The Magdusa: Part I

Chapter 1

Eggs and Milk

Ryan got on his red bike as the sun was about to disappear behind the oak trees in the county of Watching, New Jersey. As Ryan looked around while he peddled his way home to his small house atop Yan Mountain, he spotted the usual warning sign about some creature that apparently roamed the Watching Reserve. Ryan thought these rumors were fake just like a regular person would believe that aliens don’t exist. The village drunk who was some man named John claimed that the creature was known as the Magdusa and was around 6 and a half feet tall. John also claimed that the Magdusa could lift 20 elephants with one arm. These rumors, Ryan thought, were the stupidest thing he’d ever heard, which was nearly as stupid as his annoying little sister. 

Ryan hit the brakes as he finally arrived at his tiny house which he was forced to live in with his Mom and She-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named, his little sister. Ryan hung up his red Adidas hoodie on the wall.

“Ryan, do you have the eggs and milk I told you to buy 6 hours ago?” said Ryan’s mom, Anna, in a surprisingly calm tone even though she told Ryan to come home about 5 hours ago with the groceries. 

“I have the stuff right here,” said Ryan, patting his jacket down. Ryan’s body tensed as he realized the impossible, he had left the eggs and milk at the reserve 5 hours ago when he was having Ryan & Ryan time.

“Ryan, where is the food?” said Anna, giving Ryan her infamous glare that could stop a car right in its tracks.

Chapter 2

A Monster

Ryan sulked out of the house as he trudged over to his bike, his mind replaying the scene 5 minutes ago: his mom giving him hell on earth for being “lazy and selfish” for forgetting easily replaceable foods at the reserve. 

Instead of just sending Ryan out to the grocery store the next day when it was open, Anna decided to send Ryan back to the reserve to retrieve the groceries. Ryan grumbled while he rode his bike down the steep roads of Yan Mountain. Even though Ryan was forced to go to the reserve in the pitch-black night, Ryan wasn’t scared at all. Besides, for his 10th birthday a year ago, he got headlights installed on his bike. He also had asked for a dirt bike but Anna said, It cost too much and you have to earn it

The wind whistled behind Ryan’s ears as he picked up speed on a slope edging towards the end of the mountain.*CRASH* Ryan’s heart skipped a beat as he was thrown off his bike and onto the hard concrete of the road. Ryan felt the trickle of blood as his nose was bleeding. Ryan saw his bike’s headlights shine on a figure whose back was facing Ryan. The figure made a jerking motion as it smashed its fist into Ryan’s bike and the headlights broke, turning the road pitch black. Ryan’s heart was beating a gazillion times a millisecond as the figure, who Ryan assumed was the Magdusa, sniffed the air and walked towards Ryan’s direction. Ryan froze as the Magdusa came closer and closer to where Ryan was lying on his butt. In the dark, Ryan could make out bright green eyes that resembled emeralds as the Magdusa loomed over Ryan who was about 4 feet away. Suddenly, Ryan grasped his senses back from where they had wandered off to and made a run for his life. The Magdusa swiftly changed direction and stomped towards Ryan, as its footsteps could be heard from thousands of miles away. The wounded Ryan immediately sped up to the point where he felt like the Flash as the Magdusa suddenly stopped and sprinted down the mountain. Ryan didn’t stop sprinting until he spotted the light of his house. Ryan slammed the door shut then rushed upstairs to his tiny bedroom.

Chapter 3

Breakfast With Maggie 

Ryan woke up the next morning with a splitting headache. He had dreamed that he had been eaten and swallowed by the treacherous Magdusa. Ryan had never believed that the Magdusa prowled the forest until now. The stairs creaked as Ryan trotted downstairs to smell that Anna had prepared a delicious breakfast which in his household was a medium-sized plate of porridge and a glass of milk, but Ryan never drank the milk and immediately closed up his nostrils as Maggie drained her glass of milk in one large gulp. 

“Good morning,” said Ryan to Anna as he let out a long yawn.

“Hello, brother, it’s 10:00 A.M. and you were supposed to get your behind out and over to breakfast 2 hours ago and I already ate and drank your porridge and milk,” sneered Maggie. Ryan groaned as he sat down far away from Maggie at the wooden, 4 seat table. “Why so far away loser, scared?” taunted Maggie with a sneer on her ugly face which other people thought was very pretty.

“Leave me alone,” grunted Ryan as he got up from his seat and prepared to change and go biking back to the reserve. Ryan walked towards Maggie’s direction as he prepared to make a dash upstairs to avoid making eye contact with Maggie, then something caught Ryan’s eye. He had never really noticed how green Maggie’s eyes were. Today, Ryan wondered why her eyes seemed so familiar.

Chapter 4

Johnathan Or John

After, Ryan changed into his average look of navy blue sweatpants and a classic red Adidas hoodie, which only he knew had stains from a bloody nose that were otherwise unrecognizable due to his red hoodie but could be smelled if you were wearing it. Ryan knew Anna was still pissed at him for losing the food so Ryan was forced to bike all the way back to the Watchung Reserve’s millions of miles of lush greenery (The Watchung Reservation is actually 3.039 square miles). 

Ryan trotted outside and realized that his bike was destroyed from the incident last night with the Magdusa. It’s going to take hours and hours and hours of walking to get to the reserve, thought Ryan (the actual walk is around an hour and twenty-five minutes). Then, Ryan had an evil but brilliant idea, he was going to steal Maggie’s bike and use it to get to the reserve. 

Ryan sped down the mountain then came to a sudden stop. There was a gaping hole in the middle of the road, and in the middle was Ryan’s bike, perfectly fine as though nothing had happened. This was, of course, a shock for Ryan who was just replaying the incident last night in his head, his bike destroyed by the Magdusa. Ryan thought for a second then shrugged. He figured that must have just been daydreaming and that there was no way the Magdusa actually existed.

After dropping Maggie’s bike on the greenery beside the road next to the mysterious house 1313, which was the only house he actually recognized on Yan Mountain besides his own. There were a few things that made house 1313 so mysterious and creepy. The first thing was that nobody knew who lived in the house; the second thing was that the house looked very worn out and thousands of years old and Ryan knew that a serial killer was definitely a threat but it was extremely unclear if this house was a threat but Ryan was most certain that it was a threat.

“Okay, here I go,” said Ryan to himself. Ryan furiously peddled down the mountains for he had just wasted 10 minutes stealing his sister’s bike, thinking about his own bike, finding his bike, and staring at house 1313. The bike skidded to a stop as Ryan reached the end of the mountain. Ryan wiped some sweat off his forehead as he watched cars speeding past him, he knew he had to be precise to get past the river of cars in front of him. The cars continued to speed past Ryan as he waited for the exact moment a gap would appear between the two lanes of vehicles, the opportunity came and Ryan didn’t waste it and immediately peddled as fast as his legs could through the rare gap between the lanes of cars. “Well, I’m finally here,” said Ryan with a breath of relief as he stood in front of the gates of the Watchung Reserve. Now, all Ryan had to do was pay to get in and search millions of miles for a carton of eggs and a container of milk.

Ryan sighed as he got in a line for the reserve which was smaller than usual. Ryan looked around and he saw the usual 20 dollars = adult, 15 dollars = child. He reached into his pocket and pulled out the dirtiest five and ten dollar bills he’d ever seen, there was some blood and many creases on both bills. Once it was Ryan’s turn to pay to get in the Watchung Reserve. “30 dollars, please,” said the cashier, whose name tag said James Raskolnikov, he looked fresh out of college.

“What?” said Ryan, looking confused.

“I said, 30 dollars, please. If you’re deaf, then go to the visitors center for some help,” responded James in a rude tone.

“But the sign says 15 dollars = child,” said Ryan.

“Well, I guess you didn’t read the other sign. It says bike or any other vehicle = 15 dollars,” said James with a smug look on his face. Inside Ryan’s head, he thought, Man, this kid is a stupidly bad liar. I’ve been coming here for half of my life and I have never seen any sign like that. But Ryan knew he had to pay the 30 dollars which meant his snack money would now be no more. 

“Okay,” grumbled Ryan as he took out 2 crumbled dollar bills and gave them to James.

“Thank you, sir,” said James. Ryan hopped on his bike, while he was riding away he heard James shout, “Next!”

Ryan knew the eggs and milk could be anywhere throughout the forest so he decided to try and remember where he had put them to go… ugh, Ryan had forgotten what he had done after he had set the eggs and milk down on a log. Now Ryan was doubting he even bought eggs and milk. That gave Ryan an idea, a good one, too. Ryan’s idea was he could go to the store to buy doubles of the eggs and milk, then Ryan remembered his “snack money” was actually the money he could’ve used to buy the doubles of eggs and milk. 

“Well, there goes my idea,” said Ryan to a tree. Ryan imagined the tree saying back, 

“You deserved it,” with a mean face that somehow resembled Anna’s. Ryan hopped back on his bike and rode off. 

Suddenly, Ryan stopped to see a raggedy old man, eating raw eggs and milk while sitting on a tree stump. Ryan looked carefully at the food and immediately realized that the old man, who probably couldn’t afford to get in the reserve, was gobbling his family’s food.

“Old man, where did you get that food?” asked Ryan, who was trying not to lose his temper.

“Well, if you want some, there’s plenty to go around, Ryan,” said the old man, smiling with his teeth all dark yellow.

“Wait, how do you know my name?” said Ryan suspiciously.

“I know a lot of things, Ryan,” said the old man with a wink.

“What’s your name?” asked Ryan, who was already creeped out by the fact that this old man knew his name.

“Johnathan, but you can call me John,” said Johnathan or John with a smile. Ryan suddenly asked a question he’d been meaning to ask ever since he’d known the old man he was currently talking to was the village drunk.

“John, can you tell me about the Magdusa?” asked Ryan curiously.

“Sure,” said John.

 Chapter 5

Information From John

John moved the eggs and milk next to the tree stump as he prepared to tell Ryan all about the Magdusa. 

“So Ryan, what do you want to know about the Magdusa?” asked the old man looking Ryan right in the eye.

“Uhhhh, everything you know, sir,” said Ryan who was shifting uncomfortably on his tree stump.

“Very well then,” said the old man.

“Well, okay then,” said Ryan with a fake smile plastered on his face.

“The Magdusa is believed to be 20 feet tall but I believe it is 6 foot 5 inches (6’ 5”) tall. Any questions?” asked John.

“If the Magdusa is that big, how come no one has seen it?” said Ryan.

“Well, many believe the Magdusa can turn any person it looks at into a food of its choice, but I believe the Magdusa turns into a human during daylight and into its monster form when the sun sets,” said John.

“But how does the Magdusa turn into its monster form without being seen by people?” said Ryan who was beginning to feel suspicious about John’s knowledge about this strange creature. 

“That is where the Watchung Reservation comes in, child. When it is night, the Magdusa goes into the forest and transforms into its monster form,” said John.

“But what if the Magdusa is seen by a person?” asked Ryan.

“The Magdusa won’t be seen because it always waits for people to fall asleep, then it comes out,” said John.

“But doesn’t the Magdusa eat humans? So how does the Magdusa eat humans when it waits for everyone to be asleep?” asked Ryan.

“If somebody sees the Magdusa in its monster form, it will hunt the person down and kill them,” said John.

The Importance of Art

Many people in this world do not have the privilege to make and create types of art at school. When you are doing art, time may fly by, but during the time that you are creating the art, your head can relax and calm down. During that time, nothing matters more than you and creating the art. Art may take up a lot of time, but when you get good at art, it is fun for you and will make you happy. Today, I am going to be talking about art, and how it helps people with their mental health, and why principals should provide fun art-related programs for their students to help them learn.

One reason why schools should have art programs is because art lets people be as creative as they want. Everybody’s artwork will be different, for art is one of the only classes that has a special feature. Even if you are following a set of steps, when you are coloring, or decorating your drawing, they will be different. Also, art is no competition, you can take as long as you want to finish a piece of artwork. It may take a few weeks, and those weeks may turn into months, and maybe even into years! It doesn’t matter how long it took you to draw your artwork, all that matters is what it turned into, and how much you like it. It is scientifically proven that when you are creating art, it makes you happier, and who doesn’t want to be happy?

The next reason why is because most people get stressed out after classes. If you are in a class that is very challenging for you, then you have to have a break, even if you don’t have art classes, you can bring a notepad and pencil to school, and even if you’re not good at drawing, you can still just start drawing random lines and let all you tension out. 5th grader Anna states, “Art is important in school because you have time to let your creative self shine out, it is also very fun to do art because most kids enjoy art. Lastly, you need to have a break from your brain because most classes there is a procedure you need to follow but in art, there is no specific rule, basically, you can do anything you want.” I 100% agree with Anna.

The last reason is that art makes you persevere. When you mess up, you have to restart and try a new tactic. This may help you with other work, like math, if you are trying a math problem, but you get the answer wrong, art may encourage you to retry and be patient. 4th Grader Sarah says, “I love to do art, and sometimes if I am doing homework and it gets kinda hard and I get stuck, I take a little break and do some sketching for art. It helps me relax and after ten minutes I try and go back to do my homework, and it makes me feel better doing it.” And once again, I agree with you, Sarah.

Art makes you persevere, be as creative as you want, and makes you happier. These are three out of the many reasons why you should create art. Even if you’re not good at it, try art if you have these problems. Art will make you proud of your artwork, just wait until you see it!

3 Seconds of Paranoia

Item: SCP-5327

Object Class: Euclid

Special Containment Procedures: No current containment procedures for SCP-5327 have been developed yet due to its unknown nature. Ideas have been left open for interpretation.

Description: SCP-5327 is a 3 second period in time where everything momentarily stops. All life ceases on Earth. The 3-second interval may or may not have happened already. There is no current way of telling how many times SCP-5327 has occurred, or when. Anyone that experiences SCP-5327’s effects soon forgets that it ever happened. Alongside forgetting SCP-5327’s events, the world seems to change every time SCP-5327 occurs. Records of anger before an SCP-5327 manifestation seemingly transpire after SCP-5327’s effects cease.

Addendum-5327-01: The following recording is a transcripted video of someone who claims to be Drew [REDACTED] poorly explaining an SCP-5327 manifestation. Apparently, he is the only current human to remember the effects of SCP-5327. He is currently being held in Site-49.

Video Begins: Heavy panting can be heard.

[00:30] I’m recording this because something just happened. Something really weird that I don’t even know that if I can explain — I don’t know if I can explain it.

[00:50] Time —

Long pause.

[01:46] Time just —

A second long pause.

[03:09] Time just froze. Or something — I don’t — I don’t — … How? I don’t know, nothing makes sense right now. I was feeling happy just a moment ago, but now I feel stressed and scared. I feel scared to move. I need —

Another long pause.

[05:34] I need help! Am I going insane?! The bird stopped in midair, midair! Midair! Midair!

Voice continues to grow louder.

[06:20] Midair! HOW DO — Freezing in midair is normal. This is normal. Well, I’m going insane. Help. I f — Feel — Midair! Midair! Fine — Freeze — I was happy, Freeze! Midair! Midair! Freezing in midair is normal. Midair! HOW DO — Freezing in midair is normal. This is normal. Well, I’m going insane. Help. I f — Feel — Midair! Midair! Fine — Freeze — I was happy, Freeze! Midair! Midair! Freezing in midair is normal. Midair! HOW DO — Freezing in midair is normal. This is normal. Well, I’m going insane. Help. I f — Feel — Midair! Midair! Fine – Freeze — I was happy, Freeze! Midair! Midair! Freezing in midair is normal. Midair! HOW DO — Freezing in midair is normal. This is normal. Well, I’m going insane. Help. I f — Feel — Midair! Midair! Fine — Freeze — I was happy, Freeze! Midair! Midair! Freezing in midair is normal. Midair! HOW DO — Freezing in midair is normal. This is normal. Well, I’m going insane. Help. I f — Feel — Midair! Midair! Fine — Freeze — I was happy, Freeze! Midair! Midair! Freezing in midair is normal.

Voice continues to go into nonsensical babble throughout the rest of the recording. Other voices can be heard in the background.

end tape

Addendum-5327-02: The following recording is a transcripted video from Site-49. Drew [REDACTED] is being held for an interview by Dr. Fent.

video begins.

Dr. Fent: Drew [REDACTED]. You have witnessed a manifestation of SCP-5327 before. We need you to describe that exact manifestation so we can analyze it better.

Drew [REDACTED]: I — I —

Officer Temmy: D-2911, if you do not respond, you will be terminated.

Dr. Fent: Give him time to recover, we can come back to this interview later if that is okay with you, Drew.

Drew [REDACTED]: I — I —

Dr. Fent: Terminate this interview.

video ends.

Attempt 2-5327-Witness-Communication:

video begins.

Dr. Fent: I’ll say this again, we need you to describe the SCP-5327 manifestation that you witnessed. If you do so, we might let you have a normal life again with class-c amnestics.

Drew [REDACTED]: I… I… Need more time…

Dr. Fent: D-2911, you have been given multiple weeks to recover. If you do not respond, you will be killed.

Drew [REDACTED]: I… OKAY! I was walking back to my house in Massachusetts, and then I froze. This would be normal. It would seem like I was in a sudden shock. But everything! Everything around me froze! The bird!! —

Dr. Fent: Calm down…

Drew [REDACTED]: Then there was this man… He looked like he was made out of galaxies. It was cool at the moment, but looking back… What the hell was that!?!

Dr. Fent: That’s what we’re trying to figure out. And what you are not allowed to know. Please continue.

Drew [REDACTED]: He… It touched me on the shoulder… And I started to record a video… And, I don’t even know if this is real anymore. I may have just gone insane.

Dr. Fent: We scanned your brain. It happened.

Drew [REDACTED]: I don’t have anything else to say…

Dr. Fent: Thank you. We can terminate this interview now.

video ends.

Extra Notes: Who is this person? – Dr. Fent.

Hello, Dr. Fent! You are the owner of this file. Would you like to edit anything?


Access Granted! HAGD!

“Hello, this is Dr. Fent writing. Um… I’m putting this at the end of the file to say that I don’t fully understand this anomaly.

Normally, I’m on top of things, but this is just confusing.

The person that D-2911 described… I don’t understand it. There’s some information that’s being blocked out. That I can’t see.

Probably the only people who have access to the higher information is the O5-Council.

Unfortunately, I don’t have any more information regarding SCP-5327. I can’t find any other information that could be of use, and even if I did, it’s probably going to be the death of me.

One day, I hope this gets revealed.

Because I feel that this is more than 3 seconds of paranoia and pause.”


Good man, Dr. Fent. He knows when to chicken. – O5-12.

Hello, O5-12. Would you like to access file 5327-O5?


Please enter passcode.


Access Denied. Impersonating an O5 Council member will be a cause for termination. Please enter code to cancel MTF deployment at your location.

Now is the time for all good men to come to the aid of their party. I^H Because I would not stop for death he ^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H Death he kindly stopped for me. Red Sky in Morning Sailor take e^H wArning.

Access Granted. MTF deployment has been terminated.


Access Granted. Accessing FILE 5327-O5…

[UNKNOWN]: You wanted to talk to me?

[REDACTED]: If it’s the death of me. I want to understand.

[UNKNOWN]: Understand what part of what I do?

[REDACTED]: Why do you freeze time for three seconds rapidly?

[UNKNOWN]: So you have seen through those.

[REDACTED]: Why do you do it?

[UNKNOWN]: I’m saving you. Saving you from what you should fear most. The end of humanity. I don’t know if that’s a top priority, but I am trying to contain this… this… this beast that could rip apart everything. I have been constantly trying to discover new ways to keep it contained, and by pausing time shortly, it seems to have an effect.

[REDACTED]: Could you explain more about this anomaly?

[UNKNOWN]: I don’t think so. This is because you can’t see it. It exists, but it’s invisible to the naked eye. The best description I can give you is that it’s a terrorist atom. It has grown bigger over the years to the point where it’s feeding off of some nearby galaxies. I don’t know how much longer I can keep doing this though. As I said, I’m constantly developing new ways to deal with the threats it brings. It seems to adapt to whatever I attempt.

[REDACTED]: Well… Just know… You have full support from us and the GOC. We are working together to help with your cause.

[UNKNOWN]: Thank you. Goodbye, O5-1. I hope to see each other soon.

[REDACTED]: Same here.


Finding Your Place

Amee is just an average teenage girl moving to Scranton PA from L.A. she has never fit in anywhere… or so she thought.

When she moves to Scranton PA, she finds friends, and apparently enemies.

The question is…

How can she stay together when everything is collapsing around her? 

 Finding Your Place

Prologue – Amee

I walk home from Westlake and try to open the wooden door to our house, but it won’t open.  I roll my eyes at the dark, wooden house with bright windows and big flowers and jiggle my key into the lock. I open the door and it loudly slams behind me. It smells like toast. I flip the lights on and grab a snack from the silver fridge. The dark brown chair screeches on the wood as I sit down to do my homework. After a while, my Math, History, and Art homework are done. I’m just about to reach into my bag for my Science stuff when I hear the door creak open and the strong sound of my dad’s boots clumping around the house, calling my name. I call back and he pulls a chair next to me. 

“Hey, sweetie,” he says, his deep, inviting voice grumbling with bad news. 

“Hi, Dad,” I answer. “You told me you wanted to tell me something?” 

He sighs and nods. “Um, yeah. Listen, Amee. We’re moving. We both know this is not the right place for us.” 

My lips quiver and my eyes quickly fill with tears. “Where are we moving?” 

He winces. “Scranton.” 

I gasp and a hand flies to my mouth. “That’s halfway across the country! Are you guys insane? What about me? What about my friends?” I stop. Tears escape my eyes and they quickly change to sobs. 

“Amee — ” he starts, but I push his words away and flee to my room. 

Chapter 1 – Amee

The Beginning 

“Hi. My name is Amee and I just moved here from L.A.,” I say from the front of the room. I hear mutters and whispers and I shiver. I hate muttering. 

“Why did you move in the middle of the year?” one girl with light blonde hair, tan skin, and deep green eyes asks. 

“Oh, um… ” I don’t think I’m ready to share that yet. I give a look to the teacher and, thankfully, she sees it. I walk back to my desk quietly and pull the chair out. It makes a shriek and I cringe. Everybody looks at me and I shrink in my t-shirt. 

I remember the look on my face when I got the news. I remember the gut punch when I was told. And mostly, I remember wondering why this all happened. 

We were moving to Pennsylvania. I didn’t understand! We had everything we needed right there in L.A.! But deep down, I had always felt out of place in L.A. No one ever talked to me and I felt like I didn’t fit in anywhere. I can’t believe I broke a mirror over that horrid hole of judgments. It was home though. I don’t know where my home is. 

My eyes focus on the classroom and I push thoughts of L.A. out of my mind. I live in Scranton now! I am happy! I am! I am. I shake my head as if to shake my thoughts away from my brain. I look around my classroom and eye the people in it. The group in the front row look as though they are in paradise. Their full attention is placed on the teacher as their eyes shift nervously from the board to their papers as they pen furiously to get everything down on the sheets. The group in the back looks as though they’re going to die. They all sneak-text under their desks and look everywhere but the teacher. And then there is me. Me, as in my own group, as in the only person who doesn’t fit in.  

After school, I walk home, dragging my feet. When I get home, I let myself in like I always did in L.A. I smile slightly and click the door open. The house is dark and I’m alone. As always. I run-up to my room, slam the door, and flop on my bed. Who am I? Do I fit in anywhere? 

Chapter 2 – Elizabeth

The Beginning, Pt 2 

“Hi, my name is Amee and I just moved here from L.A.,” says a girl with pale, porcelain skin, deep dark blue eyes, and hair so dark brown, you’d think it was black. Cool! L.A.! How about that, huh? I call out and ask why she moved here in the middle of the year.! Her eyes well up and she gives the teacher a look. Whoops. I quiet down and try to make eye contact with Nat. Natalie has been my friend since Kindergarten and she’s the closest friend I have. She stares at me fiercely and throws me a note. 

It says:

Liz – OMG! What the heck why did u ask that? You OBVIOUSLY made her sad! So confused. I like her so far! She looks nice!- Nat

I roll my eyes and scribble on the back of the page. 

Nat – Ugh I didn’t mean to! I just asked a question! You know how honest I am! Whatever. I like her, too! We should talk to her at lunch. – LIZZE♡♡

I focus my eyes back onto the teacher, and then it’s lunch. 

Natalie sees me in the cafeteria and waves me over but I go towards Amee. “Hi!” I say. 

“Um… hi,” she says quietly. WOW. She is shy. Whatever. I don’t mind. We talk and laugh for the rest of lunch, and when I go home, I think I might’ve made a new friend today!

Chapter 3 – Amee

Fitting In

When I get ready for school on Monday, I am nervous. This is my first full week at my new school and I don’t know if I even like it here in Scranton. My feet shriek on the tiled floor as I sulkily grab a piece of toast. 

A little voice in my brain:

What are you doing? 

A little voice in my brain:

You don’t belong


I do belong

A little voice in my brain:

What are you talking about? You don’t fit in anywhere


I do fit in

The voice gets quieter.

And quieter.

I belong here. 

When I get to school, I am a little bit more confident but not by much. I walk into the classroom and everyone looks at me. Definitely not by much. A girl waves at me to come and sit next to her, and I get confused. Is it me she’s waving to? I look behind me, but I don’t see anyone. A warm sensation jolts through my body as I happily trot over. My eyes light up as I think, Ha! Told you! I do fit in! But then I see another girl. Walking towards the desk.

She sits down. 

I stop right in my tracks. The warm feeling turns to ice as I realize I don’t have anything.


No one.



What do I have to believe in? What? I sit down at a random desk and suddenly a note flies at my face and hits me smack in the nose. 

Dear Amee, 

Hi! It’s Elizabeth. Um I just wanted to say that you can TOTALLY sit with me and my friends at lunch again if you want to. No worries if you don’t want to, but we’d love it if you came! 

Xoxo Elizabeth 🙂 

I have that. I have that note to believe in. You will see me at lunch, Elizabeth! You can believe in that. 

Chapter 4 – Elizabeth

It Hurts 

When I come to school, I immediately plop my bag on the desk next to Nat and scribble a note to her on a piece of paper. 

Nat – 

I’m going to ask Amee to sit with us again, is that ok? Just wanted to make sure. 

Xoxo Liz

I see her brush off the back of the page and start writing while the teacher walks in and uncaps a whiteboard marker. 


Ummmm ok sure.

Xoxoxox NAT ;-D

Awesome! I rip a piece off the paper Nat and I were writing on and scribble a note. I fold the torn edges together and throw it at Amee, careful that the teacher is looking away so he won’t see me. It hits her smack in the nose and I wince. That’s gotta hurt. Luckily, the note drops in her black leggings after sliding down her green tee. She reads it and smiles slightly, nods in my direction, and focuses back on Mr. Frora. My eyes focus on Nat, and she senses my stare and turns towards me. Finally! I give her a thumbs up and suddenly the bell rings and I curse silently. Ugh, I totally spaced out! Darn it. Nothing I can do now. I grab my marble print bag and sling it across my shoulder. Amee meets up with me on the way to English and we make small talk.

Eventually, we go our separate ways; she has Math. When I get to the English room, Nat sits down and I see Faith walk briskly to get to the seat next to her.  Not so fast! I cut her off and slide into the empty chair as Faith slumps and plops into the seat behind her. I grin and make small talk with Nat as Faith desperately tries to be part of the conversation. 

“OMG, I love that show!” Nat exclaims when I bring up “The Office.” As we move onto the topic of pizza, Faith smiles like she’s hearing us as if we were on FaceTime and she was having bad internet. 

“I know, me too! Dwight is definitely my favorite character! So funny, am I right?” Nat and I stare. 

“We finished talking about that like so long ago.” Nat rolls her eyes and THANK GOD the English teacher walks in and everybody quiets down.

After English, it’s time for lunch (finally!!) and I walk to lunch and meet up with Amee. “Thanks for letting me sit with you,” she says breathlessly. 

“No problem!” I say as Natalie and Faith come up behind me. Faith links arms with Nat and links arms with me and starts walking towards the cafeteria, leaving Amee behind. I nudge Nat and jerk my head towards Amee. She nods, her eyes say, Ok fine, and pulls away from the chain, and I follow suit. Faith frowns and stops in her tracks as we link arms with Amee instead. Faith rolls her eyes and links arms with Amee, finishing the chain. She grins mischievously and digs her nails into Amee’s elbow. She yelps in pain and Faith pushes her away from the chain and links with Nat again. 

“Come on, New Girl!” she rolls her eyes. “Keep up!” As Faith pulls Nat and me towards our lunch table, I look back helplessly. I turn towards Nat, but instead of her sharing my concerns, she stifles a laugh, and Faith grins at her. Amee gets up and I see three scratches on the inside of her elbow. She gathers the stuff that fell out of her ombre white-to-purple backpack and walks confidently towards an empty table, but I can see the clear, salty tears forming in her eyes. 

Chapter 5 – Amee


Dear Amee, 

I am soooooo sorry! Do you want to sit with us tomorrow and talk?

Xoxo Elizabeth


HAHAHAHAHAHAH no. NO WAY. I am not going to “sit and talk with you” just to get completely embarrassed again. Again, NO WAY. I can’t believe I ever thought you were going to ACTUALLY be nice to me. 

  • Amee

I should’ve known. It was obvious. No one wants to be friends with me. I am the laughingstock of Oak Hills Elementary. I am finished! I am toast! Burnt, dead black, non-buttered toast! I walk out of lunch with my eyes red and my scratches even redder. I rub my eyelashes and wipe my cheeks. My schedule flutters off my locker wall and I see which period is next. Oh god. I have History, but that’s not the worst part. It’s with Elizabeth. And Faith. (And a few other people, obviously.) How am I going to get through this? No no no. this is not how I want it to be. I’ll be fine on my own. I can do this. I CAN do this. Can I?

As I walk into History with Gabi, I see Elizabeth sitting with Natalie as Faith talks to them, laughing, talking, and hurting my heart.

Chapter 6 – Elizabeth

Figuring It Out

Ok, am I allowed to be confused here? Nat seemed to like Amee in the notes that we wrote…

Unless she didn’t.

I quickly tell Nat and Faith I need to go to the bathroom, and when I get to the bright pink room (so sexist, by the way. Pretty sure the boys’ bathroom is blue). Anyway, I push the door open and immediately riffle through my backpack. I finally find a tiny gold bag with all of my notes since kindergarten in it. I quickly sort through the notes and find the ones that Nat wrote most recently. The words sure, and fine flash before my eyes and I realize she doesn’t like her! Obviously, DUH. How couldn’t I have noticed that before? I bolt out of the restroom before anyone sees me. As I walk out of the restroom and into the cafeteria, I try to make eye contact with Amee, but her head is down and she is nibbling chips while reading a book with a dark maroon cover.  I tried, at least, I thought. Nat waved me over and I plopped my lunch consisting of a hamburger, fries, and an apple. I bite into the soft bread and chew on the juicy meat. 

“Was that funny or what?” Faith asks as Nat smiles softly and laughs and reaches further into her sparkly lunch bag for the chocolate chip cookie she gets every day. “Ha, she deserved it,” Faith says immediately with a full mouth of cheese sandwich. Faith looks into my eyes and grins mischievously and I watch the corner of her eye follow Amee to our table. 

“Didn’t she, Lizzie?” Nat looks at me pointedly and I start to sweat. 

“Oh yeah, it was hilarious. You should do more. She totally deserves it.” 

Faith laughs and Nat sighs, relieved, and smiles to herself, but I feel terrible. 

When I get back to class, I write Amee a note and she responds totally meanly. I am so mad. But she still didn’t deserve those three red scratches. 

As I walk into History, Faith sits in the chair next to Nat before I can slide in. No biggie. The seat on the other side of her is open. Faith looks towards the door and I see Amee walk in. 

“Oh hi, New Girl,” Faith smirks. Everyone laughs and Amee’s face reddens. I feel bad, but I have to play along. Faith and Natalie are popular. They would make sure I had the worst rest of the school year ever if I defended Amee. “Why did you come here anyway?” Faith studies Amee’s watery eyes. Faith’s glare pierces Amee’s confidence and she runs out of the classroom. Nat covers her hands over her mouth and I can’t believe I was ever friends with these people. But, who else do I have? 

Chapter 6.5 – Amee                         

Faith glares at me and I stare at everybody looking at me in horror and literally run to the bathroom. Everything I’d hoped for was gone, flushed down the toilet of the stall I was hiding in. This is terrible! I sat and cried for a second, just flushed it all out. (No pun intended). I have had the worst day ever. Will Faith and Natalie ever leave me alone? Either way, I walk back slowly to History and inwardly vow I will not let Faith or Natalie bring me down. As soon as I walk in, though, I see Faith whisper something to Natalie, and they both laugh. I feel myself sinking lower and lower in my chair. So much for my vow. 

I disappointed myself. 

Chapter 7 – Elizabeth

Acting Out

As Amee slides down lower into her chair, I slide right along with her. Why did I let this happen? I can’t act like a baby anymore, I have to stand up for myself! And Amee! As we walk out of History class, Faith gets a mischievous glint in her eye and I smile. Perfect. Faith opens her mouth, and before she can say anything, I jump in. 

“You know what, Faith, before you open your big mouth again, let me give you a little news flash. If you think Amee will never belong, well guess what? You’re wrong! In fact, you are the furthest from right as you could ever get! We were all new kids, right? Well, look at us now! We belong. Amee is not different. Even if she doesn’t feel like she belongs right now, she will belong. Just like we all did. Amee is a kind and beautiful person inside and out. You might be pretty on the outside, but if you keep acting this way to my friend, you will always be ugly on the inside.” 

Faith stands there, shocked. Natalie flees to the bathroom, and I think I can make out tears streaming down her face. She started crying when I said the words “my friend.” Weird. Faith stutters and tries to make a comeback but all I do is walk away, feeling freer than I have in weeks. 

I really hope they will leave her alone. 

Amee walks up to me after my whole… conversation with Faith and smiles. “Thanks,” she says. 

“No problem.” I smile back. We talk and I feel like things are mended. Little do I know what Nat — er — I mean — Natalie, has up her sleeve. 

I see Natalie and Faith smile at each other wickedly as I stand up to get new paints, and when I turn back, Amee’s painting is splattered with water and they dumped out my cup. I pick it up to get new water, and at that exact moment, Amee decides to walk through the door and sees me, her painting, and the empty water cup in my hand. 

“What did you do!” Amee yells. Natalie points at me and says,

“Elizabeth dumped her water cup on your painting!” Amee opens her mouth in horror and turns towards me. 

“How could you!” her eyes water and she flees the room’s hot stares. 

Chapter  8 – Natalie


Hi. I’m Natalie. I know you’re probably wondering why I’m so mean to Amee, and I would be too. I don’t know why Faith is mean to her, but I know my reason. You should probably know the backstory first. 

Elizabeth and I have been friends for as long as I can remember. All through Kindergarten, 1st grade, 2nd grade, 3rd grade, up till now, it’s always been “Elizabeth and Natalie”! Well, then Faith came, and then we were a threesome. I was fine with the duo though. Elizabeth was the first friend I’d ever had, and the best. I could tell her anything and she wouldn’t judge me. I felt safe with her. Then, Amee came and Elizabeth really liked her. She distanced herself from me more and more and I was scared. I didn’t want to lose her as a friend and I think I’ve already lost her. It might be too late but I have to try. She was the best friend I’d ever had and I’m not about to lose that over my pride. I have to fix things. 

Today is a fresh new day and I’m ready. I can do it! I plan to take out my phone and send her a text. It says:

Hey, Elizabeth. I know you’re probably still mad at me and I know it’s really weird that I’m not talking in text language but this is important. I miss you, Elizabeth. And I know that you probably don’t want to talk right now but I had to say it. The reason I was mean to Amee is because I was scared that I’d lose you. You are, or were, I guess, my best friend. And I get it if you can’t forgive me right now, or ever. But I just wanted you to know that. Love you. 

Wow. That is the longest text I’ve ever written. All I have to do now is press send. Just press send, Natalie, I say to myself. But I — I — I can’t. It’s too scary. I just have to do it. I press on the blue arrow and the message pops up in blue on my screen. Message sent, it says. Oooooohmigosh. I can’t believe I just did that. My heart is pounding harder than it ever has before. I literally RUN to school to see how Elizabeth reacts to my text. All of a sudden, my phone rings. I shut my eyes tightly and slowly take my phone out of my back pocket. I open one eye slightly to see who it is, and it’s Elizabeth. I slide to answer, relieved, but I’m not ready for what happens next. 

I hold the phone up to my ear and hear her say hi. “Hi, Elizabeth,” I say softly back.

“Hey, Natalie,” she sighs. 

“Did you get my text?” I speak into the phone. 

“Um, yeah,” she says and I hold my breath, waiting for an answer. Everything is silent around me, and it’s just me and her, breathing heavily and waiting. She takes a breath and starts talking. “Look. I know you meant well when you sent that text, and I get that you were scared. I really do. But, what you did was not right, and I just don’t know if I can forgive you yet. I just need a little time, Natalie,” she confesses. “I’m not ready.” 

Silent tears fall down my face and slip down onto my sneakers. “Oh, um, ok,” I say, my voice breaking. “I totally get it.” I brush tears off my face yet they still find a way to come back, salty and sad. I hang up, and it’s almost like I’m hanging up on our friendship completely. I am too late. I was trying to protect our friendship, but it seems like I’ve only made things worse. I lost her. 

As I walk to school, I try to make my eyes less red than they actually are. As soon as I get to school, Faith comes up to me and waves. I don’t wave back, but just keep walking. “Hey, hey, wait up!” Faith yells, but I shake my head. 

“No, Faith. I will not wait up. I need a break. Bye” Faith stands there looking confused and angry. I sigh. What am I going to do without Elizabeth by my side like she always was?

Chapter 9 – Faith


“No, Faith. I will not wait up. I need a break. Bye.” Natalie walks away as I get confused. What did I do wrong? I don’t know. 

Look. I know I was mean to Amee, but there’s a reason. Duh. I’m not cruel. Well, I was. I was just jealous. Amee was getting all the attention and Elizabeth and Natalie liked her, and being mean was just a defense mechanism. So yeah. That’s my story. I’ll stop, but everybody just has to leave me alone. I walk into school and see Elizabeth and Amee talking, probably making up from the fight about the prank Natalie and I pulled. I see Natalie up ahead talking to some random girl and then it hits me. I have no one. I’d always thought I’d have Natalie and Elizabeth forever. We would stick with each other through thick and thin. But now, who do I have? 

Chapter 10 – Amee


I can’t believe Elizabeth would do that to me. After all we’ve been through, she just goes back to Natalie and Faith and doesn’t even care about me. My feelings. I mean, I know she has been friends with her for much longer but after they were so mean to me for no reason? But, what if it wasn’t her fault? Natalie and Faith were giggling and Elizabeth looked sad and apologetic. I need to talk to her. I call her and she is sniffling into the phone when she picks up.

“Everything okay, Liz?” I ask. And then it hits me. I think she noticed it too. That’s the first time I’ve called her Liz before. I can’t believe I did it so normally, like she was a friend! I could hear her smile through the phone as she said, 

“I’m okay now.” My face breaks into a smile and suddenly, I feel like I had a friend. 

“So, um, what happened?” I prod. 

“Oh, nothing. See you at school, Amee!” She pushes the question away, says goodbye, then hangs up. I’m confused. Is there something she doesn’t want to tell me? I get dressed in a short maroon skirt, a loose purple blouse, and slip-on black ankle boots. I grab my backpack and slam the door as I’m walking out. My mom opens the door again and smiles at me. 

“Have a good day, sweetie!” I shrug. 

“Love you, Mom!” I say and wave as I walk away. 

When I get to school, I spot Natalie and Faith talking and quickly put my head down. Natalie says something and then walks away and Faith just stands there. I look around and I see Elizabeth leaning on a pillar with her head in her hands. She looks confused and stressed. I wonder what’s wrong. I walk over to talk to her, my boots slamming on the pavement as I run to catch up to her as she walks to English. 

“What’s up?” I say. 

“Oh, just the usual. Your friend finally calling you by your nickname.” She puts her arm around me and I laugh. As we walk to English, I can see out of the corner of my eye Natalie walking with her hands in the pockets of her light blue jeans and a single tear slips down her cheek and lands on the floor. She steps on the spot where it hit the ground and pushes her tear down harder, shattering it, and keeps walking. I look back at Elizabeth as we’re walking, her face emotionless and stone-cold, and know something is wrong.

Chapter 11 – Elizabeth

Not Ready 

“I’m not ready,” I say into the phone. I’m never ready for this. I feel a stabbing pain in my heart when Natalie hangs up the phone. I sit down on the couch, still in my pajamas, and process what just happened. I lost my best friend since Kindergarten. My phone rings and I check to see who it is. It’s Amee. I pick it up and put the phone to my ear. I’m praying for some good news. I can’t keep my sniffling in and she asks me what’s wrong. And then I realize that she called me Liz. Liz! She’s never called me by my nickname before and a warmth spreads through my heart, numbing the pain and confusion. 

“So um, what happened?” she asks. I groan in my head and sidestep the question, say goodbye, and hang up. I just can’t take any more confusion right now. I stomp upstairs in my slippers and put on black leggings, a black t-shirt, slip-on sneakers, and head out. When I get to school, I see Amee walking over to me and I wave. We talk and I put my arm around her. We see Natalie, and I immediately look down, not wanting to meet her eyes. I quietly wipe my eyes, but when I feel Amee’s eyes on my face, I wipe my face of all emotion. She sees the red tear mark on my cheek and I quickly try to wipe it away but it stays. It must be stubborn. Darn you tear mark! I think. I see her thinking and I get scared. What’s happening?

After school, I walk to my computer and check my email. Amee sent me an email with a Zoom link for 6:00 PM. I text her that I accept and she seems overly excited — weird. I’m excited and don’t know how to wait! I grab a snack consisting of: salt and vinegar chips, sweet strawberries, lemonade, brownies, and a piece of chocolate chip banana bread. Yum! I grab the TV remote and turn the coal-black screen to electric blue. I play my favorite movie, and before I know it, it’s 5:55 and I have to go. 

I join the meeting, see Amee, and then see someone I definitely DID NOT want to see right now. Natalie is in the Zoom meeting! “Hi, Elizabeth,” Natalie says. I give Amee a withering glare and her look says, Oh well, what can we do?

Chapter 12 – Natalie


To: Natalie Carter

From: Amee Walker

Subject: Zoom

Dear Natalie, 

I am inviting you to a zoom at 6 pm today. Join this link: hptts://webzoom.usTWEB273985357bdFRpjfslj34755fldhgso3 

Elizabeth will be there so you can talk to her. I repeat; TALK TO HER. There is no reason to talk to me, be mean to me, or even look at me. I am doing this for Elizabeth. See you at 6. 


Amee Walker 

Her email is so sad and I really want to write her back, but I know it’s wrong. My fingers push on the keys and I press send before I can stop myself.

To: Amee Walker

From: Natalie Carter

Subject: RE: Zoom

Dear Amee,

I’m surprised you wrote to me. Thanks for the link, I will come. I actually do want to talk to you on the Zoom, because I don’t want to say it in an email. I’ll be there at 5:40 so we can talk. 

See you there.


At 5:40, I join the link she sends and Amee is there, waiting patiently. As soon as my video glitches on and the microphone is working, I launch into it. “Look, Amee. I’m so sorry. I didn’t mean to hurt you, well I did, but I was scared I would lose Elizabeth. We’ve been friends forever and I didn’t know where I fit in if it wasn’t with her. I feel awful and the only thing my fear and anger did was break everyone apart. I am so sorry. I get it if you can’t forgive me, Elizabeth already did that. I’m sorry.” Amee looks to the camera and opens her mouth. 

“I forgive you,” she says. I think my Zoom might not be working, maybe I’m hallucinating, but I never expected THAT. “Look,” she says. “I know what it feels like to not fit in. You were mainly the reason I didn’t fit in hahaha but I get it. You hurt me, but I know you know that, and I know you’ll try to make it up to me.” I smile at her and feel like things are mended. One more to go.

Elizabeth joins as Amee and I are talking. She gives me a withering glare and Amee’s eyes say, Don’t worry, I’ve got this. “Hey Elizabeth,” she says. 

“WHAT THE HECK, DUDE!” Elizabeth yells so loudly that her sound cuts out for a minute. 

“Wow. Calm down, sparky” she says. “Look. Natalie apologized to me, and I forgave her.” 

Elizabeth rubs her ears like she didn’t hear right, but Amee nods and moves on. “Now, I know that you might have some feeling that you HAVE to be mad because I’m your friend. I’m here to tell you that you don’t have to. Natalie is really sorry, and she does have a good reason. We were all a little bit wrong, but I found a place in my heart to forgive Natalie, and all I’m asking is that you forgive her too.” 

I watch Elizabeth as tears stream down her cheeks. “Yes, Natalie. I forgive you! You’re my best friend! Of course, I forgive you!” I’m crying and Elizabeth’s crying and somehow, Amee is too. These are my friends. I’ve found my true friends. 

Chapter 13 – Epilogue  – Amee

The next day

I walk into school and see Natalie and Elizabeth waving me over. I run over and Natalie engulfs me in a powerful arm hug. Elizabeth smiles and slings her backpack over her shoulder as we walk into school, hand-in-hand. Natalie has to go to English and Elizabeth and I go to History. We sit at desks right next to each other and when she smiles at me, that’s when I know. 

I’ve found my place. 


The Tiger’s Dream

 Book One 

 There once was a tiger who wanted to go to the New York City Zoo but he lived in the New Jersey Zoo. He thought his zoo was too small and there were not enough animals. He had lived in this zoo for his whole life and he wanted to live somewhere else now. So one day, he set off on his journey to New York City. He took his map and he had a plan which was to go to the city and find the zoo in Central Park. He didn’t realize the map was for a different zoo and so he had to go back to New Jersey and get the map for the Central Park Zoo. He arrived in New York City and the people were terrified. He didn’t like that the people were scared of him. He didn’t care though, he just wanted to go to the zoo. He bumped into people and pets and he arrived at Central Park, except he didn’t know where the zoo was in Central Park. He had to steal a map from people. Well, he didn’t steal it, the people ran away and left the map behind. He saw some animals but he didn’t know where the Tiger section was. He kept looking around and a security guard saw him and brought him to the right section. And the tiger lived happily ever after.

Book Two

The tiger was in the Central Park Zoo and he wanted to meet new friends except there were too many animals, there were more than 100! And he couldn’t go to all of them in one day and maybe some animals would be scared of him because he’s really big. He went to other animals. First, he went to the penguins. First, he said, “You wanna be my friend?”

And they were like, “Sure.”

Then he said, “Can you help me get some new friends because there are a lot of animals in this zoo.” 

So they went off on their journey to find new animal friends. Then they went to the lions. The lions were sleeping so they had to come back later. They decided to take a break because it was a lot of walking, so they did. They got some water and they got some food to bring with them so they wouldn’t have to take a break, because it took hours to get to the other animals. 

Next, they went to the sharks. They asked one of the sharks, “Do you want to be our friend and look for other friends?” 

The shark said, “No, I already have my friends and I need to stay in the water.”
“Maybe we shouldn’t ask sea creatures because they have to stay in the water,” the tiger said. 

Next, they went back to the lions. They went over the gate and they were still sleeping but there were other animals behind them. There were other tigers, and this time the penguin asked, “Do you wanna be our friend and look for other friends?” 

The other tiger said, “Yes, well there are no other tigers here so I wanna be your friend and look for more friends too.”

So they went to the giraffes next. They were very tall so they had to use a microphone to ask them, “Do you wanna be friends with us and look for new friends?” The giraffe said yes and let the penguin and the two tigers get on his back so they wouldn’t have to walk. The giraffe was very nice, so that was why he did it. Next, they went to the little fishes in the little tank. 

“Do you wanna come with us because we could bring your tank and be friends?”


So the penguin and the two tigers had to come off the giraffe because they had to carry the tank. The penguin said, “Maybe we should only ask those fishies because they live in a tank and the sharks live in a whole big tank.” 

Next, they went to the horses. The horses said no, they had a lot of friends so that was why they said no. They were like, “Okay, we won’t ask you again.”

Next, they went to the cows. The cows said, “Sure, we’ll be your friends.”

Now there were no more animals who didn’t live in the water so they had a dance party and lived happily ever after. 

Book Three

The tiger was exploring the zoo with his penguin friend. The security guard let him out of the zoo because he was a nice animal, he didn’t bite. All the people knew that so they weren’t scared of him anymore. 

First, he went to the large park where there was grass. There were lots of people and there were squirrels and birds. The people petted him and the penguin and then they went to the squirrels and birds. They gave the squirrels acorns and the birds got jealous so they brought some bird seeds too. He went to the next part of the park, it was the aquarium park. The people were like, “Why is there a tiger in the aquarium part of the park?” 

The tiger said, “Oh, we’re just meeting some new people and exploring Central Park.” 

So the people pet him too and they watched the aquarium for a little bit. They saw sharks, fish, and they saw stingrays and one big octopus. The penguin was scared so the tiger held the penguin’s hand. They went to the part where there was a slide. There were lots of kids. The penguin and the tiger went up to the slide to see some kids. The kids were like, “Ooo, a tiger and a penguin,” so the kids were very happy. They went to their parents and were like, “Can we keep them, can we keep them?” 

Their parents were like, “No, they’re zoo animals!” 

So the penguin and the tiger went back to their journey. They didn’t bring a map so they got lost. They weren’t in Central Park anymore, they were out on the street. It was no big deal, the people weren’t scared of the tiger and the penguin. So the tiger and the penguin got some ice cream and tried to go back to Central Park, and they went back to Central Park. They went back to their gate and they lived happily ever after. 

Book Four

The tiger was learning how to swim one day and today was the day. The teacher was the penguin. They went to the animal pool and the tiger got a floaty. The penguin didn’t need a floaty because he could swim. 

The penguin said, “First, lay back and try to float.” The tiger couldn’t float so the penguin didn’t know what to do. 

“Okay, let’s just start with the basics,” the penguin said. “We’re going to take a noodle and lay your arms on the noodle and kick your legs behind.” The tiger got it! The penguin was like, “Uh oh, the pool is draining, we have to tell the people that we’re still in it!” So they did. It took 2 hours to fill the pool back up so they had to go home and get water because they were tired. They went back to the pool and they were back to swimming. 

Next was to swim without the noodle. The penguin said, “Okay, we’re gonna try this without the noodle and see how you do.” The tiger did well but next, he had to try swimming with his head underwater and he got the goggles and he was good. But then there were other animals splashing around in the pool. 

“We’re the only animals that are supposed to be in here,” the penguin said.

“But it’s our pool too,” they replied.

“But we ordered a private pool.”

The animals said, “Well I suppose so.” So they went out of the pool and the penguin and the tiger kept doing their session. The penguin threw rings in the water and the tiger had to catch them. The tiger only caught two but there were three, so the penguin caught the last one for him. They were tired so they went out of the pool and went home and then they lived happily ever after. 

Book Five

Today was break day and that meant the tiger and the penguin could just play and they usually went to the big area in Central Park and played ball, except they wanted to do something different today.  They went to go visit the tiger’s old zoo in New Jersey. The penguin came too.  It took a long time to get there, that was why they had to pack. They packed water and food and they were going to New Jersey now. They took the right map to New Jersey and they took a map to the zoo in New Jersey and they finally got to New Jersey, but they had to find the zoo. So they got the map to go to the New Jersey zoo. They got through some forests while they were going to the zoo and they finally got to the zoo. They saw some old animals and so they said, “Hi.” And the old animals said, 

“Why are you here? You’re not from this zoo. You’re from the Central Park Zoo.” 

The tiger and the penguin just walked away and they went to the security guards. They were the security guards when the tiger was here. The security guards missed the tiger, but they didn’t miss him too much because they visited him every time they took a break. So they hugged each other and the penguin wanted to go home to the Central Park Zoo. The tiger said, “Okay, we can just go home.” So they went home. 

They were halfway home and it took hours to get halfway, except they were going the wrong way because they didn’t take the right map. So they had to jump on a bus and go back to New Jersey to get the maps. And then they walked back to Central Park Zoo and they finally got home.

Book Six

“Today, we’re going to the park,” said the lion and the penguin. They went to Central Park. The part where there are the tire swing and the swings, slide, monkey bars, and a see-saw.  They had to find the map to go to the park, so they got the map, they got to the park, but it was really crowded, so it was really hard for them to get in, so they had to wait a really long time for them to get out, or they could just rent the whole park. It was a good idea to just rent the whole park. So they did. So they got the whole park to themselves, but there were some people who really wanted to stay, so they let them stay. They had a blast and then they went to go get ice cream. The penguin got chocolate and the tiger got vanilla.  It was really hot, so their ice cream melted and they were really sad. So they went to Riverside Park and the tiger said, “For us, it’s National Park Day. That’s why we’re going to every park.” Next, they went to Battery Park.  There were not a lot of kids there, so they didn’t have to rent it again. They played and played, but there were no slides or swings, or a see-saw. There was just a tire swing and a slide, but they still had fun.  They had a fun day. 

The End.

Book Seven

Today was Hat Day.  They all wore really funny hats. The tiger and penguin wore hats too. The penguin had an orange and white and green one and the tiger had a green and yellow and blue one and they put some jewels on top of it.  But then, one of the other animals stole a jewel and it was one of the diamond jewels. So the tiger and the penguin had to go find the stealer. They couldn’t find him. He was probably hiding the jewel. So they asked everyone in the whole world. They had to ask one more person because that was the last person, so they did and they asked, “Do you have our diamond jewel?” 

He said, “No, I don’t.” 

They said, “Are you sure?!”  

He said, “Yes!!!!”  

And so the tiger and the penguin were very sad because that was their prized possession.  The guy who actually stole the jewel saw them and said, “I stole your jewel.  I’m sorry and I would never do it again.”  

They said, “I accept.”  They had a costume and hat party and they lived happily ever after!!!


It is the year 2045, and global warming is at its worst. Temperatures are high and civilians aren’t helping. Tons of plastic waste is being released into the ocean. Beaches have trash on the shore instead of glistening shells and sand. However, people are forming groups with thousands of people, trying to save the ocean. 

It is a new school year, and Diego and Randy are close friends who are now in the 5th grade. Their school is near Bird Key Park in Sarasota, Florida. They patiently wait for Mr. Smith, who teaches facts about the world, and today he’s doing a lesson about oceanography. After class, Randy asks Diego if he can look at some of Diego’s vacation pictures since he recently went to the beach. As Randy flips through what feels like a perpetual album of photos, one photo catches Randy’s attention. There are soda cans and plastic bottles all over the sea shore. He asks Diego if the entire beach had pollution and Diego begins to tell the story.

Diego goes on about how horrible the ocean smelled and the look of it. He is glad they left. Diego says he saw way fewer seagulls than his last visit. He went for a swim and saw no more/fewer fish. The seashore was nauseating to even look at. The water was opaque and the coral reefs were bleached.

Mr. Smith finally arrives at the classroom after being 10 minutes late because he had to fix some air conditioners in other classrooms. He teaches the class fractions, decimals, and ratios. After 45 minutes, the class is dismissed. Since they both live near a beach, Diego and Randy decide to take a look at the ocean one more time. It is truly appalling. The coral reefs are nowhere to be seen, and it has a vigorous plastic scent. They both want to change this. They would need to build a huge community if they want to have a huge impact. Two average schoolboys determine to make a change.

Diego and Randy head to Randy’s house, where they can both start planning in the backyard. Since they are just average students, they probably won’t be able to make a community from scratch, so they decide to join one. With almost 60% of the ocean covered in garbage, they will need all the support they can get. Diego snatches his mobile device from his house across from Randy’s house and surfs the internet, looking for a program that helps get rid of the waste in the ocean. After a brief five minutes of vigorous searching, Diego finds a website that is free to sign up and takes place around their house. ORCA (Ocean Recognition Community Association) is the name of the community. Randy and Diego ask their parents if they have permission to sign up and they receive their consent, but only if they sign up themselves.

Once Randy and Diego finally complete the survey, they spring into action. Diego and Randy ride their bikes to the ORCA to meet and greet each other. They go to their local beach and get to work. They recycle about 50 pounds of trash that is left on the beach on the daily. It is dusk and both of the boys need to go back home. After they wake up the next day, they meet up in school with their other friends and tell them about the community. About half of the students they ask agree, varying from grades 4-12. Some of them need supervision, and the rest just need permission from their guardians.

Randy and Diego meet up at the daily community meeting with some of their friends. The boys introduce their friends Samantha, Briann, Al, Hyram, and others to the people in ORCA and they head to the shore! Samantha and Briann are siblings. Briann is in eighth grade and Samantha is in sixth grade. Briann is always looking for an adventure and Samantha just wants to follow in her brother’s steps. Al and Hyram are both in sixth grade, Al and Hyram have been best friends since kindergarten. Hyram is obsessed with clear skin. Hyram has his entire family supporting his decision. Even though Hyram wants to become a dermatologist when he grows up, he still wants to be with his friends instead of studying dermatology by himself. Al is the total opposite. Al would put a healthy skincare routine at the end of his bucket list, but he is obsessed with sea shells. Al doesn’t have a future career planned, but it is fine since he is only in fifth grade. Al’s older brother just moved to college and his family has planned a surprise party at the beach when he comes and visits. But with the beach in this condition, the party won’t seem to last long.

After 2 hours, they weigh all of the waste they have collected and they collected 80 pounds of waste today! There are still 3 hours before curfew so all of the kids in Randy and Diego’s school who signed up for ORCA print out flyers about the organization and place them all around the school and neighborhood. The next day, almost 20 more people join ORCA!

After a week or so, the seawater has become more pellucid. Some people in ORCA are oceanographers and they help take out the dead coral. More vibrant fish begin returning in the reef and more seagulls return in larger flocks. The next day, the community had recycled 100 pounds of trash! Randy and Diego are very proud of their decision because they feel like they made a huge impact in their neighborhood but they still have a long way to go. In a month, Diego and Randy help recruit over 50 people and a total of 340 people who sign up for ORCA. They recycle about 600 pounds of trash this month.

A few months pass by and 800 people sign up for ORCA. It is the end of the school semester, and Randy and Diego feel so proud. Randy, Diego, Hyram, Al, Briann, and Samantha helped cause a huge impact on their local beach. The water is very clear now, and the sand has very little waste in it. More people and tourists are visiting the beaches more often, and now, this is like a second-nature to most of the attendees. ORCA has raised a bunch of money and have been receiving loads of support. They plan to do larger projects and go further in the ocean, helping other beaches, and even other bodies of water.


Randy and Diego finally graduate from fifth grade, they apprise their parents about all of the positive impacts that they helped cause. With approximately 1,000 people in ORCA throughout the nation, they will need larger plans. During summertime, ORCA plans to go deeper into the sea and venture to other polluted beach resorts and bays. Diego and Randy have all of the free-time since they won’t have to worry about schoolwork or disarranged schedules. The community split into two groups. Group one consists of 250 people, and they’ll help clear out and filter the polluted water. They will also help clean up the land, giving it a crisp look. Group two consists of 400 people. Their duty is to head out to bays or further into the ocean to unearth trash and succor endangered sea creatures.

The Fourth of July is here, and now there are more visitors. With many more visitors, Group one will have many issues trying to recycle and trash the leftovers of the consistently visiting citizens. At this rate, the bay would clear up much more slowly. Some of their schoolmates, Samantha, Briann, Hyram, and Al were also in Group one. You had to be 18 years old or older, or 14-17 years old with guardian supervision to contribute in Group two. The older kids from the school went to Group two. Al’s parents took part in Group two. After three and a half hours, both Groups had a meeting to discuss the difficulties and simple parts. The next day, ORCA tries to buy all of the equipment that they need for a new contemporary morning. ORCA gets the money because of other huge brands donating to them for their good actions and to send support to ORCA so ORCA can grow larger. ORCA also creates a website, which has a donation section. The kids meet up and they trail off from Group one. They scout for plastic trash in the sand, and selfish people who just throw their garbage into the sand or sea. They pack their stuff and took off. After about one whole hour in, the kids notice how far they had trailed off. They end up lost.

They decide that it would be best to walk the other way, but everyone is already fatigued. Hyram begins to panic because he’s afraid that he’ll lose all of his skincare products. 

Al isn’t too upset because there are many shells on the shore. While they are walking the opposite way, Al takes his time because he is analyzing and collecting sea shells. Randy remembers about the mapping paper he packed earlier today. Unfortunately, Randy forgets to actually map out the trail. So they are really lost. They decide that it’d be smartest to just walk towards the city rather than Group one on the shore, since they are still in Sarasota, but just farther away from Group two. Briann glares into the distance and notices Group two on their boats returning. They try to track down Group two’s stop and head there. After walking up a steep hill of sand that was shards of glass, they decide to take a break. Luckily, they all packed snacks and water before heading far off into the bay. Randy and Diego snack on some fruit salads. Al eats some chips. Hyram eats some papaya and watermelon since he heard that it is good for your skin. It is 6:30 P.M. and then Samantha sees black silhouettes in the distance. Could it be civilization?

Samantha squints her eyes and then the picture is clearer, they are palm trees. Briann takes a minute to listen, and he hears popping and cheering. It is the Fourth of July Fireworks! The kids sprint up the hill, despite how weary they are. The fireworks slowly become louder. If this were to be any other day, the kids might’ve been alone for a much more prolonged time. They see the neighborhood gathering up and cheering. At last, they are safe. Each and every one of the kids sees their guardians, waiting for their return. They reunite and celebrate the Fourth of July together.

A few months pass by and they continue to do their daily deeds. They all have moved up a grade, but Samantha and Briann are moving to Salisbury, North Carolina because their father has work there. However, Briann still wants to be a part of ORCA. He saw this as an opportunity to expand ORCA. The kids have one last meeting before Samantha and Briann move away. Once Briann and Samantha move, they will advertise ORCA so people from where they live would want to also sign up. Before they move away, Briann tells Randy his plan so the next day Randy tells some people in ORCA and they think that would be smart. With all of the money they had raised, expanding would be a smarter choice than buying advanced equipment. Al, Hyram, Diego, and Randy help clear off more trash on the bay and they meet up after they complete their work. The kids stare into the ocean, talking, making jokes, and reminiscing all of the fun times they had with each other. They feel proud, even though they haven’t cleaned everything they wanted to in a year.


Mayoth, 37th, 29141

Proteus, EverDunes

Deliah Blue’s Private Journal

To whom it may concern: I am Delyonïah Blue, Captain of the Fortuna 3 Spacecraft which has Landed on Neptune’s 10th moon, Proteus, on Lapis 24th, 29121. However, today is the last day I will live, for I will give my life to banish the soul, Katenga the shapeshifting Demon, from this massive body of water, which Katenga has taken over to destroy all civilization in our galaxy. Force does not work because punches and knives go right through it. I think our only chance of defeating Katenga is to have fire on large poles and usher Katenga out of our dome, in fear we would evaporate him. Once we get him out of the dome, he will freeze in open space, because the dome is the only type of civilization we have made on Proteus. YES! Katenga has just frozen, but just in case, I will transfer his soul into a single grain of sand, which is to be lost. Hopefully, Katenga will not take control of any more unlucky people. This transfer is a secret process only people who have had Katenga inside of them know. Good-bye forever.

Mayoth, 74th, 29151

Proteus, EverDunes

Loradis looked up into the sky, to Neptune, and then he went back to growing potatoes. He did that for a while until his buddies growing the kale walked over to him and said, “We should probably go inside. It looks like there is going to be a haboob.”

“We need to get the tent out and do some surgery on it and make it able to guard over the crops. Hey, Couch Potato. Get it, now!” Loradis exclaimed.

Couch Potato ran back covered in sand, pushing down on him. The sand hadn’t gotten the crops yet, but it was close. Loradis took out the sawzall and he took out the tent reinforcements and sanded the tent poles in such a way that it would reinforce itself once it was in the ground. Then, he took the five small poles and planted them around the crops. He assembled the tent and the cloth was flat over the crops. Because he knew that a haboob was a sandstorm that had sand rain, with extra gravitational force. To stop this, he put the modified tent over with extra tension so the sand would not crush the crops on top of the tent.

Svetöralis was watching his father set up the tent, full of fear that his father would not be able to make it to the airlock in time. Fortunately, his father got back to the airlock, but it was full of sand.

“Daddy, get in!” Svetöralis yelled. Svetöralis ran to the airlock, wondering if his father was in. The door opened, and there was a small avalanche of sand on Svetöralis. He crawled out, looking for his father, but he was already latched onto his leg. When they went home, they both had showers and Svetöralis noticed there was a single grain of sand that wouldn’t come off. He pulled, but it wouldn’t come off. He decided to wait until the morning to see if it would fall off. 

In the morning, he was very tired and said, “I wouldn’t be surprised if I was a rock.” Then, the area around that one grain of sand turned green and he turned into the last rock he had seen, and he fell through his bed. He decided to turn into a carpenter, and immediately he knew the skills he needed to fix the bed. He fixed it, then he decided, “This is fun! Time to prank! I am a pig!” He turned into an enormous pig, and he decided to weigh himself on his scale. It broke. He tiptoed out the door and he went to his neighbor’s house and growled at the door. The neighbor opened the door, shaking, and then, in fear, he slapped the pig and then he closed the door as fast as he could. Then, Svetöralis turned back into a human and yelped, “Ow, that hurt, you know!”

The neighbor opened the door again, now mad, and pulled Svetöralis by his hair to the leader’s office and yelled, “This boy has been possessed by Katenga!”

“Hey, hey, let’s not make accusations yet, okay? Show me, Svetöralis Mars, show me, do you have the spirit Katenga?” The leader asked.

Svetöralis said, “I want to be a pig.”

The area around the grain of sand on his leg turned green again, and he shapeshifted into a pig.

“That’s the pig I saw before!” The neighbor yelled.

Svetöralis turned back to a human and said, “I want to start a program to look for alien life, and with this ability, I can speak to them, because when I turn into something, I am able to understand the language of the animal I turn into.”

“Hmm, that might actually be a good idea,” the leader said. “You’re on, kid!”