Winter

There are snowflakes hanging in air

There is a cold feeling for everyone one to bear

There are decorations plastered everywhere.

The icy snow pierces my legs 

As I trudge through the splotchy blanket white snow. 

The pine trees swing their branches like arms waving. 

There is a holiday scent in the air

That fills my body with joy and fun

And in a few days, it’s present time!

The Nuclear Death, Part 1

There once were 2 teams. One of the teams was called the Department of Nuclear Studies, D.N.S. for short.  The other team was called Society of Hitmen, S.H. for short. The two facilities were enemies. S.H. wanted to destroy D.N.S. They wanted to destroy the facility because they didn’t want any mistakes to happen, or else the city would get destroyed. They were in Nevada, where there’s a lot of plains. S.H. was also in Nevada. They were actually right next to the D.N.S. facility. The leader of S.H. wanted to assassinate the director of D.N.S. Today was the day they would do it. 

The leader prepared all of his people. He gave them muskets and bazookas. There were many different groups in S.H. There were the spies, the raiders, and the commando. The commando, along with many other raiders, went in a buggie. The spies went in a black van. There were also the hitmen. The hitmen went with the spies, but there was one hitman who wasn’t sure about this plan. His name was the Blackout. He had a very important role with the hitmen. His role was to assassinate and to heal. He was the chief medic of S.H., and he was the only one who didn’t have a cold heart. So, he told his crew that he would be back. He put the vice chief medic in charge, because he would stay back and control the plan. But that wasn’t what he was going to do. He was going to secretly help D.N.S. 

The Blackout went through a secret passageway to D.N.S., where he would start a new life. He put on some casual clothes, and asked the director of the D.N.S. for an interview. Luckily, he said yes. In the interview, he was asked what his job was before. 

Blackout answered: “I was the chief medic of a society.” 

He didn’t mention that he was part of S.H. and the director didn’t find out. He said yes to the job, and even better, he said he could be the chief medic of D.N.S. Blackout was happy, but he wasn’t so happy about lying to his whole group at S.H. But he was okay with lying to the director of D.N.S. After all, it wasn’t really a lie. It was a white lie. Little did he know that white lie would become a big lie. 

He said to the director that there was a raid party that wanted to destroy D.N.S. The director believed him, so he put the facility at level 5, which was the most secure level. They were right on time. Then, they sent out some of their troops to secure the area. Back at S.H., the leader told them to retreat. When they got back, the Blackout wasn’t there. But luckily, the Blackout wasn’t that dumb. He disguised a person as him and killed that person so it would look like he was dead. Now, the big lie began. The news went out to all of S.H. But then, it was going further than S.H. – it was going to New York City, and other states. Luckily, D.N.S didn’t know about it yet. But they would soon. The leader of S.H. was very sad. Still, no one knew about S.H., though. Blackout was saving people all day. The news spread out. It even spread out to S.H. When the leader of D.N.S. found out, he was furious. Blackout also told D.N.S. about S.H. Like always, the director of D.N.S. believed him. Sadly, now S.H. wanted to assassinate the Blackout, but now his name was Chief Larry.

S.H. snuck into D.N.S. When they all heard that there were threats in D.N.S., Chief Larry sent out many troops with the permission of the director. The troops were able to kidnap the hitmen, the spies, the commando and the raiders. Unfortunately, the big lie became bigger and bigger. 

The leader of S.H. told the director of D.N.S. everything, from the beginning to the end. When the director asked Chief Larry if it was true, he said yes. Luckily, the director of D.N.S. was super nice, and it didn’t bother him at all. The director of D.N.S. said that all people change course in life. And the director always knew that he wasn’t spying for S.H. But nobody knew what to do with S.H. 

“Killing them would be a little harsh,” said Chief Larry. 

Everybody agreed. “Maybe we could keep them in our facility prison,” said the director of D.N.S. 

Chief Larry and the rest of D.N.S. agreed. But the next day, the co-director of D.N.S. had a surprise for Chief Larry. He was the new director of D.N.S., but the ex-director wasn’t there. The co-director said that he was shocked while they were transferring S.H. to their prison. They also said that they could not capture S.H., they were still on the loose. 

                                              To be continued 

Quinn & Kit

“Slow down!” shouted Kit Gold. 

“Okay!” shouted Quinn Wing. They were playing tag. 

“Got you.” said Kit. Then they saw something strange rustling in the leaves. A wind caught them like a tornado and they spun into a different world. They didn’t know where they were. The world had blue leaves on the trees and all the things looked different. Everything was dark and misty, not like in their forest which was bright and sun-shiny. 

“Where are we?” asked Quinn. 

“I don’t know,” said Kit, picking up one of the blue leaves and barking angrily. 

“We’re not supposed to be involved in some kind of magic wind. My mom told me about the magic wind in stories. But I didn’t think it was all supposed to be true.”  

“Yeah, yeah,” said Kit. “But we’ve gotta find a way to get out of here.”

 “First,” said Quinn, “we’ve got to find out how the magic wind got us and brought us over here.”

 “Well, I know the tornado kind of got a little dimmer every time I thought about going 

home. And then it just vanished and dropped us here. Maybe we could think about not going home, to go home.”

“That doesn’t make sense, but we could try,” said Quinn. 

“Okay! Three. Two. One. Go!” said Kit. 

And they both tried not to think about going home. And none of it worked. 

“We’ve gotta keep thinking but first … AH! WHAT IS THAT?” screamed Quinn. 

They saw something weird in front of them. 

All the leaves around them started closing in and fire shot out of the ground. Fire was the same color. Some of it was blue and some of it was orange-reddish. 

And then suddenly, Quinn blinked. They were swept upside down and crashed into a big pile of leaves that were greenish-orangish. They were in the same world, but on a different continent. 

“I get it,” said Kit. “We think about some things, like not going home and then we go somewhere completely different.”

“Like what?” 

Kit said, “Like flying up with your wings. You can fly up and tell me what you see.” 

So Quinn flew up and saw a big, black cloud. 

“Yeah!” screamed Quinn while he was spinning upside down back to the forest floor.

“Well, that didn’t work,” said Kit. “You shouldn’t be looking upwards all the time, not focusing on what’s on the ground. You might get blown up by something.

“What do you mean blown up?” said Quinn.

“You know what I mean. Not actually blown up.”

“Oh, right. Should we just find a way to get out of here?” asked Quinn

“Well, yeah that’s what we’re thinking about.”

“Did you hear that?” asked Quinn.

“What?” said Kit.

“That,” said Quinn, pointing out the boinging sound.

“Oh, right. What is that boinging sound? Should we go check it out?” asked Kit.

“Maybe,” answered Quinn.

“Okay, first let’s figure out what that thing is.”

“Okay!” said Quinn. “But what?” asked Quinn.

“That,” said Kit, pointing to some strange creature. “It was snapping its jaws wide open and closed. I think that’s just a plant, I guess?” said Kit.

“Kit?” said Quinn.

“What?” answered Kit.

“Did you notice how many of them there are?”

Kit blinked. He hadn’t noticed so many of them were there.  

Kit said, “Can you fly us out of here, Quinn?”

“Yes, probably,” said Quinn. “Get on my back,” said Quinn.

Quinn soared up into the sky, trying to find the magic wind again. Suddenly, they found the black cloud again. Quinn flew straight into it. And suddenly it was all quiet. Super quiet.

“So, I think we landed in the middle of nowhere,” said Kit.

“Uh, not exactly,” he said. “Look, we landed on a single leaf.”

“Oh, then I guess we shrunk because the leaf is falling and it seems super super big.”

“Yes,” said Quinn.

“When are we landing?” asked Kit.

“Pretty soon, I think,” answered Quinn.

“Well, I think we already did. Because, look at the trees, they’re gigantic. When we were up there, they were very much smaller. I would guess they were really below us.”

“Well, I think we should get off this leaf. Just, let’s fly,” said Quinn. 

“Yeah, we don’t want to get stomped on by some giant rabbit.”

“Did you forget?” answered Quinn. “They’re only gigantic to us now. But soon when we’re back normal size, they’re pretty much going to be normal size.”

“Okay,” answered Kit. “Just get me on the ground and we can get out of the way of everyone–”

“STAMPEDE!” interrupted Quinn.

Kit quickly got on his back and they soared over all the animals.

“Well, look at it this way, we should just–”

“Just what?” asked Kit.

“We should just try to find something that we could use from here to get back to our hometown Stuffyland.”

“Yeah, let’s look for that thing if there is.” Suddenly they heard rustling in the leaves. Kit looked down and said, “I think I’m floating.” No matter how hard he tried, he couldn’t reach Quinn.

“I think we’re going DOOOOOWN!” shrieked Quinn. He twirled down and down and down. “We went up quite high,” he said, bonking his head down.

“Well, let’s get searching,” Kit said.

“Okay, but first we gotta find something.”

“Mmhmm,” Kit answered while looking up.

“What’re you looking at?” asked Quinn.

“I think I’m staring at that tree, not exactly up.”

Quinn looked too. What he saw was jewels instead of leaves. “I think one of those jewels is gonna help us get back closer to our home, but not exactly to there. Should we choose one?” asked Quinn.

“Yes, we should,” said Kit.

“Yes, we should,” mumbled Quinn to himself.

They looked at the tree carefully and saw one that was quite different from the others. Quinn flew up to that jewel and plucked it out from the tree.

“Think this’ll work?” asked Quinn.

“It should. C’mon. 3, 2, 1, let’s fly.”

Kit and Quinn soared up high and they saw the black cloud again. Before going in, Kit blew on the jewel four times and then they went in.

They were somewhere closer, Quinn knew it. They hadn’t been here before. “Why was everything so small?” Quinn asked himself. “Before things were huge,” he said, stomping his claws.

“Yeah we are,” said Kit, bounding forward on his four paws. Suddenly they felt like they were shrinking.

“Oh, why are you here?” Quinn asked something on the ground. Kit rolled around and looked at what Quinn was looking at. Quinn was looking at Softy from their world.

“Oh, what are you doing here?” Kit asked Softy the bunny.

 “I thought I might help you,” said Softy. “What are you looking for?” 

“I don’t know.” said Kit. “AHH!” Quinn shouted. Suddenly, everyone was pulled into the ground. They heard a scream. “HELP!” They ran into a big room and saw the screaming Princess Keeah.

“Just what is going on here?” Asked Softy.

“That?” said Quinn.

“Probably,” said Kit.

“What’s that?” asked Softy.

“Oh. That. You mean snakes that are behind her?”

“Uhhh, yes! Now stop fiddling, and let’s go.”

“Okay.”

“Softy!!” groaned Kit.

“Okay, okay.”

Suddenly, Softy started freaking out. He was scared of snakes.

“Guys!” said Keeah. “Should we just go up?”

“How?” asked Softy.

“Like this,” answered Keeah, jumping up on the little ditch that was on top of her.

Softy bounded back on the grass. “Come on, Quinn, Kit, come up!”

“Okay!” answered Kit, boinging out of the ground.

Quinn flew out. “Come on, let’s start running!”

“Sssss.”

“Uh oh,” said Keeah.

“Snakes!” gulped Softy.

“Woah!” said Kit. “Come on, Quinn, you’re the only one that can fly.”

“Okay, get on my back, Kit and Softy. Princess Keeah, you can fly too, can’t you?”

“Oh, yes I can!”

“So let’s go!”

They all flew up into the sky. Kit was looking down.

“You know, we’re all afraid of something,” he said. “And this is not the time for me to be afraid of heights, which I am.”

“Not exactly a problem,” said Quinn. “Because we’re going down now.”

“Oh, phew. That was close,” said Kit when he finally put his paws down on the grass again.

“ACHOO!” sneezed Softy. “Now, I think we accidentally flew through a portal without noticing. Because this place is very dusty.”

“Yeah, you’re right,” said Keeah.

“Okay. What do we do now?”

“ACHOO!” said Softy.

“Uhh, I think we have a problem here,” said Kit. “I think Softy’s allergic to dust.”

“I am–ACHOO!” said Softy.

“That is a problem,” said Keeah, tapping her head. “Now what do we do?”

“Umm, fly? Because if Softy’s allergic to dust and up there’s dusty, we just might be able to stop him from sneezing all day.”

“So?” Softy got on Quinn’s back and Quinn flew up, up, up.

Suddenly, Softy shouted, “Hey! You guys! Come up here too!”

“Huh,” said Keeah, but took Kit’s paws and went up.

“Well, now that we’re all together, I have something to show you,” said Quinn.

“Here we GOOOOO…” said Softy, bolting with Kit through a big dark cloud.

“Oh, we’re supposed to go through there?” 

Silence.

Then Keeah said, “Why don’t we go in too, Kit?”

“Okay!”

Keeah took a deep breath and also bolted into the black cloud.

The next thing Keeah saw was Quinn and Softy waiting for them on the ground.

“Well, I’m glad we escaped the snakes,” interrupted Softy.

“Well, yes. But I don’t think we exactly saved them from, uhhh, raining?”

Everyone looked up and saw hundreds and hundreds of snakes pouring out of the blackest cloud in the sky.

“Oh dear,” said Quinn.

“Time to get out of here!”

“Uh huh,” said Keeah.

“Maybe we should run!” said Kit, grabbing Softy’s arm.

The next thing Quinn thought was, Maybe I should run too.

“I’m staying,” said Kit when Quinn caught up. “You’re not that fast.”

“Uhh, I am fast when I’m flying!” said Quinn, hovering over the ground.

“Okay, whatever. Now that we got away from the snakes, we can at least have the nuts I still have in my sack,” said Keeah.

“Well, at least we have something to eat.”

“Phew! At least we don’t have any more snakes to deal with,” said Softy, finally getting warm.

“Well, if I thought, now that we finally escaped, we can finally go to sleep like usual.”

After they laid down, Keeah started to worry. What if we never come back to the right place? she thought.

But Softy seemed to read her thoughts. “Oh don’t worry, Keeah, we’ll get back.” And then they all fell asleep.

The next morning, they woke up. Keeah was the first one to wake up and she was really good at making stuff. So she found four curved sticks and stones. She laid them out and decided to crack her nuts. Then Softy woke up, saying he would go exploring.

“Hey, Keeah!” said Softy when he got back. “I found a nearby stream! Except the water’s completely blue there.”

“Oh, it doesn’t matter. Just wake up the others, and I’ll try to find that stream.” So Keeah went and found the stream. Keeah grabbed her water bottle and opened the lid. She took out the water and drank. “Mm. Fresh. Water. Looks like Softy could have mentioned that when he got back.”

“Keeah, come on!” said Softy from the distance. Keeah ran back to their tiny hut or cave.

She had her water bottle and she showed Softy how she curved the stones she had washed in the stream.

So while Softy curved rocks into the right shape, Kit tried to find the biggest rock he could find. When he got back, he had a very big rock. Then Keeah grabbed the rock and started pounding it with her fist which she had to use magic until it curved in. Then, she put it around the sticks that she had tried into a cauldron. It made a good one. So Keeah put the ginormous rock in the center.

She said, “Softy, do you know how to make a fire with your magic?”

“Sure do! Why do you need me?”

“Oh, just to make breakfast for all of us.”

So Softy used his powers to light the fire.

Since Keeah still had millions of leftover nuts, so she just poured them all into the water that she had put into the giant rock. Then she found a perfect stick that would make a good spoon and she found many others that looked different but were still good. So after she had washed them and came back, she started mixing the nuts into the bottle. Then she asked Softy to go find something else that would be very good to put in.

Softy came back with apples, and Keeah said they were very good. So she used her power to split them and also put them in and start mixing the nuts and the apples together. Soon all the cooking and working was finished and they could finally eat.

“Mm! This is very good. Where did you learn to make such good stew, Keeah?” Asked Softy.

“Oh, well, when we were back in our forest, we had three cookbooks, and one of them had this recipe in it!”

“Can I have one copy?”

“Ha! Sure,” giggled Keeah. “Okay, now we can go searching for some way to get out of here and get home.”

“Oh, good idea! Just, I’ll grab your water bottle and the sack before we go,” said Kit.

“Good old Kit!” said Softy when Kit came back with all the things in his four tiny paws.

They had very much fun getting across the river.

“Woo hoo!! This is an absolutely crazy walking day,” said Softy and Keeah together.

“Uh, yeah, it is,” said Kit. “Uh, something is making us feel like something’s watching us.”

“Uh, I think nothing is,” said Keeah.

“No, I think something is,” said Kit, pointing. “Something with stripes that was orange with a very long tail.”

“TIGER!” screamed Keeah. Keeah flew up with Softy in her arms and Kit and Quinn decided that they would both go together.

“Well, I’m not sure how many dangers there are on this island.”

“Oh, yes,” agreed Quinn.

“Well, should I have something to tell you? We found the black cloud again!”

“Cool! Let’s go in!” said Kit.

So, the four friends zoomed off into the cloud.

“Okay, now I notice something.”

“You noticed what?”

“Hey, where are you guys?” asked Kit.

“Over here!” said a familiar voice. Suddenly Kit saw something. It looked like a bunny covered in dust, but he wasn’t so sure.

“Oh, hello, Mr. Dust Bunny!”

“No! It’s me! Softy!” came an angry voice.

“Ohhh. Where are the others?”

“Over there! You’re also covered in dust, silly.”

“Ohhh,” said Kit when he saw himself. He shook himself out of the dust and took himself to the others who were also covered in dust.

“Well, now we’re just in a giant dust pile!”

“If I get covered in dust again, don’t call me Dust Bunny!”

“Okay,” said Kit. “If I recognize you.”

“Okay, okay you guys. It’ll be much harder to find a cloud in a place of dust. Look, the trees are dust, the river is dust–”

“ACHOO!” screamed Softy really loud.

“…and that too,” finished Keeah.

It was cloudy and was so dusty that Kit thought Softy might sneeze out the whole world!

“I want my mom!” said Softy. “Looks like I’m catching a cold.”

“You’re catching an allergy to dust,” reminded Keeah.

“Oh, right,” said Softy. 

“Guys! I found a way out,” Quinn interrupted Keeah’s humming.

“Oh! Right,” said Softy. “Now I can– ACHOO!” He flew out.

“Well, now that he learned to fly, let’s go!” said Quinn.

“You guys didn’t go to school yet,” said Keeah.

“Stuffies don’t go to school!” said Kit, turning around.

“Sooooooooo,” said Keeah when they got out. “This is dust world, I should say.”

Kit started humming himself a beat, Keeah started cartwheeling, and Softy decided it would be best if Quinn flew up with him so that he didn’t sneeze-a-rama all day.

“Who are you calling sneeze-o-rama?” said Softy, looking at Quinn’s ears.

But Quinn kept flying. He noted that if he found that black cloud again, he would scream so that the others would fly up and see the black cloud.

“Tick, tock, tick, tock, tick, tock,” said Keeah. “When are they coming down here?”

“Eeeeee!” came the ear piercing scream from the sky.

“Sounds like we,” said Keeah. “Let’s go!” So they flew. And they flew. They flew up-up-up and saw the black cloud again. Quinn was still screaming and flying with his eyes closed and Softy to scream in his ears.

“Hello! Quinn! Stop shouting! They’re here!” 

Suddenly, there was a giant growl. Everything went black. Then, “WOWEEEEEE,” Keeah heard, opening her eyes finally. 

“Home! We’re home!” she heard another voice say.

“Well, we better get asking Keeah all the questions we had for her!”

Then Keeah heard a voice saying, “Keeah! We’re home.”

Keeah burst up and looked around. And then she started jumping up and down. Her jumping made the ground shake a little bit so much that the squirrels got kind of terrified.

The end!

Cryptography Through The Ages

A lot of people don’t know what cryptography is or what ciphers are; do you? As a brief overview, cryptography is encoding messages, whether in the form of pictures, online messages, or paper messages. It can take the form of symbols translating for letters or scrambling up words, as one might sometimes do without thinking, like children constructing a made-up language. In this essay I will show you how, contrary to some people’s opinions, cryptography was important in ancient society and continues to be helpful in modern society. I will mainly talk about two ideas: how cryptography was used in “ancient times” like in World War II and how common script uses cryptography in its base as coding for privacy.

Imagine you are a war leader. Whether you lead an army of men in 44 BC, or sneak attacks and bombs on enemy territories in 1940, your tactics must be kept secret from prying eyes. One way that secrecy was protected was with encoding messages or cryptography. Viewers of an informational video by the World Science Fair channel on YouTube can hear a detailed explanation of World War II’s Enigma Machine, a cryptography machine that made and decoded code. The video demonstrates how vital cryptography was to both sides of the war effort. If a message was leaked, a whole attack could be jeopardized, or saved. When the opposing side found the code, it would mean the end of a whole branch of communication. Since radios allowed messages to be sent over great distances, using cryptography to send messages became a crucial means for sharing coded information. In the video, Simon Singh states, “Encryptions are important because if you’re going to send messages you need to make sure those messages aren’t necessarily going to be intercepted and stolen.” Radio became that missing piece of the puzzle for securing the messages. Soldiers no longer had to worry about messenger pigeons being physically intercepted; now you worried about the enemy finding your radio signal and hearing it in broad electromagnetic wave light. The Enigma Machine was made in Germany. The Germans would have someone send what the setting or “key” would be, then the machine would scramble the typed letters into different letters; it is a simple enough process but very confusing without the machine. The letters to send would light up, and for the process in reverse, you could decode the messages through the same setting in the machine. Errors were possible, but it was a much safer way to send messages than the alternative, and therefore the Germans’ best shot.

Speaking of best shots, technology has advanced to become more calculated, but more at risk. Encryption has originally been used to make codes, but also for privacy. While this is very advanced and secure with technology and an understanding of code, one could break through the encryption, which is why it must be secure and top secret. The code is so random that no one knows it; only a randomly generated string of numbers holds your latest browser search from being blackmailed. Not every company does this, nor should you be concerned. There is actually comfort in this random string. The possibilities are endless, practically, so unless one stumbles upon your set of code, it is most likely it is a dead person’s code or invalid. Even then, that is only one step of many towards good encryption. As Khan Academy’s video on cryptography mentions, it is generally safe, but there are ways to interfere, and “the more steps and parts there are, the more complicated it is.” As a rough rule highlighting how cryptography has impacted technology, more complex code usually results in fewer errors smoother computers.

While this essay might be short, there’s more to sort. In the sources list you will find the videos mentioned, to continue your cryptography search, sadly this is no verse. Past and old, present and current, future and new all have you. I leave you with the same question I started with; a lot of people don’t know what cryptography is or cyphers are. Do you?

Sources:

  1. Polyalphabetic cipher | Journey into cryptography | Computer Science | Khan Academy. April 11, 2012, YouTube: Khan Academy
  2. The Enigma Machine Explained. May 14, 2013, YouTube: World Science Fair

Black Magic

Hi, my name is Anthea. I’m also a furry. I’ve always wanted to go to school, but because of my powers, I cannot. My parents say my powers are dangerous. My powers are teleportation, invisibility, and I can make explosions. I want to go to school to find something to control my powers so they won’t be dangerous anymore. I live in a poor village, so I cannot find school in the village around my town. I’m thinking of changing my name so that I can go to school. I would have my cousin take my place. By the way, my cousin’s name is Athena. I need to talk to my parents. If I can go to my friend Jamie’s house, she’s the only one in our village who has a computer, I could find a magic school. That would be great. There are a lot of stories of me destroying things.

One time, I tried helping people fix their house but I ended up breaking it. I don’t want to get rid of my powers, I just want to make them useful. My cousin and I have our own unique qualities. But in singing, we are both good. My cousin and I have always been wanting to go to school, so she wouldn’t mind taking my place. I would have to be escaping at nighttime. Jamie and my cousin are going to help me escape. I’ll be taking the bus to Athens, Georgia. Jamie is helping me pack my things to go. 

“Anthea, are you sure you want to do this?” asks Jamie.

“Anthea, you can always stay here with us,” Athena says. 

“It was our dream, Athena, I want to go,” I say. 

We are saying our goodbyes. I know my cousin is sad but she is also happy that our dream is coming true. I know I’m making the right choice. What scares me is when we get there I won’t know anybody. But luckily, Jamie got me some tickets for a hotel. Dark Side and I have been saving up money since we were little to go to school. So I’ve got my college fund money. Sadly, I do not know what my parents are thinking. Dark Side does have an open mouth, so she’ll probably tell my parents that I left. Tomorrow will be a new day and I will register myself for power school. 

I’m going to my hotel and it looks gorgeous. Now I have to go to bed and make sure my next day will be awesome. 

I wake up this morning and I’m getting dressed to register myself for school. I can’t believe my dream is coming true. I’m going to prepare myself a bagel and cream cheese. Going out and seeing Georgia is beautiful. I’m taking the bus to the school cause it’s a mile away from my hotel. Seeing the school is amazing. It’s big and pretty. Looks like the school is very old. When I go inside the school, it is really big. It looks more like a ballroom. The principal of the school asks me what I’m doing here. I tell him I’ve come here to register myself. He’s glad and gives me a tour. After that, he asks me if I have powers. I agree and tell him I have powers. I’ve come on the weekend, so there is no one really there, except himself. I notice he is fixing the place. And I ask him if I can help. So the principal and I mop the floor, fix the chairs, and fix his office. 

After fixing his office, he tells me to come on Monday, and that I will make some really good friends. By the way, that photo below is a photo I took of myself.

Jamie has always taught me to be confident in myself with my dreams. So after getting out of the school, I go shopping for school supplies. Dark Side recently told me from Jamie’s computer that she’s going to school in New York, which is not that far by car from where we live. I’m really happy for her; she’ll be sending me a photo or an anime drawing. Jamie gave me money for school supplies before I left. I thanked her.

It’s Monday now, now I’m going to school. I’ve already made a friend. I bet Jamie would like her as well. Dark Side would be happy as well. Her name is the opposite of ours, Sunshine. And her sister is Light Side. I recently met a girl who worked in a pet shop, and she showed me a picture of a bunny. The bunny was really cute and fluffy. She said she would give it to me for free and I was really glad to hear the news, because the bunny was really cute. I would have it in a cage, get a phone, and send a picture to Dark Side. I would name the bunny Fluffy. 

But getting back to school, it’s really hard. Today we are going to see what extra powers we have, are they legendary or common? I hope my powers are legendary. But this bully named Chloe and her assistant Lila always bother me and think that my powers will be common. My cousin thinks I’m gonna find a boy and get married. But I told her to stop telling me that, but she did tell me that my parents were happy but sad. At least I’m calmer now that she’s told me this because I know how my parents think. But there is a cute boy named Alexander. But I won’t focus on him — I have to focus on my studies.

Now we’re going outside to a field to see what our powers will be. First, it’s Sunshine. She gets a legendary– a guardian angel. And her sister is a nature fairy. While Chloe and Lila are common demon bunnies. When I hear the news that I’m the legendary person in my class, I am so happy. My powers are a griffin that can read minds. Even though Chloe knows I can read her mind, she still intends to do bad tricks on me. But I really don’t care.

I’ll describe Chloe for you. Blond hair, blue eyes, yellow jacket, and a striped shirt. And she always tries to act like she’s the boss of everyone. She, too, likes Alexander. Whenever she sees him, she always acts so crazy. But I just ignore her. Though I do have a friend who’s a boy, as well. His name is William. He is a really kind friend; he is also legendary. His powers are a fire guardian. Just the opposite of Sunshine.

All four of us are going to have a sleepover, over at Sunshine’s house. It’s going to be really fun, I will bring some chips and Doritos. She says we are going to watch the movie Deadpool. But William disagrees. Soon enough, it’s going to be half of the year. Cause I entered in half of the year. But since there are three more years to go, I’m really happy. Tomorrow’s lesson is going to be about: can you fly or not? I think I can fly, cause griffins fly. Sunshine and Light Side can definitely fly. I don’t know about William, though. There’s this new boy going into school with us. His name is Felix. But I feel something suspicious about him. My cousin is enjoying her time there. I didn’t know that Jamie’s there, as well. 

The sleepover turns out really fun. Her mom is really fun and her house is beautiful. William tells us at night that he likes Sunshine. But luckily she is not there when he says it. We both tell him to tell her so it won’t be too late. Later that night, we do Truth or Dare, and I ask William truth or dare. And not wanting to do a dare, he says truth. So I ask him: who does he like? And he says that he likes Sunshine. But this time, she is there. She is surprised but happy. She doesn’t know what to say, so we continue on. Then they do a truth or dare on me. And I say dare. And they make me sing my least favorite song, Kiki, and play my least favorite video game, Fortnite! I don’t know why, but I do it. But I’m fine. So I do a truth or dare on Sunshine. Sunshine says dare. So I make her do something embarrassing: act like she’s a grandma and help her sister burp. And Light Side ends up burping. It’s really funny. But we keep on. Then, it’s Light Side’s turn. William asks Light Side truth or dare, and she picks truth. So William asks her. But he knows that she already does this.

“Is it true that you used your poo as hair gel?” says William. Embarrassed, Light Side says yes.

***

It’s been three years now since the sleepover. We’ve had many since then. It’s almost prom and I’m really happy. But I don’t know what to wear and who to go with. Alexander recently asked me out, but I didn’t respond. I don’t know what to say. But today I’m saying yes. 

It’s later. So now we’re going together. My only fear is my dress. So Sunshine and Light Side are taking me out to buy a dress. And after that I am going to send a picture to Dark Side. Dark Side has actually agreed to meet me at the airport, cause I asked her where she’s going to live for the rest of her life. And she said here, where we live. I was sad but told her the honest truth: I was going to stay in Georgia. She was really sad, but still, everything came with benefit. 

Prom is fun, they have cake, a chocolate fountain, and Alexander and I are prom king and queen. This year has gone by so fast, it’s already graduation time. During the year, I have earned money so that I can bring my family over. I buy tickets so that my friend, my cousin, and my parents can come over. They all start new lives here. My cousin gets a good-paying job. And my parents have enough money for retiring. I start a family. My kids get powers like me, but they get a better future ahead of them and they have a better hold of their powers. We’re just a big family and we’re happy in our lives right now.

Being a Gumball

CELIA

Hello, my name is Celia Ballington… and I am a gum ball. But I am not any gum ball; I was 2 when I fell out of the gumball dispenser onto the floor. However, I was caught in a bucket of toxic left under the dispenser because they hired people to clean the mall; there was a strange toxic disease in the pipes, but it made me immortal.

Scene 1

Present Day, 10 years Later in the Dispenser

CAMERON

Come on, help me push Connor to the door!

CELIA

Wait, what? He’s going to be stepped on out there!

CONNOR 

(waking up

What’s going on?

CAMERON 

(pushing Connor out the door)

Uhh… nothing… have a good trip!

CONNOR

(falling)

I thought I was awake!

CELIA

Why did you do that, aren’t you my best friend?

CAMERON

Ooh, good idea! Wanna be my partner in crime?

CELIA

No way—

CAMERON

Oh well, down you go then.

CELIA starts also falling. She blows frantically, stretching to make a bubblegum parachute, and catches CONNER. As they float down, a baby nearby stares at them and grabs them.

They are squished between its grasp and they head to the baby’s house.

Scene 2

An Hour Later, at the House, During Lunchtime

CONNER and CELIA roll toward the bed to hide from the mom when she picks the baby, DARWIN, up for lunch. They then decide to explore the baby’s room.

CELIA rolls up the crib, and CONNER sneakily pushes her down to land on a xylophone and rolls under the next door, leaving CELIA to be seen as MOM rushes in.

MOM

I bet it’s that rat!

The baby grabs CELIA and drools over her. 

CELIA

Gross! 

 CELIA rolls away before DARWIN can wipe her on the wall. 

CONNER

Help, I’m stuck!

There was a puddle of water on the bathroom floor and CONNER got sticky and stuck to the floor. CELIA now leaves CONNER behind as she rolls out the door, around the block to be stepped on by TEENAGER. 

TEENAGER

Ew dude, I got some gum on my cool new sneakers.

TEENAGER throws CELIA into the trash, along with the shoe. She slowly crawls into the shoe and fall asleep.

Scene 3

The Next Morning, Before Sunrise

CELIA is woken up by a chitter. 

CELIA

Ugh, I bet it’s just Cameron teasing me for being a scaredy-ball for being scared of Conner falling out. 

Instead, she wakes up to see the face of a rat. CELIA attempts to roll out of a rusty hole in the trash, but she isn’t dry, and instead patches it up. After a while, the trash and the bin are lifted up into a dump truck. 

CELIA

Conner, I’m flying! Oh, yeah he’s not here.

The rat responds, chittering happily to CELIA’s surprise.

CELIA

I must be hallucinating.

CONNER

(the rat)

You know, I am not just a rat. I was crawling through the sewers when I found some green goo. I was incredibly thirsty, so I drank it. Now I can talk!

They become friends, and sneak into restaurants, schools, and factories, picking up knowledge and resources.

Scene 4

Two Years Later

Ring! Ring! 

Celia

(in the tissue hut)

Who could it be? 

(she forgets she has her Chew5 Phone)

The contacts said it was Cameron?!

CONNER THE RAT

Answer it.

CAMERON 

(over the phone)

Hey… Celia?

CELIA

(berry annoyed)

Yeah, I’m still alive, in a home, with a best friend, doing better than I had been with you.

CAMERON

Look, I’m in chew-vie, and I got to phone someone. I’m sorry I didn’t listen to you.

CELIA

(hanging up)

Nice try, but I don’t want to see your round face again.

CONNER THE RAT

Don’t you have a round face, too?

CELIA

I said it from the top of my head, okay?

Scene 5

Two Years Later

CONNER THE RAT

Hello, my name is Conner and I am a rat.

MAN 1

(chuckling) 

Is this some kind of joke?

CELIA

No. My name is Celia and I am a gumball.

MAN 2

So, you scheduled a meeting.

CELIA

Yes, we are the owners of Big Toxi Curing Co.

MAN 1

Oh, I’m so sorry. Hey, do you need us?

CONNER THE RAT

We were looking for testers for our medicine, but you seem to be a good one.

MAN 1

(drinking green liquid) 

No, no, I only have the symptoms.

Everyone stares at him as MAN 1 then throws up black vomit under the table in a casual way, and then comes back to the meeting like nothing happened.

Scene 6

At the Lab

CONNER THE RAT: 

Darwin, this is Steve.

(points to MAN 1)

Steve, this is Darwin, one of our best scientists.

DARWIN

Pleasure to meet you, come hop into this tub.

Steve 

(walking in)

Ooh, a hot tub?

DARWIN closes the clear curtains, and they observe as a pink fluid sprays him.

STEVE

Cherry flavor!

STEVE’S skin turns vibrant again and he unswells.

STEVE

I feel like a new man. So am I famous now for being the first person cured? Am I super strong, or super fast?

DARWIN/CELIA/CONNER THE RAT

That will be two hundred fifty bucks.

The world is saved and our main character, CELIA, lives happily ever after forever because she is immortal… and what is a story without a happy ending?

The End.

About Conner the gum ball, he was Darwin’s pet until Darwin started working for Celia and Conner the rat, he decided to bring Conner the gum ball to the company as a tester, and Celia still had no mercy on him.

Cameron stayed in chew-vie and then in gum ball adults’ jail for the rest of her sticky life, contemplating how her phone call trick with Celia didn’t work, and just being evil.

Wait, But Before You Go, Read the Bubblegum Glossary:

Scaredy-ball: Basically scaredy-cat but when talking about gumballs

Bubblegum Parachute: Just bubbles you blow with bubblegum, but what bubblegum uses them for

Chew5: iPhone type, like iPhone 12, but when talking about gumball products

Berry: Very

Chew-vie: Juvie

The Fairytale Portal

I looked into the deep lake. I s’pose you could call it a pond. That pond had been there for years, and when a drought occurred, we were afraid it would dry up.

Are you wondering why a retired police officer cares about this lil ol’ pond? It’s simply just very dear to me, my wife, the villagers, an’ probably the inhabitants. It’s dear to me and my wife, ‘cause that’s where I proposed. It’s dear to the village ‘cause it saved them from the drought. Oh, you’re wondering how? It  just seemed that someone “popped out of the pond.” Not literally, but that gentleman said so. It might as well be true, ‘cause he came in the middle of the night all soaked. Sure gave me a fright! And he carried a bucket of “Magical” water. None of us really believed him, thought he might be a little wonky in the head. But it sure did the trick! Rather odd if I do say so myself, for he was wearing a crown and said he was “Arthur.” Never saw him again, the little lass.

Anyways – back to the pond. The pond is a symbol in this town. It has overcome the impossible, brought attractions, and it’s very pretty. Sorta mesmerizing. You look and you see a million people’s dreams come true, just floating in the pond. ‘Course, after you snap out of it, you feel like you’re enlightened. That’s probably why me an’ my wife stare at it in the evening. It’s lovely in the evening.

You said… it might be a – portal?!

You’re kidd- Wait. Arthur, magical, overcame the impossible, mesmerizing – it all clicks…

That was the moment I realized that the pond might be a… portal.

The Hungry Lion

I am so hungry. Oh, hi, I am a nice lion. I love to sleep. I have to go now. Oh no! My tail feels loose! I have to find something to eat! Oh, look, I’ve found some deer, but another lion is trying to eat all of the deer. 

“Hey, you, stop eating all of the deer!” the nice lion said. 

 “Never!” said the mean lion. 

“Fine. If you do not share, I will quickly attack you,” the nice lion said. 

Then, the mean lion ran away from the nice lion. And then the nice lion was so close, but he saw that there were so many more obstacles that he did not know what to do. So then there was a big brick wall that he needed someone to dig under. So then a cheetah asked the nice lion if he needed some help. So the nice lion said yes. So the cheetah dug under the brick wall for the nice lion. But then he saw the antelope running away! But the lion followed them. So then, when he followed them, a very, very big antelope had a big horn, so then the big antelope fought the lion! So then the mom lion found the nice lion and brought him back home, but the mom lion brought him to his starting place! So he had to do everything over again. 

So then he found a big sled so he could ride on it and knock into everything, even into the big antelope with big horns. So then the nice lion found the antelope, but he only ate the hairy parts of the antelope, which was the tail. So then the lion became very mad and he had to run very fast, but he was not as fast as the cheetah! So then he called the cheetah and they became best friends. The cheetah was hungry, too, so they both ate together. 

The End! 

Rolly and Mouse

Once upon a time, there was a dog. His name was Rolly. He loved to chew Mouse, his toy. 

Mouse was a slightly chewed up and dirty bone. One day, Rolly went on a trip with his owner. He took Mouse with him because he loved Mouse. His trip was a road trip, so one day on the road trip, he went with his owner to get food and he took Mouse with him. He chewed him but he was too hungry, so he dropped Mouse and went to the car to eat. But he forgot Mouse! So he ate but then he realized there was no Mouse. 

He went downstairs in the van and he looked at the kitchen. “No Mouse!” he cried to his owner. “Where is Mouse?” But his owner was a person so he did not understand what Rolly wanted. He took him out of the car because he thought Rolly needed to walk cause he was in the car for a long time. He was sad at night, he could not go to sleep. All day, he looked everywhere, no Mouse. He cried so much, but his owner did not know what he wanted. He asked, “Do you want your food?”

Yes, but that’s not what I want, I want Mouse! He nodded, yes, I want food. And the owner gave him food and he tried to find Mouse. He was sad the next night. He went out to get some food in the restaurant he lost Mouse. He saw a dog that was next to Mouse. He barked, “Get out of the way! This is my toy!”

The dog said, “No, it’s mine.” 

His owner said, “What’s wrong?”

 Rolly pointed. “Look at that dog.”

 “He has Mouse!” the owner said. Rolly went close to the dog and he was mad, really mad. 

“You have my mouse.” 

“Come get him.” 

The dog chewed Mouse. Rolly went to the dog and got Mouse. They tugged. “Stop, this is my toy,” said the dog. 

“Hey,” said Rolly. “That’s my Mouse.” 

“No,” said the dog. He tugged harder. Rolly tugged harder. “No,” said the other dog, and he tugged even harder. Rolly tugged harder. They tugged more. The owner of the dog that tugged Mouse came. Rolly’s owner came and tugged at Mouse. 

Rolly said, “I need Mouse, he’s my toy, he’s mine, you took him, I dropped him from my mouth, you can’t take him. Now I can’t sleep without Mouse, I can’t do anything without Mouse, he’s my toy, you can’t take him.” 

Rolly tugged harder. The dog cried. He said, “That was a beautiful sentence. You can have Mouse, I see how much you care about him. I see how much you love him, so he can go.”

 Rolly, the owner, and Mouse went to the hotel they were staying in. After they were there for a week, they went swimming and after that they went home and they lived happily ever after. 

Spelling Bee Champ

On Monday night, Taylor Chris was sitting on her couch next to her mother. They were watching Taylor’s favorite reality show: Spelling Bee Champ. It was the last round and it was a boy, Marc, vs. a boy, Harry. Marc had to spell nefarious. If he got it right, he’d win the challenge.

Under her breath Taylor spelled, “N-e-f-a-r-i-o-u-s. Nefarious.”

Taylor’s mom chuckled. “Taylor, you should be on this show. Every word they’ve shown, you’ve spelled correctly.”

Taylor shook her head. “No way! Hundreds—no, thousands of people watch this show! Maybe even millions.” Taylor shuddered. 

But little did Taylor know her mom registered her anyway. Taylor loved talking and interacting with other people. The only kind of shy she is, is camera shy. She just doesn’t like being on camera. Marc answered nefarious incorrectly. Next was Harry. Harry had to spell claustrophobic – much harder than nefarious.

“C-l-a-u-s-t-r-o-p-h-o-b-i-c. Claustrophobic. Fear of being in small spaces,” Taylor muttered. Taylor high-fived her mom when she got it correct. Maria Spindle was just about to crown Harry the new Spelling Bee Champ when someone in a sweatshirt and headset came and whispered something in her ear.

Maria Spindle smiled. “Guess what? We’re starting a new promotion: The International Spelling Bee Championship! We’re not just in the US any more!”

Taylor’s mom looked nervous. “Taylor… I registered you for the next spelling bee.”

Taylor was laughing until she saw her mother’s face. “Mom, I know you meant well, but next time make sure that I won’t be going up against the best spellers from around the world before you register me for a contest.” Taylor thought for a minute. “Where are we going?”

“All over. But the first stop is Sydney, Australia, then London, England, then Paris, France, then more.”

Taylor was tired so she went to bed but before she did, she packed one carry-on suitcase. She packed two weeks worth of clothes, pajamas, and shoes for any and every condition. And in her book bag she packed her coloring book, colored pencils, encyclopedia, thesaurus, and dictionary. Finally she went to sleep. She supposed she was excited for the trip but she was too tired to tell.

The next morning, Taylor got up quickly. Their plane for Sydney left at 1:00 pm. They could not be late. Taylor choked down her toast and slurped her orange juice as quickly as she could before her mom stopped her.

“Taylor? Stop this nonsense.We have three hours to get to the airport! It’s only 9:00 am.” Taylor slowly calmed down, but she couldn’t stop thinking about the Spelling Bee. Were there going to be a lot of kids? Was everyone going to be much more sophisticated than her? What if she was the only one her age?! But her mom kept reminding her to calm down. It sort of worked. She supposed. S-u-p-p-o-s-e-d. Usually spelling calmed Taylor down. D-o-w-n. But now those questions just flooded through Taylors head like a storm. S-t-o-r-m. Ugh. Not even spelling could get these questions out of her head. H-e-a-d. Taylor didn’t understand. She’d been in spelling bees before. Why did this bother her? Maybe it was because this would be on international television. T-e-l-e-v-i-s-i-o-n. Taylor was starting to relax and let her guard down, until she thought of a new question. Q-u-e-s-t-i-o-n. Aye. She couldn’t stop thinking of words – but what if during the Spelling Bee she stopped completely? While Taylor’s mom drove them to the airport, Taylor flipped through her dictionary. She pointed her finger to the word wicked. W-i-c-k-e-d. Next cerebrum. C-e-r-e-b-r-u-m. Taylor played this game until they arrived at the airport.

“Mom, can you quiz me on some of the words in my thesaurus?” asked Taylor.

“Of course,” said her mom. The first word was crimson, c-r-i-m-s-o-n, the next catastrophe, c-a-t-a-s-t-r-o-p-h-e, the third private, p-r-i-v-a-t-e, and the last extreme, e-x-t-r-e-m-e. Soon they boarded their flight. Their tickets said first class! They were served hot fudge sundaes with peppermint syrup, and brownies for lunch. As it turned out, it was the captain’s birthday. There was a confetti cake with rainbow frosting and white sprinkles and the party favors were huge bags of toys and fancy chocolates.

At the bottom was a dictionary with a note that said, “Bring home the trophy for the good old US of A. Captain Lenora White.” This dictionary was huge, many more words than her beat up old one. Taylor loved it. Taylor flipped to the middle and pointed to the word crustaceans. C-r-u-s-t-a-c-e-a-n-s. Hyacinth. H-y-a-c-i-n-t-h. Taylor always thought everyone should know the beauty of words.

When they arrived in Sydney, Taylor and her mom took a cab to their hotel. Once there, Taylor’s mom quizzed her with words from the new dictionary.

“Disconcerting!”

Taylor thought for a moment before saying, “D-i-s-c-o-n-c-e-r-t-i-n-g.” Taylor clapped her hands.

“Triumphant!”

Taylor immediately answered, “T-r-i-u-m-p-h-a-n-t.”

Taylor’s mom thought for a moment before saying, “Nonchalant.”

Taylor quickly said, “N-o-n-c-h-a-l-a-n-t!”

Taylor’s mom paused for effect, “Last but not least… unforeseen!” Taylor memorized this word in the cab on the way to their hotel.

“U-n-f-o-r-e-s-e-e-n.”

The next day the Bee began. Taylor’s mom tugged her curly brown hair into pigtails with pink ribbons. Taylor pulled on the pink lace dress she brought, the white tights, and pink sneakers. Taylor took her dictionary and she practiced the word demonstrations. D-e-m-o-n-s-t-r-a-t-i-o-n-s. Then mystery. M-y-s-t-e-r-y. And so on. Right before they left for breakfast, Taylor did the word duplicate. D-u-p-l-i-c-a-t-e.

Taylor sat next to a girl with red hair and green eyes wearing a pink sweater and pink jeans.

“Hi I’m Joanna Kelley. Nice to meet you. This is my sister Amelia Kelley. We’re from England.” Amelia smiled.

“I’m Taylor Chris. Nice to meet you too.”

Amelia asked if the girls wanted to quiz each other. Joanna volunteered her dictionary. Taylor got quizzed on malicious, m-a-l-i-c-i-o-u-s, empty, e-m-p-t-y, and harmonious, h-a-r-m-o-n-i-o-u-s. Joanna got quizzed on trivial, t-r-i-v-i-a-l, classic, c-l-a-s-s-i-c, and charisma, c-h-a-r-i-s-m-a. Amelia got quizzed on marvelous, m-a-r-v-e-l-o-u-s, unruly, u-n-r-u-l-y, and admiration, a-d-m-i-r-a-t-i-o-n.

Soon the Bee started. Maria Spindle called a girl named Karen Lee up first.

“Karen Lee, your word is devotee. Please spell devotee.”

Karen said nervously. “D-e-v-o-t-e-y, devotee.” Taylor sucked in her breath and she knew that was the wrong spelling.

Maria Spindle grimaced. “I’m sorry Karen, but that is the incorrect answer. Devotee is spelled d-e-v-o-t-e-e. You may exit through the double doors.” Maria plastered a smile on her face and said, “Next up… Taylor Chris. Taylor, your word is triskaidekaphobia.”

Taylor sighed in relief. She knew this word. “T-r-i-s-k-a-i-d-e-k-a-p-h-o-b-i-a, triskaidekaphobia.”

Maria beamed. “That is correct Taylor! You’ll be moving onto the next round.” After she went, Taylor didn’t really pay a lot of attention to the other people. The last person to go was a girl named Justine Fleur from Paris. Justine got the word sapphire, s-a-p-p-h-i-r-e. She got it incorrect. She spelled it with only one p.

After the Bee, there was a banquet for lunch. There was roast chicken, steamed broccoli, vegetable quinoa, and boiled peppers. Taylor didn’t eat much. She was too nervous about the Bee tomorrow.

After the banquet, Taylor repacked her things. At 6:00 pm, Taylor and her mom left for London. When they arrived in London, Taylor and her mother were escorted to a fancy motel. The man at the front desk gave them the key to room 5 on floor 1. Taylor picked out a pair of faux leather leggings and a blue button down shirt for her outfit for the bee. As Taylor brushed her teeth, she mentally quizzed herself on: horrible, h-o-r-r-i-b-l-e; gangly, g-a-n-g-l-y; pneumatic, p-n-e-u-m-a-t-i-c; and conundrum, c-o-n-u-n-d-r-u-m. All done, she thought.

That night she had nightmares about words, shouting unpleasant things. She woke up quickly and tip-toed out of her bed. She went to the dresser and looked at the clock. It was only 2:00 am. Rats. She went back to her bed and eventually fell into a fitful sleep.

The next morning Taylor dressed into the outfit she picked out the night before, and just pulled back her hair with a headband. Taylor’s mom was still sleeping and Taylor didn’t want to wake her so she just went to breakfast quietly. At breakfast, Taylor got two chocolate glazed donuts and sat down next to a boy wearing jeans and a tee shirt.

“Hi,” Taylor simply said.

“Hi,” said the boy, taking another bite out of his scrambled eggs. The boy tried to comb his shaggy red hair, but it didn’t work. He just waited, and waited.

“So are you waiting for something?” asked Taylor.

“Yeah, my grandad.”

This is awkward, thought Taylor. “I’m Taylor,” she said, holding out her hand.

“Uh, hi, I’m Mason. Okay, so are you here for the spelling bee? I am.” Taylor just moved away from the boy whose name was Mason.

Mason shook his head. “I came on too strong again didn’t I? I do that a lot, sorry!”

Taylor grabbed her plate and moved to a different table.

At 4:00, the Bee started. First they called up the boy Mason.

“Mason Kall, your word is superstition,” announced Maria Spindle.

Mason said, “S-u-p-e-r-s-t-i-t-i-o-n, superstition.”

Maria Spindle did not look that impressed. “Alright, Mason, that is correct. You’ll be moving on.” Taylor had a feeling Maria Spindle found Mason as annoying as she did. 

“Next… Lisa Wu! Your word is desolate.” Lisa got desolate incorrect, then was Louie Martino who got sriracha incorrect, then Georgie Smith who got necessary correct, and Lila Jane Parks who got international correct. Then it was Taylor’s turn.

“Taylor Chris, come on down. Your word is astonished.”

Taylor thought for five seconds. “A-s-t-o-n-i-s-h-e-d, astonished.”

Maria Spindle put on a wide toothy grin and looked straight at the camera, “Correct Taylor! You may sit down at your seat.” Taylor walked back to her seat meekly, when she saw a beefy kid snarl at her.

“Karlo Yang, your word is finance.” The beefy kid walked up.

“F-y-n-a-n-s-e, finance,” the beefy kid said proudly.

Maria Spindle winced. “I’m sorry Karlo, that is incorrect.” 

Veins bulging, eyes bugging out, hands ready to smash some bones, Karlo screamed, “What!” He smashed the podium. Maria stood at his feet and pounded against the hardwood stage.

As even beefier security guards held him back, Karlo screeched, “Lemme at ‘er! Give me Maria Spindle!!! I know I got finance right! You just want me to lose my cool on international TV! Well it will not work!” 

Karlo took one look at the mess he made and fell to his knees sobbing about forgiveness. The beefy security guards hauled Karlo away.

“Well… that was interesting. Next is Mick Torrent. Mick, your word is silhouette.” About a dozen more kids went but Taylor just couldn’t stop thinking about Karlo, the way his eyes bugged and how he fell to his knees sobbing. It made Taylor think about reality, or whether they were all just pawns in somebody else’s imagination. The thought made Taylor shudder. S-h-u-d-d-e-r. When she was nervous she spelled. Ugh. U-g-h. It’s happening again. A-g-a-i-n. Taylor remembered her mom’s sweet voice, and how when it was time for bed, her mom would bring her a glass of milk and sing her a lullaby when she was younger. She thought about how they played double dutch, and checkers, and monopoly. She thought about snuggling together on the couch when Spelling Bee Champ was on and just spotting clouds that looked like bunnies, and lying together on the sun dried grass. These happy memories calmed Taylor down. When they exited the stage, Taylor’s knees wobbled, but this time not with nerves. Excitement.

At lunch, Taylor found out why Mason bugged Maria. Listen: “Maria Maria Maria Maria! Am I winning? AmIwinning? Am I? Am I? Am I? Am I?!”

Maria sighed. “Look! Mason I cannot tell you,” Maria said slowly.

Mason just frowned. “Not fair! Not fair! Not fair!” he screeched.

“Security!” Maria cried.

Taylor grabbed a red velvet cupcake, a confetti cupcake, and a chocolate fudge cupcake, with a side of Milky Ways, Kit Kats, and M&Ms for lunch. Taylor took the goodies to the room she shared with her mom. Tomorrow was the final challenge. Whoever got three words in a row won!

The next morning, Taylor went up last. Everyone else only got two words in a row correct. 

Taylor’s first word was skulduggery. S-k-u-l-d-u-g-g-e-r-y. She got it correct. Then burglar. B-u-r-g-l-a-r. Correct. Last, modicum. M-o-d-i-c-u-m. She got them all correct. 

“Jacklin, tell Taylor what she’s won!” Maria shouted to a woman in a red sequined leotard, with bright red lipstick, black tights, and red, six inch heels.

“Well Taylor, you’ve won ten free trips to Disney World, 250 million dollars, and a 40 million dollar gift card to every bookstore in the world!” Jacklin said. “Plus…” the crowd murmured about how much more Taylor’d win, “your own private plane, which includes a coupon for the next 10 repairs, 4 bedrooms that have their own bathrooms, 2 kitchens, 3 TVs, 2 dining rooms, and 2 TV rooms.”

Taylor’s jaw literally fell open.

A lady that looked like Mason climbed onto the stage and said, “My Mason should’ve won!”

Mason looked embarrassed. “Mother.” Security guards started pulling her back.

“He should’ve won!” she screamed.

“Well that was odd,” said Jacklin.

Bob

May something, 2075

Dear Diary,

This is the most stupid thing I did in my life. I mean who writes in a diary these days? My stupid wife told me to write in one so I can get my thoughts on paper. Do you think I care about that? If you said no, then congratulations, you’re right. I’m Bob. I have a few things that I need to tell you about me. First, I have eight sons. Second, I’m drunk and, instead of water, I drink vodka. But really think about it. Who drinks water anymore? It’s either beer or vodka. Third, I am 50 years old. Also I’ve had five wives and I’m obese. Oh and lastly, I smoke a lot.

My wife tells me to eat healthier so I don’t get sick. I don’t get sick so I guess I eat healthy. I eat McDonald’s and Burger King. If my wife makes me eat healthy then I eat corn with a lot of salt (otherwise it’s not OK) or I eat a rainbow bagel with loads of nutella (no lots of nutella, not good).

May something, 2075

Dear Diary,

It’s morning and my wife gave me some yogurt with honey. I was like, “Who eats that?” So instead, I took fruit loops and chocolate milk. Unfortunately, she caught me and threw it away. I started screaming like a maniac because that was the last bowl of fruit loops left. I took the honnynut cereal off the shelf and poured it into the salad bowl which is used for cereal not salad because salad is unhealthy, I think. Please tell me I’m right.

Anyway, my wife said we have to go outside to breath some “fresh” air. Ugh. So, I decided that I’d go to the deli and buy myself some airheads. At least I’m walking a bit. I got there and guess what happened. They were sold out. You’re asking why. Well, I bought them all yesterday. But then I looked to the side and guess what I saw. Cheetos. My friend Jimmy loves them so I’m gonna try it. BRB.

June something, 2075

Dear Diary,  

I’m back at home watching tv and writing in this stupid thing, and guess what’s for dinner. My favorite, not. A burger with lettuce and tomato. Why eat that when you could get a Big Mac at McDonalds for a buck or a really juicy burger from Burger King. That would be much better than whatever burger that cost $18.99.

In case you were wondering, I work at the worst place ever. A buffet with, you guessed it, salads and omelets and, the worst of all, salads. Wait, did I already say that? I think I did. Right. Or did I just think it? You know that feeling when you think you say something and you’re not sure if you actually did? Or did you? Because you could have just thought it or said it. Y’know.

Anyway, so about my job. Well, it sucks. I could’ve gotten a better job and I’d rather get assassinated. I stand at the register being like, “Hey, want to sit at this buffet that is so disgusting you will get food poisining.” It’s more than a nightmare.

June something, 2075

Dear Diary,

I’m going to the gym to get some exercise. And I think that what I’m doing right now is really smart because I always see these ads on youtube that are explaining that to stay healthy, you need to exercise. So I’m gonna try it. My wife was proud and I don’t care. I’m there and I see all these weird things that somehow help you stay healthy. There is the conveyer belt thingy that I see a lot in the buffet stocking area. It brings the food and tins to the kitchen to wash. I wonder what you do with it. I’m going to the info desk to check what it’s for.

So I asked this man what the stuff is for and he started out like this:“I see you’re new here.”

How does he know that I’m new? I never even met him before. He was the skinniest person I ever saw in my life and he is a stalker. I’m gonna call him Stalker Dude. Why not? I mean, he is a stalker. I wonder what being a stalker is like. You get to spy on people. Oh, and in case you’re wondering I’m writing in a really uncomfortable position. I’m on the treadmill (I figured out what it was called) rolling off over and over again. It’s annoying.

Next, I went to the peloton (I only know what that is called from youtube). That stalker dude came and told me how to use it. So I’m sitting on it and it was supposed to help me burn calories, but I don’t think that it’s working really well. Lastly, I went to the dumbbells and I have no idea how those stick men lift them. Stalker Dude came and told me how to use it like I have no idea how. Ill need to put this diary down and lift some stuff.

So, now I’m in an ambulance. You’re asking why. Well, I dropped the dumbbell on my ribcage and I broke it. It was 50 lbs. I have to rest now so I’m gonna write tomorrow.

June something, 2075

Dear Diary, 

I forgot to tell my boss that I’m in the hospital so he called me and threatened that if I don’t come to work then he will rob me and take away Youtube premium. I was raging. No, he is not taking away Youtube premium from me. Youtube is also a part of my life. I cannot live without Youtube and especially not Youtube premium. My rage though. I was just furious. Even all the people that needed surgery who got put to sleep woke up. I was also supposed to be sleeping, but who cares. The doctor said I’ll have to be in the hospital for another month or so, until my rib cage heals, but they said that I have to rest if I want it healed. I guess I do. I mean, who wants to spend a year in bed doing nothing, but sleeping with a bunch of almost dead people?

June something, 2075

Dear Diary, 

So the doctor checked in with me and said my treatment wasn’t working. That sucks. And you know why it didn’t work? Because I was watching youtube to spend my last hours of happiness on Youtube premium. I told my doctor what my boss said and you know what he said? Good for you. Who says that? He’s lame. I’m gonna call him Lame Dude. So, Lame Dude came in and told me to breathe deeply. I don’t know why though. He said it was because he needs to see if my heart is working properly. I was thinking about that and it came to me that what he said meant I could die. And when you die, no Youtube premium! So, I guess this is my life now (that is soon ending).

I don’t know what to do now because, unfortunately, Lame Dude took away all devices and said, “If you keep watching Youtube or playing video games then you might die.” That made me scared so it was the first time in my life that I let someone take away my devices. But still, I’m not so sure I can trust lame dude because he’s lame!! Lol.

June 6, 2075

Dear Diary, 

Lame dude came in and told me that he will start the surgery. I was surprised. He never told me about a surgery. Just then, he pushed something into my leg and I fell asleep. No idea how it happened, but it did. So guess what. Now I need surgery and Lame Dude put me to sleep in like a second. Sounds weird, don’t you think? Ok, now I’m struggling and suffering. I will end now. I will not be writing until, like, next month. Going to the gym was a very bad idea. Very bad idea.

Dear Diary,

I am out of the hospital! In case you want to know, it’s been a month since I wrote here. I actually thought of giving up, but nope. My wife forced me to keep going and this time, no exceptions. Ugh. Why does my life suck?

June 27, 2075

Dear Diary, 

It’s the next day and now I’m getting really frustrated. I forgot to give my boss a note about why I was away and he didn’t believe me when I said my story. He said I was a liar and by liar I mean big fat liar. That’s supposed to be quoted but who has time for quotation marks and grammar? Grammar is stupid. It just takes up a lot of time and even if you don’t use it everyone can understand you. For example, if you text someone R U OK, they will understand it. Anyway, I am going to work now and I have to stop, bye!

 June something, 2075

Dear Diary, 

When I came in, I noticed that the register was covered in tomato sauce. I checked inside and there was no money! Just then, my boss came in and noticed me with the register open and then he barked, What are you doing with our money!!! This is unexceptable!!! Again I do not care about quotes.

So, if you are reading this, which you shouldn’t, don’t comment on any mistakes I make. It’s already a pain in the butt to just write this.

I told my boss that I was just waiting for the first customer to come when I realized that the money was gone. He didn’t believe me so he told me he would go to my house and search all of it for the money. One thing I can say is he’s a dum dum.

In the meantime, I will just serve the customers that come and pretend like nothing happened. I feel bad for them. The only problem for my boss is that he doesn’t know where I live and I live all the way in the Bronx and the buffet is in Brighton beach. I really don’t know how I get here every week day.

Anyway, the buffet isn’t so popular so I had to wait a whole hour for the first customer of the day to come. It was already 12 pm. We open at 10. Something that is really weird about this buffet is that we pre-set everything the night before so we won’t have to do it in the morning And because it also is supposed to save time. Heh, like we need to save time.

June something, 2075

Dear Diary,

So the first customer came and I gave them a table to sit at. They were mad because I gave them the table near the bathroom when everything else was free. I can see that on their faces that they were mad. We don’t have enough money to buy a janitor so the bathrooms stink. I’d rather go to McDonalds to go to the bathroom.

So anyway, the customers went up to get their plates and to get the food. We have a chef that makes custom food and everyone goes up to him. The customers noticed that and quickly ran up to him and asked for something. Don’t ask me what because I don’t know what they asked for. So the chef started working and gave me a wink. You are asking why. Well, you shouldn’t even be asking this question because you shouldn’t be even looking at this diary! I mean I don’t even care. Not like my personal stuff is in here, but still close this right now. Or, if you are snoopy, don’t and keep reading. If you are still reading this then it is obvious that means that you are snoopy and guess what? I don’t care.

Anyway, what was I talking about? Oh right! The chef giving me a wink and you asking why. Well, we were childhood friends and we were trouble. What I mean by trouble is big trouble. We were pranksters. I remember when we were 5 (or was it 6? Or 10? I don’t know) we put dead rats in the jars of candy at his grandmother’s house. It was a great experience to see her faint. I know what you are thinking. Why is there so much dark humor? Well, again, you shouldn’t be thinking that because you shouldn’t have read what I wrote before. Again, not like I wrote anything personal here but still! So I’m guessing that he is pulling another one of his chef pranks like putting sugar instead of salt on sushi. The customers are heading to their seats to wait for the food when the second customer comes in. I give them the table closest to the second bathroom. The second bathroom is even more stinky because everyone forgets about it. About two people enter it each day. The other bathroom however, I don’t even know.

I started spying on the first customers again. The first bite of the meal and the ladies tongue stuck out. The food was gross. I quickly went over to the chef to see what he did.

What did you do?

Again I have no time for quotes. Anyway, he said that the woman of the couple ordered bread. Turns out that the chef had used his last batch of ground up cricket flour and made it into cricket bread. Then the man of the couple ordered chocolate chip cookies and the chef made chocolate chirp cookies which have crickets in them. He made the crickets not visible in the cookie so when you took a bite there were crickets inside. Their butts were sticking out and eventually into your mouth. Unless you aren’t respectful to bugs and don’t get how nutritious they are and decide that you are not eating them.

Anyway, I see that the second set of customers are going up to get cole slaw. I mean, why cole slaw? Why? It is like the most expensive item on the menu. The coleslaw is supposed to have fresh grown cabbage that is not organic. We have a garden, but nobody ever goes in because it is filled with clouds of pesticides. Ya, the gardener quit his job. Hm, that gets me thinking. I can quit this job, but then what if I don’t get another job and I’ll be homeless? And I won’t be able to pay for… Youtube Premium!!! You know what? I’m better with sticking to this job before deciding to quit. Especially because I’m getting a dog soon. It will be the biggest moment in my life. Only maybe after when I divorced my least favorite wife, which is my fourth! She was the meanest person on Earth!!! She made me eat salad! Like, why salad?! I can’t even hear the word salad, it sounds so gross!!! OK let’s change the subject. Nevermind, next customer.

I gave these customers a seat right next to the corner where everyone pukes because our food is so gross. It always stinks there and there are stains on the floor. I had to go to the bathroom so I went across the street to McDonald’s. Such a disappointment when you work in the worst restaurant and then across the street you look over and you see the best restaurant. The fourth customer came in and this time they were single. It was a woman that had long black hair. She had a dog at her side. I ran up and started petting it. I think it was a siberian husky puppy. It was jumping on me just like any playful puppy would, when I noticed that the puppy was in here because the person wanted to eat, not because the puppy wanted to see me. Again, I feel like I’m starting to go through a phase of depression. I’m going to start looking for a better job. The job I’m looking for is a job that I will get tons of money from. I want to get a job that is not torture like this one. Hopefully, one day that will happen. Anyway, I need to give the customer a seat. I gave her the seat next to the custom food chef. Lol. I don’t feel like writing anymore so I’m going to just end it here. See you tomorrow, Diary. Or should I say stupid Diary. 

July something 4th, 2026

Dear Diary,

It is another day of work and I am not happy. It is Tuesday, which is my least favorite day of the week. That is the day when the restaurant is empty and I don’t get paid as much. So I guess I can come a bit late. I am right now getting off the stop on the train and now walking down the block. I see a group of people standing behind a couple and then they are standing behind someone. The only problem was that they were angry. Their eyebrows were pointed down and according to a Youtube video I watched, scrunched eyebrows meant anger. I didn’t know why, so I went up to the entrance of the restaurant when I saw the customers waiting in line to go in. Uuuh. This was strange. Whatever. I opened the restaurant up and all the tables were filled.

That is when the last customer told me in an angry voice, “Great way to start off a holiday.” I guess he was being sarcastic but wait, what holiday? I asked him and he told me and said that it was the 4th of July. I almost started crying. 4th of July is my favorite holiday of the year and I missed it all. I didn’t even check the date.

Like I even ever check the date. About twenty people everyday ask me the date and I’m like, “How would I know?” It’s very annoying. I can’t even imagine those poor kids having to put the date on every little thing of school work. Now, I’m too scared that the customers are going to leave because of the bad service and writing isn’t really going to help with this so ya, bye.

July something, 2075

Dear Diary, 

So it is the next day and I am taking a day off from work. Work has been really tiring the last few days, so I’m staying home and relaxing, aka watching Youtube and eating Pringles on the couch. I always take a day off of work because once a week my boss goes to a place with no reception so he can’t tell me to go to work or whatever. That day is usually on Wednesdays, like today. But what is funny is that he pays me the same amount as the workers that work there for six days a week. Lol. Wait, I have a call from someone, just a sec. No, no, no, no, no, no, no! I am dead!

The call was from my boss. He had called telling me that he was mad that I wasn’t at work! No, no, no, no, no, no, no! I thought that he was in a place with no reception. He wasn’t! He was in the building where the restaurant is and he noticed that I wasn’t there. I am doomed. He knows where I was all these weeks because he secretly installed an app on my phone that let him see where I was the whole time. I know this because I was looking frantically on my phone for something and I came across a calculator app. Um, why is there a calculator app on my phone? I thought I got rid of math from my life. I opened the app and it wasn’t a calculator (thank god), but as I guessed it was a tracker. My boss was tracking me since the hospital. How did he download it though? I’m not even going to answer that. I’m just going to delete the app and he won’t be able to download it again because my phone is going to be on me the whole time. I’m still not going to work. I’m just going to pretend that I’m sick and tell my boss that. One second. I don’t want to write anymore. I’m depressed again. Maybe I can get away with not writing anymore for a bit. I want to go to the hospital again so I won’t have to go to work or write in this diary again. But the only problem is that I won’t have any Youtube videos to watch because of what my doctor said last time I broke my rib cage. I really want some type of excuse so I can get out of the stupid Earth and into my world, which is a place where everyone agrees with me and there is only the food I like to eat. A world where I can do whatever and won’t have to pay for anything. I will have Youtube Premium for free!!!! That would be great. Ok, so this is getting boring to write now so ya, bye. 

July something, 2075

Dear Diary, 

Now Thursday. I really don’t like Thursdays. Well, to be honest, I don’t like any days of the week except Saturdays and Sundays. All the days at work are boring. It really is time to get a better job. Well, not necessarily a more money job, but a job that is more fun than the trash place where I work at. It literally smells like animal poop. Well, at least I think it does. I don’t really know how animal poop smells. Like, I just think that it smells like someone’s poop that ate beans in their last meal. Hopefully, my prediction is correct. Well, I don’t want it to be correct because if animal poop smells like that then that is just disgusting. This topic is very disturbing and makes me cringe just thinking about it. I’m just really tired of this job now. I’m going across the street to use the bathroom and eat some lunch. If you are wondering, across the street means McDonald’s. I’m going to ask if they have any free spots to work there. Be right back.

Ok, so I’m back and good news! Finally something good! I am going to work at McDonald’s now! I am really happy because I actually get to work in a place where life would be good. I get good food and a clean bathroom. I really hope that I will get enough money from this. I will go to my boss and quit now. I hope that my friend won’t care that I have left him at hell. I will text my boss saying that I quit and I will start working at my second favorite restaurant ever. In case you were wondering, my favorite is Burger King and my third favorite is Dunkin Donuts. Is Dunkin Donuts even a restaurant? If not, then KFC is my third favorite. I’m really tired now so I’m going to stop writing. 

July something, 2075

Dear Diary,

I am now writing this because I am going to try the gym again. My wife is proud of me that I tried again. My goal this time is to get a concussion.

So, I am on the way there. I am hoping that the stalker dude won’t be there. Ok, so I am entering the doors to the gym and there is a different person at the help center. He asks if I need any help. I ask him why would I need any help and he says because I look new. I tell him that I am not new. Then, I start to get annoyed because both help people thought I was new at the gym. Ok, maybe the first was right, but still! I am going to lift a one-pound weight and hope that that won’t break my rib cage. Ok, that was pretty light and now I don’t know how that helps with losing your weight. Now I’m going to the peloton. The peloton is actually pretty fun. I was on it for about twenty minutes. Then I went to the treadmill. I put it on one mile an hour. It isn’t really going so fast but I like it. It reminds me of one of those slides that I used to use when I was a boy. I still don’t get how this lets you lose weight. I am just sliding off the platform. This is boring. Anyway, I’m going to come back here later to go on the peloton more. I’m going to go get some lunch at Burger King and then go to my favorite candy shop, Candytopia, to get some Nerds. I am on the walk there and at a crosswalk, so I should stop writing for now.

Okay, so that was a successful cross. Anyway, I am almost at Burger King so now I am thinking of what to get. I do want a big burger with cheese, bacon, and french fries. That is my usual order though. Then, I will take a large Fanta out of the fridge. I went to my usual table right near the kitchen so I can smell all the good stuff being cooked. The cashier called my name and I went up to get my food. I sat down at the table and began to eat. I don’t want to keep writing while I eat, so I will come back later.

I had my usual order and it was delicious. It was all juicy and chewy, my favorite consistency of a burger. The drink was really fizzy and sweet. I love when my soda tastes like that. I mean, it kind of always tastes like that, so there is nothing special about it. But you know, whatever. I am heading out to go back to the gym. I want to go on the peloton more. It feels relaxing. I don’t really remember where the gym is though. Is it to the right or left? Maybe it’s to the front? I don’t know, but I’m going to figure it out. I might have gone into the subway before and I think that that is right, but you know, it could not be. I am around 70% sure that I went to the subway to the gym. I am going to take the 7 train and hope that the train will take me there. I am not going to write in the subway because it is embarrassing, so I will come back later.

I am out of the train and looking around. I have never been here before. I don’t think that this is where the gym is because apparently this place I am in now is called Williamsburg. That is a strange name for a neighborhood. Is it named after a person named William that ate a burger here? I don’t know and I don’t care. I am going back to the subway to go back to where I was. Let’s see, I went in the L train and got off at the last stop which was… I don’t know. Somehow, from there I need to get back to Burger King and from Burger King somehow get to the gym. I am going to stop writing because I am going to be in the subway now. When I come out, I will write again.

Okay, so now I am out of the subway and writing again. I am so confused now. I don’t see any Burger King or gym. This is really weird. I thought that I got off at the right stop. I know I did. I remember this station and I know for sure that I got off here. Did I go straight to here? I think I did, so let’s try to get there. Ok, so now I am walking to who knows where and hopefully getting to Burger Ling. Now that I think about it, saying and writing Burger Ling so many times makes me hungry again. I need my order. I’m craving it right now. I need my large fries and double burger with bacon and cheese. Wait, I just remembered! I wanted to go to Candytopia! How did I not remember this? I am going to get another order from Burger King and then go to Candytopia to get some Nerds. Why are they called Nerds? You know what? I do not care what they are called and I never will. But something I do care about is how good Nerds are. They are really good and come in many different flavours. I can write you a ten page essay on why they are good, but guess what? Yay! You are correct! I will not write an essay because I need to get my food. I am dying from hunger and nobody can stop me. I need to get to Burger King and eat my usual order!!! It is the only thing that will make me live a good life, even though my life is already bad. Wait, is this what I’m seeing? It’s the gym! Why haven’t I seen this before? I am really pissed off right now. I walked right past it on the way to the subway! You know? I really don’t care about anything right now. I want to go eat!!! Has anyone died from being hungry? I think so. So, where is Burger King?! I thought that it was supposed to be right here. Why is there a sign on the door? You know what? I’m not even gonna try to read it. The lettering is too small, anyway. I am going into Burger King and getting my usual order. The door is locked!!! What is wrong with this place? How can they be closed at a time like this? It is literally 7pm! Oh, um. That took me a long time to get back. Well, looks like I am going home!

July something, 2075

Dear Diary,

So I am back! Yay! No! Hmph. I am going to try to go to the gym and actually get on the peloton again. Hopefully, it’s not very crowded. Pelatons are usually everyone’s favorite thing, which kinda sucks. I am headed to the gym and a second ago I realized I can use Google Maps to help me get there. I am so dumb. Actually, I am the smartest. Only that incident was dumb. I mean, that incident was not dumb. It was just incorrect. Whatever. I am following the GPS and it says that I should be at the gym in a minute, which I am partially happy about. I am happy that I will get in the peloton, but I am not happy about being at the gym in general. I’d rather go get nerds. Wait, I just forgot, I was gonna go to the candy shop. I’m going to go there now and go to the gym later. I search up the candy shop on Google Maps and start walking. It isn’t too far away. It took me a half an hour to get there! Whatever. OK, I will go to the 5th aisle. Wait no, 1st aisle, no, 3rd aisle. Wait no, the Nerds are in the 6th aisle. Ok, I’m starting to get dizzy from all that walking and looking at candy.

I’m breathing hard. I don’t think I have asthma. Or do I? Whatever. I’m walking through the aisles to see if there are any new flavours of Nerds. Everything is the same. I am just walking, getting five packs of each flavour, but still no new OMG, there is a new flavour!! Not of Nerds though. It’s a new flavour of Hershey chocolate. Hershey chocolate is my 3rd favorite candy. After Nerds and Airheads. Anyway. Is it annoying I keep saying anyway? If it is I‘m sorry, but I don’t care so, ya know, deal with it. I don’t even want to write in this so don’t give me a hard time. Anyway, I bought my stuff and went to the gym. On the way there, I was eating my candy. It was a great taste. I got all the flavours of Nerds, all flavours of Airheads, wait—I didn’t even eat the Airheads I bought at the deli before. Whatever. Now for the new flavour of Hershey. Why is there no taste? I thought it was supposed to be a really good flavour. Let me guess, they made so many flavours they decided to make it flavourless. I hope not. Ok, what!? The packaging says extra sweet with enriched flavour!!! Those pathological liars!! I’ll eat the Airheads now because the Hershey bar ruined my day. Finally something actually good!

Wait a second, this has no taste too!!! What is up with this candy? I am going home!!! I got home faster than I thought I would, probably because I was running. It is hard for me to breathe and my wife is concerned. I don’t see why though. We are on the way to the hospital now. Ugh, it’s taking so long and I don’t even need to go there. I am fine. Anyway, I will stop writing because I am literally raging again.

Ok so, we just got to the doctors in the hospital and now I am being tested for this disease that apparently killed a lot of people in 2020. It was a global pandemic. Now, don’t ask me what that means because I don’t know. Anyway I feel weaker right now so I will stop writing and update you tomorrow.

August 2nd, 2075

Dear Diary,

Anyway, now I am in the hospital diagnosed with something called corona. My doctor said there is a low chance that I will survive. Well, it’s not like I care. At least my eight sons will think the same. My wife took pity on me and said that this could be my last diary entry and I should spend my last few months well. I am surprisingly not sad because I do get to spend my last few months of life watching Youtube and stuff. They tried to give me medicine, but it didn’t work. Anyway, I guess all I can say is bye. So, bye, hope you all are not like me and make sure to not get uh, what’s it called? Something with a c. Co, co—oh ya, Corona.

Super Saber-Tooth Tiger

The Saber Tooth Tiger was walking in the jungle and he saw a red door. He knocked on it and Superman and Supergirl opened the door. They had laser eyes, they could fly, they could run really fast, and they were super strong. They wanted to adopt the Saber Tooth Tiger as a pet. The Saber Tooth Tiger said yes! He was going to be a super pet! As a super pet, he could save the world. He had super powers and laser eyes. He could fly and was super strong. He had a cape and was called Super Saber Tooth Tiger.  

One day Superman, Supergirl and Saber Tooth Tiger got captured. 

“ROAR!” said Saber Tooth Tiger. 

“It’s okay Super Saber Tooth Tiger,” they said.

Superman and Supergirl were going to use their laser eyes and sneak out, but there was a guard. Saber Tooth Tiger distracted him. Then Superman and Supergirl snuck out of prison and Saber Tooth Tiger left and followed them 

“Come on, hurry up,” Superman said. “Back to the hideout okay?” 

Before they got to the hideout, Supergirl said “Can we adopt that bird over there?”

They did not know that the bird was from the prison, but they were going to find out soon. The bird had a camera. A few weeks later the bird captured Saber Tooth Tiger but not Superman and Supergirl. He brought him to the prison and locked him up.

“ROAR!” said Saber Tooth Tiger. 

Superman and Supergirl snuck in and unlocked the cage.

“Come on Saber Tooth Tiger,” they said. 

They flew out of there, but the bird saw them and went after them.

Superman shut the windows and doors of the prison. Then they ran, but when they got back they could not find the hideout. They tried to find the hideout, but the people from the prison turned it invisible, so they walked right past it. There was an invisible cage that they didn’t know was right above them, so they were captured again. They went to another prison this time because it was someone else that captured them. All three of them used their laser eyes and they punched their way out of there. When they got out, the hideout was not invisible anymore. They went back to the hideout and locked it. They were safe.

Both of the prisons were having a battle to try and capture Superman, Supergirl, and Super Saber Tooth Tiger, but neither of them did. 

The End

HS Travels the World

Chapter One:

The Battle between GSS and S.E.W.W.F.T.C.R.H

HS went to Egypt and to find the SPHYNX. But before he found the SPHYNX, he found Gus and S.E.W.W.F.T.C.R.H. battling. And then GSS and S.E.W.W.F.T.C.R.H made HS get into battle. They put a force field around him and then GSS and S.E.W.W.F.T.C.R.H used the power of hieroglyphics to defeat him. And then he found the SPHYNX’s magical power teleported him to Madagascar, closer to his destination.

Chapter 2: Robot Spiders

HS went to Madagascar, and then found robot spiders. And then he battled with all the robot spiders, and he used his power of being legit and using the power of hieroglyphics. And then he defeated the robot spiders.

Chapter 3: I Don’t Know The Flea

He teleported himself to the Lost City of Atlantis! But then, he met up with I Don’t Know The Flea. Since that flea is 110,889 times bigger than a flea and he can jump 110,889 times farther and higher, but HS used the power of legit hieroglyphics and Sebas. 

Chapter 4: Legit Legit LeSplit

HS was still in the Lost City of Atlantis. But then he met up with Legit Legit LeSplit. So then they started battling. And the  Legit Legit LeSplit was splitted. And then it erupted like a volcano, and then it started chasing HS. But then, HS used the power of legit, and during the battle he found a little interesting friend named Lappy. And then he used the power of legit hieroglyphics Sebas and Lappy AND Legit Legit LeSplit. And then he defeated Legit Legit LeSplit. 

Chapter 5: Run Away From What?

HS accidentally teleported himself to the Australian Outback. And then all the animals said “RUN AWAY” And then he said “RUN AWAY FROM WHAT?” And then the animals said “RUN AWAY FROM WHAT.” And HS said “What?” And the animals said, “You said it! RUN AWAY FROM WHAT!” 

Chapter 6: Now I Know What to Run Away From

HS was still in the Australian Outback, but now he saw Run Away From What. And then they came together. And they became a team! 

Chapter 7: Entering the Falcon Fury

Run Away From What and Lappy and HS accidentally teleported themselves to the Falcon Fury. “Hey look, it’s Falcon Man and Dynamut.” And then they became a team, but they saw Scooby and Shaggy!!! And then they all became a team. 

Chapter 8: Just Seeing It

Run Away From What, Lappy, HS, Falcon Man, Dynamut, Scooby, and Shaggy teleported themselves to Where. And then Run Away From What HS, Falcon Man, Dynamut, Scooby, and Shaggy saw this giant nightmare character. And then it was coming after them. But then they realized they were stuck in quicksand. And then they realized that all of the greatest carnivores in the world were coming after them. Then they woke up. 

Chapter 9: Who’s This Dragon?

They accidentally teleported themselves to a mysterious place where no one knows what’s gonna happen the next second. And then they saw a dragon and then they said “Who’s that dragon?” DUN DUN DUNNNN! And then the dragon said “Who’s That Dragon.” But there is also an evil dragon behind all of them. And that dragon said “Who’s that dragon?” And also because that’s his name. And Who’s That Dragon went into the team. Everyone worked together to defeat the evil dragon!

Chapter 10: I Think I Found Snoopy!?

The gang (which is called The What No Next) said “I think I found Snoopy!?” And then, Snoopy became part of the gang. 

Chapter 11: (The What No Next) Disappears (or did it…)

The What No Next thought they disappeared because they didn’t see themselves. And they’re like “Oh! Where am I?!!! Oh! Where am I?!!! Oh! Where am I?!!! Oh! Where am I?!!!” 

Chapter 12: (The What No Next) Did Not Disappear

The gang felt everyone else but they didn’t see it because in front of them there was a mirage (a make yourself invisible mirage). And then they found out that it was just a mirage. 

Chapter 13: Entering the new dimension

HS found a new portal that was sucking them into a new dimension, which is the video game dimension!!! Because video games are awesome. It looks like all the characters are little blocks, like minecraft. They found something super crawsome (a mix between crazy and awesome). They found Captain Underpants!!!! And they also found crawsome again: George and Harold. And they found another crawsome thing! Three ultimate villains. Which they are… LaserLightmare! Poopocabra, and Socktopus! But then they realized they were good guys! And then Captain Underpants, George and Harold, LaserLightmare, Poopocabra, and Socktupus went into the team. 

Chapter 13.5: Entering a new dimension part II

They got sucked into another dimension! Which was the Dream Dimension! You can dream what you want in there.

Chapter 13.10: Entering a new time part III

They found another portal and it sucked them in and then they went through time.

Chapter 15 

The World of Yot Dogs 

HS teleportaled to the world of yot dogs. And then, all of the yot dogs became friends and all of the yot dogs became his food, but they are magical. And each one makes a power. He ate all the infinity yot dogs and each yot dog has a power, so he got infinity powers. HS had every single power in the world. 

Chapter 16 

The World of Cot Dogs 

HS accidentally teleportaled himself to the world of Cot Dogs. And they looked exactly like the yot dogs (from chapter 15). He ate all of them and they took away all of his powers. (He didn’t really know that he lost all of his powers.)

Chapter 17 

The World of Bot Dogs 

HS found a portal and then he was go for my life or don’t go for no life. And then he went in the portal. And then he found Bot Dogs. (They look exactly like the Cot Dogs and Yot Dogs from Chapter 15.) And then he ate all of them. And then HS got all his powers back.

Chapter 18

The horrible Hackensack of the horrible Hackensack

HS teleportaled himself to the horrible Hackensack of the horrible Hackensack. And then he found a horrible Hackensack of the Horrible Hackensack. And then they battled. And then the horrible Hackensack of the Horrible Hackensack did a punch in the H and then he lost his powers!

Chapter 18.1

HS to Bot Dog land

HS had one remaining power left for only one minute. He teleportaled himself to Bot Dog land. And then he ate all of the Bot Dogs there as fast as he could and then there was only three seconds and one Bot Dog left! And he tried to eat the Bot Dog as fast as he could. And then when he finished it and then only one millisecond was left! And then HS teleportaled himself back to where the horrible Hackensack of the horrible Hackensack was (HHHH). 

Chapter 18.2

HS returns…

HHHH couldn’t punch HS because HS put a closing forcefield with disintegrating spikes around him. And then, HHHH dies!

Chapter 19

Monopoly Man 

(and he has to get to the top of the castle to be able to get out of the Monopoly World)

(And he only has 2,500 Monopoly coins)

(And if he gets to 0 Monopoly coins, then he dies for the rest of his life!)

(and if he gets three doubles he also dies for the rest of his life!)

(If you roll a double you get a second turn)

HS didn’t realize the forcefield when HHHH died and gave him the same powers that HS had. And then HHHH made him teleportaled to Monopoly Man (with fancy music). And then Monopoly Man forced him to roll the dice and then he rolled the dice. He rolled a 6 and a 6. And then he landed on a hotel and the cost 100 Monopoly coins. (And now he only has 2,400 monopoly coins.)

He rolled another 6 and a 6 and then he gets 200 and more Monopoly coins. (And then he had 2,600 Monopoly Coins)

And then he rolled a 5 and a 6. And he got to the second level of the castle. And then he rolled another 6 and a 5. And then, now, he went to jail. And he paid111 Monopoly coins to get out of jail (and now HS has 2,489 Monopoly Coins) and then he rolled a 6 and a 5. And then he’s to the fourth level of the castle. And now he got a 6 and a 5. And then he got to the 5th level of the castle and now he went out of Monopoly World. 

A giant hieroglyphic keyboard, but luckily HS knew his hieroglyphics. And then he entered the code, which was 

And then it was on the fritz, and then disintegrated. And before it disintegrated, it exploded. But then, HS found someone named AS. There was HM (hieroglyphic monster), and then he battled and battled and battled and battled and battled and battled and battled and battled and battled (x 1000). And HS won. 

A Day Underwater with the Dolphins

I am going swimming this weekend and it’s time to go. Underwater there are fish nibbling at my feet. It is very unpleasant, but I keep walking deeper and deeper into the sea. I see dolphins jumping and doing loops in the water. I see ripples in the water as they disappear in the distance. The fish are a turquoise-yellow with green scales. I try to run but I just bonk my head on the bottom of the ocean. The fish gets scared and swims away. The dolphins gently lift me on their backs and bring me to the dock. I get off and thank the dolphins. I eat lunch at the mini-bar. I eat a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Then I go back to the sea. I call Beth the Dolphin and she comes. Beth gently swims out farther and farther into the sea. That is the end of my vacation. 

The Scary Ghosts

One Halloween, the ghosts were trick or treating. A boy saw them, and he scared them and they ran away. The ghosts stole their candy! They were stealing everybody’s candy. 

The kids were mad that their candy was stolen, because they had gone everywhere and had worked so hard to get it. They stole sour candies, chocolate candies, skittles, M&M’s, and regular candies like gummy sandwich candies. 

The ghosts flew up to their treehouse. There was no ladder, since they could fly, and there was no entrance, since they could just float through. The room on the top was where they kept the candy. It was their most secret room. 

The kids went on a long walk in the forest and they walked a long way until they found it. The kids came prepared. They had a truck and a ladder. They had an extra tall ladder and they put it at the top. The ghost house was protected. They pushed hard to get through, but the walls were so hard that they couldn’t get through. A big storm happened and the house blew down. The kids also found a cave. One day, the kids tried going in to get the candy, but they got kidnapped by the ghosts. They tried to hypnotize them so that they could find more candy, because the kids were really good at finding candy. It worked!

The ghosts woke up and they were trapped. But they couldn’t go through the wall, it was a ghost wall! The kids found the candy and then they stole the ghosts’ lair so no one could get in. The kids put extra protection. You even needed a code so that you could get in. They made another ghost wall over the ghost wall, and another one with ghost walls and ghost walls. They were trapped, so it would take them a while to get out. The ghosts hadn’t made any progress getting candy.

After the ghosts woke up from their sleep, the ghosts turned good. They became ghost heroes. They realized that if they were bad, they would starve to death and be stuck in this little room forever. So they screamed and somebody heard them. The person opened the door and another door. They finally opened up the wall and let the ghosts out. 

A few more ghosts came along. They chased after the ghosts and brought them to the ghost planet, where they are all ghosts. There were no ghost walls and no doors. Everything was for the ghosts. The ghosts were happy, and they had all the candy they wanted. (Ghost candy!) 

In the end, they were all happy, because they all had what they wanted and were not in battle. There were two big planets and they were like, “Yaahh!!!” 

The Crazy Meatball Incident

This has been translated from Marshmallowian by The Institute of Marshmallow and English. Except from some parts with a * on either side of it.

One day, on Meatball Land, there was a big enormous explosion from the meatball volcano. On Meatball Land, everyone is a marshmallow and they only eat meatballs. On the day when the explosion happened, all of the tiny marsh-villages got covered completely in meatballs and tomato sauce. The marshmallows had to evacuate before all of the land got covered!!! They had to think of a way out. Maybe they could dig a tunnel to the unknown Cow Land. That’s how it all started.

Chapter Numero Uno

My name is Bart, Bart DeFulletgrominu van Grickenshpein. I am a Jumbo Marshmallow. I am the richest on all of Meatball Land! Right now, my loyal servants are digging a tunnel to Cow Land where only the greatest explorers have been. But now it’s different. It is an emergency for all of Marshmallowanity to evacuate the surface and go underground to where the cows live. It is a hard time for us marshmallows.

“Servants, dig dig dig. It’s going to blow soon. I don’t want to die. Do you? No – so get digging.”

Then suddenly I heard a big boom!! Could that be the volcano? I looked in the direction of where it came from. It was not the volcano! It was TNT. That gave me a good idea. Maybe we could use TNT!

“Servants, get the TNT. We’re gonna blow it!!!”

This turned out to be a bad idea. You will see why later.

My servants piled all of the TNT into the hole they made. From that hole they set a long piece of flammable rope with fire. When it exploded, something very bad happened: the volcano exploded too!! Just then I had forgotten about violation code #45627, which says that if you’re less than a mile away from the volcano, you can not use TNT. This is because it will explode into the meat caverns and will make the volcano erupt! I thought through this. After a little while, I realized that I was the one who made the Meatball Volcano explode!!!

I was astounded! I could not believe I had forgotten about violation code #45627 It was is the most important code in our area! 

*What will happen next in The Crazy Meatball Incident?!*

Chapter 2

Two days later…

I just escaped going to jail because of that TNT incident. I ran away from Meatball Land on a train, a car, my own feet, and a roller-coaster (the roller-coaster was actually kind of fun). Now I am pretending to be a poor marshmallow in the streets of the dreaded Beyond Meatball Land, which is 300 miles away from any real meat. But I am safe here. No real marshmallow would ever come here. That would be disgusting! Well, there are no more things to talk about. I will just go and beg for more moolah. 

Chapter 3

Twenty-four hours later…

Hello. 

I just saw a silver and white airplane fly over.  It had something that said “NASA” on it and it had an alien in a white jumper as the driver. I think it might be trying tooh no I am floating through a green tunnel going to the NASA thing!

They greet me with a taser in my leg, but too bad for them, marshmallows can not be electrocuted.

They try to talk to me: “Hello, we have come to extract you.”

But I cannot understand what they are saying. I try to talk to them, but they cannot understand me! I have only heard of real aliens in fairy tales. But these aliens are much different. You see, they have fluff on the top of their heads and five sausages at the end of their hands.

Wait, I think, these are Humans!!! OMG, are they going to bring me to earth?

Ever since I first read about Humans, I have always wanted to go to Earth. It’s my dream planet! 

Chapter 4

Three days later… 

I am on Earth.

I am so excited.

I want to live here.

This is awesome!

I love this place. I wonder why they brought me here.

I don’t think I’ve said this yet but: this is awesome!

Have I said this is awesome?!

Wow, I really like this place as you can tell. I think I am becoming famous here! There are reporters everywhere and they are asking me questions I do not understand. Everyone is taking pictures of me and one of the kids is eating a marshmallow! Holy moley! They do that here?! I hate Earth now! But I guess that is just one kid, so I love Earth now, again!

Well, that’s all I am going to share of my life (the rest is private), But it was a fun experience sharing it with you. So until then, adios!!!

What are you looking at? The story is over!

You’re still looking at this! 

You are still looking, now go and drink your coffee or go finish your life.

The ABCs of Animals

A is for alligators who bite people

B is for bees who sting people

C is for cats who meow a lot

D is for dogs who bark a lot

E is for elephants who drink water from their trunk

F is for flamingoes who stay near water

G is for gorillas whose fur is black and cozy

H is for hippos who love water

I is for iguanas who are green and other colors 

J is for jellyfish who live in lakes, oceans, and rivers

K is for kangaroos who hop

L is for lions who RRR AAA!

M is for monkeys who swing on branches 

N is for nocturnal animals who sleep in the morning and wake up at night

O is for owls who hhhoooo in the night

P is for penguins who live in the arctic

Q is for quails who are birds 

R is for rabbits whose fur is white 

S is for snakes who go sss and slither

T is for turtles who are small

U is for urchins that are in food

V is for vultures who eat carrion

W is for whales who live in the water

X is for x-ray fish who live in the water

Y is for yaks who have their own type of big yap

Z is for zebras who have black and white stripes

The Value of a Trophy

I stare up at the mountain, my legs ready to give out beneath me.

My ski coach announces, “I know this is challenging, but we’re going to try to ski down this easy green.” So far, my beginner ski group has only skied down the Magic Carpet. 

Glancing down at my feet, seemingly permanently stuck in a pizza shape, I tell my coach, “I think maybe I will be injured on that super steep trail.” 

My coach laughs. “It’s basically flat. You’ll be fine.” The basically flat trail looks like it is 90 degrees steep. My coach calmly skis to the lift, completely parallel and with poles in his hands. I keep peeking up at the mountain as I slide over to him and my group. Distracted, I trip over my own skis and sprawl on the ice. My face burns, and I jump up as fast as I can and jump on the lift. Soon, I regret doing that. I just hurried up the process of getting to the steep trail. Under my new, soft, warm mittens my hands tremble, and I am glad I don’t have ski poles, for I would have dropped them. The wind stings my face like evil grains of sand. I lean back on the ski lift, my heart pounding. But I soon realize that in doing that, I am making the lift go a mile a minute. It seems like a couple seconds when we come off the lift. 

As I look down the rugged terrain of the easy green, I wish I never came. As soon as I had turned 12, I should have given up hope of skiing. But no. I persisted and begged my parents to take me. My tired, busy parents. They had work, but they did bring me, and for what? I was in the little kids group, and I saw other kids my age, even younger, skiing down the mountain in a blur of color, their manageable skis skidding against the icy ground with a loud crunch. But…really, I’m still a kid, and it’s never too late to start stuff when you’re a kid.

I know I’m a kid, I think confidently. After all, I can still order from the kid’s menu at restaurants. So I can always improve! Even if I am three times the age of the other kids in my group and still not better than them, so what?

“We’re going down now.” My coach yells. 

I blurt out, more to myself than him, “I’m not afraid!” 

My coach gives me a weird look. “That’s – that’s great, Olivia!” Then he starts down the mountain. I clutch my legs, steadying them. I close my eyes and the pounding in my head stops.

 “I will get good – great – at this sport,” I whisper. I force my skis to turn parallel, and I fly down the mountain. “Yeahhh!” I cry. “I’m so fast!” But after scanning my surroundings, I realize that I’m the slowest person on the trail. Before I know it, I fall head over heels. My skis are teared off and my poles are wrested from my hands. I scream, then I realize that I am still, for I am on a flat part of the trail, called a catwalk. 

My coach bends down to help me. “Whoa, that was a big yard sale fall for a catwalk!” I’m so embarrassed. I will never get good at skiing. I trail behind as we ski to lunch.

A month ago

I hurried down our stairs, wriggling into my scratchy school sweater. I heard sounds of enthusiastic and loud talking in the dining room. “Mom, Dad-” They weren’t even at breakfast. Mom was in her office, writing, and Dad was probably at his lab in the middle of the city. The only people that were there were my younger brother and sister. They were six and twins, and had brown hair. Sadly, six is when kids start to annoy you and stop being quiet and obedient. 

George whispered loudly to Lily, “Olib looks sad.” 

I scowled at them. “Don’t call me Olib.” George and Lily giggled and threw stale cereal at me. I stomped into my mom’s office, wrenching the cold, silver door handle open and immediately I got hit by a stuffy smell. It seemed like my mom’s office didn’t have any oxygen in it. It looked like a common, messy office. Mom was sitting at her desk with her back to me, typing furiously on her laptop. Her trash bin was overflowing with crumpled pieces of paper, but random pieces floated through the room, and my mom was forced to look up and snatch at the air once in a while. “Mom, I really want to go skiing for spring break,” I say, choking on the musty air.

My mom turned around, bags under her eyes. “Olivia, for the last time, NO! How many times do I have to tell you?” 

“But, we’ve never gone for my whole life! All my friends have gone since they were small, and everyone except for me knows how to ski. Besides, it would be good for me, don’t you think?”

“Your father and I have jobs. What about George and Lily? We can’t bring them. You never want them to come anywhere with you.”

“Ugh, don’t other people have families too? They take time off for trips. We’ll bring George and Lily. Mom, it’ll be good for you and Dad’s health too.” 

My mom smiled and said, “Alright, we’ll go for a week and a half for spring break. Lucky for you, your dad’s boss is expecting a baby, and I just completed a piece of writing so I get a break. Your father or I will bring you tomorrow after school to buy ski gear for the whole family. Now get ready for school, the bus is coming soon.”

“Thank you, Mom!” I cried, hugging her. Then I hurried out of her office.

Back to the mountain.

I stomp into the crowded lunchroom with barely enough space to move, and the scent of french fries and chicken nuggets hit me. I am glad that we stopped skiing for now. I am also glad that George and Lily are not in my group. Imagine, my own siblings, in the same ski group as me. I sit down, yanking my ski helmet off. Suddenly, a group of kids come clamoring into the cafeteria. I hear an animated voice. “Nuh-uh, Scooby Doo! Barbie sucks!” I immediately recognize it as Lily. That meant George must be with her. I see his bright green ski helmet bobbing above the helmets of the four year olds in the group, and he seems to be ordering them around somehow. My siblings must be young enough to fit in, but old enough to have authority to be the leaders of this group. Lucky them. I scuttle to the lunch line, avoiding my siblings. But oh, I had to buy a neon rainbow ski helmet. George and Lily see me, and they cry out, “There’s our sister, Olib! She is on the same level  as us!” The whole cafeteria looks at me, every person turning in their black metal chairs to see. The food on the round, ugly table is forgotten, and as my siblings’ group erupts in raucous laughter, I erupt in fury.

I turn away, not wanting to show my bad side in front of so many people. My eyes well up, so I widen them to keep tears from spilling out. I grab the nuggets and fries from the lunch lady and hurry back to my seat. When I pick up the food, I squeeze it forcefully in my rage. In a moment, my hand starts to throb painfully. I release the soggy, wretched, and deformed chicken nugget, and I see that it has burned my palm and left my hand oily and shiny. I pick the nugget  up, and with no mercy, I shove it in my mouth. My favorite food has always been chicken nuggets, but it doesn’t taste so good anymore. The mood at lunch guarantees my mood for the rest of the day, and I decide to ask my parents to go home when I get back to the hotel.

“Can we go home?” I ask my parents at the hotel when my siblings are sleeping. They look at me in disbelief.

“But, didn’t you beg us to come here?” My dad asks, glancing at my mom to confirm.

“Yes, but it’s horrible. I came here too late, and now I’m so much older than all the other kids in my group. George and Lily are on the same level as me, and the kids my age are skiing like, double blacks and blacks!” I cry.

“Honey, you’ll improve,” my mom says. “If you try harder than everyone, you’ll improve faster. Soon, you’ll be rushing down the mountain like wind!” My mom pushes her hand in front of her as fast as it would go and makes a whoosh noise with her mouth. She thinks it sounds like the wind, but she is wrong.

“Sure,” I mutter. “But how much more of this do I have to endure? George and Lily taunting my every move?”

My parents look at each other, and my dad ruffles my hair. “You can do it, kiddo.” They climb into their bed, and sighing, I walk over to me and my brother and sister’s bed, shove them over, and climb in. I’m sure that I cannot sleep.

A year ago, at school

I walk into middle school. It is crowded by ugly and dented maroon lockers that are overflowing and people hurrying around to get to class. The lumpy gray walls are stained with who knows what, and the doors required full effort to be opened and the hallways smelled like rotten eggs. Hurrying to my locker, I open it and grab out my mini fluffy pink carpet. It feels so soft! I need it for school, because of the rotten egg smell. I press the carpet to my nose and inhale the smell of detergent. Without warning, I hear a crackling sound of the static of the speaker. The principal’s voice blares, “Class time,” and everyone rushes to their different rooms. I slam my locker closed and suddenly, a shadow falls over me.

Jessica, Britney, Hawke, and Ace stand over me. They are the Mean Machines. Ace and Hawke are famous for being loyal accomplices, Jessica is famous for being the heir to Britney, and Britney is famous for her hundred different expressions and being able to tell whether someone was lying or not.  I tremble all over. Hawke and Ace block my route to safety and Jessica and Britney advance toward me. “You don’t have any fashion style, do you?” Britney asks with the first of her one hundred different expressions, and I looks down at my purple sweater, green pants, and yellow sneakers. It hits me that she was right. “And, uh, what level did you say you were at skiing?” she asks.

“I never said anything about that,” I answer defiantly, regretting that I had discussed that topic so loud, so close to the Mean Machines during homeroom. “Now why don’t you get to class, it’s getting late.” Britney rolls her eyes and acts like she didn’t hear me. 

Jessica adds, “Britney and I go skiing every spring break. We’re skiing hard trails.” I didn’t say anything. She continues. “And I just can’t accept your fashion choices. Also, you’re not good at anything. You can’t play any sports, and skiing is easy. So why don’t you give it a try? I’d love to see you tumbling down an easy Magic Carpet trail.” The Mean Machines turn and walk away, Hawke and Ace flashing evil smiles at me.

I cry. There is nothing else to do but feel sticky tears run down my cheeks. When I walk into class, my nose is runny, my eyes puffy and red, tear streaks on my face, everybody stares at me. The teacher murmurs lazily, “Sit in your seat. You’re late.” He turns back to the chalkboard. I am staring at my desk the whole class.

Morning at the mountain

I wake up from the dream. The Mean Machines’ faces swim in front of my eyes, and I grit my teeth. But there is nothing I can do. They have continued tormenting me all the way up till now. I eat breakfast with my family, then I go to ski school.

Going there, I get a nasty surprise. Jessica and Britney are there with their parents, in matching pink skin tight ski suits. “Oh…hi, Olivia,” Jessica says. “Remember how Britney and I skied hard trails a long time ago? Well, now we’re racers, and very fast and good.” I look at her. She looks at me. 

Without warning, Britney interrupts in her sickly sweet voice, “Olivia, are you going to be here next week Tuesday?”

I think about it, then I say, “Yes, that’s my last day before I go back.”

“Well,” Britney says, “There’s a skiing competition at the back of the mountain. We would love it if you’d join.” She smiled, and the real meaning was clear: We would love to watch you make a fool of yourself. But that wasn’t going to happen. 

“Sure,” I said. “Do I need a skin tight suit?”

“No, you can wear that ski suit of yours. But be warned, you’ll be slowed down by the bulkiness.”

“Thanks for the tip!” I smile. Jessica and Britney walk past and their parents follow.

As Jessica walks past, she whispers, “It’ll cost money. You might want to rethink your choice, because it is pretty expensive.” She flips her hair and continues walking. 

“Where’s Ace and Hawke?” I call after them. 

Jessica glances at me and shrugs. “They’re back at home, gaming together. Why would you care anyways?” She doesn’t wait for an answer, but links arms with Britney and skips away, which is a feat I do not know how she manages with the awkward ski boots.

I practice as much as I can, and even after class ends I ski down trails by myself.

At night, I beg my parents for something again. But this time, it is the money to participate in the ski competition. But they say, “We don’t want to waste the money, there’s no point. It’s not even going to help you, and it’s not fun anyways. You’re probably not going to win anyways.”

“Please!” I implore. “Just this one competition.”

My parents look at each other, and my mom says, “I saw it on the ski map. It’s way back behind the mountain, and two hundred dollars. Olivia, do you really think we’re going to spend that money just so you can not even have fun?”

“I will have fun!” I cry out. “I have to beat Jessica and Britney!”

“What?” My parents ask, and I tell them what happened. 

My mom grinds her teeth in anger, and she says, her brown eyes flaming, “Olivia. You’re entering that ski competition, and you’re winning it.”

I ski hard. Every day, I stay out late, practicing. I work harder than anyone in my group. I level up quickly. And finally, I’m ready for the ski competition.

Jessica and Britney stand close to each other as my parents grudgingly hand over the money that is crumpled from them clutching it so hard. Jessica and Britney see me, but I cannot see their expressions under their ski helmets, but I’m pretty sure it’s not pleasant. A man in a ski cap talks into a gold microphone that says SKI on it. “Welcome to the Annual Kids Ski Race! All participants get on the ski lift to the trail.” I look back at my parents, who give me encouraging nods and thumbs up. I follow the other participants. My legs tremble a little bit, and the butterflies in my stomach start fluttering again. I almost regret my choice of joining, but not quite. 

After we’re on top of the icy trail, we get into a line. I’m nearly the last one because my last name starts with an X. I stop and inhale. I’ve come to love the cool and fresh smell of the mountain. When Jessica goes, it’s perfect. She’s like a bullet, whizzing around the obstacles. Britney isn’t so successful. She teeters for a moment in the middle, but regains her balance very fast. But one second in skiing is enough. It’s for sure, she can’t win. At the bottom, Britney screams and throws her poles on the ice, making a weird aaaaahhhh And boing sound. I smirk a little bit.

When it’s my turn, I crouch and lean forward. As soon as the buzzer sounds, I’m off, skiing like mad. I can’t believe how much I’ve improved since the first day I arrived at this ski resort. I forget everything when I ski, with the wind whipping around me. Jessica and Britney stare at me, and I can see Britney tremble in anger. I focus on turning my feet parallel. I’m skiing so fast that I can feel a shudder run through my legs as I ski over the bumpy ice. I stop at the bottom, and my mom and dad erupt in cheering. They aren’t the only ones. Most of the people there are clapping and nodding at me. I hardly notice the last couple of racers coming down the mountain.

The man in the ski cap talks into the microphone again. “It was very close, there were some ties. But third place goes to…Goyle Fredericks!” A burly boy takes the tiny trophy made of bronze and  snorts in disgust as he walks away. “Second place goes to…Jessica Hall!” The Ski Cap man says. Jessica looks so happy when she takes the medium sized trophy made of silver. I cross my fingers. “And,” the Ski Cap man yells, “The winner is…Olivia Xu!!” He holds out the huge gold trophy to me. My parents are screaming. I feel like I’m in a trance as I walk over to the man and take the trophy. My mom snaps a few pictures, and we start to walk back to the hotel.

On the way back, Britney catches up with us. Her parents, Jessica, and Jessica’s parents are way behind talking. Britney looks nervously at my parents. “Cengrejulshins,” she mutters without moving her mouth. 

“Sorry?” I ask. 

“Cengrejulshins.”

“Oh. Would it be any easier for you to spell it out?”

“I just wanted to say congratulations, okay?” she says.

“Thank you, Britney. Remind me why you hate me again?” I ask. She frowns and stalks away, but my spirits are too high to be quelled by her annoying manner, so I skip in front of my parents to the hotel. I realize that if your spirits are soaring, they can lift up your feet in those clunky ski boots.

My mom opens the door with the room card and I run inside. I’m upset when my parents don’t look happy. “Why are you guys looking sad?” I demand.

My dad glances at my mom. He seems to need confirmation for every word he says. “Well, uh, there’s this, um, problem with our jobs, er, we left, so, ah-”

“That’s enough,” My mom says. “I will explain it without hesitation. Do you remember when, in my office, I told you your dad’s boss was expecting a baby and I just finished a piece of work? Those were all lies. Our bosses don’t let us off, for some reason. That is why we haven’t brang you and the twins on vacation, ever. But we did, because your dad and I decided that you guys deserved it.”

It takes a moment for me to realize. “YOU LOST YOUR JOBS?” I scream. “WHY DIDN’T YOU TELL ME? WHY IN THE WORLD WOULD YOU DO THAT? THAT IS THE LEAST WORTHIEST SACRIFICE EVER!”

My dad winces. “Olivia, you waited so long to go skiing, and look, you got a gold trophy! We didn’t want to worry you.”

I glare. “THAT WAS NOT WORTH IT! YOU GUYS BOTH GAVE UP YOUR JOBS SO I COULD GO SKIING????!!!! AAAAAAAAAH! WE COULD’VE NOT GONE!” I remember when my mom and dad had locked eyes when they were paying at a ski shop, and how they so grudgingly handed over the money for the ski race. “THAT’S WHY YOU DIDN’T WANT TO PAY FOR ANYTHING! DID YOU GET A NEW JOB?”

The foolish humans peek at me and my dad says, “Uh, I got a job as a trash guy, because nobody else wanted it. Your mom, nah.” I groan and roll my eyes— in classic Britney-style. Britney! Britney’s family has billions of dollars and they live in a mansion. Now, they are residents in the most chic hotel in the mountain. How badly does Britney want this trophy? Would she pay money for it? But those thoughts would have to wait for later. I have to get a good night’s sleep, because tomorrow I will be going back home.

I shove my backpack into the car and squish into the backseat with George and Lily. It is very early in the morning, so thank god, the twins had fallen asleep as soon as they got into the car. My dad drives a tall car rolling on huge wheels. He starts the monster, and I lean my head on the window and stare out. Suddenly, I see a crazily flat car, looking like it got bashed with a hammer but stayed sleek and cool. I recognize it as Britney’s family’s car, and it’s driving right next to us. She looks despondent, so I sit up tall in my seat to look at her phone. Britney is watching a replay of herself skiing. Their car rushes past us, and I stare after it, pondering, for a long time.

When we get home, I throw my bag on my bed and collapse. The trip had been so long! It is already evening, so I decide that I need to do some research on Britney and her family, and then I would sleep for 11 hours.

Morning, I jump out of my soft and warm bed. The air is alive with the yells of George and Lily – and my mom and dad! Then I remember why I am hearing them. Because they are not at their jobs! It is the last day of spring break, so I take the chance to wear my fluffy sweater and sweatpants. Grabbing a handful of Fruity Cheerios and my gold-plastic trophy, I hurry out the door. I don’t even bother yelling at my siblings when stale cereal hits me on the back of my head, but I do bother yelling a good morning to my parents.

I run all the way across town to Billionaire’s Row. The biggest house looms in front of me. It is similar to the White House, just smaller. Still, it is very intimidating, with its white walls and floor-to-ceiling windows. I stare up and I see a window decorated with pink window stickers. I can just see the ceiling, which is pink. I know it is Britney’s room. I ring the doorbell, with much coaxing from the brave half of me. A narrow face flashes in front of Britney’s window and disappears. A couple of seconds later, the huge door creaks open.

Britney is standing at the door. “What?” she snaps, then spots the trophy and her eyes narrow. She probably thinks that I’ve come to brag in her face. “Fine, you won. I don’t care,” she growls.

“Did you want to win or did you want the trophy?” I ask. Some people like to just have trophies shining on their shelf. I hope Britney is like that. Her eyes widen, and I know that she’s deciding whether to lie or tell the truth.

“Just the trophy.” She lowers her head, miserable, like she just revealed her life’s biggest secret.

“Would you like to buy it?” I ask.

Britney’s head jerks up and she stares at me suspiciously. “Why would you want to sell it? It’s first place, and plastic mixed with gold.”

“I know.” I say, nodding.

Now that it is confirmed, Britney’s eyes light up with greed. She reaches into her pocket and extracts a pink purse. Then she freezes, and says, narrowing her eyes, “Why? What is the reason you would want to sell it? I am not buying it until you tell me.”

I try to coax her. With difficulty and with both arms, I lift the trophy up and wave it in front of her face. Then I tilt the trophy so it catches the glare of the sun. Britney does not move a muscle. I groan and say, “I want money to buy my favorite thingamajig from a store, alright?”

“Lie,” Britney says simply. She waits. I wait. She waits. I wait.

“I’m sure there are plenty of other people who would want this trophy and don’t want the reason.” I snap, but I don’t walk away. 

Britney smirks and starts to giggle. Then she starts to snort, then laughs full time. Suddenly her face becomes expressionless, and she looks at me and says, “Enough. Just tell me.”

So I do. It spills out of my mouth like a waterfall. It seems to me that I wanted to tell it before, but I didn’t want to at the same time. It is a relief to get it all out. Britney stands like a statue, her eyes fixed on me. When I’m done, Britney looks at me with a weird expression on her face. Then I realize that it is concern. I remember that her family used to be very poor. “Britney,” I say seriously. “I think you’ve just gotten your number one hundred and first expression.”

“Come with me,” Britney says. I’m pretty confused, but she leads me to an ATM machine and she inserts her credit card inside. Then Britney turns to me and frowns. “Don’t look, Olivia, I’m entering my passcode.” I turn away and look around. We appear to be inside a bank, and it is pretty empty. An old woman with white hair and glasses is slowly moving around behind a desk, doing stuff to papers from time to time. 

She looks up at me, takes around thirty seconds to process that I’m there, and says, “Oh, hello, may I help you?” Without waiting for an answer she turns and walks to the other end of the desk. 

Then Britney calls, “Okay, come here, Olivia.” I turn around and I see cash flowing out of the ATM machine as fast as words had flown out of my mouth. Then it jerks to a stop. “This is, I’m guessing, 500 dollars or so?”

“Oh my gosh, that’s so much, thank you!” I gasp.

She gives me a weird look. “That’s not enough! I’m giving you like, 200 million dollars. It’s just that the machine won’t give me anymore. ” I nearly DIED right then and there. 

“NOOOOOOOOO! Just pay the amount the trophy is worth!” The fact that I can take SO MUCH of someone’s money without doing anything will be enough to to make me guilty for the rest of my life.

“Okay, okay, 100 million dollars!” she cries.Without waiting for an answer, Britney marches up to the old bank lady. “Helga. 99 million, 999 thousand, 500, please.” She holds out her ATM card.

Helga smiles. “Hellllooooo, Britney.”

“Hello, Helga. 99 million, 999 thousand, 500.”

“How may IIIIII help you?”

“I would like you to take 99 million, 999 thousand, 500 out of my bank account.”

“Sooooooo. We are taking money out of a bank account.”

“Yes. 99 million, 999 thousand, 500, please.”

“Nooooooo. IIIIIIII cannot. You are underaged, Britney.”

Britney sighs in exasperation. “Okay, fine then. My parents will let me anyway.” She calls her parents. She glares angrily at Helga for being difficult. Helga blinks back at her slowly. Something similar to a staring contest happens between them, except Helga blinks constantly while Britney does not.

There’s a whirring sound outside the bank door and the flat car pulls out. Britney’s parents, Mr. and Mrs. Tucker, walk arm in arm. “Yes, Britney? If you called us here for nothing, I shall be extremely upset,” Mrs. Tucker snaps.

I’m pretty sure Britney shrank a little. “Can Olivia get…100 million dollars?” She asks in a small voice.

“NO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! WHY?” Mrs. Tucker roars. The sudden movement nearly jerks Mr. Tucker off his feet. Mrs. Tucker is furious. A hundred daggers shoot out of her eyes, ten at Britney and ninety at me. “DON’T YOU DARE TAKE MONEY FROM US, YOU UNSCRUPULOUS RASCAL!” She yells at me. Now she turns to Helga. “WHY DID YOU LET THEM DO THIS?” Mrs. Tucker screams.

Helga blinks. “Wellllllll, Mrs. Tucker, what is your question?”

“WHY DID YOU LET THEM DO THIS?”

“Because they-”

“TOO SLOW! WHATEVER!” Mrs. Tucker turns her angry gaze on everyone. This had never occured to me, but right now, Mrs. Tucker seemed 50 feet tall, while everyone else is as tall as an ant. At any second, she can stomp on us and crush us. 

Britney says, “Your motto is, ‘No act of kindness no matter how small is ever wasted.’ So…?”

“BRITNEY! I NEVER SHOULD HAVE TOLD YOU MY MOTTO! I MEANT FOR THAT MOTTO TO MEAN THAT EVERYONE SHOULD BE NICE TO ME! I ONLY SAID THAT ON MOTHER’S DAY! AND YOU GUYS WERE LOUNGING AROUND, AND PROBABLY FORGOT THAT IT WAS MOTHER’S DAY!” Mrs. Tucker howls in frustration.

“Mother, you don’t want to be hypocritical, do you? And Dad and I did remember, it was SUPPOSED to be a surprise at night!”

Mrs. Tucker looks like a volcano, ready to explode. Her feet are shaking in their 7-inch thick heels. “Why didn’t you give me the surprise? Also, an act of kindness that I was referring to is like, giving a beggar a crumb!”

“No, your motto says any act of kindness, no matter how small. We didn’t want to because you were being mean to us.”

“YOU ARE BEING PLAIN HORRIBLE!” Mrs. Tucker stamps her foot, screeching like a howler monkey. She takes a deep breath. “Well then, isn’t it our choice how much to give?”

“Yes, OUR. Now I think we should give $100 million. Also, she is not taking money. I’m paying for this trophy.”

“Okay, pretend the trophy is an act of kindness from that human and let’s get out of here.”

“NO. I AM NOT DOING THAT.” Suddenly Britney stops, a smile on her face. “I’m sure that my followers on Instagram and Snapchat would love to hear about EVERYTHING my hypocrite of a mom did.”

Mrs. Tucker blanches. “You wouldn’t. I forbid you. Give me your phone RIGHT NOW.” 

Britney takes out her phone, takes a few steps backwards, and says, “I can send it immediately, but I’m not. Are you giving Olivia money or not?”

Mrs. Tucker hesitates. “Fine. Just don’t send it.”

But I didn’t want the money! I racked my mind to think of an excuse. “Guys, NOPE. I can’t bring it home anyway.” 

There is a triumphant look on Mrs. Tucker’s face as she looks smugly at Britney.

But Britney asks me, “What’s one of your parent’s phone numbers?”

“Uh, 4975935676.” 

“No it’s not.” Britney is using her crazy power again.

“9368036854.”

“Stop lying to me.”

“9175694589.”

“That’s better.” Britney dials the number and my mom picks it up. “This is Britney. Hi Mrs. Xu, you have to come to Bank of America. It’s an emergency. Bring Mr. Xu if possible. Olivia and I are on the third bank on Billionaire’s Row.” Then Britney hung up. “They’re coming,” she said, smiling widely. 

I know that my parents will be here any minute, because our once-happy house is right next to Billionaire’s Row, so I plead for Helga to help me, to hide me behind her desk. Britney forces me away. I start hyperventilating. Britney grabs my shoulders. “Stop it, Olivia. $100 million dollars is only a small portion of Dad’s money. It will not make a dent in it. So stop hyperventilating and take it!” 

Suddenly my mom and dad burst into the bank, panting. “What’s wrong? What’s happened?” they cry. 

I glower at Britney, and she grins at my parents. “May I talk to you guys privately?” My parents shoot me worried looks as they follow Britney to the other side of the bank, glancing at the pile of cash at the feet of the ATM. I am in a trance as I watch them talk.  I groan and cover my eyes. 

“Mr. or Mrs. Xu, do one of you guys have PayPal? The money I have here is…” Britney checks the ATM. “$500, so you guys are going to get $99,999,500.” 

My dad nods slowly, almost as slow as the woman behind the desk. He takes out his phone. My hands take over. I run over to him and snatch the phone from him, clutching it tightly. “We are NOT receiving 100 million dollars. This trophy is more plastic than gold. It is worth less than 100 million.”

“Oh. Kay. Fine. Then. One. Mil. Lee. Un. Dol. Ar. S,” Britney says in something close to a growl, and I know that she isn’t going to take no for an answer. “But…….that’s x200 less than what I was going to give you, so how about-”

My dad and I speak at the same time with me saying: “No no no no no, that’s okay” but with him saying with a shrug: “Um, sure.” There is a tiny gleam in his eye.

My mom just frowns. Finally she says, “Don’t pity us. We can get on fine.”

Britney turns to me and my dad. “So I’ll give you $1 million. And there’s an extra $500.” I regretfully hand my dad his phone and turn away. He’s going to take the money. 

 I decide I should constantly be giving Britney’s family stuff, but there probably isn’t anything I can give her that her dad can’t get or doesn’t have. “Britney,” I say, “What is your biggest desire, your need, your want?” I want to know so I can get her something.

But she shrugs and answers, “I don’t have one. I don’t need anything.” 

“What is your biggest secret?”

“My secrets aren’t big, they’re barely even secrets.” Wow. This is getting to be way harder than I thought it would be.

“Well then, tell me your biggest.”

“The biggest…why do you want to know?”

“AAAAAAAAH, WE ARE NOT DOING THIS AGAIN!” I scream.

“Okay, okay, the biggest is Jessica does my reading homework for me.”

“Why?”

“Um, I kind of am bad at reading.”

“Oh my. Okay,” I say thoughtfully. “Do you have any books at home?”

“No. And don’t push it.” Britney’s face is as red as a tomato. I don’t. Mrs. Tucker grabs Britney and marches out the door, growling like a starved animal the whole time. Tomorrow, over to Britney’s I go.

When I wake up, I don’t want to get up because my bed is soft, but then I remember why I even woke up, and I jump out of bed. My dad has to leave now because of his job as a trash guy, so he is wearing his old and faded Snoopy T-shirt, cargo pants, and a cap. He waves as I grab some cereal from the box. We walk out together, but I turn right and he turns left at the crossroad. We did not speak for the whole time, not even a “bye” when we split. It was a good kind of silence though.

I go into Barnes & Nobles with some money and buy the best books I can think of, the Harry Potter series. The line is long, and the cashier is about as slow as the lady in the bank. Finally, carrying the bag of books, I step out of Barnes & Nobles and continue on to Billionaire’s Row.

Once again I knock on the tall wooden door, and once again the door is opened by Britney. “It’s so early….” she yawns. “Whaddya got in that bag?” 

I hold it out to her. “It’s yours. I got it for you.”

“What’s in it?”

“Books.”

“Oh. That’s nice.”

“They’re Harry Potter.”

“Uh, the problem is, I can’t read Harry Potter.”

“Oh man. I’ll teach you!”

“Haha.” Britney smiles, then she gasps. “Wait. You’re not joking?”

“No, of course not.”

“Okay…”

“This time every morning, on your doorstep?”

“Sure…”

“You’ll try hard, right?”

“Yes. Duh! I am the queen of trying hard! Come to think of it, I am the queen of everything!”

I leave Britney, who is flipping through the first book with doubt. True to her word, Britney works crazy hard, as hard as I did on skiing. Every day we struggle through a chapter or so, and finally, one day, we finish Harry Potter and The Sorcerer’s Stone.

“I’m going-to have a lot of fun…with Dudley this sum-mer.” Britney stutters through the last sentence. She flips the page, but the only thing there is the About the Author. Britney looks up at me in shock. “I finished the book?” she asks in disbelief. I nod, grinning a little bit, and she starts to laugh. It is crazy. She throws back her head and shrieks, which I assume is manic laughter. Then she stands up, still shaking with laughter, and says, “Thirty minutes are up. I’m getting back inside.”

We speed through the rest of the books and finish all seven. It is nearly summer already. When we finish Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows, Britney turns to me. “I will ask my repetitive question. Why?”

“It’s a long story…” I say.

“I have time. And tell everything, and what you thought of it, and how you processed it.” So I tell her. Fun fact: when she is interested, Britney is very good at listening. Once I finish, Britney is looking very, very sad. “I’m moving away this summer,” she says quietly. 

I gasp. “On the first day?” 

“Yes.”

“That’s in a week!”

“I know.” We sit side by side. Britney’s head is lowered, the success of finishing all the books forgotten. I don’t know how long we sat there. Finally, Britney stands. “What are you doing?” she asks.

“Just thinking,” I answer.

I left Billionaire’s Row that summer. My dad decided that “we should move to somewhere richer and fancier”. I wanted to stay, but I couldn’t. So on the first day of summer, I stood in front of our fancy car, clutching a book and the plastic/gold trophy. Olivia and her family were there to wave us off. “In the car,” my dad said, and I did, waving to Olivia. My dad started the car, and I looked out the window, waving until the Xu family was out of sight. That was the last time I ever saw Olivia, but she had given me something my dad couldn’t, and I remembered her. I still have the trophy. It sits on my counter, higher and separate than the other trophies. I learned how to write better, in a class in the city, and I wrote down in a journal, my first entry, everything that Olivia told me on the day we finished Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows, and I created this. The trophy is a souvenir of my old life in Billionaire’s Row.

Britney

Where Have All The Goslings Gone?

Today the mayor of the town has gone out and stated that the entire pond has been dumped and taken away by an unknown villain. The mayor stated that there would be a $500 dollar gift for anyone who caught the person who stole it. The most important thing is that all the goslings are gone! The police are investigating and so far they have found some clues and suspects. One of them is named Jacob Hendreson. If you see him with a big truck that has animals quacking in it, tell the police immediately. We have seen him at the time of the stealing, but there were a few others there so we don’t know for sure. The other thing is that if you see someone by the pond, you should try to interrogate them. We also know that another suspect is Jimmy, who works at the doughnut store. He was seen close to when the crime happened as well. If you see him with a big trailer or a pond in his backyard then tell the police immediately.

It was early and I was going to get a doughnut from my friend Jimmy. I decided to go to the pond and sit for a bit, since I was tired. I saw a guy pull up in a big red truck and rip out the entire pond!!! I ran over, got into his truck and pushed him out. I drove the truck back to my house. I knew that someone was going to notice so I put the pond in the basement, and the goslings in the pond into my rabbit cage (they were so small that they all fit). A few hours later the police came in. They wanted to know if I had a pond. I knew what they meant and I was really scared.

I fake laughed and said, “No pond here!”

They left and I knew that I had to hide or destroy the pond. But I really did not want to because the pond was the town’s pride! But then I thought, what about the goslings? Where would they live? So I hid the pond in a better place. I put it in my closet. It didn’t fit too well but I didn’t think that people would go searching closets for ponds. I remembered the doughnuts and went and got some.

My friend Jimmy said, “The mayor went out and listed you as a suspect and said that if you saw anything suspicious tell him.”

Jimmy was nice so I was sure that he was not lying to me because he was nice and he was my friend. I was scared about that warning so I went back to my house and didn’t come out for the rest of the day.

I wanted to put the pond back but I would probably go to jail. I had an idea to put the pond back at night when no one was watching. I woke up that night and drove my truck with the pond in the back to the area where the pond used to be. I was about to put the pond down into the hole where it was when all of the sudden a police car went down the road. It was odd because there was no one else out. Then I remembered that it was take your duck to work day and that the police were taking their ducks to the pond to see if people were there. It was the only day of the year luckily. It took so long to remember that by the time I looked up I saw the policeman with handcuffs. Then I was being escorted away to jail.

I was in jail and I had to think of a way out. I saw a few keys that looked like they fit in the lock on a bench across the hall. I picked them up. The hall was very tiny. I opened the jail cell and looked for my car. I found my car with the pond still attached to it. I got in, got my keys, and drove away. I was ready to put the pond back when I realized that it was morning and my friend jimmy would be going to work at the doughnut shop, so I went back to my home. I felt really mad so I didn’t sleep too much so I went to my friend Jimmy’s store. I thought it would be nice to buy a doughnut from him, so I did. After that I looked and found out that there was nothing tonight and that nobody would be out so I could put the pond back. I got up at around 2 am and I got into my car and drove to the old pond area. I was about to put it back again when all of a sudden a bunch of people in birthday hats started singing the happy birthday song. This was the second time this happened! I was wondering what were the odds that this would happen two times? I was really mad so I went back to my house. I ate my doughnut in silence because everyone else was at the party. I then went to sleep. After that I had another normal day and I hoped that that night I would finally put the pond back into the hole that it was once in. I woke up that night and I got in the truck and drove over. I then put the pond in finally and drove back home. I really hoped that nobody would notice the pond back or they would trace it back to me. I was wrong.

The next day police came to my house and put me in court. The judge was Mr. Duck. A duck. He sentenced me to two years in jail. That’s when I saw the bad guy, the man in the truck. He looked super happy, like he was enjoying the fact that he wasn’t going to jail. He looked like a big guy that had too many doughnuts and he had a big scar across his face. Then I knew who it was: it was Jimmy all along! I had him come up and he said that he did it. Finally it was over. And I had ended this craziness. I went back home and got into bed. I saw on the news that the bad guy had gone to jail. I was so happy that I just went to sleep and stayed in bed for a day. Mostly because I was super tired though. I looked in the mirror and was shocked that I was so tired (well not really) and that I looked like I was really hungry. So I got some food and got back into bed. I was just so tired.

Crabby the Crab

It began silently when my mom’s friend bought a box full of live crabs. My mom went downstairs to get the box of live crabs since my mom’s friend was not able to go inside my home. My sister and my whole entire family were waiting for that box for a long time.

I was practicing piano at the time when my mom came home in a hurry. I closed my piano and went to see her. I didn’t see a box of live crabs but I saw one huge black bag. So I went to play with my sister for a while.

Then my mom screamed, “I will now show you what is called big crabs.”

Then she carefully placed a box in front of me and she told me to back off. Suddenly, something came to my mind! That was the box full of live crabs!

The box was yellow-brownish and it seemed like it was made out of bamboo. She opened up the box and then… there were live crabs! I was right. There were live crabs. They were blue female crabs. Their shells were brown. I knew they were female crabs because their backs are not a T shape like male crabs.

After my mom opened the box full of female crabs, I asked her if I could have the most active one. I said that because we were going to eat half of the crabs. We were going to boil them and eat their claws and bodies and mouths. Then I asked my mom if I could have a bowl. She gave me a big silver bowl and then she put the most active female crab in it. I immediately told my sister to give me a chopstick and a cup that was filled with water, but not drinking water. After that, I told my sister to give me the cup and the chopstick. She gave it to me and I started to play with the crab! But before I played with the crab, I poured the cup of water into the silver bowl and the crab was swimming in it!

The game we played was called Try to Catch My Chopstick. The crab was trying to get the chopstick and if the crab got the chopstick, then the crab got one point. If the crab didn’t get the chopstick, then the chopstick got one point. If the crab did a sudden attack and almost got the chopstick, then she won ten points! She did ten sudden attacks so she got 100 points.

We were amazed by how active she was! We went to the sink and told her how to dance! She started to dance! She jumped out of the water! She was beginning to be too wild! I noticed it and I took the chopstick that my sister gave me and I rubbed it against the crab’s shell and she calmed down. This was the time when I knew what to call her. The perfect name for her was… Crabby!

***

Night came and we knew where to put her bowl. We put her in the window because there was a lot of space and she could suntan. Before we put her in her new home, we moved her into a blue bowl. It was big so that Crabby could do anything in it. We made her a sun cover so that she would not become too hot. We looked at her for the last time of the day and went to sleep.

The next day came and we visited her. We fed her salt and day by day went and every morning we checked on her because we were worried that she was going to die. The third day came and we thought that she died, but surprisingly, she was still alive. The fourth day came. In the morning we looked at her for the last time. In the afternoon… she died.

From that day on, I would always remember Crabby. She was active, kind, sweet, and a survivor. I will never forget her, and even though she died, she will never forget me too.

Weird Food World

Chapter 1

Once upon a time… there was this guy named Bob, and stuff, I think. He lived in a house near a gurgling river. And in that river, instead of fish, there were swimming watermelons! And he lived underground with moles that were pears! And the oven was a heated banana! And the world was a hollow coconut! So he went above ground and saw a sunflower seed ant! The grass was hard like coconut skin and a pumpkin seed beetle.

If only I could find the Fruitanator 3000 and reverse it, thought Bob. So he set off to find the Fruitanator 3000. First he found a map and it said to go to The Pineapple Forest. So he went there and found the next clue. It said to get to the other side of the forest and find the next clue. When he got to the edge of the forest he found the Plains of Rambutan. There he found a colony of banana seed termites! They were running toward him. But they weren’t coming for him. He looked behind him. There were about 3000 grape bees! They came in groups from 30-400 per hive! Their hives were as big as fourteen golf balls. But their hive was made of Saltines. The bees could sting and that hurt! So Bob slithered every which way, dodging the bees.

Once that was over he saw an old wall covered in moss. It wasn’t just a wall though… it was a whole house! Who would live here? Bob whispered to himself. He went over to the house. There he saw the second clue! It said: Now go to the tundra made out of whipped cream, there you will find the last clue. Finally you will find the Fruitanator 3000. 

Finally! he thought. 

Chapter 2: The Fruitinator 3000

He found out that it was a long walk to the whipped cream tundras and he didn’t have proper gear. But on the way, he saw a small hut. He went inside and found out that there were a whole ton of jackets, boots, and hats. There were even sweatpants. He found out that it was a shop. He went to go pay for the things he wanted. He grabbed two hats, one jacket, three pairs of sweatpants, and two pairs of boots. Then he paid and it was a total of only thirteen dollars. Then he left to go on his adventure to the tundra.

A few days later he got there and he started looking. After a while he found a huge house and went in. Then he fell down a secret doorway.

He walked down the hallway and finally, enclosed in glass, there was the Fruitanator 3000. But then he realized he would have to go back home, through plains, through The Pineapple Forest, and finally back home where the moles were as green as the grass (FYI they were pears). On the long walk home he met one final animal. It was a giant lion made out of more than a trillion different seeds. He got past it by sneaking past him carefully. Then he went home and reversed the Fruitanator 3000 and zapped everything back to normal. 

UFO Universe

A UFO was spotted yesterday on June 7th over Brooklyn NY.

Meanwhile, mysterios MIBs (men in black) have been popping up all over Brooklyn.

Nobody knows where they have come from. On a side note, local pigeons have gone missing.

Here are some precautions to keep in mind: 

1: Try to have nothing to do with MIBs (men in black).

2: If you see a UFO, STAY AWAY, and call 911.

3: If anyone you know, their pets, or their children disappear, call 911.

4: If you notice a family member acting strangely, call 911.

5: If you see anything weird JUST CALL 911!

Here, Mrs Jane Landrish, 46, tells us about a UFO she spotted; she was one of the first to see them:

“It was 8:00 at night, and I was out for a walk. I was on 11th street and 6th avenue. I saw a shape in the sky. At first I thought it was an airplane, but then it lit up with a blinding white light. I closed my eyes, and felt it whoosh past. I opened my eyes. It was a strange, saucer shaped object, and it was hovering over a stray cat. I watched, as some sort of tractor beam pulled the cat into the ship. (I’ll just call that thing a ship.) I ran, terrified, back home, and locked the door.”

The interview ended there, with Mrs Landrish breaking into a cold sweat.

That’s what the newspaper said this morning. Yes, I read the newspaper, but only because my grandfather leaves it lying around. Anyways, I found that pretty intriguing. UFOs in Brooklyn! I put down the newspaper and turned to lie on my back. Ahhhh, Saturdays. I can do whatever I want, whenever I want. No school. As I lie in bed and I stare up at the ceiling, I wonder if there really are UFOs in Brooklyn, or if it’s just a hoax.

I heard my door open. I look towards it. My dad’s standing in the doorway.

“You okay, kiddo?” He asked. 

“Yup.” I replied.

“Phew,” he said. “I was starting to think that you would never wake up!”

With that, he closed the door. I rested my arm on my night stand and knocked over my glass of water. I screamed. The water was still freezing. I heard footsteps. My door burst open. My grandpa was standing there. He took in the scene and then closed the door.

“False alarm!” I heard him yell to my mom and dad. I heard them run back down the stairs.

I sighed. It wasn’t enough that I was unpopular, I had to be clumsy. Plus I lost my favorite manga yesterday. And I was pretty sure I was coming down with a cold. AND a dog bit me yesterday. Thankfully, it was not a stray, it had been spayed. Yay, I didn’t have rabies. Still, stuff was pretty bad for me. I grabbed my phone. It was time to text my best friend, Amelia.

Hey!  Amelia!

What?

U free for laser tag at 1?

Of course, it’s Saturday!

I don’t have any other  plans! 

Oh yeah, how could I forget? LOL

See ya at 1!

I will so beat u today!

That’s what u think!

I turned off my phone. Well, at least now I had something to do. To be honest, just lying here in bed on my back was pretty boring. I got up, went to my closet, and pulled out some clothes: a turquoise size 12 t-shirt, a midnight blue hoodie, and some jeans. Then I checked my apple watch. It was 10:07. I had exactly one hour and fifty three minutes before I had to be at Lighting Lasers, the laser tag place. I ran into the kitchen and grabbed a blueberry muffin. I ate it, then poured some orange juice into a cup, and took a swig. Nice and refreshing. Then I pulled on my turquoise converse high tops, and tied them. Then I grabbed my turquoise water bottle. Okay, you can say it. I like turquoise. Nearly everything I own is turquoise or blue. I ran outside and started my morning run.

I stepped outside and felt a warm, fresh breeze. It was a warm, sunny spring day. As I went to close the door, my pomeranian puppy, Emory, came through the open door, running, and jumped on me.

“Whoa!” I shouted, my arms flailing as I tried to regain my balance. Then I fell on my butt. “Ow!” I yelped. I stood up, trying to act as though that hadn’t just happened.

I heard someone say, “That looked painful.” 

I whirled around, trying to find the person who had spoken. It was my brother, who was standing in the doorway. He was fifteen, three years older than I am. He smirked at me, and I could see that he had his phone in his hand, which was replaying a video of what had just happened.

“You *censored* *censored* *censored* *censored* *censored*!” I screamed. “You’d better not post that!” 

“Okay, okay, I won’t post it.” he said.

“Good.” I said, turning away.

“Oops!” I heard him exclaim. I turned around, and he was smiling at me. “Posted it!” 

“Aaghhh!” I yelled. I ran at him, my fists clenched, and punched him in the face. 

“Ouch!” he yelled. It didn’t stop with one punch, though. I had been taking taekwondo lessons, and I was a black belt. I punched him again, hit him with roundhouse and snap kicks, hit him with a neck chop, and punched him some more. By the time I was done, he was sporting a bloody nose and lip, a black eye, several bruises, and a broken arm.

He lay on the ground, curled into a fetal position. He had no idea that I had been taking taekwondo, and he had no idea how good I was.

“You know what?” I said. “I think that’s enough exercise for now. I’m going inside.”

I stepped over his trembling body, and into the house. I set down my water bottle, and picked up my phone. 

At that very moment, my phone rang. It was Amelia. Funny, I was just about to call her. I answered the call and heard her voice on the other line.

“Maia! Come quick! We’ve got a situation at laser tag.”

My dad drove me to laser tag. When I stepped inside, I saw Amelia arguing with two boys. The owner of Lightning Lasers, Josh, was sitting in the corner, reading a book.

“You can’t be here right now!” I heard Amelia saying. “We made a reservation!”

“We?” One of the boys said. “I don’t see anyone else with you. Who are you talking about, your imaginary friend?”

I could see Amelia getting angry. I decided that now would be a good time to step in.

“Oh, hi Amelia. Want to tell me what this is?” I asked, gesturing at the two boys.

“Maia! Thank goodness you’re here! I’ve been trying to tell these two that they can’t be here, because we made a reservation, but they won’t listen to me, and Josh has not done us a whit of good!”

“Huh?” Josh asked, looking up from his book.

“Don’t just sit there like it’s tea time, help us out!” Amelia screamed.

Okay, I should probably explain all the British-y stuff. See, Amelia’s mom is from England, and whenever Amelia gets angry, she starts talking like she’s British. Including a British accent. But the accent is only when she’s really mad, so it probably won’t come up now, over a thing like laser t-oh, the accent has kicked in.

“Listen, we were here first, so just leave and nobody get’s hurt.” She said, now with a British accent. To show that it wasn’t an idle threat, she punched one of the boys in the stomach.

“Hey!” he exclaimed. That’s when a full fledged fight broke out. Fists and feet flying everywhere. 

That’s when I heard a voice.

“Ahem.” I looked toward the sound of the voice. It was Josh. He had finally looked up from his book. “If it helps, we have a new version of laser tag. It’s a four person game.”

“Why didn’t you tell us this earlier?” I demanded.

“I was occupied.” He held up his book and pointed at it.

“Ugh. You are SO annoying,” I said. “But yes, we will play the four person game, IF we get to be against them.” I pointed at the two boys. 

“Sure, whatever you want,” he said. “I don’t care.” 

I turned to look at the boys. It was payback time!

As I stepped into the huge, darkened room, designed for laser tag, I noticed that it had changed a bit. The walls were taller, and there were a few more power ups on the walls. I strapped on my gear and grabbed my laser tag gun. Then I was ready to go. 

The five minute timer started, and it was time to play. I hid in my favorite spot, in the corner behind the wall with a hole for a window. I saw the boys sneaking around, staying close to the walls. I jumped out from behind the wall.

“Payback time!” I yelled. Then I noticed the laser tag guns in their hands. They looked like something you would see in a sci-fi movie.

“Whoa.” I said. “Where did you get those? Did you bribe Josh?”

“No, foolish human.” One of the boys laughed. “These are ours. And they are real.”

“Wait, I’m sorry, what? A, you’re not allowed to have real guns in here. B, you’re not allowed to scare your opponents on purpose. And C, we’re all humans.”

“Those rules do not apply to us,” he said. Now he and his friend were walking towards me. The lighting was making their skin look grayish.

“Um, yes they do. They apply to everybody.” I said.

  “But not to us.” he replied. Now it looked like his hair was shrinking back into his head, and his teeth were growing sharper. It also looked like his eyes were turning completely white. That’s when I realized that everything that I thought was happening was actually happening!

“Y-you’re aliens!” I stammered.

“Yes. We knew that you would make that connection eventually. You, of all people, believe that we might be real. And we are. However, we are planning to conquer Earth, and if you had figured out that we were real, then you would have been a serious threat to our plan. So, we must stop you from figuring out that we are real. And there is only one way to do that.”

I started backing up. “W-what are you t-talking about?” I asked, fearing that I already knew the answer. I kept backing up, and then tripped and fell on my butt. I kept backing up, using my hands to pull and my feet to push. I felt my back hit the wall. 

The aliens were still walking towards me. I covered my face with my arms. The last thing I saw before I closed my eyes was one of the aliens pointing their gun at me. 

French Fries

French fries, french fries you are

so salty, you taste like Greece, but a 

little more foggy How greasy, how greasy

you get my hands wet, I will pick one up 

and not break a sweat 

I get I get on the racing track

and see and see a big french fry

a ginormous french fry zips and zooms 

pass the checker finish line

At McDonalds, there is a line 

That you can see but there’s only one 

That stretches thus far a french fry

The line at McDonalds is all for 

A french fry, the line seams to

have french pies   

Just don’t forget the yellow marranet

A french fry

French fries, french fries, you are so hot,

And is it so yellow and tasty or not?

Oh melo my belo who are you?                              

A supercalifragilisticexpialidocious

Or are you a french fry?

French fry, french fry how lovely you are

The Outbreak

Chapter 1: Rising

Buddy was in the house playing games. Suddenly, he hears a voice speaking really loudly outside. Since his parents aren’t home, he went to go see what it was. So, he left the house and started running to the sound. He ran so fast that he bumped into somebody. He bumped into his friend, Fred, and was surprised to see him. Fred whispered into Buddy’s ear, “Don’t go there! There’s a fallen hacker outside!” 

Buddy said, “Who is it?” 

“The captain of the fallen hacker, Vex,” Fred replied. 

So, Buddy and Fred went to their friend Teddy’s house. They knocked on the door and Teddy opened it.

Teddy said, “Come in! Come in!” 

Chapter 2: The Plan 

Teddy grabbed some water for Buddy and Fred. Teddy also knew about Vex. He told them that Vex was about to use the atomic virus to destroy the city.

“What is the atomic virus?” Fred asked. 

Teddy said, “It is a digital bomb just like a regular atomic bomb. If it is fired, we wouldn’t even live here because it would destroy us all.” 

Buddy said, “We need to stop that bomb!” 

Teddy said, “Don’t worry. We have a plan.” He showed Buddy and Fred the SHARD, the Malcom bridge, and the HACKERS TOWER. Teddy told Buddy that they need to go to the Malcom bridge and build a zipline to the top of the SHARD. Then they’d steal the f19 grappler and three javelins to fight the evil guards. Then they started to go to Teddy’s lab.  

Chapter 3: Stealth

As they went to Teddy’s lab, they got mini digital command centers. They got a drone and gave it some money to get some stealth boots. One hour later, they got the boots. They went downstairs with their boots and snuck up under Vex’s stage. 

Buddy wondered what Teddy was thinking. Why are we sneaking under a stage? He thought.  

Teddy grabbed a random rope from one of its wires and cut it. That would affect the stage’s sound barrier, which could barricade Vex’s voice.

Chapter 4: Lift 

They grabbed a grappler from a store and started heading to Malcolm bridge. When they got there, the bridge blinded them with its extreme light. The SHARD was 7,000 kilometers away from Malcolm bridge so they had to go one by one. When they got there, it was already 11:30pm. They were so tired that they had to rest on top of the SHARD. 

So the next morning, they woke up for breakfast. Luckily, Teddy bought some bread. They used the zipline to get to the guard’s outlet. They were lucky because the guard was outside. They explored around the outlet for some javelin. They found three javelins and even some extras! They heard some footsteps coming in the hallway. So they ran out of the door. 

Chapter 5: Escape

Guards started blocking the door so they had to use javelins to get out. After they ran out, they found a treehouse. But, some person was in the treehouse. He told them to come up. When they met the boy, he looked the same age as them. He told them that Vex’s guards have security cameras everywhere. “BEWARE!” He told them. He got them some water and food, and then they went out. 

Chapter 6: Reunite

After they went out of the treehouse, they saw Vex’s guards chasing them from behind. They had a green banner of digits on their armour. They were fierce and quickly gaining on Buddy, Fred, and Teddy. The group went to the retaliated forest. They ran until they couldn’t run anymore. Then they saw some cobblestone and went to see what it was. They found a jungle temple that early hackers built. It was between two digital trees. 

Buddy read about those. He knew that early hackers built it for shelter and the moss on the cobblestone meant eternity. He also knew that there were the most valuable treasures in the chest, but they needed to beware the hidden arrow turret.

Chapter 7: Inside

They went through the door of the jungle temple. They put the levers in the right order and walked in. The temple was as dark as the night. There were a few torches and they saw some symbols on the walls. Suddenly, Teddy froze. He sighed in relief. He almost touched a pressure plate.

He told Buddy and Fred, “If we press on a pressure plate, that means a trap will hit you!” Then, Fred looked at the moss on the side of the wall and he ripped them off only to find that it was hollow. Then, Fred touched something at the end. 

He said, “That was an arrow turret.” They started walking into the door and they found the treasure nestled between two stone blocks. They found diamonds, gold, silver, and marble. Then, suddenly someone ran into the treasure chamber.

It was the boy from the treehouse. He told him that the guards had been chasing him. Then, behind him, there was an ocelot. He told them that his name was Salty. They left the treasure there and started walking out of the temple. They went out of the retaliated forest and went to the city.

Chapter 8: Desire

They went to Hacker’s Tower. There was a sewer there beside the tower. The boy told them to go in. They jumped into the sewer and found a secret base. The boy introduced them to the captain and his dad. They had a huge command center in the base. Everyone in the base also wanted to barricade the atomic virus and stop Vex. The hope was very low because he could launch the virus any time. In no time, Vex’s footsteps were clocking on the sewer cap.  

Chapter 9: Hope

They walked out of the sewer. Then, behind them, Vex’s guard grabbed them. They felt hands go around them. They took them to Vex’s torture chamber. There was a stand with a lever and a pool of lava behind it. The room was all made out of glass and digital technology. They put them on the stand. 

“This could be it for us,” thought Buddy, Fred, and Teddy. 

Then suddenly, a guard fell with an arrow through his head. There was the boy and his dad and an army full of crossbows and swords! 

Chapter 10: Rejuvenation

After they went out, the boy invited them to stay for dinner. The dinner was quite awkward. They were using old fashioned forks and old fashioned plates. 

Teddy asked them, “Why do you use old fashioned stuff?” 

The boy said, “I don’t know.” 

Suddenly, they heard a bomb beeping. Luckily, it wasn’t the atomic virus; it was just a regular bomb. It destroyed the Mercury Tower, the smallest tower in the city. Vex’s guard killed 3,765 people in the explosion. People have to get rejuvenated if they want to survive. That meant plastic surgery.

Chapter 11: Explore

Buddy, Fred, and Teddy went to the scythed mansion to meet the richest man on earth and in the history of the city. They went to meet him because he was the only one in the city who could afford a conduit. They needed the conduit because it was a beacon that could destroy Vex’s evil weapons. They went to Harry Ross (The rich guy). 

They went to ask him, “Can we have a conduit?” 

He started to talk to himself quietly. Later he said, “I will give you the conduit, only if you find the nautilus shell and the heart of the sea.”

Three hours later, they came back with a huge nautilus shell and one silk touch on the heart of the sea. After they gave it to him, he came back with a pure gold conduit. Buddy took it from him and said thanks and turned away to Teddy’s house.

Chapter 12: Split

They put the conduit in Teddy’s safe jar. It was already 12:08am. They said goodbye and went home for some sleep. The next morning, they found a scarf when they took a walk in the retaliated forest. It was the boy’s scarf. 

They went into the jungle temple again. They avoided all the pressure plates and started walking to the treasure chamber. They walked past the treasure and found three levers. They pulled the levers in the right order and there was the boy, tied to the wall. 

After they got him out, the boy said in dismay, “Vex’s guard chased me and then I got whacked by one of its javelins, and that is why I ended up in here.” 

Chapter 13: Sacrifice

After they went out, two heavy guards pushed them against the wall to the torture chamber. Before they got their heads chopped off, there was suddenly a voice. It was the captain from the base. He started fighting and cut the chain off their arms and legs. The sergeant of Vex’s guard shot him with an arrow and then he died. They saw Teddy’s dog. They started heading towards the boy’s treehouse. And when they got there, there was the ocelot, who was Salty. They sat on a bean bag and played on their computers. One hour later, the SHARD exploded from Vex’s bomb! 

Chapter 14: Locating 

The boy told them that there was a new city that people were living in that had an arsenal of troops that could stop enemies. It was way better than the city and it was super protected by good guards. But they need a plane to go there and they couldn’t afford the price of the flight, so they went to Harry Ross for some money. He gave them 8 digital coins and that was enough for four people. Next morning Buddy, Fred, Teddy, and the boy packed up together and headed to the airport. When they got to the plane, there was everything that Buddy liked. 

Chapter 15: Plane

They were in First class and they had everything you could  imagine. The boy read a book to be entertained. Later, the flight attendant said, “Five minutes till landing!” 

When they got there, all of them were excited because they were safe. And they were right, it was safe. They lived in a really fancy hotel and in the best room, all thanks to Harry Ross. The room was filled with quartz statues, four beds, six tables, eight chairs, five bathrooms, two dressing rooms, and a snack cabinet. 

Chapter 16: Regardless

At 8pm, they went for a walk on the hotel bridge. By 10pm, they went back to their room and watched TV. On the news, it said “VEX DESTROYED THREE-QUARTERS OF THE CITY!” “Vex is going to destroy our city,” they thought. 

Buddy said, “We have allies so, we can all defeat him.” 

The next day, they told the king of the city about Vex. He said he would round up all the guards he had. They went to the computer room and located the city that Vex lived in a few years ago. The king told them they have a secret base under the pool. They dived into the hotel pool and pulled the trap door open. Inside, there were a lot of people hacking other evil hackers. The king showed them around the dungeon. There were a lot of cells for the prisoners. 

Chapter 17: Spells

They walked out of the dungeon and started to their room. They slept till 11:00 in the morning and then went to the palace. When they got there, the king showed them the most powerful digital spells they had. The king said if you said the wrong spell, the spell will deflect back to you. That made Buddy stunned. Later that day, they went to the lab and typed in an ultimate bug software to save the city. 

Chapter 18: Conclusion

Next day, they heard the news say that Vex was going to destroy the city that they were living in right now. They went to the palace to tell the king, but the king had already rounded up an arsenal of troops and a lot of royal bodyguards. They heard the planes coming in, but now we have allies so we can defeat them. 

THE END 

The Doll

1865. Adelaide Mason was a well-behaved 9-year-old girl. Her parents were very rich, and Adelaide got everything she could ever want. The Mason family lived in a mansion on Grandiose Drive, in Indianapolis. Adelaide had one older brother named Charles, who was 15 years old. 

Mrs. and Mr. Mason never believed that their daughter would ever run away. How could she? She got everything she could possibly want, and a huge house. But they thought wrong. 

On October 2nd, Adelaide Mason ran away at night. Mrs. Mason was the first to notice. The front door had slammed shut, and it woke her up. 

“What is that?” she screamed

“Probably your imagination,” replied Mr. Mason

The next morning, Mrs. Mason called Adelaide to breakfast. There was no answer. 

“Dorota, go fetch Adelaide from her room. She’s probably not awake yet,” Mrs. Mason said to one of the maids. 

Dorota came down to tell Mrs. Mason what had happened. 

“Adelaide is not in her bedroom,” Dorota told Mrs. Mason.

Everyone searched everywhere, but there was no sign of Adelaide. They searched all the nooks and crannies, and all around the Masons’ property. 

Then, Mr. Mason called the police. The police looked all around town and asked everyone on the street if they had seen a short girl with black curls and fancy clothes on. No one had seen Adelaide.

That night at dinner time, a creepy doll appeared in Adelaide’s chair. The doll looked exactly like her. Tight black curls and a pretty white lace dress on just like the one that Adelaide had. Except that the doll was not as big as her, and really creepy. The doll had a bloody face and blood all over the white lace dress. 

“What is that doll doing here?!” yelled Mrs. Mason

It seemed like the doll was trying to say something to Mrs. Mason, but it was so hard to hear, and she couldn’t make out the words. 

“Ah! Charles, did you take one of Adelaide’s dolls and put red paint on it?” asked Mr. Mason

“I didn’t do anything, I swear,” replied Charles

“Ok, get that thing out of here Dorota!” yelled Mrs. Mason again

Mrs. Mason was very upset. Someone was trying to replace her own daughter with a creepy doll. 

The next morning, everyone walked to the table feeling really tired. At first, they didn’t even realize that the doll was also walking into the kitchen. She even sat at the table. 

“Oh my goodness! What is with that doll!” screamed Mrs. Mason 

The doll was wearing a white dress with puffed-up shoulders, and a green shawl. It was the same dress and shawl that Adelaide had. That sure woke up the Mason family. 

“Dorota, go throw that thing in the garbage. It is disturbing us, and creeping us out,” said Mr. Mason

Dorota went and threw the doll in the garbage can. 

“That doll is concerning me,” said Mrs. Mason, worried.

“Yes, I don’t know what to do with it. It seems to be a doll version of Adelaide,” replied Mr. Mason

“But, but that is not possible!” stuttered Mrs. Mason

“I know it’s not, but what else could it be? It looks exactly like our daughter, and acts like her also,” said Mr. Mason, again making a point. 

“Did Adelaide have any dolls that looked like her?” asked Mr. Mason

“No, I do not believe so,” replied Mrs. Mason.

When the Mason family was done with their breakfast, Mrs. Mason decided to go up to Adelaide’s bedroom to remind herself of her daughter who she would never see again. When she walked into the bedroom, she saw the same doll Dorota had thrown away on Adelaide’s bed. 

“Where in the name of heavens did this doll come from?” screamed Mrs. Mason acting really startled. 

She decided to take the doll out to the garbage bin and hoped to never see it again. 

The same day repeated over and over again. Dorota taking the doll to the garbage, and it coming back every single day. As the same day happened over and over again, Mrs. and Mr. Mason became more aware of it. After over two weeks of the doll coming back, the Mason family agreed to not take it to the garbage anymore because it would do nothing.

The doll began to be the new Adelaide and started to do the same actions as she would take. The Mason family was getting more and more scared and creeped out.

After one week, Mrs. Mason had an idea to kill the doll. She was going to cut up her hair, and just destroy the doll. 

The next day, Mrs. and Mr. Mason got to work. They first cut off some of her hair and made it all frizzy. Then, they ripped up her dress and drew shapes all over her face. Finally, they put her in a garbage bag, tied it up, and brought it to the dump. 

After that, the doll never came back, but neither did their daughter. 

The Mason family never ever believed that they could kill their own daughter, but they just did, not realizing it. 

That night, when Mrs. Mason was in Adelaide’s room, there was a note on her bed. The note read:

You have killed your own daughter. I am the one who turned her into the doll. She was tired of being rich.

Sincerely, 

The witch Beatrix

“Oh my goodness!” Mrs. Mason weeped

She called everyone else into Adelaide’s bedroom. It was a sorrowful night. Everyone cried and had nightmares about the doll that was actually their family member. 

The next morning, Mrs. Mason went on an adventure. She went out into the woods and looked for Witch Beatrix. 

She walked about a mile, and a tall slender woman with a cloak came to her. 

“You must be Elizabeth Mason,” said Witch Beatrix.

Witch Beatrix had a deep voice and never showed her face. She always hid her face under the hood of her cloak. 

“Yes, and you are Witch Beatrix, the one who turned my daughter into that horrible doll,” replied Mrs. Mason. “But, who exactly are you, and why did you turn my poor little daughter into a dol?,”

“I did that because that is what she asked of me. She was tired of being made fun of at school because she was so rich. If I turned her into a doll, she wouldn’t have to go to school and experience it anymore,” Witch Beatrix told Mrs. Mason, “And I am witch Beatrix. I grant people wishes whenever they need me,” 

“It doesn’t seem as though you grant people their real wish,” added Mrs. Mason.

“I grant people what is needed for them,” argued Witch Beatrix. “Now go.” 

“Wait. Adelaide could have just told me. She loves me and would tell me anything,” said Mrs. Mason.

“Ahh, you thought you were a good mother giving your child everything she wants, but actually that is the wrong choice to make,” responded Witch Beatrix

Mrs. Mason went back to her home and thought about what she had done. She had killed her own daughter and didn’t even know it. 

After that, the Mason family learned their lesson. To discipline their children, and to get more information before taking action.

The 2 Cat and 1 Monkey Friend

BUTTERCUP

Hi my name is Buttercup, and one of my best friends is named George. He is a brown, white, and black cat, and one eye is green and the other is blue. I am the color peach and white. One of my eyes is bleached. I was put in the laundry machine, and one day my mom put bleach on my eye by accident. When I looked everywhere, I had x-ray vision. My other best friend is Mr. Monkey. He is dark brown and peachy color. Both of his eyes are black. He loves bananas. He can dance. I went to Peru with George. Mr Monkey didn’t want to go. We came back from the trip, and George was gone. Six months passed, and we didn’t find him, until my aunt said that she found him. When I saw him, I burst into tears. Stuffing was coming out of my eyes. I slept good all the time everytime George was here.

GEORGE

Hi my name is George, and I am going to tell you about what I have been doing during those six months. I have traveled to the kitchen. DUH DUH DUUUN! It was such a journey. There were mountains. The humans were so strong that they picked up the mountains. One of them said they were books, but I think they were mountains. I had to run over the humans. It was so difficult. I started to jump, and a person looked at me and called someone and said, ’’I found him.’’ In my head, I said, “Yeah right.’’ I met my best friend/my brother. I was so happy I hugged him so tight. I went back home and slept right away, knowing my brother is always going to be with me side by side.

MR. MONKEY

Hi, my name is Mr. Monkey. What I did during the six months is sleep, eat, sleep, eat, and so on. I was relaxing until I wanted to get a banana. I had to face the DOG. DUN DUN DUUUUN. I ran as fast as I could, and the dog was chasing me. I jumped on the dog and jumped to the bananas. I did! I ate one and quickly ran back to my room. I am named Mr. Monkey because I am also elegant. I always put a towel around my neck to be clean. I also am a teacher. I teach Buttercup and George. I am in Monkey University. I learn how to use bananas to make different chemicals.

My Journal

Chili was in a closet. The police are outside. He was panicking. He didn’t know what to do except run. He heard the footsteps and the calling of the stalker. He’s crying, but he couldn’t make any noise OR HE’S DEAD.

1 week before all of this happened

He was at home doing his homework before he heard a noise in the wall, and next to Chili’s wall was just cement that’s all. The noise was louder and louder just like his heart beat. He went closer to the wall and his sweat was running through his skin. He couldn’t breathe. 

Was this normal? 

Like a flash, he ran to his mom so hard the tiles on the floor broke like pencils. Chili told his mom what he had heard, but his mom told him, “Do you have a fever?” 

Chili went back into his room and heard the same voice. He ran to his mom again, and his mom said she heard a voice too. They called the popo and they came in 10 minutes.

When they were about to go outside, someone pulled them in…

What happened

They got pulled in and they started to scream, yell, kick, punch. The door closed and got locked.  Tears ran down their throats. Their voices were cranky and painful. While they were screaming, the person was getting more angry. 

Chili said to his mom,”I TOLD YOU SO NOW WE ARE GOING TO GET KILLED.YAY”

“IT’S NOT MY FAULT!” Chili’s mom said. While they were getting dragged, Chili was playing on his phone. His mom was like ಠ_ಠ. “WHAT ARE YOU DOING YOU ARE CRAZY!!!! ¿(❦﹏❦)?HIDE THE PHONE!!” 

“My phone died.”chill said. “Wahhhh!  I NEED A CHARGER.”

  (╥﹏╥)LET ME JUST DIE “JUST KILL ME’’ 

Far away, they saw a glowing silver sparkle. It was a knife! They started to scream and scream and scream. 

Chili’s mom kicked the stalker in the leg, and the stalker fell on his face, and they started to run.ヽ(゚Д゚)ノ.

They ran to Chili’s  mom’s room since there were more hiding places than Chili’s room.They hid in the closet  (∩︵∩). While he was in the closet, he felt excruciating pain. He saw he made a big cut on his leg when he ran, since he dropped glass and fell on it. He had covered his cut with his sweater. He must have been so focused on saving his life he didn’t really focus on the cut. He kept on losing a lot of blood. He had a fever and his face had turned green and yellow.(´~ヾ ).His mom was helping him as much as she could. Chili was about to scream because of the pain. Chili’s mom covered his mouth. Chili’s mom peeked through the closet and she saw the stalker distracted. Chili’s mom told him to try to stand up but he couldn’t. Chili’s mom took the risk, put Chili on her back, and ran. But then they heard police with the sound of the guns ready for anything that comes in their way. They heard punching, tasers, and other things. At the end, they caught him. Chili and his mom got out of the house and they saw his face. 

It couldn’t be. Is this real? There he was. Chili’s 5th grade teacher. With a smirk on his face. Chili was happy that he and his mom were safe and sound, but that night haunts him every night. It is a mystery why Chili’s teacher did that.

THE END

(ノ◕ヮ◕)ノ*:・゚✧ ✧゚・: *ヽ(◕ヮ◕ヽ)

Bob the Dwagin

Chapter 1

Once upon a time, there was a dwagin named Bob. Bob lived in a cave in the middle of nowhere. 

He used to live in a waterfall by a lake named Peace on this land. He was kicked out of the waterfall because he kept breathing fire on tourists and stuff! 

But there was one boy that wanted the dwagin to stay. The boy’s name is Billy. Billy loved dwagins. They were his favorite animals. He loved every type: water, ice, fire, earth. Everyone, except undead dwagins. Undead dwagins were mean and ferocious. They attacked anyone they saw. Billy’s favorite type was fire though, because they were classic. That is why Billy wanted Bob to stay at the waterfall. 

But the other townspeople wanted him to move. They all shouted, “Move! Move!” to Bob the dwagin. But Billy told everyone that Bob shouldn’t move because he was happy with his “company” there. But they all disagreed. Everyone said that he was dangerous and unfriendly. 

Once he moved, Billy snuck away at night to find Bob. It turned out Bob found a cave near the village, but still in the middle of nowhere! It was small and warm and snug, but it was too small to have his friends over.

Chapter 2: The stuff

When Billy found Bob, they decided to go out and play. While they played, Bob found a big wooden box that was lined with real gold, and it was really heavy and locked. Luckily, Billy had a paperclip so he opened the chest. In the chest were diamond and gold, and even a note. It said: So ye found the treasure all filled up with gold, now go to the town and get your reward. 

“Wow!!” said Billy. “Sorry Bob, but you can’t go.” 

Bob was kind of sad because they found the treasure together, and he wouldn’t be able to get his reward. Billy said that he would ask the mayor for his reward. Bob felt better after Billy told him that. So Billy carried the big treasure chest all the way to the town. When he showed the mayor what he had found, the mayor was so happy he let him take two things from the chest, then it would get transported to the museum.                                                                   

Soon after he finished speaking, the moving truck arrived to pick up the chest. Soon, 

everyone wanted to go to the museum and see the chest. 

“You did a good job,” the mayor told Billy. 

Then Billy asked, “Mayor, can Bob come back? Because he was the one who found the chest.” 

The mayor was so happy with Bob that he let him go back to the waterfall. When Bob went back to the waterfall, he hugged Billy. He noticed that everyone was there, and they weren’t scared of him anymore. Bob felt happy. He was smiling. So he lived happily ever after. 

THE END 

The ABCs of Helpers

A for ambulances who help people who fell on the street

B for bus drivers who make sure kids are not late for school 

C for cops who arrest people for robbing banks

D for doctors who help people who are sick

E for Electrician workers who help people who can charge TV

F for firemen who help when there is a fire

G for garbage men who pick up garbage because it is going to stink

H for homework helpers who help people who need help for homework 

I for ice cream helper when it is hot 

J for janitors who clean

K for kitchen helpers who help people cook

L for librarians who help people who need help finding the books 

M for museum workers who make sure people don’t break glass in the exhibits 

N for nurses who make people feel better 

O for office helpers who make sure people who work get money 

P for plumbers who fix toilets when they get broken and when they’re not working 

Q for quilters who make cute quilts to keep people warm 

R for radio workers make sure music is perfect! 

S for sanitation workers who wash the streets

T for teachers who help people learn 

U for umbrella makers who make umbrellas so when it rains people can buy them 

V for van drivers who drive people 

W for waffle makers who make waffles 

X for x-ray workers who check people’s hand, feet, and body 

Y for yoyo makers who make yoyos that bounce

Z for zookeepers who take care of the animals 

Granny

Beep! Blop! Beep! The annoying sound of my alarm clock wakes me up. I am about to go back to sleep when I remember it is the birthday of my grandma, Granny Mary, and what I don’t know is what she wants. I creep down the stairs into her bedroom and open her trunk of memories. That is when I stumble across a ripped-off page of her diary from when she was younger. Here is what it says:

Dear Diary,

Today was my 10th birthday and it was all going perfectly until my brother Tommy “accidentally” threw out all my presents (video games) and birthday treats (Oreos, sprinkles, Chips Ahoy, various other cookies, and ice cream in a wide range of favors). I am so mad and upset at him. I wanted the video games so badly, but I remembered that I am a girl, and a girl is not allowed to have video games or even like them, so I guess that I will get another doll to add to my huge collection of dolls and not have any video games. I really want to have equal rights and be able to get video games. Hopefully next year will be better.

-Mary Blob

That is when I realize what to get Granny for her birthday. I will give her the birthday that she never had. I grab the diary entry and rush to my parents’ room.

“Mom, Dad, wake up!” I say in a rush.

“What is it?” answers my half-awake mom.

“I know what to get Granny for her birthday,” I say.

“Great, what is it?”

“First, you have to get out of bed and get dressed,” I say.

With that, my mom jumps out of bed, gets dressed, and heads downstairs. I go down the stairs and get a bite to eat. We meet in the car.

“So where are we going?” says my mom, still unsure of what we are doing.

“We are going to the Toolfast Shopping Center. There we will see Mathew’s Marvelous Market where you will get…” I take the diary entry out of my pocket and read, “Oreos, sprinkles, Chips Ahoy, various other cookies, and ice cream in a wide range of flavors. I will also get all video game related things in stock at Violet’s Video Game Hut.”

My mom says, “But you will…”

“…not get all the video games in stock—only a few.” I say, completing my mother’s sentence.

“Okay,” she says.

We arrive at the Toolfast Shopping Center. I hand my mom the diary entry. We know what to do. We jump out of the car and head our separate ways. When I arrive at Violet’s Video Game Hut, I notice that all the games are sold out except for Super Mario Brothers, a game from when she was a kid. I guess that is the only game I could get her. I wish I could give her more video games because she really wanted them. Whether or not my mom gets the other stuff right, video games were the main thing she wanted.

 I meet my mom back in the car.

“The supermarket went well,” my mom says in her cheery tone, “I got everything on the list!”

“The video game store was a disaster,” I say. “They were sold out of everything except for Super Mario Brothers, so I got that but not any one of the games she wanted.”

“That is exactly what she wanted. She always told me that she wanted Super Mario Brothers. That is the perfect gift!”

“So what are we waiting for? We have a party to throw!” I say, containing my excitement for the party.

With that, we jump into the car and rush home. One we get there, we wake up everyone, except Granny. We set everything up. We just finish setting up when my sister hears Granny coming down the hallway, so we hide. When Granny arrives in the kitchen, we all jump out and say, “Surprise!”

Granny is very surprised! We all gather around and sing, “Happy Birthday” to her. After that, we play party games and have all the treats on her list. She is flattered. At the end of the party, we give Granny her presents. Mine is the last one to be given. My mom hands her the gift.

“Super Mario Brothers!” Granny says. Her face is full of joy. “I have always wanted this. Mia, thank you for the best birthday ever!” Granny says.

“How did you know it was me?” I reply back.

“Your mother told me. Thank you.”

Granny gives me a big hug. I hug her back. We go back to partying. It is clear that it is the best birthday ever.

Do Aliens Exist?

Yes, they do exist. There was once an article I read in school that said “Aliens do exist, because there is life on Mars.” There is life on Mars because studies show that there used to be water in between the rocks on Mars. This is important because life can’t exist without water and wherever there is water, there is life. Another reason I think that aliens do exist is the one time I actually saw one….

Chapter 1: The beginning and stuff

The first thing you have to know about New Jupiter is that it used to be filled with aliens. Until the basic humanoids (also known as droids) came along. They destroyed every alien in sight. Some got away but the rest were terminated. Once you get to know droids, they’re quite nice. But some droids are bad. They’re never bad on purpose though. They are programmed by Cybermort. He used to be an alien himself. Then some mean aliens kicked him and his followers out of Old Jupiter and into CybaMars (what Mars is called today). Cybermort wanted revenge. He wanted revenge because of a lot of things but the main reason he wanted revenge was to destroy all the aliens, even himself.

Chapter 2: I find the alien

I ran across the stage to door 1-A, as I crossed the theater room and up the stairs.

The assignment was due today and I only had a matter of time before the bus left. I ran like the wind as I sped down the hallway of my house. I raced to my room, opened the closet door, and took out my 7000AMKV Hoverboard. After that, I wasn’t worried, I jumped out the window with my hoverboard connected to my feet, hoping I wouldn’t be late for school.

Our bus driver wasn’t normal. He had two claws for hands, a fish tail, and the head of a velociraptor. He drove the kids to each class, which was in their own building. I had astronomy class first then I headed to my homeroom where Ms. Satan was doing her usual morning routine of yelling at kids, “teaching” math, smoking an electronic eyeball, and looking at her devil tattoo. After I was done with that torture, I had my favorite class yet, science! Science class is my favorite because we get to do experiments and blow up stuff. I also like science because my science teacher has a dark history.

I was making my way to music class, when I got tackled into a locker by a mysterious creature. Suddenly, the creature with big green muscles whispered in my ear, “##! ####! %#####! ^%$$%%@!” Out of my shock, I managed a very loud SCREEEEEEEEAM! Suddenly the doors burst open, and the security rushed in. 

“What happened here?” the security guard said. 

“An alien!” I screamed. Suddenly, my eyes rolled into the back of my head and I passed out.

Chapter 3: The power of the scroll

I woke up in a strange reality that had strange metal ground and some robot-like creatures suddenly the scene changed and I was in an ancient building which I could tell from history class at school. I sat up and looked at my surroundings and saw a very slow creature. The creature had big tusks and scorpion-like legs and a mouth full of black teeth. As it came closer to me, I saw that it was talking in a strange voice. I reached out to touch it, but my hand just went through like it was a ghost. 

Then the scene changed once again. And I was in an ocean. I saw a green magic scroll laid at my feet. I went to reach for it, starting to read what it said.

One will find the ancient being, an innocent supernatural with ancient blood. They must find the secret mask for it will lead you to a final task and there you shall fight with all of your might. For this battle is great and shall lead to your destiny. This magic scroll is still untold of what it can do. But all I know is to give it to you. 

The letter disappears into smoke and a magic, green flame burns around it. I take the scroll and it surprisingly doesn’t burn me. And suddenly, I can’t breathe. I’m underwater for too long. I try to imagine getting out of this place. Suddenly, the scroll starts to glow and everything goes black. 

The Final Battle… or is it? 

I woke up on the strange metal land I was on before. This time, I was inside a giant vase that had two letters on it. C and M. I was guessing this was the final battle. Then gripped the scroll and imagined I had an elemental sword. And when I slashed it, it came out as different elements. A different element for every slash. I felt a tingling sensation in me that told me to hide. I hid myself behind a big beam as three robotic-like creatures came around the corner. I jumped out from the beam I was behind and slashed with my sword a fire that came out and knocked them down before they could even get their shock rifles out. I assumed they were cyborgs by the robotic parts on their head. Then I heard the alarm blaring, twenty five shock troopers surrounded me. Before they could shoot, an alien with super speed came behind all the cyborgs in a couple of seconds, knocking them all out. 

“Hey you’re the alien from school,” I said. I recognized the alien from his muscular green body and his black teeth, like the creature from my dream. But this time I could understand the creature as he talked in his foreign language. 

He said, “Go. Go away. I will distract them. Go. Defeat! Go defeat Cybermort. And avenge us all!!!!” 

Then I start running down the hallway, listening to the alien. Something was motivating me to trust him. As I reached the final port, I saw cybermort sitting in his red chair.

“Well well well,” he said. “The hero is finally here”

I charged at him but he dodged my sword. Then he pointed his finger at me and yelled, “HADOUKEN!”

Suddenly my body was set on fire. I slowly put it out by slashing my sword at me. No damage was done to me, but it was the element of water. I yelled, “Bring it on!” Then I tried to hit him again with incredible speed. Hitting him with a knockout blow. 

“Ooof!” he yelled as electric sparks flew out of his body. Then the most incredible thing happened. Cybermort fell off the railing and all the cyborgs shut down. 

Then my alien friend rushed toward me and held my hand. Suddenly, my eyes closed and the world went black.  

And that’s how I know aliens exist. 

Scary and Short Stories

THE COUPLE AND THE RIVER

A couple, Tom and Julia, were walking on a bridge over a river. 

Tom said, “I love y–” 

Then Julia fell into the river. Tom couldn’t save her. Later, he went home and never went outside, even for her funeral.

“I can’t take it anymore.” He threw himself in the river and drowned.

THE BOY IN THE TRAIN

His name was Sam. He was my love, my sweet, my everything. Then something tragic happened.

When we were walking to the train, he fell on the train tracks. I was on my phone, I didn’t notice, so when I heard the train coming I was looking for him, I called out:

“Sam! Sami!!! Where are you?”

Then he said, “Right here, mommy.”

I screamed, “Help, please!” But it was too late, the train had run him down. It was the saddest time for me, really sad.

Every night now, I scream “Sami.” I can still hear his voice echoing in my head saying, “I’m right here, mommy…”

Love you, Sami.

THE BOOGEYMAN

One century ago, there was a man whose name was Boogey.

When Boogey was a child, he would go to school and the other students would make fun of him for his name. So one day, in high school, he never showed up to class. His parents searched their house and never found him. His fellow students, of course, didn’t care. People say he went into the woods and starved to death, but two weeks later, somebody found his body in his basement. SUICIDE.

Some people say that they’ve seen his ghost in their basements or in the closets. One boy, Jimmy, named him the Boog Monster, but he is well known as the BOOGEYMAN. 

THE TWO GIRLS IN THE LAKE

One day, there was a family, they had two daughters, Helen and Sofia, and a son, Jimmy. They lived in Maine, close to a lake.

One day, when it was very cold, Jimmy wanted to go ice skating. So Helen and Sofia took him outside and helped put his ice skates on. Then he went ice skating, and the ice started breaking under Jimmy’s feet. Then Helen and Sofia pushed him out of the way in time. But then Helen started to feel the ice breaking under her feet and so did Sofia. Then the ice broke. The two girls had drowned. Jimmy ran home crying… 

Two weeks went by and Jimmy wouldn’t get out of his bed. That night he saw two shadows walking on the lake holding hands. It was his sisters. He got so scared that he locked the door to his house. Then the sisters barged into the house, took Jimmy, ran to the lake, and drowned him.  

THE DEAD HAUNTING

One day, there was a town called Death’s Peak. It was actually the happiest town in the world, but that changed one day when it started raining, it rained everyday for years and the town grew sad.

The rain was overwatering the plants and there were many floods, and people grew sick and died. Four years later, the whole town died, but the ghosts of the people still remained in the town and were abandoned for about a century…

Then some people came to the town and built over it. The ghosts grew mad and started to burn and kill each one of the people that had tried to build a town over theirs. Twenty years went by and they had killed over a thousand people. The town still remains and is known as Doodletown or ghost town.

DEJA VU 

One day, there was a girl named Sophie. She had a bunch of problems (mentally) so nobody would believe whatever was about to happen.

When Sophie was walking to school alone because her parents were sick and needed rest, so while Sophie was walking, she saw a big dog, so she took it home without telling her parents.

That night she heard a scream coming from her parents’ room. Then she saw what the dog really was. It was a tall man holding a knife. Because of her mental illnesses, she had seen a dog, not a man, then he stabbed her…

THE MAN IN THE MIRROR

There was once a girl named Melissa, and she had no friends. One day, she was walking on the street and she came across a beautiful mirror in an antique shop that was closing up. So she bought it for four dollars.

When she got home, she put the mirror in her room. Then in the night she heard a whisper. There wasn’t anyone in her room so she went back to sleep.

An hour later, she heard another whisper. Then she got up and looked at the mirror. Then a dark figure appeared in the mirror. 

Melissa looked behind her and saw nothing. But in the mirror, there was a man. 

He said, “I’ve been thinking a lot, and I wanted to ask, will you be my friend?”

“Yes,” Melissa said without giving it one thought. They spent the whole night talking and then it was time for school.

Melissa was happy that she had a friend. But that day in school, some girl, Hannah, asked Melissa to be her friend. So she did.

The next day, she couldn’t find Hannah anywhere. She asked the teachers about it, but all they said was that she was probably just sick… They were wrong.

A week later, they found out that Hannah had been murdered. 

So here was the crime scene. She was standing in her room. Her room had a bed, a small couch, a dresser and a mirror… Melissa froze, and then asked her friend if he was anywhere else than in her room. 

He said, “No? I just stayed here and—how was your day?”

“Fine,” Melissa said.

Then he started talking about his life. He said he was never loved by anyone, not even his family. Then his big eyes started to turn black. Then he said his name was Jereld, and that he just always wanted a friend. He also said that when he was three, his classmates made fun of him because of his big eyes, then he said, “You have big eyes.”

Melissa ran as fast as she could outside of her house…

Melissa woke up in her room and checked the mirror. Jereld wasn’t there. But a little later, she found out he changed his name and his gender. Now he is known as BLOODY MARY.

THE ICEBOX MURDER

In 1921, Charles Rogers was born.

When Charles was a young boy, he was physically and mentally abused. Later on in life he was very stressed after a couple of years he went psycho and only stayed in his room, the way he communicated was putting notes under his door. One day, the police came to his house and knocked on the door loudly. They had knocked for five minutes before kicking the door open… They searched the house. 

When they got to the basement, they found a refrigerator, and then they opened the refrigerator and found what looked like hog meat. But, later on, they found out that it was actually his parents’ disassembled bodies. The police looked in Charles Rogers’ room and saw that the doorknob had blood on it. So they left the house because Charles wasn’t there.

One day, in 1975, they declared that Charles had died…

But did he really?

Daisy’s Adventure

There used to be a unicorn named Daisy who lived in California, in a rainbow castle. Across from the castle was a beautiful rainbow. Daisy adored the rainbow more than she loved chocolate cake! Daisy studied social studies at school and learned all about the panorama. She worked very hard on the project of California’s panorama. 

Daisy had always been trying to go on top of the rainbow to see the panorama of California. But each time Daisy tried, there were obstacles stopping her. Today she saw the rainbow and whispered to herself, “Today I have to get past those obstacles and finally get to see California’s panorama.” Daisy, with all her bravery, started to go through the castle’s gates. Once she stepped out of the gates she met a river with no bridge. 

She tried thinking of what to do and thought of it… making a boat! It was a perfect idea because she loved architecture and there were plenty of logs next to her to build a boat. As time flew by, Daisy got more work done. And before she knew it, she was all done with building the boat. She dragged the boat into the river, and hopped on the boat.

“Phew,” she said. “If it weren’t for the logs, I couldn’t have made it.” 

After the river, there was another obstacle: a creepy dark forest. Daisy knew she had a big fear of forests. But, she remembered what her goal was: to finally go on top of the rainbow and see California’s panorama, so she took a deep breath and walked into the forest. As she walked, she met a tiger who was a very scary one. It had sharp scary nails, and dark green eyes, and the biggest roar Daisy had ever heard!

“Roar!” 

Daisy was frightened. Really frightened! But since Daisy was really intelligent, she knew just what to do: stand still and tiptoe carefully behind the tiger until he was out of her sight, and it worked!

“Phew,” she said, “If it wasn’t for all of my intelligence, I wouldn’t have gotten past that scary tiger.”

Finally, there was only one more obstacle: a big scary roller coaster!

“Oh-no!” Daisy exclaimed. “I totally forgot that the roller coaster was the last obstacle. I know I said I would finally go on top of the rainbow to see the panorama, but this is too scary for me.” 

Then she started to run away, but remembered that she was a very persistent girl and that she would have come all this way for nothing if she left. So, she went up to the roller coaster and hopped on. She took a deep breath, and waited for the roller coaster to turn on. And then it did. She started screaming but managed to arrive at her destination: the rainbow!

“Finally,” she exclaimed. “Now I can go on top of the rainbow and see California’s panorama!” 

So she went on top of the rainbow and saw the panorama, and always lived happily ever after when she remembered the time she went on top of the rainbow. And did it again.

The End.

Germ Clash

One day a BIG germ called Shadow was walking then whomp! A huge germ slapped him into a volcano then, KA-KOOM!!!! A huge serpent called Lord Sparr ya-yeted Shadow! Then they all started fighting! Shadow had the bow and sword. Lord Sparr had the whip. The 2 germs clashed loudly as Shadow shot a poison arrow, almost knocking down Sparr! Sparr ran away yelling “Mom!” Shadow chased Sparr into a cave and cut Sparr’s head off! Shadow ran away with Sparr’s head. Shadow ran back to his fortress and put the head on the wall as a souvenir. Then, Shadow wrote on a piece of paper on top of Lord Sparr’s head, “This is what I got from defeating Lord Sparr!” Then he taped it on the top of Lord Sparr’s head.

Then all of a sudden, Lord Sparr kicked open Shadow’s door. CRASH! Lord Sparr kicked the door so hard the whole fortress shook like a shock wave. But Shadow saw that Lord Sparr was a zombie with magical powers. Then Shadow took off running. Lord Sparr chased him. But Shadow took his jetpacks off the wall and he zoomed away at 35,000 miles per hour. Lord Sparr could only run two miles per hour. 

But then when Shadow was about to go back to the fortress to add new batteries, he said, “Oh, I almost forgot!” and he grabbed the head and he added new batteries and then he took off.

Lord Sparr used his magical powers and he guided Shadow back and he used magical powers to lock Shadow in a dungeon. But Shadow just broke the dungeon and flew back to Earth and Lord Sparr followed, but he was very, very, VERY slow.

Shadow hollered, “So long, sucker!” And he hid on Earth. Lord Sparr didn’t know where he was, so he went into a random stranger’s house and the stranger said, “Hey! What are you doing?” And he kicked him out of his house.

“Yow!” Lord Sparr yelled when the stranger kicked him out of his house. “Owie, owie!” Then he ran back and he tried to find a doctor but the doctor said, “Hey! You look like someone from out of this world!” And she kicked him out and said, “I only accept people from this world!”

Then, Lord Sparr finally found Shadow. Shadow said, “Uh-oh!” then when Lord Sparr was about to throw him into the volcano, Shadow was quicker and he tased Lord Sparr and he threw him into the sun.

Then Shadow just bought a house and a Lamborghini and he tested out how fast the Lamborghini went and then “Yoweeee!” The Lamborghini was 2,000 miles an hour.

Then Shadow found a secret button that said, “Push button for jetpacks.” Jetpacks huh?? Shadow thought. This was going crazy! He activated the jetpacks and then, ZOOM! The Lamborghini went so fast it flew out of the world! Then Shadow zoomed in space back to Earth so Lord Sparr could not find him.

Then Lord Sparr just made a house in the sun. But Lord Sparr’s house was a little toasty. Then Lord Sparr caught on fire! “Help! Help!” he cried. Then Lord Sparr quickly sprayed some water on him, but then Lord Sparr figured, “Wait! This is goooood and hot water!” Then he looked down and saw: He was shooting flames on himself! But since Lord Sparr was a zombie, he could stay on fire, so Shadow lived on Earth and Lord Sparr lived on the sun.

THE END

(And they never met again!)

Dragon Story

Once upon a time, there was a dragon whose name was Oliver. He was known as a myth, but not the hero. The hero is still alive, but in hiding because he knows that he is the real bad one.

One day, a girl named Stacey wandered in the woods because she heard a dragon roar. She went farther in the woods. She went even farther in the forest. She heard even more dragon roars. After all the trees she walked past, she saw two caves directly across from each other. Then she saw Oliver who had red eyes. Stacey was scared. She pinched herself to see if it was a dream. It was definitely not a dream.

She stepped closer to the caves. She stood right in the middle of the caves. Then fire came out of one cave and went straight to the other one. Then she heard a groan. It sounded like a lion’s roar. The roar was louder and longer.

The fake hero’s name was Cornelius, but Oliver called him Cornie. She started to climb the cave with Oliver after Cornie flew away. She finally made it to the top. Slowly, she walked in the cave. She saw a tree stump and Oliver was sitting on it. She felt so bad for him. She was determined to cheer him up.

She walked next to him and asked what was the matter?

He said, “Life is just not fair.”

“I know,” said Stacey. “My grandfather is a dragon expert, but he has a different opinion from everyone.”

Oliver said, “That’s why you look like him. Your grandfather and I were best buddies until people took him away because they thought I was the bad guy.”

“Oliver, please tell me!”

“Okay, once upon a time there was a dragon whose name was Oliver. He was known as a myth, but not the hero.The hero is still alive, but in hiding because he knows that he is the real bad one.”

“Wow! I had no idea, I’m so sorry,” said Stacey. “I probably should’ve told you before you told me the story that I can’t keep a secret.”

“You can’t tell anyone, they won’t believe you. You need proof,” said Oliver.

“Oh, I have proof. When I was a baby I put video cameras before that happened,” said Stacey. “Give me a ride down. Everybody needs to know!” she said.

Oliver said, “Why not? You can’t keep a secret and you have proof.”

She hopped. After 13 times of showing the video, they were convinced. Oliver was finally free, but Cornie was punished.

“Thank you Stacey for everything.”

The Unicorns and One Pony

Chapter 1

Once there was a pony. Her name was Emma. Emma wished she was a unicorn. All the unicorns in town did not allow Emma in their group, so every day after school she cried to her mom. Her mom was a unicorn. One day she went to school with a fake unicorn horn and rainbow mane. 

One day she went to the doctor to get plastic surgery. The doctor thought she might die. Emma wanted to die, but her mom said not to do the surgery. Emma was depressed. Then her mom told the principal that all of the unicorns were making fun of her, but the principal was a unicorn so he said, “Well, your daughter has mental issues.” The pony had to move from California to New York because her mom had a job there

They moved. The school that she went to was very welcoming. They even had a surprise. She loved it and on the bright side, it was a private only pony school. And for Halloween, they were all unicorns. When they went trick or treating, she saw a friend from California! 

Chapter 2

Apparently the other unicorn that was from the other school moved to the same place the next day. Emma was relieved that the other unicorn went to a different school. That night, Emma had a nightmare about her old school moving to New York and all the other unicorns were living in her building. 

Chapter 3

When Emma woke up, her mom said that her school moved to New York. 

“Ahhhhhhh!” said Emma. 

Straws Are Bad

Introduction

In this story, you will learn a lot about what damage plastic does to the earth. Did you know that by 2050, there will be more plastic than fish in the oceans? In this story, you will learn what kinds of straws are bad, why they are bad for land animals, sea creatures, and humans, and also my experience with straws.

What are straws?/Why are they bad?

Straws are long pieces of plastic, bamboo, or wood that are used to be able to drink a liquid from a tall glass without having to tip your cup. Straws are bad because they kill animals and humans.              

Land animals

 Straws are bad because they kill animals, plants, and humans too. The reason why plastic kills living animals is when people drop or throw their straws in the trash cans, streets, and woods where they just go to landfills or get eaten by bugs or bears.

Sea creatures and Humans

The way that plastic kills sea life is like how it kills forest animals. It just gets eaten by sea creatures, which is even worse than when a land dweller/animals that lives on land do. The reason why it is worse is because we humans don’t eat land animals that are available to plastic, while we eat almost every type of fish that is discovered to humans. And when fishermen catch the fish to sell to companies, the fish caught sometimes have small pieces of plastic in it. The way that it kills humans is when humans eat the fish, they can choke on the small pieces of plastic.

My experience with straws.

My experience with straws is that when I traveled throughout Southeast Asia  for six months I saw a lot of plastic straws and other types of plastic like plastic bags and plastic bottles all over like in the streets or in the ocean. Another sad story is that when I was snorkeling, I saw a bunch of small fish chasing a single piece of plastic!!!

How we can fix it

The reason we can fix this problem is whenever you have the chance to turn down a straw, do it and dont be scared to say no to a waiter or waitress. Another way you can fix it is that whenever you see a piece of garbage, pick it up. Here’s one of my favorite sayings: “The little things are what counts.”

The Unicorn and the Dragon

Once upon a time, there was a unicorn and her name was Penelope. Penelope lived in a castle. She had servants that kept her company. Every day her servants would bring her back some gold. The servants were tired of digging gold and they gave up. Finally, Penelope decided that she was going by herself! She got everything and left. Back at the castle, the servants were wondering where she was.

They said, “Where is Penelope? I was gonna cook her some cake.” Meanwhile, Penelope was trying to cross a river. The river was very strong. Penelope saw a log and tried to roll it over to the river. But it was too heavy. So, she put one hoove into the river to test if the water was warm enough so she could swim in it. It was warm, very warm. She jumped in and kicked her hooves back and forth. She reached out and grabbed the land.

Penelope climbed out and shook the water off her fur.

Back at the castle, the servants were beginning to worry. The cake was beginning to get cold. Days passed and it was getting colder. Penelope had tons of gold, but she wanted more. One day, she met a dragon. The dragon had dark blue eyes and gigantic wings. She stepped back.

Then she said, “You cannot kill me!”

“I am not trying to kill you. I only want to make friends.”

“If you want to be my friend, you need to help me find more gold.”

“Okay!” the dragon shouted and they walked off to find more gold.

At last, the dragon decided that he would tell Penelope his name. He walked over to her and whispered, “My name is Spike.”

“Good to know.” And Penelope went back to work. Spike looked down and saw a hedgehog. Maybe he would be his friend.

The End

Coco Finds a Friend

Chapter 1: Coco the Cat

Hi. I am Coco. I am a cat. I just got to a new place with humans in it! They are nice, but on my first day I was super scared of them. I’ll tell you about it…

I was in a bag. That’s right, a bag. It was so uncomfortable, but that’s always what happens when I’m going to the vet so you can’t blame me when I say I thought I was going to the vet that day. But then I noticed me and my owners, Dan and Cathy, had been in this moving thingy for a long time. 

So I said, “Dan, where are we going?” 

But since I was a cat and he was a human, he didn’t know what I was saying. 

“Cathy, the cat is meowing a lot, I think we should stop for a snack,” he told his girlfriend. 

I agreed with him since I was hungry.

We were at McDonald’s and they didn’t have cat treats! I was so mad and I begged Dan to give me cat treats. He understood me this time and gave me cat treats! That made me sleepy so when we were back in the moving thingy, I took a nap.

I did not expect to arrive in a noisy city when I woke up, but Dan just had to carry me out of the thingy! I was definitely not at the vet today. We went into one of the tall buildings. I was scared! 

But then Dan said, “Are you ready to meet my sister, Cathy?”

Chapter 2: The New House

At that moment, Dan knocked on the door of a place. It soon opened and a pretty lady was there. This was the start of my new life. I tried to get used to it and now I have been here for about a week. I love playing with these humans! They are so fun and have the best toys! I have to say though, when I first came into the house, I hid under their couch. But this weird bearded man sat cross legged on the floor waiting for me to come out. I was not gonna come out when that guy was there. Then, this girl lay down on the floor staring at me. I thought she was weird too.

But now, I’ve been thinking about my old family. And I don’t mean Dan and Cathy because they already left. I mean my mom and siblings. I’ve already had two litters and I missed them too. What I really needed was a friend. I tried to be friends with the humans but the only human who really was a good friend to me was Dan and he was gone now.

Chapter 3: To Find a Friend

I don’t know why the people put the scratchy thing on the wall, but at that moment I was trying to climb up it. I kept failing! Soon I gave up and went to a human that everyone called a boy, but who had long hair. I was confused. He put out his hand for me to sniff and I did. He was eating cheese! Now my mission was to get the cheese! But that meant I had to go up on the counter and the lady didn’t like when I did that. But if it was for cheese, I’d do it.

When I got to the kitchen however, I saw the lady talking to someone. It was another lady! Oh, how I wish I had a friend like that. Also, I felt so sad that I just left without thinking about my cheese when it was right on the counter!

That night, after the humans went to bed, I searched the whole house! Even the long haired boy’s room! But there was no new friend to be seen. Well, except for my little avocado toy that had an incredibly cute face! But he was not real. He was catnip. So I just went to sleep on the couch. 

Chapter 4: Avocado Man

I woke up in the morning when Long Hair Boy sat on the couch to watch TV. 

“Come on, Long Hair Boy. I was sleeping! Why did you do that?” I shouted at him. But of course, he did not hear me. I was still a little mad from last night so I was cranky at him. I still wanted a friend. All of the sudden, right then, I got an awesome idea! What if the avocado toy was real? What if it was not avocado toy, it was Avocado Man! I was so happy that I ran away and scared Long Hair Boy.

I looked for it and found it right where it was last night. I tried to get it to play with me (or should I say him) but he didn’t want to. I figured that he needed some time to get really awake from last night. So I went to the litter box. 

Some time later, the lady came out of her room and said hi to me. I was soon bored with her so I tried Avocado Man. I think she saw me and came over. Then the most amazing thing happened! She started to move Avocado Man! It was so cool! He was real after all! He could even talk!

Chapter 5: A New Friend

I was really happy! I could kiss the lady! But not really because my lips can’t do that. So I jumped up and down instead.

Well, now I have a friend! My big problem is solved! Thank you for being here with me and listening to my story!

Bye!!!

Lucy the Hedgehog

Lucy, the Hedgehog, was in her hole under the dirt. She really wanted to live in a castle so she decided to visit the princess. She was so excited, she packed really quickly and set out for the journey to the castle where the princess lived… but when she went outside, she saw a river with alligators swimming around and she thought, “I can go across the river!”

Lucy waited till the alligators fell asleep at night and she swam around them. She finally went across the river. 

Lucy found herself in a village but there were a lot of cars and she was so small. Lucy decided to jump on a taxi car and get a ride through the road. When she got across the road, she saw a villain. He said,

“Why are you over here?” Luckily Lucy found a paper bag and she put it over his head and ran away. Just about when Lucy thought everything was okay, she heard thunder. “A thunderstorm is coming,” she thought. So she quickly ran to the nearest cave but she saw that there were two baby bears inside. So she found another cave and she saw a cute little rabbit inside. 

So, Lucy thought she could go inside and help the rabbit. When she went inside, the rabbit woke up and Lucy said, “Where are your parents?” 

The rabbit said, “I don’t have any parents.” 

“Are you scared?” said Lucy. 

The rabbit said, “No I am not scared.” When the thunderstorm ended, the hedgehog saw that the rainbow was really close. She was really excited! But when she saw that there was a very big tiger who was right next to her, she was so scared she wanted to run away. But she was lucky because she had a brilliant idea. She was going to hide until the tiger fell asleep and then she would run away and that’s what she did after he fell asleep. 

Now she was very excited to see the castle. But she saw that there was a big hill blocking her. Just then an idea popped into her head. She saw beavers in the lake and thought, maybe the beaver can be my friend.

THE END

CATS

Chapter 1

Have you ever been in a family where you can talk to cats but everyone else hates them? Funny how that happens… Well anyway, maybe that’s part of the reason why I have a nasty habit of running away. There was an argument… It had started out simple. We were picking wallpaper and furniture for my room. I had wanted to get cat stuff, and a cat. Maybe obvious. But it got real bad, real fast. I had wanted Mom to let me be me. But noooooo! I had to be her! Not me, her! The non-cat loving, awful dinner cooker of a mom.

Well anyway, to take a break from my parents or ‘cool down’ as they put it, I had run out into the woods where I usually wandered when I ran. Then a cat appeared. I wasn’t expecting her but who cares?

“Scram!” I aimed a kick at her.

“Hey,” she recoiled. “I was just trying to comfort you!” she said defensively, before she slunk off.  

“Wait,” I called. ”You can talk?” I was so surprised!

“Of course I can talk,” she said in her refined manner, and I noticed that she was a ragdoll cat. The fur around her neck was all—how do you say it? A bit like a boa? “All animals can talk,” she continued. “But only one person every one thousand years can talk to cats.” She thought for a minute. “I’m not quite sure what the other animals’ numbers are, and they rarely collide.”

“Rarely?” I asked. “Am I-”

“No,” she said almost rudely. “That’s too cliche.”

“Okay,” I said slightly let down, for some reason.

“Come on, we have work to do,” she started walking briskly with her tail held high.

“Wait, what work?” I asked while trying to catch up.

“Your training, of course,” she replied vaguely.

“What?”

“Do you know nothing?” she seemed upset for a reason I couldn’t guess. “Hurry up.” And I realized that her eyes were filled with tears.

“Why-” I started but before I could finish she interrupted.

“We’re here.” she stopped suddenly. She stopped in front of, wait for it… a pile of rocks. I know right! Out of all the places for this ‘training’ thing, it had to be rocks! Rocks!

“Um,” I started.

“What?” she asked, clearly unaware that we were standing in the middle of nowhere.

“This is it?”

“What do you think?”

“I think that it’s gonna turn into something, but I think that you’re gonna say that that’s so cliche and this is actually where the training is.”

“No.”

“Wait what?”

“N-O, no. That clear enough for you?”

“So what is going to happen?” but in my head I added ‘little miss sassy pants.’ Suddenly there was a loud rumbling sound. “What?” I muttered as a cave formed before my eyes.

“Come on,” my companion called. “Don’t worry. It’s safe, you know.” Then she turned back to the cave, started walking, and laughed.

Chapter 2

There were three words to describe the cave: boring, boring and boring. You’re thinking: a creepy cave, cool. Trust me. It’s not! Okay, fine. It’s dark, slightly chilly, but other than that nothing. A soft sunset colored light was coming from the depths of the cave. Then I saw something that totally surprised me. Cat flaps. That might sound a bit random but who knows.

“Do you live here?” I asked.

“Not just me,” she said with a twisted smile. Suddenly I heard loud rock music coming from one of the cat flaps. And I mean loud!

“Ugh, might as well get this over with.” The cat sighed.

“Get what over with?” I started to say, but before I could finish, three incredibly fat cats stepped out singing:

The three fat cats

We like to eat rats

Wherever the bed is that’s where we’re at!

“Ugh,” she sighed again.

“Oh,” I remarked. “That’s what you meant.”

“Meet Steve, Joe and Bob.” She didn’t sound very enthusiastic about the introductions.

“Hi, I’m Layana,” I told them.

“Hey, I’m Joe, but as you probably know, I’m 62,” said one of them. I recognized him as a scottish fold. He was rubbing his belly like he had just eaten an exceptionally large meal.

“None of them are too bright,” the ragdoll whispered, which reminded me, I was tired of calling her a bunch of different words.

“What’s your name?” I asked curiously.

“Not now, the stink’s coming in,” she replied. I held my nose as a foul scent drifted through the room. But later I wondered, once I knew her better, if she had changed the subject on purpose. As we were leaving the ‘Cat flaps’ room, I decided not to mention the subject of the name in case she lashed out at me. We were approaching a chamber filled with lanterns.

“Well that explains the sunset light,” I remarked.

“Don’t get used to it,” she told me. “We’re not staying in here for long.” 

“Then, where are we going?” I asked her, slightly puzzled.

“We’re going to my favorite place in all of Cat Land,” she purred, like cats do, but it was soothing, sort of.

“Wait, Cat Land?” I realized how weird it was. “Out of all things, you guys could name this place you go with Cat Land!”

“What?” she said. “Cat Land, where did you get that from?”

“You!” I cried.

“No.” She was grinning now. “I never said Cat Land. It must be shock or something.”  I fell silent because I knew she had said Cat Land, which meant one thing. The ragdoll was hiding something!

Chapter 3

“Come on,” the cat’s voice echoed through the passage we were in.

“Ugh.” I was getting a bit fed up with my companion’s behavior. Just then I heard a sigh. At first I thought it was my sigh echoing back, but then I realized it wasn’t me. I sped up.

“Layana! Get up here!”

“Coming!” I called.

“Meet Silky,” she said once I caught up, completely out of breath.

“Layana is a lovely name,” said Silky in a sweet delicate voice.

“Uh, thanks.”

“Well,” the ragdoll cut in. “We were about to go outside so-”

“But I haven’t shown her my song yet!”

“Fine, might as well get this over with,” she said with another sigh.

I am siamese 

Give me treats please!

If not then just let me through

If you please

If you please!

“In case you haven’t noticed, songs are kind of a thing in here.”

“You’re turning into a tour guide, Andromeda,” said Silky before slinking off.

“Your name’s Andromeda?” I was so startled that I had forgotten to be cautious. “That’s nothing to be ashamed of.”

“Come on we have lots of things to see.” She completely ignored me. Outside was quiet except for the chirping from the crickets. I looked up.

“Wait, I need to be home by now, it’s night!”

“Why, do you really want to go back after this!” She lowered her voice. “After that?” 

“You know about the fight?” Surprisingly I wasn’t mad.

“Of course I know about the fight. I know everything about you.” Okay now I was mad!

“What!” I shouted. “Who died and made you in charge? Why should you get to know everything about me! It’s just plain wrong.”

“Oh, we’re doing this thing,” she sighed. “Well if you must know, you are not going home anyway.”

“Why not?”

“Because, you have to start your cat whisperer training.” 

“No, you can’t make me and I refuse.”

“Actually I can make you.”

“How?”

“Ask ‘the teach’.”

“Who’s ‘the teach’?”

“You’ll see.”

“No I won’t, I’m leaving.” I took off down the passageway.

“That’s a dead end, you can’t leave!” Andromeda called after me. I realized she was right.

“Now what?” I asked when she had caught up.

“Come on, I’ll take you to see The Teach.”

Chapter 4

“So, where is this ‘teach’ guy?” I asked after setting down the passageway. “‘Cause I’m starting to think he is kinda shifty.” 

The Teach isn’t shifty,” Andromeda told me. “Besides, he’s one of only humans here besides you. So show some respect.”

“You know, I’m only doing this because I have nowhere else to go.”

“Yes, that is the 59th time you said that.”

“You’re keeping track?”

“Yeah, what else could I do?” Although our voices were pleasant, our faces were tense. The passageway was widening. Incredibly slowly, I almost didn’t notice it.

“Wait,” I said slowly “‘One of the only humans’ here! What do you mean ‘one of’?

“You’ll see,” she told me in total darkness.

“Why is this taking so long?” I complained and asked at the same time.

“We’re here!” she interrupted. A handsome oak door stood in front of us. Suddenly, it swung open, revealing a tall middle aged man.

“Thank you, Andromeda,” he said. 

“Can’t I stick around?” she asked hopefully.

“No,” he said firmly.

“Fine.” She left silently. The man gestured for me to go inside. I did, only to enter a room with no taste in decor! For some reason, I’ve always been picky about things like this. There were odd things like rusty pipes, plastic bottles and garbage bags that were squirming! But the strangest thing above all, was a girl around my age with a rather large nose that ruined the rest of the face. She had sharp, almost purple eyes and was wearing a ripped leather jacket that had silver spikes even though some had fallen out, over a white t-shirt and navy blue jeans, also ripped. But her hair was really cool! It was dark brown hair that she seemed to have tried to dye pale pink but she hadn’t bleached it first so it was barely visible. It stuck up in odd angles at the top, but stuck to her face in the middle. I rubbed the deep blue streak in my bronze hair. For some reason the girl looked familiar.

“Now, girls, you are both on the same page here. I’m The Teach. So something strange happened twelve years ago, when you were born. See, you girls have two things in common. For one, you can both talk to cats, and second you are both twins.” 

“What!” we both said.

“Calm down,” said The Teach. “So usually, when something like this happens the power goes to one twin, but for you, the power got distributed between you.”

“What does that mean?” I asked.

“You can each talk to different kinds of cats,” he explained.

“How come we have different parents?” the other girl asked. Her voice had a slightly harsh edge to it.

“Those people aren’t your real parents Tina. Your real parents are dead.”

“What happened to them?”

His face froze. “We don’t know.”

Blue’s Story : A Novel By Mae Benne

Chapter 1

Blue noisily walked down the creaking stairs and into the kitchen. Her short brown hair was a mess, but her hazel eyes were glistening in the morning sunshine. Her body was covered in an oversized soft t-shirt and grey shorts. She had been drawn downstairs by the familiar scent of pancakes that had wafted up to her room. She walked right into the scene of her father dressed in a t-shirt he had received from his college and a pair of Nike basketball shorts. He was dancing to the country music on the black radio, sitting on the shelf and setting the wooden oak table that Blue and her dad had just bought. Blue chuckled to herself as her father, Phil, had started to sing along to the song. Phil turned around to see his daughter laughing at the spectacle of him jamming out to the country. 

“You should see yourself when you’re dancing to music.” Phil said, grinning with his soft hazel eyes at his daughter. “So, I was thinking,” said Blue’s father, “We could head over to the park to shoot some hoops after breakfast. How does that sound?”

“Wonderful!” replied Blue, yawning sleepily as she sat down at the table and placed her napkin on her lap and put her elbows on the table. 

“When do you expect the pancakes to be ready?” asked Blue.

“Pretty soon,” said Phil.

“Will there be enough time for me to change before the food is ready?” asked Blue.

“I think so, if you hurry,” replied Blue’s father. 

Blue raced up the stairs into her bedroom. She looked around and peered at the paintings on her wall. She had made a special trip to the local art store, although it had taken her a little while to find it, as she was new in town, just to find decoration for her previously bare, beige walls. Blue walked up to her black dresser and pulled out her drawer to see the faded photograph of her mother in her teen years, and a tattered photo album. She picked the photograph up and studied it and thought of the little memories she had of her mother. She thought about her soft angelic features and long wavy brown hair that she always kept in a tight, beautiful braid. She recalled the sound of her mother’s carefree laugh. Then she would remember the night she left, as she always did when she thought of her mother. She remembered being bunched up in a ball covering her ears, under her forget-me-not blue covers, hearing her father plead with her mother to stay. She remembered hearing her mother say how boring the town was and how miserable she was, and how she felt limited and held back by the lack of resources in the area. Blue remembered hearing the front door slam and running down the stairs in an attempt to get her mother to stay and she remembered her father wrapping his robust arms around her. She remembered trying to break free from her father’s comforting grip, through tears and sobs and finally getting out of his arms to chase after her mother. But by the time she had run out the door her mother had disappeared into the grey, dreary night. 

“Are we going to talk about it?” thought Blue, as she snapped back to reality. That day was the 7 year anniversary of her mother slamming the front door and leaving for good. Blue wiped away a small tear that had fallen on her cheek and gently placed the photograph of her mother back into the drawer. She had found the photograph the day they moved in, as she was rummaging through the brown, cardboard boxes of things she had stumbled on a photo album that contained an old photograph of her mother. She had pulled it out and hid it in her dresser. Blue took a deep breath and picked out a flowy summer dress with flowers embroidered on it from her closet and put it on. She slipped her opal ring on her finger and put on her favorite earrings and necklaces. She picked up her hair brush and combed out the knots that she had developed in her hair as she slept. Blue then walked to her door and down the stairs to the kitchen.

 Chapter 2

Blue dribbled the ball twice, took a deep breath and shot a free throw. She always did the exact same routine before she shot a free throw, during spring break she had made this routine with her coach. He had said this routine would help her with muscle memory and that when she did her routine with pressure weighing on her shoulders in a game it would calm her nerves and let her focus on the goal of making the basket. She shot and watched as the ball swished through the orange net.

Phil cheered her on then said, “But you need to work on keeping your elbow in, form really does matter. If you stand in front of the mirror and pretend you’re shooting a free throw and see what your form looks like and try to improve it just ten times a day, you can make a huge difference in your form.”

“You say that every time I practice.” Blue said, rolling her eyes.

“Ok, ten right hand lay-ups. I will pass you the ball once you get to the basket.” said Phil.

Later that day Blue called her father into the living room. 

“Dad, come here.” Blue yelled across the house to her father.

“Be right there.” called Phil. He then proceeded to walk in. He was wearing a pair of baby blue denim jeans and a grey button up shirt. He had just taken a shower and his hair was dripping wet.

“I found a great summer writing program. Wanna see?” said Blue. Turning her computer in his direction. 

“Sure, honey.” said Phil, as he sat down next to Blue on their leather couch. 

“So, this writing program is in Soho. It focuses on all the genres I love, and Grace is going to the camp as well. Grace and I want to spend as much time with each other as possible since she is moving to Japan. I was also thinking, since it starts at 10, we can grab breakfast before I start.” Explained Blue.

“Sounds like a plan.” said Phil. “Maybe Grace could come with us to breakfast.”

“I would love that. I will go to text her right now.” Blue said while getting up from the black, leather couch and grabbing her rose-gold phone.

Chapter 3

The gravel crunched under Blue and Phil’s feet as they walked on the driveway to the car. Phil climbed into the front seat and buckles his seatbelt and placed his hands on the wheel. Blue opened the backseat door and climbed on to the grey, plush seat and set her bag on the floor. It contained her laptop, notebook, lunch, and her phone. She buckled her seatbelt and yawned.  

Phil turned his head toward Blue and said, “All set?” 

“Yea, love you.” Replied Blue, smiling sweetly at her father. 

“Love you too.” said Phil. “Are you nervous about getting started at this writing camp?”

“A bit, but I am really excited.” Replied Blue.

Phil then drove out into the cobble hill street, and across the 

Brooklyn bridge into Soho.

Chapter 4

Phil drove through a green light. He turned the radio up and hummed to the melody of the music. Then he turned right onto Spring Street. They drove past Becky’s bakery and An Artist’s Heaven art store on the way up to the location where the writing program was occurring. 

“We are almost there.” Said Phil turning on to the right lane and putting his right turn signal on. 

“Ok.” Replied Blue.

A rusty, pale blue car came speeding in with Evan Monatela at the wheel. Phil attempted to swerve out of it’s path but it was too late and the car crashed into Blue and Phil’s car. The car flipped over and bursts into flames. 

A few moments later

“The Dad is D.o.a, but I think there is hope for the girl. Have we ID’d the body, yet?” said an E.R worker that had arrived when the call about a car accident had come in. 

“No, we haven’t yet.” said the E.R worker’s coworker, helping the E.R worker with placing Blue in the ambulance. 

“The girl definitely has a concussion and possibly some internal bleeding. Although she is in critical condition,  it looks like she will make it.” the E.R worker explained. “I feel bad for her she is going to have to wake up with her world turned upside down. One minute she is enjoying a car ride with her father and next moment she’s in a hospital and her father is dead. I hope her mother is around to support her.” 

“Yea, I can’t even imagine that happening to me.” said the coworker peering at the girl lying unconscious in the ambulance.

Blue was flown in a helicopter to the hospital in Philadelphia. She arrived and her doctors performed surgery on her injured head, and the shattered bone in her leg. Blue remained in a coma for three days.

Chapter 5

Blue woke up and groaned from the pain of her pounding headache and a broken leg. A nurse walked in, with a blue hospital uniform on. Her raven black hair was pulled up in a tight bun. On her feet were small black slip on shoes, that made small tapping sounds as she walked around the room. She was carrying a clipboard and she flipped through it and wrote something down with a blue pen that had the Hospital of Connecticut written on it in silver lettering. The nurse looked down at Blue, realized she was awake and said,

“Good to see you awake, Blue.” 

“What happened?” asked Blue, her voice meek and dry. She was croaking like a frog.         

The nurse sighed and looked at Muracke with poignant eyes and said, “There was an awful accident. A drunk man named Evan Monatela crashed into your car. That man killed your poor father and nearly killed you. You are lucky to be alive, Blue. Evan is currently being prosecuted for his crimes.  I hear he will be charged with vehicular manslaughter and drinking while driving and other things.” 

“You’re lying. It’s not true, go away!” screamed Blue through tears.  

The nurse walked over to the side of the bed and peered at the small fragile girl. She wrapped her long, delicate arms around Blue and held her in her arms, as she wept. The nurse explains what had happened and what injuries Blue had. 

“Your father was sprung from the car and was dead on arrival, someone called 911 and paramedics rushed to the accident and saved you. You were flown over here in a helicopter and you had surgery for your injuries. Your leg was shattered and your head was pretty banged up, but other than that you’re doing well. This is a lot to handle and I know it was a very traumatic experience, so we have a psychiatrist on hand that you can talk to whenever necessary,” said the nurse.

Finally the nurse had to leave and attend to other patients in the recovery ward. Blue was left broken by the news that the nurse had just delivered to her. She wept and wept herself into a restless slumber. She dreamt of wonderful days spent with her father, curled up in his welcoming lap. She dreamt of reading books like Owl Moon and The Lonely Book in bed, snuggled next to her father. Then her dream turned into a nightmare and flashes of her father drenched in blood, dying at the scene of the accident appeared in her mind. She tossed and turned during the night until dawn broke across the grey sky, that was mimicking the feeling Blue had felt inside ever since she found out about the death of her late father. All she felt was emptiness and pure anger at the man who had killed her loving, innocent father. The only person she felt really knew her and loved her. She had friends like Grace, her best friend but after Grace would leave for Japan their friendship would fade away and they would never see each other again. She felt alone in the world without him. Evan Monatela, the man who killed her father, when that name crossed her mind she imagined strangling him. Wrapping her arms around his throat and squeezing as hard as she could but then reminded herself that it would be a terrible thing to do. It would be almost as bad as what he did to her father. 

Chapter 6

The nurse who had told Blue what happened to her parents walked into the room with a tray of food. It consisted of packaged pancakes, hashbrowns and 1% milk. The nurse placed the tray on the hospital’s glossy, wooden side table and hugged Blue tightly and whispered into her ear, 

“It will be ok.”

The nurse pulled up a small tray table in front of Blue and placed the tray on the table. She propped a pillow up behind Blue’s back and helped her sit up. She then said to Blue,

”Eat up”

Blue looked up at the nurse with tears in her glossy green eyes and said, 

“What am I supposed to do? I’m completely alone. My mother left me and my father when I was only five years old and now my Dad is dead. I don’t know what to do. I have Aunts and Uncles but I don’t know, they probably don’t even want me.” It was the first thing Blue had said in a few days.

The nurse’s face softened and showed empathy for Blue, she sat down at the end of the bed and said, “When I was about your age, my parents died in a terrible plane crash. I felt exactly the same as you feel now. I felt alone and even abandoned by my parents, but I pulled through. I pursued my dream of becoming a nurse. You are strong, and you will persevere. I know you will, Blue whitener.”

“I don’t know if I can.” whispered Blue through sobs and incessant tears. Her previously warm, olive complexion was now pale and almost grey. Her long, brown, baby hair now seemed to be faded and aged. Her blanket and cast covered her bony figure. 

“There’s someone here to see you. Her name is Bridgit Tate, she is going to be your foster mother. She’s also a nurse at this hospital, she will take great care of you.” said the nurse as a middle aged woman with sharp, icy blue eyes walked in the door and smiled sweetly at Blue.

Chapter 7

“Hello Blue,” said Bridget.

“Hi.” replied Blue, wiping her tears.

“How are you?” asked Bridget. 

“Okay, I guess. I mean I got in a car accident.” replied Blue, weakly.

“Yea, you did. The doctors say you will be up and running in about a week. Then you can come to my house, I’m sure you will love it there. I would love to paint your room hot pink,” said Bridget. She then walked over to the side of Blue’s bed and turned her head towards the nurse, “How much do I get for taking care of her?”

“500 dollars a month, but that shouldn’t matter should it? Blue is an admirable, magnificent human being, and I would be honored to have her in my home even without paychecks every month.” said the nurse, who was quite skeptical of this woman who was supposed to take care of Blue. 

“Yes, I completely agree, but I was just wondering what the amount of money I will get to support Blue is. I would like to know what I should set my budget for her room so that I can get started right away,” said Bridget. Bridget then said, “Well it looks like you are eating breakfast so I will leave you to it. It was very nice to meet you. I am very excited to have you in my home and hope that overtime it will become your home as well. Goodbye, Blue.” Bridget said as she left the room. 

Blue could hear the clicking of Bridget’s heels as she walked down the brightly lit hallway. Then Blue said to the nurse,

”Did you really mean the things you said?” 

“Every single word.” said the nurse, as she flashed a quick smile to Blue. 

“When you go and live with this Bridget woman, keep me posted on how she treats you.” the nurse said. 

“Ok, why?” asked Blue, frowning.

“This woman just doesn’t seem trustworthy. I have learned to trust my gut when it tells me something. I think she should be focused on you rather than the money she gets for taking care of you,” replied the nurse. 

“Ok,” said Blue. She had liked Bridget but thought there was something a little off about her. But she was still not ready for this woman to replace her deceased father, she was barely even ready for her to become Blue Tate.

Chapter 8

The nurse walked into Blue’s hospital room, lit by fluorescent lighting, and brought with her a tray of food. 

“Today is your final day here at the hospital. I am really going to miss you, Blue. It has been phenomenal to get to know you.” said the nurse.

“I’m going to miss you too,” said Blue.

Briget walked in with a purple polka dotted dress, a black shawl and cream colored high heels. She smiled at Blue and the nurse. 

“Nice to see you guys again. Are you almost ready to head home?” asked Bridget, with a smile. 

“I will be ready once I finish with my breakfast. I also have to wait for them to give me my crutches, and I will have to practice walking with my cast and crutches a bit in the waiting room, if that’s ok with you of course,” replied Blue.

“That’s totally fine. I will be in the waiting room if you need me, and let me know when you are ready to leave so I can help you practice and we can go to my car. I parked it right up front so that you would not have to walk far.” said Bridget.                                                                                                                                                     

“Alright.” said Blue as she ate her breakfast of cereal, milk and orange juice. She was dressed in a white hospital gown and on her wrist was a shiny, plastic bracelet that had the hospital’s name written on it. 

Briget left the room and sat down in the waiting room. The nurse then said to Blue,

“Are you sure you are ready to go. I’m sure I can get you permission to stay a bit longer.”

“Yes, I’m sure. Even though Bridget is not that motherly and will never, ever, ever replace my Dad, I think we will be able to form a strong bond. I know you are a bit skeptical of her. I’m sure she is great.” said Blue, hopefully. 

“Alright. If you say so.” said the nurse, sighing. 

Chapter 9

Blue walked with her crutches up to Bridget. They continued practicing and Blue slowly started to get comfortable with her crutches.

“I think I am getting the hang of this,” said Blue.

“Yea, I think you are.” replied Bridget. 

“Ready to go. I really think I am going to love it there.” Bridget said, her eyes bright with excitement.

“Yes, I’m sure I will.” said Blue.

They walked to the elevator and down into the parking lot. Bridget pressed the button on her car keys and a small, white toyota camry beeped nearby.

“There it is.” said Bridget.

Blue and Bridget walked up to the car and got in. Bridget buckled her seatbelt and turned the key and the engine started to hum, she looked back at Blue and saw her struggling.

“Oh my goodness, I am so sorry. I entirely forgot you need help getting in the car. Here, I’m going to go over there.” said Bridget while she unbuckled her seat belt and opened the car door to get out. Bridget assisted Blue into the car and placed her crutches in the trunk. Bridget got into the car and said, “Prepare for the two and a half hour drive to connecticut.” chuckling.

Chapter 10

Finally, Blue and Bridget pulled up to a small brownstone house in the center of a block on Kane Street. 

“This is it. Your new home.” said Bridget, happily as she climbed out of the car.

“It looks wonderful.” said Blue, getting out of the car with Bridget’s comforting help.  Bridget locked the car and opened the house door and led Blue into the house. Blue’s crutches made noises across the wooden floor. Bridget turned on the light to show a brown leather couch and a wooden coffee table with five beer bottles and two wine bottles, thrown on their sides, on it.

“Oh god I am so sorry about that, I did not get to clean up after last night, just please don’t tell anyone about this. I was really nervous about you coming and I should not have had so much alcohol. It won’t happen again.” said Bridget, her face tinted red from embarrassment.

“That was all just from last night.” thought Blue, frowning. 

“Here I will show you your new room.” said Bridget walking towards the back of the house. She opened the door to a small room, which was empty except for a small cot with brown flannel sheets and a small grey dresser, with an alarm clock on it. 

“It’s not much, but it’s something and we will decorate it soon. I wanted you to have complete say in everything, so I only got a small amount of things. You need a bed of course.” said Bridget.

“Thank you so much.” said Blue, as she walked into the room and sat down on the bed. 

Chapter 11

Blue woke up and walked out of bed and out the door. She walked into the kitchen and found Bridget cooking asparagus and BLTs. She was humming and spreading the mayo onto the pieces of brown, toasted bread. She looked up at Blue and said,

“You’re up. That’s wonderful, I’m just making lunch; roasted asparagus and BLTs. I hope you like them.” 

“Thank you so much. I really appreciate what you are doing for me. I honestly don’t know where I would be without you, foster care probably. Just, thank you.” said Blue. 

“Your welcome, I was just so lonely in this house. I don’t have many friends and no significant other and I wanted to help someone so I decided to adopt and sure enough you came along.” replied Bridget. 

They both sat down at the table and ate the BLTs and asparagus. Blue picked up her fork and cut her asparagus and placed it in her mouth. 

“Do you have any hobbies that you enjoy, sports or other things?” asked Bridget.

“I really enjoy playing basketball all actually, I was on my school’s basketball team, along with my best friend Grace. I was even a point guard.” said Blue. “I guess I can’t go to the Blue school. Are there any schools around here with basketball teams?” 

“I am not sure but we can look although I have a niece who went to school around here who loves basketball. We can ask her where she went and if there was a basketball team at her school.” added Bridget. “How is your food?”

“It is delicious. Thank you for making it.” replied Blue. 

Blue put her last bite of food into her mouth and placed her fork and knife on the plate. She wiped her mouth and said, “May I be excused?”

“Of course, Blue.” replied Bridget. 

Blue picked up her plate, rinsed it out in the sink and placed it in the dishwasher. With the napkin in her hand she looked around, looking for a trash can. 

“Where is the trash can?” asked Blue.

“Right behind you actually.” directed Bridget.

Blue turned around and threw her napkin away. Then she walked back into her new room. 

Chapter 12

Bridget walked into Blue’s room and asked, “What would you like to do today?” 

“We could get some clothes.”

“Ok. Before I went to pick you up at the hospital I went to the store and chose some clothes for you. I hope that they will fit you.” Bridget said while she handed Blue a Marshalls shopping bag with three outfits stuffed inside.

“Thank you so much.” Blue said while taking the clothes out of the bag and laying them on the bed. 

“Sorry I did not know what your style was. I tried to pick out something you would like.” said Blue. Blue and Bridget drove to her house.

Chapter 13

Blue climbed into bed and yawned as she drifted off into a deep sleep. She woke up in the middle of the night and looked around at her new room. The walls were cream colored and on the ceiling was a small chandelier, off to the side of the room was a built-in closet with two bronze handles. It was dark and the curtains were drawn but a small amount of moon light was coming. Blue pulled off her covers and walked over to the window and opened the curtains to see a bright full moon in the sky. She remembered her father telling her marvelous stories about the moon. She remembered him pointing up at the moon and his soft, familiar voice seemed to fill her head. Tears fell from her eyes and she wiped them away, but her shirt was now wet and tear stained. She could see a light coming from behind her closed door and could hear the faint sound of the TV in the living room. 

She decided to get up and get a glass of water from the new kitchen. She tiptoed out of the room and peered out the door to see Bridget watching the television and swigging some beer. Blue just walked up to the fridge and opened it to see an abundance of alcohol strewn about the fridge. 

Blue grabbed a glass from the cabinet and filled it with tap water from the sink. She had started walking back to her room when she heard the jumbled words,

“What are you doing?”  

“Just getting a glass of water,” said Blue. 

“Whatever. You know your pathetic. That’s why your mother left you and Dad crashed that car on purpose just get away from you.” said Bridget, walking up to Blue and hitting her. The side of Blue’s was red and stung where Bridget had hit her. “Not one of your aunts and uncles even wanted you.”

“Ok.” Blue said, confused as she looked up at Bridget, scared.

Chapter 14

Blue woke up the next day tired and still scared of Bridget. She got out of bed and squinted at the bright morning sun that was shining in her face. She walked up to the drawer to find it filled with clothing all from the gap. In through the partially closed door came an orange cat that was meowing. She knelt down on her knees and let the cat lick her hand. She sat down with her legs crossed and played with the cat, she even smiled a small smile, for the first time in a while. Finally when the cat lost interest and went to venture off into the rest of the house, Blue went back into the drawer and picked out a yellow romper. She stepped out of the room and endured misery and abuse from Bridget.

***

Blue laid awake in bed devising a plan to escape her misery. She made a checklist of things she would need in her mind. Food, a water bottle, backpack and some clothes, and Bridget’s macbook air. 

“Where will I go? Should I try and find my mother?” thought Blue. “I am going to find my mother.” she finally decided. 

The next day Blue looked up her mother’s name. Immediately, she found a phone number and address. She packed a bag full of the things she needed.

While Bridget was going to the bathroom Blue snuck out of the house and took a train three hours away and then took a bus into her mother’s neighborhood, and then walked until she found her mother’s house. A yellow brick house with blossoming cherry trees in the front yard. She walked up to the door and rang the doorbell. Her mother answered the door with a little baby in her arms.

Blue’s mother stared in shock at Blue and said,

“Hello Blue.” 

“Hello.” said Blue.


Scoot and the Big Bear Mystery Book 1

Scoot is a red panda. The first thing he did when he left the Prospect Park Zoo was to go on a scooter. He has a secret identity. And the secret identity’s name is Ninajet. He wants to defeat Big Bear. Big Bear is the red pandas’ biggest enemy. 

Finally Big Bear said, “I want to see how strong you are, if you want to defeat me. But you’re not going to beat me. You’re like an old time little loser.” 

“Well, you’re the one older than me,” Scoot said. “It’s almost your death day. So you might just need… good luck.” 

“I don’t need good luck, you do.” Big Bear growled. 

Quickly, Scoot grabs his secret magical white sword and starts fighting. 

Big Bear was like, “What? How did you get that sword?” His mouth was open and stretched and you could see all the teeth going together and his mouth was open in a big circle/oval. And finally the sword hit the middle of his neck and bum bum bum… blue glitter came out of his neck. And his soul said, “You killed me now get ready for your DEATH!” 

They battle and of course, Scoot wins. He has his magical sword, which is the strongest weapon of all. The soul died just like its body. “Cool!” Scoot said. The big bear was easy to kill. No one ever tried to chase it because Big Bear started posting links acting like he was “strong.” But really, he was real weak and mad weak. Even his soul is weak. Souls are supposed to be as strong as light. 

Just then, a yellow plane flew over his head. It came down with a transforming thump! It transformed and came down feet first. It came down into the forest in China. The plane’s name was Donny, Scoot’s personal best friend plane. 

“You won over Big Bear,” said Donny. 


The Zombie who Eats Tacos Everyday

Chapter 1 Taco Man 

A guy eats a tomato taco. A guy eats a lettuce taco. A guy eats an egg taco. A guy eats a beef taco. A guy eats a bison beef taco. A guy eats just a taco bread taco. A guy eats a rice and beef taco. A guy eats an ugly hard boiled egg taco. 

This guy’s name is Taco. He lives with wife, Ms. Taco, and his little baby taco Jr. Taco goes into outer space so he can shoot tacos at people who want to eat them. He throws tacos at people. His salary is $1,123 per second because it’s really hard to aim tacos at people’s head. Right now he wants a better life because his salary is only $1,123 per second and he wants a salary of $2,908 per split second. Ms. Taco is old and has alzheimer. 

Mr. Taco goes on the computer to try to get a new job. 7hr5847n nhcv. His computer turns into a hologram. The computer becomes evil, hacks a government computer, and releases an atomic bomb on Mr. Taco. At the time, he is searching for a new job called Sauce eating to see how much sauce he eats. If he eats five truck loads of sauce, he gets a trillion dollars every hour and every hour after that. Every time he does that, after that, he gets one less minute so he gets money easier. But then, he gets hit with the atomic bomb so he dies.

Ms. Taco also dies, sadly. Taco Jr. didn’t get hit because the stroller protected him. Taco Jr. lost half of his whole body. He lost his right arm, right leg, and half of his right face. He gets a mechanical replacement for that part, which is basically computer-infused with lasers. But then, an evil computer hacks it and the computer wants to destroy Taco guy who right now has somehow came back to life as a ghost who is found by taco Jr {aka hologram hacked taco Jr} blasts Mr Taco with a Laser Gun labeled Ingenita Terra BE Mr Taco saw it was an alien gun “what the hell are you doing!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

Taco Man got blasted back and started to fade away then an unknown knight armored being blasted a red blue beam of light at taco Jr then the knight said in a familiar voice “I am here to warn you about how to kill that half robot half human.”                               

Chapter 2 Lottery

Soon Taco Man saw a glimpse at something on the back of taco Jr’s robotic half it said 2405 7hr5847n nhcv “weird the year is 2393” he said. Then they teleported to a graffiti filled alleyway he asked the knight “what is going on” “I won’t tell you at least not yyyeeetttt”screamed the knight after a flash of red light.

Chapter 3 How You Die

Taco Jr. shot the knight with a laser gun which killed him supposedly. Then the ghost of Taco Man shot taco Jr. with an ice laser. Taco Jr. stumbled backwards and fell into a black portal. The ghost of taco Man also went into the black hole. Taco Man blasted taco Jr. with another ice laser, but this time taco Jr. activated a gadget and reflected it. But taco Jr. lost his balance and fell into a deep dark hole. But they were still in the black hole, but Taco Man doesn’t know that he’s the one who is making everything happen. Whatever he’s thinking about is what happens. He made the deep dark hole when he was thinking about trapping taco Jr. Then taco Jr shoots a bunch of knives while he was still trapped in the hole. Taco Man didn’t know that was going to happen, so when he got hit by the knives, even though he was a ghost he still got stabbed by the knives since they were coated with poison. Then the ghost saw he was turning into a human again. Then he started coming down because he was still floating and his black hole started to disappear. Then before they knew it, they were both people teleported into a coffin. They were pushed against the walls. There wasn’t enough space for both of them. They teleported above an ocean next to the sun next to a meteor shower into the Sahara. Then they stopped in the sky. That’s the last time they teleported. Then they fell. They were screaming. 

Chapter 4 The Truth 

Taco Man and the Mysterious Knight teleported to an unknown city. Taco Man figured out that it was the future. He found Mrs. Taco. Then, they instantly teleported back to their time. And then they realized it was actually the past. Then they saw a Brontosaurus. And then they teleported back into the Sahara. Then, Taco Man realized that other places they teleported were places that Ms. Taco went to. And then Ms. Taco surprised him from behind and said, “So you figured it out.”    

Chapter 5 Revive

Mrs. Taco says, “I was the one who hacked the computer in order to live longer”

“Why”said Taco Man. 

“I was born in 98718,” said Ms. Taco. 

“What?” said Taco man.

“I teleported backwards,” said Ms. Taco. 

Chapter 6 Finish Line 

“Well, goodbye…

“Nooo,” said the Knight.

Chapter 7 Into the Void 

 Then, they disappeared. They saw so many colors. They were in the Void of Time.   


December 19th

We were sitting in the classroom talking about how we wanted to do the athletic ability class, but my mom said no. We wanted to do it because Grace isn’t that good at running, and I enjoy it. It would be a win win! After that, we just talked about our weekend plans.

 I then started to smell smoke. I glared over at my best friend Grace. She has been my best friend for over 10 years. Grace stared back with her eyes WIDE. 

She said to me, “Chloe, the smell is getting really really strong. Should we say something?” 

The smell was getting really strong. I said back to her, “No, let’s wait here until further notice.” Little did I know that I had just made the biggest mistake of my life.

 Just then the fire alarm rang. Everyone in the school rushed out of the building just like we practiced in our fire drills, except this time it was much more chaotic, like our lives depended on it, because they did. I heard a scream and automatically recognized that the scream was Grace’s. 

I ran back into the building, even though my life could have ended right there. I saw Grace surrounded by fire as she let out her final screech. 

I yelled to her, “Never forget that I love you!” 

I ran out of the building screaming for help. Once I was outside, I watched the school burn from a distance. Many were crying. The teacher called attendance to make sure everyone was here and safe. She called:

“Henry?”

“Here.”

“Ben?”

“Here.”

“Chloe?”

“Here.”

“Dan?”

“Here.”

“Kate?”

“Here.”

“Rina?”

“Here.” 

“Zachary?”

“Here.”

“Grace? Grace! GRACE!!! WHERE IS GRACE?”

I knew. Tears were in my eyes. The firefighters came with an announcement. I could hear my heartbeat echoing through the pure pressure of myself understanding what was about to happen. They stated that they found a dead body inside of the treacherous fire. They described the body and asked if anyone knew the person they described so they could call her parents. I told them what I saw and the firefighters tried to calm me down as I sobbed. Grace’s parents arrived at the school bawling. 

“If only I just agreed to leave with Grace earlier.” I said to myself, trying to hold back tears.

Every day felt so empty without her by my side. All the hours were unexciting and lonely. All the minutes were filled with grief. I could never replace her. EVER. The world needed her. I needed her.

TWO YEARS LATER

  My life was surrounded by that day. The day of the fire. December 19th.  Every time someone said Grace’s name, my heart skipped a beat. Today is Grace’s second yahrzeit. I’ve gone to therapy every other week preparing for this day, so I wouldn’t have breakdowns or asthma attacks. Therapy was working fine although it was hard not to cry on December 19th. This year, I prepared a list of inside jokes, handshakes, ideas, art projects, dreams, and most importantly, our talks. I passed around the list for everyone at the gathering to see. Only me, my parents, Grace’s parents, and Grace’s siblings were at the gathering.

I made it out of the gathering without any asthma attacks or breakdowns. I was really proud of myself for being strong. I teared up, although not too badly.

When I got home, I heard some strange sounds. I peeked out of my bedroom door and noticed my mom talking on the phone. She was talking discreetly. She had no idea I could see her. She then said the words into the phone that changed my life. “I did it ok! I did it! I set the fire!”

I yelled at my mom so hard while wailing! She immediately got off the phone. She explained everything to me. She told me that Grace was always doing better than me in school. 

“SO YOU KILLED HER!?!?” I screamed. I was confused, how did my mom know she would die?

The words spiraled around in my brain. My mom told me, “When I first had the idea two years ago, I immediately started planning. I know that Grace is a slow runner. So I didn’t support your athletic ability classes. If I did, Grace would become faster and would have survived the fire. You recognized the huge scream of Grace and ran for her.”

 It all made sense now. I called the police and they took my mom away while I cried. I have no one. No one.

  In school the next month, I was completely productive. I was trying to be more available and open since I noticed I really hadn’t been. I realized that I am grieving however, that can’t take over my entire life. I still need to live it and fulfill the dreams both Grace and I forever wished would come true.

 And they did.

THE END.         


Unicorn

Hi I’m sally. I am 8 years old. One afternoon, I was walking home from camp like I do every day and I passed by a forest I had never seen before. I started walking in the forest. Then I stopped. I saw a big unicorn, so I hid behind a bush. 

The unicorn started coming closer to me. Then I realized that the bush had food on it. I tried to run away but she had already swallowed me whole. Inside the unicorn’s stomach, I was sitting in a swarm of rainbow wet stuff. It smelled like cotton candy. 

So I had been in there for a few hours. I got hungry so I tried the rainbow stuff… it tasted amazing! My cell phone rang. It was my mom. I picked it up. My mom said, “Sally where are you!!???” 

“I’m stuck inside a unicorn!” I said.

My mom laughed. “There is no such thing. GET HOME!!!

I said, “I’m in a forest. Come and get me!!!”

“Ok.”

Mom walked in the forest and stood there. The unicorn came close to mom. She just stood there and she got eaten by the unicorn. Splash. Mom fell in the unicorn’s rainbow stuff.

I told Mom to try it. Mom hated it. She said it tasted like barf… Mom’s phone rang, it was dad.

He said “Where are you??? I made dinner!!!” 

“We’re in a unicorn!” said mom. “Come and help us!”

Dad said, “Where are you?” 

But mom already hung up. So dad just used his tracking device. So he got to the forest and looked around. Mom and I climbed up the unicorn’s mouth. We saw Dad so we pulled him in. We fell and splash! 

Dad said, “Why did you pull me in you could have got out!!” 

“Well it is too late now.” 

Dad said, “I can’t believe I had made dinner!! It’s probably cold now!!! 

“Well it’s your fault you made dinner for the first time!”

“I’m hungry,” said Dad.

I said, “Have some rainbow stuff.”

“I love it!!” said Dad. Dad called his brother Uncle. 

Dad and Uncle never had a great relationship. They are always bickering. Uncle picked up his phone. He said, “WHAT DO YOU WANT???”

Dad said, “Sally, Mom, and I are stuck in a unicorn.”

“I don’t believe that,” said Uncle. 

Dad said, “Do you want me to send you pictures?”

“A swirl that is rainbow and the unicorn is cute,” Uncle said. “Ok I believe you. I’m coming to get you.” 

He went into the forest and saw the unicorn. The unicorn saw him and walked away. Uncle was mad. So he climbed on the unicorn and the unicorn yawned so he went in its mouth. Uncle was in the rainbow stuff.

Dad said, “Did the unicorn eat you?” 

“No,” said Uncle.

 I went in its mouth. “Seriously. You could have got us OUT!!!!” 

“Ok,” said Mom. “Don’t be rude.”

“I’m hungry. My wife didn’t make dinner.” 

Sally said, “Have some rainbow stuff.” 

Uncle had some. He absolutely hated it, but not bad. Aunt likes old fashion things. She didn’t have an iPhone. She was 50 years old and I thought that was very old. So Uncle called her. 

“.futreukiutrce5ujy6usa6wedtfc64esdfbtrycbetrtgh itduiykdv6tj??” said aunt.

“Go put your dentures on,” said Uncle.

Aunt kinda ran to get them. She screamed she realized that a tooth was missing. For some reason, she got tired and just sat on the couch and watched the news. The people in the unicorn got fat because they ate too much rainbow.

THE UNICORN EXPLODED!!!


The Adventures of Julia and Lucia

Chapter !

Julia and Lucia are sisters. They live on a couch. They have one maid to bring them food, clothes, and a potty. 

Julia said, “Bring me some chips!”

Then the maid said nicely, “I’d rather not because I brought you food 20 minutes ago.”

Lucia needed a pencil so she yelled at the maid, “BRING ME A PENCIL!!!” 

Then the maid said, “You need some exercise, so your mom and dad are going on a business trip and I am going to ask if I can get off haha. They are going to be gone for 8 months, and I will be off 8 months.” 

Julia said, “I will make a stove on the couch.”

The maid yelled, “Who is going to get the stove?”

 Then Julia said, “Oooooooooooo!!!!”

 So their parents got on the plane and the maid went to Paris, so they lived for 3 months so far, then they got really hungry!!! So Lucia gave up. She had to get up because she was starving and thirsty.

Julia would not get up. She said, “I will stay here until I die.”

Lucia said, “But I do not want you to die. Remember we are immortal.”

“WHAT! We are immortal?” 

Lucia yelled, “Ooooopppppppppssssssss! I was not supposed to tell you that.”

Julia got so so so so upset that they were immortal. They were immortal, but they still aged. It was a little weird. They still got taller and got fat. 

The maid did not know that they were immortal, so when the maid was back from her vacation she did not believe that Julia stayed on the couch for so so so so so so so so so so LONG. So the maid was like thinking in her head if she actually stayed on the couch for that long, and plus she didn’t switch positions. She thought and thought, but she could not figure it out, but she longed to know what was going on. Julia was still shocked about the immortal thing. 

But then Julia screamed out, “I do not want to be immortal!”

Then the maid heard everything.

Lucia said, “Noooooooo! The maid heard!”

That day they wondered where their parents were, then they saw the news on tv that there was a plane crash, but they did not survive. The girls were devastated because their parents died and they had to live with a rude maid for their lives.

The maid said, “I quit.”

“YES!” said the girls. They were really happy. 

While Lucia was jumping up and down on her bed, Julia was still sitting on the couch. The maid was going to leave the next morning because the maid was like their mom. The maid rushed to the airport, then Lucia ran outside and screamed, “Do not go!”

Then she broke into a random car [the keys were in the car]. She had good driving skills and she got the maid in time. The maid agreed to stay. They went back to Lucia. They lived a nice life then dun dun dun.

Lucia mentioned that their parents were immortal, so they did not die. Julia thought that they were on a fancy island. The sisters did not care as much now because they know that their parents are safe, and that is the story of the couch girls [Julia is still sitting on a couch]. 

Chapter !!

Remember us? The sisters Lucia and Julia. We used to live on a couch, but we quit it. So we are going on a quest to find our parents, with our maid obviously.

“We gotta find them!” Julia thought that they were at a secret island. “We are going to search the world just for them. We are leaving tomorrow. The maid told us that she used to be a flight attendant.” 

The pilot sold the plane to her for very cheap, like 1000 bucks. Then the maid took a flight lesson, then she was a pilot. She thought it was too much, so she went on the Internet, found a job that said maid, and that is the story of most of her life.

The sisters got packed and ready to fly. They were a bit scared because she had not controlled a plane in 10 years. She was nervous too, but nothing could stop them from finding their parents, so they set off on their 10-hour trip. They got on the plane. They kept asking each other how much longer, but at least there were movies on the back of the seat.

“Ahh!” they screamed. 

“There is a bit of turbulence!” the captain/maid said. 

Then crash! The plane fell in the water, but thank god they were close to an island. They swam until they reached the island. Finally, they reached it. 

They were so happy they were immortal, however the maid was not, so she drowned. 

The girls did not like that they were on their own. The island was like a big forest. There were berries that they could eat and the salt water they could drink. They did not really want to drink the salt water, but then they remembered that they were IMMORTAL!!! YAY!!! 

So they still starved, but did not die. There was a coconut tree on the island. They cracked it open and water came spilling out. The sisters saw two people on the island across from them. They headed over there, but they were two bandits so they took a run for it then they ended up on a different island. 

Then they saw their mom but no dad. They hugged each other. 

They asked, “Where is dad?” 

Mom said, “He passed on the plane crash.” 

“I thought dad was immortal?” 

“No. He was not.” She asked Julia, “How did you know that we are immortal?”

“Ummmmm.” Then she pointed to Lucia. 

Lucia put her hands up. Mom was not disappointed because she had to find a way to tell Julia because she always wanted to live but not be immortal. Then they started crying. They really missed Dad. They thought he was immortal, but he was not, so it was very devastating.

They got on a pirate boat and got to the house. There was a lot of seasickness that I do not want to explain. It took a week to get home, but they made it.

They walked through the door and Dad was a ZOMBIE!!!!!!!

 Chapter !!!

Julia and Lucia were terrified!! Their father died! Ok, they got over that eventually, but they would never get over that their father was a ZOMBIE!!!!!

Zombies usually look like they have been beaten up, but he was dressed in a nicely tailored  suit. Mom shouted how much money. Dad was not normal. He was see-through and he had mental issues now sadly. We are lucky to even have him here right now.

“Dad!!!” Julia said, sitting on the couch but not forever anymore.

Dad was going to the park and killing the kids there. He has super strength now, so he suffocates the kids with his hands. Then parents started calling the police.

“Ooooh nooo.” Julia called Mom and Lucia. They came as fast as they could, but they did not make it in time. 

He was already handcuffed and in the police car.

They went to the police station the next day and tried to explain that Dad has issues and he is a robot. They lied about the robot because they wanted to take him out of jail, but it did not work, but it was reasonable.

Then the officer said, “If he is a robot, why do you need him?”

“Umm BECAUSE HE IS MY DAD.”

The officer said, “You lied. You said he is a robot and that is illegal.” 

Yay they were in the same jail cell as Dad. 

So they were trying to escape out of the window with Dad’s super strength. They were secretly going out, but then lunch came early. 

Then they had no lunch and no food for the rest of their lives, but they were immortal so they will live. Then they tried a different way to escape. Then Dad unlocked the lock on the door, but there was someone at the front desk, so that did not work .

The third time, they went on a trip outside for fresh air. But the police was guarding them, but he was dumb and he was on his phone, then he started sleeping. Yay! That policeman took their wallet and used all their money, then revenge! 

They took his wallet then went to the most fancy restaurant ever. After that, they went on a luxury vacation. They flew first class each 8,000 dollars. So all in all, it was 32,000 dollars. The vacation was to the Carribean. They were sitting for 5 hours when they got the food from the stewardess. It was pasta with tomato sauce on it with a side of cheese. The dessert was lemon pudding with chocolate sprinkles. Lucia and Julia went around the plane asking for second lemon puddings, then the flight attendant said to sit down if there is turbulence. The first time they ignored her, but then the plane was shaking, then they were scared. They went to their parents, but they took Dramamine to make them fall asleep. Then a flight attendant walked by.

It was the maid.

They started yelling, “Maid maid!” 

The maid fainted. The girls were shocked about the maid. They thought she was dead. Then she woke up and she passed them. The pilot on the plane fell asleep, and the plane rushed down to the ground.

The pilot woke up when it fell on the ground. It was a long way from the airport, and it was a lot of nausea. The sisters threw up a few times.

And that is the end of my story. They learned that they should always listen to the maid. 


Monkey Spy

When your day gets completely turned upside down, finding out you have a spy in your household is not that big of a surprise. Having a second spy, ok that is a little kooky, but having a third spy, that is a monkey????? Now it is going way too far. First Violet, then mom, now Leland. Ok, well let me start from the beginning. It all starts in Florida…

4 Weeks Previously 

Mom was cooking dinner in the kitchen of our small condo- apartment. It was spaghetti and meatballs, but it didn’t smell like that at all. Me and my sister Violet were playing spit on the dining room table, and the twins (Luca and calvin) who were both one and a half were fighting over a bubblegum wrapper. Suddenly, the phone started ringing.

“Hey mom?” I called “The phone is ringing!” I didn’t pay that much attention to it. The phone rang a lot. I stroked our pet monkey named Leland and watched her slowly walk over to the phone, her face pale. This was very unusual of her. She never did things like that. Now that I noticed, Mom had actually been acting like this our entire vacation. Panicked, stressed, and nervous. I looked away from Mom. Violet seemed to have noticed it too, because she had dropped her cards on the table, very unusual of HER. Even the twins had stopped screaming, and were staring at Mom open mouthed with spit dripping down their chins. What was happening? I saw Violet stand up and walk over to mom. She picked up the phone before mom could. 

  “Hello?” She said. It only took 1 second for her usual smile or grin to turn into a look of complete seriousness. She nodded at mom, then hung up. 

 “Experiment 124679830” She called, looking directly at Leland. He turned his head to face mom. 

“Take action.” As soon as the last word came out of her lips, Leland started scampering around the house, as though he had been programmed to. My jaw dropped. The twins managed a simple

“Ohhhhbegubidaga” Before mom scooped them up and put them in the stroller. Violet was running around packing, like Leland seemed to be doing, and so was mom.

“MOM!” I shouted so she could hear me over the noise of the packing “WHAT IS HAPPENING??” I could make out a quick “I will tell you on the way! We have to hurry! Violet knows what to do! Follow her!” Wait, so Violet knew about this too? My mind was filled with a jillion questions, but I only had one thought.

Follow Violet.

I ran with my bags across the street, barely keeping up with V and my mom with the twins in the stroller and Leland, who I think is a spy robot monkey now.

“Where, are, we, going?” I gasped

“To the train!” My mom shouted. “I will have to leave you guys there! Again, Violet will explain everything!” We had reached the train. Mom gave us each quick but tearful goodbye hugs. I blinked back tears. I had never left my mom before. Not even for a sleepover. I was honest to goodness very very scared. Mom gave Violet the stroller, and Leland jumped out of my arms and onto Violet’s shoulder. We entered the train station just as the train pulled up. It was all going so quickly, and none of it seemed very real. It was all like a blurry dream. The doors opened. Violet pushed the stroller into the train. I quickly looked back to see if Mom was waving goodbye, but she had disappeared. The train doors were starting to close, and Violet had to grab me and pull me in. It was much nicer than I had expected. The seats were leather and there was an old woman with a frilly dress with a cart filled with food parading up and down the train. Violet sat down and motioned for me to sit too. I was hesitant at first but then I gave in. She took the twins out of the stroller and put them on her lap, bouncing them gently. She was nine years older than me and I was only 7. She turned to face me. 

“Okay,” she said. “Now I have to tell you the entire history of our family. It all started when I was 10 and you were just 4. Mom knew that this day would come someday.”

“But what do you mean ‘this day’?” I interrupted. She glared at me and I shut my mouth. 

“The day when the spy attackers would come, or as Mom would call them: SNAKE. I don’t know what it stands for but it sure does sound awfully important.” She paused and stared out the window dramatically.

“She told me this, and I am going to tell you. First off, Mom works for a spy institute where they look into the future and this little monkey,” she motioned to Leland, “is a spy too. And not just any spy, a world class detective.” 

My mouth dropped open. But after all that happened today, this wasn’t that surprising. 

“So she is sending us off with a monkey spy, we don’t know where he is taking us, and we don’t know when we will see mom again?” I asked her, my arms crossed over my chest. Violet nodded. I sighed in frustration. I grabbed Leland off of Violet’s shoulder and put him in my lap. He squirmed to get away, but I held him tight. I started to feel drowsy, and shortly after I had fallen asleep. 

Chapter 2

 I blinked my eyes open. Why were we on a train? Then I remembered it all. My cheek had prints from Violet’s coat on it, and I had a little crusty drool on the corner of my mouth. I wiped it off with my sleeve. 

 “Are we there yet?” I asked Violet drowsily. She shook her head.

“Leland said there are 12 more stops.”

“Wait, Leland can talk now?” I asked. Everything was so confusing now. I just wanted to go back home.

“Monkey Translator. Duh.” Violet looked at me like I was the crazy one. I tried to roll my eyes, but I could really only go halfway. I was glad I had brought my book. 12 more stops seemed like an eternity to a 7 year old. I unzipped my bag that I had been hugging to my chest and pulled out my favorite book of all time: SPACE CATS Into The Spacevolution. I also pulled out my worn out, beat up, patched stuffed animal. Flufster McFlufferson went straight into my lap. I leaned onto Violet again, and curled up with my book.

10 Stops Later

Bored. Bored. Bored. Bored. Nothing to do. I read my book 4 times, I lost at cat’s cradle 16 times (and won once) and I braided Leland’s hair until he screamed and bit me. Violet said it was my fault, but I think that Leland has cabin fever too. I could tell the twins wanted to go home. They were fighting over the last Annie’s Bunny Gummy. I had the urge to scream at them. 

“Violettttttttttt” I whined. “How many more stopsssss?”

“FOR THE LAST FREAKIN’ TIME, THERE ARE TWO STOPS LEFT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!” She screamed at the top of her lungs. Everyone on the train went quiet and stared at her. She turned beet red and giggled nervously.

“Umm, heehee sorry Ruth,” She said in almost a whisper. 

“I like the color of your face,” I said as I poked her on the cheek. The train pulled to a stop and the doors opened with a swishing sound. I sighed in relief. Only one stop left. So did everyone else including Leland who kind of smiles because his mouth turned up in the corners a little bit. 

Ten people started taking their bags and getting off the train. There were only twenty people including us, so it was a lot less crowded and claustrophobic. Leland said in his monkey translator which is basically a speaker on his chest “Our stop is in ten minutes. Start gathering your things.” His voice was metallic and scratchy and didn’t sound at all like I imagined a monkey’s would sound like. I literally jumped up on the seat and started doing my happy Snoopy dance. Violet shot me a glare and pulled me down. I looked around at the seat and noticed all my things were scattered everywhere so I had to take two trips to my backpack which weirdly enough was ten feet away. I shoved everything in there and zipped it. I didn’t do a very good job zipping it so I dragged it back to my seat–or attempted to– but everything completely fell out again. I groaned. Violet was putting her stuff back in her bag and trying to comfort the twins at the same time. I put everything back in hastily and zipped it up correctly. I continued to drag it to the seat before Violet saw me and rolled her eyes. She walked over and picked it up with one hand, ONE HAND, and walked over to our seat where she rolled her eyes a second time.  I watched as she pulled her phone out of her pocket. She groaned in anger. 

“Stupid Battery” She mumbled under her breath. I shook my head. She was becoming a teenager more and more each day.

Chapter 3

I walked back over to the seat and sat down, only to spring up 2 seconds later. The doors opened, and the intercom crackled with life.

“This is NYJ airport. I repeat, this is NYJ airport. Please clear a path for the closing doors.” I grabbed my bag and ran out of the doors. I looked around. So this was an airport. I wanted to go home, where I didn’t have to wonder if things were fake.

 I marveled at the sight of everything. So clean, so shiny, so new. Then I remembered that I was supposed to stay with Violet and the twins. Oh, and Leland. I swiveled to look behind me for them, only to collide with a tall man with a black suit and tie, and tan skin. I was so short I could only see the bottom of his chin at the highest, and with that only by craning my neck so far I heard a snap. I heard the sound of the stroller on the tiled floor. The man looked behind me. I closed my mouth, just noticing that my mouth was a big O. 

“Are you Violet, Ruth, Luca, and Calvin Perolline?” A gravelly voice said. It was the man. I stepped back and huddled closer to Violet. How did he know our names? Violet narrowed her eyes.

 “Who’s asking?” She said, her teeth gritting. I decided that if Violet was mad, I was mad too. I put my hands on my hips and tried to look as angry as possible. Leland seemed to be very suspicious of this man. He was baring his teeth, and the hair on the back of his neck stood up. 

  The man cleared his throat.

“I am Sir Cleve-” He screamed a manly scream. I didn’t know why until I saw Leland attached to Sir Cleve’s face. He pinched as hard as a little monkey spy could, and at that point I knew. We could trust no-one. This man was disguised as our friend, yet Leland thought he was an enemy. Nothing was simple now. No black or white. Life was a million shades of gray. Before I had finished my totally deep thoughts, Violet had my arm firmly clenched in her hand. She started running and so did I. We ran and ran until I didn’t know if I could run any more. My legs were the wind, and my heart was my spirit. Carrying me on. (This was probably in a famous book or something) Violet stopped suddenly, and I crashed into her butt. Ouch. I looked for Leland, then realized he was on my shoulder. I was scared. Very scared. I was gasping for breath and wheezing for air. I needed my inhaler. I pulled it from my jeans pocket. I put it in my mouth and sucked up ten breaths of air. I stopped weezing. Then I looked up. We were stopped in front of a mangy-looking motel with the red and black sign hanging off of its hinges and the small double door caked with mud. I stared at Violet with my eyebrows raised as if to say, “This is where we are staying the night?”

Violet shrugged and said, “It’s the least costly.” I opened the door and Violet pushed the stroller in the door. Inside, there was a small desk, with a young teenager with earbuds in and her phone out. That was all. No couch, no TV. Nothing. 

“Um, excuse me?” Violet said. The girl didn’t look up. “Excuse me,” Violet said, her voice a little bit louder. The lady looked up and pulled out an earbud. 

“We would like to stay for one night.”

The lady took out both of her earbuds and hung them around her neck. “How many beds do you need?”

“Um, two please,” Violet said, doubtfully. 

The teenager widened her eyes in disbelief. “Two?! That’ll be fifty dollars per person.” 

Now it was Violet’s turn to widen her eyes in disbelief. “For this tiny little shabby motel?” 

The teenager looked offended and shoved her earbuds back in. We stormed out. 

Chapter 4

I woke up the next morning STARVING. Where were we anyway? And why did I have something wet on my face? I slowly blinked away sleep from my eyes and saw that I was on a couch, with Luca and Calvin  sleeping on top of me. I identified the wet thing as Calvin’s tongue. Gross.  

I slowly pulled the twins off of me and onto the couch itself, not my shoulder and getting off it when something hit me. Where was Violet? And Leland? I looked around the room. It was really fancy. It had I bed, but it was small, and the velvet couch we were sleeping on. Violet was snoring softly in the bed, with Leland curled up in her arms. I saw a big window on the side of the hotel room. It was covered by velvet curtains, the same ones the couch was made of. I walked over there, but discovered that the floorboards were SUPER creaky, and started tip toeing. I peeked through the curtains, and saw that it was still dark out. The sun was beginning to rise, but still dark out. I pulled it back and creeped over to Violet’s bed. I shook her. 

“Violet. VIOLET. WAKE UP!!!!!” I whisper shouted. She sat up in bed quickly and then, seeing that it was only me fell back in bed and groaned.

“It’s too earlyyyyyyy” She whined. I pulled the blankets off her. She moaned into her pillow.

 “Get up!” I said. She sleep walked off the bed. And fell. A muffled groan came from her, but you could barely hear it because her face was mashed into the velvet carpet and her butt was sticking in the air. I rolled my eyes. I quickly undressed out of my clothes from yesterday and into a fresh green t-shirt and blue jeans. I tried to braid my hair like Katniss in the Hunger Games but it turned into a giant knot of hair so I gave up. All the while, Violet was slowly getting ready and dressed. We opened the blinds so light poured into the room, waking up the twins. They started crying.

“We should probably go on a walk. Get some fresh air.” Violet said while putting the twins in the stroller. I didn’t have a better idea, so I nodded and started to put on my velcro hello kitty sandals. About 10 minutes later, we were walking along the block. The weather was perfect. It wasn’t too cold, or warm but it was crisp. It was a perfect day for a walk, but sadly, everyone was ruining it. The twins were screaming. Violet was on her phone, and I was trudging along, ten feet behind. Violet apparently had enough of it and put her ear buds in, listening to music as she walked through the park.

 Then her patience broke. She put her fingers in her mouth and whistled as loud as she could. Now this is a thing you would only know if you were Violet’s sister. She whistles loud. And I don’t mean PE Teacher loud, but loud loud. Loud enough for the president of the United States to hear if he listened. Although I doubt he would be. Loud enough that if WWIII was happening they would pause to listen. 

So, imagine how loud that would be if you were standing right next to her. All of a sudden, we heard a pounding on the ground. Getting  louder. And louder. What was it? And Violet didn’t know either judging from her expression. Then it was ear splitting we had to look up. 

Bad Idea.

  Chapter 5

When I looked up, I had to run to avoid getting trampled by the thousands of feet that were galloping, bounding, and scurrying towards me. Thankfully, my staying alive instincts deflected the worst injuries. I ducked behind a trashcan to watch the parade/stampede. I scanned the crowd, which was gazelles, giraffes, elephants, and zebras. Oh, and snakes-for my sister and brothers. No sign of them. I was getting a cramp in my thigh, when the stampede stopped. Stopped, miraculously, in front of Leland, who was standing on his back legs waving his arms frantically in front of him and squawking monkey nonsense. Oh right. My pet monkey was a world class detective. He motioned for me to come over. There was a part of me thinking “Why the HECK are you following a monkey’s instruction? Are you CRAZY?!?!” (Which yes, I was) But the bigger part told me to just do it. 

I crept out of my hiding spot and crawled towards Leland. I saw Violet and the twins huddled next to Leland. Suddenly, we heard huge stomping. Like BOOM BOOM BOOM!!!!!!!!! And there, in front of me was the shortest, fattest man I had ever seen. 

“YOU!! Vy you vuin my plan?! You vuin evevyving!! MY plans! All my plans!!” He said in a strong french accent. “WHY????” He said and broke down sobbing.

   This was the bad guy? This short man with a suit? Who is kneeling on the ground sobbing? Ha. But, there had to be a twist. There was always a twist. And of course, there was. He stood up, grabbed hold of Leland by the neck  and killed him. I heard the crack. I saw him go limp. I heard myself scream. And then I launched myself at the man, half screaming half crying. I didn’t have any reason to believe he was still alive. I was angry. So ANGRY!! I had done everything I could to stop it from happening, and it did. Leland was dead. And I tried to hurt him for how he had hurt me. But I couldn’t. There was a wall. Made of glass, through what I could see from my eyes that were clouded with tears. The mysterious man with the monkey blood on his hands was smirking on the other side of the wall. And then I just couldn’t anymore. So I slid my back against the invisible wall, and tucked my head in between my knees. Was Violet dead too? What about the twins? But I couldn’t just stay here. I had to help them. I couldn’t go home now. I didn’t want to, with all the wait on my shoulders. So I stood up, and put my hands on the barrier. I slid them on the smooth surface until I found a crack, as I had expected. I pulled it and it shifted slightly, and I slid to the other side. The man on the other side looked unamused. I ran up and grabbed his shirt. 

“Where are my siblings?” I seethed, spit flying into his face. He just smirked again and whispered harshly:

“Where your faith crumbles.” I dropped the shirt and he vanished, leaving a puff of smoke behind him and the smell of lingering ash. 

The End

Roman Story

Oceanus attended a school for training to fight in the Roman army. Oceanus was born in Rome. He was 18 years old, in Rome his father was a bladesmith. The Roman army had drafted because since his father was a bladesmith. Oceanus was good with a sword. He had to join the army. The year was 206 BC and Oceanus was training at the school with his friend, Maximus. He wasn’t sad because he wanted to become a centurion. The general himself was going to graduate them.

Oceanus woke up in the middle of the night because the alarm bell was ringing.

“What is going on?!!” asked Oceanus.

“It’s just a drill, keep your hair on,” said his commanding officer. 

“A drill in the middle of the night?” The officer shrugged. 

The next morning Oceanus got dressed and went down to the mess.

“Hey! Oceanus over here!” yelled a very excited Maximus.

“Hi,” Oceanus said as he got to his table. “Did you hear the drill last night?”

“I slept right through it!”

Oceanus rolled his eyes. Maximus could sleep through a fire and he gladly would.

“I figured as much,” mumbled Oceanus.

Fifteen minutes later he was practicing on top of the shallow river. He and Maximus were practicing with their swords.

“Aren’t you excited we’re going to graduate in two days! And then we can-”  Oceanus stopped the sentence by knocking him with the handle of his sword which knocked him on his back in the mud.

The next class was archery.

“So when we graduate will you join with me?” asked Maximus.

“I just want to go home,” answered Oceanus.

“Excuse me, but will Maximus and Oceanus please shut up!” said the teacher with a glare so cold Oceanus felt like the temperature dropped 10 degrees celsius.

“Sorry, sir we’ll be quiet,” Oceanus said and gave Maximus a dirty look. The next class was advanced weaponry which was where you learned how to fire a large crossbow, at least Maximus wasn’t in this class. During lunch Maximus kept trying to convince him to join. Finally after the twentieth time Oceanus gave in.

“Fine I’ll join!!!” yelled Oceanus. 

“Jeez, okay, I’ll stop.”  

The next day was a blur, packing and walking around the campus for the last day. The next day they graduated but there was a surprise.

“You are all joining the army,” said the general, “your instructions are on your bunks.” He turned around and left the whole grade in complete confusion. 

Then five months later he and his group were scouting the approaching army. They had been sent very close to a very large lake which led to the ocean.

“Are you sure that that’s the army? The other scouts said that there were about one thousand others?” asked one of the other scouts.

“I guess that they were off,” said the leader with a shrug.

“Off by one thousand?” asked another scout.

Their leader just shrugged again. “I don’t know.”

“Hey, I think that I see the general!” said another scout.

“No you don’t, he’s over there,” said the leader pointing to the far side of camp. 

When they got back to the camp they filled out a report and wrote how the army was smaller than expected. That night, as Oceanus slept he thought and he felt lonely yet he was in the middle of a heavily guarded fort manned by thousands of soldiers, but they were deep in enemy territory hundreds of miles from the closest border of the Roman empire. Oceanus drifted to sleep.

DONG DONG DONG DONG!!! Oceanus woke with a start as the alarm bell rang.

“We are under attack, this is not a drill!!” His commanding officer’s voice cut threw the words of panic coming from Oceanus’s tent. “Get your gear and get out there you will receive further instructions there!”

Oceanus grabbed his sword and armor and ran towards the nearest exit. He put on his armor and ran towards the gate.

“You there get over to the catapults!” A rough hand grabbed his shoulder “NOW!!”

Oceanus didn’t have time to argue. He left and went to the catapult crew. They told him to release the trigger so he did. The machine fired onto the approaching army but the enemy archeries open fired on them killing all of the crew but sparing Oceanus and one more, six were dead. The camp was burning and the gates were being rammed down, arrows flew and injured soldiers called for medics who they might never see. Just when it looked like they were winning, loud war cries that sounded like a tiger about to pounce on and kill  his prey sounded from the hills from the left and right. They were surrounded. 

In Front, there was the main body of the army to the left, there were about 500 enemies to the right, there were 500 and behind them was the river. Oceanus was thinking about how quick he could run maybe he could run just fast enough to the lake and get on one of the ships and hide. A loud command cut threw his thoughts.

“You go fire the catapults,” said a centurion who had blood on his uniform.

Oceanus went to the catapults and loaded the large heavy rock on the hull of the catapult with six others. Then the commander aimed the catapult at the gates towards the approaching army but the shot would take some of their own soldiers.

“Wait that will take some of our own men!” said a very concerned Oceanus.

“Some people are made to be sacrificed,” was his reply. And he fired the machine. The sound of the rock hitting the ground followed by the sound of crunching bones was enough to drive someone crazy. Oceanus was running. The Centurion mistook it as an act of desertion so did the other five.

“Hey, you traitor-” His words were cut off and so was his head. Oceanus ran. There were five enemies on his tail and he ran faster. 

They chased him, he ducked inside the armory. It was mostly empty because of the battle going on. He grabbed a crossbow off the shelf and aimed it for the door. The door opened and the enemy got a greeting. Three arrows in his chest he collapsed. Oceanus reloaded the crossbow and shot the next enemy. Then an enemy spear came and hit a rack of shields, they came falling down onto Oceanus. Oceanus ducked and protected his head as they came falling down on him. Somehow he wasn’t crushed, he was hiding under the shields and an enemy entered shield raised he lowered his shield and looked around. Oceanus leapt from his hiding place and cut the ropes that held a door. The door shut as the enemy dove for the other side the gate slammed shut. Oceanus was left in the cold dark room. He looked around the room and took the nearest torche off the wall and looked around the room. Where the rack used to be was a hole.

“What was that?” thought Oceanus. He went down the corridor. He took five steps and then he saw two paths left or right.

“It’s a trap don’t go either way go back it’s a trap,” said a voice in his head. He went left. He crept down the hall. He walked down the hall for about 10 minutes before he came to an end. There was dirt completely around him except for behind him. A dead end. Oceanus stood up and smacked his head on the roof.

“OOOOW!!” He suddenly realised that he had hit his head on wood not cold soft mush dirt, hardwood. He pushed upward and a trap door sprung open and a ladder dropped down. Oceanus pulled out the crossbow that was strapped to his back and fired up into the hole that had just opened. No answer. He climbed the ladder and pulled out his sword. Someone attacked him. Oceanus grabbed his attacker’s sword hilt and smashed the sword onto the other person’s face. 

“Oceanus?” said his attacker. 

“Maximus?” 

“Yeah, follow me.”

Oceanus followed Maximus to a stable. There were seven other soldiers there, the highest rank was a captain which was three ranks below centurion.

“Let’s go,” said one of the soldiers.

They all hopped on a horse and rode away from the battle towards the nearest fort to get reinforcements. The soldiers had told Oceanus that the rider sent reinforcements was captured so they had been sent.

Five months later 

Oceanus strolled down the wooden stairs of the fort. He was thinking about what had happened five months ago as they had ridden to the fort. They had been riding when one of the riders grunted and fell off his horse with an arrow in his side. Oceanus pulled the crossbow from his back and steadied it. Twelve enemies had come running through the woods with spears and swords. Oceanus fired his crossbow at one of the enemies. 

Dead. The captain had told him and Maximus to go ahead. They had rode ahead and had gotten reinforcements. They had arrived in time and had won the battle but the death toll had been high for their side. The other riders had never been found. Him and Maximus had been promoted to centurion. Oceanus hadn’t been as excited as he thought he would be. He was just regularly happy, not as happy as he had been when he had realised that Maximus was not dead. Seeing a battle can do that to someone. 


Chalk

Sketching a picture of her.

48 colors I could make her

Orange, blue, pink, red, brown the color of her skin.

Finally, I am done.

I press my right hand on it and hold my left hand in the air looking

for a shadow

Then it comes.

A short girl who in my world would be about 10.

She jumps into me then I get a feeling that washes right through me

and then she’s alive.

She runs down the block and out of sight.


Sub Society

Ben Joy loved his siblings. They were so nice to him and he was the youngest of them. His brother Zach, his 2 sisters Lila and Yasmin. The only thing that he hated was the fact that he was starting school. And today was the first day of school. His brother Zach drove him to school and Ben got prepared for torture. 


Two weeks later

Now my prediction is right, third grade is horrible. The worst part is, let me tell you, the substitutes  they love to yeeeeeeeeeellllllll. 

Everyday this is what happens: 

Where is your notebook? 

It’s right here. 

Where is your work?

It’s right here. 

Get out your notebook

Yeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeellllllllll 

They are so mean. Here is a list of substitutes: 

Mrs. B: most annoying.

Mrs. L: most likely to yell. 

Mrs. K: she has red hair. Some classmates think she got red hair from getting so mad, her hair went on fire. Me and my friends made our own club called the Sub Society and do wars against subs. 

One day, our substitute Mrs. B was really annoying. By that time, we were voting for class president and she kept asking us what we were doing and we said, “We were voting.” 

Our teacher, Ms. Abreou, saw us going around to different tables and she asked what we were doing. We were all silent and then suddenly, out of nowhere, Ms. B said that we were voting and we got in trouble for the rest of the day. 

A story about Mrs. L: One day, we were surprised that Ms. Abreou wasn’t here and that we had Mrs. L as a substitute. We got into class and started doing our morning work. There was an announcement over the loudspeaker. It said, “All third grade teachers bring your students down to the cafeteria.” 

Mrs. L didn’t do anything. We told her what the announcement said, but she kept saying that the announcement said, “All third grade teachers come down to the cafeteria.” 

We kept arguing with her, but she still said no. That’s how we didn’t get to eat lunch. 

A story about Ms. K: 

You know how I said earlier that some of my classmates believe that her hair was red because people believe that when she got so mad, her hair goes on fire. Well, we had her today. She seemed pretty calm. The thing I forgot to tell is that sometimes in class she curses. I was sharpening my pencil and one of my classmates, Xavier, said to me “Jasper! Your pencils are already sharpened!” 

The substitute saw him and said, “Shut up and put your hand down!” 


Present: 

Well, me and the Sub Society, which includes my friends Irving, Victoria, Audrey, and Clara, were all discussing how we were going to make a trap.

“First,” said Irving, “We need to write this all down on a piece of paper.” 

So we got started. “We’ll make a trap door inside the classroom floor with a can of hot water underneath. We will tell the sub that we need help and lead her in the direction of the trap door. She will fall inside it, but we still have to be prepared when she gets out, so we will run to the stairs and get heavy cans of metal blocks and put it on top of the stairs. When she comes up the stairs, we will throw down the metal cans, and then it will crash into her. And for the last trap, when she gets to the main part of the school, we will pour a foot of hot water and pour it on her.”

RANDOM (Ridiculously Awesome Neatly Done Ominus Man)

I Am Angered

  When I Lose

  In Fortnite I Threw My Controller Out the window 

     I Nick Nack patty wack The controller 

then pick it up and punch it in the tv 

then kick it down the drain 

then i was jolly 

 just a tad bit jolly 

                                                                                        then i destroyed every one’s ankle  

                                          I’m Just like ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh exposed dddddd !!

                    BAM! Where’s your ankles?  

        In the refrigerator  

          There goes your ankles

                               THAT’S COLD!


Jamie and the Swallow Nest

Chapter 1

Swallows are special birds. They build their nests on the sides of old buildings, in the gaps between the roof and the exterior walls. The foundation is made mostly out of little bits of mud. The inside is lined with grass and old feathers. The entire painful process may take months, even whole seasons.

The Thompsons were an ordinary family living in a very, very old house. There was Mr. and Mrs. Thompson, their three children, and Mrs. Thompson’s mother, the kids’ grandmother. Victoria was the oldest child at the age of thirteen. Gregory, who was about to turn eleven, was the perfect example of an aggressive, obnoxious, video-game-obsessed middle child. Then there was Jamie, the youngest, who had just turned nine. Jamie was quiet and thoughtful, and was therefore a big disappointment to Gregory, who had always wanted a rowdy, competitive little brother to play rough with.

The children’s grandmother had lived with the Thompsons for as long as anyone could remember. Her husband had died of cancer right before Victoria was born. She was a strong and energetic woman for her age, and usually the peacemaker of the family.

 The older members of the family were glad Jamie hadn’t turned out like Gregory—with two Gregorys in the house, it would be a miracle if the roof didn’t come crashing down on the family.

Mr. Thompson worked in a small town nearby, where the kids also went to school and did their shopping. Their father drove them to school every morning, and their mother picked them up in her car at the end of the day.

It was a regular Tuesday afternoon. Victoria was clothes shopping at the mall with her girlfriends, and Gregory had gone to a classmate’s house to check out their birthday loot, which included the latest Mario Kart and a virtual reality set.

Jamie was the only one going straight home. As usual, he went straight up to his bedroom to do his homework.

Some time passed. He heard the screen door slam, a sure sign that Gregory was home.

There was a faint chirping noise outside. Jamie looked up. It was an old barn swallow gathering mud for its nest. Fascinated, he observed it for a while, then went back to work on his math problems.

The nest was finally ready. It had taken so long.

The female swallow, after careful consideration, had decided to build hers right outside a dusty brick house on the outskirts of a small town near a huge lake. The lake was a perfect water source for making mud pellets. The nest was hidden under the roof directly above a second-story window.

After gathering materials for the final touches, the swallow returned to the nest. Her mate was already there. He was painstakingly lining the edge of the nest with grass and old feathers. He had to be very careful—there were four tiny white speckled eggs sitting in the center, due to hatch in one week.

The female added the last bits of mud to the nest corners. Being careful not to move any of them around, she sat on the eggs. Until they hatched, she wouldn’t be able to leave again. Abandoning the nest for those last ten minutes had been extremely risky. 

It was going to be a long week for the two swallows.

Chapter 2 – one week later

The female swallow and her mate silently watched their babies push their way out of their eggs. The nearest one already had its beak sticking out of the shell.

The new parents bent forward to help crack the eggs. It was hard work.

Twenty minutes later, it was done. Four tiny baby swallows were resting in the nest with their eyes closed. They had all survived.

Jamie was doing what he did every afternoon—homework.

He heard cracking sounds and glanced around. Nothing. He looked behind him, in front of him, above him, and even went downstairs to make sure it wasn’t just Gregory breaking something. It wasn’t. He went back upstairs.

More cracking sounds.

No matter how hard he tried, he couldn’t pinpoint the source of the sound. Eventually it stopped and he decided he had imagined it.

His mother called him down for dinner—spaghetti and meatballs. Jamie sat across from Victoria, who was staring at her food like it was an alien from another planet, and next to Gregory, who was busy violently stabbing his meatballs for no apparent reason.

“Vicky, eat,” Jamie’s mother prodded.

What’s new? thought Jamie.

Victoria took a deep breath, as if she was about to say something very important, and cleared her throat. “Mom, I’m… I’m going vegan.”

Mrs. Thompson groaned. “I spent so much time on these meatballs. How long will you be doing this?” 

“As long as I can..?” Victoria trailed off, seeing the look on her mother’s face.

Jamie’s grandmother spoke up, turning to her daughter. “ Samantha, let Victoria do what she wants to. She’s old enough to know what’s good for herself.”

Victoria gave her grandmother a grateful look.

Mrs. Thompson looked lost for a second. She glanced back and forth between her daughter and her mother. Even Gregory, sensing the tension, had stopped stabbing his meatballs.

“Fine,” Mrs. Thompson relented.

“I’ll eat your meatballs,” Gregory volunteered.

Victoria transferred her meatballs to Gregory’s plate one by one. “As long as you eat them instead of pretending they’re your enemies in a video game, go ahead.”

“Wrong. They’re my opponents on the race car track. You’re allowed to knock out your opponents.”

“Whatever. Same thing.”

“Whaddaya mean same thing?” Gregory stabbed his meatball so hard, Jamie jumped in his seat. “They’re completely different, Vicky!”

Victoria rolled her eyes. “Don’t call me Vicky.”

“Mom does.”

“Well, she shouldn’t either.”

“Stop arguing, you two,” Mrs. Thompson ordered. 

“But Moooom, he’s the one being annoying…”

“Yeah, well, I’m allowed to talk about video games, Mom…”

Jamie listened to his siblings bicker uselessly. He wolfed down his food, excused himself, and sat on the sofa to read a book. It wasn’t enjoyable to be the youngest child. In fact, ever since he had started fourth grade, his life seemed to be a cycle of school, homework, eat, sleep, repeat. He couldn’t remember the last time he had experienced anything really exciting. He wanted something interesting to happen for once.

Chapter 3

Two weeks had passed. Being in charge of four baby chicks wasn’t an easy job. The swallow and her mate had to take turns finding food and bringing it back to the nest every half hour.

At the moment, she was staying with the chicks and her mate was looking for food. They had opened their eyes only a few days ago and were now hopping about. The new parents had taken careful precautions to build up the sides of the nest so the chicks wouldn’t walk off the edge.

Suddenly a crash resounded from inside the house and the wall shuddered. The nest lurched sideways. The mother swallow let out an alarmed chirp, followed by her chicks. The world tilted.

Bit by bit, the nest was crumbling away from the exterior wall.

It took some time for the swallow to realize what was happening. In a flurrying panic, the mother swallow flew out of the nest. She had no way to save her chicks. She let out one more distressed chirp.

The nest, her beautiful nest that she had worked so hard on, broke apart from the wall and fell, her precious chicks along with it. The nest landed on the ground with a thump.

The mother fluttered down to the broken remains of the nest, fearing the worst, and almost collapsed with relief. All four of her chicks were frightened but alive.

The nest, on the other hand, was a problem. It had shattered into tiny pieces.

The swallow stared at the rubble in shock. What was she supposed to do now?

It was a gorgeous Sunday afternoon. Jamie, Victoria, and their grandmother were playing cards in the den. Gregory, who wasn’t blessed with the ability to sit still and pay attention, let alone “stare at numbered pieces of paper,” as he put it, was swinging his plastic club and pretending to be a ninja. Their mother’s china vase sat on the window.

Victoria scanned her cards. “It’s my turn. Jamie, Give me your Jacks,” she said. 

“Don’t have any. Go fish.”

Victoria took a card from the deck. “Gram, what’s Mom making for dinner tonight?”

“I have no idea. It’s my turn… Vicky, give me your sevens—”

CRASH.

The whole house shook. The three card players glanced up to see a guilty Gregory leaning on his club with shards of china littered all over the carpet.

Gregory frowned. “Oops…”

The children’s grandmother stood up. “Jamie, Victoria, clear out,” she said slowly. Her voice was low and dangerous.

Jamie scrambled out of the den after his sister, shut the door, and ran up to his bedroom, which was directly above the den. He would be able to hear the conversation below with no problems.

He closed the door and then pressed his ear to the carpet. His grandmother was busy chewing Gregory out. She was on a roll. 

“…don’t you realize how expensive that vase is? You just wait until your mother finds out, Gregory! You have to be more careful! This was nobody’s fault but yours…”

Just then there was a faint thump. Jamie felt it more than he heard it. It seemed to come from outside. Jamie heaved himself up, opened his window, looked down, and drew in a sharp breath. He didn’t believe his eyes.

Chapter 4

Mr. Thompson was enjoying a peaceful afternoon snack all to himself when his youngest son barreled down the stairs three at a time, yelling at the top of his lungs. “Dad! Dad, oh my God, you wouldn’t believe what just happened – it’s crazy, you have to see this—”

“Is everything alright? I heard a crash in the den,” Mr. Thompson said worriedly.

“Yes, Gregory broke Mom’s vase—”

What?”

“-but that’s not important- Grandma has it under control—what you really need to know is that there’s a fallen swallow nest outside, Dad, come see, c’mon…”

Mr. Thompson followed his son out of the house with one last anxious glance at the den door. Jamie led him around to the back, below his bedroom window. “C’mon, Dad… right here, look…” 

Mr. Thompson looked over his son’s shoulder, awestruck. There were scattered pieces of a swallow nest in the dirt, and huddled together in the middle of it all were two swallows and four baby chicks.

“What do we do, Dad?”

Mr. Thompson bent down to observe the chicks. “I don’t know.”

“Hey, Dad…” Jamie thought for a minute. “What if we make them another nest?”

Jamie’s dad frowned. “How? We can’t piece these mud pellets back together.”

“Like… we could use a box. Or… something.” Jamie realized he hadn’t really thought it through.

“Actually, Jamie, that could work! I could nail it below your window.”

“Below? The old nest was above. That’s why I couldn’t see it until it fell down.”

“You’ll see. Jamie, I’ll be right back…” Mr. Thompson re-entered the house.

He returned a few moments later lugging a tool kit and a small cardboard box in one hand and a long maintenance ladder in the other.

“Dad, I didn’t know we’ve always had a giant ladder in the house!”

Mr. Thompson grinned. “Well, I finally have an opportunity to use it. It’s been in the downstairs closet all this time.”

They got to work. Jamie picked out the strands of grass and feathers that had lined the old nest and set them in the new one. Then, with some difficulty, he and his father placed the baby swallows in what would be their new nest. The swallow parents instinctively flew in too to stay with their chicks.

Mr. Thompson unfolded the ladder, set it up under Jamie’s window, and climbed onto the top step. Hands shaking, Jamie lifted the cardboard box and handed it to his father. He fingered the hem of his shirt anxiously and watched Mr. Thompson nail the box to the wall. He hoped the new nest would hold up better than the old one. 

The hammering stopped. It was done. The nest was now firmly attached to the wall. Jamie suddenly realized why his father was putting the new nest under his window instead of above—he would be able to see it from his bedroom without any difficulty, and he could keep an eye on the swallows.

Mr. Thompson made his way down the ladder. Jamie helped his father bring the tool kit inside and put the ladder back in the closet. As soon as they were finished, he ran up to his bedroom, opened the shades, and looked out his window. The swallows were safe and happy. Jamie smiled to himself.

That night at dinner, Jamie recited the entire story to the family. They listened without interrupting him and seemed impressed—except for Gregory, who couldn’t care less, despite having caused the crash that was the most likely reason the nest had fallen in the first place—but Jamie didn’t mind. He was happy and content. With Mr. Thompson’s help, he had saved a family of swallows. He felt very proud of himself.


Bad Guys Never Win

So you know how there is the super mean and snobby super popular girl with 2 best friends in all the movies and books and shows? Well, that’s Jessica Martinez, Abbigail Streffer, and Flora Nightingale. And you know how there is that super cute and popular boy that every girl has a crush on? Well, that’s Rafa Abascal. He has been my best friend since the first day of first grade. I don’t have a crush on him but Jessica does. And she wants to spend every second that she can with him.

My name is Theora Frincey and I love basketball. I’ve played it all my life and was trained by Stephen Curry because my mom knows him. Anyway, I’m going to tell you about one time at school.

I was at basketball practice when Rafa came up to me.

“Hey, your three-pointer is on point! Could you teach me how to get better at mine?” he said.

“Sure,” I replied. “I’m always happy to help a friend out.”

We both laughed at that because he has been asking me that since third grade. And we’re in eighth grade now.

Right then, Jessica, the leader of the J.A.F. crew came up and interrupted our conversation.

“Why not I teach you, I’m much better anyway.” She said snobbily.

So I got really mad because she always steals the people I want to teach how to shoot. So I did something I wanted to do for five years and threw the ball I was holding straight into her stomach. Really hard. Like as hard as I would throw if I was shooting from the other side of the court hard. She fell to the ground and slid all the way from the hoop, to the half court line. She looked stunned for a second. Then she started bawling.

“Coach Jenkins! Theora threw a ball at me!” she yelled.

Coach Jenkins came over and looked back and forth between me and Jessica with no expression on her face. Then, she smiled and gave me a high five. I was shocked. But not even close to as much as Jessica.

“COACH JENKINS! THEORA THREW A BALL AT ME! WHY ARE YOU GIVING HER A HIGH FIVE?!” she yelled, still crying.

“You are a snobby, annoying, GIGANTIC-egoed, BRAT. I PRAISE Theora for throwing that ball at you. I would do that if I could. Nobody likes you, you know that, right? Not even your friends. They hate you! They are only your friends because if they weren’t, you would get SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO mad and your parents would probably sue their parents.”  

I looked around and everyone was shook. Nobody knew that Coach Jenkins could be so honest to a student. Some boys were shouting, “Whoo!” “Yes!” “You tell her!” and other stuff like that. 

“I also don’t even understand how you could think that you are better at shooting than Theora. You know for a gosh darn FACT that that is a straight up LIEEEEEE!”

“Oh. My. Gosh. I couldn’t say it better myself, Coach Jenkins. There’s nothing left to say except…” I gestured to my friends a gesture that we made up so we could all know to say… “YOU. BETTER. BACK. OFF. HATER!!!” we all said simultaneously.

That was the story of how Coach Jenkins was the best teacher ever. In conclusion, Jessica became popular for being roasted by a teacher so she left the school, and the J.A.F. crew was over.

The End


The Unfortunate Tale of Mr. Dirk Chepe

PART 1:

Dirk at birth…

What a strange baby he was. Even though he was seconds old back then, he had already sprouted his infamous Trump-like orange hair. And he already had a beard, of all things! The doctors decided to examine him for study briefly. Since the parents did not especially care for him, after what he looked like and how many problems he had caused for his poor mother during the pregnancy, they said okay.

It turned out that Dirk (pronounced like “Dirt”, except with a k at the end, then Chepe pronounced like “chape”) had off the charts testosterone levels, and he needed to be treated immediately. So every single day of his life, he would have to inject a part of his lifetime supply of fluids that the doctors gave him in the first weeks of his life.

Enough of that testosterone stuff. Let’s talk about Dirk’s emotions as a baby. Even then, when he was born, he had severe anger management problems. (Now, he isn’t as mad all the time, since he kills and/or severely injures at least 10 kids a week in his toddler skiing “lessons,” or “massacres,” you can pick which you’d like to call them.) Back then, whenever his parents put broccoli on his plate, or anything he didn’t love, or basically anything that wasn’t applesauce, he would throw a temper tantrum that only his mom could calm down, and even that took at least four hours. But it certainly wasn’t just food. There are too many things that he hated to list here, but here are some of the major things:

  1. Food, of course.
  2. Any moment that his parents weren’t holding him.
  3. When he was trying to sleep without his mama.
  4. When he was trying to say his name but it came out like Dirt! Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr…
  5. When everyone else in the world seemed to be holding back laughter if they weren’t already laughing when they said or saw his name.

There shouldn’t even be military school for two-year olds, but there was. And Dirk was such a bad boy, that tearfully, his parents had to send him there.

 PART 2:

Military School

It was very hard for Dirk to adjust to military school, since he missed his parents so much. But it toughened him up, once he finally acclimatized. However, his parents would have never believed this when they sent their darling Dirk to military school, but military school probably impacted their son to kill young skiers…

At the age of eight, Dirk was a skilled fighter, one of the best in his class. When he was fifteen, he was a tall, lanky, muscular boy who could have been an American Ninja Warrior. He never attended a college of any kind. When he was twenty, he joined the military.

In his teenage years, he was quite popular with the girls. Bethany even married him. Except eventually, she would get into a lethal skiing accident.

A year after joining the military, he made a drastic career change and decided to become a professional skier. He thought this was the best decision he had made in his entire lifetime. Others, especially his future students, some dead, probably didn’t…

 PART 3:

Dirk Chepe, Professional Skier

Dirk made a pretty decent pro skier, at least for the skiing part. He preferred it over other contact sports like football or wrestling, because on a flat ground, his opponent would just fall down. But on a steep, icy, snow-covered black diamond, the opponent(s) would bump down the hill, screaming and falling head over heels. It was even better on moguls! Since he did so much contact, he was sometimes disqualified from competitions for life. He didn’t care unless it was the Olympics, that he cared about. By the end of his skiing career, on much more than one occasion, he pushed many people into the trees, mostly in hit and runs. He loved doing that on moguls especially. It was so delightful to see people bumping and crashing, especially when no one on the course, or anywhere except him knew that it was him, except for him.

Then, he was even more handsome (at least according to the girls he dated) than in his teens. Eventually he had eight wives, excluding Bethany. Here they are.

  1.   Emily married him when he was 21. One day, they were skiing out together. The previous morning, they had a fight about Dirk’s aggressive skiing and Dirk pushed her on the moguls. Emily snapped her neck as Dirk said:
    1. “So now you know what competitive skiing is like now, huh? Hahahaha!”And for the rest of the day, the snow there was stained pink.
  2.   Amelia married him when he was 22. Somehow, the ski lift that she was on didn’t meet current safety standards (it was very old). She fell off the lift and broke all of her ribs, one patella, one humerus, her skull, her lower lumbar, two wrists, two ankles, one radius, seven metatarsals, and 30% of what was still not broken in her body. As you could guess, she died.
  3.   Wendy married him when he was 24. They went to the same mountain where Amelia died. Wendy’s chair lift didn’t meet safety standards either, and when she was supposed to get off at the top of the mountain, the lift sped up to 20 mph. When Wendy tried to get off, she broke all of her ribs. During emergency surgery, she died.
  4.   Audrey married him when he was 25. She needed to tighten her ski boots, but Dirk pushed her down the triple black diamond and she died.
  5.   Margaret married him when he was 26. She said, “I love you Dirk.” Dirk said, “YoU CaLlEd Me DiRt?! HoW DaRe YoU!!!!!!” Dirk punched her in the forehead and Margaret immediately died of brain injury.
  6.   Sophia married him when he was 29. Dirk had no idea she was a terrible skier, so he put Sophia on a slalom course. Sophia went too fast and died.
  7.   Sally married him when he was 33. She was a daredevil, and eventually she did a ski course too difficult…
  8.   Winona married him when he was 34. She was a very cautious skier prone to psyching herself out, however with good skill. But then one day, Dirk forced her to do a double diamond, and she had a panic attack and died.

(Please know that no one wanted to anger a professional skier like Dirk, so not even the owner of whatever mountain the death happened on dared to anger the possibly honorable skier Dirk Chepe. Everyone in the skiing world knew of his aggression, and knew that if they tried to report him, they would be a victim of Dirk’s homicide as well.)

PART 4:

Ski Instructor, Dirk Chepe

At age 42, Dirk retired from being a pro, and sought a job in teaching toddlers how to ski, thinking that maybe, just maybe, toddler screams would be even more appealing to him than grown people’s screams. He easily found a job at Whiteface Mountain, NY. After all, he was over half of his life; he might as well enjoy it every winter day on the mountain. And every summer day? He spends his time at Cerro Chapelco, a ski mountain in Argentina, where summers in the US are winters there, and winters in the US are summers. Sometimes, down in South America, when he feels like it, he plucks llamas off of the hills, strangles them to death, takes them home, butchers them, and eats them for dinner. My ski sketch is a good example of what a ski lesson with Instructor Dirk is like. (Also known as torture and/or a massacre). Dirk’s grand total of injured and/or dead skiers right now is 127,489. (I will update the casualty count every time I visit this doc).

In 2018, Dirk started a ski resort on Annapurna, Nepal in the Himalayas (also known as the deadliest mountain in the world), just so that when he had the time to visit, he would always see people looking like idiots trying to ski down the 26,550 summit and slip on the vertical rock face. Luckily or not, Dirk’s resort still made enough money to pay all of the death expenses, though the brochure that advertised his resort did say that skiers would ski at their own risk, and pay all of the medical bills if necessary (which, if you could not assume, was always necessary). After all, paying the bills WAS why Dirk started his resort. Shh!

So, it looks like we have reached the end of this biography. I’m pretty sure that me and the reader can conclude that the skier Dirk Chepe is a terrible person, and unfortunately, that will not change. Oh well. Not all stories have to have happy endings. And neither does this man.

The End.

2063

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Are you insane?!” Peter said.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Part Two: The Reamble

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

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

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

“Stop!” Peter yelled.

“Why?!”  one girl with a spear asked.

“We could alliance!” Peter yelled.

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

“Okay!” they all said. 

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

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

“Heather.” She responded in a high voice.

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

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

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

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

John turned to the others,

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

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

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

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

“Congratulations Peter from camp 25!”

The End


Dude the Cat

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

=====

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

He said, “Can I get a basketball?” 

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

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

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

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

Joe said, “Great idea!” 

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

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

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

Chapter 2

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

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

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

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

Mom said, “We’re getting divorced.”

Dude the Cat smiled at the dad. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

She said, “After lunch.” 

Dude said, “Awww.” 

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

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

She said, “All right.”

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

Chapter 3

Dude asked, “Where does Dad live?”

Mom said, “He lives with his sister.”

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

Mom said they could have one tomorrow. 

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

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

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

Dude said, “Fine.” 

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

She said, “No I’m not!” 

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

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

“I am your aunt.”

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

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

She started to cry. 

He was like, “That’s so fake.”  

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

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

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

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

He said to her, “You suck.”

“YOU suck,” she said back. 

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

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

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

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

Dad said, “You figured it out?” 

“I got the basketball,” Dude told him.

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

“I wish I could kill YOU!” 

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

Dude jealous. 

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

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

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

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

               Mom:

Crowned for Nature


Adele

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

Juliet

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

Adele

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

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

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

Juliet

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

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


Candy Sushi Fun

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

She asked, “Are we gonna land soon?”

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

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

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

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

They saw other humans. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Lucy replied, “Thanks, Grandma Amy!” 

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

“I figured it out,” Madeline responded.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Lucy said, “Thanks!”

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

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

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

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

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

And Lucy said, “Sure.”

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

Lucy said, “How about we play Clue?”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Cookie the Bear

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

***

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

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

“AH! Who are you!?” 

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

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

“ What tall living things? You mean humans?”  

“Humans, what are those?” I asked.  

“The tall living things!” Ruby told me. 

“Ohhhhhhh that makes sense.” I said. 

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

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

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

“Really? You would do that?” 

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

“Yay thank you so much!”              

 ***

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

“We are in the big city!” 

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

“Oh uh whoops.”  

*sigh* “I’ll never get back home.” 

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

 “What do you mean?” 

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

“Oh, I live in the Canadian woods.” 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


***

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

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

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

“Yeah” Ruby said.


***

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

“So where are your parents?” Ruby asked.

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

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

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

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

“No just asking,” Ruby said.

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

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

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

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

I turned around and saw the rats again.

“Ruby?” I asked.

“Yeah,” Ruby replied.

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

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

***

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

20 minutes later… 

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

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

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

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

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

 But she already left.

10 minutes later…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 ***

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

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

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

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

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

 “What are we gonna do?’’ I asked. 

“I don’t know” Ruby said worryful.

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

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

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

“Yes!” I said

 “Wait the woods!” I said enthusiastically.

“Yeah. What about it?” Ruby asked.

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

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

“But I don’t get sick,” I told Ruby.

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

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

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

“Okay,” I replied.

***

*Pant, pant, pant, pant, pant* 

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

“Yeah your home” Ruby said weirdly

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

 ***

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Notice what?” I asked.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Why did you leave me?” I asked.

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

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

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

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

“Rocky! Sophia!” I said.

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

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

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

Then after that we lived happily with no rats.

THE END


Agent Puppy

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

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

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

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

In Las Vegas… 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Signed,

Kitty Boss. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

No!” I scream, and she goes falling.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The End, or is it

                 Clue #1 

                 T he

                 B oss

                 I s

                 A

                 C at


The House

The house is haunted, and someone is there with you, looking at you right now. 

You hear a sorrow cry coming from downstairs, then you hear footsteps coming. 

It starts to get louder and louder, until you see a shadowy figure. You run, knowing you are being chased. As you run, you hear screaming, and it’s making you more desperate to leave. 

As soon as you run down the stairs, one zombie randomly starts to walk to you. When you look, you see there are people in the building and scream in horror. 

All the people in the building are zombies. 

When you run, one zombie blocks your path out. When you run the other way, you see the shadowy figure. You think this is all over so you start to sweat, but you have an idea. You run towards a zombie and knock it down and run to the door. 

The finger grabs you and chops your head off. 

 The end, literally 


Short story made after a lot of begging

Once there was a billionaire named Billy Bob Bob Bob Joe and his last name was Joe Bob Bob Bob Billy. He could swallow anything and gain the properties of said material if wanted. If he swallowed a machine, then he could do what that machine could do. He had swallowed a jet so he could fly really fast. He flew over to Area 51 because he wanted to break in. The U.S. Air Force saw him coming and said, “No trespassing.”  

“Sure,” he replied

Then he swallowed the gate and the Air Force had no choice but to shoot him. He swallowed a stealth machine and turned it on and then he turned the top layer of his skin to be bulletproof Kevlar. Then he snuck into Area 51. He searched everywhere but he could only find a bunch of test tech like new stealth planes and he could not find a single alien.

He thought, Boring. I’m getting out of here. He went back to his company building in L.A.

“Mr Joe Bob Bob Bob Billy, where were you?” his manager asked.

“Nowhere you need to know and please call me Billy Bob Bob Bob Joe.”

“Of course,” the man replied.

“How is business going?”

“We are churning out more technology by the second. And our sales for our computers are doing especially well.”

     “Can you get my game designers for me?”

“Of course, sir.” The manager got them and they started designing games. After a month he left the rest of the games to his game designers.

I’m all set for life. That was my game plan, I always wanted to know what was in there, I guess. Break into Area 51 and then I’m all set. Area 51 was always so interesting. Government secrets are cool. I just wanna live peacefully. Oh and lemme tell everyone that in  area 51 there is probably nothing there except for a bunch of military test tech, he thought. I don’t want anyone on my back trying to kill me or nothing. And life won’t get boring, I guess. Everything will go downhill pretty fast for me because bad people won’t like me for sticking my nose into things and everyone will try to kill me. Because of this, I can’t focus on my work. A big bounty would be on my head. So no thanks for me. Uh uh. I’m good. Then he continued working because he realized he liked designing games and technology stuff and he didn’t want to coast on his billions. He had a decent life.


Mermaid…Unicorn…Cat

Once in a pretty blue ocean was a mermaid… unicorn… cat. Yes, a mermaid unicorn cat. With long pink, blue, and purple ears, a scaly mermaid tale, and a long unicorn horn.

“I love my life,” she told her friend, Maria, who has short black hair, and doesn’t have a unicorn horn or cat ears. She’s just a mermaid.

Maria said, “Unicaid, you never know what could happen. Your life could turn into cloudy dark skies here in the ocean.”

“But it’s so nice here! How could anything bad ever happen here?”

“You never know.”

Just then, skies did turn cloudy and dark. The water felt less welcoming and more closed. All the rainbows started to collapse and turn into Skittles. Towering over the water was a big fat man in a scientist coat, holding an open bottle, pouring it in the water.

“What- what is that?” asked Unicaid.

“Now that, my friend, is just what I was talking about what could happen.”

“Who- who are you?” asked Unicaid.

“I am the Toxicky Water Scientist named Doctor Unsmartypants.”

“What are you pouring in the water?” asked Maria.

“Toxicky water, because I’m the Toxicky Water Scientist! Duh!”

“We have to stop this!” said someone.

“I know!” said others.

Unicaid asked, “But how?”

“Oh, I know,” said Maria. “We can get a filter from the outside world with clean water and help our world!”

“I have some friends from the outside world,” said Unicaid, “and I know where they live! They all have filters! And I bet they could lend one to us.”

“Okay. It’s kind of creepy that you know where they live, but all right,” said Maria. “Good idea.”

They slipped out of the water and started slithering down the road.

“So… I know the street, but not exactly the house—”

“Wait, what?” asked Maria.

“I’m sorry! But don’t worry. We can knock on all the doors and ask what door Alena Smith is on!”

“Everyone will just scream!” exclaimed Maria.

“Why?” asked Unicaid.

“Ya know. We’re not the same species!”

“Oh… yeah. But I bet it will be alright.”

“Fine!!!” Maria seemed to be getting mad. “Let’s do this.”

They knocked on one door. No answer.

At the second door there was an answer! But it was: “Ahhhhhhhhhh!” The lady screamed.

“Told you!” Maria said selfishly.

“Ayayayay!” Unicaid exclaimed, “Braggy braggy!”

They slithered down to the next door and knocked on the third door. “Whoah!” was the reply, “Who are you?”

“I’m Unicaid! And this is my friend, Maria,” Unicaid said proudly.

“Ahh! Yes! Unicaid!” The lady said, “Alana has told me so much about you! I’m Lea. Nice to meet you!”

Lea had long, brown, curly hair, and skin the color of chocolate.

“You too!” Maria seemed relieved.

“So where does she live?”

“Oh, Alana? Why do you need to talk to her? Is anything wrong?”

“Well,” Maria started, “This toxicy water scientist came and—”

“Toxicated up the water?

“Umm, yeah, basically.”

“So why do you need Alana for that?”

“We wanted to get a filter from her house so we could help save our ocean,” said Unicaid.

“Oh, I have a filter,” Lea said. “You can use it if you want.”

“That would be great! Thank you!” Maria said, seeming even more relieved.

Lea went inside and gave them the filter. Then Unicaid and Maria thanked her as they slithered back into the ocean.

“We got a filter!” They said as they plopped it in the water. It sounded like when you put a penny into a fountain. Dr. Unsmartypants tried to stop them, but it was too late. It was already in. Everyone cheered for them, except for the scientist. 

“Why? Why? Why?” Dr. Unsmartypants said, seeming very, very, very frustrated. He towered over the water and walked away.

“Yay! Hooray for Unicaid and Maria!” And suddenly the water felt more welcoming, less closed, and the dark skies went away. All the Skittles turned back into rainbows, and everything was okay.

The End!


HE. MAY. GO. ALL. THE. WAY!

“Welcome to Super Bowl 100 The Seattle Seahawks vs. The New England Patriots,” said the commentator. “This is going to be a great match. At the half, it is 28 to 27 Seattle. At three quarters, it is tied at 35 with a safety given up by Seattle. Now there are five minutes left in the game, and we are tied at 49. Seattle has the ball on the 50-yard line. Wilson throws to Baldwin, and that’s a first down. Baldwin is still going! Touchdown! Seattle up by seven at 56. Seattle returned! He gets past the defence, touchdown! We are tied at 56 now. Patriots kickoff. Seahawks get five yards on the return. Wilson takes the snap. Fakes the run, Wilson runs past the linemen, he is in the clear. HE. MAY. GO. ALL. THE. WAY! Russel Wilson 80-yard touchdown run to put Seattle ahead by seven. With the touchdown, we are at the two-minute warning. Pats return the kickoff five yards. Brady hail mary to Edelman, he gets to the 20. Brady hands off to Michelle. He is taken down at the one. Brady gets a QB sneak past the line. Conflict on the Pats’ sideline. Brady decides that they will try for a two-point conversion. Brady snaps. Brady runs to the corner, Bobby Wagner chasing him. Wagner strip-sacks Brady. Wagner has the ball; he is running. Wagner goes all the way! Two points for Seattle! Pats try an onside kick. Seattle recovers. Pats use first time out. 30 seconds on the clock. Wilson takes the snap. He runs in the backfield and is just running around. 15 seconds left. Wilson being chased. 10 seconds. Wilson throws the ball as far as he can. Ball is in the air for five seconds. Pats time out. Five seconds left. Wilson takes the snap. He runs to the sideline. Time is up! Seattle wins the 100th Super Bowl. They have done it! No losses in the season and a Super Bowl title. Brady made the biggest mistake in the Super Bowl. Wilson has the longest QB run in Super Bowl history! Let’s hear what Wilson has to say.” 

Wilson says, “I cannot believe this. We played great. This is great.” ______________________________________________________________________________

After the game, the commentator got in his car and started to drive home. It was really late at night, so he was very tired. Then, all of a sudden, he couldn’t see any people or any cars and saw complete darkness. Then his mind blanked. CRASH! He found his car smashed into another car. He had dozed off and didn’t have control. The two cars he crashed into were the Seattle Seahawks’ car and the Patriots’ car. He was hurt, but he got out of the car immediately to see if the teams were hurt. The police were already at the site of the crash, and there was a huge fire. The police called the firefighters, and the firefighters put out the fire and took him to the hospital.  Nobody on the Seahawks or the Patriots got injured. The commentator just got really injured, but he got better really soon. He had broken his collarbone, his neck bone, his backbone, and his arm.  

The Patriots filed a lawsuit because they didn’t like his commentating, and he crashed into them. The Seahawks, though, were okay with it, and they were fine with it.  

His lawyer was really bad because no one wanted to be his lawyer in the case, because they’re afraid he’s going to lose. His lawyer was not that good, so the commentator had to try and deal with that and be his own lawyer.

His lawyer kept telling him, “It’s okay if we lose, it’s okay if we lose.” But the commentator kept a positive attitude the whole time.

The lawyer said, “Man, we’re gonna lose.  I can’t believe you’re even trying. You shouldn’t be trying against the Patriots. They’re gonna have the better lawyer. They’re gonna beat us. Even though I am a lawyer, I have to admit they’re gonna beat us. So it’s okay if we lose.”

The commentator replied, “It’s not okay if we lose because I didn’t do anything wrong in that scenario. They crashed into me. They shouldn’t file a lawsuit on me just because the car ended up in the crash.”

The commentator felt guilty because he knew he fell asleep in the car. The first person to find out he was sleeping was the lawyer, who kept it a secret until his death.

He made a statement where he accused the Patriots’ bus driver that he fell asleep, dozed off, and crashed. That was a lie, because the Patriots’ driver wasn’t sleeping; the commentator was sleeping himself. The Patriots argued that they saw the commentator not paying attention, and they saw him drift off into the lane, and then they saw the crash. The jury thought that the Patriots were wrong because the Patriots had lost the Super Bowl, and the commentator had been speaking about them for everyone in the audience to hear, so the judge had thought that the Patriots were just mad because they lost the Super Bowl and the commentator was saying bad things about them.  This could be revenge.

The commentator went to court the next year and they didn’t know what decision to give, so eventually they went to the Supreme Court.  He won in the Supreme Court with a new argument saying, “The Patriots aren’t admitting that their bus driver fell asleep, and I’m admitting that I wasn’t not paying attention, because I have all a perfect concentration, but you guys never said that you have anything that prevented you from having a doze-off.”

He also said, “They’re trying to get revenge on me, when all I did was comment on the Super Bowl.”    

The Patriots said, “We’re not trying to get any revenge. You almost killed us, and if anyone got harmed, you would have to say that you have to do something about it. If it’s just about the Super Bowl, it’s not gonna be this severe. If I just say something on Twitter, not in court, so basically if someone gets harmed, you should come to justice and say that you did it.”

The judges thought that the Patriots didn’t defend themselves, and just brought up new arguments, so the Patriots would lose.

He won in the court, and he filed a lawsuit on the Patriots for crashing into him, because the Seahawks showed him a camera where the Patriots changed lanes. The Seahawks had hated the Patriots for a really long time, so every time if something went wrong, they would have to get back at the Patriots for the last-second Patriots win during the Super Bowl before. The Seahawks always had a camera in their car, and they happened to be staying at the same hotel as the Patriots, so they were driving on the same road. The Seahawks had the video of the bus driver going into a different lane, which was true, but just because it was earlier in a crash, and they didn’t have film of the crashing, so they only showed him changing lanes. But he did change lanes, which was a factor of the crash. The Patriots lost in court and were fined 1,000,000 dollars. The Patriots were really mad about it, and the bus driver had to go to jail, because falling asleep in a car is illegal, so he went to jail really mad, knowing he didn’t fall asleep and remembering every detail of the crash.

The commentator was relieved that he got away with it, and surprised the Patriots with filing a lawsuit, but was happy that the Patriots’ bus driver had to go to jail. The commentator forever lived hidden because he knew that people didn’t like him because all the Patriots fans didn’t like him because making the Patriots lose in court is a big thing.

Ten years after his death, they found the camera showing that he actually was sleeping in the car, and shouldn’t have won in court because he actually fell asleep in the car. 

The end.


Life of a Boy with Powers

Part One: Ordinary to extraordinary

Place: Annapolis, Maryland

Dimension: Hearth-not-Earth

Once upon a time, there was a fourteen-year-old boy named Leo. He didn’t know it at the time, but he was about to become more than your average boy. On his way home from his best friend Misha’s house (who lived across the bridge), he was hit by lightning. He was walking on the bridge with an Anti-monopoly board game when a thick bolt of lightning struck him. He passed out and his mind went completely blank, and his eyes went white in an instant. Someone found him a couple of minutes later and took him to the hospital.

His parents, Mr. and Mrs. Parker, learned in the hospital that Leo’s eyeballs were great conductors of electricity so the lightning went straight for him while he was crossing the bridge. He was put into a deep sleep until he was sixteen years old without realizing it. He woke up in the hospital, and found out that he had lost his eye. So they left the hospital with an eye patch covering Leo’s eye.

What Leo didn’t know was that he could accidentally control electricity, or that he could do things related to electricity that no one else could do, without realizing it was himself doing it. One time, he was playing Temple Surfers (a combination of Temple Run and Subway Surfers) on his iPhone when suddenly it died. 

“Oh, come on!” He ran out of his room and shouted, “Mom! Can I borrow your charger?”  

“Sorry, but I’m using it because my phone is five plus,” his mom replied (plus is percent).

“Porca miseria!” Leo carelessly said in Italian as he stomped into his bedroom and plopped onto the bed. He was so furious that his bedroom light flickered off and his phone turned on. He looked at his phone screen to check the percentage, and guess what it was? Full charge, or 100%.

“What happened?” he said as he turned the light back on. But then, he remembered the lightning strike two years ago. “Wait, what?!” he exclaimed, and ran out of the house, but with superspeed, like Hercules.

Later on, after doing some thinking, Leo concluded that when he was so mad sparks of electricity probably went into the phone, charging it instantly, and more sparks turned off the light. He didn’t know how that happened, but he was excited because he never found out about it. So he tried testing it out by going home and trying to turn off and on the lights, and so that happened and worked. Then he tried to travel at the speed of light and so he ran as fast as he could, and he could actually see light by his side because, of course, he was running as fast as the speed of light.   

Next he tried flying, but he knew he was really short and the knowledge came to him suddenly that, since he was really short, he could not fly. You have to be really tall to fly. He didn’t know how. He went to Misha’s house and looked inside, and overheard him telling his little sister a story about this magic potion that can make you taller in less than 3 hours, and an evil scarecrow was guarding it.  It was actually a mixture of a robot and an actual scarecrow. You can’t see him because when you get really close, he’ll attack you. Leo knocked on the door and Misha answered it.

“Well you’re back, and that’s awesome!” said Misha, and they did their ‘secret handshake.’ 

“I need to find out where the magic potion is,” Leo said. They went in the house.

“Really? Ok. It’s somewhere in the middle of Romania, Europe,” Misha said. He knew this because he actually, once, tried to get the potion, and he was told that it was in Romania, but he never found it.

“Thanks!” Leo ran with the superspeed he was given.

“Good luck!” Misha yelled. “Man, how does he do that?”

Part Two: The Scarecrow

Place: Somewhere in Romania

Dimension: Hearth-not-Earth

Leo had already told and explained his plan to his parents, and surprisingly, they accepted it. Since he had powers, they knew that he could protect himself.

“Just make sure you don’t die, honey,” Mrs. Parker told him.

“I won’t,” Leo responded.

“Be careful,” she said.

“I will, I will.” And Leo ran to the Annapolis dock, and dove into the warm Chesapeake bay, for what was a long journey ahead of him.

On the way, he found a map to the potion in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. He found it because of a storm that drowned him. He floated up because there was a lot of air in his lungs already, and that’s how he found out he could breathe in water.

After finding the location on the map, Leo found that the place was surrounded by fire, and he figured out that the scarecrow might have fire powers. He found the magic potion on a tree stump, but when he was about to touch it, there was something that grabbed his shoulder. He looked around and there was the robot scarecrow, including at least one million other tiny robots.

“Do not touch my potion! I know why you have come for it, and I will put an end to your task!” the scarecrow bellowed in his robotic voice. 

Leo ran away from the scarecrow, surprisingly not touching him at all.  So he ran away from the robot with superspeed, but he didn’t have the potion. So Leon found this little pond and he heard a whisper that is saying, “Clone yourself to get it!”

Leo said, “How?”  But there was no reply.

He figured out that the lake was magic. And then there was some rumbling, and there was someone else that was standing there, and he took a closer look and saw it was himself, and so the clone multiplied and then multiplied again and again and again. Soon, there were at least ten thousand Leos surrounding the pond. It was the lake that had done this, he thought. And so he went back to the robot, his clones following him, but he couldn’t find him anywhere, and figured out that it could be a decoy, or they were hiding behind them. So he went the other way, and found the robot trying to attack them.

The million tiny robots were reduced to one robot, and it was so tall, as tall as Kevin Durant in the Golden State Warriors. 

“This robot used the potion, so if you fight me then you will fight him,” the scarecrow explained in monotone.

So the ten thousand Leos fought the robot first, but failed. 

Then came a thunderstorm, controlled by all of the Leos, and so it was pouring and it dried out all the fire, and a huge lightning bolt struck the tall robot and he was dead. 

“Curse you!” the scarecrow yelled. And then Leo himself jumped up and killed the cruel scarecrow by striking a sudden bolt of lightning, and he was dead too.

“I guess you didn’t put an end to my task.” Leo took the potion, drank a little bit, and he started feeling that the bushes were shrinking, and so when it stopped shrinking he looked down and it looked as though he was 7 feet tall. In fact, he was.

“Hey clones this is aweso—what happened?” All of the clones were gone. Disappeared. 

So Leo tested his flying and he flew all the way on top of Romania and then to Italy, and found out that he was able to fly since he was so tall. He was super happy. So he flew back across the Atlantic Ocean. He didn’t really feel bad about leaving them behind because he had himself.

Part Three: Fight in Dubai

Place: Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Dimension: Earth

Leo wanted to fly up Mount Everest on Earth, so he took the Dimension Teleporter to Earth, and flew to Asia and Nepal because he was already in China, to fly above the Great Wall. He was 20,000 feet above sea level when he felt that he couldn’t breathe. So he went back down 2,000 feet to get an oxygen mask, and then flew all the way up and saw the view.  It looked like he was in space, since he was so high up. He could see literally all of Nepal. It was snowing constantly, and everything looked snowy. He felt very satisfied. He wanted to fly up the tallest building in Dubai, called the Burj Khalifa.

Meanwhile, there was someone who liked to be called Nikyl to “seal his secret identity” as he said, who was pulled into a whirlpool, and got water powers, and could manipulate other people into giving him their powers.

Leo heard on TV that Nikyl wanted Leo to be Nikyl’s next target, so Leo decided to fight him. He thought about Dubai and closed his eyes, and after a moment he opened his eyes, but he wasn’t in Nepal. He was somewhere else.

“Where am I?” he asked someone who was passing by him.

“Dubai,” a man replied in a forgein language that Leo didn’t know.

“What?” Leo asked, but the man was already gone.

“He said you are in Dubai.” Leo turned around and there was a kid behind him. He was about Leo’s age, had brown hair, and his face reminded Leo of someone familiar.

“Misha! What are you doing here?”

It wasn’t long when Leo found out that he could teleport. He was thinking a lot about Dubai, so he teleported. This was too much for Leo already! Misha and Leo were at the entrance of the Burj Khalifa.

“You’re going to fly that high?” Misha looked at the top of the tower. 

“Yeah, I flew on top of Mount Everest, too. No biggie,” Leo said confidently.

Misha’s eyes almost popped out of his face. “Okkayyy…”

So Leo was halfway up the tower when he saw the water make bigger waves than before.  He stopped flying and there was someone that appeared from the water. He heard people screaming and saw people running. It was Nikyl. He had blue eyes and black hair. His face was blank. He had a poker face. And then there was this water strike coming from Nikyl, aiming at him. It was blue and foaming with bubbles. It was about to touch him when it immediately turned into ice and fell down.  Leo looked down and saw Misha, smiling.

“Did you do that?” Leo asked.

Misha nodded, still smiling.  

Leo looked up at Nikyl and saw that he was manipulating a water monster, so Leo flew to Nikyl, but stopped because he looked familiar, too, like when he met Misha.

“Sabino?” Leo asked, confused. Nikyl looked a lot like Sabino, who Leo was friends with also. In fact, Misha, Leo, and Sabino made up a trio.

“Who are you, how do you know me, and why are you here?” Nikyl or, as Leo suspected, Sabino asked.

“Oh, let me introduce myself.” Leo struck a huge bolt of lightning that pierced through the sky like Achilles’ sword, and Sabino stumbled, surprised.

“Convenient, Leo, that you’re back.” Leo and Sabino did the same ‘secret handshake’ that Misha and Leo did when Leo went to Misha’s house to ask where the potion is.

“Umm… guys?” Misha shouted from way below, “Could you come down here? I don’t think I can get up there.”

“Be proactive,” Sabino said.

“And you can easily build an ice staircase,” Leo added.

“Nah. I think it’s a little weird that we are up there. Just really, you know,” Misha pointed at the spectators who were mostly taking pictures with their phones, even a newscast.

So Sabino and Leo came down to meet Misha when about a thousand of people came to meet them to interview them. They reminded Leo of his clones. But worse.

A lot worse.

Part Four: Ending

Place: Annapolis, Maryland

Dimension: Hearth-not-Earth

Dum-tek-a-dum

Sabino’s drum gave a unique rhythm that banged through his house like the drum was summoning something. Everyone in the house was doing some movements, from nodding the head, to dancing. At least everyone was having a great time. Misha was playing the clarinet, and Leo, the trumpet. It was a year after the three had met in Dubai. All of them were very blown away that each of them had powers.

The song ended and everyone was cheering, “Happy birthday Sabino!”

It was Sabino’s eighteenth birthday.

They were done with higher school, (or high school) and since it was Sabino’s birthday on the last day of school, the moms of the trio decided to throw a party. A big one. All of the students were invited. 

Leo felt like the happiest person in the world. And so he knew, there were a lot more possibilities than a flash of lightning.

THE END

Or is it…

Yes it is…or maybe not…or maybe…you don’t know…only I do…dun dun dun!


The Amber Ring

Chapter 1

Sharpay

Right now, I am running for my life along with my faithful sibling who is holding the amber ring that we must hide, even though I am only 12.

“To the slope quickly!” Ben yelled. 

Though the villains chasing us had ideas of their own… You must be very confused, but I promise it will all be explained when I am not being chased by 2 people who can kill. 

Oh good, we’re here. The amber ring cave. Now that we’re safe, let’s begin. 

Recap: Ben and I were normal kids, or at least we thought we were. Our mom owned a ring that we always thought was beautiful, but now we know it was dangerous. Inside this ring was a very dangerous specimen, whatever that means. That’s all Mom ever said about it. Oh, I forgot. The people who were chasing us were the leaders of the other side of the fight.

 They wanted the ring because they wanted us dead. 


Chapter 2

Ben 

“Oh wow, that was fun,” I said sarcastically. 

“That wasn’t fun,” Sharpay said, clearly sarcasm was not in her vocabulary. Or readily understood. 

Tomorrow is my birthday, and the biggest gift I can get is being alive and safely having the ring. I remember when we used to throw a big party in the backyard with sprinklers, the yummy cake that Mom always made, and the bouncy house that Dad put together. I miss them. Even though they are just a few miles away, it feels like I will never see them again. 

“Ben, Ben, Ben! What are you writing?” 

“Nothing.” I quickly covered the book. My sister could be so annoying sometimes. Suddenly, we heard buzzing. 

“They’re back!” 

We climbed into the secret hole that was hidden at the base of the cave.

“Sharpay! Quickly!” 

We both jumped into the porthole towards the underground secret base. I quickly started to close the hatch.

“Wait!” Sharpay yelled, “My hair bow!”

Our mom gave each of us a present before we left for the secret mission. I got the journal (but I share it with Sharpay) and she got the hair bow. 

“Come on Sharpay!” 

She grabbed the bow and jumped into the hatch. I was waiting, ready to catch her. 

We ran, even though no one was chasing us. First mission complete. 

Chapter 3

Sharpay

We just arrived at the heart of the busy tunnels. There, our cousin, Will, was waiting for us. 

“Quickly!” he said.

“Why?” I asked.

“Because they tracked me down.”

My heart was racing. My brother was arguing with Will. All I heard were scraps of the ongoing conversation. 

“I told you to be careful.” 

“I tried.” 

“You’re so much smarter than them.” 

“But they have the amber ring.” 

“No, we have it!” 

“Okay, whatever.” 

I stayed silent. I didn’t want Ben yelling at me. But I knew I had to say something, so I did. 

“How did they track you down?” I said quietly. 

Maybe I shouldn’t have asked this question, I thought to myself. Will looked upset. Then he told us a story that I will never forget. 

He got captured, and the villains said they would track down everyone and release the amber ring once they had it. So he had no choice but to reveal his location. 

“It’s fine,” Ben said. “We have many other bases.” 

“Okay,” said Will, reassured. 

Meanwhile I keep thinking about the sparkle I saw when I left the cave. I screamed! 

“What was that about?” Ben asked. “You’re going to make my eardrums bleed.” 

“We lost the amber ring!” I said, trembling, 

“No, we didn’t, it is in my backpack. Look!” 

It wasn’t there. Without thinking, I ran back to the cave. I only stopped for as much as a breath of air. I didn’t look back. I tried to block the noises of Ben’s screaming. Finally, I made it to the amber ring cave. 

Suddenly, strong arms grabbed me, and then darkness. 

Chapter 4

Ben 

I couldn’t believe Sharpay. She made us go through so much trouble. Tracing and retracing my footsteps over and over again. We finally arrived at the palace that the villains lived in. Somehow, I thought that she would be here. I don’t know what brought me here, fate or coincidence, but out of some magic, I knew she was here. Thank god, the villains weren’t home. 

Plan: 

  1. Go to the back door, and then use rope to hoist ourselves onto the roof. 
  2. Pound a hole through the roof, tie the rope and lower ourselves down.
  3. Find a good hiding place. 
  4. Um, uh, think of a number 4. 
  5. Search the house for Sharpay and look for any breadcrumbs 
  6. Find Sharpay (hopefully) 
  7. Hoist ourselves back up through the roof and down to safety.

Easy. 

Not. 

I couldn’t let this happen to my little sister. She could be annoying at times, but I made a promise to keep her safe. 

“Don’t worry. Nothing will go wrong,” Will said.

“About a thousand things could go wrong.” 

“At least it’s not a thousand and one!” 

I rolled my eyes. “We don’t have much time, let’s go.”

Will and I crawled through the grass to the back of the house.

“Rope,” I said, holding my hand out.

“Check,” Will said.

They had a chimney, so step 2 wasn’t needed. I picked up all the rope and dropped it down the chimney. Then I tied the rope around my waist and jumped. Immediately, I saw that Sharpay untied her bow and placed it on the floor. 

“Why can’t I come?” Will called from above.

“You need to keep a lookout!” I yelled back.

I followed the bow, which had been unfurled, towards the bookshelf, where there was a 

poem:

You must go where the rare orchids grow

then go below where there is no foe                                    

then to the maze where the young does graze

You are in a daze to be amazed                                                                                 

And there you will find me – Sharpay

 Chapter 5

Sharpay

I untied my ribbon and led it to a certain bookshelf, then wrote a small note and placed it within a book. I moved quickly and secretly before the villains noticed. 

“Move on quickly, or else I’ll slap you.”

I moved at a fast pace, hoping to keep up with my captors. I heard them talking to one another. 

“We’re gonna have to leave to search for the ring. Hope the girl doesn’t escape.”

One of the men opened a secret passage. I knew about the secret passage, of course. That’s why I mentioned it in my poem. Mom had been in a similar situation as I was, and if she could escape, then I could too. Even though I knew Ben would come to rescue me, I still wanted to find a way to escape on my own. 

In the secret passage, orchids lined the walls, or at least I thought they did. I was pretty sure they were orchids. I brought my nose towards the bright purple flowers. 

“Get a move on, girl! Get in here and do not make a noise,” the villains said.

I did as I was told. I nodded silently as I was getting pushed and dragged into a cage. I looked out one of the small windows in the cage, I saw a bird and felt a ray of hope. But then, the door clanged shut behind me. I was trapped! At least I had the amber ring. But I hoped Ben would know where to go and would bring his lock picks.

I studied the cage to find a secret code, but instead of finding a code, I found a key! Hidden in the dirt was a silver, curved key. Suddenly, I had a thought. Maybe mom knew I might be captured one day and left a key for me! I smiled, thinking of my clever parents. I opened the door and ran outside. Only to bump into to a horrified Ben!                             

“Aaaaaaaahh!” 

“Aaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhh!”

Giggling, I fell to the floor.

“Guess I didn’t need to find you,” Ben said sheepishly.

“Guess not.” I smiled.

Chapter 6

Ben

I almost wanted to kill Sharpay, but she had been kidnapped, so I’d wait to yell.

“I miss Mom and Dad,” Sharpay said sadly.

I did too, but I didn’t dare tell Sharpay. 

“Come on, let’s go!” I said to Sharpay, 

I was not mad but I was scared because the villains could come back any second now. We ran, hopefully to never come back to this horrible place. Sharpay and I ran up the stairs to where we entered the fortress. 

“Will, come on!” I yelled up through the chimney. 

“I’ll meet you outside,” Will responded with a loud echo. 

What does he have, a microphone? I thought to myself. 

Sharpay and I ran outside through the main door. This was easier than the way we came in. Why didn’t we just do this?

 Will… When outside, we saw Will with an ice cream cone. 

“Where’d you get that?!” Sharpay yelled. 

“I got bored, then a little hungry, so I raided the kitchen for something sweet. Then I found this! I really hope it’s not poisoned.” 

“Why did you eat that!” I said.

“I was hungry! This flavor is worth getting poisoned for.” 

Sharpay rolled her eyes with a little smile. 

“Come on, let’s go to the stream. There’s a rowboat there. We can use it to escape,” I said. 

Little Tip from Will: 

If you are on a secret mission, going to a top-secret place, avoid the road and always take nature path. Be careful of poison ivy! 

P.S. always bring snacks. 

We walked towards an abandoned treehouse. We used it as our secret base. Sharpay went up to grab a map. She handed it to me and then we were off! Following Will’s long complaints about how we had no snacks besides peanut butter and apples. After a while, Will was satisfied. 

 

Chapter 7

Sharpay 

After we made it to the rowboat, Ben lifted it up and then dropped it again! 

“What’s wrong Ben?” I said.

“There’s writing on the bottom!” 

“What type of writing?” 

“It looks like mostly gibberish.” 

“Look again, maybe it’s a code!” Will said. 

“Will, can I use your notebook?” Ben asked. 

“It’s mostly just doodles of burgers and fries!” Will exclaimed. 

“Can you spare us one page?” 

“But, it’s my french fries and burger collection.” 

“Fine.” 

Ben flipped the boat over and examined the code. 

“Look at it,” he said.

“Sharpay, remember when Mom taught us to crack different codes?”

“Yeah. I remember my favourite one was to cross out all the even numbers,” I reply. 

“Okay, let’s try that.” 

T S U Y N L N Z E

M L H B F E L E S W

Q I U T H H O M

T O F M P A

N X D 3 D 3 A 3 D

TUNNEL BEE WITH MOM AND DAD 


Chapter 8

Ben

“Sharpay, do you still remember the way to Tunnel Bee?”

“Yes, we just have to go north for 16 miles, east for 7 miles, and then north for 2 more miles, then we go underground.” 

“Will, how long would it take to go 16 miles north?” 

“About an hour and a half.” 

“Only!?” Sharpay said. 

“Yup.” 

“It’ll take a lot longer than an hour and a half, if we don’t go,” I said.

We rowed for a while. I was glad Will doesn’t complain as much about food as before. Suddenly, Sharpay got quiet. 

“What is it?” I asked. 

“That,” Sharpay said, pointing into the distance. 

In the distance, there was a black sky with angry thunder and waves taller than our house. Which was pretty tall. 

“Sharpay! Find the nearest island or place to dock.” I yelled through the wind, but it was too late. Sharpay grabbed me as a massive wave went over the boat. I saw Sharpay drop the amber ring. 

“Thank you,” I mouthed through the wind.

Our boat split into two! I held onto the front of the boat with one hand. With the other, I grabbed Sharpay as tightly as I could. I wanted to say that everything was going to be alright, but I don’t like to lie. Black waves sloshed all around us. Finally, I couldn’t hold on any longer. I let go of the boat, and Sharpay and I were flooded by darkness. Even though I couldn’t see anything, I made sure that my grip on Sharpay remained strong. 


Chapter 9

Sharpay 

In the morning, I woke up on a sand dune. I reached into my pocket and took out the hair bow. I was glad it wasn’t lost in the storm. Just a few inches away, Ben was sitting down, writing in his journal. 

“Morning Ben.” 

“You’re already awake?”

“Where’s Will?”

“I don’t know where he is, maybe he’s—” 

“Look! I have a piña colada.” Will said, holding up a large coconut with a weed straw. Ben glared at Will. I tried to hold back a small giggle, but it still came out. I avoided looking at Ben, because he would probably glare at me too. 

“Where did you find the coconuts?” Ben asked. 

“You mean, piña colada.” 

“No trust me, I mean coconuts.” 

“No, I’m pretty sure you mean piña coladas.”

“Sharpay, what do you think?” 

“Sorry, Ben, but I’m going to say piña coladas.”

“Okay, fine. I’ll show you where the piña coladas are.”

“Since we’re gonna be stuck on this island, palm trees might make a good fort, and coconuts come from palm trees, so we can eat and sleep,” Ben stated, clearly annoyed by the piña colada incident. 

“I can build a fire,” I said.

“Fine with me,” Ben said.

“Will, come chop wood with me.” 

“Fiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiinnnnnnnnnnnneeeeeeeeeeeeeeee,” Will said. “Can I continue collecting more piña coladas?”

“No,” Ben said. “Now c’mon.” 

Will followed him, dragging his steps. 

“Phew,” I said. I hate chopping wood. 

Will tossed me his lighter. “Good luck,” he mouthed. This should be easy. How hard could it be? Soon, I had a fire burning brightly. A few minutes later, Ben came holding a mound of wood. Will came back holding a handful of berries. I rolled my eyes. We all helped Ben build the walls in the hut. 

Soon, I found that my stomach was rumbling. 

As if Ben read my mind. “There’s a lot of coconuts if anyone’s hungry.” 

“Piña coladas,” Will said. 

“Piña coladas,” Ben said, whispering to himself. 

Soon, my eyes started to close. “Goodnight,” I murmured, and fell into a dreary sleep. 


Chapter 10

Ben    

I shook Sharpay awake. A small boat was pulling up and inside was—

“Mom, Dad!”

Sharpay and I ran up to our parents, hugging them long and hard.

“I thought you would never come back,” Sharpay said, tears streaming down her eyes.

Dad turned to me as if I had something to say. I was speechless. I felt a tear well up my cheek. I ran into their arms.

“I missed you so much,” I said. 

I climbed into their small boat. 

“Will!” Mom said. “Your parents are waiting for you at your house. Come with us.”

“My parents?” Will said and happily climbed into the boat. 

We all sailed away happily.

Will tip:

Family is the best! 

Epilogue 

Ben and Sharpay

When Ben and Sharpay get home, they celebrate Ben’s birthday party. Their mom makes a yummy cake, and their dad puts together a bouncy castle. Soon, the family got used to being home again. 

I know that this is not a fairytale, but they did live happily ever after. 


A New Kind of Freedom

Hi. My name is Ellie-Mae. I am moving from freezing Minnesota to boiling Florida. I am not ready. The whole reason I have to move is because of my mom’s stupid new job. At the moment, I am throwing out out all my pants, long sleeved shirts, and coats. Now I have to buy a ton of shorts and sun hats and sunscreen and popsicles and flip flops and I think I’m losing my mind. I am putting everything into giant garbage bags and in half an hour, we’re taking it to goodwill.

“EM? Where are you?” yells my mom. Sometimes she calls me EM just to save time.

“Right here mom,” I yell back.

“Ellie, we’re leaving in half an hour!” she says, entering my room. “Ellie, stop dawdling, we have to leave!!”

“I know, Mom. You’ve only told me, like, a million times,” I say back. “Also, I’m not dawdling.” I can’t believe she is doing this. She is making me move away from everything I’ve ever known, and now, she is lecturing me for dawdling. Really, mom?

I hear a cry from the next room. “Momma, Holly took my toy again!!” Oh great. It’s the littlies. Holly and Joy are six year old twins, and they are identical in looks, but in nothing else. Joy is a spunky, adventurous daredevil, while Holly is forever cautious, except about stealing everything of Joy’s. They are so annoying. I however, am 12, nowhere near six. I just don’t get them. They act like everything is such a big deal.

Hey, wait a minute. I run into their room. “Aren’t you guys supposed to be packing up your toys?”

Joy puts on her cute face and cute voice. “I sowwy, Ewwie. I didn’t mean too. They just looked like,” she sniffs, “so much fun.”

“OK, fiiine,” I say. Even though the twins are annoying, they are still so cute. They both have streaky blonde hair, like I used to. (Now I have brown) They also have these beautiful blue eyes. Mine are just hazel.

A few hours later…

All my stuff is gone. Everything. Everything for weather under 50 degrees. No more hoodies, or sweatpants. No more winter boots, or winter hats. No more fuzzy fleeces, or heaters. We will need about a kajillion ACs and fans. I’m actually kind of sad. Before I know it, tears are streaming down my cheeks. I know it sounds silly, crying over giving away some old pants, but, for some reason, it’s making me really emotional. Oh well. I guess I’ll just try to get some sleep. After all, it is 11pm and I have to get up early to pack more.

“Ellie-Mae Rose Davis!!! Get up!!!” That’s what I woke up to this morning.

“Yeah, Mom, I overslept. What’s the big deal?!” I responded, because she oversleeps all the time.

“Ellie, it’s 1 o’clock!!!” she said. So now I am rushing to pack up all my books before the van comes at 1:45.

Finally, I’m done. Now I’m gonna go check on the twins juuuuust in case. I open up my door, and march into the twins room. Sure enough, they are sitting on their beds not packing at all. 

“Hey guys, come on, you know what—Joy?” Joy is crying. That’s not like her at all.

I sit on her bed. “Joy, what happened?” I say in my most gentle voice possible. It’s not gentle enough. She grouches.

“Why do you want to know?” Man. I thought I was being gentle.

“Hmmph,” I hmmph and walk away. I go over to Holly. “Holly, what happened to Joy?” I say to her.

“I don’t know!! She just started crying out of nowhere!!” Holly responds. Oh well, I think. I’ll get to this later. We’re moving tomorrow. That’s what I should worry about. I go back into my room, and keep packing up my books. 

OK, so it’s four am and moving day. The twenty six hour drive is straight ahead. Luckily, nobody in our family gets carsick, so we won’t have to do a barf stop an hour in. We are leaving at four so we can get as much driving time as possible. We get in the car. It’s a seven seater, even though we only have four people in our family. My mom in the front, me in the middle row, and the twins in the back. That means I get a big comfy seat to myself. That’s good because it’s such a long car ride. I have my snack bag, with cheetos, chex mix, string cheese, oreos, goldfish, bunny grahams, and more. I get hungry fast. That is why I have so much food. I also have my phone with Hamilton and Dear Evan Hansen on it. It’s really all I listen to. If you haven’t listened to those musicals, you really should. They are great for car rides. OK, onward. We buckle in, and zoom off. 

Not five minutes into the ride, Holly says, “Mommy?”

“Yes Holly?”

“Um, I forgot to use the bathroom,” she responds.

My mom pulls over into a gas station. “Go quickly,” she says.

And Holly does not. It’s been seven minutes now. My mom tells us to go in with her. We go in, and Holly is standing in front of the bathroom door.

She says, “I’ve been waiting for them to come out!!”

“Oh Holly!” my mom says. “You’re supposed to ask the employee for the key!! I thought you knew! Come on, let’s go.” My mom goes and asks the cashier for the key. He gives it to her and my mom unlocks the door. Holly goes and comes out.

“Okay, let’s go now,” I yell. We get back in the car and start driving again. I eat my cheez-its. I listen to Dear Evan Hansen. I listen to Hamilton. I listen to Dear Evan Hansen. It gets stuck in my head. Joy hits Holly. Holly hits Joy. Holly cries while Joy hits her again. Ugh. I turn my music up louder. I fall asleep. I wake up and it is 3pm. Wow, I slept a lot. Hamilton is still blasting in my ears. It’s hard to believe how I fell asleep listening to that. I look back and the twins are sleeping. Aww, how cute. Holly is sleeping on Joy’s shoulder. Ooh, Sincerely Me is coming on. (If you didn’t already know, it’s a song from Dear Evan Hansen that’s really funny.) 

One week later…

I am starting school tomorrow!!! Aah!! I have all my stuff. Composition notebooks. Graph paper. A calculator. I think I will be ready. The twins start school too. 1st grade. I know Joy is excited, but I’m not sure about Holly. She’s much more sensitive. I hope to make some friends. So, let’s go!!

Today’s the big day. School! I jump in the car, with my new striped backpack and buckle in. We’re off! It is a short drive, only about 10 minutes. I step out, and the new school is huge! Four stories, and a big grass lawn. It looks very modern, mostly made of blue glass. I cannot believe how big it is. Okay, breathe, Ellie, breathe. I walk in and the hallways are filled with people.

Someone pushes me from behind and says, “Newbie.”

I walk into my classroom and every single person is tan. Tan, tan, tan. Some may be spray tans, but for the most part, natural. While I look like an albino polar bear in the snow. The teacher takes attendance. Emma? Noah? Sophia? Ellie Mae?

“Here,” I say. Everyone starts looking at me.

“Thank you Ellie Mae,” the teacher says, “but next time, you can just raise your hand.” 

Oh no. I’ve already messed up, and it’s not even lunch yet. I hear snickering in the background. Oh, good. It’s time for lunch. No wait. Not good. Not good at all. I won’t have anyone to sit with. Shoot. Maybe I’ll eat in the bathroom like in movies. That’ll really boost my social confidence. The girl who eats in the bathroom. Great. Perfect for my resume. The bell rings. Everyone runs out of the room. Everyone but me. I walk slowly out of the room.

As I’m walking around the school, I see a poster for one free sailing class. Hm. That actually sounds really fun. In Minnesota, nobody sailed at all. I haven’t even seen an ocean yet.

I text my mom and say, “Free sailing class 2 go 2. Can I go? It’s on Sep 12.”

She almost immediately texts back, “Sure. Also numbers are not words.” Yes! I might find something I actually like here in muggy Florida. 

It’s time. September 12th. My first ever sailing class. I’m in my new glittery bikini that I bought just for this. I walk towards the boat dock and I see a girl in the exact same swimsuit!! We both laugh and point at each other. I can’t believe we bought the same thing!! This is hilarious. We start talking and I figured out that her name is Juniper, and she’s lived in Florida her entire life. She told me that she could show me around. Oh my god, this is great!! I think I made a friend. I’m not sure yet, but I think I did. There are three other girls there, all in matching swimsuits with polka dots. I decide to call them the polka dot girls. There are also two boys who are in swim trunks. The instructor comes out, and she looks like she is about eighteen. 

She says, “Okay guys, I am your instructor, Jaylee, and I will teach you the basics of sailing. The number one thing is don’t get hit with the boom! The boom is the bottom part of the sail and it is strong enough to knock you off the boat, which we don’t want happening. The water is cold. So, let’s get started, shall we? First up we have, uh, Nicholas.” One of the boys stands up and goes over to Jaylee. I can see that she is telling him how to control the boat, but I can’t hear what she is saying. He goes out on his own after about 15 minutes, and slowly navigates the boat in a small circle. 

“Umm, Kacy?” Jaylee says. One of the polka dots gets up. She falls in while trying to dance on the boat. “Maisie?” Another polka dot. Maisie doesn’t fall in, but she decides that she doesn’t want to go out alone and Jaylee basically does it for her. “John?” 

“Can you call me Jack?” he asks. 

“Ok, Jack, it’s your turn,” says Jaylee. He navigates the boat very well. It’s Juniper’s turn now. 

“Good luck,” I whisper. She does okay. Jaylee has to yell out a couple instructions. Now it’s Chelsea, the last polka dottie. She also falls in. Finally, it’s my turn.

Jaylee whispers, “I’ve got a good feeling about you.” She explains everything to me, and then, I do it. I turn the rudder, I avoid the boom. I think I did everything almost perfect. I steer the boat back to shore and Jaylee hugs me.

“You did so well!!” she cries, “I knew it.” I am just in awe. It was really fun. I can’t believe I had done so well. I now know what I want to do. I want to sail.


Daisies

Emily was a girl like any other. She lived in a modest good sized house with her mother, father, and older brother Sam. Remember this now you might need this later.

That Tuesday, Emily went and picked daisies from the meadow.

“Ooh, pink daisies,” Emily cried. She quickly scooped them up and scurried home.

As soon as she went home, her older brother Sam ran over to her. As soon as he saw the daisies, he locked eyes with his sister and shared a worried look. Emily was confused. Sam dragged her to the kitchen, grabbed the daisies, ripped them up, and poured them down the drain. 

“Hey!” Emily screamed. “Get back here!” She started chasing him all around the house. As they tore through the living room, their mother was reading a book on the couch. 

“What is the meaning of this?” their mother asked. Sam told her about the daisies while catching his breath. At each word he said, his mother’s face paled even more. Emily was fed up.
“Why are you acting like the daisies are something bad? They’re just flowers!” Her mother didn’t hear her as she was calling for their father. 

Her father raced into the room and their mother started launching into an explanation of the daisies. Like their mother, his face paled at each word she spoke.

And Emily repeated, “What is the deal with the daisies? They’re just a bunch of flowers.”

Her father told her that they would explain in the car as he told her to pack just the essentials. Her mother shoved her blue and pink striped travel bag at her and told her to pack a flashlight and some spare socks. Her mother grabbed her and Sam’s coats and shoved them through the door, and the second they stepped into the car, the door was closed. 

Her father was usually one to go by the rules and he was a slow driver, but Emily was surprised at how fast he was driving, making sharp turns and not stopping at stop signs. 

“Now can you tell me what the deal about the daisies are?” Emily asked. 

Her mother took a deep breath and sighed. 

“This started a long time ago, during which your great-great-great-great-great-great-great grandmother, Agnes, was alive. She was a duchess. In other words, an ambassador of England.”

“Wow,” Emily breathed, “so we’re royalty!”

“Not now, Emily. This is important,” her mother said. So she continued the story, “Agnes was an ambassador of England. Since she was an ambassador, she travelled everywhere. From France, to Spain, even all the way to Japan. One day after a long trip to Norway, she sat down in the meadow. Yes, Emily, the very meadow you picked your daisies from.”

While Agnes was sitting down, she had a question. She thought to herself, ‘Why are the daisies pink? And why do they only bloom at a certain time and at a certain date?’ So she decided to go and ask the landscaper and the gardener. They had no idea. They told her that the daisies were there when they came, so they never bothered with them. A few times they tried taking them out but they wouldn’t budge. 

“So she went to the King. He was a personal friend. She didn’t talk to him all that much because he was a king, but she wasn’t afraid to talk to him. The King didn’t know either. All he knew was that his father’s father met a merchant on the street, and the merchant sold the seeds to him. That day he planted the seeds, and when he woke up, the flowers were fully grown. That was impossible. Agnes knew something fishy was going on, so she headed to the council. The council knew nothing more than the gardener, landscaper, or the King. So Agnes decided to find some information for herself. 

“The next day she headed to the royal library. She knew she was in for a long day because the library was three stories high (that was very high back then because they didn’t have the technology we do).” 

“I’m hungry,” Sam moaned. 

“Shhh,” Emily whispered, “I want to listen to the story.” 

“Here,” Mom said, and she tossed Sam a granola bar and gave Emily a box of yogurt covered raisins. 

“Now back to the story,” Mom said, “as Agnes walked down the long, cavernous hall, she looked at all of the books. She grabbed a big pile of books and settled down into the big, comfy armchair. She read and read and never saw anything about pink daisies, let alone daisies that only show up once a month. All she found was a chapter about glowing pink fungus. When she was about to give up and head home, a book caught her eye. It was titled: Flowers of the Rainbow. 

‘I guess one more book couldn’t hurt,’ Agnes said to herself. So Agnes settled herself once again into the big, comfy chair.

“When she reached the last chapter, the chapter about pink flowers, she found what she was looking for. So she rushed home to the gardener, the landscaper, the King, and the council. They couldn’t believe their ears, but apparently a councilman was taken aback by Agnes’ determination (it wasn’t very common for women to be too determined on a single thing. Mostly they were just there for tea parties), so he asked her to marry him. Of course she said yes. So they lived a good life and had three children. One of them was your great-great-great-great-great-great grandmother Fiona.”

“How did Agnes meet the councilman?” Emily cried.

“How did he decide to marry her right there and then?” Sam asked. 

“Woah, woah,” their mom said. “One at a time, one at a time. But let me finish my story first!

“When she and the councilman were married, they decided to do research about the pink daisies together. They found that the pink daisies were planted by leprechauns. That was the reason the plants wouldn’t budge. They tried to make the petals green, but it was a miscalculation and  they made the petals pink! Leprechauns hate pink, so that’s why the daisies only show up once in a blue moon. So, on the next blue moon, (12 years later) they went to the flowers and met the leprechauns (they show up every blue moon to look at the daisies). So when she went to the leprechaun, Agnes apologized for disturbing the flowers, and that nobody in her family (the Bellinghangrhs) would ever bother the pink daisies again.”

“But why did we have to run away?” Emily asked, still confused. 

“Because Agnes struck a deal with the leprechauns that whoever picked the daisies would have to serve them for 100 years.”

“But I can’t live 100 years!” Emily cried.

“Don’t worry, Agnes made sure that if we had a good, valid reason, we would not have to serve 100 years of servitude. Instead, we would pick them red bell peppers for 2 years. I know you don’t like the sound of that, but Agnes saved you from 100 years of leprechaunian servitude, and that’s harsh!”

“But you still didn’t answer why we had to run away.” Emily said.

“Oh we aren’t running away, sweetheart. We just can’t be late to the place where we meet the leprechauns or else they will think it’s a sign that we think that we’re better than them.” 

3 Days later … 

“Wow, I’m glad we got that over with,” Emily said, slumping on the couch. “I’m pooped!” 

“Haha,” Sam said, “you said ‘pooped’.” 

“Oh shut up Sam!” Emily said.

“Now we don’t use that language,” their mom said. 

“Sorry mom,” Emily muttered. 

“What a day,” their father said. “At least we got out of 100 years of leprechaunian servitude! But your mom almost made it 6 years of picking red bell peppers.”

“But I didn’t!” Mom called from the kitchen. 

“But barely,” Dad whispered.

“I heard that,” Mom said, standing at the doorway with her hands on her hips.

“Ooh, hands on her hips is not a good sign,” Sam said. 

Mom cast a disapproving stare at the both of them. 

“Someone’s in trouble, someone’s in trouble,” Emily chanted, tauntingly.

“I’m gonna get you,” Sam said.

“Get back here you two!” their father said as he tackled them to the couch. Their mother gave them another disapproving glare, this time at Emily too. 

“Ha ha,” Sam said jumping to his feet, “you can’t punish me if you can’t catch me.”

Emily ran with him. Their mother chased after them, their father right behind her as he tried to reason with her.

“Margaret”—(Margaret was their mother’s name, Robert was their father’s)—“they’re just kids!” he tried to tell her, catching his breath at the same time.

As the family tore through the house, Emily thought, “I have the best family!”


World of Women

1/23/19

Running for Change

I was running. Who knew I would be running for my life while I was trying to change the world? My heart was pounding as an angry mob of kids chased me. They threw the flyers that I gave them at me. It was a terrible sight. This was not the day I was planning. I started walking home.

2/6/19

College

I found a place to hide as the mob rush past. I don’t have much time to explain, but I am Violet. I don’t know parents. When I was little, probably five, my parents died. I was left in my brother’s dorm room. Finally I ran away. College classes were so boring. They were not hard. They were just so boring. Even though I’m only eleven, I studied since I was five and a half. I got As on all my tests. I’m even better then my brother, Benjamin.

¨Mom and Dad would be proud,” Ben always said. I never believed him. He is seven years older than me, but I’m much smarter. This is why I ran away once I got better then my brother (that took a year and a half). But now I’́m changing the world, one girl at a time.

2/19/19 

Changing the World

I have a job, a house and a family. I have a job at the Women’s Rights Society. I change women’s lives across the globe. I have a small house in Cape Cod. I live with my cousins Lilian and Nicholas. Lilian works at the Women’s Rights Society with me. Nicholas is a soccer teacher. 

Our house has two bedrooms, a small kitchen, and two bathrooms. Lilian, Nicholas, and I all sleep in one room. Lilian and I sleep on the top bunk and Nicholas sleeps on the bottom bunk. The other bedroom they use for a reading room. 

In the Women’s Rights Society we get groups of people or schools to focus on human rights. People usually thought it was unfair we focus only on women’s rights. They think it’s a problem. They’re the problem! They are the ones who are being so unfair! Since I’m 12 now and already finished college my goal is to save 7,300 more lives in the next ten years.

That means I would save two to four people a day. That’s Lilian’s and my dream: change the world and save it. Lilian just got a new job at the Save The World Society. Her boss and the President of the society is her friend, Brigid. Lilian’s friend, Lily, is the vice president of the society. Brigid and Lily want to save the world, one plastic bag at a time.

3/2/19

Saving the World Society

Lilian works in two societies. Two days at The Women’s Rights Society and three days at Saving The World Society. On Lilian’s second week at her new job, Lilian takes me to her new job. Everyone is so nice. They are all women and they all love The Women’s Society. Today, Lilian has a test to make sure she can do the job. We always have to take a test because we’re kids. People! We graduated college already and we were eleven!! Give us a break!!!

3/12/19

Lilian

When Lilian comes home today, something happened. Lilian walked up to the door. Her brown hair was in a long braid. She walked to the door slowly. She opened the door.

“How did you do?” I asked. She looked so sad I shouldn’t have asked.

4/5/19

The Test

“I did it!!! I passed!!!” Lilian screamed. I was so happy for her. Now she can change the world and save it!

“Lily even said I did better than most of the adults!”

“That is so great!” I said. I was so happy for her.

5/27/19

The Women’s Rights Society

I walked to work the next day. Work was only 1 stop on the F train. I opened the door.

“Violet,” Rio said, “Sam would like to see you.” Rio works at the front desk. She tells people what the company is about. It’s been a few months since I started my goal. I saved 90 people each month. In other words I saved 270 people in three months that means I saved 2-3 people a day. I thought of all this as I walked to Sam’s office. I knock on her office door.

“Come in,” Sam said. It didn’t really think it sounded like Sam. I went in any way. I really regret that. It was dark in the room something jumped on me…

 6/9/19

The Evil President

When I woke up it was dark, but I sensed Sam. She always wore a lot of perfume. I snuck to the door. I opened it. I ran. I really wish I got just a promotion. I ran and ran down 8 flights of stairs. Everyone asked me what was going on. Sam had gone mad. I called the police.

“Hello,” the person on the other line said. 

“Yes,” I said. “Someone’s gone mad.” 

“We will be over in 10 minutes,” they said.

“Bye,” I said. I locked Sam in the worker’s lounge room.

“I guess we need a new president,” someone said.

“Let’s make Violet the President of the society,” another person said.

1/23/29

Women’s Rights Society President

After Sam was put in jail, I became president of the society. It’s been 10 years since I started my goal. I’ve done it! Saved 7,300 lives in ten years! I’m still changing the world, one girl at a time.


The Mermystery

There once was a mermaid named Laura and she was twenty one. Laura had two friends. The friends’ names were Anna and Sophie. Laura was still not married. Anna was getting married in twenty days and Sophie was getting married in thirty days. The next day, all three of them went for a swim in the prettiest reef in seven miles from Anna’s home. In about forty minutes later, they went to their hideout. Then they got there so they swam out and all went back to their home. The next day, while they were waiting, they saw a light, but they ignored it and swam away. They talked about both of the weddings for a while. Then, when they were swimming back before they split up, they saw the light again and were getting curious. They went closer and then Laura’s tail got stuck on a fishing hook. Someone tugged on the line and started to reel it up. Anna and Sophie started trying to get the hook off her tail, but it wouldn’t budge. It was getting really close to the surface and all three of them heard the fisherman saying that he saw something orange, which was Laura’s tail. And they all got very scared. 

Laura made herself invisible quick and the fisherman were surprised because he thought he saw something on the hook. And then Laura dropped on the boat and it made a sound. The fisherman got scared. He knew that he was just hallucinating. Then, she thought really hard to get legs, but that didn’t work. The fisherman started to drive his boat away with Laura. Sophie and Anna started to follow the boat and they rushed in front of it, trying to stop the boat. But they were not strong enough. Laura tried to wiggle off the boat, and her tail was halfway off, but it wouldn’t budge. She was getting too dry and she saw a water bottle on the boat. The fisherman turned around and Laura took the water bottle she saw and poured it all over herself. She was so close to getting off the boat and she flipped off, and it made a huge splash. The fisherman knew that he was not hallucinating, so he jumped in. Laura saw Anna and Sophie, and all three of them became invisible. And they swam off, putting bubbles in the fisherman’s face. The fisherman swam after them, but they were too fast. The fisherman had never been so curious in his life. The mermaids were out of sight to the fisherman, but they were really at their hideout. The fisherman was running out of air and he could not see them, so he gave up and swam up to his boat, jumped on his boat, dried himself with a spare towel he brought, and drove away in his boat, feeling very scared.

For a little bit the three mermaids stayed in their hideout, in case. Right before they were leaving, Laura said that no one should say anything to their parents because they would be furious. The next day, they went for their morning swim over the reef and swam to their hideout and Laura said that the light that they saw was not the boat because she’s seen a boat and that’s not what it looks like. So the next morning, they followed the light and they were seeing something very big after swimming many miles. When they got a bit closer, they saw it wasn’t blurry anymore. They saw a place with lots of guards, but they moved aside to let the light in. The three of them made themselves invisible so that they could go into the palace too.

They saw a big room with everything you could imagine. When they got closer to the light, still invisible, they saw that it was the Queen of Mermaids. She had a light face, and her name was Aquata. Close up, she looked very pretty with very long dark blue hair.

“What are you doing here?” she asked.

The three mermaids became visible and said, “How did you see us?”

“I am the Queen of Mermaids. Of course I can see you. I just didn’t tell the guards because they could destroy you,” Aquata said. The Queen says to Laura, “I know you are not married yet and your parents are not happy about that. So I have a great prince for you. I will throw the biggest wedding because he is my son.”

Laura screamed, “Yes!” And then, Aquata said to the three mermaids that she would lead them out so the guards wouldn’t do anything to them. She wanted Laura alive for the wedding. She escorted them out of the castle and swam home. When Laura went home, she told her parents about the Queen’s son and how they were getting married. Her parents had no choice but to say, “yay” because they needed Laura to get married and because she was now going to become the next queen once Aquata dies.

The next day, they tried to go back into the castle by being invisible, but the guards did not open the doors since they only opened for the queen. And then Laura pulled them aside and said that if they swam over them really high up to the sea level, they can get in. It was difficult to get in, but they did it. They walked into Aquata’s room and Aquata was so mad at them. Again, she held them by the tails and told the guards not to let them in again. The guards were surprised that they did not see them come in and were furious because they tricked them. They swam back eighty miles to the reef and talked there. And Anna wrote everything down with water pen. And then Anna gave the water paper to Sophie to take it to her home because it was the safest. 

The next day, Sophie brought the paper which had everything about the castle, guards, and Queen Aquata. Then, the Queen met them on the reef and behind her was her son. Sophie crumpled the paper in her hand. Aquata said in a serious voice that Laura and her friends had to come practice at her castle for the wedding. Sophie took a water pen and pencil to take notes. She and Anna had to come because they were the bridesmaids. They went to the castle and they had to catch up to the Queen and Prince because they were very fast. The three mermaids caught up to them right at the castle and they went to the royal wedding room. After the four hour practice, the three of them went back to their homes and the son stayed to measure his wedding gown. The next day, Aquata came to the reef with her son to practice again and this happened for another couple of months. 

Finally, it was the last practice and Aquata taught them so well that it could not be ruined. During the ceremony, as Laura was about to get married, Laura’s uncle Daileass barged in.

“Uncle Daileass, what are you doing here?! You were not invited,” Laura screamed.

“I want to be King!” Daileass said. Before the wedding, he took the crown that the son was gonna put on as a king, but he poisoned it. The prince looked at the crown and saw some green dots on it. He had experience with it and knew that Daileass did it because he wanted to be King.

The Prince yelled to his guards, “Get him!” The guards took Daileass out and they finished the wedding with the bridesmaids and they lived happily ever after with four merchildren.


Secrets in the Shadows

Carol

My name is Carol Mystic. I am twelve years old and I died. Dying is not that bad. It doesn’t hurt. It just feels like falling asleep. I don’t remember what happened. All I remember is that it happened at the playground and I don’t know who did it. I know what I have said so far doesn’t sound bad but I am so mad at whoever pulled me from my family forever. My story is trying to find life again. Everyone who dies wants something and I want to come back. 

Jase

I don’t feel dead, but I know I am. I am not some angel with feathery wings. I just wander around the site of my death. I don’t leave it and that’s because if I leave, a part of me will stay (it is hard to explain). This rule applies to all spirits.  I am fourteen and I died in my garden. My physical body stays, but my personality watches as my family holds a small ceremony in our yard and as my body is carried away forever.

Shy

My name is Shy Ash and I am still alive. I can see the two dead children. I am thirteen, but I am powerful. I can see the dead. Carol and Jase want to come back and I will try to help them, even if it kills me. After Carol died, the playground closed and Jase’s parents have high security now. But I will bring them back permanently.

Carol

My parents moved after I died, moved to New York from New Jersey. I was going to get to New York by boat. As I stepped outside the playground, I felt half of my personality torn from my body. As I walked, I saw my reflection in a window. My shoulder-length deep brown hair, my extremely rare deep red eyes, and my albino skin, just the way it had been when I face planted in the dirt when I died a year ago. And then I felt it. I crumpled in pain as the aftershock of leaving half of me behind came, but I kept going.

Jase 

“Oh dear,” I said when I realized my perfect brown hair was covered in dirt. At least my brown skin was okay.

“Okay,” I sighed, “here goes,” and I climbed over the garden wall. The pain hit me like a tidal wave and I shut my green eyes and fell to the ground.

“Time to go,” I said and ran looking for the other dead who might be able to help me. And that is when I met the beautiful Shy Ash.

Shy

The way he looked at me was amazing. It was the way my mom looked at me before she died. Too stunned to say much,, I managed to utter one word.

“Carol,” I said.

“You can see me?” he gasped.

“Yes,” I said, “and I bring you back so everyone can see you.”

“But who is carol?” he asked me.

“Another kid who died,” I said. I grabbed his hand and together walked.

“Where are we going?” he asked.

“To the harbour,” I said. “Carol will be there.”

We walked for a long time and then we found the boat and the gorgeous red-eyed spirit I was looking for.

Carol

One of the two figures was alive and she could see me, but the boy was dead.

“Listen,” said the girl, “I might be able to bring you back, but will have to listen to me.” I nodded. Any chance to be brought back is a blessing. The girl beckoned for me to follow her and I did. We end up stowing away on the boat. I am full of fear, not for myself because no one can see me, but I am scared for the girl who is visible to everyone.

Jase 

After we make proper introductions, Carol asks a question: “What will we say to our families if this works?”

Everyone is silent about this until I smartly say, “If you have magic to bring us back then can you just wipe everyone’s memories about our deaths?”

“No, you idiot!” says shy. “It’s called the spirit paradox and it is nearly impossible to use.”

Then we hear a stomping noise and the lid of the box we are hiding in is raised. A handsome blonde haired spirit is revealed.

“There are rules in death too,” he says but Shy leaps at him and drags him up to the deck. The rest is so awesome. 

Shy

I wrestled the blonde to the ground and held him there until he said, “Fine you can ride free,” but that did not satisfy me. I held him over the edge of the boat and dropped. He emerged, treading water and yelling at us. I giggled and we spent the rest of the rest of the ride in peace. We met more spirits, but I pretended she could not see them so they were all nice. When we reached the shore, Jase asked Carol a question: “Why were you trying to go to New York anyway?” 

Carol

“I just wanted to see my family one last time before they moved to Mexico. They were planning to stay in New York and move to Mexico,” I said.

Shy put her hand on my shoulder and said, “We need to go to find a spot to wait for the paradox to start.” We ended up staying at Shy’s aunt’s house. The building was a sweet pink color, unlike the woman inside.

“Shy. That’s you, I reckon, and I don’t reckon you’re wise to come back here,” she said. 

Jase

There are some things wrong with being a spirit: 1. You can’t fly. 2. You can’t see or walk through walls. 3. You can’t haunt dreams (well, not really). What I would want to do is haunt this woman’s dreams until she was nicer to shy. All through dinner she yelled at Shy about all the ways Shy’s mom’s (her sister’s) death was Shy’s fault.

Shy 

My name is Shy and I have a secret. I love Carol and I think she loves me back. But being in love with her would be weird. What I mean is that we can’t go of being girlfriend and girlfriend because she is dead. But I also have to tell Jase that I do not like him. In fact, I would have liked it better if we had needed a different spirit for the life ritual. I would have been a lot happier. Sometimes I will need to go up to Carol and say that I love her, but what if she doesn’t like me. What if she doesn’t like all the weird things about me, like how I could not bring my mom back or how I ran away and stole from people just so I would not have to stay with my dad or that I hate boys. I just hope she loves me.  

Carol

Once we leave the house I begin to worry. I want to ask where we are going and why we can’t do this at home. All these thoughts are starting to drive me crazy when I see Shy looking at a note:

“←↑→↓↤↔↕→→↓↔→↕↑↔↓→↔↑↓↓←→↕↔←↕↑↓↦↔↝↜↔↕↑←↖”

“These are the steps to use the paradox,” she says, “and I have to memorize them.” That night we stay at a crappy motel. Shy has the room above me and I can hear her thumping around doing the steps on the note.

Jase

I have to share a room with carol, the girl who says that she knows why Shy gets her own room, but won’t tell me why. The next morning we meet in the parking lot and Shy says “we meet at the graveyard at midnight,” and then she leaves to go get the ritual ready. We meet her at the graveyard. Carol holds my hand. Shy stands it front of an altar made of sticks and she has also drawn a circle with shapes inside of it. Shy looks at me and starts to chant.

Shy

Carol and Jase are standing back to back inside the circle (perfect). I begin to dance around the circle. The steps imprinted in my brain: ←↑→↓↤↔↕→→↓↔→↕↑↔↓→↔↑↓↓←→↕↔←↕↑↓↦↔↝↜↔↕↑←↖

“Come on, come on,” I mutter. I dance and dance until the circle starts to glow.

“Wait,” cries Carol, “I don’t want to go back.”

“But I do,” says Jase.

“Step out of the circle if you want to live,” I yell. Jase steps out, but for some reason I step in. Then a bright light comes and illuminates the sky.

“Goodbye, Jase,” I say and I take Carol’s hand and say, “sorry, Jase,” and together the two of us walk into the sky.

Sky (Epilogue)

Carol and I are happy as we are dead and we check on Jase once a month. I know he misses me but I would never be happy in the living world. Carol and I went to find the blonde I tossed off that boat twelve years ago. Carol and I have been married for two years and Jase has been doing fine. One day, Carol and I take a walk when I see a spirit that looks exactly like m, every feature pure white.

“Mom,” I say.

Two years later we adopt a child. We name her Angel and that is how we spend forever.


Hannah and Anabelle

Chapter 1 

W i t c h e s   a n d c u r s e s


Once there was a girl named anabelle who had a pointy nose and a sister that saw a farm. She was thirsty so she got a Gatorade. She drank it and felt weird. “Ohhh…” she neighed. She looked down to see… a HORSE body!!!

 She quickly looked up and saw the farm. She ran to it. She looked and saw hay blocks “Mmm, yummy” she neighed. She ran to the hay blocks. She stopped. She was shocked. There was a VERY BIG fence in front of her. On the other side was SO MUCH hay. She really wanted it. She stepped back and JUMPED over the wall. She walked up to the hay and one block of hay disappeared! 

“WOW” she neighed. She quickly gobbled the rest of the hay blocks up. The world turned purple and green in her eyes. She felt oozy. “Ooo…” she whined. Then she walked up to the fence and bit it. “Owww” she neighed. She fell down and fell asleep. 

Then she suddenly wanted to be rich as a queen, and then woke up. She snuck out of the farm to get a REGULAR Gatorade. She actually STOLE it because she lost her money. What? She’s a HORSE! She drank it all up. “Ahhhh,” she horse-sighed. “Better,” she neighed. 

“Hey, what’s that horse doing out of the farm, betty?” One horse neighed to another. 

“I dunno, crispy!” neighed the other horse. 

“Uhhh, hi?” she neighed 

“Uhh, hey betty?” crispy asked. 

“Yeah, crispy?” betty neighed. 

“WHO IS THAT?!?!?!” crispy screamed. 

“I’m, uhh,  p r i c k ?” she neighed. Her real name was anabelle, but she thought it was too fancy for a horse. It WAS!!! 

“Ok, im betty, and this is crispy,” neighed betty. 

Then prick ran off into the old town. She saw a stained glass window on a VERY old cobblestone tower. “Hmmm, sneaking isn’t illegal as a horse, since you can’t arrest a pony…” prick neighed. So she quietly galloped into the tower. She saw… A WITCH!!! 

“Oh no, it’s a… hey! I can turn into a human now! But how will I tell her if i’m a horse…?” prick whisper-neighed. “I’ll just, uhhh, try to talk i guess,” prick thought. 

The witch turned around just then. “A horse! Get her, enchantments! Get her, human who drank my magic Gatorade and turned into a horse!” the old, ugly witch ordered grumpily. 

“Sis?” prick asked. “SIS!!!!!!” 

The other horse screamed. The they horse-hugged each other. 

“Oh no, they are SISTERS!!! The Gatorade spell will go away then!” the witch thought. The horse sisters turned into… HUMANS!!! 

“Sis! We’re human again!” prick said excitedly. Just then, the witch turned into a… QUEEN?!?!?! “Okay, you caught me. I’m really a queen. I’m a nice one though! Come into my horse and buggy, and I’ll take you to my palace. You’ll get your own room too!” the queen said. She wasn’t nice. Not even mean. She wasn’t even evil. She was  P U R E E V I L . 

The sisters came into the horse and buggy. “Good thing we’re not horses anymore!” prick said. “He he he,” the girls giggled. 

“Be quiet!” the witch ordered. The girls stayed quiet for the rest of the ride to the palace. The palace was really big, and it had big turrets that looked like they would be as big as a dragon. There was a drawbridge, and the girls thought that it was over water but it was over LAVA! The queen got off and told the girls to do the same. Then the girls got off and walked into the palace. 

“Follow me” the queen said. She led the girls into the prison, but the girls thought that they were going to their room. 

“This doesn’t look like we should stay here,” prick whispered to her sister. 

“You’re right!” Her sister said. 

The queen opened a door to a jail cell. “Right through here, ladies,” The queen said mysteriously. 

“But that’s a jail cell, not a bedroom!” prick said to the queen. 

The queen said, “I know that!” as she pushed them into the cell and locked the door. 

“Noooooooooo!!!” The sisters screamed at the queen as she walked away. 

Chapter 2

T h e  d a r k  w o r l d


prick looked around the cell and saw a sink with brown, dirty water coming out of it, a toilet that’s broken and clogged, a bed that doesn’t have a blanket, and a pillow that is a diamond, the hardest mineral. “Hmm, that might be useful some time,” prick thought. 

Then, prick’s sister, hannah, had a wonderful idea! “If we work together, we can lift the heavy diamond and throw it at the bars! It might work!” hannah noticed. 

So the two sisters lifted the diamond and threw it at the bars. It made a hole just big enough to crawl through. They crawled through the hole and escaped jail. “Shouldn’t we take a bathroom break?” hannah asked. 

“Uhhhh, let’s just get out of here!” prick laughed. Then the two girls ran out of the prison and ran towards the door. The queen saw them leave. 

“Huh? GET THEM!!!!!!” the queen shrieked. 

But the girls took the only horse and buggy back home. “YAH!” Hannah yelled in the driver’s seat. They went home and parked the horse and buggy outside on the other horse post. 

They open the door of their cottage. “MOM? DAD? WE’RE HOME!!!” the girls yelled. Their home was empty, except for their pet goldfish, gilbert. “Blub, blub.” gilbert blubbed. 

“Not now, gilbs.” hannah said.“Uhhh, sis?” hannah asked. 

prick wasn’t there. “YAH!!!” prick screamed and jumped out from behind hannah. 

“AAHHHHHHH!!!!!” hannah screamed in fear. 

“Where’s mom and dad?” hannah asked. “They’re-they’re-they’re… GONE!!!” prick said, scared. Then they went outside and looked for someone to take care of them. All the townspeople were GONE!!! 

“WHERE IS EVERYBODY?!?!?!” they both screamed. The sisters were so scared. Then a PORTAL appeared. The sisters linked arms, looked at each other, and nodded. Then ran into the portal. Everything went black. They were in a white, tall, room. There wasn’t a way to escape, except for a large gap at the top. They hooked arms, pushed their backs against each other, and started to CLIMB!!! 

At the top, they were stuck. “How are we going to get apart from each other, anabelle?” hannah asked.

 “Uhh, i don’t know, but my nickname is prick now. Actually, it was my horse name. I’m keeping it. Actually, i know how to do this. Hang by your legs then get your hands up, put your legs down, and climb up,” prick said.

 They did that and prick jumped over to hannah’s side of the top. “Wow…” they said together.

 “A dark world” prick said. There was a nest of dragon eggs and they noticed; the portal back home was GONE! It had somehow glitched onto the other side of the dark world. 

“Oh, you’ve got to be KIDDING me! PLEASE tell me this is a dream! Just TELL ME! Someone PINCH me,” hannah screamed. 

prick pinched her. “Owww!!! What was that for!?!?!?” hannah asked. 

“You asked SOMEONE to!” prick said. 

“Ugh. can we just go home? To the portal?” hannah asked, getting mad. 

“Okay, OKAY!” prick said then a BIG BIG BIG dragon came and scooped them up. 

“AAAAAAAHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!” they screamed. “SHHH! YOU’RE NOT SAFE HERE! I’M A NICE DRAGON! MY NAME IS FLAME. DON’T WORRY! I’M NOT LIKE THE QUEEN!” the dragon said. “STAY HERE! MAKE SURE MY EGGS DON’T HATCH!” she said. 

Then she flew off. C r a c k ! 

“sis, what’s that…?” hannah asked. 

They turned around slowly. “THE EGGS!!!” they both yelled together. Then, out of three eggs, popped out… THREE DRAGON BABIES! prick hid behind the nest, hannah didn’t get there in time. One baby pecked at her leg. There was a flowing stream of blood. She tore the sleeve off of her leather jacket and tied it around the wound. The other two babies pecked and missed. 

“SIS! WHERE ARE YOU?!?!” hannah screamed wildly. 

“I’M RIGHT HERE!!!” prick yelled. 

Hannah got up and ran to prick. “FLAME! COME BACK NOW!” they screamed together. “ WHAT!?!? I TOLD YOU; D O N ‘ T  L E T M Y E G G S H A T C H !” she roared.

“I have an idea.” hannah whispered to prick.

“What?” prick whispered back.

“RUN!!!” hannah yelled. Then they ran all the way to the portal with flame chasing them in the sky, shooting fireballs. They leaped through the portal. 

Chapter 3

I ‘ m   f u l l   n o w

“Phew!” hannah said.

“Hello!” a small, cute voice said. “You look like you need help! Come to my hut, and I’ll show you my sisters! My name is coco!” the little girl said. 

So hannah and prick followed coco into her hut. “These are my sisters, clair, chloe, cindy, caroline, cassandra, catrina, cobra, cady, callie, and me, coco!” coco said. 

“Do you want some food, girls?” coco and her sisters said in unison. 

“Uhh, no tha—” hannah was going to say, but prick was already stuffing her face. hannah pulled prick out but she kept going back. 

“I guess i am pretty hungry” hannah thought. She took a pig in a blanket. “Mmm!” hannah mmm-ed. She took more and more. 

“Uurp. I’m full, hannah,” prick said. 

“Me too,” hannah said. 

“ATTACK!!!!!!” the little people said. “RUUNNNNNNNN!!!” hannah and prick yelled together. 

They saw coco and her sister’s car. They saw the key, got it, jumped in, started the car, and hit the road. 

“I don’t have a license, sis!” hannah said in the driver’s seat. Then a portal appeared. 

“Go to the portal! Quick! Quick!” prick said. They drove into the portal. 

Chapter 4

N o t   n e i g h s   a g a i n !

They were in a land full of… HORSES?!?! 

“I want to be a horse now.” prick neighed to hannah. 

“But you ARE!” hannah neighed. 

“YOU TOO!” prick neighed. 

“Hey! prick! It’s me! betty! Down here! I never knew you had a sister!” betty neighed. 

“Hi, betty! How’d you get here?” prick neighed. The sisters got out of the car. Then betty DISAPPEARED! 

“HUH?” the girls neighed. Then, ALL the horses disappeared, except them. 

“Wait, we can’t disappear since we’re actually humans.” prick said. “Hey! I’m a human now! Sorry, sis. Say something smart to show that you’re a smart human.” prick said. 

“Neigh+neigh=two,” hannah neigh-into-said. hannah was a human again! They both were humans again! Then a portal appeared! 

“I hope it’s home, i hope it’s home, i hope it’s HOME!” hannah wished. Then they leaped through the portal. 

Chapter 5

H o m e    a g a i n

Meanwhile, the queen thought, “Maybe, I can take a chance. Try to be nice. I can be a HERO! People will love me.” She went down to the prison, opened up the jail cells by the remote all at once. 

“I’M NICE NOW. :D” the queen announced. All the innocent prisoners ran out and hugged the queen and thanked her so much. 

Back to the girls! They were HOME! Then crispy, betty’s ‘friend’, SHOT hannah with a magic soul-stealer 2000 gun. “You never spoke to me or even told me you had a sister, PRICK!” crispy said. “Yes, i’m human now!” crispy said again. 

“Why, crispy, why?” prick asked with tears in her eyes streaming down her face. 

“You…” hannah said, softly. 

Then the queen came in. “I’m nice now, don’t worry!” the queen said, then splashed a potion into hannah’s dying mouth. “Don’t worry, it will make her stay ALIVE!” the queen said. Then hannah BURST back to life and knocked the soul-stealer 2000 gun and used it on CRISPY. 

“Burned to a crisp!” hannah said. 

“Hah!” prick said, still crying a little.

THE END


The Strange Computer & the Missing Parent

One Saturday night, a girl named Lucy Aqua Rose said to her mom, “Can I please use my computer?”

“Yes.” Her mom said, but Lucy said to herself, Why? She never lets me use my computer at night. She was confused. She heard evil laughs coming from her mom and dad’s bedroom. Her dad was in the air force right now, and Lucy felt like her mom was up to something no good. 

She thought to herself, My mom is probably working with The Evil B’s. Their names are Bianca, Ben, Beatrix and Lucy. Mom’s name is Mila. She looked at the news for clues, and she just remembered that a few days ago, she had read on the news that The Evil B’s were hiring new people. Suddenly Lucy got up and fell smack onto the floor! 

“MOM HELP! I CAN’T GET UP AND MY LEG HURTS SUPER BADLY!” she screamed. 

Her mom said, “I don’t care, get up!!”

As her mom said those words, Lucy felt like her mom didn’t care anymore, as if she didn’t belong. The 16 year-old Lucy Aqua Rose wanted to investigate!

She wanted to investigate because ever since the news article came out about the Evil B’s hiring new employees, she hoped that her mom hadn’t become an Evil B employee. It was getting late, so Lucy took a shower, got dried off, put her hair in a braid, brushed her teeth, put on lotion, got into her pj’s, got into her bed, and then fell asleep. Lucy’s 2 year-old brother Matt came in her room and said, “Lucy, mom is gone!”

But Lucy couldn’t hear Matt because she was fast asleep. She was dreaming about her dog and all the fun they had before he disappeared one hot summer day. The family dog who was black and a little brown, was named Oreo. One hot summer day three years ago, Lucy woke up and Oreo was gone. 

“Mom I’m gonna go for a walk,” she said.

Lucy looked all over the neighborhood. Once she reached the park, she sat on a bench, and then she cried and cried and cried. Finally she called her BFF Lulu for support, well Oreo was her best friend. After a year of searching, she gave up. 

Finally, she woke up. She checked her phone, and she had a million or even billions of texts from her dad! 

The text said: “Help I’ve been captured!” She asked for his location and he replied, “I cannot tell you but I will, I am still on the army premise in a fallout shelter. I am in the basement of the fallout shelter.” 

“But which army premise?” 

Her dad said he was in the army premise in London. She lived in London. 

She got dressed and then packed a backpack. She put on her backpack and called their family babysitter. She came in 2 minutes because she lived right across the street!

“I will be back in about 3 to 5 hours or more.” 

The babysitter said, “Okay, but who will pay me?”

“My dad!” 

So she ran off saying not another word. She called her dad once she started walking to the army premise. But he didn’t pick up! Once she got to the army premise, she looked all around, but couldn’t find her dad. So she called him one more time, still no answer.

She was starting to feel suspicious. She called her mom to see what was going on with her.

She said, “Hi Mom, I was wondering if you were working with the Evil B’s.” 

“No,” she said in a very sarcastic voice. 

“You are then, Mom.” 

“No, trust me.” 

Meanwhile back at home, the babysitter was playing peek-a-boo with Matt. Matt loves the babysitter and peek-a-boo. The babysitter said naptime, and so she picked up Matt and put him in his crib tucked him in and put him to bed. Then the babysitter made his bottle and got him a clean pacifier. She gave the stuff to Matt, then she closed the door. She went downstairs, turned on the TV, and went on Netflix. She got onto her Netflix profile and then watched Flinch, afterwards she watched Home Alone. She woke up Matt when he was waking up. She turned off the TV and went upstairs, and then Matt started whining and she asked what was wrong.

“I want sis,” he said in a very cute voice. 

Lucy couldn’t get into the fallout shelter, so she ran and hid behind a Camo porta potty, and then she took off her backpack, and then she took a special Amulet out of her backpack. She put it on, and then she started gaining the Amulet’s power. She was weak, but strong without it on and so, she zipped her backpack up quietly, and then she put her backpack on, got up, and then ran towards the guards who happened to be guarding the fallout shelter, and so she said, “Fire amulet, go,” and it automatically shot fire.  

“OMG WHAT,” the guards said. “LET’S GET THAT THING, YEAH!” 

Meanwhile in the Fallout shelter, Dad Ben was yelling, “LUCY HELP ME!” She ran back behind the camo porta potty, and she took out her computer to email her cousin who was in the same air force to see if he was okay. But when she opened it, it looked like it had been hacked. She actually happened to know how to unhack.

Lucy tried and tried and tried, but couldn’t. She gave up after 5 hours, sitting in the dirt behind the porta potty. She reached into her camo ripped jeans back pocket for her phone, but it wasn’t there, so she checked all of her other pockets. It was not there either. She started rummaging through her backpack, but once she had reached the bottom, it wasn’t there. Crying inside, she tried to hold her tears in, and she successfully did it, but she needed her phone to call her dad or text him and that phone cost $1,099. She zipped her backpack up. She looked around for her phone. She found it lying in the dirt. She got up. She walked towards her phone. She saw a masked figure take her phone and run. So, she chased the masked figure, and when he looked back, she used her amulet to camoflauge. She kept running and stopped when he stopped. She revealed herself and followed him into the lake. 

“Amulet, give me diving equipment.” 

Her clothes magically went into her backpack, and it transformed into an oxygen tank. She dove behind him, until he stopped. She followed him into an underwater cave. He pressed the wall and a magic door opened. She followed him inside, she could breathe now. Everything transformed back into her normal clothes. 

“Hey, crazy guy, give me back my phones, and tell me the truth. Are you the one who hacked my computer?” 

“Who are you? And what are you doing here!” The masked figure said. 

“My name is Lucy Aqua Rose.” She used the amulet to camouflage and crept up to the masked man to remove his mask. 

She revealed herself once again, she saw that he was her cousin! She started asking questions: “What are you doing here? What is this place? Why did you take my phone?” 

He answered, “I didn’t want to do this, some random person hypnotized me, but the water just unhypnotized me. Do you have your computer with you?” 

“Yes, I do. How did you know you were hypnotized?” 

“I had a GoPro on while the hypnosis was happening.”

Lucy unzipped her backpack and gave him her computer. Then, he took off his hoodie and sweatpants, underneath he had on an air force uniform. He pressed a badge that made the sleeves of his uniform fall off. Then, he started unhacking her computer. After it was done, she turned it on, went into her profile, put in her password and checked her email. All the emails had disappeared. She checked her Google Drive. Everything in there was gone too. So, when she checked for apps all of them were gone except one: ROBLOX. Her cousin returned her phone. 

She swam to the surface, and returned to the fallout shelter. She killed two guards, who apparently were not strong at all. She got her dad and returned home. They returned home to see Matt and the babysitter making cupcakes in the kitchen. Then, Dad went to Matt and gave him a hug. Matt turned around and yelled, “Daddy!” The babysitter said Mom was home. So then, Lucy said, “Dad, ask Mom if she’s working with the Evil B’s. If she says no, give her this truth gummy.” 

He went to their room, and gave Mom the truth gummy. While she had originally said no, she finally revealed she was working with the Evil B’s.

Dad told Lucy, “Your mom is an Evil B.”

And Lucy said, “I knew it all along.” Lucy was VERY MAD. She was as mad as a whale in a whirlpool. 

Dad called the police and Mom went to jail. When the police came, Mom yelled, “No! Don’t take me. This was all a huge mistake!” 

Lucy said, “Mom, I know you are lying.” 

The next day Lucy, Dad, and Matt went to the New York Aquarium. They saw sharks, octopus, and other invertebrates. Then they also saw turtles. They all missed Mom. But they are glad that she got turned in because she did some bad things. Lucy saw a baby turtle and a mommy turtle swimming in the big tank outside. Lucy wondered if her mommy taught her how to swim. 

The end


The TV

The person was bored, so he wanted to do something. He wanted to watch something, but he didn’t have a TV. He wanted to go get a TV. The person started walking down the street. He was bored and wanted to watch TV. He went to the store, so he could get the TV. There were no more TVs when he got there! He went somewhere else to find a TV! So he went somewhere far from his house to get one. Then he got the TV. When he was flying back, the TV fell out of the plane. So he jumped out of the plane. He was falling—he saw the TV! He grabbed the TV. He saw a car on top of a hill, and he fell into the car. As soon as he fell into the car, the car drove all the way back to his house. He fixed his TV, and then he started watching it. 

The end.


The Legend of the Fortune Town

Once upon a time, there was a kind wizard named Confucuis. He and his wife, Liva, lived in a happy town. Confucuis had a wizard hat, a long beard, and a staff. He was as tall as a statue of a man. But earlier, a dark wizard named Lord Black had cast a spell throughout the town, and the town had lost all its fortune. The town was so happy that it didn’t notice Lord Black casting his spell. So Confucuis decided to set off into Lord Black’s dark castle, where he had kept all the town’s gold. Confucuis packed a candle, a cup of tea, and a staff. He set off far, far away from his town. Finally, he found the entrance to Lord Black’s castle. 

“I have found Lord Black’s castle, but how am I supposed to get pass those guards?” Confucuis said to himself.

Then, he came up with an idea. He would hide behind a tree and then whisper his spell at the guards. The entrance lit up and the guards fell into a deep sleep. Confucuis crept quietly into the castle. He hid behind a wall of steel poles. He put his ear into a tiny hole in the wall. He listened to what Lord Black was saying to his servants. 

“I can’t be sleeping when Confucuis is sneaking around the castle. Find him now!” Black yelled to his servants. 

The servants and Black walked away. 

INFORMATION BOX Confucuis teaches a school with his wife, Livia. They teach witchcraft and wizardry. Livia has braces and wears bracelets. Their school is called Boar. 

“Now’s my chance,” Confucuis whispered. He cast a spell against the steel wall and it fell over. Confucuis put on his invisibility cloak. He crept across the throne room and stopped at two temple doors with tiger faces on them. He opened the doors. He jumped through the trap door and ended up inside the dungeon. He saw the treasure chest where his country’s gold was. He suddenly grabbed the treasure chest and put all the gold into his pockets. He put his invisibility cloak back on. 

“Halt!” someone shouted. It was one of the knights. “You’re not going anywhere until you face me,” boomed the knight. 

“Fine,” said Confucuis, “then I will face you. I have a surprise for you while you are standing right there.” He cast a spell at the knight’s feet. The knight was thrown out of the castle and into the moat. Confucuis now put his invisibility cloak on. He walked all the way to the entrance. 

“Now my job is done,” he said, and he headed back to his country and returned all the gold to where it belonged. 

INFORMATION BOX Black has been taught in the dark wizard class in Wizard School. 

Lost

One time a family went to the Big Apple Circus. The oldest was a girl. She was thirteen. The youngest was a boy who was nine turning ten. It was the middle of January. And it was ten degrees outside. So the show started. There were a lot of “oh”s and “oo”s from the crowd. So then the show was over and everybody started to leave, but then the girl and boy had to go to the bathroom but they realized their parents weren’t there. But they were super calm. So they quickly went to the bathroom, then went outside to see if their parents were there. But they weren’t. So they went to see if there was a security guard or police officers and there were a few police officers.

So they went to one of them and asked the police, “Can you help us find our parents?”

And the Police said, “What are your parents’ phone numbers?” The kids told the police their parents’ phone numbers and the police called their parents’ phone numbers and they both answered, but they were talking oddly. So they finished talking and the kids told the police that their parents were talking very oddly. So the police said, “Did they tell you where they are?”

“They said something about the dump.”

They said, “Oh no.”

And the kids said, “What?”

And the police said, “Go home. If anything happens, call 911. We gotta go. Don’t talk to anyone even if it’s someone you know. Also, lock the doors, close the windows, and shut the shades. Don’t answer the door even if it’s us and we’ll tell you when. And don’t make any noise at all. And we will tell you when you can let us in and we will ring the doorbell four times and then you can let us in. We better get going, see you later.”

Their parents snuck up behind them and said, “Boo.”

Then they both woke up to the smell of pancakes.

The End


The Corrupted Candyland

Part One: Before

Chapter One                                            

“We must leave Candyport!” The president said on the TV. “The broccoli monsters have been roaming for almost a decade, and gummy bear dust has been blinding us for five months. We simply cannot survive these conditions, and if we do survive, a supernova will kill us instantly. If someone really wants to stay, then fine. However, I do not recommend staying.”

Basically all the citizens of Candyport agreed with the president, except for two people, who happened to be, unfortunately, my parents, Jane and Michael Buttercup. They were literally addicted to candy; they had to eat at least twelve packs of gummy bears or Skittles every week, or they would have diarrhea for the rest of their lives. Somehow I got lucky and I didn’t get addicted to candy. My mom and dad also wanted to stay because “we’ve never lived anywhere outside the planet,” or “I’ve never even been on an airplane. I could be nauseous and barf the rest of my life with diarrhea,” or “the President said it was our choice to go. We’re choosing not to go.”

So, in other words, my parents didn’t want to go, didn’t have to go, and didn’t go.

But it was also my choice if I would go or not. I wasn’t required to stay with my parents, since now that I was thirteen, I was no longer a minor. That’s how it worked in Candyport. Anyway, conditions were terrible on my home planet. Ninety-foot tall broccoli monsters were killing people with just swats of their deadly florettes, and they were stomping over our beautiful, scenic, prized candy mountains, creating candy dust storms that blocked out the sun, which made it even harder to predict when the sun would turn into a supernova! Ugh!

One day, I met up with my best friend Vera.

“My parents are so annoying,” I complained. “They refuse to leave. That’s fine with me, but I want to leave, and they want me to stay! They treat me like I’m still a baby.”

“Well, maybe my mom could talk with your mom. You could board the spaceship with us. Oh! Gummy bear incoming! Duck, Emily!” Vera says.

“Thank you so much!” I say, as the gummy bear lands harmlessly behind us.

Later at dinner I bring up our conversation with my mom. “Oh, yes. Vera’s mom called me. I’ll have to think it over. You know, I will worry about you. I can’t just leave you with someone.” 

“But Vera and her mom aren’t just someone! We know them!” I protest. My mother just stares at me with that penetrating glance that makes you shut up.

The next day, my mom tells me that yes, I can go with Vera and her mom.

“Thanks for letting me go, Mom. I know that was a hard decision for you and Dad to make.” I hug her.

“When are you leaving, sweetie?” she asks me.

“In three days. Thursday afternoon.”

The days flew by. I mostly spent them eating (considering that not a lot of good food would be available on the spaceship), reading, staying at home (since the candy storms were getting even worse, it was a good thing that I was leaving the planet soon), sleeping, and worrying that the flight would be delayed, or even canceled.

Well, the flight was delayed. Not even the President knows how long we will have to wait. I think that we should just go. Conditions are steadily getting worse and today’s part of the storm will be better than next week’s part of the storm. I sigh, and turn on the TV.

“Breaking news!” A news reporter appears on the screen. “President Gumstein has a message for us. This is him live!”

“I announce that the Escaper Express will start boarding at exactly 5:15 am tomorrow, and will take off at exactly 6:00 am tomorrow. The Escaper Express II will start boarding at exactly 6:15 AM tomorrow and will take off at exactly 7:00 AM tomorrow. This will go on and on until two weeks have passed. In total, there will be three hundred thirty-six Escaper Expresses, if the plan succeeds. Each Escaper Express will have enough room for eight thousand, nine hundred and thirty people, perfectly fitting Candyport’s population of approximately three million people. Each spaceship will be equipped with a high-tech machine that provides infinite food. It has not been 100% approved, more like 98% approved. Our time here is short, as we all know, so we must make do with what we have. That’s it. I know that was a lot of information coming at you, so I will repeat myself…”

I jump up. “Oh my molasses! Dad, did you hear that? I’m leaving in two weeks!”

“Yes, sweetie,” he says. “Stay strong, Emma. I love you.”

That night, I call Vera. “Which Escape Express are our tickets for?” I ask.

“One sec,” she says. I hear some rummaging. “Escape Express XXXVII. Next Monday, starts boarding at 6:15 PM, takes off at 7:00 PM,” Vera reports.

“Well, it could be worse,” I say. “See you Monday!”

I go to the living room. “Hey, Mom. I’m leaving tomorrow evening.”

“Okay, Emmie.” She hasn’t called me that since I was eight. But I have a feeling she just wants to spend time with me. So I let her be thirty-three, pretend I’m still six, and just spend time with her baby, taking in my smell, how I look, everything about me, for the last time.


Chapter Two

Monday afternoon comes all too soon. I hug my parents goodbye and head to the square with a single suitcase of clothes and books, Vera, and her mom. President Gumstein wasn’t kidding—there are probably almost nine thousand people here, and the Escaper Express XXXVII is huge, it barely fits in the main square. And our main square is gigantic, like, two square miles gigantic. I look at the spaceship in awe. The front has a huge, round window surrounded by smaller windows on the circumference of the round window, and the rest of the spaceship is covered in a thick layer of square glass panels that seem unbreakable; I sure hope they are! Suddenly I spot President Gumstein himself!

He shouts into his megaphone, “Okay, everyone! Quiet down!” A hush falls over the crowd. “This is the Escaper Express XXXVII! Not the Escaper Express XXXVI or the Escaper Express XXXVIII! Check your tickets. Okay, everyone’s good? Great. Now, divide yourself into twenty-six sections. Each of your tickets has a letter of the alphabet. Section A to my right, your left. Section B to my left; you’re right of Section A…”

“Looks like we’re Section H,” Vera’s mom says. We walk to Section H. There were still around three hundred fifty people in each group, now I understand why the spaceship had to be so big. It appears that there are twenty-six doors (one for each group, I presume). The president lets each group board the Escaper Express one by one. It’s a good thing that H is towards the beginning of the alphabet, because even just standing outside for fifteen minutes, plus waiting to board in the square, is grueling. One minute, it’s cold, another minute hot. One minute the air is clean, the next minute fruit tape starts to bounce off people’s heads.

Finally, President Gumstein calls Section H to board. I take my last look at the city where I was born, with its oceans of blue raspberry Airheads, its dark chocolate soil, and its trees of rainbow Fruit Roll-Up leaves. I take probably my last deep breath of fresh clean air with the scent of candy. There is no going back now. I step onto the spacecrafts. Yes, plural spacecrafts—one the physical, one the spacecraft of emotions I am feeling. And finally the spacecraft of possibilities that was awaiting me on the other side of the door.


Part Two: The First Weeks

Chapter Three

The first week is definitely rough. I’m not used to so many people living in one place and every day I think about the stuff I left at my former home. For me it’s my bed. Of course all the Escaper Expresses have real beds, but they are never exactly the most comfortable since the planet’s United Council had to manufacture three million of them, plus sheets, blankets, pillows, pillowcases, mattresses, etc. And don’t forget all three hundred thirty-six Escaper Expresses. Enough of that.

When I wake up, I listen for the alarm clock, but it isn’t an alarm clock waking me up. It’s the Breakfast Bell, which always rings at exactly 7:00 AM. All twenty-six sections go to the Main Dining Hall, in the center of the spaceship, where there’s a huge buffet. Well, very occasionally I wake up to an alarm clock, waking up at around 5:00 AM if it’s my turn to help cook food for the day. But this rarely happens to me, since there are almost nine thousand people on one ship, and only about one hundred people needed to cook food. That seems like a lot, but when you think about it, one hundred is tiny compared to nine thousand.

I miss a lot of stuff from Candyport, but there’s still a lot of unique things that you can only experience on a spaceship, like zero gravity. It takes some getting used to, but since I got used to it, I can float and fly around with just a kick of my feet. Plus, you know that huge window surrounded by smaller windows that I talked about earlier? It’s called the Rotunda, and the view from it is one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen. I can see the stars, and galaxies, and it feels like I am a mere grain of sand in the dense, endless ocean.

Once, I think I see a supernova in the distance, millions of light years away. It is shades of blue and violet and there are some splashes of yellow, and in the center there is a speck of white, but just for a second. I know it can’t be the supernova that will swallow up Candyport—it has been four days since we took off and Candyport is already fifty light years away—but for that short second, I feel a twinge of pain. I know my parents will be stranded, the only ones on my former home planet. Why didn’t I urge them to go with me? They were there when I was watching TV, and the president said there was an infinite food machine… they probably weren’t listening that closely, but still! They could have had infinite candy and not have diarrhea for the rest of their lives.

I forcefully push those thoughts out of my mind. If I think about my parents for too long, a balloon already inflated from living on a spacecraft (possibly eternally) will pop. And everything will come out.

The food is better than I expected. If you don’t think about the fact that it was made from a machine with who knows what, it tastes pretty decent. I guess in every hundred people, you’re bound to find a good cook. Every Friday, there is even pizza—but not like bad school lunch personal pizzas—real pizza. Sometimes for lunch there’s hamburgers with fries, or maybe a hot dog. For breakfast there is usually waffles or cereal. For some reason, 20% of the food produced by the machine is cereal. Lucky Charms, Froot Loops, every kind of sugary cereal you can think of. For dinner, it’s like lunch, but every once in a while the cooks throw in some pasta.


Chapter Four

Within a week I have mostly adjusted to living on a spaceship. And by mostly I mean, mostly. I still think about my parents every once in a while, but I’ve gotten better at ignoring my thoughts. A little part of me tells me that it’s wrong, but I ignore that too. Also, about every other day I just get a little nauseous. It isn’t too unpleasant—I don’t barf—but it’s just a little unexpected. Like, one moment, it’s been two days since the last time I got nauseous, and I think I’m no longer in the nausea phase. The next moment, I get dizzy.

One day I’m in the Rotunda, just looking out. And Vera comes. We silently talk to each other. And we just hug. I know it sounds kind of stupid, but we just know what each other is thinking. We stare at the stars. And we stay there for fifteen minutes, just thinking about everything, about our old life, and Vera’s dad (his brother murdered him, only three people know it), and my parents. And when our next cooking shift will be, and trying to picture Candyport when the Escaper Express XXXVII blasted off. Were Candyport’s rings turquoise or lavender? Oh, right, they were turquoise with indigo speckles. What color was the planet? Red or gold? Oh right, it was a rainbow…so pretty. My dad had glasses, wait no he had contacts. I can’t remember… isn’t living on a spaceship for a long time bad for your brain? And the radiation is ten times stronger than on Candyport, right? I should have stayed… no I shouldn’t have. I’ll live longer on the Escaper Express…or will I?

Every once in a while, someone gets called to the Candyport Connections Room. If you get called, it’s usually not a good thing. I’ve seen people come out of there, red faced, puffy eyed and teary. The CCR will probably only be in use until the Escaper Express CCCXXXVI blasts off, unless there’s an urgent message from someone staying on Candyport, like my parents. Then it will be converted to a museum dedicated to the future generations of Candyport, so they can learn about their ancestors’ home planet.


Chapter Five

When I was a kid, I thought Candyport was perfect. When a candy storm happened, I thought it was a blessing from the candy gods. When I played Candyland, I thought that it actually was just a small country in Candyport.

When I was a kid, more importantly, I heard fairy tales. I had no idea what a fairy was, or why people called these tales “fairy” tales. One fairy tale Vera and I heard was called “A Planet Called Earth.” It was about this fascinating planet with blue oceans, green and brown continents, flashing lights, and no rings! Plus, the humans of Earth didn’t have any natural candy landforms, and had to make candy in factories! Imagine that! Crazy stuff! There were strange creatures called “animals,” who were every other living thing besides the humans. Whoever came up with that fairy tale certainly had a crazy imagination. The humans of Earth were so big-headed, and all they were doing was just destroying their planet little by little. Amazing to think that the people of Candyport and the people of Earth were the same species. We were beyond being from different planets. It was like we were from different universes.


Part Three: Miracles

Chapter Six

It’s a typical day on the spaceship when I hear the announcement: “Emma Buttercup, Section H, please report to the Candyport Connections Room immediately.” What? Did they just say my name? Or did I hear that wrong? 

“I repeat, Emma Buttercup, from Section H, please report to the Candyport Connections Room. You have a message.” The announcer says calmly and clearly, as if I wasn’t just about to explode into sadness.

I take a deep breath, and walk to the Candyport Connections Room.

“Hello, Emma. I am Diana.” A middle-aged woman greets me as I enter the CCR. “I know you are very concerned, and you have reason to be. Here, listen to the message.” She hands me a phone, and I take it with trembling hands, and hold it up to my ear, terrified of what I’m about to hear. My chest gets tight.

“Emma Butterworth, I regret to say that your candy addicted parents almost escaped death; they boarded the Escaper Express CCCXXXVI, but there was a malfunction with the spacecraft during blastoff that we can’t fix ourselves. If it hadn’t been the last Escaper Express, then we could have gotten help. Unfortunately, the Escaper Express CCCXXXV was long gone. I’m sorry, Emily. I’m calling you as the ship commander of the Escaper Express CCCXXXVII. Goodbye.”

Static. 336 will forever be my unlucky number. A tear falls down my cheek and splatters on the checkered tile of the CCR. I sob. Why did I leave them behind? Why did I ignore the bad feeling in my gut? Why? I knew they were going to die soon. Why did this hit me so unexpectedly? I run back to Section H, back to my bunk, with my head in my hands, and just cry.

My balloon has popped.

I wake up the next day with a spongy pillow and a groggy head. How long did I sleep? I look at my watch. It says 8:47 AM, Monday, December 4th, 1173. I try to do the math. “So I fell asleep after lunch on Sunday, and slept through dinner. Breakfast is ending around now…wow.”

The first thing I need to do is get a new pillow and pillowcase. My current ones are tear soaked. I throw them into the huge hamper outside my dorm. Next, get some food. I’m starving! I go down to the Dining Hall and put a muffin and some eggs into a napkin.

When I come back to the dorm, everyone’s come back up from breakfast.

“You okay?” Vera says.

“Not really,” I admit.

“My parents boarded the last Escaper Express, but something went wrong with the spaceship and everyone died, including them.” 

Vera puts a hand on my shoulder. “You’re handling it better than I did when my dad died.” She gives me a knowing glance. I nod. 


Chapter Seven

I go to the Rotunda. I look at the stars and galaxies. Happiness used to be mine for over a decade. I thought it would stay mine. Now I’m not so sure.

But when I look through the Rotunda, see space, all my thoughts disappear. Even as my life changes, the view is always the same. It’s comforting knowing that even when major things happen, some things have to stay the same.

Life goes on. The spaceship goes on. The food machine goes on.

But I am starting to feel homesick. Not necessarily for Candyport, but just for a home somewhere, to stay in one place and just be there. But every single day is the same here. It should be comforting, but I seek variety in my days now. “I don’t want to live on a spaceship. I—”

Vera interrupts me. “I know it’s hard, Emma. But you have to push through. You can’t let the death of your parents eat you up. I hate to be so candid, but either way you probably wouldn’t have seen your parents for the rest of your life. So I know it’ll be hard, but once you’re done grieving, you have to move along. Or else you’ll feel like this for your entire life. Think about that.”

This is one of the reasons why I love and hate Vera. She sometimes has to be frank to get to me. I know I need it sometimes, but I hate that I’m not strong enough to push through, to banish the bad thoughts from my head.

Vera continues her speech. “I know what you’re thinking, Emma. But this is what friends are for. This is why destiny chose us to be friends. This is why. So don’t worry. We have each other.”


Ten years later…

Part Four: Blue Marble

Chapter Eight

The year is 1183. I turned twenty-three two months ago. I have finally gotten over the deaths of my parents. I am looking through the Rotunda with Vera, something we’ve done every Saturday since we boarded the Escaper Express. Suddenly, I see a cool-looking blue planet. It has little greenish brown patches, and a bunch of beautiful white swirls. It looks different than any other planet I’ve seen. It looks…habitable. Other people think that too, I believe.

Suddenly, the loudspeaker cracks to life. “We are now approaching planet… um, unnamed. It appears that people want us to land on this planet. My data claims that the temperature and oxygen level is suitable for us humans. This Planet X is mostly uninhabited, so yes! Everyone, I am giving you five minutes to get to the dorms. Prepare for turbulence. We are going to land!’’ Everyone on board cheers, then rushes to their dorms.

Once Vera and I are in our bunks, I say, “I never thought we’d make it this far.”

“Yeah. Same.”

“Well, let’s get ready for landing.”

After landing…


Chapter Nine

“Welcome to Planet X, everyone. Please put your oxygen masks on. Though there is a suitable amount in the air, we just want to be cautious. Now, if you can just listen to my instructions. When exiting, Section Z will go first, followed by Y, X and so on. I will notify you when your Section exits,” the ship commander says.

Finally, Section H is called. When we go outside from the spacecraft, I at first laugh. 0.3% of the population of my (former) planet is walking around, astounded by a crazy, new world (to be fair, I was one of them) wearing black gas masks, peering around Planet X.

When everyone is off the ship, the ship commander takes a very forward-thinking looking radio out of his pocket and broadcasts all the other spaceships that we’ve landed on Planet X. Fortunately, since we’re Escaper Express XXXVII, there are only thirty-six ships ahead. And all of them have landed on Planet X, too. The remaining spaceships will try to find Planet X and land. For now we will try to communicate with the passengers of Escaper Expresses I-XXXVI to see where they are on this planet.

“Now it seems like we’re in a corner of a landmass. Pretty hot here, there is a blue mass of liquid close to us, and across from the liquid is another land mass.” This place is the Great Rift Valley of what is now Africa, near what is now Somalia, Ethiopia, and Djibouti, according to Google Maps. It is supposedly the cradle of humanity. 

“I know it’s very vague but sorry,” the ship commander says. Then suddenly I see a bunch of people out in the distance. I report to the commander. And eventually we all start trekking toward the other people, toward life and a new home and hope, with our few belongings and food on our backs. At least we don’t have to wear our hot gas masks anymore.

For about five hours, we walk to the mass of people in the sweltering heat. It is now clear that we are among fellow Candyport citizens.

“Hello!!!” We yell.

“Hello!!!” They yell.

Once we are united, we take a food break, and then decide to find shelter. Unfortunately, this part of Planet X is very dry and barren, except for desert shrubs that appear here and there. We decide that for the first day we will all set up camp under the shrubs and try to get some sleep. But then something very strange to us happens.


Chapter Ten

The entire world goes dark. No, I am not kidding. It’s crazy! No one expects it, and you know that bright thing in the sky that you only notice if you look for it that’s so ordinary (the sun)? Well Planet X’s sun slowly falls down in the water like a ball. And it changes the color of the sky until everything goes black! And it gets really cold too! It’s crazy, we worry the light won’t ever come back. We decide to go to sleep, and then we will plan things.

The next morning…

I wake up to a bright blue sky. Where am I? What is this shrub-like thing hovering above me? Suddenly, I remember yesterday’s events. We finally got off the spaceship, and we met up with our fellow Candyport citizens. Now, we must find the others. Also, we have to somehow get to our infinite food machines so that we have enough to feed everyone. That’s going to be hard. If we get lucky, then maybe an Escaper Express will land close to here. You see, when an Escaper Express lands, it can’t take off again, unless the fuel is completely recharged. While we wait for an Escaper Express to land, we eat a breakfast of energy bars, candy of course, and instant oatmeal.

At about noon, we see a giant spaceship shadowing the land we are living on. We all cheer for life and hope and love in a new place, the song of humanity. The spaceship lands, and the mass of people slowly exits the ship that is now basically a large piece of junk machinery but an hour ago carried 0.3% of an entire planet’s population across our universe.

Isn’t that amazing? Anything is possible. Even us humans living on Planet X (you probably know it as our currently own—but perhaps not original—planet, Earth!) have lived here almost a whole millenium (recall that in this story, at least, we landed in the year 1183 AD) or more depending on when you read this! It could mean that we were once strangers to our own planet(s), and not just to Earth. It could be anywhere, with anyone, anytime.


Footnotes:                                                  

This story was translated from Tamic (first human language) to Modern English in 2019.

I am not requesting the reader to believe anything in this story, including what they just read. But you are allowed to, because that’s what stories are for. A little something to brighten up your day, even if it’s not needed. Even if the title is cheesy. If you are living in a prison cell, or a mansion, it doesn’t matter. Because books are, and should be, for everyone. Because everyone sometimes needs a little enjoyment in their life. That is why I wrote this.

The End


The Rocket Jet Car

Once there was a kid named Max who was 8 years old. He liked to read comics and liked to play baseball. One day he was walking and saw a car that looked like his parents’ and it was unlocked so he went inside. He thought it would be cool if he stepped on the gas, but he thought the car was not on so it would not move. He stepped on the gas and then he saw a rocket engine in the back.

All of a sudden the car was flying and he thought, “I hope I’m just flying and not going to outer space.” But the car went up and up and it broke through the atmosphere. Max started screaming because he thought he was not going to be able to breathe and die. He tried to breathe and… he actually could breathe. 

He said, “Yay, I’m not going to die.” He zoomed through space and then he saw that he was weaving through the Milky Way galaxy.

It was cool and Max wondered if maybe he made it back alive, he could share his findings with NASA.

He wondered what other galaxies were out there. Then he saw a planet that was red and green and blue and white. He decided to land on the planet. He looked at the car and realized it had changed and now had a bunch of buttons and levers. He pressed a button labeled autopilot and he told the car to land. Then he jumped out of the shift and amazingly, he could breathe. He found a planet with life on it. He started to explore by foot. He noticed that there were houses, but they were bigger than any house he’d ever seen. He wanted to go inside, but he was afraid that whoever was living there might not want him there. 

Max saw a store and decided to go inside. It had aliens in it. They were blue and red with one green eye. He remembered that he left his phone in the car. So he ran back inside to his car to take a picture of the aliens but he accidently left the flash on and the aliens saw him. They started chasing after him so he ran back into the car and saw a button that said “weapons” so he pressed it. A laser gun appeared. Max grabbed it, jumped out and ran at the aliens shooting it. But the aliens had laser guns too so Max ran back to the car and pressed the “weapons” button again. A grenade appeared this time. Max ran outside and threw it at the aliens and then he started running and the aliens ran after him. He detonated the grenade and all the aliens exploded. He decided to get off this crazy planet and he looked at the buttons and saw a button that said “home” and pressed it. The rocket zoomed and he was back in the Milky Way galaxy and it zoomed some more and then zoomed just a little more and in no time he was back to earth. 

He used the rocket car one more time and flew to NASA to share all of his crazy findings.

The End


My Life in the Birchwood Forest

Prologue:

I don’t know why I was left here. All I know is that this is where my life began. Right here in Birchwood forest. I can remember how I woke up here, the sun shining down on my face when I was very small. I remember how I sat up and looked around, and it felt like everything around me was a fresh start. This was the only place I remembered. The only place I ever knew as home.


Chapter 1:

It all started the day I woke up in the Birchwood forest. I was all alone. At first I was scared. Scared of this strange new place. Scared of being alone. Scared of myself. But then I realized that if this is where Earth put me, where Earth wanted me to live a life like this one, then this is the life I have to live.

Ever since the day when I woke up here, I tell myself that this is home. I don’t have any other history behind that. Just that this is me, this is where I belong. I wasn’t living in luxury, alone in the forest. I couldn’t bring myself to eat anything other than leaves, which I carefully expected for any signs of insects. Eventually I thought I might starve. The only source of water I could reach was a stream, the tinkling sounds of rushing water musical relief to my ears. By my second year in the forest, I was only turning two, but, of course, I didn’t know that. I wouldn’t have learned how to tell time and the days and the weeks, and the months and the years, or if I would survive living here for as long as a decade or more. And I did. How? It’s all thanks to the deer.

Chapter 2:

If it hadn’t been the fate that the deer had found me, I probably wouldn’t have lasted another week. They had watched me for awhile and saw me abandoned. They came on my second birthday, and ever since then, they had been my family. They found me sobbing under one of the youngest birch trees, the leaves and twigs and grass not been a filling enough diet, and I didn’t think I would survive the next few days like this. I looked up and saw a deer standing over me, looking into my somber face. Then something strange happened. Something I thought no human would ever be able to do. The deer/. It spoke to me. Not the way animals do in fantasy stories-through my mind. It was like a voice was softly speaking to me through every cell in my body. I could feel it vibrating through my heart, my soul, my head, to the tips of my fingers and toes, and all throughout my body. I could make out what the voice was saying, now, as the deer drew closer. I know you’re afraid. I hiccuped a reply. I opened my mouth to speak, but I didn’t even have to. The words rushed out through my head, not through my mouth. Y-yes. I stuttered through my mind, my new way of speaking difficult at first. Yes I am.  

The vibrations bounced back to me with the deer’s response. You don’t have to be. And ever since that day, I was one of them. I was one of the deer. Raised by them and lived like them, and learned the ways of the deer. I later found out the name of the deer that found me alone. Sage. I loved that name. Just like the plant my mother used to cook with before she abandoned me. I miss the smell of that beautiful plant. And from that day forward, my name–was Twig. 

In this instance, I am reminded that I am loved and probably was, even before I was found by the deer. Maybe Poppa and Momma didn’t want to abandon me, all alone, in the forest years ago. Maybe it was for my own sake, I thought, chewing on my thumbnail, maybe I was in danger, or, someone was coming to take me away! No loving family could let that happen, that’s for sure.

 I resumed positive and tried to focus on learning how to crack open a charcoal nut, a special type of vegetation that grows in the forest. I dropped the nut down on the rocks by the stream and waited for it to hopefully split open and the creamy inside would pour out. Unfortunately, this didn’t work the first time.

 “Really?!” 

Sage gave me a look that clearly meant, “Be patient.”

 I had to try it five more times until I got it right. Learning in the forest was harder than I expected. Grass, bark, twigs, and berries were all a part of a deer’s diet. I had to learn to live like them, so that was what I had to eat, too. I delved into studying the ways of survival. Now knew what was edible and what wasn’t. Now that I knew how to survive here, I wasn’t afraid anymore.  However, I had always been afraid of what I am once I found out exactly what powers I have, but the deer helped me. This is what I mean: At the age of five, I discovered that I was a deer shapeshifter.

Chapter 3:

One day, when I was down at the stream washing my face, I spotted a fox den and noticed three pups. Where had their mother gone? (It had been obvious that their mother had gone in search of food.) I crawled carefully over to the den and peered inside. I gasped as I noticed that one of the pups wasn’t breathing and leaned in closer. The two other pups growled at me and slowly backed away. I hesitated to do so, but I scooped up the pup in my arms and pulled it closer to me to see what was wrong. There was blood everywhere.

  It had seemed that something had attacked the fox pup and somehow had gotten into the den. The pup was dead. I had heard a sound from somewhere in the distance. The trotting of paws. The mother fox was close by. I carefully set down the pup’s limp body. I quickly ducked out of the den, and prepared to run.  But, it had been too late. The fox was getting closer and closer, and broke into a run. I ran for my life, but I had never been that great at running. 

Suddenly, I felt a tingling sensation come over my body. I kept running and running, as the fox picked up speed. The more space I put between the fox and me, the better. But the tingling sensation reached the top of my head to the tips of my toes and all throughout my body. Then, I felt something on my skin, like snowflakes were landing on my arms and legs. My feet turned icy cold, and my hands, too. I looked back and saw the fox racing after me. I looked down at my feet and saw that they had been replaced with gleaming black hooves. I shrieked and looked at my hands to make sure nothing was going on there, but it wasn’t like anything else was going to make hooves on a human any less surprising. There were hooves on both my hands instead of human fingers. Then, I felt my body arch forward until I was running in the position of a dog (now that I think about it, like a deer). I felt big furry ears and antlers sprout up upon my head. This is where I had realized what was going on. I–was shapeshifting into the form of a deer. 

The fox really seemed to have a death wish for me! I thought, as the sweat dripped down my face.  Still in deer form, I was trotting away at such a speed that I felt as if I was flying. It was wonderful to be in deer form! A thought struck me then. I couldn’t let the fox chase me back to the herd! I would put all their lives in danger, and they won’t ever deserve that, not after saving my life. I flew myself around a turn and crouched low behind a huge rock. I thought I would surely be dead deer meat, and I really would be if I died as one. My heart had been pounding in my chest, and my legs shook as the fox drew nearer. I watched from the huge boulder as it sniffed the ground, trying to track my scent. Sweat dripped down my forehead, and the nerve racking thought of dying as something I only was once in my life and having my deer bones being crushed to bits kept floating back to mind. Eventually the fox gave up and stalked away, not happy with its loss of prey.

Well I certainly was. I let out the breath I was holding, which I didn’t realize I was, as I was hiding from the fox, worrying about whether or not I would be torn apart by fox jaws.

I walked back to the young birches that the herd lived in. What had just happened to me? I had thought.

  Later on I realized that maybe if I ripen this raw power, I’ll be able to shapeshift when I want, not only in a scary situation. I had thought. As I carved my skill for shapeshifting, I realized that if I practiced hard enough, I would be able to shift whenever I wanted to. I realized that when I was in danger with the fox that day, my shifting powers came because I needed saving. So, I practiced hard enough, every day, and soon was able to master the skill of shifting by the time I was nine years old.


Chapter 4:

Two years later…

 One night, on my eleventh birthday, I was up in one of the birch trees that I had carved my initials on, which meant “Twig has climbed this tree” and spotted a light– shining– from a little ways outside of the forest. Then, I spotted something miraculous. There was a garden in the front of the house with lettuce and tomatoes and all sorts of delicious foods for the deer and I thought that if I could reach the garden, I could bring back food for the herd and me to have. I jumped out of the tree and quietly crept over to where the garden was, and sneaked closer to the beautiful garden.  I thought I would be able to reach in and grab as many vegetables as I wanted to without being caught, but it was harder than it looked. As I drew nearer, I could see that there was a fence surrounding the garden. It was tall and spiky and it looked like it would be impossible for me to climb over it.

“Oh, honestly, this is to easy!” I smugly said to absolutely no one around me. I stood on my tiptoes and extended my fingers and arms in front of me. I thought about what a deer looks like, the tall white antlers and the slender hind legs. I pictured the whole body of a deer, every single descriptive part about one. This is the way the deer trained me up. Now I do it as if it’s as simple as plucking a flower from the soil. It’s a sweet sadness, happy you have a pretty flower to stick in a vase and stare at it just to admire its beauty. But then again, you miss how you saw the flower, innocent and sweet-smelling, and you know that it will eventually wilt, and you will want to return to what it was before, sorry for taking a life and want to plant another. That’s how it is with me. I can’t bear myself to stay in this form too long, for I know that this isn’t really who I am, I’m the girl who lives with a deer herd, not a deer who has found other deer to live with.

That’s Sage’s title.

With my human form swept away like the tide, I take passion in carefully making sure I use my deer form wisely, only to collect food in a simpler way, so that in case I’m ever near civilization, people won’t send me away!

Well, this time I won’t be in deer form for any of that. I’ll have to be in form just so I can’t tear open a space in the gate wide enough for me to climb through! Then I’ll change myself back and carry as many vegetables as I can back to the herd. Good plan! I thought, as I slowly and silently began to tear open a whole in the gate, carefully not to wake the possessor of the house. Once I had clambered through the tear in the gate (They really could have put better security on it, any animal would be smart enough to find a way to get through to the garden). I shifted back into my normal self and knelt down to reach for the lettuce and tomatoes and any other delicious vegetables I could find. Once I had enough to feed the whole herd, I took my loaded arms to the gate and tossed everything over. Then, I climbed back through the hole in the gate and grabbed everything up from the ground and with my arms full, I hurried back to the herd.


Chapter 5:

Sage had warned me not to go out again for if I was found I would be taken away and never able to see the deer again. Of course, I didn’t want that to happen at all, so I went back to feeding on the things we had before I traveled to the garden. One night, I became restless though, knowing that we had too many mouths to feed and I thought the herd needed more food because one morning the deer and awoke to a loud noise in the distance. It sounded like the calling of a stag but at a thousand times louder. Then, a few bushes collapsed ahead of us. Our berry grove! That meant that there would be less food for us all. That couldn’t happen! I wouldn’t let the herd starve. That night, Sage told me that the world was changing and the humans didn’t always care for the forests. They wanted their own ways and didn’t think ahead of time how nature could be affected. Then, I knew that if the world was changing, and if groves were being cut down as Sage tells me, then I needed to do what I had to do.  

Later that night, I waited until the herd was asleep and slowly crept past the snoozing deer. As I tiptoed past Sage, I stopped in front of her and whispered,

“I’m sorry, but this will do us all good.”

Then I quietly crept out through the tall bushes, separating me from the tall trees that would lead to the clearing where the house was and where the garden was planted. I crept closer to the garden and, planning to climb back through my hole that I made last week, I noticed that it was boarded up. I only had one other option, to dig under the gate and come out the other side. Sighing reluctantly, I quickly changed form in a flash. I began (I would say clawing, but I have hooves) digging in the ground until I had built a deep enough trench to wiggle my body through. 

As soon as I felt fresh air again, I held still and kept my body tucked away in the soil, only exhibiting my ears above ground. I heard a gunshot somewhere in the distance. I gulped. Sage’s warned me about human weapons.

“They could kill a deer in an instant.” She had told me. With my rattling nerves, I crept silently out of my trench, and stalked towards the garden. I changed back into my original form and filled my basket I had weaved from tiger grass a few days after my trip to the garden. I was about to return to the herd when I heard whispering voices coming from the house. As I crept near, I could make out what they were saying. I crouched low under the window and pressed my ear up against the wall. I heard a man’s voice, high-pitched and stupied:  “Yes, we must cut down the trees around this house if we aspire to build the town’s shopping mall here.” 

My eyes widened as I listened for more. 

Another voice, low and demanding, responded, “Certainly. And these trees will make fine 

lumber for materials to sell in the main mall.”  My heart was racing in my chest. Sweat dripped down my forehead. What would I tell Sage? I wasn’t supposed to be out.

“Shall we have a deadline for when we begin building?”

“In a week we may begin construction,” the demanding voice said.  “We have a deal then.” My heart was pounding now and I heard the front door unlocked and click open. I gasped and quickly ran around the corner of the house and pressed myself up against the wall. A skinny man walked down the front steps and out of the cottage. 

“Selfish man.” I heard him mutter.

He put his bowling hat over his head and stalked away, his black jacket billowing out behind him.

 Chapter 6:

My breath was coming out in short gasps, and my lungs burned. I was running as fast as I could, but I had to face it. I sucked at running. I was still in shock from what I had just heard from the two men’s conversation. My bare feet burned and my knees ached horribly. I skidded around a corner as the dirt flew up behind me and I coughed as in inhaled the musty air. I reached the bushes were we all lived and gasped in relief. Regret filled my body, but I dropped to my knees and shook Sage awake. 

“Sage!! Sage!!” I whisper-yelled, careful not to wake the other deer. Sage blinked open her sleepy eyes, and sat back on her hind legs. 

“What is it, my fawn?” (That was Sage’s nickname for me). I clutched at my side, a stitch digging into my skin. I panted, and a sob escaped. I covered my face with my hands as so Sage couldn’t see me crying. Sobs racked my body. I always thought I was brave…

“It’s alright to cry, little one, Sage said as if she read my mind. “Now where were you that you’ve gotten so upset?” I sniffed and didn’t look at Sage as I spoke.

“I…I went back to the garden,” I said with a sigh. Her hazelnut eyes widened. I knew that look. To encourage me to go on. I looked up, finally, and told her about what I had overheard from the two men. “What are we going to do?” I said softly, watching as Sage stares wistfully into the distance. 

“We must move the herd to another forest,” she said, determined.

“No!” I shrieked, the word echoing off the tall trees.

“Twig, there’s no other way to be safe. We can’t stay here and hope our home doesn’t fall on our heads. We will have no sources of food and nowhere to live.”

“That’s exactly why we need to stop this!” I yelled. The other deer arose to the sounds of yelling. “No, we can’t leave!” I exclaimed. Some of the young deer came over to me and nudged me with their small snouts, as if to say, “It’s going to be alright.” I gave them a sympathetic smile and looked up, ready for a fight. “I’m sorry. But Sage, you saved my life. This– this is how I can repay you. And It’s about time, too,” I said, a sensation of melancholy overcoming me. “Twelve years later.” I stood up, my hands balling into fists. “I won’t let this go on. It has to go down.” Then I turned on my heel, deaf to Sage’s “Wait!”


Chapter 7:

 I knew what I was doing. I was going to go up to that horrible man and tell him that there is a herd of deer living in the forest, there are foxes and woodpeckers, there are chipmunks and woodchucks, there is life itself and he just wants to cut it all down. I will not let that happen. As I grew nearer to the house, I noticed how nervous I was. I took a deep breath and knocked. I looked down at my rags. I look like I’m not even taken care of! Of course I am though! By the deer! 

Before I could make another remark on my clothes, the front door swung open and a man with greasy black hair and a lopsided tie approached me. 

“What do you want?” He growled. It was the man with the low and demanding voice! 

I gulped. “I was wondering if I could have a quick chat with you about the current events?” I asked in a weak voice. This guy was scarier than I expected! 

“Do you mean the new mall? Are you here to…complain?” He demanded. 

“Actually, yes!” I said with as much positivity as I could muster. “Do you realize that you are building insanity smack in the face of nature?!” 

He had no answer for this demanding question, except for a forced, “Come inside and explain yourself.” The man dragged me by the front of my shirt forward into a musty room, where three things startled me. One: a mean-looking dog with fangs that formed an underbite. He growled at me, must have been smelling the deer. I slowly inched away from him. Two: the skinny man with the high-pitched voice was cowering in the corner! I gave him a questioning look which he returned. Three: A girl, about my age, sitting on a ripped up couch, looking reluctant as she held a cup of tea which smelled as the fumes of rotting eggs. She smiled at me, a smile which I did not return. I turned to the low voiced man. 

“What is your name?” I demanded of him. “And why should I have trust in telling you any personal information?” 

He growled. “It’s Barney.” The skinny man said, smirking at him. ‘Barney’ glared at him and turned a bright shade of pink. The girl on the couch let a laugh escape, and I almost laughed with her when Barney rounded on her. “You may address me by Mr. Barns!” He yelled, wheeling on me. 

“Seeing as I have no respect for you-,” the girl shoved her fist in her mouth to force back a giggle, “–I will address you as Barney. Do you realize that you’re planning to build buildings and malls smack in the face of this forest? There are herds of deer living here, foxes in their dens, and all sorts of animals that rely on living and surviving here in this forest.”

“She’s right,” said the man with the high-pitched voice. “If there’s so much life here, then we must find a better place to build our houses and malls, or not build them at all.”

“Yes, I agree with that,” said the girl on the couch. This time I returned her smile. I smiled at the man in the corner, too. 

Barney turned pink and exploded at all of us. “Fools!” he yelled. “Who cares about what lies in the forest? We planned all this work out and now we will finish it!”

“No you will not!” I protested. “A great herd of deer live there! I live there!” Everyone stared at me. 


“You live there?” the girl asked. I flushed red and had to say something, so I admitted how I lived in the forest ever since I was a baby. After I finished the story of how the deer found me and took care of me, everyone was shocked at my tale.

“No children should be living in the forest!” Barney exclaimed. “We’ll send you off to a proper school and a proper home.”

“No!” I yelled. “I have to live with the deer! They saved my life, I have to protect them!”

“Now don’t fuss, you’ll be happy there,” said the man in the corner. 

“No, papa, I think she’s happy here. But I also think that you shouldn’t be planning with this terrible man-,” she gestures to Barney. “-to chop down the Birchwood Forest.” It was pure relief to hear her say that. “I mean, if you think about it, you just destroy a chain of life! How would you feel if someone came into town, kicked us out, and replaced it with skyscrapers and tall buildings, and we had to make a long journey to find a better life, and be scared all the while and anxious you wouldn’t be able to find a perfect way to be at ease again? You can’t do that to the animals living in the forest! I agree with–what’s your name?” She asked me. I blushed at the fact that she even wanted to name and, as a matter of fact, my name is Twig, and she probably has a name that has nothing to do with nature or anything strange, probably a really pretty name.

 “I’m Brooke. Named after that stream in the forest you live in! And that’s my father, he goes by Mr. Dave.” She gave me an ear to ear grin. This time, I returned it. “I’m Twig,” I said shyly. 

“That’s a great name!” She examined. 

“Thanks.” I muttered. “Now who’s with me? Are we going to stop this insanity or what?!” I felt like I was rousing a bunch of protesters. I felt so positive I thought I was going to burst. Barney, through all of this, was standing, his mouth hanging open, shocked. He shook his head.

“I will not stand for this. I am heading into town now to borrow a trencher. These trees will be gone by thursday.” At that point, I couldn’t stand it anymore.

 

Chapter 8:

“I’ll be right back.” I whispered to Brooke. She nodded and gave me a promising look. As Mr. Dave and Barney argued, I tiptoed back and out of the house. I turned on my heel and ran. I had to get Sage! I shouldn’t have left her all alone with the others! They need to be safe! And they can’t be when Barney is planning to rip apart our home! I headed for the the grove were we slept, racing along in the deer form (I had shifted as soon as I left), and was now racing along a dry path, my hooves clicking in the dirt. I almost collided with Sage, who seemed to have the intention of racing after me. “Sage!” I exclaimed. I tried to convince them, “I met a girl named Brooke who wants to help me save the forest, along with her father and one other man who completely disagrees with us and still won’t let us keep the forest the way it is.”    

“For the first time I’m going to try to fight back with you. We will make sure our home isn’t destroyed. Change back into your human form, so they won’t suspect anything.”

I heard a voice in the distance. “Twig!” It called out. I spun around and saw Brooke and her father racing after me. Sage backed a few steps away.

“You told them your name?” she whispered. 

“It’s okay, those people don’t want the forest to be teared down. They want to help us.”

Then Barney emerged from the cottage and came running after us. “He–doesn’t want to help. He just wants to be selfish and unfeeling.” I glared at the long shadow of Barney striding across the clearing of trees drawing nearer to us.

“What is this vermin you are standing by?” He questioned, looking up and down Sage. I could see in Sage’s face the terror of standing in the presence of a human as horrible as this. I, for one, was shocked at these words. 

“Excuse you? How heartless can man get if they haven’t grown up knowing the importance of nature in this world? The very deer who saved my life, who, if it wasn’t for her, I wouldn’t be here, wouldn’t be speaking to you in this moment, the mere presence of me but a faded existence. I bet you want that, don’t you, me to be a dead goner. Than take me, take me instead of them, instead of the forest. I reached my hands out wide. I’m all yours. Just let them be.” 

Sage stepped in front of me, nudging me back. 

“No,” she whispered. “I’m so sorry I got you into this mess. And I’ll get you out, I promise.” I said. 

“I can’t do that!” Barney exclaimed, taken aback. “I can’t kill a human child instead of chopping down a random forest to make way for the new! Those options do not go together.” 

“In my world, they do. But, then, if you are too nervous to take my life instead of theirs because you think society will rat you out for murder, then leave us all. Build your malls, your homes, your tall–rectangular things–somewhere else, in a clearing where you don’t have to chop down my world.” A few minutes ticked by. 

“Please,” a tear ran down my cheek. “You don’t know how much this means to me.” Finally, the words came out that would change my life forever. Barney put his head in his hands. 

“Fine. Go live whatever life you want to.”

 Chapter 9:

Five Years Later…

Brooke

It was my last day to deliver food to Twig before I moved away. After today she would go into town when she needed to. I took the small satchel of food I tied it up to all tall tree, throwing the rope around it. As I pulled the rope up so no animals would eat it, I remembered the girl I met five years ago, and heard her tinkling laugh somewhere in the distance. She must be riding Sage. Or living in the tree house I helped her build last year. I will miss her so, so much.

“Goodbye, Twig.” I whispered into the forest.                  

Death Escape

Chapter 1

The outbreak starts

“Hey Matt! Let’s drive to the outskirts mall! We can go to the arcade,” I said. 

“But I don’t have money for those games!” said my friend Matt. 

“I got enough money to get all four of us covered! Go grab Gary and Al and lets get going!” I said. 

“No problem and thanks Kevin!” With that, we left our house and got into the car since I was the only one with a driver’s license, I drove.

  After a short drive with the guys chatting away about Fortnite because season 60 had flying cars, we finally pulled up to the mall. So we parked and entered the mall. The mall had so many stores with all sorts of fast food places along with other food stores. The mall was almost like a giant food store even though it had a bunch of other toy stores and clothing stores. I looked around and saw that today there weren’t many people there so it was more like a small crowd there. 

We entered the arcade with so many new games.

“Guys! Let’s play the new four-player walking dead!” I say. We run over to the new game and start. After we play for 5 minutes, we get death penalties. 

“Oh my goodness!” cried Gary. 

“Poor guy!” We had failed to save one of the guys which gave us a death penalty. “I sure hope this doesn’t happen to us Kevin,” said Al.

 We kept running around playing all sorts of arcade games. But after 30 minutes, I didn’t want to spend anymore money. So we set off toward the parking lot. We were going to enter the car and we all had received a message that tons of deer were gonna be on the road today.

“Ok Kevin, we should. Just drive carefully just to make sure we don’t kill anything,” said Matt. We then just jumped into the car and zoomed away.

Meanwhile……

“Sir! We have a small nuclear leak in the tank and it’s seeped into the water supply!” said a scientist to the manager who wasn’t very friendly at all.

“If you useless creeps don’t fix the problem or block more from coming out or I’ll go mad!” screamed the manager. Nearby, car washers didn’t seem to realize that their water supply had been a little bit contaminated by nuclear waste. They sprayed a person’s car and the person who had not paid attention to the deer message had already driven away at high speed. He then drove on the road and BANG accidentally hit a deer with his window open. “Ugh dumb animals…” he growled.

At that exact moment…

“Guys did you hear that?” asked Matt. “It sounded like some sort of bang!”

“Yeah I heard it too!” said Al.

“Do you think that’s the bang?” I asked pointing to a dead deer on the sidewalk. “Yeah.. maybe so,” said Gary. We walked out of the car and inspected the deer.

“Who would have done this?” asked Matt sadly.

“I bet it was him!” I said pointing to a person. I took a picture of the license plate and sent it to the police.

***

Later we had arrived home and turned on the Xbox and played Minecraft until 3:00 at noon. Until then we decided to watch some TV. We turned it on. It started with saying,

“A man drove by a deer corpse today and appeared to see it moving!”

That made us all jump out of our seats. “Could it be our deer?” cried Al seeming crazy nervous.

“Here we are with our witness! John! Would you please come up here?” said the reporter.

“Yes sir!” said the man named John. “I was just driving across the road until this seemingly dead deer just came to life!” He cried. “I even saw him get up and pound at a car! I then just drove away with that in film!” The man then said even more. “I then kept driving on the road until I saw some kind of man that looked deranged burst out of his window! Then he started chasing a car!”

“Well folks! That is our scoop for today! A mysterious deer coming to life what do you think? Leave a message on our website news channel 3.org!” he said.

We then were trying to change channels until channel 12 came in and said,

”Everyone listen up! We are here to show you a film of a clip shown from our newscopter! We are taking you there live! Subject! Massive violence and many casualties in the city of US! Here we are! Miles?”

“Yes sir, I can hear you! Now we are right now seeing in this city in Kansas where as far as I can see something wrong with some people! It’s as if they are killing others! I’ll try and go for a zoom in!” As the copter lowered, the camera zoomed in and we saw people with faces that had cracks and blood on them. It was not a pretty sight. But then something happened and the heli exploded on the ground.

“I think we better take a train somewhere else.” I said. Everyone took to that idea right away. So we booked train tickets to leave to Boston.

Chapter 2

Train of the dead


The next day, we were going to the train station. We then had checked in tickets and everything. We got to the tracks and went inside. We just viewed outside the window at the person letting people in. All of a sudden something pounced on him. And we had no idea what had happened. We were totally clueless. But it almost seemed like it was exactly like the people we saw in the news last night.

We knew that the train ride was supposed to be almost a day. But it was worth it to run away from total carnage.

“Guys, do you think it’s gonna be safe in Boston?” asked Gary worried.

“Yeah I’m sure we will,” I said. 

After an hour and a half, we were just sitting there until we saw something strange.

“Guys,” said Gary. “Does anything about this person look wrong to you?”

He said pointing to a woman who was limping our way and looking as if she would tumble down in a few seconds.

“She’s walking weird…” I said. “Do you think she’s sick?”

“Yeah I think so…” said Al. “Do you think she’s…. One of them?”

“What do you mean?” asked Matt.

“One of the creatures.” I told him. We saw her run into one of the train stewardesses.

“Ma’am are you okay?” asked the stewardess, bringing the woman into the back of the train. She laid the person on the ground.

“Conductor, we have a situation. There’s somebody here who seems in need of medical attention,” she said. The woman then got up. She got up and grabbed the stewardess and bit her in the neck. The stewardess fell in front of some passengers including us.

“What the hell??” murmured the passengers.

“Guys… we should run.” I said. We all got out of our chairs. “Hurry people!! Run!” I cried. The passengers didn’t all buy it.

“We aren’t going to listen to no pranks, sonny,” said an old man. A few passengers had already gotten up and were warning others to get up and run away.

“Fine! Just don’t get killed.” I said running off. “Everyone who saw the news last night?!” I said to passengers in car 5 out of 16 so I could get everyone to safety. So as we kept warning people to go to the front cars, we got most of the passengers in. I was getting a few more people out of car 7 where there were some other people. I ran to someone on the ground who was just lying there. As soon as I saw that person only had eye whites, I shoved them across from me and ran into car 6 where all the other people were. I shut the door before the crazy humans were in car 12 just in case something else happened. Two more people had then come, they banged on the door to get us to let them in. I did that and the couple got in.

One minute later, the zombies were in car 7 which is where we were behind them. They groped at the door and banged on it. One man was pressing against the door and said, “Anyone know how to lock these?” he said.

“Yeah I’d try twisting the orange thing on your left,” said somebody. The man did that.

“But what are those people doing with all that blood on them?” said one person. “It’s like a virus or something!”

“That’s it! It’s like a zombie outbreak or something!” I said. 

“Wait a minute, are we stopping somewhere?” I said. We saw a bunch of people approaching the window which made us all back up a little.

“Let us in! Please!” They cried. It took us all a minute to realize the train station had been overrun by zombies.

“Conductor! Open the door!” said a person. The conductor did so which also let the zombies on the train out. A couple survivors got in and slammed the door. Right before zombies started pounding the windows.

We slowly creaked open the door that led us to the train. We opened another door where there was still one or three zombies still hanging there. The few survivors including Gary and Al ran back. We slammed the door and saw someone slowly get killed by the zombie.

“Hey guys we can’t just stay on this train!” I said. “It’s going to reach Boston at one point where the virus might have already reached! We should all stick together.” Everyone was then talking about whether we should ditch the train and go to a stop with no zombies or go straight to Boston.

Everybody had mixed opinions and tried to argue with each other.

“We should stop the train at a stop,” said one man.

“But then we could end up getting ambushed by tons of zombies!” said another. “We should stay on the train.”

“But if we do that, it could get us trapped on a train or something. Besides, those zombies could break through that glass after a few hours!” said a third.

While everyone argued, me, Matt, Gary, and Al looked for something to help us. We all looked around until we could find something. Then we overheard the people deciding that we get off at the next stop. The conductor also agreed.

Once we got to the next stop, we realized nobody was here. We looked around hoping that there were no zombies. We looked around until somebody saw a R.I.O.T shield. We hoped that meant there were more survivors. We kept looking around together to see if there  were were survivors nearby until Al pointed at a baton. Gary had picked up both the shield and a baton which made him look more like the survivor kind. To be honest, he looked like a character from the Walking Dead series. So after he had that stuff, we kept searching for stuff to defend ourselves.

At one point, everybody was snooping around for weapons and shields. What I found was a wooden bat. But I was hoping I’d get a baton. But the thing is, there were hardly any weapons at all. Only three people had shields and about five people had bats or batons.

I was thinking about getting out of the train station until I realized that if there were a few police weapons, there could be police force nearby. Maybe even a military. I decided to look around downstairs for more weapons in the station and that when I saw that there was a broken gun a few feet away from me. At first I thought I was safe and had found a gun. But then I found out that it had blood all over it. That’s when I realized it meant that there could be a military force nearby that was infected.

I went back up to talk to Gary, Al, and Matt and explained what I had thought. They also thought about it and agreed with me.

“But where do you think the infected military can be?” asked Al. “Most likely at the train exit since that’s where nobody has gone.” I said. That’s when we heard a scream and saw a person run out the exit and into the station.

“Run!” he cried. “Run!!!” That’s when we realized that my theory of zombies was correct.


Chapter 3

Military chaos


Suddenly the whole train station had been completely overrun by infected soldiers. Gary grabbed his baton and bashed a zombie onto the floor.

“Let’s get the hell outta here!” he said. We then opened a door with nobody in it.

“Hurry! Get in here!” I cried to the panicking survivors. One by one, people noticed me calling them and ran through the door. After a few people entered, we noticed nobody else was alive. So we locked the door and saw that the zombies were already attacking.

“There’s too many of them! They’ll break the glass! Run!” I scream.

We all run and see that there’s still one train that was almost gonna leave. We kept running and making sure the infected didn’t catch up to us. We got onto the train.

“There’s still more people coming!” I said. “Get them in here!” But it was too late. Zombies broke through a window up top and started falling onto the ground. The passengers had mostly got into the train. So with that, the final person got in and closed the door. We figured we were safe but I had no idea what was gonna happen.

We quickly figured out that the people who were still alive had went into the incorrect train car and they got infected so it was no surprise to me that they were continuing to bang the windows. But me and my friends along with two other people got back into car 1 where nobody else was. We had blocked the glass doors to be sure they didn’t know we were there. Hopefully they had no sense of smell. But at one point we heard that somebody had opened the door for some completely stupid reason.

We soon heard the shrieks of zombies and survivors screaming. But no zombies banged on our door. That meant as long as the zombies couldn’t see us, we wouldn’t get chased. We then went to the conductor. “Hi guys,” he said. “This has been the worst day I have ever lived out of my whole life!” “We should get to Boston soon though,” he added.

Gary was worried. “Do you think that we could make it?” He asked.

“It’s possible, but let’s not lose hope yet.” said the conductor.

After we were 18 hours away from Boston, we looked and saw that zombies had overrun another train station. We were just about to pull away and after we were 11 minutes away from the station, we heard the conductor shout. 

“God dangit!” he screamed. “The engine’s broken!” 

I went over to him.

“We have to exit the train!” I said. “Guys, we have to get off.” I said to my friends. The two other survivors I first thought were still with us, but it turned out that their instincts made them go onto the train station first thing.


Chapter 4

Alone


“We are on our own,” said Gary shaking his head sadly. 

“We can’t stay on this train.

We have to actually survive until we reach Boston,” said Matt. We soon were walking off the train hoping not to get noticed by any really dangerous things. We all ran into the woods. But once we were walking, there were some zombies on the tracks. We were about to assault them until a zombie was right behind us and jumped on the conductor.

“ACK!” He cried, throwing the zombie to the ground. Thankfully he, the conductor, hadn’t been bitten.

“Gary! Hit the shield!” I said. Gary smashed his R.I.O.T shield directly into the zombie’s neck. It was a one shot kill, but this wasn’t a video game and we needed to actually fight those zombies on the tracks if we wanted to live.

We walked over to the zombies. They looked at us and lunged at us. My bat actually came in handy for the first time the apocalypse even happened. I struck at the zombie knocking it to the ground. Gary smacked a zombie’s head with his metal bat and got him killed. I kept continuously hitting a zombie until its blood oozed out.

“Matt! Here!” I said tossing my bat to Matt who was being attacked by a zombie. Matt first took out the zombie’s legs and then shoved the bat at its mouth.

“DIE!” cried Matt, smacking the zombie even after it was already completely dead. That was until there was a zombie right behind him. Gary whacked the zombie aside and shielded himself from getting bitten. Matt then finished the zombie off by punching him and smashing him.

After we had taken care of the zombies, we kept walking until we got to another area with zombies. But we kept either sneaking past or killing the zombies. At one point, we came to an area where there was a whole horde of them. So the idea was that we had to clear them out one by one which would be impossible unless somebody sacrificed themselves. I then noticed a person who had gotten eaten. I looked in his bag. Once I saw what was inside, I couldn’t believe my eyes.

There was actually 1 or 2 guns in there! I could not even believe my luck. At first I thought the gun was broken, but as soon as a zombie ran at me from out of nowhere, I did the first thing I thought of doing which was to grab a gun. But as soon as I pulled the trigger, blood went on the zombie’s head. I grabbed the shotgun for myself and passed the pistol to Al. Then we were ready. Matt and Gary took down those zombies as I took down the small crowd of undead humans. Gary kept giving the zombies a good clock on the head and wiped them out while Matt kept hitting at the guys so hard. He killed a row of three zombies in one hit. After defeating a somewhat endless wave of zombies, we actually managed to keep walking. But then, Al turned around and said, “Kevin, where did you get that gun?” He asked.

“In a pack.” I replied.

“Let’s see if it has food!” He said. “I’m hungry!” So that’s what we did. We finally got to that pack and opened it up.

“A banana, half a bag of chips, bottled water, and six cheese sticks,” said Gary.

“Let’s eat!” said Al. We all split the food.

We soon slept and waited in bushes where we hoped nobody could see us. We had to keep going early in the night so the zombies couldn’t see us. Thankfully we had survived the first day of the outbreak. We later kept going.


Chapter 5

Safe at last


We had a few encounters with zombies. I smashed some zombies to death that day until we finally had gotten to some kind of place where it looked like there had been a train accident. We all ran trying to make sure we didn’t run into a zombie horde. Soon, we saw a whole group of zombies all lying on the ground. But in front of us, there was a ton of zombies all grouped together on a bridge which we for sure had to take down.

We charged at the horde and were smacking them across the ground. I grabbed a zombie by the back of the shirt and broke its head by twisting it. Gary smacked zombies off into the lake which while Al shot his pistol making sure every bullet counted. We all ran toward other zombies knocking them into the river and shooting them all down.

Later, we had already found a tunnel which we thought would make a good base to be for surviving. We were alarmed by the sound of walkie talkies that made us think we were gonna be facing some kind of ultra smart zombies. That’s when we saw some people in army suits. We worried and walked over to get a closer look to see if they were human or zombie. But they then noticed us and said,

“Survivors approaching!” said some men. “Bring them over! Quick!”

Me, Gary, Al, Matt, and the conductor all approached the army men.

“We’re safe.” I said. “We survived the Zombie apocalypse!” We all cheered. Then we heard a noise in the air. “Scientists in the world have developed a cure for this disease! Medical units will now be dropping! Everybody now be calm! You are now safe!” The army men and my friends and me all cheered.

“We are survivors!” I said.

The end


Fend For Yourself

Nora lived right next to the waterfall Forest. The sky around the forest was always in perpetual sunset, so the ways the light hit the waterfall looked as if it was on fire. Nora never really noticed, but a water source kept her alive so she gave it some respect. Actually it was the only water source in the vicinity of fifty miles.  She lived on her own in the forest in a little grass hut. She got her water from the waterfall and salt from the ocean. She gathered roots and berries and set snares to catch the strange skinny birds. She was pretty self-dependent. She never noticed the beautiful setting or the pretty food that she gathered. The only thing about the nature that she really noticed was the crickets chirping that kept her from sleeping as early as she would like. Nora lived alone in her hut, but five miles away lived an old lady that seemed to know everything.

Every night when the crickets started to chirp, Nora started the long walk to the old lady’s grass hut and she learned about the possible plants and roots and edible birds that won’t give you bird fever. In return for the old lady’s knowledge, Nora fed her and shared her own knowledge , but since most of the useful things she knew were taught to her by the old lady, she mostly just told her stories of ancient gods and heroes. 

  One day when she was walking through the forest checking and resetting snares, she was unhappy to find that there were no edible birds, just the bright pink ones that were deadly poison. They were still alive so she let them go and walked over to the ocean to see if there was any fish to spear. None. She walked back into the forest and looked around for some roots and berries. She went to her favorite blackberry bush and found it untouched. She ran back to her hut, found a large basket, and stripped the berry bush clean of any fruit. 

She hauled the heavy basket inside and started eating. “Oh well,” she said to herself. “So much for a large lunch.” She sat down the half eaten blackberry basket and looked into the corner of the grass hut. There was an incredibly cute, little rabbit. Since Nora hardly noticed anything cute or pretty or nice she kicked it out of the hut and continued eating her berries. She set down the few remaining blackberries and wandered outside for a little afternoon stroll.

  After a mile or two, she noticed one of the strange skinny birds lying flat on its face. “Finally!” She said. “A real meal.” She kneeled down to pluck the bird when she noticed the the usually reddish brown skin of the strange skinny birds was paper white. Nora frowned and picked up the bird. Her stomach growled. She decided to consult the old lady. She took the long five mile hike up to the old lady’s house. She came running to the little grass hut. She walked into the hut.

Nora called the old lady Granny. Granny’s hut was strewn with thick, wooly rugs and sheepskin blankets from the real world.  Nora lived in the real world until she turned five. That was eight years ago. Bundles of good-smelling herbs hung from the ceiling.  Granny was sitting in a bundle of blankets cutting up meat Nora brought a few days ago on a large slab of wood that took up half the hut. Nora unclipped the bird from her belt. “Is that for me?” asked Granny. Nora’s cheeks turned red. She hadn’t anticipated this. “Sorry I will bring you your meat at the usual time but some weird things are happening.” Nora explained the vanished meat except for the paper white bird. “First you must not call it a bird. From now on you will call it a Apalaishan forest foul, and second give me the bird.” Granny said all in a hurry. “But you just said—” “No buts. Give me the bird.” Nora reluctantly gave Granny the bird.

Granny examined it for a solid five minutes. When she finally looked up from the Apalaishan forest foul she beckoned Nora to sit next to her. Nora sat down. Granny said, “Look at the slit in the side of your bird’s stomach.” She lifted the feathers that concealed the ugly gash. “The bird is completely sucked dry. There is not a trace of any blood. That explained why it is paper white. Your bird over here looked like he had an encounter with one of those giant leeches,” Granny paused and started plucking of the feathers.

 “You can have your dinner here. My cooking always tastes better than yours anyway.” Nora scowled at the floor, even though it was true. Granny always made good use of her herb bundles. It was starting to get dark. Nora walked over to close the grass curtain over the small hole in the hut and went around lighting candles with the fire that Granny had started to cook the food. Granny had three hundred and ninety-seven candles all stored away in a sheet of plastic to keep dry. It was unfortunate that she only had twenty candle holders. Granny had loads of stuff from the real world. That was the only thing that Nora did not like about Granny. 

After a long time of waiting for the stew to get ready, adding spices and unfamiliar herbs, supper was finally done. Granny spooned the stew into two wooden bowls and ate in silence. Nora was very hungry from her diminished lunch. She secretly thought that it was a bad idea that she showed Granny the bird. She wished she had eaten it all by herself. Even though the bird might have been poison, Nora had herbal remedies that Granny had taught her. 

Twenty minutes later, Nora got up and clipped the rest of the bird to her belt to be salted in her hut. A few years ago, she made a little trough out of sticks that she collected in the woods she filled it with salt. Now she had salted meat hanging from the roof of her hut as well as herbs and remedies. She salted the rest of the bird, hung it up, and crawled under a bear skin and went to sleep.   

The next day was a little more strange. Nora got up and pulled on a t-shirt and jeans that she brought to the from the real world, and went outside to check her snares all she found was paper white Apalashian forest foul. They were strewn across the forest floor. There were ten of them. She gathered them and took them to her hut. She plucked them and skinned them and did all sorts of things that you did to a piece of bird when you were hungry. She salted five and carried them over to Granny’s hut she dropped them off at the “Meat deposit” that Granny had installed for her. Since she already did the hunting and yesterday’s berries were still ripe, she decided to take a swim in the ocean.

 She walked to her hut, put on a bathing suit that used to fit Granny when she was thirteen, and headed to the ocean. Nora happened to be quite an accomplished swimmer, even when she was five and in the real world winning prizes for her back float and such. She went up to a cliff that looked down at the sea around forty feet down or so. She took a deep breath and dived into the blue-green waters once she touched the bottom she swam around face-down with her eyes open and she noticed something very strange. She got to her feet and swam deeper into the ocean and noticed fish lying on their backs. They were already dead. She looked up toward the cliff. There was a white flash of a tail disappearing into the woods. It looked like the rabbit she kicked out of her hut yesterday. 

She swam to the shore and ran to her hut and changed into her clothing. She got the long knife that she used for preparing meat and occasionally throwing a knife at a bird that wandered outside her hut. She silently slipped into her boots knife in hand and proceeded outside the hut. She was going to hunt down whoever was killing the animals. First she decided to tell Granny about her plan. She might give her something to help her. Last time something happened like this turned out to be a poacher. Nora had hit his head hard with a rock. He got amnesia, so instead of getting a buddy for Granny she led him over to the edge of the woods and pushed him out. He was probably now in some weird real world hospital.

Nora arrived at Granny’s hut and noticed that the meat was gone. She stepped into the hut and looked for some possible signs of life in the piles of blankets. “Granny! I need to tell you something,” Nora said loudly. No answer.  She looked and checked a couple of blanket piles. She checked the one nearest to the table. There she was! “Come here,” she croaked. Granny was very pale. As pale as the dead birds. Oh no. Nora hoped she was wrong about what she was thinking… Cause if she was right… “It the rabbit,” said Granny shakily. “The one who is killing the birds.” Her voice was barely a whisper. Granny collapsed. Nora’s eyes widened. She bit her lip. She felt Granny’s heart. Nothing. Nora made a small strangled sound. She carried Granny outside. 

  This could not be happening. Granny said that she wanted to have a proper, real-world burial. Hunting the rabbit could wait. She ran inside to fetch a shovel. She dug and dug and dug. Her hands were dotted with blisters. She set Granny down into the large hole and filled it in with dirt.  She went out to the meadow and picked Granny’s favorite purple flowers. She laid them around the grave. She went into Granny’s hut and collected all the herbs and meat. No use letting it go to waste. She carried them out to her own hut and hung them on the ceiling. 

‘Why did I like Granny so much? I guess she reminded me of my family in the real world. My dad my mom my sister. All of them. Even my infuriating cousins. I guess even Granny had a sassy side. I never actually knew my real grandmas. They died before I was born.  My grandma on my mom’s side died when my grandfather passed away due to a terrible sickness after the bombing of California. No one can even see the ruins because they are still toxic. My family lived In Nevada right near the border of California. Right near the bomb site. It wasn’t  even a normal bomb. It was the one that America swore to never use again. The Atom Bomb. Soon the sickness took hold of my whole family. My mother told me to flee to the Appalachian Trail. I did. I felt safe. But now no one is safe. I will avenge my adopted grandmother.’ Nora’s thinking time was over.

She picked up her knife filled with a new determination. She suddenly realized how ridiculous the whole situation was. A bloodsucking rabbit with a knife or an axe was out to get her. And Nora thought she had seen it all. Oh well. At least she had experience with killing animals. She might even enjoy rabbit stew. 

Nora trekked deeper into the woods. There was still no sign of the demon rabbit. At least he would stick out. There was no white rabbits in these woods. She decided to go in the direction of the cliff. The dead leaves crunched beneath her feet even though it was midsummer. She would scare of an elephant at this rate. Not that there were any elephants. She thought. Well with a demon rabbit who knew what was going to happen. She stepped onto the rocks. There wasn’t a sound. And suddenly behind a rock was the telltale flash of a white tail. She chased after it she threw her knife at it but missed. Appalashian forest foul were much slower. She yanked her knife out of the ground and threw again. This time the knife pinned the rabbit to the ground by its tail. Nora smiled. But something strange seemed to be happening. 

The rabbit’s tail looked like it was spinning. The tail lengthened and changed shape. Longer and longer and a strange square shape on top of the tail. The tail stopped spinning. The knife clattered to the ground. The tail had transformed into a large axe. The rabbit hopped around swinging the axe around and taunting Nora. The rabbit bared his teeth and jumped onto Nora swinging the axe like a madman. Nora did not know what to do. Her knife was still on the ground. All she had to do was get the knife. If that demon rabbit let her live long enough.  The rabbit started to shout meaningless things at her. The axe did not seem to ever get tired of flailing around. The rabbit’s pointy teeth were stained reddish brown from the fish and the birds. And Granny. Granny! She was the one who made Nora hunt the rabbit down not only because the birds were rotting but because the rabbit was the one who killed the only one who Nora liked anymore. Nora was so angry she could not see. She tore the rabbit off of her and lunged to get the fallen knife. She stomped down on the axe-tail an stabbed the rabbit. The rabbit still did not stop screaming. She stabbed it again and again but the rabbit did not cease to chatter. She held the rabbit by its neck and went to Granny ́s abandoned hut and got the big cooking pot. 

She started dumping herbal remedies into the pot that she brought with her everywhere. The water started to boil. She kept dumping random herbs into the pot until the water turned into a murky brown thick paste. Without thinking she dumped the rabbit into the pot and closed the lid on tightly this left her time to inspect her wounds. She had several deep gashes near her ankles and the rabbit left several puncture marks. She applied some dried seeds to her wounds and they immediately felt better. She checked on her rabbit stew. She knew that nothing could kill the rabbit. But she might put him in a state that will prevent them from ever doing harm to her and the forest. 

Nora reluctantly opened the pot lid. The murky brown had boiled down to a liquid that looked like the real world drink called coffee, only Nora’s concoction had brown mush floating around. The smell was overpowering. A tuft of brown sticky fur floated to the top. 

She went to Granny’s cabinet and retrieved a pair of tongs. She went back to the pot and fished around for awhile until she fished around for a while. She hit something. She pulled it out of the murky water and the rabbit was silent and sticky its eyes were closed and it mouth was only opened slightly as if it were asleep. Nora exhaled. She had avenged her Granny. She looked at the rabbit one last time to make sure it was dead. 

The rabbit opened its eyes and gave her a great big smile. “Peekaboo!” it said. The tail started to spin…

THE END   



Abandon School

PART l

Ch1: A bad day.

I feel as if the clouds departed for me today, for the sun is shining all over Akron even though I don’t like the sun. I think today is going to be the perfect day, mostly because tonight is going to be a full moon.

It’s my favorite subject in school, social studies. We are learning about wildlife. I am doing wolves.

“LISA! Are you paying attention?” My teacher Mrs. Moogs says pretty loud.

“I am, I am,” I reply even though I wasn’t.

”Well show us what your speech is about,” Mrs. Moogs says sounding annoyed.

 “Wolves, that’s what I am writing about,” I mumble walking up to the front of my classroom. 

“Well are you going to start?” Mrs. Moogs asks rudely. 

“I am, I am,“ I mumble once again. “I am writing about wolves. Wolves hunt mice, bunnies…”

”Wolves are DUMB,” a student yells out. I look down and see Bratt smirking at me. Bratt is the biggest and meanest bully in my school, P.S.37. He is so mean that he scares his own mom and dad. He is “like” a legend in school. Once Bratt was sent to the principal’s office when he came back the principal was following him, the principal had a black eye on his left eye. “Wolves are high predators and are related to dogs and coyotes,” I say raising my voice a little.

 “Still boring and BOO,” Bratt yells out again in mean voice.

Soon everyone starts yelling BOO at the top of their lungs. 

“SHUSH UP!” Mrs. Moogs screams at all the kids but that just made them louder.

 Mrs. Moogs looks at the kid that was yelling BOO the loudest. “Jack go to the office.” Everyone becomes silent watching Jack leave. “Anyone else that wants to join Jack?” Mrs. Moogs asks everyone in the classroom waiting for an answer. “Good. You may start over Lisa.”

”Most wolves hunt in packs. A pack means -” 

“I can’t hear you all, I can hear is your sassy, little voice,” he tells me.

This time I am so mad at Bratt for interrupting me again. I stare Bratt right across his face making him smile his horrible smile. Bratt stands up staring into my eyes as if he is winning a staring contest. Seeing that he stood up I do the same. Now I am standing up I am five inches taller than Bratt. This makes Bratt mad. He always brags about how he is the tallest in the whole school.

”Oh wow,” Nelson whispers even though I hear him. I look a little past Bratt, looking at my classmates which are Nelson, Max, and Ryla. 

“Hey guys stop starin’ and fight,” says Max with his English accent. Bratt looks at me devilishly as if he is agreeing with Max. But before I can do anything Mrs. Moogs calls me.

 “Lisa go to the principal.”

 I go downstairs without putting up a fight with Mrs. Moogs. 

When I get to Principal Cunningham’s office, he’s on the ground shivering to death. In front of him are two vikings that are arguing about whether they should take the principal first, and not take the students, or take the kids first and not take the principal. After a few minutes, they walk out of the room and decide to take the kids. I try to be silent as possible but they spot me and say,

“Why not start with this one?”

The viking with a red beard tries to hold me still but I bite him and run away to warn my best friends Kayla and Shawn. They are both in the same classroom, which is 3-208. I run upstairs. They can see me through the crack of the door. They both ask the teacher, which is their English teacher Mrs. Tiffany, if they can go to the bathroom, which she replies yes. They run out the door as fast as they can. They know all my secrets. 

“What’s the problem?” They ask at the same time.

“There are these viking dudes that are planning to capture all the students here,” I say in an excited voice. 

“Let’s go and beat them up!” says Shawn. “Give them a lesson.” We swiftly run down the stairs to see that there are seven hundred vikings with axes and spears caging kids. Shawn slows down and says, “I’m not sure I want to beat them up anymore.” 

Kayla bravely walks outside and says, “I demand you to stop!” To which they surprisingly do stop, and they all bow down to her. She thinks it’s a trick, so she takes one of their axes and starts hacking all the cages trying to get the kids out. Shawn takes a spear and starts swiftly cutting a viking’s helmet and starts attacking everybody he can see. After one hour of battling the vikings, we all huddle up together, knowing that there is no hope in defeating them, and we say that we will go home and hide. The vikings keep capturing the kids, but don’t hurt any of them. Kayla swiftly says that she is going to stay here and follow them to wherever they go. 

Shawn says that he is going to go and spend some time making a machine to defeat them. 

I now know that I’m going to be alone in hiding.

In the meanwhile, I keep trying to bite as many hairy arms and hairy legs as I can. We all agree that in two weeks from now, we will do what we need to do. When the two weeks are up, we will meet by the heart-tree. This time, Shawn like he always does, asks, “Why is it called the heart tree?” just to annoy us.

But I should say so anyway. The heart-tree is a tree, a normal tree, but it is shaved into a heart. A cat once got stuck in there when it was a normal tree and it was so scared that it kept going up the tree and down the tree, making it into a heart shape because the cat, everywhere it went, brushed off some leaves. It’s not a very exciting story. But that is the story. Soon all the vikings leave, with Kayla following them and Shawn running as fast as he can to go home and build a machine to destroy them. I look around and make sure nobody’s looking, and then I turn around. And when I’m right about to take my step, Mrs. Tiffany goes up to me and says, “Where are you going?” 

I reply and say, “I am going home.”

“I should call your parents before you go home,” she says.

“They’re probably sleeping,” I quickly say. 

“Then I shall walk you home, for you are only in first grade.”

“No thank you,” I say as politely and calmly as I can. But she insists. So I walk with her until we reach the forest. 

“You live here?” She asks me a little weirdly. 

“Yeah, I do.”

So we walk inside the forest. We walk for five hours until we come upon a cave. I tell her that we should rest there, for it is almost sundown. I don’t tell her this is my home.

Too tired to talk, she nods in agreement. She brings out two blankets and a pillow, as if she needs that in every situation, from her bag, and lays it down inside the misty cave. We both fall asleep very quickly. 

I wake up because I realize that it is a full moon and I’ve turned into a wolf. 

It all happened seven years ago when I was born. I remembered it all too well because I have a wolf’s memory. My mom was there in the hospital with me. It was midnight when I was born, and there was a full moon out. So I was a wolf at that time. My mom, who was also a wolf at that time, for some reason thought I was in danger. A few days later another female wolf, Guard came and brought me to her den with her four pups. Their names are Fluff, Ruff, and the twins, Sapphire and Chocolate.

Mrs. Tiffany wakes up in the middle of the night and looks at my bed and sees that I’m not there anymore. She turns to see me in wolf form gently lapping water in the nearby river. 

“Ahhhhhhhhh!” She screams and faints. When she faints, I put my paw on her to make sure that she’s not faking it. When she doesn’t get up, I curl up into a ball and fall asleep. When I wake up again, I wake up Mrs. Tiffany, who screams again when she wakes up and then thinks that it is all just a bad dream. And then, she looks at me and I realize that I still have my black fluffy wolf tail and my fluffy ears. And then I tell her that it’s not a dream.


Ch2: the explanation

She looks at me in shock and pinches herself to make sure that it isn’t a dream. I tell her that on full moons, when it is night, I turn into a wolf, that explains why I still have a wolf tail and wolf ears. She pinches herself again on the leg and tells herself it isn’t real. But I respond and say,

“It is real.”

She faints again and I dig in her bag and find a bucket and fill it up with water and pour it on her face. When she wakes up again, I tell her that we have to start leaving because I smell poachers, their miles away. The poachers are the worst, they once came into spot’s den. Spot growled as loud as he could. The poachers didn’t go away. They stayed and took a knife and cut off Spot’s leg. Guard rushed over to Spot and put him in his bed made out of wolf hair that they shed in the winter. Spot slept for a week. In the middle of the week, Spot got up, and was whimpering so loudly that Fluff and Ruff, who were in Guard’s stomach, kicked Guard’s stomach really hard.

She complains, “We haven’t even eaten breakfast yet.” 

“Well I’ve made it,” I tell her.

 She looks at me and asks, “What is it?”

“Chicken.”

“Where’d you get this?” Mrs. Tiffany questions me.

“I ran over to a farm and kinda stole a chicken and killed it.”

“We’ll get sued!” 

“Well, probably not, nobody knows where I live.”

“That makes sense.” 

“Well, let’s start eating.” 

“We have to cook it first!”

“Oh, right. I usually eat it raw.” 

Mrs. Tiffany starts pulling out footlong sticks and a packet of matches and lights the fire. I take two sticks and plant one on each side and plant one on top. She takes some string for her bag and ties the chicken to the top stick. I cut off the chicken breast and two chicken legs. She takes the chicken breast and wolfs it down. I take two chicken legs and wolf down all of them and spit out the bones. Mrs. Tiffany looks at me curiously and then remembers that I am a wolf, after all.

She asks, “Why do we have to leave?”

Ch3: run away with me.

“We have to leave because of poachers. They’ll probably kill me and then arrest you.”

“Kill you?” Mrs. Tiffany shouts. 

“And arrest you,” I add.

“Well, shouldn’t we pack some food?”

“Great idea. There are some walnuts that should be ripe by now and some shoots.”

“Walnuts and shoots?” Mrs. Tiffany exclaims. 

“Well, yeah. They’re mostly the only thing that won’t get rotten on our way there.” I should go warn Guard about the poachers, I think. We go over to the walnut tree. She picks some nuts and I pick some shoots. Mrs. Tiffany shoves them in her bag and I tell her to follow me. 

We run together over to Guard’s den. I tell her to wait outside because Guard doesn’t like strangers.

“Who’s Guard?” Mrs. Tiffany asks me. 

But I’ve already run inside. I go over to Guard and tell her in wolf language, “New poachers are in the area and we’re going to have to move until they leave.”

“Okay,” she says calmly. “I’ll go gather everyone up.”

I run back outside. Mrs. Tiffany asks me, “What happened in there?” She claims that she heard a lot of growling. 

“Oh, we were just speaking in wolf language,” I say while turning into a wolf from the moonlight I have been storing inside my body. It used to hurt me, it felt like sticks and stones breaking my bones but now I feel nothing. We run back inside the den and pick up Fluff and Ruff by the scruff of their necks. I set them down and tell them to get on my back.

“Yes, sissy,” they say at the same time. They jump on my back swiftly and I tell Sapphire to follow me and grab Chocolate by the scruff of his neck. I run outside and I see the whole pack of Sage and Stalk and their three pups, Rose, Cinnamon, and Grassy, also Splashy and Firy and their two pups, Rocky and Obsidian, and last but not least, Alpha’s husband, Spot.  It’s a big pack of fifteen, including the Alpha’s kids. 

It doesn’t take long to get to the other den. The whole time I walk next to Mrs. Tiffany for I think she was scared to be next to all the wolves. Most of the time Fluff and Ruff were yipping and yapping. Chocolate and Sapphire were arguing about whose eyes look better. We arrive at the tiny den, by then it is almost sundown. Sage and Stalk fall asleep first because they were carrying Rose, Cinnamon, and Grassy on their back the whole time. Then, Chocolate and Sapphire fall asleep next to Rocky and Obsidian. Splashy and Firy fall asleep next to Mrs. Tiffany. Guard and Spot fall asleep next to the single wolf that had been living there alone. His name was Spice. He is Sage’s dad. I fell asleep on top of Fluff and Ruff. 

I wake up to the sound of a gunshot. The poachers are only one foot away from the cave. I keep trying to wake up Spice, for he can howl the best and make everyone wake up. I realize the only way to wake everybody up was to wake Fluff and Ruff. So I jumped on Fluff and Ruff and they woke up. Immediately, they ran all the way over to Spice and started jumping on his stomach saying, “Wake up! Wake up!” very loudly in his ears. Finally, he is awake, and I tell him that the poachers are here and he is going to have to howl to wake everyone up. He nods in agreement and howls really loudly. Everybody wakes up, but now the poacher is right outside the cave. He comes in with a pistol. Everybody is awake, ready to attack. He blows the whistle and three more poachers come. Fluff and Ruff run to the back of the cave and start digging a little hole. Spice runs over to the hole and sat right on top of it. Guard and Spot jump on the first poacher and steal his pistol and start trying to break it. The second poacher shoots Spot on the stump of the leg that he doesn’t have, which doesn’t hurt at all because every morning he takes a pill to make his leg numb, that Stalk made so he doesn’t feel anything. Chocolate runs over to the second poacher and starts running circles around his leg as fast as he can, which was the whole circle around in five seconds. He is making the poacher dizzy, so dizzy the poacher just sees a flying chocolate bar around his legs. When he tries to grab Chocolate, Chocolate is on the other side of his legs. Soon, the poacher falls down in dizziness and Sapphire comes and started punching him in the face with her paws. Now his nose is bleeding. I jump on the second poacher’s stomach, who is now laying down. I grab his pistol and I throw it over to Mrs. Tiffany, who somehow catches it and starts shooting it at the first poacher’s toes. Sage and Stalk and Rose and Grassy and Cinnamon and Obsidian go over, run outside of the cave when nobody’s looking and start collecting bendable twigs to make a cage with some metal that they have found from recent adventures. The third poacher, who is just standing there in awe, does not notice when Sage and Stalk put the cage above him, and he does not notice it fall. Soon, he is trapped in a cage. The fourth poacher comes out of nowhere and seems to be the chief, takes a rifle and shoots at me at the same moment that I turn back into human. I try not to pay much attention to my pain, which is throbbing. I roll on my back. Mrs. Tiffany stops shooting the guy’s feet and picks me up and takes me to the back of the cave so no harm can be done to me anymore. Everything feels strange. When I try to talk or scream, no noise comes out. The world goes bonkers. Stars and rainbows are everywhere. I finally close my eyes and the pain goes away.


Ch 4: Don’t Lie To Me, I Can Eat You Alive

I’m in a room. Next to me is a donkey with a top hat and a sticker on his fur saying, “Hello, my name is Donkey Kong.” Next to me is a familiar face, one that I haven’t seen in a very long, long time…

The first poacher and the second poacher run away screaming, and the chief poacher runs away saying, 

“I want my mommy!” The third poacher is still stuck inside of his cage, sitting down, chewing on his nails, thinking of how to get out. 

“Hey you!” Mrs. Tiffany shouts at his face, running from the back of the cave. 

“What about me? Are you going to let me go or not?” says the third poacher.

“Well, first you have to answer some questions.”
“Okay, whatever.” 

“The person that your chief just killed name was Lisa. Do you know her?”

“What’s her last name?”

“Moonfire.”

“Oh yeah, I do know the Moonfires. We’re neighbors. And they have two kids, I didn’t know one of them ran away.”

“Where do they live?”

“Cleveland, Shawn Road. But they just recently moved.”

“Where did they move to?” Mrs. Tiffany asks, in suspense.

“I don’t know, they said they moved to somewhere in the forest, five hours away from Akron. They were nice neighbors.”

“Who do you work for?” 

“I work for the military,” he answers while smiling. 

Sapphire, who is usually very quiet, goes over to the third poacher and stands on her hind legs to make her one foot taller.

She grins and says, “Don’t lie to me. I can eat you alive,” in her best human voice.
The third poacher, clearly shaken, says, “Uh, yeah. I work for Queen Setorga. She has like a million viking dudes, they’re so weird. So basically I kinda work for the viking dudes.” Sweat trickles down his neck, scared by little Sapphire. 

“What is your name?” Mrs. Tiffany wonders out loud. 

“Oh, my name. My name. What is it again? Oh, right. It’s, umm… it’s, uhh… uhhh… I’ve clearly forgotten my name. Did you brainwash me or something?”

“No, we didn’t,” Mrs. Tiffany says, a little louder than she expected to say. “Just tell us your name!”

“Oh, yeah, that thing. My name… what does name mean again? So, my name, uh… Let’s see, what is my name again? Oh, right, it’s umm, umm, yeah, it’s Jeff. Yeah, that’s it.”

“Jeff what?” says Mrs. Tiffany, in curiosity. Sapphire takes one step forward and “Jeff” spills the beans.

“Ahh! Please don’t kill me! My name is Kevin Moonfire.”

I look down at my fingers. The tips are bone. You could see where the bullet hit my heart. Am I dead? Why am I still here?

“Hello, I’ve been waiting for you for a few minutes,” says the familiar person.

“Um, not to be rude, but WHO ARE YOU?” I say in a “soft voice.”

“My name is Emily, but you can call me Mrs. Moonfire.”

“Mom?” I’m looking around. There’s a big light above me, in a very big ceiling. There’s grass on the ground and the walls. 

“Yeah, it’s me, honey.” 

This calls me back to my senses. “Wait, what?” I say. “Why are you here?” I ask in confusion. “Why weren’t you there all those years ago? When I was born, why did you just leave me on the patio on the steps?”
“Because you were in danger.”
“How? What kind of danger? So much danger to you that you left me there?” 

“No, I meant danger to you. The person that made me into a wolf and the twins a wolf. He was a werewolf. He realized that when you were created, he could steal you and put you in his army, and then he’d just throw you away, like a piece of garbage.”

“Oh. Well, now that I’m dead, what else is there to do? And how did you die with me?” I wonder.  

“Well, every time a wolf dies that’s half human, I am drawn to it. You are free to leave, you can leave. You probably don’t want to be with me anymore. I’m a terrible mother.”

“I believe in second chances. But how do I leave?” 

“Do you see that tiny hole in the air, the dot in the air?”
“Yes, I do,” I reply.

“That is the way back. It is traveling through space and time. You have to be careful when you go back. If you don’t come back in the right place, then you could lose your wolf life. You would still be human but you need a lot of moonlight  to turn back. There is two sides of you. When you died, you were human. You don’t have that human life anymore. However, your wolf life is asking you for a second chance in life. You do not have to take this chance. But if you want to you can. If you go into the wrong time, and you see yourself as a wolf, it’s over.”

“Okay, okay. Now come with me and let’s get this over with.”
“I hope you have a wolf memory,” she holds my hand and we jump in together. 

I first see the first thing that I can see in the black hole, which is my mom. We move over to her putting me down on the steps. Then Guard finding me. Me playing Duck Duck Wolf, a hunting game, with Chocolate and Sapphire. Poachers coming and taking Spot’s leg. Fluff and Ruff being born. Me turning one year old with my birthday bear. It was delicious. Fluff and Ruff learning to talk. Chocolate turning three. Me turning five. Sapphire running away, and finding her. Me going to school. Me graduating into first grade. The vikings. Me, and Kayla and Shawn huddled together. Me and Mrs. Tiffany. The poachers. And me, dead in the back of the cave. I jump into that picture, my hands still tightly holding my mom’s. 

“Hi guys!” I say very casually in my human voice. 

“Who-what!!” Mrs. Tiffany says confuzzled.

“Yip!” yelps Fluff, poking her head out from the hole she’s in. 

“Yap!” yelps Ruff, also poking his head out from the hole.

Sapphire turns around and says, “Is that another you? A taller you? In human form?” 

“That’s my mom!” I say in an excited tone. Kevin turns around.

“Emily?” he says as if his dream came true.

“Yes?” My mom says. 

“Who is that talking wolf next to you?”

“Oh, that’s Lisa.”

“Who?”

“I’ll tell you later, but she’s our daughter.”

“Should we take her home?”

“Sure, but what about her wolves and that middle aged person?”

“Well, I guess they’ll fit in our seven-floored house.”

“Don’t lie to me, I can eat you alive.” Sapphire says the only words that she can say in human language. 

“Tell me now why you didn’t tell me about her before!” Kevin yells, inside of a cage.

“Why are you yelling at me now? You usually never yell,” Emily shouts at him. 

“Well, this is a reason to yell about!”

“I can’t agree with you.”

“Well.”

“Well, you’re the one that joined the poachers!”

“I guess I should tell you my story.”
“Yes, you should!” Emily shouts. Everybody stares at Emily, including the wolves. 

“One day, I was just cleaning the house ten years after we had gotten married and the viking dudes knocked down my door. Of course, I didn’t know who this was, so I answered, and they said ‘You have to come with us now.’ I said, ‘Well, I’m just doing my spring cleaning. Do you mind coming back maybe in the summer?’ They said no, and I asked them again. ‘No, I will not tolerate this!’ said the viking with the red beard–”

“Oh, I’ve met a viking with a red beard. He’s the one that captured a lot of students,” I interrupt.

“Let me continue with my story!” Kevin says in an angry voice. “They handcuffed my hands behind my back and blindfolded me. They spun me around until I barfed on the red beard viking’s face.”

“Hee Hee Hee Hee Haha,” Chocolate laughs. 

“Can I continue with my story?” Kevin hollers. Everyone nodded at him in agreement. “They brought me into their base a month ago. They said that if I didn’t become an army member they will kill me and my children and my wife. So immediately, I knew they were the bad guys. So I said sure, so I could become a snitch. One day, they told me that I needed to go on a mission to hunt some wolves that have been disturbing people in the wild. I came, but I did not do anything because the place looked familiar . So I didn’t fight any of the wolves. I didn’t do anything when you captured me. So here I am now. I thought it was pretty funny that the Chief, who was also the general of the army, was scared and was saying, ‘I want my mommy!’” 

“Oh, I‘m sorry, I didn’t know,” Emily said. 

“Guys, I just remembered something!” I say. 

“What?” Mrs. Tiffany exclaims. 

“You know how I’ve always been here for the wolves’ adventures. I think that now you should help me on my adventure.”

“Okay, Lisa. I don’t see where this is going,” says my mom.

“My friends said that we would meet together at the heart-shaped tree after two weeks. That’s up in two days. That’s exactly how long it’s going to take us. Do you want to join me?”

“Sure!” All the wolves say immediately, for they had been on all of her adventures.

“Well, Mom, Dad, and Mrs. Tiffany, would you like to come?”

“It would be fun,” Mrs. Tiffany admits. 

“I just met you. I don’t know if I can be with you,” says Kevin. 

“Just trust me, Dad.”

“If you’re going, Kevin, I’m going too,” my mom tells my dad. 

“Okay, then let’s start going!” 

“But wait!” My dad says. “We don’t have any rifles to hunt! The dried food you have isn’t going to last us two weeks!”

“You’re right, but we already have our weapons,” I say, pointing to the wolves. 

“Good point,” he says. “Well, what are we waiting for? Let’s get started!”

“Well, it is late at night,” Mrs. Tiffany says. “We should get some rest before we go.”

“Okay,” all the wolves agree. Mrs. Tiffany gets my Mom and Dad a blanket and a big pillow to share. She flops down with her head on my side. She smiles in her sleep. I think she’s probably happy that the pillow is a soft big wolf. 

I wake up to Spice howling really loudly. “It’s okay, Spice,” I tell him. “I’m awake. I can wake all the humans up.” He stops howling. I jump on top of my Mom, who says something that I can’t understand. She waits for me to respond, but I tell her that I have no idea what she’s saying.

She tells me, “Part of being in wolf form for most of your life is that you won’t be able to hear humans very well.” She says it as if all of this is normal. I jump on Dad and tell him to wake up, but of course all he hears is growling and he thinks that it is Sapphire. My Mom explains to him why he only heard growling. Then, I go and I wake up Mrs. Tiffany. I whisper in her ear, “Wake up!”

She strangely understands me, and says, “Okay, Lisa. I’ll wake up.” My mom, not knowing that Mrs. Tiffany can still hear me, explains to her what had just happened, and she says, “But I just heard her clearly!”

Mom says that it’s strange then I tell her she’s been with me the whole time. Mom says that it is a very rare possibility that Mrs. Tiffany can hear what I am saying. 

When all the wolves are awake, I tell Mom to get on Sage and for Mom to tell Dad to get on Stalk. Mom picks up Rose and Cinnamon and Dad picks up Grassy. I tell Mrs. Tiffany to ride Spot. I let Rocky and Obsidian get on my back and I hold Fluff and Ruff by the scruff of their necks. Guard, who’s next to Firy, puts Sapphire on her back and she picks up Chocolate. And we run for two weeks.

We stop a few times. It’s very exhausting. Finally, we get there and we’re one day early. That whole day, everybody falls asleep, but I stay awake, my eyes open, waiting for Kayla and Shawn. I notice Shawn is wearing tattered armour and Kayla is wearing a crown and armour that’s embroidered with jewels. 

When Kayla and Shawn come, they notice me when I’m in wolf form. They’re surprised to see Mrs. Tiffany, and two other humans. I tell them I’ll share my story later. I tell them they should share theirs first. They nod in agreement, very tired from their journey. Kayla translates to Shawn what I am saying, for I have taught her how to speak wolf language. Shawn asks if I’m hungry. Me and Kayla say yes at the exact same time. He pulls out a donut from his pocket and says, “Do you want to split this dessert together?”

We are very happy. They told me what they did and then went over our battle plans.

Sareen the Blanket Girl

Once upon a time, there was a girl named Sareen. She loved toys and especially her blanket. It was really fuzzy. It could fit as a cape and was made of black, really cozy material.

Whenever Sareen was feeling happy, sad, or any emotion, she wanted her special blanket. One day, Sareen left the blanket alone to go to breakfast and then the blanket started moving by itself. It first went to the washroom to flush the toilet. The next thing he did was he go outside the balcony watching the birds because the bird pooped on him. Then the blanket went in Sareen’s mom and dad’s room. He messed up the bed. Then he went to the guest room. Then Sareen went upstairs and saw that everything was a mess, but the blanket was gone because it was walking down to the kitchen. Then Sareen looked in the laundry room to look for the blanket and she also saw that the laundry room was a mess. The blanket was looking for something. Then Sareen found a little black piece of something because she thought it was her blanket. She started to run after the little black thing and then she got the blanket. Then it was night, so she needed to get her blanket. She looked everywhere and then she finally got it! Then she went to sleep with it. The blanket found a stuffed animal right next to Sareen so it took that instead. 

The next day, Sareen was wearing the blanket as a cape, and then the blanket was moving by itself! The blanket lifted Sareen off the ground, and she started flying in the living room! She then landed on the soft couch. Sareen said, “That was amazing!”

The blanket replied to Sareen by saying, “Let’s fly more!”

Sareen said, “How did you fly?” The blanket said nothing, but instead went on the ground and fell asleep. Sareen took it into her bed and had mint chocolate chip ice cream by herself. She watched a lot of TV because she had nothing to do because her blanket was asleep. She stayed awake all night. She tried to wake up her blanket because she wanted to fly! She shook the blanket. The blanket woke up. Sareen made a paper airplane with the blanket and flew! They flew outside and Sareen accidentally dropped into the pool while the blanket kept flying. The blanket then fell into the grass because it needed more energy. So then Sareen swam to the stairs and then went to the shower. She then changed into her PJs. She slept in her really comfy bed. Her blanket was still in the grass so the blanket walked up the stairs and slept in her bed with her. 

The end.


The Day You Die

One day, a little girl named Emily decided to go for a walk. It was a nice day, and so Emily wanted to go to Central Park. So Emily went to her mom and said, “Mom can you take me to Central Park?” And her mom said, “Yes.”

So they headed out to the park and on the way there, an eagle swooped down and scared Emily. The eagle had a scratch on its nose, which made it look very scary, and it made scary noises and growls that sounded like, “RRR.” 

After the attack, Emily was terrified, and she told her mom that she wanted to head home. But her mom wanted to take her to a big grassy field in Central Park with swings, and so she said, “It’s fine, let’s just move on.” 

“Fine mom, but what if the eagle comes back?” 

“It won’t. I promise, okay?”

“I believe you.”

Then Emily and her mom entered Central Park, and went to the grassy field. And then, the giant eagle was back to scare her!

Emily was so scared that she wanted to leave Central Park. The mom agreed to leave Central Park. On the way out, the giant came out and ate the eagle. The giant was so big. Emily saw Central Park was haunted, and she never wanted to go back. They went back home.

Then it was night, and Emily thought she was going to have nightmares and couldn’t fall asleep. But when it was morning time, she was so sleepy. The moment she went on the couch, she fell asleep. When she fell asleep, she woke up in the nighttime, and she heard so many strange noises that freaked her out, and she ran to her mom’s room. But she wasn’t there. She was so scared that she stayed in her mom’s room and didn’t go out. So she fell asleep in there.

“MOM! WHERE ARE YOU?” 

Her mom was actually there, but it was too dark, so Emily couldn’t see. 

Her mom said, “Lower your voice! I’m right here.”

“Oh, I didn’t see you there.”

And the mom was so mad that she said, “Go back to your room!”

Emily said, “No mom! Remember, there’s a monster?” So Emily begged her mom and said, “Sorry! Sorry! Sorry! I promise I won’t do it again!”

“I don’t care! Go to your room.”

Emily said, “Can I borrow a flashlight?”

No.”

Emily was so mad that she didn’t even care, and she walked out. “I don’t care. I’m still going to walk out.”

When she walked out, she told her mom that she was going to walk, but she ran instead. She didn’t wake up that morning. Her mom came to her room to check on her. 

And then Emily said, “Get out of my room.”

“Okay. But you can’t stay in there for long.” And then Emily’s mom said, “I guess you don’t want my homemade biscuits.”

And then Emily was so tempted that she ran out of her room. Her mom said, “Aha! What did I witness!” 

“Okay I might have ran out of my room, but I could smell the biscuits a mile away. How can I not smell them?”

“Oh I didn’t know that.” 

“Whatever, I’m still going to eat the biscuits.” 

“Ok. They are on the dining table.” 

Emily walked there and took a seat, and the moment she sat down, she heard something. She thought it was her mom making more biscuits until she asked her mom. 

tap,tap,tap   “Mom, are you making more biscuits?” 

And her mom answered, “No.” 

Then Emily said, “Look outside, mom… there’s an eagle!!!” 

“No there isn’t.” 

“Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa there’s an eagle in our window! Mom, how can we get it out?” 

Then the eagle said, “I am watching you! You will be in my sight wherever you go. You can go to space, and you will not find me. I have a place where I can hide, and no one knows about it. Not even my family! Sometimes I don’t even know where my own house is, and sometimes I even have to sleep on a cloud because I don’t know where my own house is! Once I didn’t come to my house for a whole month!”

“Well, if you get lost again you can’t sleep in my house,” said Emily. 

Emily’s mom went to the kitchen and got a broom and did this, “GET OUT. HAYAH!” 

And then the eagle got hit off of the window. 

The eagle was flying in the sky, and flew up again, and cracked their window sill, and said, “What was that for?” 

The mom said, “What are you doing here? I thought I hit the jelly out of you!” 

The eagle said, “Oh, I’m already dead. I just want to have company.” 

Then the mom said, “Oh, why do you keep scaring us then?”

Then Emily said, “Yeah, why do you have a big scar on your nose?” 

“Because when I was alive, I had an owner that was so mean, she threw a knife at my nose, but all I did was do my business on her bed! And as in business, I mean… you know… ” said the eagle. 

The mom said, “You can stay a week here, but you can’t do your business on my bed, or Emily’s bed.”

Then the eagle said, “Ok, shall we get this party started?” He went to the kitchen and got the chips, and put them on the fan, and put the fan on, and then the chips flew everywhere!

The mom said, “Don’t make me change my mind.” 

The eagle said, “Sorry, sorry.” He used his magic powers to clean up so fast, faster than a superhero. And the mom was speechless, the same was Emily. 

Then Emily said, “Can you clean my room?”

“No, sorry, I only can clean up when I make a mess,” said the eagle. 

Then Emily said, “Go make a mess in my room.”

“Of course not, then I’ll just have to clean up even more. How boring would that be?” said the eagle.

And then, secret agents knocked on our door and said, “We’re gonna need that eagle, and we DON’T take no for an answer.” 

And then, the eagle hid under the couch and whispered to Emily, “Don’t tell them where I am because they will kill me. That is why I have a secret house.” 

And then the secret agent told Emily’s mom, “When we find the eagle, we will feed it to a big giant.” 

The eagle told Emily, “See, what did I tell you?” 

“What was that?” said the secret agent. 

Emily’s mom said, “That was nothing!”

The secret agent said, “Are you hiding something from me?”

“Of course not! See you later, come back tomorrow.” And she slammed the door. The secret agent was so upset that he didn’t even care. He used his weapon and kicked the door open.

He said, “I know the eagle is here. I am searching, whether or not you say no.” 

First, the secret agent checked Emily’s room. Second, he checked Emily’s mom’s room. Third, he checked the kitchen. Fourth, he checked the living room. 

Dun dun Duuuuuunnnn. 

Emily said, “Hello, who are you? Nothing to see here, please get out of my house.” 

She used her hands to push him back out of the living room, but then the eagle sneezed! 

“AACHOOOOOO!” 

Then the secret agent turned around, and flipped Emily with his hands. 

He said, “Get out of my way, you’re wasting my time.” He went into the living room.

Emily said to her mom, “Mom, what should we do?”

“No worries, look! The eagle is flying away!” said her mom.

Then the evil agent spy said, “We need to get that eagle!” 

He pulled a strap on his bag, and then wings came out of the backpack. And then he flew after the eagle! The eagle flew back to his home, but then he didn’t know where his home was because it was hidden in camouflage! He instead went to a dead tree and camouflaged with that because it was brown, white, and black. 

When the secret agent got near the home where the eagle was flying, he said, “Where did the eagle go?” 

So he used his watch to scan everywhere, and he saw that the eagle was camouflaging with the tree, but the eagle saw him coming closer, so the eagle flew off, back to Emily’s home, and the eagle hid in their dog cage since Coco died. So they stuffed the eagle inside. The cage was very big because a Sammy Smile can be up to eighty-five pounds! When the secret agent came back, he asked where the eagle was. 

The mother said, “Nowhere, it’s just our dog Coco! You must’ve come to the wrong house!” 

The family dressed up in wigs, so that the agent wouldn’t recognize them. 

“Of course, I have! The person in the other house has brown straight hair. You guys have grey, black, curly hair.” 

The agent knew it was us because we didn’t use accents, and then he pulled our wigs off!

Emily said, “It’s a miracle! I’m young again!” 

The agent said, “Where’s your dog?”

Emily said, “In China.”

He said “I know you’re lying.”

Emily said, “Fine, she is in California getting a doggy groom.” 

Then the agent believed them because they gave him the location and why the dog was there. So he flew off!

The eagle said, “Thank you.” 

But really it was just a hologram! The agent was really under the couch the whole time! So really, he knew where the eagle was! 

“Get out of my way where is the dog cage?” 

“Nowhere,” said Emily. 

The End 

Tsega Goes to the Waterpark

I was in the car going to the waterpark, and my dog was coming with me. The color of her fur was brown and white. She was snuggling with me, and when she got up and put her head out the window, she stuck her tongue out. My mom was driving and we pulled into the waterpark, which was in California, and we got our stuff out of the car. We got out our towels, our goggles, and our swimming caps. My goggles were dark blue and violet, and my cap was pink, and I was wearing my bathing suit. My bathing suit was pink and it had a ‘T’ on it, which was light blue. When we went to the gate, we realized we forgot our tickets in the car, so we went back to the car, and then we went back to the gate with our tickets. Then, we got in and went on a water slide. We finished the water slide, and it was really fun. Then, we went on a water-coaster, and it was really long and fun. When we got off, I was really dizzy because it went around in circles. Then, we got some Gatorade and ice cream because it was really hot. I got mint chocolate chip with hot fudge, and my mom got vanilla with caramel sauce. We got to put on our own toppings. We stayed at the water park for the whole day. I also did a throwing game, and I got a little teddy bear. Then, we got lunch. I got mac and cheese, and my mom got a burger. I took my first sip of my Gatorade, and then we went on the water-coaster again because it was really fun. Then, I finished my Gatorade. I took my cap off because it was really tight. My mom’s bathing suit had red roses and a yellow background. When it was almost nighttime, we went back to the car. When we were driving home, there was lots of traffic. My mom was running out of gas, so we stopped at a gas station and got more gas. When we got back on the road, there was much less traffic, so we got back home in one hour. 

THE END


Moving to the Farm

Chapter 1 – A Message from Auntie Julie.

“Wake up!” shouted Mom.

“Why in the world are you waking me up? It’s only 3 o’clock in the morning!” said Joanne.

“Because I just got a message from Auntie Julie that she said that the farmhouse was empty and we could live on their farm forever!”

“Ugh, can I just sleep five more minutes?”

“Okay, five more minutes. Starting now!”

One, two, three, four, five, six, seven

Eight, nine, ten, eleven, twelve,

Thirteen, fourteen, fifteen,

Sixteen, seventeen…

Tick tock tick tock tick tock tick tock tick tock tick tock tick tock…

“RIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIINNNNNNNNNNNNGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGG!!!! FIVE MINUTES DONE!!!” 

It was 3:05 now. The sky was dark. There were no lights. It was the middle of the night. 

Joanne woke up and she peaked at the message—it was on her mom’s G-mail. She was amazed after she saw that message because Auntie Julie had discovered a new house that was in her property and was perfect for her family. 

Chapter 2 – Packing Up

“What are we going to do now that we’ve received the message?” Joanne asked.

“We have to pack!!” her mom said. So they called a gigantic moving truck to carry their furniture, so the people who were in the truck loaded the furniture inside the truck. Joanne felt sort of blank in the house, and they used all their six suitcases for their own little stuff. Joanne’s older sister Catherine carried two suitcases, one for her baby sister Maria, and one for herself. Joanne had another sister named Collette—Maria was the smallest. She was one year old, and Collette was two years older: she was three. Joanne was seven years old and Catherine was ten years old! 

So they started packing. They got their blankets and their stuffed animals and their bags plus their clothes. And their books were carried by the shelves. Now, after they all cleaned up, they dusted the floors to make it clean; it was plain white. There was nothing inside. Joanne felt like she was in a very white room like in Hollywood. She felt weird because she had never seen so much white before. It was very strange. Joanne felt like there was a ghost in the room. The ghost was spying on her now. Luckily it was morning, so there was still some light. The family took their butterfly curtains off and Catherine carried them to the truck with Joanne. Their dad carried the drawers and when the house was all cleaned up, the family only saw it blank. They were sad to leave their old house, but also excited to meet their farmhouse.


Chapter 3 – A Gas Problem

So the family told the truck where to go to their new house—‘the farm 28 gates.’ The farm was in Upstate New York, farther than the Bronx. It was on ‘28 gate’ street, higher than 299th st. The truck went there peacefully with some bumps, but that didn’t bother the furniture. But the family car faced a lot of problems. The dad had claustrophobia—which means that Dad couldn’t stand in small and tight places. So they went to the gas station because the car suddenly had no gas. The gas station was very small, and they could only recharge gas one car at a time, so the dad drove in and got very sweaty, scared, and nervous. So the dad closed his eyes while he was doing the gas. Then Mom suggested that she would drive the car out of the gas station, and then they would switch back to Dad, so he could be relaxed in the back seat, close his eyes and not drive blindfolded. So Dad got in the backseat, and Mom got in the front seat. When the gas was finished, they paid by the credit card, and the mom sort of drove out. Then they parked at a corner, and Mom went to the backseat. Dad started driving again.

Then Dad said, “The farm is sort of far. So if you want to sleep, you could sleep. Now we are in the beginning of  the Bronx. We still have to cross the Bronx. But the Bronx is very big. So it might take a long time to cross the Bronx.”


Chapter 4 – The Music Competition

After a few songs, Dad suggested that the family have a music contest. “The contest worked like this: we will play some songs and you have to guess the song’s name. We will only play the beginning or the middle or the end. Me and mom will be the judges and see who knows the most songs. And you kids will be split into teams.” 

“Yeeeeeeeeeeees!!!” Collete and Joanne yelled. 

“We will win the competition,” commented Collette. 

Maria and Catherine yelled, “Nooooooooooooo!!! Boooooooooo!!!” 

“Okay, what are your team names?” asked Dad. Joanne said their team is Lightning Bolt of Songs. Catherine said their team will be Catherinemaria superheros! 

“Yessss,” said Joanne because she knew a centillion songs.  

“One last note everyone, do not say bad things about your sisters!” 

Then they started the competition. ‘Their first song was like this: “We will rock you!” After the middle part, Joanne’s hand shot up. 

“What Joanne? What is the song? “ asked Dad. 

“The song is called we will, we will rock you!” shouted Joanne.

“Lightning Bolt of Songs wins one!!!” 

“Woo hoo!!!’ said Collette and Joanne,

“Okay next song. Eenie meenie miney mo. catch a tiger by his toe. If you holler let him, if she holler let him go. She indecisive she keeps a lie…” 

After the beginning, Catherine’s hand shot up. 

“What is the song’s name?” asked Dad. 

“It is called miney mo!” 

“Nope!” 

Just then Collette’s hand shot up.

“What is the song, Collette?” asked dad.

“It is called eenie meenie!” shouted Collette.

“Okay, Lightning Bolt of Songs wins!” 

“Yayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy!” shouted Collette and Joanne. 

“The competition is over now, everyone.” So then they relaxed in the car and went to sleep.


Chapter 5: We are here!!!!

After a while, they woke up. 

They were woken up by dad. “Now we are on the 299th street. We have crossed the whole Bronx. Now we have to cross the 200th avenue, and then we can see the countryside.” 

It was 5 o’clock in the morning and the sun hadn’t risen yet. So the family drove across the 200th avenue and saw 28 Gate Street. They drove onto the property and saw Auntie Julie!  

Auntie Julie led them to the house, and then Auntie Julie told a joke. “What is black and a dog?” she asked.

Joanne guessed Blacky, one of the farm’s dogs, and Auntie Julie said, “Right!” Auntie Julie explained that there were three more dogs too. Their names were Peggy, Rosie, and Maggie. Auntie Julie showed the dogs to them.

The girls played a while with the dogs, while the parents explored the giant house that they would be moving into.  


Chapter 6: Moving in!!!

Then the moving truck arrived. And then they loaded the furniture into the house and the girls helped. First, they moved one bunk into the gigantic room, then they moved another bunk to the same gigantic room, then they moved the bookshelves and the tables and the lamps. And they put some stuff on the balcony. Then on the second floor, they put the parents’ furniture in, and they put the workout stuff in another room on that floor. Back on the first floor, they put the dining table and kitchenware in the kitchen. And in the lounge, they put a lot of comfy stuff there. And in the basement, they put the recycled stuff in there. And their family car would go in there, so they drove it in. And they got the basement key and stored it in the car. 

After that, the parents went to sleep and the girls played with the dogs once again. They were feeling very happy, and Auntie Julie took the four girls to explore the farm because it was morning now! And after lunch, they slept for half an hour, and then they fed the horses and the sheep. Then they played with the horses by riding them, and they had a super duper happy time!

The End!

New York City

The big apple always bustling with people 

Never letting you pass because they are late for work.


The crowded streets filled with food trucks 

Ice cream trucks in the summer 

Hot cocoa in every cafe in the winter

And popcorn all year round. 


Busses and Subways on almost every street.


The city that never sleeps 

Drinking too much coffee 

That keeps them up all night 

But all the same it’s still


Home 

To all those people who never sleep 

And the ones who do.


Natasha

The bell rings. I grab my pencils and notebooks, and shove them into my bag. I rush to the front of the line; today I beat Nina. My class walks silently down the hall. In my head, all my thoughts are jumbled: Will my dad come to my basketball game? What will be his excuse this time? Unexpected business trip, a problem with the company? I can see Natasha looking at me with worried eyes.

”Are you ok?”

“Yeah, I’m fine.” I try to shrug off the feeling of disappointment in my dad, but I can’t. As soon as we reach the dismissal door, I grab Natasha’s hand and wait for the light to turn white. The second it does, I race down the block and karate kick the door open; guess I can thank my karate lessons. I hurry to the soda section while desperately searching for Fanta. I snatch the last bottle and watch Natasha put her Sprite on  the counter.

The guy behind the counter says, “5.75.”

I dig into my pocket and pull out a crumpled up five-dollar bill and three 25 cents. Natasha grabs both of our drinks and heads to the door. I glance at my phone and look at the time: 3:20 PM. As soon I glance at my phone, I shove Natasha out the door, and we race down the streets as if it were a competition. When the subway station is within my sight, I walk down the stairs clinging on to my soda, hoping it doesn’t fall.

The F train comes right on time; Natasha and I high five each other and walk into a crowded subway. It smells like sweat and it’s really hot. About five stops later, a lot of the people get off the subway. We finally find ourselves some seats where we can sit and enjoy our soda. Especially since my house is a bit far away. 

All I can think about is Masha, my dad’s girlfriend. Masha always takes me and Nat to get ice cream. Nat always gets two scoops of chocolate fudge, I get two scoops of oreo, while Masha gets one scoop of lemon. But then a sudden thought comes to me, and I remember my father never told me who my mother was or what happened to her. All I know is that my mother loved the beaches. It was almost like a perfect day at the beach, but then the clouds took over the sky, and everyone had to go home. I must have daydreamed too much because by the time I finish my thoughts, we arrive at Coney Island. While we’re walking home, I pass by a school, and another thought comes to me. 

Why didn’t my dad send me to school here where I lived, instead of a school in Brooklyn? 

I decide I’m going to ask my dad tonight. Although something doesn’t seem right.

But then Natasha wakes me from my thoughts.

”You have been really quiet today? Are you sure you’re okay.”

“Am fine. Don’t worry.”

“Ok, whatever you say, Angel.” 

I hate that nickname, but that doesn’t stop Masha from calling me that. She takes the keys out of her back pocket, and unlocks the door. We climb up seven flights of stairs, huffing and puffing as if the stairs are Mount Everest. We reach Apt. 7D and open the door to walk into a cold breeze, which feels very good against the hot May air. 

At first, I can’t believe my eyes, but then I realize my dad is standing in front of us. He is rarely at home and if he is, it’s only because something bad happened or he comes at 2 in the morning. His blue eyes are staring straight at Natasha and smiling. Natasha tells me that she just remembered she had a project, so she has to go home now. I help her get all her pencils in her bag, since we were playing the floor is lava on her stuff. Silently, I stand waving goodbye. I feel as if today will be the last time I will see her in a while. But I know that’s not possible, so I try to get the thought out of my head. My dad takes the trash bag and says he is going to throw it out. I shrug and walk to my room to ponder over all my thoughts. For the first time, I think my dad wasn’t where he said he was. 

I guess I fell asleep because when I wake up, my room is pitch black, and I hear some faint creaking coming from the living room. I pat down my bed searching for my phone. I finally find it under a bunch of blankets. I put my finger on the button of my phone and look at the time. It’s 2:00 AM. It’s probably my dad, I wonder what he was doing at 2 AM. Something seems off again. I slowly get out of bed and open my door. Like a mouse, I creep down the hallway past Masha’s room to my dad’s bedroom, where I have never been. He told me once that if I go into his room, I’ll get in big trouble. So I never do. 

I bring my head back to reality and reach for the doorknob, but then I hear a creaking behind me and a deep voice with a faint Russian accent. I can immediately tell it’s him, but he sounds madder than I’ve ever heard him. Although he rarely even talks to me. I can never forget that he forgot about my birthday three years in a row. 

He flicks the light switch on, and I can see him staring at me. His blue eyes look more unfriendly than before. His face looks so intimidating that it just makes me want to fall in a hole to swallow me up.

“I will ask one more time. Why were you going to go in my room?”

“I um… I couldn’t uh… sleep, yeah, because umm… I thought I saw a, uh, mouse in my room.” It sounds like I’m trying to convince myself more than my dad. 

He quietly walks in front of the door that leads to his room. His eyebrows are pushed together. It looks like he is thinking really hard. I silently walk backwards to reach the safe, reassuring feeling of my room.
“Give me your phone; that will be your punishment, and next time, follow my rules.”

 I feel so relieved nothing horrible happened, so I go to my room to fetch my phone quickly. When I return my phone, my dad is shocked to see me smiling.

“Can Natasha come for a sleepover?” I give him the puppy eyes that Natasha taught me to do. 

Fortunately it works, and he nods slowly, like he is still trying to make up his mind. There is something in his eyes, but I’m too tired to think about it. I manage to drag myself to my room and fall onto my bed. 

The smell of pancakes wake me up. Finally it’s Saturday. I put on some ripped shorts and an orange T-shirt. I open my door and walk into the kitchen where Masha is standing, flipping over a pancake.

“Hey Angel, you hungry?”

 I nod. 

“Ok good, because I made way too many pancakes.” 

Before I can even open my mouth, she says, “And no. Dimitri won’t have breakfast with us. He had to leave because of some problems with the business.”

 I shift uncomfortably and stare at the ground, feeling my eyes tear up. My dad told me to never cry because nothing was worth crying about, and I don’t want to show Masha that I am a 13 year-old who cries.

“Hey Angel, how about you put as much Nutella on your pancakes, just make sure to eat some strawberries?”

 I smile and think to myself how much I wish my dad was like Masha. But he’s not. 

After breakfast, I put on my Jordans and walk to the subway. I think about me and Natasha and the day we met. I chuckle a little thinking about how strange we were five years ago. 

I get to the subway station, walk down the stairs while getting my MetroCard out of my pocket, and wait until the train comes. I get in and sit down. Today, the subway is empty. I take my headset out and listen to “wish you were gay” by Billie Eilish. I quietly hum to the beat, thinking about how I want a family like Natasha, where I wouldn’t be an only child, and I would also have two parents who really cared about me. I remember all the days at school when Natasha would complain to me about how her sister spilled juice over her homework or how her brother spray-painted her hairbrush. And I could never forget when her older brother, Jason, stole all of Natasha’s allowance to buy a PS4. 

I finally arrive in Brooklyn. I walk to her house, looking at the trees and listening to the quiet surroundings. I look at all the houses with beautiful gardens in the front and perfectly-cut grass, and then I come across her house, which really stands out since there are bikes, scooters, balls, empty spray paint bottles, and chalk all over the ground. I try to avoid all the objects and get to the door safely without falling. Thank God I do because I wouldn’t want a sprained ankle for my basketball game or my karate practice. I ring the doorbell and wait for Natasha to open the door, but then Mrs. Smith comes out and asks me, “Why isn’t Natasha with you? I thought you two maybe had a sleepover since she didn’t come home yesterday.” 

I can feel my face become pale and my palms start to sweat. I take a big gulp.

“Well, uh, you see, she told me yesterday she had to go home to finish a project, are you sure she isn’t in her room?”

But before Mrs. Smith can answer, she falls to the floor and passes out. I open the door more to put Mrs. Smith on the couch, when I see Jessie playing with dolls, while Nick is trying to spray paint his hair, and Jason is skateboarding in the house.

“Jason, Nick, come help me get your mom to the couch, she passed out.”

They both stare at their pale mom lying on the floor, drop their things, and run over to help. Jessie won’t stop crying while screaming, her mom is dead. As soon as we put Mrs. Smith on the couch, Mr. Smith walks in and asks us what happened, although his eyes won’t leave his wife. Nick and Jason say they don’t know what happened, and they just heard me asking for help to carry Mrs. Smith on the couch. Jessie won’t stop crying and screaming, “MOMMY’S DEAD.” 

“JESSIE! Mommy is not dead, ok?”

 Jessie hugs her doll tighter and sits in a bean bag. Mr. Smith looks me straight in the eyes and asks me what happened.

”It’s a long story.” 

“Well, I have a lot of time.” 

So I told him about how we went to my house, played the floor is lava, and then Natasha told me she had to go do a project, so she left, and my dad went to throw out the trash at the same time. Wait a minute. Does my dad maybe know something?

”Uh, I have to go. I just realized I have karate in 30 minutes.” It’s not completely a lie because I do have karate class, just not in 30 minutes. Halfway through the door, I shout,  “Bye! Hope Mrs. Smith gets better!” I slam the door shut and run down a few blocks to get to Prospect Park so I can find a bench to sit on. 

Could my dad, no, but maybe. I mean he was staring at Natasha and he did come home earlier. He also went to throw out the trash at the same time Natasha left. But would he do something to her? It was so much for me to process, maybe Masha could help me. I quickly look for her number and call her. Please pick up, please, please, please.

”Hey Angel, what happened? Are you ok? Where are you?” 

“Thank God you answered and don’t worry I’m fine, but Natasha isn’t.” 

“What do you mean?!” 

“Can you just pick me up? I’ll tell you in the car.” 

“Ok, I’ll be there soon. Wait, where are you?” 

“In Prospect Park. I have to go. Bye.” 

“Bye, Angel.”

Now I have to call my dad. I take two big gulps and press the button to call him. I wait and I wait, but he doesn’t answer the phone. I really miss Natasha. Is she… no, she can’t be.  And for the first time in a while, I start crying. I see a black car pulling up on the corner, and Masha rushes out of the car to me and hugs me. She smells like peppermint. I wish she could be my mother. As soon as I summon up all my courage, I tell her about Natasha going missing and my visit to her house. And about how Dad came early and was acting strange around Natasha. He also went to throw out the trash at the same time Natasha left.

Then I look back at her eyes, because my father said, “a person’s eyes can tell you everything.” 

“Angel, I am sorry, but this time, I don’t believe you. Maybe you should talk to your dad. Also, I am going to Pennyslviana to visit my sister for three days, so let’s go back home and I’ll get my stuff when we get there.” 

“Ok.” 

“And I can call your dad so you two can talk.”

I nodded my head, too tired to speak. When we get into the car, I sit in shotgun and change the radio to “Lovely” by Billie Eilish.

”You really love Billie Eilish.”

I stare out the window, looking at the people. Then I remember I forgot about my karate class. “I forgot to go to karate class,” I mutter.

”Nicki, your dad doesn’t like it when you skip karate” 

“I know.”

There is not a lot of traffic today, so it takes us 20 minutes to get home. Masha opens the door, we climb up all the stairs, and for the first time, we don’t say anything to each other, which never happens since Masha and I usually talk a lot. She opens our apartment door, hugs me really tight, and then takes her backpack and her mini suitcase.

Before I close the door she hollers, “Don’t forget to lock the door!”

I laugh a bit and lock the door. I look at my dad’s door and decide that I want to see what I can find in his room. So I text my basketball coach that I’m not going to go to the basketball game because I didn’t feel well. I put my phone in pocket and walk towards his room. I can feel my heart beating. I know that whatever I find in there could possibly change my life forever.

I grab the handle and yank the door open, knowing that if I don’t do that, I would probably back out. I am shocked to see that everything about the room looks normal. Maybe Masha was right. I look around the room one last time to make sure I didn’t miss anything. All I see is a bed, a closet that’s wide open with business suits in it, a desk with no drawers, a rug, and a bookshelf with some Russian and English books. My dad made sure that I could speak Russian, German, and French. When I asked him why I had to learn those languages, he said because some of my family is from those countries, but now I know the only place my family is from is Russia. As I am about to leave the room, I see something under his bed. I pull it out from under the bed and see a big black box with Russian words on it, не открывать, which means “do not open” in Russian. I sit on the rug in case I faint when I find out what’s in the box.

I slowly open the top, and find a black gun with a bit of blood on it. I also find a piece of paper in a wooden frame that says, Мы убиваем за деньги, мы приносим смерть в другие страны, кровь на наших руках, мы убиваем, как медузы в коробке. “We kill for money, we bring death into other countries, blood on our hands we kill like a box jellyfish.” I breathe in and out three times, hoping something else in the box will prove my thoughts wrong. But they don’t. I find a knife and try to convince myself that it’s just an antique or a family relic.

The box has one last object in it. I take out a photo in black and white, with a picture of four men and two women. I see my dad standing next to a man with short blonde hair and dark eyes, and a woman with black hair in a bun and black eyes. None of them are smiling. Their faces give away nothing. In the back of the picture there is a sign in Japanese, ボックスクラゲ. I can’t understand it, so I Google it and figure out it means “box jellyfish.”

All of a sudden, a bunch of questions pop in my head. What does box jellyfish mean? Who are the men and woman in the photo? And why does my dad have a gun and a knife? 

And then I realize my dad is an assassin. I look at my phone and start panicking. It’s 10 PM. I shove everything back into the box and push the box under the bed. I close the door to the kitchen, take two white pieces of bread, and put peanut butter on one and jelly on the other. I put the two pieces together, lick my fingers, and go to my room. I sit on the bed staring at the white walls and eating my sandwich. My phone buzzes and I pick it up. I press the answer button and am about to ask her where she is and what she’s doing. 

But then I hear a deep voice with a Russian accent. I put myself on mute, so that no one will know I am listening. I pull the phone closer to my ears. It’s my dad’s voice. I immediately know what to do. Natasha and I watched so many movies and TV shows about people getting kidnapped. I have to distract my dad. Assassins are afraid of being caught, which means they’re afraid of police. I smirk a bit and call my dad. He has to pick up since Masha probably called him and told him about what I said about him, so he would pick up to avoid any suspicion.

And I am right. He does pick up. “Hello, who is this”

“Hey dad, it’s Nicki. So the police are standing in front of our door and they want to ask you some questions. What should I tell them?” 

  “Tell them I’ll be home in 15 minutes”

“Ok, they want to know where you are.” 

“I am at my office.” And then he hangs up. What my dad doesn’t know is that Natasha and I keep pocket knives in our shoes. That makes me realize that my dad doesn’t know that much about me. Now all I have to do is wait, so I wait and then I hear the door unlock, and my dad walks in the apartment. 

“Where are the police?”

“They’re not here. I lied.”

He takes his shoe off and takes out a gun, he growls, “What did you say?” He walks towards me and I walk backwards. I am pinned to the wall with a gun pointing towards my stomach. 

I hold up my phone. “I’ll call 911 if you shoot.” 

I can tell he is thinking. He moves the gun away from me and suddenly says, “Let’s make a deal. If you don’t call the police or tell anyone I’m an assassin, I won’t kill Masha.”

I hesitate. “Ok. But you have to leave Natasha alone.” 

My dad looks at me, nods, and walks to his room. And I walk to my room, and now I know my father is an assassin and he tried to kill my friend. 


Freedom for Dragons

Once upon a time, before the dinosaur age, there was a dragon named Flame. He was captured by a really big dragon. He was captured in the big dragon’s cave since he was three. Flame was doing a lot of work for the big dragon, and he really wanted to get out. But there was a big boulder in his way, and the only way to move the boulder was to take the key from the dragon’s neck. He was in his room sleeping. Flame decided to try to take the key from the dragon’s neck. But he had to be careful, because the big dragon could wake up at any moment and eat him like he did to the other smaller dragons. 

So Flame opened the door, shivering in fear and thinking about what could happen if he woke the big dragon. Flame bit the key off the chain hanging off the big dragon’s neck with his sharp teeth. Then, he tiptoed to the boulder and put the key through the hole of the boulder. When the boulder rolled out of the doorway, it made a very loud sound. Flame heard the big dragon wake up. 

So Flame flew out. He heard the big dragon roar, “Flame!!!” As soon as Flame heard him, he flew as fast as he could, far away from the cave.

Flame had no idea where he was. It was raining and foggy, so it was hard to see. 

“Where am I?” Flame said to himself. Flame was cold and tired. He soared down to the ground and fell asleep. 

The next morning, Flame had figured out what he was going to do. He was going to find other dragons to make friends with. Before he was kidnapped, he heard of a forest full of dragons. Flame flew away happier than ever and ready for a long journey. 

While Flame was flying, he tried to remember where the forest was. He remembered that it was near an ocean, but he couldn’t remember what ocean it was. He decided to search around every ocean to find somebody to help him. He decided to first search the Pacific Ocean. He first started near the northwest corner of the Pacific Ocean, and he saw a castle. So he decided to go in. But there were two dragon guards. He asked the two dragon guards, “Where am I?”

They said, “You are looking at the Castle of Fire.” 

Then he asked, “Have you ever seen the Forest of Dragons?”

They answered, “No, but maybe the Queen Dragon knows.”

One of the guards asked another guard to tell the Queen Dragon that there was a visitor. A few moments later, the Queen Dragon came down and said, “I do know where the Forest of Dragons is.” 

The Queen Dragon had red scales. She had jewelry embedded in her wings. She had smoke coming out of her nostrils. She had very sharp claws, and she had many pearls on her arms. But the Queen was greedy about treasure. So she said, “I will tell you where the forest is only if you give me some jewelry.”

Flame says, “I have no jewelry, but I will try to find it.” 

So Flame went out on a search for jewelry. 

He asked a guard where he could find jewelries and the guard replied, “There is a mountain full of jewelry. It is nearby, but it is very dangerous. Many of us have still not made it back.” 

Flame thought about this. Would he really risk his life just to meet other dragons to make friends with? What happens if the big dragon finds him? Flame made up his mind. In order to be safe, protected, and happy, he must get the jewelry. 

When Flame reached the mountain, he looked up and saw how tall the mountain was. He thought about how many monsters could be up in that mountain. He climbed up and finally found a ledge. And there was a cave in there! He decided to rest in the cave — until he heard a growling sound. He took a stick he found on the ground, and he put a small bit of fire on the tip of it. He used the stick as a torch. He did not see anything. His teeth were chattering. He went deeper in, and he saw movement. He stepped back, and put his light a little closer. There was a giant worm, and it had many sharp teeth all around its mouth. And blood on his teeth. Flame decided to run for it. The worm chased after him, even though it looked like he just ate something. After Flame was near the exit, he threw his torch at the worm, which ate it. Flame decided to breathe fire, but basically none at all came out. He decided to fly away, but just when he was about to fly out, he sneezed on the worm. A lot of fire came out, and the worm ran away. If monsters like that popped up again, he was just gonna run for his life.    

  Flame didn’t want to see that ugly thing again.  Flame flew up for a long time until he reached another ledge. He saw things flying in the air. Flame did not know what the things were, until one of the things landed. They were giant horseflies! There was even a whole swarm of  them. Flame would not be able to take out all of the flies with his fire like he did to the worm. All of a sudden, the flies stared at him without moving. Then they jumped on Flame and attacked him. Flame struggled to breathe fire (which killed about 10 flies). And then, he started rolling around, which smushed a lot of flies. And then he breathed more fire, which got rid of all of them. 

Then, he flew up higher until he reached another ledge, and he realized he was near the top. But he needed a break, so he sat on the ledge. The mountain looked like a giant rock with very rough edges and with many ledges. He was sitting on one of them. He could see there were jewelries growing on top of it. But he had to rest because his wings were sore. 

On the ledge, he heard pinchers. Flame was not scared because he had faced many monsters already. But what came out was a spider, which was the predator of most bugs. And he couldn’t touch it because it was a tarantula. And a tarantula had hair on its body so when you touched it, you became itchy. He couldn’t run away because his wings were really tired, and he wouldn’t be able to fly well. And he couldn’t use his fire because he hadn’t eaten anything for a while. So he decided to try to throw rocks at the spider. He threw many rocks at the spider. One of his rocks missed and hit the top of the cave, which hit a rock that was holding a boulder in place. And the boulder fell on the spider! The spider was stuck.

After a few minutes, his wings felt okay. He decided to fly more until he finally got to the top of the mountain. Just right when he was about to take a jewelry, something came out from behind it. It was a giant scorpion!

It was a big threat, because it had pinchers and a stinger, and they were also poisonous. It had a hard armor. First, the scorpion jumped on Flame. Flame kicked him off, which took all his energy because he was very hungry. Flame tried to breathe fire, but he forgot he couldn’t. He knocked over a tower of jewelry onto the scorpion, which soon broke out by using his pinchers. Flame flew on the top of a jewelry tower to think about how to defeat the scorpion. 

He thought about what the scorpion couldn’t do that Flame could do. Flame got an idea. He had wings and the scorpion didn’t. Soon later, the scorpion pinched down the jewelry tower. Flame happily flew down because he had an idea. Flame jumped off the ledge. The scorpion followed. The scorpion looked straight and not below him. Then, he fell down the ledge. Flame flew back to the top and could not see the scorpion, because the mountain was so tall, and the scorpion fell so low. Flame took a big piece of jewelry. It looked like a pillar with pointy edging on the top. But it was very light. 

He finally took one more look at the top of the jewelry mountain. It was full of colorful jewelries. He flew back down to the Castle of Fire and asked one of the guards to bring the Queen down. When the Queen came down, Flame gave the jewelry to the Queen. The Queen kept her promise.

She said, “I will show you the way to the Forest of Dragons.”

She walked past the mountain and about a mile away from the mountain, she stood right in front of a forest. Then, she stopped and turned around.

She said, “This is the Forest of Dragons. Keep on walking forward until you see a big space with no trees. Then, you’ll see dragons walking around there. Then, you have reached the Forest of Dragons.”

Flame ran forward until he reached a big space. It was very big. He could see many dragons walking around there. Then, he had figured out he had reached the Forest of Dragons. He asked one of the walking dragons. Flame said he was new to the Forest of Dragons. The dragon was so nice, he gave Flame a big house. 

Since Flame had made it to the Forest of Dragons, he needed to make friends. But how? He went outside to think. He walked forward looking down, and he bumped into someone. He was blue with bits of silver scales. 

Flame said, “Hi, I’m new here.” 

The blue dragon also said, “Hi. If you are new, do you know if there are games here?” 

“No,” replied Flame. They hung out for a while and played many games, such as toss the rock, destroy the doll, and racing. After they ate dinner, it was time to go.

Flame thought about today. He thought to himself, I made a friend.


The Blackout

Chapter One: What Happened?

Once a squirrel called Lilly went into a walnut shop. After she bought some walnuts, she went out. Then she saw something weird. The traffic lights were off, and there were no lights in buildings and in the other shops. They could not cook. The ovens were off. And then Lilly the squirrel wondered why all the lights and the ovens were off. It got even worse when it was very dangerous to cross the streets. The cars never stopped. Lilly was very worried, and then she saw something even weirder. There were fire trucks and policemen everywhere. They were worried too. Some schools and hospitals still had light, which was very weird. She had no idea what was happening.

She talked to one of the policemen and asked, “What happened?”


Chapter Two: A Talk with the Policemen

Then, the policeman said, “The electricity transformer got on fire, so the electricity was cut off. The firemen will fix the problem. Now the firemen are on West 99th Street, so it might take days to have electricity, or if the firemen are fast tomorrow, we will have electricity.”


Chapter Three: A Mystery

When Lilly went into her apartment, she noticed that there was no air conditioner, and everybody was outside getting cold air.

The manager said, “The elevators don’t work, but do not worry because nobody’s stuck in the elevator.”

Then, when she went to the mailroom, she could not see anything except black.

The manager said, “We can only take the stairs,” so she climbed and climbed.

There was only a little bit of light in the stairs.


Chapter Four: In the Apartment

Once she got to the ninth floor, she saw two old women. One of the old women was holding a dog that was grunting.

Then, Lilly asked the other woman, “Is there light in the room? Why are you out here?” 

The woman said, “There’s no light in the room, and we’re out here to get a bit of light.” 

When Lilly got into her room, she saw no light and no air conditioner. It was very hot, so she opened all her windows. She could not sleep because she needed some light to sleep. There was no light, so she used her phone. Her phone had a percentage of 80. On her phone, she set a mode that saved electricity. When she went to the shower, she turned the water to hot, but only cold water came out.

When Lilly was showering, she was freezing and calling, “Ahh!!!”

Then when she got out, she quickly got dressed, but she could not use the hair dryer because there was no electricity. Then she tried to charge her phone, but she could not. Then, when she tried to sleep again, she heard the police and fire trucks sounds, and she was distracted. So she tried to sleep very deeply, but her phone shut off, and she couldn’t have light. Then, she tried her new way of sleeping without light, and she held onto her stuffed animal and fell asleep.


Chapter Five: The Plan

The next day she woke up. There was still no air conditioner and no light, but there was sunlight. After getting dressed, she decided to pack an emergency bag because her doctor told her that she could not live in a house without electricity for three days. Her eyes would hurt a lot if there was no electricity for three days. She started packing after breakfast. This was her list:

EMERGENCY BAG LIST

1. Money ($200)

2. Sleeping bag

3. Books 

4. Toys 

5. Clothes

6. Phone

So Lilly packed her emergency bag, and then she looked for a place to go, and she found the New York Public Library. A lot of animals were there, and they were affected by the blackout. There were a lot of comfy couches for sleeping bags. She unloaded her stuff on one of the purple couches, and she made a friend called Billy. He’s a hedgehog. Together they played games like chopsticks and poker. Billy was very good at chopsticks, and Lilly was very good at poker. Then, they explored Brooklyn by crossing the Brooklyn Bridge. They figured out the subway wasn’t working, so they took a taxi to the New York Public Library. Then, at last, it was night, so they fell asleep in their sleeping bags.


Chapter Six: Yes! Electricity! 

The next day, she noticed that there was electricity! She was super happy, and she took a taxi home. She cooked herself breakfast and turned on the lights. She was happier than ever. She marked this day 7/13. She took a little nap and got back to work.


Magic

Chapter 1

The Night Storm

Boom bang crash! Dark clouds covered the sky while I was inside my bedroom with my sheets over my head. I looked at the photo of my father on my nightstand. Me and my mother were looking at a bunch of stuff that was my father’s and found this photo. This was the only photo of him, he hated being in photos! My mother knocked on the door.

“Here is your dinner, Miranda,” my mother, Sarah, said.

Once I saw my mother, a thought just automatically popped into my head. How did Dad disappear? It was just like my mother read my mind. 

“We will never know. That night when he went to the lab, he just disappeared into thin air. Anyway, help your little brother with his homework.”

The next morning I went to my cousin Dawn’s house. We both were determined to find out what happened to my father. So we asked Dawn’s dad to drive us to the lab. He was overprotective of Dawn, so he set up a place where he would question us. 

So he said in a very serious low voice, “What’s your favorite flavor of ice cream?” he asked me. “I always wanted to know.”

“Um… chocolate,” I answered. Anyway, Dawn’s father continued speaking. He asked a lot of questions, so we thought the easiest way was to lie out of them, of course we learned that the hard way. We just said that there was stuff from the lab that belonged to my father. After A LOT of convincing, he FINALLY drove us to the lab. Okay, now step two, I thought. The guards. Me and Dawn talked about this. Our personalities were very different; I was on the dark side while she was little miss sunshine, so this is how the conversation went. 

Me: why don’t we threaten to stalk them for the rest of their lives?

Her: they will be threatened by two little girls? 

Me: good point. Then why don’t we cut off their toes and put them where they are not

supposed to be?

Her: NOOOO!!

Me: fine.

Her: why don’t we just use the same excuse that we used on my father: to recover my

father’s belongings.

Me: if you want to do it the boring way, sure. Why can’t we just knock ‘em out?

And that’s how the conversation ended. 

Chapter 2

The Lab

Then guess what method we used? Yes, Dawn’s method… such. A. Great. Method. But of course we got in. We went into the lab dressed how people who work in labs dress. White lab coats, goggles, and an evil smile on my face. We went to my dad’s workshop in the lab. It was empty with just a cement floor and a wood table, on the wall was a metal vent. We looked ALL over and found nothing! 

Just as I was checking under the table, Dawn shouted, “Miranda, there’s a switch here on the vent!” I rushed quickly over there and without thinking, I switched the switch down. Just then, the room transformed into a whole different place: potions filled the room, several different robot machines were roaming around from inch to inch. Paper was covering my dad’s desk from corner to corner. The room was pretty messy. Then, a whole different room appeared. There was a gigantic machine—his part was the only place in the room that seemed tidied up. The screen was showing the words “The Jurassic Times.”

Dawn looked really confused and I looked just as confused as her. Dawn was the one with the good eye and noticed a note on the machine. As she picked it up, she accidentally pressed the red button that said GO. Just then, I started to feel dizzy and the world started spinning. After a few seconds, things started to ease down. 

Chapter 3

The Jurassic Times

 I came to my senses and looked around me. I panicked because there were dinosaurs EVERYWHERE! Me and Dawn spent many hours running for our lives. We didn’t even have time to catch our breath. By the end of the day, we found a cave that was animal-free. We set up two beds that were made out of grass and hay. We also created a section for all the berries we picked to eat. We FINALLY had time to rest. Our cheeks were both red and we were breathing really hard. We looked at each other for a long time without saying anything. I  finally broke the silence.

“So…” I said between breaths, “we sure know what the machine is for now.”

“Yeah” she responded.

“I knew that your dad was smart but not so smart that he could make a time machine,” 

she remarked.

“We REALLY need to know how to get back!” I exclaimed.

The next day, we emptied our pockets to see what we had: I had a half eaten chocolate bar, a pack of gum, some money, a picture of my dad, and an iPod. Dawn had the note, she took some string, a pencil and paper. The note said: colonial times 828.

“What does 828 mean?” Dawn asked.

“No idea,” I responded. “Do you think Dad went to the colonial times?” I asked Dawn.

“Maybe? Anything else?” Dawn asked.

I checked all my pockets. “Oh yeah, I have a potion that I took from dad’s office.”

“What is it called?” Dawn exclaimed.

“It doesn’t have a name,” I replied.

Chapter 4

The Colonial Times

We drank the potion, then I accidentally looked at the note, then I went dizzy. After

that, we just blacked out. But this time, we ended up in a place where all girls wore dresses and bonnets, and boys petticoats and baggy pants. We looked down and saw that our clothes were different. Perfect! We wore the same clothes that everyone else wore! The time traveling with the potion came with clothes! Then I realized something! We were in the colonial times!

For the rest of the day, Dawn and I went looking for my father. We searched everywhere! We still couldn’t find him! At the end of the day, we stayed with a nice couple that said their names were Maria and David. They gave us a bedroom for the night.

“What do you think made us go into the colonial times?” Dawn asked.

I looked a bit guilty. “Um… I accidentally looked at the paper that said colonial times 828, that’s what probably triggered us to go here.”

“Ohhh, that makes sooo much more sense to me!”

“Yeah,” I responded. “So tomorrow…”

“Um, do you still have the picture—” I interrupted Dawn.

“Yeah,” Dawn finished her sentence. “We can show the people here it and see if they’ve ever seen him.”  

Every time we showed people the photo, they started murmuring to each other and started pointing at us. One person dropped everything she had in her hands and shouted, “WITCH!!” After that, with every step we took, people started backing away. Then, finally, Maria came out of the house and I showed her the photo. She looked shocked. 

She said, “Child, your father went to the place.”

“The place?”

Apparently I looked so confused that she started telling the whole story.

Chapter 5

“The Place”

“Once, there was a man and that man was your father. One day, he came out of nowhere. Everyone thought he was crazy because he kept saying that he came from a time machine from the future. They officially named him wizard of the year. This was the first time in 20 years they named a wizard of the year. Not since this one man who every time he snapped, a person in the town died. Everyone thought he was dangerous, and still thinks that. They think he is so dangerous that they built a special prison just for him. Anyone who goes in can’t get out. No one knows what to call it. So we just call it the place.

The legend states that the only way to bring a person out of there is if a person makes a potion strong enough to get out of there.”

Dawn murmured something under her breath so quietly that you couldn’t even manage to make out the words. Maria finished her story and nobody knew if that potion even exists. I was shocked! Dawn and I went back into the house. 

Right after we closed the door, Dawn exclaimed, “The potion that we have!”

I answered, “What do you mean? That potion was only for time traveling!”

Dawn explained, “When we went time travelling, do you know how much time it took to get here?”

“No?”

“Um, ten minutes and two seconds. And do you know how long it took to get to the jurassic times? 15 minutes and 56 seconds.”

“How do you know?” I asked.

“Oh I set a timer,” Dawn said. She continued speaking, “it’s like the potion wants us to be here.”

“Ok then what are we waiting for, let’s go!”

Chapter 6

Dirty Work

We walked and walked and walked and finally got there! It was in the middle of the woods. The place was very simple with stone walls and a moat around it and alligators snapping at you. It was so very welcoming! SO. VERY. We still had two things to do. Get past the alligators and get past the guards. Time to use MY method! This conversation was a bit different.

Me: this time, let’s knock ‘em out.

Her: can’t we just sweet talk them into letting us in?

Me: no!! We did your method last time, this time we’re going to jump on the alligators’ back and then they’re going to bring us to the guards. Then you go in the front and start talking to them. Then I sneak up on the back, knock them over and take their weapons.

Her: you can knock over the guards?

Me: I’m going to try, then you’re going to help me.

We jumped on the alligators’ backs, then they knocked us over.

I shouted, “Change of plans, we’re going swimming!”

It took longer than we thought, dodging all those alligators. We finally got to the castle and had to climb a bit. At least the plan with the guards worked. With a little help from pepper spray. When we got past the guards, we went to find my father.

“Miranda, is that you?”

“Hello? Dad?”

“I’m here.”

I turned around, then I saw him. He was nothing like how he looked in the picture. He looked older, dirty, like he hadn’t taken a shower in months. There were smudges of dirt all over his face. I gave some potion to my father. 

Then to Dawn, I said, “We’re going to drink it on the count of three, okay? One. Two. Three!”

I went dizzy then blacked out. We were back home. I saw my father and Dawn on the sides of me. I knocked on the door. 

When my mother saw me, she exclaimed, “Miranda, thank goodness! Where were you?”

When she saw Dad, all the color drained from her face. She screamed, “Ashton, come down here!”

“Ashton? ASHTON?” My mom went inside to look for my little brother. “Where’s Ashton?”

The End!             

Princessa

I am woken by a bright light. I shield my eyes, only to realise I’m not at home. I’m in a huge, puffy, pink bed with purple pillows. I, for one, hate the colors pink and purple. Those colors are signs of a princess. A butler walks through the door, and I shriek.

 “Sorry, Your Highness. Didn’t mean to startle you, Your Highness. Here is your breakfast, Your Highness,” said the butler. 

 “Uhhh,” I said. What was going on!? Since when was I royalty? The closest I had ever gotten to royalty was our dog named King. “What’s this?” I say. It looks absolutely gross! It’s a big bowl of oatmeal with pineapple on top. I hate pineapple and oatmeal is so plain.

 “It’s your favorite,” says the butler, with a little concern in his voice. 

“Oh, really?” I say, and the butler looks at me like I’ve gone crazy. At this point, I have. “Thanks, I totally love it!”

 The butler is so confused at this point. “Are you feeling alright, Your Highness? I will set up a visit to the royal nurse today, Your Highness.” 

The butler leaves, wondering what just happened. People say you should stay calm in unfamiliar situations, but I think it’s appropriate to freak out in this situation. Here I am, in a huge, comfy, and probably very expensive bed. It is so much nicer than the floor I slept on at the farm. I work there, and the pay is very low, barely enough to support my family. My mother is very sick, so she can’t work, and my father died last year. My brother, Bob, is too young to work, since he’s only five. My grandma lives with us too, but she’s very sick. Now I actually have my own room, with gold jewelry and a very cute, very huge, and very fluffy teddy bear. “Bob would love this teddy bear!” I mumble. 

I get out of bed, feeling like a princess. In this world, I am a princess. 

An old but very stylish lady runs into my room. “Enough sleeping, it’s time for your Proper Princess lessons,” she says.  That’s a thing?! Before I can say anything, she pulls me to a ballroom. 

“Whoa,” I say loudly. It’s gold and huge and gold and beautiful and gold. It’s just like the movies. Did I mention it was gold? 

“Enough dilly dally! We must get to work immediately!” says the lady. She hands me a book. “You know what to do.” 

“Yep,” I say nervously. 

“What is this word ‘yep’? Ug, the slang the children are using these days. You must say, ‘Yes mam’ or ‘Of course’. Do you understand?” 

She gives me a deathening stare. “Yes mam,” I squeak. 

Now, what to do with this book…Maybe I balance it on my head? That seems reasonable. I walk across the ballroom without the book falling once. I was good at this kind of thing since this is what I did for fun on the farm. 

“You’re getting much better at this, good job,” said the lady. “We are done for the day. You may leave.” 

I walk out and there is a grand staircase on the left. It has red carpet and silver railings. Seriously, a girl who was living with all of this for fourteen years has got to be spoiled. I walk up the stairs, and I can’t believe my eyes. There are thousands of gowns in so many different colors. Maybe not thousands, but you get the idea. They are all topped in jewels and more jewels and, well, more jewels!

 “Would you like to choose your dress for today, Your Highness?” asks the butler.

 I shriek, again. This guy has to stop creeping up on me! “Um, sure,” I say, even though I’m unsure on which dress I’ll choose. There are so many options! 

After 20 minutes of searching, I settle for a sea-green gown with blue jewels on top. I look in the mirror, and I can’t believe my eyes. I look like someone else, someone who is important.

“You usually pick a pink or purple one, Your Highness,” says the butler. 

“This one is just fine,” I say. I turn to him, realising he is too nice to lie to. “I have to tell you something, but you have to promise to stay calm,” I say to the butler. 

“I promise, Your Highness,” says the butler.

 I took a deep breath, and broke the news to him. I told him that I’m not the princess. I told how my life was before, with being very poor and working on the farm. I told him how my grandma was sick and needed expensive medicine. I told him I’m the only person who works in my family. 

“Ever since my father died, my mother has struggled moneywise. She has no one to lean on. My brother is too young to work, since he’s only 4. My mother has to take care of my brother and my very sick grandma.”

“Oh my,” the butler says slowly, almost in a whisper.

“That leaves me. Even though I’m only 14 years old, I have a full-time maid job on the farm. The pay isn’t much, only five pence a day. Just enough to feed my family. 

“Life is so much easier here. I just need a little break. I still wonder how I got here,” I say. The butler looks at me long and hard. He stares at me for what feels like hours. I think he’s deciding if this is true, or just a sob story. 

“Fine, I believe you. I won’t tell, but you must figure out who, or what, did this to you. You must return the real princess to the throne.” 

“Thank you!” I tell him, relieved my secret won’t be revealed. 

“Now, you have breakfast with the queen and king, your ‘parents,’” says the butler. “Act like you are royalty and use very formal language.” 

Breakfast was scrumptious and the king and queen didn’t expect a thing. They actually didn’t talk to me at all. They were just talking about work and laws and things kings and queens need to worry about. The real princess must have felt neglected. 

After breakfast, I try to sneak outside. I’m this close to the door when a voice stops me. 

“Where do you think you’re going?” it asks.

 I turn around to see a man with a measuring cup on his shoulder and a scissor in his hand. “We must do the dress fitting for the ball tomorrow night!” 

I’m going to a ball? Wow, that will be so magnificent! 

“Okay,” I say, and I follow him to the dressing room. It’s huge and right in the middle is the most beautiful gown I have ever seen. It goes all the way up to the floor and it has gold jewels all over it. It’s pink, but I actually don’t mind it that much. I wear it, the man and his assistants adjust the dress a little bit. 

“PERFECT!” the man screams. I look in the mirror and I cannot agree more. I get out of the dress and I’m told I have a horse riding lesson. Apparently, I’m some national champion. I don’t know how to ride a horse! Well, let’s just hope I’m lucky…

I come outside, and a lady with the biggest horse I have ever seen is waiting for me. The horse is black and tall. He looks calm, which makes this a little less scary.

”Get on the horse,” she says sternly. After about 15 times, I’m on. “Trot,” she says. Okay, it can’t be that hard. Maybe I just take the rope, and hold it. Then, maybe I fling it. The horse starts moving, slowly. It’s not a trot, but hey, I’ve never ridden a horse before. “TROT I SAID,” the lady screams. 

You need to calm down, I think in my head.

 I fling it even harder, and the horse is running at full speed. I’m scared, but I pretend I’m okay. 

“Yes, good job!” the lady says. 

The lesson continued, and it wasn’t as hard as it seemed. She taught me tips and tricks and by the end of the lesson, I could ride a horse! 

After my lesson, the chef made me lunch. It was handmade pasta with red sauce. It was more delicious than anything I have  ever tasted. For the rest of the day I had Proper Princess lessons. It was a little boring for the first hour, since we were just balancing the books. Then we went over proper tea party attire and manners. It was annoying, because apparently I “keep on getting in wrong”. 

After an amazing-smelling caviar, I go to my bed. It was such an amazing day. However, I feel guilty. My family is probably starving and here I am eating caviar.  I am sitting in the most comfy bed I have ever felt, yet my brother was sleeping on the dirt. I had to find a way to go back soon, and figure out what happened.

It is the day of the ball, and I am already excited when I woke up. An actual ball, that I would be dancing and twirling and being really important in.

“Your breakfast,” the butler says, rushing in with breakfast of waffles. “Are you excited for your first ball?”

“YES, YES,YES, OH YES!” I say in a loud, but not screaming voice. 

The butler leans closer. “Have you figured it out yet?”

“Figured out what?”

“Why you’re here!”

“Not yet, I have to find a plan.”

“Well, do it fast.”

“I’m trying!”

“Try harder!”

We start laughing, and then the butler heads to the door.

“Wait!” I say.

“Yes?”

“What should I call you?”

“You can call me Robert.”

“Okay. You can call me Maybell.”

“Okay, Maybell.”

I smile, and he smiles back before he leaves. The same man who did my dress fitting comes in. 

“Time to get into your gown!” he says very loudly.

“Ok,” I say politely, but excitedly.

“Come on, come on, no time to waste!”

“Fine,” I say, a little reluctant to get out of bed.

We go to the dressing room, and I put on my gown. I look astonishing. They then take me to the hairdresser, and they put my hair into a neat bun. This is a literal whole new world. 

Now I have to go to Proper Princess lessons again, in order to prepare for the ball. We go over proper greetings and the way to walk. We also practice walking in heels. It is so painful. I don’t get what’s wrong with sneakers. They are so much more comfy. Besides, nobody’s going to see my shoes. The gown is floor-long. It goes on for hours and hours.  

By the time we are done, it’s time for the ball. I make a grand entrance with the king and queen. Everyone is awing at us, and I feel really special. People talk to me, and I make a lot of things up.

“Hello Your Highness, how are you this fine evening?” asks the duke.

“Very well, thank you. How about yourself?” I say, sounding very formal.

“Very well, thank you. How is the royal swim team doing this year?”

“Very well, we can expect a win this year.”

“Good to hear it.”

I have no idea what the royal swim team is. I don’t even know how to swim! I just came up with stuff along the way. 

It is time for the dancing part of the evening. I am going to be ballroom dancing with multiple young men who want to marry me. Great.

I danced and danced, my feet getting tired and the heels giving me blisters. The last boy I danced with, Henry, wasn’t like the others. His eyes were sweet and calm. He was a great dancer, and our eyes were locked on each other. When it was time to stop dancing, we went over to the side a talked. He was like nobody else, and he was funny and a great listener. It was almost like… no, it couldn’t be… it was almost like… love at first sight. He was staying over at the palace since his father had work to do with the king. 

We spent the whole week together. We ate at the fanciest restaurant in town, Souffle. We went to the water park and went on all the rides. He was a great company. We were having dinner at the palace when I hear something I’ve wanted to hear for a few days now.

“I’ve been wanting to tell you something for some time now. In other words, since the day I met you,” says Henry slowly.

“I’m all ears,” I say excitedly.

“I really like you, and I want to spend the rest of my life with you. Will you marry me?” He bends down with a ring.

I have no words. This is one of the best moments of my life. I would normally think he wants to just be king, but Henry’s different.

“YES!” I say, excitedly.

I hug him so tightly, he could pass out. We run to the meeting room, and announce our marriage. Everyone is excited and congratulates me. I know I made the right choice. 

You might be thinking we are pretty young to be married, but we love each other too much to wait. Besides, my grandma got married at my age, so did my mom. It’s kind of a tradition at this point. 

As I go to bed, I am excited to now have a financé. I have so many plans for us. Then I go back to thinking about home. Would mom approve? Would she be mad that I wasn’t there and I couldn’t find her? I have to tell Henry. Maybe he could help me sneak out. 

The next morning, I find Henry. I take a deep breath and tell him everything. I tell him about me not being a princess and my back story. After I finish, he looks at me with those sweet, calm eyes. Is he mad at me for lying? 

Henry looks at me. “It’s not your fault. I’m not mad.”

“Good. Will you help me find the original princess?”

Henry thinks for a minute. Then, he gives me a smile. “Of course.”

“Great!” This is finally getting to a good start.

After lunch, we sneak out of the palace and into the village. We have to disguise ourselves. We don’t want the paparazzi getting in the way. We look around and call out, “KASSY?”, the name of the original princess. Nobody has any ideas on where she could be. 

After two hours of searching, I sit down on a bench. “We’re never going to find her and I’m never going to see my family again.” No matter how much I try to hold it back, tears fall from my eyes. 

“We’ll find her,” says Henry. “I promise you”

“Some promises can’t be fulfilled.” 

I look at Henry. His face starts smiling, almost like he came up with the best idea ever.

“I just came up with the best idea ever!” Henry yells.

Called it. “What is it?” I say excitedly.

“The only thing that has changed is you and Kassy switching lives, right?”

“Yeah, so what?”

“That means your family lives in the same house and Kassy works where you use to work!”

“That’s genius. What are we waiting for? Let’s go!”

We run to the house and barge through the door. My brother is playing with his rocks and my mother is cleaning the kitchen. 

My mother looks at us, surprised.

“Who are you and why did you just come inside my house?” she says.

I want to tell her everything. I want to tell her I am her daughter. I want to tell her where I was. I want to say I’m sorry for not being there for our family. But I can’t. I have to wait till everything is resolved. 

“It doesn’t matter,” I say.

“Where is Kassy? I mean, Maybell. Where is Maybell?” says Henry in his stern prince voice. 

“She is at the Mare Berry Farm,” says my mother, a little scared at this point.

I feel bad, but there’s nothing I could do. Not until I find Kassy.

Henry and I run to the farm. I’m full of hope and fear. Would Kassy be mad? Can we fix our lives? At this moment, I’m glad to have Henry by my side. 

When we get to the farm, we find Kassy milking a cow. Wow, she is doing really well, even better than me. We run up to her. She looks at us, scared and surprised.

“I knew I would get caught at some point,” Kassy says, a little sadness in her voice.

“What do you mean?” I say, a little anger in my voice.

“I did this. I was the one who gave you the life of the princess.”

“How, What, Where, When, Why?” says Henry sternly.

“What is this, English class? Anyway, I was bored of my life at the palace.  My parents never talk to me. I feel like I have no family, no shoulder to lean on. Everyone just waits on me at a fancy place. I wanted to have family moments and actually do something for myself.”

“But it’s my family, my life!” I say, a little surprised that anybody would get bored of a life at the palace. 

“I know it was wrong but I was desperate. I made a wish on the magical well, just for fun, but I thought it was a myth. I didn’t know it would work!”

“Did you make the wish of June 27th?” Henry asks.

“Yeah, so?” says Kassy.

“All the wishes made on June 27th come true! There is no way to reverse them!” Henry yells in a worried voice.

“So we’re stuck like this forever?” Kassy and I say at the same time. We look at each other with sad faces. 

“Lets go to my actual house,” I say.

We all walk to the house and come in. My mother is reading a book to my brother, who is now asleep. 

“Will someone tell me what’s going on?” my mother says sternly.

Then she pauses, like something is wrong. 

“Take off your hood,” she tells me. 

I do as told, and my mother gasps. She pulls out the birth certificate of both Kassy and I. 

“We’re… sisters?” I say.


20 YEARS LATER

“Remember the day you officially moved to the palace?” Kassy says. 

“The day we came to know we’re sisters?” I say. 

A lot has happened since that day. Kassy and I realised we were sisters. Apparently, the king and queen adopted Kassy. My mom, grandma, and brother moved to the palace. The king and queen bought the farm. We were a huge, happy family. Henry and I got married, and we had a child named Rose.

“Today is your coronation,” Kassy reminds me.

“Thanks for reminding me,” I say sarcastically, a little nervousness in my voice. “What if I do something wrong?”

“You’ll be fine. I gotta go get ready”

As Kassy leaves, I look out the window. It’s dawn, and the sunrise is beautiful. 20 years ago, I was wondering if my family and I would ever find a good home. Now, I live in one of the grandest places in the world. 


The Great Big Ocean

Alexandra had tried everything. She had tried begging her parents, she had tried refusing to come. Finally she agreed, but she convinced her parents to let her bring a couple books. But still, she was going to the beach. Her parents were taking her to the BEACH. Alexandra hated the beach, unlike her three year-old sister. Alexandra was very picky. One of the only things that she loved were books. BOOKS. She thought that there was nothing better than reading a good book on a summer day. She saw the beach come into view. Reluctantly, she climbed out of the car unenthusiastically. She got herself settled on the beach with her book, while her sister started a sandcastle.

“Alex help?” she asked. Alex groaned.

“Nooooo. I’m reading.”

“I’ll help,” said Dad.

“YAY YAY!” Alexandra’s sister, Charlotte, was grinning.

Silently thanking her dad, Alex started on her book about animal waste. Yes, animal waste. She was very interested in this right now. 

Her dad came over to her and asked, “Alex, want to swim?”

“WHAT! NO! I HATE SWIMMING!”

This was true. Alex hated swimming. Even worse, she didn’t know how.

“Alright,” said her dad. “But you need to learn how SOMETIME.”

Alex lay down just to find her book NOT THERE. Alex ran to her mom, yelling, “MOM! DID YOU TAKE MY BOOK?”

“NO, why?”

“MOOOM! ALL MY BOOKS ARE GONE!!”

“Get your other books, don’t bother me.”

Alex looked in her bag and reached in to find her other books on animal waste, only to find that they were also gone.

Alex glanced around to find a group of boys laughing and stealing glances at Alex. They had TAKEN HER BOOKS! 

Alex stormed over to them and yelled, “Give me my books back!”

A big boy, maybe 11 years old, sneered.

“Looks like that won’t happen.”

He had ripped out all the pages of Alexandra’s books and was now working on ripping the covers. Alex, trying not to cry, went back to the blanket and sat down. She loved those books. They had been her favorite. And now she would never get to finish them. She felt someone kneel down beside her. She looked up and found a boy with dark brown hair and bright blue eyes was looking at her.

“I’m sorry. My friends were being really mean to you.”

“It’s fine,” said Alex, even though it was not.

“You know there is a library on an island of the Ocean, right?”

“WHAT? Really? That would be so cool! I wish I could go.”

“You could,” said the boy.

“I’ll ask my parents. By the way, what’s your name?”

“Gabe,” said the boy.

Alexandra went and asked her parents.

“Mom and Dad, can I go with my friend named Gabe to the library across the Ocean?”

Mom looked surprised. “Sure!! But you know that you will have to swim across the ocean, right?”

“WHAT? BUT YOU KNOW I HATE THE WATER AND CAN’T SWIM!”

“Maybe Gabe can help you,” said Dad. “Go try.”

Alex went over to Gabe and said, “My mom made me swim!”

“That’s fine. I can teach you how. I’m on the NYC swim team.”

So Gabe took Alexandra’s hand and pulled her to the Ocean.

“Get in,” said Gabe.

Alex reluctantly got up to her chin in the water. Gabe held Alex’s legs up and told her to kick. Gabe let go and Alex felt herself float. It actually felt pretty good!

“Now move your arms!” Gabe continued directing Alexandra until she felt herself move in the water!

“What’s happening?” 

Gabe laughed. “What do you mean what’s happening? You’re swimming!”

“WOW!”

Alexandra had never felt this before. 

“Do you think you’re ready to swim?”

“I mean, yeah!”

“But will it get deep?”

“Nah, this Ocean’s surprisingly shallow, and I’ll walk with you and hold you up.”

So this continued until Alex spotted something disturbing. A big, big wave was forming a little way away. 

Alex shouted to Gabe, “LOOK, THAT IS THE BIGGEST WAVE EVER!”

“Oh, yeah, that’s the biggest wave of the year. It sometimes can kill people. Anyway, what’s your favorite thing to do?”

Alex was freaking out.

“Why are you asking me what my favorite thing to do is when we are maybe about to die?”

The wave was coming closer and closer, and the closer it came, the more Alexandra got more and more frantic!

“Okay, reeeeeeeeeelax! We can survive. It’s about a mile away, it just looks very close due to the size. But I think we will be okay.”

Alex noticed that Gabe seemed very calm.

“Have you experienced this before? You seem very calm.”

Gabe replied unusually. “Look, this wave is really scary to me too. I have not been in it before. But I have seen it, and this is one of the biggest waves ever. All I am doing is trying to stay calm, but inside me, I am freaking out. Just stay calm and—”

“But I thought you were the best swimmer in NYC! I am depending on you. I COULD DIE. This is really freaking me out.”

“Just because I am on a good swim team doesn’t mean I can swim through a wave as tall as the Empire State building!” The wave was less than 10 feet away from them now. “We are just going to have to face it now.”

Alexandra took some deep breaths.

“Face it,” she said, “FACE IT.”

The wave was about to come at Gabe and Alexandra. Alex braced herself for the worst. She peeked out of her hands— which were covering her face— and saw the wave a foot away. She heard Gabe yelling, “Do what you can! I am holding onto you! JUST BE CALM AND LOOK OUT!”

Alexandra repeated these words in her head. “Just be calm. JUST BE CALM!”

She felt the wave lift her up, high, high into the air. She spotted the beach and her Mom and Dad shouting. She couldn’t quite make out what they were saying, but she could make out “Alexandra!” and “Careful!” She saw tears going down her mom’s face and her dad’s worried look. But she felt the comfort of Gabe next to her. Then, Alexandra felt the sensation of falling. Her brain raced as she shouted, “HHEEELLLLPPPP!!!”

The next thing she knew, she was flying in the air, head first. 

Alexandra felt her head smashed into the surging waves and a surge of pain in her right knee. She felt the sensation of falling into a dark, deep tunnel. She felt someone touch her shoulder. That was the last thing she remembered before everything went black.

***

Blink. Blink. Alexandra saw white. All white. She blinked again and realized that she was staring at a ceiling. She looked next to her and found her mom and dad sadly looking at her. She also spotted her sister in the playroom next door, playing with a toy airplane.  Their faces brightened when they saw Alexandra’s chocolate brown eyes.

“She’s awake!” said Dad.

“Thank God,” said Mom.

She felt her Mom kiss her on her cheek. Alexandra had millions of questions bubbling inside of her. But she surprisingly just couldn’t talk. (Emotionally and physically.) Why was she wearing pajamas with cupcakes on them? Who had rescued her? Was Gabe okay? Wait a second. Alexandra had a thought rush to her head. Was Gabe okay?

Alexandra looked next to her and saw Gabe, lying motionless. She saw a cast on his arm. It was white, but she could see red, probably blood. Alexandra felt so bad for her friend. And now he would never want to swim again, just like her. She saw Gabe’s eyes open and he mumbled, 

“Alexana?” He probably couldn’t talk as well, like her. Alex tried saying something.

“Hhhhiiii Gab.”

Huh. She was probably just tired. She saw the doctor come in, and Gabe did too.

“Hi guys!” the doctor said. “I am Dr. Ring. Gabe, you have broken your arm, as well as cut it on a rock in the Ocean, we think. Alexandra, you have a small crack in your right knee and will get crutches.” Alexandra hadn’t noticed that. She sat up and saw her knee in a cast. “You guys have headaches. You can’t speak very well yet.”

Dad spoke up. “Can we tell them what happened?”

The doctor smiled. “I think they would like to know.”

Dad started. “You guys had concussions. You didn’t feel this, but a lifeguard jumped in and got you guys. Then firefighters came. They used a crane to take you guys out of the Ocean.”

Mom continued. “The lifeguard couldn’t get you out because the waves after the big wave were too strong. Then they put you in an ambulance and brought you here.”

Alexandra felt better talking now.

“Shouldn’t I be wet? I- I was just in- in- in a big wave.”

“Yeah,” agreed Gabe. “How aren’t we w- wet and now both wearing cupcake p- p- p- pajamas?”

Dr. Ring laughed. “We cleaned you guys and dried you up. Oh, and these are the only pajamas we have.”

“Okay,” said Gabe. “But can you please get better pajamas?”

Just then Gabe’s parents arrived.

“Gabe!” exclaimed Gabe’s mom. “You should be resting, not talking about what pajamas this hospital has!”

“But they should have more,” retorted Gabe.

“Oh, hi Henry!” Gabe’s little two and a half year-old brother was staring at Gabe. Henry looked at Gabe.

“Gabee OK?”

“Yes, I’m fine, go play with Alexandra’s sister, Charlotte.”

Henry happily grabbed another toy airplane and started playing with Charlotte.

Alexandra decided that this was the time to tell her mom something important, something that had been waiting to say. Alex took a deep breath and began. 

“Mom?” asked Alex.

“Yes sweetie?”

“Can I learn how to swim?”

“Of course sweetie! But what changed your mind? I thought you would never want to swim now, even in pools!”

Alexandra started explaining. “Well, I don’t want to go in the ocean first, but I could take lessons in our swimming pool at home in Long Island. I want to be ready and not freaked out for a situation like this one.”

Gabe cut in. “Hey, I live in Long Island too!”

Gabe’s dad had an idea. Gabe could teach Alex to swim! “But Gabe, you’re cool because you are the only boy in your group that knows how to swim!”

That gave Alexandra an idea. “Can I get back at those boys who ripped up my books?”

“Oh yeah!” agreed Gabe. “We can push them into the water!”

Alexandra’s mom looked skeptical.

“Maybe that’s a little toooo much!”

Alexandra spoke up. “But can we do something?”

“Maybe just talk to them. But you should stand up for yourself and talk to them with Gabe.”

“Okay, after I learn how to swim because they are going to be meaner to me if I don’t know how to swim like them. Can we go home today?”

Charlotte and Henry came over. “Mommy, go home?” Charlotte asked.

“GO HOME! YAY YAY!” Henry was getting excited too.

“Yes, we are going home today,” the parents said in unison.

After a few more hours of rest, the families headed home. They went home in separate cars but Gabe promised to come visit Alexandra after they got home. (Because he was the one of them that could walk. Alexandra had crutches.)

At home, Alexandra met Gabe on the back porch. Gabe was the first one to speak.

“Well, this incident didn’t result in the best health.”

“Yes, but I learned to not be afraid of the Ocean and to fight through it.”

“I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have brought you into the Ocean. This was all my fault.”

Alexandra felt bad for Gabe. “No, it’s not. It’s my fault for going into the Ocean. I wanted to go to the library.”

Gabe leaned over and hugged Alexandra. “You’re the best Alexandra. And it’s definitely not your fault.”

Alexandra leaned over to Gabe. Gabe put his arm around her. Then they heard footsteps coming. Thump. Thump. Thump. Gabe and Alex let go of each other and saw the mean boys coming over to them.

“Hey stupid!” yelled the tallest boy at Alex.

Gabe retorted. “Don’t call her that!”

“And you can call her anything you want, I guess?”

“She’s my friend!”

“Well, Gabe, then I guess you’re not our friends either. Go play with your girlfriend!”

“I’m not his girlfriend!” Alexandra said. “Am I?” 

LOOK ON NEXT PAGE!

THE END!!!!

Epilogue

After Gabe’s arm had healed and Alexandra’s leg healed, Gabe taught Alex swimming. Once Alex had learned how to be a great swimmer, the two of them decided to get back at those dumb boys. Gabe knew that the boys were going fishing, so Gabe and Alex had a plan. They swam in the Long Island river and pulled a prank on these boys. This was how it went. 

THE PRANK

“Allright, I see them.” Gabe and Alexandra were very exhausted having swam for so long. They could see the silhouettes of the tall boy and his friends. Alexandra was curious.

“What are their names?”

“The big one’s name is Parker, and his two friends are Daniel and Joshua. I used to like them, but now I regret EVER being friends with them. I much rather like being friends with you.” Alex blushed at the thought of how he meant “friends.”

Alexandra changed the topic. “So the plan is to push them into the water?”

“Yeah. I know our parents think it’s too much, but I think they deserve it.”

Alexandra agreed. “Surely pushing people into the water isn’t as bad as ripping up all their books, is it?”

“Exactly. Let’s do this.”

“IT’S TIME.” 

Gabe and Alex dove under the boy’s boat and pushed it over. They heard screams from above. Gabe laughed.

“Man, I haven’t heard them scream before. This is AMAZING. And they’re not wearing life jackets.”

Alex just thought of something. “Wait, will they drown? Let’s check.”

Gabe and Alex peered around the flipped boat and found Parker, Daniel, and Joshua trying to get back up on the boat.

“YOU-YOU DID THAT!” Parker was furious. “HOW DARE YOU!”

“How dare YOU rip up all my books?” Alexandra was glad that they finally got back at Parker and his gang.

Gabe cut in. “Here, take this.” Gabe handed them a buoy. “Use this to float home.”

Parker snatched it. “And why do we need this to float home?”

“Because we’re taking the boat.” Alexandra climbed on and helped Gabe up.

Daniel and Joshua yelled “No!” Parker just stared in fury. While Gabe was rowing away, Alexandra called to the boys.

“Hey! I hope the buoy fits all of you! Maybe you could SWIM?”

The boys groaned and started doggie paddling while their arms rested on the buoy. Alex and Gabe grinned and headed back home. 

THAT’S ALL FOLKS! WAIT FOR THE NEXT BOOK!

Endor’s Life

Endor isn’t like everyone else. He’s different for one reason, size. He’s bigger than any other of his species. He’s bigger because of mutation when he was born. He’s as big as the statue of liberty!!! There are monsters bigger than him, but those are different species. Like reptars and skylers, but those are other kinds. He’s only supposed to be 15 meters. But he’s more than five times the height!!! Endor is sort of like a turtle, but has spikes and has sharp teeth. Sadness makes him destroy cities. Anger. Rage. Endor has always been picked on by reptars saying, “Big body, gigantic coward!!!”

“Hey weakling,” said a reptar. His teeth started grinding. His spikes started bulging on his body.

“What do you want?” I asked. I was thinking of burning him with a flamethrower I was powering up in my mouth.

“Why don’t you get out of the way and give me your money, I want to buy something,” he replied with a grin on his face. Then out of nowhere, I blasted reptar. Then I realized I could use my size to protect the cities.

Endor faced many battles with skylers, fenines and more. But today was different.

“ROAR!!!” A huge roar was heard in the city, so Endor went to check it out.

What’s going on this time? I said to myself.

“Oh, just a reptar, wait, a REPTAR!!!” I screamed. Reptars are very powerful. So I went to the city to try and fight him off. But then, he slammed me onto a building. I shot fire at him but he shot me with plasma!!! I fell to the floor, he looked down at me, he was ready to devour me. There was nothing I could do. Except to fall in my fate. And sooner or later, I blacked out.

I woke up laying on the floor of a destroyed city. I did not know what happened. I saw the Reptar’s head on the floor. I saw a station over at the other side of the mountain. So I decided to go. 

I saw a skyler and he said he’d help me. So we made it there. But then the door slammed!!! I looked and saw some footage. I looked and saw me with the reptar!!! It showed me on the floor, and then my eyes turned red. I was shooting magma, shooting it toward the reptar, his skin started melting and then I fell. I was being tortured by the idea of being in this rusty station.

“HELP!!” I screamed. “PLEASE,” I said. “I DON’T WANT TO BE HERE!! JUST HELP.”

“Just calm down,” skyler said. “Calm’. It’s okay.’’ He calmed me down.

He managed to get me out, so we left the station. I realized, I was dangerous. But I was okay. I would still protect the cities.

THE END!!!

The Hair Salon


Chapter One

“Mommy, I don’t want to go to the hair salon! Please, leave me here by myself!”

“No, you have to go with me, because you’re the one that has to have the haircut.”

“My hair’s long! I want it to be like this!”

“Well, you have to cut your bangs.”

“Your bangs are way too long.”

“I know it’s up to my chin, but I’ll just move it to the sides and put a clip. Please, Mom! I just don’t want to cut my hair! Please, please, just respect me! I’ll stay here with Teddy.” 

“If you want to stay here with Teddy, you have to have a babysitter.”
“Not the mean one again! Not Sophia!”

“Well, that’s the only one I can find online.”

“Please, Mom! I want to stay here, I don’t want to cut my hair! My hair is the most beautiful thing right now. I don’t want it to be horrible! Please, let me Mom. I’m voting for you!”

“Silly, Sandy.”

“But Mom! Please! Or I’ll stay here with Daddy.”

“Well, he’s going to come at nighttime.”

“Well, I’ll wait for him at nighttime when he’s back from the day.”

“Well, I’m going to be back from the day,” said Mom.

“But Mom, I’m already ten. Why can’t you leave me here by myself?”

“Let’s not argue. Your hair is getting way too long, and it’s already touching your toes.”

“So? I like it there. I can make longer braids, tie it up into a bun, etc.”

“I know, but I want it to get shorter like this.”

“No, that’s way too short! I looked horrible when I had shorter hair when I was a baby like this.”

“Then, your hair was almost touching your knees. Come on, let’s just go.”

“Mommy, don’t pull my hair here! I’m not Sleeping Beauty. Even though I liked the movie.”

“Well, okay, fine. Only this once.”

“At least it’s up to my knees. I like my hair this long.”

“Well, sweetie, we have to go. It’s going to close any second.”

“That’s what I want to happen! Well, okay, fine. I’ll go with you. The hair salon is going to be bad. Oh, I have an idea. I can hide from the person that cuts my hair. Well, I think that won’t work. Because I went there last time, and they cut my hair up to my hands, and then I tried to hide, but they found me really easily under the chair. Oh! They never found me under the table. Let me try this time under the table.”

Chapter Two: The Bad Haircut

Oh, I’m here. Where’s the table around here so I can hide? I hope they don’t cut my hair like that guy: his hair, like, stripes. Mom says they put hair dye on his hair. I want pink hair dye.

“You’re not getting hair dye, because you’re too young.”

“How old are you?”

“I’m ten.”

“You have to be 14 to get hair dye.”

“Please, Mom!” 

“Okay, fine, only because your birthday’s coming up.”

“Which color do you want?”

“I want light blue that goes to pink. Dark pink.”

“Fine, okay. I’m going to ask them if we can do that.”

“We can do that!”

Yay!! Thanks, Mom.”

“You’re welcome. But I won’t let you do this again.”

“This is the last time I’m going to do this. I promise this is the last time. But Mommy, there’s a mistake. Tie dye doesn’t come out of your hair.”

“What? No!”

“But we already paid for it.”

“Okay, only this once.”

“But it won’t come out! For this whole year.”

“Fine. It will never come out.”

“Even when you’re a grandma it won’t come out.”

“Can I take my money back?”

“No.”

No,” said Mom. 

“I’m going to have tie dye, ya ya ya ya ya.”

“Okay. I’m going to ask them if there’s any shampoo that can take it out of your hair.”

“No, there’s no shampoo.”

“Oh my gosh, I was almost caught there. I have to hurry, in case Mom says my birthday’s coming up. Can you not cut my hair and only put hair dye?”

“Okay, okay, okay, fine. Only because your birthday’s coming up, okay? You hear me?”

“Yes. Mom. Are you going to put the hair dye on? Or are you going to cut my hair?”

“She’s going to put the hair dye.” 

“Well let’s do it, yay!”

Snip.

No! My hair is ruined!!!

“Oh, I’m sorry. Now it’s time to put hair dye on.”

Chapter Three: The Hair Dye

Sandy was sad that the hair lady cut her hair. She asked not to, but she did. Sandy was super sad.

“Mommy, I don’t want to stay here in this place. She cut my hair when I didn’t ask her to! I love my blond hair! Please, please, I want to get out of here, and I want to get a wig. Please! Because if she cuts everything off, I can get a wig!”

“If you get a wig, it’ll just fall off.”

“Just… please, Mom. I promise you.”

“No, you can’t do that.”

“I asked for a shark hair, with teeth.”

“I know, that’s why she made those big things. You can’t paint them.”

“Oh, that’s why. Please keep doing what you’re doing, Ms. Hairstylist. I forgot that I said I want shark hair. But don’t make it too big, because I still want to make rays on my hair.”

“Okay, I’m sorry that I cut it and you didn’t say to, but you said to make shark hair, and I’m sorry that I did. I can put your hair back with glue, then.”

“What? You can?”

“Only if I cut all of your hair out and put a wig on your head.”

“Which type of glue?”

“It’s like edible glue.”

“What? I don’t get what you’re saying, Ms. Stylist lady.”

“Well, I believe in you. Do you believe in me?’

“It’s not a poem.”

“Well, you know that you, miss little lady…”

“I’m not a little lady, I’m a kid. I’m ten years old. I’m turning eleven. I hope that you keep on doing your shark teeth, but not up to my forehead, because then I’d be really sad.”

“Okay,” said the hair stylist. “I’ll make them up to here, is that okay? To your knees?”

“Sure. Well, no, only up till my ankles, okay?”

“Okay. Up to your ankles. One cut, shark teeth, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, and then… well, okay, I’m done. Now to put the hair dye on! First I’m going to get a brush and start putting the hair dye on your hair.”

“Okay! I hope it shines like my friend’s does. Wait, why are you putting my hair in the water? The hair dye will come out!”

“No, it’s to get your hair wet, and then it’ll come out lighter.” 

“Okay, fine. I love my hair. It’s wonderful. I’m going to look in the mirror! Ooh, I look like I’m in a shark place where the sharks play, at the end of the sea.” 

“You’re welcome! That’s 24 bucks!”

“What?? That’s way too much, I need to go to the bank. Wait, there’s Cece and her mom. Let me ask them if they have some money.”

Sandy asked Cece if she had any money.

“Oh,” she said. “Hi, Sandy?”

“Do you have any money for my haircut?”

“Oh, I love your hair!”

“I know, that’s why I need money to pay for it. Do you have any money?”

“Oh, I only have 24 bucks.”

“Wow, that’s perfect! Because I only have 100 dollars. So only give us 24 bucks, cuz that’s the right amount that I need to pay for my hair. Yay! I can pay for my hair, and I’m going to show dad when he gets home. He’s going to love it.”

Chapter Four: Getting Home

“Wow, my hair is so adorable! No wait, there’s a problem! There’s going to be a thunderstorm coming, and we’re only going to arrive in 30 minutes. And there’s so much traffic! If we get late, Dad will be mad, and also, we can maybe even get hurt, because our car is made out of metal. We need to go quick.”

“Okay, let’s hurry! Let’s take the shortcut.”

“Okay, let’s get home. Go down to 32, veer 34. It’s only one block. No wait, we’re in Columbus. We have to be in Broadway. We live in Broadway, not here. But this is where our cousin lives. Let’s ask them if we can sleep there for one day.”

But when they got there, they already had someone at their house. 

“Oh man, I guess we have to take another traffic the right way.”

“Okay, let’s go. Oh wait, wait a second! There’s no more traffic and no more thunder! Yay, we have all the street for ourselves!”

“No we don’t, because look. There’s still a little bit of traffic up ahead.”

“But still, I’m happy that we’re almost home, so I can show Daddy my hair. Yay, yay, yay, we’re almost home! Let’s go home. I’m so worried that Daddy gets hit by thunder.”

“That will never happen! He’s already home.”

“Let me call Daddy. I have a phone cuz I’m ten.”

“You’re actually eleven.”

“Well, I’m not eleven yet. Well I know tomorrow’s my birthday but tomorrow’s gonna be raining like today so we have to do it today at home, because we are going to vacation tomorrow to celebrate there. But we can’t go, because there’s a traffic jam- a big one!”

“Finally, the traffic jam is done and I can see home. FINALLY! Finally, we got here at home.”

“Where were you?” Daddy said.

“We were at the hair salon, and I got a new hairstyle!” Sandy said.

“I love it! I want to go there! 

“Not now, please. I can’t drive anymore. So many traffic jams.” Said Mom.

“Okay fine, another day.”

“I’ll go by myself tonight.”

“Don’t, please, it’s terrifying getting back home.”

THE END


Far from Normal


Emma wanted to have a normal life where you can chill and get food at the store. But normal doesn’t apply when you live in a city infested with annoying sea dragons who go around asking for stuff. So it was a regular day at school when one of those things stopped her on her way home and asked for a fruit. She told it that she had none and walked on. However, the sea dragon did not stop. It followed her back to her house. She did not notice this until she got home and turned around to hang up her backpack and saw it standing right there, in the middle of a water spill on the floor.

“What do you want!?” she asked, exasperated.

“Can I have some fruit?” it asked.

“I told you, I don’t have any!”

She took her homework out of her backpack, went to her bedroom, and started it. Then the sea dragon tapped her on the finger. It had shrunk itself and was standing in the cup of water on her desk. 

“Can I please have a fruit now?”

That’s when she totally lost it. 

“Can you please shut now up now!!! For the last time can you not follow me everywhere?!” 

That’s when the sea dragon disappeared. For real, this time. Good, she thought, I can use some space. However, as she finished her homework she couldn’t help thinking that she had been a little bit rude. Don’t be silly, she told herself, it’s the thing’s fault that it can’t keep its big fat mouth shut. This still didn’t make her feel better about yelling at the top of her lungs. Then she smiled, and picked up a book. She read the title. “How to get rid of annoying creatures.She flipped the pages until she got to the page of sea dragons. This is what it said:

  1. Bore it out. Try patting your hair or blabbering nonstop about the newest book or movie. You might also want to talk about hair and makeup. They have no interest in that stuff. 
  2. Ignore it. Make it so tired of sitting there that it just leaves. 
  3. Don’t yell, or satisfy it. It will only ask for more, or keep asking for what you didn’t give it

Whatever. They shouldn’t expect us to do it that easily. It is not like sea dragons are cute little siblings. They don’t have any right to follow people all over the place. 

So what?

So they shouldn’t bother people!

Maybe you don’t have the right to yell!

Well, it was wasting my time!!

Well, two wrongs don’t make a right!!!

Fine. But it was still acting like a pain.

After that, Emma knew what would be the best plan. Just then, the door opened. It was Emma’s mom.

“Oh hi, Mom,” she said. “Can Kayla spend the night tomorrow?”

“Yes, but please do not stay up all night talking. If I hear a peep past midnight, I’m sending her straight home. Understand?”

“Okay fine.”

After her mom left the room, Emma sighed. She wished she and Kayla could spend the night giggling about the haunted comb at last summer’s sleepaway camp. (She knew Kayla had thrown it, Kayla liked to think it flew by itself.) Kayla was Emma’s best friend. However, unlike Emma, she seemed to think sea dragons were cute. At least they could stay up until midnight. It wasn’t a very long time for a sleepover, three hours, but it was something. After the incident with the comb, Emma had gotten a new white comb on a pink cloth. 

Okay, so it was a bit fancier than she expected. Honestly, she kind of liked it. Soon her mom called her out for dinner. They had pizza, which was one of Emma’s favorites. But she couldn’t focus on eating. She was too busy daydreaming. 

The next morning, Emma put on her favorite pink blouse and sparkly white lace skirt. She put little care into breakfast and brushing her teeth, as she had never cared for her morning routine. Then she ran off to meet Kayla at the bus stop.

“Hi, Kayla!”

“Hi, Emma! You seem quite cheerful.”

“Well, TGIF, because my mom says you can sleep over!”

“Cool! I’ll text my mom before we get there. And guess what?”

“What?”

“They expanded the bus system. So we don’t have to walk home!”

What? Are you kidding? This is the best news!!!”

“Um, what is so interesting about a bus system, may I ask?”

“Um… so we can get some rest?”

As close as the girls were, Emma could not explain that she did not want to be followed by an annoying sea dragon because Kayla seemed to adore them.

That was when the bus driver said, “C’mon girls, everyone is waiting for you.”

“Coming!”

Kayla put down her phone. “She said… Yes!”

“Sweet! So my house, right?”

“Yeah! So when should I be there?”

“Just right after school. I’m so happy about the bus system!”

“I never knew how much you hated walking.”

They chatted for awhile, until they realized they were they only ones on the bus. 

“Oops!” said Kayla.

“Come on, we’re going to be late for class again.

So as usual, they were late for class. In fact, the only times they weren’t late were when they had nothing to talk about on the bus, which was rare. 

“Ladies, what has been making you late for the past few days?” said the teacher, Miss Philips. “You both missed attendance. So you were marked absent. I guess I’ll have to adjust my notes.”

Emma sat down at her desk. So did Kayla. 

“Now, I hope you have memorized your times tables.” (The whole class sighed.) “Rose Miller, please recite the two times tables.”

Rose zipped right through (although this was probably because the two times tables are very easy).

The next five or so went through smoothly.

“Kayla Wexler, please recite the eight times tables.”

Kayla stood up and said them quickly, “Eight times one equals eight. Eight times two equals sixteen. Eight times three equals twenty-four. Eight times four equals thirty-two. Eight times five equals forty… ”

“Emma Taylor, please recite the nine times tables.”

“Nine times one equals nine. Nine times two equals eighteen. Nine times three equals twenty-seven. Nine times four equals thirty-six. Nine times five equals forty-five. Nine times six equals fifty-four. Nine times seven equals sixty-three. Nine times eight equals seventy-two. Nine times nine equals eighty-one. Nine times ten equals ninety. Nine times eleven equals ninety-nine. Nine times twelve equals one hundred and eight.”

After school, Emma and Kayla got on the bus. 

“Emma, did you ever wish that we could see the sea dragons more often? I mean, they are so cute.”

Oh boy, she is crazy sometimes. 

“Um, I never really thought about it.”

Because they are so annoying sometimes, she silently added. 

“Oh, this is our stop! Come on! I’ll run to my house and get my stuff, okay?”

“Sure, I’ll set up the sleeping bags. Or do you want to share the loft bed?”

“Sleeping bags sounds good. This way we can watch a movie or something. Should I get my own sleeping bag, or do you have a spare one?”

“Your choice. By the way, we can’t say anything past midnight. Or you get sent home.”

“Got it. Now I need to get my stuff.”

After that conversation, Emma took out a sleeping bag. It was pink with white stars. She laid it out in front of the TV. Then she went to her room and took out “How to get rid of annoying creatures.” Then Kayla came into the room. Emma instantly slammed the book down on the wooden floor.

“Hi, I put down my sleeping bag in the living room next to yours. Um, what’s that green thing on the floor?”

“Hi. That’s just a book. Why?”

“Let me get a look at the title. ‘How to get rid of annoying creatures.’ You’re not telling me you read this book? Also, why did you choose the green cover? I thought you would choose the pink. Or even white. Not green. I mean, it’s a nice color, but it was never your taste. Anyway, don’t you think this book is stereotypical?”

“Um, it only had green left. Plus, my room is pink enough.”

“But why did you get this book? It includes some of the cutest things ever. Look, sea dragons. Wait a minute, you bookmarked this page.”

“So?”

“So, you have been reading it.”

“So?”

“So, you agree with it.”

“Honestly, I do kind of think that they’re annoying. I mean, they always ask for stuff.”

“Fine. Let’s agree to disagree. But they are kind of cute in that way. Plus, they share whatever you give them.”

“Now that I think of it, they are kind of cute. Come on, let’s go get a snack. Glimmer chips? This time I did get them in pink.”

The girls giggled. As they walked to the kitchen, they passed their sleeping bags. The sleeping bags reflected their differences. Kayla’s was blue with a green dragon wrapped around it, while Emma’s was just pink with white stars, as most of her possessions were either pink, white, or both. Her only non-pink-or-white thing was “How to get rid of annoying creatures.” Kayla, on the other hand, owned anything with a cute animal decorating it. She was especially fond of sea dragons, and she hardly ever forgot about their cuteness. 

“Mmm, these are good,” said Kayla. “Are you sure you got these with your own money? Because they taste expensive.”

“Uh huh,” said Emma, who was sucking the chips, then chewing. Emma’s older brother, Eddie, burst into the house. 

“That is the slowest way to eat chips that I’ve ever seen,” he said. “You don’t suck off all the glitter and then chew. You start chewing as soon as it’s in your mouth.”

Emma rolled her eyes.

“I can eat chips however I want, glutton,” she responded. “You don’t burst into the living room and say” (says this in a squeaky voice) “Eat it like this, not that, you have to eat before it rots’ like, that is so rude and nosy. I mean, keep your big fat mouth shut.”

By the time it was Emma and Kayla’s bedtime, the girls got into their sleeping bags and watched a movie. It was about a girl who was riding a sea dragon. Suddenly, Emma changed the channel.

“What was that all about?” asked Kayla. “We just started that one. We didn’t even get to the green ice cream part.”

  “Um, let’s watch The Sound of Music.

“Sure, but why don’t you like this movie? Do you still hate sea dragons?”

“No, but I still find them annoying.”

“They’re nice though. They share whatever you give them with all their friends. I find it sweet.”

 “I guess I kind of like them. But I prefer nuns and children, thank you very much.”

“Okay, let’s watch The Sound of Music.”

“Sounds good. Remember the line of kids?”

“Hey by the way, did you see those adorable water alicorns?”

The End


Just Edward

On Monday morning, Edward the snobby lobster lost his memory but he didn’t lose all of his memory. For example: he remembered his name and he knew how to talk. 

Suddenly, Edward felt hungry, but he didn’t know it, so he started wandering around in a huge, dark, black room with a small machine. But because he had lost his memory just a minute ago, he didn’t care.

He wandered around the room trying to find a door or a way out. After five minutes, he finally found a window that led outside to an open grass field. There was a little dirt road. Edward followed that road and ended up by a convenience store. He tried opening the door, but it was locked and the lights were out. He looked around, trying to find another way in.

Eventually, after five times circling the convenience store, he broke down the door by breaking it with his sharp claws. He crawled up a shelf, grabbed a bag of Cheetos, and started smacking his face into it because he didn’t remember how to eat. The bag broke and he started chewing the Cheetos. When he was done, his face looked like a giant orange. 

All of a sudden, someone walked in, studied the door, looked Edward right in the face, grabbed a broom, and ran at him. Edward climbed up a ladder that led to the roof, jumped on the guy, and started cutting his hair to the point that the guy was bald. Then, Edward ran out the door without him even knowing. 

Suddenly his friend, Luke, came out of the ocean and said, “Hey Edward, long time no see! How are you doing?”

Edward stopped, stuttered and said, “Who are you?”

Luke said, “You know who I am, stop playing around!”

Edward slapped Luke in the face. 

And then, Edward said, “I’m not playing around.” 

Luke shouted, “Hey! Why did you slap me?” Luke slapped Edward back and Edward slapped Luke, and that went back and forth for about two months.

Two months later…

“Ahhhhhhhhhh!” shouted Luke as he jumped into the ocean. “It burns!” complained Luke. “WHY, EDWARD, WHY!” But Edward just ignored him and went on his way. 

Five days later… 

Edward’s face was still red and bulging with pain as he walked down the road heading towards Azweiture city. Edward was crawling to Azweiture city when the ground started to shake and a huge black and silver circle rolled past him and hit him with a wave of air. Another black and silver circle rolled past; Edward looked behind him and saw two big white lights speeding towards him. He crouched down and when it was right over him, he grabbed a bit of metal and pinched as hard as he could. Edward climbed on top of the beast, broke the glass, climbed in, and buckled his seatbelt. 

Ten minutes later, the driver got out of the beast and screamed when he saw Edward. He pulled out a thin brick with a screen on it and hit three numbers, 9-1-1, and hit a button that said “call” on it. One minute later, animal control came and tried to grab him, but Edward cut all their hair off. Everyone was too busy crying and feeling their head to notice the oversized lobster crawling away into the darkness.

Thirty minutes later, Edward had walked all 328 miles of Azweiture city and broke into house 229 Tin Street. He dug a hole in the ground and up into the Romanus’ house. In the house, Edward saw flashing lights coming from a big room. The light hurt his eyes and he didn’t like it at all. He scampered in and saw it. The source of all of that light was from a small penguin, but its belly had a rectangular blinding light. He climbed up the wall and onto the ceiling. He left little dents in the wall as he walked. Finally, he jumped down behind the penguin and cut everything he saw, even the wall. The penguin’s belly turned black. Then, Edward heard a “What?” from a fat guy with a brown bottle in his hand. He walked up to the penguin and tapped its belly. He looked behind and when he saw Edward, he ran.

Three seconds later he came back, but instead of a brown bottle in his hand, he had a big metal tube and a red strap on his head. Edward jumped on the metal tube and onto the man’s belly. He climbed up to cut all of the man’s head but when Edward got to the top of the man’s head, he found out he had none. The man grabbed Edward and threw him out the window and onto the street. Edward ran up to a woman with a big purple square on her back. He jumped on and squirmed into a small dark cramped chamber.

Five minutes later, the woman dropped the square and shrieked when she opened it. A man came running over and grabbed Edward. Edward pinched him and he yelled something that Edward couldn’t make out. Thirty seconds later, two men ran in with a small metal bar. Edward knew it was dangerous and pinched a triangle on one man’s face and and on the other man’s face. One man dropped his bar and ran away. Edward crawled over and pulled a small, thin metal piece with his leg, which was attached to the bigger piece. A metal ball shot out of the bar and hit a girl in the leg. Red stuff spewed out of where the metal ball hit her and she fell to the floor. Edward heard sirens and he saw red and blue lights shining through the glass walls.

Six men rushed in and saw Edward standing by the metal bar and the injured girl. They pointed their medal bars at Edward and they pulled the little trigger. A small metal ball came right at him. He jumped over the ball and rushed for cover. One man ran away and came back with a stretchy brown circle. The man ran toward Edward and tied the stretchy brown circle around his claws and put him in a cage. The cage was brought to a big beast with a big metal square behind it. The man put Edward in the big square and shut the two big metal plates behind him. He was trapped!

To be continued…

Arstina and the Shadow King

Arstina was an evil doll. She had long since escaped the nursery and now roamed the underworld where she lived looking for something. She didn’t know what it was. Her hair was rough and knotted. Her eyes had splotches of paint on them. Her crippled body was stained with all sorts of things. Suddenly one day she knew what it meant.

She felt the rough spot on her stomach. She rubbed it, and it came off in flakes. She bent down and licked it off the hot floor of the underworld. Ice cream. In that moment, Arstina felt something odd. Desire. She longed for another taste. Sadly, though, that would be hard. 

There was no ice cream in the underworld. The shadow king ruled it all. And he did not give out sugary treats. He was very greedy. Arstina decided to beg the shadow king. Maybe he would show compassion.

She walked over to his palace. She rapped on the tall, black door. A guard answered. Arstina explained why she was there. The guard growled something and went to get the shadow king. Arstina hoped he would listen.

Soon, two guards came out. They both grabbed one of her arms and carried her in.

“What’s happening?” Arstina asked.

“The king is not pleased with you,” one guard responded in a gruff voice. “He thinks you are inconsiderate, horrible, lazy, annoying, and an overall nuisance. He wishes to kill you.”

Arstina gulped. Then she snapped back into reality. She started to yell at the guards.

“You are horrible people, and you should let me go! All I wanted was some ice cream!” Four words into her sentence, though, one guard stuffed a handkerchief into her mouth.

Six minutes later, she arrived in a courtyard out back. There was a big pile of wood in the middle. The shadow king walked up to Arstina and smiled. 

He said, “Hello, Arstina. I expect we’ll have some fun together. Simply jump on that pile of wood and allow us to tie you up.”

Arstina gulped and decided against it. The shadow king was holding a bunch of matches.

“Do you not want to?” Pause. “We can do this the hard way or the easy way.” Another pause. Arstina still stood firm. “All right, the hard way.”

The shadow king grabbed a rope and tied her up before she could respond. Then he forced her to march to the wood pile. He then tied her down. The shadow king struck a match and smiled devilishly. He gingerly placed it on the pile and then stopped for a second to watch Arstina burst into flames.

She cried out in pain. “I just wanted some ice cream!”

The king paused for a moment, as if he was thinking of something. Then he ran into the castle to get something.

The last thing Arstina ever saw was the shadow king laughing maniacally as he licked an ice cream cone. 


Maybe Sorta Kinda Grounded

Chapter One    

Once there was a girl named Emilly. Her sister’s name was Julie. And they always played. They had nicknames for each other but they were never that mean. One day, Emilly and Julie had a big fight. Emilly had a very mean, mean name to call her little sister Julie. It was “Stinkbreath.” Julie’s name for Emilly was “Meanie.” They kept on calling each other that and they never stopped the fight until their mom came home.

The mom said, “Why is this place is a mess?”

They both said at the same time, “She did it!”

The mom said, “Well, you two are grounded for a whole week! You’re going to pick up all this stuff and clean it up, and tidy my room AND yours. And your dad’s room.”

And then their dad came home. “What is this whole big mess?”

They both said at the same time, “She did it!”

Their dad made another punishment. “You two both have to do ten chores a week until September! Every day I’ll write you a list.”

They both said, We’re sorry,” and got to work. They didn’t have much time to go to school but their mom said, “I want this place tidied up by the time that I get home tomorrow.”

The mom picked up Julie’s stuffed bunny and said “Throw this in the garbage.”

Julie said, “No! That’s my only stuffed bunny!”

“Then why did I find this whole stack of stuffed bunnies in your candy jar?”

She said, “Ummmm….” She was speechless!

Her mom said, “Now! And you can save one if you want, but I want you to throw all of the rest out.”

Julie did as she was told, but secretly she kept all her bunnies in another place… in her lollipop drawer!

Her mom said, “I found these in your lollipop drawer! You’re grounded til November!”

Julie said, “Do you have anything for me to do?”

“No, what did you ever do?”

“Really? Thanks, you guys.” 

“Julie was the one who started the fight, not me,” said Emilly.

The parents believed this, so they called “Julie! Stop watching a show, give the phone to Emilly and start doing this now! No more discussions, now! Go to your room and pack. I’m sending you to your friend’s home to tell her about what you’ve done. Just this once. But I’m not going to pack for you this time.”

“Oh my god. Seriously? I really really have to get to work. Can you please pack for me?”

“Fine. Only because you’re doing work.”

By the time mom was fin