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  Writing from Huntingdon, PA, USA

The Final Shot

By Molly, 13

The girls' shoes squeaked on the polished locker room floor. Their breaths were short and quick, and their pulses raced.

'Alright girls,' Katie said, as she felt arms come around her shoulders in the huddle, 'this is the game we've been waiting for,' she waited a moment and drew in a deep breath before continuing, 'the game that determines who has the better team, the better coach, the better players, this is our game. Our time.'

They were playing their arch rivals, the Hill Top Raiders.

The girls yelled, their feet brutally stomping the locker room floor.

'Whose house is this?!' Katie yelled. She smiled as she waited for the practiced reply.

'Our house!' The girls screamed.

And at that moment, they transformed. They were no longer just a team; they were the Schwenksville Warriors.

The gym was packed. Rowdy teens and nervous parents lined the bleachers; neither one seemed susceptible to blinking. When the final warm up buzzer came alive both teams threw their balls on the rack and trotted to their coaches.

'Remember what I said,' Coach Strait growled at Katie, as she went to take her spot for the jump ball. 'No playing dirty. Clean blocks, quick steals, and no elbows.'

He took her by the shoulder and spun her around to look at him. He felt the intensity of her sharp blue eyes drilling into him but spoke anyway.

'Do you hear me?'

Katie nodded but Coach felt like she wasn't listening. And the truth was, she wasn't. Katie Fillips was in another world, and nothing could bring her out of it.

At jump the Hill Top Raiders got the ball. As Katie looked over to see where her girl was, she saw Coach mouthing something to her. She smiled when she realized what it was. Clean blocks. Katie said to herself. I'll do my best, Coach.

Within the first minute Raquel Richmond, a short brunette guard from the Warriors stole the ball and half way down the court, passed to Katie. It should have been an easy basket, but what happened next would be engraved in both the crowds and players minds forever.

Katie snatched up the clean pass, no problem. But when she drove for the lay-up a Raider suddenly came up behind her and grabbed her long, curly blonde ponytail, yanking her to the ground. Katie screamed as her body slammed against the unforgiving glossed wood of the basketball court. She waited, laying face down on the court for the ref's whistle, but only the stillness of the gym could be heard. No one moved. Katie looked up and as she did she saw the Raider that had fouled her standing over top of her.

'Nice try, little girl,' she sneered, and walked to the other side of the court. The ref made a no call signal, crossing his hand and shaking his head as he walked up along the base line. That lit a fire under Katie. She jumped to her feet and charged towards the ref.

'Are you blind?' She yelled, 'that was such a foul! Did you not see that? She was ALL OVER ME!'

Katie's face was hot and she could feel it turning bright red. She heard the crowd start to boo the ref.
Good. She thought. At least SOMEONE saw it. Now he has to call it.

Katie crossed her arms over the 15 on her jersey and waited. Come on ref. She thought to herself. Mentally pleading with him. Call the foul.

'Technical. Number15. Number 34, shooting 2.'

Totally not what I meant!

Katie's jaw dropped. She thrust her gaze towards Coach Strait, who looked livid. He shot her a 'You oughta not say another word or you'll be running suicides at practice,' look and she slunk over to the baseline where her team was huddled around Coach Strait.

'Girls. Cool it. It's only the beginning of the 1st,' he spoke slowly and clearly, as if he was talking to his 2-year-old daughter. 'We don't need this DRAMA!' He growled, 'put your hands in, now!'

As they broke off though, silently thinking to himself, he knew that it was a foul, but also knew that Katie needed to keep her mouth shut when he told her to. We'll see what the rest of the game brings, he thought to himself, and took a seat on the bench.

The next 2 quarters went off without a hitch but at the buzzer of the 3rd the score was Warriors 46 Raiders 47.

At 30 seconds to go in the fourth, the score remained the same. Raquel grabbed a steal and once again passed down court to Katie. She was all alone at the bottom of the key with a perfect shot, so she took it. Suddenly though, as her hands started to leave the ball, a Raider appeared out of nowhere, grabbed her wrists and flung them down. An obvious foul, and not the first of the quarter.

Katie kept her mouth shut, until she reached Coach at the other side of the court.

'No fouls are being called!' She whisper-shouted. 'Do something!'

He nodded at her and as he walked up to the ref, he began to get angry. I should have listened to Kate in the first place. These officials are horrible. Then he looked up.

10 seconds on the clock.

Great. He thought to himself.

Katie watched in horror as Coach Strait quietly spoke to the ref. He nodded twice, shook his head once, and nodded again. Katie had no idea what was going on.

'Foul!' The ref yelled, as Coach Strait walked towards the bench. 'Number 34, Number 15 shooting 2.'

The Warriors cheered but Katie began to breathe heavily. The game depended on her.

10 seconds left, Katie thought to herself. Don't screw this up.

Katie held her head high as she approached the foul line. She put her foot on the line and blocked everything else out.

It was her, the ball, and the basket.

She shot and she could almost feel everyone in the gym hold their breath. She closed her eyes.
One, two, three. She breathed. Swish!

The scored was tied, 47 to 47. The warriors shooting one.

Katie held position on the line. She looked up at the basket, dribbled three times, and shot.

One, TWO, please! PLEASE!


Katie breathed a sigh of relief. Yes! She cheered to herself.

The crowed erupted into an ocean of applause and cheers but all Katie could hear was the ominous sound of the ref's whistle. She looked down.

Oh no. Her face fell. Her shoe was just over the foul line. The crowd gasped.

The game that determined everything, the game both teams had been prepping for the whole season, ended tied 47 to 47 with the coaches faces in their hands, and players staring at Katie's foot that just crossed the thick black line.

The buzzer sounded and the ref called overtime. Coach Strait yelled for a time out and talked to his frightened looking team of girls.

'Alright ladies,' he breathed, 'you know our play.'

They all looked at each other and smiled. They held their heads high as they stalked onto the court.

Raquel held the ball in her palm and called out the play, 'Victory!'

'Run it,' she breathed at Katie, who held her position at the low block. 'Move. NOW.'

Katie reluctantly obeyed. They held the ball. No turn-overs, no steals, no blocks. Just passing. And that's what they did. The clock ticked down the last minute, and that's when the play began to run.
The four offensive girls put a screen on their defenders and held them back. Raquel came up behind Katie and took her girl while she passed her the ball.

The crowd counted down.

5, 4, 3..

Katie took the ball up to the hoop.

2, 1!!

It wobbled in. Rolled around on the rim. Katie held her breath. Please. She begged silently.

The ball seemed to stop on the rim, not able to decide what it wanted to do. But suddenly, it fell into the net, giving Katie the satisfying swish the ball made as it fell through.

'Yes!' She shrieked, as the final buzzer clicked on. She could almost feel the tension in the room dropping to an all time low.

The team erupted into a mob around Katie. Cheers were heard as they exited the gym.

The final score held true at 47 to 49. And the undefeated Warriors held their trophy in their worthy hands.
(August 2008)

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Who's Famous

By Becca, 12

'I'm a lot better than you Carrie and I can sing. What can you do? Oh I know, nothing, because you are dumb!' Bethany screamed in Carrie's face.

'No!' Carrie said, calmly, but to get Bethany's attention, 'I can actually show cows and sing.'

'But who would want to be near those big ugly things. And you can not sing at all. I'm the best in this school and you know it you little baby!!'

Just before Carrie is going to say something back to Bethany, the school bell rings to go to their next class.

'Whatever,' said Carrie, stomping as she walked away.

And they both waked to their classes. Carrie and Bethany did not like each other at all. Bethany would always brag in Carrie's face about she was going to be famous, and Carrie was going to milk cows the rest of her life and mount to nothing. It made Carrie really, really mad but all she would say was that she could become famous by showing cows and then she could sing if she wanted to.

'Ok class, today we are going to going to have a free read day! Does everyone have a book?'

'I don't,' Carrie said, with lots of anger, slamming her glasses down.

'Now, go get it!' She said, as she looked down at her glasses, and screamed.

'Now look what you did. Carrie you made me break my glasses, you little brat!!'

The whole period Carrie could not stop thinking about how mean Bethany was.

'Why does Bethany have to be so mean to me? I mean, that she just thinks that all I do is milk cows and I cannot sing, well maybe she does not know what she is talking about. Maybe someday, she will be living in a regular sized house and making minimum wage. All she ever does is make fun of me and tells me I will never amount to anything. And she thinks she is all that, and all the teachers love her and all her popular friends. Most of the teachers hate me anyway and all they ever do is yell at me and tell me that I can't do anything! Bethany is always in my face and she is so annoying.'

Now, the teacher could tell that she was not reading, and she told her to read or she would get a detention.

'Carrie, read or you are going to go to the office and you will get a zero for your next home work grade,' the teacher said, madly.

'I was reading until you started talking to me,' Carrie said.

All the students looked up and stopped talking.

'What page are you on?' she asked, curiously.

'100, why?' Carrie asked, annoyed.

'Ok! Like, you don't have to be like, so mean. Like, ok?' the teacher, said like a prep.

'I was not being like, mean at all like, you are the one like, being really mean!' Carrie said, mocking the teacher

'Read!' The teacher screamed!

'Ok,' Carrie said, calmly, but inside she was bubbling with anger. 'Why does that old creepy lady have to be so mean and talk like a prep when she is yelling?! She makes me so mad.'

On the other side of the hall, Bethany was having math class. She was thinking about Carrie too.

'Carrie is so ugly, stupid and poor. Unlike me, I'm beautiful and smart and really rich. She is really dumb and all she ever does is milk cows and work, I mean who would want to work when they could be shopping at the mall, and sitting and watching TV and eating. I will show her what I mean when I get the chance. Its all in the plan, brag about, go for what I bragged about, become famous, and then get in her face if I see her again, but I probably will not because I'll be famous. In addition, all the teachers love me, so if I need a higher grade they might give me something to make my grade higher. Then, I will be perfect and that Carrie girl will be working at Burger King making minimum and living in a really small house,' Bethany thought those mean thoughts about Carrie.

Then, all of a sudden the bell rang to switch classes. Their thoughts were interrupted by the bell. Now they both had social studies. This was going to be a disaster and it was not going to be pretty! When Carrie walked into the room she could tell that Bethany was up to something. When Bethany saw Carrie walk in the room she got up from her seat and went to hers.

'You!' Bethany said, kind of yelling, 'You are a disgrace to the world!'

'Whatever!' Carrie replied.

'You need to get a life and stop talking about me like that!' She was now screaming at Carrie.

'Why should I stop talking about you when you talk to me mean every day I come to school?!' Carrie argued.

'No, you need to stop right now Carrie, you are the one being mean!' Bethany said, trying to hide the fact she was lying but it wasn't working at all.

'You are the one who started it and plus I wouldn't even start a conversation with you because by what you said you're too good for me.'

'Whatever, you better stop right now or I'm going to tell the teacher, he is right behind you,' she said.

'Ok,' Carrie said, annoyed.

The teacher was saying something about what page to turn on but Carrie was not paying any attention to him. She was too mad to think. Bethany was really starting to make her really, really mad. Then the teacher was yelling at everyone for not paying attention. Then, he said get out your homework. Tell me if you did it or not, then, I will check. He said all the people's names, Bethany was last because of her last name, and when she said she didn't do it he didn't even yell at her. He yelled at everyone else who did not do it.

'See, she is babied too much, she should get yelled at like everyone else who did not do their homework. And she smiled when she said she didn't do it, and he just smiled back and said, 'Ok whatever,' and didn't even get mad at all,' Carrie thought, as they went over their homework.

Then it was time to go home and Carrie was glad to go home. She couldn't stand Bethany any longer. Carrie wanted to go home and see her cows. When she got home, she went to the mailbox as the bus roared off. When she was looking through the mail, she saw a paper that said register now, and she tore the envelope open and when she saw what it was she was very happy. It was a form to register for the World Dairy Expo in Madison, Wisconsin. She knew what two cows she was going to take right away because they were the ones who had placed high in the other shows she showed them in.

A few weeks later Carrie was running everywhere to get things she would need for the show. She would have to get everything ready, because she could not come home after she got there. Carrie was getting the brushes, shampoo, and rope halters ready when she heard a strange sound behind her and she turned around to see what it was. What she heard was her cow Rosy-Red and she was licking Carrie.

'What are you doing, Rosy?' Carrie said, laughing.

Rosy just looked at Carrie and stood there. Rosy had gotten out of the pasture that she was in. Rosy does not like being in the pasture at all. Rosy jumped fences often when she knew someone was around so that they could pet her. So Carrie went and put the halter on her and tied her up so she wouldn't jump the fence and get dirty. Therefore, Carrie would have some company. It was thirty minutes until she would have to start to head for Madison. She almost had everything in the show box when she looked at her phone; it was her Dad calling.

'Hello?' She said, worried.

'Um, I can not leave work until 11 tonight so you will have to drive to Madison by yourself,' her dad said.

'But why can't you tell them you have to leave to go to Madison in thirty minutes? And will you be coming after you get off work?' Carrie asked her dad.

'Yes, at five in the morning tomorrow, and if I leave now I'll lose my job,' he said to her.

'Ok,' Carrie said, not wanting to drive the whole way to Madison.

Then they hung up and she had twenty minutes until she had to leave because if she was not there on time then she might not get her two spaces in the barn. Then that would be really bad. She would have to go home because there would be no space in the barn for them. She walked over to Rosy and patted her on the head.

'Guess we are on our own girl, just you, Anne, and me,' said Carrie.

Then she went to get the truck, so she could load all her stuff in it. And she had to hurry. There were only 15 minutes left. After she loaded all her stuff in the truck, she went to get Anne out of the pasture. When she came back with Anne, she put her on the trailer and then went and untied Rosy and put her on too. She was all ready to go when she remembered she forgot the signs with the cows names on it. Therefore, she had to run back into the house to get them. When she was sure she had everything ready to go they started to go to Madison.

It was a long drive to Madison. She had 2 more hours to go. And she had to stop for a break and give the cows more hay. When she was back on the road, she was really getting tired of driving. Another 2 hours went by, slowly. When it was coming close to the end of the long trip she saw a sign that said World Dairy Expo 2 miles.

'Yes!' Carrie said, out loud.

Before she even knew, it was Monday, the day of her show with Anne. She was standing in line to get her numbers for the show.

When it was her time to show she took Anne to the ringside and waited for the last show to be over. Then she took Anne slowly, into the ring and showed her. When the judge put them in order he put Carrie and Anne first! Carrie could not think that she just won her class. She took Anne back to her pen and gave her some hay. Then she looked at Rosy who had gotten third in her class. Rosy did well, but she wouldn't go to the final class. When it was time to go in for the final show, she took Anne to the show ring. Then went and showed her in the ring. Before she realized it, she and Anne were in the front of the rest of the cows.

'I got Grand Champion with you, Anne!' Carrie screamed, with excitement in her head.

Anne just looked at her and mooed. But Carrie could tell that she knew that she did something good for her. After she got her ribbons and trophy, she and Anne had to get their picture taken. After that she went back to find her dad talking on his cell phone. He smiled at her and lipped to her that it was her Mom. She was over in Iraq fighting.

'She just got here from getting her pictures taken,' he said, 'here she is.'

'Hello,' Carrie said, 'how are you?'

'Good,' her mom said back, 'heard you got Grand Champion with your cow!'

'Yeah, she got first in her age group and then when I went back in for the final class she got Grand Champion,' Carrie said, 'I wish you could be here.'

'You're fine,' she said, 'you got Grand Champion, right, and you drove all the way to Madison, by yourself.'

'I guess, but still,' Carrie said.

'You'll be fine, ok? I got to go because there are lots of people waiting for the phone too and get back to work,' her mother said, encouragingly.

'Ok, I guess I will let you get back to work then,' Carrie said, disappointed.

'Congratulations winning the show, Carrie, bye,' her mother said.

'Bye,' Carrie said, hanging up the phone.

'Wonder who Bethany is screaming at now since I'm not there?' Carrie wondered.

In the morning, her and her dad would be packing up to go back home. She really didn't want to go home but she had to. She would have to deal with Bethany again at school. More yelling at each other and the teachers the worst part.

'But I can take Bethany and her little plans to make me miserable and the teacher yelling everything. I can take it,' Carrie thought to herself on her way home to Pennsylvania.

On their way back Carrie and her dad were talking and laughing about their week in Madison. Carrie was also thinking about how she was going to get back at Bethany. She was thinking for an hour or more and then she thought of it. She would go when Bethany was 17 or older and when she had a job. Then she would get her back. When they got home, they unloaded the cows and all the showing stuff. Then she went to her room to write down her plan to get Bethany back, on a piece of paper. She put it in a very safe place.

3 years later Carrie's whole life changed. She went from showing cows in Madison to singing in Nashville. She had been singing at all the places she could now and Carrie had just gone for a interview for a record deal. She hoped that she got it. She liked cows, but her best ones had all died. Carrie didn't have the money to buy another good animal so she started to sing.

'Hope you get the record!' Carrie's dad called after her, as she walked up the walk.

'I'll be fine, I hope,' she waved as she got into the car and drove away.

Carrie could see that her steering wheel was wet with sweat and her knuckles were white. As she pulled in the parking lot, she had to calm herself down. She walked up and knocked on the door. She came and sat down. The woman asked her a few questions about her. The woman asked her to sing her best song. Carrie sang a song called Shooting Stars. When she was done singing, the woman told her to go get the phone and calls a number. When Carrie did so, a man answered and asked who was this and then he told her to give the phone to the woman

'Can you go to the kitchen to get us some coffee or tea? Your choice,' the woman said.

Carrie nodded and went. She figured that the woman had to say something that she couldn't hear now. When she got back the woman hung up the phone and told her that she had a record deal. Carrie was now jumping up and down, screaming.

After she had been in the music business for two years, she had made it pretty far. She had four number one songs that lasted for 7 weeks. In addition, she won the best video of the year and best female singer of the year. One day Carrie had a chance to go back home, so she went. On her way she had to stop to get something to eat. She wanted to get back fast, so she stopped at Burger King. And Carrie sees Bethany. Her worst enemy! But she was there and could not leave because she was in the front of the line too. Bethany asked her what she wanted before she recognized her.

'Hi,' Bethany said to Carrie.

'Hi,' Carrie said back

'Heard that you became a singer,' Bethany said.

'Yeah and all you said when we were in school is that you were going to be the one to be famous,' Carrie said.

'I know, and you were actually really nice and I shouldn't of been so mean,' Bethany said.

'Its fine, I knew that you didn't mean it even though you got on my nerves,' Carrie said, smiling.

'I should have known that all my friends would ditch me after high school anyway,' Bethany said as they walked out of Burger King together.

'Hey, want to come on the bus with me to figure this out?' Carrie asked.

'Sure,' Bethany said.
(August 2008)

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By Kayla, 13

'How did I get here? This isn't me. I'll admit it, I am spoiled but not in the way that you may think. I spend most of my time and money trying to make the world a better place. It might have been something deserving, but some people aren't ready for some things. I definitely wasn't ready.'

'Here, you deserve this for all that you've done, we are so proud of you Kelly!' Her mom said, with joy.

'Thanks, but you really don't have to do this,' Kelly lied to be polite.

'Okay then, no wait I will accept your generosity!' Kelly interrupted her dad's joke.

Kelly swiped the credit card out of her mother's hand and kissed her parents and ended with a big hug with one parent in each arm.

She couldn't wait to use the credit card on something useful, like to go shopping and get some stuff for the kids down the block who are poor. She knew that those kids needed her three years ago. Now Kelly has been spoiling those kids like no other. People didn't understand Kelly. She was sweet, kind, and cared for others. Even those who cared for her didn't understand the reason for her positive influence on the world. She dressed like the selfish, rich people that laughed at the needy. Kelly was different. She was someone that was so rare. Kelly was someone that wouldn't tear others down to build herself up. She was one in a million.

It was the first time in five years where she would have a day to herself and buy something to reward her. It was a shirt that had 'Save the World' written all over the front with a graphic of the earth on it. It was twenty-five dollars.

'Well, I love this shirt and it's so me, I have twenty dollars and I could use the credit card. What is five dollars going to hurt?' Kelly whispered, to herself.

Kelly knew, that the credit card was for emergencies only, but, that didn't stop her. She took out the credit card and had a bad feeling on her fingertips, once she handed the card to the cashier. The cashier slid the card down the credit card machine. Something hit Kelly and it wasn't an object. It was an emotion, not a good one either.

'Have a nice day!' the cashier said, excitingly.

Kelly thought, 'Too late. Conscience, why did you have to come so late? How come you couldn't just hit me while I was looking at the shirt? I could return it but then I would have to tell my parents all about it. They are right outside the door of this clothing store! I completely forgot they always wait for me!'

Kelly returned to her thoughts, 'Well, I'll just tell them I got something awesome and I'll take the price tag off and after school tomorrow I'll return it,' Kelly thought, 'But the bill might come, oh no. Well, I'll just see later after all everything happens for a reason. So maybe, just maybe me using the credit card without thinking was supposed to happen maybe this is a lesson I'm supposed to teach myself to learn responsibility.'

She was shaking yet, walking at the same time. Kelly has never gotten in trouble before. She's always helped the people that were in trouble. No, the person that was in the trouble.

'Did you get the reward?' Her mom hoped she got something deserving.

'Yeah, I got a shirt that I thought represented me and my beliefs in life,' Kelly said, relieved.

Kelly was trying very hard to get it together and to tell her mom how much she wanted to represent the world and be a great role model for the kids she helps. Her wardrobe was always very bland and plain with no actual style. She would wear plain colors and wouldn't care what people thought, which is a good thing. Or is it? Is it a good thing that she doesn't let people tear her down to build them up? Kelly thought so this time, all she thought was, it can be boring and be a good representation.

Unlike her wardrobe Kelly's beliefs are out of this world. She lives to care and cares for other lives.

'That's great you finally got a personal style Kelly.'

'Mom, it's just a shirt that has expressive meaning. It's not like we went on a shopping spree to go on a mission to find something missing in my life, clothes! I didn't get five billion outfits.'

'True, but I'm not ever going to say that you don't deserve it!' Her mom persuaded.

Kelly hadn't felt this bad since she had been persuaded to eat Brussel sprouts. She felt yucky and wished she would take everything back. Well, not the Brussel sprouts because now she knows not to eat Brussel sprouts.

Kelly then went home with her parents and went straight to bed. She didn't even eat because she felt so bad. But, what she didn't know was her parents already knew about the incident. Her parents saw her give the credit card to the cashier and they specifically recalled that Kelly knew that it was for emergencies only!

The next day Kelly didn't suspect a thing. Her parents called her downstairs and said that they needed to talk to her. Kelly completely forgot about the day before, yet as soon as she saw her parents her stomach dropped.

'Kelly, do you have something to tell us?' her mom hoped she wouldn't lie.

'Yes, (her mother was relieved) I have to go to the mall. It turns out that the shirt isn't perfect so I'm going to return it.'

Her mother suddenly got struck with disappointment

'Kelly we know what you did. How could you? I'm pretty sure you knew that the credit card was for emergencies only,' her mom, worried.

'I'm so sorry, it was only five dollars added but still, you trusted me for that I apologize,' Kelly said.

'You can give me any punishment!'

'Any?' her mother asked.

'Any,' Kelly said, realizing what just happened.

Kelly's punishment wasn't to be grounded or to help or gibe her parents five dollars. Kelly loved giving time so that wasn't an option for her. Her punishment was to work at that store she got the shirt from and the number of dollars off the credit card was the number of weeks she worked.

'Five weeks at that store, selfish people go in there.'

Kelly got a mad look on her face and she couldn't keep it there for much longer.

The next few weeks she started working there and never stopped giving. The days she had off were her giving days. The work wasn't bad at all. Kelly is much the opposite. Kelly had learned her lesson and worked longer than she suspected.

Everything Kelly had been through was just so unbelievable.
(August 2008)

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China Town

By Jill , 12

Brad and Travis are 25, live in a two bedroom apartment, have no college education and no job. They live in Chesapeake, Virginia and have been best friends since 1st grade. Travis and Brad also have another person that lives in their closet. That would be Dinggo. You see, Brad thinks that Dinggo is an old friend of Travis' and the same thing with Travis.

But one day when Travis and Brad were watching TV, they got extremely hot. So Brad went into the kitchen to get some ice to put in their bubbling sodas. But when he got there, he saw something so unbelievable that he screamed his lungs out. Dinggo and Travis ran in to the kitchen to see Brad huddled in a tiny ball quivering as if he had just witnessed a murder.

Quickly he got down on one knee and asked cautiously,

'What happened? Are you ok?'

Travis noticed a stutter in his answer.

'It, it, it's gone, all g... g....gone,' said Brad.

'What are you talking about?' replied Travis?

'Th,th,the ice.'

'Noooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo,' screamed Dinggo!

Travis ran in to the TV room and started to pace around in a circle.

'Are you sure there's no ice in the freezer?' he asked.

Then Brad replied,'Yeah. I didn't see anything except a couple of bags of hot pockets and hot dogs.'

While pacing around the room, Travis noticed that Brad had gotten up off the floor and was heading for the pickup truck.

'Well, then I guess we have no choice but to go and find some,' said Brad.

Then Travis asked, 'What about Dinggo?'

'Just leave him there, he'll never know we left,' answered Brad.

So Travis locked the door to the house and took off running to get in the car.

While Travis and Brad were traveling along the highway looking for gas stations and other places that sold ice, they were having an argument about places selling ice and how hot it was.

'We're never going to find any ice out here when it's this hot!' yelled Travis.

'There's got to be a place out here somewhere,' said Brad.

All of a sudden they came across an employee of a local gas station carrying bags of ice into a giant freezer.

'This is it, Travis,' exclaimed Brad!

They pulled in to the parking lot, got out of the car, but by the time they got there, the ice was either completely melted or sold out. Brad told Travis to go into the gas station and ask if they had anymore ice left in the back. When Travis came back he explained that all the ice was already put into the freezer outside. Brad seemed very upset. So the both of them got back into the car, pulled out onto the highway and began another search for their ice.

Along the highway, the guys were getting tired and even thirstier from the heat. Travis was starting to get delusional from all the heat and it was also making both of them angrier at each other.

They had been traveling from place to place trying to get their ice, but it had always been sold out. But after 7 hours of looking for ice, they came across an old beat up Chinese restaurant/drive through. They had no freezer outside but from a distance they could see that the drive through menu had a large picture of a bag of ice on it. So Brad hurriedly pulled in to the drive through and started to talk to the Chinese woman in the speaker.

'Hello, and welcome to Chinese Wonton. How may I help you?' asked the woman, in a Chinese accent.

'Um yeah, could I get 1 bag of ice,' asked Brad.

'No,' said the Chinese woman.

'Why not?' said Brad.

'You must buy something else from menu.'

'Well then, could I get an order of the Wonton Soup?'


'Well, how about some fortune cookies?'


'Look lady, we're not in China and I refuse to play your Chinese voodoo mind games!'

'No Chinese mind games. Serious order.'

'Ok. Now that we have that all cleared up, could I have an order of the Wonton Soup please?'


Brad was getting very frustrated. 'That's it. I swear that I will come in there and beat you up if you say no again!'

There was silence for a brief period of time until the Chinese woman said, 'No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no.'

Right then Brad lost his temper, jumped half way out of the window and literally attacked the speaker until it's pieces were hanging there, and all over the floor. So Travis quickly took the wheel and drove into the parking lot. But Brad was still trying to attack the speaker. They had no choice but to go in and try and get the ice in person.

As they walked in, they could see that the place was almost empty, other than the employees.

Travis and Brad went up to the ordering desk and Travis asked, 'Excuse me, but can I get one bag of ice?'

A Chinese man turned around and answered, 'Were you the young man that just destroyed our ordering speaker?'

But to avoid getting in trouble with them or possibly the police they lied and said, 'No. We just got here.'

'I'm sorry, but you have to order something else to get the bag of ice,' stated the Chinese man.

'Ok, then could I have an order of your Wonton soup and four Fortune Cookies?'

Then the Chinese man's eyes got wide and then he said, 'You a big liar. I recognize your voice from a broken speaker! You have to speak to Big Chief now.'

The Chinese man clapped his hands twice and from the back of the room you could see a figure emerging from the shadows of the greasy kitchen. When the figure got close enough, Travis and Brad were so shocked that their eyes were as wide as a picture frame. The man in the crown and Chinese robe was Dinggo.

Brad and Travis were so confused that they didn't talk until they heard Dinggo.

'Who has summoned me?' questioned Dinggo.

The Chinese man replied, 'I did sir. You see these two boys have just broken our speaker and now they are trying to order from inside.'

Dinggo looked over at the guys and said, 'Travis? Brad? What are you guys doing here?'

The Chinese man looked confused, 'Wait, you know these men sir?' asked the man.

'Yup,' answered Dinggo, happily.

Then Brad answered, 'We are trying to get ice for our drinks, but your employees won't let us have any, even after we ordered something else just like they told us to.'

'Dong, get these men some ice. Pronto! Sorry about all the trouble guys, 'said Dinggo.

Then Travis replied, 'Hold on for one second here! You mean that after seven hours of looking for and trying to get ice, we could have just asked you and we would have been home right now drinking cold soda?!'

'Yeah, that seems about right,' said Dinggo, calmly.

Then the Chinese employee came out with a cold bag of ice for Travis and Brad.

And Travis replied, 'Thanks man.'

Then Brad asked, 'Hey Dinggo, do you want a ride back to the apartment?'

'Yeah, that would be great!' said Dinggo.
(August 2008)

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Demons, Demons Everywhere

By Kaitlyn, 12

'Why is this happening to me, what did I do to deserve this?' Rose said, to a Guardian Angel.

As Rose lay there, scratched and harmed from the demons, her guardian angel stood there looking at her.

It was October 29, 1990 when Rose was trying to get into Law school. It was a beautiful morning, there were no clouds in the sky. Rose went out to get the mail. She went out skipping. Her hair was blowing in the summer wind and she had on her favorite skirt and shirt. She lived in the country and her family had a big farm full of livestock. They had been very wealthy, nice and happy people. She skipped all the way to the end of her lane. When she got to her mailbox she pulled out some letters and junk mail and also the two jolly ranchers the mail lady gave them each day. She went through them to see if she had got anything from the colleges she had been applying for. She didn't. So she started back into the lane this time walking with her head down.

When she got into her beautiful house she laid down on her sofa. Her mom came into the room with a child on her hip. Rose took the child from her and started playing with her.

'Hello, my precious baby.' Rose asked, 'Can you say 'Hi mommy'?'

But she couldn't, she was too young. Rose loved her little girl so much but she felt bad for her. She was two months old and never saw her father in her life. When Rose told him that she was with child, he bailed and didn't tell her where he was going.

Then Rose looked around and said,' I haven't been out to eat in a long time, lets go to McDonalds.'

Then she took Sydney up to get her changed into something nice.

'Alright, Sydney which shirt would you like to wear? Your McDonalds one, or this one?'

Sydney pointed to the one with big green letters on a pink background. She changed her diaper and put on her shirt and blue denim pants. When they got to the door she put on her shoes, grabbed her purse and held her daughter and walked out to get into the car with her mother.

When they got to Mickey D's they went inside and got a table and a height chair. Rose went over to the counter. She ordered a Happy Meal and two number fours both with cokes and one with Hi C. She took it back to the table and began eating.

'Mom, do you think that Sydney needs a father?'

'I don't know, I mean I raised you by myself for 17 years,' she said.

It wasn't that she didn't get married. Her husband died when Rose was only two months old; the same age as Sydney. Rose shook her head. Then they ate with out any discussion.

When they got home Rose put Sydney in the bathtub for her daily bath. She got her favorite care bear cup. Then she started the water and let I run until it was to Sydney's belly button. Then she poured water onto her head to get her hair ready to put in the Johnson baby shampoo and body wash. She squirted it onto her hair and started to swish it around. Then, she put onto a washcloth and washed her baby's body. Then she went out and got a towel to dry Sydney off. When she walked into her room she felt weird. She felt as f something was in there with her and that it was staring at her. So she put her into her crib and got into to bed and fell asleep.

She shot up and looked at the clock. It was three A.M and she smelled something burning. So she went out and looked down the hall. There was nothing there. So she got back into bed. Then she felt something large and invisible on top of her that was pressing down on her so hard that she couldn't breathe. Then her shirt had started to go up so she pulled it down. Again and again, it started to choke her forcefully.

She screeched, 'Get off! Get off me right now!'

She had read about this somewhere but didn't know what it was. Her shirt was up by her neck now and she was almost dead from lack of oxygen and it still didn't let go.

She tried to talk again this time praying to Jesus, 'In the name of Jesus Christ I demand you to be gone.'

But it still just didn't want to. Then she felt something go down her throat. And she heard a voice and it sounded like the devil himself and it spoke to her, 'I've got you now and I'm never letting go.'

It laughed and the pain was all over. After that she started screaming and her mother came into her room.

She looked scared, 'What's the matter with you?'

Rose spoke, 'I'm not sure. Something came inside of me I can feel it.'

She cried, as she put her hands over her face, suddenly she fell to the ground and all of the joints locked up. She knew that the thing inside her was making her like this. So her mother called 911 and told them what had happen to her.

The next morning she called him and got the answering machine. Then about ten minutes later the phone rang. She jumped, although knew it was going to happen.

'Hello, I saw that you called. May I ask who this is?' said the man on the other line.

'This is Samantha, Rose's mother. Is this the priest?'

'Yes. Are you the young lady in the E.R. that I saw? Because I know exactly what is wrong with your daughter,' he said, with confidence, 'your daughter is possessed.'

She stopped. And blurted out, 'Huh? What is that? What kind of medication should we get her?' She sounded puzzled.

'Madam there is nothing you can do. The only cure is an exorcism. And madam, possessed mean that last night at 3:00 A.M demons came into your daughter's body and now they can control her thoughts, actions and everything about her when they want to. They make the joints lock up and her eyes will turn black and their mission is to destroy the body so they will make her hurt herself.'

She was about to fall down but she didn't. Then she questioned.

'What priest should we get? And is it guarantee?' He paused, not wanting to tell her the truth.

'Well,' he said, 'I am a priest and I can perform the exorcism for but it is not a guarantee.'

She was sad; she knew she would have to lie to Rose just to get her to say yes.

When they both got home she sat her on the couch and said,' I need to talk to you, I know what is the matter with you.'

She looked excited because she thought that she could take medicines for this. Her mother sighed and looked straight into her eyes and replied, 'There is demons inside your body, they can control everything about you but there is a way to get rid of them and that's to have an exorcism. Their mission is to destroy your body so they will make you hurt yourself but the exorcism is a definite guarantee.'

She started to cry. 'This isn't real. This isn't happening to me. Why would God let this happen to me? What did I do to deserve this?'

She started to mumble things like curse words and other nasty messages. She cried the rest of the night thinking what would happen to her baby girl left alone. What's going to happen to her?

When she got home she went up and kissed Sydney and then went and turned off the lights. She slept for about two hours and then she had the urge to get up and walk to the bathroom. She pulled the covers off of her and got out of her bed and walked down the narrow hallway to the bathroom at the end of it. As she was walking she felt the presence of a demonic force and she knew what was about, all out the ground moving her arms and using different voices to talk. Her pupils turned black and her face pale. She was sliding down the hallway screaming and yelling 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. Her mother finally heard and called the priest and said, come in two days to do the ritual. So he said he would but what they forgot at the moment was that in two days was All Hallow's Eve.

All Hallow's Eve came with ease and the priest showed up with all these different materials he needed to perform such a task. He had holy water, three bibles, a crucifix and a tape recorder because all exorcisms has to be recorded, so if it doesn't work they can look at it again to see what went wrong. He made Rose sit in the purple flowered chair and tied her hands and feet to the arms and legs to the brown chair legs. Then he sprinkled holy water on her and said something in Hebrew. Rose's chest popped out and her eyes turned black and then the priest said, 'We aren't going to be talking to Rose tonight. We are going to talk to the one inside of her, the demon.'

They started to read passages from the Catholic Bible.

'Think you can draw me out priest, try! I am the one who dwells within,' the demon said that was in Rose's body.

The priest looked at it and said, 'I am the one who comes in his name!!'

Then she unsnapped the rope and slapped him in the face, and said, '1,2,3,4,5,6.'

The Priest looked at her and screamed, 'Tell me your name, Evil One.'

A few moments later, the demon stood up and fell and said, 'One name? I don't think so, try six.'

He spoke again, 'Tell me your name, I demand you to tell me your six names.'

Then the priest put a cross on it's chest and said a Hebrew prayer. The girl started freaking out. She jumped all over the place, and screaming and grunting.

And the demon said, 'Think you can defeat me? Wrong.'

Then, out of nowhere a dark cloud appeared and she started to howl and the girl said,'I am Christopher and I am the demon inside.' It laughed. 'Tried to get me out, eh? Well, it didn't work priest. I am Beliah, and I am number two. I am Saber, and I'm number three. I am Lucas, I am number four. I am Baeya, and I'm number five, and I'm number six and my name is Lucifer the Devil in Flesh.'

So then the demon ran straight up to the priest and grabbed his throat and said,' I hope you burn in hell like the rest of us.'

Then the priest said, 'In the name of Jesus Christ, I command you to be gone.'

But the demon laughed again. 'You can't defeat me.'

So the priest looked around and started talking in Hebrew. And the demonic forces started screaming. He kept sprinkling holy water on her and tell them to go back to where they came from. Then she fell, the joints tightened and her mouth wide open. The priest knew that he couldn't get the demons out of her. So then he tried his last ritual. He pointed to the heavens and prayed. As he prayed he put another crucifix on her heart and prayed a prayer something like this,

'Dear Jesus. This girl has been through enough. Save her from these evil creatures and give me the power to demand them to leave, and let Rose get on with her life, and when they escape please let me see these dreadful creatures faces so I can put shame on them, and in your Heavenly name. Amen.'

Then he turned while Rose was crawling and eating bugs and hurting herself.

And screamed at the top of his lungs, 'In the name of Jesus Christ and all power of the good I command you to be gone.'

Then Rose suddenly lay on her back with her legs tucked behind her and she screamed and the priest knew exactly what do next and what was going to happen next.

'When you leave her body I demand you to show your hideous faces.'

Then Rose's chest popped up and ugly little creatures showed their faces. And as they went out he was scared to death and each one came out one at a time and he heard, 'Christopher, Beliah, Saber, Lucas, Baeya and Lucifer.'

He was scared to death because he saw the evil in the flesh. Rose sprang up and hugged the priest and now she gets on with her life.

(August 2008)

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I'll Meet You There

By Alexis, 13

The air was cool, moist, and sweet against her tear drenched cheeks. She held her hands up to block what little sunshine was left and gazed out at the liquid sheet of sea. How greatly her heart ached for the ocean right now. The way the waves rolled up, curved under, and came crashing down all in one swift motion. Why couldn't she be part of that? So simple. So calming. So careless.


Karrissa jumped at the sudden disturbance and turned away from the only thing that mattered to her. And what she faced to see only made matters worse. Matt, her love, was running towards her, eyes full of shock, face covered in worry and confusion. The tendons in his neck strained out and shown violently through his skin with each step he took. He stumbled his way to her, and came to a sudden stop that caused sand to fly up and create a shimmering gold blanket of privacy that swirled and twirled around them for a second or two before falling back to the beach floor. He propped his forearms upon his knees to rest and to catch his breath. Karrissa watched him for a moment before turning back to the sea. The sun was almost completely dipped beneath the earth turning the sky a splattered appearance of deep purples and navy blues, mango oranges, and flamingo pinks. She drank in the sight of it, and felt her adrenaline lower to a normal heartbeat. She closed her eyes. Thankful, that the unwanted sensation was long gone, but felt a sudden sickness in her stomach remembering what Doctor Richards had told her a few months back.

'They will always come and go, Karrissa. There is nothing you can do to stop them. However, how you handle them when they do appear determines how bad they hit and what damage they cause.'

She took yet another deep breath and let it out. Her chest felt pounds lighter and she welcomed the glory of taking a deep breath without the pain in her breasts. But she knew why these things happened to her. It was those around her who didn't realize the truth.

'Karrissa, are you ok?' Matt ran the question into one sentence, wanting to get it out.

Afraid of what her response may be, Karrissa turned, looked at Matt, and felt tears well up in her eyes.

'Matt,' she began. 'I... I thought I was gonna.... I thought...'

She fell to her knees and buried her face, drained of color, in her black and blue palms. Matt kneeled before her and wrapped his arms around her in a safe feeling, reassuring, and warm embrace.

'Matt, I know I'm dying.... but I'm not afraid.'

Her voice was unsteady. It shook and quivered from her crying. Matt felt a glob of sadness roll down his own cheek. Embarrassed, he swiped it away with the back of his hand.

'You are not going to die Karrissa. You're sick. You need help. Let them help you Karrissa. Let the doctors help you. They told you, all it takes is some therapy. You'll be ok. You think your experiencing these things but you're not.'

Karrissa pushed him away, and screamed, 'You don't see what I see! And you don't hear the voices I hear! And I try to help people with the abilities I have, but you are all ungrateful!'

Karrissa was beautiful. Long, silky, blonde hair. Glistening green eyes, and a tiny little figure. Many envied her. But she never noticed. She only tried to help others. It was her dream. To help every person she's ever met cross over. But Karrisa had a problem. She believed she was an angel. Literally. Numbers of doctors beyond belief tried to tell Karrissa that she was born and raised like any other child. They showed her multiple pictures of her parents that died in a car crash 4 years before. And every time Karrissa would scream at the picture, rip it, throw it, destroy it the quickest way she could.

She told them, 'I come from the heavens above. Don't you see? God sent me to help you! You are all drowning in envy and pain and sin. I am trying to help you! Don't you want to see heaven? It's beautiful. It truly is. I cannot wait to return. And you will go with me if you confess what awful lives you have lived. But I'm trying to give you one more chance to fix it all.'

Matt left go of her shoulders and took a few steps back.

'Karrissa, do you know why you get anxiety attacks?'

He put the question out in the open,wanting and needing to hear her answer. Karrissa rolled her eyes dramatically.

'I've told you a million times Matt, they are not anxiety attacks. I mean they are to you and every other Doctor in the world. But before God descended me to earth, he told me that at the end of my four years being here, he would send me a sign, Matt. A sign that is time for me to leave. My job is done here. I was told by our Lord that I was to help people come into the light and out of the dark. I was not supposed to fall in love while I was here.'

A tear drizzled down her cheek like a small little creek.

'I was not supposed to fall in love with a sinner, a human,' Matt ran his thumb over her cheek to wipe away her tear.

'You fell in love with a person just like you, Karrissa. You are my angel, but not God's.'

The rest of the sentences he spoke to her came out in a spur. Karrissa felt her head begin to heavy and her vision became white. Her heart screamed in fear, and she knew it was time to go.

Matt saw the fear in her eyes and grabbed hold of her waist trying to help her regain her balance enough so that she could walk back to the car. However, her face was drained of color, her lips pale blue, her knuckles pure black. She looked quite frightening, but he loved her too much to be scared of her. He rubbed her cheek, and held her softly in his arms and sat down with her. He knew that the anxiety attack would pass as quickly as it came, but he knew she was scared and he wanted to comfort her.

Karrissa felt the air in her chest being compressed, and her eyes begin to drift shut. She took what little energy she had left and raised her head to look at Matt.

'I have to go now, Matt. There's no more keeping me where I don't belong. It's time for me to return home.'

Matt lowered his head.

'If you wish to go home, I'll drive you there.'

He hooked his forearms underneath the crook of her arms and began to pull her up off the ground. He had her onto her knees, when she suddenly jerked away and sprawled out on the warm sand beneath her.

'No, Matt,' she began, 'It's time for me to go home, as in where I came from. Heaven.'

He sighed again and just watched her stubbornly lay in the sand. Her hands were pressed together and her eyes were closed. She was praying. He knelt beside her and did as she did.

'Pray with me Matt,' she demanded, sweetly.

He closed his eyes and listened as she prayed.

'Dear God, my time here on earth has been completed. My legacy fulfilled. I wish to return home and Lord I apologize for allowing a human to distract my mission while being here but I know why humans cherish love so much. It's the closest thing they have to Heaven. Watch over Matt and his wonderful family. Keep them safe.'

Matt felt tears well up in his eyes. But he kept them closed because he respected her enough to have just one prayer with her. And Lord, I hope my being here has indeed helped out the lives of many humans. Lord, I tried to warn them. The rapture is coming. And it hurts me to see so many people clueless of what will become of them and it will hurt even more when the love of my life is left behind along with all of the other non-believers. Please help to open Matt's mind and eyes to the possibility of having you in his life. In Jesus' name we pray. Amen.

When Matt opened his eyes, all of those welled up tears fell in a sudden rush down his cheek giving him shivers. He looked to his right and froze in fear. Where was Karrissa? She was just gone. He stood quickly in a frantic. Where could she have gone? What happened to her? She was just right here beside him, so close, yet, so far away from her surroundings. He looked to the sky which was now a deep blue with night. There were no stars showing at all. He was scared, worried, and sad out of his mind. He turned to walk back to his car. But before entering the little dirt road that led to the parking lot, he stood to look to the sky one last time. What he saw, he'd never forget. A shimmering silver light streaked upwards to the sky and came to a sudden stop. Planting itself on a path of blackness and shining like a 32 karat diamond.

Normally a falling star means an angel has fallen from Heaven to help the life of a person who is taking the wrong road in life and cannot fix it without the help of God. However, it is said when a star is seen rising into the sky, that means their time on earth is up. And God is bringing them back home. Matt saw a star rise into the sky that night. And he remembered God's promise of someday heaven. He looked to the sky and closed his eyes.

'I'll meet you there, Karrissa. I'll meet you there.'
(August 2008)

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The Sacred Ocean

By Kiara, 12

The thought of being taken away by the ocean is a scary thought, but when it happens to you, you don't know how to feel. Megan loved the feeling of being taken away, from her life: her troubles all left behind. Megan was seventeen at the time. She would wonder sometimes while she was being tumbled by the harsh waves if she would ever be rescued, hardly caring. Her parents had died in a boat wreck eight months before and she had a hard time adjusting. Though she had her younger sister and boyfriend, she still felt lonely. Lucky for her, Megan's boyfriend Blake had just turned eighteen and was able to adopt her sister so they were not separated. Although she was still just seventeen she was able to convince the social worker her birthday was the next day.

'MEGAN!' Anna shouted, 'It's time to get up!'

Megan covered herself with her blankets, 'It's Saturday though and I want to SLEEP!' she whispered.

Megan heard her sister stomping up the creaky attic stairs, 'I don't really care!'

Anna declared, 'It's your job; just don't come crying to me when you get fired!'

'Oh gosh,' Megan jumped out of bed, 'I forgot I had to work today!'

Anna slowly made Megan's bed, 'I'm not staying with Blake again today,' she whispered.

'You have to,' Megan replied, as she quickly put her work clothes on, 'you know you have to, unless you can go to a friend's house.'

'I'll find somewhere to go!' she yelled, as she tossed the pillow across the room at her sister, 'he only talks about you, until you come home and he goes to work!'

'I have to go to work,' Megan answered, she moved down the attic steps, 'I'm going to be late if I talk any longer,' she said, apologetically.

Megan got in her boyfriend's car and drove off into the morning fog. She made her way across the large town and entered the small marina parking lot. She walked towards the building where she worked, 'Misty Marina' the large sign read. There, she cared for the three dolphins that were rescued from deadly situations. The three dolphins, Aqua, Zora, and Sacred, had been there for at least four months. Zora had progressed the most and was being released that day. Megan had enjoyed playing and feeding the dolphins, learning something new about them everyday. Sacred was her favorite, Megan felt as if she had a connection with her because they found her the day her parents' died. Megan was never interested in any type of marine biology, until the day her parents' were killed. Today she was extra excited they were releasing Zora. Megan was sad when they had to release a dolphin but she knew that it would allow the dolphin to live a longer life.

'Good Morning!' Megan said, joyfully, as she entered the marina base, 'hey!'

Julie, her assistant replied, 'We didn't think you were going to show up today.'

Megan chuckled and answered, 'Yeah my sister woke me up screaming that I had to work,' she moved behind the counter and into the closed curtain room and changed to her wet suit, 'I would have slept forever if she hadn't woken me up!'

'Yeah, so are you ready to free Zora today?' Julie questioned, as she poured a cup of coffee.

'I'm ready to set her free into her natural habitat!' Megan cheered.

She grabbed her flute and made her way to the 'Dolphin Lagoon' where the dolphins were showing off to each other.

'Hey girls,' Megan greeted, as she prepared herself to dive into the lagoon, 'you ready to say bye to Zora?'

Megan waded into the pool of dolphins and greeted them all individually, gave them each a kiss and hugged Zora for a very long time. Megan swam with them for what seemed like a lifetime before she knew it, it was time for Zora to go and live the life of a normal dolphin. Megan swam to the gate that separated the lagoon from the ocean. She slowly opened the gate. Zora flashed through the pathway and kept swimming and never looked back. Megan felt as if Zora had been her child leaving for college and cried. She didn't realize she had left the gate open! When she looked back up, Aqua and Sacred were gone too. She sprinted out of the lagoon, and into the office area.

'All the dolphins are gone!' Megan shouted, as she gathered the keys for the marina's boat, 'I accidentally left the gate open when I freed Zora!' she gasped

'Megan!' Julie yelled as she chased her down, 'the weather is supposed to get bad, it's too dangerous!' she exclaimed.

But Megan was already leaving the dock.

Ring, ring, ring.

Hi, this is Blake, Megan, and Anna, we're busy right now and can't take your call right now so leave us...Julie heard giggling in the background before she hung up. She had no idea how she was going to tell them what had happened.

Having no clue what had been happening, Blake and Anna were out having ice cream and actually enjoying each other's company. When Blake and Anna were walking home the wind started blowing, and drizzles of rain plopped down from the sky. They rushed home quickly. When Blake and Anna arrived home they noticed a missed call on the machine, they played the machine and heard Julie, Megan's assistant, panicking but not knowing what she was saying. Blake picked up the phone and dialed the familiar number.

'What happened?!' Blake screeched, as he paced through the hallway, 'Is Megan..?,' he took a deep shaky breath, 'she's ok, right?'

'She went off in the boat in search of two dolphins that escaped,' she whimpered, scared what could have happened to Megan.

'Should we look for her?' he took more deep breaths, 'do you think she's going to die?'

'I don't want to comment on that!' she replied. She moved to the window in the office, 'we should call the coast guard, immediately.'

The rain was pounding hard on the ocean and corrupting the waves. Megan started to regret going to work that day. She was trying to control the boat, but the waves just continued to bully the boat. She started to wonder if she was going to leave the ocean alive. The boat started to rock to and fro too much that she couldn't control it; the waves had plundered the boat. Megan was in the water being pushed under, by its violent force. She tried to get calm and attempted to stay above the water. Her mind was running and she didn't care if she was rescued! Her eyes filled with tears, and she sobbed while the harsh waves brushed her face and continued to take her under.
(August 2008)

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Life Of A Teenage Girl

By Amber, 13

Lauren Hampton was a 15-year old girl who lived in a small town in Oklahoma. She had long brown hair, blue eyes, and was very skinny. Lauren played softball and was very good, she was a catcher. Her best friend was Courtney. Lauren and Courtney did everything together. She was a normal teenage girl. Well, that's what everyone thought.

At the age of 3 Lauren was separated from her mother. Lauren now lives with her father who is a drunk and beats her. Lauren was scared of her father. She wouldn't tell anyone about her father doing these things to her. She continued going to school each day with bruises all over her legs, arms, even her face. Teachers worried more and more about her each day. Lauren didn't worry much about her father anymore; she thought she deserved these things to be done to her. Every night Lauren would pray that someday just somebody would realize why she has the bruises and things on her.

Even though Lauren hasn't seen or heard from her mother since she was 3 she wondered about her each night, how her life would be different if she hadn't left? Would her dad still treat her the way he does now? Was she the reason her mom left? Would she ever see her mother again? Why couldn't she just tell somebody? She knew she would have a better life, well she thought she would. She also knew that she didn't want to go through life without her real dad, she knew she already lost her mom and she didn't want to loose her dad. Lauren cried herself to sleep each night thinking about the hateful things that just wouldn't leave her mind.

One day Lauren came home from school and she knew that her father wasn't in a good mood at all. She walked through the door and the 1st thing he yelled to her from the upstairs bedroom was,

'Lauren you better have my dinner cooked and the dishes washed before the time I wake up!'

Lauren knew he wasn't kidding around when he said this stuff. So she hollered back at him and said, 'I will dad.'

When truthfully she really didn't want to have to do any of this.

Lauren didn't start dinner right away. She decided she was going to go up to her room for a little. On her way up to her room she saw the attic she knew. She has only been up there once and her father didn't want her up there, that's where he kept all the old things of her mother. For some reason Lauren's father didn't want her to know much about her mother but, Lauren knew she wanted to know as much as she could. She was so tempted to go up and just take a look around she didn't know what it was going to hurt. Then also she knew that if her father woke up the trouble she might be getting herself into.

Lauren knew she was going to have to take the chance and go up in the attic if she wanted to know anything about her mother because she knew she wasn't going to get any information from her father. Lauren started walking up the attic stairs slowly checking behind her to make sure her father was nowhere in sight. She started to feel the tension in her arms holding her back from going up but something, just something told Lauren to keep going. Finally, she reached the top of the steps. She saw nothing but a few boxes in the one corner she knew that must have been the things her father kept of her mother. She slowly eased her way to the corner with all the boxes and things. something inside of her was telling her not to look inside but she knew she had to someday. Lauren wanted to see her mother again.

She opened the boxes slowly looking inside each one seeing what she could find. She knew she couldn't be long up there she had to finish making her fathers dinner. In one of the boxes she had found a picture of her mother her father and her as a baby, they looked so happy together she was thinking to herself. Lauren knew that must have been the picture of her father when he wasn't an alcoholic. Under a bunch of pictures and stuff she found a letter her mother had wrote to her. She read it slowly thinking about every word in it.

My loving daughter Lauren,

I know it may seem that since I do not come and see you that I may not love you. Its not that I don't love you because I truly do. The truth is your father will not let me see you he has told the court so many things that are not true that they do not permit me to see you anymore, but I am allowed to write and to call you. Every time I call no1 seems to answer.

I seriously hope that your father is not answering because he knows its me. I hope to someday get to see you again. And remember I am always going to be your mother no matter what.

Lauren couldn't continue to read the letter she felt the tears strolling down her eyes she felt like somebody just took her heart and ripped it apart. Why wouldn't her dad want her to see her mother she thought, that was the most uncalled for thing ever. Someday she would see her mother again she knew it she would see her again someday and someday soon.

Lauren grabbed the letter and the picture stuck it in the pocket of her blouse and ran down the stairs hoping her father was not awake. When she got down there she realized he was not awake yet. She ran in her room stuck the picture and the letter inside her jewelry box that her grandmother had gave her when she was 10. She knew her father would never look in there.

Lauren walked out of her room still thinking why her father would ever keep her from seeing her mother. She thought if she wasn't allowed to see her mother why should she be allowed to see her father; he's the one who abuses her. She started her father's dinner she made him fish with French fries. After finishing his dinner she went back to her room laid on her bed and waited for her father to wake up. She knew once he was awake and ate she was going to add another bruise to her collection of bruises. She laid there thinking when she was going to finish reading the letter her mother wrote she knew she was going to have to finish reading it sooner or later if she ever wanted to see her again. She finally decided that tonight when her father left to go to his friend's house and drink she would finish reading the letter.


The door slammed open and Lauren jumped. It was her father and he didn't look very happy.


He comes storming to her bed, slaps her across the mouth and says, 'I didn't want fish and French fries tonight I wanted pizza and French fries you little brat.'

Lauren begins to cry and says, ' But, but, but, dad you didn't tell me what you wanted.'

He comes closer, smacks her across the mouth as hard as he can and scolds at her and says, 'I shouldn't have to tell you what I want,' and leaves the room with a few final words after that.

Lauren lies in her room crying thinking why she deserves to be treated like this? What did she ever do to her father? Wondering if her mother would treat her better? She decided she needed to finish reading the letter she found in the attic today. She slowly and quietly walks over to the jewelry box that she placed the picture and the letter in today. She slowly goes to the bottom and there is the picture, underneath the picture is the letter. She slowly pulls it out wondering if by reading this letter her life will change at all.

Lauren takes the letter and slowly walks over to her bed. She gets beneath the blankets sticking the letter below her pillow so just in case her dad comes in he doesn't see what she was reading. She didn't need any more bruises than she already had or was going to get. She slowly unfolds the letter hoping she is doing the right thing from reading the letter. Slowly continuing reading where she left off.

Your father and I just weren't going to work out. I hope he lets you read this letter it would mean the world to me to get to see you again. You were my baby girl and everybody knew it. I hope your life becomes the best it can be, and no matter what I don't ever want you to forget. If you ever want to talk or anything your dad has my cell phone number and I'll give it to you now 1-649-8956 give me a call baby girl. I love u with all my heart and I hope you never forget about me.

Love you,
Your mom.

Lauren read the letter over and over again with the tears streaming down her eyes, she felt like she was going to create a river of tears. These tears were not the same, they weren't like the tears when her father was smacking her around. They weren't like the tears when she would get in a fight with her ex b/f's. They weren't like the tears that when she was getting scared and when teachers asked what was wrong with her. These tears were different, they were like she couldn't stop crying. All that ran through her head was mom, mom, mom, mom. She could almost get this mental image of her being with her mom telling her the things her dad had done to her. The things she needed to be told. Now she knew why she couldn't tell anyone else about her father because she needed to tell her mother. How would she get to see her mother? She knew she was going to see her mother again and no one was going to stop her.

Lauren continued laying there that night thinking about everything she read in that letter. She wondered if it all was the truth. If everything her mother had said to her was the truth. Did her mother really love her like she said? Did her father really plan to keep her away from her mother? She didn't know the answer to these questions, but she did know one thing; she knew that she was going to see her mother no matter what her father had to say about it. Well, she thought he didn't have to know about it. All she had to do was get to her mother and tell her the things her father was doing to her, and then hopefully if her mother really cared then she wouldn't have to deal with her father giving her bruises each day. Finally she fell asleep.

The next morning she woke up and realized that last night after reading that letter her whole feeling for her mother had changed. Lauren's father always told her that her mother had gone away because she didn't want Lauren in her life no more and she didn't want anything to do with her and Lauren always believed that. She never had a reason not to. Her mother hasn't communicated with her since she was like 3 so why was there a reason she shouldn't believe her father? He was the one there her whole life. Now after reading that letter it was her father she didn't want in her life. Why would he keep her away from her mother all these years? He had no reason. Lauren wanted to believe that her father did it for a good reason but there was no explanation to it. Her father hated her mother and now he wanted to take the pain out on her.

Lauren didn't go to school the next day, instead she went on a search to get all the info she could about her mother. She knew her father wouldn't be home until after work so she did all her research in the attic.She didn't find much. She found some more pictures, she found some old jewelry of her mothers and she found just a bunch of little stuff that wouldn't help her much. Therefore, she also found one thing that would help her allot on the search for her mother. She found her mothers birth certificate.

She took all the info she had and took it to the district administrative office. When she got in there an elder guy comes up to her and says,

'How may I help you miss?'

'I'm just looking for someone who could help me,' she starts to studder, 'I'm, I'm, I'm looking for someone who could help me find my mom.'

The man looks at her in a confused way and says 'Your lost?'

She replays with a simple no. The man says follow me. Lauren does. She follows him to a very small room. In the room she sees all these folders and cabinets. She's in there for at least 2 hours, the man asking her all the questions possible, but finally he gives her the location of her mother.

Lauren is so excited when he handed her all the information she needed. While walking down the street she realizes that her mother lives in a whole different state than her. In her head she's thinking how she will ever possibly find her now. If she just leaves she is sure her dad will notice. Who would cook his dinner? Who would do all the things she had to do now? Was it possible for her to find her mom? Nothing seemed possible to her at this moment, but she had all the faith in doing it. That night Lauren decided tomorrow she would go on the search to find her mom.

The next morning Lauren got dressed and acted like she was getting ready to go to school. She packed a few things to eat and then she left her house around 8:30 and she was on her way to find her mom. She did some research the night before at the library and to get to Ohio. It would take her 2 days. She knew she could do it. She had all the confidence she needed to find her mother.

After one day in the search for her mother Lauren started to wonder if her mom would still want to see her. She wondered if her mother had a new family, if her mother would want her back in her life, if she would even care what Lauren's father was doing to her? It all ran through her head. Lauren was willing to see if her mother would care because she didn't want anything more than her mother back in her life. Lauren continued her way to find her mother.

After 2 days of walking she finally reached Ohio. Now, all she had to do was reach her mothers house. She wasn't sure where it was so she asked people walking on the street where Elk street was. A lot said they didn't know. Really she thought they just didn't feel like wasting their time telling a 15-year-old girl where a street was. One kind old woman knew exactly where it was. Lauren followed her directions and finally she reached Elm Street.

She got on Elm Street and she saw her mother's house. It was a brown, old-fashioned house with green shutters. It was much nicer than the house her father was living in. Her father! Lauren forgot all about her father. She was wondering if he was somewhere out there looking for her. Most likely he wasn't, he didn't care about her. Lauren didn't care if he was looking for her right now, all she cared about was getting to see her mother again.

As Lauren walked slowly down the street to her mother's house she became more and more nervous. She was two houses away from seeing her mother again. She walked slower and slower looking down and up as she was walking, many thoughts running through her head. Finally she reached her mother's house. She walked slowly up the stairs hoping somebody was home. She finally reaches the door and slowly knocks.

The door begins to slowly open a young boy who looked about 11 answered.

'Yes?' he said, almost making her feel like she turned deaf.

'Is Rosa Hampton available?' she said, in a shaky voice.

'Yeah, one sec.'

Lauren waited inside the door for about 5 minutes, then a short, blonde haired lady came to the door.

'Yes, my son said you wanted to see me,' the short blonde lady said.

'Yes I did I wanted to see you because well, um, I'm your um, daughter,' Lauren said, in a quivering voice. You could almost tell she was going to cry.


Lauren sees the tears coming down her mother's eyes. Lauren knew the second her eyes met her mothers she would be much happier here than she was back with her dad.
(August 2008)

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The Dark Hour

By Karla, 12

It was an ordinary day at Huntingdon Area Middle School (HAMS) in room thirteen. A boy was struggling with his test.

'Hey Ranger,' another boy whispered.

'What?' Ranger replied.

'Can you help me with my test?'

Ranger shook his head and turned around to continue on his test. The boy gave him a look and then started talking to other people. A couple of minutes later a kid opened the door. Ranger turned around to see who was there and realized it was a person he had never seen before. The boy was around Ranger's age and wore a gray sweater with blue shorts and a Boston Red Sox baseball cap.

'You must be the new kid,' the teacher said.

The kid stood still and was speechless.

'Class is almost over but you can just sit there for the rest of the time in this period.'

'Okay,' the boy replied, quietly.

The boy walked to a desk right beside Ranger. Ranger just finished his test. When Ranger got up to turn it in, it was time to leave for next period class. As Ranger was walking to his locker the new kid came to ask him where the gym was located.

'It's over there,' Ranger said, pointing his finger to the gym.

'Oh, okay,' replied the boy, as he headed for the gym.

'Hey new kid, I have the same class! Wait for me and I'll come with you. Plus you don't want to accidentally walk into the girls' locker room.'

The boy sighed and told him, 'Sure.'

As the two boys walked to the gym, Ranger started talking to the boy.

'My name is Ranger.'

'Alright Ranger, what are we doing at gym today?' asked the boy.

'I believe that we are doing baseball.'

The boy smiled as they walked into the gym. Later on all of the 7th grade boys walked outside to the field. Ranger spoke to the coach and told him about the new kid.

'Well,' the coach said, while he scratched his chin, 'He'll be on your team.' The coach picked up his whistle and blew it. Then he yells, 'Play ball!'

Another student approached the new kid and started to yell at him.

'Come on new kid, you go first!' He picked up the bat, gave it to him, and told him, 'go Joe!'

'My name's not Joe, it's Devin.'

'Alright then Devin, play!' ordered the boy who sat back down on the bench.

Devin grabbed the helmet from the ground and placed it on. Then he put his bat down to crack his fingers and hands. He takes the bat and walks over to plate. The pitcher throws the ball, Devin swung the bat with all his strength, and hits the ball across the field and over the fence. One boy tried to climb over the fence to retrieve the ball but fell backwards onto the ground instead.

'Dang it,' yelled the boy, who got back up from falling off the fence.

Then he threw his mitt to the ground with anger. Another teammate came along who crossed his arms, shook his head, and stated, ' How are we gonna play? We don't have a ball now.'

The coach paused with his mouth wide open. Ranger was in the same state. By now Devin was already at home plate.

Devin waved his hand in front of Ranger's face and asked him, 'Are you okay?'

'Oh, it's just that was an awesome shot,' said Ranger.

'Thanks!' replied Devin.

'I think we don't have baseball till next year,' Ranger said, disappointedly.

'Sorry about that,' said Devin.

'It's okay,' reassured Ranger.

'I'm also sorry that I was being rude earlier, my name is Devin.'

Ranger shook his head, 'Devin, I'll remember that.'

Later on that day Devin, Ranger, and the rest of the students went back home to do their homework or after school activities. Devin was in his room with some odd looking person. He was a tall man with a black face, frizzy white hair, and orange-red eyes. The scarf around his neck matched the colors of his eyes.

'How was your day at school?'

'Okay, I guess, I made a friend there which is good, right Orpheus?'

The man took out his harp and started playing it with elegancy. He smiled and he nodded his head.

Orpheus stopped playing and asked, 'Devin?'

'Yeah,' as Devin was doing his homework.

'When you were at school was there an odd presence?'

Devin paused and looked up at Orpheus. 'Like what?'

'I sensed another persona, I hope this wasn't a bad time to tell you,' said Orpheus.

Devin stood up with his eyes wide open. 'When?'

'When you were near that kid with the black hair.'

Devin paused and said, 'Ranger, oh God! What time is it?'

'11:55 pm.'

'Do you think you can teleport me to Tartarus?' asked Devin.

'I thought you said we weren't going to train.'

'Change in plans then,' said Devin as he was putting on his orange armband, imprinted with the letters S.E.E.S. 'Let's go!'

Orpheus got out his harp and played an odd melody. Light surrounds them and they are gone in a flash.

Suddenly they found themselves at the parking lot of HAMS. In place of the school stood a very tall, distorted structure, as if it had no fixed supports or dimensions. It was so tall that it looked like it could touch the moon.

All of a sudden Devin and Orpheus saw a strange looking creature with two arms and two legs on the ground and four arms on its back holding two masks. These masks could talk and appeared to have a mind of their own. The larger mask started to speak.

'I can sense it,' he said.

'What?' asked the small mask behind him.

'I sense another persona user.'

'What?' asked the smaller mask.

'There's someone behind us!' exclaimed the larger, dominant mask.

'Oh no! Orpheus, teleport to Ranger's house!' Devin yelled.

Orpheus quickly picked up his harp, did his melody, and teleported. They landed at the doorstep of Ranger's house. Devin grasped the door handle but it wouldn't budge.

'It's locked!' said Devin, frantically.

Orpheus started playing a fast melody and told Devin to step back. Suddenly an explosion of fire occurred before the door thrusting it to collapse inward, nearly hitting Ranger.

'What in the world?!' cried Ranger. 'Who's there?'

The house was in complete darkness with evidence of thick smoke to breathe.

Ranger grabbed the figure in front of him and punched him in the head in self defense.

'Hey watch it, I'm Devin!' yelled the shadowy intruder.

'Why are you in my house?' asked Ranger.

'Ow! Did you have to hit me so hard, Ranger?' asked Devin.

'Yes, you don't just bar-' Ranger paused to see that there was a giant looking being beside Devin.

'Who is that?' he asked, eyes wide open.

Orpheus looked down and said, 'My name is Orpheus and I am Devin's persona.'

'What's a persona?' asked Ranger.

'A persona is a god like creature made by you humans but we can only be summoned by persona users to defeat shadows.'

'And that is why we came here. We need your help Ranger.'

'That's impossible, you must have the wrong guy,' said Ranger.

'Well if you weren't a persona user you should have turned into a coffin by now,' explained Devin.

'What?' asked Ranger.

'Yeah, every non-persona user turns into a coffin.'

'Won't the people remember that?' wondered Ranger.

'Nope they don't remember anything of the dark hour.'

'Dark hour? What's that?' Ranger asked again.

'Just forget it! I'll tell you more later. Now go and get ready. It's time to see your power in use.'

'Okay,' replied Ranger, as he ran to his room to get changed into day clothes. At 12:30am Ranger ran out of his room.

'What took you so long?' inquired Devin.

'Let's just go already,' replied Ranger.

Devin puts out his fist and says, 'All right then, you heard him Orpheus.'

'Of course master,' answered Orpheus who got his harp out to play the melody. They teleported to Tartarus.

'Whoa!' Ranger said in amazement. 'I see we are at the HAMS parking lot, but what happened to the school?'

'Oh you mean the building? That's Tartarus, the place where all the shadows come from,' explained Devin as he stood stretching his arms.

'There they are!' bellowed the shadow.

Devin and Ranger turned around to see who it was.

'Oh no!!!' Devin yelled.

'What is this, a freak of nature convention?' Ranger asked.

Then the shadow pulled out his sword and started running towards them. Devin got in a fighting stance while Ranger started freaking out. When the shadow was two feet above them, Devin kicked it on the chest causing it to scream. The shadow threw its sword at Devin and stabbed him in the chest. Blood splashed everywhere. Ranger froze and his skin turned white. He couldn't believe his new best friend was just killed.

'No! Where is this dumb person? Come out! Now!'

Then a white figure wearing a Greek warrior helmet and blue breast plate, came out holding a giant golden spear in his right hand.

'Art that I'm thown from the sea of my soul. I am Ethan Greek warrior of Athens.'

'Oh wow!' Ranger said in amazement.

Ethan held his spear back ready to strike the shadow. Likewise, the shadow was ready to strike with his spear as well.

'What shall I do master?' Ethan asks.

Ranger was not sure what Ethan was capable of doing, but gave the order to kill the shadow because of Devin's death.

'Go ahead, kill that thing!' Ranger said, holding his fist out in anger.

'So shall it be,' Ethan said calmly.

He took his spear and maneuvers it swiftly, stabbing the shadow in an off-guard move. The shadow, with profuse blood coming out of his chest, blows up.

Ethan levitates to Ranger and says, 'Enemy shadow destroyed, Sir. Summon me when it is necessary.'

'Good job Ranger for summoning your persona.'

Ranger turned around to see who was speaking.

'De-Devin is that you?' asked Ranger.

'Okay Orpheus you can change back,' said the original Devin, as another Devin came walking by.

'Of course sir,' said Orpheus who turned back to his regular form.

Orpheus then congratulated Ranger on doing an excellent job with his persona.

'Awesome,' said Devin, who gave him a thumbs up.

'Thanks! But when did Orpheus transform into you?' asked Ranger.

'You know, when we teleported. Orpheus transformed into me and hid me behind this bush not too far from you guys,' answered Devin.

'Oh,' said Ranger.

'Basically Ranger, Orpheus was with you the whole entire time,' said Devin.

As Devin and Orpheus was walking away, Devin told Ranger, 'It's going to be like this for the rest of our lives until we defeat the shadows. So you want to save the world and destroy the shadows.'

'Yeah, sure,' said Ranger.

When Devin got to his apartment, Orpheus tells Devin, 'Thinking of Tatarus, don't you have your homework to finish? You know HAMS will be there in the morning, teachers included.'

Grudgingly, Devin picked up his transition math book and started his homework.
(August 2009)

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The Night Quest

By Nicole, 13

Buzz, buzz, buzz, buzz. The laptop sounded, awakening Kiona. This was nothing new to her. I mean her job is nothing new.

'I'm not allowed to sleep am I, Jerry?' Kiona walked over to her laptop and read the message her boss had sent her. 'What? There is a kidnapper loose?! That is completely crazy! I'm not going after him!'

Kiona typed a message back, 'That isn't my job.'

Kiona went back to bed. Ten minutes later Jerry wrote back and the laptop buzzed. Kiona let out a short whine and went to the computer.

'Jerry, this isn't my problem. I am only a spy.' Jerry sent a short message that she only has to spy on him. 'Oh, when do you want me to start my mission?'

He responds, then logs off. She looked at the message, 'Tonight!'

Kiona slipped her tall, slender body into her black, skin like spy suit. She sleepily walked over to her closet and grabbed her bag. She swiped the laptop off her desk and threw it into the bag along with a rope, and her cell phone. She tossed the bag on her pink and yellow daybed. When Kiona was finished writing down a couple of numbers like the man's ID, she grabbed her bag and opened her door into the burgundy rugged hall.

'Off I go,' Kiona said, in a low, miserable voice.

Kiona stepped outside her apartment building.

'Oh great,' she whined.

She traveled through the rain and mud. The city of Kalisar is completely fogged. Kiona went down an alley. She placed her foot on the dumpster ledge and as she grabbed a pipe on the roof, she pulled herself up the cafe brick wall and onto the roof.

'Now for the fun part, jumping buildings with a rope.'

She took her rope and flung it to a metal bar on a higher restaurant roof beside the cafe. She did this until she got to a high enough building to be able to see a good view.

'I guess I'll set up my location here,' Kiona stated, when she is on top of a theater. She set up her things and started to wait. Her boss logged on. She typed in wondering if Ron was coming. Ron is her usual companion.

'No?! What am I doing here then? I can't do this alone.'

Kiona started gathering up her things when she heard footsteps coming. She stopped and crawled across the roof looking over all the sides of the building.

She was startled when she saw a man. He was wearing a pair of blue jeans with a trench coat. He stopped midway in the alley. She saw the man take out a soda. He popped the lid and sipped.

'What is he doing?' Kiona whispered, to herself.

He then sat pretzel on the ground and as he sat the can of soda down he looked up into the building filled sky. Kiona pulled herself back and he didn't seem to hear or notice. She thought he might be the man she was looking for. Kiona wasn't sure so she decided to watch him for a while. He took out a pad of paper and a dull, navy blue pencil. It almost looked as if he was taking notes the way he stared at the sky. Kiona went over to her computer and typed to her boss that she was watching a man that might be the kidnapper. She thought about this for a while.

'He doesn't seem like the right kind of guy. It can't be him.'

Kiona looked over the edge. The man twisted his head like a snap of the neck toward her. His eyes burning through her like red bullets.

'Are you watching me?' the man snapped in a snake like voice.

Kiona pulled her head back and thought of a plan. He was definitely the wanted one.

'What was he doing? Does he have a theory unheard of? I mean, he does look like he is taking notes on the sky. Is he trying to trick me?' Kiona grabbed for her laptop, shoved it in her bag and thinks out a plan.

'I could bag him. Then drag him to the boss's lab. No. That wouldn't be very humane. What if I put hand cuffs on him then drag him back. That isn't my job though. I guess I should call him in to my boss or the police and say I found him.'

Bam! Kiona could only see darkness.

Kiona woke up in a dark room.

'Where am I?' She looked around and saw a window. 'What did he hit me with? I have to get out of here.' She tugged a bit and found she was tied to a chair. 'Where is all my gear? They took my pocket knife. How am I going to cut the rope? This is my rope! They used my own rope against me!' Kiona was outraged.

She heard footsteps coming down the hall.

'I must be in a building.'

The door cracked open.

'Are you conscious?' A raspy voice half chuckled.

'Who are you and what do you want from me?!' Kiona asked thinking the classic response to being kidnapped.

'We will let you go but first we have a few questions.'

The man flicked a lamp on and started to walk closer then stopped staying a few feet away.

'Let's get this over with,' Kiona responded, voice sharp.

She realized that this was the man she had seen in the street.

'I only have one important question,' the voice now curious. 'Whom do you work for? I mean, your job. Who hired you? Are you a spy? I must know.'

'First, that is more than one question and I'm not going to answer any of them. That is for you to find out. Let me out of here you creep!' Kiona was irritated and disgusted.

'You aren't going anywhere.' The man left the room chuckling to himself.

Kiona started to struggle under the rope.

'I have to get out of here.'

She pulled her head down low and bit the rope. She started to chew on the rope.

'It's starting to fray. Yes!' She kept going.

When she was halfway through the rope she put her head down to relax. She then started again. 'How long will this take?'

Kiona started to struggle and suddenly the rope snapped. Kiona falls to the ground with a thud.

'Where did they put my things?' Kiona started to search the room and then she heard footsteps. She smashed out the window with her fist and hurriedly climbed out. Her hand was now bleeding.

She looked around and discovered she was in an abandoned jail. It was very small. She ran to the front and realized they took her to the other side of the city.

'What now? I need to get he cops here. She found that they had her cell phone. 'I'm going to have to take a taxi or start walking,' Kiona said to herself. 'It's a good thing the laptop has a lock and so does my cell phone.'

She started to walk because this half of the city is barren. When she got to roads that eventually lead to a highway, she was grateful. Kiona followed the road until she reached the highway. She started waving her hand for a taxi when someone put his hand over her mouth. She started to struggle and then stomped on his foot. He let go and grabbed his foot with a moan. Kiona started to run. She looked back and discovered it was the man again. She stopped.

'What exactly do you want from me?'

'I needed a spy.'

'Why me?'

'You were the first one I saw that I was certain was a spy.'

'I have a nice job and I don't want to work for you.'

'I can't blame you,' the man replied, as he let go of his foot.

The man walked up to her so he was only an inch or two away.

'I'm sorry. No hard feelings?'

Kiona turned her back to the man to think. Then something hit her back and she fell to the ground. Darkness filled her view again.

'I should have been smart enough to figure out it was a trick. Another trick. How am I going to get out of this one?'
(August 2008)

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Dancing Bananas

By Ranger, 13

It was a dark night, with the light from the full moon. It was a little cloudy, right around the moon. I ran up the big mountain, to see all of Jupiter, the jungle, the ocean; I could see everything even the city. Then, I saw the dark subway it was stopped. I saw different colored lights, and people. Then all of a sudden I saw black everywhere.

The next morning....Jim, R and Jill were walking home from school. They saw that bananas have been stolen from the market. Then all of a sudden it gets dark, and really large bananas appeared out of nowhere, Jim and R got bit. Jill watched. She saw that they were vampires, she ran to find her dad Bill. She found him and he was waking up.

'Dad, dad, are you okay? You must have passed out!'

'Yes I guess I did,' he said, shaking his head, 'well, what's wrong?'

She sits down.

'Well, Jim and R were bit by vampire bananas and they couldn't stop dancing. It was scary.'

She stood up and ran down the mountain yelling,' Come on Dad, we need to get to them, before something else happens to them.'

Bill gets there and turns off the music, and gave bananas to Jim and R. Then, they aren't mesmerized any more and they could stop dancing. The Bananas are going crazy.

'Oh, now they're going to bite everyone in site,' Bill said, while running away.

'Ahhhhhh!' everyone said, in terror.

They get everyone in the city, then the state, then the country, after that they took over the world but they didn't find Bill. So he went to the store and got bananas as many as he could get!

It turned dark, he found the people that were dancing, he tried to feed them bananas but he couldn't give the people the bananas in time. The master bananas came to get him, so Bill ran; he ran and screamed like a little girl. He thought he ran through all of Jupiter. Then, he was walking through the Jungle, and then Bill turned around and saw the bananas following him. So he ran and jumped into his car, they tried coming through the sunroof then Bill closed it on them. They screamed.

Bill said, 'Well, that's what you get when you mess with me!' He laughed. Then, they got in the car, he screamed and went through the windshield. Crying, he crawled behind a huge brick building. He lies back there and fell asleep.

He awoke with a startle from people on him. He was bruised and cut and knocked everyone off of him. He got up and ran limping away. The bananas followed him, he screamed like a little girl again. This time the bananas jumped from roof to roof following him until they got in front, then they jumped down in front of him and walked toward him very slowly, pinning Bill up against the wall.

They started whispering something, but he couldn't understand him. They went at him full force, so Bill ducked and they hit the wall and smashed into mush! So he walked to everyone dancing and fed them bananas. And the world was saved, but everyone was scared and hated bananas. Until someone had a banana as a child, and nobody knows what happened to that place on Jupiter. It has never been there since.
(August 2008)

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Not Fair in Love and War

By Kylie , 13

Maggie groaned as her long blond hair got stuck in the bread she was making. First of all, she was sick of eating only bread and potatoes each day, and, this was the third time her hair had been a nuisance today.

She stared out of the fogged window at the cold, rainy day. She and her mother lived in Virginia, and the weather was being as depressing as their lives. Maggie soon stopped looking out of the window when she heard the gunshots and cries of war miles away in the distance. Her eyes filled with tears and she looked down as she remembered the news she and her mother had received yesterday.

Maggie's dad had been killed while fighting in the Civil War. He was just a man who wished for all humans to be treated equally, and this caused his death. He would be buried with many other soldiers who were killed, as if he were an animal who didn't mean anything. Maggie wished with all her heart for a proper funeral for her brave father, but she knew her family wouldn't be so lucky.

'Maggie, are you done mixing the bread yet?' Maggie's mom, Laura, asked as she trudged through the small kitchen.

Laura's eyes were puffy and red, and her dark hair was stringy and uncared for. Maggie knew her mother was extremely depressed because usually she was neat and clean, no matter what the conditions were. Her downhearted mom just upset her more about the loss of her father.

'No,' Maggie's voice shook, as she answered.

They both knew that they could care less about the bread, because they were too shocked and scared to eat. All they heard all day was gunshots. All they could think about was the brave man who sacrificed his life for war. Thinking about him wouldn't help now. He was already dead.

Maggie didn't understand the purpose of war. The only thing it did was kill men who were fighting over something that could be settled with one simple debate. She wished that people would actually be as smart as they acted and stop fighting physically. But life would be too good to be true then.

Laura began to hum as if she were happy, then stopped as her voice cracked with misery. She strode to the table and took the bread when Maggie was done mixing.

'I'm not really hungry right now. Are you?' she asked. Maggie shook her head. 'We'll eat later. Let's just sit by the fire right now.'

Maggie almost stumbled with weakness as she followed her mother into the cozy living room. She was very small and pale, and she needed something other than potatoes and bread to stay strong. Laura was rather plump and color remained in her cheeks. She helped Maggie when she couldn't go on any longer.

'Well, at least the fire is warm!' Laura said, trying to sound cheerful, 'here, sit down.'

Maggie was not fooled by her mother's false happiness, but returned the strained smile and sat. It took all of her strength not to burst into tears. She missed her father. It was so hard to deal with the fact that he would never be home again, that her mother would never say how Maggie resembled her father again, and that she could never laugh with him as Laura screamed while a spider ran across the floor.

The warmth of the fire did nothing to make Maggie feel better. She just wanted to fall into her mother's arms and cry, but she knew it would just make her mom feel worse.

The small room was the only cozy one in the house. Two photos of the family were hung on the wall, each of them showing a smiling set of parents with a truly happy child. A knitted rug kept the floor warm, and three cushioned chairs faced the fireplace. Maggie's heart swelled with mixed emotions as she stared at the photos on the wall. Oh, how happy we were! she thought. Then this war happened.

'Remember when...,' Maggie paused, to clear her throat. 'Remember when we used to sit in here and just talk with Father?'

'Yes,' Laura replied, sadly. 'I remember how we used to laugh, and how happy we were. But Maggie, life goes on. Whatever life will throw at us we do not know, but we must try and catch it. If it isn't what we want, then we just have to hold on and wait.'

Maggie sighed. Her mother was right, but she was not the kind of girl who thought deeply into things. All she knew right now was the hatred that was boiling up inside her. But she knew better than to argue with her mother, so she remained quiet and lowered her tear-filled eyes.

Maggie awoke suddenly. She realized she had fallen asleep. Her mother was beside her, breathing deeply and peacefully.

What had woken her up? Maggie realized someone was pounding away at the door. She sat up quickly and shook Laura awake.

'Mother, there's someone at the door!' she whispered, frantically.

Laura woke and jumped up, glancing around her with wide, alert eyes. One would never know she was sleeping.

Maggie shook with fear as she realized that there was a battle going on right in front of the house. She began to panic and started twitching towards the door.

'Maggie, stay in here.'

Laura straightened her dress and walked quickly and quietly toward the door.

She never made it. The door banged open and there stood a Confederate soldier. He was tall and huge, and glared menacingly at Laura. She backed away and shielded Maggie from him.

Maggie didn't even know the soldier, but she hated him. She hated that he supported the men who had killed her father, and she hated that he supported the idea of slavery. Just looking at the evil man made her sick.

The man glared at Maggie for a minute, as if he could read her mind. Her heart turned to ice. She didn't want to be afraid of him, but something about him made her want to run far away.

'Both of you,' he shouted, looking away from Maggie and to Laura, 'come with us, now!'

He gestured toward the door where several other Confederate soldiers stood.

'What should we do now?' Maggie whispered, hoarsely.
Maggie never heard an answer to that question, at least not from her mother. She gasped in horror as a stray bullet from the battle outside hit her mother square in the chest. She grabbed Laura's hand and felt it turn to ice with panic and despair.

'Mother,' Maggie choked, as the once cheerful light left Laura's eyes.

Laura fell as if in slow motion and lay dead on the floor.

'Well, that's one less mouth to feed,' said one of the soldiers. 'Now! Come with us, girl.'

He grabbed Maggie tightly by the arm, bruising her.

Maggie began to sob hopelessly as she was dragged away by the herd of soldiers, dragged out into battle.
(August 2008)

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Captain Chipmunk Goes To Wal-Mart

By Nate, 12

It was a bright summer day. A chipmunk named Captain Chipmunk was head of a colony of little chipmunks. It was getting close to Christmas for he was out of nuts in his pantry. Captain Chipmunk went to the chipmunk Wal-Mart to buy some nuts for the winter. Since he was the leader of the colony he didn't have to pay for anything. Not one penny. How lucky is he?

As he was driving in his brand new acorn mobile he hit a bump and rolled down a bank. He quickly jumped out and dashed away before he was crushed under the weight of it. He limply got up off the ground and brushed the dirt off his fur. Then Captain Chipmunk scampered over and looked at his acorn mobile. It was totaled.

He squeaked in disgust 'Oh Snap, what am I going to do now?!'

He called the car company called Brand New Cars for Sale. They said that they would bring a brand new acorn mobile for him. A tow truck came to get the other car and about ten minutes the brand new car was there.

When Captain Chipmunk finally got to Wal-Mart he parked his car, locked it, and went inside. It was his first time in there so he had no clue what to look for. As he walked in he saw everything that he needed starting from A to Z. As he grabbed a shopping cart he walked around. When Captain Chipmunk was finally done looking around, he looked for what he came for. He had come for some acorns to stock up for the winter. He walked over to an employee chipmunk and asked, 'Where is the nut section at?'

The employee said, 'Section 2006.' Captain chipmunk thanked him and went off to the section. When he got to the section there were no nuts left for him to buy. He then went to a lady employee and asked if they had any nuts in stock.She went back to check.

She came back and said, 'We have some in stock would you like to come back and pick out the ones you want Mr. Chipmunk sir?'

Captain Chipmunk said, 'Sure why not?!'

He went back in the place where there was stock left. When he got back, he couldn't believe what his eyes were seeing. There were about 100 rows. Each one 200 meters high. All of the shelves were packed to the max with all the different types of nuts of the world.

He said, 'I don't know which ones to get they look so good.'

The employee then said, 'How about you get all of them. You are the leader you know.'

Captain Chipmunk said, 'Sure why not?!'

Captain chipmunk went home. Then the day right before the first day of winter the delivery truck came. There were so many nuts he gave out the leftovers to the other chipmunks in the village. The poor chipmunks and the wealthy ones got nuts also. From that day on none of the chipmunks went starving ever again.
(August 2008)

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The Ice Raid

By Kurtis, 13

All DJ could think about as he sat on his knees in the garage was about how much he missed racing his old 600cc Harley Davidson on the ice back home in Wisconsin. DJ was only 19 and has basically lived the dream life. He was only 10 when he first started racing, and in those 9 short years he's become one of the best professional racers. He is originally from Wisconsin but is now living temporarily in Pennsylvania with the Greenlands. Ray Greenland is the owner of Greenland masonry and has a boy named Austin, who is 16 and also a professional racer. He is home schooled because they are always on the racing circuit. Ray hired DJ to come work for him as a labourer and for his son Austin to become a better racer and fix his bikes. DJ is one of many that have come and gone in the same situation. But he was happy and that's all that mattered at the moment.

Bang, Bang, Bang.

Austin had been complaining (like always) that something was wrong with his bike and DJ was stuck with the job of finding and fixing the problem. Pretty soon he was lost in thought again about racing on the ice back home. It was winter and very cold here in Pennsylvania.

'Ugh,' DJ groaned, as he got up to go through another log on the fire in the massive shop.

DJ's mind started to wander back to ice racing. He slowly trudged back to the bike and kicked the rear wheel. The rear wheel started to wobble instead of holding firm.

'Uh-oh', he exclaimed, 'here's the culprit! A loose wheel.'

Twool, Twool, Twool.

He tightened the wheel.

'Ah, finally finished, now time to watch a little TV.'


'Today's forecast, partly cloudy with a chance of snow.'

'Ugh, boring.'


'Alright, we're gonna try and sneak up and over the side of this here creek bed, now that buck should be right at the top in the field of Bio Logic, within 30 yards of where I'm gonna be. Hopefully I can get a shot on him.'

'Seen it.'


'Welcome back to Country Fried Home Videos.'

'Ugh, isn't there anything good on?'

His mind started to wander back to ice racing, and the more he thought about it the more he missed it.

'I know, we could race over at Colyer, there's gotta be at least 5 inches over there. Oh man, I am such a genius! Oh, it's almost dark. Oh well, it can wait till tomorrow I guess.'


Dunk, Dunk, Dunk.


Good night shop.


Eeeeeek, Bang!!

Dunk, Dunk, Dunk.

'WOOPS! Bang!

'Ough, stupid ice!'


'What a beautiful day for racing.'

Dunk, Dunk, Dunk Eeeeeeeeeek.

'Hum, I'll need this, this, this, this, this, to keep me warm.'

Eeeeeek, Bang. Thud, Thud, Thud. Eeeeeek, Bang!

'Ooh little chilly out this morning. Ready to go Austin?'

'Sure am, hey did you get my bike fixed?'

'Sure did, you gonna ride it?'

'Yep.' Whool, Whool.

'Lets go!!' Whool, Whool. They rode 6 miles to Colyer.


'Let's just start goin' around in a circle!'


4 hours later.

Weeoo, Weeoo, Weeoo. Uuuuuuuuurch. Eeeeek, BANG.

'Hey Boys!!'

Two State Troopers flagged the boys down.

'Wadda you think your doin' out here?!'

'What's it look like were doing? Pickin' goobers?'

'That'll be enough of that right now, young man.'

'Well, what'd ya expect me to say, it's pretty obvious what we're doin'.'

'Well, you could be a little more polite about it.'

'Yeah, well wadda you want anyway?' asked DJ.

'You're not allowed on the ice with them there motorcycles and they're way too loud and people are starting to complain. Besides, you been out here riding for 4 hours,' replied the cop.

'So we ain't doin' anyone any harm and the noise ain't that bad!' shouted Austin.

'Oh, so you think you ain't doin' no one any harm huh? Well, let me tell you this son, the sound of them there bikes does get a little annoying after awhile, and them fisherman, I'm sure they're tired of you scarin' all the fish away and all the noise you been making. Oh, and by the way if you boys hadda been just a foot closer to them there fisherman, we would a been haulin' you fellows off to jail for endangering the public. Now, get on out of here and I don't wanna see either of you around here again. Is that clear?'

'Yeah, whatever,' retorted DJ.

They spun their tires and showered bits of snow and ice all over the troopers and their car, knocking them both to the ice. DJ and Austin turned and laughed, then shot off like a speeding bullet. They were long gone by the time the troopers managed to get back to their feet. They were never heard from again, but ever once in a while they sneak back over to the lake and ride around a little bit.

'Stupid kids!' said the cop.

'Yeah you're tellin' me.'

'Hey, you wanna run over to the Vets and grab a bite to eat, have a couple of drinks, and get warmed up?'

'Yeah, that'd be alright.'

'You buyin'?'

'Um, NO.'

'Oh come on, I helped you out today.'

'Yeah, you didn't even say a single thing to them brats!'

'Oh whatever, they would a jumped you if I hadn't been there! You know, you don't realize it yet but you're lucky you have such a ripped partner, such as myself, or there's a couple of different situations where you could a been shilayleed if I hadn't been there. So, I think it's only fair that you buy my dinner and a of couple drinks.'

'Yeah, okay.'

'Fine suit yourself, but the next time two young guns try to jump ya don't come bawlin' to me.'

'Fine I won't.'

'Good, at least it'll give me a break from watchin' your back all the time.'

The two officers sped off to enjoy a nice hot meal and were never seen around Colyer again.
(August 2008)

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Raining Justice

By Kayla, 13

Dark clouds loomed over the small town of Thorn, New Jersey. Night started to creep into the corners and crevasses of every street and house that the town had to offer. Thunder rolled uncontrollably in the sky, shaking the shutters of the cement built homes. In one of the streets many alleys, a tall lanky figure with a gaunt face walked in the dark, seeming to materialize into thin air with every step. Covered in dirt and the host to a malodorous stench, the figure continued to wait in the shadows clutching a brown paper bag in his rough hands. He was waiting for the time to come to leave his hiding spot and proceed with his six-month old plan. Thinking of nothing else but his plan, he tapped his foot impatiently and judiciously looked into his bag to be reassured that the contents were still there. Breathing deeply, he closed the bag and his dark blue eyes and listened to the oncoming storm approaching. The man and storm alike, both were waiting for the right time to come.

'Well, my shift is up and it's about time, I'm bushed,' grumbled Officer John of the Thorn Town Police Department.

Tight-lipped and foggy-eyed, he rummaged quickly through his desk drawer looking for his car keys. Perfunctorily he got up and clocked out, and without a look back at the police department he walked out to his truck. Baby blue uniform standing out amongst the dull colors of the cars, he lunged into his dark green automobile and fired up the engine. Slowly easing up on the gas pedal, he drove out of parking lot and onto the main highway.

Dark waves of clouds started to form in the sky as the weather started to get worse. A boisterous sound was soon heard from the center of the clouds. Slowly, the married man pressed farther down on the accelerator of the old truck as it made its way farther into the town. Hearing the put-put sound of the truck as it went by, frisky squirrels scurried up the many trees disturbing the mustard-colored leaves that had been swaying peacefully in the wind. Passing by many houses and stores, the moonlight was the major source of light for the dark town. With the moon emitting light to only parts of the town, the officer failed to see a shadowed figure emerge from a broken glass door clutching a brown bag and convulsively carrying another figure.

'Let's hear some tunes,' John said, but was abruptly interrupted by the shrill scream of his walkie-talkie.

Jumping in his seat and unnecessarily saying an inappropriate word, he slammed on the brakes and grabbed the walkie-talkie. Dialing a few buttons without uttering a single sound and regaining control of his car, he regained his self-conscious.

'This is Officer John speaking,' choked his raucous voice as it spilled into the phone, like water into a well.

Looking out of the window he watched the sky grow darker in a matter of minutes. Still waiting for a reply, he sat down his walkie-talkie and now with his free hand he started to shine his badge.

'John we need you back at the station pronto,' answered the blinking walkie-talkie.

Blinking his eyes in confusion and shaking his head violently, he grabbed his walkie-talkie in anger and forced out a reply as calmly as he could.

Involuntarily through clenched teeth he answered, 'I'm on my way but may I ask why I am needed back? Over.'

Not waiting for an answer he dropped the walkie-talkie into the passenger seat and did a brake squealing u-turn in the middle of the road, barely missing a raccoon-infested garbage can. Heading in the opposite direction now going twenty miles per hour over the speed limit, he arrived at the police station. Like a honeybee's nest, it was frantic with people running this way and that shouting out demands in waves of frustration.

Set upon entering the station, he was bombarded by people all of whom wished to interrogate him. Pushing and shoving through the crowd, the red faced man made his way to the white door in the back of all the booths and many countered-topped rooms. All the rooms were stocked full of files and papers of previous crimes and criminals, which were all now being sorted through by sweaty handed officers. Coming to the white door he could now see the small gold lettering reading, Chef Logan Hardball of Deputy 94. Opening the door he was greeted by a portly man with musty-colored hair and the eyes of a wolf that seemed to stare through you.

'Ahhh, Officer John, I need you to go over to 5th and 6th Street to check out a robbery and possible kidnapping at M&T Vacuum Systems. It was a possible break in through the glass door and then a smoke bombs was placed in the hallway causing anyone to smell it to pass out and stay out for a few hours.'

He paused and looked out of the window at the parking lot which was cramped with newspaper and TV reporters all wanting to get in and get info about the kidnapping.

The chief stood, planning to leave but quietly added, 'The thief then entered the building and took $500 and seeing that there was a person inside, the thief took him/her and took off on foot down the corner of 5th Street. Just go down there and check it out and come back if you have anything, but just call back if it is minor info. We believe the thief is Matt Crook for he is specialized in breaking in and robbing by using smoke bombs. Got that?' and with a shrug of shoulder, he left the room.

The door was slammed behind him so quickly John didn't have the chance to ask a question. John was in utter shock, he was flabbergasted!! But it left him but with no choice but to leave and go to the crime scene. Reluctantly, he stomped out of the building and headed to the crime scene. He didn't even think of the obstacles that may lie ahead and were soon to come.

Sighing in despair as he got out of his car, he looked at the damaged front glass window and the shattered windowpane. In the reflection of the shattered glass, he could see that the clouds were getting darker and the wind was blowing as rapidly as the tidal waves on the shore. Walking towards the cash register was like walking through a sea of loose papers and broken vacuum cleaner houses. Arriving at the cash register he saw that it was flung open and gone through like an old lady's purse. In several places in the store, he saw signs of struggle such as toppled over chairs and shards of glass that were kicked up. At one point of scanning the trashed store, he spotted a long, shiny glass tube also known as a smoke bomb. Reporting what he had just seen to the chief, he ran out to his car and hopped in, hoping to escape the scene and head home.

'Copy that John, thanks for checking in, but we just received news that a young lady was working at the time of the robbery so we think Crook kidnapped her. If you want to keep a look out for a girl wandering the streets. Thanks again!' echoed the walkie-talkie.

Frozen in terror and humanity, his thoughts strayed back to the picture of his own fifteen year old daughter and how his heart would live in agony if she were kidnapped. Thinking about what the walkie-talkie had just said, anger rose inside of him. With a tensing face and clenched fists, he kicked open his car door and jumped out, scanning the gloomy horizon for any sign of a young girl and the kidnapper. Walking out around the car and hitting it with his foot as he went, his hands became sweaty and clammy as he stroked his head thinking about what he should do.

'Great, the weather is getting worse and there's a kidnapper on the loose and who knows, they could be anywh..,' he gasped.

Just around the corner, near an old dumpster, a dark figure had emerged out of the can and was now heading up 5Th Street. Hope seeping back into the man's eyes, he gathered up all the courage in his heart and started following pursuit but not before yelling,

'Hey, you there!! Freeze!!'

Running as fast as he could after the fleeing crook, John saw the figure carrying a brown bag and pushing another figure in front of him. A smile formed on John's face after seeing at how close they were getting. Just then, the figure lurched to the right into a dark alley; catching John off guard and making him run into a mud puddle and end up on the ground. Grumbling under his breath, John scrapped the ground with his feet, and reached for something to grab onto and pull up with, but nothing was in reach. Scrambling to get up, John steadied himself by leaning on the wall and again tried to run after the crook. Faith was slowly coming to an ending point for John, and he had to make a decision. Should he continue to follow the crook or give up and call for back up? Thoughts of his own girl came sweeping into his mind, and without a second thought, he ran farther into the dark alley after the crook.

Frantically searching for the emaciated figure of the crook and the slim figure of the girl, he once more caught sight of them now walking between two alleys; one which lead to a dead end after a while, and the other leading to a one-way exit gated park. Slowing to a brisk walk, John thought about the possible idea of them going into the gated park where he would catch them. But did the crook know where to go? He didn't have to wait long, for the girl was now pointing in the direction of the park. The crook lead himself into a trap and the girl must know I'm here, he thought. Knowing that the girl must also know of the gated park, he ran back the way he had came, to go down an alley, that would intercept with the alley that they would be going down.

Thunder rolled and lightning flashed in the sky as John ran down the alley. The weather was sensing that something bad was going to happen. As small raindrops started to fall, John arrived at the locked gate. Hearing footsteps approaching, John hid behind the park sign, rain and sweat dripping over his face and taking over his body. He then waited till they were just in front of him.

'Arrgg!!!' roared John as he sprang out onto the crook.

With all his heart and soul, John swung the crook's arms around trying to sit on the crook's back and keep him were he was, but the body under him flailed and kicked like a caught fish. With receiving many hits in the back and gut, John gripped the man's arm tighter. By biting his lip till his jaw trembled, John kept the guy down in fear that the he would escape. In the distance, the other figure inched slowly toward the soaked brown bag and with trembling hands, the figure picked up the bag.

'You are under arrest for breaking and entering, kidnapping, and stealing. You have the right to remain silent,' screamed John, through the roaring thunder, slashing winds and the pounding rains that echoed in his ears.

With one last crack of thunder, the rain came to a slow end and the sky went black; not even the moon or its light could be seen through the darkening clouds.

'No, please you have the wrong guy!! You're letting the real thief go!! No please!! Please listen to me!!' pleaded a thin and wary voice from under John's muscular body.

John, blocking out the sound of the kidnapper, screamed to the girl at his side that had picked up the brown bag to run home. Though there was hardly any light to see, John heard the girl run away without a word said. John reached into his pocket and pulled out silver handcuffs and handcuffed the crook. Heaving the crook onto his feet and grabbing his soaked walkie-talkie, he fumbled with the buttons till he heard a satisfying beep. He then retuned the walkie-talkie to his pocket knowing that with hearing that beep, the station would know that the crook was caught. Blindly shoving the man down the ally, the two figures made their way towards the abandon car.

The only thing on John's mind was the thought of the girl's safety and the criminal behind bars. Justice and luck are the key words he thought, and through the storm, he ushered the crook to his car. He wanted to get a better look at the crook who he thought was Matt under the dim streetlight in which his car was parked under. With one last shove, John got the blue t-shirted man under the light. Picturing the brown haired and glassy blue-eyed stare of Matt Crook that he was likely to get, he turned the boy around.

To his horror he saw a black haired boy and a brown-eyed stare. Jaw risen, eyes planted on the ground and hands in a tight fist, the boy on which he had taken into custody wasn't Matt Crook but John's neighborhood newspaper delivery boy, Billy.

John stood there staring at the boy, swaying as if he was intoxicated. It was implausible!! John's face turned a ghostly pale and he had to lean on the hood of the car to keep from falling onto the ground in shock. Shaking his head wildly back and forth, the only thing that John got out of the boy was a cold, spine-tickling stare that seemed to melt all the emotions inside of him.

'No you wouldn't, couldn't have been the robber. Why? Why did you kidnap a girl and steal money?' choked John.

Thoughts stirring back to the stolen money in the brown bag, John frantically looked around the vicinity for the bag. Seeing that it was nowhere in sight, he shook his head and closed his eyes. Moaning in disbelief, he straightened his posture and listened to the boy's story.

'I didn't steal or kidnap anybody!! In fact, I was the one that was kidnapped!' Billy screamed, and he thrust his handcuffed hands into the air in frustration and turned his back on the officer.

John poked his fore finger at Billy and shook it like a loose hotdog.

'Wait a minute, so you are telling me that you were kidnapped and that you didn't steal the money, but I thought the robber whoever it was, kidnapped a girl not a boy.'

'No, you got it all wrong!' Billy's face was as red as a beat.

If it could happen, steam would be coming out of his ears and nose. Billy was getting as mad and aggravated as a bull ready to charge.

'The police guessed wrong! It wasn't a girl that was kidnapped, it was a boy, and it was me!! Here, let me explain.'

Billy wasn't going to wait for John to answer. For the next ten to fifteen minutes, Billy explained how he had been working the late shift at M&T since the girl who had worked the late shift quit the previous day. Billy explained that he was about to do the daily totals when a man in black with brown hair and blue eyes, Matt Crook, walked by the store with a brown bag. The man then stood in front of the store and opened the bag pulling out a grey tube and throwing it into the front showroom case. The whole store then filled up with a chimney-smoke kind of gas and Billy tried to run, knocking over chairs as he ran. But then he fainted and didn't awake till he was thrown into a dumpster and commanded to keep quiet or else.

'I felt like my life was in danger but I didn't see if the guy had a weapon. I knew that he did steal from the cash register for there was a minute hole in the bag and I saw green. I'm sorry I didn't scream my name at you when you were chasing us. Now, it is my fault that the crook got away with the money.'

Head hanging down, Billy fell silent as John recalled the situation and looked off into the distance. He knew there was no chance that he would catch the real thief, and he felt ashamed about the occurring events.

Guilt hit him like a machete knife; he covered his face with his hands, hoping that when he took them off he would awake from this horrible nightmare. But when he heard the siren of cars from the background, he knew it was no dream. It needs to rain justice he thought, and without another word he released Billy and walked over to the chief to explain the event. Knowing in his heart that he, John Phials, would never forget himself for what had happened.

In the dark street lit by only a few street lamps, Officer John Phials stood alone on the wet street as the chief came over to get the news. In the background, lightning struck and the thunder rolled while the rain, as if on queue, started to fall.
(August 2008)

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One Crazy Night At Gamestop

By Tim, 13

Get to the back of the line!'

'No cutting!'

'No pushing!'

That was the cops trying to control the people in line for the biggest game release in history. It was a chilly night, Friday, the night before the game released. People could hardly wait to get their hands on that game. Some people came for the game for their kids. Then most of the people like me, came for the game themselves. Most of them were teenagers (like me) but the funny part was there were old people too at the place. I think that is crazy for them to stand out and wait in this kind of weather. It was at a local Gamestop, down in a local shopping center in New York City. There were other stores at the shopping center too. I remember seeing two or three there. Like a skate shop, L.L Beans and some others I can't remember.

I stood in the chilly cold night. Waiting for the line to move up. I remember what number I was in line. I was number 77, out of 438 people. Lots of people huh? When sitting in line, getting up, moving, and repeating, or just standing on my free will can getting a little annoying. But I'll hang in there. I saw the line move up about a hair. I got up and move right long with the people. I met a lot of cool people there too. Like this one guy named Tom. He was just like me. Had a 360, had X-Box Live and plays with other people on Live for fun and enjoys it for the love of the game. But a lot of people didn't want to talk to me because I was a stranger to them.

Just a simple 'Hi! What did you come here for?'

It didn't get too conversational. The line moved up again. The employee's calling numbers ' 35! ' 36! '37!

I took a look at the ground, 'This is going to be a long night!'

The alarm clock went off. DAA, DAA, DAA! I took a look at my clock 8:30. I got up, got a shower, and headed out to pick up some stuff up for my parents. This was the morning before the night of the game release. When driving through midtown I saw posters everywhere. The traffic was slow. Heck! It's always slow in midtown because of the traffic. I went into Giant got some milk, some food, etc. And I was on my way. The day passed quickly. I went out of the house and headed for my Black F150 Ford and I was on my way. When I pulled in the shopping center there was a huge line, filled with a lot of people. I got out of my car quickly and headed over. I got my ticket for number 77 in line and went to the back of the long line. So then started the long wait.

'Hey buddy! Buddy! The line just moved I would move if you don't want to loose your spot.'

'Yeah, thanks.'

I took a nap on accident. Time passed and passed. It was 1:30 am. The lined moved up. Almost to that wonderful door of the store! 72! 73! 74! 75! Two more and I'm half way there to having that game in my cold gibbering hands. 76! 77! Yes!!! That was me!

'What?! You can't do this to us!' That was people who got called up like numbers 67 and 68 and 69.

'What's going on?' I asked, curious.

' The store manager closed the store on all of us!'

'What? Wait till I get my hands on him!'

The store manager stood inside smirking and laughing with his employees. The people started hitting the store doors. The cops rushed up to the doors trying to get the crowd back! They couldn't control us. I thought they were going to call the riot control squad. The wimpy cops got out of the way and let the people do what they got to do. They thought it will make a breaking news flash all around the big apple. Well it did. Helicopters were in the air filming this. This was pretty funny at the time. All of this stuff in one night! I thought to myself.


The people were about to push open the locked door (including me. Well hey; I didn't come all the way out here for nothing).


The doors open with a bang. People rush in, going mad and berserk all in the store. I go up to the manager. I look him straight in the eye and tell him,

'You made a big mistake!'

I punch him right in the jaw, like a right hook from the mad Mike Tyson. I go behind the counter and grab the game while everyone else in the store is beating up the employees that aren't knocked out. I go outside, look at the store, look at the game, and I was on my way. I went home sat down, got a game fuel, and enjoy my game. What a heck of a night!

The next day the news came on.

'We have had a little riot by a local Gamestop down in a small shopping center down in the big apple. 438gamers waited outside last night for a xbox 360 game called ' Condemned 2: Bloodshot.' Apparently the manager of the store closed the store at number77. The rest of the people broke out into a riot going mad. Cops let people break down the doors to the store and beat up the manager and his employees. A lot of people got the game they wanted, but a lot still empty handed. The manager of Gamestop got fired, and got throw into prison for 1 year.'
(August 2008)

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The One That Got Away

By Josh , 12

Danny and Sam had Shaq cornered at a window.

'You'll never get away!' said Dan.

'Oh, yes I will!' replied the confident Shaq.

What is he up to?

Shaq Tyson is a world famous thief. He found out how to steal the gold from a bank, the silver from Texas, and a mint machine from the U.S. Treasury. The gold had been in a safe, and the mint machine had been left alone. The silver from Texas, though, took some time. He had to go to every bank and steal from every bank. He has quite a reputation.

One day when he was at the NAT (National Association of Thieves), somebody brought up the topic of stealing the Sacred Jewel of Persia. As soon as he heard the idea, Shaq automatically jumped all over it. He began to prepare.

Shaq went undercover to scout where it was located. He wore a black hood and sunglasses. It turned out that the jewel was held at Persia's most important castle. The palace was very heavily guarded with men and security cameras, and also had a very steep wall to climb up and Infa-red security beams everywhere. He began to make tools. He made a very long and strong grappling hook and suction cups for his hands and feet. He also made a powder that would make the beams show and make the men distracted. Finally, he was ready for the heist, which would be the night after.

Shaq was hidden in a bunch of leaves to avoid detection. When the men weren't looking, he made his climb. He twirled the grappling hook up the side of the castle and climbed up. When he made it to the top, he was panting and out of breathe, but he eventually recovered. Shaq didn't know where to look, so he went through the castle, the hallways, and looked in all the rooms. He looked in one room where one person was sleeping, but didn't find it. He looked into the kitchen, but didn't find the jewel. Then he went to the bathroom, used it, but did not find it in there. He was just wandering around when he saw a room that said:


Now, being a big, bad thief, Shaq thought right away, cool, this has got to be where it is. He entered the room and screamed, 'JACKPOT, BABY!!!!!!!'

There, in a clear, transparent case was The Sacred Jewel of Persia. He took one step and thought as he rubbed his chin, 'This is too easy.'

He used the white, rough, smelly powder and saw the Infra-red security beams. So, he made his way through the red security beams to the case. Then, he lifted the case when suddenly the alarm went off. Beep, Beep, Beep! Shaq grabbed the jewel and turned around to see two muscular guards standing at the door. He saw their white name tags contrasting against their black jackets. The one on the left said Danny and the one on the right said Sam. Sam and Danny cornered Shaq to the window. Shaq thought of every possible way to escape, but these guys had a perfect record of catching thieves. There was only one way to escape and Shaq knew it.

'You'll never get away!' said Dan.

'Oh yes I will!' replied the confident Shaq.

Then, Shaq did the craziest thing ever. He used his remaining powder as a cover while he jumped to safety out the window! Shaq ended up landing on a thorn bush, and had fallen on the ground hard. He also had a broken leg, but he was happy he got away. The guards weren't so lucky, though. They ended up falling out of the window and landed on the cement walkway. Shaq hopped through the yard, where he went and met other guards. He got away from them and had to swim through a lake with the guards on the water chasing after him. They were firing missiles at him. He dodged them and to the safety of his hideaway shack. He got away.

It turns out that Shaq sold the Sacred Jewel of Persia for 1 trillion dollars! Shaq had suffered a broken leg while his getaway, but he pulled through. He ended up retiring in a mansion in Beverly Hills with a giant pool and everything he could want. Back at the NAT, he was thought of a big hero and they made Shaq a big-time hero. The guards were shook up in the ER with broken butts and were on Workers Compensation. They ended up getting back to their jobs and caught every other thief that came near them. Although, they had an almost spotless record, their boss fired them! The Jewel of Persia ended back where it belonged, and the guy Shaq sold it to was behind bars.
(August 2008)

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True Friends or Worst Enemies

By Sierra, 13

Everyone was looking at me and laughing for no reason. I thought that I might have something on my face. But it wasn't that at all. This was the start to a horrible day in ninth grade.

Over the weekend I had gone to my friend's house and we were all playing truth or dare. When it was my turn, I decided to do a truth.

Ashley said,' Tell us your deepest, darkest secret.'

Well, I told them, but now I totally regret it. Today at school they must have told everyone about my secret.

Everyone was laughing and saying,' Look at Lydia.'

I started getting suspicious, and I couldn't stop thinking about the night they found out. When I walked into 3rd period Ashley, Chelsea, and Brooke were all staring at me.

I knew it was something to do with me and I said, 'You didn't.'

And they said, 'Oh yes, we did.'

I ran out of the classroom in tears. Everyone at East High was laughing at me and I couldn't wait until that day was over. I walked home, but I usually went with my 'friends' but not anymore, they told my secret to everyone at school and I couldn't wait to get them back.

The next day, I was at my locker waiting for them to walk by so I could talk to them about yesterday. But of course they didn't come by, so I went to my classroom and asked the teacher if I could use the restroom and the girls were in there talking about me.

I walked in and said, 'Whatever you three are saying about me you better stop because you three are really starting to make me mad.'

Ashley said, 'We could never talk about you.'

I replied, 'I just heard you, and I am never going to talk to you three ever again, because I can't trust you guys like I used to.'

Then I walked out and still there were some people laughing at me and I was so angry. I didn't want to go to cheerleading practice because those irresponsible girls were on the cheerleading squad.

I knew something was going to happen at practice. This is what happened. Chelsea is going to have a really cool birthday party for her sweet 16 and I was mad because I thought that she would only invite popular people to her party but actually she didn't, she invited non-popular people too and that surprised me a lot.

But then, they all walked up to me and said, 'Can we be friends again. We are really sorry we were talking about you, and we are also really sorry for telling your secret to everyone, we just want you to be our friend again.'

I replied, 'As long as there is no more fighting because I can't handle the pressure that puts me in.'

Brooke said, 'Are we friends or what?'
I said, 'Yeah of course.'

Chelsea said, 'Do you want to come to my party?'

'Definitely,' I replied, before she could even get the rest of her sentence out.

That night I was so tired that I fell asleep around 8:30 p.m. And I didn't wake up until 6:30 a.m. That was the longest time I have ever slept, but the worst part was I forgot to do my homework and I got in a lot of trouble with my teacher that day. I mean a lot of trouble. I can only miss my homework assignment one more time or I could get a detention or even be kicked off the cheerleading squad. I got so worried after that happened.

That night I called up Ashley and said, 'I need your help with something.'

She said, 'Okay, but with what?'

I said, 'If I miss one more homework assignment I could get a detention or even get kicked off the cheerleading squad and I don't want that to happen. What should I do because I kind of forgot my homework for tonight?'

Ashley replied, 'Just call someone up and ask them if they can tell you the problems.'

I said, 'Okay that sounds good. Thanks a lot for your help.'

'Yeah, you're welcome,' said Ashley.

After that I called up this girl named Kelsey from my math class and I said to her, 'Hey Kelsey this is Lydia from your math class. I was wondering if you could give me the problems to the math questions. I forgot my homework at school, if you can give them to me that would be wonderful and a great help.'

Kelsey replied, 'Sure, I can give them to you. Let me get my math book.'

Then Kelsey gave me the questions and I was saved and I kept saying, 'Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. You saved my life.'

She said, 'Yeah anytime you forget your homework you can surely ask me. I will certainly give you the questions. Bye.'

'Bye,' I replied.

That night I was so happy that she gave me the questions to our math homework. I felt really good inside and I couldn't wait to go back to school and tell my math teacher that I did get my homework done.

In the morning I got up and looked at my cell phone and it said 1 new message. Whenever I looked at it, it was from Ashley and she wrote,

'I just wanted to tell you that Chelsea, Brooke, and I were just playing with you and we are not your friends anymore but actually we never were. I was just telling you that and Chelsea wants her invitation to her party back because we don't want you at her party. Oh yeah, one more thing we hope you get kicked off the cheerleading squad. Ha.'
This came to me as a surprise. I mean I thought that we were becoming friends again. Apparently, we never were friends, and now we never will be.

I walked up to Chelsea, 'You can have this back u backstabbing jerk! I wouldn't come to your party even if you wanted me to.'

I turned and walked down the hall. I looked back one more time just so I could remember the look on her face. She looked like someone had just run over her puppy. From that day on Chelsea and her friends never gave me any trouble.

The past 4 weeks at East High have been very quiet between the girls and me. Ashley had to be sent to military school because her parents thought she was too mean to kids and they wanted to teach her a lesson At least now I know that true friends are one in million, not just anyone.
(August 2008)

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By Tori, 13

It was a nice spring day. The birds were chirping and the wind was blowing. I just got out of the hot shower and smelled the fresh smell of new flowers from down in the garden blowing in. I heard my phone ring. It was Ally, my best friend. she told me they were having a dorm party that night and wanted me to come. They were having pizza and dancing and other stuff. As I got off the phone with Ally, Morgan called and told me that she wanted to get ready with me and go to the party together. I told her to be at my dorm by 5 because the party starts at 7.

It was almost lunchtime so I walked over to the cafeteria to get some lunch it was my favorite, tacos. Then, after that I went home to study before Morgan came over because we have a big test on Monday. Then it was finally five o'clock I heard a knock on my door it was Morgan,

'Hi party buddy. Are you ready to get ready for the best party of the year?'

'Oh yeah,' I said, happily.

She got in the shower and took forever. It was almost 6 and she just got done drying her hair. I had to curl my hair real fast and put on my favorite pair of Hollister jeans that I just got from the mall when my parents came up to visit me, and my pink Abercrombie tank top, then got my socks on and my pink converse high tops. Morgan got dressed quickly and brushed her hair before we left. We started walking down the stairs then the whole way across the campus it took almost forty-five minutes because Morgan had to wear her new high heels that Josh, her new boyfriend, got her for Easter.

Finally, we got there. As soon as I walked into the room they gave me red plastic cups with something clear in it.

I asked what it was and they just said, 'Drink it, silly it is good.'

I took a sip, it was horrible I thought. I would get used to it but I think after four hours of drinking it I was already drunk after the first two hours. I could not believe some of my best friends got me drunk. What kind of friends do I have?

The next three hours were nightmares. My friends all dared me to do bloody Mary I was too drunk to be smart and say no, so I said yes just to impress everyone. I was not the smartest girl in school but was the prettiest girl, a lot of people looked up to me, they wanted to be like me. So my friend's thought that I would be drunk enough to get me to do bloody Mary, and they sure did do a good job at that. I almost passed out.

But what I never told anyone was that I had a heart disease and have had it since I was just four years old. I have something in my heart that if I get too stressed or scared it will ring. My family was so upset when they found out because they knew that I could die at anytime, that's why they wanted me to go to a college close to home, in case anything happens. So, my friends were saying that if it were true then you would hear a bell ring before she comes. So I went into the girls bathroom and I said bloody Mary five times and was spinning while it happened. Someone came from the second bathroom stale and grabbed me and I thought it was bloody Mary and my heart scanner beeped and I passed out and everyone rushed in. I heard all their footsteps. I screamed, I had blood all over my chest. They all called the ambulance. After waiting ten minutes they finally arrived, I was in a comma for about 4 days. I hated it and everyone was so worried. I woke up for a couple of minutes. Ally, Morgan, Josh and other people that were at the dorm party were there. My parents and best friends were crying. They hated me like this, they just wanted their best friend back.

All my family and friends brought me chocolate, teddy bears, and balloons and they all said,

'I am so glad you're up Sally.'

The red alert came among them. They screamed for the doctor but they knew that I was going to die.

The big crowd said, 'Why does this happen to us? What did we ever do to you dear God?'

After the miserable tragedy they had a funeral on Monday. I could see everything that was happening, what people said and everything. I was in Heaven now, I was watching over them all. I haunted the ones that hated me and made me do Bloody Mary and scared them. I was getting back at them. Until one day I heard Morgan's voice. I thought I was dreaming but I wasn't, it was true. I could hear her talking to me. I could see her. She told me to give them another chance, if they were my true friends they would know I would want them to be happy because they were all miserable after I died. I missed all my friends. I remembered the times we shared together. I started to cry. Morgan didn't know what she said that made me so sad.

'Sally, are you going to be okay?' Morgan muttered.

'Yes, I will be. I just need sometime alone but thanks, you opened my eyes,' I said, sobbing.

'Well, I just want you to know that I love you a lot Morgan, you and Ally will always be my best friends tell Ally the same,' I said.

'Okay, I will.'

Morgan started to cry too.

'Alright, well I have to go. Please give them another chance,' Morgan said sadly

'Bye FOREVER babe,' I said, fast.

'BYE! Have a good life in heaven always watch over me!' said Morgan, crying.
(August 2008)

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The Three Month Anniversary

By Amber, 12

It was early in the month on a Monday morning. The sun had begun to shine. Alissa could hear the birds chirping. There was a cool breeze blowing. Alissa had just got off the bus and had begun looking for Corbin. Corbin was at his locker getting the books that he needed for his morning classes. They had been going out for three months now. Alissa was so excited and wondered if Corbin had gotten her a present. As Alissa approached Corbin's locker she noticed that there was no sign that he had gotten her a gift. Corbin turned around and saw that Alissa looked disappointed. Her arms were crossed in front of her chest. When she walked her feet dragged across the floor.

'What's wrong?' asked Corbin, in a concerning voice.

'You didn't forget did you!?' Alissa was starting to become upset.

Corbin searched his mind trying to figure out what Alissa was talking about. It wasn't her birthday was it?

'What are you talking about?' questioned Corbin.

'Today is our three month anniversary! How could you forget this? I've been waiting for weeks for this day to come and you forgot!' Alissa was fuming now!

'I'm sorry, there's just so much on my mind lately, you know with SAT's coming up and all.'

Corbin had been really stressed out lately mostly because the SAT's were coming up and his whole future is depending on the grade he gets. But, also because his friend, Colleen who had been friends with him since fourth grade, just told him that her Uncle Rick passed away. Corbin had come to know Rick very well because of Colleen. Rick was very funny and he was always there for Corbin even though he wasn't family or anything. Alissa didn't know Rick, and Corbin didn't want to concern her by telling her about his death. After all, Alissa was always a very emotional person and this would make her very sad.

'I didn't tell you this because I didn't want you to worry about it but I guess you deserve to know what has been bothering me so much.'

Corbin wasn't sure how Alissa would take this, but he felt bad for upsetting her when he could have been open and told her. Then he would not have had to try and hide it from her.

'What is it?' asked Alissa.

'You know Colleen, right? Well her uncle Rick...'

'It's okay, just tell me,' Alissa was dying to know, and wished that he would just come out and say it.

'He passed away last Saturday,' Corbin's eyes got really watery and his lips started to quiver, he hated that Alissa was mad at him and thinking about this was just too much.

'Oh my God, I had no clue, I am so sorry that I flipped out on you,' Alissa was trying not to cry, she was so mean and he had so much on his mind, 'are you okay?'

'Ya, I'm fine. It's just that there is so much stuff going on and then all this happened. It's just too much. I am trying to be there for Colleen and still be strong but you know how it is.'

'No problem. I mean if I would have known sooner I never would have gotten so mad that you forget our anniversary,' Alissa felt horrible about this she wanted to help him but had no clue how, 'Is there any way that I can help?'

'Thanks, but I think this is just something I have to get through by myself.'

Corbin really appreciated that she wanted to help but he wasn't sure that she could. This was just something that he had to let run its course.


'Well, there is the bell. I got to go but you know where I am if you need me.'

Alissa didn't want to leave him after all this but she couldn't miss class, there was a huge chapter test today.

'Thanks,' Corbin wanted to say more but he just couldn't get anything else to come out.

As Alissa walked away Corbin thought about the conversation he had with her before she knew about Colleen. He had to get her a gift, but what.

Corbin made his way to Language Arts as he thought about what to get Alissa. There were so many things he could get her, flowers, jewelry, even something as simple as a teddy bear, but he felt that he needed to get her something more special, something that was unique and would show how much he really loved her.

In Language Arts the class just happened to be reading a romance novel. In the novel the main character puts a blindfold over his girlfriend's eyes and took her to the beach where he had laid out a blanket. There they had a candle lit dinner under the beautiful night sky gazing into each other's eyes and at the stars.

The more he read the more he thought about how much Alissa would love that type of thing. Finally, he decided that he was going to take Alissa to a candlelit dinner under the stars, along the shores of the beautiful ocean. It was the perfect anniversary present.


Before making his way to Science, Corbin slipped a note into the slit at the top of Alissa's locker. He made sure that Alissa had not been there yet and that she would get the note. Then before she saw him he walked away and went to Science.

When Alissa got to her locker she put her combination in and pulled up on the latch. When she opened the door she noticed that some thing had fallen on the ground. She leaned down and gripped it in her hand. She wasn't sure who it was from, considering that Corbin had never done this before. Slowly but surely she opened the note.

Dear Alissa,

I know how upset you were that I forgot our anniversary, so tonight at 8:00 I will be taking you somewhere to make it up to you. The rest is a surprise.
Happy anniversary!!!

Love Corbin

P.S.: I will pick you up at 7:30 sharp.

Alissa instantly got a smile on her face. He was going to make it up to her, he was taking her out for their anniversary.

As Alissa realized that the halls were empty she rushed to her class hoping that the teacher hadn't realized that she was late. Alissa approached the door. Slowly, Alissa opened the door since she saw that the teacher had his back to her.

'Thank you for joining us Ms. McCarty,' Mr. Zeruth exclaimed, as he turned around.

'How did he see me? He was facing the other direction!' Alissa thought, to herself.

Alissa walked back to her seat and sat down. Mr. Zeruth calmly sat down at his desk, pulled open the drawer, and pulled out a small slip of paper. He found a pen and wrote something on it. Then, he stood up and he walked through the aisle to where Alissa sat. He placed the sheet of paper on her desk and continued teaching class.

Thank god he didn't make that big of a deal about it. Alissa picked up the piece of paper and read it.


I will see you in my room today for a lunch detention. But don't be late again or I won't be so nice.

Alissa felt like a huge brick was just lifted off her shoulders. The next time that Mr. Zeruth looked at her, she silently thanked him for being so nice and understanding. He nodded to show that he understood.

When class was over Alissa went to Corbin's locker. He was talking to his friend when she walked up. As his friend left Alissa gave Corbin a hug.

'What was that for?' Not that he was complaining or anything.

'You know what?' said Alissa, with a grin.

'So I take it that you got the note?' Corbin had been wondering if she'd gotten it.

'Of course I got it, and I can't wait!' Alissa couldn't hide her excitement any longer; the truth was that Alissa was bursting with excitement.

'I was late for class and Mr. Zeruth gave me a lunch detention but, I will see you tonight,' Alissa turned on her heels and walked way.


The bell, it was time to eat lunch. Alissa went to the cafeteria and got her tray. Then she walked back to Mr. Zeruth's room with her head down.

'I'm here,' Alissa searched the room for her teacher, 'hello? Mr. Zeruth? Are you in here?' Alissa sat her tray down on a nearby desk.

She sat down and began to eat her lunch. Where is he? Alissa thought to herself.

Suddenly, Mr.Zeruth walked into the room carrying his lunch.

'Glad to see that you are eating your lunch and not wandering around the room, I had a phone call to take care of in the teachers lounge. Thanks for being so good while I was gone,' Mr. Zeruth said, as he sat down at his desk to eat lunch.

The rest of the period was silent. The only sound Alissa could hear was the sound of the clock ticking and Mr. Zeruth shifting in his seat. When Alissa started hearing commotion in the halls she knew the detention was over.

'Can I leave now?' Alissa had been waiting to leave the room since she'd gotten there.

'I guess so, but remember what I said about being late again,' Mr. Zeruth gathered up what was left of his lunch and he threw it in the trash, 'have a nice day.'

As Mr.Zeruth said this, Alissa walked out of the room.

The rest of the day was never-ending. Then when the final bell rang Alissa raced to her locker, got her books, and rushed out the door. She was so excited that she could hardly sit still.

When Corbin got off the bus he rushed inside, dropped his books on the ground and grabbed his mother's car keys. He had some shopping to do. Corbin decided that he could get what he needed fastest at the Wal-Mart. As Corbin pulled into the parking lot he went through the list of things he needed in his head. Corbin drove into the nearest parking spot, turned his car off, got out of the car, and shut the door. Then he walked into the store and got a cart.

When Corbin finished getting the things that he needed, he left the store and headed to the beach to set up.

Meanwhile Alissa was getting ready. He was supposed to pick her up in 15 minutes.

'Everything is ready to go, I suppose that I should go pick up Alissa,' said Corbin. Sometimes he liked to talk to himself, it seemed to calm his nerves.

Alissa was putting the final touches on her make-up when she heard the doorbell ring.

Corbin's hands were beginning to get clammy and his mouth was getting dry. He wasn't exactly sure why he was so nervous; they had been going out for three months. He rang the doorbell one more time.

'Hey, I am ready now.'

Alissa walked out the door and went down her steps to Corbin's car.

'Okay you have to put this blindfold on or I am not taking you,' Corbin pulled out a blues handkerchief and tied it around Alissa's eyes.

'Where are you taking me anyway?' Alissa wondered.

'I told you, you'll see when we get there. If I tell you now it will ruin the whole surprise. But don't worry, we're almost there.' Corbin laughed as he nudged Alissa's shoulder.

When they finally arrived Corbin untied the blindfold.

Alissa's jaw dropped, he had lit candles and placed them on a picnic blanket. There was a basket with small finger sandwiches and other foods sitting on top of the blanket, in between the candles.

Corbin walked Alissa over to the blanket and sat down.

'Well, what do you think? Do you like it or not?' Corbin was hoping that this was Alissa's idea of romantic.

'Yes, I love it! But more importantly, I love you!' Alissa couldn't hide her excitement. She never expected him to think of something this romantic.

Corbin handed Alissa a finger sandwich,.

'It may not be a great meal but it's all that I could make.'

Corbin didn't really know how to cook that well, but he could handle to make a simple finger sandwich without messing something up.

'I love it, but with all this stuff going on, ya didn't have to do this,.

Alissa did kind of feel bad about the whole thing with Colleen's uncle and everything else he was going through.

After they finished eating, Alissa gave Corbin his anniversary present. Alissa got him an autographed Penn-State jersey. Penn-State was his favorite team and Alissa just knew that he would love it.

'Wow, this is awesome! I love it! Thank you so much.' Corbin had always wanted an autographed Penn-State jersey.

So it turned out that it was the perfect night and Alissa and Corbin were still the perfect couple. From then on they told each other everything and if one of them had a problem, the other made sure that they didn't make it worse. Turns out that they were perfect for each other and they continued to go out for a long time after that day.
(August 2008)

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One Left

By Sam, 12

Things had been black for a while. All Mac could remember was riding in a car with his best friend Ed. Then he suddenly remembered those searing yellow lights. A drunk driver in a semi truck. After he woke up in the hot hospital, he knew the wreck might have caused him to go into a coma. Mac still wondered why the hospital was dark and acrid smelling. He stood up and surprisingly his legs did not give out. There was no one in his room at all and all the TV showed was static. Mac began to panic. Even though he became easily paranoid he sat back down and ran his hands through his long black hair. He looked out and saw something that looked like hundreds of ivy-covered buildings outside his window, with things like deer and bear roaming the streets. Multicolored birds flocked among the many buildings.

Mac decided he had better get out of there. As soon as he had stepped into the hallway he knew where that hideous acrid smell had come from. What was a half eaten human corpse was sprawled on the floor. Mac felt sick but he didn't know why. However, many years he had been in that coma he knew he had not eaten the least bit of food. He stepped around it and went to find his clothes because he noticed he was still in that old hospital robe. He found a room that said 'Employee Uniforms'. He found a well fitting comfortable pair of scrubs and a pair of shoes that went right on. Now that he had actual clothes on, he felt much more comfortable. He ventured back into the hallway and went to find a way out of the crazy place. He knew he was not on the bottom floor so he went down a hallway and since the power was not back on yet he found a staircase and made his way down.

After he had found a way out he had looked around to find an eerie mist hanging over everything. He had remembered broad daylight when he had first peered uneasily outside the hospital window. Also, for all the ivy that had been hanging around, it had gone from being in a hot stuffy hospital to an almost ice cold temperature outside. He could still see but it the mist still sort of annoyed him. He found a general store and walked in. Luckily, there was food that had not spoiled yet in all the freezers and many drinks in bins of water that had previously been filled with ice. He got out a pack of hot dogs and went to the employee lounge and found a microwave. After cooking the hot dogs he went back out and got a can of Mountain Dew. By the time he had finished the pack the mist seemed to have lifted but now that he saw the sky again he knew it was getting close to nightfall. Even though he had been in a coma for a long while he was still in great need of a nap.

He found a Comfort Inn and went inside the unlocked doors. The air seemed to have been off long ago but it was still cooler in there than it had been outside. All of the lights still worked so he went to the elevator and pushed the up button. As he walked into the elevator the doors began to close when what looked like a whole group of people walked into view as they crossed the parking lot almost limping towards the door. He hit the floor 3 button as many times as he could and as he was traveling up the floors he heard shattering glass below. As soon as the doors opened he sprinted hastily to the closest room and since the door had been open he searched the room then slammed the door. He knew anything wanting to get in either had to have the intelligence to get the right key card or it would have to beat his door down. He then fell into a very uneasy sleep.

When he awoke, it was about 4 in the morning and he thought he had heard crashes two floors below. He knew what ever he had seen was either angry or looking for something. He bolted out of his room making sure to wedge the door with something then locked all the staircase doors. He went back to his room and removed the wedge from his door. He then fell back asleep feeling a little better about things. He woke again around noon feeling well rested. He felt brave enough to leave his room and when he looked downstairs it looked like a tornado had hit. The creatures he had seen the night before had oddly disappeared. Had they only been a figment of his imagination? Had it all been a dream? Either way he knew he would have to venture downstairs for breakfast. For how cool it had been the night before it had become unusually hot in the whole hotel. He also noticed the lights were out. He was guessing they had killed the power and the broken glass he had heard last night had surely let in all the warm, humid, summer air. He unlocked the staircase doors knowing he may need to come back here later on. He remembered the elevators ran on electricity so the last door he unlocked he decided to go down. Luckily, the staircase ended right across from the kitchen. Since it had only been hot for a few hours none of the food had gone bad yet. He used the oven and made some eggs and toast for breakfast. On the first full stomach it felt like he had had for years he decided courageously to search Huntingdon for anymore of those creatures.

He walked out into the hot summer day with a brisk wind blowing which was very relaxing after all the stress he had been through. He was walking into a more heavily forested part of town when he tripped over a heavy lump. He turned around and saw a dead body. He almost lost the good breakfast he had just eaten. He held it down and then he examined the body but was also careful because he flipped it over with a stick. Whatever it was, it had pasty white pale skin. It looked as if it had some sort of disease. Then, he noticed whatever it was must have been a human once because it had many human-like characteristics about it. He remembered the medical scholarship he had been offered and hadn't taken and suddenly thought of something. He searched the pockets and luckily found a sterile needle to get blood with. He carefully inserted the needle where doctors had used to draw blood from him or had given him shots. The blood wasn't its usual crimson but more of a violet or lavender color. He decided to trek back to the hospital to find something to analyze the blood in. Even if the report of it was confusing to him, he knew lavender or violet was not a usual color of human blood.

When he reached the hospital he notice the creatures that he had seen the night before, (now afraid to admit something may have happened to the human race) must have been to the hospital too, because everything was destroyed. He walked around the hospital searching for a lab to test the blood at. As he walked into the lab he saw shattered glass guessing whatever he got the blood from had been in here. Luckily, there were still working machines to test the blood in. He pushed all the blood into a vial and slid it into the machine.

While he waited he decided to return to the cafeteria for a lunch. Apparently, the power was running again because for the first time since he had woken up there, Mac had noticed the lights were on. From a sort of turning vending machine he had punched a hole in by wrapping his outer jacket around his hand, he had gotten a frozen grilled cheese sandwich. He walked over to the microwave and popped it in. While he waited for his grilled cheese to cook he turned back around to get another can of Mountain Dew. Even though it had only been two days without humans around him Mac was starting to get a little scared. After he had finished his lunch he returned to the lab. On his way back he had wept because even though he didn't know what made him think of it, he remembered, even though he had been in college he would never see his parents again.

The results showed some sort of sort of alien DNA. Mac knew that the test results weren't normal because in heavy ink at the bottom of the paper it said, 'CORRUPTED.' He had never seen results like this off of his own blood test even though his blood was pretty odd. He knew he would have to purify the blood and just at that moment a thought entered his mind. He could cure the human race with the purified blood. He began testing his own blood right away making sure not to use a hypodermic needle. He found the difference. Some sort of airborne chemical had entered everyone's system. It had not affected him nor had the zombie-like creatures attacked him. They may have had the false idea that he was dead but apparently for the last little part of his coma he thought his heart might have stopped.

After many hot days and nights where in one night he woke up to one of the creatures waiting outside the door. He had used the fire escape axe and had slain all of the creatures waiting but kept a body for research. A few days after his bout with the zombies he finally found the cure. It was water with high levels of lead in it. He knew that was toxic but it was better than being a zombie and they may not contract the poison anyway. He may have to get close to one of the zombies but he was going to their terrible rein over humanity or at least him.

That night he brought the bloodied axe outside and he saw an army of the zombies heading for the Comfort Inn he had slept in about a week ago. He was either going to die trying or he was going to save the human race. He ran hurriedly toward them. One had caught his scent and grunted to the others. They trudged toward him almost silently. He had a few vials and had extracted most of the lead from the hospitals old pipes. He used the blunt end of the axe to knock a few out and while others slowly closed in he began to inject the cure. After maybe 25 or 50 other people had gotten the cure and had began to look normal. Quickly, he noticed he was out of the cure and also noticed he had wondered far off from the hospital. He knew the people would find the vials and knew what was in them. He knew if anything happened others could carry on what he had been doing.

He walked up to a group of zombies. For some reason a memory of the crash and an old picture of his parents he remembered from when he was a child, popped into his head. The zombies were Ed and his parents. He took one of the lead filled needles from the ground jammed it into himself and withdrew some blood. As he and the zombies walked toward each other there was nothing but silence in the night. It was very solemn. He knew even at this young age he was going to die but it was for the world. He was gripped on the shoulder by a cold hand as he was just about to reach them and he turned around and decapitated a zombie. Its head rolled silently to the ground as his eyes suddenly flared with rage. As hundreds of zombies closed in he swung frantically. His rage disappeared and he had started to cry. This was the end, he was going to die and it would be for no one to remember. He hoped someone else could help the human race. After he got his parents with the needle and at least nipped Ed, someone who was still a zombie came up behind him and disemboweled him.

The human race was finally going back to its normal way. Since his parents and Ed were still zombies for a little bit they were spared. They and a few others carried on his work and slowly brought the still living zombies (some were actually dead others were in more of a form) back into a human state. Mac alone had saved the human race but out of pure omen he was not spared to live a full life. His parents memorialized him in Washington, DC after telling the tragic tale of their son. Ed started a charity to help fund the memorial. This is the story of how an entire world of people was saved by one paranoid college kid studying for a degree in engineering, Mac Johnson.
(August 2008)

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The Dead Caller

By Jessica, 12

You can see a family, a mother, a father, and a toddler girl. They are driving home together on a dark rainy night. The toddler is sitting in her car seat in the back singing random words to a song playing on the radio. The parents are laughing; her mother takes her eyes off the road for a second to glance at her husband. When she returns her gaze she is met with a jeep screeching towards her. She jerks the wheel but it is too late. Standing outside you can see paramedics running around crazily tying to save lives. A small stretcher goes by with a white blanket covering a small body. Major General Roth jolts awake from a nightmare, the kind that really happens, then you dream about it again and again.

Major General Roth looks around then shakes her head slowly, as if trying to erase the dream from her mind. Sitting up Roth grabs her alarm clock almost yanking it from the wall; 8 a.m.

'Shoot, shoot, shoot,' Roth says, under her breath as she jumps from her bed and scrambles to find her uniform, 'Colonel Corbin is gonna kill me for missing our coffee date!'

Roth runs towards her poorly decorated bathroom to change. Seven minutes later, Roth dashes for the door leading to the third floor hallway. Right before she shuts the door she remembers that she forgot to put on her boots and darts back in. Seizing her boots Roth sprints for the stairs taking two at a time.

Reaching ground floor Roth throws open the door to the lounge and rushes in searching for Colonel Corbin still holding onto her boots.

'Colonel Corbin,' Roth says, sitting down in the chair opposite Colonel Corbin, 'I'm sorry that I'm late, my alarm clock didn't wake me.'

'No sweat, Jess,' Corbin replies, pushing a cup of coffee towards his old school friend, 'If I learned anything from knowing you in middle school it is that when you are late not to fret,' Roth looked at Colonel Corbin annoyed.

'Did you even look at the guidelines for joining the army?' Roth says, annoyed with Corbin while pushing the coffee cup away from her in disgust, 'chapter 12 line 62, speak with all due respect to lower and higher coordinates.'

'Did you ever read Alice in Wonderland?' Corbin replies, with a sly grin, 'because if you had then you would surely remember the rabbit going on and on about how late he was going to be for a very important date, try to be on time next time we schedule a coffee date,' Roth chuckled to herself, before rubbing her eyes in exhaustion while she put her boots on.

'You didn't get enough sleep again, did you?' Corbin says, in a soft gentle tone looking at Roth's circles under her eyes.

'So what if I didn't,' Roth shouts back, low enough though so she won't be heard by the table next to them, 'why should you care anyway? It's not like you're my mother.'

'Anyway, we should get going if we want to make the next meeting with General Zeruth,' Roth says, not letting her anger cool.

Even before Colonel Corbin could stand up Roth had grabbed him from the back of the collar and began dragging him behind her as she exited the lounge area.

Corbin struggled, trying to get out of her rock hard grasp.

'I can walk on my own,' Corbin shouted up at Roth.

'We're almost there,' Roth says, apparently trying to remember what exact room the conference was in because she didn't notice someone calling her name until they were almost right in front of her.


Roth looked up, shaken from not hearing them coming.

'Oh, hey First Lieutenant Cesare,' Roth says, chuckling of how both her and Cesare had dragged the only males that they knew were invited to the conference with them.

'I was looking for Gibbs when by the time I had found him it was almost time for the meeting to start,' Cesare said, with her hands on her knees breathing heavily, 'I dragged him the whole way from fourth floor hallway.'

Roth let go of Colonel Corbin and looked around Cesare to see Gibbs lying on the floor.

'You okay Gibbs?' Roth asked, in a worried tone.

'Yeah, I think I hurt my back on the stairs though,' Gibbs said, through clenched together teeth.

Roth thrust out a hand to help him up, completely forgetting that she had left Corbin sprawled out on the ground. Turning around Roth took a step forward only to trip over Corbin who was still lying on the ground.

'Corbin! Tell me why you didn't get up,' Roth said, now thoroughly irritated, 'never mind, just get in the conference room.'

Corbin scrambled up and ushered both Cesare and Gibbs in but left the door open for Roth who quickly stood up and walked through, not wanting to make General Zeruth wait any longer.
Roth shut the door quietly, then to her dismay sat down in the seat to the right of General Zeruth due to their being no other seats left.

'Let's get this meeting over with,' General Zeruth said, in a superior tone, 'Major General Moore?'

'Yes,' Moore said, 'to our excitement the 'caller' is now finished and ready to be tested out.'

Roth looked at Moore in wide amazement, Gibbs seeing her reaction raised his hand for permission to speak.

'Ready? How can it be ready, you said that mmmfmfmffffmmfff,' Second Lieutenant Gibbs said, only to have First Lieutenant Cesare clap her hand over his mouth.

Cesare gave Moore a sheepish shrug urging him to continue on with his speech.

'It may be completed but we still require someone to test 'it' out,' General Zeruth said. Everyone turned to Zeruth.

'We need someone who knows how to work it already,' Zeruth said, turning to Moore who was sitting to the left of him.

'Someone who can talk easily to other people, dead or alive,' Moore added, turning to face Corbin who was to the left of him.

'A person who will not act foolishly and do something wrong,' Colonel Corbin said, turning to face Cesare who was sitting at the end of the table opposite of himself and closest to the door.

'Someone who will be able to protect themselves against any attacks that just saying something goes wrong,' Cesare put-in, turning to Gibbs, taking away her hand but not her eyes.

'Bu-But uh,' Gibbs became flustered, 'someone who has experience with losing someone so it would maybe make it easier to connect to the dead like through that person.'

Gibbs finally turned to me who was to the right of him.

'Good to have you do it Roth. Roth?' Zeruth looked at Roth with a crease of worry showing on his forehead.

Roth looked close to tears, her head facing the ground trying to conceal her sorrow.

'I'll do it,' Roth said, regaining posture with every word, 'just make sure that when you tell the press how we have communicated with the dead that I, Major General Roth, was the first to actually talk to them.'

'Ha, good,' Zeruth looked relieved but then his face turned stone serious, 'make sure that you don't mess up. This is a big thing so if you mess up you will pay. Major General Moore will go over any questions/restrictions with you.'

Roth nodded now feeling all the weight fall upon her of messing up. Roth saluted Zeruth as he walked out of the room leaving everyone else. Roth walked over to where Moore was talking with Corbin and at the same time smacked both of them on the back of the head, then grabbed Moore by the back of the collar and dragged him behind her and out the door. Not before she heard Gibbs whisper to Cesare how much she looks like a kidnapper every time that she does that.
Roth dragged Moore all the way down the hall and into the elevator.

'You can let me go now,' Moore said, in a tired tone.

'Huh? Oh sorry, I forgot that I still had you by the collar,' Roth said, pulling Moore off the dusty elevator floor.

Immediately after standing up Moore launched into a well-practiced speech.

'Now, there are two switches and a microphone in there. It is a full cement room except for one wall that is made up of glass. When you step in I need you to first put on the headset so we can communicate. Second, once I'm ready I'll have you push the on side of the on/off switch to turn it on. Third, after I have the computers ready I want you to press the open side on the open/closed. Open stands for a chat with any dead person; you could end up with anyone, so if they speak a different language I will have to put the interpreter on your headset so you could talk with them. Closed stands for a chat with only one specific dead person. You can only do open because if you choose closed then you could run the risk of rupturing the 'caller.' After you press open then I need you to speak into the microphone, on attached to the 'caller' and say something along the lines that it is an open chat.'

Moore finished off his speech right as the elevator door opened into a room that was a jumble mess of wires and flickering computers.

Moore ushered Roth out of the elevator, only for Roth to run into a glass door.

'Open the door next time Roth,' Moore said, in an irritated tone.

'Sorry,' Roth said, in reply, feeding off of Moore's irritation.

Roth walked into the caller's room and turned in circles looking at all the computers.

'Headset,' Roth barely heard Moore say over the noise of the computers. Roth stuck the small headset on her head only to have Moore start screaming in her ear to say something if she could hear him. Roth nodded to him. Roth watched as he sat down in his chair and began to furiously type stuff down.

'Okay start 'it' up,' Roth nodded now, unsure if she would go against her orders and try to talk to her daughter.

'Daughter or military honor,' Roth whispered, to herself.

Roth steadily reached her hand out and pressed the on side of the switch. Roth looked back at Moore who was again furiously typing stuff in then nodded for her to continue. Roth gulped; she had to decide on what to do. Roth turned back around to face a waiting Moore. She saluted him then whirled around pressing the closed side of the switch. The room came alive with even more noise. Colors flashed around the rooms as the computers began to act as though they had too little time to process too much information.

Major General Moore stood up in alarm than rushed over to where Roth was standing beside the closed switch and tried to press the off switch. Roth knew that this was her only chance to speak to her daughter again, spinning around she tried to push Moore away. Moore seeing her attack dodged only to have Roth swing at him again but this time Roth hit him on a vulnerable presser point. Moore collapsed to the ground unconscious. Roth looked around the room frantic now; she had no clue on what to do next.

Roth's eyes rested on the microphone that was attached to the 'caller'. Reaching for it she wrapped on to it as though she was going to die if she let go of it.

'I-I ONLY WANT TO SPEAK TO MY DAUGHTER AGAIN TO TELL HER THAT I'M SORRY,' Roth ended her screaming, only to break down crying.

Roth didn't notice that everything had stopped. When Roth finished crying she listened to the static coming through the headset. She ruined it, the closest thing she would ever be able to use to communicate with her beloved daughter. Roth stood up about to press the off side of the switch but stopped as the static went quite.

(August 2008)

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Superbowl 48

By Dustin, 13

Stan and his team mates were throwing the ball back and forth getting ready for Super Bowl 48 to start.

'You know, I think we will defiantly win this one. The Dogs have no chance against us,' said Stan.

As the announcer came over the loudspeaker, Stan and his team mates ran over to the bench to get ready for the national anthem. They put their helmets on and went out to the 50-yard line for the coin toss. It was Stan, Bob, Chris, Dave, and Jake out at the 50-yard line to call the coin. The ref, with a mean snarling look on his face, tossed the coin up in the air.

Dave yelled, 'Heads.'

The coin dropped to the ground and they all looked at the ground and the Ligers captains started to turn around to see what the head coach wanted to do.

Jim the head coach put one finger up for the sign to receive the kick. They ran off the field to get the kick return team on the field. Stan was back deep to return along side Dave. The kicker went back to the line, put his hand up to signal, he was ready to kick.

Stan scrambled over to where the ball was coming down from and opened his hands and caught the ball. He fumbled the ball around for a second and then got a grip on it and ran to the right side, running straight with nine blockers in front of him.

The 40, the 30, the 20, the 10, TOUCHDOWN.

The game was now 6-0. Stan and his team mates cheered and ran back to the 10-yard line for the field goal. Stan went to the sideline to get some air. Jake, the kicker, kicked the ball right through the uprights. Stan went back out on the field to get read for the kick off. He stood right beside Jake and when he kicked the ball Stan went charging down field. He couldn't see the ball or who had it, but he could hear the opposing team yelling left, left. He went right, which was their left until the ball carrier came into view. He immediately charged towards him and smothered him to the ground. When he hit the ground the ball came loose and Stan picked it up and ran.

The 20, the 10, Touchdown.

Stan had scored yet another touchdown for the Ligers, the game was now 14-0. The clock hit 0 which meant it was the end of the first quarter.

Stan and his team mates were in a slump and not knowing what to do they were falling behind a lot and getting sacked most of the time. The Dogs were scoring a lot of points.

The game went on, even at one point the dogs got ahead and it was 21-14. But not for long the Ligers came ahead now, crushing the dogs 134-38. It was the most points ever scored in football history it looked, as the ligers were unbeatable.

The game was now in the fourth quarter and the Ligers had no chance of losing. There was only 38 seconds left in the game and the Ligers were getting ready to celebrate. Bob took 3 knees and a spike once to end the game.

Just when they thought the game was over, the ref called a foul. Chris, the fullback immediately knew that it was him who caused the foul. He looked at the ref and the ref turned on the mic.

'Un-sportsman like conduct, number 34 Ligers.'

Everyone started looking at Chris with a mean face. The Ligers would have to restart with the clock at 4 min, what everyone said 4 minutes ago you should have called the foul then the ref turned the mike on again and said,

'Un-sports man like conduct numbers 12, 34, 53 and 22 also 46.'

Bob, Chris, Stan, Dave and Jake had all been penalized. The ref moved the clock back another 4 minutes. The whole team was furious, ready to quit. But, just at the moment the ref came over the mic and said 7 minutes have been deducted. The game now only had 1 minute left and the Ligers were much more happy now. They ran on the field, took two knees and the game was over. Through all the confusion mishap and frustration the Ligers had finally won a super bowl and now it was time to celebrate.
(August 2008)

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The Basketball Game

By Kevin, 12

It was 5:30 in Altoona at the summit, there was 60 seconds on the clock, Lil' Shaq went to shoot but the other team got the ball and went down for a lay up. The clock now said 30 seconds Lil' Shaq stole the ball and went down for a slam-dunk. Followed by one of the other player's who hit the ball out of his hands and rabidly went down the court and made a lay up. The clock was at 10 seconds Lil' Shaq was nervous and was shaking like a jitterbug because he had to make a three pointer to win the game. He was running down court. There were 5 seconds left. He stopped. Three seconds. He shot and the game was over. The people in he crowd were shouting and cheering. The team was hopping up and down like a bunch of frogs. While the other team was swimming in their tears.

Ten years later, Lil' Shaq woke up at 3:15 A.M. because of a bad dream he had about the basketball game. He decided to go to Hoss's. He got dressed and went to Hoss's and on his way, people inside were thinking that he was crazy because he was out so late. When he got there he ordered as slow as a turtle because he was still tired. But then he smelt the food, so ran as fast as a road runner.
At that moment a man sat right in front of Lil' Shaq, and he just stared at the floor like he was frozen and couldn't move. Then just when Lil Shaq was about to summon the waiter the strange man said,

'Wait don't you remember me?'

But Lil' Shaq was too shocked and couldn't remember at all. Then the man whispered,

'It's me Lil' Kevin!' Lil' Shaq was so surprised that he almost peed his pants.

When Lil' Shaq came back to earth they got their food. Then they talked about the old times. But Lil' Shaq was thinking in is head, I swear he better not try to talk about what happened 10 years ago. Out of nowhere Lil' Kevin asked about 10 years ago. Lil' Shaq just ignored him and stared at his food. Next he said,

'Are you going to eat that?' But Lil' Kevin said once more,

'Come on, we can talk about it. That was 10 years ago.'

Lil' Shaq started to get red like a fire truck.

I don't want to talk about it I said!'

But Lil' Kevin still kept asking about what happened.

Lil' Shaq asked, 'Are you going to eat that?'

Afterward Lil' Kevin paused for a second and then blurted out, 'Sure why not!'

Then, as soon as Lil' Shaq was about to take a bite of food Lil' Kevin said,

'So do you want to talk about the basketball game?'

Lil' Shaq got up and took the food and whizzed it at Lil' Kevin and left Hoss's.

After that Lil' Shaq got home and went to bed and he started to have the dream about the basketball game. The clock was at 3 seconds left, he shot and it hit off the rim and rolled on the rim and fell off, he had missed the winning shot. The team was screaming while the other team was weeping. So then Lil' Shaq got up and left the gym and was never seen there again. Then suddenly he woke up and was covered in sweat and he could hear a bang on the door.

Therefore, he got out of bed and got a baseball bat and opened the door and, bang, Lil' Shaq accidentally hit Lil' Kevin over the head. Then about twenty minutes later Lil' Kevin woke up on Lil'Shaq's couch, which was scratched up, smelt like a cat had just peed on it, and looked like it was from the 1700's. Then Lil' Shaq was yelping how sorry he was and how he didn't mean to do that. Then Lil' Kevin stuttered,

'It's ok, I know that you didn't mean to.'

Then Lil' Kevin told Lil' Shaq that he was moving to Washington to his kids and wife and that he was leaving tomorrow. Then Lil' Shaq just stared blankly into space and said,


'Yeah,' Lil' Kevin said, ' and I came here to ask you to play one last game of basketball.'

But Lil' Kevin thought that he already knew what Lil' Shaq was going to say but Lil' Shaq said,

'Sure I guess!'

So, at sunrise they both went out to play so that no one would see them playing. So they started to play, it was cold and brisk out and Lil' Shaq was in shorts, and a t-shirt. Lil' Kevin was wearing basketball shoes, and shorts, and had a sweatshirt on. During the game they would ask questions like, 'What have you been doing?' or 'Why haven't I seen you in so long?'

After a while the score was 5-5 and they were panting and gasping for air and people were almost out of their homes. They could taste the sweat running down their face and armpits. You could also tell that they needed water, because their mouths were as dry as a desert. Their mouths were crusty and their lips were about to fall off. The game was almost over and Lil' Shaq was about to faint. But Lil' Kevin was trying to hide the pain. Now the game was 7-8 Lil' Kevin was winning by one and Lil' Shaq was about to throw the ball up and he made it. Now the game was tied until Lil' Kevin ran a lay up and made it. Suddenly Lil' Shaq made a lay up and the game was almost over, who ever made the next shot wins the game. They were both tired, Lil' Shaq was dribbling he was going to fake an injury so he fell to the ground and pretended like he was hurt, then got up and made a slam dunk. Lil' Shaq couldn't believe it, neither could Lil' Kevin. Lil' Shaq actually won the game, he was so shocked he could have peed his pants.

The game was over and they were both glad because now they could rest. But Lil' Kevin had to leave but Lil' Shaq didn't want him to.

'I have to, I have a family waiting for me, I wish that I could!' he stated.

Next, Lil' Shaq blurted out,

'Ok, at least let me take you to the airport. It is the least I can do for hitting you in the head.'

So they went back to the apartment to get some bags and then they were off to the airport. On the way up Lil' Shaq was telling him that he should come up again sometime.

'That was a great game, I was surprised that you won!' Lil' Kevin, muttered.

'I know I was surprised too, we should do it again sometime!' Lil' Shaq, stated.

Soon, they arrived at the airport and Lil' Kevin's flight was just about ready, so they said their good byes and Lil' Kevin was gone. Therefore, Lil' Shaq left and watched Lil' Kevin's flight take off. And now they were friends for life.
(August 2008)

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Win Of A Lifetime

By Kiley, 13

'In the bottom of the ninth, the score is four to seven, the Yankees are winning and Cardinals are at bat. With William Franks on second base, Manny Romo is now up to bat for the Cardinals,' said the announcer.

On a sunny Sunday afternoon in St. Louis, Missouri, we are here to see who is the winner of the two thousand and thirteen Major League Championship.

Manny, a twenty-two year old, has been playing baseball on a team since he was six, but has been hitting and throwing a ball since he was very young. He has played baseball for many teams such as the Twins, Tigers, Little League Cardinals, and many more. Now he is currently playing for the Major League Cardinals. William Franks is a twenty-three year old and has been playing baseball ever since he was about nine years of age. When he went to college he got an academic scholarship in science and also a scholarship in baseball.

The pitcher threw the ball,

'Strike one!!!' said the umpire.

As the pitcher, Jacob Dubbs wiped the sweat off his head and walked back to the mound, he told himself that he could strike Manny out, which he could be the one. Jacob is twenty-two and has been playing baseball on a team since he was seven. Jacob and his sister, Kiley Ramirez, have been 'fun playing' since they were about two. They both wanted to fulfill the dream of becoming a Major League baseball player and both had different aspirations when it came to teams. Jacob wanted to play for the Yankees because he was a die-hard fan and he followed the team very well. Kiley wanted to play for the Cardinals ever since she started playing ball. Now, they both got what they worked for and deserved and now they are wonderful baseball players. William looked to steal but Jacob was to quick to the mound. The next pitch was thrown,

'Look at that ball fly, and its gone!!!' the announcer, bellowed.

The crowd screamed and clapped with joy. That hit ran William in and the score now five to seven. Everyone on the Cardinals stood by home plate waiting for Manny to cross, they went wild when he crossed home plate, screaming, hollering, and patting Manny on the back. Now, the score is six seven. Manny thought that it would never happen, for him to actually get to see the ball flying threw the air right in front of him.

'WOW!!! This is amazing, I...I can't believe I actually was the one and only thing to make that ball sore threw the air.'

This means the Yankees are only ahead by one point.

'Next up for the cardinals is Zebadieth Ersek.'

Jacob throws the ball, strike one!! He gets the ball and walks back to the mound.

'I hope I can strike this kid out, we aren't doing too well,' he thought, to himself. He set up, stepped to the side, brought his leg up and slingshot the ball at a whipping speed of eighty-seven miles per hour. Strike two!!

'Good, I am doing okay for right now but I am not going to get my hopes up. I still will strive to overcome Zebadieth.'

Jacob winds up again and slingshots the ball down to the catcher Jeff Thompson. Jeff is twenty-three and has been playing baseball since he was about six years of age. He has a dream to be in baseball history and by the rate he is going now he might just make it there. He played baseball for the White Sox in instructional league, his first two years in little league he played for the Orioles, his second two years he played for the Braves, then made it to Teener League then continued on to high school then college, and then made it on the Yankees. Good job Jeff good job!!

'Whoa look at that, strike three, and Zebadieth is out. That's two outs for the Cardinals.'

Next up for the Cardinals is Craig Rodregess. Craig is twenty-three years old and has been playing baseball since he was eight. He has a dream of becoming a famous person from selling products for sports. Stuff such as bats, mitts, sliding shorts, and many other things. He thought that he would play some ball with major leaguers to see what it was like and to see how good the products are because he hates false advertisement. Jacob wound up, look at that ball go, it's a double! Craig thinks to himself saying that he can't believe that he hit a double, and kind of in a way saved his team.

Next up for the Cardinals is Kiley Ramirez. This is Jacob's sister and she had the dream of becoming a major league baseball player for the Cardinals ever since she started playing baseball just like her brother. She is twenty-five years old and she is so glad that she made it this far in her career. Jacob winds up and the first ball is thrown. Strike one!!!! Jacob is hoping to strike her out but nobody is sure what is going to happen. She is feeling really determined to at least run Craig in. He winds and throws another ball and look at it fly, it's a triple. That runs Craig in and this means the score is now seven to seven, with the game on the line. Whoa and look at that, there's an error and that allows Kiley to score, now the overall score is eight to seven and the Cardinals are the winners of the championship.

'Today was a wonderful day for both teams and they both did really well. I just wanted to congratulate both of the teams for doing their best. Both teams also put up a great fight to win and since Cardinals were the home team they kind of had an advantage to come back at the end and Jacob did a very nice pitching job trying to hold them at four to seven but it just wasn't enough,' the announcer said, joyfully.

The Cardinals were very pleased with what they had accomplished today and they would like to thank each and every one in the audience because our fans and even the fans of the Yankees helped us pull through and win today. Our fans, young and old encourage us to do better and strive as hard as we can to do our best. When most of us were younger, we played baseball for little league and I don't know where everyone came from but Jacob, Manny, Craig, Jeff, and Kiley all came from Huntingdon and there we had a motto that we said every time we had a baseball game.

It stated:

'I trust in God,
I love my country,
And will respect its laws,
I will play fair,
And strive to win,
But win or loose I will always do my best,
Play ball!'

This is important to them because we love baseball and they would do anything to and everything to be our best we can be and do the best we can do.

(August 2008)

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Orange County

By Madison, 13

The light breeze from the Pacific Ocean blew the palm trees as Lauren and Brittany tried to tan on the beach. It wasn't the best day to be out on the Orange County Beach. The clouds were overcast but the temperature was still in the high 80's. As Lauren picked up her pink Blackberry Pearl, she took off her oversized Chanel sunglasses and answered her phone. It was her boyfriend, Seth, asking if she wanted to meet him at the Sailboat for a stack of pancakes.

As Lo hung up the phone, she packed up her things and put on her new Abercrombie and Fitch skirt.

'That was Seth. He wants to meet at The Sailboat for some pancakes. Wanna Come?'

'I guess. It's too windy here anyway,' Brittany said, as she took off her Dolce and Gabbana sunglasses and packed up her tote bag.

Brittany and Lauren had been best friends ever since 6th grade. Now, 16 and in 10th grade, they are still together. They have never been in a fight. At OCH, Orange County High, they were known as Brittany and Lauren. Not just Brittany and not just Lauren. They were always together and a lot of people envied them. Lo and Britt practically lived together. Nothing has ever come between them. But lately Lauren has noticed something was missing. She just couldn't put her finger on it.

As they were walking to the pancake house, Britt nervously picked at her perfectly manicured nails and looked at her shoes. She said,

'Ya know, you and Seth have been really close lately.'

Lo took that comment as a conversation starter, not in any way a problem she was trying to address.

'Yeah, I know. I really like him.'

Brittany looked into Lauren's eyes and she said,

'Yeah, but he gets so mad really easily. And you guys are so into each other. I mean you guys are just gonna lose all your friends and all you're gonna have is each other and it will be disgusting and you won't have a life!'

'Oh no! Ugh! What the heck!' Lauren thought to herself, but didn't dare to say it out loud.

So instead, she said,

'Britt, that is not going to happen. I spend like my life with my friends, way more time than I do with Seth. And I thought you liked him.'

'I do. I just hope your right.'

Lo was so confused. Where was this coming from? She always thought that Brittany had been good with Seth. What was she suppose to do?

That week Lauren and Brittany were together a lot. And on Friday night, they hung out with Seth and some of his friends. After that, Brittany went home and got ready for bed. It was about 2:30 and Lo was just lying down in bed. Her phone vibrated. It was a text from the lovely Britt.
'Hey. We need 2 talk,' it said.

'Hey. Yeah what's up?' I replied back.

'I'm sorry but I think you and Seth should break up.'

Lo just stared at the screen blankly. After a minute she just got mad.

'Why have you been like this Britt? What is this about?'

UGH! As she texted she was getting frustrated. Her fingers were pounding on the numbers like the Wack-A-Mole game. She was so taken back by Brittany.

After a bit, Lo's phone vibrated and the bright florescent light shone on her ceiling.

'He gets mad about every little thing. And you never hang out with your friends anymore. What's going to happen is you are going to start hanging out with him more and more and then none of your friends will want to be with you and then all you will have is each other and you will be miserable. It will be disgusting!'

'You know that I would give the world for my friends. They are my life. I would never let that happen. Now what is seriously wrong? Coz I know that isn't it.'


Lo didn't know what to say. Brittany has always been her number 1.She was so upset that she had let her think that. All she wanted to do right now is scream. But she couldn't. A lump was in her throat. Her eyes began to burn and tears began to build in the corner of her eyes. Right now she really just wanted to cry into Seth's muscular arms. She never wanted to lose Britt. They were too close and she was too precious to lose.

After a couple of minutes of thinking, Lauren thought of something to say. She picked up her slim phone and let the words flow from her heart straight to her fingertips and onto the bright screen.

'Brittany Madison White! Why didn't you tell me this earlier? I would never do anything to hurt you because I love you babe! But if you felt that way you should have told me before it got worse. You basically let it inside and let it explode. What can I do?'

Lauren just lay in bed and cried. Normally, she would tell Brittany about something like this. Then, she would tell Seth. But this time, she knew she couldn't tell Seth and that hurt her.

Suddenly, her screen lit up and her phone vibrated.

'Lauren Elizabeth Smith! I will always love you. But right now, I don't really want to be around you when you are with Seth or even texting Seth. So for now, I am taking a break. When you and Seth break up, I will always be here for you. I understand if you don't want me then, but I will always care about you. Goodbye for now.'

NO!!! Why was she doing this? What is wrong with her? Lauren couldn't even believe her eyes. She hurried up and typed something so that Brittany would know she cared.

'Why are you doing this? If you want to make me choose between you and Seth, I will 100% of the time choose you. But, I don't think that would be nice of you as a friend. If I were in a bad relationship, then I would completely understand. But I'm not. I am happy with Seth.'

'That is the problem. You guys are happy together.'

Lauren couldn't believe it. Brittany wasn't the type to get jealous. But, it was definitely obvious that she was. Lauren couldn't even text her back. She had to think about this.

Lauren's bright blue eyes slowly opened to the bright California sun shining threw her huge bay window. She was so cozy and comfortable completely sunken into her fluffy Ralph Lauren Comforter. Then it dawned on her, she had to deal with the mess that had happened last night.

She rolled over and paced to her Paris themed large bathroom. She looked in her mirror and saw her streaked dark brown mascara down her cheek from crying. Lo opened her drawer and took out her green Neutrogena Wave. She washed her face lightly then put her hair up in a messy bun. She walked into her sun lit room and put on some shorts and a cami. Then, she went out onto her balcony to do what she knew she had to do. She listened to the phone to ring. Then someone answered.


'Hey babes,' Lauren sounded like she had a smile on her face but in reality she was about to cry.

'What's up?' Seth said, back to her.

'Nothing really. Do you want to meet me for a smoothie?' Lauren hated every second of this, but she knew it was what she had to do.

'Sure. I'll be there in about ten minutes. Is Britt coming?' he said, sounding like it was what he lived on to be with her.

'No. Just you and me.'

'Okay, see you soon. Love you. Bye,' he replied.

'Love you too. Bye,' she knew that was the last time she would say that.

Seth pulled up to the cul-de-sac driveway with the beautiful flower garden to the side with the large pool, hot tub, sauna, and waterfall. He took his black Lamborghini around the curved way and pulled into the front of the house. He beeped twice to let her know he was here. Lauren was out in less than 5 seconds. She hopped into the car cheerfully. They gave each other a short and sweet kiss and began to talk about the upcoming summer.

As they sat down at a table with their strawberry banana smoothies, Lauren fumbled about with her Juicy Couture charm bracelet.

'Seth. We need to talk,' she really didn't want to do this, but she had to.

'Okay Hun. What's up?' he said, sounding to caring and understanding.
'Okay, this is really hard for me to say. And I'm really sorry. And I still want to be friends. Please don't be mad at me cuz I really don't want this to be happening.'

She was stumbling about. She just couldn't say it.

'We have to break up. I'm sorry! It's just that it's either you or Brittany. I will always love you and I don't mean to hurt you. I just have to do this for her.'

Seth didn't take it too well, but Lauren knew that she was doing the right thing. A few weeks went on and it was sad for Lauren to see Seth at school to walk by and just flirt with other girls. She still really cared about him but she loved Brittany. What she had to do now is watch her love go to someone else and try to remember that she was doing the right thing.
(August 2008)

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The Hunting Escape

By Katlyn , 13

I thought to myself,

'The woods are very bare and today the wind is not blowing the leaves around if I don't see anything soon I'm going in for the day.'

In a second, I heard some noises down in the creek below my tree stand about fifty yards away. The next thing I know is this deer sprinted up over the hill, it stopped and looked around and only his head was looking up over the hill at me. Then he moved up a little farther and I pulled up my gun and I have a good shoulder shot. I wait a second and Boom! I fired my gun. I heard the deer hit the ground and it rolled down to the bottom of the hill. My walkie-talkie goes off and everyone is asking me was that you Katie? So I said,

'Yes that was me.'

My dad said, 'I'll be there in a couple of minutes.'

So a few minutes later, I heard my dad and Uncle Darin coming down on the golf cart and they told me on the walkie-talkie,

'Get down very carefully with your gun and walk down to the cabin road and we'll meet you down here.'

So I got down and walked down to the road and met my dad and uncle. I walked down to meet them and we went to look for blood and hair and we found some. I also saw that there were leaves moving around where the deer had rolled to the bottom of the hill. Then I went down to the road and looked around and I had found the blood trail. There were also big blood clots and big puddles of blood. So once I had told my dad and my uncle that I had found the blood trail they had come up out of the creek. We waited a few more minutes to make sure that the deer would be laying on the ground fully dead. After those minutes, we went and walked the blood trail. We had followed the trail until finally it had stopped. At this point, we were starting to get tired of walking because we had walked the trail three times at this point. Now, my dad was flaming with anger because this was the first deer I had ever shot. So my dad had said,

'The first deer I had ever shot we also could not find.'

Also, while we were looking for the deer we jumped some more deer but they were running way too fast for anybody to shoot at. After two and half hours of solid looking, we all gave up this time. By now it was about five or five thirty in the evening so went in for today.

The next day at six thirty in the morning we went back out and I crawled back up in my tree stand. Nothing is moving in the woods yet that we see. A few minutes after I thought about that, I hear,

'Deer down in the creek playing around.'

I stood up very quietly and looked to see if I saw anything. One second later a deer came full speed up over the hill and I hurried up and grabbed my gun. It's standing so that I am able to get a good shoulder shoot. I aim the gun at the deer and Bang! The gun goes off and the deer runs right under the bottom of my tree stand and falls to the ground about six yards away from my tree stand. It's on it's back and kicking very hard .My walkie-talkie starts going off and everybody is asking me,

'Is that you Kate?'

I said, 'Yes, that was me and this deer, it's dead this time,' and already laying a couple of yards away from my tree stand.

A few minutes later my dad came up over the hill and walked over to my deer. At this time, I got out of my tree stand and walked over to the deer. I called my mom and got her and my sister up out of bed. They were still sleeping because it was only seven thirty in the morning on a Saturday. As my mom and sister got up my tree stand, my dad was thinking,

'They don't have any orange on.'

So they went back down to the house and put a little orange on and then they came back up in the woods. Once they got back up to me and my dad needed some paper towels so we could wipe the blood off of our hands. So my dad made my sister walk over to my tree stand and got the paper towels out of my one bag. After we wiped off our hands, we tied up the deer to a rope and dragged it down out of the woods. Then we took it down to the garage and hung it up and skinned it. Later, after we were all finished with my deer we went back out hunting for the rest of the day.
(August 2008)

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Living in OCCA

By Kasie , 12

Jennifer Calivar McCurcinus is a nice, tall, skinny girl. She is 5 foot 3 with brunette hair and light blue eyes. Jennifer is 16 years old. She has friends and best friends. Also a boyfriend named Ryan Jacket. They always hang out, that's including lunch, dinner, the beach, and home. She is not one of those girls who spends too much time with her boyfriend and not her friends, or the other way around. She is afraid of bears, spiders, and mice. Jennifer is a great athlete who loves volleyball, and cheerleading. She is usually nice to everyone, but being rich really changed that. She loves dogs and loads of other animals too. The place where Jennifer lives is sunny, hot and always a nice day to go to the beach.

School, she thought to herself with a grin on her face.

'Junist bring me my breakfast'NOW!' she screamed.

'Ma'am I will be up,' he replied with a sigh.

As she got out of bed she stumbled to her closet. Nothing to wear I'm going shopping! she said, to herself.

Knock, knock, knock.

Ma'am, your breakfast,' Junist knocked.

'Come in and hurry or I'm gonna be late for school,' she yelled at him.

'Yes Ma'am,' he said, putting his head down as if he did something wrong.

As he stepped in, he trembled to put her food down. She glared at him as he left. She looked at the food with disgrace. She left it sat on her table and went to find something to wear. She found a pink Hollister top with boot cut shorts. As she got dressed her mother text her saying,

'I need to talk to you.'

Jennifer sighed, and thought, oh great what did I do now?

She walked to her bed and pounced on it like a cat trying to get a mouse. Lying down on the bed she returned to text her mom saying,

'What is it mom? I am busy ok,' she walked to the mirror added her make-up to her face and said,

'Ahh, beautiful ey?'

She walked to the door and pushed the button and waited for the door to open. DING the door opened. She stepped inside and went down stairs.

'Hello mother, what do you need from me now?' she asked, with a puzzled look on her face.

She loved her mother dearly but sometimes she just asked Jennifer for too much.

'Baby, I hate to say this but...,'

Ding, Dong, Ding, the doorbell interrupted her.

'Sorry mom, but that's Rachel, just tell me when I get home.'

She ran out the door thinking she was glad she came. She didn't want to hear what her mother had to say. Her mother had a disappointed look on her face. She sat down in the Lamborghini and then they drove away. They finally arrived to school. Jennifer saw Ryan. He came over, gave her a kiss and then walked her to class. She stepped into her class just getting ready to sit down when she heard,

'Jennifer McCurcinus come to the office please!'

'WHAT THE HECK WAS GOING ON,' she thought to herself? She stepped into the office seeing her mom and a guy with blue silk eyes and shiny, slick brown hair.

'What is going on mom?!' Jenn demanded her to tell.

'MOM, we rode in silence the whole way home, what is going on?' Jennifer asked, with question.

'I'm just going to tell her, this is your father, Frank Harold Jinx, he wants you to live with him in Tennessee for awhile and I think it's a good idea,' her mother said, frantically.

Jennifer almost fainted. MOVE from Ryan and her best friend Rachel? NO, she thought to herself. As she started to run up the stairs she screamed,


Her mother ran after her, sighing like someone had died. She finally calmed Jennifer down and told her why she HAD to move. She told her it was because her father was never there for her when he should have been. Now that her father was here he wanted to make up for all the times he missed with her but Jennifer had a different opinion. Since her father wasn't there for her since birth he had no right to come and take her while she was mature now. She heard her father knock and say,

'You're coming with me whether you like it or not!'

Jennifer looked at him and said in a deep voice,

'You THINK I am. You THINK you can just come take me when I'm older AND mature to know now? You THINK you can take control of me? Well guess what old man, YOU CANT!'

Her mother grabbed her arm and before she could say anything she ran downstairs. Then into the kitchen, through the living room, and out the door. Ryan was waiting for her in perfect timing.
She explained everything after she calmed down. Sitting in the car out front she saw a moving van arrive. She started to cry and said with a sigh,

'I guess this is good bye.'

They hugged and kissed good bye and he drove away. She ran upstairs seeing her room already being torn apart. He mother balling ran over and said,

'I'm sorry baby girl.'

She excaped the hug and whispered,

'Save your apology, I don't want to hear it unless you really meant it and I can tell you don't or you wouldn't be doing this to me,' then, she looked over at her dad, 'and I know he is the same thing so mom, thanks a lot.'

She took her bags, went down stairs, and turned to look at her mom, then returned to look at her dad.

'Lets go sweetie,' he whispered.

She went to car. When she stepped in the car she got a text from Ryan saying this,

'Does this mean we're over? Does this mean you're gone forever? Tell me Jenn, what does this mean?'

She looked up having tears wanting to gush out of her eyes. Vroommmm the car started, the motor shaking the whole car/van type thing.

Four hours later they arrived to the ranch. Texting Ryan this,

'Yes, it's over. It would be the best thing to do, k goodbye.'

She looked up seeing farm animals but something did NOT fit in. A tall, anorexic, blonde haired looking thing ran up to me screaming through the car window,

'Awe, aren't you just a sweet thang? Your father always said you were a cutie.'

She hit the window and boom she bashed her head off the window. Falling backwards knocking herself out. Jennifer gave her a small smile grin type thing and jumped out of the car. Her father guided her to the house, showed Jennifer where to sleep and the whole house. When she saw the house she about dropped to the floor.

'OH EM GEE!' she screamed, 'this place is so gross.'

Everyone turning their eyes on her. Maybe it was a dump to her because she was rich, beautiful and lived in a city and this place was poor, ugly, and hickish. I CANNOT live like this, she thought to herself. She ran outside to use her phone when it all happened, her phone didn't work.

'NO, NO, NO, NO, NO!' she screamed.

'Well are you okay?' she heard a voice behind her say.

'Yes I....,' she paused, turning around, 'no, I'm not!' she turned to see a really cute guy standing behind her.

Two minutes later....

There was a shiny limo waiting for her out front. Then, she got a text from her mom saying she was coming home. She got into the car as soon as she got in and they drive away, she looked out the window with a glistened shine to her eye. And away she drove.

(August 2008)

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The Breakup or Makeup?

By Elisa, 13

Chelsea Smith lives in Newport Harbor, California. Her and her friends go to the beach a lot. They like to swim, hang out, talk, and play beach volleyball. Her favorite sport is volleyball, when she grows up she wants to be a professional. Chelsea is 15 years old and her heritage is German. Her favorite food is steak with a baked potato. She is terrified of snakes and bugs, sharks, spiders and she is also afraid to die. She has really dark hair that is kind of a black color and she has blue eyes. She is 5 foot 5 inches, that's a good height for a volleyball player.

It is a sunny day and everyone is ready for school and they all are in happy moods. It was the first day back at school and everyone is talking and catching up on old times. Chelsea met up with her best friends Ashley Clay, Jessica Conrad, and Chrissie Monopoly. They didn't hang out with Chelsea a lot this summer because she was with her boyfriend Jake Worthy.

'Hey girlies how have you guy been?!' asked Chelsea.

'Oh you know just the usual. Hanging out at the lake with each other and some guys,' replied Chrissie.

They all told stories of what they did in the summer. Also how their vacations went. Then they went around to the whole school to their friends and caught up with them.

Next thing they see is Chelsea and Jake is in the storage closet kissing. They stopped when the girls open the door; they felt very embarrassed. Everyone is disgusted and they all just walk away.

'Well I'm sorry guys this is what me and Jake do, we are dating if you haven't noticed,' explained Chelsea.

'Ew did you see them, even if they are going out they still don't need to do PDA,' complained Jessica.

Then whole crew started to walk down to the beach to go surfing and tanning. While the girls were tanning they were also thinking how Chelsea spends too much time with Jake. So they stopped tanning and they said to Chelsea,

'You spend too much time with Jake, you need to give him a break for a little and hang out with us!' commented Ashley.

'Well, he is my boyfriend and I want to spend time with him. I spend time with you guys too but I can't loose you guys. I could loose him any minute and I want to spend every minute with him,' said Chelsea.

'Yeah okay whatever, we are leaving you can go have fun with Jake bye,' yelled Chrissie.

The next day Chelsea and Jake walk past Chrissie, Jessica, and Ashley. They all glared at the couple. Ashley goes up to Chelsea and says,

'We all need to talk to you, meet us at the beach at three.'

So in class that day and in the halls they all stare at Chelsea and give her mean looks. They all giggle for no reason when they walk past Chelsea in the hall to make her feel bad.

That day they meet up at the beautiful beach, Chelsea is already at the beach waiting. The three girls pull up in the Hummer limo and act so popular by the stuff that they wear and the accessories that they have. They are walking like it's in slow motion so they look good for the guys.

When the girls get there they go up to Chelsea and they say,

'You know what you are spending too much time with Jake. If you don't want to hang with us then we are done with you.'

'Well I'm sorry okay and if you don't want to be my friends then whatever because I have Jake and that's all I will ever need,' replied Chelsea.

'Yeah well don't come crying to us when he dumps you, we warned you!' exclaimed Jessica.

As they walked away Chelsea stayed at the beach thinking.

Chelsea walks back to her house and someone is there waiting. Jake!

'Hey Jake what are you doing here?' Chelsea screams.

'Chelsea, I came here because we need to talk,' mutters Jake.

'Okay about what?' Chelsea said, while being scared that he is going to break up with her.

'You have been hanging around your friends too much and not me, so you need to make a decision,' Jakes says, with aggression.

'What do you mean decision what kind of decision?' Chelsea replies.

'A decision between me or your freak friends, you big buffoon, I'm leaving you and you better decide in the next week,' Jake says.

'What! Why would you make me choose between you or them? That's so mean,' Chelsea screams.

'Decide, Chelsea, decide okay,' Jake replies.

The next day nobody talks to her not even Jake. So at lunch she has nobody to sit with and she is all alone. It's now the end of the day and she is at her locker getting everything to go home, and Jake comes up to her and says,

'Did you decide yet?'

'No and I'm not going to have to decide. If you really cared about me and loved me then you wouldn't make me decide between you or my best friends, and because of you my best friends are no longer my friends anymore,' Chelsea says, with anger.

'Well I'm sorry okay, that's not my problem. You can get over it, and now that you have no friends you can hang out with me 24/7,' Jake says.

'I don't want to be with you all the time,' yells Chelsea.

'Excuse me, I'm your boyfriend you don't talk to me that way. I gave you the privilege to be with me and I can take that privilege away from you in just two words,' Jake says slowly.

'You know what you just made my life worse, ITS OVER!" screams Chelsea.

'Excuse me, it's not over till I say its over,' he says this as Chelsea starts walking away.

'Well its over to me, get over yourself and tell it to someone who cares,' Chelsea says, with emotion.

'Okay NOW it's over.'

'Yeah that's what I thought.'

For the next few days Chelsea has been in pure agony. She can't believe she lost the one she loved, and it was her fault. So she calls up all of her three best friends, they are all happy about the news but she is very sad and can't stop crying, every time she cries in class her teachers ask her what's wrong and all she says is I think I have something in my eye. Her friends support her and after a few weeks she is all better and completely over the whole thing. So one day her and her friends go to the beach and some guys are there staring at them because they are so pretty and this one guy Chris Jeeter comes up to her and asks her if she wants to go get some lunch, and her response is,

'YESSSSS!!!!!,' and he says,

'Okay, I will go get changed and then we can go.'


Once he leaves the girls start screaming with excitement. Chris comes back and they leave, he goes to the same school is her and he is 16 and has his license. She is finally over Jake and on to some bigger and better things.
(July 2008)

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