Greenburgh Arts And Culture

         "We celebrate the creative arts!"

Sarah Bracey White, Executive Director. Advisory Board: Gwen Cort, Carolyn McNair, and Barbara Mohr

   

New stories from the spring 2019 session of

the Kids Short Story Connection

    

              Short Stories by Us!

             [An e-zine celebrating the creativity of young writers in Greenburgh's Kids Short Story Connection.

                  All rights to these original stories and poems are retained by their original young authors.]

               

                            The Shark of the Gulf Stream                            

                                                                                 by Luigi Berrera, 11

One day, someone named Vice was testing the wooden boat he made himself. He gets in, and it works perfectly.

--------------------------

Ten minutes turn into hours. It’s around 8:58 p.m. The sun is slowly going down. Vice is relaxing in the boat. Then he hears a loud thump, and the boat sways west.

“What was that?” asked Vice. Another thump . . .  Then, a very large fin comes up from the water. He stares at it for a few seconds, then realizes what is going on. His heart immediately starts pounding. He grabs the paddle and starts rowing as fast as he can, away from the shark. He goes in a random direction, because he’s in the middle of the ocean. Five minutes later, he sees two more fins in the distance. He starts to panic. Then, fog begins to form. Very. Big. Fog. Then, about eight more fins pop up, then all of them congregate around the boat, and then their mouths start to open. Then a nuke blasts in the distance, and a resounding screech breaks the rocks sticking out at the side of the ocean. The shark’s mouths get so big. It’s 3:33 AM. The fog gets thicker, the time goes insane, an air raid siren blasts in the distance. Even though seconds pass by, it turns 6:66 AM, but it’s still night.

BOOM!

Vice wakes up in the boat, following the path with other boats peacefully. It’s sunset. All of it was a dream. He looks at his watch.  It’s 8:58 PM.

 

______________________________________________

 

                              The Thunderstorm

                                                                               by Luigi Berrera, 11

One Saturday night…

It was a stormy night. My parents were sleeping. It was 8:30 PM. I was watching TV and the thunderstorm was getting worse outside. While I was watching TV [during the storm], I heard a large crash. I ran to the window and saw that a bolt of lightning had just hit a power plant right next to us and now it was spitting sparks everywhere.

I jumped. Shortly after that, the TV and lights went [turned] off. It was pitch black. I was afraid. The thunder was incredibly loud. That's when my parents woke up. They asked me if I was okay, and I said “Mom, I think the lightning bolt cut off the power.” She then walked over to the light switch and tried to turn it on. It wouldn’t listen.

“Looks like it did,” said my dad. The road right outside our house was starting to flood. The rain was still falling hard. It has been raining [going on] for about 3 hours now, and never took a break.

We tried turning on the TV four times. At the fourth try, it finally turned on, but we had to wait for it to reboot. It was back to my cartoon, and then they were suddenly interrupted by a National Weather Service Flooding Alert. The alarm blasted in everyone’s ears. “Mom, I wish they would change the weather alarm sound.” I said.

“Me too.” responded my mom.

Static was on the TV while the alarm blasted. It stopped and then [it] an announcer said: “This is a warning for the Orlando, Florida area. We have issued a severe thunderstorm warning for the people in Orlando. A rotating thunderstorm has been spotted, and a tornado watch will be in effect until tomorrow at 7:00 PM. Thank you.”

The alarm stopped, and the station went back to my cartoons. Mom tried turning on the lights, but they wouldn’t come on.

“Well, I guess it’s a bit late,” she said. “How about you get ready for bed and watch TV in your room for about an hour and then fall asleep,” said my [the] dad. “Okay.” I responded.

My parents went back to bed, I mean, literally. They go to work around 4:30 AM every day, so I can’t blame them. I go to my room and start [ed] watching TV, until an extremely loud piece of thunder sounded. I jump out of my bed, and my heart started to race. “It’s just thunder.” I said to myself. I look outside the window, and the hill that’s heading down where the gas station is completely flooded. The rain would not stop pouring down. I get my tablet, turn it on, and look at the weather radar. It looks like a small hurricane. I put it on visible mode, and I see a twisting thin piece of cloud going from the ground to the sky. Then, it comes right at me and slaps me in the face. We were getting hit by a tornado.

I start to get nervous. I think, “What if we die? Then my parents and me will never experience life again?” I try to forget those thoughts by watching more TV. At this point, it is 9:17. About 30 more minutes then I have to switch the TV off.  For about 5 minutes, I put the news on the TV. It said on the corner: “EF3 TORNADO WARNING ORLANDO”. They start [ed] to explain how the tornado is hitting the panhandle of Florida and about to hit Orlando. It is an EF3, and is expected to grow into an EF5. I start to cover myself with my blanket. Then, I felt dizzy, and very, very weak. Then, it gets [was] pitch black [ness].

“Son, wake up! Wake up! We need to evacuate!”

I slowly open my eyes. It is very dark, and I hear a lot of noise coming from outside, and my mom is in my face shaking me and screaming.

“Wha-..” I stutter. The rain is pouring down, it feels like I’m [was] outside. That’s when I realize that the roof has [d] a hole in it, and I must have fallen asleep.

“Son, SON! Let’s go!” screams my mom.”

I get out of my bed and start looking around. I see debris on the floor. The front door is broken. The wind is blowing in like the strongest air conditioner on planet Earth. “Where’s dad?” I ask while the wind is blowing in our faces. “He’s already in the car! We have to get out now.” responds my mom. We get out the house, and we see dad. He honks the horn 3 times, indicating that he wants us in right now. In the distance, I can barely, see the tornado. We evacuate the house and Dad drives off, looking for a shelter.

We drive until we see a shelter up ahead called Rescue the Affected. We ask them if we can stay. They happily say that there is room and that we can stay until the tornado is over. We then finally relax, with other people that we don’t even know, but that doesn’t matter.

 

It is 8:32 AM. The blue sky shines, and it looks like the tornado is gone. We look outside from the window and it is very messy. With trees on the ground, pieces of wood and twigs. We see a car that has tipped over and crashed. We are lucky to be alive. The people we don’t even know [about] are also very grateful. “I think it’s finished,” my mom says.

We nod in agreement. We step outside, and it is incredibly unbelievable. Roofs are torn off, trees are down and glass is everywhere. Very hazardous.

I step closer to my parents and hold their hands.

All that matters is that we’re safe.

 

                                                Fin

_________________________________________

                                        The Game

                                                                               by Luigi Berrera, 11

Oymyakon, Russia

Site [Redacted].

February 12, 2000.

-58 C.                                 Document 1-46

 

“You sure this is the right cell?” says a voice.

 “Oh shut it, you always worry about getting fired because you think you’re at the wrong cell. Just open it,” says a deep voice.

Secure. Contain. Protect.

(Announcement on speaker: Don’t forget, today is pizza day, so head on down to the cafeteria to get a slice.)                      

(Door slides open.) “What am I supposed to s-” “LISTEN BUDDY, IF YOU KEEP MAKING THE MOST WORST MISTAKES I SWEAR I WILL- hug you happily…” I stared at them like I just interrupted a first kiss.

“Hello, Class-D personnel.” said the guy with an army looking suit with a P90 and deep voiced man. “Who are you exactly?” I asked.

“I’m MTF Unit -51.” answered the deep voiced man. “Oh and I’m MTF Unit -78!” added the other voice. “We’re basically here to “test” you.” said the deep voiced man.

“No I mean you’re REAL name.” I said.

 “Ummmm… What now?” questioned the deep voice. “Just follow us and you’ll be okay.” “If you say so,” I said.

 (Announcement: Attention, Dr. Mars. Report to administrative office immediately.)

I looked around the facility. There were people on computers and holding papers. I heard a door open. And there it was, the one and only. I saw a poster saying what it was. It was called SCP-173. It was the euclid type. The type that it could harm human life. My heart beats, pounding and my mind tells me to run. I can’t. These personnel have high-tech weapons. They have consequences for anyone who disobeys.

(Door opens.) “You seem awful quiet, what's the problem?” asks Unit - 78.

“N-nothing.” I answer. I walk into the area where it was time to meet 173. The door closes behind me. I meet 2 other people standing in front of the gate of 173. I go talk to them. “You scared?” I ask the people.

“Yeah.” “Nah, it’s just a statue.” the two people answer. I look straight ahead, not saying a word. Creeeeeeakk…. The gate opens, and there it is. SCP-173.

“Attention all Class-D personnel, please enter SCP-173’s chamber for testing.” demands the announcement guy. We all go in the chamber, expecting certain death.

“Please approach SCP-173 for testing. I don’t go anywhere near that beast. Only one of my buddies in the chamber goes about 5 steps nearer him. Creeeeeeak… The gate closes. “Somebody say something?” I randomly ask.  

One of the Class-D personnel gives me a dirty look, but doesn’t say a word. “Do not break eye contact with SCP-173,” the speaker guy says.  Creeeeeeeak.

The gate door opens again. “Erm, why is this gate open?” I ask. “I don’t know. Maybe our test is done, hopefully.” “Uh, there seems to be a problem with the door control system (BANG) the door- what is going on?  The doors aren’t responding to any of our attempts to close it.

Please maintain direct eye contact with SCP-173 and- (BANG) (SNAP) “AUGHHHHHHHH!” It’s plain black, and I hear screams from everywhere, my heart sunk, my life was over and by a statue. I see another MTF Unit shooting at 173. It was dark again and then visible. The unit was dead. I sit down in the darkness thinking of the things I haven’t did because I knew that nobody could survive this type of thing. I was wrong.

(ALARM: ATTENTION, MULTIPLE EUCLID AND KETERS ARE BREACHED OUT OF CONTAINMENT, FULL SITE LOCKDOWN INITIATED!) The alarm blasted in my ears. “What is going on….” I asked myself. I get my body up and try to get out of here. I go as fast as I can and open a door. The alarm is still beeping and the lights are not as bright as they were. I know I have to do something for my life. I find a gas mask, level 1 keycard and an S-NAVigator on a shelf. “Sweet, a type of GPS.” I turn it on, and realize it has no battery. “Well I’d be darned.” I say. I look in every shelf to see if there is a battery. There are none. I decide to continue and see any other useful items. “My god…” I whisper. “What happened is the big question?” RRrrrrrrrr……. “Eh, what is that noise?” I turn around. “WOAH!” I scream. 173 was right there. In front of me with that death stare. I maintain the most eye contact on him. I reach the next room and close the door. “Why do dumb facilities like this contain creatures?” I ask to myself. I find a room with a keycard slot. “Huh. I wonder if I can put this keycard in that slot.” I ask myself. “Ya know what…. I’ll take my chance.”

(ACCESS GRANTED)

“Yes!” I said. “Okay let’s see here.” I see a level 2 keycard. An AA4 battery with the foundation’s logo on it and 173 in a room with a glass window. “Well, I’ma grab and run.” I say anxiously. I grab this stuff and go. 173 breaks the window so I quickly turn back.

(CLANK)

"Okay okay okay okay!” I shout quickly. “Get to the room, and there!” I close the door, and have a new keycard. I take a little glance at my new keycard. “What do you do huh?” I ‘ask’ the keycard. “Pffft.. Guess I’ll find out my own way. After minutes of walking there is no sign of 173. “Did 173 stop? Hopefully.” I  say. “Well, guess I could put the battery in the S-NAV GPS.” (CLICK) I put the battery in and when I turn it on, it says I am close to SCP-914. This potentially startles me but it was class safe. So it was safe to enter 914. I enter 914 and I see something like an upgrader. Pipes, clocks and something in the middle stuck in a big box with a meter that goes to ROUGH to VERY FINE. In the middle of those things there is COARSE, 1:1 and FINE. “Hmm, I think I understand this thing.” I say with determination. “It is like a bad to best type of thing isn’t it.” I put my keycard, gas mask and GPS in 914. “Okay.. Now go to very fine…” I say.

(CA CHING) (ZZZZZZZZZZZZ) It makes a lot of noise, but it comes from the other side and I have an OMNI card and the gasmask looks the same. Also the S-NAV. “Well at least it affected my card. What type of card is an ‘omni’ anyway?” I mutter. “Eh, I’ll go with it.” So I keep going and make it to another zone… The heavy containment zone. (HCZ) My brain starts thinking if I should go or not. “My my.” I randomly spit out like a cartoon. “Well… What do we have here, heh.” I start to shiver. But. “Ah! SCREW IT!” I say loudly. I open the door and the atmosphere gets dark. Like real dark. There are tunnels that are dark color and it looks like a creepy hallway. “Eh… This can be okay. Right?”

I go into one of the tunnels and start to look for interesting stuff to get me out of this facility. I go to an elevator that looks promising. “Eh, why not go in this bright nice elevator,” I say. When the elevator stops on another floor, I get out and check for some stuff. Then I come across SCP-049. And boy is he bad. He’s the euclid type, like 173. “Well, is he here?” I ask myself. I peek over his cell and see his door open. He breaches. “Well, at least he ain’t here.” I whisper. I go inside and find a few levers. One controls 682’s acid and another is 049’s door trigger. That lever had already been pulled but 682’s wasn’t. There is also a bulletproof vest to protect yourself from bullets. I pull 682’s lever and then… 049 is in a room and the door opens when I pull the lever. “Oh god! What do you do?!” I scream. “I am the cure. Don’t be afraid.” “YOU CAN TALK?!” I yell in shock. No way an SCP can talk. But I guess some can. No way I could get worse but…. Yeah.. Things get worse. Zombies that were dead researchers became ‘alive’ and started chasing after me with 049. “OH MY GOD NO!” I keep yelling in panic. “The elevator elevator ELEVATOR!” I run to where I first came, the elevator, and then pressed the button to make it come. “HURRY!” I screamed. 049 and his zombies get closer.. And closer. (ding) “YES!” I cheer. I quickly go in the elevator right when 049 was about to eliminate me. I breathe heavily.. Needing a relief after what happened. I keep going and come across Gate B. “Is this it..?” I ask. “Is it rea- (Announcement: Attention all survivors. NTF has entered the facility. We also want to tell all survivors, do not try to go the nearest exit. Wait until all SCPs are contained and stay in a safe area until the NTF find you. Class-D will be fully terminated if found.) “Well, time to run out.” I say when the announcement is finished. I put my gas mask on just incase if there is gas or any toxins. And surprisingly 914 made my gas mask make me run forever! So that’s helpful. “Woah, this is cool!” I said. There is no type of thing to open Gate B but there was an elevator. I took the elevator and went outside for once. There were gunshots and everything. (ROOOOOOOOOOOARARRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR!) “What was that?!” I ask. I see guards and units on the roof with a sniper. So I put my vest on. “Run!” I yell. I get to the other side without a scratch. “Okay, now what.”

(Announcement: SCP-682 just broke out of Gate B. I want all available helicopters at Gate B now. I repeat.. SCP-682 is out of the facility. All available helicopters at Gate B now.)

"Oh god! What do I do?! That’s the KETER type! The most dangerous one!” I look behind me and.. “Well, my friend I’m going to have to finish you off now,” the deep voice says. “Wait who a-.. Wait.  ‘I’m Unit 51’ Unit 51.. Unit 51.. Unit 51.’ “You are Unit 51…” I say. (slam). Yeah, and I need to terminate you now.” Unit 51 says.                                                     

 “Wait……… NOOOOO!”                                                                                                               

                                   [Based on game by  Joonas Rikkonen.]

SCP: Origins

                               The Story of Joonas Rikkonen…

190 North Second Avenue

10665. Washington, NY

It’s 10:31 PM. It’s stormy. It’s Dark. Joonas is working on his drawings. He is making a statue that is half human and half stone. It’s almost finished, he just needs to do one bit more. The coloring. He didn’t know what to do. He was lost. The drawing he made was something his dad made. His dad didn’t get to finish it because he died by anthrax. He was the last human being to die from anthrax. Anthrax is an extremely rare and deadly disease. His dad was 48 when he died. His name was Kelvus Rikkonen. His mom moved and is in White Plains, NY. Now Joonas is on his own. He had an average amount of money. He had $2,569. He got it from working a mail job at a post office. His real dream was to be a game developer. He made some games, but they were not popular. One of his games were Viron. You needed to get to the top of a glowing ladder. The more it glows, the more unstable it gets. When it gets too unstable, the ladder will fall, and you lose. The game is pixelated, and takes place in a dark facility that you do not see that much. It’s a long ladder, and when the ladder you are climbing on is gonna fall, more are available. It is ruan only on mobile. He really thought he could make a good game. Then he thought of it. A game that would be horror. Scary. And most importantly, FUN. The game would be called The Breach. So he started to develop it. The game would be about these weird anomalies, creatures, and even objects contained in these chambers. He would split it up into 3 categories. Safe. Euclid. Keter. It was perfect. He knew what to do. His first object was a ring. He named it ‘The Jade Ring’. Now he just had to develop what would happen when the player puts it on. He was thinking, thinking, and thinking. He got it. The ring could make the player invincible. He classified it Safe. Then he made his first creatures. It would be based on a weeping angel, but it would look different. He classified it Euclid. All this developing, and the game was worked on so much, that the one and only first Alpha gameplay of the game was released. But just one more thing before the game is done. The name. Instead of “The Breach” it is now “SCP: Containment Breach.” SCP mostly stands for ‘Secure Contain Protect.” But it’s also “Special Containment Procedures.” The game is like this: You are Class D personnel, which is a prisoner who tests on the SCPs (which are the anomalies). The SCP breaches because of a door problem, leaving the door open. The whole entire facility malfunctions, and a lot of SCPs got out. The facility is on lockdown, there is a breach. There is one thing you need to do. GET. OUT. A lot of people are dead, and you have to make your path to leave the facility.. But it’s not easy. So, we got that cleared, there’s just a problem. The game is in alpha, and it’s extremely in WIP. There is no ending. Yet, Joonas kept working on the game, and made an update. He made the textures of the games better, since a lot of them were unfinished, or had none at all. The Class D mostly look like crash dummies.

Then after many years of work, the game finally had an ending.

Joonas started getting money, and the game grew more popular. The game was so realistic, and the Class D looked like real people. There were so many textures. They added commands. They made the game big.  They got a little backstory instead of just starting to play in the chamber. You start in a cell, and someone lets you out for testing. The game grew popular, then the game really got its title: SCP: Containment Breach. Then, the game is now the game Joonas Rikkonen always dreamed of. Popular. Good. Bold. And most of all, scary.

_________________________________________________

                       Emmie’s Hairy Situation

                                                                              by Elaina Barreto, 9

I have a problem.  A big problem. Yesterday I found a note in my locker. It said: “Why, hello, Emmie! I know your DISGUSTING middle name.  I guess you really hate your middle name “HAIRY.”  Well, I will spill the beans to the WHOLE school unless - you give me $500.  Meet me at the park at 6:30 Friday, and don’t tell anyone or you will be sorry…MU-HA-HA!!! Don’t ask questions either.” 

Oh! Sorry!  I’m getting ahead of myself. My name is Emmie Gates. 

There are a couple of things weird about me.  First, the name Emmie sounds like a nickname for Emma.  But my name is not Emma and the only nickname I have is Em. Second, my middle name.  Nobody knows it but my best friend, my parents and my sisters. Nobody else knows it, not even my brothers.  I don’t trust boys as much as girls. My parents wanted to give me a middle name, but they couldn’t think of one. My dad looked at my short full head of hair and said the word that I hate most: “Hairy.”  When I told my best friend, she asked “What’s so bad about “Harry?” Then I told her how it’s spelled and that was the end of it. THE WORST MIDDLE NAME EVER!!!

Third, I think the only people who really like to sew are old people.  I thought that when I was younger. Then I tried sewing and I fell in love. That’s my hobby. Most kids say: “ewww that’s an old people thing.” Meanwhile, they probably do ACTUAL disgusting things.  SEWING IS NOT DISGUSTING!

You know what’s disgusting? Kyle McGurdy. Boys are so disgusting. They spit paper balls at you, they sometimes act like super-heroes (babyish), and they like making mean comments. But Kyle McGurdy is the worst. He does all of that but also burps in girls and teachers’ faces and he thinks I want to be his friend! The truth is, I think he thinks that way because he’s trying to be my friend. Well, that’s what Mom said.  But there is another group of boys that are super nice, don’t have stains on their shirts from breakfast, and are WAY more mature. These are the type of boys who girls don’t gag at which is a good thing, because soon my throat is gonna get too tired of doing that.

Me, and my friends Madison, and Jenna have a deep secret. Not like one of those phony ones they sell at super-markets that say, “buy yourself a secret!!! You never know which one you will get!!!” You’re probably wondering what’s the secret? The secret is . . . WE ALL LOVE CHICKEN SO MUCH!!!!!! No, I’m kidding!!! Even though chicken does taste good, that’s not our secret. Our secret is far more important. We are spies. And not like those kinds of kids who yell “ha-ha! I got you because I’m a spy!!!” To be honest, I don’t know where kids learn that!

Sorry I’m rambling on, back to my problem. Normally, all of us would be cracking the case. But, since only Maddie knows my middle name, she and I will be the only ones trying to find who this mysterious person is.  Me and Maddie agreed to meet after school at my house, only because her little sister is annoying. We aren’t professionals but we can get the fingerprints. I suggested getting the fingerprints in the early morning tomorrow. What was strange was that Maddie seemed like she didn’t want to do it because she said, “Uhh well, what’s the fun in that?” but we still agreed to let the fingerprints stay overnight. We’ll find out in the morning.

Maddie came to my house the next morning.   When I checked the finger- prints from the machine that shows the picture of the person, it didn’t pop up. Instead it sparked and made a sound like “CRRRTEEEPhTTTTTTCAAAAAAAA” “ Oh no! Don’t tell me it broke! Can you go to the store and get a new one?’ I asked. We need to go to a special store to get a new one though. It’s a like a spy headquarters.

Maddie agreed. When she came back, she said there were no fingerprint machines left. I was pretty surprised because I’ve never seen that store run out of anything!  “Wait, I have a better idea! We’ll go to the park without the $500 and see who the person who wrote the note is!” I exclaimed. 

Maddie said, “Umm I can’t go….”

“Why not?”  I ask.

Maddie continued, “I….w-we need to go to a concert..”

I responded, “who’s the ‘we’?”

She said, “me and my parents are going to a concert.”

I thought: JUST WHAT I NEEDED! TO GO ALONE IN THE DARK AT A PARK WITH NOBODY! “Ok I’ll go alone” I murmured.

Then, that night it got even weirder. I had finished eating desert and I wanted to call Maddie and ask what time was the concert, but her mom picked up the phone. This was our conversation:

Maddie’s mom: “Who is this?”

Me: “It’s me, Emmie”

Maddie’s mom: “Oh, hi Emmie! What a pleasant surprise! I’m sorry but Maddie is at Jenna’s house”

Me: “Oh, ok. I was gonna ask her, when is the concert?”

Maddie’s mom: “What concert, Dear?”

Me: “The concert you’re going to after school on Friday.”

Maddie’s mom: “I’m afraid there is no concert we’re going to.”

Me: “Oh, um, is there anything Maddie is doing afterschool on Friday?’

Maddie’s mom: “Nothing that I know of”

And that’s when I hung up. Maybe she’s going to a concert without telling her parents! I can’t believe it! She lied to me. And would she rather go to a concert without her best friend than go solve a case WITH her best friend! Maybe she doesn’t want to be a spy anymore. And maybe she lied about the fingerprint machine being out of stock!  She could also not want to be my friend! Maybe she’s over at Jenna’s right now breaking up their friendship! I. MIGHT. BE. NEXT.

 

It’s Friday afternoon at 5:00pm. I’m running to Maddie’s house! When I get there, she answers the door. “Hi Maddie!!! I need to ask a question, when is the concert?” I ask rapidly.

“Er, 6:25 to…. 7:25!” Maddie says.

“Ok I’ll see you tomorrow!” I exclaim. 

“Maybe sooner….” Maddie murmurs as I walk away.

It’s now 6:25 pm and I’m sitting on the bench in the dark next to a willow tree, all alone. The chilly night air and the sound of the wind blowing through the leaves make the hairs on my head and arms stand on end. I hear something moving in the bushes. A hooded figure emerges. It reaches out its palm and says, “Where’s the money?” in a familiar voice.

“Tell me your name first” I say nervously. The suspicious figure lifts its hood and shows its face with pride while saying, “Maddie Melony McCurdy.”

I gasp so much air I think I’m going to get the hiccups! “MADDIE! WHAT KIND OF PRANK IS THIS? WHERE’S THE ACTUAL MYSTERIOUS PERSON?!” I yell.

Maddie laughs. Then I realize what she’s laughing about. Maddie was the mysterious person.

____________________________________________

                                The Hidden Livi

                                                                             by Emme Church, 9

“Hello there, I’m Spearow. I got into a car axedint. My parents died. And somehow, I tumbled into a hole. It was super dark in that hole. There was no end. I kept on feeling for the end of it. I think I found it. But when I got out instead of seeing a crashed car and rain, I saw the greatest thing my eyes have set upon. I saw floating islands, a herd of buffolos with 10 horns. I also saw Dragons. Or what looked like dragons. I heard a voice behind me. “Those are Banshees,” said the voice. I turned around. I saw a fairy. It was as big as me. “Hello,” I said very shyly. “My name is Esa,” said the fairy. “My name is Spearow,” I said a little less shyly. “Come,” said Esa. “I’ll show you around. Here’s Mermaid Cove.”

“Where are the mermaids?” I asked. Then out of nowhere a mermaid jumped out of the water. Its scales were beautiful and shiny. Its hair was long and blond and it swam so gracefully through the water. Me and Esa walked a little bit more - well, she flew and I ran. “This id Dandilion Field,” she said. I would of climbed up the dandilions but I was out of breath. “If you want you could pick one of them. If you do you’ll fly away,” said Esa. She helped me pick one of the dandilions. I started to float a bit. The fuzes on the top of the dandelion started to float away too. Esa flew next to me. I landed on top of the floating island.

“Oh, we landed on top of Banshee Island,” said Eda. I watched one of the banshees fly by. “You want to ride one?”

“Of course,” I said. “Una wanna wanna,” said Esa. The two Banshees came down from the sky. “Hop  on,” said Esa. I got on a Banshee. I could feel its breath under my skin. “Wanna whee wa,” said Esa and then the Banshees started flying.

 

                                  Comotie Children

                                                                                        by Emme Church, 9

 

Once back in the old days there were two children. They loved to play outside with all the other kids. But on a thundery night a lightning bolt struck all the houses except the two children’s house. Everyone was still alive, but all the money was burnt so no one could build their houses again. The whole town worked together to build all the houses and stores. Everyone got to know each other and soon the whole town was rebuilt and everyone was friends.

 

                                 The Secret Door

                                                                                        by Emme Church, 9

 

“Mom! It was Wanda not me!”

“Ellie, how could Wanda eat all the dinner? Her stomick is too tiny.”

“But Mom,”

“No buts. Go to your room!”

Slam-door.

Maybe I can look around in my closet. I hope there will be something interesting. Old shoes, skirts, dresses. Hey! Why is there a door in the closet? Mabey it has something cool behind it. I’m gonna look inside. As Ellie stept inside she got sucked into another world. OMG! This is so cool. It’s so green here. What, what Is that? It looks like a - - - Wow! It’s a unicorn!

“Actually it’s an alicorn,” said a voice.

“Aww cute. It’s a cat with . . . wings?”

“Yes and this is the land Kalosho. That stands for Magic and Mythical. Would you want me to give you a pair of wings?”

“Why wouldn’t I!” said Ellie. The cat gave her some eagle wings. “How do I use my wings,” said Ellie.

“Just think of you flying in the sky then landing on a cloud. “

So Ellie closed her eyes and before she knew it she was in the air with the cat. Then she saw a cloud in front of her and she landed on it. The cloud felt light and puffy. “OMG! That was so cool. But I should go home now. I’ve been here for two ours so far. Bye.” But the cat was already gone. Ellie found the door and stept back through it, then she was in her room. Ellie called down to her mom. “Mom! I’ve been up here for two ours. Can I come down now?

“Ellie. You were only up there for two minutes!”

 

_______________________________________________ 

                Black Rock

                                             by Darren Cooney, 10

 

A piece of the night sky, turned solid.

 

A shrunken boulder coated in smooth, black, cool paint.

 

A rare shard excavated from the deep, dark, cold depths of the ocean.

 

A small fragment of something greater, mysterious, and unknown.

 

A small, dark mirror. Light shines off it, but nothing can be seen in it.


________________________________________ 

                  The Sun

                                         by Paloma Cook-Cruz, 12

 

Today the sun is hiding

behind the clouds,

like a child playing hide-and-seek.

There are hardly any leaves

except for those

that cling to the trees,

like a new-born baby animal

clinging onto its mama.

No matter how many times the wind blows,

it will not give up. 

 

As the wind is howling,

pushing my back

and ruffling my sweatpants,

the sun break's through.

I am no longer cold.

Soon, the sun goes back to hiding.

I zip up my jacket for protection.

The wind pushes harder

until it finally stops - silence.

 

Then I hear a breeze howling

as the trees sway, pushing extra hard

even moving my pencil case.

Where is the sun?

There it is!

It breaks through,

the whole park lights up.

The Sun’s rays warm me up.

Still, there are breezes

that make me put my hands in my pockets

and move my pencil case.

But the sun is here,

blocking that all out.

In the coldest times

there will always be the sun

___________________________________________

The Avo Fam and the Evil Gram-Gram

                                           by Hannah Frank, 10

Book I: The flower Attack

Weird Acting Gram Gram

Hi, I am Bob the Avocado, and there is a big problem in my family. My Gram Gram has been acting weird, really weird. I think there is something wrong, and I am getting to the bottom of this big jam

Noticed Gram Gram

I am on the big Avo Farm, looking for my Gram Gram, and I noticed that she was eating the flowers that I bought at the Avo-Depo. The box said something on the side, but I did not care, and threw it away. That might have something to do with it.

MISSION: Find that box!

The Garbage

I am going through the garbage looking for that box. GROSS!!  But I need to read that box! To know if my Gram Gram is OK, or if she is just going crazy for flowers?

Impossible

I have been gone from home for tooooooo long, and I just can’t find it. I will go to the garbage truck tomorrow before anything happens to Gram Gram.

Morning

I am heading to the garbage truck, hoping the box is still there. You guys are probably wondering, DON’T MY PARENTS KNOW ABOUT THIS? And the answer is NO, they don’t. But they will never find out. EVER!! HAHA YESSS!!!!!!! I FOUND THE BOX!! The box says…. My mom is coming, I tell you tomorrow. [Sorry]

What It Said

I am ready to tell you what’s on the box. It says DANGER: IF EATEN YOU HAVE BECOME EVIL. OH MY GOD! GRAM GRAM HAS GONE MAD!! I MUST FIX!

Fixing Things

I am on the Avo Farm, looking for gram. Oh, I just saw her, trying to sneak up on my dad, Davo, to ATTACK HIM! I must stop her! There is something you don’t know about me…

 Avo Hero, ATTACK!

Back to Normal

Everything was back to normal. We sued Avo-Depo, and Gram Gram was back, but we don’t talk about…..

 

___________________________________________

                                       Dance Disaster

                                                                                       by Dasha Holness, 9

I love to dance. My sister Avery loves to dance, too. One day the day before competition day, one of my dancers quit so I was down a dancer. So, I looked for someone to take her spot. After an hour I gave up. When I got home, we ate lunch. When we were all done, we heard a knock on the door. I got up and looked through the peep hole. Guess who I saw? My dance teacher, Ms. Rubenstein. I opened the door in surprise. She said “Hi Katie, I know about the one less dancer.” Then she told me that my new dancer was right in front of me. I was so confused I saw no dancers. Then she zipped off. I tried to ask her what she meant but she was gone. That night I thought of what Ms. Rubenstein said, “She is right in front of you. She is right in front of you.”

In the morning, I still didn’t know what she was talking about. But I was sure if I ate breakfast it would come to me. Then Avery stated that she was so excited about the dance competition. I suddenly realized who Ms. Rubenstein was talking about. The dancer that was in front of me was Avery! I asked her if she wanted to be in the dance and she said yes! I stuffed my face with eggs and zipped out of my seat.

I put on my shoes and Avery did the same. We walked to the dance studio and saw Ms. Rubenstein walking.  So, we walked with her.  When we arrived, no one on my dance team was there. 

I forgot to text them.  However, Ms. Rubenstein already did that. I thought of ideas to put Avery in the dance, but she does tap and I do jazz.  When all the dancers on my team arrived to the dance studio, we practiced our routine. Mrs. Rubenstein helped a little.  After a while, we still were practicing.  I did not like any of Ms. Rubenstein’s ideas.  I sat down on a bench to think.  My dance team took a break, too.  There was no way that we could put four jazz dancers with one tap dancer.  I went to the bathroom after a minute and still did not know how to put four jazz dancers with one tap dancer.  When I got out of the bathroom, it hit me.  If Avery does jazz in her tap shoes quietly, then at the end she can do a tap solo. 

I brought the group together to tell them my plan.  They loved it.  I told Ms. Rubenstein and she was very impressed by my idea.  We practiced till it was go time. Avery and I walked home, got all the costumes and went as a family to the auditorium to meet the team in the dressing room.  We looked very pretty in our costumes.  We were going to be the last ones to perform.  We were all ready to shine, but then, of course, Tatum, one of the girls on the dance team, had to break her costume. 

Come on, did she have to do that?  We are doomed!

We had no other costume for her.  We looked all over our dressing rooms for a dress.  No luck.  We had ten minutes left before we performed. 

Wait, doesn’t Ms. Rubenstein have a sewing kit? Yes, she does.  I have an idea!

Ms. Rubenstein can sew the dress and put lights on all the dresses.  That would wow the judges.  Well Ms. Rubenstein has to get to work if we want to make this happen. Ms. Rubenstein is down for it.  We look so pretty.  SHOW TIME!

My team and I left the room when staff came and told us we had to get on stage.  We all walked on stage, got our places and danced our heart out.

The first person I saw were my parents, who had a puppy with them. 

Wait! Is that our puppy?  That made me so happy, I could do a funny dance.  But I knew it would make us lose, so I didn’t do it.  We danced so beautifully.  We whirled and twirled and leaped and spun.  Then it was finale time. 

The lights when low and Avery went in front of the stage and danced her tap solo, while our costumes were glowing.  The judges said it was big surprise for Avery to tap and our costumes to glow.  After they told us their opinion of our dance, all the groups went on stage to announce the winner. “And the winner is” one of the judges announced “Katie, Avery, Jessica, Tatum and Ella.”

We won!

We all did a group hug. When we got off the stage, Avery and I hugged each other. I thanked Avery for helping us win. I gave her an extra hug just because I love her. We ended up calling the dog Bella.

And again, Avery, thank you for helping us win.


 ______________________________________________

                          A Baking Challenge

                                                                            by Jonah Lam, 11

 

         “I’m hungry.” Lucas moaned.

          “Me too.” I grunted. “I’ll check the fridge.”  There was nothing to eat. All I saw was some eggs, some butter, two carrots and an old baloney sandwich that was so old, it had turned green. “Oh my God,” I thought.  Wasn’t Mom supposed to buy groceries? I checked the pantry for anything. “Ugh. Nothing! Just some flour and sugar. I’m gonna die of starvation!’’ 

          Suddenly, a lightbulb went off above my head. When I looked around, I found eggs, butter, flour and sugar. Perfect baking ingredients. I decided to whip up a batch of sugar cookies.                 “Hey Lucas! I’m making some cookies!” I bellowed from the kitchen.     

          “Oh okay Jonah,.” Lucas yelled.

          I quickly grabbed and pan and a mixing bowl and gathered the flour, butter and eggs. The sugar was on the higher shelf. I grabbed a stool from the laundry room and stood on it. That’s when I slipped.

          “Ahhhh!” I shrieked. I landed on my back. “OW OW OW!” I screamed. “Could I have some ice Lucas?! I think I broke my tailbone.”

          After about what seemed like a billion years,  I was finally back in the kitchen. Back on the smooth linoleum floors and marble walls. I was ready to continue the baking.  

I took an egg from the carton. It was nice and smooth. Then I rammed it on to the edge of the mixing bowl like a meteor crashing to Earth. It cracked open as a yellow liquid dribbled down into the bowl. I put in the butter next. I didn’t know how much of that I was supposed to use so I just cut off about a quarter of the stick and put it in the bowl.

          My stomach was rumbling pretty loudly. It sounded like a race car engine. I decided to try to finish the cookies faster. I opened the bag of flour. The dust came flying out like a snowstorm. I started coughing. When it finally cleared, I dumped it in the mix. Then I poured in the sugar. And I decided to pour in some milk to soften it up.

          “GGG RRR OOOOWWWW,” My stomach was grumbling at full volume now.

          “Hey Jonah! Are you done yet?” Lucas bellowed loudly. “I’m hungry!”   

          “Almost!’’ I yelled.  All I had to do was mix it, cut it into cookies, and put them in the oven.

          I began to mix furiously with the spoon. I held the bowl while doing it. It wasn’t a good idea. I lost my grip and the bowl came crashing down on the floor.

          “Well there goes the cookies,” I thought sadly. The bowl left a big dent on the floor but an even bigger dent in my stomach. I felt pretty terrible.

          But then: “GGGGGGGRRRRRRRRROOOOOOOOOWWWWWWWWLLLLLLL!!!” My stomach grumbled louder than ever. I decided to just make the best of what I had. There was still some dough left in the bowl, so I used that. Finally, I could cut the cookies and put it in the oven.

          About eleven billion years later, the timer went off. We could finally eat something! Lucas was excited. I brought out the cookies. They were soft and powdery.

          Lucas took a bite out of one. “These taste funny,” he said.    

                                                TO BE CONTINUED….. 

____________________________________________

                                         Super Angel

                                                                                    by Julia Alice Maad, 10

There once was an angel from the far land of heaven.  She had lots of hair, sparkling shoes that dazzled in your eyes, huge wings that were bigger than two big cats.  She had a long brown staff and had a dream of becoming a super-hero. This was because her great grandfather was a super-hero and he was awesome. So, she trained and worked for it and before she knew it, she was Super Angel. As a super- hero, she helped and fought for justice!                  

One day, someone stole an ancient art effect from the museum and ran off. Super Angel chased the criminal all over the city and after an hour Super Angel yelled “STOP”.

“NEVER”, answered the criminal.

“Ok then I will make you stop,” roared Super Angel.

Super Angel chased after the criminal until her legs got tired. So, she got on her wings and flew all around the city following the criminal. The criminal stopped at a warehouse. Super Angel had never been there before.

“Why did you stop?” asked Super Angel in a confused tone.

“Because...”

“SURPRISE” shouted all of these criminals that were hiding. Super Angel got her fists out.

“What’s going on?” Super Angel asked in a weird voice.

“Well, we wanted to throw you a surprise birthday party because you put us in jail. When we were there, we learned our lesson, so this is our way of saying thank you” replied all the criminals in a cringy way.

“Wait a second, angels don’t have birthdays and I never put you in jail. I put you in law school! OH NO. IT’S A TRAP!” Super Angel exclaimed.

“Too late, ha” replied all the criminals while the gate closed.

“NO!” yelled Super Angel. 

A year later, Super Angel was still in there - stuck, hungry, yet still young, but mostly wondering if she would be in there forever or if someone would get her out. She saw a man pass by the gate.

“Hey you! I’m over here.” Super Angel screamed. But no answer. Super Angel was being very patient, until one day she saw the gate crack open and a man came flying inside.

“Ouch, right on the butt” screeched the man.

“Who are you?” asked Super Angel.

“Oh, I’m Max. You?” answered the man.

“Super Angel” replied Super Angel.

“Oh, since you made up a name, I’m Tree Man. I make trees and branch swords,” answered Tree Man.

“So, are you my bunk-mate for my life?” asked Super Angel

“Not really, I stole the keys,” exclaimed Tree Man.

As Tree Man was opening the gate, Super Angel started to say “you’re the best! I wish I could do something for you.”

“It’s ok… well, there is one thing. The city, it’s all messed up. I tried to help but then they put me here,” Tree Man exclaimed.

As the gate opened, so did Super Angel’s mouth when she saw the city. It had fires, broken buildings, screaming people, and criminals stealing. Super Angel ran around fixing everything. She got hoses and put out all the fires, she got tools and fixed all the buildings, she put all the criminals in jail, she made all the people calm, and she got back to doing her job with Tree Man. 

As Super Angel went back to her normal life, she realized that the criminals that locked her up were gone.  So, she started to look for them. She could not find them anywhere. So, she just let it go but later when Tree Man and she were stopping a robbery, she saw Tree Man stealing the money at the bank. Then she remembered when Tree Man got thrown in the cage, she did not see anyone throw him in. SUPER ANGEL was pranked! Tree Man worked with the criminals who threw her in the cage. Suddenly, she realized when she brought Tree Man places, the criminals just robed it.

“So, should I bust Tree Man or do weird missions that he has to go on? Then he will quit being a criminal. Uh of course, I’m bringing him on weird missions.”

For the first mission they went to a paper store. As Super Angel and Tree Man entered, Tree Man asked. “Why are we here again?”

“Because they are running low on paper and as super-heroes we have to help” answered Super Angel. After a hundred and one dumb missions, he hasn’t quit yet, so Super Angel just walked up to him and was about to say, “Look Tree Man, I know you’re a criminal”

“Um Super Angel, I have something to say.  Do you have a minute?” asked Tree Man

Super Angel was right. Before she celebrated, she answered “Sure, why not?”

“Ok, I’m not a super-hero”

”What? No?” Super Angel replied sarcastically.

“Yes, it’s true, I’m a criminal. I’m also with the ones who locked you up and now I’m quitting, and you can arrest me.”

” YES, I WAS RIGHT HA! Oops I said that out loud” Super Angel screeched.

“Wait, you knew! How?” asked a confused criminal.

“I saw you steal and I’m a Super-Hero Angel . . . I got got. Now, come with me to jail!” Super Angel replied. As Super Angel brought the criminal to jail, she saw a guy on the road. She asked him “what happened?” but the guy did not answer.  She kept on tapping him.  When she was about to leave a cage fell on her. Then the man woke up and asked, “Who was tapping me?” then he walked away.

”Wait! Come back! Oh, it’s no use. This is my life now I must get used to it or at least enjoy it.”              

After a couple of years, Super Angel was mean and nasty, yet still young.  She became mean because she was tired of being all nice and no one was nice to her, so now she’s Criminal Angel. Criminal Angel steals and bullies’ little kids and she tells god mean things. God wanted this to stop because he hates when people are mean and cruel, especially angels. So, to stop this mess, God is going to send an angel down named Super-Duper Angel that will make Criminal Angel jealous and she will be good again. When Super-Duper Angel got sent down, he first went and looked for Criminal Angel. Honestly, that was easy for him because she was robbing the bank at the time and she was on the news. Super-Duper Angel busted down the door of the bank and said,

“Hello, my dear citizen will you please stop robbing this place! Oh, by the way I’m Super-Duper Angel.” Criminal Angel laughed for five minutes.

“You’re Super-Duper Angel! Ha . . . oh my gosh, that’s funny!” exclaimed Criminal Angel. Then she continued robbing until Super-Duper Angel arrested her, put her in law school, then in jail.                                                                   

One year later, Criminal Angel got free from jail. She went to Starbucks to get a coffee. Then she ran off to the bank and started a robbery. When she left, she left with one hundred billion dollars. Then, all of a sudden, Super-Duper Angel appeared with a gun made out of cardboard

“Look, this is a gun that a kid wants but he can’t have it” explained Super-Duper Angel.

“and? “asked Criminal Angel

“You’re not a criminal, you’re not one you can’t be one.” answered Super-Duper Angel.

“Or maybe I can” Criminal Angel exclaimed.

“NO, YOU CAN’T! YOU’RE AN ANGEL,” yelled Super-Duper Angel.

“NO, I’M NOT” yelled Criminal Angel.  As she stormed off, she saw Tree Man and asked him,

“Want to rob a bank?”

“Sure” answered Tree Man.                                                                          

After one-month Criminal Angel started to get jealous of Super-Duper Angel because he got loved by people in the city. Meanwhile, the criminals get booed like a bad band or a bad president. So, Criminal Angel started to whip people if they weren’t nice to her. So, that’s what all of these people did except one strange young boy who called himself Red Ben.

“Little boy, you know I whip who does not do what I say, right?” asked Criminal Angel.

“Yes, I know you can whip me.  I like it and plus you were a good hero Mrs. Angel and you need to be good for you me and us please” exclaimed Red Ben.

As Criminal Angel thought about it, she looked up to god then looked back at Ben and replied

“Fine”.                                                                  

After two years, Super Angel stopped three thousand crimes. She found out that no one knew about what she did.  That’s why no one liked her because no one knew her but now everyone does and if they don’t it’s their loss. Oh, by the way now all the bad guys are in jail, except one.  As Tree Man was running away from their city, he decided to grab a bite. So, he stopped at Big Burger and got two burgers and ate them in peace until one man came up to him and said,

“I hate Super Angel.  She stole my place as hero so now I’m Super-Duper Evil instead of Super-Duper Angel.”

“I hate her, too.  She arrested and abandoned me,” explained Tree Man.

“Oh, my gosh! We can team up on her and get revenge!” the two boys said at the same time.

As they exited the restaurant, they got a plan ready. By the time they got there, they were ready and so was Super Angel.  She waited with cuffs.  Then Tree Man walked over to her. Super Duper Evil asked,

“Did you trick me?”

 “Of course, I did that’s what I do. “Tree Man answered.

As Super-Duper Evil got taken away to jail, he started to yell “this is not the end of me.” But obviously it was.                                                          

Now Super Angel got back to her job and everything was back to normal, or was it?      

                                                  THE END

__________________________________________

                                  If I won, the lottery

                                                                                           by Zachary Maad, 12

I looked around at the wrecked city as I drove slowly in my Maserati that I bought last week. Cigarettes on the ground, a couple guys walking and talking, some people having some lunch. This is all what I saw even though it’s wrecked. I just won the lottery two weeks ago, so I bought a new car and house. My phone vibrated against my leg, I got little bumps and hairs. I got a call, I picked it up.

“Hello” the man sputtered in his bad English that wasn’t his first language.

“Yeah it’s Zach, I'm two minutes away from the camp. It’s kind of beat up here on the main road outside the city of Al- Jimal” I uttered into the blue and white Real Madrid phone case.

“Ok, we’re right at the front with the kids, we are just waiting for you, no rush at all,” the deep voice vibrated.

“Ok I’ll be there soon, see you, Bye.” The phone beeped. I turned a sharp right to see about one hundred tents and about 30 boys and girls waiting patiently at the front of it. I slowly pulled in onto the rough grass and parked right on the grass near the front. I opened the shiny car door. “Hello, I'm Zachary Maad and are you guys ready to play some football.”

“Sorry, Zach, only a couple of them speak English.” The man said something in Arabic to the children and they all screamed something which I'm guessing meant yay or yes. So, we all walked to a big, grassy plain with two football goals from UNICEF. I had a ball and we made teams and just played. Some of these kids were like 5 and some of these kids were like 13. Football is the most played international sport and it does not matter what culture or religion or what language you speak, or even what age you are because all you need is a ball and the rest of the world doesn’t matter.

We played for what felt like ten minutes but was about three hours. Then, I taught them some skills and some tips and then went to the actual refugee camp and gave them money for their needs to live and stay healthy stayed for another hour just interacting with the people and went home.

As I am driving to my house, I'm really thinking how what I just did wasn’t that hard but made a big impact on their lives. This goes to show that if you do have popularity or power or money you should be able to give and take. I won the lottery and bought a Maserati and a house, however, I still donated time and money to the people in the refugee camp because with great power comes great responsibility.

Note:  While you should know that this story is not real, it was in a real setting, taking place in a Syrian refugee camp in Jordan. You need to be giving when you have things to give.

 

_________________________________________________ 

 

                        Paper

                                             by Laura Mujica, 13

 

What people never seem to understand is: I’m just a measly piece of paper.

I can get scarred, I can be ripped, I can be erased, or I could be thrown out.

I can fly across seas and oceans and rivers and lakes.

Across continents that are unheard of.

Islands that speckle the scintillating sea like ink splatters on a canvas.

I can exist only to be drawn on. Only to be written on.

Used as fuel in a fireplace.

I am the living multitasker of office tools.

But I am looked down upon like a piece of garbage

that is only used by people.

I can be cut and covered in graphite residue.

I can be crumpled into a little ball

and thrown like a basketball into a garbage can.

I rise up from the bottom and create a movie empire.

I tell stories of heroes and villains and wonder.

I depict art from hundreds of years ago.

I can create rocket ships.

I can ensure people’s safety.

I let children color all over me in a book of drawing, filled with colors.

I am almost everything.

But I am only a measly piece of paper.

 

 

                        Abecedarian Poem

                                                           by Laura Mujica, 13

 

At the time, I was almost happy to be talking to you.

But the intent of trapping me with guilt every time laced your every word.

Caught in every lie you said whenever you wanted to me.

Did you ever think what you’re doing was wrong?

Every word you said was just another open door for a cage of helplessness.

Feeling so worthless whenever you said I didn’t help.

Gone, was my last try to talk sense into you.

Hope to help you became a struggle not to get tied in your lies.

I fought and fought to get you to stop.

Just that you were too full of your own self to do so.

Killing my only feeling that you were telling the truth.

Losing every single battle that I fought against you became repetitive.

Most times, I could go by ignoring your notification.

“No, she ignored your only hope. Ignore her lies and deception.”

Only your gravity was too strong.

Pulling me back into the cage that I had once known.

Quiet sorrow whenever you claimed I couldn’t help.

Regretting my choice to assume you were ever real about those feelings.

Still, I mask my real concerns.

Time and time again, my mask does not come off.

Until with your fingers of fakery, you’ll pry it off.

Vague understanding of your true want.

Was it attention or just the need for people to care?

X-rays won’t even show all the lies you’ve hidden under your skin.

You won’t ever stop your oblivious, obvious craving for attention.

Zigzags of memories run across my mind.

 

_______________________________________________


 

The Adventure of Caption Brains

                                                                            by Anna Rose Sultana Sanders, 8

                               Chapter 1

The Surprise Through the Window

BEEP. BEEP. BEEP.

“Morning already?” Patrick asked, wildly slamming his alarm clock. He was annoyed that his sister Sally was jumping on his bed.

“Get up! Get up! It’s the first day of school!” she shouted.

“Get off!!” yelled Patrick, as Sally slid off onto the floor. “What is for breakfast?” asked Patrick.

“Nothing because Mom and Dad thought you can make it.” Sally began to walk down the stairs toward the kitchen. Patrick threw on his slippers and slid down the stairs after his sister.

“But why not them?” he whined.

“Because Dad’s at the Bed and Breakfast and Mom’s in the city working in a meeting.” She flung a chair around and roughly sat down.

“Fine. What do you want for breakfast?”

“Pancakes with syrup! Yum!”

“Ok,” said Patrick as he began to turn on the stove. Sally stared out the window, tapping her feet on the floor. “I guess you can make it because you are in high school now.”

“I guess.”

“Wow, look! That is one gigantic bird, Patrick!”

“What bird?” cried Patrick completely confused.

“That one there with the red cape!” Shocked, Sally pointed at the window with an opened mouth!” It’s coming closer to the kitchen window!”

CRASH!!!!  BANG!!!

“What was that!” screamed Patrick.

“It came through our window. Mom is not going to be happy about this broken window,” said Sally looking disappointed at the floor.

“It’s not a bird, Sally. It’s a HUMAN!” shouted her brother.

“Wow, a human! A human just came through our window! Weird!”

The figure slowly stood up wiping the dust and glass from his clothes. “I am not a human; I am Captain Brains! I am a super-hero!” 

“Yeah right, a super-hero,” Patrick stated sarcastically.

“Can he stay and do magic tricks?” Sally said eagerly, examining the new-comer.

“No Sally! You need to leave, Mr. Brains. We have to go to school, and I don’t want either of us missing the bus.” He began to pull Mr. Brains out the front door and watched the odd man walk off. And then Patrick ran to the phone and dialed (647) 205-6783.

“Hello, how can I help you?” the voice on the other end of the phone said.

“I need someone to install our window.”

“Okay, we will be right there.” Beep, beep (phone disconnects).

“Okay, Sally, let’s wait outside for the bus.”

“Okay, Patrick.”

Patrick and Sally stand outside and patiently wait for the bus.

Beep, beep, beep.

The bus pulls in noisily and the doors swing open. Swoosh. Patrick bumps through the seats being followed by his little sister Sally who’s in 5th grade.

 

Eight hours later . . .

Patrick and Sally jumped off their bus, surprisingly seeing their mom holding a guy by the shirt. It was the guy who was installing the window!

She turned and asked angrily, “Who is this stranger! And what happened to MY kitchen window?”

“We will explain everything Mom,” said Patrick and Sally at the same time.

“You better or else you will get grounded for two months or maybe two years depending on the story!”

“Okay Mom, but we will explain it in the house.”

In the house, Sally began to explain what happened. “So first Patrick was making me pancakes, but then I saw a bird with a cape.”

“But then it crashed through our window and I told Sally that it was a human!” Patrick interrupted.

“His name was Mr. Brains. We were so shocked that a human came through our window. We kicked him out and went to school.”

“But remember Patrick, we called the Installing guy who was supposed to fix our window.”

“Right!”

“And now we are telling you what happened.”

“Wait, so Mr. Brains is the man that’s in Dad’s car??”

“What are you talking about, Mom?” Patrick and Sally both asked.

So Mom showed Sally and Patrick Mr. Brains sleeping in the car. She opened the door.

“Get Out Right Now!” Mom screamed, while tugging on his cape. Mr. Brains was so surprised and rolled on to the ground. “What are you doing in my husband’s car?”

“Um, nothing?”

I hope not! You have to clean this car NOW! What are you doing? Oh and by the way, who are you? And what are you doing here? Why have you come here?”

“I’m Captain Brains and I fight crime with technology and math but more technology!” He did not answer the second question.

“Okay, but you should be cleaning the car now.”

 

                                               Chapter 2

Learning About Captain Brains

“This car is so dirty! What do they do in here?” Mr. Brains puts his fancy technology (which is really just a calculator) on the top of the car and begins to clean the crumbs and crayons from the back seat. “I wish I could prove to them that I really can be a super-hero.”

Just then Mr. Brains heard a sound in he driveway. He looked up from the back seat and - Huh!

“DJ?” A dark-haired man approached the car with a grocery bag.

“Billy. Is that really you brother?

“Yeah, it is me.”

“Wait a second, what are you doing here? What are you doing in my car?”

“Um…Well it’s a long story.”

“Please tell me.”

They leaned against the car and Billy (Captain Brains) begins to tell the story. Their conversation went so long that it was early evening by the time they stopped.

“Oh my! I feel so bad, Billy.”

“Yeah, well I didn’t feel like I fit in because all I had was my imagination and you, well you were so smart.”

“Oh, gee willikers! I didn’t know you felt that way. I am so sorry. And I’m also sorry that you were asked to clean the car! I will speak to my wife Lucy.”

“Thanks, DJ. You are a big help.”

“You’re welcome Brother. Also, we will be there for you.” With a melancholy feeling, he walked in the house where Lucy was cooking. He explained the story. “He’s my brother and he was working odd jobs, most recently as a parachute which is the cape.”

“Oh my goodness, I feel so bad. I will go get him and invite him for dinner.”

“Good thinking Lucy!” Lucy gave him a hug and ran outside.

 

                                                      Chapter 3

Dinner With Mr. Brains

 

“How was your meal Mr. Brains?”

“Oh, you can call me Billy. Because I am not a real super-hero,” he whispered in a melancholy voice.

“I’m sure that is not true.” Lucy said. “Well kids aren’t you happy your uncle is here?”

“Errr…um….eh….yeah.” Patrick and Sally hesitated and looked at each other.

A breeze gently brushed against the antique chandelier over the dinner table creating a clinking a sound. The room was silent. Patrick and Sally kept staring at each other and then back to looking up. Out of the silence they began to hear munching and all turn to Billy.

“I’m sorry guys, for scaring you all earlier.”

“You did a bit. But it’s okay Billy. It’s great to meet you.” Lucy quickly answered. Sally and Patrick looked at their uncle and gave a small smile.

The phone began to ring. Ring, ring, ring.

“Oh, excuse me for a second. I hear the phone. Hello, Miss Watson speaking. Oh yes, hi Mrs. Roberts, how are you? Of course, I will be at the book club on Thursday. Oh yes, that is a fine idea. Okay, goodbye.” Lucy rejoined the table. “Kids guess what? You get to play with Rodrick on Thursday. Mrs. Roberts is going to drop him off at the library and you all can play while the parents are engaging with the history book club.”

“Oh, um, Mom. Okay. Can we be excused?”

“Of course, sweetie. Have a good night.”

Patrick and Sally went up to their rooms, but before bed Patrick stopped by Sally’s room. “What are we going to do? Rodrick is a bully. It will be awful to be around him.”

                             To be continued….

_____________________________________________


The Gulf Stream

                                                                                       by Vick Tan, 10

 

Homer had heard about how nice the Gulf of Mexico was. One day he decided to row out to the middle of the ocean. That morning he heard on the radio that the ocean would be calm and peaceful. He had brought along M&M’s, chips, and oranges to enjoy on the boat. 

When he started to row off, there was a small trickle of rain. “There might be a thunderstorm,” he thought, but he just shrugged his shoulders and rowed on. He rowed so far out that he couldn’t even see the shore. The ocean was peaceful. The seagulls were squawking around his boat. He lay down and enjoyed his snacks. Then nodding off into sleep, while the little boat drifted left and right. Without knowing how much time had passed, he was woken up by drops of water plopping on his face. “Time to go back,” he started rowing. Right then there was a loud cackle of lightning and thunder. It started pouring crazily.

The sky became darker every second. Homer knew it was unsafe to be out on the ocean in a thunderstorm. He paddled as fast as he could. Whoosh, something jumped out of the water and splashed him. He took out his waterproof flashlight and saw an army of fins moving towards him. “Maybe they are dolphins”, he murmured. As they got closer, his hopes fell.  Their killer eyes stared at him and their killer jaws closed in on his boat.

They were sharks, full of hate and pure terror! In no time they chomped off one of his oars. “No.” he screamed. Homer dumped all of his snacks into the ocean, hoping they would satisfy the sharks. However, the sharks gobbled them up in a blink of an eye and started to chase him again. He tried to bash them with his only oar. But they kept on hunting him. Suddenly they sank underneath the waves. No sign of sharks at all. “Are they all gone? Is it over?” Homer asked himself. He thought his worries might be over, but, boy, he was so wrong.

They slammed underneath the boat and launched him five feet into the air. “Ahhhhhhhhhhhh” he screamed. Lightning rattled the air. The waves churned.  His little boat tossed and turned. Zoom, a huge shark sailed over his head, opening its gigantic jaws, ready to chomp him in half. Homer covered his eyes, trembling and waiting for the terrifying moment to come.  “Pow”, a big streak of lightning flashed through the sky, hitting the shark right on its head.

Suddenly the dark clouds vanished, and the sun started to shine in the bright blue sky. All the sharks disappeared. Soft waves lapped over one another, as if nothing had happened. Homer rowed back slowly, tied his boat to the dock and dragged his feet into his house. Exhausted, he plopped onto his bed tiredly. Then he closed his eyes and fell into a deep, dreamless sleep.

_________________________________________________

The Gems of Galaxy

by Emily Wang

 

Finally! Winter Wonderland threw herself on a couch, watching people in beautiful dresses dance all around her. For a moment she thought she was in a dream, then a sudden change of music made her quickly shake her head and remembered she was at a party; the very party her Aunt Eliza had told her to go to. She lived with Aunt Eliza because she was an orphan. Winter Wonderland had white glittery hair that looked like frost covering lovely flowers. She was also wearing a dress that read “why not?”

“Oh no,” moaned Winter Wonderland as she saw her best friend come in the door embroidered with red and gold luck symbols. “She’s going to see me now.” Winter Wonderland was wearing clothes she had worn in painting class and gotten paint all over.

“Hi Winter!” Cotton Candy Bubble Gum, her best friend cheered. Cotton Candy had glittery pink hair, and she was also an orphan and wearing the same clothes as Winter Wonderland.                                                                                                                                                                                                                    

“Hi,” grumbled Winter Wonderland, looking down.                                                                                                                                                             “What’s wrong? You don’t seem like yourself today, Winter Wonderland,”

“It’s because Fire, our enemy is here, and this,” Winter Wonderland grunted, first pointing at the door and then at her clothes without looking up.

“Your dress is fine, and I only see paper in the doorway,” Cotton Candy replied, looking surprised. Winter Wonderland looked down at her shirt and saw no paint was on her dress. Her mouth dropped open. She rubbed her eyes and looked again: still nothing!

“Winter, let me check the doorway again,” Cotton Candy hurried over to the doorway and again there was nothing! But Winter could have sworn she saw something. As Cotton Candy went back, she heard the music had changed. It seemed to her that the music was whispering, “Come on Cotton Candy, come on Cotton Candy …”

Come on what? She thought. A shout suddenly sliced through the air and flooded her head. It was Winter Wonderland.

“Cotton Candy! Did you hear that? The music! It was whispering come on Cotton Candy, come on Cotton Candy,” she called.

“I know!” Cotton Candy agreed, then, thinking out loud, she wondered, “Come on what? I don’t get it! Do you, Winter Wonderland?”

“I think it means do something special, agreed?” Winter Wonderland replied.

“Umm... It must have something to do with this party! Otherwise it wouldn’t have made that sound at this party!” Cotton Candy mentioned.

So that’s why Aunt Eliza told me to go here! To help Cotton Candy achieve her goal! Winter Wonderland smiled. She was going to help Cotton Candy! She would be part of it too! She didn’t realize she was smiling soooooo big.

“Winter Wonderland, why are you smiling so big?” Cotton Candy asked, concerned about her best friend.

“It’s because.” Winter Wonderland told Cotton Candy everything about why she went to this party and all her thoughts.

“Winter, you’re a genius! I would have never thought about that in a million years even if you told me the story!” Cotton Candy realized she was heard by everyone in the room.

“Who are you, why are you screaming, who is Winter Wonderland, and what story are you guys talking about?” the people asked. Cotton Candy’s cheeks turned red as a tomato.

“Oh, nothing” she replied, trying to hide under a table. Winter Wonderland also looked towards the floor. Aunt Eliza was special to her and told her not to tell anybody that she was Winter Wonderland, or why she gone to the party. Why didn’t Aunt Eliza tell her everything? Winter Wonderland thought.

“Probably because she thought that you were smart enough to figure out why.” Cotton Candy reasoned as if she had read Winter’s mind. Winter looked at her suspiciously.

“How’d you know what I was thinking?” she asked.

“I don’t know how, but maybe I have mind reading powers to help me with my goal,” guessed Cotton Candy.

Crash! Cotton Candy crashed into a table. Glass cups shattered and made a huge mess.

“Be careful where you go, little girl” someone said angrily, “Or there are going to be consequences!”

Then, Cotton Candy found a note by her foot. “Cotton Candy, you are a troublemaker, but also it’s amazing how the trouble that you cause helps us with you know what.” Winter noticed someone spying on them. “You know, there is someone spying on us. Perhaps he is the person who is trying to stop you from doing you know what.”

Cotton Candy looked behind them, and, out of the corner of her eye, she saw someone slink back behind a wall with a “do not enter” sign on it.

“Winter, you’re right! We’ve got to follow that spy and find out more about him, come on!” Cotton Candy whispered just loud enough for the spy to hear. Quickly, he dashed away with the girls at his heels. “Clickity clackity” went their shoes as they ran after the spy. He finally came to a halt as he turned to look behind, and no one was there; Cotton Candy and Winter had hid just in time.

“He knows we are following him, we have to pretend we are not, by staying on a different road, but be sure to stay behind him so we can still see where he is going and, oh! We should stay on different sides of the road and one of us should dress up as an old woman asking him which way is which, and asking to follow him to lead us somewhere he knows, but this is going to be risky!” Winter whispered as loudly as Cotton Candy needed to hear. 

“Good plan, Wint!” Cotton Candy cheered in a whisper. They got to work and the spy said no when asked to be followed. “I know you’re Winter!” He told Cotton Candy.

“Who’s Winter? I’m Eleanor the widow,” Cotton Candy said in a voice she thought was an old woman’s voice.

“Fine, Eleanor, you can follow my lead,” responded the spy, still speaking in a suspicious voice. “As long as you know who I am.”

“Is your name Theodore?” guessed Cotton Candy. Winter was walking on the side of the road Cotton Candy was not. When she heard this guess, she was worried. What if Cotton Candy was wrong?

“Yes, my name is Theodore,” the spy replied in a surprised tone. Winter quietly laughed and gave Cotton Candy a silent thumbs up. She was a genius! Cotton Candy had just guessed the spy’s name randomly! And she got it right! Amazing!

After what seemed like a million years, Theodore stopped and told a bald man with glasses,

“Boss, this is Eleanor and she is a widow. We should take her in. She even knows my name!” Theodore told his boss.

“What is my name then?” the boss asked. Cotton Candy took another random guess and replied,

“Your name is Gabriel and his-” she pointed to Theodore, “is Theodore,” finished Cotton Candy.

“Wow, you really do know us!” exclaimed Gabriel. At that moment, Winter was changing into another widow costume that looked a lot like Cotton Candy’s.

“Wait!” she called out to Gabriel and Theodore, “I’m Eleanor’s friend and I’m a widow too! I also know you guys, Theodore and Gabriel! My name is Avery and can I come in with Eleanor?” Winter asked.

“I think Eleanor would like to have some company, so yes! You can come too,” Gabriel decided.                                                                     

“That was lucky,” Winter whispered to Cotton Candy when they came into the tiny building.

“Yeah, I know,” Cotton Candy agreed.

“I think you have the power to guess anything correct and that will help you with you know what,” Winter informed her in a whisper.

“Come on, widows, this is your room!” Gabriel led them to an old smelly room and stated with a smirk, “I hope you don’t mind it too nasty.” Winter whispered when they were in the two gooey beds,

“We thought this was good at first, but we better escape. We have to call the real Eleanor and Avery, tell them to come to this place, also we have to change out of our costumes, and when Gabriel and Theodore are talking to them, say ‘Boo!’” They did this very naughty plan the next morning.

“Eleanor and Avery already came here, and I know you  two are imposters,” Gabriel was saying.

“We’re the imposters, they’re the real ones!” shouted Cotton Candy while still in her widow costume and jumping up and down. “BOO!”

“Boss, we’ve caught them now, and there is no escape!” Theodore cackled with glee. “Now, Winter where’s Cotton Candy?” he asked Cotton Candy.

“I’m Cotton Candy, you dumbo!” Cotton Candy shouted, offended. Winter took Cotton Candy’s costume and took her spot.

 “Now Cotton Candy where is Winter?” Theodore asked.

“You baby smelly, I’m Winter!” Winter stuck her tongue out at Theodore and Gabriel. “And I think there is an escape!” She ripped off her costume and ran out the door with   Cotton Candy beside her. “Nah-nah-nah-boo-boo on you!”

“Wait! Come back! We won’t torture you! We promise!” Gabriel called after them.

“No way, hosé!” shouted Cotton Candy.

“America is a free country, so we can do whatever we want!” Winter agreed. Cotton Candy chuckled.

A little while later, Winter slipped on what seemed to be an old, ancient piece of writing. Remember the piece of paper Cotton Candy thought she saw in the doorway in the beginning? And what she threw out the window? Well, this is what is read: “Give this scroll to Winter Wonderland and Cotton Candy, but keep it away from Gabriel and Theodore.” Cotton Candy stopped short.

“Look!” Cotton Candy suddenly brightened up.

“What is it?” asked Winter.

“It says here I’m supposed to find the gems of Galaxy and place them in its potion-looking-jar. That should be easy!” Cotton Candy cheered.

“But look,” Winter pointed at the scroll, which had a rip in it now. “It says you cannot let this scroll fall into the wrong hands, or even mention any of this to anyone except one mysterious person.”

Winter realized they were back at the party, and Aunt Eliza had arrived to take the girls home.

“Girls! Time to go home!” Aunt Eliza called.

“Why are we going home together? We didn’t come together,” Winter wondered.

“I sent you, and I sent Cotton Candy a little while later. I guess you didn’t realize you were in the same family.” Aunt Eliza laughed. “And you had a sister named Galaxy. She is who I am looking for.” Winter nudged Cotton Candy.

“Maybe she’s the one we can tell,” Winter whispered to her.

“Aunt Eliza, we can find Galaxy for you.” Cotton Candy smiled.

“That would be wonderful! That is the reason I sent you two to this party anyway,” Aunt Eliza relieved. Cotton Candy and Winter both silently gasped. They knew what each other were thinking: Aunt Eliza didn’t know about any of the magic things they had been through!

“Bye.” Aunt Eliza waved, and skipped out the door.

“We need to find Galaxy and her gems, Cotton Candy. We need to! We are her sisters, please? Cotton Candy...” Winter’s voice trailed off.

“Of course we will!” Cotton Candy grinned. “Why not?”

“But where do we find her?” Winter asked Crash!  Crash! Crash! The glass table behind them broke, and drowned the sound of Winter’s voice. She didn’t need to look to know who had done that, it was Cotton Candy.

“That’s enough, missy!” The party host shouted angrily at Cotton Candy. “Get out!” She was thrown into a big birdcage and locked inside.

“NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! Cotton Candy, come back!” A tear dribbled down Winter’s cheek. How was she supposed to find Galaxy on her own? And how were the gems going to work? Cotton Candy was supposed to do that, not her!

Winter grabbed the birdcage Cotton Candy was in and zoomed out the door. Thinking quickly, she tricked the lock and set Cotton Candy free!                                                                                                                                                                                                                      “Help, help!” A voice called in the distance.

“Cotton Candy, I already set you free! Ugh.” Winter frowned.

“That sound was not made by me!” Cotton Candy told her.

“Let’s see who is in trouble, it might be Galaxy.” They ran off towards the sound, and, guess who was calling for help? Galaxy! They could tell it was her because she looked like how Aunt Eliza described her: golden hair, and the dress that read “why not”?

“Are you Galaxy?” Cotton Candy asked Galaxy.

“Yes, I am. Are you my long lost sisters? If you are-”

“We are,” Winter interrupted.

“If you are,” Galaxy continued in her dream-like voice. “Can you help me get back my gems of Galaxy?”

“That is why we came,” Cotton Candy replied.

“Good. Set me free and we will begin our journey,” Galaxy instructed. They did as Galaxy instructed. Soon, Galaxy was stretching her body, while dancing around.

“I’m sorry, I just have been all cranked up for 4 years. The last time I remember straightening my legs was when I was 1 year old, when I was a baby.” Galaxy sighed. “The gems of Galaxy aren’t actually mine, they were Mother Maybe’s and Aunt Authority’s. They said the gems were powerful, but only if they fell into the right hands, and were used for the right thing.”

“Mother Maybe was our mother? And I thought our Aunt’s name was Eliza,” Winter and Cotton Candy chorused. Galaxy looked surprised.

“They didn’t tell you? Well, I’m telling you now, everything I just told you is true.” Courage braided her hair while speaking. “Did you go to that party?” Galaxy pointed to the fancy building that Aunt Authority/Eliza’s party was.

“Yes, we did. Why?” Cotton Candy asked.

“Because the people who took my mom, aunt and my gems were at that party. We have to go back, yes?” Galaxy responded.

“Anything you say, Galaxy.” Cotton Candy pretended Galaxy was a princess and she bowed to her. Galaxy laughed and then stopped.

“Now isn’t the time for laughing, people,” said Galaxy. “Come on, we need to find my gems. I’ll tell you what they look like. The gem of Mercury is a dark gray glitter glue ball, with a light blue clay M on it. The gem of Venus is a yellow V with white cloud charms hanging on it. The Earth gem is a flower with colors green and blue. Mars is an oven with un-meltable ice inside. Jupiter is a dark storm cloud with red dots on it: that stands for Jupiter’s storm. Saturn’s gem is a “miniature sculpture of a diamond with Saturn’s rings around it and it means Saturn is as valuable as a diamond. The Uranus gem is an ice bucket with blue spots. The Neptune gem is weight that weighs 3 ounces, but it can change its size. It’s handle says Neptune so you know it’s not some random weight. And last, the gem of Eris and MakeMake {mok-ae-mok-ae}, dwarf planets, is what looks like a rolled-up map. All the gems are supposed to be tiny, except the Neptune one, of course. They are supposed to be in my Sun bottle, which is shaped like the sun. But, somebody took them. And I don’t know who, or why, they took it.” Galaxy sniffled. Winter patted her on the back and Cotton Candy said,

“It’s all right, we’ll help you find it.”

“Yeah, Galaxy,” Winter agreed. “That’s our goal.”
          “Thanks guys.” Galaxy smiled.

“So, where do we start?” Winter asked.

“I don’t know,” Galaxy replied. Boom! Thunder crashed above them. Cotton Candy warned them,

“Um, guys? We better get inside.”

They quickly ran to another building that looked like it could collapse anytime soon. And that’s exactly what it did.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      

“Ahhhhhhhhh!” They screamed. A few seconds later, the collapse stopped, and they climbed out of the three-foot rubble. Luckily, the thunder stopped.

“I am so dirty!” Cotton Candy said, annoyed.

“So are we,” Winter and Galaxy chorused. “How are we going to find the gems?”

“I don’t know, wait! Look, there is one hovering above you, Cotton Candy,” Galaxy joked.

“No, that’s a map! Look, it shows where something is,” Cotton Candy corrected.

“Then let’s follow it. Come on, we are near one of the things the map shows, I hope they are gems!” Cotton Candy said.

So they set off for Mt. Everest. As they reached the foot of it, they saw that the gems of Eris and MakeMake, were floating on a peak of the mountain.

“I guess we’ll just have to climb,” Cotton Candy said. “Let’s go.” And off they went, trying hard to climb Mt. Everest.

To make a long story short: they made it out of breath and stopped for a while. Cotton Candy collected the gem as they went past. They kept on climbing, not realizing they were coming towards the Neptune gem. Again, Cotton Candy collected the gem and they kept on climbing. By the time they reached the top of Mt. Everest, they were really out of breath and had collected all the gems: Eris, Neptune, Uranus, Saturn, Jupiter, Mars, Earth, Venus, Mercury, and Galaxy’s Sun bottle. They were now standing at the top of Mt. Everest, cheering. The crowd below was getting bigger by the minute; they wanted to see the girls who had climbed Mt. Everest to help a friend. From where the girls were standing, the crowd still looked tiny. But that didn’t matter. They had completed their journey. And that’s what mattered.

                                      THE END

 _______________________________________________ 

      

                                                     My Magical Rock

                                                                           Book 1: The Beginning

                                                                                                by Alina Yang, 11

 

          I would tell you the truth, but I doubt you would believe me. Fine, I’ll tell you. Let’s just say it all started this afternoon. When I got home from school, there was a rock sitting on my bed. It was a very strange rock. And when I say strange, I mean it was literally glowing. And do you know what I did? I screamed at the top of my lungs. But that wasn’t because it was glowing, it was because eyes had just appeared on the rock.

          “AHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!” I yelped. Mom rushed to my side.

          “What?” She asked, looking around. But the rock had stopped glowing, and the eyes had disappeared, so there was no way to prove what I had seen.

          “Nothing. Never mind! I just...saw a bug. It’s gone now,” I lied. Mom looked at me strangely, as if she didn’t believe me. But she left anyway.

          Once mom was gone, I walked over to the rock and hesitantly picked it up. There was a note attached to it. This is what it said:

          Dear 13-year old Aurora,

          This rock is magical. It can make you go back in time, and travel into the future. Use it wisely. Hope you enjoy!                        From, Anonymous

The note sent a shiver down my spine. I didn’t know if I could trust this person who wouldn’t even tell their name. But I decided to keep it, for now at least. Little did I know then, that this was only the start to my “magical rock.”

 

                                                                               Book 2: Back in Time

 

          Would you believe me if I told you I activated a portal? I’m guessing you wouldn’t. But that’s exactly what I did today. Well, to be more specific, that’s exactly what I did right now. I was holding my new rock. My “magical rock”. And then, while holding it, I was thinking about my past. And that’s when a portal appeared in front of me. At first, I just thought it was a big bright shining circle standing in front of me. Then I realized I was a portal. A normal portal. But a portal to where? I decided to find out. I closed my eyes and took a deep breath, then stepped into the portal. As soon as I stepped into the portal, the weight of my body lightened. And I soon realized I was falling. I was falling and falling when my body hit the ground and my vision went black.

          When my eyes cleared, I realized I was in my bedroom. But I wasn’t the only one in there. There was another version of me, but younger, sitting at my desk. My mouth fell open as I started to realize what was happening. My “magical rock” which I was now starting to believe was actually magical, had created a portal that brought me back in time!

          I watched as the younger version of me stood up and walked downstairs. Can she see me? I thought. I decided to find out. I walked downstairs and into the kitchen. I ran to catch up with the younger me and stood in front of her. I waved and waved. But she just kept walking.

          “Hi! Hi! Hi!” I yelled, but she didn’t seem to notice me. Probably only I can see and hear her, but she can’t see and hear me. I thought. Then, I thought of something even more problematic. How will I get back to the present time? I thought, worried. As I followed the younger me back up to our room, I spotted a bright light shining from our bedroom. As we walked closer, I realized it was the portal! I must have a limited time here. I thought. I ran in front of the younger me and straight into the portal just as it sealed shut behind me. Whew! That was a close one! I could almost of gotten stuck there forever! I thought. All of a sudden, I dropped to the ground. But there was no ground. I kept falling and falling, deep down into nowhere. And then I recognized this. This was what happened when I was going through the portal to go back in time! I closed my eyes as I let my body fall in the air. Then I heard my puppy, Snowflake barking and realized I must’ve gone back into the present time. I tried to open my eyes, but my eyelids wouldn’t budge. I struggled and struggled when I finally felt exhausted and fainted.

          When I opened my eyes, I saw Snowflake by my side. She was barking and barking. Even when I tried to calm her down, she kept barking. After ten minutes of sitting there with my barking dog, I realized Snowflake was trying to tell me something. But what? 

                                                                  Book 3: Into the Future 

          A bright light shined down at me. I closed my eyes and looked away. When the light calmed down, I saw a figure of a woman wearing a long white dress holding roses and violets in her hand. She was beautiful.

          “Greetings, Aurora. I am Melody, the spirit who gave you your magical rock. Your dog Snowflake was trying to tell you I was coming. Snowflake was once my spirit pet. Until an evil witch cursed her, and she became a regular dog. But Snowflake can still sense me and get in touch with me. So, if you ever need me, seek your dog, Snowflake. You may be wondering why I didn’t tell you who I was in my letter to you, and that was because you wouldn’t possibly have believed me. So I decided to come see you in person. Now, I must go. Goodbye,” Melody said, as her body began to disappear. I stared at where Melody was just floating, my mouth hanging open. Then, I stared at Snowflake. Snowflake is magical? There’s an evil witch? Where did Melody come from? Magic is a thing? What just happened? So many thoughts flowed through my head. I wanted to believe it was all a dream. But no, magic was actually a thing! Thinking of magic, I remembered my magical rock, which I was 100% sure was magical now. After all I just saw, I’m convinced now that I live in a world where magic exists.

          I sat on my bed, thinking about how I activated a portal back into time. So then, I thought of what the future might be like. And soon enough, a portal was in front of me. I stepped into it without hesitation and began falling again. After the whole process of falling, and falling, and fainting, I finally opened my eyes to my future.


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                                             The Babysitter

 

     The house was an old, creaky Victorian horror, with staircases maids used on the 1890’s and big, deep fireplaces. Every time the Mitchells called for her to baby-sit their darling sons, Adam and Andy. Every time Hillary climbed the steep, creepy staircase that spilled onto a long hallway, Hillary couldn’t help but think about things watching her from the walls and ceiling. Not anything in particular, but  just something.

     “All right boys, time to go to bed!” Hillary beckoned toward the high staircase. The boys scrambled up from the colorful puzzle sprawled on the old-fashioned table and raced up the stairs in front of Hillary.

     Once the three got up the staircase, Adam walked towards the doorknob. He kissed all of his fingers, touched the doorknob, and spun around three times. He then proceeded to swing open the rickety door that led into the boy’s bedroom.

     “Why did you do that?” Hillary questioned Adam as he walked towards the heavy Empire chest of drawers.

     “What? Oh, the dance. You do that every night and they won’t bother you,” Adam smiled at her.

     “Oh,” Hillary said, playing along, thinking it was just a joke between the two close brothers. Goodnight. I’ll be downstairs if you need me.”

     But as Hillary closed the door to the boys’ room and went down the stairs, her mind concocted fears of the house. Was there really something that the twins did a ritual in order to not be bothered by it? Come on, Hillary thought. There’s nothing here. It’s just an old, creaky house.  

Just to be safe, Hillary decided she would stay up until Mr. and Mrs. Mitchell came back.

     Hillary sat down on the couch and took out her remaining homework. At least she had some free time to get things done. All of a sudden, a chill swept through the room. Keeping the old design of the house in mind, Hillary got up and pinched back the curtains. All of the trees and bushes outside were as still as she had seen then hours earlier. 

     WHAM! The door that enclosed the staircase up to the long, dark hallway slammed shut. A shock flew through Hillary’s body, from her sock-encased toes to her overworked brain. All thoughts of non-existence of odd things in the house vanished. Hillary heard the twins scream upstairs. Letting out a short squeal, Hillary rushed up the stairs.

     “What’s wrong?!” she shouted as soon as the door was open, breathless from her sprint up the stairs.

     “They’re here,” Andy yelled, his voice shaking with fear.  “We’ve heard them on the staircase before, but they don’t like it when people think they’re not here.” 

     Shocked, Hillary said, “Come on, why don’t we all go lie down downstairs. I’ll make sure they don’t hurt us.” She helped the boys gather their blankets, pillows and stuffed animals and went downstairs. With the boys hand in hand with her, she crept down the stairs with Andy and Adam. She unfolded the bed and once the boys were settled down (or as close to settled down as possible), Hillary started a fire in the fireplace of the now ice-cold room and lit some candles, for the power had apparently gone out. Standing up straight, Hillary thought, I knew nothing was here.  

     And suddenly, a figure appeared in the entrance to the staircase. The twins yelped, and soon Andrew was on the floor, a large cut on the side of his head. Wide-eyed and mouth dangling, Hillary’s eyes frantically darted back to the staircase. Nobody was there. 

     But then, the figure was within five feet of her.

     “Go away! This is our house now!” Hillary screamed, desperate to get rid of whatever this thing was. She ran to the twins’ bed, scooped Andy up, got him under the covers, and threw her arms over the cowering children.

“Stay away!” Hillary shrieked, then started breathing hard as if she had just been running. 

     The room instantly was lit up, and the figure was gone. The shadowy spirit was gone, but Hillary’s fear still had a spot camped out in the back of her head.

     “Are you two alright?” Hillary questioned Andy and Adam.

     “Ooooowww!” Andy shrieked, crying from his cut. “That man hurt me,” he answered.

“It’s okay, I’ll clean you both up right now,” Hillary said soothingly and led Andy to the bathroom. She dabbed his gash with a cotton ball and put a bandage on it. On the walk back to the living room, Hillary realized exactly what needed to be done.

          “Adam?” Hillary inquired. “Where do you keep your toys and games?”

          “In the closet next to the TV,” Adam answered, confused.

          Hillary strode over to the closet. After a few minutes of sifting though boxes and tattered play sets, she found what she was looking for.

          “All right, you two, come kneel beside me at the coffee table,” Hillary called as the knelt near the low table. She pulled the Ouija board from the box and laid it on the table. “Now, you see this little piece of plastic?”

          “Yes,” the twins responded in small voices.

          “Okay. Just put your fingers on it, but don’t press down too hard. If it moves, let it move. And don’t make it move anywhere.”

The puzzled children did as they were told. Hillary concentrated with all her might, saying the question, “What is your name?” over and over again. She repeated this plead again and again until she thought surely her head must explode. But then, the planchette moved. G-E-O-R-G-E, it spelled. Continuing the confident act, Hillary asked, “Are you sorry you scared us?” repeatedly until the piece of wood slid around again: Y-E-S, it produced. Overcome by a rush of relief, Hillary firmly thought, “Move over to the next life. This is not where you belong.”  The planchette slid to “GOODBYE”, a sign that nobody was listening.

          And at that very moment, Hillary was sure that whoever they had been, they were gone. Now, instead of having a dreary, cold feeling, the house was just a home. Everything had been resolved, simply by the acts of a frightened, but clever, babysitter.

 

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