody’s looking and start collecting bendable twigs to make a cage with some metal that they have found from recent adventures. The third poacher, who is just standing there in awe, does not notice when Sage and Stalk put the cage above him, and he does not notice it fall. Soon, he is trapped in a cage. The fourth poacher comes out of nowhere and seems to be the chief, takes a rifle and shoots at me at the same moment that I turn back into human. I try not to pay much attention to my pain, which is throbbing. I roll on my back. Mrs. Tiffany stops shooting the guy’s feet and picks me up and takes me to the back of the cave so no harm can be done to me anymore. Everything feels strange. When I try to talk or scream, no noise comes out. The world goes bonkers. Stars and rainbows are everywhere. I finally close my eyes and the pain goes away.


Ch 4: Don’t Lie To Me, I Can Eat You Alive

I’m in a room. Next to me is a donkey with a top hat and a sticker on his fur saying, “Hello, my name is Donkey Kong.” Next to me is a familiar face, one that I haven’t seen in a very long, long time…

The first poacher and the second poacher run away screaming, and the chief poacher runs away saying, 

“I want my mommy!” The third poacher is still stuck inside of his cage, sitting down, chewing on his nails, thinking of how to get out. 

“Hey you!” Mrs. Tiffany shouts at his face, running from the back of the cave. 

“What about me? Are you going to let me go or not?” says the third poacher.

“Well, first you have to answer some questions.”
“Okay, whatever.” 

“The person that your chief just killed name was Lisa. Do you know her?”

“What’s her last name?”

“Moonfire.”

“Oh yeah, I do know the Moonfires. We’re neighbors. And they have two kids, I didn’t know one of them ran away.”

“Where do they live?”

“Cleveland, Shawn Road. But they just recently moved.”

“Where did they move to?” Mrs. Tiffany asks, in suspense.

“I don’t know, they said they moved to somewhere in the forest, five hours away from Akron. They were nice neighbors.”

“Who do you work for?” 

“I work for the military,” he answers while smiling. 

Sapphire, who is usually very quiet, goes over to the third poacher and stands on her hind legs to make her one foot taller.

She grins and says, “Don’t lie to me. I can eat you alive,” in her best human voice.
The third poacher, clearly shaken, says, “Uh, yeah. I work for Queen Setorga. She has like a million viking dudes, they’re so weird. So basically I kinda work for the viking dudes.” Sweat trickles down his neck, scared by little Sapphire. 

“What is your name?” Mrs. Tiffany wonders out loud. 

“Oh, my name. My name. What is it again? Oh, right. It’s, umm… it’s, uhh… uhhh… I’ve clearly forgotten my name. Did you brainwash me or something?”

“No, we didn’t,” Mrs. Tiffany says, a little louder than she expected to say. “Just tell us your name!”

“Oh, yeah, that thing. My name… what does name mean again? So, my name, uh… Let’s see, what is my name again? Oh, right, it’s umm, umm, yeah, it’s Jeff. Yeah, that’s it.”

“Jeff what?” says Mrs. Tiffany, in curiosity. Sapphire takes one step forward and “Jeff” spills the beans.

“Ahh! Please don’t kill me! My name is Kevin Moonfire.”

I look down at my fingers. The tips are bone. You could see where the bullet hit my heart. Am I dead? Why am I still here?

“Hello, I’ve been waiting for you for a few minutes,” says the familiar person.

“Um, not to be rude, but WHO ARE YOU?” I say in a “soft voice.”

“My name is Emily, but you can call me Mrs. Moonfire.”

“Mom?” I’m looking around. There’s a big light above me, in a very big ceiling. There’s grass on the ground and the walls. 

“Yeah, it’s me, honey.” 

This calls me back to my senses. “Wait, what?” I say. “Why are you here?” I ask in confusion. “Why weren’t you there all those years ago? When I was born, why did you just leave me on the patio on the steps?”
“Because you were in danger.”
“How? What kind of danger? So much danger to you that you left me there?” 

“No, I meant danger to you. The person that made me into a wolf and the twins a wolf. He was a werewolf. He realized that when you were created, he could steal you and put you in his army, and then he’d just throw you away, like a piece of garbage.”

“Oh. Well, now that I’m dead, what else is there to do? And how did you die with me?” I wonder.  

“Well, every time a wolf dies that’s half human, I am drawn to it. You are free to leave, you can leave. You probably don’t want to be with me anymore. I’m a terrible mother.”

“I believe in second chances. But how do I leave?” 

“Do you see that tiny hole in the air, the dot in the air?”
“Yes, I do,” I reply.

“That is the way back. It is traveling through space and time. You have to be careful when you go back. If you don’t come back in the right place, then you could lose your wolf life. You would still be human but you need a lot of moonlight  to turn back. There is two sides of you. When you died, you were human. You don’t have that human life anymore. However, your wolf life is asking you for a second chance in life. You do not have to take this chance. But if you want to you can. If you go into the wrong time, and you see yourself as a wolf, it’s over.”

“Okay, okay. Now come with me and let’s get this over with.”
“I hope you have a wolf memory,” she holds my hand and we jump in together. 

I first see the first thing that I can see in the black hole, which is my mom. We move over to her putting me down on the steps. Then Guard finding me. Me playing Duck Duck Wolf, a hunting game, with Chocolate and Sapphire. Poachers coming and taking Spot’s leg. Fluff and Ruff being born. Me turning one year old with my birthday bear. It was delicious. Fluff and Ruff learning to talk. Chocolate turning three. Me turning five. Sapphire running away, and finding her. Me going to school. Me graduating into first grade. The vikings. Me, and Kayla and Shawn huddled together. Me and Mrs. Tiffany. The poachers. And me, dead in the back of the cave. I jump into that picture, my hands still tightly holding my mom’s. 

“Hi guys!” I say very casually in my human voice. 

“Who-what!!” Mrs. Tiffany says confuzzled.

“Yip!” yelps Fluff, poking her head out from the hole she’s in. 

“Yap!” yelps Ruff, also poking his head out from the hole.

Sapphire turns around and says, “Is that another you? A taller you? In human form?” 

“That’s my mom!” I say in an excited tone. Kevin turns around.

“Emily?” he says as if his dream came true.

“Yes?” My mom says. 

“Who is that talking wolf next to you?”

“Oh, that’s Lisa.”

“Who?”

“I’ll tell you later, but she’s our daughter.”

“Should we take her home?”

“Sure, but what about her wolves and that middle aged person?”

“Well, I guess they’ll fit in our seven-floored house.”

“Don’t lie to me, I can eat you alive.” Sapphire says the only words that she can say in human language. 

“Tell me now why you didn’t tell me about her before!” Kevin yells, inside of a cage.

“Why are you yelling at me now? You usually never yell,” Emily shouts at him. 

“Well, this is a reason to yell about!”

“I can’t agree with you.”

“Well.”

“Well, you’re the one that joined the poachers!”

“I guess I should tell you my story.”
“Yes, you should!” Emily shouts. Everybody stares at Emily, including the wolves. 

“One day, I was just cleaning the house ten years after we had gotten married and the viking dudes knocked down my door. Of course, I didn’t know who this was, so I answered, and they said ‘You have to come with us now.’ I said, ‘Well, I’m just doing my spring cleaning. Do you mind coming back maybe in the summer?’ They said no, and I asked them again. ‘No, I will not tolerate this!’ said the viking with the red beard–”

“Oh, I’ve met a viking with a red beard. He’s the one that captured a lot of students,” I interrupt.

“Let me continue with my story!” Kevin says in an angry voice. “They handcuffed my hands behind my back and blindfolded me. They spun me around until I barfed on the red beard viking’s face.”

“Hee Hee Hee Hee Haha,” Chocolate laughs. 

“Can I continue with my story?” Kevin hollers. Everyone nodded at him in agreement. “They brought me into their base a month ago. They said that if I didn’t become an army member they will kill me and my children and my wife. So immediately, I knew they were the bad guys. So I said sure, so I could become a snitch. One day, they told me that I needed to go on a mission to hunt some wolves that have been disturbing people in the wild. I came, but I did not do anything because the place looked familiar . So I didn’t fight any of the wolves. I didn’t do anything when you captured me. So here I am now. I thought it was pretty funny that the Chief, who was also the general of the army, was scared and was saying, ‘I want my mommy!’” 

“Oh, I‘m sorry, I didn’t know,” Emily said. 

“Guys, I just remembered something!” I say. 

“What?” Mrs. Tiffany exclaims. 

“You know how I’ve always been here for the wolves’ adventures. I think that now you should help me on my adventure.”

“Okay, Lisa. I don’t see where this is going,” says my mom.

“My friends said that we would meet together at the heart-shaped tree after two weeks. That’s up in two days. That’s exactly how long it’s going to take us. Do you want to join me?”

“Sure!” All the wolves say immediately, for they had been on all of her adventures.

“Well, Mom, Dad, and Mrs. Tiffany, would you like to come?”

“It would be fun,” Mrs. Tiffany admits. 

“I just met you. I don’t know if I can be with you,” says Kevin. 

“Just trust me, Dad.”

“If you’re going, Kevin, I’m going too,” my mom tells my dad. 

“Okay, then let’s start going!” 

“But wait!” My dad says. “We don’t have any rifles to hunt! The dried food you have isn’t going to last us two weeks!”

“You’re right, but we already have our weapons,” I say, pointing to the wolves. 

“Good point,” he says. “Well, what are we waiting for? Let’s get started!”

“Well, it is late at night,” Mrs. Tiffany says. “We should get some rest before we go.”

“Okay,” all the wolves agree. Mrs. Tiffany gets my Mom and Dad a blanket and a big pillow to share. She flops down with her head on my side. She smiles in her sleep. I think she’s probably happy that the pillow is a soft big wolf. 

I wake up to Spice howling really loudly. “It’s okay, Spice,” I tell him. “I’m awake. I can wake all the humans up.” He stops howling. I jump on top of my Mom, who says something that I can’t understand. She waits for me to respond, but I tell her that I have no idea what she’s saying.

She tells me, “Part of being in wolf form for most of your life is that you won’t be able to hear humans very well.” She says it as if all of this is normal. I jump on Dad and tell him to wake up, but of course all he hears is growling and he thinks that it is Sapphire. My Mom explains to him why he only heard growling. Then, I go and I wake up Mrs. Tiffany. I whisper in her ear, “Wake up!”

She strangely understands me, and says, “Okay, Lisa. I’ll wake up.” My mom, not knowing that Mrs. Tiffany can still hear me, explains to her what had just happened, and she says, “But I just heard her clearly!”

Mom says that it’s strange then I tell her she’s been with me the whole time. Mom says that it is a very rare possibility that Mrs. Tiffany can hear what I am saying. 

When all the wolves are awake, I tell Mom to get on Sage and for Mom to tell Dad to get on Stalk. Mom picks up Rose and Cinnamon and Dad picks up Grassy. I tell Mrs. Tiffany to ride Spot. I let Rocky and Obsidian get on my back and I hold Fluff and Ruff by the scruff of their necks. Guard, who’s next to Firy, puts Sapphire on her back and she picks up Chocolate. And we run for two weeks.

We stop a few times. It’s very exhausting. Finally, we get there and we’re one day early. That whole day, everybody falls asleep, but I stay awake, my eyes open, waiting for Kayla and Shawn. I notice Shawn is wearing tattered armour and Kayla is wearing a crown and armour that’s embroidered with jewels. 

When Kayla and Shawn come, they notice me when I’m in wolf form. They’re surprised to see Mrs. Tiffany, and two other humans. I tell them I’ll share my story later. I tell them they should share theirs first. They nod in agreement, very tired from their journey. Kayla translates to Shawn what I am saying, for I have taught her how to speak wolf language. Shawn asks if I’m hungry. Me and Kayla say yes at the exact same time. He pulls out a donut from his pocket and says, “Do you want to split this dessert together?”

We are very happy. They told me what they did and then went over our battle plans.

Sareen the Blanket Girl

Once upon a time, there was a girl named Sareen. She loved toys and especially her blanket. It was really fuzzy. It could fit as a cape and was made of black, really cozy material.

Whenever Sareen was feeling happy, sad, or any emotion, she wanted her special blanket. One day, Sareen left the blanket alone to go to breakfast and then the blanket started moving by itself. It first went to the washroom to flush the toilet. The next thing he did was he go outside the balcony watching the birds because the bird pooped on him. Then the blanket went in Sareen’s mom and dad’s room. He messed up the bed. Then he went to the guest room. Then Sareen went upstairs and saw that everything was a mess, but the blanket was gone because it was walking down to the kitchen. Then Sareen looked in the laundry room to look for the blanket and she also saw that the laundry room was a mess. The blanket was looking for something. Then Sareen found a little black piece of something because she thought it was her blanket. She started to run after the little black thing and then she got the blanket. Then it was night, so she needed to get her blanket. She looked everywhere and then she finally got it! Then she went to sleep with it. The blanket found a stuffed animal right next to Sareen so it took that instead. 

The next day, Sareen was wearing the blanket as a cape, and then the blanket was moving by itself! The blanket lifted Sareen off the ground, and she started flying in the living room! She then landed on the soft couch. Sareen said, “That was amazing!”

The blanket replied to Sareen by saying, “Let’s fly more!”

Sareen said, “How did you fly?” The blanket said nothing, but instead went on the ground and fell asleep. Sareen took it into her bed and had mint chocolate chip ice cream by herself. She watched a lot of TV because she had nothing to do because her blanket was asleep. She stayed awake all night. She tried to wake up her blanket because she wanted to fly! She shook the blanket. The blanket woke up. Sareen made a paper airplane with the blanket and flew! They flew outside and Sareen accidentally dropped into the pool while the blanket kept flying. The blanket then fell into the grass because it needed more energy. So then Sareen swam to the stairs and then went to the shower. She then changed into her PJs. She slept in her really comfy bed. Her blanket was still in the grass so the blanket walked up the stairs and slept in her bed with her. 

The end.


The Moon

The moon is like round pasta 

and a bright bitten cookie 

It’s as starry as can be tonight

The moon is a white ladybug flying 

or a parachute on D-Day


Is the entire universe a giant’s lungs? 

I need space

I’m going to space

A little bit of space 

is a lot of space

An alien space pod is crashing down on the earth and going kaboom-meow! 

The aliens come down and they dance and dance and dance 

They see the United States flag

and wonder if it makes energy

The humans find the space pod and wonder 

if it was aliens

The space pod is put in a museum 

In the year 3019 a boy named Sivolc 

tries 


There’s something in the air

The clouds look like torpedo flying in the air — or a jet


The Day You Die

One day, a little girl named Emily decided to go for a walk. It was a nice day, and so Emily wanted to go to Central Park. So Emily went to her mom and said, “Mom can you take me to Central Park?” And her mom said, “Yes.”

So they headed out to the park and on the way there, an eagle swooped down and scared Emily. The eagle had a scratch on its nose, which made it look very scary, and it made scary noises and growls that sounded like, “RRR.” 

After the attack, Emily was terrified, and she told her mom that she wanted to head home. But her mom wanted to take her to a big grassy field in Central Park with swings, and so she said, “It’s fine, let’s just move on.” 

“Fine mom, but what if the eagle comes back?” 

“It won’t. I promise, okay?”

“I believe you.”

Then Emily and her mom entered Central Park, and went to the grassy field. And then, the giant eagle was back to scare her!

Emily was so scared that she wanted to leave Central Park. The mom agreed to leave Central Park. On the way out, the giant came out and ate the eagle. The giant was so big. Emily saw Central Park was haunted, and she never wanted to go back. They went back home.

Then it was night, and Emily thought she was going to have nightmares and couldn’t fall asleep. But when it was morning time, she was so sleepy. The moment she went on the couch, she fell asleep. When she fell asleep, she woke up in the nighttime, and she heard so many strange noises that freaked her out, and she ran to her mom’s room. But she wasn’t there. She was so scared that she stayed in her mom’s room and didn’t go out. So she fell asleep in there.

“MOM! WHERE ARE YOU?” 

Her mom was actually there, but it was too dark, so Emily couldn’t see. 

Her mom said, “Lower your voice! I’m right here.”

“Oh, I didn’t see you there.”

And the mom was so mad that she said, “Go back to your room!”

Emily said, “No mom! Remember, there’s a monster?” So Emily begged her mom and said, “Sorry! Sorry! Sorry! I promise I won’t do it again!”

“I don’t care! Go to your room.”

Emily said, “Can I borrow a flashlight?”

No.”

Emily was so mad that she didn’t even care, and she walked out. “I don’t care. I’m still going to walk out.”

When she walked out, she told her mom that she was going to walk, but she ran instead. She didn’t wake up that morning. Her mom came to her room to check on her. 

And then Emily said, “Get out of my room.”

“Okay. But you can’t stay in there for long.” And then Emily’s mom said, “I guess you don’t want my homemade biscuits.”

And then Emily was so tempted that she ran out of her room. Her mom said, “Aha! What did I witness!” 

“Okay I might have ran out of my room, but I could smell the biscuits a mile away. How can I not smell them?”

“Oh I didn’t know that.” 

“Whatever, I’m still going to eat the biscuits.” 

“Ok. They are on the dining table.” 

Emily walked there and took a seat, and the moment she sat down, she heard something. She thought it was her mom making more biscuits until she asked her mom. 

tap,tap,tap   “Mom, are you making more biscuits?” 

And her mom answered, “No.” 

Then Emily said, “Look outside, mom… there’s an eagle!!!” 

“No there isn’t.” 

“Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa there’s an eagle in our window! Mom, how can we get it out?” 

Then the eagle said, “I am watching you! You will be in my sight wherever you go. You can go to space, and you will not find me. I have a place where I can hide, and no one knows about it. Not even my family! Sometimes I don’t even know where my own house is, and sometimes I even have to sleep on a cloud because I don’t know where my own house is! Once I didn’t come to my house for a whole month!”

“Well, if you get lost again you can’t sleep in my house,” said Emily. 

Emily’s mom went to the kitchen and got a broom and did this, “GET OUT. HAYAH!” 

And then the eagle got hit off of the window. 

The eagle was flying in the sky, and flew up again, and cracked their window sill, and said, “What was that for?” 

The mom said, “What are you doing here? I thought I hit the jelly out of you!” 

The eagle said, “Oh, I’m already dead. I just want to have company.” 

Then the mom said, “Oh, why do you keep scaring us then?”

Then Emily said, “Yeah, why do you have a big scar on your nose?” 

“Because when I was alive, I had an owner that was so mean, she threw a knife at my nose, but all I did was do my business on her bed! And as in business, I mean… you know… ” said the eagle. 

The mom said, “You can stay a week here, but you can’t do your business on my bed, or Emily’s bed.”

Then the eagle said, “Ok, shall we get this party started?” He went to the kitchen and got the chips, and put them on the fan, and put the fan on, and then the chips flew everywhere!

The mom said, “Don’t make me change my mind.” 

The eagle said, “Sorry, sorry.” He used his magic powers to clean up so fast, faster than a superhero. And the mom was speechless, the same was Emily. 

Then Emily said, “Can you clean my room?”

“No, sorry, I only can clean up when I make a mess,” said the eagle. 

Then Emily said, “Go make a mess in my room.”

“Of course not, then I’ll just have to clean up even more. How boring would that be?” said the eagle.

And then, secret agents knocked on our door and said, “We’re gonna need that eagle, and we DON’T take no for an answer.” 

And then, the eagle hid under the couch and whispered to Emily, “Don’t tell them where I am because they will kill me. That is why I have a secret house.” 

And then the secret agent told Emily’s mom, “When we find the eagle, we will feed it to a big giant.” 

The eagle told Emily, “See, what did I tell you?” 

“What was that?” said the secret agent. 

Emily’s mom said, “That was nothing!”

The secret agent said, “Are you hiding something from me?”

“Of course not! See you later, come back tomorrow.” And she slammed the door. The secret agent was so upset that he didn’t even care. He used his weapon and kicked the door open.

He said, “I know the eagle is here. I am searching, whether or not you say no.” 

First, the secret agent checked Emily’s room. Second, he checked Emily’s mom’s room. Third, he checked the kitchen. Fourth, he checked the living room. 

Dun dun Duuuuuunnnn. 

Emily said, “Hello, who are you? Nothing to see here, please get out of my house.” 

She used her hands to push him back out of the living room, but then the eagle sneezed! 

“AACHOOOOOO!” 

Then the secret agent turned around, and flipped Emily with his hands. 

He said, “Get out of my way, you’re wasting my time.” He went into the living room.

Emily said to her mom, “Mom, what should we do?”

“No worries, look! The eagle is flying away!” said her mom.

Then the evil agent spy said, “We need to get that eagle!” 

He pulled a strap on his bag, and then wings came out of the backpack. And then he flew after the eagle! The eagle flew back to his home, but then he didn’t know where his home was because it was hidden in camouflage! He instead went to a dead tree and camouflaged with that because it was brown, white, and black. 

When the secret agent got near the home where the eagle was flying, he said, “Where did the eagle go?” 

So he used his watch to scan everywhere, and he saw that the eagle was camouflaging with the tree, but the eagle saw him coming closer, so the eagle flew off, back to Emily’s home, and the eagle hid in their dog cage since Coco died. So they stuffed the eagle inside. The cage was very big because a Sammy Smile can be up to eighty-five pounds! When the secret agent came back, he asked where the eagle was. 

The mother said, “Nowhere, it’s just our dog Coco! You must’ve come to the wrong house!” 

The family dressed up in wigs, so that the agent wouldn’t recognize them. 

“Of course, I have! The person in the other house has brown straight hair. You guys have grey, black, curly hair.” 

The agent knew it was us because we didn’t use accents, and then he pulled our wigs off!

Emily said, “It’s a miracle! I’m young again!” 

The agent said, “Where’s your dog?”

Emily said, “In China.”

He said “I know you’re lying.”

Emily said, “Fine, she is in California getting a doggy groom.” 

Then the agent believed them because they gave him the location and why the dog was there. So he flew off!

The eagle said, “Thank you.” 

But really it was just a hologram! The agent was really under the couch the whole time! So really, he knew where the eagle was! 

“Get out of my way where is the dog cage?” 

“Nowhere,” said Emily. 

The End 

Tsega Goes to the Waterpark

I was in the car going to the waterpark, and my dog was coming with me. The color of her fur was brown and white. She was snuggling with me, and when she got up and put her head out the window, she stuck her tongue out. My mom was driving and we pulled into the waterpark, which was in California, and we got our stuff out of the car. We got out our towels, our goggles, and our swimming caps. My goggles were dark blue and violet, and my cap was pink, and I was wearing my bathing suit. My bathing suit was pink and it had a ‘T’ on it, which was light blue. When we went to the gate, we realized we forgot our tickets in the car, so we went back to the car, and then we went back to the gate with our tickets. Then, we got in and went on a water slide. We finished the water slide, and it was really fun. Then, we went on a water-coaster, and it was really long and fun. When we got off, I was really dizzy because it went around in circles. Then, we got some Gatorade and ice cream because it was really hot. I got mint chocolate chip with hot fudge, and my mom got vanilla with caramel sauce. We got to put on our own toppings. We stayed at the water park for the whole day. I also did a throwing game, and I got a little teddy bear. Then, we got lunch. I got mac and cheese, and my mom got a burger. I took my first sip of my Gatorade, and then we went on the water-coaster again because it was really fun. Then, I finished my Gatorade. I took my cap off because it was really tight. My mom’s bathing suit had red roses and a yellow background. When it was almost nighttime, we went back to the car. When we were driving home, there was lots of traffic. My mom was running out of gas, so we stopped at a gas station and got more gas. When we got back on the road, there was much less traffic, so we got back home in one hour. 

THE END


Moving to the Farm

Chapter 1 – A Message from Auntie Julie.

“Wake up!” shouted Mom.

“Why in the world are you waking me up? It’s only 3 o’clock in the morning!” said Joanne.

“Because I just got a message from Auntie Julie that she said that the farmhouse was empty and we could live on their farm forever!”

“Ugh, can I just sleep five more minutes?”

“Okay, five more minutes. Starting now!”

One, two, three, four, five, six, seven

Eight, nine, ten, eleven, twelve,

Thirteen, fourteen, fifteen,

Sixteen, seventeen…

Tick tock tick tock tick tock tick tock tick tock tick tock tick tock…

“RIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIINNNNNNNNNNNNGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGG!!!! FIVE MINUTES DONE!!!” 

It was 3:05 now. The sky was dark. There were no lights. It was the middle of the night. 

Joanne woke up and she peaked at the message—it was on her mom’s G-mail. She was amazed after she saw that message because Auntie Julie had discovered a new house that was in her property and was perfect for her family. 

Chapter 2 – Packing Up

“What are we going to do now that we’ve received the message?” Joanne asked.

“We have to pack!!” her mom said. So they called a gigantic moving truck to carry their furniture, so the people who were in the truck loaded the furniture inside the truck. Joanne felt sort of blank in the house, and they used all their six suitcases for their own little stuff. Joanne’s older sister Catherine carried two suitcases, one for her baby sister Maria, and one for herself. Joanne had another sister named Collette—Maria was the smallest. She was one year old, and Collette was two years older: she was three. Joanne was seven years old and Catherine was ten years old! 

So they started packing. They got their blankets and their stuffed animals and their bags plus their clothes. And their books were carried by the shelves. Now, after they all cleaned up, they dusted the floors to make it clean; it was plain white. There was nothing inside. Joanne felt like she was in a very white room like in Hollywood. She felt weird because she had never seen so much white before. It was very strange. Joanne felt like there was a ghost in the room. The ghost was spying on her now. Luckily it was morning, so there was still some light. The family took their butterfly curtains off and Catherine carried them to the truck with Joanne. Their dad carried the drawers and when the house was all cleaned up, the family only saw it blank. They were sad to leave their old house, but also excited to meet their farmhouse.


Chapter 3 – A Gas Problem

So the family told the truck where to go to their new house—‘the farm 28 gates.’ The farm was in Upstate New York, farther than the Bronx. It was on ‘28 gate’ street, higher than 299th st. The truck went there peacefully with some bumps, but that didn’t bother the furniture. But the family car faced a lot of problems. The dad had claustrophobia—which means that Dad couldn’t stand in small and tight places. So they went to the gas station because the car suddenly had no gas. The gas station was very small, and they could only recharge gas one car at a time, so the dad drove in and got very sweaty, scared, and nervous. So the dad closed his eyes while he was doing the gas. Then Mom suggested that she would drive the car out of the gas station, and then they would switch back to Dad, so he could be relaxed in the back seat, close his eyes and not drive blindfolded. So Dad got in the backseat, and Mom got in the front seat. When the gas was finished, they paid by the credit card, and the mom sort of drove out. Then they parked at a corner, and Mom went to the backseat. Dad started driving again.

Then Dad said, “The farm is sort of far. So if you want to sleep, you could sleep. Now we are in the beginning of  the Bronx. We still have to cross the Bronx. But the Bronx is very big. So it might take a long time to cross the Bronx.”


Chapter 4 – The Music Competition

After a few songs, Dad suggested that the family have a music contest. “The contest worked like this: we will play some songs and you have to guess the song’s name. We will only play the beginning or the middle or the end. Me and mom will be the judges and see who knows the most songs. And you kids will be split into teams.” 

“Yeeeeeeeeeeees!!!” Collete and Joanne yelled. 

“We will win the competition,” commented Collette. 

Maria and Catherine yelled, “Nooooooooooooo!!! Boooooooooo!!!” 

“Okay, what are your team names?” asked Dad. Joanne said their team is Lightning Bolt of Songs. Catherine said their team will be Catherinemaria superheros! 

“Yessss,” said Joanne because she knew a centillion songs.  

“One last note everyone, do not say bad things about your sisters!” 

Then they started the competition. ‘Their first song was like this: “We will rock you!” After the middle part, Joanne’s hand shot up. 

“What Joanne? What is the song? “ asked Dad. 

“The song is called we will, we will rock you!” shouted Joanne.

“Lightning Bolt of Songs wins one!!!” 

“Woo hoo!!!’ said Collette and Joanne,

“Okay next song. Eenie meenie miney mo. catch a tiger by his toe. If you holler let him, if she holler let him go. She indecisive she keeps a lie…” 

After the beginning, Catherine’s hand shot up. 

“What is the song’s name?” asked Dad. 

“It is called miney mo!” 

“Nope!” 

Just then Collette’s hand shot up.

“What is the song, Collette?” asked dad.

“It is called eenie meenie!” shouted Collette.

“Okay, Lightning Bolt of Songs wins!” 

“Yayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy!” shouted Collette and Joanne. 

“The competition is over now, everyone.” So then they relaxed in the car and went to sleep.


Chapter 5: We are here!!!!

After a while, they woke up. 

They were woken up by dad. “Now we are on the 299th street. We have crossed the whole Bronx. Now we have to cross the 200th avenue, and then we can see the countryside.” 

It was 5 o’clock in the morning and the sun hadn’t risen yet. So the family drove across the 200th avenue and saw 28 Gate Street. They drove onto the property and saw Auntie Julie!  

Auntie Julie led them to the house, and then Auntie Julie told a joke. “What is black and a dog?” she asked.

Joanne guessed Blacky, one of the farm’s dogs, and Auntie Julie said, “Right!” Auntie Julie explained that there were three more dogs too. Their names were Peggy, Rosie, and Maggie. Auntie Julie showed the dogs to them.

The girls played a while with the dogs, while the parents explored the giant house that they would be moving into.  


Chapter 6: Moving in!!!

Then the moving truck arrived. And then they loaded the furniture into the house and the girls helped. First, they moved one bunk into the gigantic room, then they moved another bunk to the same gigantic room, then they moved the bookshelves and the tables and the lamps. And they put some stuff on the balcony. Then on the second floor, they put the parents’ furniture in, and they put the workout stuff in another room on that floor. Back on the first floor, they put the dining table and kitchenware in the kitchen. And in the lounge, they put a lot of comfy stuff there. And in the basement, they put the recycled stuff in there. And their family car would go in there, so they drove it in. And they got the basement key and stored it in the car. 

After that, the parents went to sleep and the girls played with the dogs once again. They were feeling very happy, and Auntie Julie took the four girls to explore the farm because it was morning now! And after lunch, they slept for half an hour, and then they fed the horses and the sheep. Then they played with the horses by riding them, and they had a super duper happy time!

The End!

Night in the Grocery Store

Prologue: 1899

Vegetable King Cabbage and Vegetable Queen Onion finally ruled the tomatoes and cucumbers, but not the fruits. The king and queen did not know that whenever they take down another fruit, a hero named Watermeloan sets his sights on the vegetable villains. 

Chapter one: Rise of the Veggies

Time of day: 9:59:68847562756 p.m.

“What a beautiful day! We sold more than four hundred items in this day! Wow, and it’s the record for this month!” The manager of the grocery store yelled with excitement. “Ohh man looks like we need to refill all the vegetables.” 

He looked around and saw the large grocery shop full of empty bins, trash, and with rotten tomatoes and apples lying on the ground. 

“Everything is just so messy.” 

So, he cleaned the floor, swept the trash, and after the giant clean up, the grocery store looked just like new. 

VROOM!!! and the manager drove back home.

“Well! Another war is going to happen today! Ahhh,” sighed Wattermeloan. “Now for the big plan. Where is Cantelope? Where are the apples? Where are the Mangos? C’mon! Let’s BEAT the veggies UP…..”

*

“Get up veggies! We have a lot of work to do today. The fruity poopy are still getting a lot of energy. We need to finish them all.” Cabbage said. 

Onion Rolled  up from her bed and yelled, ”CABBAGE! I 100% 

disagree with you. I believe that the fruits are still asleep!’’

“Well, well, well, whatever, Oni. Let’s prepare for the fight.”

*

Time 12:29:3718352846384937 a.m.

“Another fighting day. We fought the veggies from the 1800’s until today. These stupid veggies. When will they end this dumb war? Ahh! My grandfather was tortured by the stupid veggies. Phh! They’re so guilty and mean and ….they just want to control the whole world….” said Watermeloan.

*

“Mr. Peas, go! Do your job. Go! Quick, quick, quick,” said Onion. Mr. Peas is a spy for the veggies since the cabbage and onion became king and queen. Now he is going to spy again on Watermeloan and the fruits…..

*

1 hour later…

“Ma’am or Ms. Onion? I have spied on Watermeloan and saw the fruits preparing to battle us,” Mr. Peas said. 

“Okay, we will prepare too.” Onion replied. 

And then about fifteen minutes later, both sides had already prepared for the fight. Orange is ready to self-destruct on the side of the veggies. Watermeloan is also ready to throw fruits, like oranges, over like a bomb. And Onion is setting up the peas cannon. And Cabbage is pulling his blade and pointing it at the fruits, meaning to charge at the fruits. Then the fight happens. It was such a mess. Trash was thrown on the ground. Fruits exploded, and juice spread everywhere. Watermeloan was fighting Cabbage in a big brawl. Cabbage pulled out his blade and stabbed it into Watermeloan’s right arm and then Peas tied Watermloan up with a rubber band. Suddenly, all the fruits surrendered because Watermeloan is their leader and  they don’t want to leave him behind

Now all the fruits are in danger. Cabbage took all of the fruits to their palace. Now every fruit will be smashed into pieces by a huge metal hammer. Only Cabbage could lift the hammer up because he has a special power, but just the hammer can’t defeat Watermeloan. Only if you could stab a knife into Watermeloan’s eye would he be defeated. 

BOOM! BOOM! 

Cabbage is smashing the hammer on the ground to test his strength. And then he smashes Strawberry, Orange, and Banana. And now it is Watermeloan’s turn to die. Cabbage tried and tried to pull the strong glasses off of his eyes but he accidently hit his own bottom. It hurt really bad. 

Cabbage called Onion to help him. Onion squeezed herself and then she made use of her stinging smell to make Watermeloan’s nose and eyes burn. Cabbage pulls off Watermeloan’s glasses while he is distracted by the burning scent.

Cabbage was so happy that he could finally kill Watermeloan. So he went to grab his knives. On the way, Tomato was feeling very sad about joining the vegetables. So when Cabbage, Onion, and the other guards went to get the knife to stab it in Watermeloan’s eye, Tomato jumped down from the window above where Watermeloan was being tortured and took in his hands the rubber band that was tying Watermeloan to the ceiling. 

Tomato untied Watermeloan and told him that if you make Onion watch something sad, like a sad commercial, Onion will cry and will eventually peel apart. Watermeloan understood what Tomato was talking about and decided to grab a cellphone and turned the channel to a sad commercial. 

When Onion and Cabbage came back, they saw Watermeloan still hanging, but Watermealoan was faking it. So they grabbed the knife. Just when they tried to stab it into Watermeloan’s eye, Watermeloan jumped to the ground and the phone appeared behind Watermeloan

Then Tomato turned on the phone and turned the channel to a sad commercial, and it started to play, knowing that when an onion is really sad, it peels apart. Onion saw the commercial and her nose fell off first and then her eyes and then her whole body. 

Onion died.

Cabbage was so sad that he ran out of the grocery store. And every veggie surrendered just like the time the fruits surrendered because of their leader Watermeloan. HURRAY!!!

*

Time of day:8:59:999999 a.m.

The manager came in the grocery store. He saw the grocery store looked like a landfill. He yelled, “I THOUGHT I ALREADY CLEANED THE SHOP YESTERDAY, URGH! IT MUST HAVE BEEN A DREAM! WELL……. NEVER MIND I GUESS! I WILL CLEAN IT NOW!”

The End

The Cat World

In a world of cats, humans, and sparrows, a cat named Alice loves the smell of fruit snacks so much that she invents and uses a machine to capture this smell. She begins to sell a perfume called Perfume of the Fruit Snacks. It’s sold everywhere. When the cats put on this perfume, they stay cats because it was made by a cat. It makes them fall in love with the first cat they see while wearing it. All the cats are falling in love with each other! 

But when humans put it on, they turn into cats! Alice didn’t know her perfume would do this. It becomes a cat-only world — except for all the sparrows who aren’t affected and this one human named Jam, who decides to make a perfume out of the smell of chocolate chip cookies. He drops bombs with a MI62 bomber plane. These bombs called 22 panzers were made by the cats. Inside them, there’s the perfume Jam made. 

The sparrows want the world to be normal again, but they can’t do much. The perfume covers all the cats’ bodies and turns them into humans. Alice is arrested and covered with the human perfume. She’s turned into a human and stays in prison. Jam’s awarded the medal of honor! Still, there are millions of cats hiding underground. 

In the future, a human army invades the underground hiding spots. Humans create and drop a cookie perfume atomic bomb… It takes 15 years for the cats to become humans, though. Meanwhile, the humans who were originally cats are having cat children! They speak like cats. Then the governor decides to make every human that was a cat back into a cat. And the world is back to normal again, and the world is in peace. All the cats who should be cats are cats; all the humans who should be humans are humans; and the sparrows are still sparrows, flying above everywhere.


New York City

The big apple always bustling with people 

Never letting you pass because they are late for work.


The crowded streets filled with food trucks 

Ice cream trucks in the summer 

Hot cocoa in every cafe in the winter

And popcorn all year round. 


Busses and Subways on almost every street.


The city that never sleeps 

Drinking too much coffee 

That keeps them up all night 

But all the same it’s still


Home 

To all those people who never sleep 

And the ones who do.


the psycho banana man 1

The Banana Man is a nice sweet man. Well, if you don’t know him well. If you know him well, you know that he is always missing and has a constant thing of carrying dead people. Nobody knows why, but you will see what he does in a daily basis…

MONDAY 5:00 

“Now lets see, where is the stand?” said the Banana Man. “Oh, there it is! Now the bananas, oh, got them! Good. Now I can open.”

MONDAY 5:30

“Now we’re open. Wait where should I put the stand?” He looked at the map. “Oh, Times Square sounds good.”

MONDAY 6:30

“People, $1.00 for two bananas! This stand will be here till lunch time,” said the Banana Man.

“Ohh only $1.00!” said Janna “YAY! I am getting some.”

MONDAY 12:00

“Oh, I am sold out now. It is my fun time ha ha ha!” The Banana Man ran to the sewer and grabbed people with him! 

 

MONDAY 12:30

“He he he!” He stabbed people with his bloody knife. “Now it’s your turn!” 

“Ahhh!!! Help I am getting attacked by a psycho Banana Man!” 

…to be continued 


A Pig Stuck in an Elevator

Very recently, in another planet called Animal Topsy-Turvy, a carnival and a wedding was going on. But there were no wedding rings because there was a cat that stole wedding rings. 

Then Mr. Pig Jahooty got stuck in an elevator when all he wanted to do was pet some humans. There were babies, old people, teenagers, and adults. You see, the carnival was at the top of the tallest building, so you had to take the elevator. If you took the stairs, it would take a year to climb up the stairs.

“Hmm,” said Mr. Pig Jahooty. Then Mr. Pig Jahooty remembered he had a cell phone in his pocket and called nine one one. 

When the police came, they tried kicking open the door, but they broke a foot. When the firemen came, they tried punching open the door, but they broke a hand. Finally, the builders came and hammered open the door, and let Mr. Pig Jahooty pet some humans.


Mr. Pink Giraffe and His Mansion

Hi! My name is Mr. Pink Giraffe. I am from LA and I want $11,006,000.09 because I want a mansion. Today I live in my parents’ house and it is very old, small, and hot, but it is super high. I am 13.

25 Years later, my parents have died. So I sell the house for 1 million, but I lose all my money because someone steals it. Now l am homeless so I went to the beach for a day. At the beach, I just played in the sand because I might drown in the water. At the beach, I find a friend named Mrs. Green Giraffe and her goal is to give giraffes money, so she gives me $11,006,000.08. 

The next day, I walk on the streets to find a penny. I look for a penny on All The Pennies in The World Avenue. Everyone took all of the pennies, and there is only half a penny left. Then I find a huge ladder on one side of the building and use it to find another half of a penny on top of a super high building. I finally have enough to buy my mansion, but it is already sold. But there is another mansion for $11,006,000.10. 

I use a telescope and find a penny on someone’s head. It’s on Mr. Blue Giraffe’s head. It’s hard to get though because I’m a little bit short and Mr. Blue Giraffe is extremely tall. Mr. Blue Giraffe doesn’t know he has pennies on his head. I climb up Mr. Blue Giraffe’s neck to get the penny, but it’s just a hologram! I am mad. I climb back down, put my hands in my pocket because I’m mad. I feel something in my right pocket and find a quarter. I now have $11,006,000.34. 

I get to my house, and in my house when I walk in, there’s stairs that lead up to upstairs. Upstairs there’s a bedroom, office, two bathrooms, a library, and an attic. In the attic, there’re big boxes. There’s one window and there are a few mattresses and a bed. I live here alone. And downstairs there’s a kitchen, two more bathrooms, another bedroom, a living room with a TV, and there’s a big empty room with nothing in it. There is a bar but instead of a regular bar, it has Giraffe Juice, which is grape juice combined with strawberry milk. Outside there is a pool, a playground, a place to ride my bike, a garage, and a fountain. The fountain is giraffe-shaped and spitting out Giraffe Juice. It is taller than me. In the basement, there’s a movie theatre with a twenty foot screen and one hundred fifty seats. Every single movie screens there.

I feel sad because I’m alone, but also feel happy because this is the best house ever. In the basement, I watch wild giraffes drink that grape juice strawberry milk on the movie theatre TV. I then find a trap door. In the trap door, there are diamonds. There’s gold. There’s five million dollars. There’s rubies. There’s sapphire. There’s a very nice smell. It smells like that grape juice strawberry milk drink. And there are buckets and buckets and five thousand buckets of that grape juice milk thing! Then there’s another trap door filled with the exact same thing! There are cooler fountains here. They look like grapefruits and bottles of strawberry milk. The fountain straw is shooting out the milk. I feel great. I decide to have a party and invite Mr. Blue Giraffe and Mrs. Green Giraffe. We become friends. We invite a bunch of random people and make new friends. Mrs. Green Giraffe and Mr. Blue Giraffe move in and live with me, together in the mansion.


The Pizza Monster

There once was a guy named Pizza Man. He is made out of pepperoni pizza. Pizza Man wanted more pepperoni pizzas so he could get bigger and bigger and bigger. He tried to go buy more pepperoni pizzas, but all of the stores were out of pizza because the person that took all the pizzas out of the stores was Pizza Monster. So then everybody told Pizza Man that a guy named Pizza Monster robbed all the stores. Pizza Monster looked like a man with three triangular heads. His triangular heads were pizzas.

Pizza Man goes to face Pizza Monster in a pizza temple. Pizza Man shows up and everything in the temple is made out of pepperoni pizza. Pizza Monster throws pizza off of himself at Pizza Man but doesn’t realize that he’s getting smaller and smaller while Pizza Man is eating all of it and getting bigger! Pizza Monster disappears into thin air. Pizza Man eats the whole entire temple. He gets super big. He is a ginormous pizza. He feels good. He has seven heads now and seven everything and seven bodies. He conquers all the pizza shops. Everyone’s scared of him. He turns into a bad guy but for a good reason. 

He misses his old self. He doesn’t want seven of everything. He just wants one head and one body and one of everything but to be super big. To do this, he has to rob the pizza banks to buy a magical pizza crystal. He robs the pizza banks by eating them. The money is made out of dark wheat bread. He finally gets the magical pizza crystal, eats it, turns back to good, and gets one of everything but is super big and everyone is not afraid of him anymore. 

The End 


Toast

One day Bill walked around in the park, but suddenly, a hole opened up in the sky and sucked him in. He woke up to find that he was in another world. It seemed like the counterpart of Earth, which meant that things were pretty much the same. He saw other people just standing there, so he asked them what was going on. They told him that they also were sucked into a giant hole and they were on an alien planet. They were the aliens’ prisoners and the only way to get back to earth was the portal in the middle of the planet. He also learned that all your abilities were enhanced on this planet, which meant that he was super strong. He had very good eyesight and he had very good hearing. 

Every day, Bill thought about finally getting off the planet. He missed his family and friends. Bill thought about his plan and he snuck to the center of the planet and found out that the portal was heavily guarded. He needed a team of people to defeat the guards. He told everyone what his plan was and what he saw. Almost everyone agreed to help him except one person named Mike, who said that he enjoyed life on this planet. Turns out, Mike was actually a spy for the aliens. Now, every human was bound in chains that were said to be unbreakable, but it turned out they were super easy to break and they all sprinted for the portal. They all made it.

When they got back, they warned everyone about the aliens and how they might attack earth. Then, the aliens sent a message saying that they would attack in two days. Everyone started preparing weapons and other things to help them in the war. After the first day passed, everyone was ready for the invasion. 

Meanwhile, the aliens were also preparing for battle. The aliens started to board their ships because it would take a two-day flight to get back to Earth because the portal was unstable. 

The next morning, the aliens attacked with their vehicles and soon, the humans found out that the vehicles were indestructible. Their vehicles could also shoot things that disintegrate humans. So Bill and everyone else had to retreat. They were trying to think of a plan, but they could not think of one. Bill decided that they would have to evacuate the city. Once they did that, they sent a warning to everywhere on earth. Eventually, people started to build underground shelters to hide from the aliens. The aliens eventually found out that they were hiding, but they did not know where, so they sent scouts to look for them. The humans lived underground digging wells for water and sometimes sneaking up for food for many years and the aliens never found them. 

One day, one of the aliens found them. The humans did not know what to do, so they threw toast at it. Surprisingly, the alien disintgrated. Now the humans started making a lot of toast weapons, such as toast bombs and other things. The humans now were ready to attack the aliens. Then, the aliens started firing, but the toast blocked the blast. Then, they advanced with toast swords. They destroyed many aliens but the alien commander, Mike, would not give up and started sending in spaceships and other vehicles. Everyone fought very hard and thousands of lives were lost. Eventually the human army had to retreat, but the number of aliens in the alien army was significantly decreased. Once they were back in their hideout, they said that the only way to win was to send someone to bring a massive toast bomb and blow the aliens up while probably having to sacrifice yourself. Bill said that he would do it. The problem was that they did not have a bomb big enough to do the job, so they had to salvage all the armor and turn it into a bomb. Bill brought the biggest toast bomb and sacrificed himself and blew up all the aliens with jam and toast. After that, the humans went back above ground and started to rebuild their lives.


The Stupid Pig

Mr. Piggy Piggins Pig Bacon III was a very stupid pig, because the only thing he knew was how to eat, eat, and eat more. 

One day, he went to the grocery market. When he bought the vegetables, fruits, and a hoverboard, he had the flash idea to go to the meat section. Then he immediately rode the elevator with his groceries. However, he pressed every single button, as he was not that smart to use the elevator. Strikingly, he was stuck in the elevator, with his groceries, and he was alone. He thought he could escape by using his new hoverboard. Right on the first time he tried it, he broke it terribly. He cried like a newborn baby in this isolated elevator.

Right now it was 12:00 PM. Mr Piggy Piggins Pig Bacon III felt extremely hungry and ate all the vegetables and fruits in a flash. Then, he started throwing a temper tantrum and hurt himself with a pineapple, and finally he ended up getting ten new scratches. At 12:30 PM, he accidentally tripped and bonked his head on the elevator door, which suddenly exploded. He ran back home agitatedly and got a ginormous concussion on the way. His head now didn’t work properly. And every now and then, it started hurting like he got hit by a hammer multiple times.

All the doctors and nurses said they couldn’t fix his head, because the concussion was too exacerbated. Now he was a whole new level of stupid, which is deteriorated stupid. He was so stupid that he thought that the ink inside pens was prune juice and that one plus one equaled one. In fact, people considered his head to be completely hollow like an empty bucket.

THE END


Natasha

The bell rings. I grab my pencils and notebooks, and shove them into my bag. I rush to the front of the line; today I beat Nina. My class walks silently down the hall. In my head, all my thoughts are jumbled: Will my dad come to my basketball game? What will be his excuse this time? Unexpected business trip, a problem with the company? I can see Natasha looking at me with worried eyes.

”Are you ok?”

“Yeah, I’m fine.” I try to shrug off the feeling of disappointment in my dad, but I can’t. As soon as we reach the dismissal door, I grab Natasha’s hand and wait for the light to turn white. The second it does, I race down the block and karate kick the door open; guess I can thank my karate lessons. I hurry to the soda section while desperately searching for Fanta. I snatch the last bottle and watch Natasha put her Sprite on  the counter.

The guy behind the counter says, “5.75.”

I dig into my pocket and pull out a crumpled up five-dollar bill and three 25 cents. Natasha grabs both of our drinks and heads to the door. I glance at my phone and look at the time: 3:20 PM. As soon I glance at my phone, I shove Natasha out the door, and we race down the streets as if it were a competition. When the subway station is within my sight, I walk down the stairs clinging on to my soda, hoping it doesn’t fall.

The F train comes right on time; Natasha and I high five each other and walk into a crowded subway. It smells like sweat and it’s really hot. About five stops later, a lot of the people get off the subway. We finally find ourselves some seats where we can sit and enjoy our soda. Especially since my house is a bit far away. 

All I can think about is Masha, my dad’s girlfriend. Masha always takes me and Nat to get ice cream. Nat always gets two scoops of chocolate fudge, I get two scoops of oreo, while Masha gets one scoop of lemon. But then a sudden thought comes to me, and I remember my father never told me who my mother was or what happened to her. All I know is that my mother loved the beaches. It was almost like a perfect day at the beach, but then the clouds took over the sky, and everyone had to go home. I must have daydreamed too much because by the time I finish my thoughts, we arrive at Coney Island. While we’re walking home, I pass by a school, and another thought comes to me. 

Why didn’t my dad send me to school here where I lived, instead of a school in Brooklyn? 

I decide I’m going to ask my dad tonight. Although something doesn’t seem right.

But then Natasha wakes me from my thoughts.

”You have been really quiet today? Are you sure you’re okay.”

“Am fine. Don’t worry.”

“Ok, whatever you say, Angel.” 

I hate that nickname, but that doesn’t stop Masha from calling me that. She takes the keys out of her back pocket, and unlocks the door. We climb up seven flights of stairs, huffing and puffing as if the stairs are Mount Everest. We reach Apt. 7D and open the door to walk into a cold breeze, which feels very good against the hot May air. 

At first, I can’t believe my eyes, but then I realize my dad is standing in front of us. He is rarely at home and if he is, it’s only because something bad happened or he comes at 2 in the morning. His blue eyes are staring straight at Natasha and smiling. Natasha tells me that she just remembered she had a project, so she has to go home now. I help her get all her pencils in her bag, since we were playing the floor is lava on her stuff. Silently, I stand waving goodbye. I feel as if today will be the last time I will see her in a while. But I know that’s not possible, so I try to get the thought out of my head. My dad takes the trash bag and says he is going to throw it out. I shrug and walk to my room to ponder over all my thoughts. For the first time, I think my dad wasn’t where he said he was. 

I guess I fell asleep because when I wake up, my room is pitch black, and I hear some faint creaking coming from the living room. I pat down my bed searching for my phone. I finally find it under a bunch of blankets. I put my finger on the button of my phone and look at the time. It’s 2:00 AM. It’s probably my dad, I wonder what he was doing at 2 AM. Something seems off again. I slowly get out of bed and open my door. Like a mouse, I creep down the hallway past Masha’s room to my dad’s bedroom, where I have never been. He told me once that if I go into his room, I’ll get in big trouble. So I never do. 

I bring my head back to reality and reach for the doorknob, but then I hear a creaking behind me and a deep voice with a faint Russian accent. I can immediately tell it’s him, but he sounds madder than I’ve ever heard him. Although he rarely even talks to me. I can never forget that he forgot about my birthday three years in a row. 

He flicks the light switch on, and I can see him staring at me. His blue eyes look more unfriendly than before. His face looks so intimidating that it just makes me want to fall in a hole to swallow me up.

“I will ask one more time. Why were you going to go in my room?”

“I um… I couldn’t uh… sleep, yeah, because umm… I thought I saw a, uh, mouse in my room.” It sounds like I’m trying to convince myself more than my dad. 

He quietly walks in front of the door that leads to his room. His eyebrows are pushed together. It looks like he is thinking really hard. I silently walk backwards to reach the safe, reassuring feeling of my room.
“Give me your phone; that will be your punishment, and next time, follow my rules.”

 I feel so relieved nothing horrible happened, so I go to my room to fetch my phone quickly. When I return my phone, my dad is shocked to see me smiling.

“Can Natasha come for a sleepover?” I give him the puppy eyes that Natasha taught me to do. 

Fortunately it works, and he nods slowly, like he is still trying to make up his mind. There is something in his eyes, but I’m too tired to think about it. I manage to drag myself to my room and fall onto my bed. 

The smell of pancakes wake me up. Finally it’s Saturday. I put on some ripped shorts and an orange T-shirt. I open my door and walk into the kitchen where Masha is standing, flipping over a pancake.

“Hey Angel, you hungry?”

 I nod. 

“Ok good, because I made way too many pancakes.” 

Before I can even open my mouth, she says, “And no. Dimitri won’t have breakfast with us. He had to leave because of some problems with the business.”

 I shift uncomfortably and stare at the ground, feeling my eyes tear up. My dad told me to never cry because nothing was worth crying about, and I don’t want to show Masha that I am a 13 year-old who cries.

“Hey Angel, how about you put as much Nutella on your pancakes, just make sure to eat some strawberries?”

 I smile and think to myself how much I wish my dad was like Masha. But he’s not. 

After breakfast, I put on my Jordans and walk to the subway. I think about me and Natasha and the day we met. I chuckle a little thinking about how strange we were five years ago. 

I get to the subway station, walk down the stairs while getting my MetroCard out of my pocket, and wait until the train comes. I get in and sit down. Today, the subway is empty. I take my headset out and listen to “wish you were gay” by Billie Eilish. I quietly hum to the beat, thinking about how I want a family like Natasha, where I wouldn’t be an only child, and I would also have two parents who really cared about me. I remember all the days at school when Natasha would complain to me about how her sister spilled juice over her homework or how her brother spray-painted her hairbrush. And I could never forget when her older brother, Jason, stole all of Natasha’s allowance to buy a PS4. 

I finally arrive in Brooklyn. I walk to her house, looking at the trees and listening to the quiet surroundings. I look at all the houses with beautiful gardens in the front and perfectly-cut grass, and then I come across her house, which really stands out since there are bikes, scooters, balls, empty spray paint bottles, and chalk all over the ground. I try to avoid all the objects and get to the door safely without falling. Thank God I do because I wouldn’t want a sprained ankle for my basketball game or my karate practice. I ring the doorbell and wait for Natasha to open the door, but then Mrs. Smith comes out and asks me, “Why isn’t Natasha with you? I thought you two maybe had a sleepover since she didn’t come home yesterday.” 

I can feel my face become pale and my palms start to sweat. I take a big gulp.

“Well, uh, you see, she told me yesterday she had to go home to finish a project, are you sure she isn’t in her room?”

But before Mrs. Smith can answer, she falls to the floor and passes out. I open the door more to put Mrs. Smith on the couch, when I see Jessie playing with dolls, while Nick is trying to spray paint his hair, and Jason is skateboarding in the house.

“Jason, Nick, come help me get your mom to the couch, she passed out.”

They both stare at their pale mom lying on the floor, drop their things, and run over to help. Jessie won’t stop crying while screaming, her mom is dead. As soon as we put Mrs. Smith on the couch, Mr. Smith walks in and asks us what happened, although his eyes won’t leave his wife. Nick and Jason say they don’t know what happened, and they just heard me asking for help to carry Mrs. Smith on the couch. Jessie won’t stop crying and screaming, “MOMMY’S DEAD.” 

“JESSIE! Mommy is not dead, ok?”

 Jessie hugs her doll tighter and sits in a bean bag. Mr. Smith looks me straight in the eyes and asks me what happened.

”It’s a long story.” 

“Well, I have a lot of time.” 

So I told him about how we went to my house, played the floor is lava, and then Natasha told me she had to go do a project, so she left, and my dad went to throw out the trash at the same time. Wait a minute. Does my dad maybe know something?

”Uh, I have to go. I just realized I have karate in 30 minutes.” It’s not completely a lie because I do have karate class, just not in 30 minutes. Halfway through the door, I shout,  “Bye! Hope Mrs. Smith gets better!” I slam the door shut and run down a few blocks to get to Prospect Park so I can find a bench to sit on. 

Could my dad, no, but maybe. I mean he was staring at Natasha and he did come home earlier. He also went to throw out the trash at the same time Natasha left. But would he do something to her? It was so much for me to process, maybe Masha could help me. I quickly look for her number and call her. Please pick up, please, please, please.

”Hey Angel, what happened? Are you ok? Where are you?” 

“Thank God you answered and don’t worry I’m fine, but Natasha isn’t.” 

“What do you mean?!” 

“Can you just pick me up? I’ll tell you in the car.” 

“Ok, I’ll be there soon. Wait, where are you?” 

“In Prospect Park. I have to go. Bye.” 

“Bye, Angel.”

Now I have to call my dad. I take two big gulps and press the button to call him. I wait and I wait, but he doesn’t answer the phone. I really miss Natasha. Is she… no, she can’t be.  And for the first time in a while, I start crying. I see a black car pulling up on the corner, and Masha rushes out of the car to me and hugs me. She smells like peppermint. I wish she could be my mother. As soon as I summon up all my courage, I tell her about Natasha going missing and my visit to her house. And about how Dad came early and was acting strange around Natasha. He also went to throw out the trash at the same time Natasha left.

Then I look back at her eyes, because my father said, “a person’s eyes can tell you everything.” 

“Angel, I am sorry, but this time, I don’t believe you. Maybe you should talk to your dad. Also, I am going to Pennyslviana to visit my sister for three days, so let’s go back home and I’ll get my stuff when we get there.” 

“Ok.” 

“And I can call your dad so you two can talk.”

I nodded my head, too tired to speak. When we get into the car, I sit in shotgun and change the radio to “Lovely” by Billie Eilish.

”You really love Billie Eilish.”

I stare out the window, looking at the people. Then I remember I forgot about my karate class. “I forgot to go to karate class,” I mutter.

”Nicki, your dad doesn’t like it when you skip karate” 

“I know.”

There is not a lot of traffic today, so it takes us 20 minutes to get home. Masha opens the door, we climb up all the stairs, and for the first time, we don’t say anything to each other, which never happens since Masha and I usually talk a lot. She opens our apartment door, hugs me really tight, and then takes her backpack and her mini suitcase.

Before I close the door she hollers, “Don’t forget to lock the door!”

I laugh a bit and lock the door. I look at my dad’s door and decide that I want to see what I can find in his room. So I text my basketball coach that I’m not going to go to the basketball game because I didn’t feel well. I put my phone in pocket and walk towards his room. I can feel my heart beating. I know that whatever I find in there could possibly change my life forever.

I grab the handle and yank the door open, knowing that if I don’t do that, I would probably back out. I am shocked to see that everything about the room looks normal. Maybe Masha was right. I look around the room one last time to make sure I didn’t miss anything. All I see is a bed, a closet that’s wide open with business suits in it, a desk with no drawers, a rug, and a bookshelf with some Russian and English books. My dad made sure that I could speak Russian, German, and French. When I asked him why I had to learn those languages, he said because some of my family is from those countries, but now I know the only place my family is from is Russia. As I am about to leave the room, I see something under his bed. I pull it out from under the bed and see a big black box with Russian words on it, не открывать, which means “do not open” in Russian. I sit on the rug in case I faint when I find out what’s in the box.

I slowly open the top, and find a black gun with a bit of blood on it. I also find a piece of paper in a wooden frame that says, Мы убиваем за деньги, мы приносим смерть в другие страны, кровь на наших руках, мы убиваем, как медузы в коробке. “We kill for money, we bring death into other countries, blood on our hands we kill like a box jellyfish.” I breathe in and out three times, hoping something else in the box will prove my thoughts wrong. But they don’t. I find a knife and try to convince myself that it’s just an antique or a family relic.

The box has one last object in it. I take out a photo in black and white, with a picture of four men and two women. I see my dad standing next to a man with short blonde hair and dark eyes, and a woman with black hair in a bun and black eyes. None of them are smiling. Their faces give away nothing. In the back of the picture there is a sign in Japanese, ボックスクラゲ. I can’t understand it, so I Google it and figure out it means “box jellyfish.”

All of a sudden, a bunch of questions pop in my head. What does box jellyfish mean? Who are the men and woman in the photo? And why does my dad have a gun and a knife? 

And then I realize my dad is an assassin. I look at my phone and start panicking. It’s 10 PM. I shove everything back into the box and push the box under the bed. I close the door to the kitchen, take two white pieces of bread, and put peanut butter on one and jelly on the other. I put the two pieces together, lick my fingers, and go to my room. I sit on the bed staring at the white walls and eating my sandwich. My phone buzzes and I pick it up. I press the answer button and am about to ask her where she is and what she’s doing. 

But then I hear a deep voice with a Russian accent. I put myself on mute, so that no one will know I am listening. I pull the phone closer to my ears. It’s my dad’s voice. I immediately know what to do. Natasha and I watched so many movies and TV shows about people getting kidnapped. I have to distract my dad. Assassins are afraid of being caught, which means they’re afraid of police. I smirk a bit and call my dad. He has to pick up since Masha probably called him and told him about what I said about him, so he would pick up to avoid any suspicion.

And I am right. He does pick up. “Hello, who is this”

“Hey dad, it’s Nicki. So the police are standing in front of our door and they want to ask you some questions. What should I tell them?” 

  “Tell them I’ll be home in 15 minutes”

“Ok, they want to know where you are.” 

“I am at my office.” And then he hangs up. What my dad doesn’t know is that Natasha and I keep pocket knives in our shoes. That makes me realize that my dad doesn’t know that much about me. Now all I have to do is wait, so I wait and then I hear the door unlock, and my dad walks in the apartment. 

“Where are the police?”

“They’re not here. I lied.”

He takes his shoe off and takes out a gun, he growls, “What did you say?” He walks towards me and I walk backwards. I am pinned to the wall with a gun pointing towards my stomach. 

I hold up my phone. “I’ll call 911 if you shoot.” 

I can tell he is thinking. He moves the gun away from me and suddenly says, “Let’s make a deal. If you don’t call the police or tell anyone I’m an assassin, I won’t kill Masha.”

I hesitate. “Ok. But you have to leave Natasha alone.” 

My dad looks at me, nods, and walks to his room. And I walk to my room, and now I know my father is an assassin and he tried to kill my friend. 


Freedom for Dragons

Once upon a time, before the dinosaur age, there was a dragon named Flame. He was captured by a really big dragon. He was captured in the big dragon’s cave since he was three. Flame was doing a lot of work for the big dragon, and he really wanted to get out. But there was a big boulder in his way, and the only way to move the boulder was to take the key from the dragon’s neck. He was in his room sleeping. Flame decided to try to take the key from the dragon’s neck. But he had to be careful, because the big dragon could wake up at any moment and eat him like he did to the other smaller dragons. 

So Flame opened the door, shivering in fear and thinking about what could happen if he woke the big dragon. Flame bit the key off the chain hanging off the big dragon’s neck with his sharp teeth. Then, he tiptoed to the boulder and put the key through the hole of the boulder. When the boulder rolled out of the doorway, it made a very loud sound. Flame heard the big dragon wake up. 

So Flame flew out. He heard the big dragon roar, “Flame!!!” As soon as Flame heard him, he flew as fast as he could, far away from the cave.

Flame had no idea where he was. It was raining and foggy, so it was hard to see. 

“Where am I?” Flame said to himself. Flame was cold and tired. He soared down to the ground and fell asleep. 

The next morning, Flame had figured out what he was going to do. He was going to find other dragons to make friends with. Before he was kidnapped, he heard of a forest full of dragons. Flame flew away happier than ever and ready for a long journey. 

While Flame was flying, he tried to remember where the forest was. He remembered that it was near an ocean, but he couldn’t remember what ocean it was. He decided to search around every ocean to find somebody to help him. He decided to first search the Pacific Ocean. He first started near the northwest corner of the Pacific Ocean, and he saw a castle. So he decided to go in. But there were two dragon guards. He asked the two dragon guards, “Where am I?”

They said, “You are looking at the Castle of Fire.” 

Then he asked, “Have you ever seen the Forest of Dragons?”

They answered, “No, but maybe the Queen Dragon knows.”

One of the guards asked another guard to tell the Queen Dragon that there was a visitor. A few moments later, the Queen Dragon came down and said, “I do know where the Forest of Dragons is.” 

The Queen Dragon had red scales. She had jewelry embedded in her wings. She had smoke coming out of her nostrils. She had very sharp claws, and she had many pearls on her arms. But the Queen was greedy about treasure. So she said, “I will tell you where the forest is only if you give me some jewelry.”

Flame says, “I have no jewelry, but I will try to find it.” 

So Flame went out on a search for jewelry. 

He asked a guard where he could find jewelries and the guard replied, “There is a mountain full of jewelry. It is nearby, but it is very dangerous. Many of us have still not made it back.” 

Flame thought about this. Would he really risk his life just to meet other dragons to make friends with? What happens if the big dragon finds him? Flame made up his mind. In order to be safe, protected, and happy, he must get the jewelry. 

When Flame reached the mountain, he looked up and saw how tall the mountain was. He thought about how many monsters could be up in that mountain. He climbed up and finally found a ledge. And there was a cave in there! He decided to rest in the cave — until he heard a growling sound. He took a stick he found on the ground, and he put a small bit of fire on the tip of it. He used the stick as a torch. He did not see anything. His teeth were chattering. He went deeper in, and he saw movement. He stepped back, and put his light a little closer. There was a giant worm, and it had many sharp teeth all around its mouth. And blood on his teeth. Flame decided to run for it. The worm chased after him, even though it looked like he just ate something. After Flame was near the exit, he threw his torch at the worm, which ate it. Flame decided to breathe fire, but basically none at all came out. He decided to fly away, but just when he was about to fly out, he sneezed on the worm. A lot of fire came out, and the worm ran away. If monsters like that popped up again, he was just gonna run for his life.    

  Flame didn’t want to see that ugly thing again.  Flame flew up for a long time until he reached another ledge. He saw things flying in the air. Flame did not know what the things were, until one of the things landed. They were giant horseflies! There was even a whole swarm of  them. Flame would not be able to take out all of the flies with his fire like he did to the worm. All of a sudden, the flies stared at him without moving. Then they jumped on Flame and attacked him. Flame struggled to breathe fire (which killed about 10 flies). And then, he started rolling around, which smushed a lot of flies. And then he breathed more fire, which got rid of all of them. 

Then, he flew up higher until he reached another ledge, and he realized he was near the top. But he needed a break, so he sat on the ledge. The mountain looked like a giant rock with very rough edges and with many ledges. He was sitting on one of them. He could see there were jewelries growing on top of it. But he had to rest because his wings were sore. 

On the ledge, he heard pinchers. Flame was not scared because he had faced many monsters already. But what came out was a spider, which was the predator of most bugs. And he couldn’t touch it because it was a tarantula. And a tarantula had hair on its body so when you touched it, you became itchy. He couldn’t run away because his wings were really tired, and he wouldn’t be able to fly well. And he couldn’t use his fire because he hadn’t eaten anything for a while. So he decided to try to throw rocks at the spider. He threw many rocks at the spider. One of his rocks missed and hit the top of the cave, which hit a rock that was holding a boulder in place. And the boulder fell on the spider! The spider was stuck.

After a few minutes, his wings felt okay. He decided to fly more until he finally got to the top of the mountain. Just right when he was about to take a jewelry, something came out from behind it. It was a giant scorpion!

It was a big threat, because it had pinchers and a stinger, and they were also poisonous. It had a hard armor. First, the scorpion jumped on Flame. Flame kicked him off, which took all his energy because he was very hungry. Flame tried to breathe fire, but he forgot he couldn’t. He knocked over a tower of jewelry onto the scorpion, which soon broke out by using his pinchers. Flame flew on the top of a jewelry tower to think about how to defeat the scorpion. 

He thought about what the scorpion couldn’t do that Flame could do. Flame got an idea. He had wings and the scorpion didn’t. Soon later, the scorpion pinched down the jewelry tower. Flame happily flew down because he had an idea. Flame jumped off the ledge. The scorpion followed. The scorpion looked straight and not below him. Then, he fell down the ledge. Flame flew back to the top and could not see the scorpion, because the mountain was so tall, and the scorpion fell so low. Flame took a big piece of jewelry. It looked like a pillar with pointy edging on the top. But it was very light. 

He finally took one more look at the top of the jewelry mountain. It was full of colorful jewelries. He flew back down to the Castle of Fire and asked one of the guards to bring the Queen down. When the Queen came down, Flame gave the jewelry to the Queen. The Queen kept her promise.

She said, “I will show you the way to the Forest of Dragons.”

She walked past the mountain and about a mile away from the mountain, she stood right in front of a forest. Then, she stopped and turned around.

She said, “This is the Forest of Dragons. Keep on walking forward until you see a big space with no trees. Then, you’ll see dragons walking around there. Then, you have reached the Forest of Dragons.”

Flame ran forward until he reached a big space. It was very big. He could see many dragons walking around there. Then, he had figured out he had reached the Forest of Dragons. He asked one of the walking dragons. Flame said he was new to the Forest of Dragons. The dragon was so nice, he gave Flame a big house. 

Since Flame had made it to the Forest of Dragons, he needed to make friends. But how? He went outside to think. He walked forward looking down, and he bumped into someone. He was blue with bits of silver scales. 

Flame said, “Hi, I’m new here.” 

The blue dragon also said, “Hi. If you are new, do you know if there are games here?” 

“No,” replied Flame. They hung out for a while and played many games, such as toss the rock, destroy the doll, and racing. After they ate dinner, it was time to go.

Flame thought about today. He thought to himself, I made a friend.


Nothing But Nonsense

Chapter 1- Decisions, Decisions

One day, there were two people who were sent a SPECIAL letter. One was sent to Robert and the other was sent to Lyssy. All Robert wanted was a new job because after his school years he decided to give up, he left his job and his family. He lived alone and all he wanted was to reinvent himself and get a new job and be a successful person again. 

All Lyssy’s life, she felt confused, because after her school years, her family left her. Now all she wanted was a new family. 

When they first looked at the letter, they were confused as to why they got it. But after an hour of them looking at the letter in their driveway, they both decided to read it. The letter said, “Dear Reader, I don’t know your name so yeah just read and be glad you got the letter. So, you have been chosen to go to my Annual Debate CHALLENGE!! This is my email – iamdumb@debate.org. The End… Email me if you are interested.” Then they both closed the letter. 

Lyssy said, “The only thing I want in the world is to WIN THAT DEBATE.” 

Then Robert said, “I will win. MWAHAHAHAhahahahah!!” 

The Next Few Hours Later… AT LYSSY’S HOUSE

“I am going to CRUSH whoever is debating against me!” screamed Lyssy. (She was a very aggressive, smart, and competitive person, although Robert was a very gentle and careless type of person, but when it comes to debating, he was real serious.) 


Chapter 2- Stranger Danger

Finally, Robert and Lyssy decided to email their answer to The Unknown Messenger, as they liked to call it. 

The next day, Lyssy and Robert were alarmed at 6 AM so they could get ready to go to the debate department. When Lyssy was ready, she went downstairs from her bedroom and saw someone in her doorway who she assumed was The Unknown Messenger. She only assumed it was him because she had no other friends. When she finally calmed down that a complete stranger was in her house, she asked him why he was in her house. 

“Well, because I sent you the letter you emailed me back, so I thought I would come by and bring you to the debate department,” The Unknown Messenger explained. 

“OK second question, why do you look like that guy from Monopoly?” asked Lyssy. 

“OK first off rude, and second, we have to go to the other opponent’s house.” 

“OK fine but can I get breakfast first, please?” asked Lyssy. 

“Umm no, you will get it later at the department,” replied Unknown Messenger. 

“OK fine, let’s go,” commanded Lyssy. 

Chapter 3- Highschool History

The Unknown Messenger and Lyssy were at the other opponent’s house, Robert. But Lyssy had so many questions to ask The Unknown Messenger so she asked all the questions she had in her head. 

“So um, why did you choose me to do this? Who am I going up against? What prize would I get if I won? TELL ME YOUR NAME!! I can’t be debating for some Monopoly man I don’t know the name of.” shouted Lyssy. 

“OK, ok, just stop shouting, I’ll answer all your questions. First, I chose you because you were the only ones online that had nothing better to do. Next, you have to wait and see what you win. I want it to be a surprise. And lastly, my name is…” answered The Unknown Messenger. And that’s when Robert came out of his house. 

“Wait is that… ROBERT!?” asked Lyssy angrily. 

“Oh, do you two know each other?” asked The Unknown Messenger.

“Unfortunately yes, we met in high school,” answered Robert. 

“Well why are you two looking so pale? Especially you, Lyssy, you have so much makeup on.” 

“Well long story short, when we were in high school, she cheated off of me so much the teacher thought I let it happen, which I was totally against it, but she said she would make me popular so I just went with it, but I got detention for the rest of my high school year and she was kicked off the cheerleading team,” said Robert with anger. 

“Oh, I get it, you both ruined each other’s lives,” said The Unknown Messenger. 

“No, that’s not a summary of what Robert just told you, but whatever, just gives me happier to beat him,” said Lyssy with sass. 

“OK Ready Set, Let’s go to the debate department woohoo!!” said The Unknown Messenger with excitement.  

“OK whatever I’m winning,” said Robert and Lyssy at the same time. 

“Ugh don’t say what I say,” said Lyssy angrily. 

“I. Don’t. Care,” said Robert slowly. 


Chapter 4- Ethan

When Robert, Lyssy, and The Unknown Messenger got to the debate department, The Unknown Messenger was extremely irritated by Lyssy and Robert asking what his name was. 

“Tell us your name or we won’t do the debate and we’re gonna call the cops,” demanded Lyssy. 

“Why would you even call the cops over my name?” asked The Unknown Messenger. 

“Because you broke in my house without my permission without either of us knowing each other’s name!!” yelled Lyssy angrily.

“OK, fine my name is… Ethan.” said The Unknown Messenger nervously. 

“OMG, like THE Ethan Dolan!?” asked Robert in a girly voice. 

“No just Ethan, and don’t ask for my last name!” commanded Ethan. “Ok fine, let’s start this.”


Chapter 5- The Debate

Lyssy and Robert stood on the stage in an empty auditorium. Robert felt weird about it, but Lyssy didn’t care. All she was focused on was how great she thought she looked, and winning the debate. They were both wearing business suits, but Lyssy had on a tight skirt instead of pants. She also put on her special extensions. John didn’t really wanna put so much effort in what he wore. He thought that maybe if he looked like Donald Trump, he might get points for wearing what the president wore. So, he decided to wear a baseball and a professional suit. 

“OK, let’s begin the debate!” said Ethan happily. “The question is: if someone offered you a job would you take it? Like if you don’t know what the job is but it might pay good money, would you take the job?”

“Yes, I would take any job, I mean if it pays some good money, then I would take,” said Lyssy.

“No I wouldn’t take the job, although I would really like a job. The last time I agreed to something without knowing how much I was getting paid or knowing who was hiring me I ended up here, STILL CONFUSED,” said Robert.

“OK, thanks guys! Lyssy, you win!” said Ethan.

“But how, debating has multiple rounds. See, I knew this was fake once we even walked inside this EMPTY AUDITORIUM!” yelled Robert, pointing to all the empty seats.

“Well that just makes it easier for me because this whole thing was just for me to get a maid, so let’s go Lyssy!” said Ethan proudly. 

“No, I’m not going, I wasn’t made to be used. Especially not as a maid, I’m too pretty to be a maid,” said Lyssy while flipping her hair. 

“OK fine, leave then. You guys are going to the basement,” said Ethan angrily.

“FINE, IT’S BETTER THAN CLEANING FOR YOU!” said Lyssy and Robert at the same time as they went downstairs to the basement. 

When Lyssy and Robert got into the basement, they saw 4 other people. 

“Um, what’s you guys’ names, and why are you guys even here, did Ethan trick you guys too?”

“Yup, we were really tricked. Oh and my name is Albert,” said a small, skinny guy in a squeaky voice.

“My name is Jeff,” said a big guy in a deep voice.

“I’m Lilly,” said a tan girl in a normal voice.

“And I’m Rebbeca,” said another girl in a very emo outfit. 

“So do you guys think we should get out of here?” said Lyssy.

“We tried so many times, even Jeff tried and failed,” said Rebbeca.

“I’ll do it, weaklings,” said Lyssy, cracking her knuckles.

(Lyssy broke the door with her fists of anger.)

(Now everyone has their mouths open of amazement.)

“How did you? Teach us!” said Albert.

“Not right now, come on!” commanded Lyssy. 


1 Year Later

Lyssy and Robert became friends as well as Rebbeca, Albert, Jeff, and Lilly. They always met up and laughed about them being tricked by Ethan and how scared Robert was. Lyssy didn’t have a full family, but she had a very successful career, and Robert got half of his dream life. He got a family (NO gold diggers included), but was still looking for a job. 

THE END


The Blackout

Chapter One: What Happened?

Once a squirrel called Lilly went into a walnut shop. After she bought some walnuts, she went out. Then she saw something weird. The traffic lights were off, and there were no lights in buildings and in the other shops. They could not cook. The ovens were off. And then Lilly the squirrel wondered why all the lights and the ovens were off. It got even worse when it was very dangerous to cross the streets. The cars never stopped. Lilly was very worried, and then she saw something even weirder. There were fire trucks and policemen everywhere. They were worried too. Some schools and hospitals still had light, which was very weird. She had no idea what was happening.

She talked to one of the policemen and asked, “What happened?”


Chapter Two: A Talk with the Policemen

Then, the policeman said, “The electricity transformer got on fire, so the electricity was cut off. The firemen will fix the problem. Now the firemen are on West 99th Street, so it might take days to have electricity, or if the firemen are fast tomorrow, we will have electricity.”


Chapter Three: A Mystery

When Lilly went into her apartment, she noticed that there was no air conditioner, and everybody was outside getting cold air.

The manager said, “The elevators don’t work, but do not worry because nobody’s stuck in the elevator.”

Then, when she went to the mailroom, she could not see anything except black.

The manager said, “We can only take the stairs,” so she climbed and climbed.

There was only a little bit of light in the stairs.


Chapter Four: In the Apartment

Once she got to the ninth floor, she saw two old women. One of the old women was holding a dog that was grunting.

Then, Lilly asked the other woman, “Is there light in the room? Why are you out here?” 

The woman said, “There’s no light in the room, and we’re out here to get a bit of light.” 

When Lilly got into her room, she saw no light and no air conditioner. It was very hot, so she opened all her windows. She could not sleep because she needed some light to sleep. There was no light, so she used her phone. Her phone had a percentage of 80. On her phone, she set a mode that saved electricity. When she went to the shower, she turned the water to hot, but only cold water came out.

When Lilly was showering, she was freezing and calling, “Ahh!!!”

Then when she got out, she quickly got dressed, but she could not use the hair dryer because there was no electricity. Then she tried to charge her phone, but she could not. Then, when she tried to sleep again, she heard the police and fire trucks sounds, and she was distracted. So she tried to sleep very deeply, but her phone shut off, and she couldn’t have light. Then, she tried her new way of sleeping without light, and she held onto her stuffed animal and fell asleep.


Chapter Five: The Plan

The next day she woke up. There was still no air conditioner and no light, but there was sunlight. After getting dressed, she decided to pack an emergency bag because her doctor told her that she could not live in a house without electricity for three days. Her eyes would hurt a lot if there was no electricity for three days. She started packing after breakfast. This was her list:

EMERGENCY BAG LIST

1. Money ($200)

2. Sleeping bag

3. Books 

4. Toys 

5. Clothes

6. Phone

So Lilly packed her emergency bag, and then she looked for a place to go, and she found the New York Public Library. A lot of animals were there, and they were affected by the blackout. There were a lot of comfy couches for sleeping bags. She unloaded her stuff on one of the purple couches, and she made a friend called Billy. He’s a hedgehog. Together they played games like chopsticks and poker. Billy was very good at chopsticks, and Lilly was very good at poker. Then, they explored Brooklyn by crossing the Brooklyn Bridge. They figured out the subway wasn’t working, so they took a taxi to the New York Public Library. Then, at last, it was night, so they fell asleep in their sleeping bags.


Chapter Six: Yes! Electricity! 

The next day, she noticed that there was electricity! She was super happy, and she took a taxi home. She cooked herself breakfast and turned on the lights. She was happier than ever. She marked this day 7/13. She took a little nap and got back to work.


Magic

Chapter 1

The Night Storm

Boom bang crash! Dark clouds covered the sky while I was inside my bedroom with my sheets over my head. I looked at the photo of my father on my nightstand. Me and my mother were looking at a bunch of stuff that was my father’s and found this photo. This was the only photo of him, he hated being in photos! My mother knocked on the door.

“Here is your dinner, Miranda,” my mother, Sarah, said.

Once I saw my mother, a thought just automatically popped into my head. How did Dad disappear? It was just like my mother read my mind. 

“We will never know. That night when he went to the lab, he just disappeared into thin air. Anyway, help your little brother with his homework.”

The next morning I went to my cousin Dawn’s house. We both were determined to find out what happened to my father. So we asked Dawn’s dad to drive us to the lab. He was overprotective of Dawn, so he set up a place where he would question us. 

So he said in a very serious low voice, “What’s your favorite flavor of ice cream?” he asked me. “I always wanted to know.”

“Um… chocolate,” I answered. Anyway, Dawn’s father continued speaking. He asked a lot of questions, so we thought the easiest way was to lie out of them, of course we learned that the hard way. We just said that there was stuff from the lab that belonged to my father. After A LOT of convincing, he FINALLY drove us to the lab. Okay, now step two, I thought. The guards. Me and Dawn talked about this. Our personalities were very different; I was on the dark side while she was little miss sunshine, so this is how the conversation went. 

Me: why don’t we threaten to stalk them for the rest of their lives?

Her: they will be threatened by two little girls? 

Me: good point. Then why don’t we cut off their toes and put them where they are not

supposed to be?

Her: NOOOO!!

Me: fine.

Her: why don’t we just use the same excuse that we used on my father: to recover my

father’s belongings.

Me: if you want to do it the boring way, sure. Why can’t we just knock ‘em out?

And that’s how the conversation ended. 

Chapter 2

The Lab

Then guess what method we used? Yes, Dawn’s method… such. A. Great. Method. But of course we got in. We went into the lab dressed how people who work in labs dress. White lab coats, goggles, and an evil smile on my face. We went to my dad’s workshop in the lab. It was empty with just a cement floor and a wood table, on the wall was a metal vent. We looked ALL over and found nothing! 

Just as I was checking under the table, Dawn shouted, “Miranda, there’s a switch here on the vent!” I rushed quickly over there and without thinking, I switched the switch down. Just then, the room transformed into a whole different place: potions filled the room, several different robot machines were roaming around from inch to inch. Paper was covering my dad’s desk from corner to corner. The room was pretty messy. Then, a whole different room appeared. There was a gigantic machine—his part was the only place in the room that seemed tidied up. The screen was showing the words “The Jurassic Times.”

Dawn looked really confused and I looked just as confused as her. Dawn was the one with the good eye and noticed a note on the machine. As she picked it up, she accidentally pressed the red button that said GO. Just then, I started to feel dizzy and the world started spinning. After a few seconds, things started to ease down. 

Chapter 3

The Jurassic Times

 I came to my senses and looked around me. I panicked because there were dinosaurs EVERYWHERE! Me and Dawn spent many hours running for our lives. We didn’t even have time to catch our breath. By the end of the day, we found a cave that was animal-free. We set up two beds that were made out of grass and hay. We also created a section for all the berries we picked to eat. We FINALLY had time to rest. Our cheeks were both red and we were breathing really hard. We looked at each other for a long time without saying anything. I  finally broke the silence.

“So…” I said between breaths, “we sure know what the machine is for now.”

“Yeah” she responded.

“I knew that your dad was smart but not so smart that he could make a time machine,” 

she remarked.

“We REALLY need to know how to get back!” I exclaimed.

The next day, we emptied our pockets to see what we had: I had a half eaten chocolate bar, a pack of gum, some money, a picture of my dad, and an iPod. Dawn had the note, she took some string, a pencil and paper. The note said: colonial times 828.

“What does 828 mean?” Dawn asked.

“No idea,” I responded. “Do you think Dad went to the colonial times?” I asked Dawn.

“Maybe? Anything else?” Dawn asked.

I checked all my pockets. “Oh yeah, I have a potion that I took from dad’s office.”

“What is it called?” Dawn exclaimed.

“It doesn’t have a name,” I replied.

Chapter 4

The Colonial Times

We drank the potion, then I accidentally looked at the note, then I went dizzy. After

that, we just blacked out. But this time, we ended up in a place where all girls wore dresses and bonnets, and boys petticoats and baggy pants. We looked down and saw that our clothes were different. Perfect! We wore the same clothes that everyone else wore! The time traveling with the potion came with clothes! Then I realized something! We were in the colonial times!

For the rest of the day, Dawn and I went looking for my father. We searched everywhere! We still couldn’t find him! At the end of the day, we stayed with a nice couple that said their names were Maria and David. They gave us a bedroom for the night.

“What do you think made us go into the colonial times?” Dawn asked.

I looked a bit guilty. “Um… I accidentally looked at the paper that said colonial times 828, that’s what probably triggered us to go here.”

“Ohhh, that makes sooo much more sense to me!”

“Yeah,” I responded. “So tomorrow…”

“Um, do you still have the picture—” I interrupted Dawn.

“Yeah,” Dawn finished her sentence. “We can show the people here it and see if they’ve ever seen him.”  

Every time we showed people the photo, they started murmuring to each other and started pointing at us. One person dropped everything she had in her hands and shouted, “WITCH!!” After that, with every step we took, people started backing away. Then, finally, Maria came out of the house and I showed her the photo. She looked shocked. 

She said, “Child, your father went to the place.”

“The place?”

Apparently I looked so confused that she started telling the whole story.

Chapter 5

“The Place”

“Once, there was a man and that man was your father. One day, he came out of nowhere. Everyone thought he was crazy because he kept saying that he came from a time machine from the future. They officially named him wizard of the year. This was the first time in 20 years they named a wizard of the year. Not since this one man who every time he snapped, a person in the town died. Everyone thought he was dangerous, and still thinks that. They think he is so dangerous that they built a special prison just for him. Anyone who goes in can’t get out. No one knows what to call it. So we just call it the place.

The legend states that the only way to bring a person out of there is if a person makes a potion strong enough to get out of there.”

Dawn murmured something under her breath so quietly that you couldn’t even manage to make out the words. Maria finished her story and nobody knew if that potion even exists. I was shocked! Dawn and I went back into the house. 

Right after we closed the door, Dawn exclaimed, “The potion that we have!”

I answered, “What do you mean? That potion was only for time traveling!”

Dawn explained, “When we went time travelling, do you know how much time it took to get here?”

“No?”

“Um, ten minutes and two seconds. And do you know how long it took to get to the jurassic times? 15 minutes and 56 seconds.”

“How do you know?” I asked.

“Oh I set a timer,” Dawn said. She continued speaking, “it’s like the potion wants us to be here.”

“Ok then what are we waiting for, let’s go!”

Chapter 6

Dirty Work

We walked and walked and walked and finally got there! It was in the middle of the woods. The place was very simple with stone walls and a moat around it and alligators snapping at you. It was so very welcoming! SO. VERY. We still had two things to do. Get past the alligators and get past the guards. Time to use MY method! This conversation was a bit different.

Me: this time, let’s knock ‘em out.

Her: can’t we just sweet talk them into letting us in?

Me: no!! We did your method last time, this time we’re going to jump on the alligators’ back and then they’re going to bring us to the guards. Then you go in the front and start talking to them. Then I sneak up on the back, knock them over and take their weapons.

Her: you can knock over the guards?

Me: I’m going to try, then you’re going to help me.

We jumped on the alligators’ backs, then they knocked us over.

I shouted, “Change of plans, we’re going swimming!”

It took longer than we thought, dodging all those alligators. We finally got to the castle and had to climb a bit. At least the plan with the guards worked. With a little help from pepper spray. When we got past the guards, we went to find my father.

“Miranda, is that you?”

“Hello? Dad?”

“I’m here.”

I turned around, then I saw him. He was nothing like how he looked in the picture. He looked older, dirty, like he hadn’t taken a shower in months. There were smudges of dirt all over his face. I gave some potion to my father. 

Then to Dawn, I said, “We’re going to drink it on the count of three, okay? One. Two. Three!”

I went dizzy then blacked out. We were back home. I saw my father and Dawn on the sides of me. I knocked on the door. 

When my mother saw me, she exclaimed, “Miranda, thank goodness! Where were you?”

When she saw Dad, all the color drained from her face. She screamed, “Ashton, come down here!”

“Ashton? ASHTON?” My mom went inside to look for my little brother. “Where’s Ashton?”

The End!             

Princessa

I am woken by a bright light. I shield my eyes, only to realise I’m not at home. I’m in a huge, puffy, pink bed with purple pillows. I, for one, hate the colors pink and purple. Those colors are signs of a princess. A butler walks through the door, and I shriek.

 “Sorry, Your Highness. Didn’t mean to startle you, Your Highness. Here is your breakfast, Your Highness,” said the butler. 

 “Uhhh,” I said. What was going on!? Since when was I royalty? The closest I had ever gotten to royalty was our dog named King. “What’s this?” I say. It looks absolutely gross! It’s a big bowl of oatmeal with pineapple on top. I hate pineapple and oatmeal is so plain.

 “It’s your favorite,” says the butler, with a little concern in his voice. 

“Oh, really?” I say, and the butler looks at me like I’ve gone crazy. At this point, I have. “Thanks, I totally love it!”

 The butler is so confused at this point. “Are you feeling alright, Your Highness? I will set up a visit to the royal nurse today, Your Highness.” 

The butler leaves, wondering what just happened. People say you should stay calm in unfamiliar situations, but I think it’s appropriate to freak out in this situation. Here I am, in a huge, comfy, and probably very expensive bed. It is so much nicer than the floor I slept on at the farm. I work there, and the pay is very low, barely enough to support my family. My mother is very sick, so she can’t work, and my father died last year. My brother, Bob, is too young to work, since he’s only five. My grandma lives with us too, but she’s very sick. Now I actually have my own room, with gold jewelry and a very cute, very huge, and very fluffy teddy bear. “Bob would love this teddy bear!” I mumble. 

I get out of bed, feeling like a princess. In this world, I am a princess. 

An old but very stylish lady runs into my room. “Enough sleeping, it’s time for your Proper Princess lessons,” she says.  That’s a thing?! Before I can say anything, she pulls me to a ballroom. 

“Whoa,” I say loudly. It’s gold and huge and gold and beautiful and gold. It’s just like the movies. Did I mention it was gold? 

“Enough dilly dally! We must get to work immediately!” says the lady. She hands me a book. “You know what to do.” 

“Yep,” I say nervously. 

“What is this word ‘yep’? Ug, the slang the children are using these days. You must say, ‘Yes mam’ or ‘Of course’. Do you understand?” 

She gives me a deathening stare. “Yes mam,” I squeak. 

Now, what to do with this book…Maybe I balance it on my head? That seems reasonable. I walk across the ballroom without the book falling once. I was good at this kind of thing since this is what I did for fun on the farm. 

“You’re getting much better at this, good job,” said the lady. “We are done for the day. You may leave.” 

I walk out and there is a grand staircase on the left. It has red carpet and silver railings. Seriously, a girl who was living with all of this for fourteen years has got to be spoiled. I walk up the stairs, and I can’t believe my eyes. There are thousands of gowns in so many different colors. Maybe not thousands, but you get the idea. They are all topped in jewels and more jewels and, well, more jewels!

 “Would you like to choose your dress for today, Your Highness?” asks the butler.

 I shriek, again. This guy has to stop creeping up on me! “Um, sure,” I say, even though I’m unsure on which dress I’ll choose. There are so many options! 

After 20 minutes of searching, I settle for a sea-green gown with blue jewels on top. I look in the mirror, and I can’t believe my eyes. I look like someone else, someone who is important.

“You usually pick a pink or purple one, Your Highness,” says the butler. 

“This one is just fine,” I say. I turn to him, realising he is too nice to lie to. “I have to tell you something, but you have to promise to stay calm,” I say to the butler. 

“I promise, Your Highness,” says the butler.

 I took a deep breath, and broke the news to him. I told him that I’m not the princess. I told how my life was before, with being very poor and working on the farm. I told him how my grandma was sick and needed expensive medicine. I told him I’m the only person who works in my family. 

“Ever since my father died, my mother has struggled moneywise. She has no one to lean on. My brother is too young to work, since he’s only 4. My mother has to take care of my brother and my very sick grandma.”

“Oh my,” the butler says slowly, almost in a whisper.

“That leaves me. Even though I’m only 14 years old, I have a full-time maid job on the farm. The pay isn’t much, only five pence a day. Just enough to feed my family. 

“Life is so much easier here. I just need a little break. I still wonder how I got here,” I say. The butler looks at me long and hard. He stares at me for what feels like hours. I think he’s deciding if this is true, or just a sob story. 

“Fine, I believe you. I won’t tell, but you must figure out who, or what, did this to you. You must return the real princess to the throne.” 

“Thank you!” I tell him, relieved my secret won’t be revealed. 

“Now, you have breakfast with the queen and king, your ‘parents,’” says the butler. “Act like you are royalty and use very formal language.” 

Breakfast was scrumptious and the king and queen didn’t expect a thing. They actually didn’t talk to me at all. They were just talking about work and laws and things kings and queens need to worry about. The real princess must have felt neglected. 

After breakfast, I try to sneak outside. I’m this close to the door when a voice stops me. 

“Where do you think you’re going?” it asks.

 I turn around to see a man with a measuring cup on his shoulder and a scissor in his hand. “We must do the dress fitting for the ball tomorrow night!” 

I’m going to a ball? Wow, that will be so magnificent! 

“Okay,” I say, and I follow him to the dressing room. It’s huge and right in the middle is the most beautiful gown I have ever seen. It goes all the way up to the floor and it has gold jewels all over it. It’s pink, but I actually don’t mind it that much. I wear it, the man and his assistants adjust the dress a little bit. 

“PERFECT!” the man screams. I look in the mirror and I cannot agree more. I get out of the dress and I’m told I have a horse riding lesson. Apparently, I’m some national champion. I don’t know how to ride a horse! Well, let’s just hope I’m lucky…

I come outside, and a lady with the biggest horse I have ever seen is waiting for me. The horse is black and tall. He looks calm, which makes this a little less scary.

”Get on the horse,” she says sternly. After about 15 times, I’m on. “Trot,” she says. Okay, it can’t be that hard. Maybe I just take the rope, and hold it. Then, maybe I fling it. The horse starts moving, slowly. It’s not a trot, but hey, I’ve never ridden a horse before. “TROT I SAID,” the lady screams. 

You need to calm down, I think in my head.

 I fling it even harder, and the horse is running at full speed. I’m scared, but I pretend I’m okay. 

“Yes, good job!” the lady says. 

The lesson continued, and it wasn’t as hard as it seemed. She taught me tips and tricks and by the end of the lesson, I could ride a horse! 

After my lesson, the chef made me lunch. It was handmade pasta with red sauce. It was more delicious than anything I have  ever tasted. For the rest of the day I had Proper Princess lessons. It was a little boring for the first hour, since we were just balancing the books. Then we went over proper tea party attire and manners. It was annoying, because apparently I “keep on getting in wrong”. 

After an amazing-smelling caviar, I go to my bed. It was such an amazing day. However, I feel guilty. My family is probably starving and here I am eating caviar.  I am sitting in the most comfy bed I have ever felt, yet my brother was sleeping on the dirt. I had to find a way to go back soon, and figure out what happened.

It is the day of the ball, and I am already excited when I woke up. An actual ball, that I would be dancing and twirling and being really important in.

“Your breakfast,” the butler says, rushing in with breakfast of waffles. “Are you excited for your first ball?”

“YES, YES,YES, OH YES!” I say in a loud, but not screaming voice. 

The butler leans closer. “Have you figured it out yet?”

“Figured out what?”

“Why you’re here!”

“Not yet, I have to find a plan.”

“Well, do it fast.”

“I’m trying!”

“Try harder!”

We start laughing, and then the butler heads to the door.

“Wait!” I say.

“Yes?”

“What should I call you?”

“You can call me Robert.”

“Okay. You can call me Maybell.”

“Okay, Maybell.”

I smile, and he smiles back before he leaves. The same man who did my dress fitting comes in. 

“Time to get into your gown!” he says very loudly.

“Ok,” I say politely, but excitedly.

“Come on, come on, no time to waste!”

“Fine,” I say, a little reluctant to get out of bed.

We go to the dressing room, and I put on my gown. I look astonishing. They then take me to the hairdresser, and they put my hair into a neat bun. This is a literal whole new world. 

Now I have to go to Proper Princess lessons again, in order to prepare for the ball. We go over proper greetings and the way to walk. We also practice walking in heels. It is so painful. I don’t get what’s wrong with sneakers. They are so much more comfy. Besides, nobody’s going to see my shoes. The gown is floor-long. It goes on for hours and hours.  

By the time we are done, it’s time for the ball. I make a grand entrance with the king and queen. Everyone is awing at us, and I feel really special. People talk to me, and I make a lot of things up.

“Hello Your Highness, how are you this fine evening?” asks the duke.

“Very well, thank you. How about yourself?” I say, sounding very formal.

“Very well, thank you. How is the royal swim team doing this year?”

“Very well, we can expect a win this year.”

“Good to hear it.”

I have no idea what the royal swim team is. I don’t even know how to swim! I just came up with stuff along the way. 

It is time for the dancing part of the evening. I am going to be ballroom dancing with multiple young men who want to marry me. Great.

I danced and danced, my feet getting tired and the heels giving me blisters. The last boy I danced with, Henry, wasn’t like the others. His eyes were sweet and calm. He was a great dancer, and our eyes were locked on each other. When it was time to stop dancing, we went over to the side a talked. He was like nobody else, and he was funny and a great listener. It was almost like… no, it couldn’t be… it was almost like… love at first sight. He was staying over at the palace since his father had work to do with the king. 

We spent the whole week together. We ate at the fanciest restaurant in town, Souffle. We went to the water park and went on all the rides. He was a great company. We were having dinner at the palace when I hear something I’ve wanted to hear for a few days now.

“I’ve been wanting to tell you something for some time now. In other words, since the day I met you,” says Henry slowly.

“I’m all ears,” I say excitedly.

“I really like you, and I want to spend the rest of my life with you. Will you marry me?” He bends down with a ring.

I have no words. This is one of the best moments of my life. I would normally think he wants to just be king, but Henry’s different.

“YES!” I say, excitedly.

I hug him so tightly, he could pass out. We run to the meeting room, and announce our marriage. Everyone is excited and congratulates me. I know I made the right choice. 

You might be thinking we are pretty young to be married, but we love each other too much to wait. Besides, my grandma got married at my age, so did my mom. It’s kind of a tradition at this point. 

As I go to bed, I am excited to now have a financé. I have so many plans for us. Then I go back to thinking about home. Would mom approve? Would she be mad that I wasn’t there and I couldn’t find her? I have to tell Henry. Maybe he could help me sneak out. 

The next morning, I find Henry. I take a deep breath and tell him everything. I tell him about me not being a princess and my back story. After I finish, he looks at me with those sweet, calm eyes. Is he mad at me for lying? 

Henry looks at me. “It’s not your fault. I’m not mad.”

“Good. Will you help me find the original princess?”

Henry thinks for a minute. Then, he gives me a smile. “Of course.”

“Great!” This is finally getting to a good start.

After lunch, we sneak out of the palace and into the village. We have to disguise ourselves. We don’t want the paparazzi getting in the way. We look around and call out, “KASSY?”, the name of the original princess. Nobody has any ideas on where she could be. 

After two hours of searching, I sit down on a bench. “We’re never going to find her and I’m never going to see my family again.” No matter how much I try to hold it back, tears fall from my eyes. 

“We’ll find her,” says Henry. “I promise you”

“Some promises can’t be fulfilled.” 

I look at Henry. His face starts smiling, almost like he came up with the best idea ever.

“I just came up with the best idea ever!” Henry yells.

Called it. “What is it?” I say excitedly.

“The only thing that has changed is you and Kassy switching lives, right?”

“Yeah, so what?”

“That means your family lives in the same house and Kassy works where you use to work!”

“That’s genius. What are we waiting for? Let’s go!”

We run to the house and barge through the door. My brother is playing with his rocks and my mother is cleaning the kitchen. 

My mother looks at us, surprised.

“Who are you and why did you just come inside my house?” she says.

I want to tell her everything. I want to tell her I am her daughter. I want to tell her where I was. I want to say I’m sorry for not being there for our family. But I can’t. I have to wait till everything is resolved. 

“It doesn’t matter,” I say.

“Where is Kassy? I mean, Maybell. Where is Maybell?” says Henry in his stern prince voice. 

“She is at the Mare Berry Farm,” says my mother, a little scared at this point.

I feel bad, but there’s nothing I could do. Not until I find Kassy.

Henry and I run to the farm. I’m full of hope and fear. Would Kassy be mad? Can we fix our lives? At this moment, I’m glad to have Henry by my side. 

When we get to the farm, we find Kassy milking a cow. Wow, she is doing really well, even better than me. We run up to her. She looks at us, scared and surprised.

“I knew I would get caught at some point,” Kassy says, a little sadness in her voice.

“What do you mean?” I say, a little anger in my voice.

“I did this. I was the one who gave you the life of the princess.”

“How, What, Where, When, Why?” says Henry sternly.

“What is this, English class? Anyway, I was bored of my life at the palace.  My parents never talk to me. I feel like I have no family, no shoulder to lean on. Everyone just waits on me at a fancy place. I wanted to have family moments and actually do something for myself.”

“But it’s my family, my life!” I say, a little surprised that anybody would get bored of a life at the palace. 

“I know it was wrong but I was desperate. I made a wish on the magical well, just for fun, but I thought it was a myth. I didn’t know it would work!”

“Did you make the wish of June 27th?” Henry asks.

“Yeah, so?” says Kassy.

“All the wishes made on June 27th come true! There is no way to reverse them!” Henry yells in a worried voice.

“So we’re stuck like this forever?” Kassy and I say at the same time. We look at each other with sad faces. 

“Lets go to my actual house,” I say.

We all walk to the house and come in. My mother is reading a book to my brother, who is now asleep. 

“Will someone tell me what’s going on?” my mother says sternly.

Then she pauses, like something is wrong. 

“Take off your hood,” she tells me. 

I do as told, and my mother gasps. She pulls out the birth certificate of both Kassy and I. 

“We’re… sisters?” I say.


20 YEARS LATER

“Remember the day you officially moved to the palace?” Kassy says. 

“The day we came to know we’re sisters?” I say. 

A lot has happened since that day. Kassy and I realised we were sisters. Apparently, the king and queen adopted Kassy. My mom, grandma, and brother moved to the palace. The king and queen bought the farm. We were a huge, happy family. Henry and I got married, and we had a child named Rose.

“Today is your coronation,” Kassy reminds me.

“Thanks for reminding me,” I say sarcastically, a little nervousness in my voice. “What if I do something wrong?”

“You’ll be fine. I gotta go get ready”

As Kassy leaves, I look out the window. It’s dawn, and the sunrise is beautiful. 20 years ago, I was wondering if my family and I would ever find a good home. Now, I live in one of the grandest places in the world. 


The Great Big Ocean

Alexandra had tried everything. She had tried begging her parents, she had tried refusing to come. Finally she agreed, but she convinced her parents to let her bring a couple books. But still, she was going to the beach. Her parents were taking her to the BEACH. Alexandra hated the beach, unlike her three year-old sister. Alexandra was very picky. One of the only things that she loved were books. BOOKS. She thought that there was nothing better than reading a good book on a summer day. She saw the beach come into view. Reluctantly, she climbed out of the car unenthusiastically. She got herself settled on the beach with her book, while her sister started a sandcastle.

“Alex help?” she asked. Alex groaned.

“Nooooo. I’m reading.”

“I’ll help,” said Dad.

“YAY YAY!” Alexandra’s sister, Charlotte, was grinning.

Silently thanking her dad, Alex started on her book about animal waste. Yes, animal waste. She was very interested in this right now. 

Her dad came over to her and asked, “Alex, want to swim?”

“WHAT! NO! I HATE SWIMMING!”

This was true. Alex hated swimming. Even worse, she didn’t know how.

“Alright,” said her dad. “But you need to learn how SOMETIME.”

Alex lay down just to find her book NOT THERE. Alex ran to her mom, yelling, “MOM! DID YOU TAKE MY BOOK?”

“NO, why?”

“MOOOM! ALL MY BOOKS ARE GONE!!”

“Get your other books, don’t bother me.”

Alex looked in her bag and reached in to find her other books on animal waste, only to find that they were also gone.

Alex glanced around to find a group of boys laughing and stealing glances at Alex. They had TAKEN HER BOOKS! 

Alex stormed over to them and yelled, “Give me my books back!”

A big boy, maybe 11 years old, sneered.

“Looks like that won’t happen.”

He had ripped out all the pages of Alexandra’s books and was now working on ripping the covers. Alex, trying not to cry, went back to the blanket and sat down. She loved those books. They had been her favorite. And now she would never get to finish them. She felt someone kneel down beside her. She looked up and found a boy with dark brown hair and bright blue eyes was looking at her.

“I’m sorry. My friends were being really mean to you.”

“It’s fine,” said Alex, even though it was not.

“You know there is a library on an island of the Ocean, right?”

“WHAT? Really? That would be so cool! I wish I could go.”

“You could,” said the boy.

“I’ll ask my parents. By the way, what’s your name?”

“Gabe,” said the boy.

Alexandra went and asked her parents.

“Mom and Dad, can I go with my friend named Gabe to the library across the Ocean?”

Mom looked surprised. “Sure!! But you know that you will have to swim across the ocean, right?”

“WHAT? BUT YOU KNOW I HATE THE WATER AND CAN’T SWIM!”

“Maybe Gabe can help you,” said Dad. “Go try.”

Alex went over to Gabe and said, “My mom made me swim!”

“That’s fine. I can teach you how. I’m on the NYC swim team.”

So Gabe took Alexandra’s hand and pulled her to the Ocean.

“Get in,” said Gabe.

Alex reluctantly got up to her chin in the water. Gabe held Alex’s legs up and told her to kick. Gabe let go and Alex felt herself float. It actually felt pretty good!

“Now move your arms!” Gabe continued directing Alexandra until she felt herself move in the water!

“What’s happening?” 

Gabe laughed. “What do you mean what’s happening? You’re swimming!”

“WOW!”

Alexandra had never felt this before. 

“Do you think you’re ready to swim?”

“I mean, yeah!”

“But will it get deep?”

“Nah, this Ocean’s surprisingly shallow, and I’ll walk with you and hold you up.”

So this continued until Alex spotted something disturbing. A big, big wave was forming a little way away. 

Alex shouted to Gabe, “LOOK, THAT IS THE BIGGEST WAVE EVER!”

“Oh, yeah, that’s the biggest wave of the year. It sometimes can kill people. Anyway, what’s your favorite thing to do?”

Alex was freaking out.

“Why are you asking me what my favorite thing to do is when we are maybe about to die?”

The wave was coming closer and closer, and the closer it came, the more Alexandra got more and more frantic!

“Okay, reeeeeeeeeelax! We can survive. It’s about a mile away, it just looks very close due to the size. But I think we will be okay.”

Alex noticed that Gabe seemed very calm.

“Have you experienced this before? You seem very calm.”

Gabe replied unusually. “Look, this wave is really scary to me too. I have not been in it before. But I have seen it, and this is one of the biggest waves ever. All I am doing is trying to stay calm, but inside me, I am freaking out. Just stay calm and—”

“But I thought you were the best swimmer in NYC! I am depending on you. I COULD DIE. This is really freaking me out.”

“Just because I am on a good swim team doesn’t mean I can swim through a wave as tall as the Empire State building!” The wave was less than 10 feet away from them now. “We are just going to have to face it now.”

Alexandra took some deep breaths.

“Face it,” she said, “FACE IT.”

The wave was about to come at Gabe and Alexandra. Alex braced herself for the worst. She peeked out of her hands— which were covering her face— and saw the wave a foot away. She heard Gabe yelling, “Do what you can! I am holding onto you! JUST BE CALM AND LOOK OUT!”

Alexandra repeated these words in her head. “Just be calm. JUST BE CALM!”

She felt the wave lift her up, high, high into the air. She spotted the beach and her Mom and Dad shouting. She couldn’t quite make out what they were saying, but she could make out “Alexandra!” and “Careful!” She saw tears going down her mom’s face and her dad’s worried look. But she felt the comfort of Gabe next to her. Then, Alexandra felt the sensation of falling. Her brain raced as she shouted, “HHEEELLLLPPPP!!!”

The next thing she knew, she was flying in the air, head first. 

Alexandra felt her head smashed into the surging waves and a surge of pain in her right knee. She felt the sensation of falling into a dark, deep tunnel. She felt someone touch her shoulder. That was the last thing she remembered before everything went black.

***

Blink. Blink. Alexandra saw white. All white. She blinked again and realized that she was staring at a ceiling. She looked next to her and found her mom and dad sadly looking at her. She also spotted her sister in the playroom next door, playing with a toy airplane.  Their faces brightened when they saw Alexandra’s chocolate brown eyes.

“She’s awake!” said Dad.

“Thank God,” said Mom.

She felt her Mom kiss her on her cheek. Alexandra had millions of questions bubbling inside of her. But she surprisingly just couldn’t talk. (Emotionally and physically.) Why was she wearing pajamas with cupcakes on them? Who had rescued her? Was Gabe okay? Wait a second. Alexandra had a thought rush to her head. Was Gabe okay?

Alexandra looked next to her and saw Gabe, lying motionless. She saw a cast on his arm. It was white, but she could see red, probably blood. Alexandra felt so bad for her friend. And now he would never want to swim again, just like her. She saw Gabe’s eyes open and he mumbled, 

“Alexana?” He probably couldn’t talk as well, like her. Alex tried saying something.

“Hhhhiiii Gab.”

Huh. She was probably just tired. She saw the doctor come in, and Gabe did too.

“Hi guys!” the doctor said. “I am Dr. Ring. Gabe, you have broken your arm, as well as cut it on a rock in the Ocean, we think. Alexandra, you have a small crack in your right knee and will get crutches.” Alexandra hadn’t noticed that. She sat up and saw her knee in a cast. “You guys have headaches. You can’t speak very well yet.”

Dad spoke up. “Can we tell them what happened?”

The doctor smiled. “I think they would like to know.”

Dad started. “You guys had concussions. You didn’t feel this, but a lifeguard jumped in and got you guys. Then firefighters came. They used a crane to take you guys out of the Ocean.”

Mom continued. “The lifeguard couldn’t get you out because the waves after the big wave were too strong. Then they put you in an ambulance and brought you here.”

Alexandra felt better talking now.

“Shouldn’t I be wet? I- I was just in- in- in a big wave.”

“Yeah,” agreed Gabe. “How aren’t we w- wet and now both wearing cupcake p- p- p- pajamas?”

Dr. Ring laughed. “We cleaned you guys and dried you up. Oh, and these are the only pajamas we have.”

“Okay,” said Gabe. “But can you please get better pajamas?”

Just then Gabe’s parents arrived.

“Gabe!” exclaimed Gabe’s mom. “You should be resting, not talking about what pajamas this hospital has!”

“But they should have more,” retorted Gabe.

“Oh, hi Henry!” Gabe’s little two and a half year-old brother was staring at Gabe. Henry looked at Gabe.

“Gabee OK?”

“Yes, I’m fine, go play with Alexandra’s sister, Charlotte.”

Henry happily grabbed another toy airplane and started playing with Charlotte.

Alexandra decided that this was the time to tell her mom something important, something that had been waiting to say. Alex took a deep breath and began. 

“Mom?” asked Alex.

“Yes sweetie?”

“Can I learn how to swim?”

“Of course sweetie! But what changed your mind? I thought you would never want to swim now, even in pools!”

Alexandra started explaining. “Well, I don’t want to go in the ocean first, but I could take lessons in our swimming pool at home in Long Island. I want to be ready and not freaked out for a situation like this one.”

Gabe cut in. “Hey, I live in Long Island too!”

Gabe’s dad had an idea. Gabe could teach Alex to swim! “But Gabe, you’re cool because you are the only boy in your group that knows how to swim!”

That gave Alexandra an idea. “Can I get back at those boys who ripped up my books?”

“Oh yeah!” agreed Gabe. “We can push them into the water!”

Alexandra’s mom looked skeptical.

“Maybe that’s a little toooo much!”

Alexandra spoke up. “But can we do something?”

“Maybe just talk to them. But you should stand up for yourself and talk to them with Gabe.”

“Okay, after I learn how to swim because they are going to be meaner to me if I don’t know how to swim like them. Can we go home today?”

Charlotte and Henry came over. “Mommy, go home?” Charlotte asked.

“GO HOME! YAY YAY!” Henry was getting excited too.

“Yes, we are going home today,” the parents said in unison.

After a few more hours of rest, the families headed home. They went home in separate cars but Gabe promised to come visit Alexandra after they got home. (Because he was the one of them that could walk. Alexandra had crutches.)

At home, Alexandra met Gabe on the back porch. Gabe was the first one to speak.

“Well, this incident didn’t result in the best health.”

“Yes, but I learned to not be afraid of the Ocean and to fight through it.”

“I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have brought you into the Ocean. This was all my fault.”

Alexandra felt bad for Gabe. “No, it’s not. It’s my fault for going into the Ocean. I wanted to go to the library.”

Gabe leaned over and hugged Alexandra. “You’re the best Alexandra. And it’s definitely not your fault.”

Alexandra leaned over to Gabe. Gabe put his arm around her. Then they heard footsteps coming. Thump. Thump. Thump. Gabe and Alex let go of each other and saw the mean boys coming over to them.

“Hey stupid!” yelled the tallest boy at Alex.

Gabe retorted. “Don’t call her that!”

“And you can call her anything you want, I guess?”

“She’s my friend!”

“Well, Gabe, then I guess you’re not our friends either. Go play with your girlfriend!”

“I’m not his girlfriend!” Alexandra said. “Am I?” 

LOOK ON NEXT PAGE!

THE END!!!!

Epilogue

After Gabe’s arm had healed and Alexandra’s leg healed, Gabe taught Alex swimming. Once Alex had learned how to be a great swimmer, the two of them decided to get back at those dumb boys. Gabe knew that the boys were going fishing, so Gabe and Alex had a plan. They swam in the Long Island river and pulled a prank on these boys. This was how it went. 

THE PRANK

“Allright, I see them.” Gabe and Alexandra were very exhausted having swam for so long. They could see the silhouettes of the tall boy and his friends. Alexandra was curious.

“What are their names?”

“The big one’s name is Parker, and his two friends are Daniel and Joshua. I used to like them, but now I regret EVER being friends with them. I much rather like being friends with you.” Alex blushed at the thought of how he meant “friends.”

Alexandra changed the topic. “So the plan is to push them into the water?”

“Yeah. I know our parents think it’s too much, but I think they deserve it.”

Alexandra agreed. “Surely pushing people into the water isn’t as bad as ripping up all their books, is it?”

“Exactly. Let’s do this.”

“IT’S TIME.” 

Gabe and Alex dove under the boy’s boat and pushed it over. They heard screams from above. Gabe laughed.

“Man, I haven’t heard them scream before. This is AMAZING. And they’re not wearing life jackets.”

Alex just thought of something. “Wait, will they drown? Let’s check.”

Gabe and Alex peered around the flipped boat and found Parker, Daniel, and Joshua trying to get back up on the boat.

“YOU-YOU DID THAT!” Parker was furious. “HOW DARE YOU!”

“How dare YOU rip up all my books?” Alexandra was glad that they finally got back at Parker and his gang.

Gabe cut in. “Here, take this.” Gabe handed them a buoy. “Use this to float home.”

Parker snatched it. “And why do we need this to float home?”

“Because we’re taking the boat.” Alexandra climbed on and helped Gabe up.

Daniel and Joshua yelled “No!” Parker just stared in fury. While Gabe was rowing away, Alexandra called to the boys.

“Hey! I hope the buoy fits all of you! Maybe you could SWIM?”

The boys groaned and started doggie paddling while their arms rested on the buoy. Alex and Gabe grinned and headed back home. 

THAT’S ALL FOLKS! WAIT FOR THE NEXT BOOK!

Endor’s Life

Endor isn’t like everyone else. He’s different for one reason, size. He’s bigger than any other of his species. He’s bigger because of mutation when he was born. He’s as big as the statue of liberty!!! There are monsters bigger than him, but those are different species. Like reptars and skylers, but those are other kinds. He’s only supposed to be 15 meters. But he’s more than five times the height!!! Endor is sort of like a turtle, but has spikes and has sharp teeth. Sadness makes him destroy cities. Anger. Rage. Endor has always been picked on by reptars saying, “Big body, gigantic coward!!!”

“Hey weakling,” said a reptar. His teeth started grinding. His spikes started bulging on his body.

“What do you want?” I asked. I was thinking of burning him with a flamethrower I was powering up in my mouth.

“Why don’t you get out of the way and give me your money, I want to buy something,” he replied with a grin on his face. Then out of nowhere, I blasted reptar. Then I realized I could use my size to protect the cities.

Endor faced many battles with skylers, fenines and more. But today was different.

“ROAR!!!” A huge roar was heard in the city, so Endor went to check it out.

What’s going on this time? I said to myself.

“Oh, just a reptar, wait, a REPTAR!!!” I screamed. Reptars are very powerful. So I went to the city to try and fight him off. But then, he slammed me onto a building. I shot fire at him but he shot me with plasma!!! I fell to the floor, he looked down at me, he was ready to devour me. There was nothing I could do. Except to fall in my fate. And sooner or later, I blacked out.

I woke up laying on the floor of a destroyed city. I did not know what happened. I saw the Reptar’s head on the floor. I saw a station over at the other side of the mountain. So I decided to go. 

I saw a skyler and he said he’d help me. So we made it there. But then the door slammed!!! I looked and saw some footage. I looked and saw me with the reptar!!! It showed me on the floor, and then my eyes turned red. I was shooting magma, shooting it toward the reptar, his skin started melting and then I fell. I was being tortured by the idea of being in this rusty station.

“HELP!!” I screamed. “PLEASE,” I said. “I DON’T WANT TO BE HERE!! JUST HELP.”

“Just calm down,” skyler said. “Calm’. It’s okay.’’ He calmed me down.

He managed to get me out, so we left the station. I realized, I was dangerous. But I was okay. I would still protect the cities.

THE END!!!

The Hair Salon


Chapter One

“Mommy, I don’t want to go to the hair salon! Please, leave me here by myself!”

“No, you have to go with me, because you’re the one that has to have the haircut.”

“My hair’s long! I want it to be like this!”

“Well, you have to cut your bangs.”

“Your bangs are way too long.”

“I know it’s up to my chin, but I’ll just move it to the sides and put a clip. Please, Mom! I just don’t want to cut my hair! Please, please, just respect me! I’ll stay here with Teddy.” 

“If you want to stay here with Teddy, you have to have a babysitter.”
“Not the mean one again! Not Sophia!”

“Well, that’s the only one I can find online.”

“Please, Mom! I want to stay here, I don’t want to cut my hair! My hair is the most beautiful thing right now. I don’t want it to be horrible! Please, let me Mom. I’m voting for you!”

“Silly, Sandy.”

“But Mom! Please! Or I’ll stay here with Daddy.”

“Well, he’s going to come at nighttime.”

“Well, I’ll wait for him at nighttime when he’s back from the day.”

“Well, I’m going to be back from the day,” said Mom.

“But Mom, I’m already ten. Why can’t you leave me here by myself?”

“Let’s not argue. Your hair is getting way too long, and it’s already touching your toes.”

“So? I like it there. I can make longer braids, tie it up into a bun, etc.”

“I know, but I want it to get shorter like this.”

“No, that’s way too short! I looked horrible when I had shorter hair when I was a baby like this.”

“Then, your hair was almost touching your knees. Come on, let’s just go.”

“Mommy, don’t pull my hair here! I’m not Sleeping Beauty. Even though I liked the movie.”

“Well, okay, fine. Only this once.”

“At least it’s up to my knees. I like my hair this long.”

“Well, sweetie, we have to go. It’s going to close any second.”

“That’s what I want to happen! Well, okay, fine. I’ll go with you. The hair salon is going to be bad. Oh, I have an idea. I can hide from the person that cuts my hair. Well, I think that won’t work. Because I went there last time, and they cut my hair up to my hands, and then I tried to hide, but they found me really easily under the chair. Oh! They never found me under the table. Let me try this time under the table.”

Chapter Two: The Bad Haircut

Oh, I’m here. Where’s the table around here so I can hide? I hope they don’t cut my hair like that guy: his hair, like, stripes. Mom says they put hair dye on his hair. I want pink hair dye.

“You’re not getting hair dye, because you’re too young.”

“How old are you?”

“I’m ten.”

“You have to be 14 to get hair dye.”

“Please, Mom!” 

“Okay, fine, only because your birthday’s coming up.”

“Which color do you want?”

“I want light blue that goes to pink. Dark pink.”

“Fine, okay. I’m going to ask them if we can do that.”

“We can do that!”

Yay!! Thanks, Mom.”

“You’re welcome. But I won’t let you do this again.”

“This is the last time I’m going to do this. I promise this is the last time. But Mommy, there’s a mistake. Tie dye doesn’t come out of your hair.”

“What? No!”

“But we already paid for it.”

“Okay, only this once.”

“But it won’t come out! For this whole year.”

“Fine. It will never come out.”

“Even when you’re a grandma it won’t come out.”

“Can I take my money back?”

“No.”

No,” said Mom. 

“I’m going to have tie dye, ya ya ya ya ya.”

“Okay. I’m going to ask them if there’s any shampoo that can take it out of your hair.”

“No, there’s no shampoo.”

“Oh my gosh, I was almost caught there. I have to hurry, in case Mom says my birthday’s coming up. Can you not cut my hair and only put hair dye?”

“Okay, okay, okay, fine. Only because your birthday’s coming up, okay? You hear me?”

“Yes. Mom. Are you going to put the hair dye on? Or are you going to cut my hair?”

“She’s going to put the hair dye.” 

“Well let’s do it, yay!”

Snip.

No! My hair is ruined!!!

“Oh, I’m sorry. Now it’s time to put hair dye on.”

Chapter Three: The Hair Dye

Sandy was sad that the hair lady cut her hair. She asked not to, but she did. Sandy was super sad.

“Mommy, I don’t want to stay here in this place. She cut my hair when I didn’t ask her to! I love my blond hair! Please, please, I want to get out of here, and I want to get a wig. Please! Because if she cuts everything off, I can get a wig!”

“If you get a wig, it’ll just fall off.”

“Just… please, Mom. I promise you.”

“No, you can’t do that.”

“I asked for a shark hair, with teeth.”

“I know, that’s why she made those big things. You can’t paint them.”

“Oh, that’s why. Please keep doing what you’re doing, Ms. Hairstylist. I forgot that I said I want shark hair. But don’t make it too big, because I still want to make rays on my hair.”

“Okay, I’m sorry that I cut it and you didn’t say to, but you said to make shark hair, and I’m sorry that I did. I can put your hair back with glue, then.”

“What? You can?”

“Only if I cut all of your hair out and put a wig on your head.”

“Which type of glue?”

“It’s like edible glue.”

“What? I don’t get what you’re saying, Ms. Stylist lady.”

“Well, I believe in you. Do you believe in me?’

“It’s not a poem.”

“Well, you know that you, miss little lady…”

“I’m not a little lady, I’m a kid. I’m ten years old. I’m turning eleven. I hope that you keep on doing your shark teeth, but not up to my forehead, because then I’d be really sad.”

“Okay,” said the hair stylist. “I’ll make them up to here, is that okay? To your knees?”

“Sure. Well, no, only up till my ankles, okay?”

“Okay. Up to your ankles. One cut, shark teeth, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, and then… well, okay, I’m done. Now to put the hair dye on! First I’m going to get a brush and start putting the hair dye on your hair.”

“Okay! I hope it shines like my friend’s does. Wait, why are you putting my hair in the water? The hair dye will come out!”

“No, it’s to get your hair wet, and then it’ll come out lighter.” 

“Okay, fine. I love my hair. It’s wonderful. I’m going to look in the mirror! Ooh, I look like I’m in a shark place where the sharks play, at the end of the sea.” 

“You’re welcome! That’s 24 bucks!”

“What?? That’s way too much, I need to go to the bank. Wait, there’s Cece and her mom. Let me ask them if they have some money.”

Sandy asked Cece if she had any money.

“Oh,” she said. “Hi, Sandy?”

“Do you have any money for my haircut?”

“Oh, I love your hair!”

“I know, that’s why I need money to pay for it. Do you have any money?”

“Oh, I only have 24 bucks.”

“Wow, that’s perfect! Because I only have 100 dollars. So only give us 24 bucks, cuz that’s the right amount that I need to pay for my hair. Yay! I can pay for my hair, and I’m going to show dad when he gets home. He’s going to love it.”

Chapter Four: Getting Home

“Wow, my hair is so adorable! No wait, there’s a problem! There’s going to be a thunderstorm coming, and we’re only going to arrive in 30 minutes. And there’s so much traffic! If we get late, Dad will be mad, and also, we can maybe even get hurt, because our car is made out of metal. We need to go quick.”

“Okay, let’s hurry! Let’s take the shortcut.”

“Okay, let’s get home. Go down to 32, veer 34. It’s only one block. No wait, we’re in Columbus. We have to be in Broadway. We live in Broadway, not here. But this is where our cousin lives. Let’s ask them if we can sleep there for one day.”

But when they got there, they already had someone at their house. 

“Oh man, I guess we have to take another traffic the right way.”

“Okay, let’s go. Oh wait, wait a second! There’s no more traffic and no more thunder! Yay, we have all the street for ourselves!”

“No we don’t, because look. There’s still a little bit of traffic up ahead.”

“But still, I’m happy that we’re almost home, so I can show Daddy my hair. Yay, yay, yay, we’re almost home! Let’s go home. I’m so worried that Daddy gets hit by thunder.”

“That will never happen! He’s already home.”

“Let me call Daddy. I have a phone cuz I’m ten.”

“You’re actually eleven.”

“Well, I’m not eleven yet. Well I know tomorrow’s my birthday but tomorrow’s gonna be raining like today so we have to do it today at home, because we are going to vacation tomorrow to celebrate there. But we can’t go, because there’s a traffic jam- a big one!”

“Finally, the traffic jam is done and I can see home. FINALLY! Finally, we got here at home.”

“Where were you?” Daddy said.

“We were at the hair salon, and I got a new hairstyle!” Sandy said.

“I love it! I want to go there! 

“Not now, please. I can’t drive anymore. So many traffic jams.” Said Mom.

“Okay fine, another day.”

“I’ll go by myself tonight.”

“Don’t, please, it’s terrifying getting back home.”

THE END


Far from Normal


Emma wanted to have a normal life where you can chill and get food at the store. But normal doesn’t apply when you live in a city infested with annoying sea dragons who go around asking for stuff. So it was a regular day at school when one of those things stopped her on her way home and asked for a fruit. She told it that she had none and walked on. However, the sea dragon did not stop. It followed her back to her house. She did not notice this until she got home and turned around to hang up her backpack and saw it standing right there, in the middle of a water spill on the floor.

“What do you want!?” she asked, exasperated.

“Can I have some fruit?” it asked.

“I told you, I don’t have any!”

She took her homework out of her backpack, went to her bedroom, and started it. Then the sea dragon tapped her on the finger. It had shrunk itself and was standing in the cup of water on her desk. 

“Can I please have a fruit now?”

That’s when she totally lost it. 

“Can you please shut now up now!!! For the last time can you not follow me everywhere?!” 

That’s when the sea dragon disappeared. For real, this time. Good, she thought, I can use some space. However, as she finished her homework she couldn’t help thinking that she had been a little bit rude. Don’t be silly, she told herself, it’s the thing’s fault that it can’t keep its big fat mouth shut. This still didn’t make her feel better about yelling at the top of her lungs. Then she smiled, and picked up a book. She read the title. “How to get rid of annoying creatures.She flipped the pages until she got to the page of sea dragons. This is what it said:

  1. Bore it out. Try patting your hair or blabbering nonstop about the newest book or movie. You might also want to talk about hair and makeup. They have no interest in that stuff. 
  2. Ignore it. Make it so tired of sitting there that it just leaves. 
  3. Don’t yell, or satisfy it. It will only ask for more, or keep asking for what you didn’t give it

Whatever. They shouldn’t expect us to do it that easily. It is not like sea dragons are cute little siblings. They don’t have any right to follow people all over the place. 

So what?

So they shouldn’t bother people!

Maybe you don’t have the right to yell!

Well, it was wasting my time!!

Well, two wrongs don’t make a right!!!

Fine. But it was still acting like a pain.

After that, Emma knew what would be the best plan. Just then, the door opened. It was Emma’s mom.

“Oh hi, Mom,” she said. “Can Kayla spend the night tomorrow?”

“Yes, but please do not stay up all night talking. If I hear a peep past midnight, I’m sending her straight home. Understand?”

“Okay fine.”

After her mom left the room, Emma sighed. She wished she and Kayla could spend the night giggling about the haunted comb at last summer’s sleepaway camp. (She knew Kayla had thrown it, Kayla liked to think it flew by itself.) Kayla was Emma’s best friend. However, unlike Emma, she seemed to think sea dragons were cute. At least they could stay up until midnight. It wasn’t a very long time for a sleepover, three hours, but it was something. After the incident with the comb, Emma had gotten a new white comb on a pink cloth. 

Okay, so it was a bit fancier than she expected. Honestly, she kind of liked it. Soon her mom called her out for dinner. They had pizza, which was one of Emma’s favorites. But she couldn’t focus on eating. She was too busy daydreaming. 

The next morning, Emma put on her favorite pink blouse and sparkly white lace skirt. She put little care into breakfast and brushing her teeth, as she had never cared for her morning routine. Then she ran off to meet Kayla at the bus stop.

“Hi, Kayla!”

“Hi, Emma! You seem quite cheerful.”

“Well, TGIF, because my mom says you can sleep over!”

“Cool! I’ll text my mom before we get there. And guess what?”

“What?”

“They expanded the bus system. So we don’t have to walk home!”

What? Are you kidding? This is the best news!!!”

“Um, what is so interesting about a bus system, may I ask?”

“Um… so we can get some rest?”

As close as the girls were, Emma could not explain that she did not want to be followed by an annoying sea dragon because Kayla seemed to adore them.

That was when the bus driver said, “C’mon girls, everyone is waiting for you.”

“Coming!”

Kayla put down her phone. “She said… Yes!”

“Sweet! So my house, right?”

“Yeah! So when should I be there?”

“Just right after school. I’m so happy about the bus system!”

“I never knew how much you hated walking.”

They chatted for awhile, until they realized they were they only ones on the bus. 

“Oops!” said Kayla.

“Come on, we’re going to be late for class again.

So as usual, they were late for class. In fact, the only times they weren’t late were when they had nothing to talk about on the bus, which was rare. 

“Ladies, what has been making you late for the past few days?” said the teacher, Miss Philips. “You both missed attendance. So you were marked absent. I guess I’ll have to adjust my notes.”

Emma sat down at her desk. So did Kayla. 

“Now, I hope you have memorized your times tables.” (The whole class sighed.) “Rose Miller, please recite the two times tables.”

Rose zipped right through (although this was probably because the two times tables are very easy).

The next five or so went through smoothly.

“Kayla Wexler, please recite the eight times tables.”

Kayla stood up and said them quickly, “Eight times one equals eight. Eight times two equals sixteen. Eight times three equals twenty-four. Eight times four equals thirty-two. Eight times five equals forty… ”

“Emma Taylor, please recite the nine times tables.”

“Nine times one equals nine. Nine times two equals eighteen. Nine times three equals twenty-seven. Nine times four equals thirty-six. Nine times five equals forty-five. Nine times six equals fifty-four. Nine times seven equals sixty-three. Nine times eight equals seventy-two. Nine times nine equals eighty-one. Nine times ten equals ninety. Nine times eleven equals ninety-nine. Nine times twelve equals one hundred and eight.”

After school, Emma and Kayla got on the bus. 

“Emma, did you ever wish that we could see the sea dragons more often? I mean, they are so cute.”

Oh boy, she is crazy sometimes. 

“Um, I never really thought about it.”

Because they are so annoying sometimes, she silently added. 

“Oh, this is our stop! Come on! I’ll run to my house and get my stuff, okay?”

“Sure, I’ll set up the sleeping bags. Or do you want to share the loft bed?”

“Sleeping bags sounds good. This way we can watch a movie or something. Should I get my own sleeping bag, or do you have a spare one?”

“Your choice. By the way, we can’t say anything past midnight. Or you get sent home.”

“Got it. Now I need to get my stuff.”

After that conversation, Emma took out a sleeping bag. It was pink with white stars. She laid it out in front of the TV. Then she went to her room and took out “How to get rid of annoying creatures.” Then Kayla came into the room. Emma instantly slammed the book down on the wooden floor.

“Hi, I put down my sleeping bag in the living room next to yours. Um, what’s that green thing on the floor?”

“Hi. That’s just a book. Why?”

“Let me get a look at the title. ‘How to get rid of annoying creatures.’ You’re not telling me you read this book? Also, why did you choose the green cover? I thought you would choose the pink. Or even white. Not green. I mean, it’s a nice color, but it was never your taste. Anyway, don’t you think this book is stereotypical?”

“Um, it only had green left. Plus, my room is pink enough.”

“But why did you get this book? It includes some of the cutest things ever. Look, sea dragons. Wait a minute, you bookmarked this page.”

“So?”

“So, you have been reading it.”

“So?”

“So, you agree with it.”

“Honestly, I do kind of think that they’re annoying. I mean, they always ask for stuff.”

“Fine. Let’s agree to disagree. But they are kind of cute in that way. Plus, they share whatever you give them.”

“Now that I think of it, they are kind of cute. Come on, let’s go get a snack. Glimmer chips? This time I did get them in pink.”

The girls giggled. As they walked to the kitchen, they passed their sleeping bags. The sleeping bags reflected their differences. Kayla’s was blue with a green dragon wrapped around it, while Emma’s was just pink with white stars, as most of her possessions were either pink, white, or both. Her only non-pink-or-white thing was “How to get rid of annoying creatures.” Kayla, on the other hand, owned anything with a cute animal decorating it. She was especially fond of sea dragons, and she hardly ever forgot about their cuteness. 

“Mmm, these are good,” said Kayla. “Are you sure you got these with your own money? Because they taste expensive.”

“Uh huh,” said Emma, who was sucking the chips, then chewing. Emma’s older brother, Eddie, burst into the house. 

“That is the slowest way to eat chips that I’ve ever seen,” he said. “You don’t suck off all the glitter and then chew. You start chewing as soon as it’s in your mouth.”

Emma rolled her eyes.

“I can eat chips however I want, glutton,” she responded. “You don’t burst into the living room and say” (says this in a squeaky voice) “Eat it like this, not that, you have to eat before it rots’ like, that is so rude and nosy. I mean, keep your big fat mouth shut.”

By the time it was Emma and Kayla’s bedtime, the girls got into their sleeping bags and watched a movie. It was about a girl who was riding a sea dragon. Suddenly, Emma changed the channel.

“What was that all about?” asked Kayla. “We just started that one. We didn’t even get to the green ice cream part.”

  “Um, let’s watch The Sound of Music.

“Sure, but why don’t you like this movie? Do you still hate sea dragons?”

“No, but I still find them annoying.”

“They’re nice though. They share whatever you give them with all their friends. I find it sweet.”

 “I guess I kind of like them. But I prefer nuns and children, thank you very much.”

“Okay, let’s watch The Sound of Music.”

“Sounds good. Remember the line of kids?”

“Hey by the way, did you see those adorable water alicorns?”

The End


Just Edward

On Monday morning, Edward the snobby lobster lost his memory but he didn’t lose all of his memory. For example: he remembered his name and he knew how to talk. 

Suddenly, Edward felt hungry, but he didn’t know it, so he started wandering around in a huge, dark, black room with a small machine. But because he had lost his memory just a minute ago, he didn’t care.

He wandered around the room trying to find a door or a way out. After five minutes, he finally found a window that led outside to an open grass field. There was a little dirt road. Edward followed that road and ended up by a convenience store. He tried opening the door, but it was locked and the lights were out. He looked around, trying to find another way in.

Eventually, after five times circling the convenience store, he broke down the door by breaking it with his sharp claws. He crawled up a shelf, grabbed a bag of Cheetos, and started smacking his face into it because he didn’t remember how to eat. The bag broke and he started chewing the Cheetos. When he was done, his face looked like a giant orange. 

All of a sudden, someone walked in, studied the door, looked Edward right in the face, grabbed a broom, and ran at him. Edward climbed up a ladder that led to the roof, jumped on the guy, and started cutting his hair to the point that the guy was bald. Then, Edward ran out the door without him even knowing. 

Suddenly his friend, Luke, came out of the ocean and said, “Hey Edward, long time no see! How are you doing?”

Edward stopped, stuttered and said, “Who are you?”

Luke said, “You know who I am, stop playing around!”

Edward slapped Luke in the face. 

And then, Edward said, “I’m not playing around.” 

Luke shouted, “Hey! Why did you slap me?” Luke slapped Edward back and Edward slapped Luke, and that went back and forth for about two months.

Two months later…

“Ahhhhhhhhhh!” shouted Luke as he jumped into the ocean. “It burns!” complained Luke. “WHY, EDWARD, WHY!” But Edward just ignored him and went on his way. 

Five days later… 

Edward’s face was still red and bulging with pain as he walked down the road heading towards Azweiture city. Edward was crawling to Azweiture city when the ground started to shake and a huge black and silver circle rolled past him and hit him with a wave of air. Another black and silver circle rolled past; Edward looked behind him and saw two big white lights speeding towards him. He crouched down and when it was right over him, he grabbed a bit of metal and pinched as hard as he could. Edward climbed on top of the beast, broke the glass, climbed in, and buckled his seatbelt. 

Ten minutes later, the driver got out of the beast and screamed when he saw Edward. He pulled out a thin brick with a screen on it and hit three numbers, 9-1-1, and hit a button that said “call” on it. One minute later, animal control came and tried to grab him, but Edward cut all their hair off. Everyone was too busy crying and feeling their head to notice the oversized lobster crawling away into the darkness.

Thirty minutes later, Edward had walked all 328 miles of Azweiture city and broke into house 229 Tin Street. He dug a hole in the ground and up into the Romanus’ house. In the house, Edward saw flashing lights coming from a big room. The light hurt his eyes and he didn’t like it at all. He scampered in and saw it. The source of all of that light was from a small penguin, but its belly had a rectangular blinding light. He climbed up the wall and onto the ceiling. He left little dents in the wall as he walked. Finally, he jumped down behind the penguin and cut everything he saw, even the wall. The penguin’s belly turned black. Then, Edward heard a “What?” from a fat guy with a brown bottle in his hand. He walked up to the penguin and tapped its belly. He looked behind and when he saw Edward, he ran.

Three seconds later he came back, but instead of a brown bottle in his hand, he had a big metal tube and a red strap on his head. Edward jumped on the metal tube and onto the man’s belly. He climbed up to cut all of the man’s head but when Edward got to the top of the man’s head, he found out he had none. The man grabbed Edward and threw him out the window and onto the street. Edward ran up to a woman with a big purple square on her back. He jumped on and squirmed into a small dark cramped chamber.

Five minutes later, the woman dropped the square and shrieked when she opened it. A man came running over and grabbed Edward. Edward pinched him and he yelled something that Edward couldn’t make out. Thirty seconds later, two men ran in with a small metal bar. Edward knew it was dangerous and pinched a triangle on one man’s face and and on the other man’s face. One man dropped his bar and ran away. Edward crawled over and pulled a small, thin metal piece with his leg, which was attached to the bigger piece. A metal ball shot out of the bar and hit a girl in the leg. Red stuff spewed out of where the metal ball hit her and she fell to the floor. Edward heard sirens and he saw red and blue lights shining through the glass walls.

Six men rushed in and saw Edward standing by the metal bar and the injured girl. They pointed their medal bars at Edward and they pulled the little trigger. A small metal ball came right at him. He jumped over the ball and rushed for cover. One man ran away and came back with a stretchy brown circle. The man ran toward Edward and tied the stretchy brown circle around his claws and put him in a cage. The cage was brought to a big beast with a big metal square behind it. The man put Edward in the big square and shut the two big metal plates behind him. He was trapped!

To be continued…

Arstina and the Shadow King

Arstina was an evil doll. She had long since escaped the nursery and now roamed the underworld where she lived looking for something. She didn’t know what it was. Her hair was rough and knotted. Her eyes had splotches of paint on them. Her crippled body was stained with all sorts of things. Suddenly one day she knew what it meant.

She felt the rough spot on her stomach. She rubbed it, and it came off in flakes. She bent down and licked it off the hot floor of the underworld. Ice cream. In that moment, Arstina felt something odd. Desire. She longed for another taste. Sadly, though, that would be hard. 

There was no ice cream in the underworld. The shadow king ruled it all. And he did not give out sugary treats. He was very greedy. Arstina decided to beg the shadow king. Maybe he would show compassion.

She walked over to his palace. She rapped on the tall, black door. A guard answered. Arstina explained why she was there. The guard growled something and went to get the shadow king. Arstina hoped he would listen.

Soon, two guards came out. They both grabbed one of her arms and carried her in.

“What’s happening?” Arstina asked.

“The king is not pleased with you,” one guard responded in a gruff voice. “He thinks you are inconsiderate, horrible, lazy, annoying, and an overall nuisance. He wishes to kill you.”

Arstina gulped. Then she snapped back into reality. She started to yell at the guards.

“You are horrible people, and you should let me go! All I wanted was some ice cream!” Four words into her sentence, though, one guard stuffed a handkerchief into her mouth.

Six minutes later, she arrived in a courtyard out back. There was a big pile of wood in the middle. The shadow king walked up to Arstina and smiled. 

He said, “Hello, Arstina. I expect we’ll have some fun together. Simply jump on that pile of wood and allow us to tie you up.”

Arstina gulped and decided against it. The shadow king was holding a bunch of matches.

“Do you not want to?” Pause. “We can do this the hard way or the easy way.” Another pause. Arstina still stood firm. “All right, the hard way.”

The shadow king grabbed a rope and tied her up before she could respond. Then he forced her to march to the wood pile. He then tied her down. The shadow king struck a match and smiled devilishly. He gingerly placed it on the pile and then stopped for a second to watch Arstina burst into flames.

She cried out in pain. “I just wanted some ice cream!”

The king paused for a moment, as if he was thinking of something. Then he ran into the castle to get something.

The last thing Arstina ever saw was the shadow king laughing maniacally as he licked an ice cream cone. 


Maybe Sorta Kinda Grounded

Chapter One    

Once there was a girl named Emilly. Her sister’s name was Julie. And they always played. They had nicknames for each other but they were never that mean. One day, Emilly and Julie had a big fight. Emilly had a very mean, mean name to call her little sister Julie. It was “Stinkbreath.” Julie’s name for Emilly was “Meanie.” They kept on calling each other that and they never stopped the fight until their mom came home.

The mom said, “Why is this place is a mess?”

They both said at the same time, “She did it!”

The mom said, “Well, you two are grounded for a whole week! You’re going to pick up all this stuff and clean it up, and tidy my room AND yours. And your dad’s room.”

And then their dad came home. “What is this whole big mess?”

They both said at the same time, “She did it!”

Their dad made another punishment. “You two both have to do ten chores a week until September! Every day I’ll write you a list.”

They both said, We’re sorry,” and got to work. They didn’t have much time to go to school but their mom said, “I want this place tidied up by the time that I get home tomorrow.”

The mom picked up Julie’s stuffed bunny and said “Throw this in the garbage.”

Julie said, “No! That’s my only stuffed bunny!”

“Then why did I find this whole stack of stuffed bunnies in your candy jar?”

She said, “Ummmm….” She was speechless!

Her mom said, “Now! And you can save one if you want, but I want you to throw all of the rest out.”

Julie did as she was told, but secretly she kept all her bunnies in another place… in her lollipop drawer!

Her mom said, “I found these in your lollipop drawer! You’re grounded til November!”

Julie said, “Do you have anything for me to do?”

“No, what did you ever do?”

“Really? Thanks, you guys.” 

“Julie was the one who started the fight, not me,” said Emilly.

The parents believed this, so they called “Julie! Stop watching a show, give the phone to Emilly and start doing this now! No more discussions, now! Go to your room and pack. I’m sending you to your friend’s home to tell her about what you’ve done. Just this once. But I’m not going to pack for you this time.”

“Oh my god. Seriously? I really really have to get to work. Can you please pack for me?”

“Fine. Only because you’re doing work.”

By the time mom was finished, Julie was finished with everything. But secretly, she put it all in the backyard. 

Her dad said, “You cleaned up very quickly! I’m going to go and get my car from the backyard.”

“Julie!! I have a surprise for you!” said Dad.

“What is it?”

“The smashing robot that I made out of all of your very cool and fun things.”

“Dad!! I didn’t think that you’d be so mad at me! I thought only Mom would be, cuz you’re nicer than mom!”

“I am? I mean, yes, I am. Okay, I’m sorry, I’ll take all of the stuff out.”

She cleaned up very quickly, but this time, she actually did it. Julie was a very quick cleaner, so she finished, and her dad took her for a ride. 

“When you said that I was nicer than your mom, I’m going to take you for a little ride, just for fun. But it’s going to be a short ride and it’s going to go very quickly. This is where I go when I pretend to ride my bike. I go to this tractor, and nobody is here right now because it is night time. This is my real work. I used to work in a gas station, so everyone is feeling bad for me. But I’m a racecar driver now, so I get paid a lot of money!”

“You should tell that to the whole family.”

“I don’t know about that.”

Chapter Two

When they reached the tractor, Julie said, “This is the coolest thing ever! I wish Emilly was here!” 

“Well, I don’t really want to bring Emilly. She knows how to drive a car, soo… and then your mom will be the only person who doesn’t know what my job is. So I don’t really want to tell her that I have this. You have to keep my secret though. If you don’t, you’re going to get a humongous punishment,” said their dad.

“Sometimes, I tell Emilly some of my secrets, and she tells me some of hers, and we both keep them secret.”

“Emilly tells me all of your secrets.”

“What!! That’s so mean, I kept all of hers in!”

“That’s so mean.”

“Well, not really, you told me all of yours, too. I told Emilly I read your diary.”

“Emilly didn’t tell me! I don’t want you to drop me off. Emilly actually taught me how to drive a car, so hop on, I’m going to take you back home and tell mom that I want her to drive me.”

Then dad says, “Whee! Emilly sure knows how to drive.”

“I’m not Emilly.”

“I know, but I’m just saying that Emilly really knows how to drive.”

“But I’m better than her, right?”

“Ummm… no.”

“Now I especially don’t want you take me. You’re being very un-good at parenting right now. But Mom is nicer, and you are not nicer than mom! You are the meanest dad in the whole entire world!”

“Well then why did I pack you rice krispies for all of this?”

“You did?”

“Well, not anymore.”

“Uh oh, let’s go back to the tractor. I’ll drive.”

So then dad says, “Who’s nicer now, me or Mom?”

“Ummm… you.”

“Really? Am I actually, or are you pretending?”

“No, you are, actually, for real! Now can I have the rice krispies?”

“No, you get to share your rice krispies with your friends. Let’s go there. Mom’s probably wondering where you are and probably so is my friend.”

Chapter Three

They finally reached Coco’s house. 

“Coco! I’m so happy to see you!”

“Me too,” said Coco. 

Julie said, “I’m starving! I should have ate them before?”

“What?”

“The yummy yummy dumplings. At least I have some in my bag.”

“Julie? You have dumplings in your bag?”

“No.”

“Let me check your bag.”

“Oh, no dumplings.”

“Bye, dad!”

“Bye! Hope you have a good time!” 

At the sleepover, Julie’s like, “So, I started a fight with my sister Emilly, and I lied to my parents about not starting the fight, but then Emilly told them and they believed Emilly, and then I told the truth, and then they felt bad for me so they told me that I could come to your house just for one time. And she said it like this: just for ONCE! And I was like ahh, and then I said, okay, deal.”

They had lots of yummy rice krispies and the yummy yummy dumplings, which Julie hid in her bag, and they slept. 

Her dad was there to pick her up.

“Dad, can we go to your tractor, please?”

“Okay, we can go to the tractor. But just this once. And I mean just this once!”

“Okay. Yippee! Bye, Coco!” She gave Coco a big hug.

Coco gave Julie a big hug too. “Woohee!”

Chapter Four

They went to the tractor. They finally got there. “Whee! This is so much fun,” said Julie. And then they left. “Already, dad? Please can we get just one more?”

“Okay, but just one more.”

“Wheee! This is so much fun,” said Julie. 

Then they left. “Emilly, it was so much fun at the tractor!”

“What tractor?”

“Dad’s job tractor!”

“Julie!” said the Dad. “I told you not to tell them!”

“Tell us what?”

“Julie, stop. Be quiet and get to your chores. Otherwise you’re never going to go there again.”

“Okay, I’m just going to talk to her for one second.”

“Julie, you cannot do that ever again. It’s so, so, so bad. And then they’re going to know what my job is.”

“Why don’t you tell them what your job is?”

“Because your mom hates racecar drivers. The only one she likes is Derek.” And Derek is the dad’s name. “And I am Derek, the one that she likes.”

“Then why don’t you tell her?”

“I suppose so.”

Then they came out.

“Dad has something to say!” said Julie.

“What is it, Dad?” said Emilly.

“Go on, dad, tell them!”

“Ummmm… I sort of have a new job that’s a racecar driver and I’m Derek the driver!”

“You are? Is that why when you go the bathroom when we all see racecar drivers and you are Derek?”

“Yes.”

“Well now we know, so you can always get prepared earlier. Why wouldn’t you tell us that before?”

“Well… so I took Julie to the tractor and we raced so much and it was so much fun, because Emilly taught Julie how to drive a car. So we raced and raced and raced, and then we left. Julie was like really? Do we have to leave already? And I was having so much fun so I said maybe not already, and then I probably should not have taken the grounded girl to the tractor, but I really wanted to go there myself, and I didn’t want to get in trouble by anybody, so I always had to keep it secret.”

“Emilly knows about this!”

“Dad! You lied to me?”

“Maybe sorta kinda…” Then her dad said, “Yes.”

“But Emilly and you would have kept it a secret, but then I had to tell the whole family. And now I’m happy that I told the whole family.”

The mom made the decision that “You both do not have to be grounded. Your dad and I will clean all of this up.”

“We’ll help! Do we have to do the chores until November?”

“No!”

“Yay!! Let’s get to cleaning!”

The End. 


Bep-Bop’s Shopping List

  1. Dolls
  2. Cars
  3. Legos
  4. Pizza
  5. Fish
  6. Meat
  7. Ice cream
  8. Chocolate
  9. Art
  10. Ice cream cone

Bep-Bop wants all of these things on the list above because if he doesn’t get them, he might die from starvation and be bored for the rest of his short life.

He goes to the mall called Dean’s Mall and buys the things on the list above. 

There is a problem though: the mall is crowded with people, so it is hard to find the store that he needs to go to to get the things on the list above.

 He finds his way to the store that has everything he needs, apparently. It is called Dean’s Happy Store. The name means, everything you need to buy is in this store. So, he gets the things he needs, and then another problem happens. It is still crowded! So, he needs to find his way to the register.

He finally pays for the stuff, and then he gets distracted by another store that has games for the Switch that he had bought for another time. He tries to resist it, but he can’t. He gets one game, at least one, and it is called Super Mario Maker 2 + Online.

Then, he gets to his car. This time it is not crowded. Then, he drives home and has a happy day.


Carter & His Mad Lunchbox

“Carter! The school bus is here!”

“Coming!” I shouted.

“Don’t forget to bring your lunch bag!”

“Yeah, I know, whatever.”

I rushed to the bus just in time to see the fat bus driver wave his chubby, fat hand goodbye. Carrying my lunch bag, I trudged along the path to go to school. I was half a subject late just because the bus driver drove off without picking me up!

Fast forward, and we’re in my classroom after staying an eternity in the principal’s office to explain why I was late, which delayed even more of my time. When I entered my classroom, everyone looked at me, and half of them stared straight at my lunch. I looked down and saw water leaking through the paper bag. Like seriously, why do parents give their own child’s lunch in a paper bag?! No? Only me? Okay then, I guess only my parents are harassing their child even though I don’t even know what that word means or does, but it sounds like “spilling.”

Anyways, I sat down in my seat, and when I put my lunch down next to me, it went plofltp! My classmate made a disgusted face at me and quickly whipped her cube head back to the teacher and snickered under her putrid breath.

Fast forward again, and I finally made it to lunch with just a soggy sandwich. Long story short, everything else fell out. We went to the lunchroom, and I sat down with my only friend, Andy, who people also made fun of for being really short. 

Andy and I first became friends in first grade. One day at recess, Andy was being bullied by the school bully, Barter. I walked over and told Barter to stop.

He said, “No!”

Then he started kicking my leg and I fell over.

Then the teacher came over and said, “What’s going on?” 

Barter lied and said, “He tried to kick me.”

“But he’s on the ground,” the teacher replied. Then the teacher said, “Come with me, you’re going to the principal’s office.”

Then Barter started bawling, and Andy and I became friends at that moment. 

Every time Andy had even a little problem, Barter would come over and bully him for no reason at all and I thought, Please don’t bully me because my lunch is gone. Then, Barter came over and started bullying me. Barter snatched the lunch away.

Then, he realized the bag was wet and soggy, and he was like, “Ew, what did you do?” And he threw the lunch bag across the lunchroom, and it landed on a teacher’s foot.

The teacher hobbled over and shouted at Barter, “What happened here?”

I started to say, “He threw my lunch across… ”

And then Barter interrupted me and said, “He threw the lunch across the room, and it landed on you.”

And then the teacher said, “That doesn’t sound like a thing Carter would do.” 

Then Barter ran out of the lunchroom.

I whispered to Andy, “What’s up with him?” 

A classmate walked over and whispered in my ear, “How’s your lunch?” 

I bit my tongue to prevent the words I hate you! from coming out. So instead, I said, “Go away.” 

“No!”

“I am going to stay right here and watch you eat your lunch of air with a side of air and air for a drink!” She walked away, sneering and snickering to her friends. By the way, like half the class was her friend and the other half wanted to be her friend.

Andy said, “Why is it always us that gets bullied?!”

“Well… for one you are quite short for your age, no offense, and I am just bullied for my downsides.”

“I am talking to myself,” Andy replied.

The teacher came over and said, “I’m sorry for all the trouble about Barter and Victoria.”

Victoria was the second bully that came over to bully us. She was never nice to anyone except to her friends who actually didn’t support her bullying, but kept it a secret. Don’t ask me how I know, like please don’t. So now school just ended, and guess what?! I missed the bus to drive the students back home! That fat bus driver!

When I got home, I told my mom about the absolutely horrid day I had in school with my lunch bag.

“Call the principal, now!”

“I will… tomorrow…” Mom replied.

What?! Why not right now?!”

“Ohhh… alright, I will call them in a second.”

(She started casually phone calling some stranger, while tapping random numbers.)

Ahem? Where’d the call go?¨

“Didn’t you hear the phone? I just called them.”

“You cannot fool me, Mom. I know you were just tapping numbers and calling a random person.” Then I put on my I am disappointed at you for not calling my principal because two bullies bullied me because of my lunch on a Friday face.

I bet you’re out of breath from reading that, right? Well, to make it easier for you, it was my pouting face.

“Well, maybe you should change schools then,” Mom shot back at me.

“This was all my lunch’s fault because water started leaking from the bag. If it was Victoria, everyone in the class would go and help her in any way possible and would give her unnecessary amounts of towels. See how hard my life is?”

The very next day… 

We were driving to somewhere I wasn’t familiar with, and usually at this time we’d be pulling up to the school’s parking lot.

I asked my mom, “Where are we going?”

“To your new school…”

THE END


The Flower of Cator

I run around in my backyard, playing a fun game called Red Light, Green Light. I am playing with my four best friends: Morgan, Miranda, Miriam, Mira, and me, Madison. 

“Caught you!” Miranda shouts in glee at me as I wobble over. Suddenly, I fall to the ground, clutching my side. It feels like a side stitch, just worse; a million times worse. I scream in agony and I can barely stand up. 

After staying there for a while, the pain finally begins to subside and I slowly get up. My tear-streaked face looks around. All of my friends are staring at me oddly. Finally, Miriam takes me by my arm back into my house. Then, all my friends leave. 

My mother knows that something is wrong with me. However, she doesn’t know what. She thinks that I’ll be alright, I probably just got a cramp. She was wrong, and not doing anything was the biggest mistake she has ever made. 

The next day is my 14th birthday. Little do I know that it is my last. The pain gets so bad that we go to the hospital, but the doctors can’t find out what is wrong with me. I don’t know what is wrong with me. I keep getting sudden pains all over my body. Once, my heart stops beating. Luckily, there is a nurse in the room and she rushes for help. 

Everyone comes into my hospital room to give me get-well cards and presents. They know that I will be alright. After all, I am only an eighth grader, I’m not going to die or anything. They are horribly wrong. The pains get worse and I begin having a hard time breathing. The doctors put an oxygen mask over me while I sleep or else I might suffocate. 

The next day, things start getting out of control. I wake up in excruciating pain. There are doctors and nurses shouting “Code blue in 4-8.” 

I already know that my room is 4-8. I wish that someone would take me out of this misery. There are sirens going off of my heart monitor and all the other fancy machines around my bed. Soon, those sirens began to fade away. I know what this means. When the sirens fade away, I fade away too. My whole body is in agony, every muscle tense and screaming. I want to curl up into a tiny ball and melt into a puddle on my bed. 

I see a helpless doctor that is standing right next to my bed. He doesn’t know what to do and is staring at me as I slowly die. I let out a strangled gasp and that is my last breath. I close my eyes, see a bright flash, and leave this world.

***

It is a dark and stormy day when I see Courtney Quinn walking down the sidewalk. I jump back in surprise, for she died three years ago from cancer! Then, I realize that it is probably Miriam Quinn, her daughter, and also one of my best friends. She is walking around in the rain without an umbrella or a care that I am staring at her. I get a closer look and know, this can not be Miriam. She is way too old and looks exactly like Courtney did before she died, even with the same exact clothes on. 

I turn around and I don’t know where I am. It looks like a hotel, or a very fancy apartment. The room is very decorated and doesn’t look like anything that I have ever seen before. I search through my memory, looking for some kind of information that would tell me how I got in this mysterious place. However, I draw a blank. I can’t seem to remember anything except the fact that I belong here. Still, I know I remember some things because I remember Courtney and Miriam.

I wander out of my room and spot someone else in the hallway. There is someone that has their head down, slowly counting some kind of currency. When that person lifts his head, I see his face. It is my great-grandfather. My great-grandfather had died before I was born, but the pictures that we had were a spitting image of the man in front of me right now. 

I am starting to get freaked out. I see a group of girls pass by me who look suspiciously like the group of girls in the newspaper that had died in a forest fire. 

I don’t know where I am, and I am starting to get creeped out by the fact that there are a bunch of people walking around that are supposed to be dead. 

Everyone in town has an odd look about them. Some people are wearing very old-fashioned clothes, clothes that I have never seen someone wear before. There are girls and women wearing really uncomfortable-looking dresses, very old-fashioned dresses. Others are wearing headdresses made of feathers. Then, realization hits me. Those girls and women wearing those dresses are from a long time ago, from the pioneer times! And those people wearing headdresses. Those are probably Native American chiefs. How are they still alive, and what are they doing here?

I am so confused, and I don’t even know how I got here! No one even talks here! Over half of this town looks like they are going to a costume party! I open my mouth to say something, anything to myself. 

Hello, I mouth to myself. I want to scream, and I probably would if I could make any sound. I am like everyone else! I can’t talk! I feel so confined, so limited and it makes me feel claustrophobic in some kind of weird way. And then, that’s when I figure it all out. Why I am here, how I came here, and what all these people are doing here: I am dead, just like the rest of the people around me. And my room…

I lean outside to confirm my suspicions. On the exterior wall, there it says, 

M.L.M 

R.I.P

My room is a gravestone. This place is a graveyard. And I will never be able to escape. 

As I figure this out, bits and pieces of my past return. I see myself leaning over on the ground, holding my side. Then, I see it. Nurses calling “code blue,” then me. Myself dying. My sight is blurred by tears and I wipe away the tears. I never got to say goodbye to my parents. Not to my friends. Now, I am stuck in this wretched place where only dead people are. I want to go back. I want to return back home. 

I realize that I can leave my grave and go out on the street. When I do, I look down and realize that I can see down on Earth! I see people at a funeral and realize it is my funeral! I spot Morgan, Miriam, Miranda, and Mira huddled together with tears streaking across their face. Then, I see my parents crying together. I wish that I could go down into my funeral and comfort them. I wonder if I can! 

In this place, life is not fun. In this place, life is a void of emptiness and nothingness.  There is nothing fun to do here. My theory behind this reasoning is that most people that go to the graveyard are very old. Many people all over the world die from old age and infirmity. Usually, people that die from sickness are older as well, around my parents’ age. However, there aren’t many children in this place. In fact, I haven’t seen a single person my age. 

When I go to the graveyard manager, I write down a question for him.

How do I go back to Earth and get my life back?

“One second,” the manager says while flipping through a book. It feels relieving to hear at least one person talk in this silent and horrible world. “Here, found it! You must find the Flower of Cator and crush it along with some Amberse Water. Then, you must spread the poultice on your head and temples to rejuvenate the life there in your brain, for it is believed that your soul is actually in your brain. The only thing that I can help you with is this.” And with that, the manager leaves, leaving only a glass vial and a piece of paper behind. 

I pick up the vial, wondering what it is. Then, I realize that it contains that Amberse Water, which I needed to mix with the Flower of Cator! Then, I pick up the paper and see that they are directions on how to find the Flower of Cator. I read the first instruction. 

  1. Find the Master of Meditation. After doing this, ask him for help finding what you seek. No one has succeeded in doing this before, so the rest of the instructions are unknown.

Okay, so I know that I need to find this ‘Master of Meditation’ person. I see an old man that is sitting down with his legs crossed and arms in front of him. He is meditating. He will probably know how to find this Master of Meditation person. I walk up to him and show him the paper and Amberse Water. 

“You are looking for the Flower of Cator?” the man rumbles. I jump back in surprise, both because of the fact that he can talk and also that he already knows what I need. The man taps me on the throat and I fight the urge to run away. What is this creep doing? Then, I realize. This man is the Master of Meditation. “Speak!” the man announces. I look at him oddly. After all, shouldn’t he know that I can’t talk?

I clear my throat and attempt anyway. “H-hello?” I mutter under my breath. “Hello!” I exclaim in excitement. “My voice! It’s back!”

“Wow, I totally couldn’t tell,” the Master of Meditation groans. “Call me Mac. That was my name before…” his voice trails off. I decide not to question him because it’s obvious he doesn’t want to talk about it. “Now, you seem to be pretty confident about this Flower of Cator.”

“Yes,” I agree. “I really need to find this Flower so that I can get my life back and return back to Earth. I really miss my family and friends.”

“Well, I don’t think I can help you with that,” the man says to me, beginning to leave. 

“Wait! Please! I’ll do anything!” I plead to the man.

“Anything,” the man says with a smile beginning to creep up on his face. “You say? Well, then, I will help you. However, you must do everything I ask of you.”

By now, I am so desperate to get back to Earth, I accept. If I don’t get back to Earth, I’ll be stuck in this place forever! I don’t think I can survive with so much boredom in this place! We agree to meet at Dead Man Hill the next day. 

When I wake up the next day, I stretch and get ready to head for Dead Man Hill. When I get there, I see Mac already standing there underneath the hill. He seems impatient and irritated that I am late, but we never even had a certain meeting time. He just said, morning. Technically, if he is annoyed that I am so “late”, he is to blame for not telling me when we were going to meet up. After all, he was pretty vague on the time for meeting.

“Finally, you’ve come here,” Mac grumbles softly. “And don’t talk too loudly. After all, we don’t want those old grumps to be suspicious at you.”

I want to tell him that he has no right to call those old people old grumps because he is one himself, but I bite my tongue. I don’t want to annoy Mac because he is the only chance of me ever returning back to Earth with my family and friends! 

Mac has a lot of drills for me to do, and they are all puzzles. Puzzles to test my logical ability and other things like that. Here is one of my puzzles:

If

34+5=36

56+2=39

27+6=45

47+5=48

28+1=33

then

41+5=?

I don’t understand what help this will be to me. All I need is directions that lead to the Flower of Cator. However, I don’t want to question his way of thinking. 

After all of those puzzles, Mac makes me do all of his housework. He makes me mow his lawn and do his laundry. After I finish cleaning two extremely large windows, I realize now I’ve been bamboozled. 

“You’re not really the Master of Meditation, are you?” I accuse to Mac.

He shrugs. “I never said I was,” he replies. “You always just assumed it. Anyway, I got a lot of good things out of this. Thanks Mad.”

And I am very mad. Just like my nickname. In fact, I am furious. I storm out of Mac’s house, making a point to spill dirty water all over his floor and windows, then toss the dirty sponge and towel at his chest. 

I can’t believe that he tricked me into believing that he was actually the Master of Meditation. I was so stupid. 

The next day, I set out to look for the real Master of Meditation. And then, I realize something. How did Mac return my voice if he wasn’t the real Master of Meditation. It hits me like a car. The real Mac was at the place two days ago. However, yesterday, the real Mac didn’t show up. Meaning Mac was probably locked somewhere, or was taken somewhere! I have to find him, now! 

I head to the place where I first met Mac, in the lobby of my graveyard apartment. I don’t see anyone there, but I suddenly hear some muffled screams. I hear them coming from the janitor’s closet, so I rush over there. 

The door is locked. Luckily, I have a bobby pin with me because I need to hold back my long hair while playing soccer. I quickly pick the lock and open the door. I see Mac in there all tied up with a gag over his mouth. 

“Mac!” I cry out in horror. I quickly untie the ropes that are holding him back. 

“Uh oh,” Mac mutters. “Look behind you.”

I slowly turn around and see that every single person in the lobby is staring at me with disbelief as if I had grown another arm. Then, I realize why they are staring at me! I cried out ‘Mac’ really loudly and other people must have heard me. I want to run away but my legs aren’t functioning properly right now. 

The crowd closes in on us. It’s like a zombie apocalypse is attacking us, millions of people. Finally, my instincts return and I grab Mac’s arm and we run out of the building. 

“Are you crazy?” Mac asks me. “What are you thinking, talking that loud in front of all those people out there!” 

“I’m sorry, okay?” I retort. “I’m still trying to get used to the fact that I can’t speak with freedom.”

“Well, it’s a good thing that you found me. I thought I was going to suffocate if I had to stay there any longer. Luckily, oxygen was coming through the bottom of the door. I’m very claustrophobic, you know. What took you so long?” Mac rapidly asks. I am so annoyed. 

“You’re lucky I even came to save you. Instead of complaining, you might want to thank me for saving your butt right there!” I yell at Mac. 

“Geez, I’m sorry,” Mac mutters. 

We head off in silence. We can’t hear the crowd of people anymore, but we couldn’t hear them in the first place anyway. After we travel a long way, Mac stops me to talk. 

“Look, it’s time that I tell you how you’re going to get the Flower of Cator,” Mac tells me. “I can’t come with you because if I come in a one-mile radius of the flower, you and I will get trapped forever. This flower is very heavily guarded. There are only two. There used to be three, but I took one of them. The reason why I’m not on Earth is because I only had time to put a little on my head before they caught me. Don’t ask me who they are. There is a certain scent that will knock out the guards. You must carefully pluck the flower with its roots as well, for it must thrive or it will disintegrate if it dies.”

I process all the information that I have learned. Then I ask a question to Mac. “Where will I get this scent from?”

“I have it,” Mac takes it out of a heavily padded container. Then, he takes out two sets of nose plugs. “Here, open it after putting on the nose plugs.”

I open the container and I can smell it, even through the nose plugs! It smells horrible! I feel like I’m going to hurl. If it weren’t for the nose plugs, I probably would have passed out from the smell. I quickly close the container. Then, I reach to pull out my nose plugs, but Mac stops me. 

“Don’t,” he warns me. “The smell stills lingers for a couple hours. Leave them in until we go to bed.”

It is a couple hours ‘til it was time for me to sleep, so I decided that decision to be wise. We head over the hill and soon, the sun sets. I can see a faint blue glow very far in the distance. 

“That’s the natural glow of the Flower of Cator,” Mac explains after seeing me looking. “When the glow begins to fade, the flower is dying. This species of flowers used to be invasive, but soon, they began to die out. Rangers tried to destroy these flowers with acid and poison but it didn’t work. In the end, they destroyed it with fire. However, the chemicals from the acid and poison caused the flowers to become supernatural. They got a blue glow to it and possessed supernatural healing and rejuvenating powers.”

We set up camp and I remove my nose plugs. I can just barely smell the scent of the liquid in the vial. 

“It’s Aceart Water,” Mac explains to me. “It’s sucked from the Aceart plant.”

I nod in interest. This world turns out to be a lot more interesting than I thought it would have been when I had first died. 

The next morning, Mac tells me his whole story. Mac isn’t dead; he is very different from everyone else in this world. In fact, Mac is in the real world right now, but he’s also in this world. The reason is that Mac got into a really bad accident and he fell into a coma. When he fell into a coma, the doctors tried really hard to wake him from that coma. However, for the past nine years, Mac had never woken from his coma. Mac came very close to death many different times. Because of this, he became a part of this world. However, Mac says that he is kind of in between this world and the world where he is in a coma. 

The reason why Mac has the ability to return my voice and do many other things is because he messed up. Mac wanted to return back to the regular world, all rejuvenated, but he failed to do so. Like me, he attempted to get the Flower of Cator. He did get the flower, but he didn’t get Amberse Water. Mac thought that it was Amberse Water, but it was more of a copycat, a type of liquid that would give supernatural powers. This was called Ravenkint water. He spread the poultice over his head and temple, but only had enough time to use a little bit of it before he was caught. Mac only got small bits of abilities, but he used them to his advantage. Unfortunately, due to this mishap, being caught anywhere close to the Flower of Cator will be big trouble for Mac if anyone finds out. 

After he tells me the story, we begin traveling once again. I can tell that we are close to the flower; I can feel it. It is like a sixth sense to me. After long, hard traveling, we finally reach the botanical garden where the two flowers are being kept. 

“I’ll be waiting for you,” Mac tells me. “Blow this if you need help, and make sure to use that Aceart Water,” and hands me a whistle. It kind of looks like a dog whistle, and I wonder if it works like one too. I decide not to attempt blowing into it unless I got into a lot of trouble. 

Mac slips away and I slowly creep towards the flower. At the last second before I enter the building, I remember to put on my nose plugs. I rummage through my bag for the nose plugs, but I can’t find them! I realize that I must have left them with Mac! Uh oh! I’m in big trouble now. What am I going to do without the nose plugs! Suddenly, I spot some really nasty smelling plant. I form a plan in my head. 

I walk towards the group of guards surrounding the plant with those smelly plants stuffed up my nose. I must look really weird with those plants up my nose because one of the guards stare at me as if I’m mentally ill. Before any of the guards get the chance to ask me something, I open the vial of Aceart Water and one by one, the guards topple over like dominos. 

After they are on the floor, I reach over to pick one of the flowers. There are two, one seeming younger than the other. I pick the older one and quickly flee the place. 

Outside, Mac is waiting for me. “Did you get it?” he whisper-shouts. 

“Yes,” I reply. I am about to take the Amberse Water out of my backpack when suddenly Mac reaches for the flower. My reflexes kick in and I jerk the flower away from the reaching hands of Mac. “What are you doing?” I demand. 

“Madison, you are such a gullible child,” Mac laughs. “Don’t you know that I tricked you? That I wasn’t actually helping you?” All the pieces come together. Of course! Mac had played me. He just tricked me. He needed the flower to heal himself! 

“So all my hard work was for nothing!” I shout at Mac. I am livid. 

“Of course not!” Mac protests. “I need you to do all the manual work and get the flower for me, for I couldn’t get it myself after the last mishap.”

I am furious at Mac for tricking me, and myself for falling for it. I run away, trying to escape from Mac. All my hard work had gotten me this flower and Mac hadn’t done a thing! Unfortunately, Mac was unusually speedy for someone his age. However, I knew that Mac would never be strong enough to climb a tree.

I never climbed a tree, not even when I was a little girl. I hated getting dirt on my hands and also, my hands were really soft and it hurt when I even tried to do the monkey bars. Climbing trees was never my type of thing. Although this crisis was just hitting me, I tried to channel my inner monkey and grabbed a branch and began to climb. When I was close to the top, the branch broke and I almost went tumbling down 15 feet, but a stray branch broke my fall and also knocked the wind out of me. 

I was right about Mac being unable to climb the tree. He lingered at the bottom shouting, “You can’t stay up there forever! You’ll come down eventually for the Amberse Water!” However, he didn’t know that I had the Amberse Water in my backpack. 

I slowly pulled it out of my backpack and yelled back at Mac, “I have the Amberse Water right here!” and waved the vial. That was it. That’s all it took to set off Mac with shouts of anger. 

I took out the flower and I remembered that I had to crush it. However, I didn’t have a rock or anything to crush it with, so I knew that I only had one choice. 

I popped the flower in my mouth and began chewing on it. I pleaded that this flower wasn’t poisonous. The Flower of Cator actually had a fruity taste to it! After the poultice seemed pretty chewed up, I spit it out on my hand and poured in some of the Amberse Water. After mixing it together, I spread all of it over my forehead and temple. I even put some on my scalp. 

After this, I could still hear the faint shouting of Mac as my skin began to glow. I was going back home. 


Mirror Life of the Sun Goddess

One day, there was a man called Spiky who had a horrible life. There was a girl called Lola who had a wonderful life. Lola and Spiky had a fight because Spiky slapped Lola for the fun of it. He was an incredibly mean person who wanted to make people part of his army. At the end, Spiky took Lola and trapped her in a mirror. But Lola died in the mirror. So they put candles to show that people loved her. And Spiky went to jail. Spiky got to be a witch. All the people were shocked. 

Then a goddess came. She was as beautiful as the sun. She had long, gold hair and kindness that shined out of her. There were shimmering gold hearts on her dress and red hearts on her gloves. Her long hair was held back by gold heart clips and she was barefoot. The goddess fought Spiky. At the end, the people found out that the goddess was Lola, who got powers from the mirror. Lola killed all the people to make them safe because Spiky had three lives and Lola wanted to save them from his army. One person yelled, then stopped because a knife was showing from his heart. People were yelling and stopped breathing. Lola used all her powers on Spiky. Lola lived happily ever after.


The Adventures of Chester Lansbury

Part One

My name is Chester. I am a cat of high society. I share a home with a human named Angela Lansbury. My life is simple yet exquisite and luxurious. 

Like most cats, I like sticking to a routine. This is my routine:

  1. Wake Angela up
  2. Meow until Angela feeds me
  3. Eat 
  4. Let Angela dress me
  5. Dress Angela
  6. Groom myself
  7. Get in the “kitty carrier”
  8. Go to tea with Angela

So naturally, I am stressed to death when I hear a knock at the door at approximately 7:13 A.M. just as I am eating my tuna and caviar salad. Angela (still dressed in her bathrobe) shuffles over to the door and cautiously peers through the eyepiece. Then she attempts to open the door. It takes her a minute to get the latch undone, but when she does, a tall, broad, important-looking man flanked by two police officers step into the foyer.

“Officer Lincoln!” exclaims Angela. “What brings you to my penthouse so early in the morning?”

“Official business.” 

“Official business?” she asks, taking a seat on an antique sofa. “What sort of official business would concern me?”

“Your safety of course, Mrs. Lansbury,” he replies in a most casual tone. “Someone, you see, has been targeting renowned Broadway actors and actresses.”

At this, Angela lets out a small shriek. She opens her mouth to speak, but no sound comes out. A moment passes.

In a small, shaky voice she manages to say, “You mean to say, Officer Lincoln, that I am in danger of being assassinated?”

“Yes, I do,” he replies. “I hope you understand, Mrs. Lansbury, but you are not safe here, so you must go into hiding.”

“Hiding?! But who will take care of my darling Chester?” 

“I’m afraid I don’t know the details, just that a caretaker has been arranged and that you must come with us immediately. Your cat will be dropped off with the sitter shortly after we leave.”

A sitter? They’re leaving me with a sitter?

“Can’t I at least meet the sitter?” Angela begs.

“I’m sorry, ma’am, but we’ve got orders to follow!” says one of the officers who is standing around in the background.

Angela, Officer Lincoln, and I shoot him a look. The officer blushes and trains his small, watery eyes on his shoes. 

“Well,” Angela declares, “I must get packing for wherever it is that you are taking me.” 

“I’m afraid we were given strict instructions to leave your apartment untouched. It would look suspicious to anyone who set foot here if you took many of your things with you,” says Officer Linclon.

So, still dressed in a bathrobe, Angela, the two police officers, and Officer Lincoln ‘discreetly’ leave the building. It’s hard to be discreet when you have a celebrity with you. I climb to the top of the ‘cat castle,’ which actually is a fairly large structure that is carpeted in a soft, furry fabric that smells lovely. Ahh… I think. Unfortunately the smell isn’t enough to distract me from the dark cloud on the horizon in the shape of a cat-sitter. Also, there is the fact that Angela is in potential danger. My stomach knots itself. I am not used to being so nervous right after breakfast. I wonder to myself: what will this sitter be like? Would she even feed me?

 Then, all of a sudden, I hear keys in the lock. Could it be? The new sitter? I curl myself into a tight ball and watch, concealed from my castle, as a tall, thin woman wearing all leather steps inside the room. She opens a large, leather cat carrier and from it emerges a particularly malevolent-seeming pair of leather gloves which she pulls on as she scans the room for me. I hope she will have to check all 21 rooms of the penthouse before finding me. She tosses her blonde hair over her shoulder. I shrink back to the corner of the cat castle, hoping she won’t find me. But then the worst thing happens. I step on a squeaky toy. The sitter whips around, her pale blue eyes fixed on mine. 

“There you are, kitty.” She smiles, and I notice for the first time since I had met her that she has a long scar that runs from one corner of her mouth down to the base of her neck. “You and I are going to have a lot of fun together.” She is grinning now.

Then before I know what is happening, she is aiming what I recognize as a tranquilizer gun from watching soap operas with Angela right at me. The room starts to spin. I take one last glance at the sitter, her icy eyes bear right into mine, and then she is gone. And I am alone.

Part Two

I shiver awake and find myself in a freezing cold room. I long to go out and explore or possibly escape the clutches of the evil cat-sitter who tranquilized me who knows how long ago. As I start to get up, however, my face squishes against what seems to be a metal grate. Of course, I am in a cage. I can’t just expect her to let me walk around doing whatever I feel like. My ears perk up at a noise in the background. It is like lots of glass beads clinking together. The door swings open, and I recognize the police officer who had snapped at Angela earlier, followed by the dreaded evil cat-sitter.

“Where do you want the arsenic, Ms. A?” asks the officer.

Arsenic?! They have arsenic? I knew they were evil, but what do they need arsenic for? They’re not planning to kill anyone, are they?

“Right there is fine, Robert,” replies the cat-sitter, aka Ms. A.

“Well, who’s it going to be tonight, Ms. A?” asks Robert. 

“Lansbury.” My eyes bulge. I can’t believe my ears! “A little bird told me… ” Ms. A continues, “that you know exactly where Angela Lansbury is hiding.” 

“On 128th St in Luke’s Donut Shop,” mumbles the officer.

I gulp. I know saving Angela is entirely up to me. So when Robert comes to feed me some crumbly brown balls, I bite him so hard he lets loose a shriek, and I manage to scamper out of the freezing cold room, which turns out to be a huge refrigerator. I turn a corner into a room filled with tables and chairs, which I instantly recognize as a restaurant. I spot the doorway, which very conveniently has a catflap at the bottom which means this had to be the place Angela liked to go to with me when I was a kitten. Also, I am two blocks away from home! I am not quite sure what I will do what I get there. Whew. I need to stop talking so fast. All this sprinting is getting to me. 

As soon as I get home, I jump on the doorman’s desk, pumped full of adrenaline. Henry, the lonely doorman, would do just about anything for me. I pounce onto his keyboard, and after a series of pokes and prods, I manage to type in the address. He is so surprised that he doesn’t even notice that I am not accompanied by a human. 

“You want to go get some donuts, buddy?” he asks me. I nod my head like I’ve seen many other humans do. “Okay!” he says, abandoning his post. He is a good friend but not a very good doorman. He hails a cab, and we clamber aboard. The driver doesn’t even notice I am there. “Luke’s Donut Shop, please,” requests Henry.

The cab smells like incense. It is a long ride. Finally, we arrive. I leap out of the cab and swiftly race into the donut shop. I dash around the cashier counter and into the back room. 

“Chester!” cries Angela. “What are you doing here! Where’s the sitter?”

I let out a pained meow. Officer Lincoln seems to get the message. 

“We need to move!” he barks. “Now!” Angela, an officer that I don’t recognize, and I sprint out of the store, pursued by the lady behind the counter who tears off her apron to reveal a crisp, blue uniform. On the corner, we run into Ms. A and Robert dressed up as business people carrying briefcases. I hiss as an indication that these are the evil ones.

“Hands up!” chime all three of the police officers, brandishing pistols at them.

Ms. A and Robert, who are not expecting to be caught, drop their briefcases and bolt in the other direction. What happens next is so bewildering I myself can’t believe it is happening. Angela takes a tranquilizer from who knows where and shoots them both square in the bottom. They drop to the floor. As the officer cuffs Robert and Ms. A and pries open the briefcases to reveal a syringe loaded with arsenic and two pistols, Angela engulfs me in kisses. It feels good after what I have just been through.

Epilogue

I am perched on top of a soft, furry stool made of the same material of my cat castle back home.

A news reporter squishes her powder-caked face against mine for a photo. When I agreed to have a news feature done about me, I didn’t know that people would be invading my personal space and rubbing their grubby little fingers on my sleek, glossy fur. I am so relieved when it’s time to go home to all my new friends. Officer Lincoln, the other two officers, Henry, and Angela are throwing me a ‘surprise’ party. Henry let it slip, and now I know. Life is good.

Fighting For Health

I lay crying, in bed, with a body.

That body used to belong to my sister, my pale, thin-skinned, dark-haired sick sister. She was the happiest girl in our town and would help people who were sad or angry. 

My mom was also about to cry. She sat in the corner of the room next to my dad. I wailed and cried until I almost could not breathe. Then, my mom came up to the bed, patted her head, and let a tear out. Then, she left the room. We followed her to the parking lot of the hospital. We drove home, and my parents and I walked into our cold, empty house. I ran to my room. I cried her name again and again: Lauren, Lauren, Lauren! 

Blond, beautiful, fun Lauren.

When I finally stopped crying, my mom came in. 

“I am going to run for Congress, Elizabeth,” she said firmly. 

“Really? That is great. But why?” 

“I am going to run because someone must run against having to pay for healthcare. It is not fair for people who are dying because they do not have enough money to pay for medical insurance to cover a simple checkup.”

I looked at her in surprise.

“Would you mind being a part of my campaign?”

“Sure,” I said hesitantly. 

She gave me a big hug. Then, she went to meet with possible supporters. 

 Later that day, she came home with a sad expression on her face. 

“Hey, Mom, why are you sa –”

“Hi, Rachel, do you want some warm stew for dinner?” my dad cut in.

“That would be wonderful, thank you,” my mom answered, thankful. 

 After we devoured the stew, I put my dishes in the dishwasher and went back to my room, my cold, empty room which was just like the rest of the house.

I could not go to sleep that night since I was thinking about my sister too much. I found myself looking at her soccer posters hung up on the wall and her toys lined up at the end of her bed. Those were the toys she played with before she was sick, before we were sad, before she died. 

I slept in my sister’s bed to remind me of her.

The next day my mom went off to work on the campaign and did the same for the next two days. The third was different. She asked me to come with her and skip school. When we walked over to a small house at the end of my block, I laid my eyes on an old man and a young woman, who had a stack of little cards with my mom’s pictures on it. (She looked really good.)

The photo made me really sad because I realized how much Lauren looked like our mom — her blonde hair, her eyes, and her smile. It also made me sad that she was not here to fight for her health. 

The young woman gave me a stack of little cards and told me that I could give them to people around my neighborhood. When I stepped outside the door, I felt encouraged because we were fighting for a good cause and helping people vote for their rights. 

I stepped up to the front door of a nice, petite, yellow house, which was across the street from our house. I never noticed the house because I was always having so much fun with my sister. A little old lady came up, and I gave her a card.

She looked at the card for what seemed like forever then said, “Young lady, you look a lot like this nice woman in the photo.” 

“Yes that is because she is my mother,” I informed her.

“That makes a lot of sense. You live across the street. Don’t you?” 

“Yes, in that small pink house,” I responded.

“May I bring some muffins near dinnertime for a little gift for you and your family, and your sister. You have a sister, right?” she asked. 

“Yes, but she recently passed away,” I said sadly.

“So sorry for your loss. What is your name?” she asked, eyes full of pity.

“My name is Elizabeth,” I told her. 

“Okay. I will see you later, Elizabeth. And thank you for the card. My vote is going to you and your family,” she said in a sweet and gentle voice. 

I walked away from the house, excited that we at least had one vote. I walked over to the next house. The house was very old with paint chipping and loose boards on the patio, but I still knocked. A man stuck one eye out of a little crack in the door. I offered him a card, but he declined. Instead, he gave me a card with a picture and black letters on it. When I returned to the sidewalk, I stared at the card. After a few minutes, I realized that he was the guy who was running against my mom. 

After I left, when I got to a trash can, I threw the card out so that my mom wouldn’t think I was trying to conspire against her. When the sky darkened, I headed back to the small house, where I met the old man and young woman. When I arrived at the small house, I got inside and saw my mom and the people who were helping with her campaign. When I came in, they all looked at me with a smile. I placed the rest of the cards on the table. My mom said her goodbyes to the people, then I followed her to the house. When we got home, we saw my dad talking with the old lady who lives across the street. They both looked at us, my dad with a face that clearly said, “Help me!” The old lady had a basket that looked filled with muffins. 

“Hello, Elizabeth, and I am guessing this is your mother.”

“Yes, this is my mother. What is your name? I do not think you told me when we met?”

“Oh, yes. Sorry. My name is Harriet.” 

“What a lovely name,” my mom said.

“We have been talking for a long time,” my dad said, with a pinch of annoyance in his voice.

“Yes. It has been very nice talking to you, but I think I must go. Sorry I could not talk for longer. I love your house, and I can help with anything you need. I will be right across the street!” Harriet said.

My mom faced me and said, “Who was that, Elizabeth?”

“Oh, that was the old lady I met while giving out the little cards.”

“And she can talk!” my dad said dramatically.

“Well she does live by herself,” I said.

There was a knock on the door. My mom went to open it and found my aunt Ellen. I was so excited to see her because every time she comes over, she brings gifts! I went to welcome her and before I said anything, she dragged in a big gift. I dragged the big, heavy, pink gift to the living room and opened it. Inside lay a black and blue bicycle! I was so happy because it matched the one my mom had, and my old one was too small! I was so excited. I ran to my parents to show them. They were so happy. Then, they looked at Aunt Ellen with surprised faces. 

“You bought this for her?” my mom said. 

“Yes, of course, I have to keep my record of bringing gifts for my niece.”

“Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha,” my dad and mom laughed sarcastically.

“And I thought it might come in handy.”

“What?” My mom and dad said in unison.

“Ohh, nothing. Nevermind,” she said. “And I will not be able to go to the debate tomorrow.”

“Well, okay. Let us go to the kitchen and talk over some coffee,” Dad said. 

“Great! Sounds good,” Aunt Ellen replied.

And they walked to the kitchen. By the time I finished staring at my bike, trying to ride it in the house, and being yelled at by my parents, it was time to go to sleep. I got ready to sleep and got in bed, but before I went to sleep I prayed. I prayed for my sister’s safety up there. 

When I finally went to sleep, I dreamt that Lauren was still alive and we played and played. When I woke up, I was very sad to end my dream because I was having so much fun. My mom came in the room.

“Sweety, wake up, it is time for the first debate!” my mom said energetically. 

“Okay. Getting up,” I said.

I was so excited that I forgot about the dream. Once we were out in the driveway, we realized that all of our tires were flat! My mom was furious and so was I. After about ten minutes, my mom had an idea. 

“Wait here. I will be right back.”

“Okay.”

A few minutes later, she came out with two matching bikes. They had black and blue stripes. I jumped up and down and praised my mom. Then we got on the bikes and were off to the debate. We finally got there! When we did, we saw John. H. Corel, the guy running against my mom, staring at us in surprise, and Aunt Ellen.

What was she doing here? And with him?

To be continued… 


The Ghost

Nia’s mom suddenly collapsed on the floor. Nia knew what this meant; her mom was dead. This maybe happened because her mom had a serious disease. Nia rushed to the hospital with her mom immediately and asked her mom’s doctor if her mom was officially dead.

The doctor checked if she was breathing and said, “She is officially dead because of a rare heart attack.”

Nia burst into tears. 

Later that day, her dad gave Nia a Ouija board. Nia didn’t know what was this was, so she asked. 

Her dad responded, “It’s used to summon dead people, like your mom, at three o’clock in the morning.”

Nia knew exactly what to do: summon her mom. It was already nine, and Nia’s dad told her that if she wanted to summon her mom, she needed to wake up at three in the morning. 

Nia was thinking how strange it was that her dad gave her a free gift, but after she thought that, her dad said, “And after you summon your mom, do the chores.”

Nia went straight to sleep and set an alarm for two in the morning. 

Ring ring ring! The sound of the alarm woke up Nia, and she went straight to her computer and searched up how to use a Ouija board. There were lots of suggestions, and they were all the same, so Nia picked a random one. She followed the instructions and prepared the Ouija board, and when she heard another timer, she knew it was time to summon her mom.

She said the old and un-understandable words, and she said, “Mom, come alive.”

Nia saw the lights flickering, and she heard a soft breeze. It started smelling weird, like yogurt with perfume in it. The windows were opening and shutting closed, along with the door. Suddenly, she heard a voice, and she saw a strange shadow come out of the Ouija board. She knew it was her mom. 

Her mom said, “Why did you wake me from my peaceful sleep?” in a low, dark voice. 

It was spooky, but Nia answered, “Because I want you to come back.”

Nia’s mom asked her, “How are you going to do that?”

Nia responded back, saying, “Well, I’ll just keep you a ghost, and you’ll just stay with me forever. Easy peasy lemon squeezy.” 

Her mom said back, ”You’re such a child! Of course you can’t do that, silly.” Nia noticed her mom’s voice was cranky. Maybe that was because she had a hard fall. Her mom suddenly said, “I want to go back to sleep. Bye bye.” 

Nia followed the steps and said bye to her mom. Her mom disappeared, and all the creepy things suddenly stopped. Nia thought that the Ouija board wasn’t as scary as she thought. It was sort of like FaceTime. Nia knew she was going to look at her mom every day, but now she needed to do the chores.

After she was done with the chores, she plopped down on the sofa and took the remote and put on Birdbox. Since Nia was only 12, she felt really brave facing her fears of the Ouija board. When the movie was on, she was thinking about why her dad gave her the gift of the Ouija board. She paused the TV and went to her dad. 

Her dad said, “Shoo away little fly, I’m trying to focus!”

He was playing Fortnite on a video game console. She felt okay because she was used to her dad saying this to her. 

Nia asked her dad why did he gave the Ouija board to her. 

The dad answered by saying, “Well, it’s been in the family for generations, and now I’m passing it on to you. My mom also died, and my mom’s mom also died, and so on and so forth. And this time your mom died, so I’m giving the board to you.” Nia understood and went back to the TV. Nia’s dad said right after that, “Well, I think you missed a spot. A big one.” 

Nia went back to work and when she was finished, she went back to the sofa. But before her eyes, she saw her dad watching his favorite movie on Netflix called Shine. Nia was used to this, but she always thought to herself, What a creepy movie. But she also thought to herself, What a creepy family I have. Nia suddenly heard in the movie that a girl lost her mom and summoned her on the Ouija board. That girl sounded like Nia. She wondered if the story was based on her, but she was sure it wasn’t. Maybe it’s just a coincidence, she thought to herself. She plopped on the sofa again with her dad, but this time she was slouching. She started watching the show with her dad. The dad looked at her with sad and fierce eyes combined. Nia thought that maybe her dad was scared, so she grabbed the remote and paused it.

But Nia’s dad said, “Hey, don’t pause it. I want to keep on watching!” 

Nia asked, “Then why do you have fierce and sad eyes all at once?”

“You know how this story is kind of based on our family?”

”Yeah,” Nia said.

“In the movie the dad dies, so I’m worried that I will die like the dad in the movie scene, since it might be based on our family.” 

“I don’t want you to die,” said Nia. 

The dad said, “It’s fine if I die. At least I won’t need to be with you. If I die, you will need to stay home by yourself and cook and sleep and make the beds, but at least you will have the whole apartment to yourself.”

The next day when the dad was calmly eating breakfast, he dramatically collapsed on the floor, just like Nia’s mom. Nia was still sleeping. When she heard her alarm, she woke up. She had forgotten to call her mom. When Nia woke up and saw her dad, she put her knees on the floor and started crying as loud as she could. Tears were flowing down her cheeks like a waterfall. Nia decided that if her whole family was dead, then why couldn’t she be dead? Nia planned to kill herself with the sharpest knife she could find in the kitchen, but right before she was going to go on the Ouija board and summon the ghosts of her parents. She got her computer and the Ouija board, but it was not three o’clock yet, so she went to her bed and started dreaming about how Shine was correct about how her dad died. She woke up at exactly three and started saying the words on the Ouija board. Then the creepy things happened again, like the windows opened and shut, and it smelled weird, and this time she heard lightning outside. Two shadows now appeared, coming out of the board, and this time it was her mom and her dad.

She heard voices saying, “Hello.” 

She saw her parents on the board and said, “Hello,” back. 

The mom said, “I miss you so much.” 

Nia said, “I’m seeing you every day.”

The mom said back, “Well, it’s not like I can actually see you in real life. Now, I just remembered that today, your grandparents are going to move to Hawaii so they can see you. The Philippines is having some trouble with politics and your grandparents lived in the Philippines. Maybe you can go live with Grandpa and Grandma.”

Nia said to her mom, “That’s a much better idea than killing myself.”

The mom said, “You were gonna kill yourself?” Her eyes and mouth were wide open. 

Nia said back, “Yes I was going to plan to kill myself, but now since you gave me the idea to go live with Grandma and Grandpa, I can finally have a happy ending! When are they coming?”

Mom said, “Today!” 

“What time?” Nia said. 

“Right now!”

Nia said, for the last time, “Do you think that they’re here right now? What house are they gonna move to?”

The mom said, “They’re going to move to the open apartment on our apartment floor.”

“Bye, Mom. Bye, Dad,” said Nia. 

The dad ignored her, but the mom said, “Bye.”

Nia followed the steps to pause the Ouija board, and then she took the keys and unlocked the door. She ran to the apartment on her floor. She saw her grandma and grandpa waiting for her, and they looked surprisingly young.

They said that they were only 44 years old and Nia said, “Hey, that’s just as old as my parents, and they’re dead already!” 

They looked at Nia, surprised and shocked, and they said at the same time, “What? They’re dead? We’re their parents!”

“Yep. They’re dead.”

Then the grandparents pulled out a surprise for Nia. Nia had forgotten that it was her birthday. Their present was an iPhone X Super and a picture with Nia’s grandparents that had more than a billion dollars. 

Nia lived happily ever after with her grandparents. 

The End


The Mystery of the Missing Egg

One day in the middle of summer, Mummy Dragon was sitting on the top of the mountain in her dark and narrow cave, sitting on her eggs. Then she was hungry, so she flew off to the top of the woods to find food. As she flew off, her feet pushed one of the eggs down the mountain. The mummy dragon didn’t notice that one of her spotty eggs slipped out of the cave. 

Meanwhile, Lucy was in the house of her stepmother because her real mother got stuck in a car crash. Her stepmother had just kicked her out of the house. She went to the mountain to think about her lovely mom by the bushy bushes. Suddenly, the egg rolled out of the bush. Lucy was shocked. Her eyes widened, and her mouth dropped open. She ran back home with the egg in her arms. When she got there, her stepmother shouted at Lucy and said, “Get that smelly egg out of the house!”

Lucy then walked up a hill and found a palace. The palace had big cones at the top and had soldiers guarding the gate with big, fluffy hats. I think this is because the queen wanted to be mean by making them hot. It was so hot that the soldiers felt like it was cold, so they didn’t really mind.

So, back to the story. Lucy went into the palace and met a queen that was very wicked. She would always trick people with her nasty tricks. Lucy told the queen that she found this egg near the mountain of dragons.

The queen made a wicked smile and said, “Come here, my dear, and I’ll show you a cozy bed for your eggs to stay in.” Lucy followed her into a dark room. She said, “Bye, have fun!”

But as she closed the door, Lucy fell into something’s mouth. What could it be…?

It was a dragon! It was actually the egg’s mom that the queen’s servants had caught before. Lucy kicked and shouted, but the dragon wouldn’t let her out. Then, Lucy had an idea! She could rub the dragon’s tummy and make her sneeze, and then she shot out of the dragon’s mouth. That’s when the dragon noticed that the egg Lucy was holding was one of her babies because the egg just hatched. The mummy dragon got mad at Lucy and thought Lucy was trying to steal her babies, but the egg didn’t call her Mummy. She called Lucy Mummy, so she knew that Lucy had taken care of her babies and thanked her. So, she decided to fly Lucy back home. 

When they got there, Mummy Dragon noticed that Lucy’s face fell, so she asked Lucy, “Why are you looking so sad?

Lucy sadly told Mummy Dragon the story of her stepmother. 

Mummy Dragon decided to secretly burn the stepmother. So, they made a plan to burn the wicked stepmother. So, when the stepmother went out to call Lucy to do her chores, Mummy Dragon blew fire at the stepmother, and the stepmother turned black. 

So right now, Lucy lives with the mummy dragon, and the mummy dragon teaches her how to be a dragon. So she turns into a human dragon.

The End


Molly’s Birthday

Once upon a time, there was a girl dog named Molly, and she could run super fast. Molly was very energetic. All Molly wanted was to go to explore the galaxy.

Molly’s mom was a cat, and her dad was a dinosaur. She also had a little brother named Austin, who was also a dog. In two days Molly was going to turn 13 years old. So, her family started to plan a trip to explore the galaxy, just like Molly wanted. The dad was trying to get some rocket fuel for their rocket so they could have enough energy for the rocket to see everything in outer space.

On the day of Molly’s birthday, her parents told her about the trip they were going to have for her birthday. When everything was ready, the mom started the engine for the rocket and they blasted off into space. They saw all the stars twinkle in the sky.

But, there was a hole in their rocket, and fuel started to fall, well, float away. Molly was trying to think about how she could block the hole. She saw that her brother was chewing on mega-stretchy gum. She got a stick of gum, and she started to stretch it out. When the candy was big enough, she was able to block the hole, and no more fuel was coming out. 

Molly’s mom started the engine of the rocket again, and they were off. Molly saw so many different planets she had never seen. She saw Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune so far. Austin, the brother, took some photos on his camera. The dad was feeling a bit hot, so he opened a big window.

There was a big turn up ahead, however. When the mom turned the wheel, Molly fell out the window. Luckily, she had her space helmet on. She was floating away from the rocket. The family was freaking out. They went to go stop at a gas station, and they saw her getting farther and farther. Near the gas station was a shop. So, the dad bought some rope to swing the rope like a lasso.

Meanwhile, Molly saw herself getting away from her family. She started to relax, and she saw more planets, like Jupiter, Mars, and Earth. Earth was Molly’s favorite planet. She saw her family going to the shops, and they bought rope. Molly was very confused. Then she realized that her family was trying to save her. So, Molly tried to float closer to her family. 

The dad swung the rope, and Molly caught it, and they went back to their rocket. They saw the last and final planets. They saw Venus and Mercury. Then Molly saw… the sun!

Molly had the best birthday ever, and she would never forget this day.

It was a bright and sunny day outside on the planet Pluto, and Molly was in her house and had her favorite yellow hat on (she couldn’t put on a shirt or pants because she was a dog). She was also taking out the photos from her birthday, which was yesterday. Molly was thinking that she could go back to space. However, from what happened on her birthday, Molly’s parents wouldn’t want to go back out there. Her mom and dad did not want her to go and lose her again. But, Molly remembered she had a telescope, so now she could always see the stars and planets in space. 


Experiment Gone Wrong

Deep in the Amazon rainforest, my team and I, an elite group of ninjas, sat in our protective tent and did a final run-through of our plan. 

“Okay, first step?” asked August. August was a trained dancer who used to work in the circus. Just like all of us girls, she’s a GEM (Genetically Engineered Mutant). August’s DNA was mixed with a feather, so she had the ability to become weightless at will. August was thirteen years old.

“Sneak up to Dr. Penski’s secret lab,” replied May. Dr. Penski was the mad scientist who created us. He mutated animal life as a hobby, and we are all sworn to stop his evil plots. May’s DNA was mixed with coral. She could communicate with sea animals.

“Next step?” questioned June. June’s DNA was created with glass. She could turn invisible whenever she wanted.

“Take out the guards and sneak in,” said December. December’s DNA was mixed in with clouds. She could control the weather with her feelings. December was 16. 

“Final step?” quizzed January. January’s DNA had a piece of a dead person’s brain in it (yes, I know, sounds kind of creepy, but if you see it, it’s really cool). She could summon and control the undead. January was 17.

“Crush Dr. Penski!” I exclaimed, pounding my fist into my hand. I was 18. My name is April. My DNA is mutated with a bit of all animals. Don’t ask me how, but Dr. Penski is more powerful than you think. I was supposed to be his ultimate weapon, able to morph into any animal. But for an IQ of 300, he’s pretty clueless in keeping ‘henchmen’ in his favor. Because if you ask me, if you want people to stay with you, don’t leave them in tiny, cramped cages with barely enough food or water. And now look at us, escaped mutated beings out to kill him. Nice move, Dr. Penski! Anyways, lesson of the day, kids: Don’t imprison genetically engineered beings and expect them to work for you.

“Well, what are we waiting for? Let’s go!” yelled December, jumping up to her feet as a burst of brilliant sunlight illuminated her face. 

“Um, it’s that way,” said January, a rotting hand reaching out of the ground and pointing.

We swiftly jumped into the trees and ran quickly towards the secret lab, pulling up our masks and carefully sticking to the shadows.

Finally, we reached the secret lab. The entrance was hidden behind a curtain of moss, and the lab was disguised as an enormous stone. The lab was surrounded by guards.

Step one, complete, I thought. Now for step two.

Now!” yelled May. 

“So much for a covert mission,” I said to myself.

Then all hell broke loose. Literally. Because January yelled and zombies rose from the ground and started attacking the guards and dragging them underground. 

August started floating around and kicking guards’ heads. She whirled around, kicking up, down, left, right, and around. Unconscious guards littered the ground.

June turned invisible and started pranking the guards, pulling down pants, yanking ears and noses, giving wedgies, and generally having a great time. She was just seven, after all.

December summoned a tornado that swept up the guards. She also made lightning strike the guards and fried them till they were crispy — the way I like my toast.

May just kicked and punched since she couldn’t really summon sea animals on land, but I wouldn’t be worried because man that six-year-old can hit.

I morphed into different animals and slashed, scratched, bit, and tackled until I felt like collapsing.

Finally, all the guards were either unconscious, dizzy, fried, pranked, or sucked to hell never to be seen again. Your average day in the life of a genetically engineered mutant. Pretty simple stuff.

“Okay, guys, be careful when you go in. We haven’t taken out all of the guards yet,” reminded June, turning visible and looking slightly out of breath from all of her vicious pranking. She turned invisible again, and we heard her say, “Let’s move!” 

Step three initiate! I thought excitedly as we crept stealthily inside. 

I blinked as my eyes adjusted to the dark, gloomy atmosphere of Dr. Penski’s laboratory.

“Brings back bad memories, doesn’t it?” June said, shuddering as she turned visible.

I shivered as I remembered being trapped in a tiny cage, unable to shapeshift or move.

“Let’s get this over with quickly,” said May, whimpering and grabbing hold of my hand. 

“Yeah,” I agreed, squeezing her hand gently.

We moved through the dark hallway, silent as a group of ninjas. Which I guess we were. 

We reached the end of the hall and peeked past the wall. We saw the hunched back of Dr. Penski, who was leaning over another one of his poor test subjects. He was chuckling evilly.

“A drop of spider DNA, a scorpion’s tail, ten strands of monkey fur… Complete!” he cackled. “Behold my latest creation: the spider-monkey!” A hulking monkey rose from the mist. But this wasn’t just some ordinary monkey. The monkey had eight long, hairy legs and a scorpion’s tail. The guards cheered and clapped. Dr. Penski stood proudly and admired his creation. “Beautiful!” he bragged. He clapped his hands, and the guards dragged the creature into a cage alongside the many other cages filled with mutant beasts, then exited the room.

The beasts were truly, well, gross. They snarled and clawed at the bars of the cages. Honestly, they had a speck of my sympathy. Technically, they were like us: genetically engineered mutants trapped in cages.

Come to Dr. Penski’s Mutant Emporium! (At your own risk)

  • A whale/shark
  • A donkey/monkey/snake
  • A snake/scorpion/spider
  • A zebra/lion/tiger/leopard
  • A wolf/lion/cheetah
  • And much more!

Entry fee: Your life

“He’s been at work since three years ago,” June muttered, flickering in anxiety. 

“Well, what are we waiting for? Let’s get him,” said May.

  But something was wrong. My senses tingled as I scanned the room. The target was easy. Too easy.

A second too late I realized, “Wait, why did the guards leave?”

But it was too late. May, June, January, December, and August were already rushing into battle. 

Dr. Penski turned around and smirked. “E for effort, girls! Nice try. But you can’t scream ‘now’, annihilate my guards, and not expect me to notice! Guards, get em’!”

Guards rushed into the room, swarming around them. I knew we should have gone with covert, I thought, charging into battle.

The guards outnumbered us 20 to one. And no matter how amazing our powers were, we couldn’t defeat them. Eventually, they tied us up with rope and dragged us before Dr. Penski.

“Nice to see you again, daughters!” he cackled.

“Call us that one more time, and I swear, I will rip you apart piece by piece, you [this part was taken out by the editor]!” said January.

“I’d like to see you try!” Dr. Penski sneered. He clapped his hands, and the guards dragged us together. “I have a proposition for you. Work for me, and I’ll set you free!”

No way!” we all declared simultaneously.

He started pacing around and muttering under his breath. Then he brightened.

“What if I told you that I would feed you to my mutants?”

We glanced at each other. “Still no,” we said.

He sagged.

“It’ll be painful… ”

“Nope.”

“Please?”

“Nuh-uh.”

He slumped. “Fine!” he declared. “The beasts it is.”

The guards pulled us towards the cages. I tried to shapeshift, but I couldn’t. The ground shook with the undead trying to surface. Thunder rumbled outside. June… hold on, where was June?

“Where’s June?” I whispered to January. 

“Uh… hold on, where is June?” she whisper-shouted.

“That’s what I asked you,” I pointed out.

“Do you think… ?” she trailed off.

“Just maybe… ?” We grinned at each other.

“Prepare to meet your doom!” screamed Dr. Penski. His robots started dancing. 

“D-O-O-M!” his robots chanted, standing on each others’ shoulders and waving pink sparkly pom poms in the air. “Your doom!”

“O-kay?” said August. “I’m not pretending that wasn’t terrible coordination and flips back there. They were. Now, I really thought you could have added a backflip at the end followed by a front handspring. The choreography was not too shabby, but you had too much transition time. Now, remember if your velocity downwards reaches over six miles per hour, you need to go down head first and tuck into a shoulder-roll 4.009 seconds before you make contact with the ground, and — ”

Enough!” thundered Dr. Penski. “No one messes with my beautiful choreography and gets away with it! I will release my — !” He reached down to press the button to open the cage doors. 

“Not so fast!” An invisible hand reached over and plucked the remote control out of his hands and threw it to the side.

June turned visible, and we all cheered. She planted her hands on her hips and smiled triumphantly. She began working on our ropes, using a shard of glass. Finally, I was free! I shook myself out of the ropes, morphed into a jaguar, and used my sharp claws to free the rest of our GEMs. But just as I turned to smile at June, a shadow lurked behind May, grabbed her, and pressed a dagger to her neck. 

May!” we all screamed.

“Stop attacking, and move silently into that cage, no funny business — or the girl dies!” snarled Dr. Penski.

“How could you?! She’s only six years old!” I screamed at Penski.

“The more reason to threaten you!”

“Leave her alone!” yelled January. 

“Ten, nine, eight!” He pressed harder, and May gave a stifled scream. 

Maybe… I thought.

The other GEMs moved into the cage, but I stood my ground, hatching a plan. 

“Seven, six, five!” he glared at me.

“April, please! What are you thinking?!” shrieked December.

Rain splattered the ground outside.

I didn’t move or respond, pursing my lips and steeling my nerves. If we wanted to be free, I had to take this chance. 

“April! Don’t be selfish!” yelled June.

“Four, three, two — ”

I kicked into action. I morphed into a cheetah and charged into Penski at lightning speed. Everything slowed down.

No!” he shrieked. 

Yes!” cheered May.

I rammed into Dr. Penski at full speed.

Oof!” he grunted.

I let the GEMs out of their cages. June hugged May so fiercely that May’s face turned blue. 

“You had us worried sick!” she scolded. 

But in all the excitement, Dr. Penski reached the remote control! He grabbed it. “Mwa ha ha ha,” he cackled. “Prepare for the end of your worthless little lives — my worst monster! Meet Cerberus!” He slammed his hand on a button, releasing a cage door. An enormous three-headed dog leaped out. 

The beast had a scorpion’s tail, three sets of dripping poison jaws, and monstrous wings. The GEMs and I gaped in horror. 

“Attack!” yelled Penski. The monster lunged for us.

“Dodge under!” commanded January.

We slid under the giant dog and joined together behind him. 

“Okay, guys, you know the drill,” January sighed.

We assumed a fighting stance and gathered all our power. Zombies rose from the ground. Electricity crackled in the air. I morphed into a dragon. June turned invisible. August became weightless. The sea animals sloshed around in their tanks.

Cerberus turned around and roared. August and June jumped and climbed on top of the dog as a distraction. They pulled at his dark, grisly fur and screamed in his ears. The confused beast lumbered around and looked for the annoyance, leaving the coast clear for the rest of us. January’s zombies clambered on top of him. The sea animals churned up water and engulfed him. Lightning struck the water and electrocuted him. We had him pinned down… or so we thought.

Suddenly, Penski’s creation rose up and shook off the attacks. 

Ha ha ha! Well done, my baby!” yelled Penski.

Cerberus struck down my sisters and hooked them up with his claws, choking them. My blood boiled. No one harms my siblings and gets away with it! I roared with fury as I spread my scaly wings. Rushing towards the monster, I struck him with my foot. He stumbled back and slashed me painfully on the face. I slapped him with my tail and pinned him to the ground. I raised my claws for the kill. But just as I brought my hand down, I hesitated. 

This beast is like us, I thought. Maybe it doesn’t deserve to die. Maybe it’s like another GEM, a mutant designed to kill. Maybe if I just let it go… Hold on, April, what are you thinking?! It hurt my sisters! But also… 

“April… I can’t breathe… ” choked May. 

“What are you waiting for?” gasped August.

That set me off. Once again, I brought my claw down, this time harder. I shuddered and closed my eyes when I heard the beast’s pitiful whimper as it took its final breath and went limp under me. I turned back to a human and closed my eyes in sorrow. A single tear slid down my cheek as I sank to my knees. I let out a sob and squeezed my eyes shut.

I felt a hand on my shoulder.

“You did the right thing,” January said. “I know it’s hard, but you did.”

“I know how it feels,” August said. “Remember the Chicago Mission?” I nodded, remembering Penski’s snake/bird.

May walked up to me, her big brown eyes shining with tears. “Thank you, April,” she whispered.

“Wow, that was beautiful! But I’m going to destroy you!” declared Penski half-heartedly.

“Face it, Penski! It’s over for you!” December said, planting her hands on her hips.

“Fine, but if it is, it’s over for you too! Guards, initiate self-destruct!” 

The GEMs and I stared at each other in shock.

“He wouldn’t do that, would he?” January asked.

“I think he just did,” I replied.

“Let’s go!” yelled June.

We rushed towards the exit.

“Blocked!” screamed December.

A hole in the roof blew up, and I had an idea. I morphed into a dragon.

“Get on my back!” I yelled over the sound of crumbling debris. They obeyed, and I soared into the starry night sky, seconds before the lab blew up. 

Then everything was quiet. A light breeze ruffled the GEMs’ hair as we soared above the clouds. We shared an understanding moment of silence. 

“Wow,” January murmured.

“Yeah,” June agreed.

And that summed it all up. Our dad commited suicide, I killed a sibling, May almost died. But it was all okay. Because being there, flying with my sisters on a beautiful night, I knew that I didn’t need anything else in the world as long as I had them. And I did. I had my GEMs. My beautiful gems.


My Most Important Object

One object that means a lot to me is a plush toy that a father from my church gave me once. It means a lot to me because it is a little Jesus and he gave it to me when I was five years old. It has sandals. They are little brown sandals (my brother ripped one off) and it also has a little white crown. It also reminds me of the father because he is in Europe. The toy feels fluffy. The toy smells great (obviously when you wash it it smells like soap). Right now, I have it in my bed and I don’t let anyone touch it.


Treating Things with Respect

My Black Wii U could hold 32 GB of space. It cost $300 plus the tax, which I know was about $326. It felt very smooth and looked like a box that you put the disk in and a pad that looked like a switch. When you played with it a lot, it would overheat and smell like fire. You could also hear a whirring sound when you used it too much. I never tasted it, but it must taste like Japanese plastic since the Wii U was made in Japan.

I distinctly remember that bleak December. December of 2014. I told my dad I wanted the Wii U in the past few months. Then, a few days before Christmas, my dad showed me what he got me for Christmas. You guessed it, a black Wii U. I had not opened it yet because it was for Christmas. He did not open the box, but it did not have any Christmas wrapping, so I saw the big letters that spelled Wii U on the box. I thanked my dad for the gift that has not been forgotten, even now. Sometimes on the weekends, I use it in the morning. It is my first ever gaming console I ever got. Therefore it must not be trashed like most people did when they got a Nintendo Switch. The reason I say this is because there was this YouTube video.

People say that the Wii U was one of Nintendo’s biggest failures, but I consider this a lie. It is honestly one of the best consoles in history and is considered great.

I still use it to play Mario games from the 80’s, 90’s, and one from 2014. I did not just trash it when I got my Switch. I just stopped using it for a while. It is not lost, or framed, or squished behind something, and of course, not lost. It is right next to the TV in the living room. Every time you are watching TV in the living room, you can see it right next to the TV plugged into the power outlet there. It still looks brand new, because I clean it to take off the dust. I had also taken much care of it when I got it up until now because it is not damaged. So, concluding this piece, my Wii U is a cherished item in my home. People treat it with care, I treat it with care, and it will stay right next to the TV for as long as… who knows? It is the best console I own. Then goes the Switch, then the PS4, and last is something that is not mentioned, which is the PS3. That is a completely different story to be told, but the Wii U is the best. 10/10 object. 


Elijah’s Memoir

I remember I had a snow globe. It was from Canada, and it said Niagara Falls, and it had a waterfall. Every time I shook it, it was like sparkly confetti falling inside. On the letters, there were sharp corners but a smooth ball shaped surface. There were buildings and boats. It doesn’t smell or sound like anything, but it is glass, so if you drop, it will make a pretty loud sound like shattering ice.

I was on the plane with my mom and sister on our way to Canada. When we got off, the first thing I did was beg my mom to take me to the gift shop. So she did, and the whole time my eyes were planted on the snow globe. I didn’t have to say anything. My mom already caught on to what I was looking at. After the gift shop, my sister and I went up this tall building in an elevator, and there was a glass part of the floor where you could see the city. My mom didn’t come because she had claustrophobia.

When we got to the glass floor, I was scared to go on it, so I was clenching my globe so it wouldn’t fall, and my sister was there right beside me.

My snow globe said Niagara Falls, and I asked my mom, “Is that a place?”

She said, “Yes.”

I said, “Well, can we go there?”

“Yes,” she replied. “But change into your swim trunks.”

We got there. It was a beautiful sight to see. I looked back at the buildings, and they were the same as the ones in the snow globe. The sun was beaming on my face while I was in cool water. The sun was setting, so it was time to go to our hotel room, although my sister stayed a couple of minutes because she wanted to take pictures with the setting sun.

When we got to the room, I put my globe in a safe place where I could see it every time I woke up. It was like my energy source. When I see it, I feel like I can do anything. If I feel like it could be a bad day, I would put the snow globe in my bag like a good luck charm. I thought the only way the luck would work is if I shook it three times. 


Funky Fairytales 2: The Galaxy Switch, V. 1

Once upon a time, there lived a happy family that lived in a galaxy called Tangah. Tangah was very mysterious, for it was always night time. The family contained four family members: a king, a queen, and two little girls who were identical twins. Their names were Lily and Molly. They played in the courtyard all day long. They had a maze, a garden, and so much more, but what they loved most in the courtyard was the outdoor library. 

Every day, they read different books together. They even took them to their bedrooms secretly. Then, one day at bedtime, the twins heard murmuring from their parents’ room and overheard something bad. 

Something horrible. 

Their father would be going on a long journey to the twin galaxy and Molly would be going with her father.

“They’re just joking, right? They aren’t separating us!” they said to themselves, but they knew it was true. They felt their stomachs turn. Molly felt like she was drowning. She had to sit down. Lily was also scared because she didn’t want to miss her sister. Molly would be going on a long, dangerous journey to a different galaxy: the twin galaxy.

***

The next morning, the twins woke up to the smell of oatmeal and brown sugar. Molly put her pink and purple gown on, and Lily put on her blue and cranberry gown. They put on their best faces, greeted their parents, and sat down. The parents discussed how they liked their oatmeal, then brought up the galaxy switch. The twins couldn’t help but cry. 

“You, Molly, will go with me to our twin galaxy,” the king said. 

“Lily, you will stay here with me,” said the queen. 

“Spend as much time together as possible today. Tomorrow, Molly and I leave for our galaxy,” the king said. 

“Why do you have to separate us?” Lily asked. 

“Don’t question me,” said the king. 

“Do you want to go to the outdoor library?” Molly asked. 

“Sure,” Lily answered. 

They walked out of the castle and into the sunlight, over the cobblestone bridge. They stopped to look at the maze to their right and the garden to their left. The golden tulips were their favorite flowers in the whole universe and they were in bloom, just like every spring. 

The cobblestone path continued on nearer to a circle of birch trees. Monarch butterflies always gathered there. On a tree were several chrysalises. They wondered when the cocoons would transform into monarchs.

They walked across another bridge to the beautiful outdoor library and into the center of the circle of trees to a little golden bookshelf and cream-colored chairs. A lake was to the right. They took a seat and resumed reading Bob the Beaver and The Ice Family

“Wow! Bob has really changed!” Lily exclaimed. 

“Really? Bob was always their friend!” Molly pointed out.  

“True…” Lily said. 

That night, they had their favorite meal, but the twins didn’t feel better about the galaxy switch just because they were eating food they liked. They stayed up all night, staring at the galaxy painted ceiling. 

“I’m going to miss this place,” Molly said.

 “Yeah, I wonder If we’ll ever see each other again,” Lily said. 

“Molly, what if we forget each other?” Lily asked. 

“Well, remember my 9th birthday I got the royal necklace maker as a present? That came with copper heart-shaped lockets we can make with each other’s picture in it!” Molly exclaimed. 

“You girls better be going to bed. No nighttime reading or anything,” the king said rudely. 

“We can still do the lockets, right?” Lily whispered. 

“Yes, even if father says no,” Molly said boldly. 

“If you say so…” Lily said hesitantly. 

Molly pulled out the royal necklace maker, and they went to work. 

“Molly, what should mine have?” Lily asked.

 “Engrave my name and your name on there like so. Then I’ll show you a really cool thing,” Molly said. 

Lily had made a beautiful copper heart locket with their names engraved and a picture inside of Molly. Molly had the same thing, except Molly’s locket had a picture of Lily inside.

“There’s one more step– the cool thing.”

Molly took out a cauldron and said a magic spell, “Getaran DNA!” 

Then, a poof of blue smoke came pouring out of the pot. Lily soaked the lockets in the blue potion. Then they put the lockets on and felt a strong vibration. Like magic, the lockets lifted into the air and connected to each other. Molly grabbed her locket and disconnected it from Lily’s. 

“What did you do to the potion?” Lily curiously asked.

“I made a potion that has the power to make our necklaces vibrate and connect our necklace as we get closer. Nobody else can wear these necklaces.”

***

The next morning was full of hugs and tears as Molly left their galaxy.

“Bye, Lily!” 

“No! You can’t leave!”

“I’ll be back before you know I’m gone!” 

***

“Dad, how long will I stay in the twin galaxy with you?” 

“Well, it takes 3 years to learn to rule, and you get to rule temporarily for one–”

“So, this is what it was all about? Me preparing to become a queen in a different galaxy? I thought it was about a problem in the twin galaxy!” Molly said.

“Calm down, Molly. It’s your duty to be a queen when you’re old enough. Your mother didn’t get upset or angry at her father when she found out she would be queen,” the king told Molly. Then, Molly didn’t talk to him for the rest of the day.


***

Lily had missed Molly, and she stopped going to outdoor library, due to how sad she was. 

“What would you like to do?” The queen asked Lily.

“See Molly.” Lily said.

“Your father is preparing Molly to be queen in the twin galaxy. She is only gone for four years, Lily,” the queen said.

Lily was so sad, she couldn’t bear to sleep. That night, Lily sang a sad song. “…I can’t wait to see you again, it’s only a matter of time…”

***

The first day of queen training went horribly. Molly decided to send a letter about it through galaxpress mail system. Since they were in different galaxies, it would take four weeks to get to the other galaxy.

12/24/3023

My dearest, Lilian, 

I hope this letter makes you happy, so laugh as much as you need to. 

So first, this letter is about how queen training went. In the morning, I had to hold a porcelain cup with hot chamomile tea with my pinky sticking out, and guess what happened? I spilled it all over my dress and father’s cape. 

Please respond as soon as you get this letter with help!

Love, Molly

***

Eight weeks passed and Lily hadn’t responded. This had made Molly very disappointed and scared. Molly wrote again to Lily, this time asking if she was okay.

2/18/3024

My dearest, Lilian,

You have made me very anxious- what is happening? Please respond as quick as possible. If you don’t, I am calling father for help.

Love, Molly, 

P.S. 

Please respond soon

***

Lily had responded, finally.

4/14/3024

My dearest, Molly,

Mother and I have been locked up in the dungeon in our own castle! An evil dragon is taking over our galaxy. Sorry for the delay- Galaxpress was taking FOREVER. 

I got your letter though! 

Please call father for help!

Love, Lilian 

P.S. 

S.O.L! (save our lives)

Molly called the king for help. 

“You must be kidding.” he said, but Molly showed him the letter, and he still didn’t believe the news. “I’ll have to investigate further,” the king said.

But Molly couldn’t wait. At night, she snuck out of the castle and started her journey to the other galaxy. She started towards the blueish-purple river of stars. She was going to slay the dragon, and save her mom and sister. It was risky, but she knew she could do it. She was brave. 

“Don’t worry, Lily. I’m going to save you,” Molly said, and then she stepped out into the unknown.  

To be continued…


Escape from the Ant Farm

Hi, I’m Lilah! I’m an ant. I hope you know a lot about ants, otherwise this story is going to make no sense. In my humble opinion, it’s pretty cool. FYI, ants are mostly girls. The males kind of just sit around the anthill until they go on a mating flight. Then they die. Anyway, the queen of this hill is all our moms. She gave birth to us. My job as a worker ant is to find food. But I’d rather watch the humans. They are really interesting. And I can actually understand their language.

We live right next to the house of Tony Relez. He recently divorced Elena W. His daughter is named Lucy. Now I’m hearing something really interesting.

“But Daddy, I want an ant farm!”

Wait — what?

“Yes, Lucy, but where would we get the ants?”

Oh, good. They can’t have one now. They won’t find us.

“There’s an anthill out back!”

Oh no. She knows! This is bad news. I need to tell mom! What? The queen is my mom.

I run in and to the queen’s private chamber.

“Mom! The people outside are going to capture us and put us in an ant farm!”

“Really?” Mom says skeptically. “I don’t remember that the humans know we exist.”

“Yes, it’s true! I heard them! Come see for yourself!”

“Very well,” Mom says.

We crawl out, and I show her.

Tony was just saying, “Okay, I’ll order the ant farm today.”

See?” I say, annoyed.

“Oh no!!!” Mom says, ignoring me.

“We have to run away!” I sigh.

She never notices me.

Mom starts yelling to everybody. “We need to start packing up! Everybody, gather your things! Food! Don’t forget food! Carry as much food as you can!”

See? She never notices me. The bad part of this is, our anthill is so big. It can sometimes take days to notify everyone. I hope the ant farm takes a long time to deliver. 

It doesn’t. After three days, a package arrives. I can read human language. It’s the ant farm. The problem is, we are still packing up. Oh! Good news! We’re almost done. Uh-oh. The people are coming over with the ant farm. I get a lurching feeling in my stomach. They’re putting sand in. Tony has a funnel in his hand, Lucy a shovel. They take sand from the sandbox and fill up the ant farm. I can’t believe what I’m seeing. This is my fate, and I’m just sitting and watching it? I guess I just love to watch humans. That will never go away.

Mom yells, “Okay, we’re ready!”

“Wait no!” I yell.

Tony has finished filling up the ant farm. They’re ready to look for ants now.

Lucy yells, “Look!”

The whole population of the anthill is streaming out. Blast it! Blast, blast, blast it. Talk about bad timing! They’re definitely going to capture us now. Tony grabs an index card and holds it on the ground. The other ants are walking up to the card and checking it out.

“No!” I yell, but it’s too late.

In one quick movement, Tony picks up the card, opens the ant farm, and taps in the card. I feel like I’m next, and I’m right.

Tony puts the card in front of me, his hands blocking the sides. I have no escape. Sighing, I step onto the card. He puts the card on the hole to the ant farm. I’m doomed! I’m slipping… I can’t hold on much longer. Finally I give up and let go of the card. I fall in. 

“Ow!!!” It hurts. A lot. Instead of moist soil like I’m used to, I land on hard-packed sand. I see lots of ants here, too. Ella, Mya, Lou, and others. But not Mom. That’s good, I guess, but without her we can’t reproduce. We’ll all die here eventually.

Old woman Lina speaks first. “The humans have sealed our fates. We will… ” Her voice drifts off.

“Can I just be the one to say it?” I ask. I don’t wait for an answer. “We’re going to die here.” They all stare at me with did-you-really-have-to-say-that-we’re-already-in-a-bad-situation looks on their faces. I’m like, “Jeez, someone had to say it.” Now they have seriously-you’re-so-dark looks on their faces. I tune out then. These people are too much. I’m watching the humans now. 

Tony says, “I think that’s enough ants. Let’s go back inside and water the ants.”

I take this as a big insult. We’re animals, not plants! We don’t need to be watered! But soon I see what he meant. He takes a dropper and squeezes water into the sand. Now the sand is nice and moist. I lick some of the drops of water. It tastes delicious. I’ve been thirsty for a few days. There’s only so much water on the front porch, where our anthill used to be. I don’t know. I could get used to this. 

One month later… 

Living in an ant farm is actually not bad. We get water every day and food every week. And not bad food, either. Yummy stuff like pizza cheese that’s still melty and honey nut granola. The water is always nice. There’s only been one crisis. 

Okay so — about a week into when we got into the ant farm Lucy said, “Daddy, they’re not tunnelling… I don’t like them!”

“Okay,” said Tony, “We can get new ants.”

I gasped — what were they going to do? My question was answered soon enough.

Tony said, “Let’s dump these out where we got them.”

“Okay!” said Lucy.

Luckily I heard them.

“Guys, start tunnelling!” I yelled.

Why?” asked Mya.

“Because, trust me, the humans are going to dump us out if you don’t.”

“Okay whatever,” they said.

“It’ll be something to do. We’re getting kind of bored.”

We started tunnelling as fast as we could. Actually, I was the only one really tunnelling because I was the only one that really cared. Fortunately our hard work paid off.

Lucy said, “Daddy, look! They’re tunnelling.”

Tony said, “Okay then, sweetheart, we don’t have to dump them out.”

Well, that was pretty much it for the crisis.

 Anyway, everything continued normally, pretty much. That is, until that one fateful day.

That day Lucy came downstairs from her bedroom crying. I wondered what had happened. Maybe Tony was getting remarried? But those weren’t happy tears.

“But Daddy, I want to keep them!”

Uh-oh. Is she talking about us?

“Honey, we’re moving.”

Wait — what?

“Your ants couldn’t possibly survive the drive.”

Wait — what? They’re moving and leaving us behind? This is horrible. 

“Like I said, we can leave them on a stoop sale and some other kid could take them.”

“But Daddy, I don’t want to move,” said Lucy.

“Yes, but we have to go today,” said Tony. “The rent is going up.” I’m devastated. Are they just going to leave us behind? This is horrible. “And we have to go today. I already ordered a moving truck.” Even worse! 

Even worse! I can’t leave her. It’s embarrassing to say, but I’ve really gotten attached to Lucy. And she’s gotten attached to us. I need to think. I really like Lucy. I can’t go with another kid. They might not give me pizza and granola. I’ve made up my mind. I’m going with them. But by now they’re getting in the truck. There’s nothing I can do… is there?

“Guys!” I say. “We have to go with them! We have to get out of here!”

“Why?” they ask.

“Because!” I sigh.

They will never understand me. I climb up and to the top of the ant farm, leaving them behind. In all the rush, Tony left the hatch open. I scamper out. By now the truck is pulling away. I can still make it! I run as fast as I can. It pays off. I grab onto a wheel and run up to the top. I jump up. I’m now on the big part of the truck. I run over to the window. It takes a long time. But thankfully Tony left it open. I climb in, unnoticed. I’m with Lucy, finally. 

The End