The Lost Mom of the 3 Worlds

Chapter 1: BREATH

“Are you excited for our family reunion?” my dad had asked. Excited? How could I be excited? Mom left when I was three and I haven’t seen her since. Family reunion, more like no mom reunion.

With all these thoughts going through my head, I could barely take the one breath I desperately needed. The one breath that could have given me security about this family that I hadn’t seen in years. The last family reunion that we had was when I was three. To get you more caught up, I am now seventeen. That means I haven’t seen them in fourteen years. All except for my dad, at least. I wasn’t ready for this. I was scared of meeting my family again. The only thing I could do right now was go to sleep.

RING, RING, RING! Yawwnnn. The bright sun shone on my face like a warm tornado. I breathed in and then out. Finally a breath of relief. I did it again and I felt calmer. More relaxed.

When my eyes slowly opened, I could see my aesthetic, blue room. I could see blue clouds above my bed, all my blue stuffed animals, my blue blanket, and my blue open doors with light shining in from the deck. I could also see my dad hovering over me and my blue blanket with his scary statue-like glare and body position. Although, I knew he wasn’t mad. He had that same facial expression since Mom left. It was almost like a curse.

Chapter 2: CURSE

Oops. Did I say it? The C-word. Yep, that’s right. My family is cursed. Ever since my mom left, our family has been cursed. My dad has the curse of that glare, but I got the worst curse. I can’t talk. Not a single word. Sure, I’m smart, kind, and strong. Those were my blessings when I was born. My family used to be the blessing kind of family. We all had our own blessings, and those blessings made us special in our own kind of way. Except for my mom.

Well, now we’re talking about my mom. She was the curse to our family. She was the one who was cursed by an evil witch who took away her blessings and claimed them for herself. Now she is a wreck living somewhere unknown. Although I know, deep down inside, she is still the kind woman she used to be. When I close my eyes, I imagine her loving heart still inside my mind.

Chapter 3: BACK TO MY DAD

Like I said, my dad was standing over me in his statue-like position. 

“Get dressed,” he said, “I’m going to take you for breakfast.” So I got up, went to my closet, and took out a pair of denim shorts and a peach crop top. I went over to my dad, and we started walking in the direction of Jouns, a sweet, little cafe. It sucked that I couldn’t say anything to my dad. I couldn’t even tell him that I loved him. All I could do was nod my head.

When we got to Jouns, I pointed at a seat that I wanted to sit at, but he didn’t see my finger, and he took me to eat inside. I hated sitting inside. The loud noises haunted my ears. But what could I do? I couldn’t talk and I only knew the slightest bit of sign language. I couldn’t even tell my dad that I wanted to learn sign language.

We took a seat at a small table with two, little, white chairs. A nice waiter greeted us.

“Should we start with some drinks?” she asked. 

“That shall be lovely,” my Dad said. “What will you be wanting today?” the waiter asked.

“One small latte and one large orange juice,” my dad told the waitress. Orange juice was my least favorite juice, and now I had to drink a large. But how was I supposed to tell my dad that? I needed to go somewhere alone. And I didn’t just mean outside. I wanted to go on a trip. Not to Hawaii or California. I wanted to find my mom.

Chapter 4: STORY

I was in my blue bed with my donut pajamas and my dad beside me. I know, I know. I’m seventeen, and my dad shouldn’t be tucking me in, but it felt good. I had no one else to love. No friends, no brother, no sister, no mom. Who else was I supposed to trust?

I blinked really hard at my dad. This was my way of telling him I wanted to hear a story.

“Okay, okay,” my dad started, “I think you’re old enough to know this. Remember how the evil witch crashed our family reunion when you were three and took away your mom and her blessings? You know how the witch was unknown? Well, the witch is not unknown. She is your mom’s evil sister. She was jealous of your mom, so she cursed her and the rest of her family. Not just you and me. Pops is blind. Gram Gram is always grumpy. Grandma and Grandpa are poor and homeless. Julie can’t fall asleep, and Aunt Harmonica is so unsmart. Uncle Jerry has it the worst, though. He is so greedy and always wants more.”

“Anything more?” I say in sign language.

“Well, there is one more thing. It is the mother’s daughter’s job to travel to all of the three worlds in which your mom could have been banished, find her, and heal her of her curse. When you do, our family will be the blessing kind of family once again. You will take this bag. In this bag is the cure to give your mom and a tool for each world you go to. You will leave first thing in the morning. Don’t come to me to say goodbye, just knock on your closet door three times.” He kissed me on my forehead and then left. I guess you could say I was happy. I got to make my decisions. I hadn’t done that in fourteen years.

Chapter 5 – April 24, 1976: THE JOURNEY HAS BEGUN

RING, RING, RING! sounded my alarm clock. I had set it to 5:00. I got in my closet and changed into blue-ribbed leggings and a pink crop top. I tied a sweater around my waist.

Before knocking on my closet, I grabbed the bag my dad had said to take and, at the last second, I grabbed a fresh journal from my shelf and shoved it in the bag along with a pen. I went into my closet and closed the door. I knocked once, twice, three times.

Chapter 6: TIME

It didn’t happen suddenly. It took time. Maybe five or ten minutes. I took that time to write.

Dear Diary,

Finally, I get to defend myself in the world. I guess I’m happy. Finally, no Dad ordering me a large orange juice at a restaurant. I can order a large apple juice! Not that there will be juice or restaurants in the three worlds. No one to tell me, “Time for bed, Pearl,” or “You love orange juice, don’t you, Pearl?” I’m free for the first time in fourteen years. But part of me worries. What if I can’t help our cursed family before the reunion? Or what if I can’t help my family at all? Will I die? Will my family die? Will my mom die? Will my family stay the same? Will my mom stay the same? Thanks for understanding, Diary. Just arrived. Talk to you later.

Chapter 7: JOY

I stepped out of my closet and onto a rainbow floor. I saw a girl with her head in her hands, crying. I went over to her. I couldn’t even ask her what was wrong. Maybe she knew sign language.

“What’s wrong?” I said in sign language.

“This is the planet of joy,” she said. I let her continue. “You’re supposed to be joyful! But what if I’m not?” A shiver I had never seen before ran through her body. I laid my head on hers. I couldn’t even ask her what was wrong. I couldn’t even tell her about my life to make her feel better. But what if I could?

I put out a finger to represent one second and I went into my closet to grab the bag my dad had given me. Inside was a speaker. Not like a microphone, but a fancy speaker. This fancy speaker’s magnifier was not supposed to be around in 1976. I felt like I was in the future. This wasn’t a regular speaker. I could talk with this speaker! I put this fancy speaker on and I tried to mouth the word “Test.” I could hear my voice going through my body. I was speaking for the first time in fourteen years. A note on the microphone said you have ten sentences. This meant that I had used one and had nine left.

I went over to the girl a second time. Her makeup was messed up, and her tears were now dried up. “I have nine sentences on this speaker,” I told the girl. “What’s wrong?”

“My mom wants me to marry this man,” she said, “He will make me happy and joyful. But he doesn’t make me happy. He makes me upset. He swears and gets mad at me for the tiniest things. For heaven’s sake, this is the planet of joy!”

Now I knew, this was the planet of joy. I had eight sentences left. “Why can’t you tell your parents that you don’t want to marry him?”

“They will be disappointed in me. They just want to make me happy. Besides, who else will I marry? Do I even have to marry if I don’t want to?” I shook my head, meaning no.

“Take me to your parents,” I said.

“Okay,” she responded. I followed her through rainbow trees, crowds of joyful people with bright clothes, and finally a rainbow cobblestone step leading to a bright, orange, two-story house with a nice, red deck. I thought about ringing the doorbell, but then the girl stepped right through. Inside, I could see a rainbow couch, a bright blue TV blaring many colors, and two moms watching the TV in matching, green dresses. They weren’t staring at the TV, though. They were staring at each other. Here it comes, I thought. I was right. Smooch smooch smooch. I hadn’t seen that in fourteen years.

“Mom, moma! I told you not to do that infront of me.” One mom blushed.

“Sorry hon, didn’t know you were there.”

“Today’s their honeymoon,” the girl explained.

“Your daughter has something to tell you.” I got right to the point. I had five sentences left. I gestured towards the girl.

She took a deep breath and then blurted it all out. “I don’t want to marry Tom! He swears and gets mad at me!” She turns her voice into a whisper. “He-he doesn’t make me joyful.” 

“Oh honey,” The other mom said, “Marry who you want.” 

“Really?” said the girl.

“Of course,” both of the moms said. They go over to hug the girl. As soon as that happened, my speaker dropped to the floor, I went right back to my closet, and it took off.

Chapter 8: DEAR DIARY ENTRY #2

Dear Diary,

I just helped a girl (I don’t know her name) be joyful. I talked for the first time in fourteen years and I saw true love for the first time in what seems like forever. Longer than fourteen years, I’m sure, because my parents didn’t kiss or even show they loved each other during or even before the reunion. I do know one thing, though.  I have to save my mom before the family reunion. I have to make sure my parents fall in love once again. Or, I don’t know what will happen. Probably something unknown and so very frightful. I wonder if the witch is still alive? If she is, will I have to face her? If I do, will I win? I am starting to doubt myself. Thanks for listening, Diary. I have just landed and have to go, bye.

I know what you’re thinking. You treat your diary like a friend! You make the D in “diary” uppercase! Remember, I don’t have any friends. Besides my dad, I can only talk to this Diary.

Chapter 9: THE PLANET OF LOVE

I stepped out of my closet. I saw a pink heart. No, but seriously big. It covered a whole room. And yes, I had landed inside, inside a small room. I knew that because I saw a wall about ten feet away from the ground. I heard a conversation coming from another room only a few feet away from where I was standing. I walked closer and peeked my head through the door. I could see a boy trying to kiss a girl, but the girl refused.

“Get away from me Jeff!” the girl said. Then she spotted me. I tried to quickly but quietly move away and act like I was never there, but she beat me to it. “Who are you?” she said in a snobby voice.

No turning back now. I stepped in a little bit and said in sign language, “I can’t talk.” She didn’t understand. I could also see that Jeff was confused as well. He was staring at the woman (maybe twenty-five or thirty) with loving eyes. I was going to have to do this the hard way. I pointed at myself. I pointed at my mouth. Then I made an X with my fingers. The woman finally understood. 

“You can’t talk,” the girl said in a surprised voice, “My name is Hannah. This is Jeff,” she said in an exasperated voice. Well, the Jeff part.

I once again put a finger out to represent one second and ran to my closet. Inside the closet was my bag. Inside my bag was a note. This is what it said:

Dear my dear Pearl,

This couple is like a broken heart. You need to help this couple get back together before the sun sets on this day. Your estimated time is seven hours. If you do not help this couple in time, the world of love will turn to darkness, and you will get sent back home without saving your mom and your family.

– Good luck, DAD

If I didn’t help this poor couple, I would be dead. Dead meat. I couldn’t go home without saving my mom. What would my dad think of me? What would my family think of me? I couldn’t do this. I went to a dark corner in the room, rolled up into a ball, and started to cry. Tears ran down my face like big puddles. 

After a few minutes of sulking, I could hear something. Something in my head. It was saying: “We’ll always love you. No matter what. Amen.” I could remember this place. It was the day of the reunion. My family all next to me, smiling. In my little high chair I felt so proud. Next I saw pictures flying in my head. I could see the witch’s wart. Big, on the side of her nose, liquid oozing out of it. The green was a pop of color compared to her plain, peachy-white skin. Next, I saw her wand zapping and making a big firework-like show that caused a boom and made a hole in our wall that my dad had to fix later. Then I saw me and I heard the last word I ever said which was AHHH! I saw my mom get picked up by the evil witch’s wand and leave with the evil witch. 

I woke up in the same darkened corner of the room. My eyes darted around. I could see the shape of the heart, the door leading to the next room, my closet, and my pile of tears around me. I felt sweat, warm and sticky all over my body. I saw Hannah standing above me, Jeff beside her. I handed Hannah the note.

“This note was probably not made by your dad. First of all, Jeff and I were just in a fight, but we’re still together. She went over and kissed Jeff on the lips. I sighed a sigh of relief. “Second of all, this looks a lot like the evil witch’s handwriting. Every planet knows the evil witch. She’s infamous everywhere.” I gulped. “She lives on the planet of dismay along with a mom she kidnapped. I can take you there, but it’s a pretty long journey.”

I stopped her. I pointed at myself. Then in the air I spelled out: M-O-M. Before she could be surprised, I took her hand and pulled her into my closet. I knocked three times on the door.

Chapter 10: DEAR DIARY ENTRY #3

Dear Diary,

I met this woman named Hannah. She looks around twenty or thirty, and she told me the most surprising fact. Guess what! My Dad didn’t send me that note, the evil witch did. I don’t understand. He said he sent me something for each world. But he didn’t. Do you know what could have happened? The other thing is, I should have known my mom is in the world of dismay. Why would the evil witch send her to a world of joy or a world of love? Well, I guess I can’t continue unless I solve the problem that’s going on in the planet. But on the love planet Hannah and Jeff solved the problem. I guess I was my problem for that world. Maybe the planet of Love and the planet of Joy were obstacles to get to the planet of Dismay? We’ve just landed. Have to go, Bye Diary!

Chapter 11: THE PLANET OF DISMAY

I stepped out of my closet and I got goosebumps from a cold rush of wind. I took my sweater and put it on. Hannah put on a sweater as well. I grabbed my bag and put it on like it’s a purse. When I was done with all of this, I took a moment to look at my surroundings. First thing I saw was that Hannah was in shock, her mouth was wide open and she couldn’t even mumble out one word. Welcome to the club. I saw Darkness, lots of black and no happiness, and big black pieces of dust. I saw huge pictures of the witch and flashbacks from the reunion building of huge monsters towering over me.

But in the middle of it all, I saw my mom. She looked older. Brown curly hair like mine and brownish-tan skin like mine. But her face was more wrinkled. Not too wrinkled but the slightest bit wrinkled. I did some quick math and realized she was in her late fifties. 

I slowly walked over to her, and Hannah did too, trailing behind me. I walked over to my mom and laid my head on her shoulder, and she laid her head on my head and started sulking. Hannah sat beside me feeling sorry for me in the best possible way. I took out a bottle, and gave it to my Mom. I imitated drinking something, and Mom knew what to do. When she drank the bottle, her tears ran dry and the dust went away and turned into a beautiful sun. Then I saw the Witch cackling.

“Think you can get away!” The witch said, her wart still looking the same. I grabbed my mom’s hand and we ran. We ran past the evaporating dust, and the big rocks, and the long, tall grass. We ran even though the witch was above us, cackling like she was mad. We ran fast, until we realized that Hannah was gone. We turned back through the long grass and the big rocks, and the evaporating dust. We saw Hannah had tripped over a rock, and blood was all around her neck. We have to think fast, but I couldn’t stand looking at blood, and the witch was an inch away from us! With no hesitation, my mom grabbed Hannah and held her above her head like a fireman saving someone from a fire. Next, we ran past the evaporating dust, the big rocks and the tall grass. We quickly ran to the closet with the witch behind us, her cackling loud and clear. My mom didn’t hesitate and she ran fast, even though Hannah was on her back and there was a witch behind her. The witch got close, too close, and I could feel her breath. It smelled like human flesh. She reached out her wand, but just in time I slammed the closet door and knocked on it three times. 

Chapter 12: DEAR DIARY, LAST ENTRY

Dear Diary,

I finally found Mom. She is now forgetful of what just happened and is asleep. She won’t wake up until we get home. She won’t have a single memory of this whole adventure. I found that note in my bag. Another thing is that we dropped Hannah off at the world of love. I wanted to stay and make sure she was ok. I wasn’t able to say goodbye and I feel bad. When I had to leave Hannah I cried up some tears. But at least we left her in the right hands. This is my last diary entry of this journey, so goodbye forever dear Diary. Just landed.

Chapter 13: APRIL 27, 1976 – THE JOURNEY HAS ENDED

I stepped out of my closet into my aesthetic, blue room. Mom acted like this was a normal day and nothing happened. “Change out of that outfit, Pearl honey. It’s filled with dust.” I smirked. 

“Wonder where that dust came from,” I said. Huh, I said. I said!

“Me too,” said Mom.

I changed into a plain white shirt and skinny jeans with 3 buttons on the top. I walked downstairs and over to my dad. “Why didn’t you send me any material for the world of love?” I asked.

“I didn’t send anything for any world. You knew what you needed, you thought about it, and you got what you wanted. As for the world of love, well, you were your obstacle. If you didn’t break down, you would’ve gotten past that world in a matter of seconds.”

“You were watchin-” I started.

“No more talk about this nonsense dream you had,” he said and winked at me. I smiled.

The End

The Sunday Surprise

It was a cold Sunday morning the week before Thanksgiving.  

“Bye, dad!” We hollered as we hurried down the airport to the baggage check.  

My mom, Maylin, Kaia, and I waited in line. Time slowly passed by until finally we were at the boarding spot. We flew to Dallas, which was a two and a half hour flight. But when we got to the boarding area to go to Grand Rapids, that’s where everything went wrong. 

My mom got a call from my dad, who was at home, saying the flight got canceled because of snow! We would have to wait four hours! Yeah, that’s right! Four hours! So we could take a different flight to Detroit instead of Grand Rapids, then a two and a half hour flight to Detroit, then a three to four hour drive to my grandparents’ house! 

So we waited, and waited, and waited! When the four hours passed,we boarded and took off in the air. I watched Black Widow and right when it was about to end, the plane shook. 

BOOM BOOM BOOOOOOOM! 

Kaia started to cry. That cry turned into a sob, that sob turned into a scream, a high pitched scream! 

When we listened more carefully we heard… 

The common sound of the drum and horns.

BUM-BUM-BUM-BUM-BUM.      

The windows of the airplane shot up! 

“What in the-…” My mom didn’t finish her sentence. 

We couldn’t believe what we saw! FLYING PIGS PLAYING INSTRUMENTS! Drums, guitars, pianos, and a bunch more! 

“…world,” my mom finished. 

They had a Dallas Cowboys flag up and a flag that said, “the Dallas Pig Band!” They were the band of pigs that were going to the football game! 

The plane automatically turned around without the pilot’s control! 

“Hold on, everybody. I don’t know what happened.” The seatbelt sign turned on. “Please don’t panic,” The captain said in a panicked voice. 

Well, the plane followed right behind the pigs’ tails until we got to the Dallas game to cheer them on.

  As we hovered in the plane over the game we noticed more flying pigs coming! CHEERLEADER PIGS! 

“Let’s go Dallas, let’s go! Let’s go Dallas, let’s go!” The cheerleaders cheered on and on and on.

 But that’s not all. BOOOOOOOM! Thousands of pigs came roaring out of the sky and took the place of the people in the stands who didn’t even notice them because of the distraction of the game! The pigs threw the people into the sky. (Although, they were not evil, why would they be?) But let’s not talk about what happened to them because you do NOT want to know.

 Well, it wouldn’t be a complete story if you didn’t know; they fell into a river of course where the people would throw the goal post after a great victory! 

“OH MY GOSH,” the people on the plane hollered when we heard that disturbing news.

“Well at least we aren’t going to die!” Someone blurted out.

 Just then the clock ran out of time. 

“Hooray!” Everybody shouted. Dallas won!

Well, obviously we turned around and finished going to Michigan. 

“Thankfully we have continued on our journey, and are heading back safely,” the captain announced. “I apologize for that delay. Hopefully we will arrive soon. Thank you for your cooperation and we will be on our way.”

When we got back, the story we told in the car took one hour of the time to tell. And it took most of the ride to convince our grandparents that it actually happened, although they weren’t fully convinced. 

By the time we got back, it was 1:30 in the morning so we all got ready to go to bed, although sadly our bags didn’t make it back. All of a sudden everybody woke up to the same sound of…

BUM-BUM-BUM-BUM-BUM. 

“We heard that for sure on the plane,” I shouted. 

My grandma hurried over to the door to see what it was. She opened the door and shrieked! There, right before her eyes, she saw the band of pigs with their drums. Her eyes swirled as she fell backwards with a big CLUMP.

 We all ran over to see if she was okay just as the leader pig winked with a full smile so you could see his one golden tooth sparkle.

Sunshine and Shadows

I was lost. I mean, you can’t blame me. The streets of D.C. are more like a maze than a couple of roads. If you hadn’t guessed, I’m an alley cat. I don’t have a name, but I’ve been called a scoundrel and the like. I have no idea why. I wouldn’t be upset if a needy kitten was digging through my garbage! Ok, are you creeped out yet? No? I thought you would have realized it by now, but I guess I have to spell it out for you: CATS DON’T WRITE JOURNALS! Yeah, you really should have at least put some thought to that fact. Well, the truth is, this story is being written down after the story you are about to read has happened. Also, I’m not the one writing this. I’m just telling my friend Olivia what to put in here. Surprised? No? Maybe, just in case, I should spell it out again: CATS DON’T TALK! You know what? Maybe it would be easier if I just told the story.

Ok, back to the beginning: I was lost. Suddenly, I remembered where I was. Or at least, where I should be. Wendy’s is near here! I thought. I tumbled over to where I knew some half-eaten, half-rotten cheeseburgers would await me: the Wendy’s trash cans, any alley cat’s dream! There were four trash cans out there, and three smelled like fast food. The other one, though… I couldn’t put a finger on it! Or a paw, for that matter. It didn’t smell like magically good food, it smelled like actual, pure magic! I jumped inside to find out if there was anything to eat. There wasn’t, but I felt weird all of a sudden. I saw sparkles, and spun around and around. Maybe the trash can was empty, and I had hurt my head on the metal bottom. Then, the whirling stopped. I still saw sparkles, though. And pink trees. And flying cows. I had a feeling that I was not in D.C. anymore.

I didn’t know it yet, but I had fallen through a portal in the bottom of the trash can into a town called Misty Hill. It was set apart from the outside world, and for good reason: the people of Misty Hill knew magic, and used it on a daily basis! However, they needed some way to get to the “normals”, so they put up a portal. It was a bit unfortunate that they put it on the bottom of a trash can, since those half-eaten, half-rotten cheeseburgers I was drooling about earlier kept falling through, but even their wisest elders couldn’t figure out the principles of closing a portal. 

Anyways, the cheeseburgers turned out to be a good thing because they cushioned the fall. At the time, the townspeople were inside. Except for one little girl jumping rope, that is. She was also eating a cookie, which sounds unsafe while turning a jump rope, but the rope was turning on its own! I walked up to her, and rubbed against her legs. My golden fur gleamed in the sun, and I made my big eyes even bigger. 

“Meeeeooooow.” 

“Hi little kitty! Like my trick?” She asked. I thought, yes! As hard as I could. I guess it worked because she said, “It’s only practice. My parents are teaching me how to do magic! It really helps when I’m hungry, as you can see!” Then she looked at me. “My parents are teaching me all about magic gems. My favorite is opal. It’s soooooo pretty! I have an idea…” She went inside a house, and stayed in there for a bit. Then, she came out holding something. I couldn’t tell what it was, just that it was glowing. It was also covered in bright, shiny, multicolored stones. She skipped up to me. “An opal collar,” she said. “For you! It has so many magical properties! It could make you able to fly, immortal, or even…” She paused for dramatic effect. “IT COULD MAKE YOU ABLE TO TALK!” she blurted out. My tiny jaw dropped. Put it on, put it on, PUT IT ON! I thought.  “Here, let me get it on you,” she said. I resisted from scratching her. Suddenly, I felt like the shine from the opal was inside of me!

“Thanks! It’s pretty!” I said. Wait a moment… I SAID STUFF?! I guess the collar worked. Hmm… it was supposed to have other powers… maybe I could fly, too! I focused on being light, and floating on a cloud. Suddenly, everything around me started to shrink. Wait, no… I was just going higher and higher! I tried to go left — success! To go right — nailed it! To go down — I was home again! I didn’t want to try out immortality, though, because if I wasn’t immortal, I would die! Besides, I think immortality is one of those things you just have to depend on. 

“I don’t have a name, because I was an alley cat before I came, but I want to know yours,” I said. 

“Oh! Sorry, I still haven’t gotten used to, well, a talking cat. My name is Olivia. And do you know what? I’d like you to be my pet! Hmm… I think I’ll call you Pixie!” She said. I was overjoyed! Suddenly, a storm cloud appeared. It settled down on the hill that gave the town its name. Then, it turned into a person! A witch, in fact. She wore all black, and looked… well, evil! 

“Who is she?” I whispered to Olivia, terrified.

“She calls herself the Shadow Witch. She thinks she rules the town, and I guess she kinda does, with all her evil magic.”

“Greetings, lowly peasants! I would just like to inform you that anyone who disobeys the following rules will be personally punished by yours truly:

  1. Do not attempt to stop my reign.
  2. Do not assist those who I hold captive.
  3. Report anybody who disobeys the first two rules directly to me.

Remember, I am your ruler forever, and I CAN FIND YOU!” The shadow witch glared at the town one last time, then turned back into the black cloud and floated away.

“She was scary! But what did she mean by ‘I am your ruler forever’?” I asked Olivia.

“She’s immortal. That’s why nobody dares challenge her. She’s impossible to defeat! But you know what? I bet we could do it! We could save Misty Hill!” she replied. It was a good idea, but there was one flaw. 

“If we manage to kill her, which is already a huge difficulty, how would that make us any less evil than her?” I said with a worried look on my face. Then, it hit me.

“I have an idea! What if we just try to turn her good? Also, um, do you know the particularly handsome black cat that was next to her?”

“Some kitty has a cruuuuuuuuush!” Olivia teased. “But good plan!” She quickly added. I blushed, if cats can blush.

“I do not have a crush! Anyway, what’s his name?” I asked.

“His name is Vampire. And I’m sure you do like him on some level. Maybe if the Shadow Witch turns good, he will too. Anyway, we really should start our quest. But, before we go, I need to tell you something. You are a helpless little kitten without that collar, okay? You need to keep it safe in order to keep yourself safe.”

“I am not helpless without it! I can do all the stuff cats can usually do!” I retorted.

“Listen, I really don’t want to start an argument with you. Just keep the collar safe, ok?”

“Ok,” I agreed. I’ll prove you wrong. You’ll see, I thought. Then, I realized there was something very important we needed to know.

“Where does the Shadow Witch live?” I asked.

“I have no idea, actually. You know what, though? My parents will!” she exclaimed. So, we set off to her house.

Two minutes later, we arrived at the house she had gone into to make my collar. Thinking about that made me think about our argument. I felt bad for disagreeing with her. After all, she was my only friend, even if she was wrong about me. I remembered a phrase I had heard long ago that seemed quite literal now. Don’t bite the hand that feeds you, I thought to myself. We walked inside, only to have a terrible smell blasted into our nostrils.

“Ugh! Is mom trying her hand at cooking again? Daddy, I thought you promised not to let her do that anymore!” Olivia said. Her voice sounded funny, probably because she was pinching her nose.

“I’m truly sorry, honey. She read about a recipe that she thought would be simple, and I couldn’t stop her!” her dad replied.

“By the way, do you by any chance know where the Shadow Witch lives? Pixie and I want to make her good!” Olivia said casually.

“Well, um, are you sure you want to face her? I mean, I know you’re a brave girl, and your cat has that magic collar,” her father replied, flabbergasted. There it was again! Did underestimating me without my collar run in their family? I decided not to mention it. Don’t bite the hand that feeds you, dumdum! I reminded myself over and over again.

“Daddy, I’m serious. Pixie and I really want to do this! It could save us all!” Olivia whined.

“Um, if it’s any help, I also really want to do this. She’s telling the truth!” I mumbled.

“Alright then, girls, she lives on Craggy Cliff,” her dad told us. Olivia’s eyes widened with recognition. 

“You mean the Craggy Cliff, the main eyesore of Misty Hill? No way! Nobody could live there and not be evil!”

“True,” her dad said.

“I think you girls should go ahead. Be careful, though. Ok?” her dad said.

“Promise, Daddy.” With that, we started concocting a genius plan.

We agreed that first, I would fly out there to see if she was home. Craggy Cliff was at the edge of the town, but thankfully, the town was not very large, so the edge of it was only a ten minute flight. If the Shadow Witch was home, I would carry Olivia back to the lair with me. Then, we would talk to her (I would actually be talking more to Vampire, because he doesn’t speak human but I do speak cat, also because he is gorgeous). After the Shadow Witch turned good, we would become a foursome, working together to keep Misty Hill safe. Now, we just had to hope that everything would go according to plan.

Like we had agreed, I flew across the town to Craggy Cliff, where I saw a pitch-black castle shrouded in fog. I went over to one of the windows, and peered in, hoping I would not get caught. The Shadow Witch was even scarier up close. Not wanting to spend any more time on that horrible cliff, I flew back to where Olivia was waiting.

“She’s home, and she’s terrifying!” I whimpered to Olivia. Now, it was time for step two: I would fly back to the castle carrying Olivia. That seemed risky, seeing as she was a lot bigger than I was, but we tried anyway. We never got off the ground. 

“It’s hopeless! We’ll never be able to save anyone!” Olivia wailed. Then, I had an idea.

“Olivia! I can’t carry you, but you can carry me!”

“Yeah, but I don’t see how that would help. You’re the one who can fly,” she said sadly.

“I can only fly because of the collar! But if you let me take it off, just this once, then you could wear it as a bracelet! And if you did that, then you could fly there carrying me, instead of the other way around!” I said excitedly.

“Pixie, you’re a genius! Just promise me that you’ll put it back on once we get there.”

“I promise! Come on, let’s try it!” I exclaimed. She took off my collar. Without it, I felt like I was an alley cat again. She slipped it onto her wrist. It fit her perfectly! She scooped me up under her arm, and flew away. She was unsteady at first, but then she got the hang of it. In what felt like the blink of an eye, we were there! As bravely as we could muster, we walked up to the front door… and knocked.

The door opened. The Shadow Witch stood in front of us, and I could practically see the evil oozing out from her ears. She shooed us inside, and gestured for us to sit on rickety stools. Then, she spoke.

“I have a feeling you aren’t here to help me. However, if you are, I will accept the gift that you should have brought. Oooooooooh, is this it?” She was looking at my MY OPAL COLLAR!

“Opal always was a favorite of mine. Thank you!” Just like that, the plan was shattered. She had taken away my opal collar, and with it, my ability to talk. I had expected that, though, so I had another plan. One that, along with saving Misty Hill, would also make people stop underestimating me. I walked up to the Shadow Witch and rubbed against her legs, just like I had this morning with Olivia. Now, that was a distant memory. I don’t mean in the ‘it feels like so much time has passed’ way, just that I have a bad memory and, as you are noticing right now, a very short attention span. Anyway, back to the story.

I rubbed against the Shadow Witch’s legs and purred like a motorboat.

“Rrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.” I made my eyes extra large, especially for her. 

“Meeeooooooooooow!” I could pinpoint the moment that her hard heart melted, and the moment Olivia realized she had misjudged me. My collar was not who I was. I was who I was. And I was adorable.

“Oh, I’ve been so mean to the people of Misty Hill! I wanted respect, but I got it the wrong way. I owe everyone a huge apology!” the Shadow Witch confessed.

“Yeah, ya really do. But don’t worry, it’ll be ok. Pixie, I owe you an apology. I underestimated you and overestimated your collar. Friends, everyone?” Olivia asked.

“FRIENDS!” everyone shouted together. Except for Vampire. He meowed.

The next day, the Shadow Witch came once again to Misty Hill. she declared peace, and apologized, as promised.

“I know that I did a terrible thing, forcing you to do as I said through dark magic. I apologize for that, and hope that you can find it in your hearts to forgive me. Also, I have appointed a new ruler, since I was so bad at it. Everyone, please give a round of applause for the Sunshine Witch and her cat, Pixie!”

Olivia and I stood up from our picnic blanket in the audience, and got up onto the stage. She was smiling from ear to ear, and so was I. Then, she spoke.

“Hi everyone. Um, my name is Olivia, but you can call me the Sunshine Witch. I am happy to stand in front of you today, and start to spread joy around Misty Hill. However, I couldn’t have done it without my cat, Pixie. Pixie, would you like to say a few words?”

“Hi. I am also happy that Olivia is your new leader. She is a great leader, if a bit stubborn. So, yeah. That’s all.” Everyone applauded. I walked over to Vampire.

“Hi! You were great up there,” he said. Oh, yeah, I almost forgot: he has an opal collar now! Olivia made a matching one for him!

“Thanks,” I said, blushing. Olivia walked over to us.

“Pixie, come with me. I have to take you somewhere!” I followed her to the portal.

“Do I have to go back to the outside world? Is this goodbye?” I said, a bit overdramatically.

“No! I would never part with you! You’re my pet, remember? Just jump in! Trust me!” I jumped through the portal. 

I tumbled out inside a Wendy’s trash can. I hopped out so that Olivia wouldn’t fall on top of me. A few seconds later, I heard a clunk, and Olivia clambered out of the trash can. We walked up to the front of the Wendy’s.

“Wait here,” Olivia said. I sat down next to the door, and Olivia went inside. She came out with a bag. It smelled like Wendy’s, but not rotten!

“I thought you deserved to try some Wendy’s that wasn’t from a trash can,” she said. She reached into the bag and produced a cheeseburger.

“Is it all for me?” I asked, mouth watering.

“Yup!” was Olivia’s excited reply. I stuck my nose into the soft bun. It smelled like butter. I savored the smell until I couldn’t wait any longer, then bit in. it was the best thing I had ever tasted! In about a millisecond, I had sucked down the whole thing. When Olivia had finished hers, we went back through the portal. The Shadow Witch and Vampire were waiting for us. It was good to be home.

As predicted by yours truly, Olivia was a great ruler. The Shadow Witch, Vampire, Olivia, and I became a foursome. We practiced magic, had sleepovers, and did karaoke. The opal collars also made it so that Vampire and I didn’t grow up, and stayed cute little kittens forever. The Shadow Witch enchanted Olivia with the same spell that made her immortal, so we literally had forever to keep being awesome. So, yeah. We went all over Misty Hill, solving problems and making people happy. (With, of course, very frequent trips through the portal to get Wendy’s!)

So, basically, that’s my life story. Except, y’know, it doesn’t end there. It keeps going, because I am still alive! I will be forever! Olivia went home for the day. Her fingers got tired, so she taught me how to type. So, yes, you now have a talking, flying, immortal, and typing cat. I think next, I might learn how to jump rope or play hopscotch, so that I can play more with Olivia. The Shadow Witch and Vampire are out getting me some cheeseburgers. Wait! Did I just hear my magic kitty-phone ring? I did! It’s Vampire… oh no! Maybe the cheeseburgers sold out! No, not that. Vampire says – he says the Shadow Witch sensed dark magic! She said it wasn’t coming from Misty Hill, though! She said… the dark magic is coming from the outside world!

Ali and The Missing Book

One day, when the sun was up and hot, Ali the snake was slithering in the desert as usual. Right then, he heard that the latest book was coming out and it had only one copy! He slithered straight to the library only to see that everybody was leaving. Ali asked somebody what had happened. He said, “The latest book that just came out was bought but the person who got the book said he dropped it but doesn’t remember where. Nobody found it after that.”

Then, Ali thought that if he found the book, he could buy it for free. He first started with finding the name of the person who sold the book to know who had bought the book. So Ali found the person who sold the book and his name was Fred. He had black hair, was about 5 feet tall, and had a red jacket. Ali asked Fred who he sold the book to. Fred replied, “The man didn’t say his name but he was in his teens ,had red hair, and had a grey jacket. Pretty easy guy to recognize but rumor is that he is hiding.”

Ali said thanks to Fred and he said, “No problem.” After that, Ali set off to find him. He just saw him but he ran away and Ali just couldn’t catch up to him. Just then, out of the corner, somebody crashed into the man who was running away. Ali caught up to the man and said, “What is your name and where did you know you dropped your book?” The man answered,

“I’m Jack, but I guess that I just dropped the book.”

Just then, a small bucket fell on Ali and Jack started running away. Meanwhile, Ali didn’t like tight spaces so he tried to wiggle out but the bucket was too heavy. Then, somebody lifted the bucket. It was Fred. He said, “I saw the whole thing but I was too far away to do anything. Oh, I forgot to tell you about the book. It had a big gem in the middle surrounded by tiny gems.”

Just then, a gem fell out of somebody’s bag. Ali couldn’t see the man who dropped the gem because he was running. Then, he spotted a trail of tiny gems and followed them to the missing book! Then, Jack and the man who dropped the gem came out of a corner and Ali hid. Jack said to the man who dropped the gem, “Did you get the book, Bill?”

Ali suspected Bill was the man who dropped the gem. Bill had brown hair, brown sweatshirt, and peach skin. Ali got an idea. He made a shadow of a King Cobra and Jack ran away but Bill picked up the book and tried scaring Ali away. Just then, somebody jumped out of a bush and grabbed Bill. It was Fred, but Bill didn’t even think about looking. He dropped the book and ran away as fast as he could. Ali grabbed the book from the ground. Then, he asked Fred, “How did you know I was here?” Fred replied, “I saw the crystals and they led to Jack and Bill. Then, I realized that they were working together and saw that you tried to scare them and I tried it too. First, I sneaked up on them. Next, I waited for you to scare them once, then I scared them the second time. So that’s how I found you.”

Finally, they both returned the book and Fred gladly sold it to Ali. The tiny crystals on the book were put in a red and blue pattern. There was also a very big gem in the middle. It was half red and half blue and felt very smooth and soft. Ali started reading the book. The title was “The Missing Book.”

The Chronicles of Mystery Part 1

Chapter 1

It was a foggy and rainy day as Samantha the detective hurried to the classroom. She was late because of a dentist appointment. As she opened the classroom door, to her surprise, all her classmates were missing! Samantha was frightened of what she saw. 

The walls were scraped, chairs and tables were broken, and books were scattered all over the place. 

Then, she saw a big hole behind the bookshelf that wasn’t there before. Samantha pushed the bookshelf with all her might and entered the secret chamber. 

The walls were crumbling. It was so big, you could easily get lost, Samantha thought. She found a staircase that led to the huge and crumbling clock that was actually very pretty. 

Suddenly, the clock struck 12:00. At the very top of the clock, two doors opened and figurines that looked like students from a long time ago spun round and round the clock. 

On one of the figurines, Samantha spotted a book in the arms of a small girl with silver wavy hair. Two other girls were placed beside her. One of the girls had long blond hair expertly woven into a braid, followed by the other girl with slick black hair tied into a ponytail. They all had one thing in common: a bracelet. 

Samantha took the book from the silver haired figurine and saw on the bottom there was a stone that said the girls’ names: the blond hair girl was Chloe, the shortest one was Avery, Linzy was the one with the darkest hair. 

Samantha tiptoed down the stairs. Next, Samantha slowly closed the secret passageway. Then, she slipped the book inside her backpack and hurried home as the last bell had just rung. 

The next day Samantha arrived at school early to tell her two best friends, Brooklyn and Riri, what happened because they were in completely different classes. Riri, an eight year old girl with wavy and pretty black hair, became best friends with Brooklyn and Samantha in 1st grade. Brooklyn, a nine year old girl who was a head taller than Riri, had pretty brunette hair.  Samantha, who was eight years old, was a head taller than Riri, and had pretty rose gold hair. 

“Samantha, today we have a substitute teacher. She’s new and you can join our class until your class is found,” Riri said.  

“You can sit next to us so we can write notes to each other of what we think could have happened,” Brooklyn said. So, they all went to class. 

“Samantha, did you tell anybody yet about the secret chamber?” Brooklyn asked in a hushed voice. 

“Well, not exactly,” said Samantha, “I did not want to tell anybody yet because I just wanted a mystery to solve by myself. ” 

 “Fine,” said Brooklyn. Riri was about to say something but the door slammed open. Then, out came the substitute teacher. She sat down on the chair and then took attendance. Samantha then noticed there was something awfully familiar about her slick black hair that was tied into a ponytail. 

“Single file line. Hurry, we are going on a field trip to the museum,” the teacher said in a loud and sturdy voice before Samantha could say anything.  

Then, everybody went on to the bus. Samantha found Riri and Brooklyn and sat next to them before anyone could steal her spot. On the way to the museum, they talked about the secret chamber and talked about what could be familiar about the substitute teacher and who could be the girls in the clock. 

“I found this book in one of their arms,” Samantha told them, and she showed them the soft yet mysterious book. Riri’s eyes opened wide. 

“Why are you so excited?” Brooklyn asked Riri.

“That clock is really old so it will probably have a history of who the girls are,” Riri said.  

“I don’t think that those girls are that old. Those girls should be grown-ups by now,” Samantha said.  

“We are here, come on,” said the substitute teacher. She then led the students inside the museum and gave them all a clipboard and a packet. “In your packet, you can take notes about any old artifact that is in the museum and what you learned and what you are interested in now.”  

“Come on, we need to go to the clock section,” said Samantha .

“Okay,” said Riri. 

“Can you guys slow down?” asked Brooklyn, doing her best to catch up with them. 

“Nope,” said Riri, giggling.  

“Hurry, the sign said the clock exhibit is going to close in five minutes,” said Samantha. Then, they finally reached the exhibit and, to their surprise, the substitute teacher beat them there. 

“Do you guys have an interest in clocks? I can show you some clocks from school if you like,” said the substitute teacher. 

“Yes, please,” said Riri in a polite manner. 

“Which clock would you like to learn about? I have a whole book of clocks,” said the substitute teacher.

“Do you have a book about a clock at school next to the principal’s office building?”asked Samantha. 

“No, there is not a clock there,” said the teacher in a suspicious tone of voice. They then heard someone shout. 

“Out of the clock exhibit, it is closing in one minute,” said a teenage boy who looked like a janitor.  

“There is something awfully weird about her. She is very familiar and just by the tone of her voice she is keeping something from us,” Samantha then said to Brooklyn and Riri. 

“Whatever you say,” answered Riri in a voice that she never used before. Samantha, Brooklyn, and Riri then walked to the bus. 

“What if there is no North side? What if the clock is hidden behind the bushes where Samantha accidently threw the ball over the fence?” Riri said. 

“Impossible. When we saw the ball go over the fence, it hit something hard that sounded like a few bricks,” said Brooklyn. “Oooh, I get it now!”

“Told ya,” said Riri. Samantha looked at them, looking very bored and tapping her foot.

“Okay, okay, come on. Let’s just jump over the bush full of thorns that Melissa got poked by in 1st grade. Great plan, just great,” said Samantha sarcastically.  

“But didn’t Melissa say there was a big clock in the back of the bush?” said Riri. 

“Congrats, we have a new smarty pants now. Congrats, Riri,” said Brooklyn. 

“Oh, stop itm Brooklyn,” said Samantha. 

“Let’s just go now to the bush but Brooklyn gets Melissa before we go to the bush now, okay?” said Riri proudly. 

“Okay, I will get her,” said Brooklyn, swirling her brunette curls. 

“Time to get off the bus.” said the substitute teacher who told everyone to call her Ms. Linzy and surprisingly she was only 11…    

To be continued…

Found But Forgotten

Part 1

The way my life turned upside down all started with donuts. Yup, donuts. That delicious, puffy, glazed, chocolaty treat with sprinkles. It all started when I was seven years old at my soccer championship. It was intense. The goalie on the other team was staring me down. She spit on the ground and kicked the ground hard. 

“Ewwwwww!” I shouted in her face, splattering my spit on her face. It then temporarily blinded her as she screamed,

“Get it off!!!”

 I dashed around the spluttering goalie and kicked the ball into the net. I had scored the final point, and I won the Star Girls Soccer Championship. I ran with joy into my mom and dad and gave them a huge hug. Little did I know that would be the last hug I gave in a long time. I then ran around and gave my whole team high fives.

“Yay, great job out there, Abbigail,” my soccer coach bellowed as I did my victory lap. 

“You are totally the most amazing, splendid person ever!!!” yelled Taylor as I ran by. Taylor was my best friend in the entire world. 

My parents then called out and said, ”We’re going to go get donuts for your whole team because we are so proud of you guys.”

“That would be awesome!!! Thanks, Mom and Dad,” I yelled right before they left for the donut shop. I was all pumped and decided to take a break and sit down and talk to my friends. I talked and played hand games for half an hour or so. I was wondering why they hadn’t come back. The donut shop had only been a 15 minute drive. But there may have been traffic or a long line. I didn’t know so I just got out my iPad and played games with my friend. 

I didn’t know how long it had been until my friend’s mom said, “It’s been an hour and a half. Please stop playing.” 

Wait, but if it had been an hour and a half, why hadn’t my parents been back yet? I started to get worried and started to panic.

 “Where are my mom and dad?” I asked frantically. All the parents looked at each other and shared the same confused look. It was silent.

 “I don’t know,” a parent spoke up and said. 

There was a murmur of whispers by the parents going around. I could make out things like, “I always knew Tom and Sussie would be bad parents at some point,” “Oh the poor girl,” and, “Are they out at a club or something?” 

Then, sirens came blaring down the street. There was a big official car that said “Child Protective Services” on the front of it. 

A tall man in a black suit came out of the car and said, “We heard a child has been abandoned. We are here to take her to a good place.” 

What? My brain was racing. How were they here? Did someone tell them to come? Why? Who had done it if someone did? 

The big man came up to me and said, “Come with me.” I tried to escape but he was too strong.

 “Please, sir, this is a misunderstanding. My parents just went to get donuts, they will be back,” I yelled, trying to convince him and myself that that was true. But by then, I was in a truck driving away with nothing but my tablet.   

Part 2 

Ten years later, on a rocking ship, in a small bed. 

“Did you think they ever intended to come back, Abbs?” said Jaden, a fellow kid who was taken by Child Protective Services.

 “No,” I said, looking down at my feet. 

Jaden then tried to reassure me. “It’s going to be okay,” he said.

 “Are you 100% sure about that?” I said sarcastically.

 “No, I am 36.44897403890563891249% sure about it,” Jaden said sarcastically back. “But really, Abbs. No one can ever be really sure about anything, can they?” Jaden said, looking right at me.

 “No… ”  I said, giving in. 

“See? Life can’t be certain, especially if it’s someone else’s life,” Jaden said with a sad smile. “If I could predict life, I would have told my parents not to go on a trip in Miami and not to crash their car.” Jaden looked at his hands solemnly.

 “I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to bring up anything that may have brought back bad memories,” I said, patting Jaden on the back.

 “Oh no, don’t apologize. I practically find a way to bring them up into the conversation no matter what,” Jaden said, laughing slightly.

 “If we just keep looking to the future, it will end up better. And who knows? Maybe life will end up back as normal,” I said, looking out our small cramped bedroom window. Little did I know that that wouldn’t be the answer and that life would never be normal again.

The Haunted Cheeseburger (Series 1)

          THE HAUNTED CHEESEBURGER

                           PART 1

Once upon a time, there was a haunted cheeseburger and he got eaten by a pack of fries!!! Butt, oh, the butt you know that isn’t the, “Oh, but I don’t want to,” it’s the butt on your bottom. Someone ate them before they could finish themselves. So after, he had to go to the bathroom and you know what, they did. But, sniff sniff, sorry, if you, sniff, can’t hear me well, this story is just sooo sad!!! 

So anyway, they escaped from the pipes and they went to the Food Mart Valentine’s Day dance and had their moment but something happened. They realized that the ice cream cop that arrested Aaron when he took Ms. Potato Head the Pack of Fries in Part 1. 

So they hid for hours to survive. But they ran to the Valentine’s Day dance and had the time of their lives and they kissed but that kiss ended up turning into them eating 

each other!!! But wait, oh no!!! What happened? You will find out in Part 2. 

                            HAUNTED CHEESEBURGER

                                        PART 2

PREVIOUSLY ON HAUNTED CHEESEBURGER: 

“OMG, WE’RE GONNA GET SQUISHED BY SOMEONE’S BUTT!” SAID AARON. 

“I KNOW, LET’S GO IN THE PIPES!” SAID MR POTATO HEAD.

“WE’RE HERE AT THE VALENTINE’S DAY DANCE,” SAID AARON.

AND NOW THE PRESENT. 

“OKAY, WE’RE HERE FINALLY AT THE VALENTINE’S DAY DANCE AT THE FOOD MART,” SAID AARON. 

“OH MY GOSH, LOOK. THERE’S VOMIT CHEESEBURGERS. THERE’S FART PUNCH POOP CUPCAKES, AND AND FINALLY, PEE CHOCOLATE MILK,” SAID MRS POTATO HEAD.

“LET’S DANCE,” SAID AARON. 

“OH NO!!! IT’S THE COP THAT ALMOST CAUGHT US IN THE LAST PART! WE HAVE TO HIDE, COME ON, LET’S GO BACK IN THE PIPES,” SAID AARON. 

 “NO, IT’S GROSS IN THERE. ROTTEN HOT DOG, WHAT ARE YOU DOING HERE?”

“HIDING FROM THE COP. SHE’S A PSYCHO. SHE WILL JUST SEE SOMEONE AND SAY, ‘YOU’RE UNDER ARREST!!!’ BUT I STOLE A COKE FROM THE FOOD MART BEFORE THE VALENTINE’S DAY DANCE AND THAT’S WHY SHE’S ON MY CASE.”

“BUT WHAT DID YOU TAKE FROM THE FOOD MART?”

“WELL YESTERDAY, I HEARD THAT THERE WAS GOING TO BE A DANCE AT THE FOOD MART. I WAS TOTALLY GOING TO GO BUT I NEEDED A DATE SO I STOLE MRS. POTATO HEAD,” SAID ROTTEN HOT DOG.

“HI.” THERE IS MUSIC THAT PEOPLE PLAY WHEN THEY FALL IN LOVE. “OMG, I MUST BE IN HEAVEN CAUSE I’M LOOKING AT THE MOST BEAUTIFUL PACK OF FRIED POTATOES EVER.”

 “WELL ANYWAY, THE COP IS GONE SO WE WILL GO BACK TO THE DANCE,” SAID AARON.

SEE WHAT HAPPENS IN PART 3! WILL MRS. POTATO HEAD AND AARON HAVE THEIR MOMENT AT THE UNDREAMABLE VALENTINE’S DAY DANCE AT THE FOOD MART OR WILL MRS. POTATO HEAD DUMP AARON FOR ROTTEN HOT DOG?

OH AND BY THE WAY, IF YOU HAVE A DOG THAT IS SUCH A GOODY TWO SHOES IT MAKES YOU LOOK LIKE A DORK. TAKE YOUR DOG TO ISLA’S UNBEHAVED DOGGY DAY CARE.  

                       HAUNTED CHEESEBURGER

                                   PART 3

“So, Aaron, will you accept Mrs. Potato Head to be your yummy wedded wife?”

“I do.” 

“And Mrs. Potato Head, do you accept Aaron to be your husband” 

“I d — ”

“Hey, Mrs. Potato Head, what the heck are you doing here?” 

“Oh, um, Rotten Hot Dog, what are you doing here?”

 “I’m picking up my wife, wait. Rotten Hot dog — wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, Mrs. Potato Head, what is he talking about?” 

“I’m sorry, but I married him at the Food Mart at the pre-Valentine’s Day dance and I agreed to go with him to the real dance in a month. I’m so, so sorry but I have to go with my real husband… ” 

“Well, what am I going to do now? We already got a mansion… ”

“OMG, Aaron, I do. Yes, yes, yes, we’re married, let’s go to our mansion, and Aaron, since we’re married, can you go to the Valentine’s Day dance with me?”

Of course. Yes.”

Read more in Part 6 where they have their moment at the Valentine’s Day dance (the real one) and move into their mansion or will a Rotten Hot Dog ruin everything and steal his woman back?

I know your address, you guys, you are in big trouble. This is your last chance to go to Isla’s inappropriate doggy day care!! 

                         HAUNTED CHEESEBURGER

                                    PART 4

Aaron: Come on, Mr. Potato Head, let’s go and boogie.

Mr. Potato Head: Oh, uuuuum, Aaron, I have to tell you something. I have fried potato Itis.

Aaron: WHAT!!!

Mr. Potato Head: But only on you, not on Rotten Hot Dog, and when you have fried potato Itis, you can’t marry the person you’re with, so I’m super, duper, fruit-looper sorry, but I have to divorce you. 

Aaron: But wait, I’m sorry. 

Mr. Potato Head: It’s too late!! Hi, Rotten Hot Dog, wanna dance?

Rotten Hot Dog: Oh, you know it.

Aaron: Well, now what am I going to do? 

Mr. Potato Head: Aaron. 1,2,3, APRIL FOOLS!! (JAZZ MUSIC.) We’re not really divorcing. I just wanted to get you really good and we’re having a pool party in our mansion tonight, and in the pool, I added some really cool lights and we will watch their favorite show.

Mr. Potato Head & Aaron: “NAILED IT!!!” 

                       HAUNTED CHEESEBURGER

                                  PART 5

Aaron: We’re finally home!

Mrs. Potato head: Y —

Mrs Potato Head’s soon-to-be husband: Mrs Potato Head, what are you doing!?

Aaron: Mrs Potato Head, who is this?

Mrs. Potato Head: His name is Mike, he’s my-soon-to —

Mrs. Potato Head’s soon-to-be husband: She’s my soon-to-be wife.

Mrs. Potato Head: Yeah. 

Aaron: But we’re married?

Mrs Potato Head: I’m sorry, I have to divorce you but you can come to the wedding. 

Aaron: Well okay. 

(5 hours later.)

Wedding Guy: Do you take Mrs. Potato Head to be your yummy wedded wife?

Mrs. Potato Head’s soon-to-be husband: I do. 

Wedding guy: And Mr. Potato Head, do you —

Mrs. Potato Head: I… I… I do not, Aaron, I’m sorry, I don’t want to marry Mike. Let’s go home and watch —

Aaron: “Nailed it!!?”

Mrs. Potato Head: YES! 

                          HAUNTED CHEESEBURGER

                                     PART 6

Mrs. Potato Head: Um, Aaron? (As they are sitting on the couch watching “Nailed it.”)

Aaron: Yeah?

Mrs. Potato Head: Well, uh, you see, we have to break up. 

Aaron: WHAT!!

Mrs. Potato Head: I’m sorry, it’s just I got engaged to someone else. 

Aaron: What? But the Valentine’s Day dance is coming up so soon, it’s in a couple weeks. 

Mrs. Potato Head: I’m sorry, I just- I have to do what’s right. 

Aaron: Fine, I’ll break up with you and I never want to see you again. 

Mrs. Potato Head: Wait no, Aaron, wait, this is a prank. 

Aaron: Nope, I don’t care if it’s a prank, I don’t want to be with you anyway. You prank me constantly and you never ever appreciate me. 

Mrs. Potato Head: OMG, what have I done? I can’t believe I just said that, I didn’t mean to break up with him. Oh my gosh, who made me do that? 

Rotten Hot Dog: Oh who did that to you, you’re wondering? Well, me, I did it. 

Mrs. Potato Head: AARON, WAIT! 

Aaron: Mrs. Potato Head, what’s going on?

Mrs. Potato Head: Please take me back, please please please. 

Aaron: Wait, what, why?

Mrs. Potato Head: It’s Rotten Hot Dog. I didn’t want to break up with you, he made me. 

Aaron: Well of course I’ll take you back. 

Mrs. Potato Head: Well let’s go home and watch — 

Mrs. Potato and Aaron: “NAILED IT!” 

                                HAUNTED CHEESEBURGER 

                                           PART 7

AARON: HEY, MRS. POTATO HEAD!  

MRS. POTATO HEAD: HEY, AARON. 

ROTTEN HOT DOG: YEAH, HEY, AARON!!

AARON: ROTTEN HOT DOG, WHAT ARE YOU DOING HERE? 

ROTTEN HOT DOG: OH YOU KNOW, JUST CONTROLLING MRS. POTATO HEAD’S MIND. 

AARON: WHAT?! 

MRS. POTATO HEAD: HELP ME, AARON!!

ROTTEN HOT DOG: OH, MRS. POTATO HEAD. HE CAN’T SAVE YOU UNLESS HE STOPS ME. 

AARON: THEN I WILL, HIYA!!!

ROTTEN HOT DOG: THE ONLY THING THAT CAN DEFEAT ME IS WATER. WAIT, I SHOULDN’T HAVE SAID THAT. 

AARON: WELL, THEN TAKE THAT! SWOOSH! 

ROTTEN HOT DOG: NOOO!

MRS. POTATO HEAD: YOU SAVED ME! 

AARON: YEP, NOW LET’S GO WATCH “NAILED IT.” 

                     HAUNTED CHEESEBURGER 

                                 PART 8

AARON: IT’S MOVIE NIGHT, MRS. POTATO HEAD. (AS THEY ARE SITTING ON THE COUCH.)

MRS. POTATO HEAD: I’M SO EXCITED, I CAN’T BELIEVE WE HAVE 998,987 SEASONS OF “NAILED IT” LEFT! I’M SO GLAD WE GOT THIS SPOTLESS MANSION. 

ROTTEN HOT DOG: YEAH, I’M SO EXCITED. 

AARON: WHA… ??? I THOUGHT I, WAIT, WHAAA? I AM SO CONFUSED. 

ROTTEN HOT DOG: OH, YOU SEE, I TRIED TO MAKE IT SEEM LIKE I WOULD DISAPPEAR IF I TOUCHED WATER, BUT REALLY, WATER MAKES ME STRONGER. 

MRS. POTATO HEAD: SO YOU BAMBOOZLED US. 

ROTTEN HOT DOG: I FOOLED YOU BUT I DON’T KNOW WHAT BAMBOOZLED MEANS. 

MRS. POTATO HEAD: BAMBOOZLED MEANS YOU FOOLED US BUT ALMOST DIDN’T, WE’VE BEEN OVER THIS!!!

AARON: THAT’S NOT WHAT BAMBOOZLED MEANS, WAAAAAAAIT! 

ROTTEN HOT DOG: WHAT!  

AARON: WHEN WOULD YOU HAVE TIME TO DISCUSS THAT!!

MRS. POTATO HEAD: UUUUUUUUMM. 

ROTTEN HOT DOG: OH YEAH, WE WENT ON A DATE YESTERDAY. WE HAD SPAGHETTI. 

MRS. POTATO HEAD: FOR THE LAST TIME, IT WAS NOT SPAGHETTI, IT WAS ANGEL HAIR!!! 

AARON: HOLD ON, YOU WENT ON A DATE!!!

MRS. POTATO HEAD: ROTTEN HOT DOG MADE ME. 

AARON: CARE TO EXPLAIN YOURSELF, DUDE?

ROTTEN HOT DOG: UHHHHHH, OH, SORRY, GOT TO GO. 

MRS POTATO HEAD: WELL, STILL WANNA WATCH “NAILED IT”?

AARON: YOU KNOW IT. 

MRS. POTATO HEAD: SEASON 2,013, EPISODE 5,976. 

The Isolation Experiment

Chapter I – The Isolation Experiment

The Isolation Experiment was a famous scientific test in which 5 humans were placed in large, white boxes with a chair, a bed, and a slot in which they would receive food. The goal was to test what happened if a person didn’t see anyone or anything but the room they were in for a month. To make sure that the subjects could stay active(ish), they would get to walk down the hall and back again.

Out of coincidence, or so they thought, they all met in the same place, at the same time.

Eliza and Maxwell were a mere wall away, yet never saw each other. Both began to lose their minds after a week (“People need people,” Eliza would mutter constantly).

Ally was in the next room from Maxwell, who took an approach to imagine that there were people in the room with her. She would have conversations with air that she was imagining was a person that she created. It was found that she stayed more mentally stable than the rest. Her room was next to Arianna’s, who was just surprisingly good at being alone. She would find a new way to entertain herself in a different way each day. She was the youngest of the group, being 19 at the time.

Anthony was in the first room to the right (next to Arianna), and from the first day, he tried to find a way that he could find a loophole in the experiment so that he could get some new scenery, see another person, or something else like that to maintain his sanity. Thinking about how to do one of these things was actually what kept him from going crazy, until he found out how to do it.

Chapter II – Into the Unknown

Eliza was in the farthest room on the left. Her sister, Lilian, had signed her up without consulting her first, therefore, she didn’t know until three days before the experiment had begun. Without being prepared and by being a “people person,” she fell victim to being alone immediately and began begging through the camera that she forfeit the experiment. After nobody came for a week, she lost hope and sat on her bed all day, every day, except for when she got her meals through the slot in the door and walked down the hall and back every day. She felt as if this would be her life forever, and that she would never see a face again.

That changed when the subjects met.

Maxwell signed himself up, thinking he’d be fine while being isolated from all of humanity, and, like Eliza, let loneliness get the best of him. His room was to the right of Eliza’s. He decided that it was best to just wait for the experiment to end.

Ally decided that she would sign up. She thought that if being put alone in a room would mess with her mind, she would just imagine that she wasn’t alone or that she was somewhere else. The experiment found that she was almost as mentally stable as before the experiment.

Arianna was just bored, and decided that the experiment would help her pass the time. She knew that the experiment would limit what she had to do, so she decided to keep herself busy every day with something else to do in the room.

Anthony was tricked into the experiment as a prank and just accepted to enter it, but he knew that he would do anything he could to escape or find a loophole. That’s exactly what he did. How it went down was that he used his hallway walk to change the experiment’s participants’ walk schedule so that they would all meet in the hallway at the same time. He took an alternate (and half improvised) route to the dry-erase calendar that depicted the subjects’ time in and out of the room, meal times, notes about each participant, etc. He had to find a way to not be seen by any of the lab’s cameras or anyone in the building. He erased the calendar so that everyone would be out of their rooms at the same time. He hurried back to his room and waited for the next day to come when his plan would be put into action.

Anthony’s plan would succeed and all of the experiment participants would meet at the same time, in the same place, and the experiment would be ruined.

Chapter III – Meetup in Hallway 9

The day had started like any other, and every experiment subject woke up at the same moment from a loud alarm through a speaker connected to the camera in each room. At 1:00 p.m. sharp, all of the participants began their walk. Anthony, being closest to the end of the hallway, arrived first to where all of the subjects would meet. He was quickly followed by Arianna, who gasped upon seeing him. “Another human!” she said, delighted.

Ally turned up next and froze before Anthony and Arianna, before slowly approaching them and saying, “… am I hallucinating?… !”

Maxwell was coming next, but Eliza came running from behind them, stopping abruptly when she saw other people. “The hallways are long and I’m the farthest from here… might as well run,” she said when she saw Arianna’s face.

When Maxwell made it to the end of the hall and lifted his head, his eyes widened and he said, “Hello there… ” slowly.

Suddenly, out of nowhere, loud alarms sounded from every direction. A voice echoed through the hallway. “MEETUP IN HALLWAY 9!” it screamed continuously.

“Run. My room’s the closest,” said Anthony. Everyone ran to Anthony’s room, went in, and locked the door.

“I guess we’re waiting here, then,” said Ally calmly.

“Guess so,” said Maxwell.

“We have to escape next,” said Anthony.

Chapter IV – The Tile

There were now 5 people in 1 small room with laboratory guards pounding on its locked door. The room didn’t have any openings other than the door, and for obvious reasons, it wouldn’t be the brightest idea to unlock it. There wasn’t anything to break a wall with in the room, so breaking a wall wasn’t possible. Eliza’s description fit perfectly. “Dead end,” she said.

“There must be something that people use to get out of these rooms… other than the door… ” said Eliza before her voice trailed off.

For thirty minutes, the five test subjects searched the room relentlessly for an exit. Maxwell pushed on the walls, Arianna kicked them.

“The floor… ” said Anthony slowly. “There’s a tile in the floor that’s loose. There could be something under it.”

Anthony headed to the corner of the room in which one of the floor tiles was significantly looser than the rest, being easy to pick up. Anthony did so, revealing a gaping hole. The tiles around the one that had been removed fell instantly. The hole seemed bottomless from where Anthony, Ally, Arianna, Eliza, and Maxwell were standing.

“Maybe we should drop something down fir — ” Ally began, but Arianna had already hopped down the hole.

“Is it safe?” bellowed Anthony, but by then, everyone else had stepped off the edge of the hole and was descending into the floor except for him and Eliza.

“Well then, see you at the bottom,” said Eliza before going after the others.

Anthony decided that if everyone else had gone and the guards were nearly through the door, he might as well take the only way out. “Here goes nothing.”

Chapter V – Welcome to Michigan

Anthony fell with a bang in a dark, sewage-like black tunnel. The other four were walking down the hallway it led into (well, Eliza was pretty much running again). Once everyone had made their way to the end of the hall, there was a large door. It took all five of them to open it. There was a large staircase that led to a busy highway. “What now?” asked Arianna.

“We find out where we are,” said Ally steadily. There was a sign about 200 feet away from where Ally was standing so she started walking towards it. The sign read, ‘Welcome to Michigan!’ and that there was a welcome center close by.

“Then let’s head to that welcome center,” said Anthony when he had caught up.

Arianna, Maxwell, Eliza, and Anthony trailed behind Ally to the welcome center in the distance. When they arrived, the people in the welcome center didn’t move. Probably because they were in disheveled, dirty laboratory clothing.

“Welcome to Michigan… ” squeaked a small man behind a large oak desk. Ally stepped forward.

“Look. We need a hotel. Where can we find one?” Ally said.

“The next exit on the highway,” said the man behind the desk nervously.

“Well then, farewell,” said Ally before walking out the door.

Everyone arrived at the hotel an hour later. To the five’s shock, there were a group of reporters eagerly waiting. There was a wave of  shouting from the reporters saying things like, ‘Why did you decide to escape?’ and, ‘How did you get past the laboratory’s guards?’ and, ‘Do you regret your escape?’ and with that, Ally said, “Now we face the media.”

Chapter VI – The Media

When Eliza, Maxwell, Ally, Arianna, and Anthony had been brought to the Michigan Today news tower and offered clean clothing, the questioning began. There were sleek, grey cameras everywhere, and a woman with blonde hair sitting across from the five of them.

“This is Michigan Today News and I’m Olivia Murphy with the five escaped subjects of The Isolation Experiment,” the woman said. “First question,” she said, turning to Anthony. “The Worldwide Laboratory’s cameras saw that the way you escaped was through a hole in your room’s floor. How did you think of checking under a loose tile?”

“Uh — what else were we gonna do?” Anthony responded.

“Next question is for you, Arianna,” said the newscaster carelessly.

Arianna jerked her head upwards upon hearing her name.

“You jumped into the hole first. Why did you do that before even testing it?”

“I guess if there’s a giant hole that seems to have purposely been put there, it must be safe to go down it… ” responded Arianna.

“Next question is for Eliza. Why did you decide to escape with the others?”

“If there are angry guards pounding at my door and an opportunity to get out of an experiment that is torturing me, I’m going to take it, of course,” responded Eliza angrily.

“We have to take a quick commercial break, but we’ll be back with the Isolation Experiment escapees afterwards,” said the newscaster.

Chapter VII – The Isolation Experiment (?)

The Isolation Experiment was a famous scientific test in which 5 humans were placed  in large white boxes with a chair, a bed, and a slot in which they would receive food. The goal was to put the experiment’s subjects into a psychopathic state of mind by isolating them from all other people. Either the scientists would watch them lose their minds… or they’d be a small percentage of the population that would find a way out of the experiment… through a tunnel, a welcome center, a hotel, and a news tower.

But surely, they wouldn’t figure that out.

And even if they did, how could they know it had all been planned? How would they guess that it wasn’t just good luck?

The Lab also had an extraordinary reputation. Nobody would believe that they would set up a fake experiment and have five participants agree to that while actually just mentally torturing them, it was scientists from around the world’s word versus the word of five people with no proof. This “Isolation Experiment” was going to go just as planned. They couldn’t escape.

But could they?

Chapter VIII – About the Lab…

Everything went wrong for the scientists at The Worldwide Laboratory. Their 5 test subjects were informed about the criminal plan and that there were phone calls, secret letters, and camera records proving it. They were told by an investigator that had become involved in the case. It had been in the airport that they were all set to depart back to their homes from.

“About the Lab… ” the investigator started. “… it was all a plan. They wanted to watch you all lose your minds.”

Arianna gasped slightly, but in a way, that suggested that she knew that what was said was true all along.

“They made the hole purposely… but tried to make it look like it just so happened to be there… ” Eliza said softly, apparently deep in thought, eyes staring blankly ahead.

“I could tell that it was all fake a bit… ” Maxwell began. “… but I told myself that it couldn’t be… at least it couldn’t be happening to me.”

There was an uncomfortable silence, with no sounds but the bustling of the airport in the background.

“When we all found each other at the end of that hallway, they must’ve known that we might have the wit to escape,” said Ally blankly.

“Or perhaps they made the hole for themselves to escape in case they were found out and if the lab was raided,” added Maxwell. “Anyone’s guess, honestly.”

The people in charge of The Isolation Experiment were all arrested on the spot. It was one of the most shocking scandals the world had seen at that time.

Chapter IX – The Farewell

All five of them rushed to their planes to return home, but not one of them thought that it would be the last time, because who knew what would happen next to The Isolation Experiment Escapees. They were now considered as celebrities all around the world. Their story would be told over and over, the wondrous story of The Isolation Experiment.

The Little Mushroom

One day, there was a little mushroom. This mushroom wasn’t like any other mushroom. At night, on every full moon, it would turn into a person that was neither black nor white, it was neither a boy nor a girl. If the mushroom wore a dress, it would be identified as a girl, if the mushroom wore basketball shorts with a shirt, it would be identified as a boy. The mushroom would also be granted unexplainable powers. These powers had the power to control anything it wished. It also had the power to read minds. There was only one rule to these powers. That rule was: never look at the moon. If the mushroom were to look at the moon, then the whole human race would be doomed. The mushroom would turn into a giant that wasn’t a human, but at the same time, it wasn’t a monster. It would just be a big giant that wouldn’t harm the human race but, because most of the human race is scared of what they don’t understand, they would try to kill the mushroom. That would make the mushroom mad, which would then lead to the destruction of Earth.

City in the Sky

Ch. 1

Dale and Artemis walked through the entrance. They were here in Steam City for Dale and Art’s work as journalists. A quote from one of his co-workers rang in his head: “Once they go to Steam City… well, they either don’t come back, or they come back almost, brainwashed. It’s almost like they encode their brains or something. Good luck, mate.” 

“When we get some information on The City, we can leave. Hopefully, what Steve said was a lie,” Dale said cheerfully.

A hand tapped on his back. Instinctively, Artemis ducked down and swung her leg to swipe the attacker off their feet. 

“Whoa!” The guard fell down to the ground. “Jeez!” The helmet rolled off his head to show a young man, about 30 years old. On his armor was a small tag that said #56.

“You’re new here. Don’t stay here too long! They’ll get to you. Don’t let them get to your brain. I’ve grown up seeing everyone like this. It’s not what you think. They don’t let us out of The City. I haven’t even seen the sky in my life! My name is Clyde.”

“Whoa, buddy! Maybe try saying that a little slower.” 

“They encode the citizens’ brains. I’m resistant to mind control. You need to run. They can’t find me talking to you.”

“How do you know we can trust him?” Artemis said accusingly. 

“You might want to hide the baby, too,” Clyde said. 

“It is our job to report things, even if we don’t have any concrete evidence. We have to do this,” Dale reminded. 

“Welcome to Steam City. Here in The City, we strive to make each and every one of our citizen’s happy. We have specifically designed every detail for our citizens’ benefit, and they are helping us, too. We hope you have a great time in our industrial utopia!” the speaker boomed in an automated voice all across the steel-plexiglass streets. Some children all of the same size were air biking, the exact same speed, in the exact same line. The baker walked through the street. A platinum-laced aerotrain showed up beside him. 

“You have been walking so, so long, sir. Are you sure you don’t want to ride on our aerotrain?” a person who you couldn’t tell was a man or woman with a blue and silver mask, symbolising that they were a train conductor, asked. 

“Yes, Conductor. I am thankful you came.” 

“It is fine, kind sir. This job pays very well.” The conductor held up a small graphite-gold coin. “I get paid 1 graphite piece every day! I love this job.” 

“I see we have some tourists. Welcome!” 

“Dale, I’m starting to think that guard guy was right,” Artemis muttered under her breath. 

“I don’t trust this, either,” Dale replied back.  

“I wouldn’t recommend being unhappy here. Things will start to go wrong.” The train veered off track and into a donut shop on the left side of the street. 

“Take Nathan and run!” The man ran across the street and almost to the wall. A single tear dropped down his cheek. 

“I’m sorry, Nate. I can’t take you with me. Try to survive.” He left the baby on the doorstep of a silver pod-house near the wall, saying a final goodbye. He quietly slipped under the silver wall. 

[Camera #21, broadcasting to Guard #56]

Now that Dale had left the child in his hands, he promised he would not let it down. Clyde decided he should have started what Dale and Art hadn’t finished, and began investigating what went on in the chamber hall where the counsellor decided what to do with the city.

[Camera #21, broadcasting to Guard #56]

“What is this corruption?!” a sharp and icy voice called from the chamber hall. 

“I’m sorry, sir, the prisoners escaped! The child and mother died in the crash. The man escaped.” 

“Impossible,” the white haired counselor sneered. “No one can escape this place.” 

“It’s assumed that he had help. From a guard named Clyde.” 

The counselor opened a digi-book, and skimmed through the pages. 

“Clyde… hmm… found it! Men, find Guard 56 and bring him to me! Remember, if it isn’t in order, it doesn’t belong. Unite through submission!”

Upon hearing this, the guard who had been spying on the meeting hastily ripped his number tag radar off and hid it in a spot far away. Now they would never be able to find him.

He would begin a new life, assume a new identity, and play by new rules.

Ch. 2

“Get back here!” The wind rushed in Nathan’s spiky hair as he raced through the plexiglass streets of Steam City, which used to be known as Vancouver. His beaten navy blue jacket and black and white edge corp games t-shirt billowed like a sail in the wind. The Chrometanium plated guards had their eyes locked on a shiny plastic object in Nathan’s hand. Nate hooked his hands on the hard exoskeleton guard mech suits, and hooked his jacket like a zipline along the power cords above the city. The guards clenched their fists and cables shot out of their wrists. The cables caught his jacket, and he lurched forward onto the ground. Nate was cornered. 

“Hand over the treats, kid! You got nowhere to run now.” 

“Who said anything about running?” He stomped on the left side of the storm drain, shifting its weight, and ultimately causing it to open. He landed with a splash in the drains of Steam City. 

“Ten steps forward… eight steps right… three steps forward. Five steps left. Ten steps forward… here!” He scrambled up a ladder right above a pod house, of which he was sure to be his. He carefully untwisted the hatch that would lead to the food storage area in his tiny apartment.

When he opened the hatch, he was blinded by bright yellow walls and an electroplate. An old lady snored on a massage chair in the corner of the room. He carefully backed down the ladder and retraced his steps. 

“Stupid! Hmm, what was it. Oh! It was ten steps left and five steps forward!” He slowly made his way to the correct hatch, and into his home. 

“I brought snacks!” he called from the food cellar. Nate’s house consisted of five main parts. The food cellar was underground, or, technically speaking, under-pod-floating-over-ground. The kitchen was the fanciest room, consisting of a marble floor and an oven. On the countertop on the side, there was a microwave with a heat and cool setting. Clyde, Nate’s adoptive guardian, was sitting at the countertop on an old computer he had salvaged from a construction site. He greeted Nate with the usual refrain when he came back from getting food.

“Jeez, Nate! Please at least try to fit in! If we get found out then — ” 

“The chancellor will find us and brainwash us to be zombies that he can control to his pleasure and ultimately our old selves will be erased from history, yada, yada, yada. I know!” Nate said quickly. Clyde’s mood lightened. 

“But… I guess it’s worth it. You really know how to run! What’d you get this time?” He looked at the box.  

“Jones box with rice and extra tamarind sauce? You know me, kid! What did you get yourself?” 

Nate replied, “Chicken Curry,” he said. They walked to the counter and began to indulge in a feast.

***

Midnight… a knock sounded at the door… Nate got up from his makeshift bed and creeped down the stairs. They found me. He quietly opened the door, making sure they didn’t see him. He hid on the underside of the door. 

“Tell us where the child is and we’ll leave you in peace. The chancellor will make you happy. He will make you both happy.” 

“Never! You’ll never get Nate. I believe that he can liberate this city. He can liberate all the cities.” Liberate the cities?! I can’t do that. I’m just a kid! There isn’t anyone like me… is there? 

“Wait, I sense something. There! Behind the door!” Clyde blinked a message in their secret language that they would use in case of an emergency. He said, 

“Run. Don’t worry about me. I’ll handle this. Go.” Nate jumped up on top of the guards and soared onto the bed which suspended from the ceiling. He quickly hefted the plexi-glass frame off the window next to the bed and leaped out. He felt like he was flying — until he landed on top of an electrical pole next to a tall building. All those years of training has prepared me for this moment.  He clenched his fists and a shock came through his gloves. Luckily, almost everything in the city was made of metal, so it wasn’t a problem leaping from building to building and climbing walls. What was a problem, though, was the huge jump in front of him. 

“You’re cornered.”

Nate panicked, not knowing what to do. 

***

“The chancellor will see you soon.” Oh no… this is all my fault. I shouldn’t have been so reckless. Stupid Nathan! Focus on getting out of here! He scanned the area for an opening. I still have my magnet gloves in my pocket, but they’re out of battery. Well, it’s worth a shot. A warden came to deliver food. The gruel on the plate looked disgusting, and Nathan did not want to eat it. He pulled his gloves out of his pocket and slipped them on. When the warden put his metal mech-suit glove into the food slip, Nate quickly reached for his hand and pulled hard. The warden’s suit helmet clanged across the bars, making him fall to the ground. They say the suits can custom change the interior to fit whatever size… it’s worth a shot. He struggled to get the suit on, with so many complex parts, but when he managed to fit it on, nobody knew it was him. He clenched his fist, trying the suit’s mechanics out. A cable shot out and wrapped around the warden. He picked the person up and locked him in the cell where he’d recently been.

“Oh no! That boy just escaped! Get him!” 

Nathan tried his best to impersonate the steel-faced warden. Almost immediately, the guards flocked out of the door. He strode down the streets of Steam City, knowing he couldn’t get caught. Once he reached the wall, he tried to get through, but the guards stopped him.

“ID card, please?” they asked in unison. 

“I can arrest you if I wanted to — ” Nate was cut off by the guards. 

“Rule number 85 page 56 paragraph two clearly states that guards can not be arrested. Impostor.” Oh no. RUN! He clenched his fist, and a sign that said, “No More Cable,” appeared on the screen attached to his left arm. I don’t still have that glove, do I? What if I did the magnetic boom with the metal hand… 

“Huh!” He slammed his glove upon the interior of the suit. The suit started to give out a small magnetic signal. It may have not been strong enough, but it was enough to scale the high wall. 

“Get him!” they called in unison. They shot cables out of their fists and grappled up to his height. Nate tried everything, but nothing came as a solution. He even activated a peanut dispenser in the helmet! He clenched his fingers, hoping for something to happen. This suit has CLAWS?! A pair of retractable claws shot out of the fingertips of the arm. I wonder… 

He sliced at the cables aimed straight towards him. It sliced through them like butter. 

“Yah!” He pulled himself over the wall. “I’m free-aaah!” Free. Free but tumbling. Is this the end? His life flashed before his eyes. “Oof!” He landed in a junk pile next to a run down old store, which what was left of the sign said “Mac / onalds”.  

A creature that he couldn’t tell was Fox, Squirrel, or Seal trotted up to him. 

“Hey there, buddy… you must’ve become like this from the radiation, huh? These suits can block the poisonous air, so…” He picked up a helmet that had fallen down from the wall, and it fit right on the “furreal,” which sounded a lot like Surreal. “Hey, Surreal… do you want to come with me?” The Furreal wagged its bushy flipper tail and nuzzled his suit. “Come on… we have some cities to liberate.” They walked hours and hours through the wasteland, and they were both getting tired. The water and food supply stored in both of their helmets had run out and you could hear their stomachs growling from a mile away. “So… tired…” Nate moaned. “Wish there were people… ah!” He let out a weak groan as he and Surreal were hoisted into the air by some kind of trap. It was made of a metal cage that seemed to shock them every few second. By the second shock, they passed out.

***

Nate opened his eyes. Where am I? Surreal?! He scanned around for his pet and found him on the other side of the room. There was a cool breeze, and a flickering light hung above a sort of scrap lab. In a makeshift door next to him, he heard voices saying, 

“The suit looks as if it was from the Steam City Unit.” A girl’s voice that sounded like it was Australian came from the other room. 

“What would a Steam City Guard be doing out here in Parallel City scraps?” a male voice said.  Parallel city?! Surely they couldn’t have walked that far! It seemed as if they were children, but he couldn’t be sure.

“What should we do with him?” a high-pitched voice asked.

“Leave him be, once he wakes up, we can interrogate him.”

“Help! Anyone!” Nate screamed at the top of his lungs, dehydrated. Four people shot out of the other room. The girl had long, raven hair with highlights of magenta that shot out only in the back, and piercing, steel eyes that could cut through diamonds. A boy with dark skin, and hair that looked like fields of chocolate shaved on one side stood behind his chair. He had two big round glasses on his head and wore a knitted, wooly sweater. Two children, a boy and girl, who looked as if they were of East Asian descent, stood on his right side. They looked like they were twins, but he couldn’t be sure. 

“Stop screaming like a baby. What even is a Steam City unit guard doing out in the scraps? Why are you also harboring a mutant?” Diamond Eyes said fiercely. 

“I swear, I’m not a guard! I’m just a kid!”

“Oh no, no, no, no no. We might catch his mind control virus!” Field Hair headed for the door.

“The control isn’t contagious.” The girl twin squeaked. 

“He could mind control us through the suit.” The boy piped. 

“Wait! No! This is complicated… I’m not affected, can’t you see?!” Diamond eyes shot a disbelieving glance at him. “Let’s do a test… the mind controlled always does what they’re told.” She picked up a matchbox, and struck a match. She handed it to Nate. “Go light that trash pile on fire.” Nate knew the obvious decision, but he decided to have fun with it. He slowly walked to the trash pile, and said, 

“Yes, master,” in a robotic voice. Right as he was about to drop it, he turned around, and said 

“Nope. I got you, didn’t I?”

Diamond rolled her eyes. “Fine… you’re like us, and now you’re one of us,” she quickly muttered, 

“Oh, this is going to be a pain.”

The Creature

There used to be a woman, and she worked late nights. While coming home, her car fuel ran out. She was stuck in this atrocious place. It was dark, and it had lots of trees. There was no street sign. However, she saw this building so she decided to go inside it as it was dark outside. She went inside and saw a man with a white coat panting and hiding in a corner. 

“Are you okay?” the woman asked.

“You need to hide, I cannot say anything right now as I’ve just met you.” 

The woman was shocked, and feeling scared. The woman quickly hid with the man, who was a scientist. Soon, before their eyes, a large jet black creature came upon them. Next second, they screamed. The woman and scientist were never to be seen again.

The scientist had created this creature by accident. Nobody was supposed to go to this place, but a group of teens went, and let’s just say we shouldn’t talk about what was found of them but that they were never seen alive again. 

The creature was now in town. It had seen all the people and was ready for them. People were scared to death. 

Everybody was staying inside hiding. Some people HAD to go out for work. And those were the people who never came back home. Some people died because the creature had found them hiding, and some people died out of starvation or thirst because they forgot to bring food when they were hiding and didn’t have enough courage to go get it. In total, 150 people died because of these reasons. The creature decided to give up since he couldn’t find any more people and left. 

There was this brave person who checked every day if the creature had left and that day when the creature had left, he cried tears of joy. However, it was never sure when the creature could come back.

14 Years Later

“Hope they don’t come after us, hahaha.” 

“Don’t worry, Dylan, they don’t even know who we are, hahaha.” 

“I have to go, bye.” 

“Bye!”

Dylan was a 13 year old boy who lives in a big village. He was the only child. He was born a year after the incident (you know, that creature coming to the village). His parents told him to always be careful of the creature, but he didn’t care. He didn’t believe that the creature was real, although sometimes he did believe that the creature might be real because of him remembering his mother and father running with him. There was something behind them that they were running away from. But sometimes he just thought it was a dream.

“Mom! It’s not real. Now stop bugging me.”

His mom sighed. She wanted to convince Dylan that the creature was real so he could be more careful. But he just wouldn’t listen. 

“Mom always talks about this nonsense!”

“Yeah, same. This stupid dangerous creature rubbish.”

“Anyway, let’s prank Mrs. Robins today!”

Dylan actually planned to go to the place that the creature used to stay to prove everyone wrong.

“Wanna have some Fuchka?”

“You bet I do!”

Fuchka was a common food in their village.

“I have to go finish homework, bye, Liam!”

“Please say you haven’t eaten Fuchka, you always eat it!” said Dylan’s mom.

“Sorry… I ate it,” said Dylan.

“Haven’t you heard about our neighbor who ate too much fuchka and then threw up for one WHOLE day and wasn’t able to digest anything?!”

“Mom, you know she threw up for a whole day, and wasn’t able to digest anything due to eating it for the first time. Her stomach didn’t recognize it.” 

“Go to your room now!”

Dylan went to his room and started his homework, thankful he wasn’t grounded.

Dylan was a smart student, and he was also clever. His cleverness would help him for something big that was going to happen.

In the morning, Dylan went to Liam’s house. There was no school and he figured Liam would be awake.

“Hi, is Liam awake?” asked Dylan.

“Yes, he is,” said Liam’s mom.

“May I go inside to meet him?”

“Sure, come in.”

“Hey Liam, I need to talk to you about something.”

“Okay? What do you want to talk about?”

“Could we go outside?”

“Okay?” Dylan said, confused.

They stepped outside. 

“You know that ‘creature,’ well, I was wondering if we could go secretly to the spot that it was hiding so we can prove everyone wrong.”

“Great idea, but when do you plan on going?” said Liam with a smirk on his face.

Liam also wanted everybody to stop talking about the creature.

“Around 7:00 PM?” said Dylan, answering Liam’s question with a stern face.

“Okay, let’s meet at your house though.”

“Okay, see you. Bye!”

At 7:00 PM, Liam came to Dylan’s house. Coincidentally, a young boy stabbed a young girl with scissors by accident. Everybody was helping the girl and trying to find the boy who ran away. This gave Dylan and Liam a better chance of not being caught. When they went, Dylan told Liam to go inside and yell his name if something was wrong while Dylan would see if there was anything outside the hideout.

Dylan realized that the place was dark and had lots of trees. That’s it. Next thing you know, Liam screamed. Dylan ran to Liam, and whatever Liam saw was gone. Dylan kept on asking Liam what he had seen, but Liam was shaking and not able to say anything.

“Liam! Are you okay?”

Liam shook.

“Sit down!”

Dylan sat Liam down.

“You seem traumatized! Let’s go home!”

They went home. Dylan took Liam home and told his mom that he had found him like this. He then whispered to his ear, “Don’t tell anyone.”

After going home that night, Dylan thought about the creature. Could it actually be real? Are we in danger? Thinking and thinking, he fell asleep. 

For a week, he checked up on Liam every day, hoping he would get better, and if he could tell Dylan what he saw. One of the village people came running to Dylan’s house one day to tell him Liam had started talking. Dylan felt happy that his best friend was speaking, but also felt worried about whether he had told anybody what had happened. If Liam told anyone, then they would be in trouble and not be able to investigate.

He ran to Liam’s house and asked him if he was okay. Liam was stuttering and said he was okay. 

“Are you okay?”

“Y-Yes.”

Dylan went to Liam’s house in the afternoon to talk to him about what he saw because there weren’t going to be many people around him at that time. 

“Hey, Liam. What did you see? Is the creature real?”

Liam had stopped stuttering.

“I don’t know what I saw! It was jet black with no arms and white eyes.”

Dylan realized that was the description of the creature. He sat/fell down with his mouth wide open thinking about so many things. Liam gave Dylan a glass of water. Dylan drank the glass of water and said, “What are we going to do now?” 

“I don’t know, we have to think of something,” said Liam.

They found out that the boy who stabbed the girl by “accident” came back. So to get their minds off of this for a while, they decided to go to the boy and ask him why he did this. The boy said, “I don’t know, I just blacked out and then next second, I realized I had stabbed someone.”

Dylan thought that when they went to see if the creature was real, it was there when the boy ran away. 

“Wait, can it possess people?!?!” Dylan said out loud. 

Liam then kicked Dylan in the leg.

The boy said, “Huh?”

“Nothing! We were working on a play and we are planning what the monster does in it.”

“Oh, okay,” said the boy.

Dylan and Liam then left and Dylan told Liam, “I think the creature can possess people!”

Since it was the evening, which was a perfect time to do something, Dylan and Liam went to the hideout, Liam put some bright flashlights inside the hideout. His mom told him that the creature only struck at evening or night because the light blinded it. A couple minutes later, they heard screeching and screaming. They ran away from the hideout, hoping and praying that everything would be all right.

17 Years Later

“Remember when we hurt the creature?” said Liam.

“I’m pretty sure we killed it. It would have no chance for those hot flashlights.” 

“It hasn’t attacked anyone from that day. Let’s forget about this situation. It’s been 17 years since it happened,” said Dylan.

Dylan had learned that he should have trusted the people. He became stronger and more sensible after that situation.

The creature had died because, even eternities later, the creature did not strike.

Leo’s Story

Chapter 1: How to Train a Tiger…

The tiger, Marshmello, didn’t go at full speed because he wanted to see how fast he could go and then learn what he needed to do to beat the cheetah. When the cheetah, Jayce, was in the second lap and had half way to go, the tiger was only at the beginning of his second lap and had not tried very hard. There were also guards watching in the jungle in case the animals got hurt. Marshmello’s trainer, Chris, was a 5’10” man with brown hair who was very nice and had a good personality. He rescued Marshmello when the tiger was just a baby cub, and they have been working together ever since!  

Jayce’s trainer was a small woman named Lisa with a blond ponytail who was very grateful for her job and got along well with the cheetah. Lisa was experienced with cheetahs and knew how to signal and sign to them. When she saw that Jayce had won, Lisa was excited! After the first race, Chris was happy that Marshmello had almost beat an aggressive cheetah! Chris said that Marshmello was still young and had some things to learn. 

Chapter 2: The Second Race Begins

So the second race is on and Marshmello takes off faster and is beating Jayce. Then the cheetah falls behind and the tiger goes on speed mode and wins the game. The people who are watching are the trainers and the guards. Chris is happy! Marshmello feels good because he has been able to beat the aggressive cheetah. Jayce feels disappointed because he has lost to a young, young tiger and Lisa is upset because he was the fastest animal, how could he lose to a young tiger?

Chapter 3: Jayce and His Friends Gang up on Marshmello 

So the tiger is going back to the jungle and then, all of a sudden, three of Jayce’s gang (the cheetah and two friends) jump on Marshmello because he had won the race and they want payback!  Then Marshmello runs away because he is faster than the others. The trainers are on a lunch break and don’t know about it. 

So the cheetahs catch up to the tiger and then the guards who watch the animals say, “Get back to your Cages.”  

Then Marshmello says to Jayce, “Fine, we will race again, but if I win then no chasing me, ok?” 

“Fine!” says Jayce.

Chapter 4: They Play Again!

Marshmello feels a little bit scared, he knows he might actually lose! Jayce is feeling like he needs to win this because if he wins he will be the fastest animal in the jungle, and he wants to impress his friends. There are two guards watching and the two trainers are also there. The trainers started to warm up the cheetah Jayce and the tiger Marshmello for the race. 

The cheetah’s trainer tells him “Don’t let the tiger take off faster than you!” The cheetah can understand what she says, but can’t respond since animals can talk to each other but not to humans. 

The tiger’s trainer tells him, “Don’t go full speed, because if you go full speed you will get tired. Wait until there’s a quarter left in the second lap.” 

So Marshmello and Jayce line up. The race begins, and in the first lap Jayce wins because he goes full speed, but in the second lap Marshmello takes off faster and the cheetah gets tired. The cheetah made a mistake because at the first lap he still had half of the race to go, and he went full speed. Now, in the second lap, he is tired because he should have waited to go full speed until there was only a quarter left in the second lap of the race. The tiger goes even faster, like when you eat a chili and it makes you quicker. Jayce catches up to Marshmello and now they are matching paces at the same line. 

With a quarter left, the tiger finally goes full speed, like what Jayce did in the beginning. 

Then the cheetah gives up and says, “Ok, we get it mister, you’re faster than me! Wait up! Before you go can we please be friends?”  

Marshmello jokes, “Only if you beat me!” 

Marshmello will go to a new trainer, because Chris only builds baby cubs instead of big cats. Lisa is actually happy because the cheetah had been able to make a friend!  

Epilogue:

There is a new tiger now, Cherry, and Chris is now training her. 

He tells her, “I taught this tiger, Marshmello. First, I made him race the fastest animal, a cheetah, and lose and get better at his weakness. Then I trained my tiger in how to take off and he played the fastest animal again. The third time they played together, the cheetah gave up and they made friends and Marshmello even made a joke.” 

Then Chris says to Cherry, “There’s going to be a big competition when you get 13 or 14 or 15, and you’re going to play against the fastest animal in the jungle.” 

Marshmello shows up and says, “What’s up?” 

Cherry says, “Are you Marshmello?” and the trainer signals “Yes.” 

Then she says, “I’m going to play against him when I’m 15? He’s so tall. No worries, I’m going to beat this guy!”

To be continued… 

The Finale

So Cherry, the new tiger, is just running around with her trainer in the beautiful jungle. The sun is reflecting on the leaves. Cherry is seven and when she gets older she is going to race Marshmello. Marshmello is the fastest animal in the jungle and he is also a tiger. Cherry’s birthday is today so Cherry is eight and she is going to have a good day. So the trainer lets Cherry sit on his lap and brings all of the tigers to say, “Happy Birthday.”

Then, the next day, the tigers go to find Cherry so they can have fun, but she is exercising with her trainer. The tigers are scared for Cherry ‘cause something bad might have happened. But then Cherry comes back.  

“Where were you? We were afraid,” all the tigers say. 

“I was in the jungle with Chris taking a run cause I have to exercise. Also, Chris fell and hurt his knee so he had to get a knee strap, and he is coming back soon,” Cherry explains. 

While Chris is recovering from his injury, Cherry goes out to train with the other tigers. 

“Let’s get faster,” says Luca, Cherry’s friend. 

“Okay, why not?” responds Cherry. 

Cherry follows Luca to the road near the racetrack. They set up their starter blocks. 

3….2….1…. GO!!

Cherry is losing to Luca. How am I going to get back and win? she thinks. Cherry goes into speed mode. Her legs feel uncomfortable as she goes as fast as she can. She passes Luca. Yes! I’m beating an aggressive Tiger! That’s fast! thinks Cherry. Cherry wins the first lap!

Lap 2. Cherry starts to get a little bit tired. She gets a cramp under her ribs. Luca zooms past her. Then, the cramp goes away. Cherry jogs halfway around the road. Then, Cherry gains on Luca. They’re tied. They run at the same pace, but Cherry cuts Luca off. Luca moves to the other lane slowly, then Luca catches up to Cherry right as Cherry crosses the finish line. 

“Good job, Cherry,” pants Luca. 

“Good job, too. You almost caught up to me, but I’m too fast for you!” says Cherry. They walk back through the jungle together. 

“Cherry beat me in the race!” Luca says to all the other tigers. “Now, I think she’s ready to race Marshmello.” 

So Marshmello and Cherry lineup. 

“There is going to only be one race,” say the guards. 

So they start in 3….2….1…. Go!!! Marshmello starts faster and Cherry is like a second behind so Cherry catches up and now they are both at the same pace and Cherry is now ahead. Marshmello falls behind. Cherry wins the first lap and Marshmello just finishes his first lap. Cherry is now winning and Marshmello is now at the same line and pace. Cherry cuts Marshmello off and Cherry wins the race!!

“Good game,” says  Marshmello. 

“Good game,” says Cherry.

Then Chris comes back.

“I beat Marsmello,” Cherry says. “I was so excited!!” screams Cherry.

The End

The Unexpected

I am a soldier in Nevada at Area 51 and see a UFO. I shoot it with a bazooka five times. It falls. My military team and I look at it, and we find the ship but no driver. We start fixing it, and when we’re done, we send it out for a test flight. It turns out that it works perfectly. We send it on a trip to our boss. He says we are lying. We show him that it flies perfectly and shoots laser beams perfectly.

The aliens

When we take another trip back to Nevada, our UFO stops completely in the middle of nowhere and falls. Right before it touches the ground, the aliens stop the ship and say, “Why did you take our ship?”

We were scared so we left, running away, hoping they wouldn’t kill us. We call our boss and tell him to bring a car. It came in five minutes. We say, “thanks,” then we get on and it takes us seven minutes because we have to dodge the aliens’ laser beams. We get there safely, but terrorized. We outsped the aliens by a lot. 

The Ship

The next day, I’m trapped inside a ship. We’re terrified when they open the door and start talking. To me, they say the captain’s name is Frédérique hunk. I’m the one to ask. Then I get a message and it says the alien cannot talk to me and that this is all training.

“I made this training for you,” says my boss. I get so mad when I get out of the training that I go and skin my boss.

What If They Existed 

I’m so happy yet so sad that I thought that the aliens were actually in the spaceship. I searched it five times but nobody was there. That’s when I start having an interest in looking for them. After five years of work, I finally was able to find them and they were in front of him the whole time. They were in Area 51 and all of them were there.

After 10 years, I decide to end my career and become a guy that just lays out in the summer the whole time without doing anything.

The Marriage

He decides to marry his girlfriend after six months of dating. After a year, they have a baby. His name is Mort. After five years, his son decides to have the same interest and since they both have the same interests, his father gave him a lot of tips. One of his tips was don’t go try hard when it can all be in front of you where they lived in Area 51, because that’s where you wanted to stay and in his end, he shows me the fake alien ship that they found and he was happy for his life. That day was when his son found an alien, a real live one. His son and the alien were best friends. But I knew it wouldn’t last, it was too dangerous that night, he killed him.

The next morning, the alien is gone. The boy asks his dad if he had seen it. He says no.

The next morning, at 3 am, there’s a gunshot. His dad wakes up and sees the window open and his son is dead. They call the cops.

The Crime 

 Their first hypothesis is that the alien killed him. He says that’s impossible because he killed the alien and found out that it was just a robot from ten years ago from military training. So it must be something else and the weird thing is that we heard a gunshot, but there were no bullets on the body.

“That’s impossible,” replies the officer.

“Trust me, it’s true. There was a gunshot whether you believe me or not I heard one.”

There are no heart vitals. He goes back to his son’s room and finds a hole under his bed. He goes inside the hole, it was really deep at the end of the hole. He found a whole alien village. They see him capture him and put him in a cage.

He woke up in a cage and couldn’t remember anything but that he was in the cage. He tried getting out, but couldn’t. It was locked. He had no clue what had happened. He tried to remember and remember. He was in the alien village under his son’s bed and that he was captured by the aliens. He sees an alien and says, “Where am I?”

The alien doesn’t understand anything. I grab him by his feet and make him fall to take the key, get the security guards gun, and run out. I blast the gem that holds the village up.

The village is being destroyed. I try to get out, but it was too late. I ran as fast as I could, but I clearly couldn’t. I gave up. I tried to look at the village, but bam, one huge rock squishes my body. I was dead.

I wake up in my house. Everything seems normal except that me and my family are aliens. 

The Alien Family

The dad also has laser eyes. He is scared. He decides to kill his wife. He is desperate for money. He decides to go to a store. He points the gun in the cashier’s face and says give me the money. He gets $1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 from the grocery store. He decides to kill himself and burns all of his money.

After he shot his wife, he robbed the store. At the store, there was a security camera with a hallucinating bullet. He did not die. He hallucinated it. Two days later, he woke up in a jail cell with six security guards around the cage. A guy shows up in front of him and tells him that he did not die. He told him that it was all a hallucination.

The Truth

He also told him that he had an important mission. The mission was that a meteor was going to crash into Earth and he had to destroy it before it destroyed the whole world. He had to go by himself in space. The guy said that if he didn’t do it they would kill him.

The Training

One month before the mission he would have lots of training such as being in a fake ship to be ready for the departure and landing. They also taught him how to drive the ship. The training was really hard but he passed it and went on the mission.

The Mission 

The day he had to go he was terrified and he was not ready. Or so he thought he was now ready for the departure. At first, everything seemed to be all right until he hit a meteor. His ship was not working anymore and he had just passed the atmosphere. He was in the middle of nowhere.

He sees a weird pink, blue, and red type of hole. He was extremely terrified. The ship was going straight inside the hole.

The Hole 

As soon as we enter the hole, our ship starts to stumble. I am super scared. We enter an alien galaxy. I could tell because I saw aliens floating everywhere. I was super scared as soon as I got off the spaceship. The aliens greeted me with food and jewelry. They thought I was a god, so they made me their king.

Life As A King

In the beginning, it felt weird having all that power. But then I got used to it, life as a king of 100,000,000,000,000,000,000 trillion aliens. After a lot of thinking, I decided to go back to earth and dominate the Earth. While it had been 13 hours in the alien galaxy instead it had been 1,300 years in the normal world.

The World 

G__o took over the world and is keeping everybody as prisoners. He was planning on taking over all the galaxies. We had to stop them before it was too late. We had two days to stop his master plan. He had guards everywhere around the world. We told all the aliens to attack. We had a lot more aliens than they had. Something we did not know is that they have an A.N.B. (alien nuclear bomb). They destroyed all the aliens and me.                                 

The Boy?___

He always wanted to take over the world and as he said, he would do until he found Gano.

Gano was the most powerful person or should I say robot in the world. He was the guard of the opusdelerami. This was a very antique gem that gave you infinite power.

The Story 

As a kid he always got bullied. Everybody would make fun of him. Even the teacher makes fun of him. Until one day he fell into a sewer and found the opusdelerami. He didn’t know what it was, so threw it back into the sewer and went back up every day. He kept wondering what it was. Until one day he decided to go back into the sewer and got it. 

The Sewer 

While he was in there he found everything but the opusdelerami. Until he saw GANO, he told him that if you would drop the opusdelerami, it would. You are lucky it didn’t. 

(GANO) I was about to die so get this ring and put it on so you will have any superpower you want. 

Okay fine. 

The Ring 

The next morning, I went to school. Became invisible and stripoed the bully’s face. I shoved it down his throat, made him poop it, and shoved it back up to his mouth. Then flushed his body down the toilet piece by piece.

And did the same to every person who treated. 

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!


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


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


Hurricane

“Calm down, Ivy!” my older brother irritatedly shouts at me over the loud music, as I am practically bouncing up and down in the brown leather seat of his car.

We pull into the parking lot of Topiary Garden and Tea House. Let me rewind. I am Ivy Marie Wildson, and I love iguanas. I have been begging my parents for an iguana since I was five years old. I am 12 now, and we found an iguana from Iguana Love Rescue online, and I finally convinced my parents to get it for me. His name is Albert Einstein. We are going to pick him up today. I get out of my brother’s Subaru, the hot summer air engulfing my body. We live in Miami, Florida. My mom pulls out her phone and checks the address the organization gave us. 

“Yup, this is the right place,” she says.

We walk towards the main building, the rubber straps of my flip-flops rubbing against my skin, but I barely notice the pain. Walking through the big oak door, the air conditioning relieves my skin. The man at the front desk has a friendly smile and a hairy unibrow. He points us in the direction of the manager’s office. We walk down the long marble corridor and come to a wooden door with a golden plaque reading: CAROL RODREGUIZ; MANAGER.

My mom knocks lightly, and a shrill voice yells, “Come in!”

I open the door, just to see a tower of boxes guarding it. We slide around the maze of packing boxes, and just when I think they don’t end, my eyes come upon her. She has small round librarian glasses perched on the very tip of her long, pale nose. Folds upon folds of skin adorn her face, making her look like the world’s oldest person. Long, white hairs, bleached by age, sit on her tiny head.

“Hello, dears,” she says with a smile full of yellowing teeth. “Tis so sad that I cannot bring Albert with me, but the apartment I am moving to does not allow pets. Please take good care of him.”

She carefully places the metal cage in my arms. While she and my mom take care of the paperwork, I sit on one of the duct taped cardboard boxes. I lower my head and look at him. I gasp. The first thing I notice are his brilliant eyes. One is blue, one brown. White tipped spikes adorn his green scaly body. 

“He’s a beau, isn’t he,” she says.

“Yes,” I say.

We thank her and walk back out to the lobby, and out into the afternoon sunlight.

The comfort of my duvet cover hugs my feet as I lay on my bed, Albert in front of me. I stroke his dewlap, the piece of loose skin that hangs below his chin, kind of like a beard. My dad had a beard that would he would shave every morning, but it would still keep growing. I remember the night my dad left. I was so young, but it is one of my clearest memories.

***

I want you to leave this house right now, Simon,” I remember my mother yelled, her voice stinging with sadness.

I heard a door slam, and Travis say, “Mommy, where is Daddy going?” and then my dad grabbed his keys and whispered softly to Travis, and my mom said, “Daddy is going away for a while, okay, sweetheart?” and then my dad slammed the front door, and Travis cried, and Dad’s car started and ran over our mailbox with a loud crash.

I remember him pulling out of our driveway and driving down the street really fast and Travis crying even more and Mom crying and yelling. The next morning, I remember hearing a stranger coming to the door and taking all of dad’s stuff away. For the next month, Mom cried every night, and I didn’t know why.

***

“Ivy! Bedtime!” my mom yells, snapping me out of my thoughts.

I get into my pajamas and brush my teeth. I slip under my comforter, and my mom opens my door a crack.

She sits down on the edge of my bed, and I ask, “Mom, why did Dad leave?”

I can tell she is surprised by my sudden question, and her face turns pale for a second, and I trace a hint of anger in her eyes.

“We are not going to talk about that right now, Ivy,” she says, clearly angry.

“Then when will we talk about it Mom?” I yell. “I deserve to know what happened to him!” I say, my voice rising.

For a second, her eyes shine with fear. “We are not going to talk about that right now. I will now turn off the light, and you will go to bed,” she yells, standing up, walking across the room, and flipping the light switch. She stops walking and turns around to face me. “I love you, Ivy,” she says softly, her voice now more scared than angry.

But I just turn my back to her until I hear the door close, then I cry myself to sleep.

I feel my pale face burning red, and I put my head down and focus my eyes on the armful of books in my arms. I continue shuffling my feet forward through the school halls. Suddenly, I trip. Oh crud, I think as my face meets the cold tile. I hear snickers and whispers around me. I gather up my belongings but then slip on a history book and fall back onto the floor. I feel hot tears sneaking out of the corners of my eyes, and I try to keep them in. The sound of laughter rises around me, but then the bell rings, and the crowd around me disperses. I just sit there, willing my feet to get up, but they feel too heavy to move. All of a sudden, a set of hands appears and starts stacking up the books. I look up and a familiar face meets my eyes. He always looks the same. Curly brown hair. A face dotted with freckles. Calm hazel eyes. I nod a silent thanks.

“You’re new here, right?” he asks with a small smile.

“Not really,” I replied, my voice quivering.

“I haven’t noticed you.”

“Okay, well I’m here,” I say, starting to get agitated.
“Are you nervous?” he says.

I wake up in a cold sweat, the sheets twisted around my legs. That is the seventh time I’ve had that dream in the last month. Every time, it has the same scenario. I fall in a crowd of people and humiliate myself. And every time, there is that same face of that stranger boy who helps me pick up my stuff and asks me those same questions.

The next morning, Mom is gone to Alabama on a work trip, and Travis is taking care of me. I spend my morning playing with Albert and listening to music. Travis is working at Harvey’s, the local burger joint, for his day shift. I finish the newest Rick Riordan book, play some Mario Kart, build a cardboard maze for Albert, and it feels like this day will never end. I go outside and sit on the old creaky rocking chair. The rain stops, and it looks like a picture perfect sunset accompanied by crystal clear glittering waters reflecting the ombre of colors. The temperature is perfect.

Finally Travis comes home, and the fight with Mom feels distant, like it was ages ago. He makes us some mac n cheese, and we watch the news. It says that there is going to be another storm to hit us tonight, but I don’t mind enough to pay that much attention. 

“They always say the storm is going to directly hit, but then it completely avoids us,” he says with a sigh.

His phone beeps, and he glances at it, but shields the message from my view. He gets up and grabs his jacket. 

“Where are you going?” I ask.

“Out with some friends,” he says. “I won’t be back too late.”

I turn back to the TV and surf the channels, but nothing good is on. I am about to turn it off, but suddenly, the screen goes black. Oh, the power must be out, I think. I hear the pitter patter of raindrops on the roof and the whooshing of the wind through the palm fronds. I pad my way up the stairs and into my room. I coo to Albert as I gently pull him out of his cage. Plopping onto my bed, I snatch my most recent library book, The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein, off my shelf. I place Albert on my lap and open my book. I have just almost gotten to the end of the seventh chapter when I hear a loud boom of lighting that makes me jump out of my skin. I cuddle Albert and soothe him, though it seems that I’m the one that needs soothing. I sit on top of the covers of my bed and suddenly, it seems that the world goes silent, except for the dripping of water from the ceiling.

Drip.

Drip

Drip

I put my old coffee mug under the leak and look out the window. I can barely see the front lawn; the rain is coming down in thick walls. I hear tree branches snapping and electrical lines sparking. I suddenly start thinking, maybe I should have listened to those storm warning signs. I huddle under the covers with Albert and try to read my book over the sound of the waves crashing against the shore. It feels as if the house is shaking. I can’t concentrate, so I go downstairs to get a snack. As I’m pulling the Goldfish box out from the pantry, the front door slams open and bangs against the wall. I run to the living room and don’t expect to see what’s outside. The sight is unbearable. The wind pulling the trees out of the ground. The streets are flooded, and it seems as if the sky turned to rain and is falling. Creak. Uh oh. Small particles of drywall float in front of my eyes, almost peacefully. Crash! I slowly turn around just to see a piece of ceiling fall onto the floor. My eyes widen, and I slowly walk backwards and out the door. I stand on my front lawn and look up at my house, the beautiful cream yellow house with white window trim and the bay window with the soft pillow, crashing to the ground. Then I remember Albert. I had put him on my shoulder, and there he was, gripping onto my shoulder in such a cartoonish way. His front claws hook into my tank top, and his back legs fly behind him. I reach out my hand to grab him, but at the very moment my finger touches his claw, he falls off my shoulder and onto a piece of driftwood.

“No!” I yell.

I run after him as he is swept away by the current. I scramble forward, plunging into the water, my hands feeling for his sandpaper scales. The current carries me, and I am blinded by the stinging winds. The street I once lived on feels like a roaring ocean. 

I attempt to climb up onto a soggy mattress, but the waves just pull me under. I forget to hold my breath; seawater filling my lungs. I thrash and kick, pulling myself through the surface. I gasp for air, and the cold, damp oxygen filling my lungs hurts my chest. The waves slam my body into a wall, and a searing pain cuts through my body. I fight to keep my aching body above the surface, and I try and pull myself onto a ragged dirt hill that I remembered sat on the edge of my block with the swing set and play structure. The dirt crumbles under my feet as I scramble up onto the small hill. I pull myself up and collapse on the wet grass. I sit up on the hill, pulling my shaking knees to my chest. I look up, the rain clouding my vision. I see a shadow moving slowly towards me. I hear a creak, then a crack. Uh oh. I see the shadow moving faster. I recognize the familiar shape a little too late. I let out an ear-piercing scream, and the world around me goes black as a tree falls on my leg. I come back to consciousness, and I try and bear the pain. I feel as if someone is splitting my leg open. That gives me an idea. I try and feel the rocks around me. I feel a sharp one and start banging it against the other rocks, slowly chipping it into a sharp point. I stab it into the stem of the palm frond and wince. I saw at it and attempt to cut it in half.

“Urgh!” I clench my teeth, beads of sweat running down my pale face.

I try and pull my leg out from under the palm frond tree. The blood circulation of my leg is slowly getting cut off from the rest of my body. I push my tangled, soggy locks out of my eyes and continue working on cutting the palm frond in half. The pain is so great that my leg is turning pale and numb. I would cry, but I have no more tears in my dehydrated eyes. I bite my bottom lip, the taste of blood seeping into my mouth. I decide to take a break, and I lay on the wet ground and start thinking. Suddenly, I sit up. I can’t believe I was stupid enough to not have realized this before. I connect the dots. Heavy rain. Fast winds. Loud roars. One word flashes through my mind. Hurricane.


Jason Lesley Mason

Chapter One

There once was a boy named Jason Leslie Mason. He was the class clown at Paul Revere high school. He was 12 years old and he was 7’10. He had blonde hair and blue eyes like the color of the sky. He was in 7th grade. He had no siblings, but two parents, surprisingly! His parents had brown hair and hazel eyes. Their names were Rhonda and Erv. His parents ignored him even though they worked at his school. His clothes were hand me downs from his father. They were all ripped and some of his clothes had holes where his underwear was. 

Nobody was his friend because they were afraid of how tall he was. He was only a class clown so he could make friends. He didn’t tell anybody about this but he was about to lose his one bedroom apartment in two months (unless he struck rich). His parents ignored him and talked about money 24/7. The most expensive thing he owned was a $180 pair of the Kyries 5. His biggest fear was being homeless, not being the only class clown, and going to jail. But one day during school…

Chapter Two

When Jason came back from winter break and went to homeroom, he saw her. There was somebody new and Jason knew instantly she was a class clown. Here is the thing with class clowns. They can tell who is a class clown. Just like a scum can tell who’s a scum.

The girl introduced herself to everybody. Her name was Leah and she moved from Kansas to Los Angeles. She was part Canadian. Her mom was Canadian, but her dad was American. Jason was also part Canadian and part French. Yes! Jason thought he might actually get a friend! Somebody to talk to (unlike his parents)! The bell rang.

 Everybody rushed out of class except for Jason. PE was the next class. Jason hated PE. You had to run a mile everyday. But today was different. Today they had to run four miles, do fifty push-ups, ten pull-ups, and eighty sit ups in ten minutes. Jason, as usual, was up first. The mile run was up first, after that pull ups, then sit ups, and last but not least push ups. The gun shot and Jason took five minutes to run four miles, forty five seconds to do ten pull ups, two minutes to do eighty sit ups, and one minute to do fifty push-ups. It took him eight minutes and forty five seconds total. He felt proud. Though it turned out, he did the worst in the class.

Chapter Three

Jason went to lunch. He noticed everybody around him picking out about ten things out of their lunch box. He looked in his lunch box and saw he only had a cheese stick and a cheese sandwich. He heard his stomach rumbling (and so did everybody else in the room). He tasted the cheese sandwich.

“Ugh,” he said. He put his cheese sandwich away and ate his cheese stick. It was better than nothing, he thought.

To the person sitting next to him, he said,“ Can I have your apple?”

The guy said, “No way, Jose. If you ain’t my friend I ain’t giving ya anything.” Jason was at a loss for words. Everybody started laughing. So Jason thought of something. H would call his Uncle Bob who is in jail (for murder). Jason had enough bullying in his life. He would ask his Uncle Bob how to steal money and kill any witnesses. All he wanted was revenge was that so hard to ask? Luckily he didn’t say this out loud. 

One problemo. He couldn’t sneak out. For some reason his parents put their bed right behind the door. Luckily, for his b-day, he got suction cups (because that was all they could afford). He decided after school he would try them out.

After school, he tried them out. They sucked. No wonder his parents could afford them! They were those fifty cents cup that had glue on the cups to make them “suction cups.”

When his parents came home they said, “We are off to the disco!”

Jason thought, thank god! I can easily escape home tonight and go steal money and maybe murder! He had already called his Uncle Bob. He had a list of every kid that was in his grade. He was going to start with a girl named Felicia. She lived in Bel Air. She was very rude to him.

Wow! I’m going to make a lot of money on the first night! Jason thought. The one problem was how was he going to get there? He lived in downtown L.A. which was like an hour or so with a car, and Jason didn’t have a car or the money for one. But he had a bike. But how could he ride a bike for two hours to Bel Air? Plus how could he even get into the house without a security camera noticing him?

He decided he would make a sling shot because he could shoot the camera so he could break in. He already had the stick carved out and there were mini rocks and a couple big rocks outside. But he would have to buy his own rubber bands at the gas station for twenty five cents.

Jason just bought his rubber bands and created his slingshot. Now all he had to do was get a taxi to take him to Bel Air. He found one! But it cost him twenty five dollars. Luckily, he had thirty dollars. Turns out he had to pay tax, which was an extra five dollars apparently. The guy’s name was Julius. It took them thirty minutes to get there. But they got there. He looked at the house and it was ginormous. He checked to make sure he had everything. 

Knife? Check. Slingshot. Check? Clown mask? Check. And backpack? Check. He was going in but he didn’t see them…

Chapter Four

There were two guard dogs coming his way! They were about three ft tall, three ft wide, and weighed about one hundred pounds. They had white fur and brown dots. He jumped back at the last second and bam they slammed into each other.

He raced inside, trying to find a vault, but he heard something, no somebody! Jason knew the drill Uncle Bob taught him it. Stick that knife through their head, stomach, or heart. The person was coming fast! Jason took his knife out and stuck it right through the person’s eye. Turns out he killed that girl Felicia.

The last thing Felicia said was, “Hi momma,” and then she fell to the floor (because she was sleepwalking).

He eventually found the vault. To his surprise, there was no lock or code. Also to his surprise, there were only fake IDs. Jason looked under them and saw that there were about one hundred gold bars in there! Luckily, he had a backpack, but only took fifteen gold bars. I’m rich! I’m rich! he thought. Julius honked outside.

Jason ran inside the taxi and said, “Will you keep it down please?”

Julius said, “Why?”

Jason gave him a stern look. “Just go!” he said.

“Whatevs,” Julius said.

When they got home, Julius said, “Where’s the money you owe me?”

Jason gave him the gold bar and said, “Keep the change.” Julius looked shocked, but took it anyway.

When he came inside his room, he saw his parents sleeping. Jason didn’t think they realized he left.

Jason woke them up and they said, “Jason, we have struck it rich.” 

Chapter Five

“You guys struck it rich! How?” Jason said.

His parents said, “Well, while we were at the disco, there was this lottery going around for thirty million dollars. We picked the number 1387 and won!”

Jason said, “Wait so I stole all these gold bars for nothing?”

You did what!!!” his parents said. So Jason explained everything (including the part about killing Felicia). Jason thought he could trust his parents. Turns out he was very wrong.

His parents sent him to court. He tried to lie out of it, but it didn’t work out so well. Jason ended up getting a bigger punishment. Instead of going to Juvie, he was going to jail for life.

When the guards took him the last thing he said was, “I will get revenge on everybody here, including you guys, Mom and Dad!”

The end!!!


Bloody Mary

Bloody Mary

Chapter One: Mary, Just Mary

Hi my name is Mary. I have short red hair and brown eyes. I am one of the youngest people in my fifth grade class. I have no friends. I have an older sister who hates me. I have a younger brother who hates me. I also have a dad that hates me. My mother passed away half a year ago. She died from lung cancer. She was the only person I was friends with. We were close.

I always ask myself, “Why does nobody like me?” Even at school, I ask myself that. Everybody makes fun of me for having no mom. I don’t know why.

“Why do you make fun of me for having no mom?!” I asked the three main people that were making fun of me. There were three people standing in a triangle. It was lunch time. There was a boy in the middle, a girl on the left, and a boy on the right. The boy in the middle’s name is Justin. The girl is Jessica. The other boy is Mark. They are all friends, but each have different friend groups as well.

The girl stepped forward and finally answered. “Because nobody likes you! You’re so easy to make fun of! Now it is way better that your mom is dead. You don’t have anybody who loves you!” she said. Then they all chuckled. I stepped one step forward to be right in front of her. I pointed my finger at her. I opened my mouth, but then just gave up. I walked away. I knew everything I should have said. I just didn’t say it. I knew there would be consequences.

I was gonna say, “You don’t know what it feels like! You don’t know what it feels like to have the only good person in your life gone! It sucks!” I knew she would have just come up with a mean response. She laughed when I walked away. Everyone did.

Every night my family makes me eat in another room. I’m okay with that. I don’t know why they make me do that though. My family is starting to be nicer to me though. If I am done eating early, I am allowed to sit at the table with them. When I was in my bed about to go to sleep, I realized something about what I was thinking about earlier, that they don’t know what it feels like to not have a mom or the only good person in your life. I kept on thinking about everything I was thinking about saying and stuff that I said. I started to miss my mom a lot. Everyone who ever made fun of me will regret it. It’s time to make them feel like… me.

Chapter Two: Bloody Mary’s beginning

Today was the day I was gonna start my mission. I am gonna kill the mom of every kid that has ever made fun of me for having no mom. So basically everybody in the grade. At 11 o’clock tonight, I am going to sneak out of the house and kill somebody’s mom. I will find out today. First person to make fun of me today, their mom will die. Then after, I will just choose at random. Watchout.

I arrived at school. Ten minutes till class will begin. Jessica and her friends walked up to me.

“Oh, hi loser! Still no mom? right?!” Jessica said. They all laughed.

“Your mom will be the first to go,” I whispered underneath their laughing.

“What was that you just said? Was it that you still suck? Yeah, cuz that’s right!” she said. Then they all laughed again.

Once it grew silent I said, “Sorry, in advance!” Then I pointed my right knee.

“About what? How much you suck!” Jessica responded. They laughed again. Their laughs are so annoying!

“You will find out soon enough,” I said, then flipped my hair and walked away.

Today at school was so suspenseful! I have to keep cover and not let anybody know what I am gonna do. I don’t know if I can keep this up. I had to think about how I am going to murder Jessica’s mom. And I also didn’t want anybody catching me writing stuff down or anything. But at the end of the day I came up with what I am gonna do. I am gonna stab her with a knife, then cut off the handle with another sharp tool, clean it, then throw it in the bushes in the front of the house. I know it will be found, but I am okay with that. I have a black outfit that I plan to wear. There is also a black ski mask. I finished the job just in time then headed back to my house. I had no guilt that night.

Chapter Three: Bloody Mary, Bloody Mary, Bloody Mary

It was the next week. I had killed a few other moms by now. Still, no guilt.

“Hey! Mary!” I heard from behind me, then turned around.

“Oh, hi Ashley,” I responded. Ashley and I are kind of friends. But she has a friend group that doesn’t let me hang out with them. I definitely won’t kill her mom. We started to chat.

“Did you know that the moms of some of the kids in the grade are being murdered?!” she asked.

“Yeah! Isn’t so crazy?! They haven’t even been caught! What a criminal mastermind, right?!” I asked.

“Yeah. but I am scared they are gonna kill my mom!” she said with a very worried look on her face.

“You won’t! All of the kids whose moms died, are annoying and mean! Like Jessica, Justin, Mark, George, and so on,” I said and comforted her.

She agreed. “Thanks, Mary! I feel a lot better.” Then Ashley left. 

Nobody has said anything about my mom passing. Except the people whose moms hadn’t passed. I have a list of whose moms I am gonna kill first. Victoria, Molly, Andrew, then Sophia’s mom. It was recess time and I heard people whispering. I walked up to a group of five people and asked what everyone is talking about.

“Well, you know that a bunch of the moms have been dying?” one of them asked.

“Yeah,” I responded.

“Well, there is a rumor that if you look in the mirror and say Bloody Mary three times, your mom will pass,” he told me. I got really nervous because my name is Mary I thought they knew I am the murderer.

“Uh, um, I am Mary! I am not a murderer what?!” I said really quickly. I was bright red. 

“Chillax! It is just a myth about a girl named Mary who killed people a long time ago. People just changed it for this situation. It is really scary,” He said. I said thanks then just walked away.

I heard that the cops and detectives are closing in on this case. They said that it was a student at our school. So at school no kid will talk to each other. I finished killing all the moms. Still, no guilt. I don’t care about other people when they did this to me. Just myself. I am a queen. It’s always me, myself, and I.

I walked straight to the park today. I just need some time to breath. I just wanted some fresh air. I still had no guilt, just checking to see if I did anything wrong with my murders, like leaving gum, or hair. The park was just two blocks away from my school. I would go home any minute now because I thought I was done. I was sitting on a bench. There were trees everywhere. And there was a bridge over water. On the opposite side of the park I saw two cops walking toward me. One of them looked at the other and pointed to me. They were coming toward me. I looked at my watch, then pretended I was running late. I started to run while glancing at my watch to make it believable. I got home in time. 

At dinner time, my family invited me to permanently be allowed to eat with them! I thanked them. We were talking about the murders of the moms in my school. They didn’t suspect is was me at all. I went to bed at night, still, no guilt.

Chapter Four: The Interrogation Room

Do you remember the run in with the cops last week? I sure do. They know the murderer is a child from the school. They just don’t know which one. There are five suspects. I am one of them because my mom didn’t die by this. And the rest of the people I just didn’t kill their moms. Each of the kids that are suspect, are going in an interrogation room. I went to the park bench again today. The cops were there. Thy were already in front of me. I couldn’t run.

“My name is Officer Wells, and this is, Officer Smalls,” one of the officers said to me.

“Nice to meet you! I am Mary!” Then I shook their hands. I acted really innocent.

“I believe you know about the recent murders by some kids in your grade,” Officer Wells said.

“Yeah, it is so sad!” I said.

“Well, because your mom has not passed away due to this, as well as other moms, you are a suspect,” Officer Smalls said.

“Oh no! That is really, really bad!” I said. I think they’re buying it.

“Come in this Saturday for an interrogation,” Officer Smalls said.

“Okay. Thank you, officers!” I said. Then they left. “Phew!” I finally said, once the officers were completely gone.

I went straight back home to work on my alibi. It was Thursday. I only have a couple of days left until I go to the interrogation room. I have been to our precinct before. I have vandalised city property. The person on the case of my vandalism was Jack Smith. I also committed some other crimes, but I didn’t get caught. My dad says I might be doing vandalism to forget about my mom passing. Jack is so annoying. He is also the number one detective. I came up with a good alibi.

Once he asks where I was at the time of the crime, I’ll say, “Well, what time were the murders?” to make it clear I have no idea what he is talking about. I will also say that the only reason my mom didn’t die like this was because she is already dead and if she was alive then they would have probably killed her. He hates when I am hard to confess.

I was at the table eating my mashed potatoes in complete silence then I said, “I have to go to the police station for interrogation. I am a suspect because my mom didn’t die by the murders like four others.” Nobody responded.

Then my dad said, “Well, I know it isn’t you so just don’t do anything stupid.” I agreed. Then I was done with my food so I cleaned my dishes.

Beep, beep, beep! my annoying alarm went off. My body shot out of my bed from being startled. I slammed the alarm then got dressed for the day. I had cereal for breakfast today. 

Today was Saturday so I got ready to go to the police station. I said bye to my family. The longest time they could keep me in there was 10 hours. The police station was only six blocks away from my house. I arrived there at 11:00 o’clock. I walked into the interrogation room.

“Please, have a seat,” Jack Smith said.

I sat down.

“Hey Mary, long time no see,” he said.

“Hey, Joke,” I said, then chuckled.

“I know you’re guilty!” he said.

“No, I’m not,” I responded.

“That’s it! We’re doing the one minute challenge!” he said, trying to scare me, but it wasn’t working. The one minute challenge is where he will try to do as many annoying things as possible to get me to confess. I only confessed once before.

“It’s gonna be easy because you’re so annoying,” I said. He ignored me.

“On the count of three! One, two, three!” He reached under the table and grabbed something. I was so confused. He took out a guitar and strung it back and forth.

Then he started to scream. “Ahhhhhhhhhhh!!!” it was very annoying. But I didn’t confess.

“I should stop doing that. It never works!” Jack said, putting away his guitar.

“30 seconds left,” I said.

“Hey! I can choose if I wanna go over the time. I can do what I want to!” Jack said. Soon enough, the minute is over, then the hour, then the interrogation. I didn’t confess. I went home. I still have no guilt.

Chapter Five: Case Closed

Next week when I was at school, nobody talked to me. Not even Ashley! Whenever I walked by someone, they would just walk quickly away. I have no idea of what is going on! I just needed to clear my head, so after school I headed to the park. I was just listening to some music when I heard footsteps. There was Officer Smalls, and Officer Wells.

“Is there anything wrong officer?” I asked, to not draw any suspicion.

“Please come to the police station with us,” they said. My heart was pumping faster by the second!

We finally arrived. I was terrified. I was told to go into the interrogation room. So I just did.  I saw Ashley and Jack sitting and waiting for me.

“What’s happening?” I asked.

“Well let me tell you a little story,” Jack said. “Earlier this morning, Ashley came in, saying she saw you at the scene of the crime. She saw you with a knife, at Jessica’s house the night her mom was killed. And because of this, we were also able to find out a piece of evidence that would have not been found otherwise.” Jack said then showed me the case file. It was all there. Everything that could put me in jail.

I looked at Ashley and said, “Were you only being nice to me because you didn’t want your mom to die?! I can’t believe you!” I screamed in her face.

“I’m sorry! I just didn’t want my mom to die!” she responded.

“Just be nice to me for being nice to me! Wait, did you tell everybody in the grade I did it? Is that why their not talking to me?!” I said.

“Well, yeah, but you drove me to it!” she responded.

“Alright, settle down! Mary, my only question is, why’d you do it?” Jack asked me. 

“Everybody made fun of me for my mom passing! I mean, who does that?! I just wanted them to feel what I feel,” I told him. 

He put handcuffs on me and took me away. I was sentenced to 70 years. Once I came the right age, I would leave juvie and go to prison. Officer Wells and Smalls went to my house to tell my family the bad news. They rushed straight in to see me. I told them I’m fine and they shouldn’t worry about me. Then they took me away. Now, I just have a little guilt.

Chapter Six: Prison

I have now been in juvie for the last year. I am the leader of the most popular gang in our juvie. Our gang is called JL, Juvie Leaders. Every day I write down tally marks of my day. And also, everyday I think of how I am going to kill Ashley and Jack when I get out of here. The food here is trash. Also my family is not even talking to me.

 I got an amazing idea. I will act normal around cellmates, then around guards, I will act perfect. Some people got their sentences reduced by being good. I can get mine reduced to twenty years! That’s fifty years less! It is an amazing thing. that’s basically it. I can’t wait till I get out of this trash place. In the end it wasn’t really worth it. But when I get out, Ashley and Jack, gotta go.

The End

The Road Boys: The Halloween Mystery

Chapter One: Where is the Candy?

I just went to the office in the main hall at my school. Then I came back to the hall, and the Candy for Gratitude was gone. I’m sure I saw it was there before school started, but now it was gone! Candy for Gratitude is candy that people give to the soldiers. We share some of our candy from Halloween.

Whoosh! A person ran into the boy’s bathroom with a full big bag. I couldn’t see who it was, but I knew I shouldn’t tell anybody. But as I kept thinking, I said to myself, “That shouldn’t keep me from including Nikan and Ashton.”

I decided to tell my friends Nikan and Ashton because I knew I couldn’t finish this big Halloween mystery. The only time we could keep looking for clues was at Beyond The Bell, which was after school. We could do anything we wanted after school. We could play in the yard or the field. We could also do our homework. We ran right after school and hid before the coach saw us and told us to go to the lunch benches for him to count us. My friends, Nikan, Ashton, and Kourosh, and I ran into the boy’s bathroom and looked around for clues using four of our senses: sight, smell, hearing, and touch. We found letters on the walls that spelled Trista, and we also found a big white wall. We freaked out because we knew someone named Tristan and a person named Trista. All my friends, Ashton, Nikan, and Kourosh, started running and hiding from our coach to the other boy’s bathroom. We hid there for a couple of minutes. Then we went out. Just after we went out, we saw a girl go into the boy’s bathroom. Her name was Madeline.


Chapter Two: The Creepy Guy!!!

“He should really get a shower,” I said to Kourosh when we passed an old man around 120 years old.

I thought he was a criminal in disguise, but Kourosh thought it was just an old man. He was with a cane carved like a totem pole. The cane had faces of a raven, frog, wolf, and a bear. We went to the park, and Ashton said he could eat 2,000,000,000 elephants. We then played soccer. Ashton missed an open goal and then tried to make an excuse.

Later that day, Ashton missed the ball 987 times, and when he was in the goal, he missed all the other team’s shots. We lost 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 to 0. 

Ashton said, “But it was not my fault,” and made up an excuse. “The other team cheated by pulling my arm, so I couldn’t dive far enough to reach the ball, and the other team’s coach was distracting me.” 

By this time, Ashton was really mad because we did not believe in his excuses. We knew

he was making excuses because when someone else was in goal, the other team only scored once.

We went back to school, and we saw the same girl who went into the boy’s bathroom. She thought nobody was watching her, but we were spying on her because we knew she was up to something. Kourosh, Ashton, and Nikan thought she was a boy, but I knew she was a girl. She even had a girl name. After school, Kourosh’s parent named Mr. Jeffffffersoz came to pick us up. We made a plan to catch the thief. Ashton, Nikan, Kourosh, and I decided to ask her why she went into the boy’s bathroom. The next day, we went in the boy’s bathroom, but we didn’t see her. 

“That is weird,” I said.

The bell rang. Ring! Oh no, we are going to be late, we all thought. We ran to our class room. It was number 5,668. There were 7,000 classes in the school. It is the biggest school in the world. After school, we followed her to the library. We saw her hide behind the recycling bin while we were hiding behind a bush. She was talking to another person, but we didn’t know who that person was. Ashton was looking on the right side of the bush, Nikan was looking on the left side of the bush, and Kourosh and I were looking above the bush. We had to crawl to another bush to get a better view of who the girl (Madeline) was talking to. The first thing we saw was a carved cane. We all recognized the cane. It was the cane of the creepy guy.

“I am so close. Those boys think I stole the candy,” said the girl.

“I am ¼ finished with the candy,” said the old guy.

“Guys, the girl we saw was a distraction. It is the creepy guy,” said Ido.

We followed him to his house, and we called the police.


Chapter Three: Police

Weeyoo weeyoo ahh police,” said Kourosh.

“Relax,” I said.

 “I called them,” said Ashton. 

The police cranked open the door and saw the man eating candy. They brought the guy in handcuffs and took off his wig. O-M-G! The robber was the strongest man in the Donald Trump buildings. He was the best robber in all the world. We brought the candy to the soldiers.

One of the soldiers said, “I saw the news. Are you guys the ones who stole back the candy?”

We were known as the best robber catchers.


The Road Boys: The Labor Day Mystery

Chapter One: What’s Gone Wrong in the City?!

“Sadly, on Labor Day, Kourosh and Ashton moved all the way to Saudi Arabia and met Princess Wurayf,” Ido mentioned. 

“Ooohhhh,” Nikan said, “this grill smells good, and it’s fun to use it at my new house.”

Meanwhile, a bad robber named Harry Kane left his house and headed over to the jail. At the jail, he let 100,000,000 other robbers out. They broke all the handcuffs and the keys to the cells. Then, they all jumped into police cars and went over to the Diamond District, where all the stores were abandoned because the shopkeepers were at Labor Day barbeques. They broke in and put the jewelry in big gold and white bags that they dragged out the door.

In another part of the city, another robber, named Jojo Casias, snuck into a barbeque and stole the grill while the happy tan man was using the bathroom. He also stole medicine from the happy tan man’s house.

Then Jojo drove back to the Diamond District and then smashed open the cash register and started to do Fortnite dances after the robbers stole all the money. Then, they went to people’s houses and started shooting the front windows. The police left their barbeques and sprinted as fast as injured cheetahs to the police station. When they got there, they saw they had no cars. Also, the sobbing people from the bank noticed their cars were stolen, too. Then the robbers went to the bank and stole over 10,000,000,000,000 dollars, which was the first record high since Christmas of last year.

Back at the boy’s barbeque, Nikan and Ido heard a crazy scream. 

“Robbers are invading!!”

As they put down their hamburgers, they heard bombing sounds. They were ready to take serious action.


Chapter Two: Clues from The Road Boys

The Road Boys rushed into Nikan’s room and got the number three best disguise robber catching costume: a gun, a shield, disguise powers, a watch to communicate, plus a button that could let you choose the power you want.

“Let’s go,” said Ido.

The boys rushed out of the house and jumped onto the bank. They saw thousands of police cars. On top of the roof, they saw a list of where Harry Kane was planning to go. 

The list:

  1.  Get the robbers
  2.  Diamond District
  3. Bank
  4. Chocolate factory
  5. Steal all the barbeques
  6. Mall
  7. School
  8. Houses
  9. Offices
  10. Shoot people 
  11. Leave City
  12. Steal stuff from airport and fly away. 

“I’ll go to the chocolate factory,” Nikan said.

“If they left the chocolate factory, I’ll go stop them from stealing all the barbeques. And alert me if you’re in trouble. You know my number,” said Ido. 

Nikan was terrified as he ran through the streets faster than Jesse Owens. He arrived at the chocolate factory. Then, when Nikan snuck in, he saw the robbers stealing like crazy, stealing all the stuff.

Then Nikan called Ido and said, “I need your help. There are over 2,000 robbers.”

“Sure,” Ido responded.

When Ido arrived, they activated a power named invisible speed with their special watches and jumped on down.

“Let’s go,” Nikan whispered.

The boys snuck by the whole gang and screamed to call the police. The robbers got scared and ran out.

Then Nikan called the police and said, “The robbers just went out and are trying to steal all of the barbeques.”

“Sure, I’ll go chase them,” said the policeman named Mr. Writopia.

The boys headed out and started using their superspeed power and tripped the police cars that the bad guys were in and broke the wheels. Boom! The robbers were totally injured, and some couldn’t walk. They did not know what to do without their lost cars. They heard sirens. There were more police cars from another city! Then, Harry Kane swooped in on a helicopter and picked up all the injured robbers and the robbers who were suffering from really bad pain. Also, Harry Kane saved the robbers who were on the loose getting chased by policemen.

Then, the helicopter distracted the police, and people came out to help out. The robbers inside the helicopters helped the injured robbers feel better by giving them the stolen medicine. Next, they jumped out of the helicopter and stole all the barbeques because that’s what was next on their list.

Chapter Three: Catch ‘Em Boys

The boys ran 10,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 miles per hour and caught two robbers, and gave them to the police who brought the poor robbers to jail. They were poor because they were the only two out of 100,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 robbers.

Then, the boys said, at the same time, “We need a trap.” 

The boys had the plan. They whispered it to the police and got started. First, the police chased the robbers toward Schanbel Boulevard. Schanbel Boulevald looked like a perfectly normal street with light posts all over because Mayor Melon lived on it. But the horrible robbers, all with concussions, ran over the trap that they didn’t know was a deadly trap and fell into it. It was 10 billion feet deep, and when all of them fell in, the friendly boys put up a firm gate so the deadly robbers didn’t get out, and if not all were caught, the boys made the same trap over and over again till the robbers were all caught. And, at the bottom, the boys put a machine that put handcuffs around the non-innocent robbers who destroyed the whole Labor Day!

After all the robbers were caught, they were put into dump trucks with a lot of trash, like stinky bananas and banana peels, which were totally awful.

Chapter Four: Jail

When they finally arrived at Kick Your Butt Jail, the robbers were in a moving tarp and were one by one loaded into a jail slot and were surrounded by chainsaws, and there was not even a single way to let the robbers escape.

After all the robbers were put into the jail slots, dinner was served: edible horse poo mush. There were no utensils or silverware given, only a plastic window if the robbers wanted to cover the open area which had iron poles around it so the robbers could not escape or shoot the city to death or kill people right out of the window.

The ground was all black and dusty. The walls of the mini cube had cracks and holes. It was just a plain room. Nothing was inside a plain room.

The robbers were whining to annoy the police and guards, so they would go away so that the robbers could make up a cruel plan. The guards finally called their wives to bring them earphones, so they couldn’t hear and at 10:00 sharp at night they all went to bed.


Chapter Five: Celebrate the Boys

The next day, the city met at town hall with misplaced artifacts.

The mayor, named Mayor Melons, said, “We must honor the people who saved our town… ”

As the mayor got ready to speak, he reached out his neck as tall as he could and got ready to speak loud and very proud, “Nikan Jafari and Ido Levertov. I must thank them so much for saving our town from such cruel robbers we were about to get killed by. Thank you so much. Thank you boys for saving our city.”

They planned to make a picnic to honor the boys.

“We will honor them at 12:00 sharp at Royal Mellow Yellow Park, and my servant Petit will serve appetizers, drinks, and food with his crew.”

When the church bell rang, everybody in the city arrived on time and was getting served from Petit and his crew.

It was an awesome celebration, and at the end, they had a yoga class, and finally at the very, very, very end, Mayor Melon, Governor Chicken, and President Taft, who was stuck in a bath, gave a speech and then at last awarded the boys with medals, Teslas, Lamborghinis, 1,000 billion dollars, trophies and so much more. And the boys thanked them so much and bowed to the crowd.


the man in a bird suit that hardly looked like a bird. but i shot it down anyway. like a bird.

Hi there! Rosie here. And I’m going to tell you the famous tale of how I came across the bird that showed me the meaning of life: Have no mercy.

So, I was just strolling in my backyard when I saw this funny-looking bird. It had blue feathers and a red mohawk of feathers on top of its head and green eyes. Plus, it was unusually large. And it kind of creeped me out. At first, I thought it was a normal bird, but then it began to scream like it was the end of the world. Then my head hurt. Within five seconds. So, I shot the bird with a potato gun. Not dead, just “taken out.” Like they do in movies. It fell to the ground, and I looked up on Google what to do with an injured animal when you find one. The first thing that came up was to go to an animal shelter and give it to them to deal with. So, I put the knocked out bird in a sack and carried it to the nearest shelter. (Wow. That bird must’ve been very bad at defense if it could be taken out with a potato gun that I got at the 7-Eleven store.)

When I reached the shelter, I thumped the unconscious bird in my sack down at the desk and said, “One totally alive bird delivery.”

And then I walked out before they realized that I was basically kidnapping a bird. Run! But then, my legs began to hurt, and I gave up. Nailed it. When I got home, they asked why I had been gone so long, and I answered that I had been on a nature bird walk. And I walked away thinking to myself about how much they didn’t know. 

And that’s the tale of the bird that showed me the way to my destiny. Later, I found out that it wasn’t a bird at all. It was a man in costume.


The Bad Sleepover

      

I’m in my room reading my book, but not really paying attention because I’m so excited for the sleepover I’m about to have with my best friend Lynn.

My dad drives me to Lynn’s house, which is only five minutes away. When I get there, I ring the doorbell and wait. Inside her house I hear her running for the door. Then, Lynn opens the door, and I run and hug her. I haven’t seen her for a few weeks.

“I missed you, Lynn!”

“Me too, Aliza!” she says, sounding a little nervous.

When we get inside, I follow Lynn to her room. Once I’m in her room, the familiar smell of strawberries greets me. If I was blindfolded, I would know exactly where I am. I also recognize the neatness of her room. The same mini elephant sculpture I had given her many years ago is still there. Then I turn around, and I’m surprised to see another girl in Lynn’s room that looks about our age. She towers over Lynn because she is so tall. I’m tall for my age, but she is still taller than me.

“Who is that?” the girl asks Lynn.

“She’s my best friend Aliza,” Lynn replies.

“You said that I’m your best friend though.”

“What is going on here?” I say, confused.

Lynn tells me that the girl’s name is Stella, and she just moved into the house next to Lynn’s. Then, she tells me that now she has two best friends.

I am so mad that I practically scream what I say next. “But is she sleeping over too?!

“Yes! Aren’t you excited?” Lynn replies.

“No,” I say quietly.

“Lynn, can we go to the bathroom and talk alone?

“I guess?” Lynn says, questioning me.

Once we are in the bathroom with the hospital smell, I ask why she had invited Stella to the sleepover. Lynn tells me that she can have more than one best friend.

“But I’ve known you for five years, and you’ve only known her for two days!” I tell Lynn angrily, looking at the bright pink walls.

Lynn has the same nervous look on her face, only ten times worse than when she saw me at the door. “Let’s go,” Lynn says.

We go back into Lynn’s room and find Stella putting on makeup in front of Lynn’s mirror. She spins around when she sees us.

“What were you guys doing in there?” Stella asks.

“Nothing,” I say.

“Yeah right,” she says quietly, but I could still hear her.

We go downstairs to eat dinner. It is mac ‘n cheese (my favorite.) But for some reason, I don’t think it is going to taste as good today.

 

After we are done eating dinner, Lynn asks us what movie we want to watch. Stella says she wants to watch Moana, but I want to watch The Secret Life Of Pets. Lynn says that we should watch Moana because Stella is the guest. She completely forgot that I am a guest, too.

 

Once the movie is over, we get ready to take showers. Stella asks if Lynn will take a shower with her, and I am sure that Lynn would say no because that would leave me out.

But Lynn says, “Yes!”

So then I am left alone. I could hear Lynn and Stella singing in the shower. I feel like Lynn turned into a totally different person.

 

When it’s finally time for arranging our sleeping bags and going to sleep, Stella wants to sleep next to Lynn. I do too. So I suggest that Lynn should sleep in the middle, but Stella takes her spot. I have to sleep next to Stella. The whole night, Stella and Lynn stay up whispering. I fall asleep hoping that things will be better in the morning.

 

When I wake up, Lynn and Stella aren’t in Lynn’s room anymore. I hear voices downstairs, so I walk down. Once I am in the kitchen, I see Stella and Lynn eating pancakes and talking. Lynn sees me and gasps.

“Oh my gosh Aliza! I’m so, so, so sorry! I totally forgot that you were still sleeping!” Lynn almost screams.

“It’s okay,” I say quietly even though it wasn’t okay.

 

When Lynn hands me my plate of pancakes, I sit down and think up a plan. If somehow I can get Stella to not like Lynn, then maybe Stella will leave us alone. After breakfast, when Lynn and Stella are brushing their teeth, I write a note in Lynn’s handwriting. This is the note.

 

Hi Stella!

I’m sorry to say this to you, but I like Aliza more

Than you. Actually I hate you. Once you see this

note make sure to never talk to me again or else!

Make sure you listen to this note or you will regret

it!

Lynn

 

 

The note is perfect. I slip it in Stella’s sleeping bag and go to brush my teeth. When Stella gets home and reads the note, she will never talk to Lynn again! Once I am done brushing my teeth, I go outside to find Stella and Lynn playing volleyball.

 

“Oh hi, Aliza,” Stella says with no expression.

“Hi, Stella,” I say back to her.

I notice that Lynn doesn’t say anything when I come out. I wonder if she feels bad for me. If she does, she shouldn’t have invited Stella for the sleepover in the first place.

 

Stella leaves Lynn’s house first. I hope I’ll finally have time with Lynn, but my dad comes right after Stella leaves. When I get in the car, my Dad asks how the sleepover was. I don’t like to upset my dad, so I say that it was fun.

 

As I walk to school on Monday, I worry that Stella will not listen to the note and talk to Lynn. If that happens, Lynn will say that she didn’t write the note, and they will figure out that it was me. Then, Lynn will be mad at me and be friends with Stella again. On the other hand, if Stella does listen to the note, then Lynn will notice that Stella isn’t talking to her and ask her why. They will figure out that it was me either way. This is bad. I have to fix things quick, or they will figure out that I wrote the note.

 

Waiting for class to start, I have an idea. I know that Stella is deathly allergic to peanuts. I decide to to tell Stella that last night at the sleepover I had been eating peanuts, and a few had fallen into Stella’s sleeping bag. That will scare her and cause her to throw out the sleeping bag with the note in it. So at recess, I go to find Stella. I see her eating pretzels near the front gate. I figure that she hasn’t unpacked her sleeping bag yet, so I go on with my plan. I walk up to her.

 

“Hi, Stella,” I say loud enough so that she will turn and look at me.

“Hi, Aliza,” she replies sounding sad.

“What’s the matter?” I ask her.

“I got a note from Lynn saying she hated me.”

 

Uh-oh, I think. My plan won’t work. She already saw the note. I have to think of something really, really fast. I start to think about what I already know about Stella. I think that Stella is really stubborn. I know what I can do. I will use Stella’s stubbornness to my advantage.

 

“Hey, Stella. I can’t imagine Lynn writing that, so maybe it was just a bad dream,” I say to Stella calmly.

“You’re right Aliza! It probably was!!” Stella says excitedly.

 

Problem solved! The only problem now is Stella will be friends with Lynn again. But I can deal with that. And besides, now Lynn will be happy, which makes me happy. And I like being happy.

 

The rest of the week is as ordinary as ever. On Friday though, I get an invitation from Stella to have a sleepover at her house with Lynn. I say yes before I even think about it. But I am worried that the sleepover will be like last week’s.

 

On Saturday afternoon, my dad drives me to Stella’s house, and I surprise myself by being excited. When I arrive, Lynn is already there. She and Stella are in a room playing cards.

“Hi, Aliza!” Stella and Lynn say at the same time.

 

Once their game is over, we head downstairs to eat dinner. We are having hot-dogs (another one of my favorites). After dinner, we take showers all together! We lay out our sleeping bags in a circle this time so that no one is left out. I remember how I felt last week when we went to bed. Today is the total opposite.

 

The next morning, I wake up first, so I creep downstairs to get a glass of water. When I get back to Stella’s room, Stella is awake. We play a card game together when Lynn starts sleep talking. Stella and I laugh so loudly that Lynn wakes up.

“What’s so funny?” she asks.

“You were sleep talking,” Stella and I say at the same time.

After breakfast, we sit on the couch with our arms linked together. I am in the middle. We are all wearing fancy dresses because in the afternoon we are going to watch a musical. I have the feeling that Stella, Lynn, and I are going to be best friends forever. And that would be awesome.

 

Out There

 

Colors explode on everything around

Wind blows colors to new places

I smile in pure pleasure looking at the beautiful world

Floating in the now gentle breeze are thousands of leaves

Twilight comes, the sun lowers

Streaking the sky with purple and pink

Stars come out to play

Abstract reality surrounds our world in pieces

Sadly, I am not out there, but behind my window

 

Pioneer Sightings (Excerpt)

 

Part 2

 

   The days sweep quickly, like the winds tumbling over the calm sea, or the waves swiftly slamming against the rocky shores of the American Pacific Coast.

   The next years, that is where I would be going: the Good West, where the Pacific is, where I’d seek my fortune. This land, where I’d finally set all this behind me . . .

 

Journal entry from the leather-bound journal kept once by Brennan Hester Jr. Journal entry written July 17, 1825 not to be mistaken with Michael Hester’s older brother Brennan Hester III

 

 

 I came back to the apartment to learn the news about Angela was, in fact, true. The family was up there.

It was clear to me that not all of them were drastically affected by it, though most were. I could clearly see the great changes in people’s behaviors and moods — it was very somber and heavy in the room. When I was walking down the hall to Room 96, the room my family was crammed in, I could already hear the meltdowns — sobbing, groaning, and fits.

 When we got to the room, I knocked softly on the door. I heard the loud noise die down followed by footsteps that I recognized as soft boots due to the gentle padding coming towards us. The door cracked open, and I saw who I recognized after adjusting my anxiety. Katherine. She managed a half-smile, though it quickly faded when the groans briskly began again.

She looked back with a quick look and a worried expression. Then she, quicker than I could think, opened the door wide and said something that sounded like an invitation to come in, and she rushed over to tend to a toddler on the other side of the room. The news about Angela was clearly causing strong anxiety and pressure then.

  I walked into the room. The first thing I saw was Good Ol’ Pa, guffawing so hard it seemed like he couldn’t breathe, slapping my brother who had his brim hat on and a stiff expression of slight worry, sitting on a rocking chair that I recognized as the rocking chair Brennan said was around since the Civil War.  I walked in, not bothering to even think about calming Good Ol’ Pa down like I’d usually do.

  I could see the lot of family members. It was loads of relatives, around forty of them crowded in this two-room apartment. I used to live in that apartment for about a month, but I managed to find a good job and to be able to afford my own house.

  The first room consisted of a kitchen on the right, with a weak stove, pots and pans, cabinets and drawers, silverware and cooking tools, and other things needed to cook breakfast and dinner (unless it was winter, the Hesters would usually get lunch at a restaurant or one of the occasional markets).

 The room to the left consisted of an unpleasant amount of people sleeping that I could easily recall finding uncomfortable to fit them all in. It was overcrowded with weary beds covered in odor and sweat for the old people who were unable to walk, but were respected by the rest of the family who imagined the pain the elders were feeling was due to the many things they saw.

  Of course, I did respect the elders and I imagine it wasn’t just me who had some jealousy for the old Hester men and women sleeping in actual beds. The children sometimes got to sleep in a real bed with the elders, though they’d usually be with their parents on a molding mattress that they’d managed to buy, or on the floor with some kind of blanket laid out on the ground or on the cold wooden floor, with only their clothes supporting their warmth, or only their pants in the summer if they felt the sun battering on their skin.

The second room was smaller, like a combination of an attic and basement. A lot of things (even treasures, such as a thousand-year-old diary from this Israelite Catholic whip, which as you may guess, in the family’s desperate state, an anonymous number of the Hesters wanted to sell it at any place that was likely to accept, such as the small museum in town, or maybe the saloonkeeper in town. We knew he was always interested in such artifacts, or so the rumors said.

As I was saying, the room also consisted of some stored things (whether it was dump-material or not) that the family members kept somewhere, though it was an unorganized cluster of things, so there was no organization and no division between the rubbish and the things managed presently.

A few who were uncomfortable enough around the snoring and all slept in some ancient blanket or lay down in a comfy chair still used. A distant brother that I’ve, not counting the times I saw him in the apartment (which was not as often as the others), only seen once, when I was a child and he was taking a bit of a vacation after his stressful veteranship in the Civil War. It was clear that he wasn’t much liked, for that whilst most of our family fought alongside our nation, he ran away for somewhat mysterious reasons and got deployed to the army, ranked Corporal.

  I can hardly remember his name, though when I occasionally think for one moment about him, I can remember the slight resentment that the rest of our family had toward him, though he doesn’t mind it (more specifically he seemed to have enjoyed it). Well anyway, he simply slept on an exceptionally molded mattress, with a desk on the right, in which he wrote non-fiction books (none have been published so far, but a small pamphlet for the Thom County, which hardly anyone paid notice to).

Well, I’ll get back to what was going on. J quickly rushed in a random direction in which I didn’t see. I quickly went up to my brother, and by that I mean I stood for about a minute in shock and confusion. It simply did not make sense, then Good Old Pa wandered away and stared at the kitchen.

I took the steps, and my brother, still with the same old expression, noticed me and said in a normal voice (or at least an attempt), “Angela.”

He suddenly violently choked. He lost eye contact with me, drumming the fingers on his right hand on the armrest. I stood there, a bit worried for a moment, but then he stopped, closed his eyes tight, and breathed regularly, and said with a calm voice, “Go ask — go ask someone else. Kathy’s over there.” Then he stopped talking and seemed like he was trying (I said trying) to look like an old man, then fell asleep on the rocking chair.

Kathy was still tending to the apparent toddler (my nephew Jack, who was the son of my brother). This time, I didn’t even bother to wait. I needed these answers that I could’ve had, but wasted the small precious moments.

“KATHY!” I shouted over all the fuss in the room.

She nearly fell onto Jack, but she managed to get a hold of the ground. She glared at me, then said in a loud and irritated tone, “What, Michelle?!”

I glared at her. I hated that name since when she first said that name back when I attended preschool in London. I liked it for the remainder, for that I thought she made it up, but then people started teasing me with that name, and I learned it was actually a girl’s name.

 It didn’t bother me that she would do that sometimes. It’s simply that I hated being treated like a child when nearly thirty. I calmed myself down. I looked at her calmly (though she wasn’t calm) and put my hands in front of me, my palms aiming at Jack, who was at Katherine’s feet.

“Katherine,” I said, and she seemed to be listening. For some reason, I forgot that though she enjoys Brennan calling her that, she hates me calling her that. I guess I must’ve been in a hurry. After staring at her for a moment, I opened my mouth and said, “Mrs. Hester,” — looked at my shoes for a moment and went back to eye contact — “Angela… Hester.”

“Oh,” she looked around the room, as if she was scared there were spies hiding in the walls. And so she began…

“I’m surprised, Michael, by how curious you are. Normally, people like you would’ve just went with it. Even some children.

“Well anyhow, it was simply our normal routine, up until the Argument. We couldn’t hear much. All we could hear from this room — they were arguing in the other room, by the way — were shouts. We all agreed… ” — she panted, then stopped.  “Okay, okay, sorry, let me start over. Angela and Brennan were having an argument. All of us were disturbed that night for we couldn’t get any sleep, even the three Noctur — ” She looked around, making sure the Nocturnals didn’t hear this insult. They had the hearing of a bat and they were only so far away. I was the one who made it up when a young adult, and I told Brennan and Katherine about it. Brennan thought it was rude and scolded me, but Katherine loved it. “The three Washington triplets is what I meant, were both annoyed and, like us, worried. What was it about? We wondered.”

“Well, so it was. Angela was the first to come out. We saw her crying, tears slicing down her cheeks and there was a deadened look in her once bright eyes. We wanted to comfort her, but before we could study the situation and stand up, she walked out the room. I’m not done yet.

“Then came Brennan, whom after she left the room for a while, rushed out of the apartment with her, carrying a pack with him, shouting, ‘WAIT! I’M SORRY!’

“Then, to take a look, one of the Washingtons, Stoney Washington, rushed out of the door.

“What happened next? Well, according to what we asked from Stoney. You know how all the Noc — ” She paused, her lips frozen in midair. “Well you know how ‘they’ are most of the time quiet. It seemed like Stoney preferred that, but he said nervously, looking the whole time at Brennan in the corner, that the argument was some ‘ridiculous thing that they disagreed about.’” They forgave each other soon enough. They took a walk, including Stoney.

“Well, Brennan by himself rushed to Stoney with a worried manner. He said ‘I don’t know what happened! It was simply — I — I left her on the stone, having her wait because I needed to get something back at the apartment!’

“And so it was. Angela disappeared just like that. Like smoke.”

This story, though not so detailed and which felt too quick for reality, changed my life.

This panicked the entire town, afraid there might be wild animals or even tramps. After about a month, the case was given up. I had given up along with the police.

Well, since then, my family got richer. At least rich enough to afford their own apartments. Now, only about three immediate families lived in Room 96. I stopped visiting the apartments and focused on my own life.

I heard about the places I’d been missing in the west. I heard that there was a rush for gold in the place they called California, and how the rush was only about thirty years ago. There were many living there.

I discussed these thoughts with J, who in the nine years that passed, was now a grown man. He told me of, after his studies on the Hesters, that not one person set foot on the land. Well, as I said, in between those nine years, we pretty much forgot about Angela. I was one of the few that still felt like it was only a few weeks ago that I’d been delivered the news by J: “Angela has disappeared.”

To these very days, those words echo in my head. I, a long time ago, realized I needed to look to the present and future rather than the once-present.

And so, me and J (I now called him by his actual name, Josef Hester) began to tell others this idea. Most of the Hesters thought it was a good idea to fully restore our family, though we needed to prepare.

We began the journey as we began our preparation.

So now, I must get on to my journey to California. A long trail, being on a slow wagon. It is miles and miles of hardship, but the flesh of the hardship is the most horrific event. It is something that gives me the chills every time I think of the West. Now, I’ll get on with the story.

I was in the same pub I was in nine years ago. I wasn’t sipping ale. I found myself telling a drunk couple made up of a woman Josef recently married named Mary and Josef himself about the trip. Josef already knew, but he’d usually forget things commonly when drunk.

Nowadays, the inn was quiet. Not many people came to the inn. There were rumors the Baby Heifer Inn pub was going out of business and it was becoming a simple motel. I wasn’t so sure about the rumors, but I liked going to the inn anyway, though it wasn’t as big of a symbol as it used to be about two years ago, when, as I’ve already said, the Hesters were able to get their own apartments or even a house like I.

Well anyway, we were the only ones in the pub except for the short, fat bartender and two men, calmly talking to each other.

As I said, I was talking jollilly about our plan.

“… And me and Josef believe that we should depart this town in a few months and catch the next train. By train, I mean the group of wagons travelling together, not those newfangled machines. Well, we’re going to make our family rich! Ain’t we, Josef?” I looked toward Josef, who was staring at me in a pose and had a smile that made it seem like he was flirting with me, though I could tell, due to the fact that his eyes were twitching and looking around, that he wasn’t. When I finished, his eyes shot to me.

“Oh!” he got out of that pose and he almost fell over as he rolled back. Then he grunted and sat up and pointed an index finger at the ceiling. “Indeed!”

Mary laughed so hard at Josef. I laughed a little as well. I didn’t bang my fist on the table though, unlike Mary. It caused Josef’s ale to fly up and spill all over him. The laughing stopped. I saw everybody in the tavern turned to us, looking at the mess. Josef was covered with fizzing, brownish liquid.

For a moment there was silence, then embarrassment, for that the bartender, his head poking over the table and the two men, were laughing hard at us, their heads turned toward us.

I stood up, and in order to not draw attention to myself, I instinctively pretended to check my watch. I looked over at the two men, still wheezing and looking like any moment they could get a heart attack from what I felt was superfluous laughter. I raised my other hand in a silence gesture and then gestured Mary and Josef to follow.

They both stood up almost extraordinarily at the same time and, with a little bit of pushing each other, walked out and behind. I was trying my best to ignore the laughter, thinking of yelling and bruising up the three of those men. I might’ve if I drank when I was talking, but I wasn’t. I still wore that half-embarrassed, half-enraged expression, still having a small feeling to antagonize the men.

“Come out here,” I whispered loudly, pointing to the cracked door. I walked towards the door and they quickly followed. I opened the door and caught the winds scented like the spring pines that are scattered across the forest. I smiled and looked around the town and looked at the setting sun. They were standing there, looking around at the sky. I sighed at the town.

“Look,” I said solemnly, spreading my hands at all directions of the town. They looked around, focusing their eyes.

No one was on the streets, except for a woman silently holding an ass by the reigns. That was it. I could see the lights were still on in people’s homes, but all the other buildings besides the Inn didn’t have any candles lit or so on.

“What? The buildings?” asked Mary after many long moments of silence. I looked toward her, grinning and shaking my head.

“This town, of course!” I exclaimed. “If the family cooperates with me and Josef, we could leave this town of silence. We’d be on the other side of the country, under the sun, getting tubes of chits after chits!” I paused for a moment, my hands raised in the air, then I put them down and continued. “Think about it! We’d be doing what the Hesters been missing out on! We’d go to what they call the Golden State!”

My words echoed there for a moment through the whole town. Through the alleyways, in the pub, to the ass driver, to the children on the other side of town. Then Josef grinned, seeming to recall this was partially credited to him. He pointed his index finger to the sky and leaned over.

“INDEED!” he exclaimed.

Mary looked around, no longer drunk. She said in her stern Southern accented voice, “Well, I’d like to hear a bit more. You must’ve thought it through.

“My,” she looked off to the distance, and nodded. “Two years. You must’ve planned out every detail. Whether we should live in San Francisco, or off in the countryside. Whether we should buy a house or build our own. Never mind, I’ll leave you boys up to it.” She looked back at us. “So, what’s your plan?” I looked at Josef in the eye, his hair got a bit dustier and grayer and sharp blue eyes dulled over the years of growth.

We smiled and we turned to her, and we said in unison in a jolly way, “We did indeed.” I sighed, still smiling. Josef’s smile faded and he turned toward me.

“I’d like to be the one to talk even further into our plans,” he said, then right after turning toward Mary. I nodded at him. He couldn’t see it, but I could tell he somehow sensed my nod. He walked over to Mary, took her hand and walked her into the inn.

I didn’t mind it at all. Despite the fact of being so far the one who mostly wanted to go to California. Even Josef didn’t seem as animated as I was to go to the very town we were planning.

I heard as they (Josef and Mary) walked through the door, Josef started talking fast and saying, “So, there’s this outpost we’d rest at on the first day of travel called Ben’s Goods of the Wild and then we’d travel through some… ” He became too far away.

I relaxed as I sat down, exhaling. I looked at the town in front of me. It was the town of Clauyer, Tennessee. As I’ve said before, I’d be missing this town. I could see all the buildings in front of me. People’s houses. The small fire station. Fancy restaurants open, with couples pecking each other. Part of me thought for some reason, “I’m finally going to leave this town” and another “I’ll miss it though.”

I smiled, relaxing my somewhat tense stomach. I realized I’d actually said those words. Then, out of the corner of my eye, I saw the woman with the ass’s face. She was somewhat the average height for a woman. She was draped in a black cloak and a hood, so I couldn’t see her face completely, but I could see her lower face and her hair, so I could tell she was a woman. But she was walking toward me, with her feet out in in front of her, step by step.

She was walking toward me. My eyes widened. I had this odd feeling in my gut. I assumed I might’ve attracted attention by saying it. She’s just going into the inn, I told myself, but I could see her approaching.

I fidgeted my hand, and looked away from her. She’s just going to the inn, the Baby Heifer Inn. I get that most go to the Gray Chameleon, but not everybody does. I whispered to myself these very words over and over again till I finally convinced myself it was true.

Then suddenly, she stopped. She stood right there. I waited for her to come closer, but she didn’t. I stood up, confused and very unnerved and walked inside the Heifer. In there, things were slightly more filled with pleasantness than I remember. A pleasantness that I personally had a hard time finding pleasant. The room was filled with twelve more people, though they, rather than ten years ago, acted like they were at some family restaurant rather than a pub. They were just sitting, occasionally getting up if they needed to leak or something, and chatting and sometimes laughing.

How I remember it ten years ago is it was a pub filled with laughter. Like the few people, I called the inn this pub once was the Retreat House. People laughed and cried. The Retreat House was a place of warmth, where only there came to be total chaos (such as a man getting drunk and insane enough to kill someone) would there people be uncomfortable in it. Memories started flowing through my brain, from deepest memories from my childhood, to the present. The present.

A warm hand fell across my shoulder. An actual hand. It was from the door, right behind me. I didn’t bother to take it off. It sent waves of comfort through me. I had a sudden memory of me visiting the apartment that almost my entire family was once crammed into. I smiled, and laughed in my head at that memory. Even the rest of the family enjoyed some of the funny memories, despite the discomfort in Room 96. I was talking to Katherine, Brennan, Angela, Good Ol Pa (back when he was more sane, though he muttered some random old folk nonsense under his breath occasionally), the three Nocturnals, and a few others.

I loved ‘em all. Angela! I thought that name.

I’ve never thought about her so clearly and so much in only a bit of a slight lesser of a decade. I could then recall her beautiful face, my mind racing. It wasn’t as if I loved her, but for a long time, I started to think about Angela as if I just visited the apartment, asking Kate about how she disappeared, finally adjusting to her disappearance.

I felt like the hand was that of my imagination for warmth as my mind raced. Then suddenly, my memories all of the sudden halted and I looked at the hand in alert. The engagement ring and the wedding ring, the tenderness of the hand itself, it was so familiar!

In alarm, I turned around, surprised the hand still was on my shoulder. I saw the person’s face. It was the ass woman. Her face was soft and beautiful, with rosy cheeks, and had something that made my jaw drop: brown, sparkling eyes. It was Angela! It was beyond any shock I could’ve ever imagine I’d experience in my life.

I started speaking gibberish, though she was standing as still as a statue, only breathing. I turned around, about to tell the news, but then I heard a cry in the place of Angela. It sounded like that of an old lady. I turned around, and sure enough, there was a woman that looked like she was in her mid-fifties in the place of Angela. She was looking around, perplexed. She had the same robes and the same rings on her finger.

She stared down at the ass next to her, looking with her eyes opened. I approached, saying things like “Who are you? Why — ”

She turned to me with a glare and bellowed, “I DON’T KNOW, YOU — YOU!” I nearly fell over, but then I saw her breathing, pausing from her bellowing. She looked at her shoes, looking terrified. Her hands were pale and she was trembling. She looked at the ass after a while and said “Shoo!” and finished with a gesture as if she were swatting a bug.

The ass nickered and trotted away. I noticed tears started sliding down her eyes. She ran out of the tavern, screaming. I was chilled. No, no, I was scared. Very scared. It was a simple vision. A vision. This thought wasn’t reassuring, but I walked over to the table, knees trembling.

I waited for one of them to notice me and give me permission to sit down, but they were lost in a chat, and it was something horribly unrelated to me and Josef’s plans. I looked at the mugs of ale that were on the table in front of them. It was clear they were drinking again.

“Hey?” I heard the bartender call, directing toward our table. It was either that Josef and Mary were ignoring this while continuing to talk about the subject of “Indian racism,” or they could hardly notice one bit of their surroundings except for the side of the table they were on and themselves. I looked over and saw the bartender was standing on a stool, looking at me.

“What’s the matter? Look’s like you saw a ghost!” he yelled over.

I thought about this. Just a vision. Again! Just a vision… I thought about the vision for at least ten minutes, and, through thoroughly thinking about it, I convinced myself this. The bartender seemed patient for my answer.

“Now that’s the hearty smile I want in the Baby Heifer Inn!” he called over, with me realizing I accidentally smiled. I started to chuckle and the bartender chuckled back.

“It was absolutely nothing!” I said, not in a lying tone, but it really sounded the way I thought of it. I approached the bartender and put my arm on the table, in the sort of position as a vaquero (cowboy) talking to an old friend.

“I’d like one pound of whiskey,” I said jollily. I don’t know why I did at that time. I rarely drink whiskey due to how my family has a history of getting addiction to whiskey. The bartender smiled. He crouched down where I couldn’t see him, despite how short he was. I heard him shuffle around in some cabinet or drawer, I heard him pour something into a cup or mug and then finally, he placed a large mug of whiskey on the counter in front of me.

For the rest of the night, me and the bartender chatted about politics and life. I forgot all about my vision that night, though I couldn’t prepare myself for what was to come.

 

The Best of Friends

As I slept in my comfortable bed, I did not know my life would change forever. I jumped out of bed when I heard a loud rarrr-ing over our small town. And like the other kids in the orphanage, I ran to the window. A dragon shining in the moonlight was asking where a girl was called Liriel. Then, I realized that he was looking for me. I was desperate to save my town, thinking that the dragon would destroy my town in anger, so I had a weird moment when I was super strong and ripped one of the bed posts of my bed off and smashed the double layer window with it.

 

Then I jumped, landing on the hard ground covered in soft, pointy grass. I shook off the pain at the point of crying because of the pain and threw the part of my bed on the swings that were right next to me. I climbed the short three-foot fence and ran across the street to the dragon. He was super big and red and had big, cute light blue eyes. His nose, horn, and tips of his fingers were black as midnight, and in his nose there was a little fire producing a small light.

 

I screamed, “O mighty dragon, my name is Liriel. I am the girl you were looking for. Take me as a sacrifice for my town.”

 

“I’m not going to destroy your town,” he said. “I heard you crying in the morning. I want to know why. I’m going to bring you to my town. Can you please get in my fluffy bag? It has a couch in it, if you wanted to know.”

The dragon held open his bag, and I jumped in. The bag was soft and comfortable and so was the couch. As the dragon took off, he asked me in a very deep voice, “Why were you crying in the morning?”

 

I answered, “In the orphanage… ”

 

“Wait, you lived in an orphanage?” the dragon asked.

 

I responded, “Yes. They beat the kids there, and I was severely beaten this morning for not putting my dish into the sink after I ate. I had put it on the counter next to the sink because the sink was full.”

 

The dragon asked, “Who hit you?”

 

“We call them beaters. All of the bedrooms, the front yard, the backyard, the kitchen — they all have a phone, so someone can call the beaters. When they’re called, they come to beat you. Today, they hit me so hard in the back with a baseball bat that I have a huge bruise.”

 

As I said that, I put my head over the edge of the bag and saw a small town. I asked the dragon, “Why is that town there?”

 

“I save people from horrible places for a living. Then when they are ready for a new family and life, I put them in the village. I save everyone. We are home!!” responded the dragon as I felt the bag softly hit the ground.

 

“Can I please get out?”

 

“Yes. Also, you can go on my shoulder and fly around.”

 

“Thank you,” I said as I jumped on the dragon.

 

Later, we went back to the dragon’s bag and into the dragon’s house. His house was huge, and the walls had big containers on wooden shelves. He carefully put me down on a king-size bed with soft blankets. The pillows were like little, hard clouds.

 

I asked the dragon, “Why do the pillows feel like little, hard clouds? How are the blankets so soft? Where did you get this king-size bed?”

 

The dragon responded with, “Oh, I just made the pillows, got the blankets from Walmart, and got the bed from a bed store.” Then the dragon said, “It’s kinda dark. You should get some sleep.”

 

Soon, I was snuggled into my bed, sound asleep from the comfortable softness of the bed. The next day, the sun was shining through a window right on top. I hadn’t noticed the window the night before because it was so dark outside. The light was shining off the dragon’s scales like it had the first time I saw him. But when I woke up, I felt something different. I had felt normal when I went to sleep, but when I woke up, I felt different — out of the box, not like other people. I didn’t know what had triggered that, but when I woke up, the dragon was calling my name. He made me one piece of toast and two scrambled eggs with cheese and avocado on the side.

 

While I ate, the dragon said, “Today will be the first day of school.”

 

I was so surprised by the news that I almost fell out of my chair! I was speechless. How could he set me up in the school so fast? But I couldn’t find the answer and went to get ready for school. When I got to school, kids started staring at me. I didn’t know why. Then I remembered: my hair wasn’t brushed. I ran back to my house and brushed my hair. The dragon was staring at me weirdly as I brushed my hair quickly and ran out the door. Back at school, kids called me names for some odd reason. They called me “Messy Hair.” That made me feel sad. They were making fun of me for arriving without brushing my hair. People with short hair do that all the time, but people with long hair have to brush it every day. That’s unfair!

 

I went through the day feeling sad and hanging my head down. As I got back into the dragon’s home, I saw the dragon reading some books. “Hey, dragon!” I yelled. Then, I realized that I’d never asked the dragon’s name. I yelled to the other side of the room where the dragon was sitting. “I never asked for your name. What is it?”

 

The dragon responded with, “Cornelius. My name’s Cornelius. Want to come here and tell me how your day went?”

 

So I went over there and told Cornelius about the horrible day I had. I saw that he was sad about my horrible day at school.

 

“Now you are going to be homeschooled, because of the horrible day that you had,” Cornelius said firmly.

 

Yaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay, I thought in my head.

 

Days passed with no out of the box stuff. But on the 1st of May I saw a note. It had some weird writing on it.

 

I asked, “Cornelius, what is this note?”

 

“It is a note to a wishing well to give you one wish. P.S., it has old dragon language on it, so give it to me when we leave.”

 

“Can we go now?”

 

“If you are ready for an adventure.”

 

“Yes.”

 

“Well, let’s go,” Cornelius said as we walked out the door of his house.

 

I immediately gave the map to Cornelius, and Cornelius read, “Follow the path of something red till you find something you dread. It is a rhyme on the note. We need to find out what is the answer.”

 

“Hey, there is a path of roses over to the right of us into the wood in the direction of the town! That must be the path. And what we both dread is the orphanage, so let’s go!” I said happily.

 

We followed the rose path for ten minutes before we ended up at the orphanage. We saw a small pond with fish. Like magic, there was a small bottle with a piece of paper in it. Cornelius graved the bottle and lifted the top. There was no note, but only steam. Cornelius yelled, “I can’t see.”

 

“Me either!” I responded.

 

Soon, the thick steam went away. In Cornelius’ hand was the next note. Cornelius said, “Climb the tallest mountain you can find to find your prize. Drop it in a hole to get your next note.”

 

Cornelius and I flew around for ten minutes before we spotted the tallest mountain. It was Mount Camp. We went to the top and saw one plant of sage. Its purple flowers shone bright in the midday light. It was amazing how beautiful it was. I couldn’t believe my eyes. When Cornelius landed, I jumped off Cornelius and grabbed a handful of sage. “This must be enough!” I said. Then, we flew off to find the hole.

 

All the holes we tried throwing sage into never gave us a third clue, but when we went back to Mount Camp, we realized the hole had been next to the sage the whole time! I felt kind of stupid, but I dumped the whole handful of sage into the hole. Then, one small piece of paper popped out. I grabbed it and handed it to Cornelius. Cornelius was so excited that he almost ripped the whole piece of paper in half with his claws. Cornelius immediately started reading, “Dig five feet under the first door of the dragon’s house. You will find the next clue that will leave you dumbfounded about where you’re going.”

 

I immediately jumped on Cornelius’ back and shouted, “Let’s go home! Let’s go home!” He flew to our house. He tried to grab a shovel, but I had already started digging. Still unwilling to dig with his hands, Cornelius grabbed another shovel and started digging, too. I almost got hit a few times, but I didn’t care. I was on my way to get one wish! Five feet down, we saw a note, and Cornelius said, “In the deep forest, there is something to find in the biggest tree.”

 

“Let’s go to the forest,” I said, a little scared for my life.

 

We flew to the forest, and we had to fly past the clouds to find the biggest tree, because the type of tree was Redwood. After we flew down on a platform, and as soon as we landed, the floor fell from under us.

 

“Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!” Cornelius and I yelled.

 

Soon, we were sliding down a tube with rainbow lights passing us. Then, we smashed onto something at the end. Then I saw it was a monster, with sharp teeth like a shark. It looked like a house with eyes and a mouth. It roared so loud that it shook the room. “We have to fight it,” I said, and I jumped on Cornelius’ back. Out of thin air, he gave me a steel sword. It was shining in the light of the room.

 

Cornelius flew over the monster, and I stabbed it 10 times. It started bleeding so bad that it died of blood loss in 20 minutes. We got the note that the monster was hiding.

 

Cornelius read, “Closer you are to the well, go into the door in the tree and find the monster of air. Get the note from its palm.”

 

“Let’s go, Cornelius, to the tree with the door. And get the note! Let’s go!” I said, jumping up and down on Cornelius’ back.

 

As we flew around the forest looking for the tree with the door in it, I realized, “Oh, it must be in the trunk, not in the trees!”


After five minutes of walking around the forest, we found the tree with the door in it. It was wide and brown and looked almost exactly like the tree trunk. We went into a super dark room. The only thing I could see was my dragon with his light in his nose. Cornelius had night vision. He saw some torches and lit them with his fire breath. I hadn’t known he had fire breath till now. I stared at him like he’d just done a flip. I was very surprised!

 

Then, I heard something rustling. Something walked in the room, and I felt an eerie presence on the other side of the room, but I did not dare to look there. When I did, I saw the silhouette of the monster of air and a note in his grip. I pulled out my steel sword, getting ready to fight. I jumped on Cornelius’ back, and he blew some fire on the monster of air. I saw the silhouette in flames. I knew this was my best chance to get the monster of air because he was visible in fire. I pulled out my steel sword and tried stabbing the monster of air. He always ducked out of the way, or tried to. I had an idea.

 

Cornelius and I went behind the monster of air to confuse him. First, I stabbed the monster of air. It turned around and saw us, so we had to go back! We went around the monster of air so many times, the monster of air fell down.

 

“This is our chance!” I jumped onto Cornelius’ back, and he flew above the monster of air.

 

I threw my sword, and Cornelius swooped down and grabbed it out of the monster of air where it had stabbed him. We did this so many times that the monster of air had ten puncture marks in his chest and stomach. The monster of air was so weak from all of his blood loss that he just gave me the note.

 

Cornelius read the note, which said, “Follow the rainbow to the pot of gold and grab one nugget.”

 

It started raining almost immediately after Cornelius said that. The rain was cold and coming down very hard. After five minutes, the rain quickly disappeared and left everything wet and soggy. I hated my hair being soggy because it stuck to my clothes and skin, but this was my chance to get one wish. After the rain disappeared, we saw one rainbow, then another and another.

 

Cornelius said, “Oh my gosh! They must be trying to trick us, so we go to the wrong one and something will happen!”

 

Cornelius started flying around the rainbows, seeing which one was the strongest to follow to the end. The first one had a puddle of green slime at the bottom. The second was the same. And the third, the fourth, the fifth!

 

But the sixth rainbow had the gold in a golden pot, so Cornelius immediately yelled, “Here’s the gold!” and flew back to me.

 

I hopped on his back and headed back to get the gold. What we did not know was that there was something in the bushes awaiting our arrival.

We flew around for five minutes trying to go to the end of the rainbow.

 

When we landed and started reaching for the gold, a hard, long stick hit Cornelius and me on our hands. Cornelius said, “Ow, that hurt!” as we both turned around to see one small leprechaun, about two feet tall, standing right next to Cornelius.

 

Cornelius was so mad that he looked like he had fire in his eyes.

 

I was scared as I heard what the leprechaun said. “You keep your dirty hands off my gold! It’s mine, not yours!”

 

I responded, “We need the gold!”

 

The leprechaun replied. “Well, why do you need the gold? It’s my gold, and if you want the gold, you’ll have to fight me.”

 

Cornelius gave me my steel sword as I hopped on his back and prepared to fight. First, the leprechaun moved, pouring hard gold on us, then making it disappear into thin air. Then, after that, Cornelius blew fire at the leprechaun, and Cornelius flew over for the leprechaun, letting me throw my sword down at him, but he blocked it with a light green shield. It started heading for me and Cornelius, but I grabbed my sword before it hit Cornelius and me. The leprechaun tried hitting me off of Cornelius to hurt me and make Cornelius fight him on his own.

 

But he failed and fell into the pot of gold. He gave up because the gold cut and weakened him, making him not be able to move. Cornelius and I pulled him out of the pot of gold and put him on the ground sofly. Cornelius and I put our hand out to grab the pot of gold, but when we touched the pot, the ground fell from under the pot, Cornelius, and me.

 

We fell straight down falling in water. The room was very dark, but the only light was the light of the wishing well. Cornelius and I grabbed the pot of gold and moved it next to the well. Cornelius and I grabbed one piece of gold. I thought of what I wanted for a wish. And something crossed my mind. It was, You are not normal. Wish to be normal. You must be normal to go to normal school!!

 

The voice was right. I wasn’t normal, so I threw in the gold and said, “I wish to be normal.”

 

Then, I heard a small splash, and there was a deep voice that made the room shake.

 

It said, “You can’t be normal. No one can be normal. Everyone is different.”

 

Then, the piece of gold came out of the well.

 

I threw the gold back down and said, “Well, if I can’t be normal, I want to not be bullied in school.”

 

“Your wish is granted,” said the voice.

 

I said to Cornelius, “I can go to normal school!!! YESSS!!!”

 

Cornelius said, “Let’s go home,” sadly, with a tear running down his hard, scaly cheeks.

 

“I must have made him sad by saying, ‘I can go to normal school!!! YESSS!!!’” Then, I had made my mind up. I would stay with Cornelius as my teacher, since he came all this way for me.

 

“I’m sorry that I said, ‘I can go to normal school!!! YESSS!!!’ You’re the best at teaching,” I said as we flew into the sunset.

 

THE END

 

GOD DIARIES: Diary of the Messenger Boy

         

June 24, 2017

I know people think it must be great being Zeus’s son and messenger, but it’s not what you think it is. I was such a big loser back in middle school compared to all the other gods around the world.

First off, everyone thinks I have it so easy because my dad’s the head of the gods, and secondly, we already live in Greece, so I do not have to commute to school. It’s not my fault. They could have built the school in Egypt or Mexico, but no, they decided to plop the school right where I live. Anyway, I attend Cloud Academy, and there are some hot goddesses who attend. My favorite is Athena, the Goddess of Protection. She is awesome. The problem is, she’s dating my big brother, the hero Hercules, who is the second best known god. He has big muscles and is a famous movie star down below heaven. So, unfortunately, Athena is not going to go out with me. All the other god girls think I am a loser because I am smaller and weaker than Hercules. To make matters worse, my best friend, Apollo, is an amazing singer and jams the lyra with so much skill. All the goddesses love him.

 

June 25, 2017

I have one day before school starts to purchase all my school supplies. I did not want to work as a messenger today, so I begged my dad for the day off. Of course he said no, so I went to my mom, Hera, the Queen of Heaven, and she gave me lots of money and advised me not to mind my dad. I love my mom. She’s the best.

So, I headed off to the market to purchase my school supplies. I wanted sassy new togas, hoping the goddesses would notice me. I decided that I was going to give up on Athena this year and focus on the new goddesses at my school. I decided that I had to visit the top store called Style for Godboys. I decided to purchase something that was not on sale and was limited edition in order to stand out. Okay, there were shoes with gold feather wings and a gold cap with silver wings. Ohhhhhh my god, there was a toga with a gold belt and thunderbolt on it. I placed them in my cart. The total was 100 drachmas which was not so bad because I am rich. I need a new sporty backpack, so I headed to the Nike store. I looked at the shelf, but none of the backpacks were good enough. Then, I saw the backpack of my dreams. It was silver with aquamarine wings made out of blue jay feathers and a solid gold zipper. The coolest part were the magic buttons attached that opened different compartments at my command. For example, if I pushed the lunchbox button, my lunchbox would emerge from the bottom of the backpack. It was a limited edition which means it is the only one available. Even though it was going to cost me an arm and a leg, I happily handed all the money in my possession to the salesgirl. I noticed that she had the same multicolored gemstone necklace that Athena wore, but it wasn’t Athena. She looked a bit older, but no less beautiful.

“Do you know Athena?” I asked.

“Yeah. I’m her big sister. Why?”

“Uhm, just asking,” I quickly replied.

As I was leaving the store, I knew this was my chance at love. Only this time, not with Athena, but with her sister. I was like a little machine, moving as fast as a moving crumb as I left the store.

 

June 26, 2017

Well, today was the first day of school! The second I took my first step entering school, I saw “the one.” I was getting it all wrong. It wasn’t Athena or her big sister. Not even close. From across the hallway, I saw a messenger goddess from Egypt. She wore a golden cloak dress. She was the daughter of Horus, and she was as pretty as her mother Hathor, the Goddess of Love. She wore the bracelet of the 42 stars which her mother must have given her. There was no godboy in sight, so this was my chance, but the bell rang, and we all had to get to class. I was crushed at my lost opportunity.

Then, my luck came back. My first class was math, and to my surprise, she sat right in front of me. I could see the wing clips that were on the side of her hair. I could feel her silky soft hair. She passed papers down and asked what my name was. Part of me wanted to make a run for it because I was so nervous, but once I glanced at her dreamy brown eyes, I knew I couldn’t.

“My name is Hermes,” I said, my voice shaking.

“Wow, what a cool name. I like it,” she said, smiling. “I’m Harmony.”

Before I could respond, our teacher interrupted and requested for us to sit. She had an announcement to make.

“Class,” Mrs. Nut exclaimed. “There is a fall dance coming up in two weeks. Start thinking about who you would like to ask.”

My heart skipped a beat. I knew exactly who I was going to ask.

 

June 27, 2017

My buddy Apollo came over after school today. I told my mom that we were going to do some homework, but actually, we needed to talk about the dance.

“Dude, I’m going to ask Athena to the dance because she just dumped Hercules.”

I could tell by the look on Apollo’s face that he thought he was going to make me mad. But he didn’t. He was not aware that I had somebody else in mind. As we were chatting, I fetched some snacks. I got two soda pops, cheese puffs, cookies, and two giant gummy bears. I asked my mom if Apollo could spend the night. Of course, she said yes. I took him downstairs to my room and gave him a tour. I have a big hot tub in the middle of my room with two cloud beds which are next to each other. One bed used to belong to my big brother, Hercules, but he moved out. There is a desk with a lamp next to the beds, and there is a huge TV with a mini snack bar. My sofa is near the hot tub, and my closet is next to the small library located in the corner of the room. A tower of CDs and DVDs stood next to the sofa. Did I mention I have an awesome, spacious bathroom.

I looked through my silk PJ’s, grabbed a pair of luxurious blue pajamas, and handed them to Apollo with some fluffy sheepskin blue slippers, so he can get ready for bed.

“Woah, your ceiling looks like an observatory! It’s so cool!”

“It is an observatory!” I exclaimed. I grabbed my remote control and switched the setting to seven.

Switch one- on

Switch two- off

Switch three- disco lights

Switch four- heater

Switch five- AC

Switch six- day light

Switch seven- space

The lights went out, and stars lit bright in the sky.

“Want some popcorn, dude?”

“Yeah, totally.”

“Lightning!” I called to my aquamarine parrot. “Go fetch us some popcorn.”

“Your parrot gets popcorn?!” Apollo was shocked.

“Of course,” I said. “My dad made him out of clouds, just for me.”

“Wow. You have the coolest life, Hermes.”

“I know! When my brother was born, my dad made him a horse with wings the size of a fly, also made of clouds.”

 

June 28, 2017

One day until the dance, and there is no way I am attending school. I have to plan how to arrive in style. I told my mom that my back is sore and that Apollo had a headache. Well, that did the trick! The first thing we did was call up the limo rental.

We ordered a diamond express which is the top limo. We called the flower shop and ordered the most expensive corsages and two of the finest boxes of Swiss Belgian chocolate. Then, we visited the tailor shop and decided what we were going to wear.

“We want to see your most expensive tuxedos!” I advised the sales clerk and added, “Money is not an object.”

Apollo and I tried on suit after suit until we decided which one fit the best. I went with the golden silk tuxedo with diamond buttons. Apollo chose a simple suit (but still expensive — because, duh, it’s us).

At 6:00 p.m., Apollo and I pulled up in front of Harmony’s house and walked to the door. “I’m feeling kind of nervous, man. I really like this girl.”

“Just be yourself, and everything will go fine.”

“I don’t know. She seems different than the other girls and more serious.”

I rang the bell and moments later. Harmony’s mom, Hathor, answered it. “Oh hello, boys. You must be Hermes. Harmony will be down in a minute. Such fancy tuxedos for such young men.”

“Our tuxes should be fancy,” I announced. “Only a billionaire could afford them.”

Hathor rolled her eyes, and that’s when Harmony came down the stairs. She glanced at me with a puzzled look and made me nervous. Maybe she didn’t like my tux, or maybe she did not like me? I started to perspire and felt my face turn bright red by the second.

“Hi, Hermes.”

“Hi, Harmony. You look beautiful.”

“Uh, thanks. You look, uhm, overdressed. It’s just a dance, not a wedding.”

I felt embarrassed and awkward during our ride to pick up Apollo’s date.

At 7:00 p.m., we arrived at the dance, and Harmony didn’t say one word about the fancy limo, flowers, or chocolate. She was not rude or anything. She said thank you. I can tell she was not impressed. We entered the room and got a table for dinner.

I went to get soda and pizza for us, and LuLu the baby DJ said, “All of you love birds, come over here, and start dancing.”

I was hoping for a dance. I reached for her hand, and we started dancing.

“I’m having a really nice time,” Harmony said.

“So am I,” I said. “You should be my girlfriend, and I will buy you everything that you ever dreamed of.”

Harmony stopped dancing all of the sudden and stared at me with a puzzled look. “Things do not make me happy, Hermes. It’s what comes from inside. I do not care about the things you bought me tonight. What I like is how much effort you put into trying to make me happy. It’s the thought that matters, not the material things.”

I have never heard anyone say this before. Harmony seemed to just like me for being myself and not for my money. That was the best feeling in the world! I thought to myself, Maybe she’s right. Maybe I do focus too much on material things. “You’re a great guy, Hermes. You should save your money or donate it, but please don’t spend it on me. What matters is your heart.”

I kissed her on the cheek, and she blushed. We held hands and danced until nightfall. I had never been so happy.

 

July 28, 2017

One month later…

I’m getting ready to help Harmony distribute food at the homeless shelter. We have been volunteering every weekend since the dance. Since that magical night, I have become a caring and generous individual. I have not been shopping, and I spend my time helping Harmony with community work. I found this to be fulfilling. I even donated my disco clothes to members of our community who cannot afford sparkly outfits. I have much respect for Harmony, and we have decided to be friends and focus on doing good for the community and in our studies. Secretly, I am hoping that one day she’ll be my girlfriend. But she’s right, there’s plenty of time for that. I’ve never felt better. I kind of secretly wish for big muscles and to be famous like my big jerk brother, Hercules.

The End

 

Vacation Blackberry Crumble

   

Blackberry Filling:

4 cups blackberries from a gate in Italy

1/4 cup granulated sugar from a Mexico sugar cane truck

2 teaspoons cornstarch from when I first opened my eyes in Israel

1 tablespoon of water from Malibu beach

 

Crumble Topping:

1 cup oats from a horse ranch

1/2 cup brown sugar from the shore

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon from a national park in Sri Lanka

1/2 cup flour from the Washington snow

1/2 cup butter from a Montana dairy farm

 

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Put a skillet on the stovetop and set the burner to medium high.

 

Grease the skillet with melted butter and remove from the heat. Pour in the blackberry filling. Then, using your hands, drop the crumbles all over the top. Think about all the places I’ve been.

 

When covered, place in the oven for 45 minutes. When it’s done, let it cool. Then, have a spoonful, and enjoy my memories.

 

Rusty

A puppy named Rusty was the runt of the litter at the doggy daycare. The other dogs had a white spot by their eye, a brown spot on their tail, and they were mostly blonde and bigger. But Rusty was a tiny, tiny golden retriever with a periwinkle collar that was only as big as a shoe with big, black eyes which made him extra cute. Well, he was cute to me. He was named Rusty for his reddish brown and blonde fur. His ears and tail were white with gold spots which made him very unique.  

Rusty was always getting into accidents like spilling the water or throwing a ball into someone’s face. A lot of the people and other dogs didn’t like him because he was so small and messy. He was also shy. He really hated when people weren’t loving him but he didn’t know how to ask. Even the adults at the doggie daycare didn’t pay enough attention to him. He dreamed of dog biscuits, human food like steak, sleeping on clouds, and not being the runt of the litter anymore but having a family to adopt him. He hoped it was a brother and sister because he could get the play from the brothers and hugs and kisses from the sister. He liked the doggy daycare because he always got the same towel bed and it felt like his own. But, he knew it could be better and he could have a pillow. He was really sad because he had no friends other than a goldfish cracker. He wanted to eat the cracker but he was so lonely he decided to let it just be his friend. But, it wouldn’t do anything so it was boring. He decided to keep it until he found a new friend. Still, nobody in the whole doggy daycare liked him. There was another runt there that was even treated a bit better!

One day, Rusty had noticed a couple was there looking at dogs. They looked at Rusty and shook their head and said, “No, definitely not.” They turned to another dog and said, “Oh, such a cute Shih Tzu! Maybe that one.” Then they walked over to an Australian Shepard puppy and thought, “Ooh, maybe that one. Definitely that one!” The dogs didn’t even notice the people because they knew they’d get adopted someday. They just showed off and had fun. But, Rusty knew he wasn’t going to get adopted. He just sat to the side, sadly.

There was a time where they let the dogs run around. During that time, they had to share toys like a squeaker, a rope, and a plastic tube. Rusty tried to get a bone or a squeaky toy but the other dogs were rude. They tried to pull away the bone. He then tried for the squeaky toy but they did the same thing. In the end, he couldn’t get any toys, and he laid his head on his paws.

On Rusty’s birthday, they only really celebrated by giving him a bone. But, finally, it was his own bone. He wrote his name on it so the other dogs couldn’t just take it and say it was theirs. On that same day, a family came to pick out a dog and a little girl named Mia saw Rusty.

Mia said, “You’re the cutest thing ever!”

She took Rusty in her arms and he wiggled, showering her face with kisses.

“Mommy, Daddy, can we get him?” she asked.

“I don’t know. You ask your mom,” said her dad.

“Can we get this dog named Rusty?” Mia asked her mom with pleading eyes that rivalled Rusty’s eyes.

“If that’s what you really want then sure,” her mom said and smiled.

Rusty heard these words and his ears perked up then his tail wagged.

Mia said, “Look, he’s so happy!”

Mia picked Rusty and held him close to her chest. She twirled around. The other dogs saw this and made crying, angry sounds.

In the car, he was very still because he loved how Mia hugged him. After, they went to the pet store and bought Rusty all the things he needed: dog food, good treats, a water and food bowl, and almost every single toy in the store. And, he didn’t get just a pillow, but a whole doggie bed. He tried out every single one before jumping and deciding on the fuzzy, warm bed that was last. Mia then knew that was the perfect dog bed for him. Rusty got two new collars, a red one with metal dots and an orange one that faded to red. Rusty was so happy after they bought everything. He sat in the back of the car on his new doggy bed playing with all his toys. When Rusty and Mia got home, Mia set the dog bed by her own bed. But, Rusty slept with her that night.

When they woke up, Rusty went on a walk with Mia. They saw another dog that was a German Shepherd. Both of the dogs were enthusiastic and started to play and play and play. Then, another came. It was a humongous dog, a Great Dane! Mia and Rusty were scared and then it turned out the Great Dane wasn’t even friendly. It had mean team that snapped at them. They decided to run home. Mia chased after Rusty because he was running so super fast.

When Rusty and Mia got home, they ran inside. Rusty went straight to his dog bed and whimpered. Mia pet Rusty and gave him a treat. That cheered him up a little bit. He was still afraid of the Great Dane. Luckily, the Great Dane didn’t come to the neighborhood ever again. Mia cuddled Rusty with every hug she had and they fell asleep on her bed. Rusty laid there, warm against Mia, and he realized he hadn’t made a mess since Mia adopted him. He was so happy to feel love.

 

Messy May

Hi! I’m May or maybe… Messy May. I’m eight years old and my birthday is on June 10th, so don’t mind my writing. But… let’s just get to the point. I’m going to tell you a little about my life before I turned eight.

When I was a toddler, or maybe three to be exact, I was always biting, drooling, and rolling in mud with the pigs. Oh! And I almost forgot! I lived on a farm. But, now I live in a big city in a little apartment. But let’s get back to the story.

When I turned four, I finally got to go to preschool! And that’s when I met my very first friend. Well… not including my brother Horus, but her name was Samantha, Sammy for short. She was very, very clean and perfect.

On the other hand, I was messy, so that’s why people started calling me Messy May. Since I was so messy, when i had my first play date with Sammy and we were doing a project, I squeezed the glue all over Sammy and Sammy screamed. After a while, Sammy got cleaned up. Sammy then had to leave.

One year later, I was five and at a school called Marquez Charter School, and my friend Samantha actually was in Marquez Charter too! Since I was five, I was in kindergarten. I was in Mrs. Newman’s class. Sadly, I wasn’t in the same class as Sammy, but at least I made new friends. When I made another friend named Malia, I got in a big fight with her. I promised I would play with her because she wanted to tell me something in secret, but I forgot! Because I slipped and got a scrape on my knee. So she got really mad at me, but then we made up a week later.

And when I was in first grade I was six and Sammy and I were finally in a class together! So uh… YAY! But when I was in first grade, I met a new friend named Harper! And I started playing more with Harper. We had some fights. And one of the fights was when Harper and I fought over a toy.  And I screamed at her because it kept on going on and on. But we made up in the end.

Then I turned seven and I was in second grade and Harper, Sammy, and I were all in the same class. And I thought it was great when I started playing with Harper, but I had told Sammy I would play with her. I actually promised Harper I would play with her too, so I played with Harper instead! And Sammy felt left out. Also, Sammy and I were not friends for a while.

The next day I felt very sad because I lost a friend. When I went up to Sammy, I said, “Sorry that I didn’t play with you when I promised, so uh… can we play?”

Sammy said, “Yes” and I felt so happy that we were friends again that I almost bursted into joyful tears and screamed!

Now I’m eight, but next year I’m going to be in third grade. I hope it turns out great. But my friend Harper is moving, and it won’t be the same without her. But all next year will still be great because I might make new friends and having the same friends could get a little boring. Also in all of those years, I noticed that being a good friend is when you like them for who they are, and when you don’t lie or yell at them. And that is my life before I turned eight.

 

THE END

 

Man in the Shadows

One dark night, a boy, whose name was unknown, was living on a farm that was dark, had many dead trees, a tool shed in the backyard, and was near a graveyard, when he heard someone talking to him. He tried answering, but no one answered. All of a sudden, he heard a loud noise that went like this… Boom! The boy ran into his house to find cobwebs and his dad gone. When he went to bed, he saw images of a guy that had no shape and no face, in the shadows haunting people.

The Man in the Shadows said, “I will find you.”

He said that while haunting the boy in the real world. The boy woke up and gasped for air, not able to sleep.

The next day, the boy did his normal chores. He went to the police station and told them about the Man in the Shadows, but they all thought he was crazy.

He went to go back to his farm, but it was all gray with shadows. He knew what had come: The Man in the Shadows. He knew he would have to face this monster, but he was too scared.

When the night came, he went to his room. It was old and dusty, and when he walked, he heard a CREEAK. All of a sudden, he saw a light coming from the graveyard. He wanted to look away, but he couldn’t. He was being mind controlled. When the light stopped, he looked behind him and found the Man in the Shadows haunting him. He was extremely scared, so scared that he fell backwards, crashed through the window, and landed straight on the ground. Luckily, he landed in some mud.

He ran as fast as he could and ran into a tool shed. He heard footsteps and, slowly and carefully, the Man in the Shadows walked by. He was safe. He forgot there was a back door to the tool shed, and, when he looked back, there was nothing there. He surely was safe. Suddenly, he heard the door make a sound kind of like this: CREEAK. Then, he looked back and saw the Man in the Shadows! He ran out of the tool shed and ran to the graveyard. His heart was pumping so fast, it felt like his entire chest was moving. He was so scared that he forgot that there had been a light over there.

When he was there, he hid behind a tree. He stayed there for a while. Luckily, the Man in the Shadows did not come, but he heard a loud sound. He looked at the graves and saw a bloody hand coming out of the ground. He just remembered that there was a light. He knew the Zombies would come to him.

He waited for about an hour. Suddenly, the Zombies came out holding bloody knives and had blood dripping from there face and arms. They started charging towards him. He started running for his life. The Zombies were catching up. The boy knew he would have to hide, but where would he?

He sprinted to the old Mansion of Ghosts. He obviously knew it was haunted, but it was the closest place. He locked the doors and went to the kitchen. It was really bright for this place to be haunted. He gathered some apples and bananas.

When the moon was high in the sky, he heard a loud howl. He looked outside and saw a werewolf. He wanted to hide in the attic, so nobody would find him, but when he moved, he noticed that the werewolf was looking at him. He ran so fast, he was a blurry blob. He went into the attic and heard a crash in the kitchen. The attic was the creepiest place of all. There were skeletons and cobwebs. He heard loud and slow footsteps. He went to check, but saw nothing but darkness. Not even the light from the kitchen was bright enough to shine in the darkness. He looked behind him and saw the werewolf, the Zombies, and his dad. His dad changed into the Man in the Shadows. The boy was so frightened that he fainted, landing on the floor with a crash.

When he woke up, he saw darkness and saw giant teeth. He was being eaten by the Man in the Shadows! The Man in the Shadows had some really bad breath. He tried escaping the Man’s mouth by slapping him in the face, but he couldn’t. The boy didn’t know what was happening when his hand went straight through the Man in the Shadows’ face. Suddenly, the boy realized he was out of all that darkness, but he had no face and was see-through! The boy was shocked that he had survived and that he was a ghost.

The Man in the Shadows whispered, “If you don’t haunt people, I will come and get you and swallow you, and you won’t even be a ghost anymore.”

The boy did not know what to reply. He did not want to die, completely, so all of the ghosts, including the boy, haunted everyone and everything with the help of the Zombies and the werewolf.

 

The End

 

Alien Plant

One day, centuries before the Earth was as green as grass, there were very stubborn aliens that looked like plants. The plants used to live on a planet made of lava and they loved eating lava. Their planet froze and all the lava was gone. One day all the aliens were ready to land on earth with their UFO. Their UFO crashed into a volcano, but they all survived. When they inhabited Earth they were peaceful, eating lava with their mouthparts that had sharp teeth.

Centuries went by and the aliens lived in peace. Then came the time of humans. There was not a lot of lava. One day humans became very intelligent and started to make fire. The aliens were scared that the humans would use them for fire because they saw other plants being set on fire. The humans used a few aliens but the aliens weren’t good for making fire. Luckily the humans stopped using aliens to make fire. The aliens kept eating lava from volcanos.

One morning winter came. It was very cold and everything turned to ice but the aliens and the humans. The aliens stored lava in their mouthparts and ate it little by little. The winter lasted for decades. The aliens started starving to death, turning brown, and drying up. All the aliens were worried but they were stubborn.

All of a sudden winter ended. The aliens were happy that winter was over, but there was no more lava. It had turned to rocks. The aliens were scared that the humans would set them on fire again, since everything but the humans and them was dead.

When a human named Mr. Billy found those aliens, he wanted to help them. They didn’t have choice but to give the human’s idea a try. If they were stubborn, they would die. Mr. Billy decided to give them water but the plants drowned. Of course he gave them dirt but the aliens didn’t like getting dirty. Years passed until he fed them some bugs. The plants loved the bugs. They continued eating bugs. They ate all kinds of bugs like ants and bees, but they especially liked flies. They continued eating flies and moved into all the places around the world where there were the most flies. They ate and ate for decades until they were healthy again.

And those aliens are what we know as the Venus Flytrap.

 

The Strong Genie

So this is where it all began. It was cold and rainy in the forest, and Mr. Fire, the fire genie, was burned down. He couldn’t hold anything heavier than a small rock.

“I’m going to go find the super strong potion that can make me strong again,” he said.

But what if he didn’t find the potion? He would never be able to help people everywhere lift up heavy items, and he really liked helping people. He floated through the forests and farmlands to the Potion Temple.

But on his way, he saw a candy witch in her candy house. He stopped flying. He watched her stir up her skeleton bat stew that smelled like dead skunk, and then, she got her broom.

“I’m going to get the super strong potion,” he heard her say as she flew to the temple.

Mr. Fire said, “I’m going to get that potion first,” and he ran as fast as he could, which wasn’t very fast because he was so weak, to go find the potion.

He knew he had to get there first because if the witch got the potion, she would use it to kill people because she was evil.

Mr. Fire ran so fast that he bumped into an old man. The old man had seen the genie looking in the window of the witch’s house, and he didn’t like the way the genie looked because he was burned up.

“Looking for something?”

The old man didn’t care that he was talking to a genie, but he did care that the genie seemed to be doing something suspicious.

Mr. Fire said, “I’m looking for the super strong potion. I have to get it before the witch, and I don’t have time to talk to you!”

The old man knew that the witch was sneaky and mean, so he decided to help the genie. He handed the genie some sausage and bacon from his bag.

“If you put this meat on the ground, there’s a lion that can help you get to the Potion Temple. I hope you get the potion!”

Then, the old man walked away. Mr. Fire put the meat on the ground and went up in a tree. Just like the old man had said, after ten minutes, a lion came to eat the meat, and Mr. Fire jumped onto the lion. The lion started to run in the direction of the temple. When they got to the temple, Mr. Fire jumped up so that the lion would not eat him, and the lion ran away.

On the top of the temple, there was a pyramid with the potion on it. Mr. Fire saw the potion, but he also saw the candy witch on her candy broom! They were about the same distance away from the potion. The genie flew to the top as fast as he could. The witch was coming too! Crash! They both went flying, and Mr. Fire landed on an elephant. It went crazy because it thought there was a tiger on its back. The elephant used its trunk to grab the potion. The elephant heard about the witch and knew that she was mean. The elephant gave Mr. Fire the potion. Mr. Fire drank the potion, and he got strong again. His muscles got fatter and flames struck out of him.

“Thank you!” Mr. Fire said.

Meanwhile, the witch had flown into a palm tree. She fell out of it, and there was a tiger waiting to eat her because she smelled like her skeleton bat stew, which he thought was delicious.

Mr. Fire flew home to live happily ever after, and it wasn’t even raining when he got back.

 

The End

 

Invisible

Once there was a boy who was eleven years old. His name was Jack Rutinburg. He wanted to be invisible because he thought being invisible was cool. He wanted to be cool because he felt like he was not cool. Jack’s home was old and very dirty. That is why he felt like he was not cool. The only good thing about that home was that Jack’s dad was a wizard.

He went up to his dad and said, “Make me invisible!!!”

His dad said, “No!”

Jack thought, Maybe dad is in a bad mood today.

So the next day, Jack went up to his dad and said, “Make me invisible!!!”

His dad said, “No!’’

Jack thought again, How could dad be in a bad mood yesterday and today?

The next day, Jack went to find a different wizard to get the invisibility power. He was really excited to be invisible. Along the way, he bumped into his only friend/next door neighbor on the street. His name was Bob Goldman. Jack asked Bob, “Do you know where The Castle Filled With Magic is?”

“Why do you want to go there?” said Bob.

“I want to be invisible,” said Jack.

“Can I come with you?” said Bob.

“Sure!” said Jack.

“Thanks!” said Bob. So Jack and Bob went to The Castle Filled With Magic.

Then they noticed that they could go right or left. They decided to go left. Since they went left, they noticed they went the wrong way. They were trapped! They ran to the door. They barely missed it! They ran to the window. They barely missed. They had know idea how they would get out.

Back at Jack’s house, Jack’s dad was telling Jack’s mom how bad Jack was treating him. Jack’s mom was really upset. She said once Jack came back to them — where was Jack? They looked all over the house but they could not find him. They were so worried that Jack was lost. Just at that moment, Jack’s dad remembered that Jack asked if he could be invisible. So he must be at The Castle Filled With Magic. Jack’s mom and dad ran to The Castle Filled With Magic.

Okay, back to Jack and Bob. Jack and Bob were so scared. They thought they would be in there for their whole lives, and then die in there. Just at that moment, the door opened. The window opened. They ran to the door. The door closed. They ran to the window. The window closed. Then they noticed why the doors and windows kept opening and closing. It was a person magnet. The person magnet looked like a regular magnet except it was huge. It was as big as two TVs combined. It was very light. It was as light as a pencil. They saw the person magnet near the door. They picked it up and threw it away from the door. The door opened. They ran to the door. It stayed open! They did a victory dance. The victory dance looked like Jack and Bob were dying. They were so happy.

They ran out of the trap as fast as they could. They tried to run home. They went the wrong way. They were trapped again. This trap was different. There were claws trapping them inside. The trap was sooo big! They were so upset. They screamed like a horse with messed up hearing aids. They thought there might be another person magnet. They were right!

So they did the same thing as last time. They threw the person magnet away from the door. They ran out of the trap. When they did that, they saw Jack’s mom and dad running toward the trap that Jack and Bob were just in. Jack and Bob screamed at Jack’s parents because they did not want Jack’s parents to be trapped. Jack’s parents heard them, and his parents ran to them.

When they got home, Jack remembered that when he asked to be invisible, he did not ask politely. Jack asked if he could be invisible politely.

His dad said… “Yes!”

Jack said, “Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you!!!”

 

The End

 

The Snow Adventure

One time in a faraway land, a young boy named Bob was playing in the snow. He wanted to have a snowball of his own that never melted. He really liked snowball fights, and he wanted to have them every day. After he was done playing in the snow, he went inside his house, took off his cozy sweater, and had some hot chocolate because he was cold. He asked his mother if he could have a snowball of his own. She said no. He whined all night, but he still didn’t get his way.

Four hours later, Bob decided to go find the snowball that never melted. He ran down his street and bumped into an old man who only had five teeth.

“Sorry,” he said. Bob was so excited that he didn’t care that the man looked creepy. Bob just blurted out, “I’m looking for a snowball that never melts.”

The old man told him he could find the snowball in a castle, and gave him the directions to the castle.

Bob went through the farm lands and found a wild cat to help him get to the castle. Bob finally found the blue, striped castle, and the wild cat went back to the farm lands. The inside of the castle was cold and it had a lot of cobwebs. Bob looked for hours in the castle for the snowball, but he just couldn’t find it. Then he thought to himself that the old man had tricked him. He ran to the door and tried to get out, but the doors were locked. The ceiling was plastic, but there was no ladder to get to the top. He was trapped!!!

Bob kicked the door as hard as he could. He punched the door as hard as he could, and he slammed the door as hard as he could!

“Help!” he screamed, but then he saw a spark of light in the sky through the ceiling. He thought it was a magic fairy, and it was!

The fairy floated down and said, “Are you trapped in this dark castle?”

“Yes,” Bob said. He trusted the fairy because she looked nice and was brightly colored.

The happy rainbow fairy said, “Let’s have a happy ending to this story and let’s get you out of this dark castle.”

In a second, the rainbow fairy threw her magic purple goo on Bob, and it transported Bob out of the castle and to his house. He felt so dizzy and weird, but he was so happy that he was back with his family.

In the end, Bob didn’t really care about if he had the snowball or not.

 

The Flying Pig

Once there was a pig named Bob Ben Bangtem. He wanted to fly. He wanted to fly because pigs do not fly and he wanted to be different. Bob wanted to be different because he felt that being different was cool.

Bob lived in a place with a lot of animals. There was also one wizard named Jonah. Bob was really good friends with Jonah.

The first time Bob tried to fly, he went to a cliff that was bumpy, curvy, and weird looking. He jumped off. He fell on his face. He was upset, but he wanted to try again.

The second time he tried, he jumped up and down. That did not work! He screamed like a monkey with messed up vocal cords. He gave up. He was so tired because he tried to fly so many times and all the things he tried did not work.

So he fell asleep under a tree. The tree was an apple tree with 100 apples. Jonah the wizard snuck up on Bob, but Bob did not know that.

The next morning, Bob felt really weird. It felt like there were two knives stuck in his back. Then, Bob noticed what happened. He could fly!!!

He was so happy! Then he noticed, “How can I fly now, but I could not fly before?” Then he said, “Jonah must have done this! Jonah must have done this because he knows I want to fly. Thank you Jonah!”

“You’re welcome!” Jonah screamed back!

 

The War That I Fought For

Meet Julia

Reader, this is just the beginning. Now, this is only Julia’s perspective of war, and this is just Julia’s side of the story. She is just a normal, young ten-year-old schoolgirl, but a grade ahead of where she is supposed to be. She is so very smart. She loves art and math. She was left at an orphanage at age six and picked up two years later at age eight.

***

Hi, I am Julia Berkens. You now will know where my story takes place. I grew up in a safe place. I was adopted, but I loved and needed my adopted family, and you have to understand that. We didn’t have too much money, so we moved to a place that we could earn money, but it was so very dry there. I did not feel like I was home. There was no rain ever. It was not a safe place. A war was going on, and my family knew it was not safe at all for me to be there. My parents discussed with the orphanage, and the orphanage came and picked me up. With a knock at the door, my family was gone, and I was alone. I would never see my family again.

And just like that, I was back at the orphanage. But soon, I was adopted by a lady, named Ms. Guis, who said we were moving from England to America. We got in something that made us fly. It was huge and had a lot of people on it. Ms. Guis said it was an airplane, but I was not quite sure if I could trust her just so soon. Though, I have to say, I truly thanked her for getting me out of that terrible orphanage. I could not even do anything there at that terrible orphanage. It was just- well like I said, TERRIBLE, and you who have been in an orphanage: you know what I mean. You see, I wasn’t the child with the most fun, but there is always some fun as you get a little older. Right?

In the airplane, I told Ms. Guis my story.

“I was eight when I was first adopted. And I really grew to know my family after two years. So, as I got older, my family and I painted our house. It was awesome, but then we moved, and I was not safe, so I went back to the orphanage. I was sad, but, you see, if you go to an orphanage, you meet people. Friends, of course. There was me and Mandy, the teacher. There also was Jacqueline, Alina, and my orphanage bestie, Annabelle Refnes, a little girl. She was a year older than me, but she did not mind. We were best friends until she moved to Italy, Europe. When she left, I wondered what I was supposed to do. Just keep on holding on? I guess I had to. Then, you picked me up. I was so happy, Ms. Guis. Thanks,” I said and did a little grin.

But Ms. Guis said, “Where we’re moving, there is also a war, but it’s a safer war. And no one will make you leave me and go back to the orphanage. But, Julia, here is what needs to happen. You are going to fight in this war. You need practice, so get ready. This is going to be fun!”

I was terrified. What should I do?! Fight in a war at age ten!!! Or go back to the orphanage?! I guessed I would have to fight in the war. But, no, I was about to faint or puke. What was I supposed to do? I was freaking out about what I was supposed to do. A complete stranger–my new mother–had just told me terrible information. I literally screamed. The whole plane (as Ms. Guis says) looked at me, and I ran to the bathroom for about 30 minutes and screamed in there about 30 times, walked out, got my bag, sat down, stood still, and did not talk the rest of the ride.

I got home. Ms. Guis told me where my room was, and I stayed in there ‘til supper. At supper, she said sorry, but I was still mad. I was upset that my choices were the orphanage or the war. I guess I had to do the war. Not like I wanted to be in a war, but it was really my only choice. So, lucky me, I was fighting in a war. At supper, I was talking again. I was still upset, but I made my decision and I guess I could blame it on Ms. Guis, but my choice was my decision. Plus, I was pretty sure Ms. Guis actually liked me.

The next day, I started training and got a green uniform. It was scratchy and had a big gold badge. I could not believe it. I literally was about to faint. I saw someone from the military, and they gave me all my information. Where was everyone? Where was my team? What was I going to do? He told me everything. I now knew what my mission was and why it was important. I needed to shoot up my gun since I was special (at least, that is what they said when they saw what I did at the entering test. I was blindfolded, so I was unable to see what happened).

They said the war would stop, and I would kill the whole other team. I was not happy. I was still very nervous, though I knew everything. I do not want to kill people. The man pulled me, and I saw his face. He had a giant scar I wanted to ask what happened, but I did not want to be rude. He even ended up getting the whole military together coaching me! They said I was a special kid, so I was needed. I thought that they just wanted someone else, but they actually weren’t lying. The next day was war. But who did they think I was? I was not ready. I was shooting guns, kicking, and learning how to be a ninja. I was learning a team bomb. It was very confusing. What would I do? I was terrified.

I left Ms. Guis the next day and went to the field. It was dark, and I felt like I was blind, but it got lighter. When it got light, I saw bombs and guns for us. Everyone got armed and stood in our positions. I was nervous, but I knew what I needed to do. Not that I wanted to. I was only ten. This, though, could be one of the best things ever. I could be better. I could be a hero. I could be famous. People might actually know me.

I started to fight in the war. Everyone was getting hurt. There were bombs everywhere. Here and there. I had no idea what to do. Should I shoot, hide, or help? I lifted up my gun, but, then, put it back down. I was very nervous. I started to cry. I was the only kid there, but I needed to help Ms. Guis and do it for my new mother, but how could I do it? I wanted to shoot, but I couldn’t. I tried to hide, but it looked like a dungeon, and in all places, it smelled like dead fish. I hesitated. I could barely move. I fell to the floor, gasped for air, then, stood back up again. With the terrible smell, I wanted to faint so badly, but I could not let down my new country. I lifted my gun again, shot, and the war was over. There was finally peace. I was so scared. I was… I was a murderer. What had I done? I hurt someone. NO!      

My whole team was celebrating. I guess I was special. I was so happy that I just saved my whole country. How? I was scared, but excited. It was the weirdest feeling. Everyone was celebrating me. Not like I wanted to kill everyone on that team, but I made it, so that kids could have a good childhood with their families even though I could not. And now I kind of thanked Ms. Guis. She made me a true hero. They had a big party and everyone was so happy, including me, I guess. I felt I was finally at my real home where I would regret things, but still be happy because I felt safe.

 

The End

 

Emotion Poems

       

Angry

I feel very angry

Red’s the color of my face

I slam my door

I stomp my feet

Like a stubborn flea

Anger is trash bad

Sometimes I am angry

Because I am hungry

My stomach roars like a lyin’ lion

And sometimes I just am mad

Today I am feelin’ angry

 

Shy

I am shy

My name is fluttershy

I try to cover my face

I want the sky

To be dark

And this will be all done

I do not speak loud

And proud

I speak shyly

And softly

I never get happy or mad

I usually am shy or sad

I am very shy

 

Sad

Today I am sad

I feel like rain is dripping

From my eye

I am not glad

I am sad

I want to cry

In my pillow

With my fiddle

I’ll play sad music

While I droop on my bed

So like I said

Today I am sad

 

HAPPY!

The sun is out

And I am happy

I am glad

Not sad

Or mad

I’ll smile big and wide

And play outside

With friends and family

And dance happily

Today I feel happy             

 

Silly

I am silly

I tell a joke

I go crazy

I pretend I’m a goat

I’m very lazy

After I go crazy

That’s why I am silly

 

In love!!

I’m in love

When I see my love

I blush

And I feel like a chump

I wish I can hug him so much

I want to be a chipmunk

With my honey bun

I am very in love

With the beautiful dove!

Heaven is above

And so is my love!

Love is in the air

Like you just don’t care!!!

 

Jealously!

I am jealous

 Sometimes l’m

Jealous

Because my friend

Has bread

That I want

But remember

Be grateful for what you got!

Then you will be happier

Amen glory be!

 

Giggly!!!

I am very giggly

And jiggly

I laugh

And laugh

Loud like a lion’s roar

Till I start to

Gasp

When my friend

Makes a joke

l start to choke

I am giggly

 

Sleepy!

I am sleepy

My eyes are drooping

I will die on my bed

I’ll dream

Dreams

My body is gooping

I’ll fall asleep

And not open my eyes a peep

Now good night!

 

Grateful!

I am grateful for…

Love,

Family,

Friends,

The grinch,

Doves,

Gambilin’,

Tents,

A pinch,

That’s what i am grateful for!

 

SCARY!

I am scared

Like a bear

Who stepped on his tail

In the air

Like you just don’t care!!

I am scary

Like a berry

that is scary!!!

I am scared

 

Today I Feel…

  

Sad

Today is a rainy day and I feel sad

Tears like the rain fall from my eyes

More rain falls and more tears fall from my eyes

Rain falls from the sky and land on the ground

Tears from my eyes fall on the floor

Today I feel very sad

 

Happy

Today the sun is out and I feel happy

The rain is gone and the sun is shining

A big rainbow with bright colors is in the clear blue sky

Pink fluffy unicorns are dancing on the rainbow

The ocean is sparkly like diamonds

The sand is yellow and pink

Today I feel very happy

 

Scared

It’s dark in my room and I’m scared

It’s pitch black in my room

There’s no light to see

There’s no power in my house

There’s no fire to make me warm

Thunder rumbles and lightning crashes

The howling wind comes in through my open window

I hide under my covers and close my eyes

I’m hoping this is just a dream

Because I’m scared

 

Bored

I am very bored right now

I sit on the couch and look out the window

It is a misty and foggy day

It is a drizzling day too

There’s nothing fun to do

Reading books are no fun to me

Today I feel bored

 

The Class Election

Chapter One: Class Election

Eight-year-old Sam sat in class listening to his teacher, Phillip, who said, “We are going to have a class election.”

The second that Phillip said that, Sam knew that he wanted to be elected. He thought of a speech and a reason to be elected.

Then at lunch, Harry the bully said, “I’m going to win,” and he kicked Sam, but Sam stayed strong.

Sam really thought he could win. Sam told his friends what he could do to help the school if he was elected. He could help get better food, stop arguments, and make safer rules. He wanted to win because he knew that if Harry won, Harry could make the class change in a very bad way.

“He can’t win,” said Sam to his friends, Paulo and Max. Max suggested that they could make signs to say why Sam should be elected.

After school was over and they went home, they told their moms and dads about the election. Sam stayed up all night working on his class election, making signs and speeches, and practicing them.

The next day in class, Phillip said that they were going to have the election tomorrow. Sam was excited. He already had ten votes, but Harry had sixteen! Sam was scared. Paulo tried to cheer him up, and he did. Then at snack time, Sam made promises to kids about how he could help the school, and later, he had seventeen votes!! Sam was very excited.

 

Chapter Two: The Encounter

But there was still a kid named Joe, who was running for president too! He had twenty-seven votes!

At lunch, Sam said to Paulo and Max, “We can do this!” Later they had thirty votes! But Joe had forty-six, so they continued to promise what they could do to help.

Max looked at the chart in the bathroom on his iPhone, and Joe had six more votes.

Sam said, “We…” but he was interrupted by the new kid, Molly. She was sad because Harry had broken her arm! As Sam was talking to Molly, Harry came up from behind and punched Max in the face!!! Next, Harry punched Sam and Paulo. Harry was mad that Sam was winning!

                 

Chapter Three: The Election

After school was over, Sam and Max went to Paulo’s house and tried to think of a strategy to win the election! They stayed up all night, thinking of ways to win the election. They thought of ways like promises and helpful things like hiring someone to clean the bathrooms.

                            

Chapter Four: The Surprise

The next day, when they went to school, Phillip said that the class election was in two weeks!

Sam clenched his fists when a kid named Jimmy wanted to be elected as well!

Then Jimmy, Harry, and Sam all wanted to be class president!

Harry wanted to get rid of Sam so much, he hit him with a baseball bat in the bathroom and knocked Sam out. Later, Max and Paulo found Sam in the bathroom after lunch. Max was mad and clutching his fists and punched the wall. Max felt like killing Harry the bully. And Sam said that they should go to the classroom and tell teacher Phillip about Harry and what he did, but then it was lunch. After lunch, they forgot to tell on Harry. Two hours later… school was over.

 

Chapter Five: Real Election

Two weeks later… Sam woke up, and he was so excited that the election was today!! He ate breakfast like the speed of light, and then, clutching his backpack, he zoomed to school on his skateboard. When he came to school, he was beyond excited. He went inside, and then Phillip said that the class election was today!!!

Up first was Sam. He read his speech, and the crowd cheered like mad!! Sam was excited. Next up was Harry. He read his speech, and Sam thought it was stupid. Then came up Joe, and Sam thought that it was pretty good, and that he and Joe were tied. Last, but not least, came Jimmy. Sam and Joe both thought that Jimmy’s speech was pretty dumb. Then Phillip announced that they could have snacks.

At snack time, Harry said, “Lil punk, I’m gonna win,” and kicked him in the face. After snack, Phillip said that in one hour they would say who was winning, and one hour after that, they would say who won. Then they had math, and Max looked at the chart on his iPhone. Joe was winning by eleven votes!!

Then they had P.E., and Joe said, “Lil punk, I’m better,” and he pulled out a rubber band gun and shot Sam in the face. Then Sam told the coach, and Joe got in trouble. After that, Jimmy and Harry were tied, and Sam was second place. Sam was scared. Then Harry aimed a crossbow at Joe, and then he had to go to the hospital. Joe had to have a heart surgery!

Sam was scared that Harry was going to hurt him next!! Then Phillip caught Harry shooting Joe, and Harry got expelled!!! Then they went inside, and then Phillip announced that the winner was… Sam!!!

And then Sam thought that he was the happiest kid in the world!

Sam said, “Yes!!!”

 

The End

 

Josh and the Bully

There was a boy named Josh. He was nine. He liked video games. He woke up to find that a new one came out! He was watching his favorite show when a commercial came up that said a new video game had come out called The Assault on Mars. He wanted it bad. He was jumping off his seat!

He zoomed to the store on his skateboard. But it was sold out already! He asked one of the workers if there were any left, but there was no more! He was beyond mad. He walked out, stomping and growling. He went to the next store. It was still sold out. He rode from store to store, but there were none left! He was tired, hot, and sad.

At that moment, he realized he was lost! He started to shiver in fear. He sprinted quickly to the snack store because it was near his house. Then he ran down the street because it was in the direction of his house. Then he finally found his house, sitting on the corner of the street. He walked inside. Then he pulled out his laptop and saw they had one left on Amazon! He dashed down stairs and snuck to a note that showed what his mom’s password was. He needed it to buy the video game off Amazon! He ran upstairs and hit “insert password.” He put in the password. It would come in three days! He started dancing around in circles!

 

Three days later…

Nothing had come!

He was bored. There was nothing to do. He was spinning his fidget spinner and sitting in a chair. He looked on the internet and saw it was a total scam! He was so mad. It was a scam to steal money from people. Josh stomped his feet and clenched his fists. He stole his mom’s wallet and ran to the one store he had not checked. He zoomed in. There it was. It was sitting on the counter. Josh and another kid spotted it. They raced to the counter. Unfortunately, the other kid got there first!

The kid said, “Heh, lil punk,” as he blew a bubble with his bubble gum and leaned on the counter. The kid pulled out a metal baseball bat. Then he threatened the person behind the counter, “Gimme this for free, or get hit with this!” as he shoved the baseball bat at the man behind the counter.

“Y-y-yes,” shuddered the man. “Here you go.”

The man handed over the video game. The kid walked out, sticking out his tongue at Josh.

“What a jerk!” mumbled Josh.

Josh walked out mad, annoyed, and sad. He walked home. He was happy to be home. He sat in his room, feeling terrible.

Suddenly, the doorbell rang. Josh opened the door, and the next thing he knew, he was on the floor, knocked out. He woke up to hear the noisy sound of sirens. He realized he was in an ambulance. There was a bed. He felt dizzy, nauseous, and his head hurt. He fell back asleep.

Josh woke up in the hospital. He heard the sound of his mom saying, “Josh, are you ok?!”

“What happened?” moaned Josh.

“I saw you on the floor, the door open, and a metal baseball bat on the floor!” said Josh’s mom. “You have a concussion!”

Josh went home after a little while at the hospital. As they were going home, Josh thought, I think I know who did this… the bully!

Josh’s mom said, “Once we get home, you have to stay in bed for two weeks.”

“Noooo!!!” shouted Josh.

“Yes,” said his mom.

They went home. Josh was sitting in bed, sad that he could not go outside. Josh was crying in sadness about how everything was going downhill. He could not fall asleep.

In the morning, he had enough of this. He ran outside and found a homemade crossbow aimed at his head…

“Don’t move!” screamed the bully. “I made this by tying pencils together in a crossbow

shape and using a rubber band for the string! This uses needles for ammo!”

The bully shot the crossbow at a house, and the brick shattered. Then the bully turned around and shot at Josh’s head, but he missed. The bully pulled a knife and slashed it towards Josh. Josh dodged the knife. Josh picked up the lid of a garbage can to use as a shield. The bully shot the crossbow, and it bounced off the garbage can lid.

Josh was shaking in fear. His head hurt badly. The bully kicked Josh in the stomach and pushed him to the floor. The bully then sat on him and pointed the knife to Josh’s throat. His mom came in at the last second and screamed, “Hey!!!” The bully chucked the knife into the bushes before the mom could see.

“You boys were just playing play fight? Huh,” said the mom.

She went inside, and Josh was up by now. The bully lunged at Josh.

“Come’ere!” scowled the bully.

Josh dodged a knife whirling towards him and caught it midair by the handle. Then, he chucked the knife to the floor so it would break and the bully couldn’t use it. The bully shot his crossbow and missed by an inch. Josh ran inside and told his mom before the bully got there.

His mom put Josh in bed to fully heal his concussion and dealt with the bully. His mom told the bully’s mom. The bully gave the video game back to Josh. Josh felt relieved from that madness.

(P.S. Josh loved the new video game.)

 

THE END

 

Snakes Go to War

Once, there was a town near a beautiful beach with palm trees and a food bar. Ten thousand king cobras lived under the sand, and they chased away all the people. They made the town their own kingdom. They made a castle of sand using their tails to shape it. They built a clock tower with a clock that had one snake on it. There was another clock on a staircase next to the back part of the castle, and it had scales on it. The kingdom was magical. The ocean turned to chocolate milk, the castle turned to gingerbread (if someone took a bite, it would grow back) and the coconuts tasted like chocolate and cotton candy. If it rained, it would rain jelly beans. The snakes were very happy in their kingdom.

In the kingdom, there were two snakes named Victor and Victoria. They were not like the other snakes. They were poisonous, like cobras, but they were golden king snakes. They were the only ones of their kind and wanted to find a home. But when they got to the King Cobra kingdom, the cobras only wanted their kind of snakes. The king cobras kept teasing the different snakes. Victoria cried hot cocoa tears, and Victor got mad.

“Stop it!” yelled Victor.

Victoria said, “Stop it,” in a sad voice.

Victor whacked three cobras in the face with his tail. The cobras froze. First, their faces turned gold, and then their bodies.

Victor and Victoria screamed in excitement.

Victor said, “We can start a war to see who keeps the land because we can turn the snakes to gold!”

“Yes, you’re right! Let’s do it!” Victoria danced like she was at a party.

First, Victor and Victoria thought of a plan. They knew the cobras would be surprised, because there were only two of them and 9,997 cobras. Victor and Victoria knew that the cobras fought wars in lines of three, so they would turn everyone to gold three by three, until there was only one left to turn gold.

In the morning, after they slept, Victor opened the window and screamed, “I declare war!”

They knew that all of the snakes would slither out of the castle, wearing protective gear. They would also have green shields. Victor and Victoria were not worried about the shields because they had practiced turning fake shields to the gold the night before. As long as the snakes were touching the shields, they would turn to gold. The shields would also become very heavy and make it hard for the cobras to move.

On the battleground, there were books and crowns for whoever won and became king and queen. When they saw the books and crowns, Victor and Victoria thought they were lucky to be on the side with the books, because the books were about wars. While the cobras were preparing for war, Victor and Victoria studied the books.The books gave them back-up battle plans in case they didn’t succeed at first. They saw, through the security cameras that Victoria had bought, that the cobras were coming. They stood in their battle positions and waited for the snakes to arrive.

The first thing they did, once the cobras got close enough, was whip their tails around in front of them to start turning the cobras to gold. At first, Victor and Victoria moved as fast as cheetahs, turning the cobras to gold. But then, the bodies started piling up. Victor and Victoria decided to move ahead of the gold bodies. They moved over the statues and found cobras to battle. When all the snakes were turned to gold, Victor and Victoria were tired, but they had the crowns. They went to the castle and slept till one o’clock in the afternoon the next day.

When they woke up, Victoria and Victoria went to the ocean to swim in the chocolate milk. They decided to do something with the statues. They built an escalator from the cobras’ metal armor, and used it to move the statues outside the castle as a warning for no one to come near them so they could stay safe. When people saw the golden statues, they ran away because they didn’t want to be turned into gold.

Three months later, Victoria had seventy-six babies: twenty-five sets of twins that looked like their parents, and twenty-six other babies that were pink with stingers on their butts. Victor and Victoria were so happy that they started slithering all around the floor. They had a party where they ran around and played games with their babies, ate cookies, cotton candy, and jelly beans. They drank chocolate milk from the ocean and watched movies. Victor and Victoria were happy with what they had accomplished the war and were excited for what would come in the future.

 

Germie Howie

Bottom line: I do not touch anything. Period.

My name is — wait, what is my name again? Oh yeah, Howie McDonald, like the restaurant, but no relation. I mean McDonalds is so germy, that’s why I always carry a pack of baby wipes with me. If you can’t tell, I’m kinda sorta a complete germaphobe. I mean, baby wipes are my savior, people — baby wipes. I am a freshman in high school. My mom is having a baby in two months… or is it two weeks, or maybe two days, or maybe two minutes!

 

***

“Come on, Howie, your mother is having her baby right now.”

“Wait, what? I thought her due date was in two months!”

“We said that two months ago!”

I couldn’t believe I was actually doing this. Touching the car without wiping it down with baby wipes 17-18 times, then making it dry in the sun, wiping it down again, then getting waterproof gloves, then making my dad open it for me while wearing a raincoat and ski pants. It was such a risk to take, but I did it for my mom and soon-to-be-born baby sister. Baby wipes are still the savior!

When we got to the hospital, a bunch of people dressed in all blue, like ninjas, took her away in a special room they called the ER. When I told my dad, he was all like, “It is the ER.” Then I was all like, “I don’t need to know how to spell ER.” Then I heard my mom scream. I bet they were ripping out her guts, so I was about to punch the door like Muhammad Ali, but then I remembered I couldn’t punch.

We had to wait for like six hours, but it was all worth it when I found out my mom was okay. She just said it hurt a little, but it was all worth it when she saw her little baby. Then she whispered to me how it happened because she thought it was good for me to know.

“EEEEEEEEWWWWWWW!” I screamed, but apparently it was not.

Although I really wanted to name the baby Super TNT Sonic Bomb, that kind of name really doesn’t work in preschool, so instead, we named her Emma. I really needed to get more baby wipes. I mean, baby wipes are the savior.

The next week, I was ready to put her up for adoption. How could a baby go through so many diapers in ONE DAY!!! I go through a pack of baby wipes each hour — well, now it’s half an hour, but that’s different! I couldn’t believe my parents actually let her sit at the dining table or the kitchen table or ANY table! She eats like an untrained pig. Those filthy animals were winning the hearts of people every second. Just like babies. Puppies are the same. People say that they are very loyal, but really they are the scum of the earth!

Anyway, school was starting in two weeks, and I didn’t have my normal baby wipe stash complete for school. Could you just imagine how many baby wipes I would go through the whole school year? I mean, school is so dirty. The varsity squad and the really geeky kids, who think chess was considered a sport because 1% of the population, sweat while they play. But I bet only 5% of the population even knows how to play chess, not including me because the chess pieces are just so germy. The king and queen are covered in grease from everyone’s hands who don’t use baby wipes. Come on, people, we need to make everything in the world covered in baby wipes. If you think about it, it’s actually a pretty smart idea. I think it could even be considered a rule at school. Maybe it’s just so brilliant it should be in the Constitution! I mean, I could be considered a genius! But the Constitution is just too germy. Hundreds of people have touched it, and I don’t want to be a really dirty, germy freak. I could be on the varsity squad as well. I am really buff, and by that, I mean really, really buff. I was so good when I was little that they kicked me off the team! Like they actually kicked my hiney, and I landed off of the court. But now I really don’t like playing sports. The ball doesn’t get wiped with baby wipes before I use it, so I don’t use it at all. You know what? That’s the ball’s loss.

It was officially t-minus one day from school, and I was freaking out. I hadn’t completed my baby wipe stash because I kept using them to clean my hands from the baby. I didn’t know what to do. I kept using baby wipes, so I decided maybe I should just stick to baby wipes’ cousin, and you know what that is? HAND SANITIZER! I’d gotten a big pack and strapped them all onto the zippers of my backpack. It was the perfect plan.

You know what’s funny? My parents didn’t even know why I liked using baby wipes and hand sanitizer. Surely they knew I had germaphobia, but they didn’t know that I was so crazy about it. Sorry, baby wipes, but you had your time to shine, now it’s hand sanitizer’s time in the sun. I was officially more prepared than ever, and can you imagine how prepared that is? The baby had my parents wrapped around her little finger. I was so glad that I could get out of the house for a little while. School was finally starting, and now I wouldn’t have to eat lunch with the pig. That was my new nickname for Emma if you can’t tell. It really suited her well.

“Bye, honey, you will do great.”

“Mom, Mom, it’s just high school.”

“Exactly, just high school. Sigh.”

She took a big, long moment to sigh.

“High school germs, here I come.”

“What did you say, honey?” my mom said while changing the pig’s diaper.

“Uh, nothing,” I said while looking away.

Walking into the school was just so hard for me. I entered the land of germs, but I just sprayed on a little squirt of hand sanitizer as big as an orange, so I was ready to go. Then suddenly, there was a big alarm clock that didn’t stop until five minutes later. I guessed that was the bell everybody was talking about, but maybe I was just too busy saying that baby wipes are the savior. Then I saw her. She was beautiful, she was miraculous, she told me to stop staring at her and act less like a freak. Wait, that can’t be right.

“But I’m so buff, it’s impossible to not fall in love with me.”

“Yeah, like I was gonna fall in love like a snob like you.”

“You were. That’s what I’m saying.”

Then she just walked away from me for no reason. Or maybe she was being sarcastic. Man, chicks are so hard to understand nowadays, and I work so hard. I have to do so many chores to get enough money for my baby wipes and hand sanitizer. Chicks are so ungrateful about literally everything. But the girl was just so hot. She had long, blonde hair, and she wore a cheerleading outfit. I bet she goes to the beach every day to get sun tanned. But there is only one question I have, why do girls go to the bathroom in packs? Is there some kind of germ monster in there? Ew.

After school, when the bell rang eight times, I was so happy, but when I got home, I actually needed to do homework! It was outrageous! We had so much homework, and it was filled with germs because the teacher didn’t wipe her hands before she passed it out. I just couldn’t do it anymore, so I went on my laptop and watched YouTube videos on how to eat your lunch without getting any germs on your fingers or hands or mouth or face. There wasn’t a bit of information.

When I was at lunch the next day, I sat with the varsity squad and the cheerleaders. Everyone was trading. Someone even wanted to trade my tuna sandwich for a turkey sub. I gave him the tuna sandwich, but I made sure not to touch the turkey sandwich until he wiped his hands and then swiped the sandwich with his CLEAN hands. Then I took it, examined it, and you know what he said?

“Dude, just eat the sandwich already.”

Then I got angry and fired up. He didn’t want to get sick, did he? Well, if he didn’t do what I do to keep myself clean, then the only thing he will ever do is get sick. Then the bell rang.

Ring ring ring,” went the bell.

Break, break, break, went my ears. The next thing I had on my schedule was P.E. Oh no, now I had to do pointless exercise, and there were no girls in my class. They gave us our gym clothes, and I refused to touch them because someone said that the gym clothes were REUSED!!! The worst word in the English language is reused. I refuse to say that word ever again. So I had to do P.E. in my regular clothes! I got so sweaty. Even my hand sanitizer couldn’t save me this time. Then when we went into the locker room, it was just unbearable. Everyone threw their dirty gym clothes all around the locker room. I had to wipe my locker so many times until it was clean enough to touch. But I had to do it in a sneaky way, so no teachers would see me and eventually ban hand sanitizer and baby wipes from the school and even add it to the Constitution. I had to get out of there.

Then I saw a vent. I kept cleaning it and cleaning it until I snuck through the vent. It was disgusting. But I had to sneak out fast because I didn’t want the teachers to see me (if you want to know why, look approximately five lines above). I went through the tunnels and tried not to touch anything. Finally, I saw a hole at the top tunnel, and I climbed through it. I was safe but not really because I landed in Mr. Smith’s drama class and Coach Kelly was chasing me on his motorcycle. I don’t know why they allow that at school. It’s a serious fire hazard, and a germ hazard. But I mean school rules are school rules. No matter what everyone thinks of them. But I really don’t think of them as my friends, or companions, or acquaintances.

“Oh yas. Tis is pefect, but wit dat motocycle thingy you all kep talking abou, hmm. Weel de show mus go on,” Mr. Smith said.

(If you say it with a funny accent it sounds better. Mr. Smith said so himself).

Then there was a wild chase in the school halls. Then the principal, Mrs. Prins, came down there and put me in detention for the rest of the month, and she’d made me clean the locker rooms. That was sort of a good thing and sort of a bad thing because I love cleaning stuff, but the locker rooms, people, seriously. I’m a professional cleaner of thingies, so I deserve a little bit of respect. I’m not just there to clean my classmates lockers.

It was the end of the day, and I had just got out of detention, so now it was time to go clean the locker rooms, but someone pulled my underwear out from my pants, and they said they were giving me a wedgie, but I call it a germy thingie. Then I turned around, and I saw the worst bully in the school. He was just so tall. And his shirt was ripping out from the middle. I’m pretty sure that he shaves at least twice a day. I started running, but something was holding me from moving. I looked behind me, and the bully was still behind me pulling my superman undies, but then I screamed. Not a powerful scream like most girls have, but a pathetic scream. I don’t scream very loudly because that attracts germs, and don’t forget about the nasty, horrible, man-eating, gross, and my arch enemy, bacteria.

Then I saw the girl of my dreams. She came over and drove the big bully off. Then she said her name was Ella. She was just so beautiful. She came over and helped me out. She told me not to mess with that bully anymore. I was just so sure she would insult me like the other girl, but then I looked into her eyes, and she looked into mine. I didn’t even care that she wasn’t as clean as me. Then the bell rang. Curse that darn bell. It ruins absolutely beautiful moments. I looked at my schedule. Just guess what class I had next. DRAMA!! I really don’t remember signing up for all of these classes. Maybe it’s because I refused to hold the pen when we were signing up. Onto drama I went though. But I really don’t think Mr. Smith likes me any more. After all, he does call me the “toeblemayer.”  

After drama class was over, it was lunch time. Today my mom didn’t have time to do the usual lunch making routine, so I had to eat the cafeteria food! Seriously, people, and they didn’t have sandwiches–they only had hot dogs! I don’t eat pork. Have I even mentioned that I’m a pescetarian? Only fish and veggies. And the occasional fruit cup. Never farm raised. You know those commercials that say “Farmers Insurance?” Well, I eat anything besides anything that farmer’s touch. Period. So I just skipped lunch, even though I was so hungry. But then Ella offered me a seat at her table surrounded by all the girls. Ella and I saw each other in the hall every hour when the bell rang.

“Hey, biceps,” she would say.

“Hey, sweets,” I would call her.

I don’t think she really likes it when I call her that, but she’s never told me. She had a dream of being the captain of the cheerleading team, and I had a dream of being with her. We were good friends, and every time we met, she looked in my eyes and I looked in hers. We truly had something. That day after I finished cleaning the locker rooms, I told my mom all about Ella. She was so happy I finally found a friend in this horrible world they call high school. I really wanted to “get” her.

The next day at school after lunch, I looked at my next class. It was math class. When I walked through the door, I took a seat in the back row, so if the teacher was the kind of person who spits when he talks, I wouldn’t have to experience the rain. Then I saw Ella take a seat right next to me. I have to admit, she really gave off a warm glow.

“Ella, what are you doing here? You said you had science after lunch,” I asked.

“Well, turns out they got the wrong Ella, so now I’m in here with you,” she said, looking delighted.

“Well, I’m really glad you are,” I replied.

“Same. And I’m really happy that you picked a seat in the back row. Mr. Colan gives us the weather, not the news,“ she said, looking thankful.

“Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha,” I said out loud.

“Howie McDonald, please stop talking,” the teacher, Mr. Colan, said.

“Come on, old man, just say it, don’t spray it,” I said.

“I will accept it this time, but be warned. Next time I see you disrupting the class there will be a consequence. Do you understand?” he said to me.

“Yawn, what did you say again? All I got was blah blah blah this time, blah blah blah disrupting the class, blah blah blah consequence, blah blah blah understand,” I said.

“Oh, it’s good enough for me,” he sighed.

After class, in the hallway, all the jocks were high fiving me and giving me fist bumps. That was the best feeling I had in my whole life.

“Hey, dude, I can’t believe you said all those things to the meanest teacher in school,” one of them said.

“Really? I thought the meanest teacher was Coach Kelly,” I said, speaking from personal experience.

“God, kid. You really don’t know the definition of mean, do you?” he said.

“I guess not,” I replied.

Ella was high fiving me, too. Those were the high fives I cherished the most. When I told my mom, she was furious. But I was so happy, I just loved it. My mom said she sent an email to my teacher to apologize, but I’m sure he knew I didn’t mean it.

 

Dear Mr. Colan,

 

I am so sorry that my son has disrespected you so much. I assure you that I will have a stern talk with him to ensure that this will never happen again. I will be sure that due to my son’s disruptive behavior, there will be consequences.

 

Regretfully,

Evelin Marcus McDonald

 

My Mom made me take a picture of the email and made it my screensaver on every device that I have ever used. She was the worst mom ever. The next day at school, the jock that high fived me came and sat with me and Ella. His name was Oliver. I could tell he was sick of all his so-called friends because they only cared about looks. In other words, they were meanies. After lunch, Ella, Oliver, and I went down to the library to do our homework.

“You guys, only nerds hang out here,” Oliver said.

“No, only good students hang out here,” Ella snapped back at him.

Ella always knew what to say to everybody. When we walked out of the library, we saw posters for the Snowball dance. Then right there I got on my knees and asked Ella to go to the Snowball dance with me. I was feeling so nervous. What if she said no? There was so much to worry about.

About a week later, at exactly 6:13 P.M., I honked at Ella’s door. Then she came out in a beautiful pink dress with tons of makeup. She was like an angel who fell from heaven and came down just to make me happy. Then we got into the car and drove to the dance. When we got there, the slow songs were already playing. We started dancing. Both of us were speechless. She put her hands on my shoulders, and at the end of the dance, we shared a small kiss. And I realized something, I didn’t want to be clean, I wanted to be loved. And the funny thing is that now that I have her, I can’t imagine how I survived without her.

The End

 

Epilogue

You want to know what happened next, don’t you?

 

Howie McDonald: Howie McDonald proposed to Ella nine years later, but Ella said no. He tried again four years later, and Ella eventually said yes. Howie became a pediatrician and warned children about germs all around the world. Which is kind of ironic because, well, you know why.

 

Ella: Ella had her wedding with Howie in July. She had a baby boy five years later. She named him August. Two years later, a set of twins came into their life. One girl and one boy named Eve and Steve. Ella became a preschool teacher after college.

 

Oliver: Oliver stopped hanging out with the mean kids and hung out with the chess geeks. He became one of the most well-known chess champions in North America. He was also the best man for Howie’s wedding.

 

Bully: The mean bully was caught shoplifting and got thrown in jail for five years. He was released for good behavior.

 

Evelin Marcus McDonald: She hung out with her daughter-in-law every week and had more than 1000 trips to the spa.

 

Mr. Colan: At age 84, Mr. Colan went into retirement in Palm Springs. He became a golf instructor.

 

Coach Kelly: He became an actor and taught kids how to sing and rap.

 

Mr. Smith: He stayed a drama teacher for the rest of his life. As he says, the show must go on.

 

The Fulton’s Cowrie

She had never seen anything so blue. It was Stala’s first time seeing the ocean, and it amazed her. The salty sea breeze blew across her face, whipping her shoulder-length, chocolate-colored hair back from her face. The sand was soft and warm under her bare feet, having been warmed by the sun’s hot rays. Stala’s almond-shaped, bright, green eyes could not believe what she saw. She was wearing a thin, sapphire-blue dress, the weather being too sunny for anything else. Still mesmerized, Stala stepped forward until her feet touched the dark, sea-blue water. The refreshing water lapped up and across her feet. It wasn’t windy, and so the waves were not big. She stayed there until her hair was damp and tangled with salt from the sea breeze, just feeling the relaxing water cover her feet, then fall back again. Stala just simply enjoyed the wonderful touch of the water.

The sea washed up different shells and pebbles. Stala leaned down and examined them before the sea washed them away. A big smooth cream seashell with wavy brown lines covering it landed next to her feet. Stala grabbed it before the sea could pull it back into its depths.

Stala heard someone calling her. The sounds seemed strangely muffled, as if was being said from behind a curtain. She didn’t want to leave the overlapping waves that tickled her feet.

“STALA!” came the call.

“Five minutes,” Stala said quietly, not wanting to ruin the sounds of the waves crashing onto the shore.

“No, come right NOW!!!” said her mom.

“Just one more minute.” One more minute to absorb the sight she would store deep in her heart and never forget.

Slowly, letting the hot sand warm her feet, Stala reluctantly walked up to the beach towel her parents were sitting on. She had inherited her mother’s bronze complexion and her father’s emerald green eyes.

“What took you so long?” her mother demanded. “We were waiting for you.”

Stala walked towards them in a daze.The bluish-green sea entranced her, entwined her, motivated her in ways she couldn’t imagine before. Her brother Sylvestre left a few months ago unexpectedly, during the night, leaving only a small note. It said something about joining a business that helped the ocean from being completely polluted. Her parents didn’t want Sylvestre to leave, and they did not like the ocean much anymore. All she wanted was to see her brother again. She wasn’t sure if the note he left was true. Sylvestre was not the type to sneak off. Stala would do anything for the sea, and she knew it.

The ride back to their house in the Queamard was bumpy. A big tsunami swept over the town just a week ago. The road was rocky from the huge tidal waves that swept in from time to time. In the past year, they had become more and more frequent. Stala’s house was in the hills, and the tidal waves did not reach her town, Tystor. When she saw the wreckage, she came to believe the ocean was destructive. But when she saw the ocean, Stala’s opinion changed, and she saw that the ocean was beautiful and full of life. After today, she loved the sea.

Their house had the typical wooden walls and wooden roof. There were nine rooms, two bathrooms, Stala’s parents room, Stala’s room, Sylvestre’s old room, a kitchen, a living room, a room filled with a collection of books, and a dining room.

As soon as Stala got home, she washed all the salty spray out of her hair and changed into a new outfit. The blue dress was wind blown and also covered in the sea’s spray.

Once Stala finished, she took the seashell from the beach and immediately ran down to the room full of books, and took a book called The Seashell Encyclopedia down from the top shelf. She needed a ladder to reach it. Stala sat down in a green chair and opened the book. Halfway in, she found an illustration of the seashell she found. It was called the Fulton’s Cowrie and was very rare. The book was interesting, and she poured over it until her parents told her to go to bed.

The sound of the waves crashing to the shore streamed out from the depths of the shell. Stala pressed the Fulton’s Cowrie to her ear and heard the call of the ocean pulling her, fascinating her, enticing her. The alluring sounds dragged Stala forward, telling her to come and enjoy the sea breeze. Stala fell asleep with the ocean’s sounds in her ears.

The next morning, Stala ate breakfast without really knowing what she was doing. Her thoughts were filled with the sea and only the sea.

Someone shouted, “Stala! Stala!” and woke her up from her daze.

“Did you hear me?” her mother asked.

“No…” Stala mumbled and immediately, fell back into her daze. She vaguely remembered her parents saying something about not letting her go to the ocean again. The rest of the morning went like this until after lunch, when Stala took the Encyclopedia of Seashells down again and started reading. She read the book for the rest of the day and only put it down to eat dinner. Stala got into bed, and went to sleep. She woke up at 10:45. She couldn’t fall back asleep and so Stala tiptoed out of bed and walked down the twisted road to the ocean. She had unwittingly memorized the path to the sea.

When she reached the place where the water crashed over your feet, Stala was pushed towards the ocean by the wind. It seemed stronger than usual, and she could almost not resist it. Stala cautiously put a foot into the water. Strange enough, she had no idea what she was doing.

The wind surged forward. Stala face-planted into the water and was pushed further and further from land. Her whole body tingled, as though it had been stuck with pins. That’s how Stala felt all over. Her brown hair floated in a cloud above her. She was underwater. And she was breathing normally. Stala was already quite shocked, and she was even more shocked that she could swim easily. Stala had never taken a swimming lesson in her life. When she looked down, she saw a shimmery, blue-purple tail beneath her. Somehow, she knew this had always been a part of her, and after all the surprising things that had happened today, Stala wasn’t very surprised.

Laughing, she flipped her tail and shot down under the water. Once she got away from the polluted areas, the sea was a mixture of turquoise blues, hints of green, and tints of purple. Stala didn’t see any fish yet. Giddy with excitement, Stala zoomed further into the ocean. Strange enough, there was a warm sensation coming from what would have been her pocket. There was a faint light shining through her scales. Stala reached towards it and yelped when a pocket opened up in her tail. The seashell was glowing. A soft golden light illuminated the mass of blue surrounding her. It was getting early, and she had to get back soon. As soon as she swam an inch towards home, the glowing dimmed a little. Stala wondered where the shell was leading her, but that would have to wait another night.

As soon as Stala saw her bed again, she crashed and slept like a rock. “I’ll find out the secrets of the ocean soon,” Stala promised herself. “Soon…”

The next morning, she took a shower to get the sea out of her hair. Today was a school day. Stala said goodbye to her parents, walked out the door to go to school, and immediately went in the opposite direction, towards the ocean. With no hesitation this time, she dived in. Stala swam out of the polluted shore and checked the seashell for guidance. Stala wondered if Sylvestre was like her and had turned into a merman. Today the sunlight filtered through the water, making her fully formed tail shimmer. A coral reef appeared below her, and Stala dived down and swam with a school of fish, their silver scales bumping against her. The cowrie was glowing like crazy.

Stala saw a ledge in front of her. As she peeked over it, she saw an illuminated city below her. And standing in front of the town was a merman. Stala asked one question. One question that would change everything.

“Sylvestre?

 

Epilogue

Stala had indeed been reunited with her brother. She came to live with him in the ocean, or sometimes she lived with her parents who believed she worked for the same company Sylvestre worked for. She studied the ocean, tried to help Sylvestre clear out pollution, and always wanted to explore the wonderful species that lived in the water.

 

The Portal of Time

One morning, on April 30th, 2017, Bob woke up and went to the market for milk. When he was walking, he saw an old man at the entrance to the market. He was pale but looked wise. He told Bob he would tell him the future if Bob paid him three dollars. Bob agreed because he wanted to know the future and because he did not want to die.

The man said, “When you wake up, Earth will interact with the past and the present. Everyone will find half of the world is prehistoric and half modern. You will live four years in the past/present like everyone else and then the world will change back.”

As Bob walked away, he wondered what the future would bring.

***

The next morning Bob woke up and screamed! He saw a dinosaur with a gaping jaw and huge tail eating leaves off of his palm tree! He rolled off the wrong side of his bed. One half was all right but the split between time had made half of his bed broken. He tumbled down into the ground. He was in shock so he did not feel any pain but still saw everything just as scary as when he had seen them from up in his bed. He was wondering about why he was seeing dinosaurs mixing with human life and his mind flashed back to the old man. He wondered if the old man could stop the dinosaurs. Bob traveled to the market, or what was left, to find the old man. Unfortunately, the man was being cornered by a velociraptor. Bob picked up a stick and tried to kill the velociraptor but Bob missed and the man was eaten. Bob lost all hope and fell asleep for four years because he was super stressed.

***

When he woke up, he was a dinosaur in prehistoric times! He had switched places and needed to get out of there before the asteroid that killed all the dinosaurs really killed him. His new body was difficult to move in because it was bulky and had stubby arms. He was a T-Rex and Bob thought he was hopeless for dinosaur life. The world was different and he would not be able to adapt. He wondered if once he was in that crazy time thing again he would turn into a human again. So he waited, and waited, and got bored. So he ate a dinosaur to fill his belly.

***

After a few years of exploring prehistoric life, the asteroid that killed the dinosaurs struck. The world turned gray, and smoke filled the air as dinosaurs perished. Bob was nervous but he knew he would be human. Soon, he perished and was floating in endless darkness when he saw a portal. He went through it and poof! He turned back to a human. Bob knew that listening to the old man probably caused this, so he knew if he got the conversation out of his mind the world would be the same again. Bob brainwashed himself so he would not be a dinosaur. Bob learned to never listen to old men who told the future.

 

Sports Acrostic

              

Olive leaves     

Long Jump       

Yell                

Men

People

Ice dancing

Cycling

Silver

 

Challenge

Had 1st place the whole way

Archery

Men

Pinned the target

I love gold

Olympics

Nailed it

Sailing

Had it the whole way

Indoor arena

Peloton

 

Golden

Over the best time

Little under the record

Dynamite

 

Mellow

End

Delighted

Ale

Long Run

 

Wild pitch

Ordinary uniforms   

Racking up runs

Let’s play ball

Dive into a base

 

Slide into third for a triple

Eating Dodger Dogs

Running   
Into first with a single
Extra base

Stealing home

 

Mylee doesn’t like them

Extra sweet

Love them

Ordinary watermelon is the best

Natural is better

Sailboats do not relate

 

Dying Wolf (a sestina)

                       

Do you see them? Running together. The wolves.

I like that one. The one with the fur like rain.

She looks old and wild. Strong from living in the harsh valley.

Do you see her? Oh! She will jump over the stream!

The stream is raging. She fell in! Drown… No… It is her destiny.

She will live… But no… She must awaken.

 

I can feel the wind in my face. My destiny is awakening.

I feel happy with friends at my side. My wolves.

I can smell human, but I don’t care. This is my destiny.

To run, to leap, to hunt. I can then see the rain.

Why is there wetness? What is wrong? Am I in… the stream?

This is not home. Where are the flowers? The grass? Where is the valley?

 

“She is gone… we should leave this valley.”

But no… she will — she must awaken.

“She will swim. She will swim out of the stream.”

“It is time to leave. We must leave them. The wolves.”

No. You go. I will watch the one with the fur like rain.

“It is her destiny. She will live it. It is her destiny.”

 

Where did she go? My mommy? Is it her destiny?

Where is Mommy? Is she hiding in the valley?

Where is Mommy? The mommy with the fur like rain.

Mommy! Is she dead? She must awaken!

But Mommy cannot be gone. She will never leave the wolves.            

Why is Mommy there? In the stream?

 

“Wolf #34 is in the stream.”

The chopper whirs. “Is this her destiny?”

“We have to get to the wolves.”

“We have to get to the valley.”

“She’s going to awaken.”

“No…  it’s the one with the fur like rain.”

 

Look! Rangers! In the chopper! Will they save Rain?

“I see Wolf #34 in the stream.”

Mommy must awaken…

This is my destiny…

“We’re landing in the valley.”

We have to save the wolves…

 

We have to save Rain and the wolves!

“We’re in the valley. Wolf #34 is in the stream.”

This is my destiny… I will not awaken…

 

Pac-Man is HERE

Once, there was a girl. She wrote what you will see. She thought it was all fun, but little did she know, it was going to come true. Here it is:

One day, three girls had a sleepover at a house that belonged to their friend, Lily.

There was a Pac-Man machine in her house. But they did not know Pac-Man was going to get out that day to rule the world. They did not know they were destined to stop him either.

That night, when the three friends were sleeping, they had the same dream. They dreamt that they released ghosts that died because of Pac-Man, so he went back into the game. They woke up the next morning in her room even though they went to sleep in the basement, so they knew something was wrong.

Asha said to play the Pac-Man game and they did, but Pac-Man was not there.

Then, Aliya suddenly saw Pac-Man and ran to the others. She told them Pac-Man said, “Never release the ghosts. Never find the four element keys of fire, air, earth, and water. I will not rule the world if you do.”

They knew where to find them because of the stories they had heard when they were kids. They would appear only to the known. Then, they saw the Key of Air. Asha got it, and Aliya asked where to find the next key. It said a poem for the next key, the Key of Earth:      

 

To find the key of earth, you see,

You’ll need to jump up with me.

I will then take you there,

Then, let go and stay in the air.

Look in the cloud, and you will find

The key of earth, I hope you don’t mind.

 

So they flew up holding the Key of Air and dug through the cloud. And there it was, the Key of Earth. Lily held the key, and it said:

 

Find the phoenix in the forest.

Then, it will appear,

The key of fire

Right there.

 

They went to the forest and saw a fire.

Asha said before anyone could, “The key must have meant a forest fire.”

They went to the forest fire, and then, it stopped. In the middle of it all was the Key of Fire.

The Key of Fire took them to a haunted house where the Key of Water was inside. As soon as they got there, a person came and told them they had to be killed in this house and that it had no power. He also said they had two choices: a chainsaw or an electric chair. They all chose the electric chair and got the Key of Water.

They took the keys to Lily’s house and put them in the machine. The ghosts came out and ran to Pac-Man. He tried to resist, but he could not so he ate one. So the rest ran away.

One went to the desert. Another went to the ocean. And the last went to Writopia Lab. The one at the desert was disguised as a cactus.The one at the ocean was disguised as a blue whale. And the one at Writopia Lab was disguised as the computer that I am writing this story on.

Suddenly, a note appeared in front of him. It said:

 

Deep beneath the darkened earth,

A place that you will never find,

Find me towards the north

And follow me to your favorite spot,

Or never conquer earth.

 

Since Pac-Man didn’t know which way was north, he turned into a compass and followed himself north. Eventually, he fell into a hole, and he saw a labyrinth in front of him. He went through the maze and fell into a pool of piranha families and got bitten badly.  

Meanwhile, the group of girls was busy blowing up all the buildings that Pac-Man had built. Pac-Man had built the buildings so that people would vote for him. Little did the girls know the buildings were magic, and they would always reappear. And little did Pac-Man know that the piranha that bit him would bring a ghost into his mouth any time he got near one. And little did the ghosts know that once they got eaten, they would go back into the game. Only the pink one, Pinky, knew. And little did Pac-Man know that the piranha families would make him never be able to rule the world.

The piranha took him to the desert. He appeared in front of the ghost, so the piranha put it in Pac-Man’s mouth. Then, he went into the maze and when he opened the next door, he fell into the sea. The Blue Whale ghost swam under him. The piranha put it in his mouth, and the ghosts took him to WritopiaLab before they disappeared.

I was writing at the time and the piranha was bored, so it left. So Pac-Man put on his ghost goggles. He dove right at me, and I screamed, but I saw him chewing the computer, so I kept typing and finished it just in time and that is the story you are holding right now.  

 

The Trampoline

Hi, my name is Sam. I am a girl, and I have been wanting a trampoline all my life. So far, I have saved up to about $200, and the trampoline is $300!! A couple lemonade stands would work (giggles.)

“Mom!!” I yell, “Can I have a lemonade stand?”

“Sure!!” my mom says, “Just be careful!”

“Okay, I will!”

I run outside with the table, chair, cash register, and of course, the lemonade! I pour the lemonade, and soon enough, I have a customer!

A woman pulls up in a black limousine. Why would a fancy lady pull up to my lemonade stand? I think.

“Hi,” I say.

“Hello,” she says in a fancy British accent. “How much for three glasses?”

“$4,” I say.

“Here you go. $4. Thank you so much!”

She hands me two $2 bills. I’d never seen $2 bills before.

“Have a good day… oh wait, here’s your lemonade.”

I am so surprised that I almost forget to give her her lemonade!

The women giggles.

“Oh thank you, darling, Have a good day,” she says.

“You too,” I say.

I am so excited to have my first customer of the day!

At the end of they day, I have almost enough money for my trampoline.

“$50 more!” I say as I count my money.

“Mom! Mom!” I yell, “I only need $50 more!!”

“Let’s go to Toys R Us today. Want to?” my mom says.

“But I still need $50 more!?” I say.

“I will pay the extra $50,” my mom says.

“You will?? Oh my God, oh my God!” I yell, my heart pounding.“Thank you, thank you, thank you!!! Can we go now?”

“Yes, we can just take the chair, cash register, and lemonade inside.”

We get in the car and head to Toys R Us.

“We’re here!” Mom says.

“Yay! Come on let’s go!!!” I say.

We walk inside and ask someone for help to find a trampoline.

“It’s in aisle six,” the woman says.

“Thank you!” we say and we walk to aisle six.

Well, I run.

“Mom, Mom, this is the one!!!”

Mom comes and looks and she says, “Okay, let’s go pay for it!”

We walk to go pay for the trampoline. We pay for the it, and ask if someone can help us put it in our car.

“Okay,” the woman at the cash register says, “I am calling someone down to come help you with it.”

My heart beats so fast.

“Ready,” says the woman who is helping us, “I’m going to order a truck to take this to your house.”

“Okay!” my mom says.

Finally, the truck comes. They load the trampoline into the back of the truck and the truck follows us home. At last we reach home, and they unload the trampoline into my back yard.

“Bye!” I say.

“Thank you for helping us.” my mom says.

“Can I jump?” I ask my mom.

“Is it your trampoline?”

“Yes,” I say.

“Then, you may jump on it,” my mom says.

“Yay! Thank you!” I say.

“But under one condition.”

“Yes, okay, what?!” I ask.

“If I can try it. Haha, I am just kidding. Go jump on it!” my mom says.

So I run over into my trampoline, climb in, and jump! I feel excited.

A week later, I am jumping on my trampoline, and then, I look up and realize that the clouds have started to roll in over the sun.

“It will be fine,” I say. “It’s probably really fun to jump in the rain!”

So I keep on jumping.

“Whoa,” I say. “It’s pouring!”

I’m saying, “Wahooooooo!!!!” when ah! I slip and fall from the rain and land on my arm.

My parents rush outside (after all the screaming and yelling) and then rush me to the hospital. I have a broken arm and get a cast.

My parents tell me, “Honey, we are so so sorry, but I think we have to get rid of the trampoline. It’s too dangerous.”

“No!!” I say.

As we start to leave the hospital, my mom asks, “Is there anything that you want instead that’s not too dangerous?”

“No, nothing but a trampoline, but I promise I will never go on it when it’s raining,” I say. I know it hurts, but I’m happy I get to keep my trampoline.

 

The Fashion Show

Hello, my name is Sage. I have friends named Sofia, Marli, and Amelia. I live in Orlando, Florida, and Sofia lives in Pierre, South Dakota, Marli lives in New York City, New York, and Amelia lives in L.A.

One evening, I called Marli on the phone.

“Hi! Is it okay if we come to New York to your house? I was thinking we could have a fashion show at The Cool Girl.”

That’s the name of the store I own in New York. Since I own it, we wouldn’t have to book ahead.

“Hi! Of course, Sage. Come tomorrow! We can get ready for the fashion show.”

“Well, let me call Amelia and Sofia and see if they can make it, and see what they’re up to.”

Then, I called Amelia. “Hi! We’re going to have a fashion show in New York.”
“I’m available, but I’m too nervous. Do I have to be the model?” Amelia said.

“Maybe. Or maybe it’ll be Sofia.”

“Okay, I’ll book my ticket,” Amelia said.

I got to the airport, and I got on a the plane. I flew up and up and up and up and up, and then, the plane landed. I was so excited to see my friends.

I called my friend and said, “Hi, Amelia! I just landed. I am in New York. Are you here?”

Amelia said, “Hi, I am so sorry I was late for the call. No, sorry, not yet.”

Then, I said, “Okay, honey. It is not your fault.”

And she said, “Thank you so much.”

So then, I called Sofia and she said, “Hey girl, what’s up? Whatcha think?”

“Hey, Sofia, I am in New York. Are you here?”

Sofia said, “I can’t talk right now.”

So I said, “Okay, later.”

Then, I called Marli, and she said, “Hi, where is everybody?”

And I said, “Sofia is on the plane, Amelia is still packing, and I am in New York just in the car. Lots of traffic!”

A few hours later, we were all in New York and checked into our rooms at the Princess Hotel. We got dressed and met at the hotel restaurant to eat dinner. We talked about the fashion show, and when we were done eating, we started to go up to our rooms again. We washed our faces, brushed our teeth so they were clean and shiny, and put makeup on. We were finally done. We went downstairs again and took a cab to my store.

We put on music and started setting up for the fashion show. It was empty, just us. We hung a disco ball in the center, and turned it on. We decorated the front, put out a red carpet and then chairs so people could watch. I felt really happy. We were starting our first fashion show together. We practiced before the real show. We all felt totally happy.

The next night, we all walked to The Cool Girl. I got Amelia dressed and ready, but she said to me, “I’m so scared, Sage.’’

I said, “It’s okay, honey, don’t worry at all. We are all good.’’

She sighed. “Okay, thanks, Sage.”
I gave her a hug.

“No problem, hon. Now we should get to work.”

She hugged me back.

“I agree.”

“I used to be scared of modeling. You know what? I will go with you.”

Amelia looked surprised. “Oh my god! Great, thanks!”

I walked with her on the red carpet. There was music and a disco ball. The room was really big with a lot of people. That was why she was so scared.

After walking, she said to me, “That was not bad.”

After that night, we had a party with music, a lot of people, and a disco ball. We hugged at the end, and everyone said “Yay!”

We all had fun, and we did it!

 

The Day the Crayons Went to the Moon

Estabon the Magnificent and his troop were building a spaceship, but they did not find the materials they needed: ice and fur. They went to Antarctica to look for ice, and they were freezing cold when they were carrying the ice. The ice was to build the spaceship, but they needed fur, too. They found a mammoth and used her fur to cover the walls.

Once they were done, there was a helicopter flying over the crayons, and the engine fell, so Estabon the Magnificent put the engine in their spaceship.

Finally, Estabon the Magnificent turned on the engine. It made a loud noise like “Boo!”

Estabon the Magnificent told his dad, who was part of his troop, to steer the wheel, so he did. His dad’s name was Estabon the Awesome. Soon, they started to fly.

Then, they arrived at the moon!!! So they came out of the spaceship. It was freezing. Estabon the Magnificent and Estabon the Awesome put their spacesuits on. They saw orange and blue robots. The robots had cameras, and there was a crayon scientist next to the robots. The scientist thought about joining Estabon the Magnificent’s troop.

The scientist told his robots to dig until they found a rainbow crystal. The robots were digging and digging until they found a red light, so they kept on digging. Then, they found the rainbow crystal! Inside the rainbow crystal was a frozen crayon, which was so frozen that he had white on him because of the ice.

Then, Estabon the Awesome loaded the frozen crayon inside of the rainbow crystal into the spaceship. The crystal was so rainbowy that it shined through the spaceship window. Red, blue, and yellow shone onto the top of the scientist’s head.

Then, the crayons started writing letters to Duncan, who lived on Earth. Duncan was the owner of the crayons — he was a human. The letters were about how they missed him.

I miss you, the crayons wrote.

Estabon the Magnificent wrote to Duncan:

 

I miss you. I hope I’ll come back soon. And can you build us another spaceship? Because there are more crayons on Earth that want to come with us to space and see. Do you mind making us a surprise? And are there any more crayon scientists on Earth?

P.S. We found a shiny crystal with a frozen crayon in it.

 

They sent the letters by putting it on one of the scientist’s space parachutes, and luckily, it landed in Duncan’s backyard.

Duncan sent a letter back by using the same parachute, but the parachute flew east and the crayons were in the west. The scientist saw the parachute and sent three of his robots to get the letter. Finally, three hours later, the robots brought back the letter.

Duncan wrote:

 

I am making a surprise, like you asked, and I am working on your new spaceship. The spaceship will be sent on the parachute if you can just send it back.

 

The parachute got to Duncan’s backyard, so then, he sent the awesome, fabulous, cool, great, amazing, unbelievable, outstanding, and spectacular spaceship.

The spaceship looked like the first spaceship that Estabon the Magnificent made, with ice for the walls and fur to cover the walls.

 

All About My Family

CHAPTER 1

I went to writing class, and we started to write on our computers. I felt excited because it was my first time writing on computers. I learned not to throw my computer on the floor, and I wrote a book about my family.

My family wanted to grow bigger, but the obstacle was the doctor, who wouldn’t let my family get another baby.

Then, my family went to another doctor, and that doctor said we could get another baby. My family felt happy because we wanted to grow a bigger family, and our wish came true.

 

CHAPTER 2

The baby was born too early, so my family had to go back to the hospital and get the baby better.

My family was not happy. They were worried.

The doctors opened the baby’s brain because a bone wasn’t straight, and if the bone wasn’t straight, the baby would have a pointed head.

They fixed the bone, and the baby was better.

My family was very, very happy.

 

 

Owlette and Sugar

Sugar was trying to figure out a way to give the crystal to somebody so they could watch the dogs. She decided to go onto her parents’ computer and make a flyer that said, “I will give you the crystal if you will come and watch the dogs.” She printed it and hung it in her neighborhood.

A lot of people came and looked at the dogs to see if they wanted to watch them, but Sugar couldn’t find anyone she liked yet, and nobody wanted to do it.

Sugar decided to call Owlette to help her get someone to watch the dogs. Owlette came over and helped Sugar find someone.

Then, they found someone they loved in the interview. It was a kid who loved crystals and dogs, so she’d decided to apply. The kid’s name was Emma.

But Emma wasn’t good in person. She had lied in the interview. When the dogs weren’t good, she hit them with a baseball bat. When the dogs didn’t eat all their dinner, she didn’t give them any bones. And when they growled at her, she put a cone around their head. She also taught them how to type so they could type for her.

So she got fired. Sugar and Owlette got upset that they had tried so many people, so they thought that getting the crystal hadn’t been worth it. They decided to make the crystal more exciting by trying something else. They decided to give people a little piece of the crystal each time, instead of giving the whole crystal at once.

Owlette had a tiny axe that was really sharp, so they broke the crystal one piece at a time. They thought they got one more person, but the person was bad. She was only there in the morning for a couple of minutes and at night for an hour. They wanted someone to be there with them all day, so they fired the new girl.

Owlette and Sugar went to the jewelry store and said, “I’ll give you this little piece of crystal for some jewelry.”

The jeweler said, “Yes.”

They gave him a piece of the crystal about the size of a marker, and he gave them some gold and silver rings and necklaces. Owlette and Sugar thought that this was better because normally, jewelry costs a lot of money, and since they had just given a little bit of crystal, it was a good trade.

They found a boy named Shoes who would watch the dogs. Shoes walked them every day, fed them, and groomed them. One day, while Shoes walked the dogs, Shoes wanted to know how they got the crystal. And Sugar didn’t like when she was asked that. She was about to say so, when she realized that she could talk, but dogs can’t talk. So she was just mad, and she tugged on the leash to go back home. Shoes finally decided to go home because he was about to fall from all the tugging.

When they got home, Sugar got no treat that night. Shoes was really mad at Sugar. Sugar did something one day so Shoes wouldn’t be mad anymore. It took Sugar a while to figure out what she could do, and she finally came up with a good idea. Sugar was going to go to the dog park, because she was old enough now to go by herself. At the dog park, Sugar found an empty bird nest, which she brought home for Shoes because she knew he loved birds. Shoes wasn’t mad at Sugar anymore. That night, Sugar got two treats.

The next day Shoes and Sugar went for a very long walk. During the walk, Sugar decided to jump in a big mud puddle and got all dirty. Shoes tried to get Sugar out of the mud, but Shoes also fell in the mud. Shoes was mad and got Sugar and ran home. Shoes jumped right into the shower and forgot about how Sugar was all messy. Sugar got all the furniture dirty!

When Shoes came out, he saw what was going on and ran to Sugar and brought her in the bath. After he cleaned up all the furniture, Shoes had to take another shower because he got all dusty and dirty. All the mud got on him, and then the dust got on the mud. When Shoes walked into the bathroom, he realized he’d forgotten to turn the water off in the bathtub so there was water everywhere! It looked like someone took buckets and poured water all over. Shoes cleaned it up, then dried up Sugar, and finally took a shower.

Owlette knocked on the door while Shoes was in the shower. Sugar barked to tell Owlette that the door was open. So Owlette opened the door and Sugar came running out. Then, Owlette and Sugar took a walk outside without Shoes! When Shoes got out of the shower, he didn’t see them anywhere.

He went outside and saw Sugar and Owlette two blocks away. Shoes was running to catch them, but Sugar thought it was a game so she kept running for many blocks. Finally, Sugar got tired and plopped down on someone’s yard. The person who owned that house walked out and started sneezing! He sneezed 100 times in a row. He was allergic to dogs! Shoes picked up Sugar and ran home so that nothing would happen. Owlette flew behind them.

Once they got back to the house, Sugar and Owlette had to go to Sugar’s bedroom.

“That was a close one!” Sugar said to Owlette.

“We cannot talk. We are not supposed to talk!” Owlette replied.

All of a sudden, Shoes walked in. This time he wasn’t mad. Shoes was laughing so hard that his eyes were turning purple. Sugar and Owlette had no idea why Shoes was laughing so hard. Then finally, Shoes stopped laughing.

“That was my friend, and we do lots of jokes on each other,” said Shoes.

He was really happy that Sugar landed on his yard because his friend was really just joking. He wasn’t actually allergic, Shoes was just pretending that he forgot that he knew that he wasn’t allergic. His friend got really mad.

That night, Shoes started laughing really hard again. He forgot to give Sugar her dinner. Sugar started barking and Shoes laughed all the way out the door. Shoes accidently left the dog food on the floor and Sugar ate the whole thing. Sugar didn’t realize it was the wrong bag — it was really rice.

Owlette then said to Sugar, “Where is your mom and dad and your two brothers and sisters?”

Then Sugar realized that when Owlette opened the door, everyone ran out. Now Sugar and Owlette had to find everyone.

Sugar’s sister Chewey loved the dog park, so they went there first. They didn’t see Chewey until they were walking out of the gate to the dog park. Chewey was behind the bush near the gate, and they saw her hiding. Chewy ran away fast because she didn’t want to go back home. Sugar forgot to tell Chewey that Owlette was friendly, and so Chewey thought that Owlette was going to eat her. Sugar ran off to catch Chewey, and finally, Chewey was tired from running.

Sugar said quietly, “Owlette won’t eat you.”

Chewey said, “It’s not Owlette that I’m running from. It’s that there’s a person going around the dog park trying to get all the dogs, and the person has not gotten a dog yet, but all of the dogs are trying not to get taken.”

Then, Chewey said, “RUN!” because the person was right behind them!

When Sugar turned around, she realized it was Shoes! Sugar was so shocked that she forgot she wasn’t supposed to talk.

She said, “Why are you chasing us, Shoes?”

Shoes was too focused on getting the dogs to realize she had even talked.

He said, “Because I’m mad at you guys, and I do not like dogs anymore. I want to get all the dogs. I’m mad because you got me all dirty, and I remembered that when I was a kid, my dad was in expensive clothes and our dog pushed him in the mud. It ruined his only pair of clothes because it had taken all his money to get those clothes, so he had no clothes. He never took off the clothes, not even to wash them. I’m tired of dogs making messes and walking them and doing whatever the dogs want to do. I’m tired of remembering to feed the dogs.”

Owlette saw Shoes running to get Sugar, and Sugar couldn’t run away because her leg was caught in a bush. Owlette came flying down, knocking down Shoes. She then helped Sugar escape from the bush. Sugar ran as fast as she could, and by that time, she had gotten out. Shoes wanted to get Owlette. Shoes decided to take a nap at Sugar’s home and go back to the dog park. When Shoes got back he decided to pack up all his stuff. He got in his car and drove to his house. He unpacked all of his stuff, went to his living room, and tried to come up with another plan.

He decided to call the police because he could not come up with anything else to do. But he called 911 with three ones, so 9111. They called the wrong police that were two hours away. When the police found out, they tried to find out what Shoes was going to do to the other dogs. The police wanted to help the dogs, not Shoes, so they searched for them. The police forgot to ask Shoes which dog park it was, causing them to go to the wrong one. They finally realized that this was a dog park not many people went to and the main dog park was two hours from them. So the police decided not to go to the main dog park.

Sugar remembered about Chewey and her family. They knew that Chewey had run to the other side of the dog park, and so they went to the grassy side of the dog park, where it smelled of flowers, to get Chewey. They saw Chewey and told Chewey very quietly that Shoes had gone back to his home.  

Chewey was mad at Sugar because Sugar had hired Shoes. Chewey said, “Why did you hire Shoes if he was going to chase after us?”

Sugar said, “Because I didn’t know that Shoes was going to chase us!”

Chewey replied, “Don’t you remember that Shoes has the crystal?”

Sugar retorted, “I forgot about the crystal!’’

Sugar didn’t really care about the crystal right now because she had to find her family.

“How are we going to find everyone if we don’t know where they are?” Chewey asked.

“I don’t know how we will find them, but we should try!”

Chewey remembered hearing that the brothers were going to the beach, but Chewey didn’t know which beach.

Sugar said, “I think that the only beach they know is Book Beach.”

So they took a taxi to Book Beach. All they saw were two dogs way out in the ocean. Chewey didn’t like to swim, but Sugar did as long as she had a vest. But they had only had enough money to get the taxi, so she couldn’t get a vest. They ran home to get Owlette and some money.

When they got back to Book Beach, Owlette flew over the ocean to get the brothers. The brothers came back to shore, but they were all wet so they couldn’t get in a taxi to go back home. They all walked home together.

The brothers remembered hearing the parents say, “Let’s go on vacation to Malibu,” when the door was open.

Owlette was able to catch them before they got in the car, and they went back home.

Then, everyone decided to get the crystal back. They knew where Shoes had gone off to, so they were going to go to Shoes’s house, knock on the door, hide, and sneak in while Shoes had the door open. Once they were inside, they would find the crystal, put it in Sugar’s big backpack, and take it back home. Then, they would use it to find another owner.

In the car on the way to Shoes’s house, Sugar forgot to bring the backpack, so they went back, got the backpack, and headed back to Shoes’s house. They knocked on the door. Shoes opened it, and they all snuck in and ran to Shoes’s bedroom. He didn’t notice them because they were quiet and close to the ground, and Shoes was very tall. They found the crystal under Shoes’s bed. They put it in Sugar’s backpack and zipped it up, but when they got back to the door, they had to find a way to get out!

Sugar remembered hearing Shoes talk about the doggie door at the back door. She told her family very quietly, “There’s a doggie door at the back. Let’s go.”

They got out, jumped over the fence, and headed back home.

When they got back to their house, Sugar said to everyone, “We don’t need to find an owner anymore. I think I’m old enough to take care of myself.”

The parents said that they didn’t know that the crystal had been to find an owner, but they agreed that Sugar could take care of herself.

Sugar decided to give the crystal to her grandma because her grandma loved crystals. She felt sad because she’d tried so hard and so long to find an owner, and she just couldn’t, no matter how hard she tried.

Owlette knew that Sugar was sad.

She said, “Since you’re not as busy now, and you don’t have an owner, you don’t have to worry about listening to the owner, and you can visit me more!”

Sugar felt a little better, but not too much. In her head, she secretly was happy to take care of herself, but she didn’t want to show it because she wanted her family to pay attention to her because she was sad!

 

Ali’s Birds

Ali Staw lived in the mountains. She had two brothers. They were named Jack and Matt. They didn’t exactly have the Staw name, because they were orphans.

Ali also used to have a pet bird named Smudgy, but he died when he found a chocolate in her room and ate it. Ali didn’t really miss Smudgy, because he had been a bad bird. He always put raspberry smudges on her clothes. But Ali did like birds.

The mountains were Ali’s favorite place to go. She always went to the tallest mountain named Vine Master. When Ali got there, she sat on a carved wooden chair and stared at the sky.

One day, she saw a hut, but no chair on the mountain. She didn’t look at the sky that day. She listened. Ali listened all day long, not minding having to sit on the rough mountain.

“Enter the home of the brave, and find me. Listen for the clues of the nature, and you will discover who you are meant to be,” the bird called.

It was a male, Ali could tell. Ali stepped into the small, wood hut. There was the carved chair that she always sat in. She took her seat and tried to listen to the bird again. She sat down and heard an aggressive bird argument. Ali listened for the sound of the hundred birds disagreeing and heard them discussing a very important matter.

“No, master!!! You should not care about Ali,” the ninety-nine other birds tweeted.

The elder bird, who was the prettiest dove of all doves, said, “But I’ve seen the future! Ali is the only one who can save me from the seven-headed secret serpent monster!”

And so, he left to find Ali, not knowing Ali was sitting right on his old throne.

Then, Ali remembered! Her mom had asked her to be home by 10:00 PM, and right now, it was 10:37! As she raced through the ghostly winds of Pennsylvania, the dove appeared, smiling next to her. She ignored him. Ali got home by 12:00 AM. Everybody was already sleeping, except her. She decided to fix up some Caesar salad. She used her great-great-great-great-great-great-great-grandma Elise’s recipe. The secret ingredients were love and crushed up butter-salt snack cookies.

While Ali was eating, she read the news. The news said…

Oh no! The elder bird had gotten into Ali’s house. She did not care. Birds were her favorite animals. She wanted to take the elder bird to Pennsylvania State Elementary, so she put him in Smudgy’s old cage. Then, she jumped in her bed, thinking of which name would be best. The elder bird was happy to be safe, because he didn’t like living in that plain, drab hut anyway.

In the morning, she took her backpack, her mom’s coffee, and the bird to the ragged gray-yellow bus.

At first period, Mr. Aleru called Ali up to go to Mrs. Heidi. Ali left the dove with Mr. Aleru.

When she opened the door, Ali saw Mrs. Heidi lying dead with blood surrounding her temples.

Her hand had ink on it that said, “Go to the wandmaker’s house.”

Then, Ali looked at the wall. She saw a big hole in the wall. She heard a “Mchhhh…” She was in the core of doom. Ali felt really scared.

Last year, Mrs. Heidi, who Ali had always thought was magical, had told Ali to beware the seven-headed secret serpent. Ali rummaged through all the principal’s books. She finally found the principal’s ancient guide to fighting extreme monsters.

The page that was about that monster was page 88. It said to kill the monster, you need a saber tooth and the magical moonstone. Mrs. Heidi had the moonstone and the saber tooth! The bad news was they were in the velvet lockbox.

Then, Ali remembered! It was a bird school! And Mrs. Heidi loved things backwards, so that is why she loved subtraction more than addition. Ali typed the word bird in backwards (drib). The box opened. Ali carefully scooped the moonstone and the saber tooth, put them in Mrs. Heidi’s bookbag, and jumped through the hole.

Ali took a taxi to the wandmaker’s house. Ali thought that the last person the serpent killed was the wandmaker. She took the moonstone and the saber tooth, one in each hand, and put them together. They made a little fireball, and she shot it at the serpent, which was in the living room.

The serpent exploded. When he exploded, she found a golden heart in the middle of his skin and blood. Ali took the golden heart, and she suddenly could control the clouds! She flew back to the school to get the dove.

Ali said in bird language, “Eedtyioker medreddoped,” which meant that the serpent was dead. She took the remainder of the moonstone and saber tooth and found Mrs. Heidi sitting in her chair doing her work. Ali felt good that she saved Mrs. Heidi!

Then, when she took the dove home and to her room, the elder bird turned into a girl! The girl told Ali that she had been a dove, and all she needed was the heart that controlled the clouds.

The girl and Ali became sisters and best friends.

And Ali knew it all… She was a heroine.

 

THE END

 

The King

It was cold. Cold, dark and gloomy. The day was a sad one, and no one felt that anything was right. It was as if everything was darker. No one had light in them. No one felt anything. The only thing anyone knew was the darkness. Happiness was scarce and the hope was drained. Nothing was good in the world anymore.

March 3

Nothing is better than knowing your subjects are safe. The attacks were getting worse now, and I wanted to make sure that there were peaceful nooks for the butlers and maids to hide when the cannons came into the harbor. The people who manned the cannons were obviously from the Kingdom of Delar. They were power-hungry, and always dressed in black. When I traveled there to sign a treaty, (that was obviously not working) I saw how stressed they all were. Everyone in my kingdom knows that stress brings unhappiness, and unhappiness brings suicide. No one wants to commit suicide, unless they are unhappy in life. Sometimes death is not always a bad thing, though. Sometimes death has to be there, for our own good.

My carpenters were making small rooms with big locks, preparing for the next shooting. It was every day now. Every day, the people in black came to kill me, with their big cannons. They didn’t want to kill anyone but me. Fortunately, the people wouldn’t let it happen. Thank god for the people. They stormed the boats everyday with their torches, chanting “God save the king!” And I was the one who was supposed to be protecting them. Sometimes I feel like I am not good enough for them. It’s like they are my ruler. Would the Kingdom be more successful without me? Would there be less deaths? Would the Kingdoms stop fighting against me if I were dead? Would people stop fighting for me, and live happily for once? Without me, three hundred-and-fifty-two people would have been alive right now.

That night in bed, I could not sleep. What I thought this afternoon was still in my brain. It was like a virus in my head, growing stronger and quieting other sense. I knew that eventually, it would take over my body.

March 4

At first I didn’t feel like death was a sad thing. As I pushed the blade into my heart, I started laughing. I was going insane. I was dying and I couldn’t stop it. For the sake of my subjects, for my people, I decided to approve of death, to bring it upon myself, so they would not mourn too much.

The pain was not as bad as I thought it would be. It was sort of like a feeling. When you know you are going to die, when you are dying, then you do not feel scared anymore, you don’t dread it, you just let it happen. I felt that it was easier for me to kill myself, rather than my insanity kill me. I felt that it was easier to know when death happened, rather than wait for it.

Then it happened.

April 1

I was at the wrong place at the wrong time. It was the first day of April when everyone noticed the king was missing. The guards said that they were looking everywhere for him. Where was he? I didn’t know the king, but I wouldn’t think he would run away, or be crazy enough to hide himself from the world.

Everyone said the king was an amazing man, but I felt he was a spoiled brat who didn’t do anything for himself. Once, when I was trying to compel a rich lady to give me some pie, the king came out of the castle. Everyone bowed on the ground, everyone except me. I had been dragged too many times to the docks to fight for the king. What has he done to help me? To him, I am just some thief who is doing the wrong thing. No. I am not just a thief. I am a boy who wants a life, a real life. Not just a life of sleeping on the cracked rooftops of the broken buildings of the city. I want to live in a building, not on top of it. I don’t want to grow up homeless. The king couldn’t see that though, he could only see a young crook whose only intention is to steal other people’s food, other people’s belongings.

The guards glared at me. They obviously thought I was trouble. I was the only one standing besides the king. At that moment, our eyes met. A meaning of understanding gleamed in his pupil, just as he turned away. That was the very first time the king saw me.

Now he was gone, just like that. The guards were kind of stupid, though. They looked for his body everywhere but the castle. So, so stupid. For once, I felt bad for the king. He spent so much time training his troops, yet they were so dumb.

The next move I made was the action I regretted most. It was such a bad idea to go into the castle. I hated the king. Why did I even care if he was missing? Why did I want to find him? I was just brainwashed by the guards’ stupid moves. I quietly crept through the corridors, hopeful that no guard would spot me. I assumed that the king’s room would be at the top floor of the tower, so I started up the stairs.

The massive door creaked as I pushed it open, but no one noticed. I tiptoed around the room, searching all of the closets and under the tables. I came into another large room, that was obviously his bedroom. The quarters were huge. There were four rooms, just for the king with the all of the fanciest furniture. The bed was in fact a King sized bed, and it had regal red and gold sheets. And there, slumped on the bench at the foot of the bed, was the king, with a knife in his chest. I couldn’t believe it. I walked over to the king, and tried to pull the knife out, thinking it was fake. It wasn’t. I screamed. And then fainted.

April 2

I woke up to the smell of death. The smell of rotting dust and carcasses. The smell of bad meat. My cell was not big, but I shared it with a large man. He had short dreadlocks, and a small mustache. His dirty pants went below his ankles, but he wore no shirt. I thought that he must have been very cold, for I had a long-sleeved shirt on, and I was still freezing. If he was cold, he didn’t show it. He was screaming through the bars of our cell. At first, I didn’t understand what he was saying. Then, as I shuffled a bit closer, and became more awake, I realized why I was here.

“I didn’t kill the king!” the man shouted. “I owe every single moment of my life to the king! I would never do anything to hurt him!”

I couldn’t believe my ears. I found his dead body, I did them a favor. Did they seriously think I killed him? I didn’t kill the king.

April 3

The next day were the trials. I was thrown into a big truck with three other men, who were bigger and obviously stronger than me. A large mob followed the truck to our destination, and I was pelted with carrots and potatoes.

I was thrown onto a tall stage, still being bombarded with vegetables. I couldn’t understand why they thought I killed the king.

A jury was set up on both sides of me, and judge was in front. He called the session into order. “I would like to start by asking you some questions,” he said. “First of all, did you kill the king?”

“No. I am innocent,” I said, trying to keep my voice under control.

“Well, what is your alibi for the date of April first?”

What would I tell them? The truth would be too obvious. “I was, uh, visiting someone,” I said, hoping that they wouldn’t see that I was lying.

“Then why, sir, was your body found next to the king when he was found dead. And why were your fingerprints all over the knife that was in the king’s body? You, sir, are not innocent.”

I couldn’t believe it. I really couldn’t believe it. I felt like a million bricks had fallen on my shoulders. I didn’t do anything, but I was going to die. I would die, because I was blamed for something I didn’t do. I didn’t kill the king.

April 4

They gave me two days before the stabbing. Two days. Two days of depression. Two days before death. Death is a harsh thing. It happens when the world wants you gone. It happens when you don’t like the world. It happens when it is time to happen. And then it was time.

April 5

I had never felt so depressed. All of my dreams of having a good life going to waste. Now I was going to have no life at all. They put me in chains and paraded me through the streets like a circus lion. I felt bruises being made from the food that was being thrown at me. Bruises that I would soon not feel.

As I looked around I realized why I always felt so out of place in this town. I was not a cruel person. I did not use violence to get my way. I didn’t want to hurt anyone. Then I realized, sometimes violence is necessary. If you are threatened, then you should be able to defend yourself.

I started to develop a strategy in my head. A strategy that could get me out of this awful situation. A strategy that had to involve a few lies.

I confidently stepped up to the stage, next to my assassin with a blade in her hand. I took a deep breath and spoke what were supposed to be my final words.

“People of the Kingdom, I would like to start by saying that today I am proud to die for our king. Our brave king was sick, and he died. Yes, I found him with a knife in his back, but I did not kill him,” I said, stepping up closer to the front of the stage.

“I did not kill him. He did!” I shouted, pointing at some random man in the crowd. “I saw him stab the king on April first, and I tried to stop him.” I struggled to figure out the next part. I thought I would tell a lie based on the truth.

“I tried to pull the knife away from him, and that is why my fingerprints were on the blade. Then he punched me and knocked me out.” It took a second for the people to comprehend what they just heard.

As they tackled the innocent man, I bolted off the stage and sprinted to the city. Unfortunately, the guards were too smart. They ran after me. I stopped and put my hands up.

“What do you want?” I asked them.

“Come with us,” one of them said.

“Why?”

“You still owe things to the king. Also, we need to justify that you didn’t kill him.”

I mumbled a swear word and then followed them back to the stage. Suddenly, I realized what I had just done. I just put an innocent man in my place, and now he might die. I was a monster. How could I have done such a thing? Even in a moment of panic, it is not okay to shove someone to death, innocent or not.

April 6

April 6 was the day they checked the security cameras. It was the day when I was put in jail for a day, for lying about what happened. It was the day when the innocent man slapped me five times. It was the day when they figured out who killed the king.

It all started when I was taken into the castle for a meeting with the king’s butler. The butler was the king’s best friend, and he was mourning for the loss of his comrade. No one knew why they were friends, but they were. I didn’t see how anyone could be friends with such a man, but he was. He just asked me standard questions, such as, “Did you see anything out of the ordinary where you found the king?” and “What sort of position was the king in when you found him?’” I felt bad for this man. His best friend had just died, and he was so depressed, and he had no one to blame.

Later, I went back to the sight of the crime: the king’s bedroom. The place was trashed. Books were thrown on the floor and couches were upside down. It was truly a mess. Nothing was how the king left it. Nothing, except the security cameras.

It was sort of funny how the guards were so stupid. Of course, they didn’t look in the security cameras, yet they wanted to find out who killed the king. They should have known to check the security cameras, before anything. How else were they going to find out who killed the king? Did they really care about him?

April 7

I don’t exactly remember how I got the guards to agree to check the security cameras. I probably just told the truth: they were stupid and didn’t check the security cameras before arresting people. They were about to kill me, but they hadn’t checked to confirm that I killed the king.

As we walked into the security room, I saw how unorganized this kingdom really was. I saw random computers sitting on coffee tables, the guards that were supposed to be protecting these files sleeping on the couch that was randomly in the middle of the room. I saw people’s files strewn across the floor, papers everywhere. Now I saw why the guards didn’t check the security cameras. They were too lazy to find them.

Anyway, while the guards were escorting me I fell asleep on the couch, I was the one who went through all of the computers and found the security footage from March 1st to April 1st. As I scanned it for anything odd, I noticed something peculiar. The king had been spending a lot of time staring at the white wall. I wondered what he was thinking about. Did he know that he was about to be killed? Did he know that he was going to die?

Then I reached the date of March 4, at 11:35 p.m. It really was one of the saddest things I had ever seen. He was sitting there, with a knife to his heart. And he was laughing. The crazy man was laughing.

The king was dead. He killed himself.

April 8

After I showed the guard my discovery, they were instantly stripped of their military gear. They place their hats and jackets on the ground, and they wept. Even I shed a single tear. But I did not cry because the king was dead. I cried because the king was insane. I cried because he killed himself too early. Although the shootings had stopped, this kingdom was still a mess. It was still unorganized. The king died too early.

April 9

April 9 was the day when we released the footage. April 9 was the day when all was lost. April 9 was the day when the happiness was stolen from the people. All was lost. The king was dead, and he killed himself.

But of course, the people were stupid enough to think it was their fault. It wasn’t. The king was going insane. He was not good enough for our kingdom anyway. He stayed in his castle, and didn’t talk. The schools in the kingdom were even older than him, and the living conditions were horrible. This kingdom could be amazing. We just needed a good king.

April 10

I started to think of people that we could elect as king. I started a list of possible nominees. I started with people who knew the king well. Maybe his butler? I put him down on the list. Other than that, I didn’t think anyone really knew him. Then I started to try and think of people who were completely loyal to the king. Well, every single person in the kingdom except me, I guess. Who else would be fit to be king? I though about the king’s family. Did he have any family? I made a note in my head to ask the butler about that.

As I walked to the butler’s quarters, I thought about the life of a king. They must always be tired. They have so much work piled on them, and they probably have no time to sleep. Being a king would be hard, but if the person were capable of doing all the work, then they should be able to do it. I think I would be willing to be king, but it would be really hard.

I knocked on the butlers door, and a man, who looked like he was on the king’s council opened it. He was wearing a white, silk robe, and had a magistrate hat on. He was very short, but he had a serious expression on his face.

“He’s here!” he called back over his shoulder. I was a little confused. This was not the normal way to greet someone.

“Uh, who is?” I asked stupidly. The councilor rolled his eyes, and let me into the small room. The walls were painted a light pink, and there were picture frames hanging on them. There was a small bed in the corner, it had white sheets and a large book at the foot. Standing next to the bed were the councillors, and of course the butler.

“Sir, I have taken it upon myself to tell you this news. The council has given you a choice.” He sighed. “The first choice, you can go to jail, and spend twenty year there for theft and lying to higher ranked people. Or, the second choice. You can become our king. You obviously know this kingdom better than anyone else. You are smart, and talented. You can trick people better than anyone else, and you know how the people feel.”

At that point, I was speechless. “Yes.’’ I whispered. “Yes, yes, yes. I will absolutely become king!” I couldn’t believe it. Surprise and excitement rushed through my veins.

Everyone smiled. I just hoped that the people would like me. What if I was a bad king? I would just have to try my best.

May 2

May 2nd was the day of the coronation. The whole kingdom was practically there. It was quite a festivity. There was more food than I could ever imagine. The plates of roasted meat and vegetable. And the drinks. Oh my god, they were amazing. I had never tried soda before, but it was like a sweet explosion in my mouth. It was so much better than water. The games were amazing. They were all on large shiny touch screen tablets and were really fun. I tried a few myself. The coronation was more of a party than a ceremony. At the very beginning of the party, I was crowned and had to recite a pledge, but that was all of the ceremonial things. Then we had fun. I was still very young for a king, so I could play all of the games with ease. I had never eaten so much in my life, but now I had unlimited food, drink, and fun. And work. But the work was easy if you knew how to do it. Signing reasonable treaties, and making the right changes at the right times. I had a feeling that I was going to like being king.

September 19

“And why, sir should I sign your treaty?” I asked King Jorge of the Kingdom of Delar. “Our country is so much stronger than yours, we could easily win against you in a war, and you broke the last treaty the king signed with you. You wanted to kill him. We don’t need to trade with you, nor do we need anything you have. The Kingdom is doing just fine, without your help.”

“I still don’t like how you call your region The Kingdom. It isn’t the only kingdom in the world,” he mumbled.

“Well, it’s the most important. Now sir, I don’t think this treaty is going to work. We aren’t getting anything out of this. The Kingdom is amazing, without your help,” I said sternly. Sometimes I was a little mean to other kings, but it was all for the sake of the people.

“John, will you please escort this man. I feel that he is not fit to be aligned with our country.” With that I turned back to my other work. We were building five new schools for the children of the Kingdom, fit with laptops, books, and other supplies. I felt that this was one of the more important projects of the kingdom, besides rebuilding all of the living building, of course.

I think I am king so I can make this kingdom a better place, nothing else. I do not feel the need to kill myself, like the other king decided to. For the people, I will make this kingdom amazing. For the people, I will be a good king.

The Attempt

As Annie ran and ran out of the house and into the grass field, running strenuously and becoming tired after just a couple of minutes, her grandmother lay half-conscious on the floor of her bedroom. She was swimming in a pool of alcohol as her soap opera ended, but she didn’t have the faintest idea of what Annie was doing. Annie probably thought that her grandmother wouldn’t know anything about what she was doing or where she was going and what she was hoping to accomplish, because she was intoxicated half of the time, anyways. That’s why Annie would and could never depend on her. Annie ran through the fields, ignored the animals and tractors, and instead headed towards the flowing river nearby. The river water was a pearl black color as you could see the river build up to a storming waterfall.

Annie walked around the river’s perimeter, still on the grassy field that surrounded it, and kept walking in the cold, dark night until she saw the drop where the waterfall was located. It was a steep decline in the field, as well as the water which made the horrifying sound of water plummeting from the edge, and what Annie decided to do was take her little sack of necessities of food, water, stationary, a compass, and flashlight, all of the necessities that she needed, and chucked them down toward the land surrounding the lake. Thankfully, the sack hit the grass with ease and none of her items broke or got damaged. Annie ran back, constantly looking to the side and behind her to see if her grandmother was coming for her, even though she was very far away from the house.

She then jumped into the river, fully aware that she was still in her clothes, but soon regretted the decision she had made. As she cursed under her breath, she tried to find a way to swim to the side, but water coming the opposite way stopped her from doing that. She wasn’t prepared.

The water felt cool on her skin and instantly wet her hair but her heart starting pumping as she felt herself moving along with the water, gliding gently experiencing a pure  even though it would be a good one or two minutes or so until she actually reached the waterfall.

During this time, Annie tried to look towards the side to see if she could spot her belongings to make sure no one had stolen them, but she came to the almost immediate conclusion that she wasn’t going to see from how high she was up. As she let time pass, she heard the sound of heavy water seep into her ears. She looked over and saw the exhilarating drop that was to come. All she could see was the lake below her where water was thundering into, and the loud sound of water falling the horrifying height. Slowly she closed her eyes, even though they rapidly shook over her eyelids.

And when the drop came, her body screamed with fright, wanting to swim back to the land and run back to the house, but it was too late. Her stomach dropped as if she was on a rollercoaster, and she went dizzy as she twisted around and dropped down. Her body instantly heated up over one hundred degrees. Even though the drop lasted a couple of seconds, it still felt like torture to her. Her arms went up and her body had possessed her. The forces of gravity seemed to rebel on her. She screamed for a faint second and couldn’t breathe as she was sucked into the heavy stream of water that was falling with her. The feeling felt like death, and she couldn’t bare the intensity.  Until she splashed with a loud, painful, discombobulated hit, and everything went dark.

About thirty seconds later, Annie woke up two or three feet deep into a lake and quickly moved her legs to resurface. She swam, cold and tired, yet very worried, to the surface to retrieve the sack.

When she looked inside she discovered that the bottle of water was colder and the granola bars she had packed were scattered throughout the contents of the sack, but it was still edible. Even though she was cold and her clothes were sopping wet, and she could not believe the intensity of the previous events, she threw her sack on her back and continued throughout the night into a gloomy woods, where she found a tall tree to sleep on that wasn’t home to any creatures. She climbed up branches of the tree, which were hard and grippy, and found a tall, thick branch a couple feet up that she was able to spread herself on. She used a soft spot of the sack as a pillow to lay her head on as she slowly drifted into sleep…

Annie experienced herself falling throughout her dream. The feeling of her stomach dropping, her heart pumping, and her body landing on a hard surface. While the feeling was not as intense of the plummet from the waterfall, Annie woke up shocked and screamed in fright, as a chipmunk had pushed her off of her spot on the tree and her sack, too, which fell on top of her with a bang just a couple seconds later, causing an invisible bruise on her left cheek. Annie cried and cried in fear and sadness, that in all reality, it was not possible for her to escape this little farm town and her evil grandmother. She was not able to find anybody that could take care of her. She was not able to find freedom for herself where she lived. She gave up. Maybe the girls will be nicer this year. They’ll probably be nicer or else she’ll be telling the principal and her grandmother, but in reality, she wouldn’t do much help for her.

She ran back through the forest, up through the incline where the waterfall was, her crying tremendously with her sack bouncing up and down on her back. She was so out of control she fell into the grass, getting some grass-stains and not knowing what to do with herself. She couldn’t believe it. She wanted to go to where she was home. Then, she heard a voice.

“Hey!” the voice screamed, sounding like a woman. “What are you doing here?”

“I’m sorry, I’m sorry!” Annie wailed, still in tears, her face laying flat in the grass. “Please don’t get me in trouble!” She lifted her head up and saw the woman come towards her with a flashlight.

“Oh my dear God,” the voice stated. “Aren’t you little miss Annie Walker?”

“Yes, yes, that’s me.”

“What are you doing in this part of town, huh?” the voice yelled again. “This is about twenty minutes from where you live.”

“How do you know where I live?” Annie demanded.

“I attended your family’s funeral,” the voice said. “I was good friends with your parents. They shipped a lot of chopped trees to me. Helped me out for making wood to throw in the fire.”

“What’s your name?” she asked.

“Can’t tell you that,” the voice said again. “Come inside and dry off. I’ll give you some hot tea to drink.”

“That would be very nice of you,” Annie said.

And then she entered the house. It was nice, cozy and warm. Everything seemed to be made of logs. The walls were made out of logs, the surface holding the picture frames were made out of logs. Hell, even the shower and bed were made out of logs, but the bed had a mattress with pillows on it. The house was very small, which made it feel very quaint. A man, Annie assumed it was the woman’s husband, was sitting on a couch was reading a newspaper article and complaining that none of his stocks were sold and he wasn’t able to make any profit. Things about those “damn investors” and “stockholders” although Annie didn’t know a single thing he was talking about, but she assumed it was about the Great Depression.

The woman talking to her led her to a bathroom so she could shower and she laid out some pajamas for her to change into after. The hot water felt good against her and putting the shampoo in her hair made her feel better again, even though she was tired and lazy. The pajamas were nice and soft and she instantly went back into the living room where she sat by the fireplace, and a beverage of some sorts was waiting for her.

“Turns out, I didn’t have hot tea, after all,” she said. “But instead I made you a cup of hot cocoa and marshmallows because it’s so cold outside.”

She looked inside and saw steam rising up from a brown, chocolate-smelling beverages with white balls of sugar thrown in for an extra taste. Even though it was hot, she appreciated the refreshing taste while the mallows made it extra sweet. The woman sat down next to her, looking eager to find out more about what’s happening.

“Where have you been, Annie?” she asked. “Why are you down in this part of town? Your grandmother must be worried sick.”

“Relax,” Annie pushed. “She’s drunk half the time.”

“That’s an outrage!” she exclaimed. “How does she get her alcohol?”

“She just told me she hired someone,” Annie admitted. “That’s all I know.”

“What are you doing here?” she asked.

“I need to run away,” Annie confessed. “I can’t live with my grandmother. She’s so evil and drunk. I can’t bare it. I was attempting to run away across the country to find other relatives I could settle in with. But I guess I failed.”

“Why is your grandmother so evil?”

“She’s an alcoholic!” Annie exclaimed. “She’s drunk, glued to that damned radio set, and spends all her money on illegal alcohol! We’re going poor. There’s no more good food in our house. Most of it is basically covered in mold.”

“Well, you’re safe here,” she said, and Annie took a sip of her cocoa. She finally felt warm. She finally felt safe. “Where were you planning to go?” she asked.

“Los Angeles,” Annie exclaimed. “Sunny Los Angeles. Home of Hollywood. That’s where my uncle lives. He’s the greatest man on earth! He’s so fun. I love spending time with him.”

“I’ll get you there,” she promised. “I’ll get you there.”

“Who is this lady?” the man yelled, getting up from the couch and making his way over to the woman. “What is she doing in our house so late at night.”

“George, this is Annie Walker,” the woman soothed. “She’s the daughter of the victims of the funeral we attended.”

“Oh, well, hi Annie,” the man said, as he reached out his hand for her to shake. “It’s great to finally meet you.”

“You too,” Annie said, calmly. “Thanks for letting me stay here.”

“Anytime,” the man said. “Why are you here?”

“Like I was telling your wife,” Annie started. “I’m running away from home because my parents are dead, my brother’s dead, my grandmother’s a drunk, I’m bullied at school, and I just can’t deal with my life.”

“Your grandmother’s a drunk?” the man asked. “How is that possible? It’s completely illegal.”

“She hired someone who goes to speakeasies and pays for smuggled alcohol and delivers it for her,” Annie said. “That’s all I know.”

“Where do you want to go-”

“Los Angeles,” Annie cut the man off. “Where my uncle lives. He’s the greatest guy on Earth, you know. He’s so nice to me. We go down to the beach and he buys me hand-pumped milkshakes.”

“We can get her there, can’t we, George?” the woman asks sympathetically. “Right?”

“We can get her there right now,” George says, and Annie’s hopes rise. “We have enough money for a train pass. Go get into some clothes and put on some shoes. I think we have a size that fits.”

Once Annie dressed into a long-sleeved shirt with a fur coat, she put on some boots they had that were very warm. After she took both of their hands, they confidently walked out of the door to the house. Out to the train station. Out into the night.

Magic is Really Real

Finding magic hasn’t happened to anyone, until now. I think I was the first one to ever feel magic. I think all the power I used came from my bracelet. When I got it at the store, the label said that it was magical. I have started exploring its powers right away. The bracelet doesn’t look magical–it is just blue with red dots. You could buy it anywhere. Suddenly, I use the bracelet to open a wormhole to another world. I wonder why the wormhole is blue and red, the same color as the bracelet. I look inside the wormhole and see that the world is black and white. I try to look inside a little more, but I start turning white? Just then, I hear my mom calling my name.

“Frannie, it’s dinnertime. Come eat.”

I take the bracelet off and the wormhole closes. As I run, I try to find an explanation of what happened. I think about what I should tell my parents, or if I should tell them at all, but right now at this second I can not even describe how I’m feeling. I don’t know what’s happening!

When I am at dinner, my mom says: “Frannie, are you excited that school is over?”

“Yeah,” I say. “I can’t wait for our vacation to Hawaii. I’m going to go pack right now. I’m just too excited. See you later!”

When I enter my room, I see that my wrist is turning white!! I put on the bracelet and, this time, see that the nails on my right hand are turning black. I take the bracelet off and put it on again. This time, my neck turns white. Then, I see a storm outside. I take the bracelet off and the storm disappears.

My mom calls my name. I run to the kitchen where she is washing the dishes. She says: “Honey, make sure you pack everything.”

I reply: “I will.”

I run to my room then I realize the bracelet is still on me. I thought I took it off–well, that’s the least of my worries right now. I open the door to my room and see the portal right in my room. I take the bracelet off to keep it from destroying my house. Right when the portal is about to close, I jump in.

At first, I don’t see anything. Then, I see something. Well, really, I hear something. It’s a voice. The voice is dark and gloomy. It says: “Your mission is to save this world and put it on the map.”

All I do is look up. The sky is black and white! The people are black and white!! I am black and white!!! I freak out. I see a bubble. It gets closer to me. I feel my body inside the bubble. It turns out that I am in the bubble. I float up and up and up and up and up and up and up and up and up and up and up and up and up and up until the bubble pops.  I start falling and falling and falling and falling and falling and falling until I reach the ground. I feel pain. I hear the voice again.

“You have twelve hours. Good luck.”

Suddenly, I feel more pain. Why do I have twelve hours? Then, it hit me. Maybe this voice knew that I was spending the night in my room packing. Next thing I know, I’m walking in the streets. I hear some music coming from a house. I look inside a house window. It looks like people are having a party but it’s not a party because they are all gloomy. I don’t know. I’ve only been in this world for two minutes.  I see a girl walking out of the house. I run up to her, but she looks different compared to the other girls. She’s smiling. Then, I realize that she looks exactly like me. I start talking at the same time as she does. We both ask the same question:

“What are you doing here?”

The girl says, “I just bought this bracelet and every time I put it on a portal opens up.”

My jaw drops. I almost faint.

“Same here,” I say, “and, by the way, my name is Frannie.”

“I’m Jenny. Jenny Frannie Leaf.”

“My full name is Frannie Jenny Leaf.”

As we walk, Jenny pulls me along. I see two motor bikes.

“Let’s get on those bikes,” Jenny says. “We can go wherever. You want to go faster?”

I see a mountain at the tip there is a cage of color. Wow.

“If we get past the things up there we can make the cage full of color explode and the town colorful again,” Jenny adds.

Wow, I think to myself again.

We start climbing the mountain. After about five minutes she says, “are we there yet?”

“Are you crazy,” I say. “It has only been five minutes.”

As we climb, we pass through spikes and thorns. Then, we see the top of the mountain. I stop, think about the top of the mountain, and, suddenly, I’m there. The bracelet can make us jump or move faster. I call to Jenny.

“Just think of the top or just run up the mountain and you’ll be there!”

“I think I’ll just think of the top.”

“Remember, when we were running to the mountain the bracelet made us go faster? Everything is making sense now.  

“I mean, finally. It’s about time”

I can tell that Jenny is trying. I don’t see her anymore and think that she must’ve jumped. When I look behind me, she’s nowhere. Then I turn around and she’s right in front of me. She says: “Did you just see the pyramids?”

“Just come on.”

We both run. Then, we see another world. Then, Jenny uses the bracelet to see extra far. She sees the cage of color that belongs to the other town. Then, I look at my watch only. There are only five hours left (it had been only forty-five minutes). Then we rush even more. There are guards in front of the cage. I realize that I can jump so I secretly jump to the other town, grab a pair of scissors, and jump back to the cage. I cut every part of it except for one. I look at Jenny and she nods. I close my eyes and cut the last part and there is a giant explosion of color. Suddenly, we drop and land on a map. On the edge of the map is a little island and it’s labeled F.J. city.

“It’s ours!!!” I yell. “It’s our city.”

I start to tear up a little bit.

“You’re free to go,” the voice says. “Thank you for all the loving work you did for your city. We gave you both the bracelets because we knew you could change the city. You made it colorful and now you can keep the bracelets because we trust you. Just think of the portal and you can go.”

“Are you ready?” I ask.

“Let’s go,” Jenny says.

We hold on to each other, think of the portal, and walk straight into the wall. We hear the voice laughing.

“I’ll take those!” it says and swipes our bracelets away. “Do you think you can just come here and stay? No way! I had to give each one of you the bracelet somehow. It’ll lead you here. When I found you, you guys knew it wasn’t real didn’t you?”

Jenny whispers, “yes.”

“So you’ve been lying to me this whole time?” I ask. “I don’t know what to say to you. You’re a liar. Now, I know.”

Jenny looks at the place where the sound is coming from. She sees it.

“This girl, Frannie,” she says, “helped me see that anything is possible. Even though she doesn’t know it, she’s taught me a lot.”

Jenny pulls a lever and a door opens.

“Run, Frannie. Run!”

I run into the portal and get trapped inside it. What do I do? I see Jemmy fighting the voice. She pulls a lever and the portal keeps moving. I see that the color is spreading and the voice is fading. I see it, and it’s gone. My day was hectic. I think that I better go home and rest. When I went home, my parents were staring at the television. It was saying:

“These two girls, Frannie and Jenny, saved this town. As a reward, they will have a city named after them.”

After all the hugging with my parents, I decide to write a letter to Jenny. The letter says:

Dear Jenny,

I am so glad I met you during my journey. You are one of the sweetest girls I have ever met. You helped me save the town, and I couldn’t have done it without you. Frannie plus Jenny equals F.J. city. I am so happy I met you and, remember, if I had to pick someone to save a town with, I would pick you!

Best wishes,

Frannie J. Leaf

Finally, four weeks later, she writes back. I guess the mailman had a hard time finding her. And guess what? It turns out that we’re twins! Her letter says:

Dear Frannie,

Thank you so much for saying all those things.  I am so sorry it took me so long to write back. Thanks for everything and also my dad said that we’re twins!

Sincerely,

Jenny

I hope Jenny and I meet up sometime. After all, Frannie plus Jenny totally equals F.J. City!

THE END

The Tale of Arcaror

Koll was sitting under the eaves of a farmhouse to take shelter from the pouring rain. He heard a pathetic sound coming from a gutter and went to take a look. There was a pathetic little baby bundled up in dirty rags. Koll could hardly feed himself, but he could not leave a baby there to die. So he decided to adopt the little orphan. He called him Arcaror, which meant “Rain.”

Arcaror lay on a bed for the first time in weeks, waiting for Koll to return home from work. His adoptive father worked as a farmhand to support Arcaror and himself, but they could not afford housing. An innkeeper had been particularly generous and given them a room since business was slow. Indeed, it always was, as the planet was a very sparsely populated colony, and they were in a farming village. The innkeeper lived off the land and ran the inn as a side venture. The door swung open, and Koll limped in dejectedly. He looked much older than his usually merry self. Arcaror asked, “What’s wrong?”

“I lost my job.”

Koll explained that he would have to move to the only city nearby to find work.

It was a long journey and there were many perils along the way. But they all paled in comparison to what awaited them outside the city gates. The Ragnoils, a subspecies of Honim, feed only on Honim flesh, and their eyes burn red with the evil of their mind. A Ragnoil who lived in the city often waited outside the city gates, trying to prey on travelers. This had earned him a few meals and many a bruise, so he learned the ways of the sword and hired two “bodyguards” to assist him. When Arcaror and Koll arrived at the capital city, they found three strangers blocking their path. One carried a broadsword, but the two beefy men on either side of him were too proud for weapons. The red-eyed man with the sharp teeth grinned and yelled for the men to attack.

Koll knew these men were no joke. Their muscles could kill. He picked up a cobblestone, and with the precision of one who had once thrown stones to live, hit the bigger of the two men in the head. His companion did not stop to check if his partner was alive. He felt no remorse for the death of the man he had murdered. But it unnerved him nevertheless. He tackled Koll, bringing him to the ground. They fought viciously.  Koll’s vision blurred from the pain. Koll felt his body numbing as the big man bludgeoned him. But then it stopped and Koll could feel the pain again. After it subsided, Koll stood up and saw the man’s limp body, covered in punctures and blood. Arcaror stood, staring at a bloody spearhead. He couldn’t believe what he’d done. There was no time for guilt however, as the Ragnoil was charging at them, and his blade looked sharp.

Koll felt fear, fear worse than when his father left him in the woods as a small child. His lower body was on fire, and the world was spinning. Koll’s eyes widened in shock as he fell to the ground for the last time. Screams filled the air. Arcaror could not believe it. The man had killed his only friend in the world. He shuddered with rage. The Ragnoil was about to strike Arcaror down too, but then he noticed his red eyes. The Ragnoil remembered his half-human son. This boy looked exactly like the baby he abandoned. He felt a strange sense of guilt. Even Ragnoils weren’t monsters all the time.

That thought was interrupted by Arcaror slamming his fist into his head. The Ragnoil staggered backwards, confused. Arcaror wanted vengance. The Ragnoil would pay. He hefted a large rock over his head, and cracked his enemy’s skull. But there was no glory in killing, even a terrible cannibal. The Ragnoil explained as he died that he was Arcaror’s father and had abandoned him because he knew he could not care for a half-human. Arcaror refused to believe that this cruel creature was his father. But it made a little bit of sense. Why else would his eyes be dark red like blood? Why did he crave raw meat? Why did the religious people who saw him avoid him?  He knew why now. He was half demon. Koll had seen what Arcaror was capable of. Now he needed to talk to him one last time.

“Arcaror,” Koll mumbled with his last breaths, “Don’t kill again, unless you have to…”

Koll’s voice cracked and trailed off. Koll was gone. Arcaror buried his face in his hands, and his face was wet with tears. But Arcaror eventually left that place, and moved on. Arcaror entered the city. Everywhere there were new smells, and the city was packed with refugees from the countryside, for many crops had failed, and there were now industrial factories that attracted unskilled laborers. Smoke bellowed out of many chimneys and lamb roasted over hearths. But Arcaror noticed another thing about the city. Everyone seemed to be gathered around a large field in the middle of the city. Arcaror heard chanting and screaming. He was very curious, so he asked a vendor what was going on. The old man thought for a moment, staring into space, before replying, “Err, something about a project to fix up a crash-landed spaceship and send an astronaut into the universe. At least, that’s what the ads said. Admission is three kings. As for me, couldn’t care less. I have a stall to run.”

Arcaror was surprised. He thought that the planet was very primitive. He read a lot for someone his age, and the books he had read were all religious, meaning that they believed that the galaxy was populated by demons and pirates. Arcaror knew in his heart that he was a demon, and embraced it. He would stow away on the ship.

Arcaror ran through the crowd to where there were guards warning the people to stay back. A huge hulking behemoth of metal and fuel tanks was attached to a makeshift scaffold, and the astronaut was waving to the crowd outside the rocket. He entered the scaffolding. Arcaror didn’t have much time left. Arcaror ducked under a guard without being noticed, and ran towards the rocket. He was spotted and the guards raced after him, but he had made it to the scaffolding. Scrambling up a rusty ladder, Arcaror heard a low rumbling and the frame began to vibrate. The guards ran back as fire scorched the grass and the scaffolding started to melt. Arcaror leapt for the door and desperately tried to wrench it open. Just as it was becoming unbearably hot, the door budged. Arcaror let out a sigh of relief. He was off the planet for good.

Arcaror saw the lone astronaut hunched over his instruments. After two days of waiting, he’d grown impatient and decided to finally see space. It was dizzying, with millions of stars. And right ahead of them was a planet that glittered like a broken diamond. The planet was covered in cities and small lakes. As the rocket sailed into the atmosphere, the rocket began to burn up. “What’s happening?” shouted the astronaut.

The air defense system of the planet was firing at the ship. The ship was burning. A missile smashed into the rocket, and the engines failed. Now they were in freefall. Arcaror relished what he thought would be the last moments of his life.

The Tale of the Alien and the Human

Once upon a time, there was an alien with two arms and three fingers. He was green, and had two giant eyes close to the bottom of his head and a little smile. He was two feet tall.

The alien came from Mars but he was on Earth. His language is called Oink and those of his species just say “Oink, oink, oink.” He was 2,000,003 years old – these aliens can live up to 5 million years. They sprout out of the moon when they’re born, and then they fly to Mars. This alien came to Earth in a balloon and then decided to explore. He hadn’t know that he was going to be exploring another place, nor did he know exactly what a balloon was… He thought it would take him to another place on Mars, but it actually took him to Earth. When he got to Earth, he saw that it was too green.

“Oink, oink, oink (This is too green!)!” he exclaimed, wanting to go home.

He saw a green ball and then fell on his butt. He landed in Alaska. He was seeing just green – too much green – when he saw a green ball: Earth. He saw a human!

He has five fingers! the alien thought. Why are their eyes all the way up there?? Why aren’t they green!

“Well, hello there,” said the human.

“Hello,” said the alien with a small wave.

“What are you?”

“I’m an alien. What are you?”

“I’m a human,” said the human, like it sounded obvious.

“What do you like to do?” asked the alien. He was feeling unsure if the human was nice. He noticed that the human had clothes on.

“I like eating ice cream,” said the human.

The alien excitedly replied, “Me too.”

They became friends and had a long chat about their favorite ice cream flavors.

After the human left, the alien started trying to make a plan. (The alien did not have a name, so he never thought to ask humans for their names.) He saw snow, trees, bushes, but no people. He thought he could build a sled and a slope. On his sled, he would go up the slope and off to Mars. But, the alien was pretty stupid – he didn’t realize that that wouldn’t be high enough.

Nevertheless, he built his sled with some tree bark and put some bushes on it to sleep on, because he knew it would be a long way. Then, he shaped the snow into a big slope. It took a week.

“This is going to work!” he said.

He ran and jumped onto his sled, and went up the slope. Then he slid back down, tumbled off his sled and fell on his head. He crossed his arms and frowned and said, “humph.”

If he couldn’t make it back to Mars, he would never see his family and friends again. So, he went into the forest. His new plan was to climb the tree and make a spring board. He thought he could make it out of two flat pieces of wood and a few twigs for the springs.

When he finished making the springboard, he tried it. The twigs immediately broke, so he tried to find stronger ones. Once he was done with that he tried it again, but he was thinking so much about how to prevent the twigs from breaking that his contraption didn’t even spring. He only got one inch off the ground.

So, he brought the springboard to the top of the tallest tree and then set it up in the middle. It fell through slightly, but he didn’t notice. He jumped on the springboard and it sank even lower… and fell out the tree. Because the alien picked the tallest tree, he had a longer drop.

He landed on his back. His whole butt turned purple. He was tired, so he went to sleep. Then, when he woke up, he saw the same human! He immediately went to greet the him. “Hello there, again. Good morning. Why are you here?” asked the alien.

“I went camping and I’m going back home. What have you been doing?”

“I have been trying to get back to Mars.”

“I wonder when the next rocket ship is going up to Mars. Oh, wait – I read in the newspaper that there’s a rocket ship going to Mars in a month!”

“Oh, wonderful, wonderful, wonderful news!”

The human called the police. “This alien needs to get back to his home planet, Mars. I heard that there’s a rocket ship going there sometime soon and was wondering if this alien could use it to get home,” said the human.

The police came. The officer said, “Okay, I will let the rocket ship people know that there will be an alien aboard the rocket.”

***

The alien was at the airport – he was going to Disney World to have fun and explore before the month was up and he had to leave. He had heard about Disney World from the human and thought it sounded like fun. The alien boarded the plane and got a lot of snacks. On the plane, the flight attendants sold jalapenos, and because he didn’t know what they were, he decided to try some. Then he freaked out because they were so hot. He stuck out his tongue and tried to breathe fire. The woman next to him said, “dairy helps.”

So, he bought some milk and drank it, which helped. Soon, the plane ride was over and the alien got off the plane. He bought dinner at the airport, checked in to his hotel, put down all his bags, and went to Disney World.   

He saw a lot of rides and parking lots, cotton candy, and ticket booths. First, he went to the ticket booth. When he reached the front of the line, he got 85 tickets and went to see what rides there were. He got in line to see the Disney Princesses, but he didn’t know what they were so he didn’t know what to say to them. Once it was his turn, he had figured out what the activity was about: there were a bunch of ladies dressed in fancy dresses named Cinderella, Snow White, and Belle. He thought it was pretty boring, so he left.

Then, he saw a big castle. A bunch of the towers were blue, but the rest of the structure was white. There was one gigantic tower in the middle, and the castle was humongous.

“Ooo, aaahhh,” he said.

It felt kind of weird because he was only two feet tall and the castle looked like it was five billion feet tall. He had never seen a building so tall, since there were not any on Mars. He went into the castle, and again he said, “Ooo, aaahhh.” He walked through it and went on a couple of other rides, and then he went back to his hotel to get some sleep.

***

After he had woken, he went to a diner to eat brunch. He ordered a bagel and cream cheese with sprinkles and ketchup on top. Then, he saw the mustard and decided to put that on too.

“I wonder if my fellow aliens have noticed that I’m gone,” he said. He missed them, but he didn’t notice because he was having so much fun.

When he was done, he left the restaurant. He went upstairs to his room to watch TV, but found it very boring because he couldn’t figure out how to turn it on. He then went to the garden and sniffed the air. It smelled like flowers for some odd reason, and he didn’t know why. It looked very different from mars.

“Earth doesn’t make sense. Why does it smell like flowers randomly? Mars makes sense. But Earth doesn’t.”

Mars had other aliens and Earth didn’t. It made him feel lonely.  

He still had extra tickets, so he went on tons of rides. He came back to his hotel room, took a nap, and when he woke up it was lunch time. He went to a restaurant for lunch.

After that, he went back to his hotel room and finished unpacking. By the time he was done it was dinnertime, so he went to McDonald’s and got a burger.

Once the month had passed, he went back to the airport and boarded the plane. He made sure he didn’t order the jalapenos again. Once he got to Alaska, he met the human at the airport who brought him to where the rocket would take off.

“Goodbye!” said the human.

“Goodbye! I had a nice time on earth,” said the alien.

“It was nice meeting you.”

“I might go back to Earth someday.”

“Okay. If you do, come visit me.”

“Okay, goodbye!” The alien was a little sad. He looked at the rocket. He was nervous to go on the rocket ship because he had never been on one before … and also because it was making really loud noises, and it was gigantic. His arms were flopping all over the place and his feet were doing a tap dance. He saw a pink tutu outside the rocket ship, so he ran outside and put it on. He started doing ballet, not knowing he was doing something that actually existed. He called ballet ‘Oink’ and danced for one hour. He was having a lot of fun and found that ballet helped his nervousness go away, so he danced all the way back to the rocket ship. He was tired and fell asleep during liftoff.

When the alien woke up, he was almost back to Mars. He also realized that he was floating. He ate nuts for breakfast and played around with flying until lunchtime. It felt really weird to be flying since he hadn’t done it before. He ate lunch, which also consisted of nuts, as well as some dried strawberries. And, for dessert, he ate an ice cream sandwich. In only a few minutes, he would be back on Mars – he was so excited.

After five minutes, the he arrived at Mars! He got off the spaceship. His friends and family were already waiting for him.

“Strange. I’ve never seen an animal like that,” said his friend about a human that was also in the rocket ship.

“Bye bye, humans! These are humans – the people you saw on the rocket ship,” he explained to his family.

The Two Sisters

The woman in pitch black coat and velvet cloak suddenly turned. She was looking at the petrified, shivering, ready-to-faint Sara. Sara knew why she had been called, but Diana did not get to the point right away. She knew her sister too well. Sara would say that she didn’t do anything and make up an excuse. Diana was tired of it and would not let that happen. This time, Diana would show Sara what it felt like to be alone, to be abandoned.

There was only one person Diana could trust, confide in, and who would understand. Mom had died three years ago and, ever since, Diana had to live alone. Sara told everyone that Diana’s favorite color was black and that she loved rainy days but, in truth, her favorite color was bright pink and she loved the sun, especially when it was at its brightest. Sara was a fibber.

Diana did not take too much time with this.

“So,” Diana snapped, “how do you feel about yourself?”

Sara was extremely surprised. She’d never been spoken to like this in her life.

“S-sorry,” she stuttered.

“It sounds like you’ve never used the word sorry before,” Diana said. “Well, I should let you go, but next time if I ever find you doing this again, I won’t let you off so lightly.”

“W-well then, I-I sh-shall be o-on my way,” Sara said, heading towards the door.

“And I shall be on mine,” Diana said entering her room.

In actuality, Sara had nothing better to do. She ended the conversation just to get away from her ‘evil’ sister. She had hoped it would be another one of those times when Di had taken it lightly and asked her to tea afterwards. Sara would have been happy to accept.

Well, she thought angrily, if Di isn’t going to be nice to me I’ll just be worse to her.

But how? That was the hardest question. It would take quite a while for Sara to think of how she would take revenge on her sister. She had not learned anything in school or in college, all she had thought about was her complexion and how she looked. Once, she had forgotten to turn in her exam paper and absentmindedly put her cosmetics case on the teacher’s desk instead. She had gotten very embarrassed and made it up to the class – or thought she did – by wearing a new dress and looking extra pretty the next day.

***

Now, coming back to Diana. She was answering a few invitations to tea parties and dinner parties, saying very politely that she had something else planned. But when she glanced at the last letter, she saw something totally different and ran out of her house to post the letter.

I am not going to tell you who that letter was by, but this is what she had answered to the last letter: I would love to have tea with you, truly yours, Diana Ross.

***

The basic reason why Diana had answered the letter with a yes was that she was the only one invited. Also, the girl who had invited her was her best friend at school. As she arrived at her friend’s house, she could smell the fresh daisies, feel the dew on all the plants, hear the sound of animals, and see the beautiful view of the mountains behind.

At first, she was too shy to ring the doorbell but she gathered up her courage and said to herself: “It’s only me, after all, so there’s no reason to be shy”. She raised her shaking hand and rang the doorbell, so lightly that the whole button didn’t get pressed. It rang anyway, although no one noticed it at first. Eventually, her friend realized someone was at the door.

“Why Di,” said Bell, “when I last saw you, were happy and bold. But now, you look so meek and cold.”

Diana laughed. Bell had put her at ease.

“I love your poetic passion,” she said.

“I love it too,” replied Bell. “You seem a little bit more like yourself now. Well then, why don’t you come inside and make yourself comfortable? We were just preparing tea. We weren’t really expecting you to come sooo early,” Bell said, reluctantly.

Now, Di was feeling slightly uncomfortable. Bell never spoke reluctantly. She always planned what she was going to say before actually saying it. And, knowing her friend, Di knew right away that Bell was hiding something. Diana spoke from her heart so she spent no time beating around the bush.

“Come on, you’re hiding something,” Di said. “These kind of tricks don’t work with me.”

“M-me? You think that I-I’ve been hiding s-something from you?” Bell said.

Diana thought that Sara’s soul had gotten into Bell.

“Admit it, Bell,” she said.

“All right, all right. I’ll admit it,” Bell said guiltily. “But I just can’t tell you what it is.”

But Diana did come to now after all.

The ground began shaking and Bell took Di’s hand and led the way up to the library. She went to the history section and pulled a book which turned out to be a doorknob. The door swung open leading to a secret passage. Diana gasped.

“It’s amazing, isn’t it?” said Bell with a grin. “Now, I’m going to tell you the whole story.”

They sat at the table and Bell began.

“So you know how my mom and dad died when I was a baby? My mom when I was born and my dad a few days later? That he left me with my aunt who treated me like a child who had murdered her sister? Once, I went exploring and the exact same thing that just happened to you happened to me. The ground began shaking and I ventured deeper and deeper into a secret passage. As scary as it was, I was not afraid. The deeper I went, the more it began to go underground. Then, something gave me a start. It was a ghost. And not just any old ghost, it was my mother. She was the only ghost who could go through things and hold things. She told me something that I don’t want to reveal to you but have to. She said that she liked being a ghost and that she had been happy to die. There was something else she said, something amazing. She herself had hoped that I, Bell, would find this passage. Then, she disappeared, leaving me in awe. Suddenly, she came back and said: “I just forgot to tell you not to tell your aunt about this. She was a horrible sister to me.”

“Like Sara is,” said Diana.

“I’ve been wanting to tell someone about this,” continued Bell, “but I never knew who until you came. I knew I could trust you. I hope you can trust me.”

“Of course I can,” said Diana.

“Well, then, that’s my story,” finished Bell.

“If I ever have something as a secret, you’re the first person I’ll tell. Why don’t you come to my mansion often? It’s quite deserted, you know, and we’re quite similar; we have big houses and no parents. We can hang out together a lot.”

“Why don’t we go to tea?”

“That’s a great idea, I’m starving.”

“We prepared green tea, scones with jam and cream, and cookies,” Bell said. “I hope you like it!”

“I don’t like it, I love it. I just wanna run down and eat everything on the table.”

“What are we waiting for?”

The girls happily went downstairs hand-in-hand to a round table. The scones, cookies, and tea were so tempting. Not a crumb was left on their plates. After that, Diana had to work so she left to go home. They promised to go to each other’s houses at least twice a week.

***

At home, Diana signed some checks. The whole day, she had a smile on her face. She wasn’t afraid of going out anymore. It had all come back to her. She could remember her childhood days when she was playing in her neighborhood playground. She and Bell would swing on the swings, slide on the slides, talk so much, and have so much fun. That was not going to stop. Even though she was an adult now, she was not going to stop. She was going to go out more often, have more fun, and hang out with Bell more. And her mansion was not deserted anymore. It was full of her and Bell’s laughter.

A lot more of her school friends came to visit. She hosted a dinner party – not a big one, just with five-seven guests – but had an amazing time.

***

Sara was planning to take revenge on her sister. She had no idea that Diana was having so much fun. She was just sitting in her room, bored. She was evil and always would be. Cheaters never win, but she hated to lose. This was one of her weaknesses (she had too many weaknesses for me to list). She was more talkative than Diana but she talked so much that nobody wanted to get close to her. Talking was her life and if anybody butted in on her speech she would look at them with an evil eye. She never expected to be interrupted and considered herself grand. Also, she expected to be waited on in her house. For instance, if I were to have tea with her, she would expect me to serve her.

Sara was not the richest sister. Her house was big, but not as big as Diana’s. She had nice clothes, but not as nice as Diana’s. Her mother and father’s will gave most of their money to Diana, not Sara. They had no living relations. Her mom and dad were only children and orphans.

Sara had gotten long fingers from her father. Diana had gotten her mother’s light hair and blue eyes, along with her father’s wide smile.

Diana was naturally beautiful but never bragged about it. Sara was not so beautiful but bragged about it anyway. Sara thought she was the best even though Diana was smarter and nicer. Diana was born to be nice. Sara was the opposite. You would never know that they were even sisters if they stood side by side.

Their mother and father had both died of an unnamed illness. It was highly contagious. Their mom had died first but the dad had gotten it from her and died a few days later. This was a tragedy to Diana and Sara. It affected their relationship a lot. Diana had loved her mother and Sara had loved her father but, after both of them had gone, the sister had nothing to do more than quarrel. Of course, they didn’t argue in public but they didn’t get over their arguments for months. It was a weird combination. One, smart and quiet and the other, loud and foolish. They grew further apart after their parents’ death.

***

Bell was satisfied with her friendship with Diana. The two of them were super close but there was one thing that Diana did not know about Bell: Bell had an older sister who had run away from their aunt one night and never returned. Bell had gotten a message that she was alive. Bell loved her older sister, Elizabeth (Beth). Bell was worried about her sister as she had not received recent news of her. That day, when there was a knock at the front door, Bell knew exactly who it was. Beth was the only person who knocked instead of ringing the bell.

When Bell opened the door, she flung her arms around Beth.

“So, how is everything?” said Beth.

“Wonderful, but quite lonely. It’s more wonderful when you’re here and, this time, don’t run away. Please?”

“I’m never going to,” Beth said. “I realized that it’s better to be home than anywhere else and, most of all, that I missed you. I remember the fun times we had – playing hide and seek, tag, and throwing balls. I hope we can do it again.”

“We are going to have the most amazing time ever.”

“Is it time for dinner yet? My stomach is growling.”

“It’s before dinner but that doesn’t mean that we can’t have a snack. Why don’t you get comfortable? Where were you all this time? You have to tell me everything.”

“I will. I’ll tell you every single thing.”

“Every single thing,” echoed Bell.

***

Sara and Diana were arguing. Sara had left the mansion, her cheeks red with anger. She got mad easily and was sensitive. Diana, on the other hand, had triumphed. She had won the argument. Her day had been good. If she had to rank it out of 100%, it would have been a 99.5%.

She danced her way to the kitchen. She had loved dancing when she was a kid, just like her mom. The two of them had danced and danced and danced until they fell flat on the floor laughing. This memory put a sad smile on her face but then she remembered that she could still be a child if she wanted to. She could see herself running round and round the mansion again and again, going crazy and not thinking about rules of etiquette. She was being a kid, a real kid, and it was so much fun. Those fun, happy, and memorable times were gone. Those times when her mother was alive and would hold her hand and put her to bed, were gone.

Sara, on the other hand, hated being a kid. She thought that it was better to be grown up and respected. She wanted everyone to look up to her, even though that isn’t the right way to think.

Diana was invited to a big dinner party on Friday. She was so excited. She picked out a beautiful gown, did her hair, and was ready to go. The bell rang and Diana rushed to the door, knowing that it was Bell because they were going to the party together. They shivered in excitement. When they reached the house, they rang the doorbell and were escorted inside. Their friend greeted them with big hugs. They returned them warmly.

The party went smoothly. There was food, drinks, and dancing. After the party, Diana was so tired that she almost fell asleep in the car. The moment her head touched her pillow, she was fast asleep.

Sara had also gone out that night, but she didn’t go anywhere interesting. She just watered her plants. She used to love gardening but she had long since forgotten. Now, it seemed like a chore even though her flowers were pretty.

Her back ached as she bent down. She was suddenly hit with all of her good memories. She could remember her childhood with Diana, her friends, and Diana’s friend – what was her name? – Bell. The three of them would have fun picking flowers from the gardens, dressing up, and posing for silly pictures. Tears welled in her eyes as she thought of those things. Then, suddenly, a memory from the day before her mother’s death popped into her head. Bell’s sister had come to her and swore to be her best friend forever. She’d introduced herself as Beth and had put her arm around Sara when her mother had fallen asleep for the last time. She had discussed her plans to run away with Sara but had actually left sooner than Sara had expected.

Before she realized what she was doing, she ran to Bell’s house and rang the bell.

Beth opened the door. Sara threw her arms around her friend. Bell was not surprised. She knew that Sara and Beth had been close – she had been close to Sara herself – and Diana was the only one who didn’t know Beth. Bell would tell Diana when the time was right, but the time was not now.

Suddenly, there was a knock on the door. Dreading who it was, Bell opened the door. It was Diana.

“I-I’m sorry, Di,” said Bell. “I know I should have um … told you about this earlier. I hope you’re not mad.”

Diana’s frown turned into a smile. She burst into laughter.

“You expected me to be mad at you? You should have told me.”

“Oh, Beth didn’t want me to,” said Bell.

Sara, who was in the background, got a scared look on her face when Diana’s gaze fell on her.

“I know we haven’t been the best of friends but, this time, I’ll be better if you will,” Diana said.

“Of course I will,” Sara replied.

After ten minutes, Beth had been fully introduced to Diana.

***

Now, we shall come to an end. A happy ending, of course. The girls later called themselves the Fantastic Four, went on crazy adventures, and lived happily ever after.

The Alien Invasion

 

Once, there were two rivals. The humans’ world was facing aliens from space. Aliens were setting a plan to launch a missile, followed by an attack. The humans knew because their antenna saw it in outer space. It meant the world could explode. The world’s military had to join forces to protect their world. The humans decided they had to defend and attack. They were going to make a nuclear bomb in case anything went wrong and make aircrafts able to travel through space and fight. They were sure that they would win. The humans would regret that later on when they were not able to figure out how to to build all of this stuff. It was almost impossible to make all of it.

Meanwhile at HQ, Mark James Owens, a soldier, was enjoying a nice sleep. He woke up to a strange noise and pulled out his knife and gun from his pocket and looked around. Something lunged at him and started thrashing at his arm. Mark smelled pee and knew it was an alien. He pushed the stupid thing that smelled like pee off him, nailed him down with his knife, pulled the trigger of his gun, and shot the thing in the head. It was a loud shot. Now, he realised what was going on. The aliens were attacking. He reported the news to Commander Johnson. He shouted into the main radio, “Aliens attacking main all stations.”

In three minutes, all stations and guns were ready. Everyone had their bravest faces on. Mark was at the main gun. In an instant, a giant spaceship came into the atmosphere.  It was a giant, black spaceship the size of the planet. Billions of ships exploded out of the big ship.They shot out lasers out of cannons. They could kill five men in one hit. Alien soldiers started running toward the base. They had laser guns ready to fire. They blasted their guns at the wall. The wall held, luckily.

While the aliens tried to destroy the wall, the humans took cover and aimed their guns at the wall. Then, at that second, a rocket smashed into the wall. When the dust cleared, there was a giant red hole in the wall. The soldiers shot at the alien soldiers, but the aliens fought back. Mark aimed the gun at the ship. He blasted the cannon at the ship, which blew up into a mushroom cloud. There was a hole in the ship. The men were dying from the impacts. They launched our aircrafts at the aliens. The rockets made a bit of damage.

After a while, the aircrafts turned around. The commander surrendered ending the first battle. The world was losing 0-1. Over 3,000 soldiers died at the first battle of the war. That’s when the humans realised that they were outnumbered. The aliens had better technology than the humans. They had to attack, which meant that the humans had to go to outer space. They launched their spaceship into space. When they saw the ship, behind it were five more ships.

Mark swerved to avoid the shots of cannons. In one minute, seventy spaceships were destroyed. Mark blasted a hole in one of the ships. His best friends, James and Lily, were behind him. Ships were exploding. Mark and his friends shot torpedoes and rockets at a ship. James dropped a bomb on one ship. There was a big gash in the ship.

The humans had only 75 ships left for the battle. A ton of ships were on fire.

“There, fire!” James’ ship was shot by a laser! He turned around and headed back for Earth. Lily and James turned around and headed for Earth. A few hours later, the whole fleet turned around and surrendered. The Earth had lost to space again.

The whole world was mad that they got crushed. Three months later, good news came: scientists had made a new missile strong enough to blow up Texas. Lily went out to space and fired the missile at the ship. It blew up in a towering fireball. The Army was happy.

They had a better chance of winning the war. They made a lot of missiles like that. They had to defend now. It had been two years since the aliens first attacked, but when the aliens attacked this time, the world was ready. They launched their aircrafts and started doing great. Lily blew a ship up with the new missile they made. After a while the aliens ran out of energy. The humans blew up all the ships except for the biggest one with the missiles. Mark blew up one with a bomb. The biggest one flew out to space. The humans were happy. All they had to do was destroy the ship. They were deciding who should drop the nuclear bomb.

When they decided, Mark was chosen. He flew the aircraft to outer space and dropped the bomb on the ship. It blew up into a giant explosion. Mark was overjoyed. He flew back to Earth. On Earth, the humans celebrated their stunning victory. Mark was a true hero. Now one would ever forget that day. The news headline was:

“Aliens Lose. Mark James Owens: Hero.”

Mark James Owens dropped bomb on last ship that belonged to the aliens. Already 20 interviews in 3 days, and fame is rising.                   

 

The End.

The Turtle’s Adventures with Friends

BOOK ONE: A LITTLE TURTLE AND A MONSTER

Once upon a time, there lived a turtle and a monster. I am the turtle, and my name is Laylay. The monster comes every spring and scares our village. It is a huge, navy blue octopus and tries to eat the turtles by scooping us up. When the octopus comes, we hide down in the sand by the water.

It’s spring now, so I am hiding with everybody and our fish friends. We are afraid and shaking. We are all quiet. Today is Tuesday, and we know the monster is coming today.

It’s here right now. When the octopus comes, he tries to find us. He usually can’t, but sometimes he finds one turtle. Then I see it. The octopus is in my friend’s sleeping area. He is trying to get her with his tentacles. My friend is screaming as loud as fireworks.

What shall I do? “Help! Help!” I call out. “The monster has my friend!” I’m running and I wish I were faster.

All of the turtles and fish come. We make a plan to get her back. We are going to sneak right up on the octopus and tie a rope around it. Then we will get my friend back. But I am too scared to go. I stay back while everybody else goes to where the octopus is, one by one. While they are gone, I think about my friend, and the monster attacking her. I wish that the monster wasn’t there. I wish I were braver.

The turtles and fish are gone for ten minutes. When they come back, everyone looks fine, and they have brought my friend back. I feel happy again. I hug my friend.

She says, “Guess what! The monster went away.” My friend smiles.

I say, “Good morning! I’m really happy to see you.”

“You, too,” she says.

We start to play hide-n-go-seek. 

BOOK TWO: A TURTLE RAN AWAY

Once upon a time a little turtle named Fancy lived in a rock house. She wanted to swim across the ocean because one of her other friends did it. One day she woke up early and she went around the sea, but she didn’t get to go all the way because she was too small and the ocean was so large. She saw nothing but the blue water around her and the beige sand. She felt sad and started crying because the other turtles were not with her.

The next day all of the turtles woke up and they knocked on the wooden door of her house made of rocks. No one answered the door. They thought Fancy was asleep so they opened it. They swam in and looked at the bed and Fancy wasn’t there. They thought she ran away so they started looking for her in the coral, but they couldn’t find her. The turtles started to quietly cry. Then they set off to travel around the ocean. They finally found her. Fancy was sitting on the sand not that far away. They hadn’t seen her before because they didn’t look outside of the coral.

“I’m so happy to see you!” Fancy said.

“Us too,” the turtles replied. “Let’s go back!”

Then they all swam back and had a party in the middle of the rock houses. The turtles danced, ate, and started to make a book about the time Fancy ran away.

THE END

The Weird Things

THE MISSING GARDEN

Hi I’m Caden. Remember [it changes everyday] not to ask my [I count time differently] age. I am a good swimmer. In the ocean there is a brick wall. Each brick is a different color. If you touch the wrong brick you will get trapped in a brick [same color] wall. Inside there is no ocean anymore. It is la la lupsy land with mount [the fruit] everzest. I HAVE A MESSY GARDEN [it is in weird places] with beautiful plants and foods people take and eat, and/or sell at day.

Zzz. I woke up, I went outside… my garden was gone! Wwwhaaahhhttt. The garden, not the plants! Somebody stole my garden. I climbed my house [I am good at climbing [grabbing on, not walking] walls] to the roof.

“Who stole my garden?” I asked.

My magic chimney said, “Stinky Fat Fart Guy ate it.”

I was a little afraid that he might eat someone else’s garden.

 THE the the the END eeennnddd. 

DO NOT MISS THE NEXT BOOK: THE MISSING MAGIC CHIMNEY                                                                                                   

BOOK  TWO  #2

THE MISSING MAGIC CHIMNEY

My magic chimney is magic. It is made out of slime and every time something falls inside, it bounces out. The chimney talks and knows who did everything. It knows what whoever did what. So a while ago Stinky Fat Fart Guy ate my garden. I gave him an oven that gives him any food, drinks, or money.

Zzzz. I left bed [I stood up]. I went to the fireplace to talk. Sometimes when I was outside, I looked outside at the chimney, and when I was inside, I looked up to talk. But my magic chimney was gone. Since it was gone I could not ask it. I was unhappy because I was afraid something would disappear that belongs to someone else. Zzzz. I walked outside. A big red  book was sitting on the roof in the chimneys spot.

It had no pages, only the front and back and a note that said, “Find the three pages.”

Zzz. I woke up. Three pages appeared and said:

“Dear Caden,

I took a vacation to the Philippines. I will come back soon. Sorry it came late.

From, the Magic Chimney.”

THE END               

Do not miss the next book, The Missing Pet Turtle, book three.

THE  MISSING PET TURTLE

Do I have a  pet turtle? YES. I bought him perfectly YESTERDAY, which was twenty-four hours ago in my time. I wanted to have something in case the chimney was gone.  He lives in a GIGANTIC TANK.

Zzz. I could not find him. Since he was big, he might be far away from where I am looking. I jumped into the tank and put on a scuba-diving outfit. I swam and he was gone. OH NO! My magic chimney is still in the Philippines. My pet turtle was one of the things I cared about.

Zzz. A medium white envelope was floating in the tank. The letter said, “Dear CADEN, All your strawberries disappeared. From, THE MAGIC CHIMNEY.”

Their was a hole in the word “your.”

Zzz I woke up another  envelope was in the tank. The letter said, “DEAR CADEN, One turtle is in the ocean. From, the Magic Chimney.” There was a hole in the word “turtle.”

Zzz. another envelope was in the tank. The letter said, “DEAR CADEN, THE MERMaids wanted TO EAT BANANAS. FROM, THE MAGIC CHIMNEY.” There was a hole in the word “wanted.” Zzz. another envelope was in the tank. It said, “YOUR STRAWBERRIES WANTED TO SEE ME.” There was a hole in the words “to see me.”

THE  CODE said “MY TURTLE WANTED TO SEE the Magic Chimney.”

The end.

Next book: The Missing Mountain

THE MISSING MOUNTAIN

Now the Magic Chimney came back. I told the Magic Chimney, “Take care of my turtles. I bought another one and I named the green one ‘Tur,’ and the blue one ‘Tle.’ I’m going to dinner on Mount Everzest.”

I went to a restaurant called Dancing Bananas and Chickens!!! The menu was:

CHICKEN CONGO LINES $5.00

CHOCOLATE BANANAS $7.00

FRIED CHICKEN $9.99

FROZEN BANANAS $4.99

BANANA CHICKEN $20.99

FRIED CHICKEN $6.43

FROZEN CHICKEN $1.10

CHOCOLATE CHICKEN $77.89

DANCING BANANAS $44.44

I ordered chicken congo lines and dancing bananas for dessert. I came home. I looked at Mount Everzest. It was GGGOOONNNEEE. Not the stuff on it.The MOUNTAIN. I told Tur and Tle and the Magic Chimney that it was gggooonnneee.

       The Magic Chimney said that mountains move over time. Now it was in Los Angeles. I visited Los Angeles, and the mountain has the Palisades, part of Santa Monica, Westwood, and Brent Wood. I came back.

THE END

Island of the Flins

Jack

It was a dark and stormy night. Boom! Thunder shook the earth. A tree five feet away caught on fire. All I could ever remember was being scared, my Ma dying when I was two, and my Pa going away to find another place besides this one. He never came back. Nobody ever came back. With only my six year old sister to keep me company I learned to hunt, survive and stay strong, however the fear always stayed with me. The fear of getting bitten by a shark or sacrificed by the Flins — a tribe of people so crazy they sacrifice one person a year to please their gods. I was a Flin when I was two, but then the Flins decided to sacrifice my annoying sister who had just been born. My Ma couldn’t let it happen so she sacrificed herself for little baby Zoe. My Pa then took Zoe and I to a cave, away from the Flins.

Boom! The second bang brought me back to life. I looked around, scared, the fear having never left me, then I turned around and sprinted east towards the family cave. I suspected the Flins were waiting by the trees of the hammock that Zoe and I slept in. The family cave had at least both shelter from the rain and protection from the Flins. Hah, no more Flin troubles tonight, or so I thought.

When I got to the Ocean it was fully dark. I lifted the vines covering an old canoe with its paint chipped and wood splintered, and then I slid it soundly into the water. I paddled maybe seventy-five or so meters. I stood on a tall rock, however this was no ordinary rock, for it was a hidden cave, the family cave home, except for the two rotting bodies in the back.

I dreamed about Zach. He had always been the greatest brother ever, or so I tried remembering. He was 15 back then. I never had to be strong when he had been alive. He had no fear. I had fear because he had no fear. I remember the shark bit his head off for lunch! I wanted to commit suicide too back then, now that both my mother and brother had died, but Pa held me back. Now with Pa gone on a month long expedition that he did not return from, the only reason I didn’t sacrifice myself to the Flins or jump into the ocean was because I had to look after Zoe. I could not lose another family member or I’d be alone with only the Flins to keep me company. Then it hit me: Zoe! Where was Zoe? Then I snapped awake.

Zoe

“Where is he, that no good scoundrel, of a trouble maker, of a brother. I swear he is trying to starve me. Well with no dinner I better get to bed,” I told Mango my pet parrot. As I lay down staring at the stars I thought about the huge meal Jack was probably forging as a surprise combination of both dinner and breakfast. I sighed. Nothing was wrong, maybe he was just sleeping with mom and Zach in the family cave. Brrr, that place gave me the creeps. I closed my eyes and counted parrots who looked like Mango. I loved Mango. I dreamed about my last birthday, when my dad went on another expedition and got me Mango. Jack got a knife. Good times, I thought. Good times. Then I was awakened by the sound of crackling fire and the burnt smell of smoke.

I looked down. The Flins were burning the tree! I climbed down just in time but the ape skin I was wearing around my body got slightly burned. I may have escaped the fire but I did not escape the Flins when they piled on top of me, I wanted to bite like a shark, trick like a fox, but I did not because that’s what the Flins did, and no matter if they sacrificed me or my brother, I am not a Flin.

I woke up chained to the ground by a tree stump. This was torture. I knew something the Flins wanted. This was torture at its worst level. I knew this torture. In the five years I was a Flin I went to school where I learned about the Flins’ savage ways. Torture was one of them, and this was the Flins favorite kind of torture.

A crate of ants was placed to the ground on my left. Then the Leader of the Flins, who every Flin just called “Leader,” stood over me and asked me where my father went. I knew I was in trouble as soon as he said that. I had no idea where my father went. My only chance of being set free was to make up a believable lie. However, I had to act like my father told me never to tell where he was going. This meant I would have to survive the first round of torture.

I closed my eyes and shook my head. The Leader let about fifty ants out and poured a jar of honey on me. I never liked honey much. Jack loved it, he said it was sweet. I thought honey was bittersweet. Despite my protests the Flins loved honey, and they loved to use it in this torture. I thought pouring the honey on might actually be more scary then when the ants started to slowly eat me alive. I was wrong. It was just the first few seconds when I thought up a lie to use. I said that my Pa really had never left the island and he was just hiding from the Flins. The Flins did not believe this lie and the Leader poured half the ant farm on top of me. I was too worn out to think and I said the one truth I did know. I blurted out that my Pa was really just trying to find the bigger island.

The Leader stared at me then said, “Ok, I believe you.”

He unchained me and poured a bucket of water on me which took care of the ants but still not the sticky honey. He then said that he would let me go if I promised to become a Flin for the second time in my life.

I said “I’d rather you just find the bigger island, your people can move there and my family can stay on this island.”

“Don’t you get it?” the Leader said, “The bigger island is a myth. Your father was very foolish to go on a suicide mission into shark infested waters.”

“My father was an intelligent man and you know what I think, I think that my father’s going to find that myth of an island and that you won’t even listen to him and my family’s going to live on the bigger island while you Flins starve on this one.”

“Don’t you get it?” Leader interrupted. “I am your family.”

“That’s what you think,” I snarled back. “The Flins are not my family.”

“I am both a part of the Flins and your family, just like you are, Zoe.”

“No you do not get this I am not related to you, Leader.”

“Yes you are,” Leader whispered. “Zoe, I am your Grandfather.”

Jack

“Zoe,” I called. “Zoe.” Where is she? I thought. Oh no, the tree was burnt. I climbed up the tree and I saw her hammock with Mango in it, besides that empty. Mango looked sad.

Mango then croaked “You filthy brother, you brother.”

I sighed. These were one of the consequences when your sister had a pet parrot. I said goodbye to Mango because I had a strong feeling I might never see her again. I climbed down the tree and ran off to rescue my sister.

I knew the setup of the Flins camp by heart, for I used to live there. I ran straight into the camp and spotted a whole colony of ants swimming in sticky honey. Hopefully, I thought that was left from when someone stole from the Flin store. I ran, adrenaline pumping through my legs, helping me run faster. I went straight into Leader’s tent. Zoe was in the corner tied up and gagged. She made a tiny shooing motion with her hand. I put a finger to her lips and pulled out the present I had gotten from my father after he went on his last voyage. It was a knife. However it was a very sharp knife, and it was made out of some material that glinted silver in the moonlight. Only Leader had a knife, and his was made of bone.

I struck past the first rope freeing Zoe’s right hand, then I struck down on the knot around her right knee then I cut up the left side and Zoe was free. She hugged me then I pulled her gag away and I screamed, for Zoe’s tongue had been cut off.

The sound of the scream carried throughout the Flins camp and pretty soon we were surrounded. The Flins were preparing a feast because they had decided to sacrifice young Zoe for the second time in her life!  I pulled out my knife and made a swinging motion. All the Flins took a couple steps back and then I quickly, unexpectedly spun around and chopped a hole through the back of the hut. Then I ran, pulling Zoe along with me while behind us the splintering hut collapsed.

I knew exactly where to go: the family cave. I knew Zoe would hate it there but it was our only chance to escape the Flins. We ran, the Flins nipping at our heels just like little dogs would. I knew even before we got there we could not ride the canoe, we would have to chance it by  swimming in shark infested waters. Then the ocean came into view, and I knew we would never make it. But then I started fighting my eyes. I could not believe what I was seeing. My Pa was waiting for us in a brand new canoe. Zoe and I jumped in, and my dad rushed out and slashed Leader in the chest.

Then the Leader took one last wild swing with his knife and got Pa right in the head. Now both of my parents were dead. Zoe started to cry because she could no longer talk. I then took it upon myself to be strong, the fear no longer haunted me. As we paddled off the island I looked at a map that Pa had left in the canoe. It gave us all the information we needed to find the bigger island. To find a home.

The Weird Week

1 – One Fine Day

It was a sunny day. It was time for Ashley to walk her little puppy. She put on her hot pink bow and yellow pants with her best friend. They got some new blue pants. They were rich, so yeah, the dog was pink!                                

2 – Too Rich

Ashley had too much money. She had a whole store with dog toys and pet toys. Now, she had too many toys. So she gave the store and all the toys to the town.

3 – Lunch Time

It was lunch time. Ashley bought all of the food stores because she was going to have a party with the whole world. She stuffed each country in a little bathroom the size of a dog house. It was the not-best party ever!!!

4 – In in in in in in looove

She was 24. She saw a 24-year-old boy who was so so so handsome. She fainted. She woke up in her room. The boy was there, too. He drew “iwhaiuthrthodhdhdwhieR8yuuryueq8989387ry39owu34eywi8ur6” on the walls. But she was still in love.

5 – Wedding Time

Ashley had a wedding, but no flower girl, so they had to throw the flowers. But they got flowers in her hair! It was the worst wedding ever!!!

6 – Kid Time,Ya!!

Yaaa!!! Ashley and Ken’s kids were born in one day and born at age three. They were twins. Wawaaa!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Then, Ashley went to deep sleep. Then, the babies came out.

7 – School Time

It was time for Ashley’s kids to go to school. She put the clock to 1:00 in the morning. But school started at 1:00 pm. She did that because she forgot to get the backpack stuff. They put on their school uniforms, ate, and had to wait one hour. When the school bus got there, they went to school for 30 minutes. San was a boy, Sandy was a girl, and they were going to school together. When they were going to school, Ashley took a 20 minute nap. Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz. So Ken picked the kids up.

8 – Reading Is Fun

When San was watching TV, Sandy was reading. They read and watched for three weeks. Now they were reading 2,000 more books for homework. They each had a pink and blue birthstone that could give them powers when they read.

9 – Robbing House

When Ashley was asleep, two robbers put them in jail for a replacement. They woke up somewhere very different, and the kids were still at home. Then, they got out their birthstones, and everything went back to normal.

The End!

Super Powers

Athena was always a good kid. She got straight A’s, and she never got in trouble. But that all changed when she went back to school. On her 12th birthday, the day before school, she wished she could have super speed. All of her brothers and sisters laughed.

“How could you possibly get super powers?” asked her eldest brother, George.

“You never know,” said Athena.

She was right. The very next day, she was so excited for school that she slipped on her bathrobe and started to run uncontrollably fast.

“AHHH!” said Athena. She started to slow herself down.

Once she got back inside, she took a shower. She changed into her favorite outfit, her cozy bunny sweater with a jean skirt. She slipped on her favorite sneakers and grabbed her bag. She stole a donut from her sister, Virginia, and took off. She eagerly waited for the school bus, but when it got there, she became speedy again. Athena raced faster than the wind into the bus. The other kids stared and started to whisper. How could things get any worse? Then, Wendy, her best friend, boarded the bus. She sat down next to Athena, and Athena told her everything.

Wendy and Athena both went to their lockers, and when Athena closed hers, she found Beatrice Loop waiting for her. She was one of the fastest kids in school, and the biggest bully as well. She always smelled like tobacco, and she always spat on people when she got angry. Everyone tried to keep cool when Beatrice was around.

“Hey you, Ant! Want to race after school? Meet me at the field after 7th period,” said Beatrice.

Once Athena got to her math class, she started talking to Wendy. “She wants me to race her after school. What if I lose?”

“Then you know you’ll get a wedgie in front of the entire grade, including the boys,” said Wendy.

Athena thought for a moment. What if she used her superpower? Wendy clearly read her mind. She would always believe her friend, no matter what.

“You should totally use your super power.”

***

Finally, the horrid time had come. Beatrice Loop was waiting for her. Athena winced.

“Get ready to lose, sucker!” scoffed Beatrice. “On your mark… get set… go!”

Athena took off like a bullet. Beatrice tried to catch up, but it was no use. She continued to run until she saw the finish line. All the kids gasped. Athena blushed. Beatrice finally came back, red-faced and angry.

As soon as she got home, Athena was attacked by her little brother, Andy. She strode over to her mom.

“Hey Mom, what if I told you that I have the ability to run super fast?” asked Athena.

“Ha ha ha, you must be joking,” said mother. Athena noticed she was starting to sweat.

“I’ll show you.” Athena began to race across the room.

“Oh sweetheart, go up to your room please,” said mother, kissing the top of her head.  She raced to her room. But she heard something from downstairs. She couldn’t help but take a peek from her room. Athena gasped. She saw two things. Her mother smoking, which she had never seen, and calling somebody. She tried to listen, but her mom was too quiet.

The next day, Athena told Wendy the terrible news.

“What? But your mother seems so… so… nice,” said Wendy. They walked to gym class together.

“Today, class, we will be working on running,” Coach Pattie said. About 75 percent of the class groaned. “Hey, listen up! I will have two contestants. You, Charlie, get up here!” Athena knew Charlie was the fastest boy in school. “And you, Athena, see if you can beat Mister Charlie here.”

Athena strode up to him rather confidently. She saw all of Charlie’s friends, like Mario and Felix and Luigi, cheering him on. Then, as if it were a One D concert, all the girls started screaming.

“On your mark… get set… go!”

Just like before, she took off like a bullet, running around the gym two times like Coach Pattie asked.

Coach Pattie hung her mouth open. “WOW. I have never seen someone so fast!”

All the girls and even some of the boys started questioning Athena about how she got so fast. She finally managed to get home with some help from Wendy.

As soon as she got home, her mother asked her to pack her bags. Athena was rather confused. “But why?”

“I’ll tell you on the way there.”

After some time in the car, Athena became restless. “MOM! I need you to tell me where we are going,” she said.

“Here,” said her mom. It was an alleyway in the city.

“Seriously, you’re taking me into a –” Athena was cut off as she was dragged into the wall. “Where are we?”

“We are at the Academy for Special Kids or A.S.K.”

Athena looked around. She saw high-tech gadgets everywhere. Then, a tall man dressed in a fine, white lab coat came toward her.

“Why hello there, young lady! You must be Athena,” said the man. “I am Dr. Bob.”

“Please don’t make this worse,” mumbled Athena.

“I’ll show you where all the other kids are waiting.”

Athena gulped. She was rather nervous. When she stepped inside, Athena saw other kids just like her. She smiled as she sat next to a girl who appeared to have purple hair. Athena was rather surprised.

“Hey, I’m Ivy,” said the purple-haired girl.

Then, Dr. Bob started to speak. “Hello, children! Today, we are going to test your skills and see if you are eligible to become a superhero! Up first, we will have Athena!”

Athena stepped up to the judges. She nervously looked at them and started to run. Faster and faster Athena went, ’til everything was a blur. She finally slowed down a few minutes later.

“Oh my! She will definitely do,” said one judge. Athena she sat back down. As she watched all of the contestants, she went to join Ivy.

“Man, you were sick! You were like a blur.”

“I was?” Athena blushed.

“Yeah, mate. You were pretty much the fastest one here.”

For about a year, Athena learned how to control her super speed. She made many friends, including Ivy. She sometimes missed her old life with Wendy and imagined what she would be doing at that very moment. But Ivy tried to cheer her up, and that usually did the trick. During the summer, Dr. Bob told her that it was time for her to go. She said goodbye to Ivy and promised to text her every day.

***

“Yes!” Athena exclaimed on her first day of school. She felt like today would be better than her last first day of school. Hopefully, Beatrice wouldn’t pick a fight with her. She couldn’t wait to see Wendy. As she waited for the bus, everyone smiled at her. Then, Athena saw Wendy. As if it were in slow motion, she ran to Wendy as fast as she could.

“Oh Wendy, I missed you so much!”

“Me too. Me too.”

They held each other in a tight embrace. They hadn’t seen each other in a year, and were so excited. Then, they were off to school!

Beatrice was nowhere to be seen. Apparently, Athena had already frightened her a year ago, when she beat her in that race after school. Athena was glad. But Athena couldn’t help but be annoyed by the millions and millions of questions her classmates asked. It seemed like Athena was more popular than last year. But when somebody needed help, she was always there. Athena became Super Speedy Girl! Sometimes, things could get pretty out of control.

But on a particular day, a Wednesday in fact, Athena was on her way to art class when Beatrice once again came up to her. This time, she smelled like fresh mint. Perhaps she had stolen a mint from somebody because she smelled pretty bad when she smelled like tobacco.

Is it just me, or did Beatrice get a little taller while I was gone? wondered Athena.

“Well, well, well. If it isn’t Little Miss Show-Off and the cowgirl,” said Beatrice. She had a huge smirk on her face and was towering over her by the second. “Ready to be beaten up?” She was cracking her knuckles.

Oh boy, thought Athena. “Well, if you’d excuse me, I should be on my way,” she said rather boldly.

“You know what? You’re a little baby. You always cry, and you always get what you want. Well –”

Athena started to get angry. She ran as fast as she could around Beatrice, creating a giant vortex. Beatrice was caught in the middle of it. When Athena stopped, she sent Beatrice flying all the way to the field. Just at that moment, Mr. Snickers, the principle, came out in time to see Athena send Beatrice flying.

“Excuse me, Miss Prince! Come to my office immediately!” he exclaimed.

“How dare you blast Miss Loop! Athena, you should know better after you went to A.S.K.” Athena was as still as a statue. Her lips were sealed.

“ I… I didn’t mean to, really. It’s just that (sniffle) she was making fun of me, and I didn’t like that!”

The principal was also still. “Unfortunately, I have to expel you from the school. I know this might be hard, but here at Dragon Academy, we cannot tolerate such behavior. After your last period, collect your things.”

Athena could have cried. But she still sat there, stone faced.

Since that horrid day, Athena had to leave Dragon Academy. She sobbed on that day. Everyone was very sad.  The school made cards for her, and some even bought her presents. All the teachers gave her little presents too. Finally, it was time for her to move on, even though she had to leave her best friend and some of her favorite teachers behind. This school just wasn’t for her anymore.

“Well, Wendy, I will miss you, a lot,” said Athena.

Goodbye Dragon Academy, hello Applewood Junior High, she thought as she drove away from Dragon Academy and would never have to see this school again. She wondered if the people at her new school would be just like her? Would she ever see Wendy again? She had many questions, but she would have to wait and see if they were true.

Ah Ha Moment

Hi, I am Will. I am the first male cheerleader at U.C.L.A.

My life was terrible before I decided to be a cheerleader. I got shaken down for lunch money every day. I wanted to be a doctor. I was torn. I liked being a cheerleader, but there were no professional male cheerleaders in the NFL.

Now that the Rams had just moved to L.A. the owner, Stan Kroenke, offered me a spot on the 2017 Rams cheerleading squad.

I was overjoyed. I raced home to tell my mom about the offer. My mom was not happy; she was the one who paid my U.C.L.A. bill because she is a doctor, and she wants me to be a doctor too. My mom said that I better decide to go to medical school.

At midnight, there was an emergency, and my mom was called to the hospital A.S.A.P. My mom made me go because she said it would be a good learning experience. We rushed to the Red Cross Hospital emergency room going 25 miles per hour above the speed limit. It did not matter because nobody was on the roads at this time of night, but still, this was one of the rare times that I was glad that my mom had chosen to be a doctor, not a professional race car driver.

When we got to the hospital, my mom ran into the emergency room, and I pulled out my phone. But the battery was dead, and I needed a charger, so I decided to ask my mom where a charger was. I knocked on the door, and she did not answer, so I walked into the room and saw my mom performing heart surgery!

I screamed, and that was when I decided to be a cheerleader, no matter how hard my mom tried to change my mind.

 

A TV Detective

There once was a detective who lived in multiple places, but today he was living in a castle. It was called Hogwarts. He was going to be filmed and questioned about what he did for a living, so he had to be ready. He had a list of questions that they were going to ask. The most exciting part was that if they liked it, they would put it on TV.

When they came, they interviewed him, and he loved it so much that he wanted to be on TV for a living. They thought it was so good that they offered him to be on TV. He made up his mind and went to get a job on the Real Detective Show.

Then, he did his show, but one day, a bunch of clowns invaded as a part of the show. How on Earth was he going to figure out how to solve the mystery? He went to complain that it wasn’t a mystery.

Then, it hit him. It was his job to figure out who the clowns were. He did fingerprints and everything, and finally, he had five suspects. It occurred to him that there were five clowns.

He had cracked the code. That meant more viewers, and more viewers meant more money. He was so excited and screamed so hard, people thought he was crazy.

 

Treemania

The pirates were being chased by the Eminadlian army. Eminadle was a terrible country ruled by the terrible king, King Fariton. King Farition was a ruthless King who wanted perfection. Every thing he did was, and had to be, perfect. Eminadle was a big kingdom that also specialized in perfection.

Now, these pirates that I was telling you about were led by the great Captain Madoline. Captain Madoline was a female (surprise, surprise) and led a crew of pirates called the Frustrated Failure. Their ship was called The Last Hope. The pirates spent their time raiding other ships and being chased by the Eminadlian army. Let me introduce you to the crew:  

There were twenty of them, including Captain Madoline. Captain Madoline was the bravest captain that sailed the seven seas. She was daring and adventurous. Bob was the brainiac of the crew and always knew what to do. Joe was the cook and cooked excellent meals. Mary was perky and always happy to help out. Bessie originally came from a ranch before she ran away to join the Frustrated Failure. Kate was mostly below deck and helped the seasick pirates. Billy kept an eye out for dangerous sea creatures. Sally kept an eye out for obstacles and other things the ship might bump into. James was always at the mast and kept an eye out for land, as well as the Eminadlian army. Ruth was the “maid” and made the beds and did the laundry. Dink was the cabin boy and swept the floor and helped the cook. Sam was the best with weapons and helped the other pirates train and exercise.  John was very friendly and came to the Frustrated Failure in search of adventure. Josh was the cook’s assistant and was very mischievous. Sara was the treasure keeper, had blue-streaked hair, and wanted the Vikings to win the Super Bowl. Spencer was the prison guard and was very easy going. Lillie was first mate and was very happy. Alex kept track of all the parrots and was called the Parrotman. Katie was happy and always cheerful. Steven was the shark bait. The pirates tied him up and lowered him in the water every time they wanted to catch a shark (they pulled him up just in time though).

***

One day, Sam said, “I am tired of running away. Why can’t we just stand and fight?”  This comment was met with murmurs of agreement. All of the crew was tired of running and ready for some excitement and fun.  

Bob piped up and said, “I have read in one of my books that there is an island called  Treemania. Why don’t we go there and fight?”  

Then, Captain Madoline came to where they were having their conversation. “What is Treemania?” she inquired.  

“Treemania is a giant treehouse that has all sorts of booby traps. How Treemania works, nobody knows. The treehouse seems to run on a secret power and is basically a giant fortress that protects people. It was made by the great magician, Allen Dor, to protect his family. In the fortress, there are ten levels. Once you pull the lever on the top level, every fifteen minutes, the treehouse will shake, and you must find something marked in blue to hold onto or to go into.”  Bob was a little out of breath after giving an explanation like that.  

“Let’s do it!”  cried Captain Madoline. “A new adventure awaits the Frustrated Failure!”  

“Hooray!” shouted the crew.  

“But be warned,” said Bob. “The treehouse is very hard to find because it is placed on a small, moving island that moves along in a large circle around the Bahamas.”

So the Frustrated Failure set sail for the Bahamas.

Finally, after a week of searching, James yelled, “Land ho!”

***

All the sailors excitedly peered over the edge of the ship. Behold! Before them was an island, and on it was the biggest tree they had ever seen. It took up the whole island!  And perched on top of that tree was a giant treehouse! The treehouse was built of strong wood and stone and was ten stories high, just as Bob had said. On the trunk of the tree to the treehouse was a stone staircase that was finely carved and decorated. The pirates were in awe as they stared at the treehouse. Captain Madoline parked The Last Hope on the island so it would not get left behind when the island started moving again.  

The crew gingerly climbed the staircase and entered Treemania. Treemania was even bigger than it had seemed on the outside. Inside the treehouse was all sorts of stuff. A giant set of monkey bars hung over a large gap. Under the floor, the crew heard sounds of splashing and grunting: crocodiles. The stairs were like the ones that they had used to climb up to Treemania. Each level had a different obstacle.  

The second level’s obstacle was a giant trapeze with platforms high above the ground, and if you fell, it was certain death (and crocodiles.)  

The third level had a maze that had cubbies and random spots colored in blue.  

The fourth was open, and the floor was covered in tiles, some blue and some not.  

The fifth level looked like a giant chess board with massive chess pieces. Some of the squares on the chessboard were blue.  

The sixth floor was just doors, but to confuse people, some of the doors were painted blue.  

The seventh floor was empty except for statues and some blue cubbies.  

The eighth floor was like a giant foosball set. Some of the players were red and had red tiles around them, and some were blue and had blue tiles around them.

The ninth floor was completely barren except for some patches marked in blue.  

The tenth floor was made up entirely of stairs, some of which were blue.

As the crew made their way up the steps, Captain Madoline kept a watchful eye out of each window for the Eminadlian army and King Farition. When they reached the tenth floor, which was helpfully stocked with a spyglass and window, Captain Madoline and the crew started searching for the switch to start the magic when they needed it. Finally, Sara found it beneath the top step, and it took the whole crew to lift the heavy step.

Suddenly, James, who was looking out of the window, exclaimed, “The Eminadlian army is here!” Everyone started panicking.  

“Calm down!” Captain Madoline yelled. “Nobody is going to get anything done by panicking.” The pirates quieted down immediately. “Sara, the minute they get in here, can you and Lillie flip the switch and make sure that the stair is fully covering the switch? We don’t want the pirates to see the switch and turn Treemania off. The rest of you, split up and go to different levels. Don’t waste any time. Let’s go, go, go!”  

The pirates split up and ran in different directions. Captain Madoline rushed downstairs, where the army was already climbing up the steps. King Farition strode in (perfectly of course), and Captain Madoline yelled, “Now!”

All the way upstairs, Sara and Lillie quickly flipped the switch and covered it with the step. The Eminadlian army swarmed into the treehouse. Captain Madoline and Bob fought for their lives while hanging from the monkey bars. After a while, Captain Madoline was dueling eight soldiers, and the rest of the crew were battling four.  

Suddenly, the treehouse gave a mighty shake, and most of the soldiers in the army fell onto their knees. Captain Madoline and Bob were hanging onto the only blue bars.  They sighed in relief as the other bars shook violently, making the soldiers fall into the lake filled with crocodiles.  

Meanwhile, on the second level, Katie and Joe were swinging from the trapeze and knocking down pirates. When the treehouse shook, Katie and Joe almost lost their grip, but they didn’t, and a trapdoor opened up, and all the soldiers fell through into a cage.

On the third floor, Ruth and Mary were running for their lives in the maze. When the treehouse shook, Ruth scrambled into a cubby while Mary ran into a spot covered in blue paint. A second later, logs came tumbling down into the maze, crushing the Eminadlian army.  

At the same time, on the fourth floor, Kate and Alex were fighting back to back, taking care to only step on the blue tiles. Every now and then, a parrot would fly out of Alex’s shirt pocket and bite a soldier’s finger. Later, when the tower shook, huge spikes poked out of all the tiles except the blue ones, poking painful holes in the soldier’s feet and giving Kate and Alex the upper hand in the fight.  

Billy and John were fighting on the fifth floor on top of a giant chessboard, only standing on the blue tiles. It was a good thing that they were doing so, because after the treehouse shook, the chess pieces started playing a very fast game of chess, squishing soldiers on the spot.  

On the sixth level, Sally and Steven were running through doors (only the blue ones, of course.) The soldiers, Sally, and Steven were bumping into one another and dueling every now and then. The pirates who were in white-doored rooms were in trouble because the doors stubbornly refused to open, trapping the pirates inside.  

Meanwhile, on the seventh level, Dink and Bessie were fighting and dodging statues. When Treemania shook, Dink and Bessie dived into a blue cubby as the statues came alive and started shooting the soldiers with laser beams. Dink and Bessie snickered in their sanctuary.  

Spencer and James, on the eighth level, were standing on blue tiles of a foosball set and swiping at the soldiers from behind the metal men. After the treehouse shook, the red men came to life and started kicking the soldiers out of the treehouse.  

On the ninth level, Josh and Sam were battling while trying to stay inside the blue patches. When the treehouse shook, giant bags of rocks came crashing down on top of the people who were not in the blue patches.  

Meanwhile, on top of all that, Lillie and Sara were jumping from step to step, avoiding swords and staying only on the two blue steps. While Treemania shook, the other stairs suddenly grew walls and were lifted out of the roof, where the stairs tipped and the soldiers fell into a lake of toothy eels and piranhas.

But one soldier managed to jump out of the box, and landed hard on the top step, which had not gone up as the rest did. The stone step fell away, and he turned off the switch. Immediately, the steps that were going up and in the process of dumping soldiers out came back to the ground, the wall around it disappeared, and soldiers streamed out. On every level, all the machines and stuff turned off and disappeared. The soldiers chased the pirates to the top level. Captain Madoline made a run for the switch, but was quickly stopped by a wall of soldiers guarding the switch.

“Do you have any last words, pirate?”  King Farition sneered. Suddenly, a ghost stepped out of nowhere.

“No, it can’t be…” Bob whispered.

“Who?” asked Captain Madoline, paralyzed by the funny ghost.

“It’s the ghost of Allen Dor!” exclaimed Bob, smiling. The ghost smiled at them, waved, and then flipped the switch again.

“Any last words, pirate?” King Farition pressed. He seemed to not have seen the ghost.

“Yes,” said Captain Madoline. “In the blue, we are as good as new!”

All of a sudden, Treemania gave another shake. All of the steps boosted up and dumped all of the soldiers in the lake, leaving the Frustrated Failure on the blue steps. After that, the Frustrated Failure made their permanent home on Treemania and lived happily ever after.

 

The Poison Hotdog

Act One

Scene 1

MOLE GIRL

What are you doing Buuck

BUCK

I’m just waiting in line for my hotdog, but now I think it will come up.

MOLE GIRL

What’s that supposed to mean. He yar. Sorry I have he yar ittis, hei.

BUCK

Yeah…

LUNCH LADY

Next in line for a hotdog, oh and just a reminder: one of these hotdogs is poisoned. As if I care, though.

BUCK

That’s mine. Bye!

LUNCH LADY

Here you go, uhgg it’s you.

BUCK

You hate everyone at this school.

LUNCH LADY

Next!

BUCK

Hi guys, guess who I ran into in line for lunch.

JACK

Creepy Mole girl.

JOESF

She has a name!

JACK

Yeah, but no one wants to know it.

BUCK

Ugh. This hotdog tastes horrible!

COOL CLAIR

I over heard some ones hotdog tastes horrid. Rumor says that if your h-dog tastes hor you have the poisoned one.

BUCK

My stomach hurts!

 

Scene 2

SCHOOL NURSE

It looks like you did get the poisoned hotdog. I’m afraid if this hotdog stays in your body you might have to go to the hospital!

BUCK

Do I  have school leave early today?

Joesf:  More importantly, will he be okay?

SCHOOL NURSE

Yes, and I’m sorry but maybe.

BUCK

Should I go and grab my backpack?

SCHOOL NURSE

Yes.

Scene 3

BUCK

Guys I’m really nervous, do you know if I’ll be okay?

JOESF

We don’t know, we know it’s okay to be nervous right now.

JACK

Don’t be a scaredy-cat. Be a cool-cat.

JOESF

Are you insane, or do you have brain problems?

BUCK

Guys we have to tell the teacher that I’m leaving early.

JACK

Don’t be a goodie two-shoes

BUCK

I’m just worried, what if I die. I feel pain within me. Dieing!

Act Two

Scene 4

JOESF

Buck just died from the poisoned hotdog.  

MOLE GIRL

Oh no! Buck is dead. I hate the Lunch Lady.

JACK

Yes, no one panic.

JOESF

Yes panic, Buck is dead.

MOLE GIRL

My highschool sweetheart. The Lunch Lady ruined my life!

Scene 5

PRINCIPAL DANTESI

How come one of your hot dogs are poisoned.

LUNCH LADY

You don’t care about these children as much as I do. I mean we both hate these children as much as I do.

PRINCIPAL DANTESI

True, but I and the school could be sued for a lot of money.

LUNCH LADY

I know, but what’s the biggest harm 1 poisoned hotdog can do.

PRINCIPAL DANTESI

He died! But since I don’t care you’re off the hook. Now let’s call the parents.

MOM

(off stage) Well hello there friend. I don’t mean if this call is to take time from your work. What’s this happy call at the middle of the day about?

PRINCIPAL DANTESI

(on stage)   Your son ate a poison hotdog made by the Lunch Lady and it killed him

MOM

My god. That’s so horrible. I call to have a moment with my husband.

Scene 6

MOM

I just got a call that are son has died from lunch.

POP

My dear Buck, dead. This is horrible.

MOM

The hotdog was made by their Lunch Lady.

POP

Well pardon my words, but we’ve got to sue that Lunch Lady.

MOM

We can’t sue her without going to court.

POP

Then we shall go to court.

MOM

I’ll make the call. Mmhmm.  Mmmhm. Thank you. Be ready for court tomorrow.

Scene 7

MOM

Your honoer, my son was innocently going to school when he had a poisoned hotdog and died all because of that stupid, dumb Lunch Lady.

JUDGE

I’m sorry, we are talking about a kid in this court so please don’t use those words.

LUNCH LADY

I didn’t know he would get the poisoned hotdog that I made, okay I did know he’d get the poisoned one I gave it to him.

JUDGE

Why did you give it to him?

LUNCH LADY

He was always Saying I hate everyone at the school and interrupting me and my thoughts.

JUDGE

I sentence you to 25 years in jail, and instead of you sueing her  she will pay everything for your son’s funeral. Now everybody can be happy (quietly) I hope!

           THE END

Gem Stones

 

           

TURQUOISE  

Green aqua
Turquoise but hard as a rock
Like any old rock
very very hard
So sooo solid it will knock your teeth

 

RUBIES

RED

  RUBY      RIGHTS

  RADIANT         RIGHTS

       RAFFINOSE                    RIGHTS

       RAINBOW             RIGHTS

   RING       RIGHTS  

ALL RIGHTS  

 

EMERALD

Green

Green elegant

Light as a candle burning

Or as dark as can be

So so so

green

A Tall Disaster

Hi, my name is Jack, and I am the world’s tallest person ever. I am 2,000 feet tall. I live in L.A., and I need magical powers. The world will be awesome if I get these powers. I mean awesome!! Water breathing, flying in outer space, breathing in smoke, strength to pick up 100,000 pounds, and the power to convince people. If I climb Mount Everest, there are plants at the top that will give me those powers. They’re so colorful. Only one person has gotten them before because they’re also on top of a tree. They also only give me those powers if they are over eighty degrees, since they are normally frozen. This is the story of my journey.

First, I climbed San Jacinto. I took a tram up to 8,000 feet. I had to put my head out the window!!! Round valley loop (check!), Wellmans Divide (check!), San Jacinto Peak (nope!) There was a huge gap in the trail. I tried to jump over to get past it, but another one appeared.

“Ugh,” l said, “It will get harder when it’s steep. It stopped happening after that, and it was amazing. I came back on the tram.

Next, I climbed Mount Whitney. I drove to Whitney. Outpost camp (check!), Trail camp (check!), Mt. Whitney summit (nope!) It was the same as San Jacinto peak, except with boulders falling. When I came back, I was relieved. I flew in my super tall, private jet to Mount Mckinley. I climbed it! Whew! Those were a crazy two hours. I had to hop on one foot at one point. I slid down the mountain. There was so much ice! I grabbed the trees to stabilize.              

I ran around the block two gazillion times. I was so sweaty! (Allow me to fly you to Mount Everest, reader). It was crazy!!! There were huge, giant, diamond rocks everywhere!!! Luckily, I could step over them.

Uh-oh, avalanche!!! Quick, step off the mountain, and lets fly in a helicopter to chop off the top of the mountain with an ax, I thought to myself. I ordered a helicopter through my walkie-talkie because the snow had gotten too thick. Maybe I should only chop off the tree with the plants because that’s all I need.

The helicopter flew over the mountain, and I reached out of the helicopter and grabbed the plants with my long arm. Once I had the plants, I warmed them up for ten seconds in the helicopter’s microwave. I smashed them up into tiny pieces and put them into water, and then I drank the water. I felt the same as before, but with a sudden excitement.

I flew down when suddenly, I felt dizzy. I was teleported to another galaxy! I knew I had powers because I could see Pluto far, far away. I floated around in my helicopter in space. I thought that I could use my powers to get back. With my finger, I pushed my new flying powers into a hole in the helicopter, and I zoomed back toward Earth.

When I was about halfway done with the trip, I realized I’d have to face the atmosphere. I knew I needed to stop the helicopter before I reached the atmosphere because I’d burn up. I could breathe underwater and in smoke now, so I didn’t have to worry about not being able to breathe — but I would burn up if the helicopter caught on fire.

I pushed my finger back into the hole and drew my powers back from the helicopter. It stopped. I was glad that it worked! Now, I needed to find special space bricks to build a wall around the helicopter so it didn’t burn up in the atmosphere. I knew about the space bricks because my astronaut friend had told me about them once.

I turned on the regular helicopter propellers and went slowly to the nearest moon. I saw a big gap in the moon and flew inside. Inside were tons of space bricks!! They looked like regular bricks, but they were nice and smooth on the outer layer, and they were fireproof on the inside. I felt super excited that I found them so quickly!

Now, I needed to figure out how to transport all of the bricks. I looked around and saw a lever. I pulled the lever, and it closed up the hatch from the inside! Now, I didn’t need to worry about the helicopter or the space bricks floating away with no gravity. Then, I grabbed the spare Super Glue and nails I kept in the helicopter and used them to build the bricks around the helicopter. From the inside, I put a stick of Clarify-er so I could see through the bricks.

I opened a window for a second and pulled the lever up to open the hatch. I closed the window and put my finger in the hole again to put my powers into the helicopter. Then, I flew back toward Earth. Things got scary in the atmosphere. I could see fire all around, and smoke came in through the cracks in the wall. Luckily, I could breathe in smoke because of my powers.  I was scared that the space bricks might not work — but they did!

I flew back down to the hotel I was staying at in Everest. I landed on top and climbed down the ladder. I was so relieved and tired, that I went back into my room and went to sleep.

The next day, I remembered that the helicopter was rented, so I returned it. I flew back to L.A. to convince every lawbreaker to not break the law because I had superpowers.

I had beaten the lawbreaker Baleee to the peak of Mount Everest to get these powers. He was the baddest lawbreaker, who broke every law. I knew that Baleee was in his submarine trying to escape me, so I picked a random lake and quickly found him. I had brought some space bricks with me to cover the windows so he couldn’t see. I got inside through the top door and finally convinced him to not break the law anymore. I took off the space bricks and returned to the surface!

L.A. was now free of crime, but the rest of the world still needed a persuasive man.

 

One Day 3 Million Trillion People Died

One day, three million trillion people died. It happened when they went to rock climb El Capitan at Yosemite National Park. I was the person who cracked my head open and sliced my knees open. There was so much blood all over the mountain that we could not climb it. I also sliced my whole arm off, so then I went down in the storm with blood pouring. I was so scared when I went down. There was this guy who got his head cut off by a giant avalanche and other body parts sliced open.

Someone jumped off the top of the mountain and died. She was the best friend I ever had. Her name was Jackie, and the mountain had made her cuckoo-cuckoo. It made me the saddest person in the world. When I went to the hospital, I was hurt so badly that the doctor had to give me a robot arm. He told me to take it easy, but Jackie would want me to keep climbing because it was our favorite thing to do.

My next challenge was Mount Everest, so my group and I got on a plane to Asia to climb it. As we climbed the mountain, three people died with no peace, and I saw blood and only blood. Then I got hit by an avalanche and I got tumbled around a lot, but I escaped. When we hit camp, there was blood everywhere on the people and tents. The tents broke out of the snow because of the avalanche and got dragged away into the 30,000-foot-deep cracks. The group started screaming because there was so much blood, and some died. I was hurt badly but I could still climb the mountain.

When we got to the top, we could not breathe without oxygen tanks. I found out too late that the climbers had gone cuckoo-cuckoo and did not bring their tanks, so everyone else died, but not me. All of the people dying did not scare me, because I liked hurting myself. The plan was to go to Devil’s Tower in Wyoming next. So, I got a new group there. When we climbed we had to do the splits and it hurt, then everyone fell down and we just got so many scratches and people broke so many bones.

Then we went to Rushmore. I climbed it, but then fell off one of the faces to the bottom and broke two legs and two arms, covered in blood. I badly wanted to go to the hospital so medics came to bring me to the hospital. When they checked me I also dented my head all the way. Then after that day in the hospital I started to pour blood out of my body, and bones were sticking out of my body. Then the bed was covered in blood everywhere. I was in so much pain that I fainted. Then I got out of bed, still pouring blood out of my body and bones sticking out of my body. So we had to fix them up so I could climb the next mountain, so my doctor fixed them up so I could climb the next mountain.

The next mountain I wanted to climb was Death Wall. It is 5,000 feet above the ground. It was so snowy and we couldn’t climb it with rope. So we went up by bouldering the mountain. It was dangerous because if we fell, we would kill ourselves. There was a giant avalanche, and three million people tumbled down to the bottom of the Death Wall. They were bloody and dead. I felt really sad that everybody had died, but I earned $34,343,434,343,434 for risking my life. The guy who gave us money was a soldier. He gave away his money because he was cuckoo, but he didn’t have any more money so he went back to war and shot a lot of people.

I bought the biggest resort ever with the money. It was the world’s most boring place. I missed climbing mountains, so I decided to go join the soldier in war to help him fight and win the war against Argentina. Our countries were fighting because we hated each other and liked to fight.

In the war against Argentina, the other side had much better weapons. I did not have a gun, and I only had knife. I asked the soldier, “What should we do? Maybe we should not fight and just go.” Just then, the soldier got a rock stuck in his neck and stomach so he died cause he could not breathe.

Now I had to say something else to him. “I hate you!” I hated him because we wouldn’t win the war, and I wouldn’t get enough money.

I went home after the war. I couldn’t climb mountains any more because I got sick. I wanted to die like crazy because my life was so bad since I couldn’t climb anymore. One day I started to bleed when my robot arm fell off, broke, and shattered all over the floor. My bone was sticking out, and blood started to pour out. My bones cracked into pieces and I started to choke like crazy. I was paralyzed and I knew I was dying.

My ghost couldn’t remember anything from my life, so it started saying bad words. But then I saw Jackie and I started to remember when I climbed all my mountains. I finally felt happy.

Thanksgiving Turkey

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

(Only one day until Thanksgiving)

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

(The day of Thanksgiving)

 

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

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

 

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

Sucked In

Chapter 1

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“I’m in here!” I yell.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Chapter 2

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

“Where are we?” my sister asks.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Ah!” we scream, and race to her aid.

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

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

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

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

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

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

“The dwarves,” says Snow White standing up.

“Oh right,” my sister mutters.

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

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

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

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

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

“Yeah.”

“Um, I’ve been thinking –– ”

“Yeah.”

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

I’m silent.

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

I think. Then I gasp.

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

 

Chapter 3

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

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

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

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

“How do we pay?” she asks.

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

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

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

“Arra!” I exclaim.

“Mmm?” she asks.

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

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

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

“She’s my cousin. She –– ” I stammer.

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

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

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

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

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

 

Chapter 4

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“And what would those be?”

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

“Why?”

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

“You mean you do –– ”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Birds

Bluejays chirping at my window,

Waking me up from sleep,

I stay awake because I want to hear them.

 

The sound of their wings fluttering

makes me want to come out,

They turn to stare at me,

Making me feel like I did something wrong.

 

Then I stare back into their beady brown eyes,

And remember that they love their food,

 

So I go back inside,

Finding breadcrumbs from my toast to give them.

 

I sprinkle crumbs all over the yard.

They dive for their food,

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

I laugh merrily.

 

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

I say goodbye,

And they seem to do the same,

 

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

 

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

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

It was as long as my arm!

I picked it up and went back to them,

Where they fought for their food,

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

 

I laughed for what seemed the hundredth time,

And I ran towards them for a game of tag,

Where they took off.

 

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

I don’t realize where I am,

I just feel like I want to play,

And you know what?

No matter how many times they beg me for food,

Or how many times they woke me up,

I love them.

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

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

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

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

“Finally!!!” I shouted. I peeked in.

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

My Home

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

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

It makes me upset because

 

My home is where I belong,

It is the place where I live,

And where I store everything.

I love my house.

 

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

The light shining through the windows,

Everything just so…

It makes me feel cozy.

 

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

I can cook for hours,

I hear the wind and I bake.

 

My dining room is where I eat,

spend time with my family,

And talk all day with them.

I can play and have fun at the table too.

 

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

The couch is cozy,

The chairs are soft.

 

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

I always feel sad to leave.

Camp River

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Camp River?” I asked.

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

“Alex and Josie.” I confirmed.

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

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

“Sure thing,” Raymond said.

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

“Why?”

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

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

 

 * * *

 

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

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

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

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

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

 

* * *

 

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

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

 

  * * *

 

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

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

“What’s up?” I ask. “What happened?”

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

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

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

“If every guy was supposed to do that with every chick, you’d have a flock of guys around you. Maybe like two billion.” I said.

“You’re such a class act jerk,” Josie said. “Screw you.” And she stomped off into the depths of the dining hall. But I didn’t feel ashamed of myself. She wasn’t really my friend, anyway. Maybe she was my “friend.” Should I feel ashamed? I go back to eating dinner until one of the other boys, Lukas, taps my shoulder.

“What happened back there?” he asked, puzzled.

“Nothing you need to be involved with,” I said. “Just a situation with a friend of mine.”

“A girl?” he asks.

“Yeah. So?” I sassily reply.

“Treating girls like crap won’t get you anywhere here.” he said. Why should I listen to Lukas though? Sure, this isn’t his first year here, but what would he know about my particular situation?

“You’re right, but what does it matter here?” I ask. “This is summer camp, not behavioral school.”

“Well, why won’t you treat people with respect?” he asked. “You’re kind of being a jerk… you don’t want to respect people.”

“Who are you to call me a jerk?” I ask, angrily. “Shut up!” And he turns away and continues to eat, and when I turn to my right to see him, I can see some small tears swelling inside his eyes. He is probably known for being the most sensitive in the bunch, anyway. He has a tendency to get really emotional. What a wimp.

 

  * * *

At 7:30, the dining hall was dramatically different than what it was earlier. A silver, glittery disco ball was hanging from the middle of the ceiling, and there were tons of tables spread all across the room. There was another table with food and soda and a big dance floor in the smack center. In fact, there were already even people on it! And to the corner was a DJ spinning some music on an old-school turn-table, which was pretty cool, I have to admit. The music got louder and more people started to crowd onto the dance floor. There were so many people, in fact, mostly nobody could find their way around.

Luckily, I could see Sophie, in a pink dress, alone in the corner of the dance floor, dancing by herself. Now was the perfect opportunity. I dropped everything and walk to her, weaving in and out of the crowd. I finally made my way over to her. My heart started rapidly thumping, and sweat starts to pump. When I reached her, I held out my hand.

“Would you like to dance?” I said, not sure if I would regret it.

“No” she said, her face turning angry and disappointed, which definitely caused my heart to drop and made me regret the effort I put into running through the forest.

“But why?” I asked, with expectation for a good reason.

“My best friend told me that you weren’t being that nice,” she said, her face angry. “That’s not acceptable. Not in a million years I would dance with you.”

“Who is your friend?”

“Josie.” Shit.

“Oh…” I said, then when she turned her head, I turned off and ran, weaving in and out of the crowd, but then made my way out of the dining hall. When I was far in a corner behind the hall, where nobody could see me, and started to cry. Crying in disbelief, regret, and overall sadness. Why did this happen? Was it me? Why am I asking, of course it was. Girls don’t want to hang out with jerks. It’s all logic. It turns out that my actions really do affect the outcomes of situations. What have I done?

 

 * * *

Later that cold night, I hear a few footsteps and turn to see a kid of no recognition to me but older than me, walking towards me. The cold air brushes against my face. He told me that he had been informed of the situation, but what he said to me that night changed the rest of my life and the rest of the decisions I would make for the rest of my session. “Disrespect does not find you well at Camp River.”

Kitty Ranchero’s Adventures

Part 1

There lived a kitten named Kitty Ranchero. He had gray fur, black stripes, and dark gray spots on his belly. He lived in a duplex near a rain forest with a nice man and woman. They didn’t have any children, but they did have a dog named Emma and another kitten named Perry, who was Kitty Ranchero’s sister.

 

Part 2

He wanted to find his sister, Perry. He wanted to find her because she ran away. She ran away because a guy named Todd saw Perry outside, thought she was a stray cat, and tried to capture and keep her as a pet.

There was a forest by their house so he thought she would run that way. He started to sneak out of his house and find Perry. When he walked into the forest, he realized that it was a rain forest. As soon as he got there, he realized that he forgot to pack up some stuff. So he ran back and packed up some green gum, tooth paste, some bug spray, and some magazines just in case.

When he finally got back to the rain forest, he started his search for Perry. It was cold and windy in the rain forest.

Part 3

The next day he started looking for Perry. Shortly into his journey — ROAR! Tigers jumped out from behind a bunch of bushes and wouldn’t let Kitty Ranchero go through. He was terrified but managed to pull green gum out of his backpack.

“This green gum is delicious. Would you like a piece?”

While the tigers were chewing Kitty Ranchero ran around them as fast as he could go. When he was safe he stopped to catch his breath at a river. But then he remembered that he hated water, and he couldn’t swim. He saw lily pads and walked across them.

He started to get very concerned about his sister. He was worried that she was alone and scared in the cold. He worried that she didn’t have any food or someplace warm and dry to sleep. It was later and darker. So he curled up in a pile of leaves under a plum tree. He dreamed of finding Perry, and going back home, and living happily ever after. But then he woke up and realized that he was still in the rain forest. He felt sad and cried for a while.

But then he heard a monkey in the distance. He heard the monkey say, “Hello. Are you lost?”

“I’m trying to find my sister, Perry. Have you seen her?” Kitty Ranchero asked.

“Wait. I think I saw a kitty. Is she light grey with blue eyes?”

Kitty Ranchero got excited and said, “You saw her? Can you please take me to her?”

“Okay. Climb up this tree and I’ll take you right to her.”

“But I can’t climb up trees,” he said sadly. “I’m a kitten.”

“How about you stay down there, and I’ll jump from tree to tree, and you can follow me from the ground.”

“Okay. Sounds good,” Kitty replied.

Kitty Ranchero started to follow the monkey through the rain forest. The monkey led him to a pond.

“Wait,” said the monkey. “I thought I saw Perry. Where is she?”

Kitty Ranchero felt angry and said, “Thanks for nothing! I’m just gonna go find Perry myself.”

“Okay,” the monkey said. “I like your snaggletooth.”

“Thank you. Sorry I got frustrated. I know you were just trying to help but I’m so worried about my sister. How about both of us keep trying to find her.”

“Okay. Let’s go.”

After a long day of searching they finally went to sleep on top of a tree. Unfortunately, there were mosquitoes everywhere and they couldn’t sleep. Kitty Ranchero asked the mosquitoes, “Hey, you guys want a bath?”

And the mosquitoes replied, “Sure! We’re pretty stinky!”

“Let’s climb down the tree and I’ll give you a bath in the pond.”

Once they get to the pond Kitty Ranchero pulled the bug spray from his backpack, aimed it at the mosquitoes and said, “You wanna a piece of this?”

And then he sprayed them in the face. The mosquitoes immediately started coughing and they flew away.

“Let’s never come back here again!” the mosquito leader said. 

Then, Kitty Ranchero climbed back up the tree.

“That was a great idea!” the monkey said. “Where’d you get that bug spray?”

“My teacher gave it to me at Kitty-garden,” said Kitty Ranchero.             

“Cool,’’ replied the monkey. Then, they both fell asleep on top of the tree.

The next morning they continued looking for Perry. Then they saw a dark and scary house in the middle of the jungle.

“I see Perry,” said Kitty Ranchero excitedly. There were vines and ripped curtains. Kitty Ranchero saw Perry in a cage with people guarding her.

“Wow, what’s going on?” said the monkey. Then a guy started chasing Kitty Ranchero and the monkey away. While they were running, Kitty Ranchero said, “By the way, I didn’t catch your name.”

“My name is Tails,’’ replied the monkey.

“I like that name,” said Kitty Ranchero. The guy, who had black ripped clothes, stopped chasing them because he was tired.

The people who were guarding Perry took her into the scary house. Before the door closed Kitty Ranchero and Tails ran inside quickly. When he got inside they saw that it was dark. They could barely see a thing. But then they saw a shadow of a man holding a lantern so they hid behind a box that said, “OPEN.” As the man passed by the box he smelled Tails and he almost got close to finding them but luckily, they ran through the hallway where the man came from. In the hallway they saw an open door leading into a room. And to their shock, Perry was locked in a cage right inside the room!

Kitty Ranchero’s eyes popped wide open.

“This is easy. Let’s just walk inside,” Tails said.

“But we don’t have the key to unlock the cage,” Kitty Ranchero said, “And there might be booby-traps!”

“Just come on, Kitty Ranchero.”

As they walked in the room, Kitty Ranchero stepped on a button on the floor and a cage with a gorilla in it dropped down from the ceiling and landed right in front of Kitty Ranchero. He screamed like a little girl.

“Whoa, whoa, whoa. What was that?”

“That was me,” Kitty Ranchero said, embarrassed. But then he remembered that gorillas loved magazines. So he took a magazine from his backpack and handed it to the gorilla through the bars.

“Here. You will love this magazine about a girl gorilla that you might want to go out on a date with.”

“Thanks!” the gorilla replied.

While they were talking, Tails found the key to Perry’s cage in a little box that was sitting on a table. Kitty Ranchero was so happy. Tails opened the cage and then Kitty Ranchero hugged Perry. But then Kitty Ranchero realized… it was a fake Perry! It was a robot!

Fake-Perry said, “Intruder!”

Kitty Ranchero and Tails ran out screaming like women. They were sad when they left, but then, one of the guards saw them. He said, “What are you doing in here?”

They ran out of the scary house. Outside they saw an evil king, who looked really ugly with a weird, small, stinky palm tree growing on his head. He was hovering over Perry, who laid in the grass. The evil king had big muscles and he was holding a knife to Perry’s throat.

Kitty Ranchero saw this and ran over to the evil king. He slapped his butt! The evil king turned around and got really mad.

Kitty Ranchero said, “Who are you looking at?”

“Did you spank my butt?” the evil king said. He was about to cut Kitty Ranchero with the knife, but Kitty Ranchero was so fast, he grabbed Perry and ran away with her.

Tails yelled behind them, “Hey! Wait up!”

They hid behind a tree and Kitty Ranchero said, “Are you okay, Perry?”

Perry started laughing and said, “I can’t believe you didn’t find me!”

Kitty Ranchero was confused. “How could we have found you?” he said. “You were so far away!”

Perry said, “That’s not a king, and those are not guards! Those are just friends, and they’re pulling a prank on you.” She told Kitty Ranchero that they set up all those obstacles themselves.

Kitty Ranchero was so surprised. “What?” he said. “I came all this way for nothing?”

“What’s going on?” Tails said.

“Never mind,” Kitty Ranchero said.

Tails said, “I’m getting out of here.”

Kitty Ranchero and Perry walked back home laughing. Kitty Ranchero felt both mad and happy at the same time.

When they got home, their master asked, “Where were you, dude?”

Kitty Ranchero cocked his head to the side. Emma, the dog, started to laugh and said, “I know all about this.” And the whole family, including the owners, posed for a picture.

Diary of a Rebel

Chapter One

New Year’s Day

January 1st, 2016

 

Dear diary,

I’m pooped. Pooped, as in tired. Very tired. Last night, I got to stay up until 12:00, (because last night was New Year’s Eve), in Times Square, watching the ball drop. I’m Nola H. Anderson, citizen of Manhattan, New York. The troublemaker of the family. I’m twelve going on thirteen. I have a twin sister. An honest truth about her is that even though I was born after her, she got a bigger name: Grace Isabella Bella Hinder Anderson. She also has sweeping blond hair, perfect teeth, and the softest baby blue eyes I have ever seen. Someone once called her the class model. Me, no way. I have braces, frizzy brown hair, and murky green colored eyes. Someone in third grade called me an elephant mixed with a chicken.

In life, all I want is for people to treat me equally. That will be hard because I’m in middle school, specifically seventh grade. And I’m a trouble maker. Well, my best friends are basically the only friends I have at Homer Middle School: the one and only Ella, a girl I met in the second grade, Kone, a dude on my block, and Mia, my mom’s best friend’s daughter. Those guys stick by my side, although I’m sort of worried about our relationship. Maybe it’s just because we’re getting older, and people change. I’m going camping with them tomorrow night in a suburb of New York. I feel like I’ve known them forever, although it’s only been eight years. Gotta go, I have to pack. Wait, where are my boots?!

 

Chapter Two

The annual camping trip

January 2nd, 2016

 

Dear awesome diary,

 

I’m so excited! Ella, Kone, Mia, Ella’s parents, and I will be at the campgrounds in fifteen minutes! I have out my camera, my card deck, and my travel puzzles to use on the ride there. I can’t believe that today is only the second day of 2016! I’m on winter break, so it makes sense. Ella is making earrings in the way back of the Jeep, Mia and Kone are giving each other massages, and I’m playing solitaire in the way back. My sister had to go to this Girl Scout Camp thingy (with all of her besties) that is supposedly a lot of fun. I’m in Girl Scouts too, but I didn’t want to go. I had plans. Take that, Girl Scout Camp! Anyway, the ride to the campgrounds is two hours, so we spent a third of the time playing “Create a Sentence,” a third of it looking out of the windows and telling jokes, and a third of the time doing what we’re doing now. We are already having tons of fun, and we’re not even there yet!

I had this really weird dream last night that really worried me. It was of a girl who got stuck in a convenience store. It scared me. A figure had just appeared when Mom woke me up. I hope that dream didn’t mean anything.

 

Dear diary,

We get to the campground at 5:00. We unload all of the bags from the trunk. It’s beautiful here! There are grassy hills (perfect for rolling on), a lake, and snow everywhere! There is even a mini stove on the rocky ground where we’ll probably cook!

We pop open our big fold out tents (woof, it’s hard), and I have to bunk with Mia. Ella is bunking with her mom, and Kone is bunking with Ella’s dad. I love all the bugs here (they’re fun to play with), except for the mosquitos. I’m pretty sure I have sweet blood. Every time I go camping, or try to go camping, I get mosquito bites all over my body.

At night, we watch a basketball game. I sit next to Mia and she huddles under the blanket that we share. The Golden State Warriors crush the Houston Rockets. I wear my Stephen Curry jersey and sparkly black leggings. I don’t really care who wins, but I’m cheering for them because I’ve always wanted to tour California. Also, my family cheers for the Rockets, majorly, but I don’t want to be teased if I wear my jersey. Anyway, the game is fantabulous. Everyone is cheering for the Golden State Warriors, because one of the players on the team is Mia’s uncle. The game ends with a whopping score of 121 to 94. We all screamed and yelled when the Warriors won, but I secretly feel weird because my parents will think that I would be cheering for the other team.

We have a glow stick party in the dark while listening to music. We listen to dancing and neon stripes were flying around the grounds, people thinking that we were crazy, but do we care? NO. We fall fast asleep at ten o’clock, after brushing our teeth and putting on our pajamas, and a good pillow fight. My pillow bursts open and the feathers flew everywhere. They cover Ella’s parents, and I have to admit, it is funny. Thank goodness I have an extra pillow.

 

Chapter Three

The next day

January 3rd, 2016

 

Patient diary,

 

I’m tired! This morning, I wake up at 11:00. (I checked my watch.) Mia wakes me up by splashing freezing cold lake water on my face. Rude!

Anyway, the others are already making breakfast, which is pancakes, and they all say “Good morning, konnichiwa,” and Ella calls me bedhead.

We eat breakfast, play lots of board games, swing in the hammock that the McDonald’s has hung up in between two trees, and braided lots of hair. I’m a hair fanatic, so I end up braiding all the hair. As for Kone and Mr. McDonald, they play Uno. Kone wins. After that, we listen to Gwen Stefani and Bruno Mars.

My iPhone rings. Doo-woop! Doo-woop! I pick the phone up and looked at the number: (323) 921-1008. My sister! Doesn’t she know I’m camping?!! I pick it up anyway.

“Hello?” I ask. “I’m camping.”

“I know … ” she says. “I was just wondering how’re you doing. Cut me some slack. At camp, we have been doing crafts. I slept in ‘till 6 a.m. What time did you wake up?”

“Eleven. Oh. We’re making friendship bracelets. Gotta go. Bye.”

“Bye, oh, by the way, a girl secretly said she doesn’t like you. Toodle-oo,” she says, and hangs up disappointedly.

I frown and roll my eyes. I run to the friendship bracelet circle. Mia has saved me a spot behind her. As I’m making my bracelet, I totally forgot that I was still doing half of the stitches wrong. My design is the Chinese staircase, which is purple and blue, and the one Ella is making me a “friendship” special, which was the crow formation, which looks like a V, in red, white, and blue.

I end up getting pushed in the deep end of the lake after lunch. SO cold. I’m even shivering as I write this. Here’s how it happened, we were eating ham and cheese sandwiches, Kool Aid, and popsicles. The afternoon sun was shining on our sunburnt faces as we laughed and talked. I had mentioned that I was really warm, and that the Kool Aid was refreshing. That’s when Ella got the idea. Mia, Ella, and Kone started whispering. Then they laughed. When everyone finished lunch, they lured me to the deep end of the lake. I didn’t know what I was in for. Mia told me a fascinating story about a fish, I got distracted, and they pushed me in. When the cold water hit my face, I stopped daydreaming and screamed. I fell into the water and rushed back up for air. How could they do this to me?! I was so angry I felt like I could rip my head off. My clothes were soggy. I decided to get them back.

That night, at one in the morning, I ruffle through my duffle bag to get whipped cream, syrup, and crushed up toilet paper. (You never know what is in my bag.) I sneak up to Mia and swirl the whipped cream on her face as she slept, hoping that she doesn’t notice. I creep into Ella’s tent and secure a bucket of syrup to the zipper on the door of Ella’s tent. Then, stealthily, I tiptoe into Kone’s tent. He is fast asleep. I sprinkle the toilet paper into the mobile heater and aim the heater toward Kone’s face. I unzip the tent and fly back to my own tent, lay down, and fall straight asleep. I fall asleep knowing that the kids are the first people to get up, and to do the morning routines that my pranks were set up for. Told you I was a troublemaker.

 

Chapter Four

The day when leaving the campgrounds

January 4th, 2016

 

Dear delightful diary,

 

I wake up at 6:00 (not normal for me), and I sit outside of the tents, on the benches next to the unlit fire. Mia is the first to come out of her tent, face splattered in whipped cream. She is cursing under her breath so that I won’t hear her. She is mad, but I don’t care. She knew she would get it anyway. Then Kone comes. His bedhead hair is in knots, with teeny-tiny bits of toilet paper in his hair. He is as mad as he will get, arms crossed and scowling at me. In his ducky pajamas. I laugh. Hysterically. Ella comes out, drenched in syrup, hair soaking and clothes stuck to her sticky body. Ella’s hair is dark, dark, brown, and it has little glittering spots on the tips. Her tiny bunny slippers have been syruped, and her stuffed bear, is mounted on her jutted-out hip, frowning.

“We get it, you got us back. I’m sorry. We didn’t mean to poke fun at you,” Kone said.

All of them frown. They go to the campground’s walk-in closet to get their stuff. Then they go to the restrooms to change. They all come out fresh and new. Ella appears. Ella’s beady brown eyes glitter in the morning sunlight like dew on a freshly mowed field. I am flipping through a Teen 13 magazine while waiting for the people to finish. When Kone comes out, his mohawk is perfectly gelled in place as is if the wave of his hair had never parted. When Mia comes out, she looks so pretty. She has a white dress with pink little flowers and sparkling show-toe sandals. She has on her little silver earring studs and a silver chain that has her initials on it.

We eat breakfast next to the lake, promising not to push each other in. We laugh like normal, not planning to gang up on each other any more. Then the McDonalds get up, tired and stretching from their sleep. They have sleep in their eyes, and are yawning like crazy. I think they don’t have an alarm clock. We check the time, and start to pack.

I load my light, purple duffle bag into the van. I climb into the way back of the blue van, buckle my seatbelt, and flopped back onto my blue pillow that I fluffed up seconds before. I start to doze off when Ella and Mia get into the car. They are talking loudly, but I can barely hear what they were saying. I open my eyes and yawned. That’s when they notice that I am trying to sleep. They quiet down, and I fall right back asleep. Until the motor starts. But after that, I am asleep for the rest of the ride.

When we get home, it’s starting to get dark out. It is dim and gloomy. I am the first to get dropped off. I look at my green one-story house, and to my bedroom window. It is shaded off with my pink curtains. Ella is walking me down my stone path and to my red front door. My mom opens the door and, with her curly brown hair on my shoulders, hugged me with all of her might. I gently pushed her off of me and she grabbed my bags.

I step into my house, in front of the cushioned couch and as soon as I peer into the kitchen, my dad yells, “Nola?!”

My sister hears this and she steps out of her neat, clean, room, and screams the same thing. She runs into my arms like I’m her long-lost twin. But only part of that is true. The twin part. Not the long-lost part. But she still runs into my arms. I push her off too, because she was just mean to me over the phone. I jog into my room hoping not to get hugged by my little brother, but it was hopeless.

He runs out of his room, and he screamed in his four-year-old high-pitched voice, “Nooolllaaa.”

He jumps on my back like he always does, because, in his own mind, he is a monster. I walk into my room and hold my pillow tight. I flop down on my twin-sized bed.

“Freedom. Please. Help me. I just need a little freedom for a day. I know I have already got a lot of it, but that’s not the same. Just a little, by myself. In the big world.”

My sister peeks her head into my room. “Whaddya say?”

“Nothing. Go away.”

“Okay. Sorry.”

She nods and went out. She shuts my door and goes out. I look at my pendant collection and cry. For no stupid reason. I look at the photos of me and her and cry some more. I fall asleep without dinner. I know right then that something creepy is going on.

 

Chapter Five

The convenience store

January 5th, 2016

 

Dear diary,

 

I wake up with a weird feeling in my stomach. It feels something like a stomachache. I eat breakfast slowly. Oatmeal and orange juice. My father is reading the newspaper when he tells me to go to a stupid mall for a few hours to pick out whatever I want. Weird. He gives me some money and off I go. The mall is right down the street from our house, so I take the sidewalks. 

I get to the big mall with its enormous glass doors and its brick building. When I get there I close my eyes and pray that I won’t go crazy. But I do. I go into absolutely every store in the mall until I come up with a list of what I want to buy. And I buy all of the stuff on the list. After I spent hours in there, and when I have a little money left, I come across an old convenience store that is still in shape.

I don’t hear the warning over the loudspeaker that said, “Two minutes till closing. Two minutes till closing.”

I step into the old convenience store and the shopkeeper is nowhere to be found. He probably went to the restroom or is on break. The walls of the store are brick, like in many movies. On the walls there are pictures of comics. All of the stuff from movies. The store is filled with costumes and fantasy outfits that glamour queens like my sister would flip over.

I run through the aisles of costumes, slowly ruffling them. There are hats on top of the costumes, and stilettos, vans, converse, and different types of shoes, of all colors, shapes and sizes are piled under each costume neatly.

Nor do I hear the announcement that says “Closing. We are now closing.”

Busy going through the silver tiaras. Quiet footsteps tiptoe into the room. The shopkeeper’s quiet ding-a-ling of his keys was too quiet for me to hear, but I hear a faint ring. His keys are sticking out of his pocket, I can see it out of the corner of my eye. The footsteps stop and I hear a little slam of a metal door and a turning of keys in a lock.

Five minutes later I jump up from daydreaming and walk out to the front of the tiled shop. I try to open the door, but they look like they are super-glued together! But they aren’t. They were locked! I bang with all of my might but I can’t get out. I bang for five minutes and by the end my hands are throbbing and my ears are ringing. I walk into an aisle and sink down to the hard, concrete floor. I guess I am in here for now. I look at the friendship bracelet Ella made me and sigh. My friends pop into my head and I close my eyes. I think about the fun camping trip we had (other than the pranking part), and I smile.

“Hello.” A voice was heard that sounded like Ella’s. “I suppose you need help.”

I turn around and stare. There is a masked person in black staring at me. I know that Ella can scheme, but I can’t believe that this is happening. She can prank and everything. Planning too. She tricked me.

The Facts I Learned About Jupiter

Hi! My name is Malia de Pario. I am twelve years old. I have blue eyes and strawberry blond hair because I used to dye my hair, because I thought it was ugly. But it was washed off, and I got tired of dying my hair. A long time ago I thought my hair was ugly, so I dyed it red. One day I went to the beach and while I was surfing I fell in the water and the dye washed out. That is why it is strawberry blond, and not red.

I have a Saturn report I need to accomplish before I go to my gymnastic competition in fifty-five minutes, so I guess I should get to it. I have been doing gymnastics since age three. I love it! It makes me feel all grown up. I am so nervous because anything can go wrong, any second of the competition. I look up facts about Saturn and things popped up about Jupiter! I feel so annoyed and irritated! Anyways, I’m so tired and dizzy (because my practices for gymnastics are so hard) but I decide to read one link anyway, and this is what it says:

Calling All Kids! Here Are Some Facts About Jupiter You Need To Read!

Jupiter is the biggest planet in the Milky Way. Jupiter is the fifth planet from the sun. Jupiter was named after the king of the Roman gods.

 I read on and it’s the best nonfiction story I have ever read. I love it because it is so interesting! And it relates to my life so much because I am a nerd (I love school). Suddenly my mom calls and says I have a gymnastic competition in a few minutes, so we have to go in one minute. I feel so irritated and mad with myself! Argh!  I totally forgot about my Saturn report for school! Help me! OMG!

Hummingbird

I look outside my kitchen window,

hoping to see the sun.

The day is beautiful,

kids play tag across the street.

 

The neighbors’ wind chime whistles,

singing melodies.

The breeze is delightful,

swaying all the trees.

 

I look at my garden,

at the hummingbird feeder.

A little hummingbird whizzes past,

seeming to say hi.

 

I watch it fly up,

then fly down.

It sips the sparkling red juice

from the feeder.

 

It shakes its head

from the sweetness,

then comes over to my window,

and gives me a small kiss.

 

It sways,

flies back to the feeder.

It feeds,

and flutters away.

The Town of Randomness

Chapter 1: The Alliance

I crouched under a stone table as a laptop hit the ground. On the back, it had the emblem of my sworn enemy. The Swastika of Hitler and his reckless Nazi party. Then I realized Hitler and all the other terrorists that have ever lived were alive currently, right now. I told you this town was random. Suddenly, my back throbbed and I looked behind me. There he was. I knew what was to be done, and I did it. I jumped on top of the table, and my heart stopped beating. I fell off the table, my head splitting on a rock. I woke up. “It was just a dream.” I thought. But I was wrong. My nightmare had found its way out of my head, and it possessed my world. My roof was on fire. There were holes in my skin with splintered bone sticking out, and I shivered. I looked outside and saw the reason I fell off the table. Mahatma Gandhi was Hitler’s ally.

Chapter 2: The Liquid

Out of the blue, an enormous, blue-green, earsplitting UFO crashed into my house sending metal and Astro-Glass, which is a combination of glass and iron, everywhere. All that was left of it was one wall and a few windows. It turned into the Western Wall like in Jerusalem when Judah and his Maccabee gang ran out from behind it.

I felt a flush of warmth as they attacked with fierce, hostile strikes from their swords and staffs. They did a great job of preventing Hitler and Gandhi from reaching their destination, or point of interest, which was my house. But soon, my warmth turned to stone cold fear as Hitler tied my brother and sister to dynamite, which was tied to a chain, which was being lowered into an unidentified liquid, as the scientists said later on.

I threw a handcrafted diamond tipped drill bit at the iron chain, jumped up, caught my brother, and missed my sister as she was absorbed into a murky, brownish-green liquid that looked as if it were venom. A few chunks of happiness went in and out of my heart because I didn’t like her, but I also lost her. My brother, whom I caught for two reasons. One was because he is three and I wanted to stop his awful wailing. Two was because he is a little kid and I didn’t want him to get hurt.

I plunged into the poison after my sister was sucked into it, and my life changed, starting that day, that minute, that second, that nano-second.

Chapter 3: Arcade Machine

It was dark, with dim pixel-like chandeliers. There were video game machines. One screamed in enormous green letters: DIMENSION TRAVELER.

I bet I came out of that one because this does not look anything like ‘Random Earth.’” I thought.

Then there was a flash of purple light, and my sister was launched out of the DIMENSION TRAVELER game. But before I could say hi, a tremendous force charged me into the wall, and my world went blank. I was sitting on a hospital bed, and a sort of energy was pulsing in my fingertips; a bolt of lightning shot out of them.

“Wow, I did not know you could do that.”

“Neither did I,’’ I replied to my sister, in a panicked way.

All of a sudden, an abominable snowman burst through the wall and tossed a sack over me, and another sack over my sister. I felt a forceful jolt as the “Yeti” threw us over his shoulder and stormed out of the hospital. I felt the pulse again, aimed my fingernails at the side of the bag, and squeezed my eyes shut. I opened them and it looked as though Saint Elmo’s Fire had been launched out of a cannon and shredded the fabric. For a split second, I saw the concrete groundbut it wasn’t concrete. It was some sort of portal, the color of a setting sun in the sky. Just as I went through the portal, I saw my sister fall through another portal the color of a wave collapsing on the ocean floor. My mind was empty, and my body was the only thing that seemed to race with thoughts.

Chapter 4: The Chocolate Dog

I came to my senses and felt my ribs throbbing, and knew that I fell on them after I fell in the portal. I got up and felt in my pocket. Phew! I was so glad I had my cell phone. I called my sister immediately but stopped in my tracks before I dialed her number as I saw that I was in a forest. I was shocked that I was in a forest after I had just been in a hospital, and I wanted to know more about where I was. I climbed up a nearby mountain and at the top, I saw nothing but emerald-green treetops. I pulled a bar of chocolate out of my other pocket. I heard something and listened, straining my ears so hard I thought they would dissolve, and found a dog, thumping its tail on the ground, sitting patiently. It was staring at my hand.

“What do you want?” I asked.

I looked at my hand and saw my Hershey bar, half-eaten. I ripped off a piece, and hesitated, but made my decision quickly. I tossed it to the dog, but it bounced off his nose and tumbled down the cliff.

“YOU WASTED THE LAST PIECE OF MY CHOCOLATE!!! But you would make a gr … ”

Then, the dog was pulled into a bush by a pair of silvery-white gloved hands, and the branches smacked my face. I sputtered dry leaves out of my mouth and pushed them aside.

There, I saw a knife in each eyeball, and half of the dog’s leg was cut off and it sent a fountain of gooey yellow liquid all over the rich dirt, the color of gold.

“Random Earth,” I said disappointedly.

I bent down to touch the dog, and once again, the pulsing energy in my fingertips. ZAPPP!!! The dog turned to ashes and the knives launched into the air. I tried to grab the handles but instead, it ripped my hand off and had a play-date with it above the clouds. I was too busy sobbing over my hand to notice the other knife falling from a hole in the clouds. Luckily, I looked up to the heavens so I could pray for a new hand and moved out of the when I saw the blood-stained blade glistening in the sunlight, spiraling downward. It came down hard on a moss-covered rock and slid into a big hole. Then, the other knife was coming down. It landed (blade down) straight through my neck and out my nose.

Chapter 4 ½: The Castle

As if they read my mind, the angels of God sent me a new head and a new hand. I just had an instinct and threw one on top of the other. They combined and turned into a robot suit the size of Canada. My test subject was a sheep. Apparently, his name was “Creep Sheep the Third,” according to the nametag saying “Hello! My Name Is Creep Sheep The Third, But Call Me Bob.” My new body parts snaked around my legs and my torso, creating the suit that had a built-in pancake-and-coffee breakfast machine in the living room, which was in the brain. I readied the plasma-cannon in the shoulders with 170,000,000 bullet capacity, while picking up the best-selling novel LOL. I shot Creep Sheep and left a crater with burnt wool in it. I walked around the forest for a while when I found a path. It could be dangerous! I thought. I stomped 70 feet per second because of my Israel-sized legs and saw a tower on a mountain far away. I went to the Siri-Bot and asked it what in the name of Baloney and Cheese Sandwiches from Jupiter a castle was doing there and Siri-Bot said it was called Hell’s Elf Nightmare, a castle ruled by the Elven King Mr. Sunshine.

I got out of my suit and walked up the almost infinite stairway to heaven. I opened the surprisingly mouse-hole-shaped door that I crawled through. I was thrown into the jail cell across from my sister for “intruding.”

The next morning I told my sister we had to escape. We escaped by hiding in barrels on the lunch break. Those were from the winery in the hall across from our cell and my sister fell down the waterfall on the opposite side of the mountain, and I was close behind as the elves lobbed us down. As the barrels landed with a psha-splash-boom I heard a curse word from my sister as she landed upside down.

“Hahaha!!!” I yelled at her.

I landed right-side up, crouching on my new converse, which were unreleased, model 27px 2018. Then, my fingertips.  

“Okay,” I sighed and tore open the reinforced wood-and-metal barrel, but the lasers were green and purple this time.

“Huh?” I said, breaking my sister’s barrel too.

But unfortunately, it replaced her shoulder with a pile of ashes, doing the same with three-quarters of her head. All that was left was the corner of her mouth and the right side of her chin. Before I could react to the fact that I cut off my sister’s head, I heard a scream come from nowhere. A button fell from the sky. Without thinking, I pressed it.

A robotic and deep voice said, “You now have a new power to reverse anything you do with your lasers.”

“Okay?” I pointed my hand at her head and shoulder.

Her face was instantly revived. I walked with my sister in the direction of the scream. We found a bloody, dead body in a prairie, and an assassin standing next to it holding a DuMbLeDoRf bow with a CoreVein arrow. The DuMbLeDoRf bow was made of stone instead of wood, so it is more durable. I had read about it in my school library. The CoreVein arrow had human veins in it.                              

Chapter 5: Back Home

The assassin’s name was Rikki Doucornet Sheppard Josh Max DuPeublo Ancadar Sedaka Neandorie Goyashu Monet Edgar Shushan Huluco Czynok Abar Nomwaque Eehopratt Lopandez Jalepeno Fillifar Boqua Twitter Snapchat Facebook  Flickr Vimeo Instagram Youtube Xander Lopez Bryant Triupoa Noijus Dodperea DaVinci Sealone Eedraz Gomez Golem Wockeel Udoe Sushi Burger Fatboy Momma Jin John Jones Bones Smith Jefferson Washington Lincoln Roosevelt Wasabi. Call him Rick Wasabi for short. My sister kicked him in the face and he stumbled. I shot him with his bow and he died. A green glow appeared in front of me. I was sucked in, and I saw my ceiling. It was all a dream. Thank you for letting me tell you my dream. My name is George Melez and I will tell you a story about a boy named Hugo Cabret and a drawing that changed his life.

The End (P.S. if you want to hear the rest, read the book The Invention of Hugo Cabret!)

The Big Crystal

One day there lived a puppy who was three weeks old. Her name was Sugar and she lived on a corner block in the city. She was a black dog with straight, shiny fur. Her tail was long and her ears flopped down. There were six dogs in Sugar’s family. There was her mother and father who also had black, shiny fur, her sister, Chewy, and two brothers. She was the baby of the family and the smallest, and she felt very nervous when her brothers chased her. Sugar always wanted to play with Chewy, but Chewy liked to play at the dog park with her friends, and never invited Sugar to come along. This made Sugar sad. Her mom and dad were always so busy with her brothers and sister that they couldn’t spend much time with Sugar.

What Sugar wanted most in the world was someone to show her attention. She thought and thought about how she could get an owner. It took her a week to come up with a plan, but she needed more information. So one day when Chewy went to the dog park, Sugar snuck out behind her and followed her.

The dog park was a large area of dusty dirt. There were a lot of trees scattered around the park, but strangely, there were more people than dogs. It was a cool day. Sugar didn’t think it was actually a dog park, but Chewy had told her it was. Sugar tried to hide from Chewy by hiding in a bush. She listened to the kids walking by and talking to try and find out where she could get a crystal. She overheard a kid say that there was a very big crystal at the end of the woods. At this, Sugar wagged her tail, and stayed around to see if she could find out more. When she heard nothing else, she went home to prepare to find the crystal.

Sugar packed in a big backpack a pillow, her favorite dog toy (a chewy squirrel that squeaked!), some food (nobody paid attention to her, so this was quite easy), and her food and water bowls. She planned to leave the next morning after Chewy went out to the dog park again. Unfortunately around her there were a lot of woods, so she wasn’t sure which one she had to go in. Despite this, she felt happy because she really wanted someone else to take care of her besides her parents. She was ready for the challenge. The backpack was big enough for her to curl up inside, so she slept on the pillow, excited for the morning.

But Chewy didn’t go to the dog park the next day.

Sugar asked Chewy, “Are you going to go to the dog park later tonight, or are you never going again?”

Chewy said she never planned to go to the dog park again.

Sugar felt sad, but didn’t say anything to Chewy. She just walked away, and came up with plan B: to jump out of the window that night.

Sugar went into the living room while the other dogs received their treats. Out the window there was a rose bush. She knew the rose bush had thorns so she went into the kitchen and opened a window. Outside that window there was nothing but grass. She jumped outside, but she forgot to put her backpack on! She remembered there was a doggy door, so she went back inside. She ran to get her backpack and slipped it on her back. Sugar returned to the kitchen. Chewy was waiting by the entrance of the kitchen.

“What are you doing?” she asked Sugar.

“Going to the dog park,” Sugar said. She felt nervous because she realized that Chewy didn’t know she’d been to the dog park. She thought she might get caught.

“Do you want me to come?” Chewy asked.

“Tomorrow,” Sugar said. With that, she jumped out the already open window.

She worried that when she returned she wouldn’t get any treats because her parents would be so mad at her. She didn’t want her parents to find out she was gone. The night was cold, and she realized she hadn’t packed a blanket. She thought about the blanket that her parents kept outside, but she didn’t know where it was stored. She sniffed around the backyard and found the blanket underneath her favorite tree. She felt sad to leave that tree because she always lay under it no matter the weather. But she had to find that crystal, so she went to the gate. It was locked, and she couldn’t jump over it, so she had to get the key that was placed in a box by the door. There were twenty-three keys on the key-ring, and Sugar tried every single one, until finally the twenty-third key worked! She opened the gate and went on her way.

There were three different ways to get into the woods, but she didn’t know which way to take. There was a piece of paper that told her which path to take, but the paper got ripped, so she didn’t know which path to take. She remembered that she’d been given a sign, so she took it out and read it, and that told her which way to go. She took the middle path.

There was a big, big bridge. The bridge was very low, and mice walked underneath it. Sugar looked around for a rope so that she could climb the bridge and get on top of it, but she couldn’t find one. Sugar barked and howled for someone to help. There was a car on top of the bridge. A person in the car was talking to another. “Are we going to be here for a long time?” said one person.

“Yes,” said the other.

Sugar tried to get their attention but couldn’t, so Sugar decided to wait. The people on the bridge left their car there, and didn’t come back until the next day. Sugar opened her backpack, got out her pillow, and went to sleep for the night.

Sugar woke to the sound of the two people’s voices, and this time got the attention of one of them. The person said, “I think that dog needs help!” But the other person ignored her needs to get up onto the bridge. The two people got back into their car and drove away.

This made Sugar feel frustrated and upset. She thought and thought about how this could’ve happened and then she remembered that the day she got the sign that told her to take the middle path was the day that the signs had changed, and she wasn’t given the right one. But this still didn’t solve her problem. She decided that she had to take the left path instead. It took her a long time to get back to the start of the path, and she was exhausted when she got there, but she knew she had to keep going.

Along the left path she encountered a gigantic bear with three bear cubs. She felt very nervous that the bear was going to eat her alive, but it turned out that all the bear wanted was water to give to her cubs. Sugar took a bottle of water out of her backpack and offered it to the mother bear, who was very grateful to Sugar for helping her babies.

Sugar said goodbye to the bear, and continued on her way down the path. As she walked, Sugar thought about what else she might encounter. Would she run into another bear? Or an owl? Or maybe a less friendly animal, like a fox? For a while, there were no other animals. She was alone and the path began getting darker, and she saw dying trees. She was nervous now. But she continued walking, because she wanted that crystal. And suddenly, she heard a loud thump right behind her. When she turned around, she quickly realized it was a giant tree that had fallen and had barely missed her by three inches. At that moment, she wished she had asked someone to come with her. But she kept moving. Then she got thirsty, so she checked her backpack for a bottle of water. She didn’t have any water, but noticed a cabin nearby. She headed to the cabin and reached the door. Thankfully, the doorbell wasn’t too high up, because she was able to hop and ring it with her nose.

And owl with sharp, sharp claws opened the door and said, “Hello?” But Sugar had run away and hid behind a tree. She was scared of owls, because she knew they were birds of prey. “Hello… anyone out here?” the owl said in a friendly voice.

Sugar began to shiver. Finally, she peeked her head a little, and the owl spotted her.

“Hey there, I see you. It’s okay, I’m not gonna hurt you,” the owl said.

Sugar didn’t respond; she kept shivering.

The owl walked outside. She had a wide wingspan, but her claws were hidden now. She had white feathers and black stripes.

Sugar stepped out and showed herself.

“Want me to bring you inside?” said the owl. “You look scared.”

“I’m a little thirsty.”

“I can get you some water. I’ll be right back.”

When the owl came back with a glass of water, she said to Sugar, “Do you want to come inside and spend the night?”

“No, thank you. I’m just going to drink my water and then I have to continue on my journey.”

“Can I join you on your journey?”

“Sure.”

“Great! I’m Owlette by the way. What’s your name?”

“Sugar.”

“Let me just pack a few things and I’ll be all ready to go.”

“Okay. Don’t take too long.”

So Sugar and Owlette set off to find the big crystal. While Sugar was glad to have the company she was also worried. She didn’t know if she could trust Owlette, because she’d never met an owl before.

It started to get dark so they stopped to have dinner. Fortunately, they found an abandoned tent so they went in it and ate. The next morning, after they woke up, Owlette folded up the tent and realized that she could fit it inside her backpack. Sugar felt happy that they would always have a dry and cozy place to sleep. And after that Sugar started to trust Owlette a little more.

As they headed down the path Sugar started thinking about her parents back home.

“I’m worried that my parents are going to be mad at me for leaving home. I don’t want to get in trouble.”

“Oh well,” Owlette said, thinking that she didn’t want Sugar to be worried, so she was going to change the subject to get Sugar’s parents off her mind. “Are we almost there?” Owlette asked. “I’m getting tired’’

“Yes,” replied Sugar.

“How much further?” Owlette asked.

“Just past that pond over there. Can you see it?”

Owlette squinted and looked into the distance. “Yes, Sugar, I can see it. But just barely.”

“It looks further than it is. We will be there soon.”

Sugar and Owlette set off to the pond. It didn’t take them long to get there; however, they soon realized that they had no way to cross it. Neither of them knew how to swim and it was too deep to walk across.

“Oh, no problem. I can fly across the pond.”

“But I can’t fly,” Sugar said sadly.

“I have an idea. Why don’t I carry you on my back while I fly across?”

“Okay! Let’s try it.”

Owlette ducked down and Sugar jumped on her back, but once Owlette started to take off Sugar got scared.

“I’ve never flown before,” she explained, “I think I’m too scared to do this.”

“I understand. I have an idea. I see that there are big lily pads leading across the pond. Why don’t you hop on each one while I fly across?”

“Okay. I’ll try.”

When Sugar got to the other side of the pond, she said to Owlette, “I’m so glad I made it. I nearly drowned hopping on one of the smaller lilly pads, but I was able to get across.”

“How much further now?” Owlette asked.

“It is behind that tree in the ground.”

Then Owlette said, “But what are we going to use to get in the ground?”

“I can dig really well,” Sugar responded.

Then Owlette said, “But I can’t dig. I don’t have paws like you.”

Sugar looked then in her backpack to see if there were any tools in there that Owlette could use. But there were no tools that Sugar could find for Owlette to use.

Sugar said, “It’s okay. I can dig and you can watch me.” Owlette sat and watched Sugar dig, but it was taking a while. Owlette told Sugar she was going to go back to where she lived because there wasn’t anything for her to do there. Just then, Sugar saw something in a bush and said, “Before you go I want to see if there is something in the bush that you could use.”

When she looked in the bush she found a shovel that was easier to hold. Owlette decided to stay and use that tool. They dug and dug and dug, until finally, they reached the crystal! When they reached the crystal, they figured out it was not that big. It was only the size of Owlette. They were expecting it to be as big as an ostrich. They were happy that they found the crystal, and that there was enough room in the backpack for it to fit. But Owlette and Sugar were sad because they wanted it to be bigger.

“What are we going to use to split up the crystal?” Owlette asked.

“We never planned that we would split it up,” said Sugar.

“I came on this journey because I thought I would get some of the crystal.”

“But you never told me that you would.”

Just then Sugar saw more of the crystal.

“You can get all of the crystal that we found, and I can get all of the one in the ground.” Sugar said.

Owlette agreed. When they got the crystal out of the ground it was much bigger — it was the size of an ostrich!

Owlette said, “Why do you get the bigger crystal and I get the smaller crystal?”

“Because I was the one that was going to get all of the crystal, but I let you have some.” Owlette seemed disappointed, but eventually said it was okay.

They walked back to Owlette’s house and said goodbye. Sugar asked for more water and food for the way. And then, Sugar was alone. When she got back she told her family about her journey. They used the crystal for what they wanted and lived happily ever after.

Omar’s Great Adventure

There once was a seven-year-old boy named Omar Winerib. He lived in Lebanon with his dad, his mom, his teenager sister, and his two adult brothers. He went to a school called Barnesjan, which is a special school that teaches students how to not fight and live peacefully. He loved science and sports but most of all he loved to invent things. His goal was to one day invent a machine that made virtual reality real. Omar was a hard worker and he always thought about science and his inventions, even when he was walking home from school late at night in the dark by himself.

One night Omar was at his computer doing research and he came across a website that said, “Syria is dying! Syria is dying!” It made him feel very sad. Many of his friends and his dad’s friends were in Syria and he was very concerned for their safety. He did some more research about what was going on in Syria and he learned that there was a group called Fikke (which meant “powerful” in Arabic) who were killing the Syrian people.

This made him really really upset so he went to his father and said, “Dad! Dad, can we take your plane and go to Syria to try to save the people from Fikke?”  

“Okay,” his dad said. “But just this once.”

“Thank you so much!” Omar said. “Let’s go!”

They went to bed early that night because the plan was to wake up at three in the morning to leave for Syria. Omar’s dad’s plane was named The Cross of the Swords. It was parked in a gigantic garage behind their house. Omar’s dad climbed into the cockpit and Omar strapped himself into the co-pilot’s seat.

Then Omar’s dad said, “Syria, here we go!”

They left Lebanon and went to Syria. The plane ride was very, very, very scary because people tried to shoot them and the engine almost got shot, but they had a safe landing.

“Let’s go see why Fikke is bad,” said Omar’s dad.

Omar said, “How do you know where they are?”

“I went to school with many of them. Most times when I hear about Syria, Fikke is shooting at the president of Syria’s home and trying to kill the president,” Omar’s dad said.

“Where is the president?” Omar asked.

“It’s two miles away from here, so we better take a break.” Omar’s dad said.

So Omar and Omar’s dad stopped to eat two bananas, one jar of cookies, milk, and sausages. Then they walked and finally they found the leader of Fikke. His name was Patrick. He had brown eyes and black hair. He wore army clothes and a machine gun across his chest. He had three small bombs in his pocket.

Omar felt scared but he spoke to Patrick anyway, “Why are you bombing all the buildings and killing the people?”

“They have too much money and they aren’t sharing it with anyone,” Patrick said in a grumpy voice.

“Ask them and maybe they’ll share. If they say no, go to the bank,” Omar said.

“Why should I? What if the banks say ‘no’?” Patrick yelled. “I’ll make you a deal. If the person at the bank says I can have money, I will fix all the buildings with my team. If he says ‘no’ I will kill you, too.”

Omar felt so scared. In his head, he thought, What if the guy at the bank says no? Then he’d die for nothing. He agreed to the deal because he didn’t think he had a choice. Then, Omar ran away.

Omar told his dad: “What if the person at the bank says no?” But his dad reassured him the person at the bank wouldn’t say no.

“I know this place,” his dad said. “I lived here until I was 11, and the people at the bank are very nice.”

“Okay, okay, I get it,” Omar said.

The next day Omar went to the bank and saw Patrick walk in.

He heard the person at the bank say, “Of course you can have money. You can have all the money here! People save their money here for people who don’t have money.”

Patrick took his money and found Omar. He told him he wouldn’t kill him. “I’m going to help rebuild all the buildings,” he said. “I’m going to throw my guns away and throw my bombs away and never do this again. I’ll tell the rest of my team to do that, too.”

With Patrick’s help, Fikke helped to rebuild all of the walls and buildings. They put their weapons in a big chest underground and buried it. Omar and his dad jumped back on their plane and flew home safely. He was happy to be home and back with his family

The Night of the Pug Banshee

Ahhh! Pug banshee. That is what was in the letter, thought Detective Frank. Now he had to figure out who was the pug banshee.

Meanwhile, across town, a pug was right in front of a computer ordering a black hoodie and a new scythe because his old one had blood on it.

After interviewing every human in town, Frank fell onto his couch. It broke. I will order a new one on Amazon, he thought. Then he realized that the murderer must have ordered something on Amazon Prime. The signal led him to a warehouse. He stepped inside the warehouse. All of a sudden he heard a scream so loud he died. A Pug banshee was standing over him.

“Nice work,” Barney said as he stepped out of the shadows.

 

Leela Levine was crawling down the street at midnight, eating a box of cookies. Sure, she was not allowed to leave the house past her bedtime, or eat too many cookies, but hey, she could just blame the chauffeur. Then she crawled right into a cave in Hastings. The cave of the Pug banshee. He attacked her with his scream. Then she got upset and attacked him with a bazooka. Then they fell in love. All of a sudden they had a baby who they named Petruska.

“Awww, she is so cute,” Barney said. Little did Barney, Barney, and Barney know that she would start a war.

 

Blinky was bored. Sure, he had 765 marriages planned, but still, just because he’d called dibs on 764 pretty singers, and one dib on Heidi Klum, did not mean he wouldn’t be bored sometimes. Plus, he was a three year old, so he was not allowed to marry yet. He missed his adopted sister Leela Levine. It all began when he was walking to preschool on his first day. When he saw a box with a baby inside it, he thought the baby didn’t have such a bad idea and jumped in the box with her. Then a limo pulled up at the sidewalk and a chauffeur stepped out. He picked up the box and put it in the backseat. There sat Adam Levine.

“Hi, Leela, do not ever run away like that again.”

“Sorry, Daddy, but the chauffeur made me do that.”

“I did not.”

“Never mind,” said Adam. “Who is your friend?”

“Blinky! His name is Blinky,” Leela said.

From then on, Blinky had been at Leela’s side, when they destroyed the grand canyon, and when she kidnapped Blake Shelton, and that one time when they were lawyers defending a client and accidentally revealed that they killed Katy Perry. That time, the judge revealed that he was a murderer and the jury were his helpers. It was the first time that everyone in court was sent to jail. They were in jail for 2 months. The point is that he was at Leela’s side all the time, so where was she?

 

“Barney, you are under arrest,” yelled Frederick angrily.

“Never!” Barney yelled.

Just seconds later, Frederick and Tommy had flown into the cave and tried to arrest Barney for murdering detective Frank.

“Feel the pain!” yelled Frederick, as he shot fire at Barney. Just in time Leela jumped right in front of the fire, but the fire hit her and she died. The Pug banshee’s eyes filled with tears.

Petruska crawled up to the Pug banshee and said, “You need a hug,” and hugged him. Blinky and Tommy’s sister, Ms. Mati, ran into the cave.

“Where is Tommy?” asked Ms. Mati.

“Where is Leela?” asked Blinky.

“Tommy?” said Ms. Mati.

“No!!!” said Blinky.

Leela was dead and it was all Frederick’s fault.

 

One hour later:

The world was in mass destruction. All of them were fighting like crazy. Then Leela came out of nowhere except this time she was a ghost.

“What are you guys doing? You should be destroying Blake’s house,” the ghost of Leela said.

Everyone agreed that was a good idea. They destroyed Blake’s house, then went out for ice cream and vowed never to ALMOST destroy the world again.*

 

THE END.

 

*The Pug banshee lived happily ever after.

How Humans Were Made

A long time ago, when only animals roamed the earth, there was a frog that wondered and wondered the same thing over and over again. What if there was an animal who walked?

A day later, the frog was wondering the same questions he asked himself every day. Just then, the great god Father Sky exclaimed, “I will make your wonder come true for a day, and if you like the animals this world will have them forever. If you don’t like them, I’ll banish them from this earth. All for free.”

“Deal,” the frog told him.

The next day, rocks turned into the new species the frog called humans. The only one that came close to the frog was a young girl who whispered something the frog will never say aloud. She said it to him by a sparkly blue pond. It was the best day of the frog’s life. What the girl had said to the frog was so meaningful that he thought all the new animals must be as nice.

“I loved the new animals! I named them humans,” the frog told the great god Father Sky.

That is how humans were made.

 

Author’s Note/Afterword:

We all want to know what the girl said to the frog. What she said was: “You don’t look beautiful, but your insides are.”

Annie’s Time Machine

“Annie, it’s time for breakfast,” said my mom from the kitchen.

“Ah, not now,” I said as I fell off my bed and landed on my rug. I threw my blanket onto my bed. I took off my sleep mask and threw it onto the floor next to me. I threw my head back and let out a big sigh. And a groan. I was always really cranky in the morning, especially when someone woke me up at the wrong time. It was 6:30! I usually wake up at 7 :00 or 7:30. My dalmatian, Spot, ran up to me and looked at me in the face. Spot tilted his head to the side. I knew that this meant my mom finally was going to be home for breakfast. (By the way, I know how to read faces–people’s and animals’.) “For once, an interesting breakfast with Mom.” I opened my bedroom door and walked down the hall to the kitchen like a person in a marching band.

“Annie, you’re actually wearing the sunflower pajamas I gave you for Christmas last year!” said my mom as she flipped a pancake, which landed on the ceiling and didn’t come down. “Would you mind getting me some more pancake powder? This is like the fifth pancake that’s landed on the ceiling this morning. I don’t know why this keeps on happening.”

I thought in my head, How come she just noticed my pajamas? Every morning when she leaves, she never even smiles or waves or looks at me. Even though I didn’t understand what was going on with my mom because she’s usually really strict, I was happy that she was finally home for breakfast. I opened the cupboard. My little brother’s stuffed dog came falling out and landed on the kitchen floor. Oh Charlie. He always puts his dog stuffed animal in the cupboards–and this was the one today, apparently. My brother, who’s three years old, always hides his stuffed animals all around the house.

“Annie, can you please put Charlie’s stuffed animal back in his room? Also, tell him to come for breakfast.”

I saluted. “Yes, sir, Mrs. Bossy Pants.”

“Annie, that’s not an appropriate joke right now.” My mom sounded frustrated as she reached one hand up to the now dog-less cupboard to try to get more pancake powder.

I ran to Charlie’s room and burst in. “There’s a monster invasion! Go into the kitchen now!”

“A monstuh invagun?” Charlie whined.

“We have to help Mom with the pancakes to feed the monsters!”

Charlie waved his arms and made a sound that was like a cry and happiness at the same time. He shook his curly dirty-blonde hair. It looked like there was a big, cute spider sitting on top of his little head. I picked him up by his arms and carried him into the kitchen. I set him down on the kitchen floor before running back down the hall. Mom was pretty strict, and she always got mad at me when I played jokes on Charlie. I heard Charlie say, “Mama, dey a monstuh invagun? I wan to hep you make a pancakey for da monstuhs.”

“Was Annie playing around with you again?” my mom said sternly, loud enough for me to hear.

After I heard my mom finished her sentence, I slammed my door.

“I dunho.” I heard Charlie banging on the counter with his fists and slapping his legs.

I grabbed a Sharpie from my art cabinet, and I found a piece of paper under my dresser. (I’m kind of an artist, so I have paper all over my bedroom floor.) I wrote, “MONSTER INVASION IN HERE. KEEP OUT.”  I wrote much neater than usual, so that my mom would think it was my older sister, Clara. Clara was nine years older than me. For a nineteen-year-old, she was fun and joyful like a seven- or eight-year-old. She went to college in San Francisco, where we lived, but she lived at home so she could see us more. She had tried living in a dorm, but she came home because she said she missed us all day, every day. Like I said, she’s basically a kid.

I heard Clara’s footsteps coming down the hall. I realized that I must escape the scene. I quickly taped the note to Charlie’s door so that my mom wouldn’t think I’d done it. I saw Clara’s shadow coming down the hall. Oh no, she’s coming faster than I thought she would–she’s usually pretty slow. I imagined myself running in slow motion back to the kitchen, just like in one of those cool action movies. I ran to my chair and sat down as quickly as I could. The chair shook. I held my hands to the sides of the chair to make it stop wobbling, and then I let go. I tried to make a face that said, I didn’t do anything. It’s not like I taped something to Charlie’s door and am going to blame you for it. I smiled.

Clara walked in holding her favorite vampire book. Her hair looked all knotty as usual, and she had black circles under her eyes from reading all night. She was wearing the Christmas pajamas she’d gotten three years ago. I couldn’t believe they still fit her. She sat down in her favorite chair. She was going to set down her book, until she dropped it in the maple syrup. “Ugh! Not again. Every single morning I have pancakes, I always drop a book or something into the maple syrup,” Clara said, frustrated.

Charlie waddled over like a penguin and tried with all his might to pull Clara’s chair back. “Charlie, please get your hands off my chair.”

Charlie pointed at Clara and said, “Noddy woman.”

“Ha!” I laughed. “He always tries to pull your chair back on pancake mornings. And maybe he should hit you with a frying pan next time.” Another cranky morning. I really should take back all the words that I’ve said. Oh! I could build a time machine. But that’s going to be hard.

“Annie! If you don’t behave, I’m gonna hit YOU with a frying pan,” my mom said.

“Well, I’ll hit you with one of these pancakes. How about that?!”

“Go to your room!”

“But I need a frying pan,” I whined, “so I can give it to Charlie to hit Clara.”

“Go to your room! No breakfast for you.” My mom’s face looked like she really meant it.

“Well, uh, can I just have a–” I didn’t get to finish my sentence.

“Go. To. Your. Room. NOW!” my mom said even more loudly.

Clara said, “I’ll hit you with a frying pan.”

“Why is everyone saying they’re going to hit me with a frying pan?” I asked.

“Fwying pan hit you!” I looked and saw Charlie holding the frying pan, looking like he was just about to throw it at me.

I ran to Charlie and we had a little tug of war over the frying pan for one or two minutes. After I finally got the frying pan, I ran back to my room and slammed the door. Then I almost kicked Spot in the face while jumping onto the bed. I held the frying pan in my arms like it was my little baby, and I whispered to it, “You’re home now. You’re home.”

I knew I was acting really crazy about the frying pan. Wow. Now I should reconsider the time machine thing. I threw the frying pan onto the floor. Spot jumped. He landed on my toy chest. “Oh, Spot, it’s just a frying pan…that hit the floor really loudly. You don’t need to be scared. It’s juuuust a frying pan.” I rolled my eyes.

Spot walked onto my bed, sat right in front of me, and stared into my eyes. I could tell he was scared of the frying pan. I pushed him off the bed and said, “That’s really creepy. Don’t look at me like that. It freaks me out, okay?”

I walked over to my dresser and opened it up. I pulled out a plaid shirt that had a little pocket on the right side. I pulled out a pair of jeans that had two pockets in the front and two pockets in the back. I got dressed and put a $20 bill in the back pocket of my jeans. I walked into the kitchen. I saw Charlie holding his favorite blanket. He smashed it into his pancake and said, “Tha’s what you get because you so dewishus.”

“Charlie, this will be your last pancake, because it is literally the twentieth time you’ve smashed your blanket into your pancake.” I could tell by Mom’s face that she wished that she hadn’t stayed home for breakfast today. Usually Clara cooked our breakfast, or Dad–but he’d been too busy at his job. He was a real estate agent for a woman who lived Amsterdam.

“Sorry, Mom, I’m getting really hungry. Can I pleeease have a pancake?” I asked.

“Fine, because you asked so nicely.” My mom handed me a very tiny pancake. It was probably the size of my fingernail. “This was one I messed up on. I accidentally poured too little batter.”

I plopped the pancake in my mouth and opened the fridge to get an apple. “Thank you.” Not. I walked back into my bedroom and put on my red sneakers. I grabbed my bike helmet, walked down the hall, took a left turn and then a right turn, and went out the back door. I went to wait for my friend Jessica. My mom knew where I was going; I’d told her I was going to the donut shop last night. I waited thirty minutes before I grabbed my bike and rode over to Jessica’s house.

On the way there, Jessica rode right past me. I knew it was her because her blonde hair was in a ponytail, one strip hanging down in front just like always. I turned my bike around and tried to catch her. “Jessica, wait! I’m trying to catch up with you!”

Jessica stopped her bike. “What?”

I couldn’t stop my bike, so I ran right into her. “Ughh,” we both said at the same time. Jessica pulled me up. “Are you okay?” she asked.

“No, are you okay?” I said.

“Nope. I scraped my knee and scratched my arm.” Jessica pointed to her elbow and then to her knee. She was wearing a short-sleeved shirt and short overalls. We were both really tomboys.

I said, “Well, I’m kind of okay.” Then I looked at my hand. “Oh, I scraped it,” I sighed.

“Well, let’s get riding so we can go to the donut shop early and get two free donuts.”

“Did you bring your $20? I brought mine!”

Jessica said, “Oh, all I got was a $5 bill. Sorry, maybe next time.”

“Well, I guess we can only buy–oh, wait, the donuts are only about a buck. And also, if we get there at nine o’clock right when they open, we get two free ones.”

We got back onto our bikes and started riding down the street. At about halfway to the shop, I was surprised to see my friend Betty walking her dog, which was a golden retriever. Usually she walked her dog at ten o’clock. I waved. Betty wasn’t really a tomboy. She was wearing a blue shirt with a white skirt and some white hi-tops.

“Hiiii!” Betty said. She tried to run as fast as our bikes, until she got too tired.

We would’ve stopped to talk, but we just really wanted those free delicious donuts. They were calling our name. It was our duty to get those donuts.

We turned on Dockman Street and took a left onto Parallel Road. I realized why it was called Parallel Road; it was in the middle of five streets that were all parallel to one another. When we saw Bobby’s Donut Shop, we immediately stopped our bikes. The front wheel of my bike touched Jessica’s back wheel. Jessica said, “Why you touchin’ my bike, huh? You gonna have to pay for the damages that you do to it!”

“Okay, okay.” I giggled. “Wait, are you actually being serious?”

Jessica raised an eyebrow. “I’m actually serious.”

“Good to know. But what about those free donuts?”

“Are you trying to be sassy? All you care about are those donuts, huh?”

My bike started to go forward. I pulled it back.

“Good thing you stopped your bike from hitting mine. Or else you’d have to pay for the damages, like I said.”

Jessica and I walked into the donut shop. There was a guy in the corner drinking coffee. He was there every morning. We walked up to the counter to ask for a donut, like we were adults. “Ah, Annie and Jessica, how are you? If you’re wondering if you can have a donut, sorry, you can’t–there’re no more left,” Bobby said with a little frown.

I dropped to my knees and screamed, “NOOOOOOO! THE HUMANITY!”

Jessica patted me on the back. “It’s okay, it’s just a donut.”

“It is NOT JUST A DONUT! It’s a creamy, delicious donut that was brought to the world by magic.”

“I think you care about that dumb donut more than friends. Maybe you should just go and live with donuts instead of playing with your friends!” Jessica walked out of the donut shop and slammed the door behind her. I saw her get back onto her bike and start riding home. I stood there on my knees and looked at the door that was now closed. I got up, opened the door, walked back out, looked back into the donut shop, and got onto my bike to ride home and probably cry in my room. I had just lost a friend. I think. And definitely I just lost my donuts. My delicious donuts.

I got back onto my bike and rode home. I turned onto Backey Street, stopped in front of my house, leaned my bike in the front lawn, and opened the front door. I walked in and slammed it behind me. Clara was standing right in front of me with a mad face, holding the note I had taped to Charlie’s door. “How do you explain this, Annie?” Clara said as she shoved the paper in my face.

“Oh, so you found the note that you wrote? Cooool. Now, can you let me into my room, please? I need to work on something–something that will blow your little mind.” I walked down the hall, took a left, opened my bedroom door, and closed it very carefully. I had a plan: a plan that really was gonna blow Clara’s little mind right out of her little head of nothingness.

I was going to make a time machine out of things I could find in my room. I took paint cans, rubber bands, paint, copper wire, and glue. Pretty convenient, huh? After ten or twenty minutes, I finally got it done. All I had to do was go inside, go back in time, and change what I’d said to everybody that morning. I knew I was being kind of a brat. I hope this works, I thought. I went into the time machine. I had to squat because it was so cramped in there. I turned the switch made of wire, glue, and paint, and everything started shaking. I could hear my mom from the kitchen yelling, “EARTHQUAKE!” But it wasn’t really an earthquake. Then everything turned all rainbow, right in front of my eyes.

I landed on my bed. Did it work? I thought. Since my door was open, I decided to take a look. Oh. My. Cheeseballs. I saw myself walking down the hall to Charlie’s room. I really didn’t think this through that well. Clearly this was a bad idea. I needed to get out of here. I looked around. My time machine wasn’t there, so I decided to build another one with the same materials. Everything happened that had happened before: rainbows. Mom yelling “Earthquake!” I wondered, How come I didn’t feel hear all this earlier this morning?

This time, I landed on my rug. I looked around my room for Spot. I thought everything had just stayed the same. “Spot?” I yelled. My mom came into the room.

“Annie, who’s Spot?”

I looked at my mom. “Mom, remember Spot? My dog? My dalmatian dog I got for Christmas when he was a puppy? Remember?”

“I don’t remember having any dogs. Charlie is allergic.”

“But Charlie was never allergic. He’s three. He’s not allergic to anything. I think you’re going crazy. You need to lie down.”

“Honey, your brother is twenty-three.”

“He’s WHAT? I don’t think I’m hearing you correctly, Mom.”

“You don’t remember Charlie being twenty-three? Honey, you probably hit your head. You should lie down in your bed.”

“Mom, I’m not going crazy!” I ran out of my room and bumped into Charlie. I looked up. His face looked the same, but he was way taller than me. “Hi…Charlie…how’s it going? You look…different…”

“Oh, Annie, like Mom said, you probably hit your head. I don’t look different. Well, I did get a haircut yesterday, but Mom doesn’t know. I don’t really tell her much anymore. I’m too old for permission.” He winked at me.

I ran into Clara’s room, thinking she could help me. But instead of seeing Clara’s bright pink room, I saw an office. A grey office. It looked like Dad’s office in the garage, but it was here inside instead. I ran back into my room. I looked under my bed, and I found a time machine! Wow, this must’ve been from when I came here–or something. I hopped in. The whole thing happened again.

Except instead of having everything be normal, I ended up in the future. The future. This time I landed in the middle of the street, and a car driven by robots passed me. This is just great, I thought. I looked around me. People were wearing clothes made of robotic parts. One guy had an arm coming out of the back of his shirt, and it was feeding him a big sandwich. Boy, that looked like George Clothman from my school. He always eats those sandwiches. I walked up to him. “Hi, I’m Annie. What’s your name?”


“Hey, Annie, you look different. You look like a young kid again. I thought you were thirty.”

“I was never thirty! Oh, yeah, um, I did…something…to make myself look different. Yeah, byyyye.” I ran away.

A person riding a mechanical bike almost slammed into me. “Hey! Look where you’re going!” he screamed.

I walked across the street. I looked around and saw my house, so of course I walked to my house and opened the door. Right in front of me was future me and Charlie–except Charlie’s hair was long and curly, and he was wearing a long, pink dress. It looked like a ball gown from Cinderella. Future Annie looked me in the face. “What are you doing in here, kid?” she said. “I should pull a prank on you and taze you with this pack of gum. Here, you want a piece?”

“No, I don’t want a piece of gum. You just told me you were going to play a prank on me.” Wow, I looked like a person who would prank someone. I was kind of shocked to see that this was how I would turn out in the future. It was kind of exciting, but it worried me a lot. I didn’t want to end up like this–a person who would prank someone and end up in jail or something.

Charlie spoke up in a very girly voice. “Hey, kid, get out of here. I’m going to a fancy prom for my school.”

I looked at Charlie. “Wow, cool. By the way, Charlie (I did little quotes with my hands)–”


“My name isn’t Charlie. That was my old name. My name is Charabella.”


I giggled. “Charabella? That’s your name? That’s dumb. You’re not a girl. Why do you want to be one? I thought you were a boy.”

I turned my head to him–ahem, I mean, her. Or whatever. I asked my future self, “Where’s Clara?”

“How do you know who Clara is? And why are you wearing those clothes? You look like you’re a last century girl. And Clara moved to Palm Springs. And why do you even wanna know things about her? You don’t even know who Clara is.” My future self looked very, very surprised. She squinted her eyebrows and looked at me like a person who had a chicken hat on. “Hey, what’s your name?” my future self said as she pointed at me.

“Um, my name is Annie,” I said as I took one step back.

“What’s your last name?” said my future self as she walked one step closer to me.

“It’s Thompson,” I said as I took another step back. I was getting ready to run.

“Wait, that’s my name. Wait! I remember this. I made a time machine when I was ten years old, and I traveled to the future. But then when I came back…”


After future me said that, Charlie shoved her back and slammed the door in my face. Clara moved away? I thought in my head. How could this be? I guessed it was kind of good for my future self, and me, but I eventually would get back to where I was supposed to be, and everything would be normal again. I hoped…

I looked around, hoping I would see Spot. Then I realized he had probably passed away by now, since it was twenty years in the future.

I decided to build another time machine. This was like the fourth one, but after this, I wasn’t going to be messing with time anymore. I knew what I’d done, and it was pretty bad. I felt guilty because I wanted to be back home with my family and Spot. Now I was just stuck in the future, where I didn’t want to be. I knew this was basically all my fault.

I slouched over and started walking, my hands at my sides and my head looking down at the sidewalk. I decided that I would go to the craft store because they probably had what I needed there. Oh! I still had the $20 in my pocket. That would be enough to buy the things that I needed. I started running–but then I stopped. I didn’t even know where the craft store was. I saw a bike in front of someone’s house. I knew it kind of seemed bad, but I hopped on it and started riding. I planned to return it (like, never), but I didn’t even know this person. I was a criminal, stealing something, but it was totally worth it. I needed to get back home and put things back to normal. Like I said–I hoped…

So I was riding down the street, until I passed a store that said “CRAFTS AND MORE.” I jumped off my bike, which went rolling down a hill and hit a trash can. A cat jumped out of the trash can and started running as fast as it could. Then it tripped and started tumbling. I thought to myself, Poor cat, but I had no time to think about adorable things. I opened the door to the store.

Everything looked so different. There were no real people, only robots! I got paint cans and all that stuff. There was one tiny, tiny problem. I only had $1 left after I bought everything. Okay, I guess I was overreacting, but I was wasting money here!

I got a shopping bag and just dragged it down the street until I came across a fence. On the other side of the fence was nothing–just pavement–so I decided to go there to build my time machine. Even though it smelled like butt and fish, it wasn’t a big deal. I jumped over the fence and gave myself a wedgie. The fence caught hold of my underwear, and I was just hanging there, hanging out by myself–until I fell face first onto the pavement. “Owwwwwww!” as I said as I shut my eyes really tightly and stood up. Where is my bag? Oh, right in front of me. I grabbed it and did the same things I did to build all the other time machines. I went inside. Rainbows. Unicorns–wait, this time there were unicorns. How weird was that? Okay, nevermind the beautiful unicorns that were pooping rainbows. I had to go back! It was my duty. They were calling me–well, no one was really calling me, but you know what I mean.

I landed on the roof of my house. “OW!” Again. “That hurt more than last time.” There were bricks and bricks and nothing but bricks–so many that I couldn’t count. Then I fell off into the front lawn and landed on a flower pot. How am I not dead? I stood up, walked to the front door, and opened it. Then I walked to my room. Instead of there being one bed, there were two. “Hello? Is anybody home? Who put this extra bed in my room? If this does any damages to my floor, they’re gonna have to pay!”

Wait! Jessica! I should make up to her. Right then, I ran out the front door. I had no time to look for my bike, even though it was right in front of my house. I was just running and running and running. When I got to the door, I knocked and stood there breathing really hard. I was so tired.

Jessica opened the door. “Oh. Hi, Annie. What are you doing here? Want a donut? Well, sorry, we don’t have any.” She didn’t look surprised, but she did look mad. She crossed her arms.

“Jessica, I’m sorry for what I did. Donuts are not brought to this world by magic. That’s just silly. I’m sorry. Please forgive me,” I said. I started to hug Jessica, and she hugged me back.

“No, I’m sorry,” she said.

And that went back and forth until I said, “Enough. We’re both sorry.”

She walked me back to my house, and before I went in, we hugged. “Oh, I’m having a playdate with Sagey tomorrow. Is that okay with you?”

“Uh, who’s Sagey? I don’t know who Sagey is. Do you mean my cousin, Sage?”

“No, I mean, Sagey. Your nine-year-old sister. The one who likes dinosaurs?”

I shook my head No.

Jessica rolled her eyes and started to walk back home. Then she turned and smiled at me, and I waved.

I looked back at my door and opened it. I saw Clara, Charlie, and… three other kids. One looked nine, one looked thirteen, and one looked about five. Oh. My. Cheeseballs. The door slammed behind me. “Who are these people?” I asked Clara.

“Sagey, Elizabeth, and Ruby? Your sisters? Come on, you should remember this stuff. You have brain damage, I think, Annie. Or are you just kidding? I think you are.” Clara crossed her arms, and Charlie did the same.

“You awe bein so cwazy. You awe like a ducky,” said Charlie as he started to dance in the hallway.

I figured Ruby was the five year old, because she ran after Charlie, and Clara yelled, “Ruby! Get back here now. We’ve been at the mud market all day, jumping in puddles of mud, and everyone is so dirty. Mom will get mad if you get mud marks on the floor!”

Elizabeth, who had to be the thirteen year old, ran after Charlie and Ruby, picked them up, and walked into the bathroom to start a nice, steamy bath. Sagey walked to the bathroom to help with the bath.

I squinted my face up. I was about to throw a temper tantrum. I didn’t want three other siblings! That was way too much for me. FIVE siblings? I’d be the sixth! I really did not like that. I could feel myself about to burst out crying and shove everyone out of the way.

But I didn’t want to be a person who would scream a lot. I didn’t want to end up someone who pulled pranks. I decided to let it go. I took a deep breath and unballed my fists. I closed my eyes, then opened them.

“Your head should be made out of bird food, because birds want to bite it right off,” I said to Clara. I walked into my room, smiling and squinting my eyes. I could still say little mean things now and then.

“Annie’s back to normal,” Clara said.

“I heard that!” I screamed. I lay back on my bed, and Spot jumped on my stomach. “Oof!” I shouted. I pet Spot on the head.

How Lego Was Created: A Series

  

Story One

A long time ago in a far away galaxy, I was an alien kid who was bored. I wanted to build something, but the only things to build with was space dirt. Boring old space dirt. I decided I would ask the humans on Earth. Humans always hated aliens, but I would make a difference.

It took three hours to teleport to the humans. Every alien had a teleporter in their house. To teleport, you press the big red button on the teleporter, then you fly through space and go to Earth. It’s only possible to teleport to Earth. During the three hours you can only see black, but that doesn’t matter.

“Hi humans!” Why are they screaming and running away? Wait a minute, what are they saying?

“Look at its green face, look at its wrinkled face, it’s so weird,” screamed the humans!

Humans are so unpredictable. Uh-oh. There is the SWAT team. That’s a giant SWAT team everywhere. Ahh, they’re shooting me with guns. I’ll teleport back home. I guess I will need to design my own toy. It will be called Lego. There will be bricks that you can build into anything. They will be every single color. There will also be small mini humans called minifigures. I wished I could play with them. Finally, I finished designing it. Darn it! I’m not bored anymore. I will just send it to Earth.

***

Story Two 

A long time ago, before Lego was created, there was a nice ice dragon who was the head of the world. His name was Frederick. Frederick lived in a big, freezing cave in Antarctica. Back then, nobody had toys, so Frederick thought he should make some. He thought a long time of what his biggest fan, Tommy, would like because he would get it first. Finally, he thought of something. He would make a toy that people could build into anything. He worked day and night to design them. He used other toys, and put them together to build Lego. It was a slow process. All of a sudden, the sky turned red, and millions of Lego pieces fell onto Frederick. He jumped up and down, and yelled “Yay,” because he didn’t need to build any more Lego pieces.

The next day Frederick handed Lego sets out to every kid in the world, and Tommy got the most Lego! He felt amazing to see his first fan happy.

***

Story Three

A long time ago, before Lego was created, there were three babies in a trenchcoat that wanted to take over the world. They look like a tall man in a trench coat, but they were really cute, but mean babies. Their names were Barney, Barney, and Barney which equals the ultimate name of Barney! Did I say that Barney wanted to take over the world? All of a sudden, smoke covered Barney, and he turned into a ghost. Then the same thing randomly turned into a Lego piece.

One year later: Someone finds the Lego piece and turns it into a world famous toy.

***

Story Four

A long time ago, before Lego was created, there was a giant monster named Bobby. Bobby hated humans. Bobby was bright green and had one million eyes. He wanted to kill all humans. All of a sudden, he had an idea. He would make a toy that human kids would love, but he would load them with bombs. Whenever he wanted, he could have set off all of the bombs at once, but first every kid needed to have the toy. Bobby gave it to the biggest selling toy company in the world called Lego.

One Year Later: Every kid had Lego and Bobby was about to set off the bombs. Then, someone cut the wire and Bobby couldn’t set off the bombs. Bobby was really annoyed. He stomped his feet and yelled. He was so annoyed that he died!

Now the kids are happier because they got a new toy.

***

Story Five

A long time ago, before Lego was created, there was a famous prince called Fat Joe. He was very mean and very fat (as the name says). He wanted all of the toys in the world. After that, he asked the king to make a toy that was perfect. The king thought day and night to think of something perfect. Finally, he thought of something. He would make a toy that the prince could build into any toy. The king thought it should be called Lego. That night the king snuck the Lego into the prince’s room.

That morning, the prince loved the toy, and when the prince was a king and he was nice, and he gave the Lego to all the other kids.

***

Story Six

A long time ago, before Lego was created, there was a monkey name Berserk. He was really stupid and thought he was a human. All of a sudden, there was an alien invasion. The aliens were bright blue and had ugly faces. The aliens told Berserk to design a new toy for the humans. Berserk said yes, so he worked day and night to design a toy. Finally, he designed a toy called Lego, and gave it to every kid in the world, including himself.

Hamsterly Ever After

Isabella was sitting on the large couch in the living room of her house. Even though the couch was long enough for her to lay down on, she was sitting in the middle with her dark-blue-eyed puppy, Fluffy, on her lap. Isabella was thinking how she really wanted a pet hamster for her birthday, which was a week away, on July 28th. Isabella wasn’t sure if her parents would let her get a hamster, because she had to take care of her puppy, Fluffy. Isabella loved Fluffy, but as she pet his fluffy white fur on her lap, Isabella knew that if she didn’t get a hamster on her birthday, she would be so upset and disappointed. Her face would get red, and she would cross her arms and stomp her foot and spill a glass of milk on purpose.

Isabella felt bored just thinking of all this stuff (and about getting into trouble), so she went into the backyard and jumped on the trampoline. She did backflips and flips for fifteen minutes when she heard her mom call, “Isbelllllllaaaa!” Isabella didn’t know what her mom was calling her for, but when she rushed into the house and saw Fluffy throwing up, she knew what happened.

Her mom said, “I thought I gave you a job. I said to take care of Fluffy. But he’s thrown up again and again and again.” Fluffy stood up on his four feet close to Isabella’s mom wagging his tail. “Look! Fluffy threw up on my foot!”

“Mom, please don’t get mad at me. I accidentally forgot about Fluffy.” Isabella looked at the floor.

“I think your dad is right. I’m not sure if we should get you a hamster. You haven’t even been taking care of Fluffy.”

Isabella wanted to whine, but she knew she’d get in trouble if she did, and if she got in trouble, she wouldn’t get the pet hamster. She walked upstairs to her room and picked a random book off the floor and started to read on her bed. At the end of the book, Isabella was tired. She decided to take an afternoon nap.

The week flew by very fast, so it was right before Isabella’s birthday when a message came to Isabella’s iPhone. “Happy birthday, Isabella! You’re going to like this, spend time with this, and might even bring it to share at your school! Love, Aunt Livi.”

Isabella crossed her fingers and hoped it was going to be her hamster. She felt like it would be a hamster because her aunt knew that she’d wanted a hamster all her life since she was about two years old. Isabella couldn’t wait for her birthday party the next day. Her whole family would be there–her grandparents, her parents, and her aunt.

The next morning, Isabella’s mom woke her up at eight o’clock. Isabella went downstairs into the dining room in her pjs. Her grandma was knitting a scarf, her grandpa was emailing his friend, and her aunt Livi was watching baseball on TV. Fluffy was still in bed because he smelled the dumplings. Fluffy got a dog bone instead of a dumpling.

Isabella smelled a half-sweet, half-doughy smell that she knew because she’d smelled it so many times in her life–it was her favorite smell! Isabella was so surprised because her mom and dad were making dumplings for breakfast! Isabella smiled a happy smile and jumped up and down. There was chocolate milk poured into her favorite koala cup, fancy cloth napkins, party hats with their initials, and sparkly balloons with their initials. All of the party hats had different kinds of patterns like diamonds and stripes, and Isabella put on a yellow one with shooting star and planet pattern. There was an arts and crafts table where you could make pictures, party hats, or balloons. There was also a woman who could do facepaint. Also, in the very center of Isabella’s house was a disco ball with a dance party. Isabella’s mom played Taylor Swift, Katy Perry, and all of Isabella’s other favorites on her iPhone. For eight hours, Isabella ate five dumplings, got her face painted with a koala and her hands painted as paws, and drank eight cups of chocolate milk. She danced and did cartwheels and backflips on the trampoline in the backyard.

When it was time to open her presents, Isabella got a tattoo set, a face paint set with a mirror on the inside, and a makeup set from her grandmother. She got a marker set from her parents. Isabella also got a paint set from the lady who had been painting faces at her party. She also got a box full of dog treats for Fluffy. Fluffy jumped right in! Isabella was happy because her parents had gotten her presents that she liked, but she was sad, and a little mad, that she hadn’t gotten what she really wanted — her hamster. Isabella didn’t want to be rude on her birthday because she knew she wouldn’t get her hamster, so she kept her disappointment inside and stayed on her best behavior.

In the evening after dinner, Isabella’s aunt came into her bedroom. She was hiding something behind her back. Isabella felt nervous. I hope I get the hamster!

Her aunt smiled. “You have one more present left.” She gave Isabella a box wrapped in smiley-face paper.

Isabella’s fingers started unwrapping the present. She saw a peanut butter-colored hamster in a colorful cage. The cage was red, white, and blue with white stars on it. Inside, the hamster was playing with a pink ball with green polka dots. Isabella took the hamster out of the cage and hugged it. “Thank you very much!” Isabella squeaked.

Isabella’s mom and dad stood in the corner of Isabella’s room listening. Her mom said, “You should take good care of the hamster, Isabella. Make sure you leave him on the bookshelf so that Fluffy doesn’t scare him.”

Isabella said, “I promise, Mommy. Can I name him Peanut?”

Isabella’s mom smiled, and Isabella gave her a big hug.

Greek Gods

It all started with Chaos. Chaos was the universe. He born a daughter named Gaea. Gaea was Mother Earth. She had brown hair and dark skin like dirt. Chaos also developed a big pit at the bottom of the Earth. It was called Tartarus. The pit developed a godly form. The sea developed and the sea god was Pontus.

After a while, Gaea got bored. She asked Chaos for a husband. Chaos gave her Ouranos, the sky. Ouranos’ skin changed color from blue and black. In the morning his skin was blue with clouds on it and in the night it was black with stars. Gaea married Ouranos. Then a bunch of primordial gods popped up. Chaos and Tartarus had a kid named Nyx, who was the embodiment of Night. Then Nyx all by herself had Hemera, who was Day. Chaos also created Eros the god of procreation. Other stories said Eros was the son of Aphrodite. We’ll get to them later. Gaea and Ouranos had kids named the Titans who were huge. There female  names were Mnemosyne, Tethys, Theia, Phoebe, Rhea, and Themis and the males were Oceanus, Hyperion, Coeus, Cronus, Crius, and Iapetus. Ouranos kept getting angry at the Titans and yelling at them. Gaea and Ouranos had triplets. They were called the Cyclopes and they were UGLY. Each kid had one eye in the middle of their forehead. Gaea loved these guys. She named them the Elder Cyclopes. Eventually they would make another race of Cyclopes. When Ouranos saw the kids he bound them in chains and threw them into Tartarus.  

“How dare you! They’re your children!” shrieked Gaea

“They’re ugly!’ said Ouranos. She decided to give another chance. Gaea gave birth to another set of triplets.They were the Hundred-handed ones. They had one hundred arms and fifty faces. Gaea also loved them. Ouranos also hated them. He bounded them in chains and, again, threw them into Tartarus. Finally Gaea asked the Titans to destroy their father. All the Titans backed off, except one, Cronus. Cronus was the youngest Titan.

“I love you, wait what is your name again?”

“Cronus.”

“I love you Cronus. Do you need anything?”

“Uh… Yeah. I need four of the Titans to hold Ouranos. You will tell Ouranos that you want to get back together. Also I need a weapon. The four people who help me will be the rulers of the north, east, west, and south,” said Cronus. The girls were too wise to get involved in murder. That left Oceanus, Hyperion, Coeus, Iapetus, and Crius. Oceanus chewed his thumb nervously.

“Uh… actually I need to do some stuff.” said Oceanus. He scurried away. That left Hyperion, Coeus, Crius, and Iapetus.”

Iapetus cleared his throat. “Um, actually–”

“Great!” interrupted Cronous. That night Gaea asked Ouranos if they could get back together

“Um, really?” asked Ouranos.

“Really,” said Gaea. Ouranos came down.

“Hey,” said Ouranos. Right then Hyperion, Coeus, Iapetus, and Crius jumped out and pinned him down. Cronus came.

“Hahaha. Now you will die and I will be the ruler of the universe!” said Cronus. He took his scythe and sliced Ouranos apart. His golden ichor (the blood of immortals) spilled out into crevices and fields. It created animals. Cronus became king of the universe. He made a huge palace on Mount Othrys. Gaea didn’t have to worry anymore. She went to sleep for a few millenia. Cronus married Rhea. She was the substitute Earth goddess. One day Cronus went the the Oracle in the Temple of Delphi. The oracle named Pythia sat on a three-legged stool. Cronus approached Pythia. Green mist poured from her mouth.

“Your kids will overthrow you.” said Pythia. Cronus fled to Mount Othrys where Rhea was giving birth. She had Hestia, Hades, Demeter, Poseidon, Hera, and Zeus. Since Cronus knew his kids were going to overthrow him he swallowed all of them whole, except for Zeus. Rhea had a tantrum for five days straight. When Rhea had Zeus, she hid him on the island of Crete. She put a tree nymph, a goat named Amalthea, and a bee named Melissa. There were two guards that banged their spears on their shields when baby Zeus was crying. Finally Zeus grew up. Mother Rhea came up to Zeus.

“Hello Zeus, I am your mother. I have been protecting you from the evil Cronus. Now it’s time for you to go and overthrow him. Change into a Titan. Go and be his cupbearer and entertainer. Feed him poisonous nectar (the food of the gods) and feed the other Titans sleepy nectar. Good luck,” said Mother Rhea. Zeus concentrated on being tall, strong, and bold. He felt himself get taller. Then he went to Mount Othrys. He fed the other Titans sleepy nectar. Then he fed Cronus poisonous nectar. Cronus barfed Zeus’ siblings up. They were covered in bones and slime.

“Ewwwwwwwwww!” they all groaned.

“What should we do?” asked Hestia

“Well I’m your leader,” said Zeus

“What, who said that! I should be the leader,” yelled Hera

“Well, Mother Rhea appointed me,” said Zeus.

“Fine. But if you be bad, Hestia will be the leader cause she is the oldest,” said Hera

“Well the plan is that we climb Mount Olympus–”

“We need weapons first,” said Hera.

“We will go the the prison in Tartarus and rescue the Hundred-Handed ones and the Elder Cyclopes. They will make us weapons,” said Zeus. They went to Tartarus and rescued Gaea’s children from the prison. The sons of Gaea made weapons for some of the gods. They made lightning bolts for Zeus, a three-pronged trident for Poseidon, a helmet that makes the wearer invisible for Hades, a magical torch for Hestia, a magical peacock feather that could spy on people for Hera, and a scythe that was said to be the exact replica of Cronus’s for Demeter. They freed the Elder Cyclopes and the Hundred-Handed Ones. Then they climbed to the top of Mount Olympus. Meanwhile, the titans were busy too. Hyperion married and had Helios, Selene, and Eos. Coeus married and had Lelantos, Leto, and Asteria. Lapetus’s sons are Atlas, Prometheus, Epimetheus, and Menoetius. Oceanus daughter Metis. Crius’ sons Astraeus, Pallas. Prometheus and Epimetheus joined the gods. At Mount Olympus Zeus and the other gods were planning out the plan to raid Mount Othrys.

“We will turn into eagles and fly to Mount Othrys. The Elder Cyclopes and Hundred-Handed Ones will help us battle,” said Zeus.  They flew to Mount Othrys and battled. The battle raged on for 10 years. One time Atlas threw basilisks at the gods and the gods turned into weasels and spit at them. Finally the battle ended and the gods won. Zeus had Ares, Athena, Apollo, Artemis, Hermes, and Dionysus. Since Hera was the god of marriage she had Hephaestus. With Ouranos’ blood Aphrodite was born.

 

 

 

The End

The Fate of the World

“Aaahh,” Marco yawned. He sat upright and walked right out of the spaceship into the middle of space. He floated just outside the Critzaler Nebula region, though not knowing it. Marco had previously been dreaming on Earth not Critzaler Nebula. Marco stared wide-eyed into the heart of the ship.

“Oh, John Man overboard,” Jim Limb Sim Yes-Him called.

“Oh, ok,” John moaned. Then he took out his fishing rod and swung it until it caught the collar of Marco’s shirt, reeling him in. Marco sat upright again for .1239 milliseconds then fainted due to the shock of being outside of Critzaler Nebula, not Cristaler street, 18940, the Nebula house, living with his 52-year-old mom as a self righteous 28-year-old man. Not the man soon to be carrying the fate of the world on his shoulders.

“Aaahh,” Marco yawned. He sat upright and, once again, absent mindedly walked right out of the spaceship into the the middle of space. He floated just outside the Laxative Potato region. Marco gulped and felt something slimy slide down his pant leg. “Must be the Laxatives,” he thought. Jim Limb Sim Yes-Him’s brother, Tim Rim Grim Na-Him reeled Marco in and when his first foot touched the ship, Marco ran to the bathroom to do some some very important business.

“Aaahh, Marco,” said John, “I have something to tell you.”

“I think I know what it is,” said Marco angrily, “I’m in space.”

“Marco, the Slartegnorgs are coming to enslave every civilization ever! We already have Little Timmy but he’s as stupid as dirt.”

“Oh and you need someone smart, gotcha,” said Marco.

“You know someone smart! Tell me who, who!” said John excitedly.

Marco stared blankly at John.
“Anyway,” said John. “Little Timmy is warning the planets, you have to fight alongside them.”

“So I have to save Earth,” said Marco.

“No,” said John, “Earth was destroyed, you have to save everything else.”

“What?!” said Marco, flabbergasted, “Earth was destroyed!”

“Yes,” said John quite happily, not seeing the problem.

Marco fainted.

“Aaahh,” Marco yawned. He sat upright and walked right out of the spaceship into the the middle of space. He floated right outside the Chimmy Chonga-Diarrhea region. Jim Limb Sim Yes-Him’s brother’s brother’s brother’s brother’s brother’s sister, Amber, reeled Marco in.

“Chimmy Chonga?” she offered Marco.

“I’m fine, thanks,” said Marco, as he trotted to somewhere to cry. He lost everything, he had-nothing! No job, No nice family, friends, girlfriends. Nothing-absolutely nothing, and he lost that too. He thought, very deeply depressed. There was a rumble deep in the ship, Marco shivered, “Not yet,” he quivered, “I’m not ready.” He knew what happened, the Slartegnorgs had boarded!

John found Marco, and said, “I’ll be back,” in a deep voice, as he ran into the heart of the battle.

A Slartegnorg came eye to eye with Marco, and charged, Marco sobbed, the Slartegnorg screamed a battle cry, Marco caught hold of something, that did…nothing, for it was a small life jacket of no use! Fortunately, for the Slartegnorgs that is, they had caught Marco. Up close the Slartegnorgs were like hideous green slimy spiders, and unfortunately for Marco he had arachnophobia, and surprise or no surprise they spun a disgusting white silk around Marco. Marco was anxious to get free, but this isn’t a fairy tail, so he had no such luck. Marco had been caught by a weaponless arachnid.

“Resistance is futile you will be destroyed in 34 laxative morlunar units, helpless humanoid,” the Slartegnorg boomed. Marco sobbed louder.

“You can’t do this to me, cancel the destruction!” Marco cried.

“To cancel obliteration, repeat the code,” said the Slartegnorg.

“Ok!” said Marco, happily.

“The code is,” boomed the Slartegnorg, “10101010101010100101000101010100101010111101010101010100101010010110110010100101010100101001010010111101010101010101010101100101010010101001010100101001010100101010010101001010101001010010100010101010100101110010101001001010101010011010010101010010101010101010.”

“Uh, ok,” Marco murmured. “10-uh-10101010-uh-uh-1000011101011-uh-1101010101010101010101001010-um-uh-1-uh-10-1-010010101010100101001010101-uh-0?” Marco stumbled.

“Code denied,” spoke the Slartegnorg. Something like a needle was forced into Marco’s back, then Marco went pale, everything went dark and he fainted.

“Aaahh,” Marco yawned. He sat upright and walked right into a wall. “Ow!” Marco yelped in pain. All his muscles were in agony, or at least the muscles he had, as he looked down to find he had lost his index finger. “You took my finger!” Marco cried in shock, as a Slartegnorg entered.

“It was necessary,” replied the Slartegnorg.

“It was not!” yelled Marco, “it was my finger,” he said dramatically.

“Yes, it was your finger,” replied the Slartegnorg.

“It was a very important finger!” Marco ranted.

“More or less,” replied the Slartegnorg.

‘More or less’, what is that supposed to mean?” Marco yelled.

“It is and isn’t important.”

“It is Important! It is, it is, it is, it is, it is!” Marco screamed as he stomped around wherever he was.

“Sit in the chair humanoid,” the Slartegnorg bellowed.

“Ok!” Marco yelled in his rage. The Slartegnorg left and two red boxes took his place. Suddenly, they sprouted legs, and one arm and a gun (and a head of course).

“Prepare for obliteration,” they said.

“No, no, no, no, no, no, no!” Marco said nervously, as he broke free of his nerves (and the chair).

He then ran around the room until one of the robots took a shot at him and instead hit a hollow part of the wall. Marco ran through the hole to a large room full of similar robots and Slartegnorgs. Marco saw a few Slartegnorgs talking to a little boy, so Marco crawled past them and into one of the ships that he found. He figured out how to lift off and went through a convenient hole in the wall, he then flew until he reached a blue planet, with astonishing towers. He then blew the blue planet up. Then a fleet of space-ships smaller than his appeared.

“You destroyed a level six planet, you will be imprisoned in the Zoldolisk space quadrant, Humanoid,” they spoke.

But Marco did not care, so he destroyed them, then a larger fleet of larger ships appeared, and then Marco did care, so he fled. And Marco was chased back to the home of the Slartegnorgs, which he now saw was green, like them. He entered back through the hole in the wall, crashing into several ships and landing on his back, unconscious.

“Aahh,” Marco yawned. He sat upright, look at both hands, attempted walking, but fell, he looked down at his feet to find a toe missing.

“My toe! Seriously!” he screamed at a Slartegnorg entering the new room which had a cell that Marco was in, and to the right of him he saw some Slartegnorgs talking to the same small boy.

“You didn’t like us cutting your finger off, so we took a toe.”

“Why?!” Marco asked.

“D.N.A.” he replied.

“Hunky Dory,” Marco said.

“We have arranged to send both of you Humanoids to be obliterated,” the Slartegnorg stated.

“‘Both’ of us Humanoids?” Marco asked.

“Yes, you and the small child,” the Slartegnorg replied.

Marco looked again at the little boy. He was looking out the window, so Marco did the same and he saw a group of ships shooting more ships. Oh-no, Marco thought. It seemed like one shot was all it took for one ship to go keb-lewy. The ship shook, something had hit it! Marco was shot out of the ship like a cannonball as it exploded, sending him and the boy in opposite directions in space…without spacesuits. Marco heard a noise, too faint to hear in space, but to his surprise an almost clear blue shield surrounded the two cells. Marco sighed in relief. It was silent for an hour or two, just Marco sitting and waiting, thinking he was going to die. Strangely, his shield popped as he was propelled into the cockpit of a fairly large deserted ship.

“Woo-hoo!” Marco yelled in relief.

“Marco?” he heard a voice call.

A man appeared.

“He was maybe six,” and had black hair.

“Jim Limb Sim Yes-Him!” Marco cried. “Break me out of this cell?”

Jim Limb Sim did, “Where is everyone else?” Marco asked.

“They died in the battle.” Jim Limb Sim said. “But why are you here, shouldn’t you be saving the Universe?” he asked.

“Ummm. It’s not going well, but anyway the closest planet is Gorlonflod, let’s go warn them!” Marco said heroically. Jim Limb Sim and him flew to Gorlonflod, but looking at the small red planet they saw the Gorlonflod fleet chasing a blue ship, so Marco decided to flee with it and instead landed on a yellow and dull planet. It had one sign and one building, the sign read:

Welcome To Pythod Hotel, We find a Planet, enslave it, then make it a Hotel!

Marco got a Intergalactic Berry Laser Cannon Smoothie, then got back in his ship and quickly blew up Pythod, and a hotel bathroom flew by the ship with someone taking a shower inside. Orange pieces of the large planet were scattered among space.

“The point was to save them,” Jim Limb Sim said.

“Oh,” replied Marco, “I like blowing them up better.”

“Ugh,” Jim Limb Sim sighed.

They saw a fleet of large green Slaregnorg ships, one bigger than the rest.

“That Must be the Mother-Ship,” Jim Limb Sim whispered, “are you thinking what I’m thinking?”

“Why do they like green so much?” Marco whispered in reply.

“Surrender Humanoids, I, Jachsloch, ruler of the Slartegnorg civilization command you,” The Mother-Ship said.

Then it started shooting at them, of course, this being a sci-fi story, the main characters barely escape death, so somehow all the shots missed. Then Marco miraculously shot down all the small ships. Marco started shooting the Mother-ship, but it retaliated with stronger fire power, but then suddenly blew up before their eyes

“Yeah!” Marco cried “We did it!” he shouted. He thought that until a blue ship flew through the destruction. “Oh.” For Marco realized he and Jim Limb Sim hadn’t destroyed the Slartegnorg Mother-Ship, rather it was that little boy that had.

“Well at least I accomplished something,” Marco said proudly.

“You accomplished nothing, you actually hurt, more than helped,” Jim Limb Sim said in reply.

“What do I do now?” Marco asked.

“You could be a space hobo,” Jim Limb Sim said in reply.

“I think I’ll just live here,” Marco said as he went to sleep, trying to forget about the exhausting days he’s been having.

The End

 

The Elephant

Bright colors all around

People cheering in the moonlight

A figure looks me right in the eye with a smile on its face

His trunk moves side to side

That is his way of saying hello

Dressed in red, yellow, pink, and orange

Drums play and people dance

His trunk moves up and down

That is his way of saying hello

Smells of happiness swarm around me

There is not a single frown to be seen

His trunk zig zags in the air

That is his way of saying hello

The humidity of the place goes around

I grab a cold towel and wipe my face

His trunk swirls all around

That is his way of saying hello

A woman puts a bright purple flower in my hair

It shines as a slight breeze blows on my neck

His trunk dances in the wind

That is his way of saying hello

A man hands me a coconut

I sip it as flavor bursts in my mouth, there is nothing but kindness in this land

I move my hands side to side

My feet up and down

My head zig zagging

And my tummy swirling around

That is my way of saying hello to this beautiful place

The Christmas Portal

One day, a boy named Billy was at his house in his room. He was thinking of what he could do that day. He thought and he thought and he thought for hours until he said, “Maybe I can find out a way to go to another dimension.” So he thought and he thought until he figured it out. He said, “Maybe I can crawl through my vents until I find a door to another dimension.” So Billy tried that. He crawled in the vents for hours and hours and hours because he was rich and had many mansions put together. He crawled in his vents until he found three doors. One door had a picture of a ghost. The other door had a picture of a bunny. The other door had a picture of snow falling from the sky. So Billy tried the first door, but he got scared from the ghosts and spooky creatures and got out. Next, he tried the second door. He got to play easter egg hunt. He enjoyed it, but that was not the portal he wanted. So he tried the third door and it felt like it was Christmas in the summer. So he wanted to stay there. Meanwhile, his mother was calling him to have lunch because his friends came over to have lunch and then play games. Billy had to make a decision either be with his friends or stay in that really cool portal. He chose his friends because he barely gets to see them and he knew the way to the portals. So he rushed to his room before his mom came to check on him. Then he would have to tell his parents that he was in another dimension and his parents would think he was  lying and punish him. But luckily they did not. With his friends he played hide and seek, duck duck goose, and they also played peekaboo and for lunch they ate applesauce. His friends stayed over from 12:37 to 8:13. So after his friends left, his parents went out for dinner while his 100 year old sleepy grandma babysitted him. He went to the portal but before he did, he got a lot of blankets and made it look like he was asleep. He slept in a gingerbread house where he almost finished eating it because he had a huge sweet tooth. He also made a snowman that came to life and he played snowball fight with the elves and he made snow angels in the very clean snow. He also gathered a couple of elves to his delicious home and drank hot cocoa, ate huge gingerbread cookies and played chess. When he woke up that day, he had presents under his tree in the gingerbread house. He got a snowmobile, a drone, a remote control car and helicopter. He also got new shoes and a new car. It was morning when he got back from exploring the portal. His parents were calling him for breakfast.

While he was eating breakfast his parents asked him, “What did you do last night while Nana was baby sitting?”

Billy did not know what to say so he said, “I was in my room playing video games and watching TV.” His parents thought that what he said was true. So Billy decided, “Maybe my parents will believe me if I say that I have found a portal to another dimension.” He said that to his parents. Unfortunately, his parents did not believe him. So Billy got in big trouble.

His parents’ exact words were, “DO NOT LIE TO US YOUNG MAN. YOU ARE GROUNDED FOR A MONTH.”

“Can  I go to my portal while I am grounded?” he asked. “NNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! AND FOR THE LAST TIME, NNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNOOOOOOOOOO

OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO” his parents said.  

“But dad I w -”

Before Billy could finish his sentence his dad said, “ZIP IT OR ELSE.”

So after one month passed, Billy went to the portals. He saw it was not there. He thought “who could have done this? Who were the people I told about this?” He said “I should have known my parents  would have done this.” He went searching for them and calling their names, but they did not answer.

Right in front of him was a note that said “Dear Billy, we left  because we did not want you to hurt us. We attached the portals. If you read this note text us back.”

So Billy wrote on his phone: “Come back to our house and I will not hurt you. I will never hurt my parents.”

But Billy lied, and when they got home Billy made them break their whole body. Billy covered the floor with marbles and butter before the ambulance arrived his dad yelled at him and said “YOU HAVE TO LEARN HOW TO BEHAVE YOUNG MAN OR ELSE YOU WILL GET BAD CONSEQUENCES IN RETURN.”

So the ambulance got them and took them to the hospital to put on their casts, but the doctor said, “You guys have to live at the hospital for the rest of your lives so we can take care of you. Both of you are badly injured.”

When Billy’s father heard the news, he said, “NNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO.

The Adventures of Little Timmy

 

Once upon a time, Little Timmy was walking back from the market when Old Man John ran around and said, ”ALIENS! ALIENS ARE COMING! WE ARE GOING TO DDDIIIEEE!!!”

Little Timmy ran into his house and cried, ”MOMMY, ALIENS, OLD MAN JOHN, HELP DDDIIEEE!!!”

His Mom walked in and said, “Little Timmy, Old Man John is kind of crazy.”

Little Timmy was not so sure. He walked out again and saw Old Man John, “THE END THE END OF THE WORLD!! INVASION!!! THE EEENNNDDDD!!!”

Little Timmy was reassured until a big, silver, circular ship came out of nowhere and landed right in front of him. Old Man John fainted. Then a door opened up on the side and an enormous slug came out. The slug opened its mouth and spoke, ”I come in peace and to warn you of the Slartegnorgs who intend to destroy the earth.”

Little Timmy was staring open-mouthed at the slug. ”I must return to my home planet, Querzbroximus, in order to warn the other planets that will be destroyed by the Slartegnorgs. I have arranged for you to get a ship and language translator that you can use to get around your planet to warn everyone of their upcoming destruction. Good day.”

And with that, slug guy slithered back into his ship. It flew away. Behind it he saw a miniature version of the slug ship. Little Timmy got in and it automatically lifted high in the air.

Little Timmy, having no education on how to fly a spaceship, pressed a few buttons and blew up the city beneath him. Then he pressed another button and was teleported all the way to a huge, green ship that was positioned to destroy Earth. A smaller ship came out of the large one and a loud voice spoke, ”Leave this inter-galactic quadrant or you will be obliterated by the Slartegnorgs.”

Timmy was scared, so he pressed as many buttons as he could reach. Nothing happened except that the chicken song started playing in an endless loop. The voice came back, ”Obliteration will commence in 19 laxative morlunar units.”

Just then, Timmy pressed a big red button and was ejected into space. Immediately a beam shot out of the large ship and drew him in. Then the lack of oxygen caused Timmy to faint.

Little Timmy woke up in an empty room with no door. The voice spoke again, ”You have trespassed onto the official Slartegnorg mobile space nebula, which is punishable by obliteration.”

“Don’t explodinize earth!” said Little Timmy.

“Earth has disobeyed the inter-galactic level four planet law 11397 that clearly states that you ‘cannot fish for whales on a hexaday.’ Their demise is scheduled in 27,426 laxative morlunar units. The obliteration has been clarified with the moolkstined palparite, although you will not live to see doomsday, because your obliteration is scheduled for 6 laxative morlunar units.”

Timmy did not understand a word of this, so he just sat in the room and waited. Half an hour later the voice said, ”Obliteration commencing. Obliterators engaging.”

Little Timmy heard two loud electric zaps and then mechanical whirring. Suddenly a hole in the roof opened up and two small red boxes fell inside of the room and immediately started to transform, first growing legs, then arms, then heads. They were both five feet tall and had blasters on their right arm.

Little Timmy, whose only thoughts were, ”red box monsters!” ran as far away from the robots as possible, which wasn’t that much. The obliterators followed, although slower. One obliterator used his gun to blast a large hole in the wall, right where Timmy was standing a second ago. The hole opened up into a large, crowded room that contained many robots who were pushing carts and a few five-foot tall green spiders who must have been the Slartegnorgs. Timmy ran into the room before the obliterators could do any more damage and blended into the crowd.

Nobody noticed Timmy as he ran around in the maze of creatures, avoiding the Slartegnorgs and the two obliterators. A voice came over the intercom, ”Pilots A113 and J965 report to landing station 4 in 2 laxative morlunar units.”

Immediately two orange robots, identical to the obliterators except orange and with two hands and not one, changed course and started moving towards a large door. Timmy decided to follow the pilots into the room. The landing station contained 16 of the small ships that Timmy had seen outside of the large one.

Quickly, Timmy ran and got into the ship that was closest to him. He got in the pilot’s seat, pressed a few buttons, blew up a few people, the door, and eight control panels. Finally, he got into the air and out into space.

Little Timmy traveled at lightspeed for a few minutes, until he found a large, blue planet. Timmy thought it was pretty so he pressed the button that he thought would take a picture, but instead found himself landing on the surface. There was a sign next to the place that he landed that said, “Warning space travelers. Ixrod is a level six planet and any species from a planet level four or lower will be imprisoned due to the statement of the moolkstined palparite.”

Little Timmy could not read so he ignored it. Around him were very tall buildings. Timmy was admiring them when sudden—”Your species is identified as human. You will be imprisoned in the Zoldolisk space quadrant.”

Timmy started pressing buttons and eventually escaped into space again. Timmy kept moving at lightspeed until he saw a large black circle, surrounded by spiraling debris. A meter on his ship said, “Black hole, disengage flight, do not enter.”

Too late, Timmy was out of control and pressing all the buttons. It was no use. Nothing happened except the ship pelted a life jacket out at high velocity. After lots of spiraling, Timmy fell into nothingness…

Suddenly a voice spoke, ”Emergency teleportation commencing.”

Then, his spacecraft teleported all the way back into the Slartegnorg ship. The Slartegnorgs were waiting.

“Your obliteration has been rescheduled. You have important information.”

“What do you mean?” said Timmy.

“You have accessed Ixrod. No Slartegnorg has entered that quadrant. Our access has been denied. Describe.”

“It’s blue and has large towers,” said Timmy.

“Describe,” it repeated.

“That’s it,” said Little Timmy.

“Description incomplete, obliteration will be continued.”

Suddenly, Little Timmy saw a green robot spray him and everything went dark.

Timmy woke up in a cell that was inside of a ship. He was next to another man in a separate cell. “Ixrod has been destroyed, your information is worthless. You will be obliterated.”

”Where am I going?” Timmy asked.

“That information is classified.”

Out of the window he saw a fleet of ships battling another fleet of ships. They were exploding equally fast. Suddenly a stray laser blasted the ship! It exploded, sending the two prisoners in different directions, out into space.

“Emergency air-shield activating.”

Suddenly a large, blue, but transparent force field encased the cell. Nothing happened for about an hour, but then he saw a large space satellite, circling a small, red planet. His cell was heading right towards it!

Ten minutes later his cell landed directly on the landing station. There were five robots in that room that were so caught up in their work that they didn’t even notice him. Finally, one did and let him out of the cell. Timmy quickly looked at the dock in search of a new ship. He found a particularly cool, red one, hopped in, pressed stuff, and was airborne.

“You have stolen gorlonflod property. Return it immediately or you will be arrested and trialed by the moolkstined palparite.”

Timmy did what he did best and didn’t listen.

He flew out into space incredibly fast so that the galactic police couldn’t catch him.

The next planet on his list was pink. He accidently blew it up. A few ships came out and chased him into another fleet of ships, then another and another!! There were ships from every planet that he’d harmed! They were all shooting at him!!! He pressed so many buttons, that he broke the galactic record! He managed to start flying at lightspeed, but saw that his energy meter was quickly running out. He hid behind a ship that was then destroyed by the pursuing aliens. More ships came out to capture him!

He finally pressed the teleport button. He was teleported to a large, silver planet with a red ring around it. When he landed, a sign said, “Welcome to the home planet of the ancient Moolkstined Palparite, the law-makers of the galaxy.”

Little Timmy thought it wasn’t written well so he blew it up. Immediately sirens sounded, so Timmy got out of the ship and ran into a large building. He got into an elevator and pressed all the buttons. 20 minutes later, he got to the top floor. He was in a small room. A voice said, ”You have entered the Spacecraft viewing station. To enter, state entrance password 22514635747894753.34728593.”

Little Timmy cried, ”Um, help I’m being chased and I need to get in!!”

“Password accepted.”

Timmy didn’t understand what was going on, so he just ran through the gray door that opened up into a spaceship harbor. Timmy, who of course loved to take cool ships, got a blue one with long wings. He then flew off, back into space.

Timmy had gotten tired of traveling, so he decided to go back home. On the journey back in the direction that he randomly chose was home, he encountered the Slartegnorg fleet which was in battle and losing very quickly. Timmy started blasting at random and soon saw that there was one ship that was bigger than the rest. By now, it was the last one standing. The attackers were too far away to see, but they didn’t seem able to destroy the largest ship.

Timmy decided to blow it up himself, so he pressed the biggest red button that he could find. He launched a huge missile that must have took up half of the ship. It landed in the very center. KAABLLOOOSSSHHHH!!!!!!!!! It blew up.

Timmy was very happy as he flew around and pressed the button that (he thought) led him home…

Not quite.

THE END

Blue

 

Blue is the feeling of wind.  The ocean breeze biting my cheeks

Blue is the smell of palm trees going through your nose and dancing in the sky

Blue is the taste of a ripe berry filling your mouth with flavor

Blue is the sight of a blue-jay perched on a branch

Blue is the sound of rain dripping down my window

Blue is the feeling of sadness shattering your heart

Blue is the smell of salt cleaning your soul

Blue is the taste of cold ice tea sinking down your throat

Blue is the sight of snowflakes, each one unique in their own way

Blue is the sound of waves crashing against the shore  

Blue is the feeling of a warm bubble bath

Blue is the smell of a cool breeze when standing on the highest point overlooking a lake with not a cloud in the sky and no haze from pollution Blue is the taste of cotton candy filling your stomach with excitement

Blue is the sight of truth.  The sky can never lie to you.

Blue is the sound of bubbles floating over the land as if they were never going to pop

Blue is the feeling of sea shells tickling my feet  

Blue is the smell of blue-berry muffins dipped in milk

Blue is the taste of cool snowcones turning your tongue blue

Blue is the sight of a grassy meadow with the sunshine beating on your neck and not a single cloud in the sky

Blue is the sound of a baby in a deep sleep

Blue is the feeling of warm tears running down your cheek

Blue is the smell of a fresh rain in the countryside that cleans all the dirt away from the flower petals and gathers in small pools for birds to bathe in

Blue is the taste of orange Fanta

Blue is the sight of night.  Looking into the eye of the moon and howling at it like a lone wolf that has been set free

Blue is the sound of peace.  I am sitting on top of a mountain, day dreaming into the mist, thankful.

 

A Perfect Halloween

Once there was a girl who really wanted a cape but had no money. Her name was Nicole and she was short, with long, dark brown hair. She lived in Michigan with her twin sister Rebecca and their dog Charlotte. Even though they were twins, Rebecca didn’t look the same as Nicole. She was tall with short blonde hair.

So the thing you should know about Nicole and her home is that the town she lives in loves Halloween. Every year they celebrate and everyone in the town wears a costume. In fact, nobody had ever once forgotten! So it was a really big deal and if she were to show up on Halloween night without a costume, everybody would laugh at her.

Rebecca already had her costume — she was dressing as a spooky witch. She bought the costume down at the dollar store, and it was the very last costume they had. Nicole had wanted to be the witch, but now she couldn’t. More importantly, she couldn’t wear any costume because the dollar store was all out, and the only other store in town that sold costumes was really expensive.

“I think we need to make a lemonade stand,” Nicole said to Rebecca.

“Why’s that?” Rebecca asked.

“Because I want to earn money for my costume.”

“Sure thing,” said Rebecca. “I’ll help!”

So they went about building the stand using wood from the porch. They got paint from the basement, and they painted a big colorful sign on the stand. Then Rebecca and Nicole made the lemonade using a special recipe from their grandma’s cookbook. The book was kind of old and skinny with pages missing. They made five full gallons of lemonade. When Nicole tasted it, she said, “This is really good.”

Rebecca tasted it, too, and said, “Yeah! It is!”

So Nicole lifted the lemonade and started carrying it out to the stand on the side of the street. Suddenly, Nicole heard the sound of a barking dog. She looked up to see if it was Charlotte, who was known to escape from time to time. Just then, Nicole tripped on a rock and spilled all five gallons of the lemonade.

Rebecca came outside and saw Nicole and the spilled lemonade. “That was all the lemonade we made, and now you’re not going to make any money!” said Rebecca angrily.

“It was an accident,” said Nicole.

“Now you’re not going to get your costume, and I’m going to be humiliated!” Rebecca said.

“We can make more lemonade,” said Nicole.

“We’re out of lemons!” said Rebecca. “You need to think of something else to make money.”

“We could sell the candy inside the house that we got for Halloween,” said Nicole.

“Okay, we can give it a try,” said Rebecca.

So Nicole and Rebecca went back inside and got the candy and started going door to door selling it to people who had forgotten to buy some already. And, as it turned out, a lot of people had forgotten to buy candy for Halloween so they were able to sell theirs for a lot of money.

When it was all over, they had made a pile of cash.

“Now you can buy your costume,” said Rebecca.

So they went down to the fancy Halloween store and Nicole bought the fanciest costume in the shop! She bought matching witch costumes — capes and all! — with Rebecca and some of their friends. They even bought a black cat costume for their dog, Charlotte. And when they went out Trick-or-Treating, everyone complimented their costumes.